Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the last day of the year

We have had this waterlily since 1992 - it has been in our atrium highly neglected and definitely non floral but this year I brought it (or rather got the boys to carry it) outside where I have chatted to it regularly and heaped lots of niceness on it. Yesterday it rewarded us with the start of a flower and voila - today it opened up - isn't it beautiful? Right now it is resting again but I am sure we will see it full of spark tomorrow....

I think this must be the omen for the new year. Lots of excitements and happenings. 2008 has been a busy year - have I achieved everything on my many lists (books of lists?) no - of course not and I have just started a new book of lists for 2009 - so many things I just HAVE to do.

The weather is horrible and hot today so we have been hiding indoors with the air con on (we have eben busy - the lastest Cloth Paper Scissors #22 arrived yesterday afternoon and we have sent them all out to their new owners for post new year reading) but Ian keeps giving me updates of the impending sea breeze. I have marinated my french cutlets with lots of Indian spices for a bbq later along with other stuff which I still have to go out and buy. I have written the newsletter and it is in Ian's capable hands and we are plotting up some great specials for our website in January. Plus my Paris Shoes arrived safe and sound yesterday in South Carolina for Cyber Fiber. I will add a link tomorrow

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve - as usual we may not even wait up until midnight but what we do know is that when we wake up it will be 2009......

Saturday, December 27, 2008

holiday reading

We had a lovely relaxing Christmas at Chez Rollerson and of course ate too much - why is it that we always shop for a seige, worry about not having enough and end up with enough overs for an army? Just the 4 of us this year with Grant having Christmas in England with Annette and Terry. As always we got lots of lovely books to read and I got a new lamp under which to read them. Ian got a very comfy new chair for his office. This is one of my books which I have finished - makes me want to rush back t o Morocco for another visit.

We have been having a lazy couple of days since although I have managed to clean out quite a bit of stock and cut and package etc. That sort of stuff does not go away. Tomorrow I will be back to work and back to working on Ratty Tatty samples and notes.

The weather has been beautiful although I fear the heat is coming next week. One of the things Ian and I like at this time of the year is that lots of people go south and the city becomes nice and quiet. We watched the start of the Sydney to Hobart yesterday - looked like a lovely day in Sydney.

What have we been listening to on our Sonos? FM classic - the UK classic station - beautiful music very much appreciated. None of this heavy stuff which happens here in the afternoons and lots of Rutter and lots of wondrous carols.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'tis the night before Christmas and all is well

This morning I picked mulberries from our tree - lots still to ripen but a good little start although I do know someone who has been eating them every morning....

The shopping is done, the washing is done, the presents are bought , wrapped and under the tree. The icecream and pavlova are both made and the fridge is laden with goodies to feed an army.

The last of the orders before Christmas have gone, the cards have all been sent and new roses have been placed in vases. Even the studio has been tidied a little only.

And the Cyber Fyber parcel has been collected by the DHL man and is on its way.

Tonight we are off to dinner with Sarina and Frank and tomorrow we will be up bright and early.

I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS - thanks for reading me and for all your lovely emails and comments. May you all have a fabulous relaxing day - I shall be....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

some paris roses

My little Paris book is almost finished - just to spend tonight thinking about how I might bind it and then Ian will be photographing it and it will be all wrapped in time for the DHL man late tomorrow afternoon.... I ran out of the lovely braid I bought - shouldn't have been so mean and bought more although it was very expensive. These are my silk roses for one page - a little exercise in decision making. Sorry it is so light - I scanned it - but when Ian photographs it tomorrow I will show a little bit more. I hoe it passes the test.

Now I can think about Christmas - finish buying the presents, wrap them, do the shopping and then the cooking. Bought the eggs for the pavlova and icecream yesterady but we ate them for breakfast so will try again. And tonight we will be off to Kailis in the middle of the night without, I hope, the queues, to buy the seafood. Onwards and upwards.... until the next thing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

sunday roses

here is the latest vase of roses on my kitchen table

paris shoes make progress

Over half way there with my cyberfiber piece. Thought I would show a little sneak to prove it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

new dvd and slight reprieve

Santa Claus - aka the parcel postie who tells he delivered 1600 parcels yesterday - brought many boxes this morning including a new shipment of DVDs - mostly restocking but also a fabulous new one - Seeing Double - featuring Jean Littlejohn and Jan Beaney - based on and around the super exhibition which I was lucky enough to see at Ally Pally. Lots work based on Lake Mungo and the Red Centre. I stopped all work to rush off and have a rapid preview. It is really super.

Then Ian phoned DHL to see when my Paris Shoes for Cyber Fiber could go for a last minute reprieve and I now have until 24th which gives me 2 more days - well not really as I do have Christmas stuff to do but it has taken a tiny bit of pressure off. I have the first 2 pages all done and working like mad on the 3rd and 4th - the other 4 are spread out in various stages.... I will get there....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


not much time to smell them but these are my glorious flowers on the dining room table. I did say if I lived in Paris I would buy them every day - they are always so nice.

In between the orders and packaging and stuff I am sneaking away at my Cyber Fiber entry. Paint Shop Pro is playing up on my computer so I am about to ask Ian to do something with his Corel Draw programme for me. 8 pages are all laid out in various stages. It will be away on Monday do or die. In any other moments I can find I am working on Ratty Tatty Papers. Someone has mentioned Christmas is coming up - oh dear......

Sunday, December 14, 2008

rusty ideas

Yesterday I went to the yacht club to take some more pics of the poles and rusty stuff and I did some rubbings and sketches - I hadn't noticed the fabulous stitchy pattern before. Each time you see different things. Lots more ideas for me to play with.

We had a wonderful bbq last night - the weather was perfect and we stayed outside until very late. Daylight saving is wonderful but people in West Australia don't seem to know how to appreciate it. Seems they would all rather be woken up at 4.30am when the sun rises. Today is very hot - 37 degrees and windy so just as well we enjoyed last night. Of course I did go to the nursery but I think planting will be another day or late in the evening.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


thanks for all the lovely comments and emails - it's nice to know so many people care. When you lose some of your art you lose some of yourself but you just move on - I went to the yacht club this morning and took lots of pics of poles and rust stuff and did some sketching of some wonderful shapes. As you can see I have started a pile of flowers - working through every stitch on my Bernina to get a big stockpile for my new cover. I shall attack them with a soldering iron at some stage. I have also started my my cover but I shall only work on it slowly as i have too many pressing things to do but I did need to get started. The other one has my name stitched on it in a tiny corner - this one is going to be a little more prominent.

Lots of enrolments for both on-line workshops which is great - I am working hard on finishing the Ratty Tatty lesson notes and then to work some more on my samples. Sometimes I create then write and other times I find I need to write then create and then for both I tweak because as you know things don't always work out the way your brain thinks they might.

It has been a lovely day but there sure were a lot of people on the roads this morning. We are about to have a bbq in our getting tidier back garden.

Friday, December 12, 2008

thieves or desperate artist?

I am not a happy chappy today. We had a customer today who stole some of my work so I am not impressed. The top is my wrap for all of my flower stitch samples which she helped herself to and inside there were loads of pages - one in particular I have always loved since I made it with all of the burnt out and reapplied flowers not to mention a little bag for which I don't seem to have a pic. These things take ages to work out and do and I cart them around and shoe people my samples - I even took this book to Ally Pally this year. It's not just your work - it's the time to replace it. Means I don't leave any samples around without my supervision ever again. The samples she didn't help herself to (or maybe she was in a hurry to stuff it in her bag) were all over the floor. What ever else she may have stolen I won't know - just send out heaps of very bad karma please....

All this as well as a bad supplier week.

However lots of bookings arriving for both of the workshops and I think a meal out tonight to cheer me up..... and we got a new shipment of Sari Ribbon, Sari Twist and Sari Yarn and well as a new one - Rangi Changi - this is a rayon yarn in the most glorious colours. SOmething has to cheer one up when the chips are down.

January online workshops

Whoops - I told all the people on my lists that I would email them around 10th Dec. I thought the 10th was next week. I will be emailing everyone today - my apologies - enrolment officially is the 15th but I will be all ready for action later on today. Just setting up the last thing.

Where has the time gone? Better get on with the Christmas stuff. At least I have ordered the meat - is that a good start? Christmas cards coming up this weekend. Perhaps putting our little tree up (Doreen - you will remember what it looks like...)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


To say we have been busy is a little understatement - there were some moments when the orders spread out into the lounge room and I couldn't do any more until the baskets had been emptied. That's one reason why you haven't heard from me. But having slogged away we are back on track with only a few waiting for me to finish before tomorrow's arrive. It's wonderful actually and we thank all of our wonderful customers because without you we wouldn't be here enjoying life and I wouldn't be able to indulge in all of my arty stuff.

The other reason I haven't posted is because I have been working away on my Cyber Fiber entry - spraying surfaces, stamping, printing and about to start some stitching - for my Red Shoes book. I have also been working on workshop samples for Ratty Tatty Papers and am planning an Embellish, Stitch Enrich some more workshop sometime early-ish in 2009. Have had lots of requests and as I have new ideas thought they would all go together. This time I am thinking of 3 lessons allowing 2 weeks to work through each lesson. Any comments?

I have been bemused to see that more and more people are offering on-line workshops - maybe it really is easier. Interesting that some are people who have been enrolled in mine.... My intent is to keep the price low - there is always a lot of work in writing a workshop and setting it up but ther is no driving to the venue/hiring the venue stuff to worry about and so far they have been lots of fun. The only thing is - I can't see for real the work people are doing and some of it is so wonderful.

The entries for the Connections Challenge are starting to arrive - most exciting. I am busy at present gathering prizes - obviously some from us but l have also a few others lined up.

This beautiful plate is our 40th wedding anni to each other - it has what you might call a ruby tone for sure. We bought it at James and Morris in Matakana and believe you me it was heavy to carry as my hand luggage.

I notice that many of our suppliers are using the economic situation as an excuse to put prices up. I have been having a bad week with some of my suppliers so if products vanish from our website you will know why. In fact fuel has gone down but I bet shipping costs won't. The thing which keeps my faith are the wonderful people who go out of their way to find the cheapest way to send something to me and believe me this makes a lot of difference.

Tonight we are sneaking off to Spaghi becasue we think we deserve it. I have refuschied(sic) my hair - so all fuschied up for christmas.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

back and busy

Last Saturday we caught up with Leanne at her group exhibition and sale in Devonport but I couldn't load this pic while I was away as I couldn't turn it around - it was lovely to see you Leanne and also I did covet that piece of work - it looks a bit like what I would like! Hope the Sunday went well for you.

This is downtown Parnell Road - we went Christmas shopping on Wednesday so have actualy got some stashed away here at home.

Then we went for a drive around Mission Bay - looking across to Rangitoto Island.

We had a fabulous week and have been flat out since we got back. Loads of mail and parcels and stuff and a lawn to cut and a garden to get into action. We will be here until the end of February which augers well for getting things done. We hope to be up to date with the orders by Tuesday - I am sorting stock and off to the studio - I have a Cyber-Fibre item to make and get away. it is based on the Paris shoes. And no - I didn't buy any shoes in NZ. In fact I actually have so much to do I had better get going...

Last night we went to a fabulous concert - Sting and the Songs of the Labyrinth. Very much enjoyed.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

more exploring

On Tuesday we went up to Coromandel - we drove a way north of Thames - the coast was magnificent with the pohutakawas just starting to come into flower - they will be wonderful when all are out.
Then we drove into the Kaueranga Valley and went for a short walk.
I have managed to get the photos out of sinc but to be honest it's not easy loading onto this 'puter so I know no-one will mind. This is back on the coast road north of Thames.
Back to the valley and the information centre.
and a bridge through the bush leading to a model dam situation.
More lovely sights to see
We have had a wonderful few days and so many thanks for all the lovely emails - back home tomorrow - it's always a shame that it takes so long to fly to and fro Perth but we will be back on track on Friday doing all the orders which have been flowing in while we have been away.

Roll on the next anni..... and by the way I have just realised that yesterday was y 700th posting. Where does time go?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

monday exploring

Yesterday the weather changed quite a lot in that it was raining and quite grey so we sure were lucky on Sunday. We went up to Warkworth and Matakana not having been there for a very long time. Years ago when the boys were very young we went camping at Pakari Beach but we didn't quite get that far. We went to Wendelholm (sic?) Park which was really lovely. This is me looking out onto the inlet.
Couldn't resist a photo when there is a frame to do so through -
The pohutakawa trees are starting to come out in places - they are magnificent when they all appear along the coast
a closeup. Then we went to Morris and James in Matakana and bought a platter - found it difficult to decide but as it was closing time they were rather anxious for us to leave. It has some reddy colours in it so looks like it fits the ruby idea. Take a pic when we get home.

Monday, December 01, 2008

an extra wonderful day

The view from Mudbrick Restaurant in Waiheke Island

We had the most glorious day yesterday - should have a 40th anniversary every day. We nearly missed the ferry to Waiheke Island though- not being familiar with downtown Auckland we had trouble finding parking as roads were closed because of the christmas parade and when we did find one it wouldn't take notes only coins and the credit card part wouldn't work so there we were frantically doing a u-turn to find another park and parting with credit card into a machine (don't think I have ever paid for parking with a credit card before) and running (yes me running) to catch the ferry.

The weather was glorious - you could not have asked for better and we were given extra special treatment with the best spot at Mudbrick Restaurant, a lovely waitress and extra special treats including a welcome bottle of champagne from Grant - thanks Grant - you ahd us come over all teary. Here we are toasting you.

This is my entree - scallops and crabmeat - after that we forgot to photograph any more food or even our ruby wine. the chef ent out little treats and the waitress was adamant we should have desert and we knew there was another surprise coming up - a Cloudy Bay latepicked from Annette and Terry - thank youboth so much - no pics but we toasted you both.
The view from our table to the sea beyond. We think this is one of the most special places in the world - in the distance you can Auckland and Rangitoto and the Hauraki Gulf - lots of lavender close up and olive trees and manuka and the pohutakawa trees just coming out into bloom.
Looking back up to the restaurant from outside- the ultraviolet rays must be stronger here than in Perth as Ian managed to get a very sunburnt head and he was only outside for about 10 minutes.
Looking back up to the restaurant - we bought a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir so we can enjoy them back home.

I should add that we started the day watching the All Blacks vs England in the morning and a bonus for Ian was to watch the replay at night and this morning read all about it in the paper! When we got back to our apartment it was still lovely and warm and we went for a long walk around Newmarket.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Many thanx

thanks to you all for all the lovely emails - I used to think 40 years of marriage meant you were really old but now I know much better. All the ruby suggestions - well I reckon one of my several pairs of red shoes look pretty ruby and Ian thinks a good red wine similar.

We have been flat out getting all the orders including all of the quilting arts out and now we have a couple of hours to pack our bags and sort ourselves out before we head off on our latest adventure.

I thought I would share a beautiful jacaranda with you - not ours as ours is refusing to flower much on our side of the fence - it only flowers in the laneway next door.

Don't forget to call in and see my pics while we are away and happy birthday to Raylene whose birthday we never forget 'cos it's the same day as our wedding anni.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

mega events

Happy anniversary to

Sarina and Frank for Tuesday
Jacinta and Dean for today


Dale and Ian on Sunday.

This is why the December newsletter is ready today - tomorrow we are off to Auckland for a few days - it is our 40th (yes 40th) wedding anni on Sunday and I am taking Ian to Mudbrick Restaurant on Waiheke Island for lunch and amazingly Ian is taking me to the very same place at the very same time. We are taking the 'puter and I will share our holiday pics with you so you can all be jealous of beautiful Waiheke Island if you haven't been there - actually we are staying in Auckland and only going over for the day.

After the usual saga the latest quilting arts will be collected this afternoon so we will be up very early tomorrow to get them all out before we go. Can't do it tonight as we are off to Ying Tang.

ps the yellow on the wedding photo is not aged - it is the yellow paint I have managed to get on the scanner which will not come off.....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday Stuff

nothing much to report today - seem to be doing lots of boring tasks but Ian loaded onto the web these wonderful kimono flower buttons which I went mad buying - I have layered 3 and stitching them to my flower journal - that's why I bought them in the first place- I wanted some. They are made using old kimono fabric set in resin - so beautiful.

I have written the newsletter and sent it to Ian - I did say it would be early this round andthe reason will be revealed very soon

And then I have been mucking around with tissutex -painting it and stamping onto it - a little bit of medieval.

I have also set up another blog for my Historical Heirlooms course so Janet can actually see what I am doing but really to make me do it. When I have something to show I iwll announce the name here - tomorrow. I have plans to load work every week - I have been really enjoying it but don't get things done at times - must have too much on my plate or something......

Monday, November 24, 2008

Designing Women Exhibition

Yesterday I went to the Designing Women exhibition - we were away for the opening and it was the last day yesterday - there was some very good work and some which didn't do much for me - I prefer not to cast judgement on people's art but I do feel that when you can recognise a tutor's workshop then it is not really art - to me that is. I always like to think that people will reveal themselves and not someone else. I really liked Alcira's work though - this top one was part of a larger work - it's just that I am a bad photographer so I only focused in one one of the set - I found it very interesting indeed.

These 2 are books which Alcira had made (I don't have her surname or I would add it here) All of her work really did appeal to me.

I have only spent my day counting threads and stacking stuff at the lockup but I did give myself a scare - when I left our lockup I was looking around for my handbag (I was enroute to the butcher) and I suddenly realised I had left it in the car, locked but with the window down. Did my heart start moving faster - you bet! - and did I move fast - you bet some more.... fortunately all was well. I don't think i have ever done that before......

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday musings

The Kangaroo Paws are lovely this year - we have had plenty of rain and in our garden I pruned off all the dead ones and as a reward they are all out in flower. Hard to get growing - I have lost a few over the years - but once they start to flourish they do well. Our visiting birds love them. These ones are in our back garden.

Sunday has been rugby day - we got up early to watch the Wallabies win against France - thought they were going to lose and then this afternoon we watched the All Blacks beat Wales.
At Perth Oval several doors down we have a Billy Joel concert rehearsing all afternoon and about to start. Don't mind Billy Joel but we are going to sneak off to Spaghis instead and no doubt when we return there will be no car parks. On Friday night we went to hear Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Sara McIver singing with the WASO - they were brilliant - not sure about the orchestra though. Maybe we have just been so spoilt. They performed Faure's Requiem. What really bugs me about concerts is the coughing (okay not their fault) but especially the lollies - I don't mind people eating them but if only they would take them out of the noisy wrappers before they leave home..... and to make it worse they think it will be better if they open the wrappers very slowly - it's a bit like removing a sticky plaster - the faster the better in the long run. Off the soap box.


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