Wednesday, March 31, 2010

signing in on a wednesday

Don't know where the time has gone this week - we seem to have been very busy. Day starts quietly and I think I will get onto my stuff and important stuff like holey moley textures, writing the next workshop, getting the next product a month ready, working on my latest scheme etc etc - when all of a sudden after I hear the phone and fax go and then look at the inbox - and voila - there are heaps of orders. It has got hot again but at this stage we dare not turn on the aircon - when the sparkies came back to fix up the big blow they obviously rushed back to the office and sent off another huge bill - this time insurance I am sure.

We have had lots of new goodies arrive - above are one of the new Twiddleybitz - whimsy bird friends - they take colour really well - I use Starburst Sprays etc and then you get that lovely extra bit of mica shine.

Today also the complete range of Smooch Sprays arrived - they are the same as the little pots of Smooch - good for in your handbag - the photo seems to have turned upside down so if you turn on your head you can read the words... this is black cherry I think.

Then I did some more texture - my Holey Moley girls - I will send you the next file tomorrow - I just needed to finish the last wee bit. This pic looks like a sneaky sample to tease you.

Don't know how well you see this - maybe if you enlarge it - blonde moments - watch this space. If I said that to you what would you say (I don't mean blonde jokes or anything like that but just a couple of words) Best ones I like I will send you a parcel of goodies from The Thread Studio.

Then about 5pm this evening, late as usual, the latest quilting arts arrived. Just as well we have so many other excitements so we don't have to fuss when they are late - this time held up in customs for lack of paper work..... We might not get them all out until Tuesday, folks. There are so many to send that it does take me two days when we are so busy and I haven't quite finished the newsletter yet.

My leg - (sounds like something doesn't it?) My continuing thanks for all the emails and notes - I really appreciate it - thanks to Julie I went to a myotherapist (he deals with muscles and soft tissue and stuff and dry needles - how exciting) and apart from the bruises he has inflicted on me (no gain without pain) I am almost there - swimming is great (and walking in the pool), walking is almost right and I know longer have to stand up at restaurants. Plus I do my exercises religiously. I would rather not take drugs - prevention is much a better option - I do prefer my drugs to be only in glass and be red or white. So this is for Kenny - try a myotherapist.

Bruce is back home in Sapporo and he has created a wonderful slide show of his pilgrimage and a super sound track to accompany.

Off to dinner tonight with Val and Jim and Kathy. Finish newsletter first thing in morning. I have lamb shoulder waiting in the fridge to make a curry....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

more Le Scrunch

Breakfast at The Source Cafe this morning - very healthy Zinger first

another Le Scrunch piece - this is scrim
this one - silk scrim - I love this stuff - look at the texture

this one not so effective in the photo but it is actually good - scrim again - all in the old Stonehaven-Okarito theme.

AND NO - Le Scrunch is NOT Texture Magic - it's mine...

Also - the art to wear deadline has been extended to 1st May - must be people other than me rather behind. Still - I mustn't put my piece aside as there is loads to do. 100 flower stitches a camisole does not make. Doesn't mean I am off to work on it now though - a lovely day for planting all the plants I got last Sunday before the storm - all still hanging in there. And I have some texturing to do more of and the POM to work on - plus more....

Not such a good weekend for NZ rugby though but have to say The Force did very well in their game against the top team.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Le Scrunch and new restaurant

It would seem that my blog is back to normal - I shall try loading the Mandurah pics again and see how we go. I can't imagine that they should have caused a problem.

Last night we went to the opening night of a new restaurant on our strip - Barolo. When we were out wandering the night before they called us in for a drink and a prawn - we have been watching them for nearly two years. Really delighted - we think it will be a goer and we will be there eating and drinking!

Three rugby games today - hope the Hurricanes can do their thing and the Blues maybe even the Force tonight....

I have been playing with Le Scrunch samples - only 1 has arrived from my i-phone and we are nearly off to watch the telly so shall show the others tomorrow. My secret recipe which the Holey Moleys should learn about tomorrow. This fabric is silk noil which I had printed on - hence the wonderful metallic effects you can see with the scrunch.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

blog problems

I have removed the Mandurah on the train entry as I think that was what caused me dramas and I can now read the blog on Internet Explorer and I hope you can too.

We are catching up - very tired yesterday - must have been the adrenalin running at such a fast speed and we slept well until someone decided to fax quite a few times around 5am.

And it is hot and sticky again so all that effort for nothing.

Thanks for all the caring messages. I am keeping the burnt switch - had to rescue it from the rubbish bin. No plans for it yet!

I meant to also add that we had planned to visit the Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe on Monday evening - no such luck - I wonder what happened to it all - it was due to close on Tuesday. I especially wanted to see Kerry Argent's piece which won the people's choice. Onya Kerry.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the tale of two days

When I said I wanted rain, I didn't mean the whole year's lot in 4 hours. After a fairly harrowing 2 days of many tales, we are pretty well back to normal.

Many thanks to all the lovely people who have emailed asking how we are. Thank goodness for the i-phone which makes it possible to function and keep in touch. I have tried to email everyone back - if I missed you I do apologise. When I finally got back on line on Monday there were 200 emails to deal with and that was before Tuesday's little thrill of the moment. If you can bear to read it, I shall bore you with all the details.

Monday started out as a usual Monday - I went for my swim and Ian for his walk - we came back and started work. Ross and Jilll (my brother and s-i-l) are on a cruise around Australia and they phoned and Ian arranged to pick them up from the train station at noon. Down Ian went but no Ross and Jill - waited for a second train and then came back as forgot mobile and they might have phoned. Back he went and spent time peering at customers disembarking from Freo train. No luck - no phone calls. So we carried on working away. It was very hot and sultry and we had the air con on - sky started looking black and they had mentioned thunderstorms but then they often do and they never appear. I did get the washing in 'in case'. Then I decided to pop up to Fresh Provisions to get yoghurt for breakfast and sometime to sustain us as we had missed lunch. It was dark when I drove up and everyone had car lights on but not a bother - join in the fun. Got to the shops, left the car windows down and discovered their power was out (all around the area) but still open for business (I think their doors wouldn't close); wandered in and then noticed the heavens had opened up so ran out to the car to close the windows - got drenched to the bone in doing so. Back inside to negotiate my yoghurt with fresh raspberries (no scales working) and something for lunch and a couple of chocolate fish. Mad dash to car as hailstones starting to arrive - no dry place to clean my glasses so drove home with murky view of the world. The path to our door was pretty waterladed so I had to wade through. I do think I missed the drama though as after that the water flooded the street and we have seen pics of cars with water up to the tops of their tyres etc. Nothing like that here at 6 Smith Street.

So we carried on except that the lights kept flicking off and on and Ian decided to pull the plugs on the computers. I spent my time packing foil intro packs watching the rain pelting down and hoping none of our trees would crash - many branches but nothing dramatic. One branch had the cheek to fall in my waterlily. Then Ian could smell a burning smell but we couldn't find anything. While he was doing that I noticed water on the floor in our sunroom - the leaves outside (these are ceiling to floor french windows and doors) were blocking the water from draining so the water had nowhere to go other than creep in under the windows. Not too dramatic and in fact the sunroom looks remarkably cleaner and tidier now. Leaves moved off. With our trees we pay for the privilege and try to clear up leaves all the time. We had, in fact, spent the weekend cleaning up so now we simply have another round. Just as well there is a green collection in a week or two. The only thing which got wet was a piece of left over Romeo which had managed to drop on the floor and was sitting in a gluggy pile. And Ian's little nearly finished garden shed did not move an inch... Plus there was loads of lightening and thunder.

Couldn't post out any mail which had been ready as the Postal sorting centre had been evacuated with floods roaring through so our apologies to people whose mail left a day later. And the people whose mail won't be going out until today - we kinda stopped half way between the invoices. I think Ian did quickly put the 'puter back on to do a back up and then pulled the plug once more.

In the meantime we still hadn't heard from Ross and Jill and we went off to Fremantle to try and find them at the ship. But not an easy task as when we went to shut the front door it wouldn't, and after finally finding an old rusty file, Ian filed away for about an hour. Success and off we set on a relatively speedy trip to Freo considering the traffic, the landslide at Kings Park and the water. Got to the boat and some kind passenger got in touch with them and R and J came down. They had been there all the time in a different spot. So anyway we caught up with them and went off for an eat and drink and took them back before they got locked out.

this is what our fuse box looks like now. It has a cover but that has gone.

Yesterday morning we could still smell smoke and burning and sniffed around the garden to no avail. I went off to get the papers and Ian opened the fuse box and this is what he saw and it was smoking and little sparks..... couldn't turn it off as it was the main switch. So we could have a shower (gas) and drink coffee (gas) and wait for the sparkies to come which they did before too long. Obviously they were very busy. When they arrived they said we were very lucky that the house hadn't caught fire - doesn't that make you feel good!!! After they had finished we were $480 lighter in the pocket but apparently not about to burn down.

this is the offending main switch - you don't think Ian was going to attempt to turn it off....

Whenever the computer goes off I am reluctant to get going for a while but we turned them back on and I started answering some of my emails when there was an almighty BANG and everything went off. So we were actually worse off and we had to wait for them to come back - the supervisor was mystified as to why but now we are reluctant to turn the air con back on. All the fuses had blown. Too scarey by half.

Earlier in the day since I had spent most of my day packaging slushies and wool tops - I decided I had better take them to the warehouse something I had quite reluctant to do since I know the landlord does minimal maintenance and there have been problems in the past. I very tentatively opened the door but all I found was a small puddle of water. However the other 3 tenants did not fare so well at all as they had all been flooded and for Nigel the roof had fallen in - all of his stock of clothes was ruined and the landlord does not have insurance. I felt very sorry for them but very grateful we had been spared. The thought of cleaning it up is worse than what damage there might be.

But that's not all - Grant phoned and asked if we could take his hire car back as the girl staying in his house had not done so. Plus he had received a phone call (he is in Singapore) from the storage company where he has his and Bruce and Kazuko's worldly possessions stored, to say there had been flooding. I think that is appalling as it surely is a maintenance issue. Anyway off we went and there were lots of others arriving to check their stuff. Water flowing out of lots of units but not Grant's - his lucky day. Only then did I feel safe sending Bruce an email to tell him.

On the strength of 2 days drama we popped home, had a shower and took ourselves to Cantina with a bottle of Elderton's 2000 Command Shiraz to enjoy with a lovely meal.

Today around here it looks like any other day - hot, sunny and humid. And there are an awful lot of people far worse off than us. I went for my swim, Ian for his walk and we are doing what we usually do - working away. Holey Moleys I am very sorry but I have 2 to post - please hang in.

I didn't get to take photos of all the excitement but Jaslyn has sent me 3 from her back garden - much more hail than we got and a back garden all in green.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bruce has done it!

The Force lost last night but Bruce has done his pilgrimage - got to Temple 88 - he says with 5 minutes to spare - I hadn't realised there was a time factor. Now he can stop worrying and relax!

Some of you may remember that I was mumbling quite a long time ago about the garden shed in my studio. I am pleased to report that it is nearly up, completed and running. Personally I would have paid someone. Next task - tackling the front garden. The weather being conducive, I popped to the nursery today for more plants for around the back. Up to this point I doubted if they would have even survived the car drive home.

No broken needles today and progress on the flower stitched camisole.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

signing in on Saturday

Strange about the blog - seems some people can read it in Explorer but not everyone. Thanks for all the comments - I suppose it will sort itself out in good time. I like Firefox and have had it for quite some time - not sure why Ian uses Google Chrome but he likes it - he has Windows 7 and I am so deprived.

Busy week this week with a variety of things happening. We went to a fabulous ACO concert on Wed night - Diana Doherty was the guest and while I have heard her lots of times and have a couple of her cds, I have never seen her in action - her oboe playing was superb. Sadly the lady who usually sits next to us and we enjoy chatting to her - wasn't there - she is in a home but hopefully she will be able to come to the next concert in a wheel chair and see the ACO. One's health is so important. Plus thanks to all those who ask - all this swimming and wading through the water at the pool is doing me good - not sure about the leg - I never thought I would spend endless time with what seems like cramp in the calf.

Yesterday we watched a fabulous rugby game Blues vs Brumbies - sorry Canberra - it was a super result and Ranger was magical. This afternoon we have watched the Highlanders play the Sharks - what a shame for the Highlanders. The Hurricanes haven't had a good time in South Africa so I hope they can beat the Sharks next weekend at home. After our bbq which we are having very soon, we are off to watch the Force and see if they can win tonight.

This is my work station up in the studio - I am about to tidy it away for the next activity - creating texture for Holey Moley. My latest 2 on-line workshops have nearly finished but I will be offering Embellish Stitch Enrich and the new one Gilding the Lily starting in May. Plus I am hopeful to have Hot Needles, Cool Stitches (the next stage of embellish) ready by June - the brain is busy collating ideas and when the cami is finished I shall get into the stitchy stuff pretty fast.

I have started working on my camisole for my art to wear - deadline looming. Have abandoned the skirt and bolero temporarily because it seemed that this part was going to take quite some time. Here you can see how much I have stitched and then of course I broke the twin needle - I have a big sign I leave on the machine saying 'twin needle' to remind me that I need to push the button before I start whizzing up the flower stitcher, but that wasn't the problem. We were getting ready to rush off to the rugby yesterday and I stopped and yanked the Romeo and snap-a-do..... Anyone would think I had shares in the twin needle company. I am sure you can see I have a lot of stitching to do - needs to be size 10 and I am not sure how many centimetres that is with Kazuko being in Japan! How much around the body, Kaz?

Bruce is getting to the end of his pilgrimage - he was up to Temple 78 tonight and so 10 to go then he says he is off to Richard's to eat and drink all his stuff. If you can't see the links here try his blog - he is having quite an adventure. Plus a little crash.

Last thing today - since I introduced our Product of the Month early this month, I have been rather overwhelmed with the response and thanks to all the people who have emailed to say how much they are enjoying playing with the first one. I am working on month 2 at present so it will be ready to send out at the beginning of April. Whenever you start it will always be month 1. As usual my brain is too busy with ideas.

Finally - who are we listening to right now? Pink Martini - what an interesting group - we bought a cd titled Sympathique - Ian heard one of the songs on the radio - it is quite different from most of our other music and we are really enjoying it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

testing time

You can't read my blog on internet explorer or safari or google - only on Mozilla Firefox which is what I am using. Goodness knows why so I am testing it on all our computers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

very hot but not friendless now

It is 39 here today and we would rather like a day off like they get in Melbourne. Just a day of rain, wind and hail - that's all. Snow - but I don't think the locals would know what to do.

It has been a funny day - no emails in the morning so off to get the papers, coffee and a swim without reading a single email (apart from those to my gmail addresses). You really start feeling friendless when the spammers don't write. But we were busy as we had a few very large orders we hadn't finished and I had lots of packaging to do for them. However about 11am they started dribbling in - all over the place and now in the evening they are still coming in from all sorts of timeslots over the last 24 hours. I guess everything will fall into place before too long. I sent myself 2 pics of my sketchbook yesterday but only one has arrived which is here. This is where I have printed with my stitch and then stitched on my print and overimposed one of my Okarito photos. I wonder when the other one will arrive.

Watched the rugby at Grant's where his air con has not yet been installed. That should tell you most things.

Let's hope it cools down tomorrow. As Ian says - we are over it - and let's hope the emails get totally sorted. Have to say you get quite conditiioned to your system working properly.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday's Internet Crisis

We have been off-line but seemingly back on again but I haven't had any emails since 11am this morning which is mighty unusual believe you me. If you have emailed me and haven't had a reply - please try one of these 2 addresses as I check them regularly and have already collected heaps from there today or

I am feeling lonely - I couldn't even email my photos from my i-phone to my computer to load on my blog - boo hoo - missing you.....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

tuesday night bbq

This one is for Doreen - last night's bbq - all the papadums had gone but here we are ready to roll - the dark stuff is the eggplant and it was yummy. All washed down nicely with a glass of Elderton's Ode to Lorraine.

Oh - and I have phoned the ranger at last about the dog - Town of Vincent very helpful - I have to keep a diary of when it barks (all the time) and they talk to the owner and if he doesn't fix it as I have complained, they could take him to court. They asked me what sort of dog - I said it was a small yappy one which could easily be squashed under a foot or something similar to A Fish Called Wanda (apologies to dog lovers). So at last something may happen....

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

stitch and that

Here is a page from my sketchbook working from one of my stitched bits from the other day. I have printed onto fabric and stitched and popped it in. It is a great way to explore something and I am working away on other bits and pieces. But I have quite a few deadlines which I am having to give my attention to including the Art to Wear drawing closer and my progress has been limited.

Thanks to all who ask about my leg - I am reluctant to say it is getting better because every time I do it seems to feel worse. Sort of like permanent cramp with numb foot. But the swimming is great every morning. I had to wait for Ian to come back from his walk thismorning before I could go because the door lock fell out as I was trying to race out of the house and of course his mobile was not working properly and I expect he was nattering to Nick at the Pearl of Highgate whilst getting the bread......

My red shoes - absolutely nothing fancy - and not expensive at all - even though found in Double Bay. The brand is Effegie and they are very comfy indeed.

I shall post my pics of Mandurah tomorrow - while we were away someone must have smashed into the light over the road - the one which shines into our bedroom during the night - fancy being away and missing the excitement - it is all bent and buckled sitting on the verge. Maybe they won't bother to bring another one....

And finally today Cloth Paper Scissors turned up - only 3 weeks late. Are we impressed - hardly - more like speechless. Apparently it left and travelled 60 miles and went back and started again a few days later. You wouldn't believe we are the distributors, would you? Amazingly bad is all we can say. Because they arrived late today we will send them all out tomorrow so if you have been standing by your post boxes, just step aside. Enjoy the 2 new Aussie mags instead. They are both selling like hot cakes - it is good to have something downunder grown.

I am marinading my French Cutlets in a great spice mix for bbqing tonight and I have eggplant marinading in dry spices to bake in the oven with a spicey tomato relish to cover with raita. How does that sound?

If you are intersted in following Bruce's adventures in Japan - he is on a pilgrimage and working hard biking up and down steep mountains and visitng temples and sleeping in his tent etc, then do check out his blog on the right in my links. Sounds like quite an adventure. Of a lifetime.....

Sunday, March 07, 2010

stitchy stuff and an outing

Not a good weekend for NZ rugby teams this one - let's try for next weekend shall we?
At least the weather has been better. We had a nice bbq last night - it has been too hot to even think about it. Bruce is working his way up through Japan on his cycling expedition and we are working our way through our tasks. Kazuko - yes - take the opportunity to buy some new shoes while he is gone....

I stitched up some little stitchy bits yesterday to work on - see what happens.

Today we are off to Mandurah on the train - and to the exhibition. Will take the camera

Friday, March 05, 2010


I am still here - just been flat out since the weekend catching up and basically fried brain from the heat. Much nicer today and in fact it was only 19 degrees in the pool this morning. Too cold for Ian to go swimming.. I thought I would post my new red shoes (yes - another pair) When my leg was very painful in Sydney I just happened to spot these in a shop window - haven't worn them yet but surely it will get cold soon.....

The second aussie magazine Embellish arrived today - it is excellent. We will be sending them out on Monday because dare I say it - we are off to watch the rugby and next I have to grovel to the Holey Moleys - I have lesson 5 all written but my photgrapher is chafing at the bit and he hopes you will forgive him if I send it out in the morning. His team - the Chiefs - is just about to play...

Monday, March 01, 2010

relaxing on a public holiday

it's March....
Just as well it is a public holiday today - the phone has been busy and the orders flowing in but time to relax indoors. We were rather exhausted last night after our two days at the warehouse which was a great success - we are thinking we might open on Sat mornings from time to time so people can actually go right into the depth of the labyrinth. but not in this weather. We must have chosen the worst weekend almost. After we recovered last night, we went off to Gogos for a lovely meal. We thought we probably deserved it.

We even had a sleep in this morning. It is even hotter today - 38 I do believe. I have written the newsletter and have been playing with both my flower stitcher to get work finished for an article and playing - here is the latest page from my sketchbook - I am trying to get that deteriorated and slightly fossilised look. Using Xpandaprint and paint and chiffon scarf and stitch and spray and stuff.

Woudln't it be lovely if it rained tomorrow? Bruce's departure has been delayed until Tuesday - the earthquake in Chile led to tsunami warnings and the train was cancelled.

ps if you received our newsletter, you will have noticed the stuff up I made with the email addresses! and
I didn't want to be a nuisance by sending another email to people...


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