Monday, November 22, 2010

Canadian Postal Truck

The Roaring Twenties

I didn't realise until I had completed the 1930s blog that I had skipped the important 10 years of the 1920s, so here they are - The Roaring Twenties.

The Jazz era and the legendary Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong and his golden trumpet. This ATC was the work of Cathy Smith

The first feature length film, "The Jazz Singer" starring Al Jolson premiered in 1927. This was my contribution to great moments in the 20s.

In 1921Australian author May Gibbs published 'The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" and delighted generations of Australian children with her captivating gumnut children. Pam Murray created this delicate little ATC.

The 20s were known for a fashion revolution when women through off their long skirts and corsets for shorter skirts and modern designs. This ATC, crafted by Christine McKenna, depicts a 'flapper' from an Art Deco fashion poster.

Margaret Ware added to the fashion theme with a beautifully decorated cloche.

And finally, that great Australian icon on which millions of Australian children have been raised - Vegemite. This clever ATC was devised by Karen Rosewarne.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Mating Game

We love to sit on the verandah and watch the birds in the garden. We have been watching with delight the courting of a pair of grey fantails. These little birds are quite fearless and often join us on the verandah, sitting on the rail or even perching on a spare chair.

We watched their nest building, marvelling in the delicately woven nest, built from spider webs from the verandah eaves just in front of the kitchen window. As the nest progressed we chuckled at the little creatures as they added soft strands to the inside of the nest then sat in the nest and spun around shaping it to fit perfectly.

The camellia they have chosen for their nest is right up against a verandah post and we have to pass within a metre of the nest everytime we go into the garden. They seem to have no objection to us stopping to have a chat, watching us with bright eyes and no sign of fear.

On cool days they snuggle right down, but on warmer days they seem to sit quite high in the nest. We are just hoping they escape the notice of the marauding wattle birds. We have also noticed a couple of little ravens on the back lawn recently. Not sure whether they would attack a nest, but they haven't been around before.

They've been sitting for just over a week now and we are getting quite excited about the forthcoming happy event. We have had numerous blackbird nests close to the house, but this is a first.

Yesterday we also spied a very large koala in one of our gum trees. He was gone today, but he'll be back.


Friday, November 19, 2010

1930's ATCs

The 4th decade of last century attracted fewer particiapnts, but the three of us who did swap were not stuck for ideas. It was a decade of despair and misery with the Depression affecting so many lives. Cathy Smith depicts this in her poignant portait.

Through those years popular heroes arose to capture the hearts and spirits of the people. One such in Australia was the cricketer Don Bradman - "Our Don Bradman", whose exploits on the cricket field gave rise to great national pride.

This ATC was my creation for the 1930's.

Shirley Temple captured the hearts of people all over the world with her bright, bubbly screen personality. She was one of the Delights of the Thirties.

Christine McKenna created this delightful ATC in her memory.


Late Spring

Spring was late this year in the garden, but the plants have flourished after the wet winter and most have recovered or are recovering from the long hot summer years. Those that did not survive will be remembered in the photo albums we have built up over the years.

Despite the weeds there are many corners of the garden that lift the spirit and refresh my soul.

I love the brilliant blue of the babiana with this little yellow iris. Both flourish in our garden.

This close up gives you a better idea of the colour in the iris.

Another variety if the same iris species. They thrive in our cooler area. Last year I took a fancy to the larger species of irises and they are just beginning to flower this season.

I love hellebore and though they are now well past their best, they still look beautiful with their faded old world beauty.

You don't see flowering chestnuts often in SA, but they are a beautiful tree and grow easily in the hills. This is a white flowering one. My glorious pink flowering chestnut was smashed when a tree came down on it last winter. Fingers crossed that it will come good.

The fuchsias have struggled with the drought, but this little one is a fighter and has managed to soldier on.

And finally the exquisite and delicate beauty of Solomon's Seal. A real oldtimer. I struggled with this for years, but it has finally rewarded me with a good clump of bulbs.

In the words of a wonderful old gardener, "That's your lot for today." Off to snap some of my new irises and the the lovely old roses that are just starting to flower.


Friday, November 05, 2010

ATCs 1910-1920

The next set of ATCs. Less swappers this time.

Christine McKenna kept going with her 'corset' theme with these beauties. I can remember my mother wearing something similar.

Some of my very early memories are of buying poppy badges on Remembrance Day. It was a day my mother and father held very dear. This was my card from this decade.

On September 1st, 1912 the Golden Wattle was declared Australia's National Flower and was incorporated into the coat of arms with the kangaroo and the emu.

1st September then became Wattle Day. I don't know if it is still celebrated.

This exquisite card was made by Pam Murray

The last card in this set depicts WW1 - Gallipoli and in particular Anzac Day - April 25th, 1915. This very evocative card was created by Cathy Smith.

Liz Needle

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

History in ATCs

One of my interests is to create ATCs (Artists Trading Cards) in fabric, using a variety of techniques. I rarely have time to sit and make quilts these days, so making these little pieces of 'art' gives me an interest, a chance to try new techniques and to express any latent creativity I may still have in me. I swap my creations with friends from quilting groups - mainly the Southern Cross Quilters.

One of my favourite swaps has been the "Past Decades" swap where each month or so we use a decade of the 20th century as our theme. As a history buff, I have enjoyed these swaps as I find they have more significance than some of the other swaps and they set my brain working..

Here are the cards I received in the first swap - 1900 - 1910.

This was my contribution. "Federation"-a representation of Australian Federation in 1901. The trickiest part was making the little fabric flags.

These gorgeous corsets were worn around 1905. This card was made by Christine McKenna

These much loved books - "The Wizard of Oz" and "Anne of Green Gables" were first published in the first decade of the 1900s. Cathy Smith made this delightful card.

The "Breaker" Morant card was created by Karen Rosewarne. The photo does not do justice to the beautiful craftsmanship. The little book opens and has Harry Morant's photo inside.

Women's Suffrage - the right to vote was granted to some women in Australia in 1902. Pam Murray depicts this in her clever card.

One of the fascinating things about this series of swaps is learning what other women consider to be landmarks in each decade. You will just have to wait and see what we thought significant in the 1910s - 20s.