Friday, December 31, 2010


I have had a lovely day today although the weather was very hot: 39 degrees and a hot northerly wind.

I spoke to Linda  
and she reassured me that they are safely high above the flood waters.  

Our neighbour kindly took a load of rubbish to the transfer station (tip) for us.  It means a lot as we are unable to do it ourselves.

I was able to do some sewing so I made this bag for my youngest grandson.  He turned 8 today.

It features eary model Holden cars and maps of Australia.  Inside I have put some pens and pencils and a book I made for him.  The book contains sheets of pictures for him to colour in.  He is mad on Scooby Doo so I printed the sheets off the internet.
I do hope he likes it.  It was fun to make and I had the fabric & the zip in my stash.  We will visit him tomorrow for cake & candles.

Altogether a lovely day.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Endings & Beginnings

 As the year draws to a close and the new one awaits it seems like a good time to review past achievements (or not).  
Some of you will know that I resolved at the beginning of the year to use my stash instead of buying more "stuff".
I was surprised to find that it wasn't too difficult: the stash is substantial!!  

Of course by the middle of the year I "needed" to buy a new machine: the pfaff embellishing machine that I had coveted for some time was very well priced and had to come home with me.  Besides that I bought some stabiliser and other necessities to finish projects, some doiley's from the charity shops and some fleece and some fabric dyes on line.

I intend to continue along this way until the stash is less overwhelming.  

You can see one of the doileys in the first pic, it was badly stained so I dyed it for a future project.  In the second pic I have attached a piece of embroidery I did several years ago to a table mat that went into the dye batch:  this is a work in progress which I shall show when it is finished.
The last pic is of some felt I made today with some merino & silk tops: it has a lovely sheen and feels really soft.   I don't  know what I will do with it yet - maybe a scarf or the base for something else all together.

I am very aware of the wastefulness of our society (yes me too) so am hoping to do a lot more recycling in my textile work in the coming year.  There is so much fabric out there in the charity shops to choose from and quite often embroidery threads, buttons, zips etc as well.  

In the meantime I should just leave this computer and do the dishes. 

Before I finish I would like to recommend two blogs that I really enjoy.

take a look when you have time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The Christmas socialising continues:  today we visited some friends who recently moved onto a small rural property.

They have a lovely home on about four & a half acres:  Arawata is about one and a half hour's drive east of our home - in East Gippsland. 

The country-side is beautiful, with rolling hills, lush grass and cattle grazing.

It is an area that produces quite a lot of milk and associated dairy products.

Our friends have a couple of chickens and also allow their neighbours the use of the paddocks for grazing.  The gardens around the house are lovely, featuring kangaroo paws, and lots of other shrubs.

This is one area of Australia which has not suffered from the recent drought or the current floods.  

So many lovely places to visit:  I hope you enjoy these pics.

Monday, December 27, 2010


It is cool outside so I am playing with photos on the computer.

The first pic is of some flowers I received some time ago,  They are so pretty and bright.

I added some texture to the pic first.

This is the "cling wrap" effect.  I love this look.

And I can never resist a spiral.   Isn't this interesting.

I really do have lots of other things to do - for instance 3 baskets of ironing but today is a kind of day off.
We are out visiting friends again tomorrow and as I find socialising a bit of a strain I need today to relax.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

It is early evening on Christmas Eve and we have enjoyed a delicious lobster salad with champagne and are now just relaxing.

 I thought I would just show a few pics of my garden.  It seems so simple after all the bright and brash colours of Christmas.

 For many this time of year is tinged with sadness, memories of loved ones lost, illness or other misfortune.

I find comfort in nature at times like these.  

The birds that visit our garden, the plants that colour our world, the nearby beach all bring joy.

Thanks to each and every one of you who have visited my blog and left words of encouragement.  I really do enjoy reading other blogs:  thanks to those who share their creative lives with others.  

My wishes for a peaceful, joyful and loving Christmas time, and a creative new year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I have made these little book covers as last minute gifts.

They are quick & easy to make and use small scraps of fabric.

This is a phone pouch with two sections: one for the phone the other for glasses or note book.

This is the back of the phone pouch: the fabric is designed by an aboriginal artist.  I have several pieces of this type of fabric and it is great for this type of project.

The back of one of the notebooks.

This is a larger version and covers a sketch book.  I dyed the fabric and the doiley myself:  I quite like the earthy colours.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday evening

Last evening we missed the lunar eclipse.  It was too cloudy.  

At has been a beautiful day today so we decided to take a drive to Canadian Bay beach.

We picked up some fish'n'chips on the way and had a picnic, which was so lovely.

The sea was so peaceful and the sun was shining.

I took all of these photos into the sun and of course couldn't see a thing so it is such a surprise that they turned out so well.

We have had lots of rain lately: I was surprised to see
the obvious erosion on the cliffs by the walkway to the beach. 

The local council has been doing a lot of remedial planting to try to preserve the cliffs but mother nature always seems to win.

I hope to post some pics of needlework tomorrow.  In the meantime I hope you like these pics.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last minute projects

I have been busy making little note book covers as last minute gifts.  I found a tutorial the other day  
and have been inspired to make a few in my own way.  I will post some pics in a day or to.

I hope the link works.

Christmas is almost here and I am having trouble capturing the mood.  The weather here has been cold and not at all the sort of thing we look forward to for the holidays.  This country is so vast and the range of weather is amazing.  Floods up in the southern parts of Queensland and in parts of Western Australia.  The Snowy Mountains in NSW have Snow!!!! even though it is summer.

Today is the summer solstice (longest day) - I must go outside and have a look as I believe there is a lunar exclipse tonight. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

early morning visitors

This morning we had a visit from 2 Yellow tail black cockatoos.  It is the first time I have seen them so close.  They occasionally fly over in large and very noisy flocks but this pair were just sitting quietly in the tree at our back fence.

 These fellows usually feed off the seeds of the eucalyptus trees.  We have plenty of them around and I guess that is why these birds dropped by.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


 This is my December needlebook.  It was very much a fun project.  I was given some scaps of fabric & ribbon by a fellow embroiderer: her project wasn't working out so out came the stitches.   I cannot waste such bits and pieces so they were added to my stash of similar scaps.

 I decided to create some fabric using my felting/embellishing machine.  I started with the scraps and ribbons and added some other fabrics and fibres.  Having done that I fused some more scraps and some chiffon from an old scarf to the base fabric: after that I applied the heat gun and then fused some tulle on top.  To break up the "neat" look I took to it with the soldering iron, just opening up a few areas to show 

 the original colours.  I also added a bit of gold foil to lighten it up . Then I stitched some green braid on each end:  I was going to line the inside but I realised the "wrong side" of the fabric looked really cool so I did some free machine stitching through the whole lot and 
then stitched in some felt
and here it is - my final needlecase for the year.

Oh I also stitched some soft braid trim to the upper and lower edge and then painted some liumiere metallic paint to seal it. 

It looks a bit dodgy but it actully feels really nice to use.  

Friday, December 10, 2010


 Well at last I can relax: Santa is done!  There are one or two details I am not content with but they can wait until after Christmas.

I am generally thrilled with the way this has turned out.  As this is my own interpretation of Santa I would be happy to help anyone else who is interested in making something similar (next Christmas).

 In the meantime I need to finish off other projects and even do some housework.

The weather is playing havoc all over the world with snow in the Northern hemisphere and rain & floods in many parts of Australia so I am hoping everyone is safe as we approach the holiday season.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Back home and busy

 Now that we are home I will share a few of the pics I took while I was in Noosaville, on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland.

The gardens are full of the most exotic and interesting plants you are likely to see anywhere.

I am not sure that I am so keen on many of the plants.  They are showy and flamboyant but they are interesting to look at.  Many of the 

 Plants are adapted to cope with  the heavy tropical rainfall in the area with peculiar root systems. 

The grasses are thick and abundant and often hide frogs and lizards from the heat of the day: and from predators too.

We went for a walk in around the neighbourhood and everywher we looked there were more wonderful things to see.

Many of the plants have long strappy leaves and big showy flowers like these.

 This fern seems to be wrapped in hessian.  It is quite strong and feels just like some kind of woven fabric.
The stems from which the fronds fan out are as sharp as a saw blade.  

 The sweet perfumed frangipani is a favourite: it seems that everyone has at least one in their garden and they feature in street plantings as well.  I think this white with the yellow centre is the best known but I also saw a pink and an apricot coloured one.

This flower was  hidden away under a huge palm tree in the back garden. 

I don't know much about the palm trees and the way they bloom and set seed but they are truly spectacular.  These are just a few of the pics I took - I do hope you have enjoyed seeing them.

I think, though, that I like the plants that grow in our more temperate climate.  The bottle brushes and grevilleas as well as the roses and camellias.  I guess it is what I am used to.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


While I was away I managed to fit in quite a few hours of stitching. 
We were travelling light so I just took some of santa's costume, a few threads and needles.

I finished adding the leaves but still have a few crystals to apply on the border of the skirt.

The bodice is to be decorated with some native flora.   On the back and over one shoulder is some yellow wattle.  One sleeve has some daisies and the front and another sleeve features gum blossom.  
I am hoping to finish this project by Monday. There are still quite a few details to be taken care of but I am fairly confident it will look ok when I finish.  I am especially pleased with the hands.  They look really "human" in expression and colour.

The perfume from this gorgeous gardenia filled the humid air after a short rain shower.  It is so creamy and perfect.   It is in the garden of the house we stayed at in Noosaville.