Wednesday, September 29, 2010

little play, little more work

I have been trying out some of the tips which come with the Versa Tool - this is using the Transfer Point - I printed an image in black and white through the laser printer and transferred it to a grotty piece of calico I had lying around. Then I sprayed it with Moonshadow mist and Starburst Spray - pleased with the result - obviously a lot more things to play with.

The latest Quilting Arts #47 arrived this afternoon - we have processed about half and they will go out tomorrow. It is lovely to see an article by Kathy Kerstetter - thanks for the acknowledgement Kathy! This is her Dandelion - beautiful work. I have such wonderful students.
When I was in Hamilton I went to the Artspost exhibition and enjoyed seeing Leanne's work - naturally my camera spat the dummy but Leanne has sent me a picture. She tells me they are off to Minerva in Wellington next.
I am sorry you are going to have to turn your head on the side to see these - they came to me upright and i imported them in upright but blogger has truend them around. If I can sort them I will change it!

Tonight we are off to the ACO concert - should be good of course.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

our fabulous new Versa tools

Such excitement - a phone call to say the tools would be delivered between 12 and 1 and so they were - had to get mine out first to test - imagine if they didn't work?? Anyway - it is fabulous and I feel rather done in for the past so many years. Here is mine on the kitchen bench on its stand - it heats up so fast and is so quick to slice through kunin felt. It has lots of tips but this is the fine one for the stuff I love to do. I shall explore another tip or two tomorrow - it has one for stencils, for cuttting, embossing and more.

I stitched a few rows on some black kunin felt - and lay it on an old cake tin - I usually use my marble worktop or a sheet of glass but I was in the kitchen and Ian was not keen that I might crack the tiles..... as if I would.
Then I ran the tip down the side of the stitch and into the holes just like slicing through butter - for anyone who hasn't tried this - I am using rayon thread - never use polyester or it will disappear and you will be cross.

I made a few slits on a piece of kunin felt and threaded one of the stitched rows through it - bit blurry sorry.
We sent out loads today and have more to send tomorrow  - I am afraid we spend time admiring it and time slipped by. Plus we had quite a few other big parcels arrive as well and with my new tidy kitchen regime I cleared everything up pretty fast. All the rest will go out tomorrow. BUT - I did send out most of the Product of the Month's - a little early but I am trying to be organised before we go away and there is always plenty to do. Newsletter to write for instance, a couple of pockets to sew and some flowers to work on.

This is last hight's bbq - pink snapper, red pepper salad, and a rocket and avocado salad and champagne to celebrate something for sure. Tonight we are off to Borolo up the road in celebration of this wonderful shipment of stuff. The Walnut Hollow people are to be congratulated for producing such a fabulous tool and I am only sorry we didn't do it earlier.

Monday, September 27, 2010

another public holiday today



I can't remember what it is for but we have another public holiday but we have just worked on anyway. Ian has been sorting out the reticulation with a timer for while we are away and loaded the Createx Versa Tool onto the website. Of course it didn't come today because contrary to what anyone else says, delivery people don't on public holidays because they are having a day off too. The flame plant is still looking very good - there are 4 of them and they are all starting to flower very nicely. The kangaroo paws still alive are looking glorious and when we come back we will have to close our eyes and replant all the ones which died. The bottlebrush is also out in flower and starting to look super - the birds love our garden. We have started tidying up the back garden as well.
Max is in Reefton hospital and Barb sent us this photo of him today - he looks better than when we saw him. It's difficult when you are far away. I think Barbara needs to change the date on her camera.....


I have been playing a little more with the new discharge gel which I hope Ian will get onto the web this week.This is on a hand dyed fabric which I got from Kirri at Tuilis Fabrics - the purple colours in the dye show through so it is quite interesting. The gel is easy to use - non toxic and once it is dry you just iron it. Then I washed these two pieces of fabric. The fern is a stamp, the leaves a Stylish Stencil - I applied the gel kind of right to the edge. I will add some colour back in. you can also get the gel in colours but I haven't decided whether I will bring them in or not as yet.

Last night we went to a fabulous movie - BOY - lots of things to think about but so refreshing and realistic. Recommend it to anyone.

Here is my Versa Tool in its case - ooh - do hope they arrive tomorrow - there are lots of people waiting for them - and trust me - we do have a lot coming in the shipment. Very exciting. And having a case means that I won't lose parts - right now I have lost a bag of samples.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

a wedding


Yesterday we went to Cara and Vernon's wedding - a lovely day in all ways. Found a new pair of red shoes waiting to be worn and they lasted all afternoon and night which is a good sign especially when it looked like we might have to walk home after the reception.
Here is the swizzy side of them - I am still trying to work out what blogger is actually doing to my pics. Very comfy they are.

Here is Ian all scrubbed up waiting for the taxi to go to the reception.

The lovely Cara and Vernon - a bit dark I know but not bad taken indoors with an i-phone. We have known Cara since she was born in Tokoroa.

and here is her proud Ma who kept telling me she had made the wedding cake but I know better.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday morning eye candy



Amazingly, the kitchen is still almost pristine and staying that way. Just the pile of stuff on top of the microwave and we won't know ourselves. In fact when I got up this morning, the kitchen looked too wide a space. Shows how long that big container has been there. I found all sorts of interesting things in it now happily dispersed into new places. You are correct, Jacinta, about Royal Shiraz being so lovely - the slushies look like you could smother yourself in the colours. This colour theme was inspired by our trip under the river in Shanghai - all flashing lights and totally mesmerising. I just had to create thread with these colours.

Some of the many flimsies I cut and rolled this morning - I am still trying to work out what is happening with my pics from i-phone to computer - I have been photographing them with the camera upside down so they arrive at the computer somewhat the way I think they should but then when I load them onto blogger they change again. Fascinating to say the least.

Jacinta has gone to Queensland for a well-earned holiday after a week of dyeing like crazy for us and for Rae - if you are going to Geelong Forum, do go and see Rae and what lovely stuff she will have and of course if you are coming to Ally Pally in almost 2 weeks time, do come and see what lovely stuff we will have. About to book an apartment for our week's holiday after London. Wonder where we are going this year?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday eye candy


 Here is the White Heron we saw in Okarito - they must have just started arriving as the season starts a little later so this was a bonus on our walk one beautiful day

 Then the wonderful rough beach - I expect it has been very rough lately with  he mega storms.

Actually our kitchen is pretty eye candy today. I managed to finish the Ally Pally boxes a day early and Ian got them off to the carriers yesterday and they are probably almost in UK right now and off to Brighton for a little holiday before they go to London. So I have used today to clean up the large container in the kitchen where I have been heaping stuff for ages and ages. Amazing what I found. Lots of bunny yarn which Jacinta dyes and sends my way - now it is all wound. $3 a hank. I am having trouble with my i-phone pics - I send them to the computer - they arrive on their side - I turn them round and copy them etc but today blogger turned them back again. Too hard - you will have to put your head on an angle....

 Then I finally cut all the hand dyed silk gauze whihc Rae has been sending me and I have been stuffing into the big container. Veyr impressive. I also cut up loads of hand dyed tissue silk but it's not quite done yet. And I packaged all the silk, slushies and wool which Jacinta has sent this week. Flimsies are outside drying but they are tomorrow morning's little task. Ian is most impressed and has been rushing around with the vacuum cleaner. Still more to do over the weekend but by Monday the kitchen will be totally uncluttered with business stuff - might be the first time for a long long time. Let's keep it that way.


This is the Cape Flame - on its side - in our garden. We have 4 of them and they are rather beautiful. Australia makes up for its vastness with very strong colours. Our beautiful kangaroo paws are not well and will all have to be replanted but this will be when we are back so we can water them.

Last night was glorious - it's that time of the year - and we had a bbq in our garden and will do the same tonight - different food. This weekend will be clean up garden and off to Cara and Vernon's wedding. A full on weekend which will include cleaning up the studio as well and getting  creative.

The Creative Versa tool is in Peth and has been all week - Customs must be checking each one - we will have them next week - lots of people are waiting for it - obviously a special price and a special extra treat for our customers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

i-phone flowers


Well you may ask what these are. These are what your husband brings you when your i-phone dies and has to go to terminal hospital and you sulk. Geraldton wax at the bottom, red roses and silver dollar eucalyptus. Very lovely. And yes my i-phone has now become a brand new i-phone except that I have lost 300 photos and now have 5000 people in my contacts - last time I manually deleted but I forgot to push whatever button I needed to push to prevent it happening again. Other than that I am happy again but with lovely flowers.

I am nearly done with the packing for Ally Pally although it will take me two more days because I have cutting and rolling and packaging and stuff to go for the last boxes. Here are the silk stacks I have stacked together - they look beautiful all together. Just need to tie the labels on.

Here is my Okarito book - just a couple more pages to make and then I shall bind it all together. The velvet is looking lovely and wrinkly - I am pleased with the progress - it will soon be finished..The trouble with this new phone is that it takes the pics okay but by the time they arrive at my computer they have turned on their side.

I have been in thought and discussion for 2011 challenge and will start putting it together before I write the newsletter. if you want to know more just sign up for our newsletter. It is going to be exciting I think, with lots of possible variations. This year's challenge - Textile Tantrums, is going to be featured in NZ Threads and in Down Under Textiles. Deborah tells me DUT#3 is at the printers and I know she must be working on #4 because that is where the Tantrums will be and where I will have an article which I have yet to write.....

Back to work - time to write all the labels for the stacks.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

a little trip down south


Yesterday I went down to Banksia Springs in Dwellingup to the Designing Women retreat. The weather was glorious.  Jaslyn has been trying to persuade me to go for quite a few years (I don't belong to many textile groups not because I don't necessarily want to but because I am often away and couldn't do justice as a member. We only went for one night but I really enjoyed it - today everyone was dyeing in eucalyptus leaves - it is a long time since I did any natural dyeing and I am motivated to do some more. I used to dye a lot with lichen when I was spinning my own wool in NZ. So I might try my hand the week after next.


I haven't been to Dwellingup before - it is about one and half hours south of Perth on the middle road - lovely spot and Banksia Springs has a couple of cottage and this sort of conference spot. A great place for a workshop. If I ran a residential workshop this would be an excellent place for it. And great food. I even had a chance to do a little more dry felting, stitching and wet felting my little Okarito book. It should be finished soon.

Grant is down for the weekend so it is good to see him. Tomorrow I expect to be busy packing up more boxes for London.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

just where does the time go?

I arrived back on Monday and suddenly it is Thursday night - amazing. On Monday I decided to drive back to Auckland through the Waikato - it took me ages to actually get out of Hamilton and 5 people with bad advice before I got the right road. Amazing. I drove up through Morrinsville - as you can see it is nice and green. I tried hard to bring some rain back with me but all to no avail. They have had a lot of rain and we have had little.
these are the cows - laid back, healthy and stress free - all that green grass.
Lots of beautiful magnolia tulip trees around - my mother used to have one in her garden and I love them. Haven't seen any in Perth. I had a good flight back apart from the charming child who kicked the back of my chair for 5 out of the 7 hours. Fortunately we ended up at Cantina which made up for it - so a lovely meal before I went and a lovely meal when I returned. Not sure about what I ate in between apart from the asparagus rolls and club sandwiches. Ian's not sure what he ate either while I was away....

Since I got back time seems to have flown by - the boxes for London have to go next Friday so that will keep me out of mischief and I have lots of ideas to follow through as soon as I get a moment. on Tuesday night we went to a Musica Viva concert - Trinity College choir and they were magnificent.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The things that bring tears to your eyes and feed your soul



That was deep and meaningful wasn't it and the outcome will make you laugh. and people did. childhood memories and more - asparagus rolls and club sandwiches sadly missed in Australia. Of course you can make them at home but it isn't quite the same. Wet teatowels over the plate but that was before glad wrap - in this case copius glad wrap.

I have really enjoyed my time at the show - catching up with old friends and meeting new ones - some people I haven't seen for ages.... And yes I would love to come and run a workshop - lots of people asked and I know a couple of groups are getting back to me so email me any time. Any  excuse and as you could all see - I play with lots of different exciting media - I don't think I have stitched so many flower stitcher stitches in such a short time. Also it was good to educate so many New Zealanders on where Okarito is.

Because I was on my own, I didn't get very far at the show (had to buy my sandwiches etc before I started) but I did breeze into the quilts and the Creative  Fibre exhibition- there was some great work there -being such a bad photographer I only took a couple and I have no idea whose they are sorry but I did buy the dvd so I will know then.
This fabulous fish (trout?) was possibly felted plus and the detail was wonderful. Really appealed.

you need to turn your head on an angle - I swear it was okay when I photographed it - I love the colours .

This morning I am off to check out Leanne's work at the exhibition here and do some scrounging at Dave's Emporium and then back to Auckland and home again. Cantina tonight, Ian?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Creative Versa Tool

Ian told me last night that the Creative Versa Tool will be in Perth on 19th Sept so not long until we have them. If you subscribe to our newsletter you will have read mention of it. When we are ready to launch it we will be offering a special treat for our newsletter readers. Many people, I know, are waiting for it to arrive, including me. Email us for further info

and go the All Blacks tonight

Friday, September 10, 2010

busy in Hamilton



I am having a busy little time in Hamilton and really enjoying catching up with so many friends and meeting new ones. This is all rather stressful for me as it is the first time I have loaded pictures from the camera to the eepc- I can tick that achievement off! The stand looks good and people are really loving the Textile Tantrums - this is a tiny part of my display. I have been playing away quite happily with a variety of things but keep having to pop on the sewing machine and show people the flower stitch foot which is always fascinating to see what it can actually do.

Here is the first little bowl I made with the cocoon strippings in the microwave - good little first one and here is the second one I made this morning when the kettle wouldn't boil so I couldn't have my lemon and ginger tea.

I can lots more of these appearing. The highlight of my day at the show has been the asparagus rolls and club sandwiches on sale at the cafe  - only takes simple pleasures. Now - after a busy day stitching, playing and a long walk I am settling down with a bowl of soup and a front seat in front of the rugby....

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

safely in Hamilton

I arrived in Auckland yesterday morning - it was pouring cats and dogs  - I did a bit of exploring and found a few interesting things and then I drove to Hamilton - off and on rain all the way - I shall try to put some in my suitcase to take home. Today I set up at the show and borrowed a sewing machine and then discovered that someone in Perth at the show must have 'borrowed' my Bernina low shank so can't use my flower stitcher yet but one is being couriered up tonight. In the meantime I have been making bowls using silk cocoons and microwave in my unit. Very successful so there will still be plenty to do tomorrow. Caught up with a few friends but forgot the camera - shall take some pics tomorrow

Monday, September 06, 2010

Leaving Ian in charge



Yes - I am off to New Zealand again tonight - for the Craft show in Hamilton so if you are going to it do come and see the Textile Tantrums and me playing away. Not that I have packed anything as yet - we discovered the plane schedule has changed and it leaves later - just as well for me. Ian is in charge and will probably have a good week if he has time.

Jacinta - link on left in links - has a super tutorial on embossing velvet - she says it all so  much better than I do. I think the big round Illuminations stamp is one of her favourites.

When we were in Okarito Ian walked up to the trig station and took some great shots - this is looking back down - you can't see me - I was indoors making felt.
This is Donovan's Store - the oldest wooden building on the West Coast I do believe. It is now used for performances I think.

Meant to say that the other night we went to Clarkes in North Beach with Val and Jim. highly recommend - a fabulous restaurant. And b.y.o which helps. Great food, great ambience, great staff even though it was out somewhere where our car doesn't go often. We got a bit lost getting there but made it back safely.

If I can mange it, I shall try to blog while I am away - I wll be back next Monday. Keep Ian busy while I am gone

Sunday, September 05, 2010

a beautiful Sunday in Perth


Glorious day today - we have mostly been working and finally got the newsletter out. But first - welcome to September - note to self - try harder next month.


I have been playing with a new discharge gel I received just before we went to NZ - only just found time. I don't usually play with discharge paste and bleaches these days because I don't like the fumes and stuff but this one is non-toxic and has a citron smell. I have a piece of fabric - I think it came from Kiwi Quilts but I couldn't swear to that - anyway I stamped with the gel and when it was dry, simply ironed it. The bottom one - I sprayed some Glitz Spritz in Silhouette Silver over the top - the mica sure sparkles.

Next ones are playing on Tissutex which had been dyed black. I was spraying it through a stencil but ended up a bit heavy handed - the top is the stencil - the bottom the negative. Then to hurry it up I zapped it with my heat gun and managed to start a fire - there is a juicy hole up towards the top. Silly me - I put it out with the bottom of a plastic paint jar! (Just as well the health and safety person wasn't on site) But I rather like the effect. I had previously fed that piece of Tissutex through an embossing folder so you may be able to see some of the texture.

This one is the same black Tissutex but it has rusting powder applied when I was experimenting so here I used the gel through a stencil.

Again, I was experimenting on a piece of Tissutex previously sprayed with Moonshadow Mists and Starburst Sprays and at some stage foils as well. Good effect and I shall be playing further before too long. The gel comes in a jar or a spray bottle - they will be on the web before too long - Ian has a little backlog at present.

Some more photos from the West Coast  - this is Lake Mapourika at a perfect time of the evening. Mapourika was the daughter of Karito after whom Okarito must be named.
and a couple more. This lake is on the way to Franz Joseph from Okarito - there are quite a number of lakes along the coast highway.

Late last night we went to Grant's and watched the Wallabies/Springbox game. nothing like leaving the excitement to the last dying seconds of the game.

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