Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

31 October 2011

Down Memory Lane Monday - Silk Ribbon

When I was at the height of my passion for silk ribbon embroidery  I did not have a digital camera and only have old style  photos of my earlier work.  A lot has been given away, or sold, but I have a few pics of some of it. The photos below are but the tip of the iceberg.

To say I was hooked is an understatement, and if I had the money I have spent  on silk ribbon today, I would be substantially better off but would not have enjoyed the thrill of working with the medium.. knowing me though I probably would have spent it on threads or linen

So enjoy my photos on this Down Memory Lane Monday.

Very first silk ribbon embroidery lessons
silk ribbon and threads
This was my Dad's favourite

another little posy

I used a lot of silk ribbon in CQ
Inside the lid of a jewel box
There more more samples of how I have used silk ribbon embroidery in my reef pictures as well.  In fact silk ribbon is a medium that lends itself to a myriad of uses.  If you want to see some wonderful silk ribbon embroidery and tutorials visit Carol Daisy on her blog here

I will leave with a photo of my silk ribbon stash....and yes I know I need my fingers smacked....promise I will get round to tidying them up.

24 October 2011

Down Memory Lane Monday - creative embroidery

I have no doubt a lot of my followers will remember these creative embroidery pictures.  Creative embroidery allows you a lot of freedom to go wherever the fancy takes you, which suits me because I am more comfortable with being able to please myself on which direction I take.

Creative embroidery also allows a free rein when it comes to using stitches from other techniques in a different way.

this was an exercise in applique and I used a seed pod for a design.  I then cut it out and frayed the linen edges and....

turned it  into this

with the taffeta 'flowers' and burnt the edges with a candle to melt them.  the leaves are threads sprinkled onto silk and covered with organdie fused over the threads.

I used various threads to demonstrate some stitches, and turned it into a wild abstract garden
An exercise in couching I called this "Night Wave"

My stitchin fingers friends will remember this .  It is a needlepainting of a West Australian Wattle tree.  I lost count of the french knots when I got to 2000...there are knots on knots to give it a textured look and give dimension to the picture. The I used wool threads, mainly, with a change in some of the grasses.   The background is linen.   I like the way  this  shows up the vastness of the countryside over in the West with the effect of the wide expanse of blue sky.

More next week

19 October 2011

Away again

For some years now I have been involved in Twin Research Studies, and I had another invitation to take part in one on Monday  covering Ageing and Mental Health.  

it was a really interesting day, and the interviewer was a delightful lady, who was very patient with my failing memory of dates and events.

I did get so play with blocks and puzzles, tasks which I think I performed ok, so maybe that means I will do very well in my second childhood. Sorry no photos of me doing that as we were in a Government building.

Another friend had come to visit from Brisbane on Friday, so I travelled back in the bus with her on sunday, and stayed with them overnight. My friend is not a craftsperson, but she loves to shop, so I have no photos of that either because we were too busy shopping. 

Just after dinner on Sunday night, there was a thump on the roof, which turned out to be their friendly possum who they feed every night with fruit slices. i did take a photo of it, but was too freaked out to take a photo of the huge spider that crawled up onto the bed I was to sleep in so can't show photos of that either.....besides he was too close to where the camera was as well.....and yes he did get dispatched to spider heaven.

Isn't he cute

18 October 2011

Memory Lane Monday- Blackwork

Hi ladies, time for another "Down Memory Lane" post.   Oops! Who was that said today was not Monday....well so it isn't.  Never mind, I have been away so it wont matter being a day late.

This week I wanted to add some photos of  blackwork from my old blog. Blackwork  is another style of embroidery I learned from Ada who I have mentioned before.  I have just begun a bag with Blackwork in colour on the front, but it is too early to show.

Below are a few  photos from my old blog of projects I have worked on in the past.

Blackwork chesspiece. i will put up the individual designs at a later date.
The chesspiece set into a glass top table

A bag I use to keep my black perle threads in
needlecase decorated with blackwork

Contemporary blackwork inspired by Pat Langford

2 of several bookmarks I made with some in colour
blackwork in colour

13 October 2011

My friend Jann

I met this lovely lady about 7 years ago, and because we were both a bit crazy, both loved painting , and liked "making stuff" we hit it off right away and became firm friends. I ended up teaching her embroidery stitches and in return I was rewarded with her bright and happy company. She is a very talented lady, and a very quick learner and meticulous in what she does.
a friend indeed
Recently Jann said she would like  to make a couple of quilts  with applique trucks on them and asked if she could come for a visit so I could "show her the ropes"
Well I now have a friend who is in love with visofix. Jann  is so happy to learn about it, and only needed to be shown once and was away. A cutting board, rotary cutter and ruler are next on her shopping list too.   I just love her enthusiasm for learning new things.

first block ready for hand stitching.
We did have a great few days, sewing, eating, talking, and of course much needed sleeping.... and did I mention eating.....oh and there were a couple of glasses of wine thrown in there too......
When we first met, and Jann discovered  my collection of fabric doll patterns she made these..

Jann's first attempt at CQ

I have Di coming to sew today, and another friend coming for the weekend, so I will never be lonely while I have friends like these.

11 October 2011

Memory Lane Monday - Schwalm Embroidery

Some years ago, I had the opportunity to join a group of embroiderers led by a lady called Ada, and I travelled to a town called Maryborough each Wednesday which was about an hour drive from home.

In her book Schwalm Embroidery Techniques and Designs, Christine Bishop a well known and respected embroiderer from South Australia, writes in her introduction about the history of Schwalm Embroidery.  It is a book well worth having in your library.

She writes that Schwalm is a form of late eighteenth to nineteenth century whitework embroidery which incorporates surface stitches, pulled fabric, drawn thread, needlelace and needleweaving.   Traditional design efforts are based on the 'tree of life'..which include hearts, tulips, the sun, pine cones, flowers, fruit, leaves, tendrils and the pigeon or dove.

So here are photos of my efforts at this wonderful style of embroidery which I love and get a lot of satisfaction from.

close up of supper cloth design
Corner design of centre of  large white cloth
Heart design on cushion
Come visit next Monday for another down memory lane

07 October 2011

New Stitcher in Town

At the recent Toowoomba Qulters show, one of  the traders had a stand selling their wonderful patterns for paper piecing.  There  were continues demonstrations by Shannon of their hand piecing from their 'playing  with paper packs'.

The sample quilts, wall hangings, and othere designs were exquisite.

The most interesting thing about these demonstrations, to me,  was was fascinating to see a "blokey" man stitching the fine pieces of fabric together with that tiny  needle and thread.  It turned out that Greg, who was probably only there to do the heavy lifting in the first place, became a bit bored with just keeping  Shannon company.  After 3 days of this he wanted to "do" something, so Shannon taught him the hand piecing.

When I saw him he had been doing this for only 1 day, and I am convinced you would not find neater, finer stitching anywhere by any lady.  His stitches were so tiny you almost needed a magnifying glass to see them. 

Greg concentrating on his stitching and Shannon
Watch out ladies there  is a new stitcher  in town...and can he sew.....yes he certainly can! 

What quilting lady would not love to have a hubby like this to help out with her hand stitching.

If you would like to read a full report on the quilts and the traders go to the Toowoomba Quilters site. here where you will find links to the traders,  see the range of beautiful quilts, as well as winners of the raffles.

Meanwhile, I have  also included a photo of my friend Dianne with her leaf quilt and standing at  the sales table which was full of the most wondrous work and gifts  to buy..

03 October 2011

Birthday Surprise

These gorgeous flowers arrived by special delivery today for my birthday, together with a bottle of wine and some choccies.....both of which are chilling the fridge ready for a celebration drink and nibble of chocolate tonight.

The were from my lovely big son and his wife.   They are both so very thoughtful and kind to me.  The perfume from the roses is so nice drifting through the unit.The flowers came in a lovely cane container that I will be able to use later on.

I am having a nice relaxing day.  By the time I drink that wine I might even feel like 64 instead of 74

Memory Lane Monday -Crazy Patchwork -The beginning

Somewhere in cyberspace is the blog I first wrote up for today....wouldn't you think  blogger would be kinder to me on my birthday today of all days. (I am 74...lets hope the years hasten slowly from now on)  Oh well here we go  again....

As I have been getting older I tend to reminisce more about the "good old days", and times past.  I was thinking about my stitching journey and where it began, and so have posted photos of 'the beginning'.

When I was a young girl all girls learned basic embroidery or 'fancywork' as it was called, at primary school. Our teacher was a  Miss Suttee. (dont ask why I remember her)  

In those days girls prepared their "Glory Boxes/Troussou" when they were teenagers in preparation for their future marriage.  Emboidered doileys and duchess sets were popular, and we purchased the sets which were   stamped designs on linen.  

Not long ago I passed on to my daughter some I had embroidered way back then,   that my mother had kept and used for years.  The linen must have been of very high quality  because these worked duchess sets and doileys in good condition, are now prized by embroiderers and textile artists to  for use  in new creations.

In 1992 I discovered embroidery again, when I saw a crazy patchwork bear in a Craft Supply shop in Gympie owned by Debbie Mercer who is now the resident tutor at All Threads Embroidery in Brisbane. I signed up for a workshop and have not stopped since. Which only proves it is never to late to learn.

Prior to the workshop, I thought I could work out this "crazy patchwork stuff" so proceeded to cut up pieces of fabric into shapes and tried putting them together like a dont have to laugh I did  that mtself when I discovered the correct way.   It turned out ok in the end though.
It wasn't easy getting all those bits to fit in
This was the cushion from that first workshop in 1992

Another cushion I made

The crazy bug had really bitten me by this time, and i began making pieces to fit into jewellery box tops.

Cq bags were next on the agenda.
This became a clutch purse.

Then came the bears....
These are just a selection...a lot of work I have produced happened before the era of digital cameras.   I am definitely going to have to get a scanner to update these records.