Monday, 1 March 2010

Great!... a brand new month!

Hey, it's a brand new month... anything could happen... infact, you can expect it to! :) And you know what that means don't you... we have a winner for the Giveaway bag! A rather fitting way to celebrate my 100th post!

No, Eliza is not helping herself to snacks, she's drawing the winning name (you know me, nothing fancy... stick all the names in an old snack box!)

And the winner is .....

Sandi Manning of Puddle Duck Farm blog. Congratulations Sandi, please E-mail me your postal address, and I'll pop Tulip Bell in the post to you shortly :)

I had a busy weekend, thinking and writing, and generally being pestered by my men folk. Nilo is better though, and has returned to school this morning, a little forlorn and crumpled around the edges.

I am closing my eyes to the fact that my house looks like this from top to bottom...

There's Reinaldo - botanist, photographer, garden-hand, and carpenter extraordinaîre - cutting "machimbrada" (tongue and groove) planks for the new floor of the front corner of the house.

We are botchers, in the traditional sense of the word. We make what we can with what we've got, or what we can afford at the time. The floor of my house looks like this (see above) as the boards were layed in a hurry, and the wood was still a little green, and what happened?... It shrank! Which means that, in some places, there are 2 inch gaps between the boards. Which, actually, has been very useful in terms of sweeping. Well, I like to look on the positive side ;} Anyway, we finally decided it was time to clear out the old office and lay a nicer floor (on top the old one) and have a quiet time space. This is how it's looking now...

Ok, so we need to paint the inside of the walls, But, this is luxory to us! We're planning to get a nice little two-seater bamboo sofa in there, so we can read and stitch in the house of an evening, and Nilo will now have a space where his lego is not going to disappear under the house! And hopefully, everything will return to its former orderly state... Orderly?... Who am I kidding? ;}

Yesterday, thinking and wandering in the upper garden, I spotted this...

An Aristolochia that I'm propagating by woody cuttings. It's doing very nicely. This is a vine with very ornamental leaves. A native species with a lot of garden potential! Incase I never told you, I adore vines and design native plant gardens.

I also found this...

A frothy native Begonia species flowering right now in my small fern garden beside the stone table and benches. It's the closest thing to snow that I've seen recently. Either of these images would be great to stitch from, no?

Talking of stitching ... I have done some. This is the latest project on my work table...

A 10cm square. Shashiko style!

Never heard of Shashiko?... Oh, you're gonna love it! You can do a Google image search on that word or, there's a nice little shashiko tutorial over at Purlbee blog, which I'm adding to my links list on the right there, 'coz there's alot of neat stuff on that blog.

Added 2nd March: Diddis on Flickr has a wonderful selection of Shashiko. I found that while I was checking out Jude Hill's new Flickr group for those who are quilting with indigo, which showcases some truely beautiful indigo work that I covet ;}

Anyway, do have a go at Shashiko! They say it's easy to master. Personally, I find it quite challenging, but definately relaxing.

Here's a slightly better (?) picture of the "No Boundries" bag that I'm just finishing up with.


Now, about the women's textile group:

I have been adding on to the new blog A Common Thread. You can click on this link for a little bit of background. Don't forget to add your name to the followers so you can get updates. We need your support! And thanks to you who have already volunteered to mail supplies. You lovely people! :)

I'm very excited, 'coz my mate Arlee sent me this fabulous link. I'm writing to the founder, Fiona Wright, so let's see if she replies. We can always learn from other people's experiences. I also found the design company Dseyno founded by Marrissa Perry Saints (I'm going to write to her as well!)and there are so many similarities between that and what I've envisaged doing here. I've added a short movie about the company on the homepage of the new blog. Well worth a view!

Finally, I'm planning to prepare a project outline to send to the Dutch Ambassador, enquiring about their embassy's funds for sustainable community development projects. If you don't ask, you don't know.

You have to give people the opportunity to help you!


Jacky said...

You are such a busy one...always lots going on in your life. Your latest reno. is coming along beautifully. I love your description of how you are living/building. Wonderful, positive lifestyle.
Love the shashiko quilting. I have done a little myself and find it very therapeutic. I will check out the link.
That little native begonia is stunning. Love the reference to the closest thing to snow for you!
Congratulations to Sandi on winning your wonderful give away!
Great work you are doing towards the womens textile group. Is Eliza a stitcher too?

Jacky xox

Catherine V. Bainbridge said...

Hi Jacky, Thanks for these lovely comments. Great to have you follow over at ACT. No Eliza doesn't stitch... YET! :) I'm not sure that she'd want to, but will obviously be given the chance to join the group. She's a busy lady. She doesn't help me everyday, and she has other jobs, including collecting the fallen palm fruits when they have the cut. It's very hard work. The fruit are often covered in fire ants (which are as they sound!) Oil Palm is cut usually once a fortnightat this time of year. This is something that I plan to blog about on either/both blogs, as it forms a central part of the communities livlihood. Although, apart from the economic element, it is definately *not* a good thing! But I'll save that for another time.


Puddleduck said...

Lucky, Lucky me! Thanks so much Catherine; what a divine surprise!... and to Eliza too for picking my name out of the box!

(I sent an email yesterday which I hope you got!?)

Great post; lovely to see more of where you live...
Hasn't the No Boundaries bag come up beautifully?

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