Breaking out the Moleskine

The sudden rush of activity? All due to the fact that we had a bit of a cold week - and me, being the fair-weather gardener that I am, spent most of my time indoors drawing and reading. The sun is shining again and hay carting is about to begin........so........

Anyway, this week I cracked open one of my moleskine folios. It's been ages since I've done a bit of random doodling, so I guess it was time.

Moleskine doodle with flowers and scrolls

Some time back I did a series of these once a week, but I'm not really very good at long-term projects, so I didn't keep it up for long. If you're interested you can check out all the moleskine posts here.

Here's my second 3.5 inch challenge square for the FB Group: Square One Zentangle - this week it was to use Assunta. Since I've been having an Inapod romance this week, I combined the two. I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying freewheeling on the smaller format.

Assunta pattern on standard size zentangle tile

Around home: 

I put my name down on the swarm list with my local bee group - and got a call to come pick one up (fortunately it is a watch and learn set up because, you know, I really have no idea what I'm doing yet!) It turned out the swarm had already started putting up comb, so they were pretty well settled in - they had to be cut out of the bush and placed in the box as is. Here they are 2 weeks later, making comb on the outer frames - eventually the comb/bush will be cycled out of the hive.

Bees from swarm pickup

Koala news!!!! We are lucky to have 25 acres of bush on our farm and earlier this week John came down to tell me we had a Koala in the bush (we've never seen one on our property), so I trotted along with my telephoto lens to check it out. So, so excited. No idea where he came from, but I feel pretty special that he chose our bush to hang out and I think it's fair to say that this guy is now my koala! He was about 20-30 metres up the gumtree, so hard to get a good pic, but if you open it up you'll see part of he's cute face and a beady little eye.

Koala in gum tree

Hope your weekend is wonderful!


Turning Old into New Challenge

Brace yourselves, it's a long one!

This weeks challenge put together by Sandy Hunter was to tackle the basic structure of a pattern i.e. free form or grid, and turn it on its head by gridding up a freeform pattern, or doing the reverse.  Brilliant - just the sort of thing I love to do!

I regularly take gridded patterns and turn them into a freeform design, so I decided to take a cruise through the pattern folder and find some freeform patterns to turn into a grid.

Here are the results (along with some earlier blog images using the patterns where I could find them):


Inapod tangle pattern grid version

Love, love this as a grid and will be definitely using it again. 

Here it is in a wonky grid:

Inapod tangle pattern wonky grid

and a freeform version I did in Feb. 2013

Inapod freestyle drawing


Leaflet pattern

Leaflet already utilises a framework of S-strokes, which can be regimented or very loose, but I wanted to try drawing it within the confines of a grid and, again, love how it turned out.

Leaflet on a loose S framework:

Leaflet wonky grid


Maryhill grid


Mooka grid

I played with this one a bit and couldn't find a way that I could squeeze in more curvy scrolls and have it look how I wanted, so just stuck with a single scroll for each box.

Some freeform Mooka from March 2013

Freeform Mooka


Scrolled feather grid version

A very old scrolled feather design

scrolled feather and coneflowers 


Trentwith grid

On a wonky grid:

Trentwith wonky grid
Loved this challenge, thanks, Sandy for putting together such a fun one :)




So, I've got all these pattern ideas on scraps of paper strewn around my desk - I've been avoiding them as I wasn't planning on posting any more this year as the 2014 Pattern Folio is completed, ready  to go and I'm not adding to it............but, I just couldn't help myself from playing with one, and then I loved it so much I wanted to post now......so, here it is, an early 2015 pattern.

I've called it Sails. Now,  you may have guessed that I don't really think all that much about pattern names......pretty much the first thing that pops into my head when I get to that stage is "it". This pattern in it's basic format reminded me of windsurfer sails.

The basic pattern:

What I've found particularly fun about this one is the seemingly endless permutations using straight, curved or s strokes to form the grid, changing the direction of the curved fill strokes or shading choices - I could have done quite a few more, but decided to stop at 8 variations - I know I'll be back experimenting, though :)

This is an example of one of the variations (top row, 3rd along) - I love how it looks like a web, or if I wanted to, I could emphasis the flower shapes (filled in black), by putting in a white dot for the centre......hmmmm........may have to play with that idea next. Maybe using a bit of hot pink :)

A reminder: the 2014 Pattern Folio is ready to go, it will be emailed early December. If you want it, please make sure you have a completed email subscription to the blog - see the subscription box on the right side under my picture (if you already get emails when I post, then you should be good to go).

Have a wonderful weekend!



full throttle........

Life. Is. Crazy. Spring time here is pretty much all about the gardens. Mostly the veggie garden.

In the past 2 weeks I've started a dedicated cut flower garden (10m x 1.5m), done a stack of work in the veggie garden (middle pic, it's huge), completed first section of potager (3/4 the way there in pic 3 - this first section of the new garden is about 7metres by 4 metres - there will be another 3 or 4 stages until it is done - not all this year, though!). The potager will have branch structures which I am going to love making. Like my pants? I dress up for gardening :)

Picked up my new bee hive! So excited!

Lots of planting and seed raising going on in order to be ready for the mass production in Summer/Autumn. Couldn't do it without my trusty garden helpers - Ollie, in particular (black cat on left) loves it! Belly just wants to roll in the sawdust on the paths.The garden visitor (King Parrot) on the right followed me around this morning until I gave him some seed (after I locked the cats in the house), then sat outside in the feeder for over an hour. He just wanted to have his picture taken, I think, pretty boy that he is.

I also managed to finish up (finally) the 2014 Pattern Folio - I've been stalling on the cover and checking that all the links work. It's now ready to go in December! Here's the cover:

The 2014 Pattern Folio includes patterns posted on the blog this year along with the ones included in the 2013 version..........I was surprised what a busy year I'd had once I put it all together.

The Folio will go out early December to blog email subscribers - if you'd like to receive a copy, you'll need to have a confirmed subscription to the blog by 1st December (this is a 2 part process - sign up is on the right, underneath my photo). I will not be sending it out retrospectively as I did last year - it is just too much work, so please, if you want it.......make sure your subscription is confirmed.

I did squeeze in one quick drawing today........my first ever 3.5 inch square for the Square One FB group - greylead shading........aaargh.....I'm clumsy and all that greylead......so messy and hard to control - I'm definitely a marker girl :) haha.

My attempt at punzel drawn in reverse (bottom to top), so that I could get the overlapping swirly tips.

So, the crazy busy times are going to be rolling on - if you don't hear from me for a while (the long term weather prediction is fantastic) I'll be gardening, or on the porch reading (or sleeping), playing with my bees, milking the cow...........or just basking in the wonderful late Spring-ness that is happening here:)

I am so excited for next year, though, and have a stack of ideas and patterns drafted out ready to go! Can't wait to show them all to you :)

Have a great weekend! (4 day weekend for us as Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day).