Friday, June 26, 2009

bush life

as i've said many times before i come from a wonderful and artistic
family, a family that has always encouraged my creative spirit

above is one of my most treasured things . . .
a small vase made by my mum in the early 70's
it is the perfect size for violets, and the perfect colour match too.

on showing my mum the post i did about
the cushion covers she once made, she told me
she made them, somehow
unknowingly at the time,
as a homage to her heritage
and then
she read me a passage from a book called Belle of the Barcoo
( by Jan LeStrange )

a book about the women and families from the barcoo region in
central queensland. . . where generations of our family resided

The harshness of bush life was an incentive for many women to improve the standard of their homes, no matter how humble. The following extract from a manuscript by Mrs Rose Scott Cowen shows how one woman coped with the problem of home improvement.
Mrs Tatten, had her mail exchange hut artistically decorated with drapes, and mantels on the fireplace, tablecovers and cushion covers all done in what was called splash work, which as far as I can remember was of leaves and bush ferns and creeper leaves that she collected in the bush round and about and placed in delightful designs on unbleached calico and then with a nail or tooth brush dipped in ink and rubbed over a comb, splashed or etched out the pattern of the leaves on the material. It was very effective and in such a spotlessly clean room the effect was delightful.
Many of these beauty starved bush women made all sorts of clever decorations for their bare little homes using the seeds of trees or plants stuck to thin strips of cardboard or wood to frame pictures of their families or the coloured illustrations that came with Xmas numbers of the paper.
pages 61-62

this particular passage connected
us all together somehow, the women of the pioneering past,
my mum and her talents, my oma (grandmother),
my artistic pursuits, and those

of the women (and men) around this country and world
that still strive, even in small ways, to make parts of their homes
beautiful no matter how much or little they have . . .

upon having been read this,
it reminded me that a lot us (of course not all) have sooo much at
our disposal in this crazy contemporary world
to make our surroundings beautiful, and indeed have dialogs about
it also, in forums like blogs and magazines
in ways i suspect never imagined by the woman in the passage above
the intent, the desire to create and decorate is still the same.

it humbles and inspires me too. . . to live more simply and beautifully in my home
i hope you like it - and my rambling makes some sort of sense . . .

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