Saturday, April 29, 2006


well first the rugby because you can't ignore this! The poor Force drew again in South Africa after leading for so long. They just must break through soon. But more importantly - sorry Alison - my beloved Hurricanes won and at the moment are safely in third place.

Even more importantly the electrician came this morning and dug trenches and fed some cables in trenches he dug and on the roof and promised us he would be back on Wednesday to finish off. We were so shocked to see him it was almost exciting....

I have managed to digitise some little letters for my downunder postcards and these are my pic. The background is the fusible webbing paper left over. Quite a few people have emailed me about using transfer paints on fusible webbing. It is not my idea - I read it somewhere. Paint the sticky side having sprayed it with water first and when dry, iron onto polycotton is what I did. I have been surprised by the strong colours I have been getting. Of course it adds an interesting texture to your work as fusible webbing does. I have also been painting shiny magazine pages (about Perth) with Brushos and I will spray them with Glitz Spritz tomorrow. Hope to start putting it all together tomorrow.

Tonight, because we are late after watching 2 rugby games, we are going to pop out for dinner.

Friday, April 28, 2006

opening parcels

I have just opened and packaged a fabulous parcel of metal papers/sheets? from Etal. I love metallic papers in whatever form and these have been a special find. I am planning to use some part in my downunder postcards - nothing to show you yet but I am gathering bits and pieces. The pic is of the scrappy bag - got a few of these too to see what they look like. Digitizing little letters today -the one thing about the embroidery machine is that it can sort of work by itself once it's set up. That is until it decides it needs attention and misbehaves....

Also finally got punch tools in from Germany - I have been waiting so long for these - fabulous for journals and stuff and they have 6 different tips. It's always nice when things turn up and oh so frustrating when they don't - like the Inkjetset which seems to have gone by sea - I have only got a little left myself and I need to soak tissutex in it today to print out some downunder writings I have done.

Had my hair re-fuschied yesterday and I got Ian to take my pic but it looks as bad as the one already here so won't bother. The bottom line is that I am not photogenic. Maybe I will find the one from when I was cute with my Shirley Temple ringlets and wearing my hand knitted dress.

I am not even going to mention the fact that the elctrician has STILL not reappeared. One week would finish everything off. I see from looking at the About Us on our website that Ian is frustrated too!

Tonight while we sleep the Force play the Cats for the wooden spoon. I hope they win after their wonderful game last week. Tomorrow my beloved Hurricanes play the Waikato Moo Loos - fingers crossed....

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Lots of lovely rain this morning so definitely no sign of the electrican - I reminded Ian today that I did say May for the studio finish and it's just about May now. Today Ian picked up the new chairs for our dining room - just the table to collect now. We were able to put the plastic chairs outside where they belong - we have been using them inside for at least 10 years when we sold the ones we had, in anticipation. Lovely chairs they are too. Can't wait to have them with the table in the dining room where we currently have our office. It's boring to keep saying, soon be there.

This is a photo of Janet De Boer courtesy of Mandy Ginsberg - Janet is the hard working slog of TAFTA and organises Fibre Forum at Orange and Geelong and other little excitements. Glenys Mann organised the Horsham Forum - Janet hadn't been before and thought she would check things out. I haven't seen her for over a year as we don't go to Orange and last year we didn't get to Geelong either. I missed her at Horsham though - I left for Melbourne on Thursday and I expect she arrived just after I left.

Today I managed to do some work with transfer paints on paper and fusible web. Picture doesn't show the colours that well. I haven't tried transfer paints on fusible web before - they give a strong colour. I have cut out my postcard shapes to start stitching. I do have a few things I must do quickly.......

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

rainy day

What a lovely wet day - probably just like it was at Gallipoli for ANZAC day. You would think we would have had a day off today but we have spent nearly all of it doing Thread Studio stuff - Ian has been working away on accounts and I have been packaging for the Darling Harbour show and choosing colours for the next set of Victory machine threads. The Whimsical Collection is off being dyed up. This next lot is to have a title like Festival or similar. Open to suggestions.

A few people ask about my interest in NZ rugby, the Hurricanes and my love of Wellington. Well I was born in Foxton, which as any NZer knows, is not far north of Wellington and as a child I used to love going to Wellington for the day - it was a long day too - we stopped at Paraparaumu for morning tea and had lunch at James Smiths. Well things change. . And I love the Kapiti coast. Plus even though I met Ian in Christchurch when we were at university there, I finished my degree at Victoria Uni and our sons were born there at St Helens when we lived at Glenside. Now you know. Wellington Harbour is wonderful even on bad weather days.

But I have finished twin needling the metre of velvet- yeah! And I have been painting up papers with transfer paints ready for my downunder piece and also playing with a few bits of fabrics. You would never quess that I like these colours, would you?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

sunday report

After a busy rugby weekend and catching up on all the orders and reordering and unpacking the parcels which came in my absence, I am just about ready to start some of my own work. Here is a lovely eucalyptus tree which is growing in our garden and actually hangs over the footpath outside the fence. Someone at Horsham went out for a drive and came back with flowers and pods from the same tree - I am pretty sure it is a native West Australian eucalypt, but I am not very technical on these matters. It is delightful though as it has wonderful yellow flowers which break out very rich red poddy things. The tree has lovely big pods too. Another thing about this tree is that it has a wonderful scent especially at this time of the year - not what you would call Autumn but the best thing we have. Even better scent after the rain.

Horsham Fibre Forum - a lovely few days - I got an upgrade car I think - very spacious and powerful with a hand brake which is actually a foot brake - I had to get the manual out to find out where it was and how to use it. Horsham is a great little forum - not too big and very friendly and relaxed. I went last year and enjoyed it. Just with my 3 full suitcases of goodies I thought people might like. Horsham is about 3 hours drive from Melbourne going west on the way back to Western Australia. The forum was actually at Longerenong College about 12 kms out of Horsham. It is not my sort of landscape - very flat and parched. I think I have become a city girl. There were about 90 participants and a great variety of classes for the week and lots of fun. I only stayed until Thursday as I had to get back to go watch the rugby of course. The tutors included Sandra Meech (Make your Mark), Alexander Pilin (Felting the Matrix), Gwen Egg (Fibre Plus), Kirry Toose (Bustiers and Beyond) to name a few. Being a trader means you can sometimes quietly creep into a few classes which I was lucky enough to do - going to forums always sparks the creativity bells. The food was super and after an inital hiccup (like someone else asleep in my allotted bedroom) I had a nice quiet room where I propped the window up with the rubbish bin. Managed a walk each day and also worked on a few things like trying to master a little more of Generations and Husqvarna programmes. Every little bit helps. I also did some knitting, crocheting and stitching for my art to wear. The pic is of my hairpin lace bits for the bodice. Worked with lurex thread, gimp and torn fabric. I also enjoyed catching up with friends - wouldn't I rather live in Melbourne - but not right now with my new studio very very soon. Maybe the electrician will come tomorrow and finish off.

Anyway being there has given me necessary ideas for a piece I am sending off to Germany on the downunder theme.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

friday night

well - wot a night. We went to watch the rugby fully expecting to see the Crusaders show us how smooth and well oiled they are and hoping that the Force would maybe score a try - say the first one and then that would be it. But - no - they played like champions right to the end. A 23-23 draw but 2 disallowed tries at the end which would have upturned the super 14 scene - especially as the Crusaders haven't lost a match this season. This is Cameron Sheppard - man of the match - but actually they were all the men of the match. Great crowd support and a great way to finish in Perth. They will be off to South Africa with their tails in the air.

This afternoon of course my beloved Hurricanes are playing the Brumbies and it should be a good game - sorry Helen! In between I shall get to work. Have just noticed that the door handles on the studio are different colours........

Just to add my rugby report - the Brumbies won - they played well and the 'Canes didn't show their magic. Have to wait until next week's game but they are still in third spot on the ladder! It was a good game though. A weekend of interesting results.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I am back

Just a quick call in - had a good time in Horsham but up to our ears in orders - that's what happens when the person who knows where everything is goes away for a few days. However I have finished all the orders and about to package them so my weekend will be free to enjoy the rugby and get to work on the many things I have lined up. I will report back later but I had a good chance to work on my digitizing and further plod through the Husqvarna programmes and do some stitching and knitting and hair pin lace for my art to wear and start working on a piece for an exhibition in Germany and read a book so I am feeling quite sanctimonious.

In the meantime I haven't had a chance to watch last week's rugby game Hurricanes versus Highlanders but I phoned Ian immediately I thought it was finished to get the good oil and I have the video at the ready - here is a wonderful photo of Tana Umaga scoring the first try. Tonight we are going to watch the poor old Force play the Crusaders and I think it will be a big walk over. Never mind - tomorrow we will enjoy the Hurricanes play the Brumbies.

Got back to see that the door handles are on but the electrician has not been seen. Very little to do now in the studio but enjoy the door handles - there was a saga involved as there is with everything! So at least we can truly say it is at lock up.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

mini rugby report

Dare I say it - the poor Force lost last night against the Auckland Blues and in keeping with their terrible bad luck, they lost another man to injury. Looks like we, the faithful public, will have to start volunterring to play for them soon.

I am supposed to be packing for Fibre Forum in Horsham but it is boring packing so thought I would stop for a little break. I shall miss my beloved Hurricanes game tomorrow as I will be on an airplane to Melbourne and then I have to drive 3 hours back towards Western Australia to get to Horsham. I am relying on the lovely Jaslyn to video the game for me.

I am wondering what will happen in the studio by the time I get back on Thursday. The door hinges were changed on Thursday but the handles needed a different tradie..... bit more paint to finish, paving, sink - can't be far away. I am itching to get working inside. Yesterday I sat outside and made a pile of samples using Shiva paintstiks for the article I am writing for Machine Embroidery and Textile Art magazine - I think it's really important to write the textile art part as they seem to often overlook that side of things.

I have begun stitching Wild Side for my round robin so will post it later if I finish it before I go. Plus I am on the home stretch with the twin-needling - and the newsletter should start going out today.

See you all after Thursday!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

day of great significance

well for me, anyway. It's my birthday - not a big one - just an inbetween one - but it seems the older you get the more nice things happen. Emails from 5.30am and out to lunch at Tarts - very nice - and lots of nice pressies - even flowers from my hairdresser. Not to mention that the architect and the electrician both came. Lights will be on on Tuesday and the door handles tomorrow. Tonight we are off to a concert - Pergolesi's Stabat Mater at Winthrop Hall at UWA with an atmospheric aerial staging. It's beautiful music so should be excellent. After our champagne in the garden of course. These lovely flowers were from Ian.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

tuesday report

Patti Culea's new book has just arrived today and it's pretty good - Patti is a clever wee thing. I am not a dollie maker and I found having to dress mine a real challenge but it's nice to see her there. There are a lot more much more exciting ones inside the book.

It seems that electricians are not easy to hang onto - the ones on the building site next door have vanished as well. I can see bleakness in the finishing scene with Easter looming up quickly. Never mind, I shall put my no 2 dollie in to guard as well. And we will keep on plotting the garden.

Today Jaslyn spotted a book I adore which usually lives by my side of the bed so I can have a quick peep before I go to sleep - the textures and colours are amazing and inspirational. It's Roberta Furlanetto - Weave - and there is a link to it on my links to the right.

I have also made a card for our friend Kathy - she will be having a BIG birthday soon but is stuffing off to Europe before then so we are all going out to dinner tonight. I am trying to use up more of the Luigi Lolly wrappers and Kathy loves Luigi's gnocchi.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday thingies

Not a sighting of an electrician or an architect today - I think that when these people do turn up one should make them stay until they have finished the job. So won't get to see all the lights on today. I have spent most of the day printing pages for the latest kit I have finally got ready - Illuminated Manuscripts. Takes ages to package everything and soak the tissutex and print the pages. I am doing a variety of different pages so I don't get bored. The above picture is one of the manuscript pages I have here - it comes from a book on medieval music which I won at primary school. Should never throw anything out.

I am well over half way with the twin needling though. However my list of things to do never goes down - I seem to keep adding to it. I have been writing an article on using Shiva Paintstiks for the Aust Machine Embroidery and Textile Art magazine to try to help the textile art part along. Not a project but I am going to make some tiny cushions so that it manages to fit the embroidery format. Simple information is not allowed to be enough it would seem.

Loopy Lace - the round robin is for the Aust branch of the UK Computer Textile Design Group (link on our website) - designbitesdownunder. My contributions have been sparse which means I have a lot to catch up. I keep reverting to letters it would seem. My journal is Hundertwasser and looking at the contributions on the website it is looking very nice indeed.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Loopy Lace

This is the piece I made for a round robin I am in which Margaret R - digital gran - is also in. Only I am so far behind and not nearly as clever as Mags. This one I have digitised letters from a font called Redemption. Digitised in Generations - thought I would try the cross stitch fill this time. The top layer is made of decorative stitches worked on Romeo. I like playing with letters and should develop it more.

Went down the road to Tarts for breakfast this morning - very pleasant. Good weather in Perth at this time of the year. Back to the twin needling now.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

rugby report

Well the Force lost to the Highlanders when they were ahead - maybe next week will be their week. They do have 2 points on the scoreboard though as they have had 2 bonus points now. The top pic is of Cameron Shepherd who played a great game. My beloved Hurricanes have a bye this week.

I have been working on a round robin piece today and I will post it tomorrow - just waiting for the lace to dry. My Luigi Lolly is being one guardian angel in the studio - I will pop the other one in tomorrow. I managed to sew right through my nail today - in a hurry - lots of blood - teach me to hurry.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


This is Lake Gunn on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Isn't it a wonderful and serene picture - the shades of blue are rather incredible (on my 'puter anyway). You couldn't do better if you folded paper and did cut outs.

This morning the electricians arrived. They have installed most of the light fittings and one which shines up through the two eucalyptus trees. Back on Monday to finish off and turn the switch on so we are nearly there. I decided to leave dollie down at our lockup today - she can be the guardian angel tomorrow.

I have been playing more with the hairpin lace tool - the one I showed the other day is a plastic Clover one but the ones my mother has given me are metal and bigger so I can have different sizes. Working with a lurex thread right now. Post picture when finished.

Lots of parcels arrived today - that's one good thing about this business - you get to open everything up and hopefully try some. Playing with Translucent Liquid Sculpey - once I found you could iron it I became very interested. Someone told me today that you can half set it on paper and then work into it. Lots of possibilities. I have also got some of the Style Stones in - not sure what I am going to do with these yet - I like the Hand ones. They don't have holes in them but I am sure they could be attached and used as a stamp for Delight or similar. Also got a new order of KraftyLady moulds. The funky letters are rather fun so I might play with them. As if I haven't enough to do. Have done only 10 twin needle rows today which is better than none but I broke a needle. Trying to hurry.

Off to sit outside and admire the garden and enjoy a curry and some champagne. And yes - I did receive an enormous bag of lolly wrappers last night - Martine assures me that Luigi has been eating the chocs for me. I will have to dream up something to use them for. I have so many.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

studio painted outside

Wow - a painter came today and painted all the outside walls with a wash - the colour is Stone I think. Looks really great - Ian took these pics in the late afternoon. Tomorrow we are going to wash the floors and I am going to move one of my dollie models in to be security guard until the door handles are in. Then just the electrician, the skirting boards, the last paint finishes, the sink and the paving and I will be cooking with gas.

Off to have a lovely meal cooked by my Italian mate Luigi of the lolly wrappers - no doubt I will come home with more.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Hairpin Lace

My mother used to make hairpin duchess sets for everyone - all starched and the most amazing dust catchers. You were always having to take them outside and shake them. Somehow we mysteriously 'lost' them when we moved to Australia. However, I recently talked her into parting with her tools - she is nearly 92 - and thought I would use them myself. Not done a lot but in the meantime I came across these little plastic ones from Clover - I have been reading a bit about hairpin lace lately and saw a hairpin lace skirt! Wonder how it would go starched? Anyway I have been playing with different yarns on this new toy and plan to add some of my efforts to my ATW - you can twist it and turn it of course. Lots of great textural effects. I should imagine that all types of yarn from perle 12 to whatever will work well. Rather different from the duchess sets. My sample here is a pretty boringly plain yarn but don't worry, I have lots of exciting coloured ones to play with.

Haven't had time to stitch my 20 rows of twin needle yet but still a few hours before bedtime. I read in the paper this morning that a glass of red wine a day may not be good for you. I used a big black pen to cross that out. Couldn't find my red pen at the time.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


This is a card I have made for my friend, Stephanie, who has not been well. She owns Destination Art in Arrowtown, in Central Otago, NZ, so if you are lucky enough to be in that neck of the woods, do call in and see her. I used some of the many Luigi Lolly Wrappers since I have an enormous pile of them.

I am also happy to announce that I am finally at the half way point in the twin needling of the velvet. To reward myself I stitched a row back the other way. I can see many more days of stitching at 20 rows a day. I have also started knitting some hand embroidery yarn for a littleoverlay around the waist of the skirt.

Today I had a read of Pokey Bolton's Blog on the Quilting Arts site. She has been tidying up her studio and it looks very pristine and she has a link to other people's studios and I can see without a doubt that mine looks dreadful. I decided to photograph it for her in an honest way - I am normally very organised and it is driving me nuts but just wait until I move home.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

traumatic times

After all the trauma of the past couple of days thought I would show you a banskia from our front garden. The garden out there has been a bit shambolic for some time but few years back I planted some little gems which have been quietly growing away and once the surrounding stuff was cleared out popped a lovely banksia tree with room to breathe. I read that they are very good this year - the colour has been lovely to see out of our bedroom window.

Ian spent 4 hours at least yesterday reloading our website - just as well he does a backup and has total control of the website. Our server, Eftel, had some drama (we believe caused by someone who forgot about daylight savings and switched off for maintenance on the wrong hour and caused them to lose all their data). So the site is finally functioning but looking through the graphics, we have seen some strange colours so they all need reloading. Many many thanks to all of you wonderful people who emailed us - it certainly caused an upset to our day (or two). We know we lost lots of emails and are hoping Eftel will find them somewhere - even the spam stopped for a while.

Last night The Force got so close in the rugby but just couldn't do it - 26-25 to the Stormers. Now they are off to play away from home so that might be their best for this season. They are on the scoreboard though with 1 bonus point. Can only go upwards and onwards.

This afternoon my beloved Hurricanes lost to the Crusaders (I think Ian is back with them now but he didn't gloat). However I can suffer a little defeat - next week.....


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