Thursday, August 31, 2006

Treetop Walk





On Sunday we went to Walpole and the Valley of the Giants and went on the Treetop Walk - we have been before - it's a super walk through the top of the giant trees. Then we walked through the Tingle Trees. Many years ago we used to camp at Coalmine Beach which is considered one of the best camping grounds in Australia. You can do a lovely walk around the Knob. The inlet is a lovely place too. I enjoy going down this way. And at the end we found the Nornalup Cafe Restaurant where we had the nicest lunch of the weekend. They deserve to do well - have only been there for a month - there is certainly nothing in Walpole.





This is the swing bridge on the treetops walk.





Here I am climbing through the Tingle Tree Walk. These trees often have hollow insides - maybe burnt out or fungus riddled. When our boys were little and we took them there, they did what all kids do and hid inside. More decorous this time.




Today a big shipment of threads arrived - little spools of our metallics - all 16,000 of them and just think, I have to put the labels on each one. Plus a whole lot more 6 strand floss to make our numbers up to 60 and I have seemingly lost 2 colours so tomorrow mornig I will have to go through them all again. I haven't done anything creative today apart from some knitting tonight. And no, Helen, you will have to wait. You can hassle me though to make sure I keep at it.....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wednesday

Late tonight because we watched the video of the rugby - just as well we didn't watch live as I would have been worried. However it turned out to be an excellent win.


Big Brook Dam below - we like to go for a walk around it - it is a great walk and sometimes you see blue wrens and other birds. Not much around this year but still a great walk.

You can see that I am always on the photos unfortunately which is why it was a coup to get the two of us. I am surely the most unphotogenic person around.


This is me sitting on the balcony in Pemberton - lovely bush below - cows mooing beyond. There is a swamp down there where I imagine the noisy little swamp hens went when they weren't tapping on our bedroom window before it was time to wake up.


One thing we noticed this year that there were fewer people around and we wondered if the wine glut and the higher price of petrol is having an effect. We went to eat at Jarrajacks on the Friday - we went there last year when it first opened (a micro Brewery with a restaurant) and the atmosphere was great, the place packed, the staff in fine form and the food great. This year there was hardly anyone there - the atmosphere was tired, the staff disinterested and the food nothing memorable at all. Very disappointing. We did have a great lunch in town though the next day and a very nice evening meal on the last night. The rest of the time we cooked and ate in our little house.

I love the area - karri trees are only found in this area and if only they could talk....

I have been having great fun with my embellisher - I got an idea which is working a treat. But - I have decided to be selfish and keep it for the book - yes - the book. I am working on the chapter on the embellisher and needlefelting - I think this machine has great potential for things other than what I have seen so far. So watch this space - hopefully it will be ready by the end of the year. I am working on a variety of surfaces.

More pics tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

bit of down southwest




Forgot to take the Wales book with us - we did have almost the rest of the house though - so I am only just looking at it tonight and I have found the area of the place I could never pronounce. I am thinking that we will be in Pembrokeshire and probably not going much further - it is to be a week of r and r you know....
This is a rare pic of both of us - taken by Ian - first time he has tried this and amazingly it worked. It is because I object to being in every photo.

Pemberton, down in the southwest of WA, is the closest place to the climate I love - real green grass and healthy cows and all those wonderful tall trees. Karri trees are particular to this neck of the woods. We stayed in a place called Peppermint Retreat - very luxurious and quiet and relaxing apart from the swam hens who woke us each morning tapping on our window, and the cows mooing and the family of kookaburras. I think it is probably quieter in Highgate at night.....

More pics tomorrow as it is late but this is where we stayed - we read, we walked, we ate, I painted and sketched and wrote but didn't stitch or knit - amazing. We didn't go to Donelly River this time, Hannah. We went last year. This year we were lazier. This is the fourth year we have snuck down to Pemberton. It was warmer and hardly rained.

Be back tomorrow - very busy today but once I have filled the three enormous remaining orders in the morning I am hoping to get to my embellisher - I have a few ideas. Going away anywhere always gives me ideas. I have been knitting tonight watching a current affairs programme so I am off to play on the embellisher with my efforts.

We did pop down to our local, the Brisbane, tonight. I think they really would miss us if we forgot again!

Monday, August 28, 2006

back and busy


Well we are back home after a lovely 4 days and I will post pics and info tomorrow - you do, of course, pay for going away but I have managed to get nearly all the orders out tonight and am off to tackle the washing (9.15pm). In the meantime, Grant has been sailing in his 18ft skiff in San Francisco - he's the one with the blue legs in the pic. The wind was around 20 knots most races so you can see they are concentrating.

And -the All Blacks beat the South Africans pretty easily on Saturday night - not that we watched it but we are sure Jaslyn has a video for us. Ian did phone all around Pemberton but the only place with pay tv were the rooms at the hotel and I did not fancy moving beds for a night when I was staying in a lovely place.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Plas Tan Y Bwlch

I can't even find it on my map, girls! We are staying not too far from St Davids. I shall take the Wales travel book with me this weekend to read. And the camera to take some pics to show you of the southwest.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

off for r an r




tomorrow we are going to the south west of our state - to Pemberton - for 4 days r and r. Ian says we are doing nothing but I seemed to have packed my papers, glue, paints, stamps, needles and thread - he hasn't seen them yet - along with my books, my sketch book, my computer(so I can work on my Sketch-It programme) and my knitting needles and anything else I can lay my hands on. We go walking in the forest and have lazy lunches and go exploring. It is usually raining and cold at this time of the year - wonderful! These pics are all of the karri forests and the lake. Might see some willy wagtails too if we are lucky.

To answer a few questions
Jenny - it takes about 5 - 7 days for parcels to get to the UK

Margaret - bread and butter pudding in North Wales has a lot of appeal. We bought a travel book on Wales today and will take it away with us.

Leanne - annealing copper shim is heating it to make it soft so it is easy to stitch on. I hold it with tongs over the gas element on the stove or over the bbq if I remember. It changes colours as well which is exciting. You can also pickle it in tomato chutney which gives it a great colour. Just make sure you label the jar tough in case others think it would be good to eat! There are a lot of strange things in my fridge. Ian is always wary.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

more busy day

Flat out today invoicing and sending out all of the Quilting Arts - apparently we have really got lucky and are just about the first anywhere to get this issue. Good old UPS (Useless Parcel Service - the very same people who let us down in London last year) managed to lose one box for a day in Singapore but it turned up late this afternoon in a not very good state.Luckily the mags inside are alright.


Copper Tissue - I should clarify this - it really is real copper - a very fine shim - and there has been a lot of talk about the rising price of copper and the fact that it is being stolen from everywhere. We will need to lock our big roll away! The reason I am excited with it is that it is a lot softer than shim and lots of people are frightened to stitch on the shim although it is fine once you have annealed it. Our biggest problem is that it is very hard to get hold of in Australia and this fine one was a bonus find.




I also got these wonderful silk sewing threads for stock. They are around a 40weight and lovely to stitch with.

Off to our local pub for dinner where they keep us a table on Tuesdays. Turns out we are such good regulars that we got a complimentary bread and butter pudding - all a bit decadent especially since we are both on our health kick..... But very nice. Haven't had bread and butter pudding for years. Next thing we will be thinking about roley poley pudding - ah the decadence of lost years gone by and good stodgy pommie food.......

Monday, August 21, 2006

monday madness before tuesday more madness


busy today and then the latest Quilting Arts 23 arrived. We weren't expecting it for at least a couple of weeks. Got some sent out but tomorrow will be bedlam getting them all away. Great issue as always (managed a tiny flick through during my coffee break). I did manage a bit of stitching for the tiny cushions for my Shiva article sort of semi abandoned some weeks ago but which must go on Wednesday.....

Sunday, August 20, 2006

copper tissue and little book




Here is the little book I made today - I have used hand dyed tissutex on both sides - the inside is stitched and printed with a frangipani stamp and the new lumieres - metallic rust and orange - just right. The outside is copper tissue flower punched and stitched on. Made a cord and used a few rusted papers from my stash for the book pages. I have had a bit of fun with this. I have also found that the copper tissue patinates nicely, it can be crumbled and pleated and put through the crimper and great to stitch motifs on Romeo cold water soluble.

copper tissue and stuff




Joanna from New York sent me a lovely ATC so I have just made one to send her.

Still playing with the copper tissue and my flower cutter. This is what it looks like - I have had heaps of emails asking about it - I might consider getting some in to sell. It's very strong - too strong for cutting tissutex I discovered this morning,but wonderful for the copper tissue and watercolour and handmade papers. it is sitting on my polished concrete floor!

I have also made a little book which just needs its beads but we are off to Tarts for coffee so I will finish it and load it when we get back. Not raining today but what you might call a winter's day - windy and miserable.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday Celebrations

An exciting win to the All Blacks this afternoon against the Wallabies. All a bit scary in the first half though. The ABs have won the Bledisloe Cup and the Tri Nations and they haven't lost at Eden Park since 1986 - roll on the World Cup next year.

I have been working though so watch this space tomorrow.....

Friday, August 18, 2006

playing with copper tissue



We have had a shipment of this fabulous fine copper tissue which I have punched with my flower punch and stitched a couple of samples using both the positive and negative images. It's great - easy to stitch on and easily manipulated. I shall roll some beads and try patinating tomorrow. Not a crusty vessel yet I know but I am experimenting towards this end. Lots of ideas to try. I might make a little book cover tomorrow and use the tissue for beads. And use some of my rusted papers for inside. This has grown out of my Frangipani play from Broome so I am stitching with my Kimberley Dreaming threads.

Off to dinner with Serena and Frank tonight at Cafe Martino after a busy week.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Celebrity ATCs




These are the last but not least of the Celebrity ATCs - now I will have to start sending them their swaps. We are runnind another ATC Challenge at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne in February (must be mad) and I am hoping to persuade some more celebrities to participate. These ones are from Jacinta Leishman - textile artist extraordinaire from Melbourne.

The ATCs have been wonderful - all so different - I hope everyone visiting has enjoyed seeing them. Lots of us work away in isolation and it is lovely to see others work.

We have been extremely busy again today but tomorrow I have promised myself most of the day in the studio. Watch this space.

The saga of the painter is continuing. Okay he has finished the job - badly if we may say so - but now he is trying to rip us off for a large extra payment. The builder in his wisdom has paid him already - silly man. The building situation is not good as there is so much work going on here in the west - we shall see. For sure this housing price craziness is going to stop. The rising petrol price is upsetting everyone. We spend $20 a fortnight on petrol........

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

wet tuesday


Wow - have we had lots of rain today. Every time I thought I would go to the studio it rained and rained. Quite stormy but nice really. This is a pic of my playing with the new fabric I am getting a giant roll of. I have done rubbings with shiva stik and ironed it to panne velvet and then stamped on 2 pieces and stitched flowers. I attacked these with a heat gun and painted on them with Twinkling H20s. Underneath I have hand stitched on some of the heavy paper and metal shim which I punched out using my new flower punch. Plus I have managed to add three of the tiny tags I found. What I have discovered is that the fabric works a treat which is just as well as I have 1000 metres coming!

Tonight Val and Jim came around and we sat in the studio for a glass of wine and then popped down to the Brisbane for fish 'n chips. A good night but still raining. Perth needs it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

more celebrity atcs




Today's Celebrity ATCs were made by Margaret Roberts (aka digital gran) from Wales - Mags is a very clever lady on the computer and puts people like me to shame. Tomorrow I will start sending back the ATC swaps from Perth - in case everyone is wondering.

I want to go up to the studio about now (9.30pm) but it is simply pouring cats and dogs so I will have to wait until tomorrow to finish my piece from yesterday. We have been so busy today I haven't got that far.

We saw a really funny sight last night when we were at San Marco. A guy came on his motorbike to get fish and chips from the place next door and he had a German Shepherd sitting on the front of his motorbike wearing his own sunglasses. I expect he got his fair share of food as well. He probably loves driving around with his owner.

Lots of parcels today including some lovely samples of metallic threads for me to test. Tomorrow.... Also lots of books back in stock along with the 2007 Quilting Arts Calender. Very nice it is.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

lazy but satisfying Sunday

After a dramatic start to Sat - at 4.30am the heavens opened and down came the rain and we had boxes stacked on the verandah on the wrong side waiting to go to our lock up. We were both out of bed in a shot to drag them clear and then we went back to bed all wet and cold. After that we had a very pleasant weekend luxuriating in the studio. It's all finished and Ian has made a temporary brick path which makes it feel like a real building. Having to negotiate planks kept making it feel like it was still a building site and we kept carting sand in on our shoes. Now we have a door mat! We have both been working up there - yes I am having to share some of my space! Where ever you are working gives a different view of the back garden looking back towards the house. We have been here since mid 1992 and it is interesting that we are seeing different things. We sit outside a lot but the studio is slightly higher. Today is one year since we lifted the old paving and I sawed the branch off the mulberry tree. We had no idea that it would take a whole year! I have cleared out well over half of the indoor studio (I know it doesn't look like it) but I threw out heaps of stuff today and on Friday I stacked a pile of mags outside the front door. All of the Somerset Studios have been taken but if anyone is living in Perth and wants Machine Embroidery, Textile Fibre Forum, Workbox or Threads mags, feel free to swing by and help yourself. There are even some watercolour pencils and crayons on the pile as well. I had a very good solid trolley with pullout containers which I popped out on the road - about 5 minutes later I saw a happy chappy rolling it down the road. Very easy to get rid of things around here. I have been discarding cane baskets and one lot goes before I can get the next lot out.


I have started lots of preparatory work for my vessels - sparying my Chinese newspaper with Moonshadow Mist - a change from distress inks and I love the mica on the surface. Then I have stitched it to felt which has webbing also sprayed with MM and scraped most of the residue away. I have also been testing a new fabric to take the place of nappy liners now that my stash is running low - and this fabric is fabulous. It comes 80cm wide. Gotta think of a name for it. I have done the usual of shiva rubbing and ironing it to panne velvet and to acrylic felt and sprayed the surface with MM and stitched some large patterns with gold thread. The gold thread doesn't show up but sinks more into the surface. Because I am also working away on things associated with my frangipani book, I stamped one surface with a flower stamp and stitched it and then hit it with the heat gun - what a lovely result - I have laid this on top and in between have popped a few flowers made with one of my new punches and painted with H2os - I will post some pics tomorrow.

Sat night I went to the Western Dollmakers 10th anniversary dinner - a very pleasant night apart from the fact that I had to give a talk. I felt a real fraud since I am no dollmaker! It is very interesting to see that they have been going for as long as we have. Some of the dolls made by the good folk in WA are absolutely fantastic (they haven't paid me to say that) - there are some very talented people here and I reckon I see the best of the dolls home grown. I have known quite a number of the dollmakers for a long time - Perth is a small town when all is said and done.

This pic is of a bag which I often have hanging on display at shows - people keep asking me for a kit. I made it from lots of left over hand threads - rayon and silk - and just knitted sections and crocheted them together. Looking at what I had used I figured it would cost well over $120 for the yarn for a kit so I haven't bothered. But - it is very important that people simply use their imagination. It's only garter stitch and a collection of threads in what must almost be my signature working colours. Time I changed I think. I don't knit scarves or jerseys these days but I like to use up my bits and pieces for little things. Princess H this year had a knitted waist piece.

This is a photo of my mother taken a long time ago - she is in a home now and feeling lonely and lost and my sister tells me she has lost her short term memory - mind you haven't many of us! Ian can't find his screwdrivers - last seen in the studio and that is still very tidy and organised. Anyway Bev has been printing off my blog and taking it to Mum to read. I hope she enjoys seeing this photo which I found in my notebook of writings about my family.

We finished our weekend off with a visit to San Marco - the restaurant of Martien and Luigi - where Ian had the best spag bol in town and I had the best Tripe - Luigi just happened to have some - yummy. Then home to watch the next episode of Bleak House and Grant phoned to catch up. He has sailed to La Rochelle and back and was lying on the beach in Cornwall resting from kite surfing. On Friday he is off San Francisco to sail in the 18ft skiffs. What a life. We are back to work tomorrow instead.

Thanks to all the people who write comments - I enjoy reading them. Ian's beanie was made for him by some of the girls at forum in Geelong - it has 3 antennae on the top so he can comminicate with the moon - apparently nothing coming in so far. He wears it all the time and even to bed when he has a cold. And no - I don't have one. I just have my possie gloves.

Friday, August 11, 2006

friday

Ian took this pic today for the About Us on our website for today the builder phoned to confirm that all the things he was commissioned to do have in fact been done! We have changed our minds about brick paving and now are going to have wooden decking so Jim the chippie is coming around to show us his photos - we will look forward to that. My chopping table arrived so off to have a good look and move it into place. I spent some of my time today frustratedly waiting in line at Spotlight (hate that shop) buying white netting (no - not for my tutu but for the silk fusion and felt making kits). Getting served is like waiting for Godot. Then I had to wade through Ikea where there were hundreds of people (what were they all doing? Ian thinks practising for the Saturday morning shopping expedition) and I only wanted a pack of wheels for my trolley. This took nearly 2 hours of my precious time.....

Last night we went to a fabulous concert by the Australian Chamber Orchestra - they are wonderful - and it included the amazing Teddy Tahu Rhodes - he surely can sing. I think they are a wonderful orchestra of world standing. Richard Tognetti a very talented man running the show.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

wednesday

Here we are at Darling Harbour Quilt Show in June - remarkably sane after all that work. Don't you love the beanie?
Compulsory admiration of the new watch.....
Dale was away shopping apparently but here are Robin, Lesley, Sue and Ian - you would think they would all be working wouldn't you instead of standing around having their pics taken. Actually, we have the loveliest people working for us. They have all taught us so much - including how to hang the plastic bags on the wall instead of bending down for every sale, and they bring us morning tea and insist that we have a break as well. We wouldn't be without them.

This is the three of the gang at Darling Harbour show - Ian, Dale and Lesley.

Nearly finished all of the unpacking etc today and cleaned all the window frames etc in the studio - sunflowers in the window and sorting through more stuff. Will be ready for a pic soon. Iam having a wonderful time testing the hot and cold water. Kelvin has sent me an enormous collection of Chinese newspapers so I had better get working....

BTW - we forgot to visit our local pub last night for dinner since we ate at home but never fear - we are off there tonight....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

getting there





Putting things back into place is very boring but I am getting there. We had our planned sleep-in this morning - well Ian did. I woke at 6am and might as well have got up since I was wide awake. I think the reticulation next door woke me up actually. I put a few things out then run away and do something much more interesting but I tried to discipline myself to finish most of it and also start my counting and reordering. I prioritse the ordering in a way - if someone needs something that we are out of, I do those first. We sold a lot of books - this never fails to amaze me. It must be that book shops just don't carry the books we care about - Maggie Grey and Val Campbell-Harding's new book is out in UK and mine should be here early next week but don't email me yet - it's not due until October although my little spy is going to hassle the Batsford people since they are in Australia this week for a conference.

I have put all of my stuff away in the studio and today I got another nice little collection of stamps - I have never really looked at other websites for stamps but I found some very interesting ones which I decided to order - the Queen of Hearts and a few others. I had a little play with embossing on velvet today having been reinspired by Jacinta. Lucky me - she has left me a pile of samples to play with. The sad part about the show was that her wallet disapeared somewhere near the end. So frustrating and I had been watching her stuff so carefully.

Anyway, now the bulk of the work is done, I shall be up working tomorrow. Today I was invited to teach at AQC (Aust Quilt Convention) in Melbourne next February - I gave them a list to select from and they chose Fragments and Frescoes - just a one day workshop. I want to change it and add some new ideas I have and of course I only have a few days to do this. C'est la vie....

Today's celebrity ATCs are from Ken Smith - machine embroiderer extraordinaire. Ken is too meticulous for me but I do admire his work very much. His attention to detail is superb to say the least.

Lucky Grant is sailing from Cowes to La Rochelle these few days - lucky thing. Guess we can't do everything.....

BTW - we have eaten at home 2 nights in a row.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Wild and Woolly Monday

We were greeted early this morning by the plumbers - yeah. They came to connect the studio up to water. So now it is all complete - hot and cold running water. As soon as I get a moment I will be up there cleaning all the window surrounds and off to look at big work tables. We are still deciding now whether to have wooden decking instead of the brick paving. But today would not be the day to be doing anything. It is very windy and stormy and down in Australind - about 2 hours south of Perth - there was a tornado. Highest minimum temp for Perth in August though. We had just got the van emptied when the rain and wind roared in again. Most stuff is stacked on the verandah while I start putting it back into place and counting and reordering etc. All while trying to do the orders which have piled up since last Thursday. People always tell me how good it would be if we sold out at a show - I couldn't think of anything worse. I have to start reordering all over again.

Hence no time for pics today but I have been collecting new ideas and plotting up some new things. It was lovely having Jacinta over and I enjoyed seeing what she is doing - has got me all excited about wanting to get to work. She was busy demoing embossed velvet - something I haven't done for a while and she also bought me over some punches with tags. I have this idea to use tags at present and I hadn't actually realised you could make them with a punch. I never look at those things normally. I have been having a wonderful time punching tags in some of my already painted watercolour paper. I also bought some hinges and tiny keys at the show - looking for medieval ideas still and thinking about how I can hinge things. It is interesting how you start changing direction a bit - just a tiny bit. As soon as the stuff is away and things are back to normal I shall be off to get playing with my crusty vessel ideas.

I got a lovely little parcel of unmounted text and letter stamps from Ma Vinci stamps today. I am busy collecting text for backgrounds.

Last night after we parked the van next door safe and sound and emptied the car, we treated ourselves to a very nice meal at Must Bar - before we fell asleep. Tonight we are off to bed to read and tuck in all warm listening to the storm.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

breezing in

Just breezing in early on Sunday morning to say we are having a busy show - we managed to get everything there and set up without being totally worn out and we have certainly been sleeping well each night. Meeting up with lots of lovely customers - the ATCs all look fabulous and Jacinta Leishman, who is our guest this year, is doing all sorts of wonderful creative things on the stand. The workshops run by her and Pam Annesley and Chris Atkins are going very well. I think all the participants have been enjoying themsleves.

For the foodies out there following our eating-out habits - we had a wonderful meal at Wagamama on set up night, and Enimem on Friday night, and last night after watching the rugby where Aust were very lucky to beat South Africa, we popped over to the Vietnamese restaurant opposite the pub. We drank champagne to celebrate Grant's boat - (he was sailing on it) Fair Do win at Cowes Week - yeah! He was pretty pleased with himself when he phoned yesterday.

Lots of packing tonight but Bruce is coming to help and we can't sleep in tomorrow as we will be unpacking the van but Tuesday morning we are going to have a little sleep in - can't wait to be able to get into the studio in the next few days - desperately wanting to play.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

wednesday




Wot a frantic day we have had today. The plan was to pick up the van and fill it up and take everything to the showgrounds so we could set up leisurely tomorrow for the Perth show. However, we have been so frenetic all day that the van sits empty but at least I have packed up everything at our lockup ready for tomorrow morning. Then in the morning I have to pack up everything here first thing. We still hope to be finished at a respectable time. This is the time that we wonder why we are doing shows and knowing why we don't do many. It is worse, in a way, in your home town - at least for Sydney etc the stuff goes early and you have a respite from that time until you pack suitcases etc. Every which way it's a drama but come Friday morning we will be firing on all cylinders. In the meantime it's not Darby and Joan but packhorse and workhorse..... Fortunately Kazuko came today as there were so many orders it was unbelievable.

Yesterday there were 29,000 hits to our website - wow! And 150 visitors came to read my blog. I hope it is worth it.....

Today's Celebrity ATCs are from Sarah Lawrence. Aren't they gorgeous? She reckons that she is a constructionist and I am the deconstructionist, but I can see evidence of deconstruction in these.

Thanks to all those who have asked about my mother. She moved into a nursing home today and my sister tells me she is sort of settled although confused about why she is there. It is awful getting old..... I plan never to.....

Beryl Taylor's book Mixed Media Techniques continues to virtually float out the door. The second shipment will be gone for sure by the end of the weekend so I have ordered another round. It is such a beautiful book visually and Quilting Arts are to be congratulated on it. (and Beryl too of course).

Probably won't get back to post until the show is over - there are still a few more Celebrities to share. Plus I have received Shanghai newsapers so can be thinking about and maybe getting on with my vessels.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

good and bad


The good news is that the painter came - not at 9.30am (did anyone imagine he would?) but at 11.15 after the very cross builder phoned him. This time it was the boss painter and he knocked on the door to ask me what he needed to do! I told him to phone the builder because quite frankly, if he didn't know, then why is he a painter? I didn't tell him that but I should have. He stayed 10 minutes, maybe 15 at the most, and he will have to return I am saddened to say - he has used what looks like a shiny varnish and slopped it on very thickly - only one panel left to do, you have to understand, but that panel stands out like an eyesore - sticky, tacky, smeary and shiny. Oh dear.... means we don't pay the last part yet I guess. We shall carry on regardless. This little 'extra' has only taken since May 10th.

I spent all morning sending out the newsletter and the next one will be so much easier now that we are using a group. One push of the button is all it will take instead of sending to 50 people at a time. I think that is my excuse for not writing the newsletter as often as I might. I only stuffed up one posting and sent 50 people information on Playways before they got their newsletter. No-one has sent me a nasty email so all must be well. I am now letting all of our good customers go to our website and subscribe on their own but I have helped a few people who have asked.

Lots of rain again today and we are hoping it will ease a little as tomorrow we will be packing up our stuff for the Perth show. Piles of ATCs came in today so there should be a lovely display.

Pic today is of my finished Medieval pocket book - as finished as it will be at the moment. It has 16 pockets and 16 tags all decorated and most of the pockets have something on them. The page you can see had a digitised D so you know it's mine. The cords top and bottom have little beads made with panne velvet and foil. I will come back and fill the last bits later but in the meantime I want to start on my crusty vessels based on my study of the bronze vessels in the Shanghai museum. I asked my friend Kelvin if he could send me a Shanghai newspaper (in Chinese) and because he is anxious to do the right thing, he wanted to know what sort of paper - travel, sport, news etc - I don't really care as it will be in Chinese! I plan to use the newspaper as part of the insides. Watch this space. In the meantime we have a show to get on the road so it will be next week.

Plus - our new shipment of threads - the Whimsical ones - arrived today so I have been busy packaging them as well. In the shipment was a large box of very fine copper foil - quite tissue -like which is oging to be great for stitching on, crimping, manipulating, patinating etc etc. Very exciting. I love it when we get new things I have been chasing for some time.

And for those who have asked - yes we went to our local - the Brisbane hotel - for dinner tonight. They greet us like regulars....

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