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.

rugby but of a different sort

Very exciting tonight - NZ won the Rugby League world cup beating Australia - entirely unexpected and unheard of. For those who have no idea of what I am talking about - this is not the rugby we follow - that is union but this game I have only watched about 3 or 4 games and I fully expected a loss as usual but amazingly NZ won. There will be some sore heads in the morning.

My fabric in the garden - I will be leaving it there for quite some time as I haven't time to play with it right now but it has been raining here today and I really thought the Moonshadow Mists might wash out but they have stayed put on my fabric so that is very good to know. I have moved it about a bit on the tree as I want it to be exposed to everything.

What I did do along with a few other things was to play with some of the Twiddley Bitz -- I want to know how different paints etc work - these are using the Opulent inks and a touch of Treasure Gold. The background is Glad Bake. They have come up very well.

Ian went up to the shoe repair man today to get some batteries and I got him to pick up a pair of shoes which had been there for ages being mended. I had forgotten which pair they were and lo and behold they were another red pair - hardly worn. I am getting a name for red shoes.....

I sent out the info for Maggie Grey's workshop - because there have been so many people respond Maggie has agreed to do a second workshop so email me if you are interested - Tuesday and Wed 4th and 5th August. We are so lucky to have Maggie come to visit us in this neck of the woods.....

I have also been invited to teach a couple of half day workshops at the Textile Art Festival in Brisbane end of May - very exciting - both will be on the Ratty Tatty Papers theme.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the outdoor fabric

okay - I have stitched all over the fabric to announce that it is going to be tied to the Mulberry Tree and then I have done that - tied it to the mulberry tree. As you can see, the mulberry tree is a very old one, with ivy working its way up. it has heaps of mulberries - we let the Lorikeets (used to be 28s before the imports from the east displaced them) eat the berries at the top of the tree and we have the ones at the bottom. They should be ready in January - there are lots of tiny berries just starting to appear.

it rained overnight but the fabric was still indoors so hopefully it might rain again. I am after some destruction here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

further to the fabric

Never look a supposedly cream fabric as a boring item. This fabric when I sprayed it with Moonshadow mists and then Walnut Ink has come up with some interest - the back has quite a distinct pattern which appears almost as a resist - above is the back and below the front.

Still deciding whether to stitch it first or just pop it out in the garden to see how it goes. Julie is going to be doing something too but the difference between the UK and OZ at present will be interesting. I shall see how the summery elements affect it.

Last night we went to HesperionXXI - a very interesting concert which we enjoyed but I feel a concert hall is not really the right place - I can't imagine that the wandering minstrels in the 14th century played to a subdued audience sitting out there in the dark, some busting to clap at the wrong time. I think a banquet setting would be better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


this is my boring piece of cream fabric - the scanner of course picks up some texture
improved with layers of rubbings and Shiva stiks - tomorrow it will be painted as well and then I might put it in the garden to see what happens next

Happy Birthday Kazuko for today!

Monday, November 17, 2008

AWOL once again

Thanks to all the people who have emailed checking to see if we are okay. I have been AWOL but in Melbourne - we went to a trade show over the weekend to display our wares. We were really pleased with the response - especially to the Shiva stiks. I have been playing with them since Ruth Issett introduced me to them and waving them at people in Australia since around 1995 so it is pretty exciting to be able to wholesale and retail them. I had a piece of very pale cream fabric with me - I don't buy a lot of fabric but I had bought a pack (as you do) which I thought would fit my rust theme but I felt it very necessary to do something about the cream and a number of people commented on my having a piece of cream fabric as it certainly didn't look me. However I spent my time doing Shiva rubbings on it so it has improved already - just need to spray some walnut ink or similar to get it ready for playing with.

We love going to Melbourne - it really is our favourite Australian city - as country bumpkins we have grown into city rats and stay right near Flinders Street station. The first night we ate in Degraves Lane - love the way Melbourne has such super lane usage - Perth take note or even interest. First morning before we set up we went shopping and no - not me - but Ian bought new shoes. It's contagious in this house.

Then on Saturday night we went to a fabulous restaurant which we would recommend to anyone - Lau's Family Kitchen in Ackland Street - the food was wonderful, the atmosphere great, the staff super and Gilbery Lau even had a chat when we were leaving. The table at the back of the pic is the very one we sat in!

and this was the green veg we had - the best treat was the NZ whitebait omelette - eat your heart out the Hokitika fish and chip shop where we last had NZ whitebait.....

I bought back some absolutely wonderful button flowers made from old kimonos set in resin - as soon as we are back in front again Ian will be popping them on the web - I got really excited when I saw them and bought heaps. There are different sizes and I plan to use some on my flower journal.

On Sunday we got up at 4am to watch the ABs play Ireland and see it was a good weekend - the Wallabies beat England and NZ beat England in the rugby league.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

imelda still working

These lovely shoes still have plenty of work to do before they go outdoors. Debbie did notice today that she could see the Shiva stik residue on the bottom although I promise I have scrubbed them up!

This is another casting - not paper - secret you wil have to wait until Ratty Tatty Papers 'cos if I tell you everything then there will be nothing new.... But suffice to mention the word 'silk'. The shoe sole I was worried I might melt it with the iron so it is a gentle impression - another of those esoteric ones. I painted it with Opulent paints and gilded it to bring out the impressions. I have decided that I will use all of my paints, inks, sprays this season. In working on napkins I have dragged out all manner of favourite stuff - yesterday played with the Distress Inks - I do like them. All this distressed and aged stuff.

The Twiddleybitz - that's the whole Twiddley Tree, Maggi. Such a great response - you can see the full range we have got in our catalogue in Experimentation - Stamping/Stencils - I have had to reorder after today - already.

Tonight we are off to the final ACO concert for the year - should be fabulous.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

twiddley bitz

Don't you love the names some people dream up? Our order of Twiddley Bitz arrived today so had to have a play. This is the Twiddley Tree - I have coloured it with a variety of things and glazed it with our new little glazes and somewhere managed to add some glitter. I am sure a little twiddley tree will find a place somewhere. There are also wonderful books - I have pulled out a Foot Book for me to play with - appropriate I thought. Ian is busy loading them on the web. Not to be sewn into but you can sew them onto surfaces by wrapping - or indeed glueing.

Off to do a diferent sort of cast on the shoe sole.....

Sunday, November 09, 2008

the weekend

Busy little weekend. Wonderful weather. But no gardening. The New Zealand election has been and gone with a big change. The Wallabies and the ABs both won their games in the northern hemisphere and I have been doing a little Imelda playing. Remember my Paris shoes? I shall be ready to wear them soon. While I am working with them I have only been wearing them around the house - very comfortable. I have been playing with the soles and doing lots of drawings of the shape in anticipation of of the creation of an object.

First a rubbing over the sole with Shiva iridescent blender and a spray of colour. It doesn't like being scanned but I am pleased with it. Did you realise that the two soles are different? Even more exciting.

Then some casting. Good result.
Next I made 4 different printing blocks using Form-a-Foam and did lots of printing in my new rag book - we bought loads back from London - they have spiral rings - very nice.

You can see how the variations appear. It was hard to print into the form-a-foam with a not-flat surface so the printing variations are intersting. I have painted with Setacolour Shimmer - good paint.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Happy Birthday Grant

Happy Birthday Grant - 38 today. Your horoscope today said you are unique and daring but we all know that. Have a super day......

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Back to London

This was Ken and Raylene's last night in London - we went up on the London Eye - the views were spectacular especially in the early evening. Then we went to dinner where Grant joined us.
Here we are enjoying ourselves. Well one of us pretends he is afraid of heights....

And in our capsule was a rugby tragic - an AB supporter - but from Canada! And he had his rugby ball with him as well.

At dinner - Ken and Grant and Ian. Ian doesn't really have his specs glass whitened out....

Have to tell of a fabulous film I watched on the plane - twice actually because I fell asleep the first time so had to try again on the second flight. - Caramel - I would recommend it to anyone. Also watched Gideon's Daughter on tv here at home - a very good film.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

mid week

Well the Melbourne Cup has been and gone and we managed to miss it - again.
Plus today Barack Obama has been elected - we shall watch and wait and see what happens - things can't get worse, can they? I personally cannot imagine why anyone would want the job. But if he makes a difference it will be wonderful for the world.

It is raining in Perth which is wonderful - we are busy but actually finally up to date at the end of today - yeah.... might be able to get back to the studio again tomorrow.

Here we are in Paris our for a meal - we two Annette, Raylene and Ken. A good time had by all even if we were demoted to the downstairs dungeon at L'Ardoise.......

Monday, November 03, 2008


no - not what you are thinking - more of an avalanche of boxes and parcels and all that sort of stuff. When it rains it pours and each time I got one opened, unpacked, and safely out of the way, another arrived. The boxes arrived from London and inside I found some things I forgot to mention in the newsletter - never mind, they will keep for next month. Julia's book has basically flown out the door - not many left. Maggie's book has danced away as well in pursuit and this lovely new book from Angie Hughes arrived as well and a number have also left the house. I am afraid that there is still a pile of orders to do tomorrow along with the latest Cloth Paper Scissors which also decided today was the day. Send these out tomorrow.

Rebecca sent me a picture of the Ranfurly Shield - won by Wellington after a 27year year drought. Thanks Rebecca - I can see you holding it for me!

Here are some mangoes I had to photgraph in London - don't you love the colours?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

playing time

Do you remember this piece? Well it is finished and coated with acrylic wax now.

This is the wooden block I used for rubbings and various castings - I have lightened everything off so there is a predominance of reddy copper.

Here is another piece before twin needling etc with a cast of the block sitting on top - no hand stitching yet

Below are 3 other castings I have done. Want to know how I did these? You will have to wait until it is time for Ratty Tatty Papers.....
But suffice to say if you have an interesting block or surface or stamp, you can do all sorts of things with it.

this one below is relatively ethereal and the bottom one I really like - they are all waiting to be stitched into surfaces.

Back to my paper napkin little book.

and the winners are.....

honourable Jonathan, aussie lawyer (what more could you want) drew 7 names out of Ian's beanie before the game and before he had time to be miserable when the Wallabies lost.
You can see he didn't look until he had a name in his hand.

so the winners are

Peggy McDevitt US
Marjorie Dawson NZ
Andrea Cosgrove Aus
Judy (I am not sure)
Diana Uk
Aussie Jo - Aust
Mavis Wright Aus

Some of you I have your address but others will need to email me with theirs and I will send off your goodies. You will notice that there ended up a fair spread of countries.

Thanks for having fun - shall try it another time.

Beautiful day in Perth apart from the Red Bull driving us nuts flying around for 4 days - not to mention concerts at the local oval Thurs and Fri - the worst mess of left rubbish I have ever seen and a Glory game tonight. Maybe peaceful next week.

Be back later with my playings..... my part of the newsletter is in Ian's hands so should be out later today

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Happy Birthday yesterday, Annette. No wonder you had your hands covering your face.....

Good rugby game tonight - the All Blacks won in Hong Kong although we must concede graciously that the Wallabies played the better first half.

Never fear - the draw has been done - before the game - and tomorrow I will announce the winners and I shall also show some of the experimenting I have been doing.


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