Saturday, September 23, 2006


This is part of my first vessel - two sides all laced together and a supporting pillar. They will soon all be bound together. I have used my Japanese screw punch to make holes for the eyelets and my spring thingies to set them. Worked a treat.
I didn't quite get my first vessel finish but all the components are done - the bottom is stitched and scratched and moonshadowed Shanghai newspapers for the inside, the red is lots of stitch and stuff for the ourside, the top rod is a bead made from Shanghai newspapers and stitch and some words. Taking it all to forum in Geelong to finish and work on some others.

I should have some finished ones when I get back, having spent part of the day packing and shopping (someone had no trousers and shorts and was a little desperate. Now he is looking VERY suave with all these new clothes - all ready for London so watch out).

I fly off at 6am (yuk) but much better than the midnight horrible.

Embellisher workshop - well I have had 25 emails from people not from Perth but from all over so obviously I am in the wrong place. Perhaps everyone here knows much more than me.
I am teaching at AQC in Melbourne in February and the programme arrived on Friday - I think I need to go to how to look nice in a photo class....

I have also fiddled with Beta Blogger and updated my template and have lost my links - but managed to get a couple back like the site meter and Loose Ends. I don't remember the codes for the others....

Post next Sunday and if anyone is going to Geelong - see you there.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

techno fun

This is the latest Cloth Paper Scissors which has kept us out of mischief for a couple of days. All dispatched now. I have posted this because I can't use my computer to write on as half the keyboard has gone walkabout. Ian thinks it is not as dramatic as when I turned the keyboard upside down but I am not so sure. This morning I couldn't bring up Firefox so Ian skyped his nephew in Melbourne who got into my laptop and fixed it all up but I think he also did something to the keyboard. He has logged off now so we will have to wait until tomorrow for him to fix it up! Since my pics are on my computer I will load my first vessel tomorrow instead.

Technical things are tricky but the amazement of being able to chat to someone else (for free) who can whizz around on your computer. Frightening maybe......

What I also wanted to say was that I am thinking of running a small workshop in my studio in November using the embellisher for anyone interested. Send me an email - only taking 4 and you would need to bring your embellisher.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Today I got up at 6am as usual with a plan to wind the yarns on my schedule, do the orders and then hibernate to my studio (doesn't that sound good?) However, like all good plans, this idea has been shot to pieces. Myfanwy's book on the embellisher has arrived. It is a great intro to the embellisher, especially for all those people who have not known where to start. Ian was about to load it onto the website but then he got interrupted by the arrival of Cloth Paper Scissors no 9 which I was sure wouldn't come until I was away in Geelong next week. Ian is mightily relieved about that! Plus I had3 big parcels from Rae and Jacinta with lots of yummy silk tops, silk velvet, handdyed mulberry bark, hand dyed tissutex and more (all for me to package) and a few other parcels which I have forgotten after all of that. BUT - off to my embellisher to finish some more samples for MY book. At present I have to decide on the name - it's all about Creating Cloth but I was planning on Surface Tension. Watch this space. Bruce is studying at present but I have reminded him that he is doing all the photography. He takes wonderful pics (you can see his pics of the south west on the link on the right). There will be lots of pics in the book as I want it to be a visual feast.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Many people know that I run a course called Playways on the Net - I started this in 2001 mostly because I just couldn't manage to go and teach all over the place - just gets too exhausting all this travelling and packing and unpacking - it was for all those people who want to play and experiment with all of this textile stuff and do machine and hand stitching etc. There are nearly 500 people on the books now, although many aren't very active at all. But that doesn't matter - there are no deadlines and hopefully at some point each student finds a kickoff point into something creative. That's what it is all about - playing and exploring. There are students from all over the world which is so wonderful and the work which arrives is always so exciting - I am for ever amazed at the diversity and creativity of everyone involved. They also get to chat to each other, if they wish, on a yahoo list. We load their finished work onto a student only gallery and put a little taster from module 2 onwards on the public gallery. As well as completing 5 modules, they also complete 2 projects during the course and these go onto a special projects place.

I thought you might like to see a couple of pictures of the latest project from Jo Boyle in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Jo is such a creative lady - I first met her at Embroidery 2000 in Auckland when we took a stand and pretty well sold out on day 1. Jo has created the most fantastic memory for her daughter's 50th birthday - I am sure her daughter will treasure it for ever and it will become a family heirloom. The two pics I have her are the box Jo made to store the treasured pages and one of the pages from holidays at Whangamata. You can see them all if you are a Playways student - on the projects page!

Many thanks to Anne for sending the link to Yaga - the creation of cloth is what I am trying to achieve with my embellisher fabric - seamless and unique. I suppose some people will say I am creating felt but it is much more than that.

I won't even try to load pics relating to my vessel. I have stitched and burnt and had a naughty sewing machine this afternoon but progress is being made. In my last visit to the dreaded Spotlight, I found a ball of interesting yarn for $1 (!) which is just going to be right for using somewhere on and around the vessels. Plus Penny has been out collecting punches from teh dreaded Spotlight so it looks like I will have to go visit them again.

The mobius wrap has me fascinated. I finished the first one but it is more a scarf than a wrap - might be suitable for the Pembrokeshire coastline.

We had a lovely relaxing lunch at Veritas today - the weather is glorious and summer is here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Jiuzhai Gou

Had to share these wonderful pictures which my friend Kelvin sent me - there is some pretty amazing scenery in China and he thinks this is one of the loveliest places. Lots of people there though. I love the colours of the water in particular.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Art to Wear Darling Harbour

I am in a state of shock - blogger let me load my pictures - the DONE part is back. Yeah....
Elaine very kindly sent me these pics which are in the NSW Quilters Guild mgazine Template. Seems I must have not paid my sub as I didn't get a copy. It is really great to see the recognition given to the Art to Wear this year. If you click on the pics you can enlarge them to see who owns them and better detail.

Supposed to be packing the boxes to send onahead to Geelong but have got lazy. Today I went to a workshop run by Annie Rawle in Fremantle - knitting a mobius wrap - a great mathematical feat and a lot of fun.

16,00 labels arrived extremely early this morning so I can amuse myself putting them on all of the new mini Illumination metallic threads. No rest for some.

Shanghai vessel back on track tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Daisy Punches

I got a lovely parcel from Helen today - a set of daisy punches. Anyone would think I was having a flower moment - well I am. Thanks Helen, and your goodies are about to go. I am waiting for the 16,000 labels which were supposed to arrive yesterday but should hopefully be here tomorrow. These punches came from Lakeland who won't send out of UK so it is wonderful to have friends in distant lands who will help you when you simply must have something.

I haven't my vessel pics yet but I have been making beads with the Shanghai newspaper all sprayed with Moonshadow Mist, and stitching and burning. Try tomorrow.

I have discovered that you cannot go back to the old blogger so I will just have to wait until the blogger team get the problem of image uploading sorted. At least I can still drag and drop.....

Jusr realised that we forgot to go to our local last night - they will be wondering where we are. At least, I hope so.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

extra tuesday post

forgot to add a couple of things

Ian has loaded the Art to Wear from Darling Harbour onto our website but we don't have titles and artists for some of the garments so if anyone can help with those, we would appreciate it.

Also Penny asked how the springy eyelet works - you use the black pen like end to make the holes - working on a mat or board and pull the spring up and release it . Easy. Then you put in your chosen eyelet and turn the piece over and use the other end of the springy machine to embed it. Once again, pull the spring upwards and release it. So easy that even I have got it right each time.....
I have a tiny cutting mat which works well.

tuesday some embelllisher work

At the top is what the fabric looks like on the back - I have worked wool fibres onto the back of the scrim and below it is the front - wool batts woked onto hand dyed scrim and you can see the other fibres coming through as well as little speckles of scrim.

this is another piece I made today - and on the top I added some thick rovings I had for a bit of dimension.

I have reposted these pics so you can click on them to see a larger image.

The concert last night - Juniper Chamber Orchestra - inaugural concert - was very good. The orchestra is named for Robert Juniper, a pretty well known West Australian artist. I hope they do well.

I am working on my Shanghai vessels - stitching on painted Shanghai newspapers and making newspaper beads for the structural parts. Should be able to post some pics tomorrow if I make good progress.

Stephanie sent me a wonderful Indian braid today which I am no trying to get bulk of. It is glorious and I am hoping to add it to a little embellisher bag I am working on.

Monday, September 11, 2006

and the winner is

Ian and I spent ages looking at all of your suggestions for a name for the new fabric and after whittling it down to two, we finally decided on Zap-Cloth, suggested by Hilary from Canberra. We liked lots of them but after I explained to Ian exactly what I could do with this fabric (as per above) - used for Shiva rubbings on black felt and then stamped with a flower stamp, stitched and zapped - I let him make the final decision. When it finally arrives, we will sell it with a set of great ideas to try.

So, Hilary, 2 boxes of the new mini illuminations metallics will be winding their way to you tomorrow. Many thanks to everyone for all the help you have given me.

I am still not able to load pictures by the normal means so am still dragging them in.

Lovely weekend but lots of rain falling - lovely. Yesterday we went to Little River Restaurant out in the Swan Valley - very nice afternoon. Tonight we are off to the Juniper Chamber Orchestra - a new chamber orchestra - first concert in Perth - so should be interesting.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mini Illuminations

These are our new Mini Illumination Metallics - the black core or Black Jewel ones. I have 8000 of these and 8000 of the standard metallics. That's a lot to put the labels on. The labels should be here on Tuesday. I am really pleased with these - they are a mini version of the Illuminations Metallics which we introduced last year and which have been very popular. I thought it a good idea to sell small spools - 165 metres and I have added black to the range. I couldn't get black when I did the inital order. I am packaging them in boxes of 10 or selling single but the box, of course, is great for storage. They are very similar to the Madiera FS 2/2 which is slightly thicker but to be quite honest, it's hard to tell the difference when you are stitching. I am trying to sort out some variegated ones for dyeing next. As you would all know, everything takes time. ps - they are our promotion for this month.....

I am really testing the posting of pictures and hope it helps anyone else who is having problems - it is amazing what you learn when you have to! I was so frustrated yesterday and doggedly worked away at finding a solution. Seems there are lots of people out there who can't find a DONE to click on.... The images this way are small but you can grow them. If you add the text afterwards it seems to be easier. I just hope Beta blogger solve the problem though.

Emebllisher - still working away - I managed to change the needle easily - thanks to Hilary who sent me to Paula's site - - to her helpful section on changing needles. Watching all of this rugby means I have been knitting some lovely 100% wool I bought at Darling Harbour 2 years ago. I am planning a bolero to kick start my art to wear for next year. I plan to use the embellisher on parts. Just have to draw up a pattern to stitch to. Soon.

We had very heavy rain last night - it's lovely at night time.

Hundertwasser House

I am really testing my ability to load these pictures - and I do use Firefox. We have been using firefox for about 4 years I think. Much better than IE.

This is the Hundertwasser House in Vienna which I haven't seen. Didn't know H when we were there! I am calling my studio my H House. I can't move the pics around but I shall keep trying.
Might be better to load pics first and then try some words.

Shall give you the results of whose name I chose later on today.

The Wallabies lost and that is the end of the Tri - Nations rugby for this year.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

wintery thursday

Today is like a winter's day in Christcurch - it is cold, windy and raining off and on. I saw on the news that Sydney had the most rain today for 100 years and I got a letter from one of my students - Paula from the Netherlands - telling me that her house was flooded last week and everything is underwater. I feel so sorry for her and shall send her a parcel of goodies tomorrow not that it will replace anything.

Just to show that I have been having fun with the springy eyelets, here are some pics. Now I shall be on the lookout for intersting eyelets. I have been to a few places in Perth and had a little google search but they are all pretty ordinary, so if anyone has exciting ones, do let me know. The springy eyelet gizmo is easy to use, if noisy. I did find some little tiny ones and a big star.

The springy thingy works well on copper shim too. The big one is playing around with holes from the screw punch.

Tonight I have broken a needle on the embellisher - first one - I will have to try and find the booklet to see how to remove and replace. I know I saw it somewhere.....
I have also been playing with the new Starburst Stains - decorating a few more tags for the frangipani book from a wee while back - this is all because I want to put more eyelets on. It's amazing what amuses us.

Blogger doesn't want to add my pics tonight so I shall come back later.....

Friday update - I still can't load any pics and I have tried everything that the blogger people tell you to try - it seems there is a bit of an ongoing problem. I have cleaned out files, tried mozilla and internet explorer, rebooted the computer. So sorry, folks, no pics......... You will have to use your imagination.

Saturday update - such frustration - I can now half load but when it says click done, there is no done. Keep watching this space - I will post again and back post my accumulated pics when beta blogger is ready to play ball.

Much later on Saturday night. You will see Ihave pictures - not loaded in the normal way but the whole episode has driven me nuts but I was determined to load some pictures and since I had no DONE to click on I have simply dragged the pictures onto the posting page. Must say I am pleased with having got htis far.

Tonight it is pouring with rain and we are about to watch the Wallabies play South Africa.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

studio excitement

Paul, our architect, was asked to enter the studio in the building design awards so three judges came around this afternoon to have a look. I had to hurry and tidy up some stuff - take away the ironing board and pretend I was getting more organised. Very exciting, especially for Paul as has done a wonderful job. The wooden decking will start in 2 weekends - Jim, the dekky man, who was the chippie who worked on the studio, moonlights on decking apparently. So it will be complete before too long. Ian is even preparing to go and pick up the feature light we chose way back when.... then we will be able to start on the garden sections maybe even before it gets too hot.

Shirley asked what the eyelet thing looks like so I have a picture here - they are really quite nifty and you just need a mat for underneath. I will post a pic having used them tomorrow - no time tonight - off to the local for dinner and then to a slide presentation by Chad Alice Hagen, feltmaker.

Many thanks for all the fabric name suggestions - decision time on Saturday. And yes - 10,000 metres is a big roll!

Monday, September 04, 2006


Lovely weekend even if the All Blacks didn't win their last game. Hopefully it will fire them up for the World Cup in 2007...

I have had many many emails from you lovely people and an armload of suggestions for a name for my new fabric. I shall make my choice next Saturday so the rest of you still have time. Many thanks for all of your help - it has got the creative brains going. I have one which is grabbing my fancy but you will have to wait.

Funny weather here - rain when we want to go for our walks and sunny but cold for Perth. We had a couple of lovely books arrive today - both from Batsford where the books are always great. Sheila Smith has one out on felting and Janice Gunner on shibori. Sheila's one has a small section on needelfelting and has given me another idea to play on the embellisher and try. Today I have another pic to wet your appetite - all achieved on the embellisher in about 15 minutes. This machine becomes more exciting and I am only working in my little way. Others will be using it for other much more exciting things.

I also got a set of springy eyelets which Maggie Grey was raving about. I had to track them down and get one to see if they were any good. They are so I have ordered some more. Having lots of fun with all this sort of stuff.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A challenge with a reward

I have a challenge for my blog readers. I have coming around 10,000 metres of the fabric I was testing and playing with. It works just like nappy liners and agricultural fleece and we will be selling it of course. However, I need a good name for it. If you have used nappy liners, you will know just what sort of things we want to do with them (nothing to do with babies please), but I have been tapping my brains cells for a while now and haven't come up with a good name.

If you can email me a name which is just what I am looking for, I will send you a set of our new Mini Illumination metallic threads - there are 2 sets of 10 - one is the Standard Illuminations and the other the Black Jewel Illumination. They are each 165 metres and, yes, we will be selling them singularly - remember Ian hasn't loaded the month's promotions yet. But this is a gift from me to whoever can help my imagination. I haven't got a pic of these threads yet but when he gets that far I will add one here for you to be inspired to dream up a good name for me.

Tonight is the second to last game of the Tri Nations with the All Blacks playing the Springboks. The ABs have won the series but will be wanting to finish off well. Next week are the Wallabies vs the Springbox and then it's all over for this season. Roll on the World Cup in France next year. We are off to the Northbridge Hotel tonight at 9pm to watch the game.

Friday, September 01, 2006

when we were young

not that we still aren't..... this is a pic from 1972 - thought I would provide some reminiscing for anyone who does. We lived in Glenside then - just past Johnsonville out of Wellington. We bought that house for about $3500 (thanks to my dad) and I went to night school and made the sofas for the lounge. We didn't have a brass razoo to be honest and when our car broke down we stayed put until Ian fixed it.

My sister tells me that our mother lost her wedding ring and was worried that people would think she wasn't married....... I wonder if it matters today - it certainly does for her. For many years she addressed herself as Mrs H when her name is Rose not Herb and it was only after my father died that she changed to Mrs R. She always used to write to us as Mrs and Mrs I. S. until I made a fuss and it became Mr I. and Mrs D. Many years ago - about the time this photo was taken, I lost a lot of weight and my wedding ring fell off in the garden somewhere. It was a wide band 18carat gold valued at $50 in 1972 (!) and I used the insurance to pay the car rego. Much more pressing. My mother worried and worried that people would think I wasn't married (and with children too), so she gave me my grandmother's wedding ring - a lovely platinum and gold band which I still wear sometimes. It cost me about $50 to have it made to fit my finger...... But it made my mother happy. Notice I didn't offer to give it to her when she lost hers......

Helen, if I don't put labels on the threads I will get emails and phone calls from customers complaining..... but I have been knitting and embellishing if that makes you feel better.....


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