Monday, November 28, 2011

online courses & roses

I have been wondering lately about the value of online courses and tutorials.

If you have participated in any of these or offer such a course/tutorial I would love to know about it.

I have recently completed a course with Karen Raune and one with Carole Brungar.

The projects were quite different as were my reasons for doing them.

As these were the first two online courses I have taken I was not sure what to expect so I think I was pleased with both of them.

The photo is just one of my roses which I have altered using the options in Picasa.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

cutwork with silk ribbon flower

This little silk ribbon flower on satin seemed just right for popping in behind some cutwork: it was just a little practice piece which I did years ago and the lilac fabric is part of  a recycled bed sheet.  The cut out circle is finished with button hole stitch and chain stitch.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

felting with the embellisher

I was looking for a particular piece of fabric when I came across the pictured piece of work.  It consists of scraps felted to a piece of green felt using the embellishing machine.

I intend to add some bling and make something amazing - well I hope that I am inspired to make something with it!


I have finished some of the pieces for my "Road to my house" wall hanging.  I have decided to put this aside now so I can do some sewing for Christmas.  

Oh and my camera had a lovely rest and is talking to me again.
Technology - it is quite beyond me but I am pleased that I don't need to make any decision about a new camera just now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

faux cutwork button

This button is finished!!!!  I used silk for the foundation fabric and used perle cotton thread for the button hole lace around the central motif. The rest of the embroidery was done using single strands of hand dyed silk thread.  The stitches used are button hole stitch, french knots, spider web roses, stem stitch, seed stitch and chain stitch and probably some I have forgotten.   When damping the piece down for damp stretching I added some colour to soften the background fabric which looked too harsh.  The button is 4.5cm across.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Being a tour Guide

This week friends from New Zealand were in Melbourne for the Presidents Cup golf tournament.  Fortunately for me Sue was happy to catch up for a day of talking and looking at some of the sites in our beautiful city.

We don't see each other often but always have plenty to talk about.  After having a chat and planning our day we set out on a very hot (35degrees) windy day.  Our first stop was St.Pauls Cathedral which is a very beautiful building with lots of things to see.  Beautiful architecture, tiled floors, timber roofing, huge columns - I could go on.    It really is worth a visit if you are in Melbourne. 
After that we crossed Flinders Street, taking in the view of Flinders Street Station which is our central suburban railway station.
We were headed for Federation Square and in particular the Ian Potter Centre which is part of the National Gallery of Victoria.  They had several really interesting things happening in the various spaces there but we were particularly interested in the "Man Style" exhibition. 

It was really fascinating to see the evolution of fashion in menswear.  I was especially interested in embroidery and buttons on some of the garments.

We also managed to see lots of other works of art - ancient and modern.  A day spent with Sue is great fun as well as a fantastic opportunity to learn more - Sue has been an art teacher and is an artist in her own right and is part of a group promoting sculpture in her home city in New Zealand.
I feel like a sponge soaking up so much information.  It really is a treat.

Melbourne boasts some interesting public sculpture so it was a perfect day.  The menfolk were at the golf and although we had planned an evening meal together it was not to be.  My darling husband has a horrid chest infection and couldn't go out so we came home just as another storm approached.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

cameras & windows

My camera is refusing to talk to me so I am showing you a picture of one of the side windows in our house.

It is typically Australian leaded glass work and several of the houses in this street have similar windows.  

I took this picture because I am thinking of moving the window panels to another area of the house.

Our new tv is opposite these windows and we find that during the day many of the programmes we view feature these gorgeous images.  The sun shines right on them which is beautiful but................

Anyway if anyone has suggestions about a new camera (easy to use and modest price) I would be glad to hear from you.  I feel quite lost without my constant companion.  My camera is like a second pair of eyes and a memory bank which I use often.  

Oh I meant to explain about the header:  when I was at the beach a couple of weeks ago the thong was on the beach - abandoned.  There was no-one swimming - in fact no one else on the beach at all.  It just needed to be photographed.

See I do need a camera.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

finding time to stitch and time to write

They say that as you grow older the days seem to fly by.

Well I can assure you that I don't seem to have enough hours in the day or days in the week.

I have to snatch a few minutes here and there to do some stitching.

The first pic is of a button I am making - the piece is being damp stretched.

The second is part of my wall hanging.  It depicts something you will often see at the beach: a shower where you can wash off the salt and sand. These facilities were turned off during the drought of the past decade but now that water is available they are on again.

I have been making some dorset buttons.  They are quite relaxing to make and I can do them while watching TV or minding the little girls.


It is a way of using up some of my threads.  This one is actually yellow and green and needs a bit more work.

Friday, November 11, 2011

little stitcheries.

These little stitcheries are for my wall hanging.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

seaside again

Today I went on a little drive to Rosebud beach - doesn't the name sound lovely. It is a summer holiday place and can look a bit tatty when the holiday makers are not there.

This is the way I like it though - time for quiet walks and many photo opportunities.

The collage shows some of the vegetation found around the area of the Rosebud Pier.

Mostly grasses and at present lots of seed pods ready to be picked up by the wind.

We had a big thunder storm last night and lots of rain but this afternoon was sunny and still. Rather humid at home but lovely and fresh by the bay.

There was a huge container ship passing through the port phillip heads. This is the entrance to the ports of Melbourne. It is a very narrow area of water and has to be carefully navigated. It is always amazing to see such huge vessels setting out on their long journey.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

christmas is on its way

As the festive holidays approach I thought I would make a brooch to wear on the day but I wanted it to be something I could wear anytime.

The stitches include bullion stitches, french knots and and spider web flower in the centre.  Buttons fill the spaces.  Because this is on a dome shaped button I had to be sure there would be no fabric showing through so the stitching and the beading is very tightly packed and took many hours to do.
The outer edge is bullion stitches and button hole lace very casually put together.  Again I wanted to be sure there was no fabric showing.  I think in future I would use a coloured fabric for the background instead of the white silk.  

Several people have asked about the size of the buttons and brooches I have been making.

The buttons are 5cm across and the toggle on the previous posting is 5.5cm long and 1 cm across the end.

Thanks also to everyone who comments on this blog.  I really appreciate all the feedback and encouragement.

Friday, November 4, 2011

toggles and buttons

I am so far behind with so many things I am beginning to think I shall never catch up.

The course with Karen Raune is finished and I am only half way through.  Of course I can continue on as the information is still available.  This has been a really challenging and interesting course.

This is a toggle which is made using some cotton fabric with an aboriginal design.

My stitching could be a lot better but I am not going to point out the faults.  Suffice to say that I am happy with it.