Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Very boring with my titles this week as you can see. Too busy to dream up imaginative ones. At least the weather is cooler but still humid - therefore sticky and draining.

I am involved in a 1" x 1" fabric charms swap (means having to find the one tape measure in our house which still does inches - shouldn't everyone have changed to metric and got into the 21st century?) and these are the first 6 I have received - I think there are 25 in the swap and I will do mine soon. Lovely little things aren't they? The most time would surely be spent putting the eyelets in. I have somehow collected quite a stash of eyelets - I will have to stop fossicking around in my local scrapbooking shop.

Lots of people have asked about what wool fibre I am using for my embellishing and for the houses. This is Finnsheep which is what we put in our Surface Tension kits. We also sell it on its own - it's just that it isn't in the web catalogue yet. Comes in rainbow, red/purple, greens, bues, yellows, a lovely fuschiay pink, autumn, and greys(naturals) - $6 for 30grams - that's so you won't have to email and ask me. I like it because it is nice and coarse - it is nothing like the wonderful 18micron Australian merino which is divine for felting but the embellishers love it and it has a super texture as well. I use it for hand needelfelting as well. The little houses have scrims and other scraps over the wool for a bit of extra texture.

ps didn't the Kiwis do well in the cricket yesterday?

I am looking for 10 or so experimental textile artists to join me in a challenge which I will be ready to start about April. You would need to be dedicated, experimental and like a bit of pressure. If anyone is interested in knowing more, just email me - I won't answer you for a few days but I am just gauging interest. I work away in isolation here and I am looking to push a few more personal boundaries (after the book has been finished). I am sure you can see that my brain is wanting to move onto the next adventure. Not very disciplined.....

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I would like to share our new dining room with you - well the room hasn't changed but anyone who has been to our house will be amazed - a new table (we have especially gone for one with 4 chairs in a size which was a one-off) and a clear area. Not to mention room for a vase of flowers. For 10 years we have used this area as an office - we only ever entertain outdoors so if it is cold people know to wrap up and if it is hot we all just swelter. Only 2 times have we added another table to the clutterance so we can have room to sit and eat! The view is looking into what was my studio and is now our office - still a little of my stuff to be cleared but Ian is in heaven with a big desk to work at and space to move.

This view looks to our atrium which we can now get to without tripping over computer cords and stuff stacked on the floor. In 'real' businesses you will find spacious offices with lots of room for storage and filing etc - please appreciate how we have been labouring away - now we can be even more efficient......

This view looks to our back door and the garden and to my studio. Breakfast is a pleasure - only our food, coffee and the newspaper. On my walk this morning I got some lovely roses to adorn the table. I was so busy that it was 11.45am before I got away for my eary morning walk....

Many thanks for all the snow offers - they must have worked because the temperature dropped to around 28 and it has been a much nicer day - haven't needed the aircon and we have a breeze wafting in through all the open windows. The birds are also sounding very happy.

The houses - yes they are Hundertwasser houses - I just can't get away from him and I would like to think that they are insulated and airconditioned! The fibre on top of the felt is our Finnsheep wool - the same as I use in our Surface Tension kits. It is nice and coarse and the embellisher machines work it well. I like its texture. Will post some pics tomorrow - I have a wonderful fuchsia colour which I like to use with yellows, oranges and reddy colours.

The next plan is to liberate our bedroom so that it becomes just that - a bedroom - so watch this space....

ps I meant to add that the missing chair is in my studio - I still need it!

Monday, January 29, 2007


I have made some little houses - they should be on the embellisher page but then I would have nothing for this page.....

The weather is revolting - stinking hot and tiring and we have air conditioning. 42 for a couple of days and probably similar today. We surely felt for the Kiwis having to field in the cricket yesterday and they nearly won - brilliant stuff. And I still find cricket boring incidentally.

Tonight we were both able to leave the house together and go out to eat - it was very busy on Beaufort Street. The alarm system has been fixed and it has been blamed on lightening but Ian thinks the board was faulty. Anyway it is working again.

The humidity drains you and you don't sleep well and then wake up late. And drink lots and lots of water. Envious of anyone with snow at present......

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Take a Stitch Tuesday 4

This week is Cretin Stitch but it is slightly more about layers and the embellisher and I have been playing with layers and paper which you can see on my embellisher blog.

Yesterday and today have both been 42 degrees and Ian has chosen to sand and varnish the dining room floor and take away the new table I have been minding up in the studio and bring me the old table until my new one appears. What with samples all over the floor and such, it is all looking a little disorganised.

We had a very pleasant bbq last night (if somewhat hot) and came home to find our alarm system had malfunctioned (probably hit by the lightening we saw) so we are housebound until Monday when they come to fix it. If we both go out together we will be anxious. So our next outing to the movies will have to wait.

On the blog front, I removed the archives after someone suggested it in the help group and now of course I can't find how to reload it. Any suggestions appreciated. I tried to cut and paste from my other blog but that didn't work so I just should know not to meddle.....

Friday, January 26, 2007

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day and we have hidden indoors with air con on as it is 39 degrees as it was yesterday. We are off to a bbq soon and it is still very hot. Tomorrow is to be 40 - at least I am getting work done inside. Not gardening or walking weather though.

Bruce spent a lot of this morning taking photos for the book which has made me feel less panicky. He is going to do the last session next weekend so I have a busy week ahead working on more ideas. Hopefully we are still on target.

Ian is very happy in his new office - spacious and cool. the dining room is all ready for its new table and has lovely acoustics at present for singing with the lack of stuff everywhere. Before too long we may even have a bedroom back.....

Last night we watched the Western Force play Manu Samoa - pre season game - silly in this weather and you will all be delighted to hear that the Super 14 season starts next Friday......

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Space Junk

Isn't this a glorious piece of work? It's called Space Junk and Mem Graham, who has just finished Module 1 of my Playways course, sent it to me. Her work was really great but I especially loved this one. Once upon a time I was told you could never combine yellow and purple - wonder who made up those sort of silly rules.....

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

layered bag

I found this bag I started some years ago when I was clearing the last of my stuff out from inside. Metallic organza stitched onto organza and slashed then had stitching in places and lined with silk paper - I must have been feeling extravagant. It was a nice find - I may even finish it one day. I must have wanted to try some slashing. The metallic organza curls up nice when it is manipulated like that.

Ian is very busy cleaning out the inside room and planning our big move from the dining room. He went to buy the new table for me today so we can have our new dining room table only to find that we have to wait three weeks. The best plans of mice and men.......

Embarrased to say we are still watching the cricket - hopeless.

I take it all back - what a brilliant second half and NZ even got the bonus point. Good on ya, Danny Vettori and the others. And to think I really don't like cricket - it's like watching grass grow.......

Monday, January 22, 2007

Stargazey Tag

Received my fourth tag today from Deb Jensen - thanks very much to all of the owners of the wonderful tags.

I have also almost vacated the room inside so our office can almost move. Then we have to buy the table we have looked at with boring regularity up the road so that the table I have in the studio can come indoors for our new dining room - new in that it will no longer be an office. Naturally I have a pile of stuff in the studio which I now have to sort through but I have once again thrown out a heap of stuff. One thing I have collected over the years are postcards and cards and pages I tear out of magazines (like the Qantas book) - I have an awful lot and think it is time to collate and maybe discard.......

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Take a Stitch Tuesday 3

this is my effort for TAST this week - detached chain stitch. I have used a tape I call BonBon on the bottom layer and then run the embellisher over it - the tape opens up and distresses - and then I have stitched layers over the top. The bottom layer is kunin felt and when you heat gun it leaves lovely open spaces under the scrim

Had a relaxing breakfast at Veritas this morning and now watching the cricket but it is all too depressing I am afraid.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Lutradur is quite an interesting fabric. I can't lay my hands on my book from a wee while back but this page was painted with Dye-na-flow - sponged on and left overnight to dry. I left ot on the plastic to dry and that side now has quite a plasticky surface - interesting. Then I printed with Lumiere Pearlescent White paint and stitched on parts of it. The top 3 flowers I burnt out with a woodburning tool and used the tool to bond it to the surface. I know that previously I have been able to iron it to itself. I burnt around the edges with the wood burning tool too even with the tip being very wobbly and threatening to fall off. Now that it is cold I have tightened it up again.

Meant to say that quite a good number of ATCs are flowing in for the display at the Quilt Convention in Melbourne next month but don't be shy - read all about it on our website and send in your offerings for swaps. This is the last time I shall be running it.

I have been fiddling in blogger with the archives - still no luck with having 2 December sets of entries - I wonder what will happen when it becomes February..... I have tried everything I can think of. Very frustrating indeed.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Quilting Arts & Lutradur

The latest Quilting Arts arrived this afternoon but only in time for us to get about half out. Plus 1 box has been 'lost' in Singapore - this is good old UPS again..... We will process the rest over the weekend so they will go out on Monday - all of those of you who get it from us won't have to wait too long. I haven't had a chance to look in yet but the cover looks great.

Many thanks for all the emails about Lutradur - I did know know most of that but there is a problem with products in different parts of the world. It comes from Germany but today is promising as the Australian importer has promised me that he will bring in 100metre rolls for me as fast as he can. Bad news is that all that I got has gone but good news is that there will be more. This is the heavy weight one - 100gsm - I have now established a very good source for the lightweight and after testing it have ordered in heaps. I painted up lots last night late to make something today for the website but that will now be tomorrow morning.

Off to have a glass of wine and read Quilting Arts and think about dinner since I seem to have only had time to buy half of my ingredients (for tomorrow now)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

on to Thursday

Beryl Taylor has sent me a piece of her work 'cos I did her a little favour - aren't I lucky? And for all of those who have emailed me - yes she is doing workshops and you will be able to book when it is all organised. After the show in August.

I get such wonderful work from my students which I enjoy seeing so much. You can always see a sample on the Playways gallery but I had some specially nice pieces this week and here is one from Helen Hassall - her work was so beautifully presented - she is very talented and has even agreed to let me add one of her pieces to the embellisher book.

Lutradur - well the heavy one is moving off fast - it is 100gsm and does everything you could wish for and I am continuing my search in Australia for more because of the hassle of getting it in but in the meantime I have found some which is lightweight - 30gsm - and you can layer it - I have had a quick play with it and I am very impressed. It is so versatile. If you have CPS Issue 10 you will have read Lesley Riley's article. I also found black and 4 metallic colours so that has cheered me up. I am hoping to get to use it in one of my books very soon. It will be on the web today I hope.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tags, Lutradur and Stuff

Some days you feel like you are pedalling backwards - I haven't got to my studio yet - stuff to take to the lock up, stuff to bring back from the lockup, parcels to open, stuff to package, stock to count, stuff to order, orders to fill. It's been one of those days - and I haven't been for my walk. Disaster.

Today I received another very creative tag from Patsy in Georgis, USA. When you get bogged down or behind in swaps it is always lovely to receive something nice.

The Lutradur finally arrived today - seem to have been waiting for ages. It isn't available in Australia so I have to bring it in and with difficulty - 18 metres and half of it has already gone. It won't go on the web until I get a proper source. So if you want it, email us. It will be gone before I know it. I am worn out with trying to contact the supposed suppliers. Lutradur is fabulous stuff - I watched Barbara Lee Smith's DVD and she uses it in all of her work. I think Djanne may have been doing things with it. It doesn''t fray, you can paint it, stitch on it, feed it throughthe printer and it catches the light. I have made a journal with it but I keep it out if sight because everyone wants to buy it and I have only had sporadic sources since 2004, can you believe?

Once I have done the mail, I shall be off up to the studio to finish the crusty vessel and get on with the next stage on the embellisher. Bruce is away sailing on a 14ft skiff in Geelong so we are taking Kazuko out to dinner tonight (last night's bbq was wonderful - we have such lovely friends in Luigi and Martine). Grant is also sailing on his 18ft skiff in Geelong. So if you are down that way you might see 2 Rollersons.....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday Stuff

The first of the Opulent range has arrived. Jacinta has sent the Arabian Nights silk threads, silk tops and wool tops. They are quite yummy. The machine threads (those 2 winners need to wait patiently....) are nearly on the high sea. However more time is spent at Australian wharves than anywhere else I think. I am already thinking of a new project (and I shouldn't be indulging, just getting on with the tasks in hand - the BOOK)

We are having another bbq tonight. We invited our Italien friends, Luigi and Martien last night to help us with the lamb rumps but they couldn't come until today so we will be all lamb rumped out and will be needing to try something else tomorrow I think......

I managed to get a good selection of all the sequins packaged today to keep us out of mischief for a while. I am working on a storage system at our lockup for the silk and wool tops to make it easier for me to find what I need. Plus Ian is hassling me to move the last of my stuff out of my indoor studio so he can get it ready to be the office. Out of sight - out of mind, but I will.....honest.....

I have been spraying newspaper with Moonshadow Mist and stitching it to web painted felt for a new Shanghai vessel. Why does everyting take so long when you are in a hurry.....

I received 2 tags in the mail today - just as well I got my 4 off yeaterday. The top one is from Megan in NSW and the bottom from Liz in USA. These are from Patti Culea's Stargaze Tome group. They are designed to fit into one of her tomes.

Another piece of exciting news is that Beryl Taylor is coming to Perth as a guest at the Craft Quilt and Stitch Show in early August. I am really looking forward to meeting her.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tag Swap

I made 4 tags for the Stargazey Tome swap to send off tomorrow. That's the very fine copper tissue on Tissutex. Hope the 4 recipients like them. I think they were supposed to be there last week but better late than never. I also make a little sample piece on the embellisher with the 12 1" x 1" fabric charms. Then I will make the real ones for the swap. You can see the piece on my embellisher blog.

I am sitting in the studio and I think that the Glory has just got another goal. There is a soccer game on at the Perth Oval which is just at the end of our street. Very noisy when there are soccer games on but there are not a lot of people there today. You can always tell if the gLory are winning or not. At the beginning of February there is an Eric Clapton concert so it will be great night for us to sit outside and bbq and enjoy.

We went up the road for coffee and ended up at the Must Wine Bar with friends. Keeping the rest of our lamb rump for tomorrow's bbq - it's a bit too hot out there tonight. Sadly NZ lost the one day cricket game after such good bowling.

Ian has loaded the Jan promotion on the website. No better time to get your sequins and Zap Cloth. The sequins are already selling well - I am thinking of going for 4 more colours since 100 kilos wasn't nearly as frightening as I thought......

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday Stuff

This is my Take a Stitch Tuesday sample from week 1 - Herringbone Stitch. Worked on scrim on felt again and some parts have been embellished and others not.

It's very hot today so I have been working in the studio with the air con on and watching Sarah Lawrence's dvd on using Angelina, Fusible Film and the like. I really want to get my melting pot out and make some Angelina beads but I must keep working on the embellishers. I have some new pics on my embellishment machine blog. The dvd was really good and Sarah sounds just like Sarah with her lovely emphasis on sounding the g on the end of sounding etc. That may sound familiar or funny to lots of you but it is a novelty to us and one which we very naughtily copy.

The recipes from Sizzle worked a treat last night - Chargrilled Lamb Rumps with balsamic vinegar and Panzonella - quite yummy. The butcher sold me far too much meat so we will be having the Lamb Rump recipe again tomorrow night. Have to find some friends to share it with.

I still can't work out how to change the December 2006 on the right to January 2007 - when I go to settings it says 2007. Blogger help was no use at all.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Foxton Beach

This is where I took my mother last Saturday and where I used to go all the time when I was a kid - but January weather this time was more like winter weather of my childhood. It was pretty grey and rough. We used to be able to drive down onto the beach and the best memory is of everyone's mothers waving them in once they dared to go out beyond the first wave. We used to collect pippies on the incoming tide and toheroas when they were in season. Dare I say we used a knitting needle to see if they were there.............. Every summer on Boxing Day we would go to the beach where we often stayed in a bach - roller skating at the rink, roaming, swimming, playing in the sand dunes. It has all changed now and everything is open and boring looking.

This is my mother who abandoned her walker all day and had on her knitted suit which I reckon matches my hair. She is deaf so I wrote her the colour - Fuchsia.... She is 92.

The next morning my sister and I called in to say hello and goodbye.

These are the Gerberas in my studio. They sell in packs of 5 and I buy three packs of different colours. They are just about finished now but aren't they glorious colours. The man at the deli thinks I like bright colours......

Be amazed that I have finally started taking my own pics with the digital. I only managed about 6 in NZ but I will improve. I forgot after a while.

It is going to be very hot this weekend so I will get lots of work done up here in the studio with the air con on - I have a pile of things I have started so will have plenty to show tomorrow.

Tonight we are having a bbq all reciped with my new book - Sizzle - and for our Irish mates Eva and Malachy as well.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Take a Stitch Tuesday

I have decided to join Sharon's Take a Stitch Tuesday but only in a very non serious way. This is something which I did with City and Guilds. Coming from a non-traditional stitching background, I used Constance Howard's Book of Stitches and taught myself a new stitch each week. Val Campbell-Harding suggested I explore each stitch which was always pretty exciting and made you move beyond the fringe. Another favourite book is Stitch Magic - Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn which makes you drool over a few stitches. My today's effort with buttonhole stitch is pretty simplistic -using 6 strand cotton on a scrim on felt background but I thought I would try them and see how the embellisher likes them. The scrim gives a bit of extra texture. My pic shows front and back. Back on the bottom and I rather like this. Next I will move backwards to the first week and play with herringbone stitch. Buttonhole stitch is a very useful stitch and one I use a lot.

There are lots of challenges on at present - maybe too many - who knows. I must not agree to participate in any others. I have tags to make this weekend for the Stargazey swap and then 1" x 1" fabric charms. I am going to use the embellisher for these though so I am happy to be involved.

I have started packagingthe sequins - or rather Kazuko has - trying to keep all the different sizes in their own boxes until the labels are made. It's not necessarily easy to distinguish between sizes when you are waiting for new specs.

Doreen - I love cooking but sometimes at the end of a busy day it is easier to sneak down the road. I am getting all ready to start my Julie Biuso book - sticky tags all over the place. I don't think I have ever spent an airplane flight reading a cookbook before. I followed it with Marie Antionette interspersed with kiddie sounds. Leanne - maybe you could try gatecrashing Julie's bbqs.......

My blog dates on the right haven't turned over and seemingly I am still in 2006. Does anyone have any suggestions? Blogger help did not.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

more books

In the Johnsonville Mall (happy shopping grounds from days with 2 small babies and a long walk up the hill from Glenside - the area was lovely then - so much more rural and without a housing block cantilevered over our beautiful area), Paper Chase were having a 20% off all books day and who can resist that? So of course I bought books. My new year's resolutions, apart from all the obvious, include trying new recipes. I love cooking but I always resort to the old ones. This book - Sizzle - written by Julie Biuso - has all sorts of wonderful bbq stuff in it and I planned to start using it tonight, but amazingly - it is raining in Perth. What bliss.

The other cook book I got was Taking Tea in the Medina by Julie Le Clerc - this is a pictorial excitement and I will probably only drool over it. The cover reminded me of Dijane's pomengranates since they are.

We had a great 4 days and it went too fast of course. When I sort them I have some photos but just a bit too busy yet. Our flight home was something - we were at the back of the plane on a direct flight from Auckland to Perth in a nursery. So many little kiddies creating so much chaos. I think all the hostesses hid out the back and at one point the captain put the seat belt sign on suggesting some turbulence was on its way. Well - got them all back in their seats for a while.

Way back in October on the plane to London, I discovered I couldn't see to read with my glasses on and took them off. I found I could read better without them but it is a habit of nearly a lifetime and hard to break. I have been developing very sore eyes since and finally went to the optician today - it seems my eyes have improved enormously and the eye aches come from wearing glasses far too strong. If I live another 30 years I might not need my specs anymore. So I just have to wait 10 days for my new glasses.

Very busy today which is what happens when you go away. I shall be back up in the studio tomorrow. Helen Suzanne - don't worry about the sequins - I don't have to count them or weigh them - I am simply filling the jars to the very top. Start this job tomorrow.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Christmas Day frivolities

Here we are on Christmas Day doing all the silly things people do and eating far too much food. We had to have a rest afterwards and watch the replay of the Wales vs All Blacks game at Cardiff. Guess who won...... Ian's not here as he took the pics.....and we all wore our cracker hats..... If you look carefully you can see the Fashion books I got.

inside the studio - working

This is the view from my embellisher and it will be even better when we get to do the landscaping. This is not a table for my embellisher - although I did see them at Ally Pally. They are not available here but I have taken the table from my Husqvarna and even though it doesn't fit perfectly it is excellent to use for larger pieces.

Swivelling around is my other table which currently holds the Xpression and my 'puter - this is looking to the mulberry tree and the Rosellas busily munching away on the mulberries and chatting. This area will also be lovely before too long!

This little pile on the chair is a piece left over from the cami for Goodie Goodie Gum Drops - and other knitted bits and pieces to make a bag on the embellisher. I have run out of yarn for the bolero so am waiting for some more to arrive. All over the floor in piles are book samples in their sections.

This morning the sequins arrived and 100 kilos doesn't take up too much space at all! They are dense so I should have realised. So I will be able to look at 4 more colours when I see how these go. What we have are Gold, Brass, Copper and Silver in flat square and flat round in 2mm, 3mm, 4mm and 5mm. Packaged in their own little round jars which makes it easy for storage (I mean I will be packaging them in their own little round jars to make it easy for you to store them....)
Plus the Zap Cloth arrived and 3 new variegated metallic threads. They will be on the web after Tuesday..... because.....

Tonight we are off to NZ for a 4 day whirlwind visit. I am flying to Wellington and will spend tomorrow checking out my favourite city - will call on Michelle in the Textile Studio in Thorndon Quay as well as do some business and go to my favourite haunts. Then I go to Palmerston North to see my sister and mother and Bev and I will have a good night out on Saturday before I fly to Christchurch where Ian's sister is getting married on Monday - she and Terry are flying over from London and with our kids and Annette's kids it will be a Rollerson family reunion. If you are one of those people who write cheques to us at Ally Pally, this is the Annette whose name you write! Then we fly back home on Tuesday morning. I am looking for a few warm clothes to take as it has been cold in NZ.

There is a cyclone up north in WA which is apparently the worst for a decade but it is bypassing Perth and heading down through the middle so we might have a bumpy flight. The weather here is lovely now though - not so hot and the humidity has vanished for the moment.

See you all next week - I will take some pics...... and you can see one of the things I have done with my embellished piece on my embellisher blog.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

in and out of my studio

We had RAIN over night and the smell in the air was wonderful. Today has been cool and heaven to work in the studio with the windows all open and the wind whistling through. I have been working on a variety of pieces but only got my scroll finished - you can see it on my other blog. going for a walk this morning was very pleasant indeed. May it continue.....

Monday, January 01, 2007


Happy New Year! We had a lovely night last night and now it is 2007.

Marie Antoinette was a wonderful film. The story line stopped sooner than we expected. I have pulled out a book written by Stefan Zweig which we read ages ago and this was one of his comments in the introduction

"Marie Antoinette was neither the great saint or royalism nor yet the great whore of the Revolution, but a mediocre, average woman: neither fire nor ice: devoid of any vigorous wish to do good and of the remotest inclination to do evil: the average woman of yesterday, today, and tomorrow."

If there hadn't been a Revolution, she wouldn't be remembered.

So - what am I reading this week. Well this book again, of course!

I loved the costumes and the decadence and we could both sit and say we have been to Versailles as tourists.


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