Sunday, May 10, 2015

finally finished my big kimberley dreaming

 I think I have finally finished my big Kimberley Dreaming - I have fiddled and added and stitched and played since about October last year - it is much bigger than what you need to make for the  Kimberley Dreaming Exhibition but I hope Elizabeth will hang it with it - now to move onto some small ones - I absolutely adore stitching by hand on Flimsies - and i have been working with our hand dyed silks threads in Medium and fine, in cotton, gimp, Painters threads in cotton floss, flower thread, metallic braid, rayon and Razzle and Dazzle (watch this space) and totally loving the Sue Spargo Milliners #1 needle. Should have tried this years ago!

 A detail - and I love stitching circles - I have used my embellisher to create these from Kimberley Dreaming merino wool and then added stitch.

 And some more detail - the colour is maybe a little too yellow but it works,

 Yesterday watched the rugby of course and the Hurricanes won their 10th game - they have only lost one game this season - exciting times

Prince Harry was at the game and so they seem to have renamed yesterday Harrycane

 They gave him a jersey and something for the new princess - very happy Captain Conrad

And Cory Jane looks pretty animated chatting away to Harry - wonder if he will remember what he said.

This week I am onto beaches - then back to my pintucks. I have spent all of today putting together new Victory Topic packs - they look so good but instead of eating them we are going to bbq again - still great weather for it.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

all of April in one go

 Well - just where did April go?  I had every intention of writing often in April - my blog is a wonderful diary and as I have them published every year, it has been fabulous to go back and see what I did and where we went. i need to turn over a new leaf on this one. One of my problems has been that when I post away, it either doesn't work or I get these huge out of control photos and I cannot work out why.

Anyway - I went to Ballarat to teach at the Autumn Leaves Seiner for the Embroiderers Guild - fabulous ladies in my class and generally a really nice event - well run and everyone was so very friendly. Every day they knew my good taste and we had sandwiches - lovely. My classes created some wonderful work - I love seeing how people run with my ideas - they are always polite and say they have enjoyed themselves so I always hope that is how it is. I loved them anyway and I didn't take many photos but suffice to say - it was great.

If you are wondering what a giant dog is doing on the blog of a cat lover - this is George - he is a lurcher and I have to say he lurched across the table and stole my cheese on toast, ate it all and then farted somewhat badly.  I had a wonderful host - Jo Maxwell who owns The Elephant Patch in Ballarat - a delightful little shop where, if she didn't sell Cottage Garden threads, we wouldn't clash at all. Loved her work and trying to work out how I could be more involved with her. It is ever so good for me to get out of my comfort zone and see what others are doing.

I also traded on the Friendship day and of course delighted to show people our new threads and needles and other excitements. My suitcases were pretty light coming back. I was also lucky to be collected from and returned to the airport by Alison Cole.

It was my birthday on the last day of the seminar and it was a surprise (and embarrassing) to be sung to at morning tea and presented with a little cake and candle - and autumn leaves - I did say a few times how much I love autumn which we don't get in Perth. Anyway, despite the plane leaving late, I arrived back in Perth with a few minutes to spare and a bunch of lovely roses plus from Ian.

Then as a reward we flew off to Broome for a few days break. The amazing thing about having cancelled our Broome Retreat is that people keep getting in touch about wanting to book and being disappointed. Sadly there is a moment when you have to make a decision. one such call was from NZ at 6am while we were sleeping in Broome. This is the back of our villa - we love coming to this place - have our own Weber Q and the pool and relax and there was almost nobody else there the whole time so we had the pool to ourselves. We even have our own outdoor light

 Plants are simple but sit the surroundings - I did lots of sketches this round - mostly of plants like this
 Love the way the frangipanis hang down - the frangipanis were very evident this trip - trees packed with flowers -
You don't always think of them as having long stems

On Saturday we went to the markets at the Court House - got ourselves lots of mango goodies and plenty of new soaps.

Several nights we indulged with fresh Exmouth King Prawns cooked on the bbq - these were marinated in yummy ingredients - so good we had them again the following night.

I did some weaving from a hank of hand dyed chifon sari ribbon - in readiness for stitching a slip or so on the top.

our last night and day was very wet - lovely - the skies were exciting and the camels were out as always

Behind the villa we stay in, there are these wonderful root structures

 This one in particular becasue I am working on a twin needle - pin tucking project (actually part of it will be my article in Issue 9 of our e-mag threads.In-fusion and perhaps the idea of wrapping and pintucking will feature.

 the tide was out at Cable Beach so went for a walk along the beach (actually Ian had deemed that we were going anyway) - I collected a heap of shells and while they don't show so well here, was interested in the strong orange colouring and of course the pintucking/twin needling ideas.

No way could I bring these rocks home but all these pintucks screaming out to me - how could I avoid them? Watch this space.

When I got home I succumbed to some strange illness - maybe a strange flu - maybe a bit of Ross River Virus - who knows?  Anyway I went to bed with an extremely painful foot and woke up with a fever and a headache like no other - for two days. All back to normal now. the few lost kilos were a bonus.

 but I have started on my playing - brought back Broome newspapers - of course - and twin needled them - layered, - stitched - burnt and some to start a slightly different book - this is the cover - right now loving exploring what I can do with these lovelies and expect to see them developed more.

My aim for May? To blog as often as I can

Thursday, March 19, 2015

transferring images

 I like transferring images of mine and Ian's photos onto my work and I also rarely look for perfect copy becasue, of course, nature isn't perfect. If I want really good clear images then I use TAP - Transfer Artist Paper - which gives the very best results - and believe me - over time I have tried lots of different ones. However I also have a few other favourite methods of transferring my images - i personally prefer not to use gels and other mediums but sometimes you just want to try something else.

Water soluble paper - which I have used to print on many times and to stitch on and wash out parts etc etc - then I came across a video made by Liz Kettle water soluble transfer using the paper to transfer images using a gel medium and I thought I would try it - I have seen it used to transfer images to soap whihc has fascinated me but as I don't make soap I haven't tried it. But I did try a few a while back and I wasn't happy at all with my efforts - maybe I was expecting too much. However the other day I decided to give it one last shot. The above is one of my pohutakawa photos and it mostly worked except right in the middle where the paper lifted but I can work around all of that.

Then I did a couple of others - Broome and Okarito where as you can see there are quite a few holes. Maybe more than I expected. But you could work around them.

Next I tried a few more and I am pretty happy with most of these - above is me in Marrakesh  and it is possibly the most successful.

 This is a drawing in Marrakesh

and a photo from Marrakesh

 and two of the donkey - first one I forgot to reverse the image and of course it worked best of all and then I reversed it and not so happy. But it does make the background look rather fragmented and worn which I like.

However I am pleased with my efforts - the old permission to play - and my little stash of images will be used in different places with added anything that takes my fancy. I transferred all of these onto polycotton. I found that once they were dry I could run them under the tap and wet them and have a go at removing the top fibrous bits. they do all feel a little too firm on my stash but I think plenty of manipulating might do the trick.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Swirly Whirls playing and finally some rain....

 We had a new shipment of Joggles stencils - all top ups apart from this new one - Swirly Whirls - I rather like this one so thought I would have a play.

 First I cut them into two separate stencils

 Next I took some Tissutex and my Inktense Blocks and did a rubbing

 which I sprayed with water and made it into a fibrous paper using cocoon strippings - this is something I show in my workshops - a wondrous way to create a paper cloth

Once all dry I free machined it all

Next I tried the second stencil and did another rubbin, wet it and made another piece of paper cloth

 which I stitched onto a page in my skecthbook -  a Khadi book

This is the stitching on the back - waiting to be coloured etc.

I sprayed through the stencil onto the facing page.

Very pleased with stencil - love doing rubbings on Tissutex - love making silk paper with cocoon strippings and the tissue and enjoy stitching and spraying as well.

To make the time even better - it has finally rained even though it is very muggy and the Hurricanes had a fabulous win yesterday.

What more could a girl want? ........ a studio tidy fairy to suddenly appear.........

Sunday, March 08, 2015

forever behind

2015 is so far proving to be a busy year and we have somehow got ourselves behind and only catching up slowly. Our little sojourn in Sydney was wonderful (apart from the humidity) - on the Sunday Grant had us walk down to the yacht club - well it was downhill and was actually a very nice walk apart from the fact that I struggled to see much with the sweat running down my specs. But - the main thing is I did survive and enjoyed the time away and we enjoyed the sailing etc and checking out Grant and Hannah's new house.

Since then - not sure - seem to be packaging and cutting and rolling and filling orders etc and in between getting a few little bits and pieces done. With the Hurricanes winning their 3rd game out of 3 - that is a  wonderful start - we went to the game here and the Force were a bit woeful - I enjoyed the game very much have to say. And I suddenly got a tiny bit interested in the cricket last weekend too (I think it was last weekend).

On Tuesday we went to Chilli Orange which is Kim and Anthony's restaurant - we used to go to Koinonia and Wot the Pho pretty often but this is only our second visit. it was lovely to see them and the food was wonderful as always. This was our scallop entree - very nice indeed.

 I have started a little series of work from our wonderful time in Marrakesh - there will be loads when I have finished and I plan to pop them in a little book as usual - I am playing at present with silk fibres and photos we took and stitch - not particularly clear but a record.

This is another and in a way it is a development of an idea that I have with technique - so far it is working very well.

 This one is waiting to grow

And my Graphitints because I have been using them on the surfaces - one of my favourites and about the only pencils I actually use.

Sadly we have had to cancel our Broome Retreat - sent out the newsletter to day but there will always be great things happening. I am teaching at the Berry Quilt Retreat in August and am amazed to hear how the bookings are going. I am in the process of persuading Ian to come and trade. I have been working on new workshops or rather changing some and adding others. It isn't so much about howmany classes i might get but more about what I am developing.


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