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June 23, 2020
Winter Solstice: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Moth at Arkaroola colour board at Clever Chameleon

Desert winters are nothing if not unpredictable

Winter is a funny thing in the desert. The nights are mostly bitterly cold, while the days are pleasantly warm. But very occasionally we get a wind blowing in with heat from somewhere, and the night can stay ‘balmy’ for many hours after sunset. We had one of those evenings on Friday night. While the freezing cold nights (think frozen water pipes) are bug-free, warmer evenings bring small collections of brave new winter visitor species we haven’t seen before. Mostly lazy moths decorated in interesting patterns, like this pretty little thing that ...

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June 16, 2020
Arkaroola Birds: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Mallee parrot colours at Clever Chameleon

Thirsty, Busy, Romantic Visitors

June seems to be nesting season at Arkaroola. There are lots of pairs of birds around, and I’ve even been seeing a few different species collecting nesting materials. A Little Crow went past my lounge room window on the weekend with several large sticks in its beak. The Mallee Ringneck Parrots seem to be collecting moss or lichen from my roof. And all the lads have started trying to impress their dinner dates by bringing them to the very exclusive Chameleon’s freshwater café and bar.

The nights here have become very cold recently, which ...

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June 9, 2020
Ladybirds for Luck: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Ladybug colour board at Clever Chameleon

Ladybirds for Luck

So…… This week, things are going pretty well here…… Covid restrictions easing. My latest assignment written (and submitted!) on time. Three more blocks on the Lunarcy finished….. which gives me some breathing space to do some of the pattern writing for a change. And a four day weekend due to a public holiday yesterday combined with a student-free day today…. Puts me in the mood for a lighthearted look at Lady Luck, since that’s where the themes in my sewing room, the great outdoors and my linky inbox seem to intersect this week.

Why luck? The ...

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June 2, 2020
Salvation Jane and Ruby Dock: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Salvation Jane colour board at Clever Chameleon

Happy Winter, from the Southern Hemisphere

Our winter officially started here yesterday. Although if you were here, you’d be forgiven for not noticing: 18C (64F) and sunny. Truly lovely weather during the day, although the nights are chilly now.

Arkaroola in June
Arkaroola at the beginning of June

The desert knows it’s not summer anymore though. The Salvation Jane weeds (also known as Paterson’s Curse) are growing their incredibly perfect rosettes of teal leaves in the creek bed. Hate the weed, but got to admire that growth habit in our colour board! Also, another weed that has been insipidly hanging ...

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May 26, 2020
Yellow Butterfly Hijinks: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Yellow Butterfly Hijinks colour board at Clever Chameleon

The little blue flower that started a neighbourhood dispute…..

Or was it the yellow butterfly? Or someone else entirely…..?

Watching the local pollinators compete, you would be forgiven for thinking that flowers are scarce in Arkaroola right now. Which, I think you probably get the idea: they are not. The cooler weather, plus the months elapsed since our big rain, has resulted in a bloom of both flowers and insects. Wanted and otherwise.

But apparently some flower locales are more desirable than other blooming addresses. Even within the best Cattle Bush Restaurants there appears to be premium tables where the ...

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May 19, 2020
The Centre of the Galaxy! Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Two-spotted Line-Blue butterfly colours at Clever Chameleon

The Chameleon thinks he’s vindicated!

Annoying!

That’s what it is… annoying…. when someone unashamedly thinks that they are the centre of the Universe, and then it turns out that they actually are. Or close enough to. Can you imagine how big the Chameleon’s head is this week since he found out the entire galaxy revolves around him?!

Okay, he is still exaggerating. But he did find a constellation named in his honour this week, thanks to some stargazing adventures in one of the local observatories.

Arkaroola observatory (one of)

And consequently, the Chameleon’s head?…… it is Huge!

My progress on ...

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May 12, 2020
Last Minute Colours: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Sunset colours at Clever Chameleon

As luck would have it…..

As I was trying to work out where I should draw colour inspiration for today’s post from, nature volunteered. This was tonight’s sunset, as seen from our back patio. The colours were brief, but some of the very best we’ve had since we moved here.

Arkaroola sunset May 2020

Good timing, Mother Nature. Just glorious, thank you!

Arkaroola sunset May 2020
Arkaroola sunset May 2020

Pinks, yellows and oranges and last minutes on the Lunarcy too

Progress continues on the Lunarcy quilt this week. I now have a Pig block to go with the Rat block from last week. I only finished the pig ...

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May 5, 2020
Birds and Bees: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Autumnal Willie Wagtail colours at Clever Chameleon

Noticing all the Details

Funny how the most obvious things can bypass me sometimes. And amazing how much more there always is to learn about a place if I just stay still long enough. Changes of seasons bring new rounds of wonders….. and colours… and challenges too. Many of our days here in the Australian desert are still sunny and warm, but the nights are getting bitterly cold already. The nocturnal moths have mostly stopped coming to the windows. But the cooler weather is bringing out some more interesting day critters.

So, the Chameleon requests permission to talk a little ...

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April 28, 2020
Cherry Blossom & Mulla Mulla: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Mulla Mulla flower colour board at Clever Chameleon

Flowers this week. Lots of flowers. No more creepy crawlies…

The Chameleon objects, naturally. But I am more sympathetic to the bug-not-lovers out there…… I’ve just realised that the size of the local insects dictates the size of the local spiders. I’m a bit off bugs this week.

So, luckily for me there is a new interesting array of flowers out to show you instead. We’ve been having yoyo weather…. it was up to the mid thirties (degrees C) the other day and now we are heading into the mid-teens, tops. And we’ve had a little ...

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April 21, 2020
Everyone’s a Chameleon!: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Superb Katydid colour board at Clever Chameleon

Is it a plane? Is it a chameleon? No, it’s a Superb Katydid!

Confession time. Staying at home absolutely all the time messes with my head a little. Paul and I are, (in theory at least), two grown adults with: lots of hobbies, study and work to do; a couple of kids to nurture; and plenty of internet friends in different circles. But things are degenerating here regardless. Bug Spotters Anonymous is likely launching its inaugural Chapter in our lounge room….. read on for reasons if you dare!

In my saner moments though, I have been doing some more ...

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March 10, 2020
Weeds, Frogs and a little Lunarcy from Clever Chameleon

Little Arkaroola Frog colour board at Clever Chameleon

Everything grows like weeds after summer rain!

Including the weeds. This week we have been madly helping out with weed control around the Arkaroola village. It’s a crucial few days where the weeds are big enough to easily identify amongst all the beneficial plants, but haven’t started dropping seed yet. The window of opportunity is short, and for the Bindii is almost shut already.

Between that, and schooling, I have still managed a little sightseeing and a little sewing. It helps that we had a public holiday yesterday to get a few things done. I’ve got all ...

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March 3, 2020
Arkaroola Time Warp: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Arkaroola sunset colours at Clever Chameleon

Time is a bit Weird in the Outback

I know this can happen anywhere, but it seems to me that Arkaroola is in the grip of some strange sort of time warp phenomenon thingy. I work really hard, do and see so many things and yet time stands still. Nothing changes, every day is the same. But then I find that the calendar has skipped an entire month….. and everything has changed while I was looking but not noticing. And it still feels like no time has passed….

But it must have, because I have finally done some sewing. Lunarcy ...

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February 25, 2020
Just add water: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Australian Native Orange colour board at Clever Chameleon

The desert was only sleeping

I have been into the Australian Outback many times in the last 20 years, but this unique environment never fails to amaze me. It is resilient and diverse, and just because everything is bone dry, it doesn’t mean that everything is dead. On the contrary – when the conditions are right…… BAM! Life emerges from places and in forms you wouldn’t believe! Two nights ago I saw what looked like an ant that was only about 1/4 inch long, but with an antennae over an inch in length. It was investigating around about ...

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February 18, 2020
Still Here and Finally There! from Clever Chameleon

Lunarcy colour board at Clever Chameleon

Hoping to be past the dramas and back to sewing soon

Sorry that I missed you last Tuesday. We were on the road and it all got too hard in the end….. as you will find out shortly(!). It’s taken three attempts since School Induction week for us to make it back to Arkaroola, but third time’s the charm! We have been here for a week now, and almost settled into a routine. Not the routine that I think is sustainable for the year, but a routine nonetheless. Regular food, laundry, ablutions, schooling and sleep. Now to sneak ...

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February 4, 2020
Playing Outback Weather Bingo from Clever Chameleon

Arkaroola Australian Outback colours

When life sends you weather…. play BINGO!

Still no sewing for me, only a little frogging…. because we are now rained out and we can’t get home. After three years of severe drought, all the outback roads have closed due to rain, just one day before I wanted to use them! Yup, Arkaroola has had 68.4mm rain in the last two days, which is more than double their last year’s entire rainfall. It’s absolutely fabulous, except that we are on the wrong side of raging creeks, washed out crossings and government road closures. A small price ...

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January 25, 2020
Moving Times and New Beginnings from Clever Chameleon

Lunar New Year quilt at Clever Chameleon

Happy Lunar New Year 2020!

As I write this, it is Chinese New Year today and Australia Day tomorrow. So I’m wishing everyone who celebrates either or both occasions a very splendid day.

I am celebrating today, albeit in the absence of the Chinese branch of my extended family, with the next step towards launching our next free BOM here at Clever Chameleon. I got word this morning that the Lunar New Year quilt BOM will be supported by Island Batik, who will very kindly supply the fabrics shown in the picture above so I can make the demo ...

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November 12, 2019
A Tropical Escape: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday from Clever Chameleon

Tropical Escape fabric colours from Island Batik at Clever Chameleon

Another secret sewing – this time a pattern in the works

Secret sewing and changes afoot here at Clever Chameleon. Little plans, big dreams and small signs of what is coming and what is hopefully to come. More wonderful quilts on the Island Batik Summer 2019 fabrics blog hop. And our Tuesday Colour & Inspiration party, of course.

Happy Tuesday!

Change is a-comin’

Since I don’t have a lot I can show you this week, now seems as good as anytime to drop some news. The Chameleon is going bush for a year! And not just to the countryside. Remote bush ...

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  • arkaroola
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