Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Odds and Ends

I never realised just how heavy books are and how slow it is to cart an armful of books from my bookcase inside to my new bookcases in the studio. I feel like I have grown long arms and carted forever yet the bookcases are still looking bare and inside the house the pile has only shrunk a little. On top of that, Ian inspects to make sure I wipe my feet on the mat so as not walk any debris on the decking which is still a tiny bit sticky and I have stopped because I left residue on the studio floor which he has been busy removing. Such is life and woe is me...... but the bookcase which I will post a pic of once it is full, looks great - it's a modular affair very similar to the ones in Planet Books up the road in Mt Lawley.

Ian has posted a pic on the About Us of the decking all treated with its first coat - we could have dances on the floor. Here is it here as well.

Bruce has had a calender produced with some fabulous photos of sailing on the Perth waters - yachts from Perth Dinghy Club and Mounts Bay Sailing Club. If you are a sailing fan do go and have a look-see. Once you enter you have to scroll down. I am telling you this because neither of us in our dimness could find it.......
Western Sail is his sailing website and he takes great photos. He is doing the photography for my book.

Murphy's Law is when you go for your breast scan and drive around for ages looking for a park and finally succumb to a parking building and then when you arrive at the clinic you see three 1 hour parks right outside the door. You arrive inside all apologetic as you are now 2o minuutes late and have lost your place in the queue and the receptionist does not really welcome you with open arms. Afterwards, you spend another 20 minutes waving your car keys around with your finger on the beeper trying to find your car because you forgot to note which floor it was on.........

Just had a very exciting skype from Sara in Sweden and Mags in Wales. Isn't it amazing? and all free. Now I apparently have to have a camera and you all know how I hate having my photo taken.

Even Ian can see the light at the end of the tunnel now - only 1 invoice to do before I do tomorrow's orders all sitting there waiting for me but I am stopping now as we are off to our local - The Brisbane - for dinner.

Wow - I have just checked my stats and I am 4 visitors short of 20,000 since I started this in February. I do hope it's all been worth it for you......

Monday, October 30, 2006


When we were in Wales I bought a fabulous book compiled and illustrated by Jackie Morris called Classic Poems. All the wonderful poems I know so well and which hopefully are still being exposed to our children today (although I am not so sure about this) - Jackie's drawings are so delightful that even though it was a heavy book (aren't they always when you are on holiday with not much weight space) I just had to indulge myself.
Jackie Morris If you go there you will be delighted. Jackie shows some of her processes. I found this book at St David's Cathedral where there was a display of her new book drawings. I forget the name of it but her drawings are wonderful.

We have had another very busy day today but at least I can say that the orders on my part (the filling of them) is all up to date. Ian's invoicing side is a little behind though. This is because he has helped Jim paint the oil on the decking - yes the decking is all complete and looks wonderful and as an extra bonus, the book shelf making man delivered all of the bookcase bits and pieces and I have started moving my books into it. I will pop some more pics up tomorrow but tonight we had a very pleasant bbq and appropriate drop of Elderton's red wine from our cellar to celebrate. I have been buying Elderton's wines for many years. When our boys were 15 and 16 or so, we took them to Adelaide to a 420 sailing nationals and as a reward to ourselves after the regatta (remember we drove them all the way over in our 1976 Kingswood Station Wagon - how Australian could one be - and were getting ready to drive them all the way back to Perth) but it was an incredible day - a severe heatwave and highly unsuitable for an outside picnic so at one stage we ended up at Eldertons in the Barossa Valley and popped in for a test taste leaving our cherubs in the hot hot car. Not being backward boys they soon appeared for a cold drink. Since those days I have regularly bought a dozen or so of their wines a couple of times a year. We have some pretty old ones and they are indeed a nice drop. Grant and Bruce know that they are indeed "untouchable" or I hope they do.......
Elderton Wines for anyone interested......

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Home again

We came back to the sight of Jim working away in our back yard doing the decking around the studio. We weren't expecting him for a couple of weeks so that was pretty exciting. He is finishing it tomorrow and even though our price doesn't include the stain, he is going to do it with Ian's help so Ian is supposed to be working furiously today doing invoices in preparation for painting. We have a flood of orders here - I have done them all but Ian's pile is still enormous. Never fear though - they will all go out tomorrow. We arrived home with a delivery of books - Maggie and Val's new one and Sandra Meech's Creative Quilts. There are lots of them to go out. We also have 7 new books which we got in London. The titles are on the front of the book page in the catalogue and they will slowly go on the web (when Ian has finished the invoices....) I have come back with a few new goodies but more importantly, lots of new ideas - I am always creative like this when I am away. Worked on the writing side of the book you will all be pleased to hear (?). As soon as I get totally back to normal I will be up in the studio. I have found another punch which I am trying to track down - a fleur-de-lys - just what I need for my medieval stuff. It's not big - I will get Ian to take a pic of it.

Ally Pally was good - the exhibitions were, I think, the best ones yet - I didn't take any photos. I couldn't find the digital until after the show and then it played up on me at St David's Cathedral and I only got a few pics which I will load later. I took one of Ian in the cottage the morning we left and amazingly it chose to work again. Here it is but he wants me to take it off - however it is better than most of the ones I see of me.... You can see he is not impressed with taking a pic of him...

Really enjoyed catching up with many people in London - I am amazed so many people read my blog. If you keep on this way I will have had 20,000 visitors in 2 days since I started in February.

Other excitement is that the bookcases are being delivered tomorrow morning. All things happening here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

last call in from London

Well we are at the airport in the lounge having safely got through check in and security - the benefits of belonging to Qantas Club mean a fast check in and over 60 k of luggage. We were 3000 points too few to try an upgrade to Singapore so we will be in steerage once more. Have to keep those points for somewhere else...

Have had a fabulous break - Pembrokeshire was wonderful indeed. At one of the medieval castles I saw the Princess and the Pea and thought of Caitlin.... On our last day we went to the Pressili (sic) hills and the dam area - superb - and also saw a 10th century Celtic Cross at Nevern.

I have had to check my emails every day - and clear around 450 emails at a time so have been able to reply to all the genuine ones as well. I see this morning that orders have started rolling in again so we know our sleepins have ceased. Be home tomorrow afternoon all fired up with lots of new goodies and many new ideas in the rested brain.

Monday, October 23, 2006

calling in some more from Pembrokeshire

Dale was lovely - in fact the coast all around St Brides quite magnificent - we had an incredible storm the other night - yesterday it rained all day but we went to Tenby and to a great medieval castle and the temperatures are pretty mild. Don't mind rain at all when you know you have a long hot summer coming up and we read about the droughts continuing in Aus - global warming is upon us even if most people deny it.

Today we are off to see lots of little bays - another Broadhaven. Like you say Margaret - even if the distances are not far you don't travel many miles - yesterday we did a record - 66 miles! We were planning to venture further but very happy in this neck of the woods.

Lots of pics when we get back - and even a new digital camera.

moo loo ole - cheeky wench Leanne - good to see you are home again - our time is nearly up sad to say but plenty to do when we get there. Maybe Qantas will remember how grateful we were for the upgrade and offer us another - ha ha

Saturday, October 21, 2006

St David's and the rugby

St David's was fabulous - loved all the buildings and the surrounds and made Ian take lots of pics for me since the digital stopped operation after 5 photos.... the cathedral has a wonderful pink hue to it.

For all of you foodies - we recommend Morgan's in St Davids. Fabulous food - we had fish - and what's more - we are going again on Monday.

Naturally the rain dropped down when we were out on our walk on the beach this morning.

Sad to see that Wellington list but it looked like a good game and second is only one off first...

Off to visit Dale today - couldn't miss that!

Friday, October 20, 2006

calling in from Wales

Having a great time in Wales - we are in Broadhaven in Pembrokeshire - not yet the rain everyone keeps hoping we won't have - well - mostly at night. Lovely scenery, wild beaches etc. Off to explore St David's today - eating lots of great fish etc. Train ride to Swansea was very relaxing - much better than sitting on a plane (ps got our upgrade by using up 120,000 of our points but none left now)

Fingers crossed for that rugby final tomorrow though - Ian got to see the Cardiff stadium so that made his day - shame he can't go to watch Wales and the ABs on 24th November

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

calling in from London

Made it here safe and sound (after our lovely lie down beds on Qantas with our upgrade) It was great to catch up with so many people at Ally Pally - the exhibitions, I think, were the best I have seen. Not as many people roaming around though but I have got some new books coming - two from Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn for starters so Ian will be busy as soon as we get back.

Great news I discoevered yesterday is that Wellington beat Auckland for a place in the AIr New Zealand rugby finals on Saturday - would love to see it but will have to check the net on Sunday instead.

Off to do some looking today - went business shopping yesterday - going to the Tate to see the big slide - last night we went to Dirty Dancing and it took Ian a while to get used to all the girls in the audience screaming every time the lead man appeared.....

And - off to Wales tomorrow - to Swansea on the train. I have writing, reading, knitting and stitching to do.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Having successfully made it onto the plane in plenty of time and had a good flight to Singapore - I am pleased to tell that we have got our upgrade from here to London which means we will get a good night's sleep and be all ready for action. Not much room for clothes in my suitcases after I packed the workshop stuff (managed to misplace my bag of scissors and glue and had to go to Officeworks - another place I am not fond of - to buy some more) - I have been very good and only brought a small kit of stitching and art goodies and only I will get tired wearing the same clothes. All that is left now is to hope that BAX Global have done the right thing - our boxes should be at Ally Pally waiting for us

Monday, October 09, 2006

packing up to go anywhere

Prepacking a large black suitcase only sounds good because the next day you just get behind. Very busy today with lots of orders which means people really do read the notices on the website. Tomorrow will bring those who haven't. While packing is easy, I always have a tremendous problem gathering stuff needed for workshops and then stuff which I think I will need to use while I am away. When I wake in the morning I plan to be heavily disciplined and get the workshop stuff together quickly, gather my tools of thingies to take with me, rationalise my clothes and then do all the other tasks I have neglected today. The whole point is that once you actually get on the plane there is little else you can worry about. Ian seems to have this idea that one should be at the airport as soon as one wakes up. It is amazing that in our family one son is like him and the other like me. No guesses.

It is my intention to write on my blog while I am away - I have to check the emails every day so I might as well. No pics though as I am sure that will be impossible. After Ally Pally we will have 2 days in London (one night we have booked for Dirty Dancing) and then we are off to Wales for a week. And then home again. Never as much time as you think. Keep fingers crossed that we get our upgrade from Singapore to London for a good night's sleep. Bax Global seem to have everything under control so toes crossed that everything will be there on time this year.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday musings

Beautiful day in Perth and I have shocked us both by packing one of the suitcases for London. I always leave everything until the last minute but this morning I decided to see if all the stock stuff would fit into the big black suitcase (the one I had at 39kg last Sat after Geelong). Ian suggested getting up the next 2 suitcases but there is no need to be pushy on this one. I spent the rest of the day making a couple fo secret things for QA which I am not allowed to show so guess you will have to wait until December. I have yet to organise my London workshops though so I will be busy tomorrow. Washed everything I could find and read my book.

On Tuesday we had both boys here at once - Grant was only here for one night and now has gone to Sydney but we had a really nice night - sausage bbq - Ian special - and our nephew, Alistair, just happened to be here as well. Here is a pic of me and my 2 boys - not a good photo to see but there you go.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

rugby and more

For those of you who thought my interest in the rugby stopped after the Tri Nations, not true. I have been following Wellington in the Air New Zealand Cup (see - I am a loyal Wellingtonian) and was thrilled this morning to see that they beat Canterbury in the quarter finals yesterday - I shall have my fingers crossed for the semis next weekend when I am in London. This is Conrad Smith scoring a try. He missed most of the season with injury and Ian is pleased to see him back playing.

Interesting visitors yesterday - a lady and her son who lived here before the guy we bought the house from. We enjoyed talking to them and seeing who had done what and when as we thought a lot of the work had been done by the guy before us. They told us how they dug out the cellar under our bedroom and Ian showed them down there. It is a wonderful space and does have a lot of wine. At one stage I tried tracking down the history of our house - built in 1895 - but I sort of got side tracked. Might start the process again.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Val Campbell-Harding

I feel very sad today - I have just had news that Val had a massive heart attack yesterday and died. She has always been my mentor and has encouraged me from day one. The textile art world will be a sadder place without her but we will be able to pore over her writings forever. She introduced me to FS Black Jewel, beading, tassel making, design work and bullied me into writing an article for Design-It magazine. I did workshops with her (all of them) when she came to WA about 10 years ago and devoured everything she taught me. I doubt if I have ever been so inspired in a workshop again. She is also the person who encouraged me to get an Embellisher to play with. I shall miss her words of wisdom very much.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Delacroix Notebooks

These are two pages from Delacroix's notebooks from his journeys in Morocco - he kept quite a few although only a few have survived. I would love to know if you can buy them in book form. I have only ever seen a few pictures of pages but they simply always look so enticing. Maybe all of our journals will be worth people looking through in years to come. I especially love the bottom page - the sort of drawings and words that I imagine I would see in my own journals.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

playways challenge

I have set up a challenge for my Playways students and naturally have lost all of my tassels bar one - amazing how you can lose things so easily when you have a new studio..... This is one I made a while ago.

Beautiful day in Perth today after yesterday's rain and I have tidied up all the stuff I took to Geelong so now I can start working again.

BBQ tonight for the family - Grant flies off again at midnight like cinderella after the ball.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Things continue to be busy here. One lot of suitcases unpacked and stuff away and then several boxes packed and off to London for Ally Pally. The hardest part is deciding what to send and how much etc. but it is all gone now so too late to complain. I got this wonderful silk stuff - long fibres which I had to tear apart to package so I hope they like them. They will take dye really well - I stood outside with my scales and weighed and packed. I also found some wonderful sari ribbon and a sary twist where you can see the fabrics. Fabulous stuff. What I took to Geelong sold straight away so I got a whole lot more which arrived in time to be packed. When we get back I will get more and then it will be on the web. I have decided that the Fab Bits section will be having a revamp in November. We have a lot more repeatable hand dyed fabrics to go on - well they can't yet as they are in flight to KL then to London.....

The kitchen is looking a little clearer and I have been sorting all the parcels which came while I was away - lots of lovely hand dyed tissutex and mulberry bark. Mulberry bark is getting hard to find at present as there were floods in north Thailand so that may be all for a while when it has sold.

Grant flies in from Bali tonight - he has had a terrible time - his flight from the island he has been on was cancelled and it has involved many phone calls and internet checking etc and a loss of time and money. But finally a ticket to Perth - he is only here one night and then off to Sydney. He is going to be honoured to sleep in the studio.

I have given my Playways people a new challenge and exchange - a tassel and a tassel head. Just trying to find my own samples to post for them. Tomorrow I hope to get in the studio and to work along with more packaging etc. Never stops.

off to our local for dinner though. Last night we went to GoGos Indian - lovely food and after Geelong, very necessary......

Sunday, October 01, 2006

back from Geelong

I am back home from a week at Fibre Forum in Geelong. A very good week apart from the dreadful food. There is no excuse for lousy food when you are paying good money. I do not like dried overcooked roast meat, lettuce all browned at the edges, soggy veges, over cooked eggs and copious baked beans. etc etc... The forum is probably like any good retreat, summer school etc. Workshops all week, talks and slide shows, traders, exhibitions and catching up with good mates etc.

I finished the first of my Shanghai vessels and started on a second - the construction part is keeping me busy. After I have unpacked and packed for London (the boxes go on Tuesday), I shall carry on working on them. As always when I am away, I have lots of new ideas to draw on. I had an embellisher and a sewing machine to work on and I made an embellisher vessel as well. Now I am thinking I might create a concertina book with the embellisher so watch this space.

this is my embellisher vessel - it needs a bottom but I enjoyed creating it without a thread or stitch in sight. Jacinta was teaching at Forum - a wonderful class to which she let me wander any time I was bored - and they did some dyeing the first day and she brought me over some threads and fibre so I used some of that.

I also got a nice surprise - Linda, who bought a Japanese screw punch from me, had one of the bits simply break up - guess it was faulty - and the people I buy them from replaced it for her. So she sent me a lovely handmade sketchbook to Forum and I have decided to challenge myself by doing a mark making exercise of some sort each day for a year. So far so good. Not involved - just choosing a mark or two.

I also got home to lots of parcels and a happy Ian t0 see me back to do the outstanding orders. It is a holiday here tomorrow (AGAIN!) so I should have uninterrupted packing. One of the things which came was a new book which I didn't even know about - Creative Recycling in Embroidery. I have had a quick look through and I can see it is going to be very popular.

The Weagles (West Coast Eagles) won the AFL premiership yesterday and my plane home was full of lots of very happy and noisy supporters.


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