Monday, December 1, 2014

it's a new season

together we start of a new season
Winter in the North, Summer in the South
seasons that are filled with many celebrations & festivities

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

food for thought

packing tape & re-purposed magazine

find joy in the everyday

gather imagery that provides creative stimulus

card, paper & re-purposed magazine

combine parts or elements to form a whole

photos & re-purposed magazine

As the creative overlap of studio and kitchen increases so too does my collection of foodie magazines. With this comes new imagery along with new inspirations and new recipes to make, to eat, to share, to sketch, to photograph.


Art is the stored honey of the human soul

- Theodore Dreiser-

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pop Up Shop this weekend

Everything is ready for tomorrows opening!!
9am - 4pm Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd November 2014
in The Auditorium at Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens 
A Pop Up Shop full of hand crafted items made by members of the

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

sewing time - making potholders

The inspiration for this collection of potholders started with a flower, a Marimekko Flower. The flower was on a white background with a bit of careful cutting & stabilizing it now sits on a patched black n white background. With top finished I created a sandwich by layering the top with a layer of Insul-Bright, a layer of cotton wadding and then a piece of cotton fabric at the back. The layers are held together with several rows of stitch it was then cut into a circle shape by using a bread n butter plate for the shape. The edges are finished with a red & white striped bias. Using fabrics from the stash I sewed a few more, making a collection of useful / decorative potholders. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

almost time to shop, plan a menu and dust off decorations

Where has this year gone? It's hard to believe it's almost time to unpack those festive decorations
  http://www.redbubble.com/people/melforrest/shop
Redbubble have been expanding their range, so in addition to cards and prints they now also have throw pillows, phone cases, duvet covers, stickers, hoodies and tote bags
The background images from each months calendar plus a couple of other images are now available
through Redbubble including a 2015 Calendar

Thursday, October 30, 2014

a collection of recent moments

 enjoying a spring garden including these flowering geraniums
 our house supervisor of 15 years, her name is Bobbin
 enjoying the new kitchen, adapted from a recipe first seen on Masterchef
salmon wrapped in banana leaf steamed then framed with leek and potato soup
adorned with salmon skin crackle, lightly fried greens and a shaving of Parmesan
engaging with garden visitors
 re-purposed gutters nailed to the side of the shed overflow with juicy strawberries
 getting ready for the upcoming BVAC Pop Up Shop
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd November 2014
in the Auditorium at Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens
and baking a few of our favorites
-these are a few of our recent moments-

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

sinking our toes into Aquaponics

We both enjoy our garden, it's an extension of the studio. A creative space to spend time sketching, reading or photographing each season brings new inspirations and surprises. Our latest garden venture is with Aquaponics which is a combination of aquaculture and horticulture. Fish swim happily in the bottom tank their waste is pumped up to the grow bed that sits on top of the tank, the grow medium and the plants process the by-products resulting in fresh water going back to the fish and lots of fresh herbs, Asian & salad greens and vegetables for us and our hens.

Clever husband with the help of Vic (Chris's hubby) & Dad set the tanks up earlier this year. They adapted two of those IBC tanks to become two systems both of which have Jade Perch in the bottom. Husband has since set-up a third system which has red-claw (a type of crayfish) in it. We have now had the systems for three seasons, we've both been very happy not only with the taste and amount of produce the system produces but also with how well the up keep fits around our day job hours. It takes 12-18months for the Jade Perch to reach plate size so it's a few months away before we'll farm those in the meantime we'll keep enjoying the other goodies. Here's couple of resources that we have found helpful for information / supplies: http://ibcofaquaponics.com/ & http://aquagardening.com.au/

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

together we go

The SAQA Auction has started. 
A collection of 12' x 12' quilts all made and donated by members from across the globe are available for purchase. My piece "Together We Go" has drawn inspiration from my interest in exploring our local area and sketching. Pop across to the SAQA website and enjoy the full collection of art quilts.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

sky a natural blue canvass

The weekly chore of hanging washing on the line becomes creative playtime when you take the camera with you visually capturing the process and surrounds. It's early morning, often the moon is still high in the sky even though the sun has popped over the eastern horizon. 

A collection of images captured over several early mornings throughout this Winter. 

I do enjoy borrowing the sky as canvass - seeing how objects natural or artificial dance against it. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

cut, paste, sketch & stitch

re-purposed magazines, silk ribbon & embroidery thread on paper
pen, watercolor, oil pastels & re-purposed enveloped on paper
re-purposed magazines & photographs on paper


Enjoying creative playtime,
exploring the interaction of stitch and found imagery 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

inspired by colorful beds

 Calendula officinalis
 also know as Pot Marigold
 uses include medicinal, cosmetic & culinary
easy to grow, propagate from seed sown in autumn or spring
 once know as "poor mans saffron" as the petals dried or fresh add color to rice dishes and salads
The courtyard where we have the Aquaponics setup is protected so while the nights have been cool our winter days have still been warm. The grow beds are currently filled with marigolds, watercress, sweet basil, sweet peas, cos lettuce & Asian greens. I couldn't resist capturing a few shots of the colorful marigolds.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

a little bit of jam & cordial - Rosella Jam & Cordial

 Recently we harvested the flowers (fruits) off the Rosella bushes we had growing
 there followed a day of making jam and cordial with the picked flowers
 Start by washing the picked flowers (fruits), once washed pop into a stainless steel pot.
 Cover the washed Rosella fruit (seeds and all) with water, just enough to cover the fruit. Bring to the boil.
Simmer gently until soft. The red color should have faded from the calyx (flower petals). Remove from heat and strain contents through a sieve, discard the pulp and measure the liquid. Once you have measured the liquid go ahead and make jam and / or cordial:

Rosella Cordial: Add the measured liquid back into the saucepan and add a cup of sugar to every cup of liquid. Heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved, stirring often. Once the sugar is dissolved bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat and add the juice of 4-5 limes and stir in citric acid (1tablespoon per 1.5 litres of cordial). Return saucepan to heat and briefly bring back to the boil. Bottle the cordial into dry, sterile bottles and seal while hot.

Rosella Jam: Add the measured liquid back into a saucepan and add a cup of sugar to every cup of liquid. Heat gently until all the sugar is dissolved, stirring often. Once the sugar is dissolved bring to a gentle boil and continue cooking until desired consistency when jam tested is reached. The green seed of the Rosella fruit contains the pectin. So, thus far I haven't needed to add any additional pectin. Bottle the jam into sterile jars and seal while hot.

Playing with flavor: To the cordial I added a piece of fresh finely grated ginger. For the second batch of jam I combined 500grams Strawberries, about 250grams of pealed and diced pear, 3 cups of Rosella Liquid, the juice of 3 limes and 750grams of sugar.
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