Friday, February 20, 2015

Sydney sojourn

We locked the door and caught a plane to Sydney - the 18ft Skiffs are racing and of course DeLonghi on which Grant is crewing this year, came 3rd while we were in the air.

Thursday was birthday day for Ian - happy birthday to Ian! We had breakfast with Grant and Hannah and went out on the ferry to watch the race.

De Longhi heading out

And sailing.

Then we had a lovely birthday dinner at A Tavola but I wasn't allowed to take any photos of birthday boy. The food was great - the staff were wonderful - they even sang happy birthday.

Saw some wonderful figs whilst out and about

The wrought iron front at Grant and Hannah's new house

Sunday, February 15, 2015

seeing things and hanging about and some play this week

 We have managed 4 outings at the Fringe Festival which is the best for us. There are so many things you can go to and usually with us there is so much we do nothing but this year we have made a concerted effort. Three excellent out of 4 was good. Last Sat we went to a very crass event where I do hope they still have their day jobs.  on Tuesday we went to La Soiree at the Pleasure Gardens which has expended this year. It was fabulous and just so professional.

I loved all the acts so it was hard to decide on a pic but the puppets were brilliant and very clever. this particular one was amazing.

 Perth has been Giant mad this week with these two large giants trotting all around the place. We went down to Weld Square yesterday and saw the Girl Giant snoring away.

 Fortunately there weren't too many people around. Cost $5million to put this event on.

The 18ft Skiffs are having their champs in Sydney - Grant is crewing on DeLonghi this year - they came 5th today - we are looking forward to being there later in the week.

 I am working on holes - pretty basic stuff - this is a flimsie all holes cut. I came across a wonderful image on the net which has set me off

 I have started working it - lots of needlefelting from the back and hand stitching on the top

I am using a wool thread and have loads to go but it is starting to fall into place.

Finally -
a) rugby report - yes - the Super 15 season has started and the Hurricanes won their first game for the first time in 5 years. Wonderful stuff.
b) tree report - the tree is looking pretty good. Thanks for everyone who asks. The green stuff is very green and we think we can even see new growth - now that the bore pipe is fixed it is loving all that healthy water. Karma is happening - maybe.....

Sunday, February 08, 2015

finishing stuff off and other happenings

 This week I made a little postcard for SAQA - I don't always take part in activities but I thought I could manage this one. I decided that my time should be spent finishing the pieces I started in my workshop in Adelaide and since I had things ready for weaving, I did just that.

This is a little piece I made in class more as a sample - dry felting stitch and a little gentle wet felt. I knotted some wool which was in my box and added that. There is always room for some flower stitcher goodies.

My woven piece - what looks like brick colour is actually light brown. I love the way the velvet embosses - so did the class - and I have added some of my gimp circles stitched down with a lovely new metallic thread we have which actually works and does not split or break..

This is part of another piece we played with the idea - woven - the little feature was a tiny bit of weaving I added in as a starter. Most of the class did much bigger pieces but I was looking to make a highlight.

This is the bottom and the stamp I use for embossing velvet - these stamps are deep etched which makes them perfect.

My little feature - hand dyed skeleton leaf - very fragile and some buttons I found in my stash.

Then I thought I would try this transfer in my Khadi book - several people have told me about it using paper napkin and Glad wrap - works a treat and I shall try it onto other surfaces and see how I go. Now I can get onto my next project - my list is long.

It's been very hot here and Ian has been working on fixing a broken pipe - well one of the tree roots had wrapped itself around it. Not the best time but with the tree needing water and our bore only working to this point, our excess water was not a pleasant bill to receive this week. However we think our beautiful tree is making progress - won't really know until Spring but there are two areas still full of green leaves and new growth and the poor cracked bark higher up is coming away as it oozes out the poison. Poor tree and what an evil person to have done it. Thanks for the emails I get regulalrly asking.

Grant and Hannah's Christmas present finally arrived so Ian has been very busy plotting out another area in the back garden - he keeps moving it around but it does look lovely at night. We do so  much enjoy our outdoor lounge and sit out very late - there is nothing on tv anyway.

We have had drama here - Ian changed Harley's precious biscuits for a different brand and type and what a misery - sitting in front of her bowl not eating the new ones, rocking backwards and forwards, looking mournful and chatting furiously loudly and her tail going like crazy. On my way back from ATASDA yesterday where I took them the needs be for their challenge and demonstrated our wonderful new compressed sponge, I called into an IGA and found the 'right' ones - now I am in Harley's good books - for a change. She is a happy little bunny for the moment.

We have been to a couple of Fringe Festival events and a couple to come - usually we are so overawed by the programme we never know what to go to. Last Sunday we went to Divalicious which was good if ever so hot in that tent but last night's night event was pretty crass and I am sure most people felt the same from the non-reaction. I just hope they have good day jobs. However it is good to see it happening and Northbridge is lovely and alive. Afterwards we came home and drank fizzzy and ate beetroot chips.

I am still ever so busy with my family research especially for the grannies - being a history graduate means I am a good nosey parker. I have had some great photos sent by cousins of my paternal grannie but I feel another trip to NZ soon is on the cards. Amongst other things i need to check out some graves and places. If anyone is interested in a workshop, just email me. I will fly in and out of Wellington and be in the lower North Island. Dates open as I haven't decided yet.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

mostly compressed sponge printing

 We have just had a delivery from the manufacturers of compressed sponge - it seems to have taken ages from when I first entered the chat about this and the parcel was huge (Ian's job is to slice it all up) so I have been playing away today. I cut a key shape, dropped it in water - it expands very quickly and is wonderful for printing. This is my sponge key.

 I am endeavouring to draw for at least 15mins a day and this is my sketch book for the moment - my place - no 6 and a very poor image transfer. But it was highly suitable for using the compressed sponge key. Keys because since we were burgled in the studio, we lock the gate every night and these days everything seems to have to be locked and here it is with keys.

 This is the print I got - I used Opulence paint in Briza - I love the way the sponge creates texture.

Yesterday I cut a heart and sponged onto a surface previously worked with a screen and layers using a stencil and paint. If you want to see the compressed sponge , go here - you get an A4 sheet and my notes and a pattern sheet so it is pretty good value.

Today I read a  blog entry by Liz Kettle on what is happening in the arty teaching industry - I agree with what she says. Things and times have changed. Back in 1995 when we started in business with The Thread Studio I must have demonstrated to 100s and 100s with new ideas and we ran loads of Playdays in different places throughout Australia showing people how to use all the new stuff they had never seen before. Remember all the freebies were not available on the internet back then. In 2001 I started my Playways on the Net course and I cannot tell you how many people enrolled. I do believe I was one of the first to run on-line courses. When I introduced my Embellish Stitch Enrich class I was rather gobsmacked at the numbers who enrolled and with Ratty Tatty Papers - likewise. Now - on-line teaching is two a penny whether they be good or bad. Technology has rushed ahead like a lightning attack but sometimes it is all too much. I have just taught big classes in Adelaide and I am very grateful that so many people came - and paid their money. I actually think there are too many courses happening - too many people maybe jumping on the band wagon and a lot are not that good. (this is not blowing my own trumpet) Teaching takes a lot of work - preparation - worry - personal development etc. I don't give notes any more for three reasons - one is that I change my mind and think of new ideas as I go - the second is that people tend not to listen as they either read the notes and follow or file them away and ask you what you have written down - and the third is that they simply copy them and use them as their own teaching notes.
Interesting times not helped by the huge flux of bad books appearing - I really hate seeing someone whose work and techniques I admire being copied badly and money being made.

Rant over.

On Wednesday we took half a day off and went to Safety Bay for a wonderful crab fest with Val and Jim who had got up and gone out crabbing in the morning so we could eat and drink in the afternoon. It was fabulous.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Workshop 2 in Adelaide

My second workshop was titled Fabrik-Fun and it was the first time I have taught this as a stand alone so I was a little anxious and it was also a big class in a not quite so perfect classroom. But they were wonderful and told me they enjoyed it all.

We did some dry felt my style before stitching - it is all supposed to be relaxing.

Some lovely velvet being stitched in. You can't go past beautiful hand dyed silk/rayon velvet.

Some great weaving coming up - have I ever said I love weaving and stitching ?

Another delightful piece

This one is so ethereal - love it

Another work underway

And the leaves around the school were such glorious colours

Catherine had a great time here - weaving and making sari ribbon flowers

Then we got to some other sorts of weaving

Lovely layers and embossed velvet and stitch

Weaving more

And more stitch

And more weaving

And some more weaving - wonderful colours

Wonderful colour move

Annette was working away on her tiny corner creating some great stuff


And starting to to stitch and place

And Julia had fun with my special velvet and prefelt technique

Some weaving


More weaving - these people used colour and texture so well


Colour just lovely

And my little effort - embossing on velvet ribbon and weaving and stitching - still to finish

As you can see, there was loads of lovely work produced and I hope they keep on with them. I am still unpacking my suitcase with my samples and supplies!


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