Friday, June 30, 2006


Tomorrow is an interesting word isn't it? Perhaps it never comes..... According to the painter he came at 7am although I was working at the computer in the front and didn't see anyone. Anyway it was raining just at that moment so he went away....... When the builder rang at 10am to tell Ian, I exploded and he certainly could hear me. I expect he is on valium now. Anyway he told me I could move in and the painter could work around me when he comes - Monday at 7am - now that is tomorrow in the working man's week so it be interesting to see how the word is interpreted this time.....

But - 'nuff said and I have moved three trolleys in and they look at home. Tomorrow (a real tomorrow) I am going to move my three sewing tables in and play around with the positioning and I am very keen to sew a bit to prove it really is happening. Off to look at shelves very early in the morning.

Having written a little about the book, I have had a pile of emails - I have enough material written and sampled for about 10 books - I am a prolific writer and experimenter - but time is my enemy and whether I do or don't will happen if it does. Does that make sense?

I have another paper napkin to show - again with a grid layer - give a little idea of what you can do.

I sent out the ATCs from Darling Harbour to those people who sent me a stamped addressed envelope today. It was a great exercise and we are doing it again in Perth at the show 4-6 August so I hope lots of people will take part again. You can see the details on our website. Plus we will have the Celebrity ATCs on the move with a few more celebrities who hadn't quite got their act together for Sydney - I know - we are all busy people. We are running a Make It Take It set of workshops every day and Ian is getting that on the web in our calender section as I type on the other side of the table.

tonight we are off to see Midori and the WASO orchestra. Should be a great concert. Then I will be sleeping well getting excited about moving some things!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

fresh flowers

it's cold in Perth today - like a proper winter's day and that is serious coming from me who hates the heat. Not that I am complaining. I love Irises and these are in my studio waiting for me. I have promised myself fresh flowers every day when I am there. I have the door open during the day (and all through the night when I forgot to close it) so that the inside can breathe the outside air instead of feeling rejected. The builder has PROMISED that he and the painter will be here at 8am tomorrow morning. Everyone's fingers crossed please.

Still unpacking and sorting and counting and reordering but Kazuko is coming on Monday to work so that will be a great help. I have decided that once I am in the studio I shall employ a student for a few hours one day a week to ease the pain...

And no Dorothy - that is my grid! Great way to make layers isn't it. It's amazing what you can do with something simple like a paper napkin.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

paper napkins

When we are away I am always on the lookout for interesting paper napkins - ones with good images - you can always get good ones in Italy but I have also found wonderful ones in NZ. I use them in lots of different ways and this is one time when the best quality is better. These two pics are of some I got in Italy - for one I have bonded it to a background and distressed it and the other one is a finished piece. The pears have been stitched and dipped in UTEE to protect them. As if we haven't got enough stuff in our various baskets but always worth looking out for. I seal everything with acrylic wax when I have finished. You can layer them but I will leave that for others' experimenting. The chapter I have written about paper napkins is for the book - ha ha!

Off to dinner at Luigi and Martien - the same Luigi of the Luigi lolly wrappers. He is a fantastic cook.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

cloth paper scissors

The latest issue of cloth paper scissors arrived today and I have only had a chance to flick through it as I am still unpacking boxes from the verandah (and did it rain today and onto the verandah - however all was well) but we sent out all of the issues on order along with everything else and everything is nearly back in place from Sydney. One more day should do it. I am trying to take it all relaxingly. The one exciting thing I have had a quick look at is the article on the journal exchange I took part in which Jacinta Leishman organised. The same journals as on our website. Pokey Bolton does a great job with both of the mags and we are always honoured to be able to sell them. There is also an interesting article on Castaway which we sell and which I have not had time to play. This will be my excuse.

Paul, our architect, came by today expecting to see the paving down and was he horrified. We have decided that if we don't see this painter by the end of the week we will do it ourselves.

I have started on another little pocket book on Shanghai - so far I have bonded the plastic bag from the museum to one side of vilene - it is not that good a quality but I will seal it up with acrylic wax to protect it. Knew it was worth saving the plastic bag - it has lots of Chinese writing all over it - hopefully all related to the museum. I shall print lots of our photos onto tissutex for the othe side. One thing we couldn't find easily in China were postcards so there was no chance of paper napkins!

Think we will go out to dinner to celebrate all the work we have done. Sad to say the aussies lost the soccer last night - that is sport for you - drama right at the end. Kelvin is going for Spain and I am going for France tonight so we will see whose team wins! Not that I know anything at all about soccer - it takes longer to play than rubgy and the scores are always low - something about boys kicking a ball around.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Frangipani book

This is a little frangipani book I am making. It has lots of pockets for me to fill. Up in Broome there are loads of frangipanis at the Bali Hai where we stay. We are planning to plant a few in our garden when we get that far. I just happened to find a packet of frangipani paper napkins when we were up there. I have used the napkins for the inside and the outside is some of our hand painted tissutex printed with a frangipani stamp I have been hanging onto for a while. I am in the process of digitising some frangipanis for attaching as well.

monday musings

I have been reading about the problems in Kawakawa with tourists taking photos in the toilet there all the time. Isn't this a fabulous picture of part of the inside. Clever man, Hundertwasser. Sort of the gate to lock up at night? Layers yet again.

Good rugby this weekend - watched the Wallabies beat Ireland and then the video of the All Blacks vs Argentina - what a pedantic ref - liked the sound of his voice and was enjoying practising his whistle blowing and arm waving. Fortunately the ABs won. The soccer is absorbing most people but it can be pretty boring and each half is longer than in rugby. Having said that, there have been some little exciting moments on the replay on SBS before the news. I think we might watch some of the game tonight - Aussies might win.

Ian has put the sink and bench together almost and I have popped my dummie all dressed in Princess H and a vase of irises in the studio. We are hearterly fed up with this painter and will resort to finishing ourselves if he doesn't appear. And not pay the extra. Even the builder can't get hold of him on the phone.

Back to unpacking and sorting.

Friday, June 23, 2006

wot a swizzz

just finished unpacking all the suitcases and nearly finished putting everything away tidily when the 2 palettes of stuff arrived back from Sydney - that's pretty fast as they were only picked up on Monday and we weren't expecting them until Tuesday. Good in that I have been able to fill a few orders but dreary as it has put paid to my relaxing and working creatively all weekend. Maybe I still I won't be able to move anything into the studio since the painter hasn't graced us with his presence or his paintbrush......

friday's iris

Here's this morning's native iris just out - yesterday's was taken at night - they are so lovely and only last a day but there are lots of buds all ready to bloom. I have even pulled out all the dead leaves.

Tissutex hand dyed - yes Helen - it's all on the web in the Silk/Fibres - plant fibre section. I have packaged and packaged and onto the next thing. it was hard to decide how to display the colours as they are all individual and will be different next time. This is a terrible job we have with the silk cocoons and rods. I have just ordered loads more of these too.

Jacinta has also sent her silk threads and silk and wool tops in Lavender and Lace - they virtually sold out in Sydney - the rayon machine threads are on their way with some other goodies. It's hard finding new things but always exciting. I have found fine copper tissue in bulk and I think we are getting 20 kilos - it is highly suitable for stitching, putting through your pleater, patinating etc. Be fun for Ian to cut up. It's coming with the rayon threads.

Another clever name has always been Art Van Go. I also read this morning that sewing clothes is back in fashion with youth. A good sign. It is important that we nuture youth and pass on our skills - creativity is very important. Independent thinking doesn't hurt either.......

Thursday, June 22, 2006

what's in a name

this is a pic of the first native iris out in our bush near the back door. It only flowers for a day and I caught this one late but there will be another tomorrow so I will try again. Barbara used to sleep in this bush all the time so it always reminds us of her. it's a great flower to draw and I have done so many times.

Names - when I started The Thread Studio over 10 years ago, I spent ages thinking of a suitable name. At that stage I was thinking almost primarily of hand and machine threads so the resulting name was a good choice I reckon. Now, of course, we add 'textile art supplies' but to be honest there wasn't an awful lot of stuff around. I think one of the first things I stocked were the Shiva stiks which I still love to use. There is certainly a lot of textile art stuff on the market these days and plenty of people trying to get in on the take.

My first contact with names was The Web of Thread which I thought was a very clever name for a business but what I came up with has worked well - well enough for many others to copy in part. There has been the thread shack, yarn barn, threads and more, yarn market and recently I saw mention of the yarn studio. Many of them have, at times, talked about their 'thread studio' back at home etc. So it must be a good name.

Just my daily observation. I have finally unpacked all the suitcases and just need to do some final sorting and more reordering. The painter still hasn't honoured us with his presence but there is tomorrow. I bought a selection of plants for one of the areas outside so hoping sooner or later we will be able to plant them. Also, didn't get anything very creative achieved today but there is always tomorrow.....

Rae also sent me some lovely hand dyed tissutex which I sent her to dye. I have selected a piece for my Broome piece which I have bonded to craft vilene ready for printing and stitching tomorrow so I have done something.....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Back again

We arrived back from Sydney on Monday afternoon and then there comes the boring task of unpacking the suitcases and counting stuff and reordering and repackaging. I always start off well and get most of the suitcases unpacked and then I lose interest which is exactly what has happened this time. After I knocked a basket of sorted threads onto the floor I decided to change tasks. I shall finish first thing in the morning and then I can get onto the piece of work I am planning to do after our little trip to Broome before I forget. I have managed quite a bit of reordering though. The palettes will arrive on Monday or Tuesday but there is not a great deal returning. It is amazing how many books we sell. Looks like everyone else is a bookaholic like me. I managed to read some of my Annie Proulx book during the week. She is a fabulous writer - so observant. She must spend hours just watching people and listening.

We had a good week in Sydney - met up with lots of customers and Playways people and friends. The ATC exchange seemed to go down very well and contrary to my fears, everything filled the space well. It was a shame the organisers didn't give us a light though - it would have been easier to see. Actually it seemed to me that the whole venue was dark. The lights we hire cost us enough. The only sour thing about the ATCs was that I caught a lady helping herself to a few just as I was about to pack them up and I got her to return one but I could see from the gaps that she had helped herself to more but short of demanding she turn out her pockets, I have had to wear that one. Means I will have a few to make later on this week.

We had a feast of lovely restaurants during the week. This is our bonus for working hard. Jessica took us to Sugaroom which was lovely and we also indulged at Zaffran, Jordans, Golden Century and a tapas place in Paddington after we watched the rugby. Watched the All Blacks beat Ireland and the Wallabies beat England so a very late night on the Saturday.

The weather in Perth is actually quite cold although rain is desperately needed and Barbara's memorial violets are not looking very healthy.

Be back tomorrow with hopefully some work completed. When I am away and unable to create, my notebook usually fills up. No exception this time and I have an idea to explore a bag on the embellisher. But I also have a long list of other things to do as well.

The painter has returned from his holiday but not quite here - apparently tomorrow..... I really am hoping to start moving some stuff in this weekend.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

a tale of two tails

Look at my precious possie scarf which I got out yesterday to wear to the rugby. I haven't worn it for ages and I hang it over the door in the bedroom. When customers come round they feel they must touch everything which hangs over the bedroom door. Fair enough but it looks very much to me like some nasty person has whipped out her scissors and cut the end off one of the tails. Can you believe it? Steal my threads if you must but leave my precious possie alone......

By the way, the All Blacks won last night but it was a worry - lots of dropped balls - I think they all had too much hand cream on.

Off to Sydney in the morning and back again next Monday.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Princess H

well - Princess H is all finished apart from some attachments instead of pins so as a reward she is in the garden outside the studio enjoying the sunshine. She has the twin needle velvet, embellisher fabric, knitted belt and hairpin lace extras. I am amused by what people are doing with their embellishers. Some people seem to be making a mystery out of it. As far as I can see it is a very useful felting machine which can be used to create great textured fabric. Felt - yes - but also anything that takes your fancy. I haven't broken any needles yet - touch wood - but I used it to do all the seams on this garment and attach the bindings etc. When the surface becomes very thick then common sense prevails and you drive with caution. It is just a fabulous addition to what one already has. I will make her a bag but not for Sydney - maybe for the Perth show at the beginning of August.

Now I am back to more serious matters like making up the kits for the Sydney workshops before I pack the suitcases tomorrow. We have two helpers now for set up - Jessica doesn't know yet what she has volunteered for - a boring unrewarding day with a shambles left at the end!

And - just when everyone gave a sigh of relief that the rugby super 14 was over, the real games begin. We are off to the pub to watch the All Blacks play Ireland. All in the middle of all this soccer madness........

Friday, June 09, 2006

whimsical collection

Our new rayon machine thread collection is all dyed and ready to leave the factory - I have called it The Whimsical Collection - not really the colours I work in so it is always a challenge for me. These are the threads sets -

Secret GardenVanilla Beans

Sugar'n Spice
Lavender Lace
These are the colours which make up each variegated.

Jacinta has just sent me the silk hand threads and silk and wool tops for Vanilla Beans. They are yummy. Can't wait until they all get here.

After Sydney I will carry on with the next collections which is, I think, The Festival Collection. I have three variegateds pretty well done.

lubbly gluvvies

I love this time of the year - nice crisp mornings so I can wear my possie gloves when I go for my walk to get the paper. These possies are from Marnie Kelly of Touch Yarns and it's really nice to wear a little bit of Kiwi revenge. I know possums are protected in Australia but Australia (or someone visiting NZ from Australia) introduced them to NZ where they are a nasty pest. Last time we were in Wanaka I saw some fabulous garments made from possie skins. I also have a very nice scarf - seemingly dyed to match my hair but actually my hair came second.

I woke up today to a pile of emails in my in-box from lots of blog readers telling me to get working so I am. Garment is cut and pinned and sewn on on the dollie dummie and if I get that far I will post a little pic later.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

busy busy busy

This week has been very busy for us - the Sydney show means we have lots of things to do in the way of organising. Not that I am making superb use of my time. My Art to Wear is sort of cut out and underway - yikes I hear you say with not many days to go. My trouble is I have lost a bit of interest and need to find it quickly...... I managed to cut one piece of the front out the wrong way around so will have to incorporate that piece of twin needling somewhere else. Dollie is in the kitchen and mostly covered with fabric. Once it starts to fall into place I will feel better. All the little fiddly bits will take me time though. Tomorrow....

I also have to organise my handson workshop and once again all organised in the head but not in the kit bags. Tomorrow....

My mediaeval magic piece has been gnawing at me though and while it won't be finished before we go to Sydney, it is all sorted. I bonded some hand dyed velvet to felt and stamped on it with one of my illum stamps - I love the way the colour moves when you move the fabric around. Then I cut out pieces and am restitching them together with linking stitches. I really enjoy the hand stitching and try to take some with me when we go away - it's very relaxing. Trouble is I don't always have things ready but I am hoping to change that in the future 'cos I really do enjoy it. On top of the velvet I am planning to stitch some slips which I still have to make - some digitised and some free machine on kunin - so I will post it next week when we get back and I have a wee moment.

I aso badly want to create a little Broome piece - I am starting to think it is important to create pieces as soon as you get home or you never will. Next week - it is all planned.

I have also been sorting through the final lot of ATCs for the Make 5 Take 5 at the Sydney show - I sent most of them to Sydney last week with the stuff but quite a pile have arrived this week so they are all recorded and velcro dotted. I still have to organise the Celebrity ones yet - I hope the display looks good - there has been a super response. The Playways people have very kindly let me take their exchange to display as well. The only thing I haven't decided yet are the collection times. I am scared that if everyone wants to trade on the Wed there will be none left!

The painter has not been - turns out he is on holiday (does the man ever work?) in Queensland so it will be after Sydney before we see him. No time to move in yet anyway.

Grant is sailing his 18ft skiff on Lake Garda at Campione and after 3 days is running 3rd - there are 28 skiffs in the regatta - biggest fleet of 18fts outside Australia - we watched him sail there a few years back - it is a fabulous place. We stayed near Malcesine and at one of the resturants we visited there was a fabulous Klimt painting of that very spot. I managed to find a book of Klimt's work with the painting in it so it is a lovely reminder.

Try to post tomorrow and maybe with a pic of my garment....

Monday, June 05, 2006

Long weekend

We have spent the last 4 days in Broome which is in the northwest of Western Australia - about 2 and half hours by air. A much needed r and r - one night we both slept for 10 hours. Had a lovely time - reading, relaxing, swimming, watching the sunset on Cable Beach and basically doing nothing. The place we stay at is fabulous - Bali Hai - and here are a couple of pics - each villa has an outdoor shower - called a mandi - and an outdoor eating area and bbq so we ate out here. Only gripe - too hard to see to read at night. I also got bitten by midgies so have wonderful red welts all over my skin - mainly because I scratched them and forgot to take anything with me. Here's a pic of the mandi and the pool which Ian enjoyed this year 'cos it was heated

shanghai piece

a little piece to remind me of the People's Park in Shanghai - underneath are the RULERS for the park


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