Monthly Archives: January 2006

Four Things

Sea Weed

Seaweed washed ashore at Shallow Inlet

Cyndy tagged me

Four jobs I’ve had

1. Receptionist (only job I’ve ever been sacked from!)
2. Usher at university graduations
3. Student Engineer (two summers)
4. Civil Engineer (Roads)

Four movies I could watch over and over

1. Pulp Fiction
2. Love Actually
3. In the Mood for Love (I would watch it over and over again if I had a copy)
4. Pride and Prejudice (the TV series, but I’m putting it here)

Four places I have lived

1. Somerset, Tasmania
2. Hobart, Tasmania
3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
4. Traralgon, Victoria

Four favorite t.v. shows

1. Documentaries
2. nothing else really

Four places I’ve been on Vacation

1. Vietnam
2. Snowy Mountains, New South Wales
3. Whitsunday Islands
4. Fiji, Northern Yasawas

Four favourite foods
1. Curry
2. Cherries
3. Vegemite on toast
4. Asparagus Risotto

Four places I’d rather be right now

1. Tasmania
2. The beach
3. Melbourne
4. Antarctica (Always wanted to go there!!)

Four sites I visit daily

1. Fibermania
2. Google
3. Any site that has been updated on my blogroll
4. Jodi Green

Four people to tag

I’m too chicken to tag

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Bracken Fern

Bracken Fern

Bracken Fern from Shallow Inlet

Riscy and I just had an extended weekend camping on the coast. A little break.

We had a wonderful, relaxing time together. Swimming, reading, and trying to find creative ways to prepare our meals given the Total Fire Ban which meant that strictly we were not to use our primus stove. Tuna Salad and sandwiches 🙂 Yay!

It has been very, very hot here, on Thursday we it was well over 40degrees again and humid to boot which is not pleasant. We also had thunderstorms and I’m pleased to announce that our cheapie OzTrail tent was waterproof (well, except for one zip area).

I love our tent, it is tall enough so we can get dressed standing up and there is a handy vestibule and porch so we could sit in comfort drinking our wine while the rain came down.

The above drawing is of part of the Bracken Fern frond I used to shoo the flys away whilst reading the mystery novel Riscy bought me for Christmas. Continue reading

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Ohhhh Long Weekend!!


A portrait of our little family at Waratah Bay, Wilsons Promontary is in the background

On Sunday it was HOT, (our car thermometer told us it was 43C which is 109.4F) so Riscy and I decided to escape our un-airconditioned house and the smokey Latrobe Valley (bushfires still raging nearby) to the beautiful Wilsons Promontary area. We took our dog Reuben so we couldn’t go to the National Park, but Waratah Bay more than satisfied our need to cool off :-). As you can see from the above pic it was a great place for a swim.

We are hoping to find a good camping spot there tommorow so we can escape the extreme temperatures again predicted for the coming days. Tommorow is Australia Day and we are taking Friday off work to create a 4 day long weekend for ourselves 🙂

Tonight, I spent AGES browsing through the website of Roz Stendahl. I had visited her site before but today I took the time to really take in her journals. Her dog drawings are WONDERFUL.

I was inspired to pre-paint some paper after seeing some of her journal pages. I failed to be subtle in a lot of cases, and I imagine that some of the pages may be cut up and collaged rather than drawn on because the colour is too saturated. I really don’t know where this will take me… but I’ve had a fun couple of hours splashing paint around anyway!

On knitting and spinning news:
I am about to embark on the EPIC JUMPER. My first. I will be spinning the yarn as I go because I can’t wait to start. I have plyed 255m of approximately 8ply weight yarn so far, my swatch tells me that it knits up to 6st/inch on 4mm needles. So I can proceed with the calculations required to make the Seamless Yoke Sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book, Knitting without Tears. Wish me luck!! 🙂

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Extreme Weather

We have it all: the air is thick with smoke from bushfires which have burnt out 3500 hectares in the Moondarra State Park to the north of here. It is going to be over 40 deg C (104F) again here today so I don’t think there will be an improvement. We do not have air conditioning so we may head down to the beach for some relief.

But to top it all off, we had a deluge on Friday night which flooded the street and our back yard and had Riscy and lots of other home owners out doing emergency gutter cleaning in the pouring rain. The house did leak a bit, but we’ve had worse.

This week I was going to blog everyday but procrastinated and now I have all this to talk about in one post:

I finished layer one of this quilt:

Charcoal Forest - Layer 1 complete

The ‘trees’ are cut out. Don’t know where to go from here.

I unravelled the mystery of cables:

I learnt how to use hand carders, this site helped immensely:

My spinning is going a lot faster compared to using my flick carder and I think I’m getting thicker, more even yarn.

I bought these carders on ebay. They came with a spinning wheel for $56!! I’ll blog seperately about that later. The wheel needs some work and I intend to spruce it up by painting it in bright colours 🙂

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What the hell is she up to now!?!

Charcoal Forest - Layer 1

Layer 1: Charcoal Forest. Paper template half ripped off

I killed the pod quilt. I overdosed it with a thick layer of icky green acrylic paint. It seemed like a good idea at the time….

I learnt something good though. Watercolour would be great for getting added depth to an image but is not good as the main attraction in a larger quilt.

So I moped around for a few days. Knitted my second sock, photos later. Then tonight after our obligitory trip in the NEW CAR (that’s a link to Riscy’s blog with a post of some of our weekend adventures), I dragged myself off the couch and into my work room.

Over six months ago I was experimenting with reverse applique and getting reasonable results… then of course abandoned that line of thought to zoom off in another direction. The thought returned recently though. I like the effect with the grotty notepaper template still attached (grotty, because the only thing I could find to draw with a thick enough line was charcoal). An effect to store away for future reference I think 🙂

Today is the first day since returning from my Christmas break that I have felt good about being at work. I hate feeling sluggish and unmotivated, so it was starting to get a little bit depressing. It probably helps having decent people to delegate work to, I now have a graduate and an intern working with me and they are showing a good level of enthusiasm and intelligence which is a welcome relief.

Someone told me there is some sort of quilt thing on in Melbourne this weekend, apparently advertised in the Herald Sun. Anyone know what it’s about? I’m really out of the loop as I haven’t subscribed to any quilt mags for ages and I certainly don’t read the Herald Sun LOL. Continue reading

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Do I really hate this?

I like the pod shapes. I’m indifferent regarding the quilting I have done, I’m not in love with the colour I have added and the lack of background quilting is really turning me off.

I’m thinking I can fix the colour and the background can be dealt with. So perhaps I don’t REALLY hate this quilt and I can salvage our relationship. Continue reading

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I Can Do Anything Now I’ve Climbed the Sock Mountain

Sock - Finished

First ever sock complete!!!

I even successfully kitchenered the toe, how cool is that? I had to refer to the net (see link below)for the ankle shaping because I didn’t quite get what Elizabeth Zimmerman meant by knitting up the side of the heel flap. This How-To site at Knitters Review seems to have excellent instructions on the basics of sock knitting, so I think you could easily follow it and get a decent sock, you don’t need EZ’s book.

I’m also trying out something with my quilting. Not sure if it has potential yet, but I will persist a bit more:

I’m using watercolour at the moment, and I had trouble controlling the ‘bleed’ so it looks pretty crumby, but I have plans to cover the background areas in acylic paint and stiching so it shouldn’t be a problem.

I blogged about these pods back in September (I think), I’ve been drawing them and looking at them ever since and I really wanted to make a quilt based on them because I love their shape so much.

I penciled the shapes onto the fabric then sewed the outlines in black thread. I even found I could get excellent detail/drawing by looking at the pod whilst sewing. My only fear is that I will sew my fingers (done that before) so I can only do this for small areas, I did it for the stalk ends and the tips of the pods.

Riscy is in the ‘negotiation’ stage of the car buying project. Looks like we will have a black Nissan X-Trail in a few days. Black was not a colour we wanted, but that’s the one they are offering the discount on. Continue reading

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Here Fishy Fishy Fishy


I like the ‘water’ stitching. The fish started out as a scrible that looked sorta fish shaped, so I gave him a big eye, better fins and painted him up.

Riscy and I are car shopping today. His 1988 Honda Civic has finally died. Its about three years since the head gasket blew for the second time. He nursed that Honda for all these years, saving his pennies in anticipation of the day she would ‘go no longer’. That day arrived just before Christmas when the crack in the radiator got so big he could no longer rely on the putty and a prayer fix (seriously, PUTTY!!)

The good thing about the slow death of said Honda is that Riscy has enough moola to just go and buy a new car. We have a debt aversion. Now I have test driving fatigue though so luckily we are narrowing our options down.

On other news:

The knitting isn’t as dense as I would like but I only have one set of DPNs and they are 3.75mm. Ideally I should be using 3-3.25mm needles for this yarn.

The yarn is the stuff I spun over Christmas. Mostly good, but it has patches of low twist. I’m a little baffled. I’ll probably discard those bits if they look crappy knitted up. Continue reading

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The Resolution

Yeah Baybe!!

A quiltlet. Ink and watercolour and STITCHING 7.5cm x 12.5cm. Yeah Baybeee!

The Resolution: Get back to the stuff that floats my boat… the stitch, quilting, embroidery, fabric and colour.

The sewing machine is out on the table, the workroom is reasonably clean (There is floor space at least). I just started stiching a shape getting back into the groove of my wonderful sewing machine who I neglected for too too long. Then I blobed a few lines of left over watercolour from the piece below across the stiching and it sort of appealed.

I didn’t want to sew through wet stuff so I started on a clean patch of my scrap quiltlet, meandering lines, alternating bobbin and top threads on top.

I cropped it all to suit and there was a bit of the watercolour from before at the bottom of the ‘frame’ Then I got my nib and started marking the surface, the first lines were really thick, but I found that the stich created a barrier and I could get some interesting lines. I got better at controling the line, I used water colour with the nib, I watered down the ink and got smudgy lines. I waited til the piece was mainly dried then added more stitching.

So much learning in half an hour, just me, my machine and a tiny little scrap of fabric.

I did a warm up piece shown below. I’m thinking I’ll do more of these as loosners and keep the good ones to make into a booklet that I can browse through. Sort of like Tom Judd, but perhaps only 20 of my best pages for the year or something so I’m not under pressure to produce decent stuff everyday.

No Artifice

No Artifice. Ink, watercolour and pastel on paper. 16.5cm x 12cm

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A Scarf For my Sister

Diamond Mesh Scarf

Scarf knitted lengthways in the Diamond Mesh lace pattern from A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. It is very meshy but also very soft, knitted from some superfine merino that I spun.

This was a filler knit and a gift for my sister Megan, it is a lot longer than shown in this cropped pic, enough for one neck wrap and not quite breast length tails.

I am currently spinning like crazy for a possible sock project. This wool I’m spinning though, I think I must be spinning something like an 8ply then I wash it and it thins up and I think it is even less than 4ply and then I’m all confused. maybe it will plump up when it is dry! I am spinning in the grease, so that may explain alot as the lanolin and crap come out in the wash.

Back to work tomorrow. I’m well set, the kitchen is clean and the clothes are put away…. BUT not only that, I have all my outfits for the week sorted and ready to go. How cool is that!

Riscy and I gave blood today. I’ve been a regular donor this year but it was Riscy’s first time 🙂 The Red Cross had called us before Christmas to make the appointment then called again the other day to remind us, then we almost forgot.

I was knitting, Riscy was fiddling with the laptop. Luckily he’d programmed a reminder into his mobile phone – it went off at 11am, we were still in our PJ’s. The appointment was at 11:10am LOL it all worked out though 🙂 Although I must say that the hole in my arm seems enormous this time around.

The only real bummer of this wonderful 10 day break was that I did not do ANY art. zip. I think I need work stress to bring it out of me otherwise I potter around doing other stuff and generally wasting time. I needed a good wind-down though, so I’m not feeling guilty. Continue reading

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