Knitting Patterns by Lyndell

Halter Neck Dress for Neo Blythes - here
Design your own Dress for Neo Blythes - here
Gum-Nut Hat for Neo Blythes - here

Who? What? eh?

This is the blog of a constant crafter - a 'showcase' for some of the things I make, some hints for crafting & recylcing - lots of photos and some words. I hope it will inspire.
Please Note: all photos are Copyright.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Day-Trip to The Royal National Park with dolls

The humans in the house had a touch of "Nature Deficit Disorder" and Imogen, being only recently arrived from Europe was wanting to see something of the Australian Bush - 
"Are we there yet?"
so last weekend we set off for The Royal National Park - south of Sydney.   It is only about an hour's drive but the dolls (and Walter) were being a bit childish in the back seat

Our first stop was at National Falls on the aptly named Waterfall Creek  - and this is the view from to top.  There are a number of creeks running through the park & the Hacking River.
Most of the watercourses run over sandstone and you can often rock-hop across.  Walter is a Water Dragon, so he was in his element and wanted to explain all sorts of watery things to his darling Violetta.  

The was Australia's first National Park (and the 2nd in the world) being established in 1879, however, it was still being logged (selectively) into the 1930s.  They logged for Red Cedar, BlueGum, BlackButt, Turpentine and we found what must once have been a timber-getters' campsite. 

Lots of old tree-stumps slowly decaying, looking rather like castles.   And loops of big old vines - all wonderful to explore.  

  Walter and Violetta (they are engaged you know) had a chat in a sunny spot 
 Imogen found some pixie houses,
and a nice mossy log.

We have had quite a wet Autumn / Winter so there is plenty of moss and fungus - all looking very healthy and wonderfully striped.  These are Stereoid fungi  ... ahem I know - click on the link to see more; commonly called plate fungi.   
Well, Imogen was feeling a little tired and she found the perfect log - raised above the ground and covered with soft cushions of moss and lichen -

so she had a little nap

This fallen tree might give some idea of the size of the mature trees in the tall moist eucalyptus forest areas of the park.
A lot of things live in and on the trees, including ferns and orchids.  This Birds' Nest Fern had 'babies' below it.

But we were all very sad to find these dumped TVs near the picnic area.  So stupid and completely unnecessary - phone your council and arrange collection of unwanted junk - why degrade this lovely place? !! Grrr  
Well the picnic area is cleared and grassy, and quite attractive to some birds ... like this cutie

an Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)
I've had difficulty believing that it was a robin - she/he seemed much larger than the 6" (15cm) specified in all the descriptions ... perhaps this is a bird with a 'larger than life' personality (birdinality!?)  

By contrast, this bird was very inconspicuous.  We only saw it when it moved, darting about searching things to eat.  I was quite proud to get these photos as we were about 20' away and I've only a cheap little digital camera.
My old reference book says this is a Scaly Thrush (Zoothera dauma) but it seems that the naturalists have re-divided all the sub-species of Z. dauma and this might be a Russet-tailed Thrush (Zoothera heinei).     
We also saw some wrens and some Red Browed FireTail finches at the picnic spot - but they were far too fast for my photography (non)skills.

This duck was happy puddling about in the Hacking River - one of a pair, this Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa [ed. another embarrassing Latin name !!!]) has an unusually orange face, breeding plumage perhaps?

The Royal National Park is quite large (16,000ha) and beautifully diverse with lots of different environments; from rain-forest to sand dunes, swamps to heathlands.

We visited Governor Game Look-out to check-out the view ... down the coast to Wollongong, counted 8 ships waiting to go into Port Kembla.

We showed Imogen some wattles in flower -

I'm no expert but I think this is the Black Wattle (Acacia mearnii)

There are a lot of Acacias / wattles and they vary from small trees to tiny shrubs - like this one.   I've no idea what sort of wattle this is but I have noticed that most of the small wattles have white or cream flowers, whereas the tree sized ones get yellow and golden flowers.  Something to do with the pollinating insects perhaps? 

Imogen wanted to know what was going on with these trees
"Some of them match my hat and some of them match my hair."
That rusty-red colour is 'male' Caraurina flowers.  

We finished our lovely day by exploring a sandstone gully forest dominated by angophora trees, with gymea lilies and cabbage tree palms.

Angophoras are closely related to Eucalyptus and are very characteristic to the Sydney sand-stone basin. 

They have "wiggly" branches and wonderful bark - which is regularly shed, the new bark is smooth, slightly shiny and often a lovely colour.  

Angophora costata has bark that is salmon, rose, pink ... lovely sunset shades.  
I think the creamy white barked trees are
Angophora floribunda.  Can't be sure. 
 Like me, Imogen loves all those gorgeous colours.
The Angophoras get called 'bloodwoods' & 'Rusty Gum' - because if wounded, they 'bleed' red resin that stains the bark - adding to the colours.
You also see those rusty reds in the bark that is shed and lies about under the trees.

Perhaps it is that layered bark that makes Angas quite susceptible to insect & borer damage.  Not sure what caused this tree to be so 'pock-marked'.
One more example of prettily coloured bark - I think this was another angophora.  

We also found plenty of 'Scribbly Gums'  probably Sydney Blue Gums (Eucalyptus saligna) ...  the squiggles and scribbles are made by the larvae of the Scribbly Gum Moth (Ogmograptis scibula). 
"Looks like someone has been testing ALL their pens!"
The heath-lands are beginning to come into flower for our Spring -  this is Fushia Heath (Epacris longiflora)
 Just behind the heath bush, we found a couple of Greenhood orchid plants in flower.  They were Pterostylis longifolia but you'll have to take my word for it as I couldn't get a good photo of them - my cheap digital camera can take a decent photo of something on 'zoom' but it just will not focus on a tiny plant that is right in front of it -  sigh!

Oh well.  Let's end with photos of flowers and Blythe dolls because Violetta & Imogen both found flowers that perfectly 'matched' themselves.
Violetta and pink boronia (Boronia fraseri)
Imogen and we don't know what, but it was pretty

Thursday, 2 August 2012

My Newest Dolly Darling

Time I posted here about my lovely new Blythe doll. She arrived just over a week ago.
She is here at last!
All the way from The Netherlands!  So it is understandable that she was a little jet-lagged and rather overwhelmed at meeting her new dolly family ...

Audrey was amazed at how beautiful she is,

Violetta remarked on her gracefulness.

Lillian did the introductions - our new doll is called Imogen LaMarr.
Imogen for Imogen Cunningham who was a wonderful photographer and LaMarr for Hedy Lamarr, a hollywood legend who had brains as well as beauty.

Imogen is a customised Gentle River and has the gorgeous GR hair - she also has sleepy eyes, a carved mouth, a matt face ...  She has a bit of work done.

Imogen wearing the mohair suit that Lillian designed and knitted in preparation for her arrival ...
Busy Knitting 

Imogen & Lillian are now the very best of friends.

And today, Lillian gave Imogen some squishy green cowboy boots and explained that Imogen could share all the boots except for the froggy ones - they are Lillian's favourite & Very Special Boots.