Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Celebrating the Holidays with Inspiration from Real Life

Here in Australia, sometimes it can be hard to reconcile the major seasonal holidays with the weather. Spring is now in full swing and summer is doing its best to come early this year. So here I am, merrily decorating our Christmas tree in ornaments which, on the whole, celebrate winter….. while quietly pondering whether I should just abandon ship and head to the pool instead…..

But, not everyone here is as confused as I am. There is at least one local that does our summer Christmas wholeheartedly, with absolutely no inhibitions. It is not a person though, it is a street tree. For the rest of the year, this tree is actually a bit on the plain side, possibly verging on ugly. A funny, almost stunted looking tree, unassuming, lacking in any apparent vigour and vitality. But come November and December, it does this!

Brachychiton tree in flower

This tree is a hybrid from the Brachychiton family. Two Australian natives – the Kurrajong tree (white bell flowers with pink/red insides) and the Flame Tree (scarlet red bell flowers) – can be crossed to get hybrids like this one that produce masses of pink bells.

To add to the fun, because the tree is so unworthy the rest of the time, I forget how amazing it is for the few weeks that it flowers. So, every year the kids and I get a nice moment of sudden realisation that the “Christmas Bells” are back, heralding the end of school and promising Christmas.

Brachychiton tree in flower

How to respond to such extravagant Christmas Spirit?

Bougainvillea Surprise color scheme from Clever ChameleonWell, the obvious answer is to produce something Christmas flavoured in dusky pinks and green. A “Christmas Bells” quilting motif or quilt design perhaps? Well, these bell flowers actually put me in mind and mood of a small Christmas project I have been musing over for a couple of weeks, ever since the Ornament Exchange Tour. And I would have made it in pink but I couldn’t lay my hands on my pink pearl cotton yesterday. So purple had to do. Since I still have purple and green on the brain from the last few weeks, and our purple Bougainvillea is still out in full flower, I admit that wasn’t a hard compromise to make.

This is what I created in response to my thoughts around Christmas Bells.

Christmas Bells Ornaments

purple Clever Chameleon logoHow to make my Christmas Bells Ornament?

Would you be interested in a short tutorial on how to make this ornament? I wanted to do the tutorial for you today, but there are just too many other things that need attention before the end of the week. I am hoping I might be able to write it up for you next week though. How does that sound?

Sorry for the tease (or maybe it is just a sneak preview?), but it seemed silly not to show you what I made in a rare quiet moment in response to my musings around today’s Colour Inspiration Tuesday. November is simply a crazy month for our family! It’s the same every year. Update: the tutorial is done – you can find it here!

So on that note, I must be getting on with those other things, but I wish you a lovely and productive week and hope to catch you back here on Thursday with my One Monthly Goal. Yup, last minute, as usual! Did you really expect anything else? 🙂 

P.S. BREAKING NEWS!! Last night Clever Chameleon arrived on Facebook….. I know, not exactly earth shattering, but another step forward for my baby blog. 🙂 If you’d like to follow via Facebook, I’d be very glad of your company!  Thanks a million!!

P.P.S Sharing in this weeks linky fun at:
The Quilting Room with Mel
Love Laugh Quilt

Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Quangdong Christmas

Quangdong Christmas color scheme from Clever Chameleon

31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

Do you know what the picture above is?!

It’s a ripe quangdong. An Australian native fruit. I took this photo in Arkaroola (a desert oasis in South Australia) in early October, two years ago. Isn’t the fruit glorious looking? And doesn’t it scream Christmas?!!!

quangdong tree
Quangdong tree
quangdong seed
Quangdong seed
cracked quangdong seed
The kernel inside

Quangdongs have a thin dry flesh surrounding a large dimpled seed.

The kernel inside the quangdong seed is known as a candle nut. The seed has a high enough oil content that  you can light it and it will burn like a candle. Candles also make me think of Christmas. Especially after spending last Christmas in Europe.

quangdong seed burning
Quangdong seed candle

Quangdong flesh is awful to eat raw. However, if you dry quangdong, it magically becomes delicious. You can eat it just as it is, or turn it into jam or pie or whatever you desire. It tastes a little like rhubarb, but less sour. Mmmmm.

Quangdong Pie
Quangdong pie from a café in Quorn

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 28

I found my quangdong photos while still looking for the quilt photos I mentioned yesterday. It turns out that looking through old photos is a great way to find quilt inspiration. It happened to me yesterday as well! 

Finding these shots is fortuitous. I needed an easy post today, because I have spent all my blogging time playing with ideas for a new Christmas tree decoration instead! I am going to be joining in the Ornament Exchange blog hop in November and I’ve been trying a few things out. So it seems apt that I tell you about my Christmasy quangdong inspiration today.

How was I inspired by the quangdong?

The reason why I took a whole set of photos of quangdongs two years ago was because I thought they would make amazing quilted postcard designs to use as Christmas cards. Especially for my overseas friends.

begging to be a Quangdong Christmas postcard!

Appliqué the fruit and leaf shapes onto postcard sized quilts and then do a stack of fun thread painting over them. Or maybe draw them with Inktense and then thread paint. Sadly I haven’t got around to making the postcards yet, but time has not diminished the desire too. Every time I see these photos I think I must do this project one day.

Do you make quilted postcards? Where do you find your inspiration for them?

Or have you accidentally been inspired to make a quilt while looking through old photos? I would love to hear your stories. 🙂

P..S. If you are new to the 31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration series you can now binge read it…. access it through the first post, or follow me on Bloglovin’ to catch up on 4 weeks of everyday quilt inspiration.

P.P..S. You’ll be glad to know, I finally found the quilt photos I was after. I hope to tell you about them tomorrow. Take care until then!

Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Poppies

Flanders Poppy colour scheme from Clever Chameleon

31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

Today I did something a little bit different. I attended the unveiling of a new pair of plaques honouring all the war veterans who came/come from the Karoonda district. Karoonda is a small country town in South Australia where my only surviving great aunt lives. And where my maternal grandfather and grandmother first met and courted many decades ago. 

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 15

After travelling so much for the last two weeks, I was very grateful to share a ride to Karoonda (about an hour and half away) with my aunt, uncle and a cousin. As well as attending the memorial and unveiling ceremony, I was thrilled to visit my great aunt. Aunty Dorothy is the original rabid quilter in my family. As you can imagine, we always have a lot to talk about. I wish she lived closer! 

When my great aunt is not quilting, she is gardening. And today her garden was a mass of spring flowers. Roses, irises and poppies. Lots and lots of beautiful poppies.

How was I inspired by the poppies?

After being away from home for 2 weeks, I have been a little surprised by Spring. It definitely arrived while we were away! And yesterday, Aunty’s garden was in full-bloom.

Poppies in Aunt Dorothy's garden
Poppies and more poppies!
Spring Poppies color scheme from Clever Chameleon
A colour board from Aunt Dorothy’s garden

So it seemed more than appropriate to do a Spring mood board from Aunty Dorothy’s garden.

But more relevant to the theme of today’s visit to Karoonda, it turns out that Aunty Dorothy also has a patch of Flanders Poppies that she grew from seeds gifted to her. Flanders Poppies are the distinctive red and black flowers from France that are now used widely in Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies in Australia. There weren’t many open Flanders Poppies to see in her garden, because she had donated them all to today’s ceremony.

Flanders Poppies
Flanders Poppies at the unveiling ceremony, donated from my Great Aunt’s garden.

Here is part of one of the new plaques. My Grandpa’s name is on there (F.A. Longmire, WWII). As is my Great Uncle Geoff’s (WWII) and a great-great uncle’s (WWI). A fourth very distant relative is also named, but the connection with him is many many generations back. I do know where he fits in the family forest thanks to someone else’s hard work, but I won’t bore you with the details.

Karoonda honour roll
Karoonda honour roll

More than just colour inspiration

Between the two new plaques is the main gate to the town’s oval. I was also quilt-inspired by these gates, with their plastic poppy tributes and rosemary attached.

Poppies on gate
Poppy and Rosemary tributes at the unveiling

This geometric design would make a great quilt border, especially adorned with poppy appliqués. It’s not often that I get inspired to make a quilt border without having a clue what the centre of the quilt should be. But that is the case this time!

What would you place in the middle of a quilt with a really strong, geometric border design like this? Do you have memorial traditions that would translate to a meaningful quilt?

Comments make my day and I and would love to know your ideas. Thanks for dropping by today. Hope to see you again tomorrow!

P.S. If you would like to know more about why Flanders Poppies mean so much to Australian Veterans, you can read a short story here. Rosemary is also a significant symbol for Anzac Day.

P.P.S. If you have not been following along with my 31 Days of Everyday Quilt Inspiration series, and would like to, you should start here.

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Silhouettes at Sunset

Silhouettes at Sunset color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Colour resources for your next eye-catching quilt design

“Halo” and “Welkam” to my second Vanuatu edition of Colour Inspiration Tuesday! Actually it is a combined Colour Inspiration Tuesday and Everyday Quilt Inspiration post. Like last week’s regular slots, this post was largely pre-written in Australia due to uncertainty about how much time and internet I would have for blogging here in Vanuatu. But I have added some extra material to make this post also fit the 31 Days writing challenge I am doing. I hope it gels ok.

“Halo” and “Welkam”  is pretty much the extent of my knowledge of the Bislama language. And “Tangkyu tumas” (Thank you very much). But thankfully English usually suffices here, the Vanuatu scenery is beautiful, and this week, the weather is superb. Just like today’s quilt inspiration colour board, Silhouettes at Sunset.

Silhouettes at Sunset color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Silhouettes at Sunset

The “Silhouettes at Sunset” colour scheme is purple, orange, peach, grey, aqua, teal and super dark teal. Isn’t it amazing how the form of a dark silhouette brings out the colours in a sunset? This contrast is something that we should be aiming for in our quilt fabric choices too….. that is if you are after a bold, brilliant effect. (I am fully cognisant that sometimes subtle and low volume is the right choice for a quilt too…. I just personally usually prefer bright.) And isn’t it nice to be reminded that silhouettes don’t have to be black… any high contrast will be effective, in this case a dark shade of teal.

Silhouettes at Sunset evokes thoughts of warm tropical evenings and beach holidays. Perfect to celebrate a trip to Vanuatu, even if it is for work. Would you like to know more about the humanitarian telecommunications side of our family’s pursuits? When things get back to normal I would love to tell you more.

Another World Blue color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Sunset Wall color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Anyway, back to the task at hand…. It strikes me that “Silhouettes at Sunset” is very much like the love child of “Sunset Wall” and “Another World Blue”. Two colour schemes from earlier editions of Colour Inspiration Tuesday.

So for my Colour Inspiration Tuesday quilt imaginings this week I have decided to see what happens when we colour the Cat on a Wall quilt design with the Silhouettes at Sunset colour scheme. Here is the original design in both parent colour ways.

Cat on a Wall Quilt design

And here are my new colourings. I also added in an eighth colour from the sunset photo – a rose pink. I only meant to do one re-colouring of Cat on a Wall, but I had to amuse myself on the plane to Vanuatu somehow! 

Cat on a Wall quilt design, 3 colour schemes

Which do you prefer? One of the new ones or one of the originals? Or would you choose a completely different colour scheme for this quilt? Please tell in the comments below. 🙂


I really appreciate the talented photographers who generously donate their art to the world without strings attached. Today’s such photos are from Unsplash is a collection of free, high resolution, “do what you want with” photos. Credit is not demanded but I give it anyway in thanks. Today’s featured photographer is Aldain Austria. Be sure to check out his collection of photos on Unsplash.

Aldain Austria

blue Clever Chameleon logo

I hope you will tell me which your preferred colours are….

Before I go though, I had better add in some everyday quilt inspiration. This one is easy – there have been many “sunset and silhouettes” moments in my life that I have thought at the time would make great art. We are fortunate in Adelaide to get lots of great sunsets over the gulf. I distinctly remember one such moment when I was heavily pregnant with my second child. I was sitting on the beach, watching my husband and eldest daughter (2 years at the time) jump the wavelets, silhouetted against the setting sun. That is a moment that would definitely be quilt-worthy.

Anyway, here are some more recent silhouettes at sunset. These were taken the second night we arrived here in Port Vila.

Sunset and ships, Port Villa Vanuatu
Ships in harbour at sunset, Port Vila
Sunset and silhouettes. Vanuatu
Enjoying the warm tropical waters.

And to finish off – your everyday colour inspiration board…..

Silhouettes at Sunset, Port Vila color scheme from Clever Chameleon

See you for more Everyday Quilt Inspiration fun tomorrow. In the meantime, if you haven’t been following along, you can find the start of this series here.

P.S. On a completely different topic, I must tell you, the Art with Fabric blog hop is ON! It started yesterday (although that might still be today in your time zone…..) Anyway, my post on the hop is not until Friday 13, but there is a huge lineup ahead of me. Visit Tweety Loves Quilting to see the blog hop from the very beginning.

Here’s a sneak preview of my art piece…. it’s called “Remember to thank the Cleaner (Shrimp)”. It’s art with gratitude. 🙂

Art with Fabric blog hop @

Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Mt. Yasur Volcano

Mt Yasur Sunset color scheme from Clever Chameleon

31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

Now, I realise that calling today’s Everyday Quilt Inspiration slot “everyday” might be a little far fetched…… There are only a handful of the people in the world who can genuinely call watching Mt Yasur erupt an everyday experience. But, if you can walk away from an active but relatively friendly volcano and not be inspired in some way, then you are a hard nut to crack! And inspired I was! So today we are exploring volcanoes.

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 7

Yesterday’s adventure started with a fly-over of Mt Yasur on the way to Tanna Island. This is what Mt Yasur looks like from the air. We did get to see lava in the crater as we banked over, but photos were difficult from the tail end of the little Cessna Air Taxi.

Mt Yasur from the air
Mt Yasur, Vanuatu

The landscape around Mt Yasur is often described as lunar. It certainly feels like nothing else I have ever experienced. It is surreal leaving footprints in the fine grey ash. 

Mt Yasur volcano in daylight
Mt Yasur volcano in daylight

When you get to the top of the volcano, you are greeted by plumes of smoke and steam, smells of sulphur, and lots of noise. But not a lot of visible lava activity. It was nerve-racking to begin with…. the path around the top was not particularly wide, and the sudden noises from the volcano set off my flight responses continuously. In addition to the threatening bangs and rumbles, I’d just trekked through a field of cooled lava bombs. At some point it dawned on me that sometimes the volcano is not friendly. Indeed, yesterday the volcano was at it’s maximum activity allowed before the tours are cancelled.

Looking out from Mt Yasur
Thankfully, when the volcano gets too overwhelming, the view in the opposite direction is spectacular too.

How was I inspired by the Mt Yasur Volcano?

As the sun set, the colours of the lava became visible. Imagine our excitement when we first saw the volcano’s heart.

Mt Yasur volcano
First glimpses of Mt. Yasur’s molten lava colours as the sun sets.

By the end of the evening, when it was truly dark, the show was spectacular. I forgot to be afraid. Pure awe took over.

Mt Yasur volcano after dark
Mt Yasur volcano after dark.

I could have watched this beast for hours. It was absolutely mesmerising.

Mt Yasur Explosion color scheme from Clever Chameleon

I took a lot of photos. Many were rubbish. It is hard to photograph an unpredictable volcano with whirly-whirlies spiting dust and stones at you. But there are a few shots that I will treasure forever. 

Mt Yasur Fireworks color scheme from Clever Chameleon

And there are a few more that are not brilliant from a photography perspective, but the colours are amazing. One of my favourite photos is the one from the colour board at the top of this post. The focus is slightly off, but the mood is phenomenal. Have you ever considered that a photograph does not have to be technically brilliant to be a great source of inspiration? Especially if you are after colours!

Mt Yasur volcano
The colours in this shot are amazing. This is one of those occasions where I am was tempted to make a mood board with a lot more than seven colours.

A Mount Yasur Quilt in the offing?

Colour boards are all I have time for today, but there is an actual quilt idea percolating in my head from yesterday’s experiences. I think a real volcano can warrant two days of quilt inspiration, don’t you? I will try to get my idea down “on paper” for tomorrow’s Everyday Quilt Inspiration spot. If not, I will surprise you with something else. 🙂

I am also putting these colour boards into my ideas folder for the black, white and red Vanuatu-inspired quilt that I am planning for the Splash of Colour quilt-along. Most appropriate!

What about you? Do you use your photographs for craft colour inspiration? Are you able to look past the subject matter and/or your photography skills to see the colours? You might be surprised at what you find in your happy snaps if you look at them with a different mindset. Why not try putting a few photos through a free online program like Canva’s Palette Generator just for fun? But beware….. it’s addictive!

I hope you’ll be back here again tomorrow. You can follow along by email or Bloglovin’ to make sure you catch the entire 31 days of my Everyday (and occasionally extraordinary day) Quilt Inspiration series

You can also find lots more 31 day series on all sorts of topics at the Write 31 Days website here. A great way to get a feel for lots of bloggers you may not have noticed before. Thanks for coming by!