Saturday, May 31, 2008

ATC from Tricia

I received this ATC from Tricia several days ago and I haven't stopped looking at it since.
I met Tricia through the new Stitchin Fingers group and we decided to do a swap together.
I asked Tricia what her surname was so I could put it on the envelope and she said it was Cook but she didn't like it.
I then told her that Captain Cook was the first person to raise the English flag on our soil claiming it for England.
This then set the wheels in motion for this wonderful ATC because Tricia decided to do a scene from Robin Hoods bay which was where Captain Cook was born.
The detail in the little work of art is amazing and I truly am in awe of it.
Tricia has worked it with a hand held felting needle.
Thank you Tricia--do you get the feeling that I love it.

Oh and by the way if you would like to see some more of her beautiful little scenic ATC 's drop by her blog via the link above.
This is the ATC that I sent her which was done on my embellisher with Hand embroidery on it.

Calendar Girls Postcard from Sandy

This is the lovely postcard that I received from Sandy for the May Calendar Girls swap --it has a hand dyed fabric background and the vase is suede with beads stitched on it.
The flowers are glass beads with smaller beads in the centre and is finished off with hand stitching.

Sandy also included a tag for Ebony and she loved it.

Thank you Sandy from both of us.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Change of Address

I received an e-mail from Shirley Ann Sherris yesterday stating that she was not able to access her old blog anymore and that she has had to start a new blog at
If you are a regular reader of Shirley's blog and admire her wonderful work ---and you have her on your bloglines feeder or another one then you will have to change the address to continue to access what she is doing.
I know that I wouldn't want to miss out on what she is up to.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've won the Lottery (well almost)

In the previous post I showed the ATC's that Ebony and I sent to Judith in NZ and these are the ones that she sent us in return--the first 2 are for me and it is difficult to get a decent picture of them but if you click on the image you will be able to get a better look at the wonderful detail in them

This one is for Ebony and it is beautiful as well--so much colour and Ebony loves it.

But wait there's more-----Judith also lavished us with these amazing gifts which is so generous of her and they will indeed come to great use--both by Ebony and myself.


Silk Ribbons-------------------



And more sequins-------------


Paper cut outs for ATC etc-------------

More paper---------------

And doo dads(that's what I call them anyway)

Now wouldn't you say that was as good as winning the lottery?
Judith you are a very generous lady---Ebony and I both love all that you sent to us and we thank you very much.

Swaps we have sent lately

Here are some ATC's that I have sent out and I can now show you because the ladies have received them.This is the ATC that I sent to Helen in the UK --I met Helen through the new Stitchin Fingers group that Sharon B has started-if you haven't visited it yet just follow the link and take a peek.

Helen also asked if she could trade with Ebony and this is the card that she made for her.
Sorry about the glare but with all that gold on the background it was unavoidable.

These are the ATC's that we swapped with Judith in NZ recently.
The one on the bottom right corner is Ebony's and the other three are mine.
Again I am sorry about the quality of the photo but the battery was low on the camera and I wanted to get them in the post so I couldn't wait for the batteries to recharge.
The top left one is torn strips of organza stitched together on the machine and hand stitches were then added.
The top right is made from a baby wipe that I had used to clean off the ink on some stamps -I placed it on top of some cheap felt and ran it under the embellisher -then added some hand stitching.
The bottom left one that looks like a white blob is actually a lovely piece of hand made paper with flower petals embedded in it.
I attached a piece of beautiful lace on top of this and it is nice --shame you can't really see it properly though.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A couple of swaps

I have been involved in a couple of swaps lately and I can now show you because they have reached their destination.
The first is a tassel that I made for Sharon because she mentioned that she liked several that I had on my blog previously.
I used fancy fibers for the skirt and the twisted cord -the head is made from silk paper I had in my stash that I made ages ago and an organza ribbon is tied around the silk paper.
This is an ATC that I made for a dear friend Janet in the US.
The base is hand felted and then machine embroidered with some hand stitches also added.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Calendar Girls Postcard for May

My Calendar Girls Postcard for May is for Val.
The base is layered starting with a cheap apricot coloured felt- then a very fine piece of apricot silk and on top of this is a piece of apricot chiffon scarf.
I then stitched over this with the embellishing machine to create a some texture.
The flower is a paper one with a heart shaped metal brad in the centre and the stem is made with strands of wool felted in place with the embellisher.
I echo stitched with free machine embroidery around the flowers as a hilite.
Instead of leaves I have added some tiny feet because the verse in this months calendar says
"People always come and go but friends leave footprints in our hearts"
I hope that you like it Val and it is on it's way already.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May TIF Crazy Block

I have finished my May TIF challenge piece and I have mixed feelings about how it has turned out.
I really struggled with the colours this month--not that I didn't like the colours because I did--but I just couldn't seem to get any life in the block-you know -the colours just seemed flat to me.
I kept auditioning things to put on it but nothing jumped out and said "yeehah" I'm the one--so I had to just make do with this.
Maybe that is my punishment for buying the "stuff" that I did when I was on holidays seeing as I said I would only use what I had in my stash.
I think that maybe next month I may piece a different shape to the block and see what happens then.
I can't believe I have done 5 blocks already and seeing as I intend making these into a "Crazy " fabric book I am starting to wonder just how heavy it will be when it is finished--I may have to get a trolley to carry it around on.

I am sorry about the bright photo but I had to take it outside to get a good picture.
Oh well roll on June and the start of another one.

Postcard from Jo

I received this postcard from Jo earlier this week
I had previously sent Jo an ATC and she sent me this postcard in return--her reason for making the postcard and not an ATC was that she didn't want to cut the fabric any smaller and I can understand that as it is really beautiful.
Jo had made the flower collage on the card from silk paper that her 8 yeard old daughter Claudia had made.
How good is that.
Thanks Jo your card truly enhances my Postcard collection.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stitchin Fingers

Sharon Boggan has started a new online community site called Stitchin Fingers.
Membership is free and open to everyone interested in textiles.
If you want to learn more about it and join up just follow the link that I have provided.
Sharon can explain it a lot better than I can.
And if you want to see my page you can click on the badge in the side bar--but there's not much on it at present.


Finally I have pieced my block for the May TIF challenge.
I struggled a bit with the piecing of this one because there were 2 pinks and 2 blues in the colour scheme and no matter what I did there always seemed to be a blue next to a blue or a pink next to a pink.
Anyway I got it finished in the end and I am quite pleased with the result even though there are pinks side by side.
Also the lighter pink one on the right hand side is really paler that it appears here.
Now on with the embellishing and using some of the treasures that I got in Melbourne last week--I just have to pretend that I have had them for ages--I won't tell if you don't.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Embellisher Workshop at The Thread Studio

Last week I enrolled in another online course--this time with Dale at The Thread Studio.
This one is on working with the Embellisher and is called Embellish stitch and Enrich.
The workshop commences on the 4th of June and runs for 6 weeks.
So if you have an embellisher and you want to learn some fabulous stuff (just like Dale makes)
why not pop over and join in.
If you follow the link it will take you to the page with all the information.
I hope to see you there.

Cyber Fibre Swap round 2

Susan Lenz has announced the second round of swaps for postcards and ATC in conjunction with her Cyber Fyber exhibition in January 2009.
The first round was so succesful that Susan has decided to make more cards so now is your chance to get involved in this wonderful swap.
If you haven't already traded in the first round then go to the link and choose which card you want and arrange a swap with Susan.
Remember that this second swap is only for people who wave not previously swapped in the first round.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Gift for me and an ATC for Ebony

Sunday was Mothers Day and I received the most wonderful gift from Ebony.
We were playing in our favourite room and I was dividing up my beads to share with her because they were ones that I won't be using much of in the future.
She had some florist wire and threaded beads on it and made me the bracelet in the centre of the picture.
The necklace was a surprise--she told me she was making something for Poppy and she measured my neck for the size because she thought we had the same sized necks.
And then she started adding beads and sequins etc until it was finished.
Poppy was in bed by the time she finished so it was left on my table.
When I got up (after a sleep-in) on Sunday morning I was given the nacklace for Mothers Day.
I had no idea that it was for me --now to say it's isn't the most comfortable thing to wear is an understatement but I did wear both the necklace and bracelet to the Embroiderers Guild today in all my glory.

As you can see she has put some letter beads that spell Nanny--I think I am the luckiest Nanny in the world.

This is the ATC that Ebony received from Claudia who is Jo's almost 8 year old daughter--it is so lovely to see children swapping ATC's.
Claudia has done a wonderful job and Ebony loves it especially the pink button--there is machine and hand stitching on it ---thank you very much Claudia.
Claudia wants to swap with other children now and if you have children or grandchildren who would like to swap with her go to the above link to Jo's blog .
And being me I forgot again to take a photo of the ATC that Ebony sent Claudia but it is posted on Jo's blog so you can see it there.
Like Jo said -once children had penpals now they can swap ATC's instead.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Forgive me for I have sinned

Well what can I say --after stating at the beginning of the year that I would not buy anything new this year but only use what is in my stash I have fallen by the wayside.
My only excuse is I couldn't control myself--or I could say that if I didn't buy this stuff when I saw it I wouldn't find it when I was back in Canberra or the devil made me do it---but really I was in shops that I may never get back to again and I am not one to pass up opportunity when it knocks on the door.
Am I sorry that I purchased all this stuff well what do you think?
Am I going to use it this years in my TIF challenge pieces?--you betcha.
Do I feel guilty ?--Nah not one bit.
OK-- I got this knobbly wool on special and it just jumped into my basket and dragged the brown fibre with it.

These mother of pearl buttons will be used in my CQ blocks

And these hand painted buttons were a little expensive but I think they were worth it

I had told Stephen I wanted to find a button shop and he looked up the yellow pages and found a little shop in the next block to where we were staying.I had to climb several flights of stairs and wander down dingy corridors to get to it but wow was it worth while.When I told the lady I was looking for single buttons in various sizes she ushered me to an area that had drawers full of buttons in single colours and here is the result.

I needed the pink thread for this months challenge and the trim--well I just loved it.

The Sari silk followed me home as well-----------

While in the same building where I got the buttons the sales lady asked had I been to the Japanese shop on the same floor as they were---well I had to go and take a look didn't I.
These fabrics are Japanes cottons and each square is 7" x 7" and there are 9 in each pack.

These cottons are so soft to handle --well I had to have them too didn't I?

But the best of all was my trip to Chapel street in Prahan---there is a place there called "The Chapel street Bazaar" and whenever we go to Melbourne this is the first place I visit.
It is an amazing place--full of vintage stuff--bric-a-brac---retro clothes etc --but best of all there is a little "shop" full of vintage laces- buttons- ribbons-motifs-cords-trims--you name it this lady has it.
I could have spent all day in this place but I had to leave because it is only big enough for one customer at a time-I mean there is so much stuff in this small area (about the size of a bathroom) and the lady has a counter in there and all this vintage stuff is pinned on to the walls and hanging off the ceiling.
I mean it kept falling off the wall on top of her when I asked to see something--oh but it is just heaven.
So I got a lot of motifs and trims because this is one place that you have to buy things when you see them--as they won't be there when you go back.
These are the motifs I got(I have only shown 1 of each here).

I chose these motifs because I can cut them into sections--and the colours are unusual.

And leaves by the metre--one can not have enough leaves can they------------

And finally some more trims.

Ah now to get on with using them------------------

I'm Back !!!!!!!

Well I'm back from the big smoke--Melbourne that is--and what a fabulous time I had.
I can't believe how everything fell into place perfectly --no hiccups with the transport to and from the airports and a wonderful flight with Virgin Blue.
We had no sooner taken off and then we were landing.
We stayed in the centre of Melbourne in Collins street which made it so easy to get around by either tram or train.
And the hilite for me was to finally meet Dot of the Dotee doll fame---and what a lovely lady she is too.
We talked nonstop for 2.5 hours like life long friends and could have continued for a lot longer but Dot had to catch the train home.
Thanks Dot for taking the time to come and visit us.

When we got home there was this lovely ATC for Ebony from Lise in Norway waiting for us.
Ebony loves it Lise.

You will have to wait until tomorrow to see what I spent my money on.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

FME and Tassels

On Thursday I made about 12 tassels and I trimmed them off into the rubbish bin--all those wonderful fibers - different textures and beautiful colours.
I thought that I should keep them and make some fabric out of them but then decided I didn't have time.
Well I forgot to empty the bin before Ebony arrived on Friday and as usual the first thing that she does is check out what "wonderful" things that I have tossed out that she just can't live without (does that sound familiar).
I recieved the biggest dressing down for tossing out the fibers "How can you throw out this wonderful stuff Nanny?"
Every piece was retrieved and so I decided to show her how to make "Pizza fabric"( well that's what I call it anyway)
We sandwiched the fibers between 2 sheets of Vliesofix and ironed them all together then this was ironed onto some Kunin felt and a lovely piece of bright pink Organza that she received from Paula was placed on the top and ironed on.
The whole piece looked lovely -so I asked her if she would like to do some FME and as the first photo shows she jumped right in.
I couldn't get her to remember "slow hands and fast feet" all she could think of was slow feet and fast hands.
So there are some long stitches on this piece--but then I remembered my first attempt and it wasn't much better.
After this was finished I showed her what would happen when I put the heat gun on it--she liked what it did but was afraid of the heat gun itself --thank goodness for that as it is one tool that I don't have to worry about her using on her own.

Here is the finished piece it is A4 size and I am so proud of what she achieved.
She wanted to know if it would be expensive to make a lot of these pieces and make a quilt.
Does that mean I will have to keep on making a lot of tassels--I hope not.

And talking about tassels here are 2 of them that I made for my daughter to take to her friend who she is visiting in New York at present.

Well that's it for a few days as I am off to Melbourne for a short holiday ---can't wait as I think they have the best shops there---look out credit card you're in for a busy time.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Trades with Paula and Moo

Recently Paula sent Ebony some fabrics and stuff for her to make some ATC's with so Ebony decided she wanted to trade with Paula to say thank you and I traded as well.
Here are the two ATC's that Paula sent to us but she forgot to say what card was for which person.
Well you know me I said to Ebony that she could have whichever one that she wanted thinking that she would take the fairy on the toadstool.
But no to my great pleasure she wanted the one on the left which is titled Patterson's Curse--which is a weed that grows in the open fields in Australia in the summertime.
The reason that she chose this one was because when we went on our holidays last year she had noticed the Patterson's curse on the hills and admired the colours.
If you want to see the ATC's that we sent to Paula click here.

The next card is for Ebony from Paula's three and a half year old daughter Moo who wanted to get in on the fun as well.
I bet you can all see that Moo has drawn a beautigul Fairy can't you.
Ebony loved Moo's drawiing especially since she still has pictures that she drew when she was a toddler.

Thanks to both Paula and Moo --we love them.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May TIF Challenge

This is the colour pallette that Sharon has given us for the May TIF challenge.
Now I think I can deal with this one without too much trouble.
Listed below is what Sharon wrote about the concept for people who choose to do that part of the challenge--me I'm sticking with the colour and my CQ blocks.
Bring it on.

(((How do you describe yourself as an artist? One moment I am doing one thing that could be described easily as Art and the next I am doing something else that is craft! One moment my curiosity has lead me to to look at something quite strange as beautiful like the mould that grows on food in the fridge and the next I am looking at something most people would find familiar and boring and finding it fascinating like the bubbles in the washing up water.
Have you noticed that the term maker is being used to describe the activity of various people who may in the past be referred to as crafts person, or applied artist? For instance the British Crafts Council provides some interesting and thoughtful reading but in the Makers in Focus which looks at the working environment of West Midlands people producing crafts, the term ‘maker’ is used to encompass practitioners who variously describe themselves as craftspeople, or applied artists.
One of the ways I try and make sense of what I do is by defining what ever it is, as clearly as I possibly can. I think most people do that. The way I see it is if you can’t talk about what you do, or haven’t taken care in how you think about what you do, how do you expect others to respect the way you spend your time? Or how do expect people to respect what you make?
OK there is a few questions in the passage above but this month the challenge question is what do you call yourself and why?
Hopefully this will have everyone scratching their head but if you don’t like the challenge question you can elect to use the colour scheme instead.)))