Thursday, March 30, 2006

frustration and excitement

Well - Thursday has been a day and a half. First our server has had mega problems and our website and emails have been down since before midnight last night. The mails are starting to dribble in but the website is still not working - I think they have lost a lot of data - I have been checking the sent box in their webmail which used to have 400 emails but now has none - the wonders of the modern world.... I only wanted to access one.... Plus the reason my photo has disappeared from the blog is because it comes from our website.....

On the studio front the new wall extending from the studio betwen our place and next door is all finished and bagged and will be painted with the outside of the studio when the painter comes back next week. So we are indeed getting closer and closer and if you could see the mess I am currently working in, you would be very happy for me. The two pics I have loaded are of the work today and it sorts of gives us a nice closure. We sat outside tonight and enjoyed planning the planting etc.

I managed to make my 5 ATCs for QA and they will go tomorrow fasta post but I think I shouldn't show them yet. I can't do these things in bulk - I like to think of them as individual little beings.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sultry Wednesday

Isn't this a beautiful photo? It's a sunset in Wellington in NZ - my most favourite city. Changing all the time. This is a very serene moment in the windiest city in the world. Perth is third in that category. (so they say)

So much for Autumn - it's very sultry today and I seem to have been working at half pace - bit like the brickie who is almost half way up the wall - tomorrow should see it finished.

I did manage 10 more rows of twin needling on the velvet - I think the rows are getting longer and longer but at least I am well over a quarter of the way there. Plod plod..... No worries Caitlin that it will be on view before Sydney - probably still being stitched on the plane knowing me.

Today we loaded the information for the ATC Challenge and Display in Sydney at Darling Harbour show in June so please go look on our website and take part. We have a 5 metre stand waiting to be filled up. The lovely little ATCs on the info page are part of a Playways ATC challenge which will be on the website early April.

Because I was so slow moving today I have to get working overtime on the ATCs for QA.....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

twin needled velvet

Well - it's not quite half way and at this stage the rows get longer rather than shorter but I am getting there - doesn't it look luscious? Because I am silly I also plan to twin needle a bit back the other way. I will be brave when I cut it up.

A very unfit tradie came today and laid the concrete foundation for the wall which extends from the end of the studio - tomorrow he will be back to build the wall so pic of that tomorrow. I simply can't wait to move - at present I am going crazy as I can't find some things and it's most annoying.

No stitching tomorrow - I have to make some ATCs for QA. And organise the ATC Challenge for Darling Harbour.

Off to the Somerville Outdoor movies with some friends we don't see very often so it will be nice to catch up - having a picnic first.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday thingies

I reckon I am a quarter of the way with the twin needling on the velvet - I have stitched a row or two every time I have had a moment to whip into the sewing machine. The crazy ideas you get but have to say the fabric looks gorgeous. I will post it when I get half way through. Then I plan to cut it up.....

Heard today that the wall building man will be here tomorrow and the door handle man this week and even the electrician so it won't be long until the studio is ready for action. Just as well as I have spent a frustrating time today trying to find a folder which I know is in there somewhere. I am so looking forward to packing up my stuff and moving it.

Posting three pics from Portugal - the top one is the name outside - wonderful rusting and ageing scene - second is a piece of art which was on one of the walls and the third a window opening to a window? It did appeal to me.

Ian and I had a very pleasant bbq outside tonight - this is a super time of the year - coolish in the evening but not a hint of wind - just a pile of ants to drive us mad. We can sit outside and luxuriate in the new studio and nut out how the landscaping will go.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Textiley Stuff

I am working away on my Art to Wear and my ideas are slowly falling into place. Still needlefelting on scrim (the muted back side is interesting too - quite a contrast and I may use it as well) but also twin needling a wonderful piece of hand dyed silk velvet - nothing like twin-needling a metre of fabric. As you can see I have only stitched a bit so far. I plan to cut both up and join them up with knitted and crochet bits and pieces for a fitted vest/bodice. Hence the threads lying on the surface. Might even try some hairpin lace work somewhere too. It is interesting that this is back in fashion - never did any when I was young but my mother was a whizz and everyone had hairpin lace duchess sets - all beautifully starched. A while ago I persuaded her to give me pins so I have the tools at the ready. Can't say we were crazy about the duchess sets at the time though. The other day I saw a pattern for a hairpin lace skirt...

rugby roundup

Well not a good weekend for NZ rugby really except that the Hurricanes won at home against the Sharks. 23-17. No pics of this game but here is Ma'a Nonu from last week's game against the Stormers in South Africa which they won. I am sure we textile people could use his locks for something - make a great vessel.... And behind him is Masoe and he scored a try this week.

The Force lost but they are on the move - 3 great tries and playing so much better. Maybe next week will be the one. Ian found it hard to decide 0n his team yet again after the Brumbies beat the Chiefs and the Waratahs wiped the Auckland Blues off the scene. Oh dear....

Thursday, March 23, 2006

aussie scroll

I have just made a little book scroll for the Workshop on the Web auction. A bit of digitizing (letters seem to be what I can do easily) in a font called Redemption which I like, a background using a new yarn I found (Checkmate) on the top and the back is a verse from My country by Dorothy Mackellar - the verse which starts 'I love a sunburnt country' - which always seems to describe Australia well.

Most people don't realise that when they go to our website, if they click on the smiley face on the left under March Promotion and before Catalogue, Ian has an Aussie treat in store. The one at the moment is a real Aussie icon but he is planning to change to a new one very soon.

The paving man came today to give us a quote and he will be back to start in three weeks so all going well, we should be able to move into the studio after that. Just those pesty small jobs to finish first.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Povoa De Lanhoso

Povoa De Lanhoso is the town near we stayed in Portugal. The Medieval Castle on the hill is one of the highest points around. Lots of granite rock. Even though I love working with colour, I also love old ruins and the age old greys and worn stuff.

Here is the Dragon herself at the castle.
Some lovely rain has arrived in Perth - I hope it lasts.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

monday night concert

Last night we went to a fabulous concert in Fremantle - The Cologne New Philharmonic Orchestra who are doing another of their tours around Australia. This is the third time we have been to hear them and it was as good as ever apart from the heat!

The Orchestra members are mostly graduates of German conservatories who want to try some playing experience in chamber orchestras before furthering their careers as soloists etc. The soloists who performed were full of life and they all played exceptionally well especially considering the heat. The performance was in St John's Anglican Church in Fremantle which has lovely acoustics if no airconditioning. It gave us the excuse to go to Fremantle and have a good meal at the Capri restaurant.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Casa Moinho da Porta

Last year after the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally in London, we went to Portugal for a week's holiday for some necessary rest & relaxation. We stayed at a wonderfully magical spot in the north - Casa Moinho da Porta - particularly quiet and luxurious.







We had a great week pottering around the northern part of Portugal and would recommend it to anyone. Portugal is a lovely country and the people so friendly. The owner of the villa was a very nice person and he even had fresh bread rolls delivered to our door every morning. We couldn't swim unfortunately as it was a little too cold but we enjoyed the spot and did what we do well at home - sitting out doors in the evening with our glass of wine and nibbles.
First pic is the view looking into the villa from above - that's our bedroom on the left.







This pic- look at the wonderful autumn leaves on the walls looking into the villa - that's our wine and nibbles spot.
Pic below is the lounge area - Ian's nightly snooze spot.







The 4th pic is the garden and water fall outside the back door.
The villa was built over an old mill so there was plenty of water rushing around everywhere.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

rugby report

a busy two days of rugby. Last night the Western Force lost again - they haven't won a game yet but they are improving - they have lost so many players to injury and they are having to play apprentices so they will get better. NZ Sevens, though, won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games which was pretty exciting stuff even though Channel 9 chose to only show part of the second half - probably because Australia wasn't in the final. Overnight, my beloved Hurricanes won in South Africa and I think Ian is trying to choose between the Blues, who beat the Brumbies, and the Crusaders but, because he is fickle, it will always depend on who is winning. This pic is of Piri Weepu.

Far more mundane, this morning I went to a little workshop using the distress inks - nothing I didn't already know but it always pays to check things out and it triggered an idea for the Darling Harbour hands on workshop.

Very humid in Perth still - tomorrow I shall back to more textiley things. The roof man came today and hung the chains from the roof - instead of downpipes - they look good.

Friday, March 17, 2006

friday musings

This is a NZ ponga which is such a wonderful shape and reminds me of my homeland. Especially the real green in the background. I love the way the head of the ponga opens out. Nature is very complex and intricate when you think about it.

Really I am procrastinating as I am working away on the newsletter which fortunately has finally almost reached the end. I think I always have too much to say - I should write them more often before my notebook gets so full with new things to tell people.

I am also thinking about what I am going to do in the hands-on workshops for Darling Harbour. I have called the workshop - Three Tiny Tempting Treasures and I expect I am crazy to think people will have time to make three fun things in an hour including packup and set up (and hope the power point works this year). I want to make them different each day as well - that way I won't get bored and I have a chance to let people try all sorts of different things. Of course I am mad as 5 x 3 is 15 so maybe I will rethink this one. Any suggestions from you wonderful readers who are thinking of attending would be welcome.... I am not giving a talk this year - the organisers want to charge me for giving a free talk when I am already paying heaps just to be there....

No more work on the studio but I expect the painters will be back on Monday - the floor is looking great as it dries and gets lighter and you can see all the stones. We are off to Ikea first thing on Monday morning (hopefully beat the crowds) to get the sink and cupboards for the wet area.

Tonight we are going to watch the Force play the Waratahs and I hope they get lots of support - I fear they won't win. On the other hand my beloved Hurricanes are playing in South Africa over night. I shall report tomorrow. Goodness knows which team Ian is supporting this week.....

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

studio floor

The floor man has been working away for 2 days grinding the concrete floor and it looks great. It will get lighter as it dries but he did about 7 different lots of grinding back and vacuuming it. Last night we couldn't walk on it as he had put some sort of coating but now it's all finished and ready for the painter to come back and finish the inside walls. So we are nearly there. I think Ian is secretly packing up my stuff to move me in and hopefully I will be by April.

The pics are of the floor looking all shiny. Polished concrete has a great finish and the man tells us it doesn't scratch and is easy to look after. Sounds just right for me. The close up shows the detail of the concrete.

Yesterday I went to a morning workshop on using the Husq Fabric Decorator programme. I want to create my own motifs to use in my work - it was a good workshop and I have been spending a little more time on it at home but like everything you have to do it regularly. Too many things to think about and not enough time to do them all.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

embellisher fabric

This is the base fabric I am working onto hand dyed scrim. As you can see, lots to do but I have sort of attached wool fibre front and some from the back. I like the way the scrim comes up to the top like little flecks of fibre. Lots more to do to blend all of those pockets of colour with the lovely Da Masi yarn which looks like it is felted before you begin, and throwsters waste and wool type yarn and hand and machine stitching and then cut it up for the bodice and hopefully have plenty left to use as patches for the skirt. I have some beautiful hand dyed velvet I want to use for a sort of jacket and skirt parts. If that sounds undefined, it's because plenty of it is still in my head and only some in my notebook.

Had a lovely lazy day today - we walked from our place through to East Perth for coffee - not a single cloud in the sky and Ian forgot to wear his hat. I bought a new mouse as well but it is going so fast I have to chase it to catch up.

Off outside for bbq - lovely nights now that it is supposed to be Autumn. The back yard is looking very neat and tidy and ever so spacious. We think the floor polishing men are coming tomorrow so it will be noisy.

Lazy Sunday

Having a lazy start to Sunday after watching the rugby last night - sadly The Force lost to Queensland but my beloved Hurricanes won so they are back to second on the ladder behind the Crusaders. The player up top is Ma'a Nonu sometimes known as Mascara Nonu.....
As usual Ian won't declare his hand.....

I shall continue working on my embellisher fabric and will post pictures later

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Luigi Lolly Dress

This dress is a bit of fun and named for my dear friend Luigi, who, with his wife Martien, runs the most fabulous Italian restaurant in Perth - San Marco. He is such a whizz chef and makes the best gnocchi you will ever taste and lots of other luscious food including yummy tripe - just for me. I was needing some chocolate wrappers for a City and Guilds piece and I asked him if he could keep his wrappers for me and of course he gave me lots. So I made a fun garment I have called Luigi Lolly Dress - I haven't found a model for her yet but when the studio is finished I might pop her out in the garden from time to time.

After all the excitement yesterday no tradies came today.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

studio happenings more

No pics today as I haven't turned my laptop on. However - there were 4 different sets of tradies here today - the painter working away diligently inside walls - the man to finish the cedar at last - the carpenter putting the cedar post and trim on and the builder himself doing some work around the bottom of the outside walls. This means the end is nigh. Ian has loaded a pic onto
our website in the About Us section. The polish the floor men will be here on Monday and we should be able to start moving some goodies in after that - maybe.

Many parcels have arrived this week for restocking and new goodies for me to try - in my spare time.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I have created quite a nice base on scrim using wool fibres and my embellisher but will do more before I load a pic - in the meantime, the painter came and did another coat on the cedar today - studio is getting closer to finish each day.

Here is another H house - this time using the flower stitch foot - you can have such a lot of fun with this foot and any zig zag stitch you might try. I have also used kunin felt and burnt them out with the soldering iron.

And to go with dollie's bodice, here are her embellisher knickers.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Holiday Monday

It's a holiday today in Perth not that it stops people in the rest of the country and world ordering but I have been embellishing wool fibres onto a metre of hand dyed scrim. Too boring to post yet but I will when it grows with more stuff. I plan to cut it up for the bodice of my art to wear and maybe parts of the skirt. See how I feel.

In the meantime here is another H house page - this time twin needled with a few extras. The H book is slowly growing and should have 20 pages and be ready by June. I have also loaded a picture of a doll I had to dress - well this is her bodice - you can see I like these colours. She has embellisher pants but they can wait for another day

Not so hot here today and we are just off to the river with friends for a bbq.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lazy Hot Sunday

Yes I know it is Autumn but we are having the hot weather we didn't get over christmas. 38 and humid and best spent indoors, listening to our almost complete collection of Nigel Kennedy cds.

Here are the covers from my Medieval Magic book I am making - digitised letters using Generations which is a programme I can actually come to grips with and I do like playing with lettering. Stitched with our lovely Illumination threads - the best part about owning a business is that you can get to choose the colours of your threads and these rayons of ours which may be slippery to use stitch out so superbly. I like creating variegated colours as it gives me a chance to play around with colour but these ones are a little different in that they are shades of colours. I enjoy using variegated threads in my stitching. The backgrounds are felt with vliesofix and foils and then a wonderful ribbon called La Scala on the top with a chiffon scarf to cover, stitched and burnt back. Makes a wonderful background.

Tomorrow is a holiday here and I am planning to get working on my art to wear - means I will have to set my Embellisher up but I want to get started on the bodice before time slips away.

I have also been experimenting with the Transfer Ink which really does work. Printed out a few back and white images and transferred them to different surfaces - I shall have a go with my Twinkling H20s on the images tomorrow.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

my in the house studio

This is where I work at present - gets more cluttered every day because not only do I work in here( amazingly), I also have a lot of stuff for The Thread Studio. Plus it is just a bedroom albeit a quite good sized one. Luckily you can't see where the creeper has grown in the window. But you can see my H posters on the wall. I am clearing the wall for moving and this room will be our office. A business like this means I have to test products and so I always have piles of stuff to play with. So it really isn't as bad as it looks. but I do all my wet stuff and felt, silk paper etc in the kitchen which is why Ian is looking forward to getting rid of me.

This morning we went to look for the studio door handle - more complex than you would think and not a cheap task but even the girl there was amazed that our door opens on the left. I think someone has stuffed up.

what a concert

Nigel Kennedy under the stars. What a fabulous concert and a fabulous setting in King's Park in Perth. The setting was magnificent, the weather perfect and Nigel's playing out of this world. His commentary pretty entertaining as well. I think we were all very priviledged to hear such a wonderful artist.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday excitement

When things start moving, they certainly do. Today 2 painters came and finished all the cedar stuff and painted two coats on the patio before it had hardly been set! Plus yesterday's tradies came and took away the spare timber and cleared the space. So we have a great weekend admiring the area. Next week I think the floor is being polished - and the trench for the brick and bagged wall done and the outside walls bagged. Once the floor is done I will be able to start moving in some of my wet area stuff. Tomorrow I will load a couple of pics of where I am working at present. I can see my poor little lemon hanging out - I think it needs rescuing and moving.

Last night we went to Syriana - a film very similar to The Constant Gardener but set in Europe and the Middle East and this time about corporate greed and oil and governments. I didn't enjoy it as much though - the plot was more muddled and we actually didn't manage to resolve some of the sub plots. Plus the promo was actually more fast moving than the film which I thought a bit ploddy and predictable.

Tonight we are off to listen to Nigel Kennedy in Kings Park - really looking forward to it. I guess he is one of my heroes along with Hundertwasser and Val Campbell-Harding.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

studio happenings

We have been so busy this week that I haven't had time to go into my 'in the house' studio even to tidy it up. As well as being generally very busy with orders, the latest Quilting Arts magazine - No 21 - arrived to keep us further out of mischief. As always a great issue. On the new studio front, however, things are happening. The outdoor patio went up today and it has changed the whole look once again. Still lots of things to do but it is getting closer now.

Last night we sat outside for our bbq and thought more about the landscaping. As the patio gets underway I can see more clearly. I am afraid I am a visual person and haven't been able to work out what exactly it was going to look like.

Bit of drama this morning though as it looked for a while that the Jacaranda branch might have to go but instead the poor tradies had to move 2 of the posts (already set in concrete). The branch has been smiling all day.

I am also loading some pics of the inside - first two looking into the 'darby and joan relaxing spot' and the third one is the glass area of the working area. The dark recessed area is my wet area and it means I will be able to store all of my messy stuff and paints etc and never have to work on the kitchen bench again. Will add one of the back wall area soon - while it is uncluttered with all of my stuff. The inside walls have had a first coat and the cedar has had a coat and the trim has had a coat - hopefully the painter will be back again to finish off although we think he is on holiday some more.


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