The beautiful, beautiful flowers are Albany banksias, Banksia coccinea, and if you click here, and look at the map, you can see the teensy-tiny dots on the south-west coast of this massive old continent which are the only places in the whole world where they grow naturally.
Named and classified in 1810 — there are people who read this blog who have furniture, plates and even houses older than that.
The banksias were a present from my BFF Shelley and her daughter Isme, who arrived last night bearing not only this armful of russet gloriousness but an edition of a favourite Barbara Pym novel whose cover Shelley thought I'd like.
I do — and a big thank you! What a lovely surprise!
The girls arrived out of the blue yesterday, just in time to watch David experiment with his brand-new toy:
While I was working last week, David was on a one-day cookery course learning about Indochinese cuisine, and you can see how inspired he was! This is the steamer and basket that make perfect sticky rice — and last night's was exactly that.
We wolfed it down with a Thai fish curry (made by me and the slow cooker) and, with much lip-smacking, had a chuckle over our expanding dinner repertoire.
:: I've been toying and fiddling and experimenting with a heap of crafty things since my return to Australia. I've finally whittled it all down to two: papercutting and making bags. From now on, these are going to be more serious ventures, and I may even try to sell some work.
I have structured my week around my one day of work. So Monday and Tuesday will be paper days, Wednesday is work, and Thursday and Friday are fabric days.
Of course, I'm still prone to the odd whim, and will definitely be making at least two quilts: one for my grand-daughter who is on her way and whom I already adore, and another for my cousin's daughter's baby, who is also due in January and lives in Brighton, UK.
So one will be a summery baby quilt, and the other will be far more snuggly, for these two wee bairns waiting to be born on opposite sides of the world.
:: I'm also still desperate to make a doll or two — more so now I know there's a little girl on her way. And a lot of my inspiration will be drawn from the amazing creations of Jo and Dylan. These two live and work on the beautiful Oregon coast, and while their work is at the moment building up to all things Halloween, they make the most amazing folk-art and nursery-tale creatures and dollies I've seen. I never fail to be inspired whenever I visit their blog.
That's all for now. It's a fabric day; I have bags to make, and I'm off to Spotto for some Vylene and a zip or seven.