Sunday, October 30, 2011

nice relaxing weekend

We have had a very nice relaxing weekend and even our front path is all tidied up and a few plants planted - some of my herbs misbehaved when we were away so they have been banished. The helicopters over Perth seemed to have quietened down a bit - maybe the d and d conference has ended - the Queen flew home yesterday. She is pretty remarkable for 85.

Last night we went to a fabulous concert - Teddy Tahu Rhodes and David Hobson - a couple of years ago when they performed I couldn't remember David's name and I got firmly reprimanded by David's no 1 fan and then totally ignored when I said his voice was a bit thin at the top. (from my previous life I do know a bit about music and singing and voice) - however I will take it all back because he was superb last night and of course Teddy has a voice to die for. So apart from the lady in front of us who smelt like a camphor box and took great trouble to open noisy sweets during a song rather than in between, it was a superb evening. I know I sound like the Grinch who stole Christmas but the smell made my eyes water and the crinkling - well......

Thanks for the comments about the circles - I thought the same but I needed to try it from in and out. I learnt something! I have made quite a few more - not sure the colour does much for me but I may cut them up - and think how I might use them. It was the idea and since I am teaching Hot Needles Cool Stitches embellishing workshop in Melbourne in January, I want to play with a few new ideas. These ones are on felt so it may make them too thick so I might do some more on polycotton. An idea for thought and further play.

I haven't done any stitching on my painted sample but I have created 2 more - this one uses gold metallic paints and Aliya, Isis and Kari Opulent paints

and this one copper flakes and Alizarin, Cierra and Mala. It gives me a chance to see how the three colours work together. These really are the most delicious paints.

Thanks for the comments on the Taster (and the orders) - remember each one will only be up for 5 days and then a new one will appear.

Friday, October 28, 2011

a day off sort of

It's a public holiday here today and apart from the persistent helicopters flying overhead (paid for with my taxes for sure) and loads of noisy police cars roaring around with sirens blaring - it has been a lovely sunny day. The Queen is in town and lots of other people who think they are important but really they could do all their chat by conference these days and save a bit of carbon or two. I believe they are talking about poverty and yet in the paper this morning I spotted a photo of 120 places at the dinner where no one turned up but the food was still served.....

Anyway we have been working at slow speed - nearly all the the London stuff is back in place and I have started working on a few new things. Working on some circles with the needlefelter and sari ribbon. I haven't ironed it but used it as it rolls off - this is one of the new silk ones - they are all different and it is hard to choose which one. This one I have worked from in the middle of the circle to the outside.

and this one from the outside - I think the first one works best. it is more dimensional. What do others think? Playing around is what helps I really do believe. Thanks for the comments - I think one of the saddest things is when people get carried away with their own importance and become a wee bit arrogant and lacking in humility or maybe it is because they are deep down lacking in confidence and feel threatened. I don't know. All I do know is that I would hate anyone to think I am up myself..... I am really just a back room person who likes to play.

Away from all of this - my first taster is up in the Taster section.Do go check it out and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

playing is good

Playing IS good. A little while ago a professional colleague of mine told me in public that real art does not come from playing around or words to that effect. Her opinion was that all art needs design and every single piece she creates or works is planned and perfect (very much words to that effect). Now I happen to think that is garbage but I simply couldn't be bothered responding and walked away. Do we all remember when we were young and told we couldn't do something (i.e. you can't sing because your sister can so you must play the piano - said sister got the reverse) or when we produced something we thought was great, we were told that it was pretty bad. I think it is imperative that we play which is just as well because that is what I like to do. Even if your attempts don't look very good you can do all sorts of other things with them such as paint over, stitch over, cut them up - I have loads and loads of samples as many people know - some look good, others not so but they are all part of a very valuable learning curve. You will never learn unless you try and trying means experimenting and making notes and learning from your mistakes. You cannot break the rules by the way, unless you have learned them first. Don't get me wrong - I think design is very important as well of course. What's all of that got to do with the above? Well I had a play - bonded webbing to black polycotton, ironed some silver flakes on and sponged through three lovely Opulence paints

argeant (silver)                           chaya (lichen but more to a citron )           shaqui (subtle purple)

Doesn't it look good? Well I think so and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Tomorrow if I have a moment I plan to stitch on it and show you some more. Maybe if it works out to be not so good - I have certainly learnt something from it - seeing how the colours work together and in harmony with the silver metallic flakes. And a little bit more.

If you are waiting for the taster section - see tag above - you will see I have put up an explanation. My first taster should be up tomorrow - it's not this piece here - that needs more work - but an old friend to some with a wee new twist.

We are almost up to date - the latest cloth paper scissors arrived this afternoon and they will all be sent out tomorrow - we certainly have a heap of mags arriving at once. I think Stitch Gifts  must be making its way as well. This is quite a good issue actually - I had a wee read through when I had my lunch at 2pm.

The rugby draw - we have only watched the replay once by the way and were still rather nervous - however they won again. I put all the names in the bowl - I found a black bowl - and out I drew fibre friend - I think that is Sue - email me so I don't send your parcel of blackness to someone else. Roll on the next rugby world cup in 4 years (only joking) .....

Monday, October 24, 2011

everything here is running hot hot hot

First here is a very happy Ian after a stressful game. Trust Les Bleus to make us all sweat. At least there are now about 4 and half million happy kiwis. To even think of the other does not bear thinking about.

I think everyone knows we are back - the phone has been running hot all day and we are slogging our way through all the orders. Sent the CPS Gifts and the Quilt Scenes will be posted tomorrow. We have a few spare of these if anyone is interested. Haven't even had a moment to look inside. We also had a huge shipment of sari ribbon arrive - more Vanilla Beans and Old Roses (just as well as there were none left), mushroom is back in again and a new colour range - sort of sparkling turquoise - rather yummy actually. It isn't what I asked for but that is what is exciting. While I have a colour chart - the range I request is always rather unrelated to what actually appears but it makes each lot that bit individual and I love the unexpectedness. We took a lot to Ally Pally and had very few over. We also took and awful lot of flimsies and had none over on day 2.

Off to have tonight's bbq and a relax. Keep leaving comments on yesterday's blog and I will do my draw on Wed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

the stress of it all

You can all breathe a sigh of relief - the RWC final is finally done and the All Blacks won - in the end. Les Bleus are NZ's nemesis and no more than tonight. Bruce and Kazuko came for a bbq and was it a very quiet house while we watched with fingernail bite - i - ness moments. Certainly drank a lot of my Elderton very good reds. Once everyone has finished partying, all will have a good night's sleep and NZ will Carry on with pride.

Back to the world world of stitching and textiley stuff......

It would be remiss of me if I didn't didn't - leave a comment and I will celebrate by sending a lucky draw out of a gift of goodies with love from me to you. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

home again home again jiggety jig

We have arrived back in Perth to a nice drop of rain and a waterlily which had dared  to flower in my absence - I shall see if it pops up again in the morning. All the three suitcases are unpacked and away and we are off toone of our favourite restaurants for dinner - washing in the morning. Just before we left the house to go away the CPS Gifts arrived - they will all go out on Monday and I imagine that there will be a couple of other magazines as well - our wonderful friend Frank has been our collections agent for magazines!

Thursday night in London we went to Del'Aziz in Fulham with Grant, Annette and Terry - Hannah didn't come because her back is driving her nuts - do hope it is getting much better now. We had a good night - last to leave - interesting things happening in that little area.

Qantas did us particularly bad for our trip home - so fantastic going over but dreadful service for the return. No wonder people are choosing other airlines. Fortunately our next trip will be with Air New Zealand - which reminds me - the RWC final is tomorrow afternoon - we will be all set to go nervous as nervous like 4 million others.

Our London stuff will arrive on Monday or Tuesday so I have a bit of grace - maybe get started on a few new ideas in the studio. I do have one space still available for my hands - on workshop in November - check out the tab at the top. And I will enlighten you on my new tab - A Taster tomorrow if I get a chance.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Off we go on the long haul

At the BA lounge - no time or picces - off to board for our long haul home. We have an upgrade from Singapore to Perth which we will look forward to.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Au Revoir

Today we are off back to London on the TGV from Avignon to Paris and then Eurostar to London. We have had a wonderful week - venturing not far from Le Luberon. Last night we had dinner at Le Veranda where we went on our first night. Fabulous restaurant and a few 100 meters away.

The food was wonderful - this was our desert.

Yesterday we ventured across the D900 to Fontaine de Vacluse where we saw more tourists than any where else. Not sure I would like to be there in the summer.

Ian went down into the cave.
Then we went to L'Isle-sur-la Sorgue - we have been before on a Sunday to the markets but not this year because we were watching Le Rugby. It is a really nice town.

We fly back to Perth on Friday - maybe good because the weather is beginning to deteriorate......

Location:The Luberon

Monday, October 17, 2011

Walking and eating

Yesterday we went for a walk in Le Petite Luberon - beautiful cedar forest with lots of families having a great day out. We came here about 10 years ago when we last stayed in this neck of the woods. Quite a mysterious view.

Another view from around and about

Up the top of Menerbes

Doesn't matter if you look up or down - always very good.

Last night as a reward for the exhausting rugby game we played ( well it felt like it) - we had a wonderful night out at La Bastide de Marie just up the road. This is a luxury small hotel in the vineyards but non residents can come to eat as well. Set menu - starting with aperitifs and nibbles - great food and great service for a set price.

Today we are off to Cavaillon

Location:Le Luberon

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Le Rugby 2

An anxious morning - anyone would think we were playing - but with a fabulous result for the All Blacks. We will be home to watch the final with a BBQ.

To celebrate, we went up the road for lunch - beautiful day.

These are you Jacinta and no need to fly over - I have pigments for you too...

Can't wait to get back home to play with them.

Yesterday w went to Apt where I did not find any fabric - I did not want tablecloths or serviettes or bed covers so I will have to colour my own. Instead we had a very nice lunch and because the couple next to us were having desert we thought we should too...

After lunch today we went for a walk up higher in Menerbes


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Le Rugby 1

Just watched the first semi final - shame about the red card but France certainly did not capitalize on it and were very lucky to win. Nervous roll on to tomorrow.

Yesterday we went to Rousillon - remember we are en vacances so we are enjoying a spot at a time.

We went for a walk through the red stuff -

Love the colours and I got myself a set of pigments in both ocres and oxydes

These are for you Jacinta but I have a few exciting options.

Wonderful tree trunks - look at the texture. And the colours. Great inspiration.

Today we are off to Apt - I am hoping I might come across some fabric.


Friday, October 14, 2011

More exploring in the Luberon

Ian opening our gate - the owners house is below us and yesterday the gardener showed us through the garden as they are on holiday. With that garden I would stay at home - c'est magnifique

We went to the markets at Menerbes - not so big now it is getting towards the winter but the lady on the right is the wife of the gardener and our who to ask help from man. She does very nice embroidery.

A visit to a caves in Menerbes - these Roses start at 450euros and go to 3500euros or even higher. I saw a small child pick one up and had to look the other way.

As you can see I do love these roof tiles - great inspiration - look at the colours - the texture and the shape.....

Another something which caught my eye - I actually think my photography might be improving - Ian is taking all the good pics which I add when we are back home again

And some more of those many steps

Today we are off to check out Rousillon and Apt - maybe - remember we are on holiday........


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mostly Menerbes

Ian enjoying the sunshine - the weather is exceptional and he is in seventh heaven as he can watch loads of planes roaring through the very blue skies.

Looking out through our gate. By the way our Menerbes is in Provence not Spain of course. One has no control over what blogger does to my words at times.

These are the steps leading down from our house to the road below. Menerbes is a beautiful place just like everywhere we explored yesterday - we have been before so it was like visiting old friends.

An acorn tree up in Le Petite Luberon.

Which one to choose? A camera full to the brim with photos and loads of inspiration. We managed to go hungry because we had sort of forgotten that everything closes during the middle of the day and by the time we decided on lunch everything was finished. So we finally came back and enjoyed cheese and pate and wine in our courtyard and then when we decided on dinner only one restaurant was open but it was full - Veranda where we went the previous night and it was fabulous. Anyway didn't do us any harm to go without dinner. Off to the markets here in Menerbes this morning after breakfast and then more explore.

Robin and Doreen - you are both correct but I am enjoying the indulgence of that enormous shower head while we are here! Jacky - sorry I missed you - I did rush in and out during the show so I could see things - Ian whipped off for breaks too.

Most important - Ian is sorting out the tv for viewing the rugby on sat and sun......


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A wonderful spot

This is the view from our bedroom in Menerbes - so fabulous to wake up to this. We came down on the train to Paris, a rather hectic taxi to Gare de Lyons and the TGV to Avignon - great train trip through the countryside - then picked up our car and drove to here where a wonderful couple were waiting to show us where we are staying - Le Jujubier - and left us a bottle of local vin to enjoy in the courtyard.

Very private and just what we need - think this might be the best place we have stayed in - chosen by Ian this time.

The owner's roof - I just love these tiles and there are so many things to inspire one. Have discovered I have left my new khaki book at Grant's so will have to hunt one out.

The view above the courtyard. Off to explore after coffee.

But first I had to share the wonderful shower head. I want one at home........



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