Wednesday, November 29, 2006

interesting neighbours

We have a small warehouse just down the road and we have the most eclectic neighbours in a block of 4. Christian Youth is next door to us, a stripper shop is along the way and on our other side there have been various different tenants who come and go - they spend a fortune on telephone lines (the connection is in our warehouse so that's how I know) and then they move on. The lastest people run a nightclub bouncing business (I am sure they describe themselves in a much more salubrious manner) and their various phone lines were quite involved. However they have now gone as the guy running it lost his licence - not suitable or something. Wonder who will come next? We just have stuff piled high and I run in and out collecting and dropping off.

Should have said that Waiheke Island is off Auckland - 45 minute ferry trip - I have packed my 'puter so should return with a newsletter ready to send out and a book moving along. I am also taking all my usual paraphenalia. This is another pic I found.

Very wet last night - lovely - we surely need it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Feeding the Soul

Do you remember how we used our points to get an upgrade from Singapore to London and were 3000 points short of being able to try for the return trip? Well we have accumulated more since then from the fact that we paid for that trip and one to Melbourne, and because it is our wedding anniversary on Thursday and my soul is hungry, we are sneaking off to Waiheke Island for a few days leaving tomorrow night. This is Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant where we are having dinner on Thursday night. You can click on Waiheke Island in my links if you want to see more. It is my favourite place - and sitting eating at the Mudbrick is like looking out over Tuscany with water.

We got all of the Quilting Arts out today - Ian had to do two trips to the post office there was so much mail. Now we can relax and go to our local The Brisbane with our friends Eva and Malachy who haven't actually made the last two weeks - third time lucky. It has been trying to rain all day and finally it has started - very windy but still warm.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Quilting Arts 24

The latest issue of Quilting Arts arrived this afternoon but don't ask me what is in it as I have been too busy processing as many as possible to get them out. Nearly half way through with the rest to go tomorrow. Exciting to see it arrive but always exhausting getting them posted.

Caitlin asked about our window. The stained glass, which is probably original (house is circa 1895), was coming adrift. I think the guy before us had done his own botched job of soldering and with the banging shut of the door and general ageing (we have been here 14 years), it was very flexible to say the least and in danger of actually falling out. So that's why it's in surgery.... When it comes back I will indeed take a pic from the indoors and post it.

I see that Auckland has knocked back the new rugby stadium and gone back to good old Eden Park. Incidentally, there will be no more rugby results for a while - I can hear you all weeping tears of ............

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our front door

The beautiful stain glass from our front door has gone off to the stain glass hospital for necessary surgery. In its place is plain glass which is quite disconcerting as you can see right through to the back door and and it gives us a fright each time we go near it - all exposed....
Ian is very busy sanding and sikkening the door in preparation for the return of the glass - he is going to put some of that nonreflective stuff on it in the meantime. You can imagine how much heat it is letting in especially with the temperature at 30 yesterday and 32 today.

I have been embellishing on kunin felt and burning and writing and winding silk thread.

Quilting Arts 24 didn't arrive on Friday as we hoped but it can't be far away. I believe I have some work in it.

Multiple Threads

On Friday night I went to the opening of the Designing Women Exhibition - Multiple Threads. There was some wonderful work on display - and in fact I think it is one of the best exhibitions I have seen in Perth - everyone involved is to be congratulated. If you are in Perth - well worth a visit.
Old Royal George Gallery - cnr George & Duke St, East Fremantle until 3rd December.

rubgy win - again

Up early this morning to watch the rugby - Australia have finally won a game on their northern hemisphere tour - against Scotland. The All Blacks have won all of their games now - a very good win against Wales even though they were forced to perform the haka in their dressing rooms. You can't change the rules to suit yourselves so good on them. Maybe the Welsh will learn from that - they did get soundly beaten......... (I am only referring to the Welsh rugby officials not the lovely people of Wales....)

I couldn't resist this photo of Ma'a Nonu - I am sure something textiley could be done with that hair - Wire covered cords? Lots of wrapping......

Friday, November 24, 2006

ATC Challenge 2007

In February we are hosting another ATC Challenge - this time at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne. Once again it will be a Make 5 Take 5 so if any of you are of that inclination, do take part. The Celebrity ones will be on display again too with a few new celebrities I have forced into sending me some ATCs. After that I will send them on their way.
ATC Challenge 07

This is just a pic of 6 ATCs I made earlier this year on the embellisher.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Rugby Stadium

I see that the Auckland council have voted in favour of the waterfront stadium for the 2001 world cup. It looks impressive but I wonder if it will detract from the beauty of the waterfront - you sortof associate rugby in Auckland with Eden Park. I imagine it will be the talk of the town for some time.

Embellishing away some more today - enjoying developing more ideas.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Embellisher Workshop

I think the workshop went well - I certainly enjoyed seeing how things went. Linda and Joan have Pierrots and even though I had one for a while I hardly used it. The Pierrot has one big hole and 5 needles - no lever nor the little windy thing on the top for lowering the needles and we thought fibres might get caught dwn the hole but it performed just as well as the Babylock. We had fun playing with lots of techniques - the above piece I made today and detail is at the bottom. All sorts of stuff trapped between two layers of netting. Makes a great fabric. I may turn it into a tiny bag. Make sure you keep all your thread bits just like you used to when you first started free machining,

I got quite enthused and today wanted to experiment with natural fibres - different scrims, silk rods, mulberry bark, thick rayn floss, silk velvet (yummy) - messy looking sample but I am pleased with the experiment.

Ask who broke a needle in class - and whose kunin felt and panne velvet wouldn't burn with the heat gun...... I broke the needle working on burnt panne velvet - I won't bother again nor with tyvek - can't see the point. There are too many other excitements.....

Last night some friends we haven't seen for ages, came to visit. Graeme and Delys who used to have Millhill books - they are over for a holiday. We had a nice meal out at the Brisbane but beforehand, Paul came around with the photographer for another round of photos - the last ones were no good apparently. The entry for the national finals had to be in today. Hopefully he will send us some and we can pop them up on the web. Took enough.

I decided to take my 'puter up to the studio this afternoon and watched the Jan Beaney dvd off and on. Jan talks mostly about how she works on water soluble creating her cloth. I was interested to see that she used a hoop. I hate using hoops for free machining. She also talked a lot about her yummy sketchboks.

Monday, November 20, 2006

and the winner is

Many thanks to everyone who sent me names - you have no idea what a help it was, followed by a lot of choosing. We spent a lot of time tossing your ideas around and decided to go with The Opulent Collection which came from Sheeprustler who I am pretty sure is Judy E? Just confirm for me will you? And for the thread set we decided on Royal Shiraz. Shirley Wager gave me Shiraz and we decided to add the Royal. So many thanks and as soon as the threads are here, I will send you each a set of the variegateds. I am looking forward to this collection coming - definitely my colours. I will be having some lovely opulent fabrics, threads and laces and silk and wool fibres to go with it all. And velvet 'cos Opulence means velvet for sure.

We have been busy today with orders but I am off to get organised for my Embellisher workshop tomorrow. I hope they enjoy it and get something out of it.

I have put a pic of Klimt's 'The Kiss' up today, because I reckon it is a pretty opulent painting.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Back from Melbourne

Just back from Melbourne. Of course it was very cold in Melbourne when we left here and I took warm clothes and roasted away. It was a very busy weekend in Melbourne with 2 U2 concerts on and the G20 thing. We stayed in Flinders Street and the adjacent area was all blocked off and we found it hard to get in and out. The Trade Show was good (we had no idea beforehand of what it would be like) and it was a very pleasant walk to and fro each day.

The bonus was that the hotel has Fox 2 so we were up at 6am (one hour too early it turned out), to watch the ABs in Paris. Excellent result though nothing like last weekend. Nonu got a try which was very good. Here he is.

Ian slept all the way back but I managed to work on the book so feeling a tiny bit sanctimonious. Will be busy tomorrow

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Jerry, the ABs and embellisher bowls

Today we are off to Melbourne for the Australian Quilt Market which is a trade show. Absolutely no idea how it will go but we have printed info and sent small amount of all of our stuff. We haven't done a trade show before it will be interesting. Anything for a weekend in Melbourne..... Last night we had a nice bbq with Grant, Bruce and Kazuko and even got them to move some of the bricks for us - not all, note.

The All Blacks selection for the game in Paris has caused a few upsets but I like Ma'a Nonu so I am quite happy. I found this wonderful pic of Jerry Collins in Paris - apparently he wasn't too keen on wearing the pink t-shirt they all got.

More to the point for us textiley lot, this is first attempt at some 3D using the embellisher - like making a coiled bowl but no thread, Mum. It is felted on the outside and stays like the cord on the inside - the bottom one was using a machine wrapped cord I had made previously (like the prepared food dish under the table). Worth exploring.

Back on Monday

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


This is case you thought I had forgotten all about Wales. Not true - I only managed to take 7 pics with my digital before it conked out. These were at St David's Cathedral - what a wonderful place - the cathedral was built below ground level in the hope that the dastardly Vikings wouldn't be able to see them from the sea. Failed miserably I believe. The Bishop's Palace was really special and I have seen some wonderful photos taken in different lights. I am planning to do something with all of this so will be storing them for a wee while. Enjoy the pics and if you go to Pembrokeshire, be sure to visit St David's.

I had to peer over the fence to take this one

The rose window in the cathedral. One of the lovely things was that a Slovakian children's choir were rehearsing for a concert that night so we were able to enjoy their singing. The acoustics were superb.

Looks ominous but there was restoration work in the cloisters in action.

I love this one - sort of Tintern Abbey feeling

Not to mention this wonderful old door - to where?

wot a response

Many thanks for all the great suggestions - and lots of email ones as well. Now we have to make a decision. In the meantime, here are the colours which make up the variegated and I have sent off the order calling this one ????? with further information coming. These were the colours on the walls of the tunnel going under the river in Shanghai and I spent all the rest of the day thinking about them. Not the usual colours you associate with China. The colours are slightly brighter than here especially the bottom green with is quite limey. (very fond of lime green).

Very exciting here - as Paul won the state competition for his section, he now takes my precious studio to the national comp. The photographer has been here for a couple of hours taking photos from all angles. What it meant was that I have made the most remarkably fast tidy up and put away that you have ever seen - what a pristine studio it is now. I was taking my time to put things away but that changed somewhat. I shall try very hard to keep it that way.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Name Challenge (again)

I have another little name challenge. I am creating a new set of variegated rayon threads and struggling with the name of the 4th set and the name for the the whole collection. The three I have all ready to roll are Indian Splendour, Carnivale (replaces our original Carnivale which has run out but this one has an extra shade) and Arabian Nights. The new colour is purples and greens ('cos I want to use it) but I can't come up with a name yet. Plus I can't decide on a name for the whole Collection. If any of you dear readers have suggestions which I like, I will send you a set of the 4 variegateds when they are all ready. I should have had them ready weeks ago but you know how it is.....

If I can get them off in a day or two the whole collection will be ready in January.

more on DVDs

Someone asked for more info on the DVDs. I haven't had a chance to look further at Jean Littlejohn's yet because the stuff coming back from London finally arrived today. UK customs decided to hold it for a while... Anyway, all is unpacked and all the books are off to their new homes. It's always exciting to open up boxes even if you packed it yourself and you know what is in there. As well as that, a heap of parcels arrived so all good intentions of putting more books away have gone out the window. It was very hot and humid yesterday and looked to be the same today but the sea breeze seems to have arrived and cooled things down a little. Always crazy to think that one part of the world is getting to summer and the other part to winter but with global warming we may not notice any difference before too long.

In the parcels were some more of the lovely new silk threads I have been waiting for in 3 weights. I took a little time out to wind some out and package them - something special about silk thread. Once they all arrive we will get them on the web. As always there is a web backlog not to mention a newsletter I haven't done. Just keep reading here and you will discover it all....

Back to the DVD - Jean has been working on a series called 'Five Minutes from Home' and she has been exploring places we see every day but don't notice - footpaths and such like. I must say that when I went for my walk this morning, I spent most of the time looking down and saw the most interesting patterns. What she is doing, of course, is making us be observant. Then she talks about her sketchbooks - how she makes them in this instance and materials she uses. Then onto her work and her construction and workings etc. I haven't watched it all but I quickly flicked through each chapter and I am already inspired. Given me an idea or two and to me that is what a good book (well I have to see it as a talking book with visuals) should do - if you only get one idea which sends you on a spin it was worth it. If you go back to it then it really has worked. I put the pic here again because I do recall her talking about repetition and of course paths have plenty of that. The circles remind me of the marks they draw around things on the paths when they are about to do some work or another. The only thing on my walk was that a lot of what was beneath my feet was grey and that part didn't grab me. Somehow I would need to add my own stamp of colour.

Grant arrived this morning when we thought it was tonight - he's only here until Friday - back to Sydney for sailing but we are off to Melbourne on Thursday afternoon. We will have a family bbq tomorrow night. It's always good to see your kids and catch up. tonight we are off to our local - The Brisbane - with Eva and Malachy. They have been on a decent holiday to South America and Europe and it will be great to catch up and share stories

Monday, November 13, 2006


I bought back a couple of DVDs featuring Jean Littlejohn and Jan Beaney from London. They are expensive and I wasn't sure what they would be like so I only bought a few for starters. I did sort of look at Ally Pally but it's not easy when you are quick roaming and then chatting at the same time. I don't watch DVDs really because I have a sort-of mind set about watching the tellie during the day and at night I figure Ian wouldn't really want to watch a textile DVD..... The other night he was out and I thought I might watch but of course I didn't know how to operate the DVD player.

Today he pointed out to me that the cd player on my computer is also a dvd player (duh...) so excitedly I popped one in. Then I had to purchase some software in order to use it but it was worth the effort. I watched part of Jean's DVD and it is excellent - shall watch some more at night on my 'puter when the 'old' man is snoring away. (I have been severly reprimanded and have had to change the 'old' part - note not the snoring part.) I expect that Jan's will be excellent too. Then I will have to watch the 2 Tim Holtz dvds I have stacked on the pile and Sarah Lawrence's Simply Fused. No time to read for a while.

Still lugging stuff to the studio - down to folders and files now and for the first time in some years the pile of books and stuff by my side of the bed has gone. Won't mention the dust I found.

Sylvia's wedding

Here are some photos from Sylvia and Shane's wedding last Friday at the Joondalup Resort. Even the rain didn't worry Sylvia. It was a lovely wedding

Luigi and Sylvia in the gold buggy off to the ceremony - this is Luigi of the Luigi Lolly Dress fame

Martine and Sylvia - I have never seen so many photos being taken - not us of course..... still waiting for a new digital which doesn't conk out on me.

Last night we took Bruce and Kazuko to Luigi and Martine's restaurant - San Marco - for the usual wonderful food. Best Italien restaurant in Perth

Sunday, November 12, 2006

embellisher and rugby

I have been working at more ideas on the embellisher and will post later but this was another weekend of rugby. Stayed up late to watch Australia play Italy but it was a dreadful game and Australia just did not play well. This morning we had a news blackout until Ian went to Jaslyn's for the tape of the ABs game (Grant phoned for the score but it was hush hush here) What a wonderful game. I don't relax until there is a good buffer but I reckon 47-3 is indeed a good buffer. This is Sivivatu scoring again. We will be in Melbourne for the game in Paris so I am not sure how we can keep our ears and eyes shut until we get home......

The weather is swinging from rain to sunshine but really it can rain all it likes. Certainly not cold. Bruce and Kazuko moved into Grant's house yesterday - noone has ever seen inside it before - not even Grant. He will be over on Tuesday and this Tuesday our no 1 baby was 36 (everyone knows I was a child bride)

On Friday we went to Martene and Luigi's daughter, Sylvia, 's wedding - lovely afternoon even though it rained during the ceremony and we all had to race indoors. Sylvia looked wonderful and we hope she and Shane are happy for ever.

Still sorting out in the studio - trying to get things away properly and take up the last lot of stuff so we can begin work on the inside room - our new office and storeroom (should mean no boxes of stuff in the kitchen and our bedroom)

Back later with my latest experiments on the embellisher - I am trying to work out some 3D ideas.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

flowers and stuff

I seem to be in a flower zone and have been making little bits and pieces with a flower or two here and there. Still exploring the embellisher and I have organised to borrow an XPression and a Bernina attachment to see how they work. This one is Flowers and Stuff playing with layers on commercial felt. I have done some free stitching just in case my sewing machine gets cross with me. I have started combining the two as I see this machine as another wonderful piece of equipment.

This one is a little concertina book still on the Kimberley Dreaming theme - I am pleased that some of the places I have been to this year keep cropping up. Ian thinks it is a pretty silly book as it doesn't have words but we havehadthis discussion before. Still having fun with my punches and have finally hunted down the source of the fleur de lys punches so hope to have a few next week.

We are going to a trade show in Melbourne next week and have been busy getting organised for it - the biggest decision is how much to take as we have no idea and you can bet that whatever we take will be wrong. However we are looking forward to a weekend in Melbourne which we always enjoy. We have decided that we need to be a little more active in our wholesale side of things. Romeo, for instance, is such a wonderful product and I think everyone should be using it!

Funny weather in Perth - very humid which I hate so I have been feeling drowsy all day - now it is raining - wonderful. Ian has gone to listen to Phillip Adams but I am afraid that reading him inthe paper is more than enough for me.

Spam - we are getting so much drively at the moment - excerpts from books etc - I just cannot imagine what the reason behind it all is. Even though we have mailwasher which is a great programme I still get tired of having to flick all this absolute rubbish.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rugby et al

Great weekend for rugby even if we did have to watch it very late at night. On Saturday Wales and Australia drew - it was an exciting game. We watched at the Northbridge Hotel where we also had to listen to very loud music in one ear and very loud tv commentary in the other. On Sunday night we went to the Athena Club in Floreat to watch the ABs beat England 41-20. At 11.30pm so of course we slept in this morning and of course someone phoned early with an order especially since we don't have daylight saving in the west - something to do with the cows, the curtains and the extra light...... I think my personal opinion on this is clear. Ian thinks we should be like India where there is just one time zone and they seem to cope. Nobody is ever prepared to acknowledge how frustrating for business this is. Anyway the rugby was great and so was the venue. Places you go to which you didn't know about. Here is a pic of Joe - he had a great game. Not sure about Dan Carter's Harry Potter style hair do though.

Studio and surrounds getting better and better - cleared all the spare wood etc and moved a few plants around - it is actually a good way to do it - you get a better feel. Windows looking so much better. In the Sunday Times in the home supplement there was a pic of the studio since Paul won that section. Most exciting.

I managed to work away on my embellisher - this forthcoming book will be pretty well devoted to it - I keep exploring new things. Yesterday pleats and velvet and trapping cords. Tempting?

Very hot in Perth these past days - 32 for today

Saturday, November 04, 2006


That horrible painter is still haunting me. He left paint and varnish all over the windows - looks like big hand prints. Taken me hours to clean most of it off with turps. Soon be able to see in and out without the smeary extras. I have also managed to explore further with the embellisher though with some great muted results. It has continuing possibilities for exploration. We have spent a lot of time sitting and standing around saying how nice the decking is and how lovely the whole surrounds are. That's before we start digging and moving the rubble and bringing in the decent soil. Tonight we had a bbq on the decking while the rain poured down all around.

Now we are off to the Northbridge to see who who wins the rugby - the Wallabies or Wales......

Friday, November 03, 2006

Broadhaven and Little Haven

On the Saturday when we stayed in Broadhaven, just a bit back from the sea, there was a real storm and the sound through the night very exciting. In the morning there were lots of surfers out having a great time.

We walked either around the rocks when the tide was out, or over the hill (not my most exciting way) to Littlehaven and we ate at the pub there The Castle - a couple of nights. Very busy spot.

It is a beautiful part of the world.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

things that last

This month is our 38th wedding anniversary (yikes you say). When we got married we got some money and spent it on a set of salt and pepper shakers and a coffee grinder. The coffee grinder has been taken away by Bruce and I expect is still in good shake but the cork in the salt shaker fell apart and while we considered finding another, we thought maybe a new set was in order. Do you think it will last 38 years? I don't expect to be around to find out.....I will leave it for you to work out which is the old and which is the new.......

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Very exciting to visit a place obviously named after you. Actually, I have never liked my name - I was named after a racehorse called Dexter Dale from which my father collected a decent amount of money at the races when it won so he must have thought it would be okay. However we had to go there when we were in Wales. This card I found in a shop - it was painted by Marianne Brand who has also produced a lovely book of prints from around Pembrokeshire "An Artist's View of Pembrokeshire" which we enjoyed using as a bit of a tour guide. Ian took a photo of me standing in the doorway of the Dale Yacht Club but he hasn't had his photos developed yet. Dale wasn't anything like this when we were there as it was quite a wet and windy day but I expect it would be a wonderful sailing spot in the summer and the sort of place where you would love to go with your kids. The beach looked good too. The yacht club is on the right of the painting.

Great news here, and he really deserves it too, is that Paul Wilson, who designed the studio, told us today that the design won first prize in its category at the Building Design of Western Australia awards. We will have to make sure we do great justice to it with the landscaping.

I have moved about 3/4 of my books now - have to try and do the rest in the morning as Ian is planning to paint the second coat on the decking. They are looking quite at home and it's good to locate books you haven't seen for a while.

I was reading a couple of things on the web about silk paper making and I see plenty of people are claiming that they 'invented' and 'developed' the idea. Little bit laughable - I know it is not new and I first came across silk paper making at Bunbury Forum in 1995 when Nancy Ballesteros and Judith Pinnell were teaching a class. I fell in love with it all then and I know that I am the person who has introduced silk fibres to the public at shows all around the country and taught so many people to make it the way I saw Nancy making it with my own little twist. On quite a few occasions I have come across my own notes (minus my name) inside other people's silk paper making kits - I gave these notes away for many years! Live and learn but move on quickly to something new. Plagarism never goes away no matter what you do and there are other ways to grow an ulcer.


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