Monthly Archives: March 2005

A recent read

On the weekend I finished reading The Flower Seeker, A Painter’s Travels by Judy Cuppaidge. It was a lovely book, both a visual treat AND interesting in the written content.

The book shows the author’s beautiful botanical paintings accompanied by interesting snippets and often amusing experiences of actually getting to the plant so she could document it. It’s a book I will happily leaf through for years to come.

I did a bit of research about the author on the net before I wrote this blog entry and I found that she has lost most of her eyesight due to macular degeneration and can no longer paint.

This is the front cover of the book to give you an idea of her work:

The Austalian (newspaper) has an article online about Judy Cuppaidge and her daughter Virginia who is also an artist. It’s worth a read especially since the description of the book is better written than mine.

I finished making Sophie’s bag tonight. I’m glad I decided to redo the handle. I’m happy with it now.

I also JUST remembered that the Straight and Narrow Challenge is due today. So I sent in my entry 🙂

Oh yeah, I’m entering two of my traditional quilts into the local quilt show. I’ve never shown anything in public before (apart from having a photo of one of my quilts published in Down Under Quilts) and I’m not looking forward to attaching a hanging sleeve. But it should be fun to see my quilts next to others from around the area. Continue reading

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This was going to be a blog with no photos. But…

I decided to show you some photos of our picnic yesterday. I’ve been sewing, but I can’t show you yet, because it is for my swap with Sophie.

We decided that since our camping didn’t happen we should at least have a picnic, so yesterday we packed a couple of salad rolls (made up with lettuce, tomato, Tasmanian Smoked Salmon (check out the link for some yummy looking receipes) and King Island Dairy Blue Cheese and some Cascade Apple Isle (no link, sorry LOL)

This is the lake at the park

This the predominant type of bird residing in the lake and surrounding wetland. I don’t know what they are called, but they are quite handsome.

Our dog, Reuben, thought the birds were handsome too. This was pretty funny to watch, Riscy didn’t find it amusing.

I am very excited by the quilting I did on Sophie’s bag and I’m keen to try something similar on a larger piece of wall art for my dining room. I’m not sure if it will translate sucessfully into a larger piece though, but I’m definitely gonna give it a try.

Sophie, I would have declared the bag finished, but there is a problem with the handle, its the wrong length. Too short to cross shoulder to hip across the torso, too wide to work as a straight handle just too tooo tooooo….. I’m sure you understand. I have to unpick and rethink. I took it to work for a second opinion (we’re a bunch of engineers, but we still like our accessories!). I think two short handles would be best for this bag and will allow the (pretty intense) quilting to be shown off best. I’ll do that tommorow night.

I returned my borrowed spinning wheel tonight, allowing me to have another chin wag with Bev and Ian. Bev had knitted up a heap of these Ear Flap Hats with Colinette yarn. YUMMO One day I’m gonna be a knitter of THINGS THAT FIT.

Did I tell you that the beret doesn’t fit anymore. I washed it and it got huge. Then I tried to felt it and its still huge. I’m gonna have to sew some elastic in the rim to try and make it work.

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Posted in Spinning | 2 Comments

What Bliss

Just a quick note to say that I”M SEWING!!!! No wonder I was having major withdrawals, this is heaven.

Sophie, your bag is coming along nicely 🙂

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Posted in Knitting | 1 Comment

My well ordered existance

As promised here on this blog yesterday. I ventured into my sewing room to tidy up the mess that has been festering there for a few months. I get into a frenzy of creativity; fabric and ‘stuff’ gets flung all over the place and then the lull happens, no tidying occurs, junk gets thrown in when visitors are coming and before I know it I am paralysed by not having a serene, well ordered place to work.

Here is a little glimpse. Before and After:

My sewing room in disarray. It has been getting intolerable for a few months!

Relief. I can breathe again.

That box on the floor is the extent of my stash. I don’t need a huge one since I dye pretty much all the fabric I use, so I can dye more as needed. I discovered I have a lot of purples and pinks, I will overdye a fair chunk of it I think.

In the ‘before’ shot, you can see a washing basket on my desk, that was part of the stash prior to organisation today.

I threw out a heap of scraps I was keeping. I couldn’t be bothered putting them into any sort of order, so they were chucked. Without regret.

How cleansing.

Since I was in the mood. I unsubscribed from a number of mailing lists…. Including QuiltArt. I will resubscribe in a few weeks. But I need a break. Those of you on that list can understand how overwhelming it can be. At the moment I prefer the more gentle world of blogs.

Tally ho. Continue reading

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More Painting, No Quilting

Hmmmm, see below:

Twirly Swirly


I went to the Farmers Market this morning and bought 4kg of the most yummy apples you can imagine. We spent quite some time trying to make headway with our landscaping this afternoon, then I did some spinning, then I made some print paste, then I washed some fabric… then I spun some mohair/angora blend top (slippery bloody stuff), then I drank some wine, then I did some more painting, but NO QUILTING. I NEED TO GET A GRIP.

It is totally related to the mess in my sewing room. I will NOT use this blog as therapy. I will clean the room first thing tommorow morning and then work will flow.

Right O. Thanks to Melanie. She kindly supplied the following links to me. I enjoyed, and was inspired, by each one of them:

Sabrina Ward Harrison’s journals,
Danny Gregory
John Copeland

Now, a final thought on pears before I hop off to bed. I can draw them in a fleshy kind of way. A bit like they are made of playdoh or something. I like that. You definitely think I’m a bit loopy now LOL.
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Easter Camping – At home

I love camping. My family camped regularly when I was growing up in Tasmania. Last Easter Riscy and I were back in Tas and took off camping for five days, travelling from the top of the Bay of Fires to St Helens. The weather was glorious.

This year I wanted to camp in the high country of Victoria, around Omeo. I was keen to expore some of the alpine areas including national parks. The problems is that we left it too late to find boarding for our dog. And we can’t take dogs into national parks.

So we find ourselves at home. Riscy lasted nearly a day before being drawn to his computer games. I spun a little, read a little and painted a little:

Big Wave

Another Pear. Why not?

Eucalyptus Leaves

I’m feeling my way around the cheapo watercolour paints I bought the other day. It’s a lot of fun, even if I feel like my work has a definite childish quality which wasn’t intended. At least I avoided the perenial flowers and hearts.

Did I tell you I’m avoiding flowers in my art work this year. I hate the way that when ever I ‘sit down to do art’ I draw a flower. How bloody frustrating, annoying and well … stupid. So What do I do now???? Draw PEARS.

Also, today we watch a DVD. Bad Boy Bubby. We caught it unexpectedly about 8 years ago on SBS and it has stuck with us ever since, very disturbing but also pretty darn good.

I’m just about to jump into a new art quilt adventure. It’s still churning around in my skull at the moment, I hope I can start making it reality tomorrow.

Smell ya later 🙂 (damn, I hate The Simpsons. How did that slip in here?)

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Posted in Books | 4 Comments

Engineering excellence

I got my new wheel on Wednesday. I was so excited to get it out of the box and assembled and set up I completely forgot I had a committee meeting that nightand didn’t even remember ’til I got to work the next morning and looked at my wall planner.

This is the first year I have used a wall planner and I’m finding it a great tool for keeping myself in check. Now I’m managing my own little group of engineers, I definitely need it to keep me diciplined. I’ve tried to impose similar timetables on my quilting and creativity, but I actually find it stifles rather than stimulates my creativity.

Ok, back to the wheel, here she is 🙂

It looked like it had been sitting in someone’s garage for a while, it came with some wool already spun on the bobbins. It was revolting, all matted, dirty, greasy etc. The first thing I did was cut that crap off.

The shaft on the flyer was a bit rusty too and the bobbins wouldn’t spin freely so Riscy attacked it with some fine sandpaper and now it is super smooth 🙂

It didn’t come with a drive string, so I made one with cooking string which I coated in candle wax. I hadn’t read about that anywhere, but the string on the wheel I have been borrowing seems to be coated in something like that.

I’ve also rigged up a scotch tension device since my wheel didn’t come with one. I went to the fishing shop, batted my eyelashes and they gave me length of thick fishing line, I got someone at work to show me how to tie a fishermans knot. And Voila!! I’m up and running.

For $120 posted I think I got a bargain 🙂
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Big Head Beret – FINISHED!

It’s pretty hard to look normal when trying to take a photo of the hat on your head… I’m afraid this was the best one. I had to do some major cropping too, otherwise you would have copped an unfortunate eyeful of my cleavage.

This is my first NON SCARF since my uni days. I had to learn stuff like increasing using the ‘Knit into the front and back of one stitch’ method, abbreviated KFB. HUH? that name makes things totally confusing… Luckily I have a trusty book on how to knit.

I’m off on a junket to Lakes Entrance tommorow. I’ll probably post again on Thursday (if I have anything interesting to say LOL) Continue reading

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Creativity Gone Awry

My creativity has lost focus. Not terribly suprising since I have recently taken up spinning and knitting and Linocut and drawing in addition to my interests in making art quilts and photography.

So this is what I did on the weekend (apart from a pleasant BBQ with friends, clothes shopping and doing a tour of the paper mill where Riscy works).

I tried to clean my sewing room but made this spectacular version of a crappe craft YUK!

I’m going to put creatures in the ‘rays’ around the sun. They are derived from aboriginal animal motifs

The Beret has been restarted, this is what it looks like close up

Things I was meant to do this weekend included making a handbag for the swap with Sophie, Clean my sewing room and PUTING THE WASHING AWAY!!!
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Posted in Knitting | 2 Comments

Big Head Beret

Well. Remember yesterday I blogged about my beret and how it would work providing I got the maths right? Well um, this is what it looked like prior to unpicking tonight!

I can’t believe I even got that far before I realised that it was going to be around 10 times too big. I have decided to just follow the pattern and see what happens. I suspect it will still be too big, but if that is the case the I will know for sure that the pattern is up the creek. The gauge is for 4 stiches to the inch and I’m getting more stiches/in than that at the moment.

Tommorow I will be back in my sewing room. A little swap is happening between Sophie and me… we’re swapping one of my bags for one of her hand dyed silk scarves 🙂

I have been enjoying the blog of the Dijanne Chevaal recently. It was her mentioning the use of linocuts to print on fabric which inspired me to ask for linocutting supplies for my birthday. I really need to finish the Lino Extravaganza so I can do the fun printing part… I’ve been diverted by my spinning and knitting, but it isn’t forgotton :-).

Check out this week’s illustration by my mate Bertha. She has been doing some simple but oh so effective (and funny) stuff for the Illustration Friday project. Continue reading

Posted in Photography | 1 Comment