Tuesday 31 March 2009

cool iris

I found this Firefox add-on a while ago and thought it was nice, but didn't really see how much I'd use it till now. Recently while I've been on Flickr I've wanted to browse a large set, or pool and have a closer look at some of the pictures. This seemed a bit like hard work until i thought to use Cool Iris. If you like to browse Flickr, this is a 'cool' way to do it, you can sort of fly along the pictures and click on the ones that take your fancy, zooming in and out like a computer game! It takes a couple of seconds to fix the definition but you can usually tell whether you want to wait and see more. If you know what I mean :-)
Oh, and there are other sites you can look at, and I think it goes with other browsers.

p.s. Wow, I've just noticed I can do it with this blog too, if I hover the mouse over the first picture of the post it shows the double square of the Cool Iris logo and I just click the photo. A nice way to look back over the pictures I've posted over the blog's history.

Saturday 28 March 2009

earth hour

Somehow Earth Hour has snuck up on me this year, suddenly its here! I knew it was coming, and I meant to say something about this great poster, designed by Shepard Fairey who designed the iconic Hope poster I blogged about (and bought).
For those of you who don't know about Earth Hour please go to the website and read up about it and then sign up and join all the people turning off their lights for an hour at 8.30pm March 28 (two hours to go here). It is a recognition of our personal ability to help counter climate change. And it makes us recognise the small changes we can make to save energy and pollution.
It was initiated by the World Wildlife Fund. The wonderful thing is that each year this inititiative grows, adding new people, businesses, countries and communities. Pass it on!!
Last year here.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

material obsessions

I've long been obsessed with fabric design and repeat patterns. And while I've had little time for creative pursuits recently I'm determined that next month I will finally send a design off to Spoonflower.
To this end I've been playing around in Illustrator and Photoshop, getting familiar with the technical specifications and colour constraints of their system. I've also been trying to work out how to set up a design repeat. I've found some great information online. I'll share what I've learnt and some great links for this soon. It's fun, but slow work, I wish I had more to show for it, but maybe soon!
So far I have only managed to upload this simplest polka dot pattern to their site. The wonderful thing is though, once you've loaded a pattern you can play around with how it repeats and how it looks at different scales.

Speaking of which, I found the Material Obsession site the other day. Have you seen their great online shop. It's amazing! Not only can you search for fabrics by colour, designer or theme, you can upload a photo and get the program to match the colours. Once you've chosen a stash of fabrics, which you can save to your own account, you can then choose a quilt pattern and see how they look in that design, moving and refining your fabric choices as you go. Wow, what wonderful software. I could play with this all day.
Lucky me, the physical shop is quite near me in Sydney. I've not been yet. Too many other projects and ideas to complete before I place such temptation in front of me! I can feel a winter project coming on though, and I know just the friend to take shopping with me!

Tuesday 10 March 2009

attic studio


Ages ago I talked about how we had installed an attic ladder and had our ceilings vacuumed out. Our plan has been to make a little studio space for me where I can store all my 'stuff' (flower press stock, labels, packaging and art/craft materials). At the moment, like many home based businesses, my bedroom, the dining table and the cupboards are all workspaces, and its getting a little crowded :-)
I'm happy to say that this epic project is getting tantalisingly close to completion, we had the specialist guy do the ladder, reinforce the floor and put in our lovely window. My lovely man has been finishing the rest himself, I am so impressed at the bannister he installed on the weekend... and all his plastering. What do you think?!

Friday 6 March 2009


When I was little and my parents took us to art galleries (which they did a lot, and now I take my kids) we were always allowed to choose one postcard from the gallery shop. I still love to do that, though I buy more than one these days :-)
I don't know what happened to that old postcard collection. I'd love to look through it again. Lost in a move I expect.
Here is one choice that I remember, it is Ophelia by John Everett Millais.
It came to mind the other day and I went looking online for it. I still love it. My taste mustn't have changed since I was ten!

Tuesday 3 March 2009


No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
John Donne
Autumn has snuck up on me this year, our weather has been so extreme, alternating endless rain, endless humidity and endless heatwaves, and even now it's hot every night.
There is a cool hint to the air sometimes though that reminds us that the days are drawing in. I love these in between seasons and it has drawn me out again into the garden with my camera. Something about the changing light and the way it slants in through the garden calls to me.