Friday, November 30, 2012

Up in the far north

Here we are at the Old Oak in Mangonui - that is our whole balcony - great spot to sit and watch the world go by (well - a couple of cars)

Doubtless Bay when we walked down the road for breakfast.

Looking down from our room - it rained most of yesterday on the way up from Auckland but it lovely today

We have been exploring the KariKari peninsular today and visit the winders which has spectacular views. There are some amazing beaches with loads of white sand and beautiful coloured sea. Mostly pretty windy though.

I have been playing with photographing panoramas on my I- pad. For someone who has always been known as a hopeless photographer I am ever amazed.

Pohutakawa flowers - only a few coming into flower - they are spectacular when they are all out along the coast.

Close up - I had to fight with the wind to take these

And closer - next stop to draw them in my sketch book

At the vineyard

Looking across to the long stretch of white sands from the vineyard

Off to another beach

Caught Ian in action

Some pussy willow to finish off


The garden below our balcony

Where we are just about to sit and enjoy our wedding anni per dinner drink and nibbles. Thanks for all the lovely comments - who would have thought 44 years ......

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Whizz Bang - off we go

Yes - it is THAT time of the year again - well it will be on Friday 30th. This year marks our 44th wedding anni - who would believe it? I think we must be the only people whose photos are marked PROOF and who never did buy the real ones or actually mount them in the wedding photo album bought for the occasion. And into the sunset (or something) we drove off in our Morris 8 sportscar (get excited but in reality it was a bomb which I have been seen pushing up hills in the South Island and which epitomises the quality of all the cars we have owned and who cares...) We went to Gisborne and stayed in the prison - as guests please. On the way back to Wellington it rained and as our sportscar had a ripped canvas cover we managed to avoid the rain by turning corners. All of our wedding presents were in the back. Those were the days when we were poor students and managed okay. We didn't own a tv for quite a number of years later but we always had, and still have, many many books.

Thanks, though, for all the lovely emails - very much appreciated.

We are off to Doubtless Bay in the far north of NZ - fly into Auckland and turn left. - check it out. Beautiful place to visit.

We will be back next Thursday but of course I shall be answering emails and all of that and posting piccies etc. Our wedding anni dinner is going to be a bit different this year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


 I found this wonderful photo of a Provencial gate on my camera so thought I would share it. I really like the layering in the front. I haven't seen a gate like this before. Very partial to gates I am.

We have been rather busy today - everyone would have had a shock to receive the December newsletter from us before December. There is a reason of course. The most amazing thing is that only 2 people have emailed with problems opening it and they are new people so I am really hoping it means that I have got it right this round. If you did have trouble please email because Ian, the magical wizard, can send you something which does work.

And the latest Quilting Arts #60 arrived today as well - I got about half in the post tonight but all the rest are done and in the mailing baskets for tomorrow morning.We have a few over if anyone wants one before tomorrow evening. It is lovely to see Djanne Cevaal's work on the cover.

I have had a couple more new goodies arrive - one is a very easy method of transferring inkjet prints - so far I am thriled witht he results. Tell you more when I have time. In the meantime......

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday already yet again

 Our Fibres Day went very well. We got up at 5am and worked like little trojans to be ready by 10. Lots of people came and went home with new goodies - I haven't done the draw yet but will as soon as I find the shoe box with the names inside. I think some people forgot to add their names to the box somehow.

Finished at 2pm and got everything back indoors except for the big wire bins - sat down to have a wine and the sky began to look ominous so we stopped that and moved everything just in time. Then we sat on the front verandah and watched the rain. One of the pleasures of an open day is that our garden is now spic and span and people can meander. We will be running our Feb/Mar one again in 2013.

Thought I would show some of our pics from our holiday in the Luberon - this is a panoramic view from our abode.

 This is Menerbes and the red spot is where we stayed at Le Jujubier.

 Another view of Menerbes.

Not far from us for a short walk to town. It is a beautiful spot.

 I have been building up backgrounds for some new work but managed to wreck the first one which I shall keep as a reminder of what not to do. Nothing to show yet.

Couldn't watch the All Blacks vs Wales on Sat as it wasn't on Fox Sports but we did watch the Wallabies vs Italy. Bit of a woeful game if I may say so.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fibres Day tomorrow

 Two magazines arrived today -  this is Art Quilting Studio and I can see it is a really great issue - articles by all sorts of interesting people - I have had time to turn the pages only but I shall enjoy it - on Sunday.

 and Sew Somerset arrived as well. This is such a delightful mag - whimsical I think is the word to describe it. I shall enjoy reading this on Sunday too. We have posted all the mags to the people on our list with a few of each to spare.

Why Sunday? Because tomorrow is our Fibres Day and we have just started setting things up. If you are in Perth we look forward to seeing you - all of our fibres will be out of course and things which relate to fibres and a few things which don't really - only if you stretch a point. Of course if you make felt, you need to hand stitch don't you? Well I do.... Plus remember that if you spend $50, your name will go in the shoe box for a draw at the $100 spending voucher.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

it is Tuesday fast as

 Martien delivered loads of hand dyed silk fibres on Sunday to keep me out of mischief - I have been packaging like crazy - it is our Fibres Day on Saturday, remember. These are the wonderful soft cocoons - always very popular but she also delivered loads of hard cocoons - these look wonderful - and silk caps and silk hankies and lots more. it is looking a bit busy in our kitchen and the chief assistant has gone to our wardrobe to sulk.

 Saturday was the Beaufort Street Festival -apparently there were around 100,000 people and I can believe it. We were getting ready for a bbq here but needed to get salad stuff etc and there was no way we were driving anywhere as we would have lost our car park so we bravely made our way up to the shops and back again. I think it was very successful - loads of activities and of course loads of food stalls.

 Here is another shot of people

 I am finally doing some stitch after making numerous other things - this is the front page of a new little book. I do love using the sari ribbon for texture and stuff.

And here is a new excitement - I have only got a few so far and I am hoping the shipment will arrive soon. Couldn't resist these colours - they look a bit Kimberly Dreaming to me so I am hoping to get using them very soon.

Don't forget that it is Fibres Month - wonderful response so far.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Kazuko

Happy Birthday Kazuko - have a wonderful day - after your early morning bike ride.....

Thursday, November 15, 2012


 Bit of de Colourant play on hand dyed cotton from - not able to see so easily but there is purple in this fabric when the de Colourant bleaches back.

 a second piece using de colourant plus - red and yellow. This takes the colour out and puts the new colour in. People do ask why not just paint the fabric. I asked that myself originally but it becomes part of the fabric once washed and does not sit on the top.

 I have been playing with my Le Scrunch for texture using Tissutex which I have coloured with the Sun Dye Fabric paints - I really like these and have decanted them into spray bottles - I think everyone knows I love sprays. i wanted to show how much it scrunched. Underneath is the size of the piece before I stitched and then hovered y hot iron over the top. Wonderful texture.

Here I used calico as a base - if you have seen us at shows you will know that we have always used calico tablecloths in Australia and I thought it time to start using them up. I have sprayed with the Sun Dye fabric paints in Currawong, Slate and Tanbark using a stencil - Seafoam because I couldn't find my Pebbles but this one is very good too.

Then I stitched it and ironed black gossamer fuse over the top and rubbed some gilding wax onto it - it is bonded to felt by the way.

This is another one I did when I was playing - I have used Clay as well as the other three colours.

Last night we went to the ACO - another wonderful concert - and the last one for the year. Gee they are fabulous musicians. Wouldn't really matter what they played.

This morning we had a big delivery of new sari ribbon - these are off-white - some are white and some are cream as well. Really wonderful. I did a quick special on facebook which went fast so I thought I would be honorable and do one here on my blog. So -the cost per 100 gram hank of 50 metres is $11 and  I am offering any 2 for the price of 1 plus postage to  the first 5 people to email me
the colour is wonderful and I have wound out a ball for myself - just have to iron it and maybe weave it and stitch. Who knows?  It will take colour of course. You can, of course, order multiples - most of the 5 this morning on facebook did.  Update - all claimed - thanks folks. Hope you enjoy them

Our calender is full - we are off to another concert tonight - Musica Viva. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

bit of this and that

Friday night we went to the opening of the Designing Women exhibition - Dimensions. All good stuff. I only took one photo - of Juliet Hargeaves " Council meeting on Mt. Henry Jetty"
then on the way back we went to Spaghi Italian Restaurant which is now in Melville
-  we haven't been there since they moved from South Perth - and we were treated like old friends - we had a lovely meal and must go again - it just seems too far to whip down the freeway. 

Then we were wandering back down Beaufort Street last night and Alan - who crops up in lots of different restaurants and whom we haven't seen for ages - rushed out of Raah to say hello. It's amazing the people who know us out and about. I guess we have been here long enough. Long enough for the prostitutes who were rife about 15  years ago - to be back in full force. And of course we have our very own treasure living in the flats behind us. 

We have been enjoying watching the Fast Fives Netball - it has come a long way from when I was young - not that I played netball - I was a hockey whizz instead. Much more scope with a long stick.
We also watched the Wallabies be beaten thoroughly by the french in the rugby and tonight will see how the All Blacks go against Scotland.

I think my demo went well on Friday - always far too much information and therefore I miss things. But there was more than plenty. When I have put everything away I will post some pics. I have been playing instead with the Magical micas mainly because I discovered we didn't have all the sets on the website and I was counting stock for re-ordering. They really are fabulous - just need a water brush and pick up a tiny amount of powder (which comes with a fixative etc) and the colour and iridescence is wonderful. Have a look here if you are interested because as well as updating all the sets bar one which is on its way, we have loaded a video of Linda Baldock's wonderful blooms which I found and that got me pulling them out for a play.

Don't forget it is  Fibres Month 
There has been a fabulous response to most stuff - we change it every day or so when we have a moment. 

Right now I am off to prepapre for our bbq but I have been winding 35 new colours in Stuff whilst watching the netball and rugby.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Happy Wedding Anni Kaz and Bruce

 happy wedding anni Kaz and Bruce - 10 years - seems to have slipped by pretty fast

and here they are relaxing in Broome - hey that's my pool..... I hear that Kaz has new pearl earrings. Have a lovely time.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

slight mix-up morning

 This morning I was under the impression that this was the morning to go do a 2 hour demo for a group - yesterday I got everything ready, up early, packed the car, did a number of important jobs then off I went. When I got there, a small group of ladies were rather perplexed at my presence. They were a hand stitching group and had set up a couple of tables and chairs for their day and a nice table full of morning tea and certainly were not expecting me. Back home I went (fortunately not too far away), checked all the emails I had had which clearly said Thursday 8th  and rang the person organising it and lo and behold it is Friday 9th. Empty out the car and carry on with tasks at hand. Tomorrow - off I go again. When I do a demo I always take stacks of samples because I can't bear people not tosSee what I have been exploring so it is always good value. I have been preparing stuff using the gelli pates - de colourant - Tissutex - evolon - and all that sort of stuff. At least I won't have to do other than pack the car in the morning.

The picture above - last night we went to the opening of K2Cloud - an installation involving knitting and crochet using paper and plastic. People were adding extras and colour. It's really nice to see what is happening in the creative areas. We get bogged down with what we are doing. After that we went to visit Kim and Anthony at Wot the Po for a lovely meal.

Kaz and Bruce have gone to Broome for a holiday and gone to the Bali Hai where we go - sure they will have a lovely time.

 Still busy with exciting parcels and making Ian work hard on the website adding things. This is the electric hand needlefelting machine. Someone asked why I needed it - would my big Babylock be abandoned? no - this is a little extra - take away with you  - on holiday - travel and much easier and more gentle than hand needlefelting. You need the foam and you simply work over it. You can see my Provence fibres being worked. I am really pleased with it and we are giving away 100gram bag of assorted Maori carded wool with every sale. That wool I am using is the said Maori carded wool.

The latest Studios arrived this week as well - I have sent out all the subs and there are a couple still left over. it is always a very popular magazine - full of storage etc ideas. I guess we can always dream!

Let's see how I get on tomorrow......

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Happy Birthday Grant

 Happy Birthday Grant - we all get younger of course.....

And here you are doing what you love doing most -

Hope you have a great day and we will have a drink or two to you tonight....

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Gelli Play plus

 If you ask the blog to load a selected photo only it takes no notice and loads everything so these will be a bit messy. If you want excellent service, go to World of Sewing and chat with Richard. Every year when we go to Ally Pally, he is so nice and friendly and helpful. I have been trying to get a light bulb and a screw for my Babylock embellisher - no luck in OZ so I asked Richard and they arrived before we did and he wouldn't take any money for postage. People in my workshop will remember I haven't had a light bulb for yonks and my screw fell out so I have been one needle short. It's all go now.

 Today I have been gelli plate aplaying -I have been working on different surfaces and with different things. i have used Opulence paints - they are quite viscose and thick and full of mica which you can't see so well on the screen - just take my word for it. I tended to spray the plate first with water to help the paint move.I also used Textile paint and the Sun Dye fabric paint which is very runny but interesting. I think you should try whatever you have because you will always get different results. The Textile paint is transparent. I especially didn't use an opaque paint like Neopaque today.

 I was aiming to create layers and the results are not always clear but you want to build up layered backgrounds which you can then print onto or stitch onto or whatever. I was pleased with this one - I have used Khadi paper which is a dream to colour and to stitch on. I applied paint - lay a stencil on and then my fabric/paper etc on top for one take. Then I lifted the stencil for a second take and finally I turned the stencil over and pressed it onto my surface for an extra take. it gets lighter and this keeps it interesting.

 This is my favourite - you cannot see the build up of gold paint but trust me it is rich almost like velvet. I also did some masking with shapes.

 This is Tissutex which started out sprayed with blue and it has quite a few layers

In the middle of this, I spied this photo of us at Ally Pally on
Emma's blog and since I rarely see a decent photo of me (my fault entirely), I stole it with Emma's permission. Do go visit her blog though - wonderful work to see.

This is my favourite again - since these came in so muddled I shall leave it here.

 Again using a letter stencil but so subtle - the prints are individualistic which makes them great.

 For this one, I could not resist using my Starburst Sprays which incidentally did not stain the plate - I just washed it off - sprayed the surface with water as I worked and wiped with a piece of fabric. So the top layer is using the sprays on the plate through a stencil.

 Again playing with layers on Evolon - love this fabric - I shall stitch and carve

 Part of the same piece of Evolon

Finally - paint on the first layer and sprays for the top layer.
There are lots of people out there having fun with the gelli plates and there will always be interesting things appearing. I find it easy to use and clean and I can pop it back in its case and know I won't lose it. I have a pile of 'fabrics' assorted to play with. Most of my pics have an orangey tinge - I did stick a bit to yellow/orange/magenta type colours mostly.

I also painted up a piece of calico yesterday with the Sun Dye fabric paints - lay a stencil on top and put it outside wiht stones on the edges where the sky was black and not long after it rained. Amazingly it had worked this mornign when I found it all tucked away - sun dye probably means a bit of light! I was most impressed.

In Perth it has been wet, lightning and thunder but the new people in the flat next door upstairs have been quite determined to try their new bbq - they have had the cover off and on all day - obviously very excited and pleased with their purchase. Just not the best day for them to start!

Don't forget that November is Fibres Month


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