Posts

Featured Post

Christmas Countdown Local 2022 #4/25 - Trees & Art for Charity

Image
  It looks magical - the Hamilton Wesley Uniting Church ( Beaumont Street, Hamilton - an inner city suburb of Newcastle, NSW)  is home  to 14 Christmas Trees decorated by local community organisations. It is an opportunity for these charities to  bring joy to the community as well as promote the good work these organisations do. As the church is open to the public every day, it is also an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the trees, vote for their favourite and donate to the charity nominated.  Last week I dropped by to have a look at the tree which my doll makers group decorated ( I'll show that one in another post).  However, I was happy to see a beautiful tree resplendent in gold and white, decorated in the style of a century ago celebrating the centenary of the Rotary Club of Newcastle. It is the oldest Rotary club and service club in this city and continues to do good work as do the other many other Rotary clubs in the area. Congratulations to the Rotarians not only on this s

Christmas Countdown Local 2022 #3/25 - Wheeler Place

Image
Christmas Countdown 3/25  Right in the centre of the CBD in Newcastle NSW stands a towering Christmas Tree...  Newcastle's Wheeler Place  ( Civic Theatre, Hunter Street) will play host to festive fun as the  City Civic precinct comes to life with an 11-metre-high Christmas tree and family-friendly activities. The tree’s lights were switched on  a few days ago by Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes with the help of Santa and his elves, signalling the start of festivities for families to enjoy in the lead-up to Christmas.  I visited the Christmas tree last Wednesday and while there were very few people around during the day, it still looked magnificent  against the backdrop of the iconic round building of the Crystalbrook Kingsley, a five star hotel which was formerly the City Council Administration offices.    Cr Nelmes said the City’s signature Christmas tree and free program of activities will help activate Wheeler Place and draw people into the city centre this Christmas. "W

Christmas Countdown Local 2022 # 2/25 - Suki

Image
  Christmas Countdown Local #2/25 : Suki Hairdressers Newcastle  My quest to find local Christmas sights has been easy so far ... Yesterday I was at Suki , Newcastle where I have been a client for 23 years.  Needless to say, they do a great job with my hair and they love Christmas .  Every year, they have a beautiful Christmas tree.   This year is no exception -  there are two sparkling  trees, one on either side of the front door, with colourful gifts of hair and beauty products  . However, the ornaments are the best . They are  so endearing - Australian animals and  birds looking very festive - , koala, emu and wombat and cockatoos, magpies and lorikeets  .... The little Santa hats which most of them wear sit jauntily on their heads and you can't help but break into a big smile.  Some of my favourites are the fairy wren with akubra, a handmade owl and a surfing kookaburra....  which one is your favourite?   Always a wonderful experience to visit Suki and at this time of the year

Christmas Countdown Local 2022 - #1/25 "Multicultural at Home "

Image
Red lantern at my front door  Christmas Countdown   Local 2022    #1/25  Each year, I follow a  personal tradition of counting down to Christmas in the month of December in this blog - either recording each day something I have made, seen or researched with a festive theme.  This year 2022,  I am  promoting "local" , staying close to home while  reflecting and researching Christmas sights around my neighbourhood and in my city of Newcastle (NSW Australia).... What better way to start than right here at home! A couple of days ago, I began to think about how to respect other cultural traditions at Christmas .  To mark the beginning of Advent, I hung a red lantern near our  front door. This may be puzzling as a Chinese paper lantern seems to have little to do with Christmas... but, it does, particularly if you are Chinese and  part of the Christian population which numbers 5.1% of the total  1.4 billion  people in China .  Image from  Christmas Traditions   Chinese Christians li

Are you ready for Christmas ?

Image
  "Santa Claus" dotee dolls - Wilma Simmons   No, not me! I hope every year that I will be ready by 1 December, with no rushing about during the festive season... it doesn't happen..  However this year, I am happy to have met some Christmas deadlines... For my doll makers group, Gumnut Dollies, Newcastle I made some dotee dolls for  decorating the  charity Christmas Tree. What is a dotee doll, I hear you ask... here is an explanation from another earlier blog post , Dotee Divertissement.  Yesterday, I sold some of my  handmade Christmas decorations at the Hunter Art Bazaar - a Christmas market held in a beautiful park, Lambton Park , near my home.  I had been working on these and my crocheted birds while watching TV  during the year - the photo shows a variety of  stitched and beaded decorations.   I was also touched that I was asked to make some Christmas dolls with a multicultural look... I must admit this made me think about being far more inclusive in my approach to

Faces and Places

Image
  I coordinate a unique community art group which comes together weekly to create, chat and share . It is a friendly, non-judgemental , socially conscious group. Our current project is to create stitched portraits in return for a donation to the Newcastle (NSW) Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service -  NWDVCAS supports women and their children seeking information and help about domestic and family violence, and how to get protection from the court. Domestic violence is the most common form of assault in Australia today and takes on many forms. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuses such as frequent insults or intimidation, economic abuse and control of your money, social abuse like not allowing you to see friends or family or use your phone, and spiritual abuse such as using your beliefs to ridicule you, are all examples of domestic or family violence. Domestic and family violence can be perpetrated by intimate partners, children, carers, other residents in a grou

Beautiful Moments : Postage Stamp Collages

Image
Most days, I create a quick collage with torn paper and whatever is at hand...  Last week I steamed from a  gifted cardboard box,  a series of Japanese postage stamps  The stamps celebrate traditional arts.  PS. That extra one, in the bottom right corner,  was inspired by the kangaroo paw in my garden   togei - ceramic art  kami - paper  shuuji - calligraphy  chanoyu - tea ceremony  takeami - basketry  urushi - lacquer  ai -indigo  toro - lantern    These are all in the series #pulchra momenta ( beautiful moments ) ... see more in this series....  Instagram  @empress.wu.designs