Thursday, 31 January 2013

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne

Another quick trip to the beach and a lone trip back, provided another opportunity to visit another place on my Melbourne to do list (sorry, I don't really have one!), the Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne.

There are several parts to the gardens and I wanted to visit the formal 'gardens' that look spectacular in the pictures I've seen.

From the visitor centre you are immediately struck by the Red Sand garden.

There's alot of water in these gardens, this arid zone is surrounded by them. The sculpture at the front is meant to echo this.

The garden is full of beautiful plants, organised and arranged, as you would expect of a Botanic garden, and there were just enough flowers in bloom to enable quite a few pictures to be taken.

 And I always like leaves and bark.

There are alot of structures in this garden and they give the very formal quality to an Australian garden, not usually what you associate with the plants of Australia. It is a little strange, but it is still a young garden, as they grow, the different elements should blend and soften. It is very impressive and there is plenty to explore in this small part of the whole gardens.

I have been here many years ago, before all this was established. A wonderful bush walking track provided a pleasant afternoon, as I remember. That is still there and there are wetlands as well. Definitely worth another day.

PS I saw a gorgeous little bandicoot there!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Sample, sample, sample...

It took an aweful lot of sampling, but finally I got there! Here is the scarf that started with me all over the place, finally settling on moss stitch:

It is worth sampling till your bored with it!

If you know anyone that would love this scarf, it's already in my Etsy shop!

Monday, 21 January 2013

On an excursion

I've just arrived back from a morning spent visiting the Victorian Wool Processors, where they scour and clean wool commercially, THEIR stash is 6000 bales!

Anyway, the lovely Marion Wheatland from Fancy Spinning a Yarn organised the trip to Laverton with members of her various spinning groups to see how it's done commercially. It was an amazing trip, numbers are just huge from the amount of water they use, to the number of bales processed and everything in between.

We saw the bales arrive and being stacked ready for processing.

They're opened up, washed, dried, crushed (to remove vegetable matter!) washed again, blown into big bins, then checked and baled up again!

And, there were lots of interesting facts, such as how much vegetable matter is in the fleece....but didn't we all know that! Just seeing it in bulk really brings it home!

With a few bags of fleece to give away, as well, they were very generous with their knowledge and time and it was very appreciated.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

McClelland Sculpture Park & Gallery

Thanks to the need for an electrician at Phillip Island, I ended up staying an extra night. So, what to do? I sheepishly admit, that I've never been to the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery. It was time to remedy this deficiency in my artistic educatiion.

It was so worth it!

The permanent collection, in the glorious sunshine, numbers 101 sculptures. Currently, they have the McClelland Sculpture survey & award for 2012. There are also two exhibitions in the indoor galleries: Janet Laurence with 'The Alchemical Garden of Desire' and John Gollings with 'Aftermath: landscape photographs' from Blach Saturday. Both are worth having a look at.

In particular, I was impressed and amazed by the photographs by John Gollings. With a video of him talking about how and why these photographs were taken, adding to the impact of the photographs, it made for compelling viewing. They were both powerful, as you would expect from the subject matter, and also, more surprisingly, beautiful.

Taken from the air, via helicopter, many took on an abstract look and others strangely anthropomorphic. My immediate response was to decide to take close-up pictures of the sculptures I saw, out of context, and see what would happen.

Here they are:

Well, some of them.

It was a fun day, and I will be back to see the permanent sculptures....there WAS alot to see!

Oh, and by the way, the McClelland Spinners and Weavers meet with envy!

Friday, 18 January 2013


Maybe Moss stitch is the stitch for the multi-coloured yarn from First Editions.....

Have been trying for ages! Now to sort out the shape of the scarf.....