26 September 2016

Spring citrus

I have a mandarin, a blood orange and a lemon tree, all in large pots. The lemon, a Eureka, provides fruit reliably for months on end. It's handy to have a lemon whenever I need one, without having to plan to buy one from the shop.

The mandarin and blood orange trees, though, only like to crop every second year. This year wasn't one of those years so I was a frequent purchaser at the fruit store.

Citrus are hungry trees. They respond well to regular feeding and watering so, each season, I load them with the nutrients they like best. Not only does it result in new, healthy leaves and copious flowers, as you can see on here my mandarin tree, but it also helps keep the tree healthy and able to repel insects.

That perfume! I love the gentle citrus scent from the flowers wafting across my garden.

Gyganic is my choice of food, watered in well with liquid seaweed extract. Then I add a layer of rotted cow manure and stand back to watch the growth! (Note to self: must cut off that dead twig.)

How are your citrus? Do they love food as much as mine do?

19 September 2016

Studio peeks

My writing for Quilters Companion magazine during the past year has allowed me to take peeks into the creative habits and workspaces of some fabulous Australian textile artists and quilt makers. It's such a privilege!

Just like peering through a window, I catch glimpses of how these artists arrange their spaces and go about their creative work. Even better, I get to share these glimpses with you in the magazine.

In the current issue, number 81, Sue Reid shares her passion for the colour orange.

In the last issue, number 80, Mary McArdle explains how her well-ordered workroom facilitates the creation of her textile works.

It's an honour to share these stories with readers. 

What do you like about seeing artists' studios? Do you pick up tips from their organisation or methods of working? Let us know!

Perhaps you've missed these issues of Quilters Companion? You can subscribe to the print version here or here or here. Or maybe you'd prefer a digital edition? Try here or here.

12 September 2016

My book of the month: September

This is Kelly Doust's first novel (she has written several non-fiction books) and gosh it's a great read. It honours the author's love of textiles as the story follows the journey of a glittering, hand-beaded collar through the decades since it was created in 1891.

It's such an absorbing story, focusing on desire, relationships, family and love, while also recognising that the sparkling things for which we strive aren't really that important after all. 

To read more about Precious Things, visit Goodreads.