Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Many activities today - Grant flew off to London/Amsterdam last night to go sailing on Lake Garda - lucky so and so - so we are now in charge of his house and doing daily inspections. Once he hit London he phoned to see how today's inspection had gone. Tiles are being laid - certainly keeping us busy as well as everything else. We were not ready when the DHL man came to pick up several parcels to go off. Then I had to spend ages getting my 3 discs of Van Morrison to work on the Sonos system but success at last! Did not get a proper answer from the I Tunes shop at all - last time I venture there.

This is part of my collection of gum nuts from the garden. I am running workshops on the Sat and Sun at Ally Pally and as usual have no idea what. The title is Tiny Tempting Treasures and it is going to be very Australian - hence the gumnuts. I have until October to gather my goodies for a fun workshop. While I was out in the garden there were 2 kookaburras making a right racket in the trees. Pretty good when you consider we live right in the city. It's a bit special around here.

Putting up my 2 embellisher classes yesterday has generated a heap of emails. Not to book in but to ask when I am going to introduce an online class. Watch this space - I am working on it. Tannia - if you go to my other blog - The Embellishment Machine - you can read all about it. IT is a machine without thread and basically the needles with little barbs will felt, punch, distress whatever! Anyone else who is interested in an online class of say 4 - 5 lessons please drop me an email - you can be assured it won't be traditional or conventional or feltmaking based but experimental, lots of fun and a chance to ask, share and do.

What am I reading? Well we are going to have a week in Paris this year after Ally Pally in London so for my birthday Ian gave me this book - The Secrets of Paris of the 30s - Brassai photography - and in the 70s he added text. It's a fabulous collection of photos in black and white and historically just so interesting.

Next I got this little gem today - Paris Cafe - all about Le Select - which is not too far from where we are staying so we will be sure to roam there.

I have not yet finished my article on foils so tomorrow is a bit of a deadline. I have written the newsletter though and ian will eb fixing it up for tomorrow so I am still on schedule!

Embellisher Workshop 2

Embellish, Stitch and Enrich

For those who have done some work with the embellisher, this is a chance to link up with stitch and see what wonderful things can be created. You will create lots of samples and some magical little pieces of work.

Venue: The Thread Studio

6 Smith Street


9227 1561

Free parking available

Details: Thurs 15th May 2008

9.30am to 3.30pm

Cost: $90

For more information, or to make a booking:

Ph (08) 9227 1561 Fax (08) 9227 0254


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Embellisher Workshop 1

Let’s Get Started on the Embellisher

Have you bought an embellisher but barely taken it out of the box, or have you had a little play and then wondered what to do next? If so, then this workshop is for you. A day to explore the capabilites of your machine, playing with all manner of fibres and fabrics. You will create samples and have fun doing so.

Venue:The Thread Studio

6 Smith Street


9227 1561

Free parking available

Details: Wed 14th May 2008

9.30am to 3.30pm

Cost: $90

For more information, or to make a booking:

Ph (08) 9227 1561 Fax (08) 9227 0254


Monday, April 28, 2008

More Marrakech - or the last Marrakech?

Monday rolls in - I have finished my Marrakech wrap or whatever you might call it and it is off on its journey - hope Pokey likes it. I think I have nearly got Marrakech out of my system for the moment but you never know. It started out as an idea for a book wrap but has developed a little mind of its own. But it can stand all on its own as well. On to finishing off the foil article and the newsletter - yikes - it is nearly the end of the month....

Grant is off to Europe tomorrow and Ian is off to NZ at the weekend so photo was needed to make the card for Max's birthday. Grant, Bruce, Ian and I had a meal at GoGo's tonight for a farewell.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Van Morrison and more

What am I listening to on my Sonos? The Best of Van Morrison apart from the 2 songs which don't play and you just sit through the silence.....

The weekend has whizzed by - the rugby is getting to the business end of matters and places are swapping about - apart from the Crusaders who are settled nicely on the top of the ladder. We watched a couple of games Fri and Sat but last night I stayed up to see how the Hurricanes went in South Africa and it was worth it - 6 tries and a bonus point so they are back in 5th position and in with a change for the last 4. This was the only pic I could find but I would like to have watched the game but it was a bit too late - next week they are back in Wellington playing.

I thought I would like to share a piece which one of my students in the Playways on the Net course sent it - we are very tardy in getting their work on the web and always hope they will forgive us - nearly up to date I think this time. This piece is by Susan White and her folder of work is just so wonderful I am highly reluctant to return it - don't worry Susan - I will. The Playways on the Net book which I am compiling with lots of fabulous student work should be ready before the end of the year - I just want to know where the hours go.

I have spent most of my time doing Thread Studio stuff but I have almost finished my wrap but not quite - waiting for the beads to dry and will post it tomorrow because I want to send it off on its trip tomorrow.

We collected some of the teak outdoor furniture from Grant yesterday so sat outside to enjoy it - i have some pics of that and his house but Ian has closed his computer off and gone off so tomorrow.....

Friday, April 25, 2008


Today is ANZAC day - Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It was the great war to end all wars. From my reckoning, a lot of people lost their lives for nothing since nothing has changed. However the day is taken seriously in NZ and Aust although when I walked home from watching the rugby with my vegetables and other stuff, I passed a large number of people rather worse for wear at 7pm so I guess I know how they spent their day.

We had a nice relaxing day and I got a bit of work done up in the studio - I am making a Marrakech wrap nearly finished so I will post a pic tomorrow. My Marrakech book has come home from Wanaka and is off to US on Monday and I want to send the wrap with it. I also spent some time watching the Quilting Arts TV dvd - nearly 6 hours of viewing in 13 episodes. I was pretty impressed with what I saw - Beryl Taylor, Jane Dunnewold and of course Pokey Bolton.

Grant collected a container of furniture from Indonesia which arrived a week or two back - some for his house and the rest to sell. It is all teak which is so much nicer than the redwood we have in the garden so we are going to buy some for us. We have 2 lovely benches up the back just nice for sitting on drinking our coffee. He has a coffee table he thinks but it is buried under other stuff so we will have to wait. His house is coming along very well - must be time for new pics.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I haven't had a chance to play on my embellisher for a while so I used up some of my stuff from other pieces including some lovely red velvet scraps I had. Given me a few ideas for my vessel - I keep all the scraps from any project 'cos you never know when you might need them.

The latest CPS #18 arrived this afternoon - we weren't expecting it as the last QA was so late. We sent a few out tonight and the rest will go tomorrow.

We went to Luigi and Martien's last night and as always we had a great evening - Luigi cooked up lots of yummy food. We are very lucky to have so many wonderful friends.

Monday, April 21, 2008

monday stuff

Ian has been playing with my eee PC - had a few problems but all is well right now. He has been taking photos and loading them on and sending them to me. This is our kitchen almost tidy - the stuff you can see in the left hand back is what I have to package still and through the door is our sunroom aka storage getting tidier by the day. It is going to be great to take away weighing less than a kilo and easy to operate and I can load pics to the blog when I am away as well.

Today lots of exciting goodies arrived including the new Opulent Paints - hopefully they will be on the web very soon. 24 colours today but 4 Interferons to come. Very exciting. We also received our shipment of the Quilting Arts dvds at last - I will try to get to view some of it tomorrow.

Tonight we are off for a family dinner at GoGos with the camera - we need to make a big card for Max's birthday.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Concert and stuff

The kd Lang concert was excellent - she is a wonderful singer - but boy was it cold outside. probably the coldest night we have had in Perth and the concert didn't last that long - we went early to get seats so we were sitting around longer than she sang. but a bonus this afternoon on ABC Arts programme which I turned on to watch an interview with Nigel Kennedy and there was an interview with kd Lang as well.

Sad to say the Hurricanes lost their rugby game overnight - next week boys....

This afternoon I bought myself an eee pc which weighs less than 1kilo and will be great for travelling. I am letting Ian take it to NZ in a couple of weeks - the fact that they only had pink ones left doesn't seem to have phased him too much......

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday play

I have been playing some more with the new Opulence paints - on friendly plastic - they work really well but my samples are pretty terrible so you can't see them. This is embossed velvet - using our Illumination polymer stamps and Opulence. It is dead easy to emboss and I like these stamps as they are unmounted - I just paint them up with a foam sponge, lay them on an old towel on my marble working table, place the velvet face down and iron firmly. The results look better than they scan.

You can see the wondrous nature of the paint and I have added some gold flakes on the bottom one but not very precisely.

For those waiting for the web specials - Ian has finally had a chance to load them today - it is only the 19th after all. Good specials though.

Rugby yesterday - the Chiefs beat the Crusaders which was a wonderful game and then the Force got beaten - they looked a bit like headless chooks without a game plan. Not watching any today - we are off to the kd Lang concert with our picnic and warm clothes - yes the weather is cooler and the concert is in Kings Park.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wild Women Challenge and lotsa rain

We have finally loaded up the information for the Wild Women and Friends challenge for August - on Wild Women and Friends
or you can go to our website
and click on it.
Here will tell you all - and we may even have a big surprise at the show as well. In the meantime, download and get making.

Woke up this morning to rain, glorious rain. It sounded like we were lying in bed on the West Coast of NZ South Island so we stayed a little longer. Lots of happy birds as well.

Having a little further play with the Opulence. They work well with metal flakes added too. This is one of the tissutex mop up pieces with paper napkin additions - part of some stuff I am doing regarding a bottle of red...... over the top I have bonded some painted Gossamer Fuse to give a nice texture. Then I have stitched with Spring Berries - thought it appropriate to go with the red wine. This is one of our old Victory variegated threads. They are nearly all gone now - down to about 3 boxes of each colour. I will have to make sure I pull out a few more for myself because I like to use them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday - storm only threatening

The weather man keeps telling us a storm is coming - it is sort of slightly steamy and murky but I see it not. in the meantime I have had a wee moment to play a little more with my lovely new Opulence inks - I need to clear the decks and create a large area and take an amount of time and go the whole hog. But I have bonded the painted Tissutex to felt and stitched some, and i have used Gossamer Fuse as a mop up along with Zap Cloth and more Tissutex so I am stockpiling for future use. I have washed colour on heavy paper and will stitch that tomorrow and as soon as I find my friendly plastic I will play with that tomorrow too. I like my play to be for something rather than just to play which means I potter around a bit sorting colours etc. Silly really.

Liz - the paints are very new and made in Australia - yeah! We used to sell a range of paints which were lovely except that they went all gluggy so we ceased that line - some of you will know the ones I am talking about. But these ones are twice the size and probably about the same price. I feel with the little plays that I have had that they are going to be fantastic - I am getting a lovely rich result and I love the alchemy effect when I paint Kiah over the paints. They are acrylic and brushes etc wash in water. For all of you who have emailed to order them, they should be here soon and in glowing glory on the website. I am a sucker for beautiful stuff. But they are not new shoes....

Here is the Tissutex stitched with Indian Splendour - I thought since we have Opulent threads , then they would go best. Remember this is just a clean up brush page - the paints were not a bother to stitch over - I had ironed them when I bonded to felt.

A new page in my rust book heavily neglected for some time. The page had been sprayed with Moonshadow Mist when I did the whole book, so I have layered it with Opulence and printed overt he top. I don't know the names of the paints yet but give me time.

While I was working in the studio I listened to the new dvd The Painted Quilt - it is really very good. Laura and Linda have selected some of the techniques from their book The Painted Quilt and show you what they do - full of tips and techniques and then there are projects plus a gallery. Plus there is a cd full of worksheets and stuff. I thought it was like the book but it is quite an extension. Should be popular I think.

Off for our walk to get the groceries and stuff for dinner.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


When something exciting arrives at your house, you simply have to stop everything else and open it up and drool over the contents. This happened today when my sample box of Opulence Embellishment inks arrived. They are so glorious that I had to play with them straight away. 25 paints/inks (I would call them paints but that is just me) in wonderful strong metallic/pearl colours and a black which has gold in it and an interference gold which turns all the colours into alchemy when you paint it over the top. I hope the order arrives before too long.

Here are some of my playings from today - I thought it sensible to create a colour chart in 2 pages of my ink book

These are the colours on white rag paper with their names underneath - the names are opulent as well. If you enlarge the pics you can see where I have brushed Kiah (the interference gold) over the top in parts.

Here they are in the same order on rag paper which I painted with black acrylic first and once again you can see the 'alchemy' effect. I am in love with them already (doesn't take much....)

I wiped my brush on Tissuetex as I worked so here are both sides of the one piece. I shall have a stitch on this tomorrow and try them on glass and friendly plastic and see how they go. They are very rich and viscose and you can water them down for a great wash of colour.

Finally I cleaned my brush on black polycotton - the first thing I could lay my hands on.
They come in lovely little glass jars 60mls which will make them a good buy - but they are rather precious so I will have to find a special place to store them.

Little stop press as I know so many people are waiting on it - Romeo and Gulietta and Verona should be on their way tomorrow so we will be able to fill the huge backlog of orders we have here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Some wonderful work

I love it that people send me pics of their work. Today Gloria Muddle sent me two glorious pieces - she says she has been working with fusible webbing. I thought I would share them with you (with her permission of course).

The first one is Sudden Squall and it does remind me of what happens when there is a squall. When we lived in Wellington when Grant was a baby (in Pembroke Road, Northlands) in a flat on the hillside, we used to experience 100 mile an hour winds and we had trouble getting our front door open. My mother came to visit and got blown over by the wind when she stepped out from the hedge. The nappies dried fast if you could get them to untangle on the line. That was when I learnt to peg them across two lines.

The second one is Port Macquarie - I don't know how Gloria has made this but I would love to see it close up. They are very contrasting works - thanks Gloria.

I have been playing with some napkins on surfaces but making slow progress at present. I am also working with foils for an article in Aust Machine Embroidery (and Textile Art). It is very soporific here today and while we sitting in the lounge admiring our new flat screen telly, we both fell asleep - at 6pm! We seem to be failing in the Autumn stakes but I think rain is on the way - hope so anyway.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Some Bali photos

Many thanks for all the birthday greetings. I had a lovely day, ending with the Hurricanes winning their rugby game easily even with 2 men off the field at one stage in the sin bin. Now they are 3rd on the ladder - may they stay there or even move up.

And all the orders your placed from my blog offer will be posted tomorrow - just as well I only have a birthday once a year!

Here are some pics from Bali

We had our own swimming pool which we enjoyed using - every afternoon dark clouds rolled in and thunder and lightening and then rain - wonderful. Pool was just big enough to swim around a bit and certainly lovely to cool off in - just outside the pool were the rice paddies.

This is the lounge - sort of outdoor/indo

and this is the entrance to our villa - through a little gate

The lights were all enclosed in these wonderful little structures.

A spider orchid

And the carving on the wall in our entrance.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Dale

Since I have done it to everyone else, it only seemed appropriate - and yes it is my birthday today - but not too old - still younger than many! Some rugby this afternoon but not the Force game as we are off to Gogo's with Val and Jim. As you can see I was not crazy about having my pic taken way back when but don't you love the bathing costume...

Maggie - yes I have been working away with ideas from Ruth Lee's book. I took it with me to Bali and tried a number of ideas but I do like the stuffed idea. Very exciting

Because it is my birthday today, any orders placed before midnight for stock in hand will have a discount of 10%. Just say you read it on my blog but we won't be doing any processing today believe it or not - Monday! And I will pop in one of my little gifts as well. You only have a birthday (fortunately) once a year.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Stuffed Knitting

I have been double sided knitting (maybe that's not the proper name) - anyway 2 sides and then I have stuffed it with wool tops. not decided what I will do with it yet but working on it - I might try some textured finer yarn with big needles and then stuff it with things not just wool tops. The potential of a much more textured yarn will be much more interesting. This is a new wool which has just arrived called Joy - lovely colour movement and of course it felts (dry and wet) extremely well. Below is the front - well plain knit

and the next one is the back - purl - but you could have them both the same.

I think that playing will give me lots of much more interesting texture so I plan to work on it further. I have used two different yarns - hence the two different sets of colours.

Below is part of a piece I made a few years back which I came across today - wool tops hand stitched. I have always liked this piece - it was part of a series of 3 tiles.

We have had a pretty hectic week so we stopped at 3.30pm and went off to watch the rugby where the Highlanders just didn't manage to win. I have also has a bit of time to play with some napkins - I think it is one which Debbi gave me. I shall stitch it tomorrow if I have time.
We had a delivery today of thr3fold journals 1 and 2 and The Painted Quilt dvd and cd which I am hoping to have time tomorrow to have a look at. Hopefully Ian might get them onto the web tomorrow but we do have a busy day ahead so maybe Sunday......

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Wahine Disaster

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Wahine disaster in Wellington Harbour. I travelled on the Wahine many times going and coming to university in Christchurch but fortunately I wasn't on board for that flight. But I do remember the day well. The weather in Christchurch was shocking and I remember getting off the bus in Papanui Street and being blown down the road. Ian remembers being in Stud Ass (the student union building) and the weather being atrocious.

It was almost surreal to hear about the event and people being killed on the rocks inside the harbour. We had friends who went down to help but were turned away. I expect there has been lots of news in NZ about it all today. It changed our travel to and from ChCh though - after that we had to catch the train to Picton and the ferry across Cook Strait.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Back from Bali and straight into it

We came back yesterday morning about 4am - time for a sleep and we haven't stopped yet. Almost up with the orders to date except that Quilting Arts 32 arrived today - sent some out but the remainder will go tomorrow. We had a wonderful few days - haven't had time to load the pics yet from the camera so come and see us swimming in our private pool looking out over the rice paddy fields. We stayed about 10 minutes out of Ubud where basically there were no others apart from us - it is a very quiet time. We did lots of reading, Swimming, relaxing - we were supposed to have a 3 hour spa together but didn't (we were on a package deal which also involved a walk in the bush, a candlelight dinner, a healthy spa lunch and breakfast each morning so we did very well) - instead we had reflexology and I had a pedicure and manicure so I now have painted toe and fingernails - for how long I wonder?

This is not us but down where the spa is by the river - it was quiet and not too hot and we had rain in the afternoons accompanied by thunder and lightening.

I have been knitting with drum sticks as I forgot my knitting needles so went to the markets - left them behind though to save worrying at quarantine but my knitting is two sided and when I have stuffed it with wool fibres I will take a pic.

We missed watching the dramatic finish to the game between the Hurricanes and the Sharks - what a dreadful ref - can't believe he didn't go for the video or ask the TMO. No wonder the crowd were mad. We only read about it on the 'puter.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Off to Bali

Remember how we worked right through Easter and every other weekend (apart from when we went to see Nigel Kennedy play)? Well for our reward we are off to Bali tonight to rest and relax. We are staying in Ubud which is north of Denpasar. Lots of panic rushing around this morning though getting ready to go and doing orders - many which meant cutting and packing. I have decided that if I had 3 other Dales then all my packing, cutting, winding etc would be taken care of and I could get on with being very creative. Ian is not sure how he would cope with 4 Dales though, although he has said 4 Ians might counter all of this. I don't think so - I think they would just get in a muddle.

Not that I have packed anything but I did finish my entry for Stitched and Bound, Ian photoed it and it has gone. Here is a peep only - I am probably not meant to show it. If it fails to be accepted I will post it all!

Really cross for GoGo though - his application for the Indian tapas bar has been rejected twice - second time he reduced the numbers. Fortunately it has made the West Australian this morning and I hope they do some investigative journalism as we reckon there is a hidden agenda. Looks like the Vincent Council would rather have a disused pool parlour full of vandalism and graffiti than an asset to Perth's lively vibrant Beaufort St precinct.....

See you all on Tuesday and don't worry I have a pile of books, stitching, knitting, writing drawing and paints and stuff - probably no room for my clothes.

Interesting to read the comment on QA23 not being available until 20th - will that mean CPS will be late? Could be a pile up. I am banking on it being here next week but after I have unpacked and done the washing.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


The latest issue of Quilting Arts is running late - apparently the printer is behind but I have had so many emails and phone calls from people asking that I thought this was the best place to tell you. it is normally here and sent by now but maybe Studios has slowed things down. We have almost sold out of Studios and there will be no more. I have been told that QA32 is leaving US about now so it SHOULD be here at the end of next week.

Back to my Stitched and Bound entry - almost finished - it has to be in on Friday


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