Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

26 December 2011

Thoughtful Gifts

I haven't had an opportunity to say thank you to my friend Judy, for her lovely gift which I received before I went away.  Judy knows how much i am addicted to threads, so I was thrilled to be able to add to my stash.   There were also some silk cacoons, a packet of goodies which will come in so handy.  As well she  sent me a Frixion pen, which I have used and it is amazing. As well there was some overdyed velvet ribbon, which I have already used as a border for an embroidery. The blue tool for turning corners was made by her sweetie and  is something I have needed for a long time and it saves poking out corners with the scissor points.
Thank you so much Judy

cards from Sue and Judy

Among my mail when I arrived home was a lovely card with a hand painted Xmas tree on the front, from Suz.  Inside which was this gorgeous little  tatted heart which went straight on my tree to remind me of what a loving and thoughtful friend Suz has become.

Before she left for her sojourn at the coast, my good friend Di and I had lunch together, and exchanged xmas gifts.  Imagine my surprise and wonder when I opened my parcel to discover this wonderful bag.  I was so thrilled.  I have admired a bowl Di made whenever I have been to her home, and here I now have a gorgeous bag she made for me  in the same technique.

It has hardly left my side, and is such a convenient bag with pockets for things inside, and when you look in you can see everything that is there....wonderful. Thank you so much Di.  I only hope that one day I will be able to repay the love and support you have given me during all the worrying times I have had over the past year.

23 December 2011

Quick trip Home

Well a visit to sons would not be normal without me damaging myself in some way, or catching some sort of bug.  I stayed true to form by knocking my shin on the corner of a low box and the end of a  bed.   Which, of course, being me has become a lot worse. ...everyone knows I dont do things by halves so what should have been just a bad skinned shin had to have a haemotoma form, and the whole thing become infected.....and am on heavy antibiotics.

Move over whoever has the title of "Best Drama Queen" I am coming through!

It has slowed me down, but not out.  The worst part is that I cant sit at the computer for long, (damn) and... dear me.... I cant do any ironing and stand on the leg for long sad....(te he I am not silly I know how to get out of work)

It was a pity I did not have the accident before I did my motherly duty and  ironed 18 shirts and about 8 pr of trousers caught with that one eh.

The sore leg also meant that I could not go swimming in the sorry Maria, there will be no revealing bathing belle photos.

I did get to go to Burleigh and sit on the sand and watch the was lovely I do miss living by the ocean.
looking towards Surfers Paradise in the background
The headland is called Big Burleigh.  I remember as a teenager sitting up there at night watching the moonlight over the water and there were fireflies all around it was like sitting in a magic cave....and yes I was with a beau at the well as all the other friends from our tennis group.....

I am so full of admiration for my son for the work he has put in on making their back yard a lovely space.  This is what it was like when he started, and in the front the beginning of the plantings.

this is the back garden now.  The vege garden is up the top.  
I have shown the stairs he built  before, but what  I want to show you is:
he carried every piece of the heavy timber and slabs of turf up this steep slope to the deck level.    It was such a mammoth task but I am so proud of what he has achieved. His vege garden is producing and we ate lots of salads which were so fresh and crunchy, with lots more coming on.
Chloe had her 3rd birthday while I was there but was a bit shy in her birthday hat.

This post would not be complete without a picture of "The Dungeon"
Main room and floor

possible air conditioning?

I would like to take this opportunity of wishing all my wonderful friends and passers by 

Merry Christmas, and a happy and joyful New Year

and thank you for all the love and support I have received over this past year
Am away again after Christmas, so will be back in a couple of weeks.

07 December 2011

Gadabouting Again

Have been busy packing and getting everything done before I go gadabouting again. Hence no "down memory lane" this week.
View of one of the Gold Coast Beaches
Tomorrow I am off to the Gold Coast to visit eldest son and DIL before Christmas. The bus leaves at 11am and after disembarking in Brisbane will take a train to inland of where they live.  From there it will be in the comfort of their car.  It is a long journey for me.  Although son is driving me home himself when I come back.
Son and the "children" Chloe on left and Beau on right.
I know the puppies (read horse size) will be pleased to see me. I am amazed to see how they always remember me.  I know there will be gardening, and picking of the fresh veges, and no doubt there will be ironing...there always is.  I think the amount of ironing I do for him should warrant 2 yes t-w-o  windows in the dungeon.

For some reason whenever I am there I am always relaxed.  It is a very peaceful household, and there are no pressures.  If it stops raining and warms up, I will even get to have  swim in the pool,  sorry... there won't be any photos of that!

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone, see ya!

p.s. I have been told that there is no chance of me expecting to retire with them to a house like the one in the 'garden party' it is definitely the dungeon for me.... with a bit of luck though now I have my pacemaker  I will out live them and get to live in comfort in the top part of the house with the puppies.

04 December 2011

Garden Party

I have been very fortunate to be invited to join the Toowoomba Quilters Group here, and even though I do not quilt, (but have dipped my toes in, in the past), I will be able to do my needlework, and perhaps incorporate it into smaller projects later on.

Yesterday, Saturday, was the date for their annual Xmas get together which took the form of a garden party at the magnificent home of one of the members. 

Notice part of  the magificent old jacaranda tree in the front garden
The sun was shining, there was a breeze to keep the heat away, lots of lovely company, wonderful food and friendship  to make the day complete.  The venue was a home that was built in the 19th century, that has become part of the history of the area.
A big thank you was extended to the hostess for her generosity in inviting the group to hold their Xmas function at her home.

There was ample room in the beautiful gardens for everyone to gather to enjoy each others company, the flowers and the views.
Back verandahs for morning tea.

Enjoying the sunshine

The tennis court
I liked this bird feeder near the beautiful Hydrangea.

View from above the tennis courts out to the mountains that went on forever.

Lunch was delicious with lots of choices. I was still not hungry when it came to dinner time.   Di has added a report and more pics  on the TQ Blog here with lovely photos  of the garden flowers.  The roses were beautiful and the sea of agapanthus framed the view.

I have warned the family that when  I am "old-old" and come to live with them this is the sort of home I would like them to have for me to come to where I could while away the hours stitching and looking out onto the garden.

All there is for me at the moment is what I call the "dungeon" behind the cupboard under the stairs, but as they say, at least I would be at the Gold Coast where all the "action" is, and they have promised to put a window in for me too, and.... bring the puppies to visit.....hmmmph!  Generous lot aren't they?

02 December 2011

Tast 2012

Well I have bitten the bullet too, and joined my friends Linda, Di, Suz and Anneliese in the Tast 2012 challenge. I had planned on working on the Stitch Files next year, but maybe some of the stitches can be combined.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 2010 Tast adventure. You can see my efforts on my side bar under "Pages".  I am sure I will enjoy it again.   At least I can plan better now I know what it is all about, and maybe come up with a neater fabric book .

01 December 2011

Xmas is Coming

Xmas is getting too close too quickly.....Why didn't I do all those jobs earlier?     Now it is getting too late. How many people are "ready".

I have been putting off looking at the tree to see that all was well, and if the decorations needed a spruce up.  Fortunately I had sealed it up pretty well in a sheet, so no little nasties from over at "the farm" were able to get in.  Each year I try to make a new decoration, but this year has got away, so maybe next year.
The designs for the ones I have made are probably familiar to many of you.

Anyway Tuesday night I "bit the bullet" and did the tree, and am glad I did. It looks nice over in the corner and there is an air of Xmas feelings  in the unit now.  I have even found a new outfit to wear on Xmas Day.  
She sits atop my tree

My "Boo Bear" for my grandson

unstiffened angel

embroidered bird from Inspirations magazine
Out of all of these the very easiest is the plum pudding which is just a circle of calico tied over a foam ball and decorated.  Although the decorated pine cones were fun to make, even though while collecting the cones I had a mother bird swooping me so she must have had chicks nearby.

28 November 2011

Down Memory Lane Monday- Home for the Nymph

This week I wanted to record my experience with Tast 2010 onto my new blog, but as it would have been too long, I have posted it as"Pages" instead of posts,  which you will see up on the top right of my blog, and if you click on the links you will be able to see them .

The "nymph" embroidery has finally found a home in the form of a journal cover.

I found a pattern on the Better Homes and Garden site for this pincushion in the shape of a hat.   I had bought one at the quilt show, already made up and they are very cute.

I have put the blackwork piece (green) aside for the moment to catch up on a few things, just to refresh me.   Will try not to let is languish for too long in the ufo happens to all of us....something else took my fancy.

25 November 2011

Foggy Friday

My good friend Dianne is away at the moment.  She could even be languishing on the golden sands of a beach at the Sunshine Coast something like this one as I write.:

While she is off enjoying herself we woke to a misty foggy morning today.  
view from my patio
At least the rain  is keeping the temperatures down.  We had a whole 2 inches of rain on Wednesday night.  There is a huge gum tree in the park behind my unit, which loses lots of leaves which clog up the gutters on the roof.  I actually experienced a torrent seeping in down the wall near the kitchen....  I had visions of the ceiling caving in, but that did not eventuate thank goodness... once the downpour was over the torrent stopped.

Yes there is a man coming to clean out the gutters. He was due next Monday.... if only we could get the council to trim the huge gum tree!!!

My herb plants are loving the rain, but my poor little tomato plants are still struggling. I think I need a larger container. The gum leaves on the ground are only a fraction of what I sweep up every couple of days.


Hope you are enjoying your holiday Di.......(is that envy you hear in my voice...yes it is.)


21 November 2011

Memory Lane Monday - Needle Painting

While studying under Debbie Mercer, one of her workshops was on needlepainting, and these two pictures are from the "meadow" series.  I apologise for the standard of the photos they were taken under glass.
The idea came from a book by Sue Newhouse called Creative Hand Embroidery.
Worked this at the workshop

 The embroidery is on painted pure silk fabric.  The painting of the sky was done with diluted water colours... or acrylic plus water colour medium....For the flowers and some of the grasses we again painted various colour onto a piece of the silk, then stiffened it with 'aquadhere'.   when the silk was dry  it was like paper and we then cut out shapes and stitched them onto the picture.  In the front/bottom of the pictures the grasses are worked in turkey stitch, and when cut allowed to flow over the matt inside the frame.

As you can see we used a variety of stitches and threads to achieve effects.  The background meadow was worked in  a single thread of silk Au Ver a Soie which is beautiful to work with.

On my needlepainting journey I also created another, which I think everyone has seen already, but I would like to  post it again here so I can have a record on this blog.

This needlepainting was one I did while studying under the lovely Ada in Maryborough who I have mentioned before.   We were given the opportunity to choose a picture from her collection kept from old magazines.  Being a "newbie" in the group at the time I stood back, and the picture left was what I used for this embroidery.
West Australian Wattle

These are some close ups of the wattle bloom and the grasses.  All the embroidery was worked in wool thread on linen fabric. I have used quite a few different shades of lemon and gold for the wattle, but where the blooms are in shadow I have used lavender shades. The trunk and branches are in shades of black and dark greys, with touches of lighter greys, and is worked as a raised stem stich.  The outer branches and twigs are worked in couched single threads.
I stopped counting the knots at 2000

I hope everyone who visits, enjoyed this week's little journey down Memory Lane Monday.

16 November 2011

Giveaway at "I am the Diva"

For all those people interested in zentangling,   there is  a wonderful giveaway of products for drawing at I am the Diva. Hop over and have a look and join in - you may be lucky.
Ever since I first spotted this style of art,  I have been fascinated by zentangling, and being a doodler from way back I think I could take to this.   I can see wonderful ideas for embroidery coming out of it too. So I am hoping to do a tutorial and see what happens.
Good Luck for the giveaway.

Tea for two
Because I do not have any photos of zentangles yet to go with this, have just included one of my favourite paintings.

14 November 2011

Down Memory Lane Monday - applique

While  reading one of the quilting blogs recently, I was reminded that I once ventured into the realm of needle turned applique.    It came about when a friend was unable to complete a workshop and asked if I would sit in for the remaining lessons. So with the permission of the teacher I came to learn something quite new to me.

This the result a quilt for my oldest grandaughter
After that I became quite ambitious and thought I would continue, but no quilt eventuated for my bed just a lot of squares that turned into cushions.  These are what  I have left ...the rest have been  gifted.

There was a time when I thought I would dip my toes into patchwork, and what followed was a frenzy of stitching which resulted in the following efforts.

First quilt

scrappy strip quilt

pansy quilt

Not much progress eventuated into quilting after that, because  it was about the time that I discovered art so my mad frenzies were then  directed into paint and canvas, although in the end I always return to the more calming love of embroidery.