Tuesday, June 29, 2010

School Holidays

Today has been wet and windy and bitterly cold so three of my grandchildren came to visit and will sleep over tonight.  They had a wonderful time searching through the stash for "suitable" fabric for capes etc.
They then made up games and generally made a mess.

Later we went shopping and bought the ingredients for dinner.  The three of them prepared and cooked the meal for all of us which was a real treat.
They used the spare kitchen downstairs so it was a bit of a challenge but they did really well.  Their grandad was most appreciative too.

I must admit to being exhausted but they are still as energetic as ever. 

They will go home early tomorrow and return again on Sunday when we have a family day with 16 of us sitting down to lunch - then our other grandson will also stay the night.

I do enjoy the school holidays.

Monday, June 28, 2010


 Karyn thanks for mentioning my man 
Mo - man of the desert.  As you may know I made him several years ago at a workshop at Lumina Gallery.  He is made using powertex fabric hardening product.


More of my camelias,  I went to look at the names but the birds steal the labels.  Yes, they really do. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Past projects

I have been busy stitching but have nothing new to show as the things I am doing are to be sent to others as part of swaps and challenges.  I don't want to spoil the surprises so I will post some of pics of past projects.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I have had a great day today:  firstly I want to say thanks to everyone who comments on my blog.  It is good to know that what I put on here might inspire someone else, or even just give a little insight into the area I live in.

It has rained pretty much all day here today: about 14 degrees all day too so I have been inside a lot.  I had to go out for a while and so took advantage of the opportunity to call on a few of our local op shops (charity shops) to see if there was anything useful or interesting.  Of course there was.  I managed to find several things, most of which I will photograph tomorrow if it stops raining long enough for me to get them out of the car.  I picked up a few gadgets that will be useful in my studio, as you can see from the pic.

The wooden tray is old and battered but will be useful I am sure, then there is the meat tenderiser which will be great for pulverising leaves and flowers (hapazome), a small whisk (for mixing paints and dyes) a measuring spoon, a cheese knife which might be good for manipulating fabric somehow.  I am sure I will put the spoons and tea infuser to good use as well. 
This camellia looks so perfect I thought you might like to see it.  I have several in bloom at present but the rain will ruin the flowers.  Never mind there are more buds about to come out and the daphne is in bud as well.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time Flies

Goodness I don't know where this week has gone.  I have been busy sorting my stash which is still overwhelming even though I have  not spent any money on supplies or fabrics this year.  

Each month I try to participate in a challenge on the Fibre Arts & Mixed Media Forum: this month the theme is "the Sun" because of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.

I decided to depict my interpretation of the heat of the Australian summer and the after effects of a bushfire.  A familiar subject in this state.  Any way I will put a couple of pics here to see what I did.  As usual I am not really satisfied with this piece but it will have to do. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Morning Sky

I couldn't resist taking pics of the sky this morning.  I love the way the shapes of the clouds reflect the shapes of the trees.  Just fabulous.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ruth Norbury

Ruth is a textile artist who uses her considerable skill to speak out about animal cruelty.  Take a look at her website when you can it is well worth a visit.

Monday, June 21, 2010



Today is the day we consider to be the winter solstice here in Victoria, Australia.  It is the shortest day of the year and it has been quite bleak here most of the day.  We had a foggy morning and it was about 6 degrees when I struggled out of bed.  As the day progressed the sun peaked out for a little while but the temperature didn't rise much.

The sun was setting when I drove down to the supermarket at about 5 pm.  It is only another couple of minutes drive to the beach so I couldn't resist taking a few photos while I was out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


How amazing - I actually finished a project without becoming bored or distracted!!!!

This little flower covers over the magnetic clasp on my new project bag.

The fabric I had previously created really appealed to me - I finished it off with some metallic paint, then fused some tulle over the lot using mistyfuse which is so lovely and fine that it is ideal for this kind of project. 


Once it was finished I wondered how it would look as a little clutch bag.  Simple to make and I could finish it using the machine.

As you can see it is quite simple with the quilted effect on the inside giving it a soft feel. 

I had a metallic clip in the stash (of course I did) and so I attached that and then just the flower to finish it off.

The flower was made from the tab I cut off a nylon organza curtain (recycling), roughly cut and gathered with some green organza ribbon.  I had to seal the edge of the organza with a flame so used my candle lighter which is easier to use than the soldering iron and gives a softer finish to the edge.

This little bag will be ideal to take a sketch pad and pencil or some stitching whenever I go out. 

Most of the materials used can be bought from many suppliers but I particularly like dealing with The Thread Studio in Western Australia.   The people there are very helpful and the service is quick and good.  Of course I did not buy anything new for this little bag - all in the embarrassingly large stash. 


This sort of quick technique would be good for a book cover or phone pouch too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dolly faces

This is a little atc I did for Stitchin Fingers, the theme was black & white & one other colour.  It was a fun theme.

These two little ladies are brooches which I made just for fun.  The expressions on the faces are so gorgeous.

 The little handbags and shoes are from 

Welcome to Let's Bead Friends website - Let's Bead Friends

The ladies here are so helpful and their range of charms and findings are amazing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


After several very hectic weeks we seem to have found some time to relax this weekend and we have tomorrow off as well.  It is the Queen's Birthday Holiday.  Anyway at last I have had time to really play around in the sewing room.  My thumb is still very painful so I cannot do a lot of hand embroidery so the pleated silk piece has been set aside.

I have been thinking about doing some machine stitching for a while so I took a piece of hand dyed cotton which is one of Vicki Welsh's pieces.
Have a look at her site here - http://vickiwelsh.typepad.com/field_trips_in_fiber/

I laid some scraps of fabric and ribbons onto the wrong side of half of the fabric then folded the other half over on top to trap the scraps.  After that I machine stitched the pieces together using a co-ordinating thread and just kept stitching until I felt happy with the feel of it.

I then took some sharp scissors and randomly cut through the top layer of fabric, exposing the pieces underneath.  The next step was to lay nylon tulle and organza ribbons over the top in a criss/cross pattern.  I started to secure this with hand stitches but resorted to the sewing machine when it became too difficult.

Then came the fun part - with the heat gun I burnt away parts of the top layer to expose the original cotton with the slashed areas visible.  To further expose the cut areas I washed the piece in hot water and soap and then when it was thoroughtly rinsed it was in the dryer with a towel to rough it up a bit.  The results were looking good but I still wanted to see more of the original fabric so I heated up the soldering iron and cut some of the nylon and organza away.

This is the result so far but I think I will add some paint or shiva stick tomorrow.  I always enjoy making this kind of fabric and I think I will make another casket with it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I don't have anything new to show today so I will see if there is anything interesting on the back up drive.  I have had a big clean up here this morning which was great - I also dropped a heavy piece of wood on my already painful sore thumb.  Lucky no one else was home so my comments on how I felt were not heard!!!!  I have since been to the doctor, he put something nasty and painful on the wound, ordered me to take better care, covered my thumb in a big bandage and prescribed antibiotics.  I am glad I finished drilling holes in the wall this morning - my husband has forbidden such activities for the foreseeable  future.  

I made this little casket some time ago with some of the goodies I received in a challenge held by the Embroiderers Guild UK forum, It is a pretty simple four sided box, with stitching and added fabrics for contrast.  the lining is painted fabric.

This little casket was inspired by an article in Stitch magazine.  It is made from hand dyed fabric, added some especially dyed lace and covered in lilac organza.  Blanket stitching finishes it off

This casket was made using some fabric I "created" as part of the 3creative studios monthly challenge earlier in the year.  The fabric was hand dyed when I visited Linda  some time ago.  The colour was just a bit too .......sweet... for my liking.  Anyway I painted it with some Lumiere metallic paint and then did some machine stitching.

I lined this box with heavy vilene, and added a tassel to the top and beaded feet to the base, some beads and charms finished it off and I think it worked out quite well. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You really have to laugh!

Yesterday I managed to lock myself in my sewing room/office.  This room is under the main part of our house and quite independent - no access from one to the other.  We have lived here for a while now but have never shut the screen door down here as it doesn't fit properly and there is no point. Well yesterday I pulled the door fully shut   -  as it turned out  -   fully locked.  As we don't use the door I don't have a key for it on my keyring, nor have I ever tried any of the many spare keys we were were given for the house.  I did however remember that there were keys "somewhere".  
After a few minutes of panic I decided to climb out one of the windows.  Fortunately they are close to the ground.  I went upstairs and looked around and then suddenly remembered that the spare keys are kept down in my office!!!!!!!!  Yes, I had to climb back in through the window, sort through the keys and unlock the door!!!!

So funny now.

 I have made a little more progress on the piece of pleasted silk.  I am now in a quandary about its future.  I have decided it is too delicate to be a needlebook and my second idea of a journal cover might work but the piece is quite bulky.  Perhaps I'll just frame it and put it on the wall.  Any suggestions welcome. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Progress report

I have managed a little stitching time in the past two days and have added some stitches to my pleated silk piece.  It is beginning to look a lot like spring.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

June Needlebook .... started

I was given this piece of silk by a friend in Belgium a long time ago: it is a gorgeous grassy green and I wasn't sure what I could use it for.  Another friend who I met through the Country Bumpkin forum does wonderful smocking so I asked her if she would be kind enough to pleat several pieces for me.  That was ages ago and it has been stitched to a piece of calico and laced onto the frame for longer than I like to admit.  It has been hanging on the wall above my sewing machine for a while now and last night I decided it would be the ideal starting point for my June needlebook.  I will do some random stitching in whatever colours come to mind.  You can see I have made a start.  Once the stitching is done I will decide on other trims, charms, buttons etc from the stash. I have an idea about the lining but will show you that next time.

This is one of my grandsons (Michael) waiting for me to make some space so he can do some painting.  All of the children love to sew and paint and generally make a mess of my sewing room - it is lovely when they come to stay as there is always something for them to do.  Michael is particularly interested in cooking which is great.  He made a mud cake on Thursday night and a vanilla cake on Friday night.  So much for the diet.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More fabulous photos

The last few days have been rather taken up with my daughter, who was unwell,  3 of my grandchildren and of course that sore thumb. Fortunately we have plenty of spare beds: unfortunately they are in my sewing room/office!!!
There has been no time for hand stitching although I did a little bit  of free machine stitching while the grandkids were painting.  

They have all gone home now and I have had an afternoon nap.  It will be any easy tea and lots of television tonight.

My son-in-law came to pick them up and brought their little dog Jack for a visit.

I am frustrated at not being able to stitch - the thumb is healing well though, so I have been messing about with some photos.  Just changing the lighting effects on photoshop gave marvelous results.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I had a lot of errands to run today so started the day early and of course the windows of the car needed wiping down before I could start my driving for the day.  As I went to pick up the cloth to clean the windows I slid my thumb along a piece of cardboard the was in the back of the car and nearly took my thumbnail off.  Hence the name of this post.  I seem to bump the thumb no matter how careful I am being so I have wrapped it up well and now it is safer but no more comfortable.

Oh that was a big grizzle, sorry.

Last night I did a little more on my "speak" project.  I will post a pic if I can upload it.  I will probably have to give stitching a miss tonight if my thumb doesn't settle down. 

It is a new month and I need to make a start on yet another needlebook as well as another ATC for Stitchin Fingers.

While I was out and about I managed to take some photos so I will share one or two here.

Don't you just love the shapes of these trees?  Sadly years of drought have taken their toll on these beautiful trees.  There has been plenty of rain lately but it is too late for these beauties.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Last night I added a magnetic clip to the inside of my needlebook, but of course I had to put it on the outside of the lining as I had been silly enough to finish off the construction already.  I decided to cover the little magnets with a pretty lace motif which I had in the stash.  The pink was just the right shade so I felt quite pleased with the result.  

The wool I used to line the needlebook was so pretty and I had a small amount left so I decided I "needed" another pin cushion.  Goodness knows how many I need but I do love making them so that was my goal for the evening as we watched an old episode of A Touch of Frost.   I had another of the little lace motifs and added a few french knots and embroidered flowers: blanket stitch and some polyester filling and you can see the result is quite sweet.  Now I wonder, do I need another scissor fob?  Not that I ever use them: they hang from door knobs in my sewing room and occasionally one goes to a friend for a gift.