Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

18 December 2013

Another Year Almost Over

Merry Christmas to all my followers who have become my friends.  I hope you all have a lovely day and enjoy the company of family and friends on Dec 25.

 Is it because I am getting older that the years are going faster.....or has the world gained speed all over. This year just seems to sped by.  I have barely had time to tidy up from xmas last year and here it is time to put up the tree again.

Even though I have not been here much this year, there has been some stitching.
happening. i finally finished my butterfly cushion front.    I removed all my terrible attempt at long and short stitch on the flowers and just replaced them with outlines.
Now all I have to do is make up the cushion itself and find an owner for it.

Because I am so hopeless at long and short stitch I decided to have another look at Mary Corbetts Tutorial.  That and with the help of instructions from the above  book showing a clear picture of the stitch I was able to complete this attempt.
What I achieved is shown on the top left above  worked  in wool thread, and I think if I keep practising I might get the hang of it. The other two  pictures are also part of  the  band sampler I have started.  Yes I am definitely one of those people who  starts something new before finishing the previous projects.

There has also been more finishing off of pages for the fabric book as well.
buttonhole stitches

Workshop sampler

Fly stitch sampler I did when I first started embroidery
Lily  sumptuous stitches workshop top is a sampler of Mountmellic work. The tatting flower was a gift from my friend Suztats
 Which now brings me to my shopping spree....well only a tiny spree, but guess what I bought... another book!....yes another one.   But this one I have yearned for for so long so when I saw it, I could not resist so dragged out the credit card and took a big breath and bought it online
 It was wonderful recently to see my Day Lillies flowering.  They are such a bright happy colour and are growing just outside my window.

see you in 2014

04 November 2013

Back to the P...ages

 "Ages" is a very mild expression for the time it is taking for the Pages.  More like an ongoing saga. 12 pair (front and back sewn together)  of pages are now complete.  7 pair are awaiting embellishing and yesterday I came across 6 more old samples of stitches which need to be made into pages.

Does anyone remember my attempt at couching for  Tast way back in week 9 of 2012.   I now have it on one of the pages for the current Tast  fabric book.  The yellow ribbon has been replaced by lilac and I have cut the piece into a circle to fit onto the background. It is called "Dancing in the dark"

I have the Gimp photo editing programme and I have been fascinated at the many designs that can be created with the stamps and processes.  I think it was in 2010 that I took a couple of designs and printed them on to fabric and embroidered over them.  The next page is one of those designs
Here is the original design. The finished product is not much like this.  I can even see better possibilities now.

Since starting the putting together of the pages part of the project I have discovered quite a few examples of me playing with stitches over time,   from when I first started embroidery in 1994 so it looks as though there will have to be another  book for these older pages I have put together.  I even have my very first attempts at basic stitches on a sampler......or should I say scrap of fabric.

Early on in my embroidery life I became besotted with reef embroideries, and the next page is a sample of what  I came up with  trying out various stitches in relation to corals and grasses that grow under the water.  

In March 1995 I commenced a correspondence course on creative embroidery. which I was enjoying until I contracted Ross River Fever and had to give it away after the first year or so.

The  next are two pages I now have ready are  from early in the course of running stitch    Although my efforts back then were very amateurish I want to include them as a step in my needlework journey. 

Now if I can get these fabric books  completed before anything happens to me someone in the family might want to keep  them  rather than find a box of "mums rubbish" which would just be assigned to the bin

Last but not least are another two pieces of stitching  worked for Tast.  I got quite behind a few times due to illness and other things, so both of these are composites of more than one stitch.
 The lace and surrounding motifs on the page above  are from my collection of antique laces.  The piece of lovely tatting was made for my by my friend Sue of Suztats . The colours went perfectly with the background fabric which I dyed at a transfer dyeing class I attended last year. The stitches are up and down feather stitch, raised cross stitch flower, buttonhole bar, herringbone and french knots. 

Finally  another composite group of stitches from Tast.  I have called this "Mother fish and her babies".  I really went to town with the stitches on this piece.  Mother fish is outlined in Palestrina or Double knot stitch.  Othere stitches are Pekinese stitch, up and down buttonhole, linked double chain, oyster stitch, algerian eye, bullions, drizzle stitch and sheaf stitch.

I loved the background fabric for the page it reminded me so much of the frolicking fish so I outlined some of the shapes in running stitch.
Like threads, one can never have enough books....well that is my excuse for another purchase anyway.
At last I have my own copy of The Batsford Encyclopaedia of Embroidery Stitches by Anne Butler.  I found it at Abe Books and it arrived in a short space of time although it and the wrapping suffered some damage where the post lady forced it into the letter box.   Needless to say I have spent hours studying the contents.

Even though these encyclopaedia may cover many of the same stitches, there is always something new to find in them.

20 October 2013

Surprise Gift and Great Purchases

It is Sunday morning here, and outside the weather looks a bit bleak and cool.  Other parts of the country are experiencing horrific bushfires and extreme heat so I wont complain about our weather.

Since I last blogged about my birthday, I had a nice surprise when my good friend Dianne arrived with this wonderful gift for me that she had made.

Isn't this just gorgeous.  I love the fabric.  She has watched me carrying my fabric pages round in a zip lock bag, so this is just the most perfect give for me to protect my embroideries from getting crushed and dusty.
At the moment I dont have any photos of the completed pages, but they are coming I promise.
With this beautiful gift I received a hand made card by Di as well.  I love it.  She is so creative.
This last week has been a busy week for me, out almost every day, both for social and business reasons.

Twice this week I have had social outings....   The first was a visit to the Toowoomba Embroiderers Guild Open Day, where visitors had the pleasure to view some extraordinary beautiful embroideries.    Sorry no pics.   I did take my camera but left it in the car....

They had a sales table of books culled from their library and I was fortunate enough to buy these...for the princely price of $2 each and the small one was 50c. As if I need another embroidery book, but I could not resist these.  They are older publications, and I have discovered there are ways of using some stitches that I dont have in other books so I am tickled pink with my purchases.
creative and inspiring
this has history and clear illustrations
a great little book to carry in my sewing box.

this just makes me want to get the threads out.

This will give me lots of inspiration for thechallenge.
some great designs from the past
When I was culling some of my old handmade magazines, I tore out patterns and designs and discarded the rest.   While looking through the boxes I discovered this book which means I now have my favourite patterns from those magazines in one handy book.  The little doll in the front was one I made for a grandaughter together with that bear, except I made him in fabric

On Saturday after the Art Quilting meeting to discuss the challenge for next year we visited an exhibition  by the local ATasda Group.  (Australian Textile Arts and Surface Design Association).  Wow the work we were privileged to see was mind blowing.

The theme for our art quilt challenge is "Bottanica" and I think we all came away from the ATasda Exhibition  with our minds reeling.  If you want to check out this group go to their website at

Have a nice week everyone.

04 October 2013

Birthday Week

Why cant the world slow down just a little bit.  Here it is October already and another year older.   After turning 75 last year I thought I would just ignore future birthdays but October 3 just keeps rolling around.

Then of course even if I did ignore October there are always the wrinkles which keep getting deeper to remind me another year has been added to the 3 score and more than 10 years.

However there always good things about birthdays and they are the lovely wishes, cards and gifts from family and friends.  This year has been no exception.  The other day I answered the door to a knock and it was Australia Post delivering this huge box:

It was hard to wait to open it and all the shaking did not give a clue as to what was inside. But when I did open it I was excited to be greeted with all these lovely gifts beautifully wrapped in bright paper.  I could tell it was from my son Neil and his lovely wife who are always so thoughtful and generous.

a lovely little bag of lotions and potions, mascara and lip gloss

Cushion with Beau's picture
cushion with Chloe's picture

an aluma wallet so now no one can scan my cards in my handbag and steal my identity
I can now have Chloe and Beau on my bed with me without having to put up with falling hair or smelly breaths.

On Wednesday my good friend Di took me out to lunch.  We went to the "Two Birds Cafe" in town.  By the age of a lot of the clientele though it should have been called "The Old Birds Cafe".  It is a popular place for ladies who lunch too no matter what age, because the food is delicious, the service is top notch and the desserts are to die for.

Sorry forgot to take photos of our lunch.  On a wrap base, that was brown and crunchy were halved baby tomatoes, goat cheese, small dices of roasted pumpkin, pine nuts, and baby spinach nestled under a layer of melted cheese.  The taste was divine. Would like to see it made so I could discover that elusive tasty ingredient that I could not pinpoint.

Since it was a special occasion we finished off with carrot cake served with cream.  This was just delicous as well.  Thank you Di for a lovely day. 

Before going home I ducked into Rivers and bought myself not one...but two...pair of pretty thongs.  With the heat over the last few days I have been going bare foot in the house, but need something easy to slip into if I needed to go outside.

Thursday dawned and I was expecting a visit from himself and when he arrived he had brought me some flowers from my garden at the farm.   I have missed seeing this cactus flowering for the past 3 years so was thrilled to get one of the blooms.  I will plant the piece when the flowers are finished.  He also bought over the first of my baby yellow rose and the last of the iris together with a couple of strelitzias which brighten up my room.

Last night he shouted me my favourite pizza for tea so I could have a night off from cooking - a rare event.  Again forgot to take photos, but here are the last two pieces left for lunch today.
I dont know if Pizza Capers company is only in Australia but they have wonderful pizzas.....even if the photo of these slices look revolting....the pizza was an el fungi....and consisted of pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, garlic, herbs, camembert and mozzarella....very delish.  Their Marguerita is another of my favourites.

Nearly finished.....

Today himself took me shopping to stock up my pantry which he does whenever he comes over to save me having to lug my little trolley full of groceries home from the shops.  While out he bought me what I have wanted for ages.....a weather station.  We always had a weather station and I have wanted one of my own for ages.  So now when it rains I will be able to see just how much rain we have had.

This one is definitely for older people with bad eyesight and I have situated it outside the window of this room and can read all the guages from my chair in front of the computer....oops looks like we have mounted it on a slant but think that is just the angle of the photo.
So all in all I have had a lovely few days.   Did manage to get some ironing in....thought I had better tidy up the spare bed.....haven't done any new stitching but what the heck it has been a lovely few days and to be honest I dont really feel a year older.

Bye all have a nice weekend.

26 September 2013

Quilt Show, Carnival of Flowers Week

This week the annual Carnival of Flowers has been on here in Toowoomba and this means Toowoomba Quilters have their quilt show as well.   A lot of time and effort has been put into making this years show a huge success.  If you click on the link above you will be able to see photos of some of the quilts each day.

I had a couple of favourites, but of course my photography is nowhere near the professional photos on the Toowoomba Quilts blog.  So pop over and have a look and this interesting site.

I just loved this floral applique design. 

Here is a collage of some of the quilts that took my eye.
The theme for the art quilts this year was a self portrait.  Do you recognise anyone on this set.  You may need to enlarge it but the clue is she is a favourite of many.
This year one of the fund raising events was for breast cancer so a challenge was thrown to the members to make art bras.  The colour was purple so we have quite a few on display.
These are just a few the other photo was too blurry to post.

Two other projects for the members were making table runners, and small hangings with the them Tea for Two

The members who participated put in some excellent results.  There are a lot of accomplished quilters in this group.

Many of the members gave demonstrations on various techniques relating to quilts and Dianne was kept busy with interested visitors wanting to see how to use the circle cutter.
Last but not least.....I went shopping.   We had a lot of traders stalls, and I could not resist this one.   If you go to the website you will find where you will find the most wonderful colourful batik fabrics.  Here is Jacky on her stall and below that are some of the fabrics that were irresistible. They have made my fabric pages zing.......yes that is right I could not wait to enhance my fabric pages with them. Di has a new blog

Unfortunately I have not been able to get round the gardens this year.  The weather has been quite hot...33degC when not on duty at the quilt show demonstrating embroidery, I have just been slothing around at home, sewing and sleeping.