Saturday, April 30, 2011

wot a game!

I spent all morning unpacking the boxes from Melbourne - putting things away and realising how much stuff we actually sold - things I thought might be there are not so lots more ordering to do this coming week. Then we sat and watched the Hurricanes play the Reds - Andrew Hore's 100 game and what a fantastic game - we had a champagne to celebrate their win. Well done my team. Tonight we are off to the park to watch the Crusaders vs Force game.

But first I have to sort stuff and samples as I am off to the '84 Group in the morning to do a few hours demo - I was going to be a little desperate if the stuff hadn't arrived (it came very late yesterday just before the rugby and the wedding so we locked the front gate because it was all on the verandah) - my suitcase of samples and working materials was on the palette.

Did we all watch the royal wedding? Of course we did - Catherine's dress was delightful - quite understated - and her sister's was lovely too. Good luck to them. Westminster Cathedral looked great with trees included indoors.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday so soon


The parcels are continuing to arrive - today's excitement was a box full of wonderful ceramic house buttons. Jacinta found these for me and the creator of them has wonderful other ones which I shall order as well. Just need to stitch them onto cards and make some decisions.


Also arrived was the latest Cloth Paper Scissors #36 - I have processed and send out half of them - the remainder tomorrow - we get so many it takes ages to get through them all. There are just a few left over if anyone wants one. I shall sit down tonight and have a read.

My red painted Truffa is almost dry so I can bring out my soldering iron tomorrow. Here's hoping the palettes arrive - apparently they have been unloaded at Sadleir so we do hope they are delivered to us - maybe in the morning...... After all we don't want to miss the wedding.....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Glorious Rain

Can't complain - just what the doctor ordered. TRUFFA - as on our front pillar in red - apparently means hoax or spoof. The hoax is that I stamped the word on Romeo (cold water soluble) with red paint of course and stitched my new found word onto felt and sprayed it with water to remove said film. BUT - wet weather means it is taking a lifetime to dry. Not complaining - painting up fusible webbing while I wait. this little bit of graffiti is pushing me to red, black and grey. Watch this space.

Bruce flew off to Sapporo last night - we had dinner at Wot the Po and sent him on his way where he now is. He and Kaz will be back in June.

The muchness of holidays we have had has meant that our palettes from Melbourne are not here - under normal circumstances they should have been here on Friday - now it will be tomorrow or Friday - I am waiting impatiently because in some cases I cannot remember what is coming. What did arrive today was GLEAM - this is our lovely new gilding wax and am I impressed - you bet!


there are 6 different sets but this one is a little gem of Cardinal, Cerise and Rich Copper - I have been smooching it out onto any surface I can find. My suitcase of all my samples and journals etc is on the palette - missing friends...
I also finally took my sewing machine to hospital - it went bang and dead on Christmas Eve and I have been using my Orchidea ever since. David says he hasn't anything like that happen before - hope it isn't too serious and doesn't take too long and lucky it will have a service and update while it is there. it's a Husq Designer SE and a lovely machine. And I want to do some digitised words.....  in red of course....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

out at the walls


I have been out and about in my street - you wouldn't believe how many writings on walls there are - I will also add writings on gates because it amuses us.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

words on a wall


one of my words on wall I have found - on our front pillar - you could swear it was a good red shiva stik.....


Today we decided to have a break at Little River Winery for a late lunch. I think there are loads of people roaming wondering what to do - what will they do tomorrow I wonder?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cricles of fun

Circles are always fun and there are some flower stitcher circles hidden down there. I have been working with flimsies (prefelts) and merino wool for dry felting and needlefelting and deColourant Plus and stitching with Wonderfil Spagetti thread - love this thread - it is 12wt and you can hand and machine stitch on it. All in the theme of Persian Market. Not sure where it is heading but coming along as a great little 3D sampler.

Sorry to sound drama queen like yesterday about my new theme - Ian said I sounded like another person who is always on about people copying her ideas. What I really meant was that I had chosen a new theme after dithering around through the brain and the notebooks for ages - well I have chosen WORDS - writing on the wall (good one - what does it mean?) I am off to photograph some walls around and about with writing on - I could mean graffiti as there is some on our wall but let's see what I come back with. I shall be working on this theme at TAF in Brisbane as a working artist if you are coming - my notebook is full of quick ideas and I am starting out with newspaper - well that is full of lots of words but what sort? Do join me in my new adventure. Copy all you like - nothing is new anyway.

We have had some of the whispering rainlets on Perth this morning and two days of great rugby apart from the Hurricanes loss and the injuries - never nice. Have a lovely rest of Easter everyone.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

some inspirational books




Good books are what inspire people and they usually sit somewhere close to where one is working. I don't mean novels but fabulous books you come back to time and time again. The above two - The Stones of Venice and Africa Adorned are those sort of timeless books you open at random and find so much inspiration. Now I have found a new one - well I haven't got it yet. On Jackie's blog Dog-Daisy Chains, I saw what looked like a must have

I haven't been to Ireland nor to Clare but the images Jackie shared just grabbed my eyes so I ordered it - in fact Jacinta, Jaslyn and I ordered a copy each - one from Ireland, one from France and one from Germany. See who gets hers first. I am not attracted to landscapes for my work but the images usually provoke plenty of other ideas. I love these precious sort of books.

After a lot of dithering I have chosen a new topic and have filled the first page of my sketchbook. I will show more once I have a decent start. Before anyone else sees it and tries to say it was his/her idea.......

I have also re-signed for The Sketchbook Project: 2012 - I have no idea where my this year's one went to - I sent it off but can't find it anywhere - I think I will register it next round. It  becomes a bit of a discipline to do it.


Having a relaxing weekend with bits and pieces of the garden being worked on and circles being stitched and dry felted etc. I have done more playing with the deColourant and discovered it does not like polyester fabrics - just washed out but you must try these things or you won't really know. Laura and Linda Kemshall - Design Matters - have very generously let us feature some of their samples on our website - you can see them in the deColourant section.


Three rugby games coming up so off back to work.

Friday, April 22, 2011

a long weekend

Happy Easter to everyone - thought it was Saturday today and forgot to take the chair covers off so they got wet when the water came on but did manage a decent sleep in and a read of one of my birthday books. Gotta be good for me. Then the Blues won the first rugby game of the weekend - very good. Here is one of my new little grevilleas in flower - love the way the flower develops.


I have lots of techniques and things I want to try this long weekend but sometimes too many things means it's hard to make decisions. I have decided to work with Persian Market - I am needing a new colour so I needlefelted flimsies together and also dry felted some of the colours for a type of applique. I have been playing more with the deColourant Plus - you can see some wonderful samples on Shelagh Folgate's blog - we are discussing our playing and hers look much better than mine. I have mixed a few colours and stamped them on - sticking with the circle idea. You might say you could just stamp a colour onto the surface but what the deColourant plus does is to take out the colour and replace it with a new colour and it works into the fabric rather than sit on top, With the prefelts it sinks in and stays on top the nature of the material being different. I have also tried it on a variety of different fabrics to see how it goes.



Here I have used one of my stitched stamps and printed onto a batiked fabric - I like the subtle result.

Hope to get a bit done this weekend but right now we are having a bbq with Bruce and Pete. It's very warm today - doubt if we will ever see winter this way.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pick-a-pocket challenge

The Pick-a-pocket exhibition looked great at AQC and I am pleased to be able to say that there were 2 lights so we didn't need our miners lights. If you came you will know that there were no names beneath or beside each entry - 3 things went missing between Perth and Melbourne - the bag of rubber bands, the lime green card and the folder with the info sheets on them. Never mind -  it meant when Jacinta and Ian went to do their judging, they had no influence from names. Because they are on the palette with the rest of the stuff we won't have them until next week but they will be on the web not too long after that. In the meantime these are piccies I took with my i-phone.

The winner was Eileen Campbell - there is a lovely little gem inside as well.
Highly recommended was Madeleine Kennedy


The other highly recommended is Jessica King (this photo is not good - the light here was quite dull)



and this is Ian's Choice - Julie Whitechurch.
Congratulations everyone. They will be on display at TAF in Brisbane - with full details attached to each entry....

In the mail today I received a copy of NZ Threads - NZ Embroidery magazine - thanks Felicity for the lovely article you wrote about me and my stuff - and you even got a nice photo - a miracle. Also a lovely section on the Textile Tantrums.  I really enjoyed my visit to Hamilton last year  catching up with so many friends and customers and meeting new folk.

Monday, April 18, 2011

took the heat with us and brought it back again



We flew home last night and I still have sore bottoms of my feet - I reckon it was the shock of wearing filled in shoes - and when we got here at 10.30pm it was 22 degrees. Just cannot win. We stayed at the Quest off Lygon Street with an amazing view - above. At least there were words to look at - remember that holey moley folks. It is okay there except that they don't have wi-fi in the apartments and I refuse to sit in the foyer and pay to answer my emails on my i-pad which we especially only have set up for wi-fi because I would rather be sitting in the lounge of the apartment I am paying for watching the rugby and enjoying a glass of bubbly. Answering 220 emails on an i-phone is rather a skill and fingers become rather dextrous. And rather exhausting for Ian watching me.



Anyway we had a great time as we always do in Melbourne - we went to Movida and Lau's Family Kitchen - two of our favourite restaurants. For those who know and love them, this is my whitebait fritter - wondrous. The waiter suggested we might share - hardly.



AQC was very good - our stand looked very colourful and packed as always and of course we were in trouble with the organisers for being over the allotted edges. However, as usual, the first customer complained because we hadn't brought everything with us..... Can't win. Best apologise to the customer and ignore the organisers. Anyway - the missing goodies are always available on the web.... I forgot to take a photo of the stand when it was set up - there was all this talk about not making a noise after 5pm which kinda put me off. We worked on set up day until 7.30pm and rushed off to eat before we collapsed. I bought a lovely bundle of fabric from Lisa and Peter at Dyed and Gone to Heaven who are so lucky to have their stand next to ours - or is that the other way round? Anyway - they are wonderful neighbours and they do great dyeing (and so do we...) And then we had our wonderful Jacinta and Madelen working for us - it makes it all so much more relaxing when we can all have a good laugh. Jacinta had this absolutely fantastic nuno felted scarf she brought in - coming up soon will be our Gentle Felting on-line workshop.


I went to see Tulis Fabrics and bought some more of her wonderful batiks - they are always great and while I never know what I am going to do with them I can't resist them. I usually work on the surfaces, cut them up, hand stitch, machine stitch and one piece I have had worked really well with the de Colourant gel and I gave Kerry one of my samples - I loved the way it exposed the depth of colour in the fabric.



I didn't take the de Colourant with me to the show because you can't take everything but I sure picked up enough orders so it was just as well the big shipment of de Colourant and de Colourant Plus arrived this morning. Yes - we have now got all the sets of  de Colourant Plus in stock and I am busting to get playing - hope to have a creative Easter which has simply crept up on us. Hoping Ian can get them on the web tomorrow.

We had a very good flight to Melbourne - Qantas offered me an upgrade - for points of course - which I took up because it was my birthday (thanks for all the good wishes) and they even gave me a bottle of Shiraz which we enjoyed on another night whilst watching the rugby. Came back steerage though but we slept all the way. I did do a little of something on the plane but not enough to show as yet so you will have to wait for that. Tomorrow I will post the pocket winners - they will be on the web after our stuff gets back which will be after Easter.

Tonight I think I feel a trip to the Lido coming on......

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sojourn in Melbourne

As our friends and customers in Melbourne have realized, I have brought them good weather. Had a busy day today at AQC (Aust quilt convention) and off to Movida for a tapas meal tonight. I have piccies to post but they will have to wait because I can't post pics yet. Another busy day tomorrow I suspect.

Many thanks for the birthday wishes - we had a lovely flight and got real cutlery. - amazing

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

off to Melbourne we go

Off to beautiful Melbourne we go this afternoon. If you are coming to AQC we will see you there we hope. A very busy morning we have had - first it's my birthday but I have been working my socks off (if I had any on) since 6am and my suitcase is still totally empty. Just like I knew, Down Under Textiles Issue 4 rocked up early and we have pretty well got them all out. Our apologies if we didn't quite do yours but 90% of them have now gone. Looks good - I think - I only flicked through while having my much needed coffee break but apart from the article by me on sari ribbon, there is a feature of some of the Textile Tantrums including Viv from UK and Shirley Wager - good stuff and Ian's name is in lights with his choice. I will pop one in my back pack to read on the plane. I have something else I am planning to do on the plane and if it works I will post about it - all down to Jacinta. And that is while I am drinking my bubbly - well it is my birthday.

Off to the studio to pack the samples and then to the bedroom to pack my clothes. I will need a lie down before we leave....

ps I meant to say that on Friday I sent out the last of the Product of the month parcels. Can't believe that we are up to month 14 now. They keep me out of mischief - people seem to be participating all the time and it is exciting thinking of the next one.

Monday, April 11, 2011

monday monday

We have had a sort of busy day today - running around doing a number of jobs which always have to be done before we go away anywhere and in between everything else like startign to pack the suitcases and ticking off lists, I have finished the last part of Hot Needles Cool Stitches - these lovely students have been so kind to me but i hope they have enjoyed the class. It certainly has pushed me plus today I broke 3 needels becasue I was trying to speed through burnt layers - naughty naughty. Here is part of one piece.

Here is part of another - I love playing with this technique.

Tonight we are taking ourselves to Cantina for a few tapas before we depart for Melbourne tomorrow afternoon.

ps the whispering rainlets did not last long and it is still pretty humid. I do hope it is cold in Melbourne....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

sunday eye candy

Nothing like painting up a set of  colours to brighten any day. These are the Opulence Embellishment Inks - trying to get my info and samples sorted for my 2 show and tells at AQC - one is Colour,Colour, Colour and the other is Tantalising Textures. The hardest part is deciding what samples not to take - Doreen did comment about how many basket fulls of samples I seem to have. Maybe  I should sell some of them on my etsy site.

My beautiful bag of hand dyed shibori ribbon which I am reluctant to use in case I spoil them. How often do we say that with our collection of stuff? Including the stuff you buy from The Thread Studio at shows. What I have always said is that there is no crime in putting all of  your lovelies in a basket and placing it in a prominent place to admire and stroke as you go by. The colours and textures will cheer your soul for starters. that and a bunch of beautiful roses does it for me.

For the first time in such a long time that I cannot remember, I actually slept under the doona last night. I love this doona - it is a Donna Karan (yes but bought at a sale in case you are wondering and quite a number or years old now) light cotton with embroidery all over - the nicest one we have ever had.

Busy rugby weekend - wonderful wins by the Highlanders and Crusaders and not quite the Hurricanes yet - maybe it is time to concentrate on 2012 season but it was a good close game and someone was going to win and someone to lose as both teams were desperate. Nothing was as woeful as the Force vs Waratahs game though. Such dreary stuff to sit through - I am wondering if the Force have actually practised setting a proper back line. We pay good money to watch this.

Expect a busy full on day today - I have 2 lessons to finish, some more packaging for the suitcases for AQC in Melbourne and samples and stuff to sort through. Wish me luck and have a great Sunday - I do believe that is really is autumn at last

Friday, April 08, 2011

it's Friday


I didn't get shopping yesterday - I discovered that there was still heaps to do from the day before - still might be able to before we go to Melbourne on Tuesday but no shoes I think.....

Every year we buy the Reefton calender when we are Reefton and it was rather exciting to see that April was family. Here is Frank (Ian's dad) on the right - long time ago - possibly before he was married even. Grant is sure that is a smoke in his hand so certainly well before my time but then my father used to smoke and suddenly decided to give it up when I was young.

Jacinta is our guest this lesson for holey moley - she makes exquisite flowers but you have to be part of holey moley to learn her secrets.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

stuff all gone - time to be human once more



We were up very early this morning with a cup of coffee to get us started but there wasn't much yoghurt to share - a tsp each..... Then we packed and packed and packed till the van was so full it looked like it would burst and the car so full I couldn't see out the back window and then I remembered we had forgotten the stands for the tables so Ian had to squeeze these in somewhere - not sure where. Then we went for sustenance at Julie's cafe up the road better known as Lincolns. Coffee and water for starters.

Ian had a meringue something which he said was wonderful

and I had avocado and pesto and something sandwich which was also wonderful. Then we drove off to the carriers to deposit our stuff.

Three palettes all full and waiting to be shrink wrapped and off to Melbourne for us to unpack on Wednesday - surely a lot of work. We have been doing shows since 1995 - that's a lot of stuff. Some of the guys at Sadleir Transport have been there all that time. I used to take a few boxes in the car when I started.

Now we have had our showers and changed our clothes and are off to drink a glass of bubbly to relax and i got the day wrong - Lionel Ritchie is tonight. Tomorrow I am going to allow myself a little treat and go check out a few shops I haven't seen before. Maybe buy something -  you never know.....
And then there are so many things to do - like playing - I want to try the soy wax some more for a start. Have ideas but not so much time.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

two new magazines on the verandah



Two magazines turned up today and all the ones ordered have been sent out - I took a punt with 101 Patchwork and ordered quite a few and I must say I am rather impressed - lots of great projects and nearly 200 pages. Very bright and breezy and loads of colour which instantly appealed to me.

the other is Stitch and I think this magazine is getting better and better - I wasn't very impressed with the first issue but now it seems to be much more interesting and appealing. We have spares of both if anyone is wanting a copy. Neither are on the web yet but just email us if you want a copy of one or both.

We picked up the van to cart all the stuff to the carriers tomorrow - has to be there by 3pm so lots to do in the morning and I will up bright and early because it is still very hot during the day. We will sleep well tomorrow night and as I said the other day - things might be back to normal on Thursday - at least the kitchen will look like a real kitchen again.

Judy - I am not sure you would have wanted to see me coated in glitter - I was dripping wet as well from working in the warehouse where it is very very hot!

Monday, April 04, 2011

time to play and work



This morning I decanted an awful lot of metallic flakes - I shoudl have taken a photo as I was covered from head to toe. Had my shower afterwards. This afternoon  I had a little play with my pastels and paints and paper. Hope the Hot Needles girls enjoy their play too.

Now to cook my green curry. Lots to do tomorrow but all the orders got done, and the stuff is getting together.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

A long busy Sunday

One of the things I did today was to stitch a tassel head (and take a wonky photo before my i-phone needed to be plugged in). We have been very busy today - the stuff departure day is getting closer.

We spent yesterday watching a bit of rugby - the Hurricanes did play better but they still lost - next week....
We had a bbq with the rugby guys and went to watch the Force play at the oval - they lost to the Rebels by 1 point but I think the Rebels played better.  Another weekend next weekend when they play the Waratahs. Our oval is busy - very early this morning I heard tap tap tapping as they get ready for Lionel Ritchie concert on Tuesday night.

Doesn't look much but it is making our kitchen messy - today we packaged Romeo, Guliette, water-soluble paper, Aquabond, Tissutex, Vanishing Muslin, all the different weights of Lutradur, the two different types of Evolon, Hot Spots and some of the Little Bitz Bags (I thought I did heaps a while back but they have nearly all gone). So it has been a productive day including sending the newsletter out so now we are going to have a glass of bubbly and think about honey prawns. I reckon we deserve it. Life might be back to normal on Thursday morning - maybe.....

Friday, April 01, 2011

welcome to April



Welcome to April - as you can see this should be a good month and the champagne cork is next to our monthly puss to prove it. I am pretty sure this cork is from the bottle when we celebrated the removal of the air con from the wall blocking the right of way next door. I am glad April is here - although the weather man tells us it is going to stay over 30 for at least the next week. I have finally resorted to covering my feet with a sheet but only because I got cramp and not because they were cold. I lost a day this week - very tight schedule getting stuff ready for AQC and I was sure it was Wednesday yesterday and got a shock when Ian told me I was wrong.  this means I have had to move bits of one day's list onto the other days - help.... our stuff goes off on the palettes on Wed which is not far away.

Still new stuff and parcels appearing - Wendy Cotterill's book has arrived and is moving out the door - Lutradur, Evolon, Heat Distressable Tissue and more. She talks about nappy (diaper) liners - of course Zap Cloth is the same product which I found after nappy liners were discontinued. Lots of great photos and new things to think about. Still trying to get to play more with Evolon which is a lovely fabric. At AQC I am giving 2 half hour talks - one is Colour Colour Colour and the other Tantalizing Textures where I am talking about these fabrics and other ways to create great textural effects. As usual I will have more samples and words than time will allow.

After months of nothingness I have finally started using my twitter so if you want to follow my name is downunderdale00 - don't even ask why the 00 -

Lots of rugby coming up this weekend - waiting for the Hurricanes game tomorrow to see how they go....

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