Monday, May 29, 2006

Sydney photo

When Ian had all his pics developed he found a pile of photos taken in Sydney at the 18ft foot champs. Grant and his crew had such a bad regatta due to the dreadful condition of their brand new boat - it simply started coming to grief - all that training and money - but this was taken the day they led for almost all of the race and came in 2nd. It's a great photo and you can see that he certainly was happy that day. He should have been able to look like that every day but such is life.....

My day has been spent packaging, packaging, packing, packing with another round tomorrow. But I am about to sneak into my studio and create a little Shanghai momento which I shall post later.

Ian phoned the builder today - he thought we were still in China and he wanted us to be here when the painters come back to finish so they and he are coming next Tuesday. After we have finished all this slog tomorrow, we are off to Broome for a long weekend and back on Sunday night. This is our rest and rec before the Sydney show - last year we did this and found we weren't exhausted at the end of each day and ended the show still full of beans.

Just as well Ian did all of his cutting yesterday as he worked outside and today it has rained almost all day - lovely stuff but not so good for the solusheet......

Sunday, May 28, 2006

shanghai some more

After such a let down with the rugby, back to packaging for the Sydney show. I am afraid there is no fairy to help me apart from co-ercing Ian into cutting up the solusheet, thermogauze and lutradur and it really is a big show for us so I seem to have been working non stop for ages. I will be glad when the palettes of stuff have gone on Wednesday because it's too late after that except for all the stuff which can fit into our suitcases. Then, crazy as it sounds, we go to the show, unpack it all and set it up (and that looks like an even crazier task at the time), work hard for 5 days and then pack what's left and send it back and when it gets here, unpack it and start cutting and packaging all over again. Must be stupid.

Back to Shanghai. This pic is of the Grand Theatre - a fantastic building with glass all around and a type of mesh. We went to see the ballet - The Last Emperor - it doesn't really matter what was on we enjoyed it all.

Then we went to the Shanghai Museum - it was described in our book as a giant doughnut - very well set out and as I said before, I loved the bronze collection. An enormous number of school kids appeared while we there - roaming around everywhere. Friends asked if the seagulls had flown in from Perth..... but they really are pigeons

These next two pics are of sections in the People's Square - back in the 1920s this was the racecourse. There are lots of green areas in Shanghai - these gardens were so beautiful. This is the waterlily pond and I sat here for a little sketch and Ian took lots of photos with his real camera - a bit of a rarity these days since everyone has digitals but he takes great pics and I only use the digital for walls and doors and such. It would be beautiful when all the waterlitlies are out - I am sure Monet would have liked it!

There is a also a good shot of the probably local blokes playing cards or something similar. Reminded us of Hyde Park just down the road here in Perth, or anywhere in Europe where we have been. It was a beautiful park and there were lots of people out and about.

Finally these are some really fun sculptures we saw outside the modern art gallery (I think that was what it was). Just standing around outside and being enjoyed by everyone.

super 14 final

what a swizz - and what an ethereal game played in fog - wore my eyes out trying to work out what was happening and where the ball and the players were. I suppose the Crusaders deserved to win - they had the territory but they probably train in the fog. The Hurricanes probably couldn't see where they and the ball were going. Roll on 2007 after all that!

Had a lovely night out - it was Val's birthday but I won't tell her age.

More on Shanghai tomorrow after such an exhausting day!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Super 14 Rugby Final

no time to pop up next round of pics as we are off to the final - fingers crossed for the Hurricanes but may the best team win...... back later

Friday, May 26, 2006

more on Shanghai

This morning I looked up the Shanghai Museum on the net and now I can go and see the bronze collection whenever I like. Here are two photos Ian took of a bell and a container both very near to our hotel. I love them both so I am sure you will see them crop up somewhere in my work before too long. Can't you just see the fun I will be able to have with my soldering iron and everything else?

Ian picked up his photos this afternoon - this is a night shot he took of Nanjing Road instead of the postcard - every time we went there it was like this from early in the morning until late at night.

One thing I found out whilst in China checking my emails is that I could not access my blog nor could I get to Yahoo groups. I imagine they are both censored. I tried on several occasions and Kelvin tells me he has never been able to access my blog. downunderdale must sound subversive??

Off to dinner with friends tonight so I will pop some more on tomorrow and write about some of the other things we did and saw in Shanghai.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I don't know why I ever say I will be back the next day. We have been very busy with normal orders and 350 Quilting Arts 22 coming in and going out. That's a lot of pushing numbers on the credit card machine. However, this latest issue is another very good one so it is worth it!

To China - we had a wonderful week - flew to Hong Kong and stayed overnight in Kowloon and then caught the train to Shenzhen to see our thread people. Here is a photo of Kelvin and his mother whose name I only know in Chinese characters and one of their three dogs. They invited us home for dinner and we had a wonderful night. Jonathan and Mrs J don't speak English and we don't speak Chinese so Kelvin does all the talking. Shenzhen is a bit of a snake pit and not the best place to have a holiday but the hotel we stayed at was very nice. We managed to avoid the typhoon which was expected to arrive at 3pm and we flew out to Shanghai at 1pm. It was predicted to be the biggest May typhoon for 50 years but fortunately was downgraded to a storm but still in Southern China over 1 million people had to be evacuated (to where?) and they are still having rain in Shenzhen Kelvin tells me.

Then we spent 4 days in Shanghai like wide eyed kids. It was a great place - the cleanest city I have ever been to and despite the fact that there are over 15 million people there are lots of parks. Here are 2 postcards which we found - you could get a rolex watch every 5 metres of walking but postcards are like gold dust and we were only approached once with them and then he seemed reluctant to sell us anymore than 1 packet. The first one is of Nanjing Road which looked just like that - it is or was the biggest shopping street around and very glitzy at night. Ian has taken photos but I will have to wait until he has them developed. I forgot to take out my digital..... It was packed like this all the time but wasted on us as we didn't buy anything. We were staying near the centre of town and only one street over from here.

The second postcard is of the Pearl Tower on the Huangpu river. We traversed under the river in an underground train - amazing. Laser show and fairy lights and a great combo of purple and greens which I want for a new thread. We didn't go up the tower but wandered around. The first whole day we had in Shanghai was very wet, very cold and very windy due to the storm and we only managed short hops in taxis but the following days were as hot as can be. On the wet day I carted Ian to the Pearl markets and found some lovely small square sequins which I have been after for some time. Anything to weigh his suitcase down. The other days were extremely hot.

Being good rugby supporters we managed to find an Irish pub to watch the 2 semi finals in the French Concession. If you go to Shanghai it is a beautiful area to visit - reminded us of Europe.

More pics etc coming soon (note I haven't said tomorrow). My art to wear beckons with anxiety and I need a fairy to come in and package and pack for Darling Harbour. Lots of wonderful ATCs here though and if you haven't made yours and sent them in, don't be put off. It is going to be a wonderful display. By the way, the electrician came and fitted the last light while we were away and for me to be able to move in only needs the painter to spend about an hour finishing off inside............

Monday, May 22, 2006

I am back

Back today from a fabulous week in China - more about that later. We managed to find an Irish pub in Shanghai in the French Concession so popped in to watch the 2 semi finals and met lots of expat Kiwis enjoying the occasion. And yes - the Hurricanes won - yeah - hope we don't fight next Sat Ian and I - either way one of us will be supplying the champagne. Here is a pic of the triumphant Hurricanes - Rodney and Ma'a - fingers crossed for next Saturday.

Back tomorrow with pics and thingies about our trip.

Monday, May 15, 2006

ATC challenge

Can't possibly get on the plane without reminding you all to make and send ATCs for the challenge at Darling Harbour - go to our website and click on the ATC thingie on the left hand side. We have an enormous space to fill and we don't want to come back home panicking.

see you all next week

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sunday musings

It's very warm and quite muggy in Perth today and we are clearing up some of our back log in readiness for our trip to China tomorrow. One of the good things for me is that when we go away I clear the decks in my office space (aka half the dining room table) and finish little jobs I don't really want to do.

Since it's mothers day today, I thought I would bring some laughter to your lives by sharing a couple of photos of the young Dale (still looking for the Shirley Temple pic). My mother sends me these little gems from time to time as she goes through her albums and decides they should move to their lucky owners. I phoned her today - she is 91 and hoping that she is 92 but this is not to be until September. She was playing the piano when I phoned so I was lucky she heard me as she is mostly deaf. On the other hand she was waiting for me to phone. She will now be waiting for a postcard from Shanghai.

The photos are from the period in your life when your mother wants you to go to ballet classes, imagining that one day she will see you dancing Swan Lake. Not to be as you can see. The top one is Dale and a luckless girl called Jennifer being dutch dolls and in the bottom one I am the happy soul with the cross marked on the photo by my mother in case I had forgotten who I am. I think that is the said Jennifer in the same costume beside me. I cannot imagine I lasted long at ballet - I guess we were supposed to be fairies of some sort. Later on - I have just noticed that Jennifer has much nicer shaped ankles (and legs) than me - bad luck Dale.

Anyway, even though we don't take these sort of occasions seriously in our house it was very nice that Grant phoned and Bruce and Kazuko are taking us out to dinner tonight. By then our bags will be packed and we will be off.

See you next week - hopefully with lots of stitching and drawing done and some good pics to show

Saturday, May 13, 2006

saturday night

Just a little wisper on a Saturday night. We are sitting outside eating our dinner - it is very warm, the outside lights are on in the studio and the Hurricanes won. Yeah! An excellent day all round. Had to wait for it but here is a pic of Tana Umaga in action. Means they get a home semi-final in Wellington. Fingers crossed.

Ian has loaded the latest pic of my studio onto the About Us on our website with inside and outside lights! Maybe when we get back the painter will have done his stuff and I can start moving in.


here is the 'under' - now I have to cut the edges and make the next decision on size. Trying to finish it ready to take with me on Monday to stitch. Thanks Gill for that shopping info. I have been up and down all of those stairs - must have had my eyes closed. Will open them this time.

Rugby report for Friday - sad to say, Helen, that the Brumbies lost yesterday. It was a pretty soggy game from the way the ball didn't bounce and the water splashed up. I am afraid the Force didn't help over night so it's all over, rover, for the Brumbies this year. Today fingers crossed for the Hurricanes to beat the Waratahs so they can have the semi-final in Wellington. Either way they play the Waratahs next week for the precious spot in the finals.

Busy trying to clear up a few jobs before we leave on Monday morning. 7 days in China including 4 as tourists in Shanghai. Looking forward to it. Last night just happened to see a programme on tv of old Shanghai.

We have created a new section in our catalogue titled Waiting to be Added - for all the lovely new goodies waiting beside Ian's computer. It's a big list but at least people can see the new goodies titles.

Plus - shocks galore - the electricians turned up at 7am and almost finished the job - outside plugs and lights in the patio - just have to come back with a copper chain for the hanging light in the patio. That means that the painter may come and go while we are away. We will be able to sit outside tonight and admire the outside lights.

Friday, May 12, 2006


well I managed to finish stitching the 'under' postcard as well but still have the linking cords to make and the backing to add so I can take them with me on the plane to stitch. Eight hours is a long flight to Hong Kong on Monday. We are only staying overnight and catching the train to China. Bit of business and then 4 days being tourists in Shanghai. Last year when we were in HK I didn't find a single thing worth buying - I am not a shopping shopping girl but always on the lookout for textiley goodies for me and you! But my friend Kelvin (our business associates) is taking me shopping so that will be very good.

Running like mad and off to the rugby soon - it doesn't look good for the Brumbies, Helen. But you never know.

Here is the basket of our lovely new thick 3 ply metallic which arrived yesterday - runs well in the bobbin (150 metres on a spool which is a good amount) but you can also pull the thread out for textured types things as well as all the usual - couching and stuff. Always exciting when you get new things..... and yes I love opening parcels!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


in between opening a lovely 16 boxes of threads including our nice new Sparkle heavy duty metallic, I have managed to almost finish the dale of downunderdale. Think I will have to complete these on the plane to Hong Kong on Monday. ps not a wisper of the electrician today....

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


here is a pic of the first postcard - not quite finished but this is the down of the trio.


Flat out today - spent the morning at Husqvarna learning a little more about how to make better use of my Designer SE - I actually made a snakes and ladder game - well I could see heaps of potential in the ladder on kunin felt with my soldering iron. The more I practise the better I surely will get. Got my copy of Design-It today - the computer textile mag from UK and see my article on Generations. I am getting better....

Working away slowly on the downunder postcards but in the meantime this is my no 1 son Grant sailing on his 18ft foot skiff in Sydney in February. He's the skipper - the guy with the long stick in his hand...... Only got these pics today from no 2 son Bruce - he's the one with the fabulous photos on the link on the right.

Still no electrician but we did get the sink and bench and cupboard from Ikea yesterday.

Monday, May 08, 2006

textile report

good plans of mice and man always go astray and I didn't get back yesterday but I have been working away on my 3 downunder postcards - well quite large postcards really. Not quite finished as I am printing bits and pieces and stitching and burning and have my eucalyptus leaves to add next. In the meantime I have loaded a mass euclyptus leaf piece I made a little while ago whichI had temporarily lost. And no - the electrician did not turn up this morning and even the builder is annoyed - he only has to finish off and then the painter can come in and finish off. Something faulty with the power though - Ian took the vacuum cleaner up last night to clear some of the dust off the floor and blew the fuse. Another little job for the electrician to do.

Should have at least one finished postcard to show tomorrow. I could be faster if I didn't also work on other things. Creating another page for my Medieval Magic book as well.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

rugby roundup

I haven't posted for a few days - things have been getting in the way but 2 reports today - rugby first of course. Very exciting weekend - all the Kiwi teams except the Auckland Blues won their games this weekend and all the Australian teams lost except for - wait for it - the Western Force. At last they have a win on their books. My beloved Hurricanes won but they were quite determined to give it to Queesnland - gave them passes and even a good kicked ball. Never mind, they won. Here is a pic of Tana Umaga getting away from Ben Tune. My sympathy to those ACT Brumbie supporters but the Highlanders did play superbly. You can blame our friend Jonathan who thought he would counter Ian and me by wearing his Wallaby jersey. I know from experience that when I wear my greenstone earrings the All Blacks always lose so I gave that away after the last World Rugby series. Last game of the round robin next weekend.

On Saturday morning I went to a WAFTA open day at Jennie Abbott's lovely home up in the bush north of Perth - it was really nice to catch up with people. While I was driving up and back I decided to make changes to my downunder postcards so back to square one - textiley report later on. Right now we are off to Tarts for a decent cup of coffee since we are out of any here. Not a sign of the electricians on Friday as promised but ever hopeful for tomorrow morning. So close but yet so far. I have been cleaning out some of my junk so there is sometime positive happening.

Back later

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

let there be light

yippee do - the sparkies arrived at 6.30am and we almost died of shock. They have indeed worked all day and we have power and lights inside and some outside including the one shining up between the two eucalyptus trees. They have promised to come on Friday and finish the outside ones in the patio. Just need the painter to do the finish inside then I can move stuff in. We have had to pick up our new dining room table and chairs as they were outstaying their welcome at the shop so they are in the studio until there is a space for them in the dining room. All we need now is the second coat of paint outside, the sink in and the paving done. Then we can gather our breath (and save some more money) and get to the next part. I have to start thinking about what furniture I want in there.

Spent last night creating a photo collage of our house back and front in PSP and saved it as a template and for some reason I can't access it so I have to start again. I did print some out but I needed to soak my tissutex in inkjetset for printing so I am about to do another one. This is for my downunder postcards so maybe I will have some pics to show tomorrow. In the meantime here is the back of the house looking from the studio - this is our summer dining room - and our front door. It's a lovely old house, just full of too much stuff. Better than having a bricks and mortar shop though.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


This is a photo of my Nana and me - found while I was hunting for my Shirley Temple ringlets and hand knitted dress photo. People keep asking me to post a decent picture of myself but I am not worth it - not much better when I was younger but at least I didn't mind posing. My grandparents lived in Masterton which is in the Wairarapa - east coast north of Wellington and I used to love going to stay in the school holidays. My grandfather built the house for his parents and they went to live there when the parents died. You forget how little people had (and did it matter?) and how primitive things were - we are all so spoilt these days. The house is still there in Rennall Street and apart from a coat of paint and no trees, looks very similar but so much smaller than my mind remembers. I do remember the potty chamber under the bed for night time as the toilet was way out the back and far too cold for little Dale who was probably too lazy to empty it in the morning.....I must have made friends there as we used to roam everywhere, go skating and to the pictures. My grandmother to played the piano until her arthritis got too bad (a fear I have) and knit - she knitted a lot of baby clothes for various customers. I think I got the knitting and music from her through my mother. She also used to babysit out on a farm north of town and I loved going there as well. It's amazing what you remember. My sister is much more clued up than I am. She died when I was at university and I really wanted her treddle sewing machine but my uncle in his wisdom took it to the dump. When she was young, my mother was sent off to work and told to send her wages home so that her brother could have things like tennis rackets and bikes and go to university. No wonder my mother insisted that my sisterand I have a decent education. She should have had the same opportunity herself.

Enough of that. Some fabulous goodies from Sarah Lawrence arrived today along with mountains of parcels. Sarah has created some fabulous stamps and I want to play with them now but I have to finish my downunder postcards and they are not right. This design is called Spiral jewelled backgound.


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