Thursday, January 27, 2011

A botanical study...

The cycle of a flowering gum

As you might have noticed, I've recently developed quite an interest in flowering gum trees. There are sooooo many varieties of Eucalypt and right now is the perfect time of year to study them :)

I went back to the local reserve where I originally gathered the branches for my flowering gum print, and managed to find examples of every single stage in the flowering process. I found it interesting that one single branch can exhibit many of the different growth stages at the same time. So it was easy to gather examples of each for a shoot!

The cycle of a flowering gum - from operculum to bud of stamen to gumnuts
(view the full sized version here!)

So here's how it works! In this variety, the flowering cycle starts with a cluster of "opercula" that begin quite small and grow to approx 2-3cm in length. Each operculum is essentially a little cap, and inside are clusters of stamen (This is where the Eucalypt gets its name - Eucalypt translates to "well covered").

Over time the stamen expand and force the caps off.* Some flowering gums just feature a single bud, whereas this species features a cluster of buds so the end result looks like a whole sphere of pretty stamen.

Once the flower begins to die, the stamen drop off, leaving beind just the cup shaped base - which lo and behold - become gumnuts!

*I remember when we were little we'd find those really long pointy ones on the ground that we'd put on the ends of our fingers and pretend to be witches with long fingernails ;)

So yeah, isn't that interesting??

And of course I couldn't leave you withour a sneak peak of the new Flowering Gum print finally on fabric :) It'll be in the shop soon!

Flowering Gum in Red Orange and Stone

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A creative start

I know I'm not the only one who's seeing 2011 as an opportunity for a fresh start - a year with more focus on creativity and personal fulfillment, and time for the things that really matter.

And I'm so glad that 2011 has already started to feel different. The last two weeks in the studio have been spent planning the year ahead, keeping sight of our personal and professional goals (much the same, really), making the studio a more beautiful place to work, and most importantly... designing. I'm so excited to announce that we've got a whole suite of new designs about to be released, and ideas brewing for new ones - with a focus on pushing the boundaries a bit more.

Here's a sneak peak at a couple of new designs in the works, and how they came to life:

Flowering gum pencil sketches, drawn from some locally gathered specimens

Yellow flowering gum specimen, and the new print...

Little forest sketches and new print...

Can't wait to get these onto fabric!

This week I am liking:

- The look of these ceramics classes. Going to sign up for one soon when finances allow!
- This photo from the floods.
- Quince Homewares who I visited today and had a lovely chat with Michelle.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Flood Relief Auction at I&S!


Hey folks just a quick note to let you know that we're holding a litttle Flood Relief Auction over at the Ink & Spindle blog - one of our Allsorts Quilt Kits is up for auction. Please head over and bid!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vintage Australiana

I must say getting out of town is good.

Man friend and I took a trip up to the north of the state, read books and napped on the banks of the Murray surrounded by river red gums and went to cute places like Swan Hill and Echuca. And a trip to country towns is never complete without an absolute score at one of the antique shops:

Vintage Australiana tins - set of 3 for $15!

Vintage Australiana tins

I found these at the antique shop in Kerang where one of my best girly friends has been posted for 6 months. I use the term vintage loosely - I have no idea how old they are but they're totally up my alley with all the native flora and fauna. And the lids are pistachio coloured! They fit right into my kitchen :)

In other news, the last few days have been spent designing. Would you believe it? Not just designing but preparing actual finished designs for screens. Excitement indeed! Will post a sneak peak soon :)


Sunday, January 02, 2011

2011 begins!

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!!!

Hey I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who left comments on my last post. They were very sweet, supportive and insightful and I appreciated them a lot.

2011 is off to a good start. Watched the fireworks from the "eel trap" bridge (and relived my childhood by making sparkler bombs), beach volleyball and BBQ with friends the next day, and today sketching and reading in the sun whilst man friend provided delicious food and snacks all day long. Can't complain, really.

And because a post is not complete without a photo, here's a picture of my fridge, because who says fridges can't look pretty and inspiring? (all the "real fridge" mess is hidden below ;)

Things and places that I like ... oh and how awesome are those Ginkgo leaf post-its?? Thanks Yong!

Hope your 2011 is off to a great start :)