Mornington Peninsula Day Trip – part 1

I’d been feeling a little house bound of late, so last Thursday I treated myself to a day off to wander around the Mornington Peninsula (my backyard) with a dear friend whom I met when I first started painting last March.

We had the perfect Autumn day which began with a crisp & slightly misty morning and developed into soothing warm day with clear blue skies.  We first headed up to Red Hill for a drive through the divine tall gums which line the roads beside the beautiful fields of produce; apples, strawberries, cherries, vineyards, hops, olives, beef, chooks and more.

We thought we’d grab ourselves a couple of bags of fresh apples while we were driving through and so we did and also enjoyed a little wander through the orchard.  The morning dew was still fresh and glistening on the apple buds and leaves. 

As well as stocking up on apples I also stocked up on inspiration for my art work.  I could have clicked away for hours in the morning sunlight.  I really enjoyed the textures and patterns that were all about this lovely orchard.

I love being inspired by the every day elements around us.  You never know what you might find.

Man-made, created and natural inspiration is everywhere and once I start to open up to it, it’s actually hard to switch off.Luckily neither of us were in any rush this day, so we both enjoyed taking our time to look about.

We’d only just left the orchard when we found ourselves pulling over again to stop and admire a field of the most stunning yellow sunflowers I’ve ever seen.  I LOVE these flowers!

They just light you up and always pop a smile on the most miserable of faces.  There were hundreds.  I’m not sure if these were to be used for cut flowers or for harvesting the seeds (which I love in my daily muesli).

We cheekily went in for a closer look and to capture some photos, and we weren’t the only ones stopping to admire the beautiful yellow glow from the roadside. We then enjoyed driving down to the coastal town of Flinders, chatting away already excited by what we’d stumbled across.  At Flinders we enjoyed a peek in a couple of galleries and enjoyed photographing (I’m not the best photographer) the native Flora that lines the main street.These little finds are going to make for great sketching in my sketchbook and provide loads of inspiration for my upcoming Surface Patterns Design course by Rachel Taylor and Beth Nichols, so excited!

I got distracted by the mushrooms that were popping up through the grass that lined the footpath.  We were on all fours for ages trying to photograph them.  I love discovering these cute lil mushrooms initially hidden from view.  I was really hoping to see more in Red Hill actually, especially the spotty red ones, but that’ll have to wait for another trip back.

We admired the gorgeous wares in a little gift shop called Tree whilst keeping our wallets tightly tucked in our bags away from temptation.  Ohhhh my the temptation! I think I could quite easily collect a large armful of goodies from this delightful store.  The clothes, the jewellery, the homewares, were all right in line with my tastes.  I certainly was drooling!  I May just have to sell a few more paintings and make my way back there some day.

Tree was so beautifully styled that I really did just enjoy window shopping here.  The lovely lady happily allowed me to take some photos too which was great as I was so inspired by the various colour pallets that she uses to inspire her displays.  

Architecturally I was also inspired by the use of materials, recycled and collected items and every day found items for practical uses in the store.  Look at this clever use of the good ole house hold grater.  

We just had to stop in at MP Chocolates!  I do have a weakness for good quality chocolate so this was a must.  Easter is coming up anyway so it was a good excuse to buy a couple of Easter gifts (and yes a sneaky couple of chocolates for Michael and I to taste and enjoy back home).  Yum!

I also had to make sure I popped into Zeega too.

I had only just stumbled across this local shop and studio where Kim and Kath sew these beautiful handcrafted all Australian made garments.  It wasn’t just a pop in though, we were there for about an hour chatting away to these two gorgeous girls with big proud Aussie hearts.

They were lovely and so generous with their time; explaining the process they go through not just in sewing the garments but meeting local Australian Artisans who hand dye fabrics, others who illustrate the patterns for the fabrics and sourcing fabric that is produced using all Australian wools and cottons.  Nothing is shipped offshore.Here are some photos of some of the amazing hand dyed fabrics.  They aren’t the best photos, I think I was too distracted talking.  These girls actually recognized me from my blog when I went in and were also talking to me about my illustrative work and if I’d be interested in coming back with some pattern designs.  I was so humbled I was feeling a little teary at one point and quite surprised they’d even ask me.  It’s certainly exciting though and I can’t wait to see where this may go and I just love the idea of working with other local Artisans in my area. 

Here’s a couple of photos of their garments from their facebook page too.  That is the most amazing and delicate hand smocking I’ve ever seen too (second photo).  Their garments are also machine washable, how good is that! 

I am seriously only half way through my day of leisure on the Mornington Peninsula so I am going to share the second half with you in my next post, if I havn’t already lost you.  If you are ever down this way or visiting from overseas the Mornington Peninsula is a beautiful part of Australia filled with the most lovely locals and loads of inspiration as you have seen.  I highly recommend a visit!  I’ll be back soon, hope you’ve enjoyed Part 1.

Liza xxx

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