Thursday, April 30, 2009

Playing with my new machine

I have been playing with the new sewing machine, I bought it for fme and so that is what it will mainly be used for and I have to say that I am quite pleased with the results, this is the back and the front of a small piece I was stitching.
I managed to go for a walk, a big plus!, go over and collect my stuff that wasnt sold at the Mix it up exhibition, I may have some give aways soon!
Called in to see my two grand children, my daughter and my great grand child for a few minutes today, they were all over at Tabby's and on my way home.
I did the weeks shopping and collected the mail.
I have also joined up Kate Norths, another little quilt swap as it is for art quilts and I think I can do a 16 x16 inch something and it will push me along a few paths I have been thinking of trying.
If you are interested look up
Busy day tomorrow as I have two grand daughters birthdays, one here and one in Melbourne.
Celina will be here for dinner tomorrow night, she and Evie will both be 12.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Post cards arrived

I am in a postcard swap with Expression Studio, a yahoo group and these are a couple more postcards that have arrived.
The first is a beautiful one from Gail, which included this stunning copper heart that she had tarnished, no that is not the correct word because it is anything but tarnished. The second is from Linda, which has another equally lovely side. I feel very privileged to have these.
We were in Adelaide yesterday seeing my mother, she didnt look brilliant and is not moving very well but then with this onset of cold weather nor am I.
Beading last night which was fun, and I must get on and do more.
A beautifully sunny day today after the cold but too tired to do stuff in the garden which is calling out to be fixed.

Monday, April 27, 2009


We walked across to the dam that has been enlarged and of course it rained and it blew, I had my jacket with a hood on but John only had an umbrella which blew in side out!
I tried to catch the rain falling but I am not sure I did, loved the photo of the reeds and I was sure they had rain drops on them but the wind was so strong it must have blown them off.
I had a play with my sewing machine today and have finally got the wheel to turn so I can fill bobbins and I had fun trying out all sorts of stitching with it. I think I will have to regularly practice with it.
I have it set up in my "other" work room and so I can go to it whenever I want to.
Sent off my 10 postcards this morning so I can relax a little.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

From my sketchbook

I havent put up any sketches for ages, but as I havent done much lately except knit and showing a half complete jumper is rather boring.
I have been exploring some bird shapes and then as I wanted a design to embroider a slightly different paisley shape to some I have been sketching before, I rather liked the flower shapes in it.
I have a few ideas buzzing in my head but have to translate them into something useful.
I then got a bit carried away with some acorns I had picked up in Ballarat and a giant slug I found in the kitchen the other day, I believe they are carnivorous, they certainly eat the cat food if they can get in.
Finally a daisy sketch that I am thinking of using as a stamp, we will see.
Wonderful rain about 2 inches but every time I go out for a walk I get wet.
We had a very late foal born yesterday and I didnt envy it coming into this wet and windy and cold world.
Off to walk down to see how much water is in the dam before I feed the dogs and birds, then to watch my team play football tonight.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Good news and bad news

We have had rain, 17 mm overnight and showers on and off today, but the bad news is that my lower back has seized up and instead of jumping in puddles I am feeling sore and sorry for myself. Painkillers are not working.
The first photo is of my new purchase, a Bernina 1006, a very basic machine, and heavy but it only cost $300 and runs like a dream with a 6 month warranty. I had to buy a darning foot but never mind, I can now do free motion embroidery with the best of them, I hope!!
The second photo is of yesterday mornings sky, I missed the really dark pink bit but this was the start of the rain.
Tomorrow is ANZAC day, a very important day in the Australian calendar, quite often the traditional start to our autumn/winter rains. John will go in to the dawn service to remember all those who fell in all the wars our fellow Australians fought in. He has to lay a wreath as our local MP cant be in about three places at once.
I always say I will go with him but if its cold and wet I am not very inclined to go.
We had a power blackout in the middle of the night, our pressure pump burnt out due to the dirt and dust and then the rain on it, so a new pressure pump is being installed.
I do hope my back is better tomorrow, I am trying to both tidy up and finish off 9 postcards I have to sent by the end of the month, they are nearly finished.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Post Card swap

This lovely card arrived in the post the other day from Pam Huggins. I am doing a swap with the girls from Expression Studio, a yahoo Group. I havent started mine yet so there is about to be a flurry of activity.
I did manage to clean the house pretty thoroughly today, but it is still so dusty outside it doesnt last long.
Saw Gaby briefly today and dropped over to see Tab and Millie and John and the girls, all there but Tab who was at the dentist. Millie has not been well, and John is heading back to Alice Springs either tomorrow or Thursday. He hasnt been home for long.
We are hoping for rain, John has been cleaning out the gutters, but it is never ending at this time of the year with all the leaves falling, very typical autumn at the moment, in the morning the calves are bellowing, the nights are cooler but the days still warm.
I would enjoy it if I didnt have so much to do and I feel rather as if time is running out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Ballarat

These are a mix of a few more photos. The first is a small sample Isobel Hall had done.
Then Deb's unfinished but good looking bag made out of cocoon strippings.
Next is an interesting one that Jane did, this was I think based on a brown paper bag.
Then p[art of the Quadrangle at the Ballarat College and some of the fun things we found in the morning. Bundles of sticks surrounding a teepee like structure, and finally the facade of the Ballarat College, well actually I think it was the side and the chapel.
I didnt take a lot of photos but I walked fairly early in the morning and the light wasnt brilliant or I was so busy I forgot.
I have just managed to catch my escaped Japanese bantam rooster and saved him from both Oscar and the male pug who like to kill bantams. I really need to sell a few bantams I have too many.
I also bought two more pullets today as my egg layers have been a bit slow and the feed store actually had some, it is amazingly difficult to get laying hens in this district.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

home from Ballarat Textile Forum and Isobel Hall's class

First the class photo, I look rather grim in the center, Isobel is second in from the left with the blue apron on sort of center, with our young student Jessica in front, behind her is Deb, then Julie, Zoe behind me, next to me is Helen, behind her is Wendy, then Mandy, Jane and then Doreen and here I get mixed up, either Bobbie or Jan, think it is Jan first and then Bobbie but never did quite get that right.
We had a great few days, lots of laughter and fun.
The second photo is part of Susan Holmes moving displays around the grounds to make Forum fun and unexpected. I will do a few more later.
Then the display of our bags, a few more photos of those to come too but I am so tired it is all I can do to get this done.
Then my silk paper bag, theme taken from the area around Coober Pedy, I really love this bag.
Then as I didnt make the silk paper in class the little bag is to show that I did do some of the stuff we were taught, it is a small clutch made of brown paper with so many layers of paint and encaustic wax and sewing and chiffon scarf burnt back and then beaded. You probably cant see any of it!!
We had a fairly uneventful but long and tiring drive home yesterday. Today I have washed, shopped and unpacked while John thank goodness washed the floors in the back area and cleaned the bathroom.
I hadnt been able to do anything after the children left so the house was a pig stye, still a lot to do but it feels a lot better already.
It is so dry still and really pretty depressing and I came home to a pretty depressed man too. At least he was glad to see me!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mix it up Media Exhibition

Here are a few photos of the exhibition just before opening on Thursday night.
Nicky Downer AM opened it for us and we had the three district Mayors and wives and our local MP Michael Pengilly as well as heaps of other people so it was a good night.
We sold well too.
Yesterday as well as children we had their parents for dinner and we had gone out for a brilliant lunch at Pt Willunga but have now almost fallen in a heap we are so tired.
I have been madly trying to pack and sort out stuff as tomorrow morning Wendy and I head off for the Textile Forum at Ballarat.
I wont be home until next Saturday and then may well and truly fall in a heap!!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Evie. my mother and Will

My poor mother was rather overwhelmed when we arrived this morning and wasnt really sure who her great grand children were. These are our son Simon' s children over from Melbourne for part of the holidays.

They have been really good and they were not really going to get up to Adelaide today as we had a very full day but Tabby's children were all down with a vomiting wog so we didnt want them to go there as was originally intended.
My mother is beginning to not look like my mother but at nearly 97 not doing too badly I suppose
So with lots to keep them amused, thank goodness for playstations etc they survived very well and John and I learnt how to play a game of golf using paper and pencil. It was really quite fun.
I am just so busy so my blogging will be a bit hit and miss.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Book cover

I made this out of crumpled and painted brown paper bonded to calico. A pre made bit of something from some lesson that is in the to use later box was cut out and sewn on to the front.
I know I used one of my Indian wooden print blocks but I am not sure if this was a paper cast or using moulding paste, could have been a bit of both then painted.
The book is a little one with hand made Indian paper in it.
I am attempting to keep up with children, ponies etc, thank goodness Fenella is home so now I dont have to do the feeds any more.
They actually did very well at the Grand National show with Rivington Royal Hiccup managing a top 10 in both the leading rein and the small show hunter so well done Hiccup, my little mare wasnt well, it is a 2 day trip from here to Sydney and the Galloway did reasonably well considering he is very young and the number of entries.
I have now finished off all the things I am taking to the exhibition so I can relax a bit.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Tags. and thank goodness the end of daylight saving.

I have been playing with ideas on how to use up the many paper clay pieces I made ages ago and then remembered I had the samples of laminate that I had also got ages ago, gesso'd them and then using impasto gel glued the pieces to them and made a bit of texture, then painted all over, used my lovely Moonshadow mists and when dry a tiny bit of treasure gold.
Interestingly the scans look rather as if I have a sunken image in the center when in reality it is higher.
As I am doing a class on Making bags out of paper with Isobel Hall I thought I would take a few to sell at Forum, they make great handbag tags, I just need to get some chain etc and they will be finished.
A very tiring day yesterday, one of the mares had a very late foal and I had to hang around until I was sure it could drink and raced into the farmers market to get green veg, then up to Adelaide for a get together where we were making a doll, had to wait around until 6 before I could go down to the airport and collect the children, who arrived safely but a tiny bit late and then I had to drive home in the dark, which with my funny eyes I hate and try not to do too much night driving.
Thank goodness daylight saving has finally finished, as Will said driving home but its pitch black and it is only just after 8 o'clock.
We have had it for nearly 6 months and it is far far too long and I wish the powers that be would get the message. End of Feb is fine, early April is stupid.

Friday, April 03, 2009

More rust

I have had a pretty awful couple of days, my back is giving me hell after only 2 days of feeding the ponies and yesterday my older sister rang to say she thought our mother had cancer, well she may but they are still doing tests and are not sure and dont want to do radical interference considering she is nearly 97.
I would really love it for her sake if she just went to sleep and didnt wake up, but I can see a rather nasty time ahead for her if this is the case.
so a fairly sleepless night last night.
Today I was in so much pain I sat and watched the wonderful Double trouble dvd I had bought done showing Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, didnt feel inspired, just in awe of these two and what they manage to produce.
Managed the night feeds, tomorrow will be a long one so dont expect a post.
Oh the photos, more of the wreck on Fraser Island, such wonderful outlines and all that rust!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Queensland book

Here are a few pages of my still to be finished Queensland book.
I have managed to get the cover and the pages together but I still have to fill my pockets and think of a few more things to add.
These are all made using various paper napkins I found while in Queensland and bonded onto some very cheap felt I found in Crazy Clarkes. The frangipani flower was bonded and cut out and the photo has been printed onto some cotton ready for print fabric.
Came home after lots of fruitless looking in Queensland and found exactly what I wanted after I had done it all, tropical Island blowing palm tree, oh well next time.
I have enough paper napkins to start a shop.
I have really loved doing this and I think I may make more. I wonder what my children will think of them when I am no longer here, probably throw them all in the bin, but they will bring back memories for me.
I have made beds, tidied up and managed to feed all the ponies this morning. I hope my back holds out, it feels a bit precious today.
Of course I also thought I had better get together the stuff for my class in Ballarat, well first I coudnt find the magnetic clasps I had bought for the class as our teacher had asked if I could get some, found them after I had tidied up 3/4's of the room, I still cant find my heat gun and heat sticks, I have no idea what has bedcome of them. Still it wont cost me much to buy some more and the old one was getting pretty battered.
I wonder if I clean up the other work room if I will find them.
Very warm today, 34 degrees at least and not much fun getting all the beds organised, but now they are done I should be able to relax a bit.
I will dust and clean tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The beds we slept in

The best was the one up first here but the last one we slept in, our lovely rather Japanese one at the Kingfisher resort on Fraser Island. Although we were over a swamp not a mosquito to be heard, or a midge on our verandah.
Then the dear little room at 1770, the only major problem was no bedside light but I did have a torch and the loo was just down the hall.
I dont think there were mozzies there either and I didnt get bitten by a midge but others did so i sprayed the room well.
Finally the one at the Capricorn Resort, looks ok, you cant see the moisture on the floor or walls, but note I did have the door onto the balcony open. At least we had a rug around the bed or all the bedclothes would have been wet and acted like a wick.
Sorry I didnt post yesterday, a long and busy day but I did get to play with Mason.
Today Adelaide and a rather depressing visit to my mother. She really does seem to be going down hill but we have said that before and she has come good. So awful to see her so tired.