Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)

Lisa, there are many odd things in Australia, that's part of the charm...
Neki, those landscapes are both intimidating and relaxing, especially for a urban girl who does not have to make a living there. I mean, the mind is not assaulted by too many information, and I had nothing to worry about, like finding food, water and gas...
Rosemary, I try not to sleep too much, to store as many views as possible in my mind. I'm aware I'm very lucky to have travelled to Australia.

Back to the trip...

The Stuart Highway led us to the center of Australia, around Alice Spring.
Our first stop was in Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas. They are a set of big boulders, about 30 km away from Uluru. They are the perfect match to Uluru.
At the end of the Wikipedia article, there is a panorama of Kata Tjuta, that is worth the visit.

The walk through them is striking in the afternoon light. That's what Lonely Planet says, and it is true.
Boulders, valleys, desert, some pretty vegetation in the middle of nowhere... enjoy:









Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stuart Highway

Yes to all, the weekend in Paris was great! The pictures in my last post do not show the most popular monuments in Paris, but  some views I was not aware of. Of course, Paris is much more!
Yes Neki, you can be jealous that I saw the YSL exhibition, but maybe it will travel in Europe???
And Shirley, I knew Susan was a kiwi, and I love her work.

Pfff, the week just run away. But at least, I managed to fit all my chores in working days, so that I could enjoy a weekend all for me, or for textiles and books. :-) And I've sorted some more pictures:

Usually, I cannot stay long without doing anything. When I sit, I need to have my hands busy, or at least I need to read a book. Or I fall asleep very quickly.
The road between Darwin and Alice Spring is a long one, with bare landscapes. Well, I could not keep my eyes off of them. I never had enough of them (except for the casual naps :-)).

That is how the road looks like
with some gas stations:
Wycliffe Well Roadhouse, apparently a favorite spots for the aliens.
The one at Barrow Creek Telegraph Station
or this one in the middle of nowhere
serviced by an emu
while the owners are watching

I'm aware that the weather was nice, not hot, that it has been raining a lot this year, making the landscape less lunar, and that living here all year round is certainly very hard, but for an European, it is a complete change. In addition, there are a lot of stories and history along this road. Seriously, I loved this highway. "If I were a rich man", I'd still be there :-).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wonderful weekend

I went away again this weekend... The evidences:

This is the garden of the Petit Palais in Paris. Nice, isn't it? The inside was even nicer, with an exhibition presenting  Yves Saint Laurent's dresses. Unfortunately, no photo allowed, but believe me, it is breath-taking!

This is the front of La Madeleine Church. Along one side, there is a flower market, and tyou can buy the finest foods all around the square. Yummy... note to self: come back on a weekday, when the shops are open!
However, the Pinacotheque was open and presented Edvard Munch or the Anti-scream. Again, no photo allowed... far more disturbing than YSL, but very interesting.

This hen decorates the metro station under the church.

This is Le Louvre, the palace of the French kings.
Le Palais Royal with les Colonnes de Buren.

I don't know what it is, but I liked it...

And the most important part of the weekend: enjoying the visit of friends from Australia, and my daughter.
I think you can find out who are the mother/daughter couples :-)

Take care!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Devil's Marble

Thank you all for the comments on the bag! I'm rather proud of it, I confess :-)

Lisa, speaking of cliches, I recomment the book Downunder by Bill Bryson. He clearly loves Australia, this book is his vision of this country. It is very funny and interesting. We went to some of the places he describes, and we found out he tells the truth (and we shared one concern: where will we have a drink tonight ;-))
Deb, this airport has seen many sad stories, I think.

Back to Australia. Our next stop was at Devil's Marbles.
They are a sacred site for aborigenes, but their name comes from the fact that when farmers stopped there with there cattle, they would find half of them dead on the next morning. Apparently, the most yummy grass was also the most poisonous. 
I'm deeply in love with those colors, red against blue. It started in the Katherine Gorge, and went on all the way down to Alice Spring and around Alice Spring. Yes, I know, it is a common feeling for the visitors of this part of the world...

This one if for the truck train, very exotic for me.


When I woke up this morning, I was full of energy: It is our National Day in France, so I'm not working, besides I did sleep (it is so hot that I can't go to bed at night, and wake up early most days. Yesterday I was exhausted, went to bed early and slept until 6 this morning, I was soooo pleased). Anyway, what was I going to do? The appliqueds dolls were tempting. On the other hand, I need some dresses for summer. I found this pattern . It looked easy and quick.
It was indeed. Only a few seams, no darts, only two pieces to trace, wondeful.

Pattern Description:
Dress in jersey .
Le buste est ample avec un beau tombé couture façon bénitier sous les bras, la taille est coulissée élastique et le bas de forme crayon, long sous le genou, lui confère beaucoup d'allure.
Sorry folks, I don't have the translation...I sounds very good in French.
Pattern Sizing:
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Very much the same
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, only a few seams
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Very few seams: a dress with some character, without the trouble to sew it.
Fabric Used:
cotton lycra stretch
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and Yes
I wanted a dress quickly, with a minimum of effort, it was the perfect pattern (sewed in less than 5 hours)

The other good feature of this pattern is that it requires a double-needle. I tried double-needles on strecth twice, but the results were not good at all and left me frustrated. In the meantime, I had purchased a stretch double-needle and double-checked the documentation of my machine. Surprise, there is a special setting for double-needles... And this morning, it was a pleasure to work with it. From now on, there will be more double-needle finishing on my clothes!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I spent several months without buying a patchwork magazine. I don't know exactly why, I bought the May-June Quiltmania issue. In fact I know why, I saw a quilt with Kokeshi (Japanese dolls), and I just wanted to make it.
The pattern is by Susan Claire. You can see a picture of it here.
Before starting it, and since I dont want to use fused applique, I wanted to practise my needle applique skills.
I also had in mind a bag pattern by Ellen Medlock. You can see a picture here.

I ended with this:
The bag pattern is brillant. Explained in details, easy to do. I do recommend it!
I had fun dong the applique too, and the practise was needed!

I wish you all a nice weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Let's go to Daly Waters

After leaving Kathering Gorge, we stopped at Mataranka thermal spa. This is a natural swimming pool at a constant temperature of 34 degrees. In the middle of palm trees. Very convivial, with people chatting and enjoying themselves.
Then, back to the hell of traffic! :-)

This is Australia most remote traffic lights! In the middle of nowhere, in fact of Daly Waters, with maybe 12 cars passing in one hour...
It stands in front of this pub:
This is Australia oldest pub, and maybe weirdest pub too.
Travellers are invited to leave a piece of themselves here, and those items are on display all over the pub.
Across the street, it is also a bit weird:
And not far away from this pub, you find this:
Have you guessed what it is?
Still wondering? This is Australia first international airport... It must have been quite an adventure...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Katherine Gorge

As Lisa asked, you can see our itinary here.
And yes, it was the end of autumn down there, but in the North, it is still pretty hot.

From Darwin, we embarked for a 6-days tours to Alice Spring and its surroundings.
Our first stop was in Katherine Gorge.
As we arrived, we heard some weird shrieks, together with a strange noise. Then we saw tall trees with black fruits on them. No, no, wait, the fruits are moving and shrieking!
Yes, it was a colony of bats trying to rest under the heat. To do so, they kept moving their wings, and I suppose the shrieks are meant to keep contact with each other. The day before, we had seen some flying in  Darwin. I have bats visiting my garden here, but they are tiny little things. Those are hudge!

After that, we saw this beautiful tree:

and at least arrived at the river.


It was hot and the river looked fresh and very tempting, except for one little detail:
This trap is meant for crocodiles. We saw their prints on several beaches along the river, and one young one in the water...
It was hot, we we did climb there to have a look. Worth the effort, believe me!

And yes, Neki, I don't know how I managed to come home... sigh...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Walk through Aix en Provence

Let's visit a bit of France before going back to Australia.

Last weekend, I met Shirley of Shirley Goodwin - dyeing2design. She is travelling in our part of the worl for a little while, and I was happy to spend a few hours with her. Mind you, we don't have any picture of the two of us together...

Anyway, you can see her pictures on her blog. And here are some I took in Aix en Provence. Since I go often to Aix en Provence, I was interested in things that are unusual for me, like those scultpures that appeared while I was away. They are by Igor Mitoraj.

Let's end with Cézanne