Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year

As the new year approaches I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone all the best for 2011.
May you achieve all the goals that you set for yourselves and get great enjoyment out of doing it.
I know that next year will be a quieter one for me as I try to create more for me and have fewer deadlines that I have to meet.
I want to learn new things-be more adventurous-step out of my comfort zone a bit more.
I want to have days where I can sit and stare into space and not feel guilty because I haven't made something for someone.
I would like to try and finish a lot of the UFO's that I have in a box-out of sight out of mind but this year the lid will come off the box.
I want to spend more time walking before my legs decide that they don't want to walk anymore :((
I did not intend this to be a New Years resolution type of post but it looks as though that is how it has turned out.
So all that is left for me to say is that I hope you all have a wonderful New Years Eve and a fabulous 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

TAST 2 Weeks 43 and 44

These two stitches are the last for the 2010 TAST 2 challenge.
Once again I have found this challenge to be very enjoyable and have learned a lot of new variations on some old and reliable stitches.
Without this challenge I would never have known these variations even existed and it is only through Sharon's intrepid searching that I have been able to learn them.
Thank you Sharon for all the hard work that you put into these challenges-I know just how much time you spend researching so that we can learn how to do them and I for one am so glad that you do.
The first stitch is Crossed Feather Stitch and it is very easy to work.
The first row of green stitches are worked down the fabric and then the second purple row is worked over the top of the green ones but in mirror image.

The next stitch is Plaited Feather Stitch.
It looks the same and is worked the same except that when the pink thread is going across to the left to form that part of the stitch it goes under the green thread not over it as in the previous sample.
If you enlarge the photo you will get a better view.

This is the third of Sharon's yearly challenges that I have participated in and finished.
I did flounder in 2009 when after about 3 weeks I knew I would not keep it up and I pulled out.
Now to do some magic with all these little samples.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Greetings

I would like to take this time to wish all my blogging visitors a happy Christmas and I hope you spend it with someone you love or more importantly someone who loves you.
Whether you leave a comment or just drop by to see what nonsense I have been getting up to my wishes are the same for all of you.

Things are quiet around here at present although I have been trying to get to the bottom of all the rubbish that seems to have accumulated in my sewing room over the last twelve months.
It is nice to see the floor again and I hope that it stays this way for a while.

Once again Merry Christmas to all and I will see you soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Catching up with TAST 2

While we were away having fun I got behind with my TAST2 stitches and since we have been back I have been busy attending Christmas lunches and weeding the garden :-))
The first stitch here is for Week 39 and is Buttonhole Picots with Bullion Knots.
It is supposed to be worked on the edge of the fabric which would allow the picots to be more pronounced but I have put it in the centre to keep it consistent with the other samples.

Week 40 is a variation of Buttonhole Picots but this time using Chain Stitch to make the picots.
I like the way in this sample better than the other one.

Week 41 is Magic Chain Stitch using two different coloured threads in the needle at the same time and then alternately changing them to work the stitch--very effective.

Lastly week 42-this weeks stitch is Woven Cross Stitch.
I like this stitch and I can think of many uses for it as long as I remember to use it that is.

There are only two week left in the TAST challenge and then these samples will be stitched into a hand made book- when I get around to making the book that is.
Again I have really enjoyed participating in this challenge-I have learned a lot of new stitches which is always exciting.
I am glad that Sharon is a mad keen reseacher of stitches because if it were up to me I would never have found them.
Thanks Sharon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Weeding Fairy

Goodness me this is the third post in one day what am I doing?
Can I just warn you that there are disturbing photos in this post and I can assure you that this sight will not be repeated anytime in the near future.
Before we went on our cruise Stephen weeded our back yard (I can't call it a garden) and then with all the rain that Canberra received while we were away we were amazed that they had all returned bigger and taller than before.
I decided that I would start and pull them out last Saturday--the ground was still really wet so they came out very easily.
I finished today--phew was that a job and a half.
Before you look at the scary parts look at these hands--they aren't gardeners hands they are stitchers hands.
They haven't touched a weed in twenty years-and won't touch another one for a long-lonng-lonnngg time I can assure you of that.
My knees are so sore I tried to kneel down and wipe something off the floor tonight and oh the pain-it hurts just to think about it.

Anyway Stephen sneeked out with the camera to have proof of the miracle that was happening before his eyes.
I was leaning on a milk crate with a cushion on top of it to make myself comfortable while performing this awful task.
Note the colour co-ordinated gardening gloves-am I trendy or not--and what about the hat with the puppy dogs on it.

This is the area that I have weeded-it is about a third of our back yard area.

And here is the pile of weeds--I have placed our peg basket in front of it so you can compare the sizes.

There are other parts of the yard that need weeding but not by this little brown duck--no sirree.
The cleaning fairy will have to do it-and he will probably spray it with weed killer.


While we were on our cruise I made these brooches.
About ten years ago I used to make these and sell them and they were very popular.
After this years Embroiderers Guild exhibition I decided that I would make some more and be ready with a supply for next years exhibition.
They are made using the silk fabric and ribbons that I dyed earlier this year and I am not sure if you can see it but there is also a gold metalic thread in between the stems to add a bit of bling.

I will make some more over the Christmas New Year break--well I will have to because some of my friends want to by them for Christmas gifts.

The Cleaning Fairy

While I am busily playing around on the computer the cleaning fairy is hard at work-------
This is the last of the kitchen cupboards to be done--he did the others yesterday.

I bet you all wish you had a husband like mine?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Water Water Everywhere

As the saying goes.
This time last year we were in drought situations---our dams where we get our water supply from were only around 38% full.
Now we have so much water and the dams are full and overflowing.
We have had so much rain lately-not only in Canberra but all down the east coast of Australia and there is so much flooding going on that it is a real disaster in some areas.
Last year I showed you photos of my back yard where there was no grass just dried stubble and dirt.
This year it is all green-not grass but a lot of weeds and water.
The area in the first photo used to be lawn but it was killed of several years ago due to the lack of water.
Now it is like a bog.
Thank goodness we don't have to go around there for anything at present.

Here is another part--on the left of the concrete strip used to be lawn--now lush green weeds and water.

Near the back door.

And now it is bucketing down again----
Enough is enough already---Quack Quack.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's that time again

It's time for Anorexia to come out of her box again.
For those bloggers who are new to my blog I will explain why our tree is called Anorexia.
We have had this tree for 48 years and it has always looked like this-well she has lost two of her branches but the rest have always been very sparse.
Our family call it Anorexia because of the lack of foliage-but as long as she has branches she will be our Christmas tree.
One year we had a real Christmas tree but the truth is no one liked it-we all wanted Anorexia back.

This year I have decorated her with red-green and gold tinsel and baubles etc--you wouldn't know it was the same tree would you--all dressed up and ready to party.

On our first tree we had plastic bell ornaments and we now only have four out of the original ten left.
Below are two of the remaining four and as you can see the red one is not very healthy.

One of the gold baubles---------------

And a gold reindeer-------------------

This is our Nativity Scene and I have added the two angels in the centre this year.
I purchased them at the Cathedral in Christchurch when we were in New Zealand on holidays.

I love this Nativity Scene.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Friends and Waterheads

One of the hilites of our trip to New Zealand was meeting a fellow blogger in Auckland.
Shane and I met through doing a workshop together with Carol from Madness and Mess a few months ago and we arranged to meet up when we were in Auckland.
Shane and her husband picked us up at the wharf and spent 5 hours showing us around their lovely city.
We had the best time (us girls and the boys) and you would have thought that we had been friends forever.
Isn't it wonderful when this happens>
Thank you Shane and R for your generosity-you sure laid a great foundation for the rest of our trip.

The rest of these photos are what we call our waterheads.
Because there are so many fountains around NZ we decided to take photos of each other in front of them with the water shooting out of our heads.
You may have to click on the photos to see them properly.
This is me in the gardens in Dunedin.

Here is Stephen in the Lady Norwood Gardens in Wellington.

We didn't see a fountain in Christchurch-mainly because we were on atime limit so Here I am beside the Avon River--can you see the ducks?

Here is Stephen when we were sailing through the Fiordlands but this time the water is pouring into his head.

Finally this is not water it is steam--we were at Rotorua and this is a geyser erupting.
It looks like my head is exploding.

Who said oldies can't have fun.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm Back

Well here I am back home after the best holiday ever cruising around New Zealand.
For someone who had previously hated sea travel I now love it.
Maybe it was the company-definitely the food(don't ask how much weight I gained)-most certainly the luxury-and more importanly the scenery-no not the ocean but the beautiful country of New Zealand.
I know I can hear all you Kiwi's saying "I told you so" but to see it with my own eyes was just breathtaking.
I will show you some photo's later when I get them sorted out.
Catching up on some of the Fibre Fever pages now.
The first one was for Hanna whose theme is leaves.
Hanna never received this page and after about 4 week I realised that I had put the wrong address on the envelope-but we have been told that it on it's way back to me.

So here is the replacement one that I sent to her which has been received.
This had to be a rush job because it was sent 2 days before I left on holidays.

This is the November page that I received from Janny and to fit into my theme of " where you come" from she has added a pair of Dutch clogs and some tulips.
I love it.

My November page was for Evi who's theme is "The Little Prince".
Before this swap I had never heard of the little prince so I googled it and found out all the details.
If you want to find out more click here.
The darker blobs are really gold foil but they don't show up very well here.

Now I am off to finish my Christmas cards.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TAST 2 Weeks 37 and 38

I am late with one stitch and early with the other.
The first stitch for week 37 in the TAST 2 challenge at Sharon B's is Kiko's Flower stitch.
This is a pretty stitch and easy to work out also-it consists of a Detatched Chain stitch- 2 Buttonhole stitches and a Bullion stitch to make each petal.

Week 38 is Picot Chain stitch--which is a chain stitch with a little Picot edge on the right.
If you click on the link above you will see the instructions for this.

I am going off on a cruise for 2 weeks leaving on Sunday so this will be my last post before I leave.
I have started getting everything ready to pack into my suitcase including the sea sickness tablets and some stitching to do if I get bored :))
I will certainly have to do some more catching up on TAST when I get back.
There are only 6 weeks of the TAST 2 challenge left--gosh the year has flown by fast.
See you all when we get back.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fashion Designer or Model?

Fashion Designer or Model-------

On Saturday night Ebony decided to entertain herself and us by making "fashion" clothes out of garbage bags.
She made bras-nickers- a hat-top-skirt-pants and a vest and also shoes.
All was held together with sticky tape and she had us in stitches with laughter with the modelling antics that she went through.
I took a few photos to share with you.
This one was the full outfit--the layered look------------

Minus the skirt and the vest-------

Here is a halter neck backless mini skirt version (back view)------------

And the front view--------

Don't you just love the poses?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Card swap with Suz

Recently I saw on Susans blog called Suztats that she had been playing with paints and watercolours and then she chopped up pieces of the work and made them into cards.
I commented on how I loved the one with the leaves on it and she kindly e-mailed me to ask for my postal address because she wanted to send me the card.
I then contacted her and said that I would send her one of my cards in return.
The card arrived today and it is breathtaking.

This is the card that I sent to her in return.

If you follow the link it will take you to the page where she has described how she did the painting technique.
Thank you Suz I love your card very much.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Creative Group at the Guild

Today was our Creative Group day at the Embroiderers Guild and I showed them how to do marbling using the shaving cream method and to colour it we used food colouring.
You can use other better inks but we chose to use food colouring to experiment.
Now don't all panic- the colours do stay true---I have some that I did about 6-7 years ago and it has not faded a bit.
If you are unsure how this is done-you need a can of shaving cream -the cheap unscented one is good enough.
First shake the can of shaving cream to get it all mixed up and then spray it into a small styrene foam meat tray that the meat at the supermarket comes in.
Don't make it too thick as this is wasteful.
Next you use a spatula to level it out and then put a few drops of different colours on top of the foam.
Then using a skewer swirl it around to get a design.
****** add on*****
Next place the fabric and paper onto the design and gently rub the back so that the colour transfers to the paper etc.
When you have done that gently lift it off and don't be scared because it will look terrible.
Next lay it on the table and with a scraper remove the shaving cream by scraping it off and the design is left behind on the paper.
You may have to wipe any residue off with a paper towel.
I have 4 food colours-blue-green-yellow and rose and one of the other ladies had black.
All these prints were taken off the original spray of foam and if you are not careful you can end up with mud.
The first picture is the first print that I did and it is on handmade paper and has turned out very strong.

The next one is on cotton fabric and is the second print--I just stirred it around a bit more with the skewer-----

This is the 4th print and what I did here was completely mix the foam up and I ended up with a pale green base so I added a few more drops of rose and green and also some black and made a design with the skewer.
I was unsure how this would turn out but what the heck.
Wow how good is this---------------

So I added some more yellow and blue and swirled the skewer again-the paper that I used was a cream hand made paper---------------

This one was on white card stock-----------------

Now starting to get muddied colours again this is cream hand made paper--------------

On this one I added a few squirts of white shaving foam on top and blended it in with the skewer----------

A little bit more white shaving cream was added and it gave me some lovely effects---------

This was the final print on a white card stock and it is very delicate-

Finally I used my Martha Stewart flower punch and cut out a few flowers to show the girls what they can do with their samples.
You can see the positive and the negative flowers. All in all I think I showed them a great demonstration