Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wet wet wet

We flew to Sydney on Friday but before we left we had to make sure the toilet cistern didn't fall right over in our absence so what better use for the paints in the boxes

I went to a lovely exhibition in Balmain - thanks to Cindy for inviting me, and caught the ferry back

And under the you know what - it was lovely on the harbour

Sunday we drove to Woollongong through the national park - wonderful drive it was - caught up with varsity friends from many years back

In the morning the weather changed somewhat while we were meandering around the lighthouse

And then got worse but it's only rain! And what I haven't heard since I was a little girl

We visited the Buddhist temple - beautiful grounds and drove to Berry because we decided to be central and divert from there if roads were opened etc

We are staying up at Dining Rooms in a beautiful spot where I simply love the magnolias - we have two little gem ones at home - the white flowers - but I love these ones

Yesterday lots of roads were under water so we explored Berry and a winery - we have been indulged with a beautiful breakfast - would recommend this place to anyone - and lovely owners as well

The view from our balcony once the rain has gone and the clouds lifted

And another

Red parrots enjoying themselves while we eat breakfast

And some stitching

Now - off to explore

Thursday, August 20, 2015

coming up for air

 It's nearly the end of August and time has simply flown by. We are off to Sydney tomorrow and then driving down to explore the environs before arriving in Berry on Friday to set up for trading at the Berry Quilt Retreat and teaching for me. I am really looking forward to it for all sorts of reasons. I love sharing my ideas and hope that all the class enjoys it - only 2 days so it is always difficult to decide what to do and what to leave out. I am taking lots of samples of things we are not even doing but that's me. Someone is a bit concerned - there is only 1 suitcase out but three boxes have gone and there is activity so maybe Harley is thinking that sending her off with an order might be nice or she is just making sure. We had the show here in Perth two weekends ago and that upset her all the comings and goings. If only we could understand the copious amount of talking she does. Need a google translator.

The show was great - I had my own little area where I did nothing much although I did show many people how to use the flower stitcher and do lots of free stitching on my favorite wash away - Romeo. I didn't do much hand stitching but I had lots for people to look at - this is my Red Obsession for Berry - it is now finished - when do you know you have finished? Certainly been working on it for some time.

 So I have started another to take with me - I have selected some Eleganza and Dazzle to add to my box of tricks and cut and woven a Stonehaven flimsie - of course. I love the rhythm of stitching rows for the first layer.

This is my World of Texture for Berry  - it has more layers and only today so not sure if I will get it finished - the usual lots of work but also new ideas exploring as I go. I will take it any which way

 We gave prizes for two challenges at the show - this was the ATASDA one where they had to use embellished Kunin felt - this was the winning - forgive me becasue I can't find the names of either winner

 this was the doll challenge winner - very topical Bronnie - they had to use thermo felt in their entry. What will I make them try next year?

There are few things I love more than eating - one is being combed and the other is being carted around - I could do this all day except that the humans complain about how heavy I am.

And a close up to show just how much I love this. You can see the piano keys in the background - slowly slowly does it - failing every day but a bit here and there - the left hand is still behind in speed.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Piano in my mind?

After a twenty or maybe fewer or so years, I have returned to playing the piano - at the end of my hiatus- not sure

First I am cleaning up the keys and running up and down the keyboard playing scales- just major at present - it's amazing how your fingers kinda know where to go although working out the three or four finger change sure works the brain

My left hand is having trouble keeping up with my right but with serious words it will get there

One of my favourites to be re mastered - just slowly slowly

And lots of favourites in here too

Not sure why I have been in this hiatus - intellectual break or what ? Anyway for a 4 year old who was anxious to learn to play the piano and who did pretty well over the years, it is time to get back. Music has and always will be so important to me. Watch this space!

Back to stitching though.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

it's mid july


July seems to have been a very busy month with plenty of traumas - Ian's computer went on the blink in the middle of producing issue 9 of the e-mag which kinda slowed everything down while his new one was being built. I became his online secretary and for a while we couldn't do printed receipts etc and a few of his important had to be loaded onto my computer and I had to share.... Meant we started July about 10 days late. on the catch up once more.  But a treat - I went off to the Kiwi shop - there is ones a long way north and the other a long way south so I rewarded myself with a purchase or two of beautiful New Zealand whitebait. Before any Aussies tell me they are crunchy and fishy, they are indeed not. Them most delicate flavour - and yes - you eat the lot. When I was a little girl - 1000s of years ago - I used to bike to beach to the mouth of the Manawatu River with my whitebait net and bring home a bucket full (I really think the whitebaiters probably helped get them but I did go pretty often) and my mother cooked whitebait fritters. I have a slight penchant for them.

I cooked us up whitebait fritters with basically eggs and whitebait and because I read on the net that kiwis love mint with their whitebait, I made a salad with cos lettuce, avocado, persian fetta and mint, and dressed it with lemon and honey - and we had it with a good kiwi chard.

I am off to teach in Berry at the end of August at Berry Quilt Retreat - Ian is trading and we are taking lots of our yummy stuff - but I don't really have work to hang which might sell so I have started  working on a number of pieces on canvas frames - this is one of my little red wovens and stitched pieces. I am hoping to do quite a few but this one took rather a lot of time so who knows. I have three ready so far and had planned 20. Let's see how we go. I don't normally sell my work - it is personal stuff so this is an adventure for me. Probably no one will buy them anyway - the commission goes to charity.

But this is a section of my piece for the Red Obsession exhibition  - I have also started on  World of Texture and trust me this is not hand stitching like this. I love doing it but boy does it take some time. I have also got a few half done bits and pieces for the Perth show in 3 weeks for my Stitching Station spot. I guess that is why I am busy - this really is our only show of a decent size and I have a long list and slowly working through all the packaging and ticking things off. Hand stitching whilst watching the Tour de France in the evening.

I got this wonderful book - have spent time poring through it. i haven't read as much lately - go to bed and read a couple of pages and fall asleep. But I have three really good books I am reading - really should read one and then move on.
 Love Shonagh Koea - have read all of her books - she has a way with words

 and Margaret Drabble's latest - been reading her since university days

and Hannie Rayson - I listened to Margaret Throsby interviewing her and ordered it straight away - read two chapters and loving it.

We have found some great new restaurants lately - this is Shadow Wine Bar in William Streets under a new boutique hotel - Alex - we went for a drink last Saturday becasue we had been working all day and went back to eat the other night. Great addition to the Perth scene.

Sauma Indian basically opposite - fabulous little post - been there a few times - great Indian food
Northbridge is so much better these days.

And this is our favourite of course - Three Coins in Mt Lawley - such lovely people as well as fabulous Italian food - shame people keep writing such super reviews becasue sometimes we can't get in.

All this sounds as though we eat out every day but I do love cooking as well.

I have started work on my family work - i am working on a paper journal as well as textiles and i have extended from just my grannie to the family as there is so much to add - lots of frustrations with my printer and programme but I will get here - it might take me ages to do this one - lots of notes so I don't forget what I keep deciding to do.

Sadly the Hurricanes didn't win the final of the Super Rugby after such a wonderful season but it was a fabulous game - next year!  We enjoyed seeing the All Blacks win against the Pumas last night.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

visiting the land of the long white cloud

 Last week I went to my birthplace -  my soul spot - my country. While I live in Australia and have done so for a long time, I still call New Zealand my home - my soul lives there and my spirit needs to reignite regularly. I am proud to be a citizen and covet my NZ passport where ever I am in the world. Above is my favourite  coastline - just north of Pukerua Bay before Paekakariki - I love it when the skies are grey and bleak and the waves come crashing as they did when I drove north.

This is work from another wild west coast beach but in the South Island. The more I work with cocoon strippings and silk rods, the more I discover about them.

I took my wild woman with me to stitch - I have discovered Drizzle Stitch which has been perfect for her hair - sometimes stitching can be for learning and for sheer pleasure and fun. I used my New york nail varnish on her nails and if you look carefully you will see she has her own nail bag.

I also took a collection of stuff to start something else but it isn't finished yet.

I was on a grave hopping mission. I have been doing heaps of family research especially on the females - and concentrating on two grannies at this stage. There is plenty about the males. As one of my degree majors was in History, I am sure you are all aware that history is merely a euphemism for nosey parker but with serious concern - well I hope so anyway. I have been badgering cousins and siblings for  photos and memories etc - in some cases it is a bit like getting blood out of a stone but I have now built up quite a collection - Grannie Ethel has been the hardest because she died when I was 8 months old and no-one seems to remember much what she did or liked or said. But I don't give up easily - I caught up with cousins not seem for years and one - Carol - very kindly gave me a poker worked tray which Ethel had made. I know we had a piece in our house but no idea where it went.

So that was very kind - poker work was all the rage back then and I intend to recreate this in my own way to fit in my work. Then my brother produced a few pieces but they were too large to even consider nicking off with.

My grave hopping involved checking out a few other relatives as well as grannies - on my way up I called into the Foxton Cemetery (my home town) and after checking out my parents and adding flowers to their graves, I spent ages looking for my great great grand parents who I never even knew existed and I wandered all over and was about to give up when I spotted two graves half way up a hill - and there they were - how exciting. Their own romantic spot - alone. Actually in the photos I had, his grave was lying on its side and was very black and impossible so I know someone else has cleaned up the pristine white marble. Anyway I had a chat to them (dead relations cannot answer you back or tell you off) and found them some roses and off I went.

My main trip was the Wanganui where I spent all day at both the old town cemetery and the new one where I found my grandparents straight off. They already had their own rose bush so that was good. In the old cemetery after I sorted how to, I found all the people I was looking for including Mr and Mrs Death and their daughter Miss Eustace Death.  I should have taken a photo - I guess with that name it is kind of inevitable. So now I can get further to work.

My other reason for going was for Bev's birthday - a weekend of excitement. Luncheon for 25 women on the Saturday - dim sum on Sunday and Monday night two of Bev's sons flew over from Qld to surprise her.  This is Bev and Ross on the Sunday.

Then I drove back to Wellington (I forgot to add how exciting was the Hurricanes game on the Friday night and now after the last game - they have won 14 from 16 and are at the top of the ladder with the finals coming up.) Wellington was wonderful as always. Coming home I scored a one-up - an upgrade so it was the end of a profitable week. Til next trip.

Back home I have been flat out but with a few orders still outstanding but we will catch up in the next few days. One thing which really bugged me - didn't have to be in NZ - could be anywhere - is when people ask you what you do - you think before you reply - I always say I sell threads and wait for the reaction. A cousin not seen for a long  long time, told me she didn't do crafty stuff as she had no where to store that sort of junk. Charming eh? All textile artists suffer this sort of fate - I don't sell my work - it is precious to me and I read an interview with Sue Spargo who made the same comment - same cousin asked why I bothered. I remain as unhelpful as I can with my answers. What about you?

Let's all have a good week - I have assembled and started stitching my Red Obsesion for Berry Patchwork exhibition.

Friday, May 29, 2015

what's happening in my world

 In New York last year I bought myself some lovely nail varnish - thought it was high time I used it on my nails as opposed to my work. However I now dare not touch anything so not sure what might happen this weekend when I get colouring and sticking etc for my several deadlines.

 This is the front cover for my Okarito book - and yes that really is me - I love those west coast beaches

 Boxes of new beautiful hand threads arrived this week so I took the opportunity to play - wove some wool felt and stitched with one and decorated my wold lady with another. Just deciding what colour hair and teaching myself drizzle stitch.

 Love roses and on my walk today I bought a bunch - not all of these though.

 Have to share the new threads - this is Eleganza = variegated perle 8

 This is Razzle variegated - rayon -

 Eleganza solid colours

Dazzle which is rayon with metallic - it is so exciting using them all and the colours are right up my alley - such a great palette of colours.
I have stitched with Dazzle - you just can't see the metallic strand so clearly. And for anyone who asks I am exclusively using the Sue Spargo Milliners #1 which I should have found years ago. If you want to check them out you can see them here - a new order is on its way already.

It's a long weekend here this weekend but i have rather a heap of deadlines to attend to so not much relaxing will be going on. The Hurricanes have won 12 out of 14 games - sadly they lost today but are still on top of the ladder - fingers crossed for their last two games. It has been an exciting season and well may it continue. Before the Rugby World Cup...


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