January 7, 2013

Post Christmas Holiday

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and the New Year break. I had a busy, interesting and creative holiday. We had a quiet Christmas at home with DD. It was lovely just the three of us exchanging our gifts. I'm taking this time to give my family presents that I have been collecting throughout the year and also gifts I brought back from my trips overseas. 

After Christmas I went to DS's in another state. My son spent Christmas at his in-law's home this year. He returned to meet us at his house and we had another Christmas together with them. It was really fun to see the GC opening their late Christmas presents. I stayed and welcomed 2013 with our son and his family. 

The Toulouse-Lautrac exhibition was at the National Gallery when we were there so I thought it was a good chance to see it as well. I saw some of his work years ago in Paris, but this collection is different.

DIL and I opened oysters and champagne to celebrate the New Year. The oysters came unopened and thanks to DIL who has mastered the art of opening them. I would have starved if I had to open them myself! Not everyone likes oysters so we had them for ourselves. 

One day we drove down to the coast to visit the block of land we own and I named it Seabird. It's two hours drive from DS's house. The block was covered with overgrown eucalyptus trees. Some mature trees are on the council land. Our neighbour started building last year, but we won't build for another year yet. 

Five minutes down the hill from Seabird is a beautiful beach. It was a gorgeous day so we took a swim in what will one day be our local beach.

After the swim we took a walk along the beach. It's a very interesting beach with the shoreline covered in small trees, vegetation and rocks. 

Seaweed in the shape of pearls. Sea pearls I would say. The water was very clean and calm there as well. 

The tide was out far enough for us to enjoy the rock-formations at the edge of the water. Such a delightful place; I look forward to living there one day soon!

Another day I spent dyeing with DIL. We made up the dye bath with grated purple carrots. I gathered some eucalyptus leaves from Seabird. My DIL is a very keen gardener and has so many kind of plants in her garden for us to dye with. We had a fun time dyeing that day.

The result was very pleasing. In the above photo I used fig and prunnus leaves. The fig leaves give that yellow tint and the purple is from the prunnus.

I took some stitching to do while I was away. This piece of bojagi cloth I started from the middle and added  strips around in a log-cabin style. It's growing slowly. I'm loving it...

I continue to stitch the hearts I started before the holidays. I haven't sewn them up yet. I now have eight hearts ready to put together.These can be used for Valentine's Day and next Christmas decorations as well. 

On our drive home I gathered some eucalyptus mistletoe leaves and other leaves for dyeing. The eucalyptus mistletoe is a parasitic plant, but they are very good for eco-dyeing. I have used it a couple of times in the past. We can't get them where we are so it was good to be able to collect them on the drive home. 

I'm now back at work. Not everyone is back yet, but my section has work to prepare well before the term starts. My New Year plan is to make four quilts for Seabird. Two double quilts and two single quilts. I have got all the fabric I need for them so I only just need to settle down and make them! Another New Year plan is to make a journal for the time that I have spent working at my university. It will be ten years by the time I leave. I have just over two years to complete the journal. I'm excited to get started. What is your plan for the New Year?

Best for 2013


Nedra said...

What a beautiful setting for a new home. I can see why you are looking forward to building there someday. Happy New Year to You too, Nat!

Needled Mom said...

It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas break.

You are going to love being at Seabird and being inspired each and every day.

Your dying is gorgeous. I love the colors in the piece and your hearts are looking wonderful.

Happy new year.

Simone de Klerk said...

What a great time you had with your son and his family. And how fun that your DIL shares your dying passion
Just love this hearts you are stitching. Beautiful.
Happy 2013!!!

Terry said...

You had a wonderful Season. Family ,yummy foodand great landscape. What more could you ask for? Oh yes grand children I'm sure they were ever present and a joy.

Jeannie said...

Seabird looks like Heaven on Earth to me. I love the ocean and yet, I live in the desert. Ha! I really like your bojagi cloth. I am digging through my stash for a wrapping cloth for me. The cold winter nights call for a thick shawl of cloth.

deanna7trees said...

so happy to read about all your joyful times and see your beautiful stitchings. i don't really plan ahead anymore. i take things as they come...no disappointments that way.

Judy said...

Happy New Year Nat!

I loved going along with you on your post Christmas travels. SeaBird is going to be delightful - you had better take lots of photos while you are building it!

I have not had luck with fig leaves, but now I will have to give it another go next summer. Your dyeing looks wonderful!

Oh - and yumm: the oysters!!!!


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year and welcome home, Glad you had a wonderful holiday with the family, wow 4 new quilts, I have something wonderful to look forward to seeing. My goal for this year is to become a sock knitter, so far I have made 3 pair of basic socks and I'm ready for a bit of challenge with the next pair.
Lots of love Lynda XXX

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Nat what a post...full of everythig fun...Christmas...food...beach...dyeing.! Wow 4 quilts but you will do it girl...I know that LOL! And that exhibition...was it fantastic....I'm going to go too! Have a great weekend xoxoxo

Peggy said...

Hi Nat, what a beautiful place Seabird is. I like your plans for the quilts, what a perfect way to prepare to feather your new nest. And the journal is a kind of preparation, too, I think. Your little hearts are lovely and so is your dyeing, it always is!!! Love seeing what you've been up to. xoxo

Kim Henkel Creations said...

Hello Nat.. I had a lovely visit here today... So much beauty everywhere I look. Beautiful land where you are to build, beautiful decorations, beautiful creations, and dyed bits, beautiful preserves, and by your words beautiful family and friends to share with. Best wishes for a wonderful 2013

Tracy said...

Happy New Year, Nat! So glad you had a lovely holiday break with your family and time to enjoy all sorts of things. The The Toulouse-Lautrac exhibition looks amazing! LOVE seeing your adventures in dyeing--those soft colors make my heart sing. Look forward to seeing your quilting as the months go. It is so great to meet you. Thank you so much for joining my workshop--so glad to have you along. :o) ((HUGS))

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