Thursday, August 30, 2007

off we go

The All Blacks have left for France and we are about to leave for the Blackwood River. Late though as we have been busy as can be. But not too late......

See ya all on Monday........
Only 9 days to the start of the Rugby World Cup

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Patti took a photo of us when she was here last week - naughty girl. I have only just found her blog!

It's been raining and windy here today - I lost a part from my glasses and had to get Ian to drive me into town and drive around the block while I had them mended. I had forgotten what it is like to be a worker walking on an angle in the rain with an umbrella inside out. much better to work from home, even if you do get up an hour early by mistake.
We have been so very busy so tomorrow we are taking off down south about 3 hours to the Blackwod River near Nannup for a few days r and r. Ian has his books but I have my usual truck load of stuff. This will be my chance to catch up on a few creatiive things. We will be back on Monday and back to work no doubt straight away.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I have spent the day knee deep in Valdani threads. Now we are the distributor it means huge numbers rolling in so I spent most of the day sorting them into a semblance of sorts. Meant I had to clean lots of stuff off the shelves in our office (aka my old studio) - Ian is always delighted when I actually turf something. Most of it I simply moved up to the top shelf figuring I don't want to store stock up there. I am 6 TASTs behind so this weekend I shall use some of the perle 8s and catch up. If Sharon reads this, I have decided to create a sample book for all the stitches so will have to back pedal and do some again. Should have been smart enough to think of that at the time.

Grant is back in London and sent me a new link for pics of the Bridge to Bridge in San Francisco which I knew everyone would love to see. This is the winner

Here is the De Longhi team

Here they are in their glory - Grant Simon and Chris

Just a great shot

DeLonghi pipped at the post

The Aussie DeLonghi

Not DeLonghi but what a great exhilerating moment.

Leanne - I had to laugh at your suggestion of a plank. The skip is still outside and I looked out trying to imagine it. I think we would be rolling around laughing too much. Ian says why didn't you tell us that before we started loading!
The Digitwise course I am doing - it is a 10 module correspondence - not on the net. It is for Generations programme.
Tonight we are off to Gogos with Luigi and Martien. They are off on holiday soon.

Monday, August 27, 2007

garden stuff

We filled a skip bin up over the weekend. The garden is certainly much tidier and you can actually see the garden path in the front. But there is a lot more dirt to move so we will get another skip in a fortnight and cart more dirt. It's hard working lifting the wheelbarrow up to the top of the bin to tip the stuff in. Just as well Bruce and Kazuko came around to help on Sunday.
Here is Ian working away

Out the back by the side of the studio - all clear but lost more dirt to move. A fence to paint and garden plans to develop. That's the mulberry tree just coming into green leaf time. In this area we are planning water and green things and waterlillies and other things like Irises and African Violets. Ian wants to know what the obsession with violet is.....

The spot for the garden shed. Even a thread stand....

I have finally finished my digitising for my Digitwise module 3. I hope it passes although I know I have got some of the stitch order wrong but I have stitched it out several times and I don't want to again. The first one was the best but I had all the wrong colours and then the middle ones were dramas. For this one I sat and watched the long process of 33,000 stitches. Fascinating....... But I am looking forward to starting the next module as it is on scanning and digitals and stuff.

San Francisco

I have never been to San Francisco (I have never been to the US) but Grant goes every year for 18ft skiff sailing and says it is a great place. This is the Bridge to Bridge race - from memory it invariably blows a lot for this event and often they don't finish but here is De Longhi tonking along nicely with the white kite up.

And here is another shot of them sailing. A long way on from little mudlarks on the Swan River.

We spent a lot of the weekend filling our skip and I will post some pics to prove it later on when the camera loader onto the computer wakes up - looks much better out there but a few more skips to go. I meant to mention that on Friday I misread the bedside clock and got up at 5am instead of 6am. Not sure I got much extra done though.
Penny - give me a break! Just play with all of your inks and stuff and you will love all the results. My ink book is filling up nicely and I have added my notes for a reference. You will be able to see some of the things I have done in my next book which should be out early next year. Yes I am crazy and I am working on the next one.
The newsletter finally went out to every one on the list and it seems lots of you hadn't signed up on our website. I promise to write a newsletter more often.......
Only 12 days to go to the start of the Rugby World Cup.....

Friday, August 24, 2007

This is one for mothers

While the rest of us are working, our children are invariably having fun. Grant is sailing in San Francisco in the 18ft Skiff Regatta and after a mega search I have found some photos so rather than waste a single one, here they are. Not in any particular order but as I found them.

Delonghi tonking along.Grant, Simon and Chris - must be concentrating hardNot such a good moment in a race.

Some good shots - apparently it was 25knots yesterday and everyone had a capsize. Oh the fun of sailing.

What were the rest of us doing today? Well I spent a lot of time in the car - not something I like to do. I prefer my supplies to arrive by post or carrier and to be greeted by a friendly chappie at the door. However local suppliers means I have to go and get my stuff to make sure I get it when I want it. I reckon that I came across every red light in Perth today and had near encounters with a lot of very bad drivers who were desperate to crash into me. Very quiet relaxing at home tonight. BUT - we did finish the newsletter (first one for a long time) and sent it out.

Tomorrow - what lies ahead? A skip bin was delivered today so we will be cleaning up parts of the garden which have been waiting patiently.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rag paper sketch books

Ages ago I bought myself a Khadi rag paper sketch book and then Maggie was using one in one of her articles in WOW - I have used it for my Ink book. Rag paper is lovely to work on - inks, sprays etc - as I work on my book, the pages come adrift but I am making little pretend signatures to join them all back together again. I am planning to take my Ink book to Textile Fibre Forum in Geelong (I will be there trading from Wed to Sat but Rae will be there the first few days) so if you are going to be there you can see what I have been up to.
That was info but here is the real thing. After waiting for ages and ages, my shipment of Khadi rag paper sketch books finally arrived today. I thought the ship had sunk. I don't usually bring things in by sea but 100 sketch books weighs a lot. They are $12 each and once they have gone I doubt if I will get any more. I may be sorely tempted to keep a few for myself.
Patti Culea called in this afternoon - she is over here teaching. I should have taken a pic of her as she very busily took one of us for her blog. It was lovely to see her.
Grant is sailing his 18ft skiff in San Francisco but I can't find any pictures on the website although he is coming 3rd at present.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Well, nowhere really, apart from spending time at our lockup/warehouse counting threads and fibres although I did go out to lunch today with Mareene and Jaslyn at a new place in Mt Claremont. These good little cafes are cropping up everywhere.

The latest Cloth Paper Scissors arrived today and as usual it looks like a great read. Managed to get almost all of them away so if you have an order with us you should have it pretty soon. Back to normal after the disastrous delivery of QA 28. I haven't had much of a chance to read through but I see Jean Littlejohn has an article on altered sketch books. We will have a newsletter coming out in a day or so (I know I said this a while back but it didn't get completed so I have updated it and fired it back at Ian) and I am mentioning the QA Gift magazine which is not on subscription but one which you have to preorder. I have to send in my order by the end of August and I believe there will be no back issues - the magazine will be out at the beginning of November. I have something in it! The dreaded garland.

Back to the Book of Ink - Walnut Ink testing samples of strengths. I started with 1/2 tsp and increased.
I have also been further playing with my favourite sprays - I painted black acrylic paint onto the page and sprayed with Glitz Spritz - these don't have walnut ink in them and usually look quite insipid on white but on black - wow! I have a new Medieval mould in stock - a new Fleur De Lys - and I have paper cast into it and also painted it with black paint and sprayed with Glitz Spritz. I just love these sprays and the Moonshadow Inks.

I am also working on Module 3 of my Digitwise course so should have a rainbow to show soon. I try to do a little bit each night late.

Here is one another of the things I have been doing - making a little flower stitcher bag - it's not finished yet but the fabric is made on the embellisher and the little hanging flowers on Romeo. Not a good scan but when I have finished it all and added the lid and cord I will photograph it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lazy Saturday

Beautiful day today so we both manged a good walk - I combined mine with the shopping as well. I am cooking tonight my favourite curry. We have been eating out quite a bit in the last few days for one reason of another. On Thursday we were flat out all day (all week in fact) so we went to GoGo's Curry House - always lovely. He has a divine eggplany curry. Indian food is one of my favourites and I like to cook it. I have spent quite a lot of time cutting and packaging fabric today. Apart from customers here and at the shows, none of our web customers (apart from Fiona) know that we have a decent variety of hand dyed fabrics in the 4 Opulent colours - silk habotai, organza, dupoini, tussah and felt, silk velvet, silk/rayon velvet, muslin, venise lace etc etc. I hope they hit the web soon. I also have some lovely silk ends which are interesting.

I have mixed up various strengths of walnut ink for my Ink book - so I have a good record for reference. Plus a bit of rust play. But lazy day - and lots to do tomorrow. It might rain which will be good for working indoors. Next weekend we have hired a skip so we can get stuck into clearing the garden. We have sort of been waiting for the units next door to make further progress. Only now is the driveway almost finished - still looks like a lot of work inside. We have moved the wooden palings from the front garden.

Some close up photos of my flower stitch foot - really still learning how to take pics but you should be able to see how it is attached to the shank on the Bernina. I have had lots of emails this week asking about the foot - I don't know how it fits or not fits some machines, You need to find out if your machine takes a low shank and then try it. The lever sits on top of the needle clamp. Sometimes when they are new they are stiff and a good oiling will sort them out.

Here is a close up - this is stitching the 3 way zigzag and if you look closely you can see the lever which you can move into different positions for wider and narrower flowers.

Last night we had a bbq here for the gang (Kazuko, Bruce and Jonathon) before we went to the rugby. It was not very exciting but we came back and burnt off most of the loose twigs around the garden - eucalyptus leaves always smell good - we have a couple of lemon ones.
I seem to have tagged by Marjorie - thanks very much and Debbi - I am glad I inspire someone, Debbi - I only ramble on with what I am doing. Having a blog is a good discipline for me and a good way for lots of my friends to know what we are up to. Bruce thinks we just sit around drinking coffee all day. That's because he knows the best times to arrive.
Tonight will be exciting - Ian has a video of the rugby game we watched in Auckland. That means we can see the rain again and the first half for the 3rd time and the second half for the 4th time. All in place of The Bill.....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday simply rolls along, like Wednesday and others

This morning I went to a calligraphy class. I wasn't going to go because I hadn't gathered my equipment but Jaslyn didn't seem to see that as an excuse. I enjoyed it but boy, just turning to a new page and I slopped ink on it. It is going to be a slow learning curve especially for such an impatient person as myself. I have been wanting to start for ages as I want to use calligraphy in my work rather than commercial text. Practice improves rather than makes perfect for me in this case, not that I am as concerned about the perfection but rather the doing of it. Homework she said - ha ha.

I am also knitting an angle scarf in the evenings so while I haven't much to show as I am still sorting, counting, restocking tidying and managing to get the orders out (and Ian is busy busy too), I am still slowly working away.

And in case you have been worried that there hasn't been any rugby, there is a local 3rd division circuit on at our local park so that is tomorrow night's outing. Not long until the World Rugby Cup starts.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

more flower stitch foot

I have been playing some more with my flower stitch foot - and have some work on Romeo water soluble which I shall post another day. This is to show simple zig zag stitches on black felt using my new Indian Splendour thread from the Opulent Collection. If you go around a couple of times it gives your variegateds a greater zing. Our threads are factory dipped dyed which means they have the lines so they are not good for specific patterns but I love them for free stitching and also by using them top and bottom and stitching over the original stitch you get this wonderful plethora of colour. It's a good way for me to see if my colour choices are in harmony. I was talking to a lady at the show about extending the colour palette as she was looking for more random dyeing and I told her to try 2 variegateds through the needle as I always find it gives me so much more colour and also to try 2 plain threads through the one needle. You can increase your colour palette that way. And finally - try a metallic with a rayon plain or gold and silver together - it softens the often harshness of silver.

These little samples are stitched on a Bernina 1230 - just working through the different zigzag stitches. I have used kunin felt because I can burn through with a soldering iron and thread cord through the holes. By moving the circle into different positions you can create different sized circles and have circles in circles with different zig zag patterns.

The piece from the other day but a better picture

and some closeups to show different circles - some are stitched back onto the surface with beads. The background is Gossamer Fuse with a little foil - a sort of favourite of mine!

even more close up. This piece is stitched in another of the Opulent Collection - Carnivale

For some reason I have this enormous space I cannot get rid of (my skills are only partial...) but just knowcking off for the day and off to dinner with Martene and Luigi. I am doing one major task a day - yesterday was sorting, counting, and reordering silk tops (we have over 100 colours), today was the same with the woolr tops and tomorrow I shall be 'doing' the books. Beryl Taylor's book has come in and nearly all gone again, The Painted Cloth has come in again and Visual Language in and nearly all out. Interesting to see what people are looking for.
However the gap doesn't seem to have gone at all!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Friday workshop pics

I thought you would like to see the pics I took on Friday at Beryl's workshop. It was raining cats and dogs in Perth and there were accidents everywhere and it was freezing cold at the venue. My car is happy that things are back to normal and it will be only doing its little outings this coming week. The workshop was doing things with an old book but I just took some pics of Beryl's work on display. It is always lovely to see people's work in the flesh - I can see ideas down the track from how she creates her paper. I have been out collecting some fabulous wallpaper for my Rust book from a place in Fremantle. They thought I was mad when I told them I didn't want it for walls. Actually going to Bunnings and studying the polyfilla was exhausting. You used to just have 1 kind - now there are all sorts. I asked which one was suitable for fabric - I think the guy may have needed a lie down afterwards....

This is the cover for Beryl's stitch sampler
One page - you will have seen it in CPS or QA I think- it's a great idea - maybe I will start collating some of my TAST samples - talking of which I have a few catch-ups to do this week now that things have settled down a bit.

Some pages from some of her books

and Beryl in full flight. My photography is improving slowly. I found the closeup button as well.
It was really gerat having Beryl over and we enjoyed hers, Ian's and Matthew's company - yes another Ian!

Beautiful day in Perth -off for a walk soon and back into a bit of action.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


My photography skills are marginally improving - I only seem to have lost a few photos from my efforts today, This is from Beryl's Backgrounds workshop - it was very full and the space is not great but people were very accommodating. I left at lunchtime to get back to work but they seemed to be having a great time creating all sorts of wonderful backgrounds, There were a couple I really liked which I could have happily taken away with me. Here are Mandy and Lisa hard at work. Mandy had some wonderful manuscript pages she bought at the flea markets in ome and she gave me a couple. I shall keep them for something very special as I am working with words at present. At home tonight I have been stamping with words and playing around a bit.

Here is Beryl - she doesn't know I have been taking her photo. It is good practice for me!

Another photo of the class

Below are some of Beryl's sample backgrounds. It is always great to be able to see work in the flesh - you can only look at a book but seeing it for real is so much better. This is the fleur-de-lys book which features in Mixed Media Exploration.

Here are some background pages

and Beryl - sorry Beryl, I think I got you with your specs on....

Tomorrow is the last workshop - I won't miss driving to the venue every morning - I am not sure our car knows what it is like to drive for 30 minutes twice a day.


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