Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

25 August 2013

More Pages for My Fabric Book

 Samples from when I learned silk ribbon embroidery
Hi to all my cyber friends.   I have been busy finishing off some more pages.  They are not all of Tast samplers.  Over the years from when I was quite a novice embroiderer I made samplers of various stitches resulting in quite a few so I am incorporating some into this book.  I have just realised that those examples are almost 20 years old.   And yes, again, I am reminded that I definitely do not have a "straight eye"  Isn't it funny how the camera shows up what the eye cannot see.

The three outside edges of the pages will be trimmed  with pinking shears and after sewing two pages together with the right sides facing and pressing them forming  the neat inside edge for the spine side I am going to stitch the pinked edges together.   Does that sound like a lot of pollygobble?

I am still trying to decide whether to line the pages to help stiffen them a bit but that is a decision I will make later.

Still have a quite few pages to go so this book looks like being quite thick.....hmm I can see the hand sewing of the pages together at the spine is going to be a monumental task......but will think of that later.

When I was learning Cracy patchwork as it was known way back then I made some samples of seam treatments

this is my sample of crossed feather stitch from Tast last year

My herringbone sample from Tast as well

This was a sampler of cretan stitch and roumanian stitch from a creative course I did many moons ago

Tast running stitch sampler made into a new page  It turned out to remind me of garden beds

My woven wheels sampler I also worked some other styles of weaving.The brown piece on the side is not supposed to look like a prehistoric weapon.  The fibre I used is felt and the colour just "went" or at least I thought it did but looking at it now it seems out of place with the wispy effect of the other sampler.

18 August 2013

Still Shopping

On Friday i had to go and get some scrips renewed and my good friend Di offered to drive me.   As it happened she had to go to a quilt and sewing shop, and you think I came out empty handed.....wrooooonnnggg!.   I spied these two lovely fabrics that will just go perfectly for the cover and lining for my fabric book.   The blue/purple has some glitter effect and will go perfectly with the ET embroidery I am using for the cover.  

The aqua piece on the right is for the lining for the cover. 

Came across this blog here called Patras Place of Stitching and Vintage Linens which has some good ideas of putting the fabric pages together.

My friend Dianne, from  has a new blog called where she is talking about her three loves....eating, travelling and quilting......not necessarily in that order.

Pay both these blogs a visit....I am sure you wont be disappointed.

"Himself" is turning 80 next month, and I have organised a Bbq at the farm with a few of our close friends and was to be 12 people, but since I tracked down an old friend of his who is also coming it has turned into 13...aaark....better add someone else.

He desperately needs a new pillow to replace the sculptured one he has loved for over 25 years.  Found this 'memory foam' pillow for him.   Left it in the car while we did some food shopping and when we returned the car just "ponged".....the smell was terrible and it turned out to be ....the pillow.   I am wondering whether it is the formaldahyde that any imported textiles these days are treated with.  It is a shame because it is lovely to use otherwise.

Since then I have taken the cover off and aired it, but the smell is permeating the unit and I may have to return it if it does not go away.  Fingers crossed or it gets returned and I am "back to the drawing board"......and the idea of a book reader.
By the way you will all be pleased to know that I am slowly conquering the wretched changes to my computer.  Have returned to the original programme for adding photos, and am learning my way around the latest Gimp.

Hope I can get through the month now with my data allowance and no new big downloads.

12 August 2013

Pages Completed and Ready

In between dramas I have had with my computer and getting my system upgraded, I have been stitching to de-stress and now have some completed and ready.  i know I have posted these before, but I have now done some extra embellishing of the pages.  A big thank you to all my friends who have commented and complimented me on my previous post with the pages.
Barred chain on the left and detached chain on the right

Fly stitch

image from Gimp printed onto linen and embroidered. The background fabric is one I painted

I have just added some buttons and braid to this to finish it off

All I did to this was to thread some ribbon through the lace and embroider round the edges with herringbone at the top and barred chain on the torso piece.
I have had an external hard drive for about 2 years and after the initial set up I left it plugged in as instructed to let it do its thing, then one day needed the usb port and never got to put it back in.   Then I tried to do an update with it and could not get it to work.  I have been waiting all this time to get someone to help me with it....and when I did it would not work at all.  

This meant investing in a new one so I could back up everything before the upgrade, and the new one did just that, and then would not allow us to reinstall.
There were ways round that, but whatever could go wrong did, and it all took 7 hours, and even then I just had to say stop because the dollar signs were rolling over and over.  

It all stressed me out no end, and I do miss having my clever son around to do all this stuff for free.

I am not quite sure yet whether I like the new distro...and I am struggling with some things.   Lost my photo programme completely and the new one I installed myself scared the wits out of just took over, and there was no where to allow me to open up my photos in Gimp and edit them......ooops that got removed very quickly I can tell you.  I had visions of all my photos disappearing into netherland.

Anyway I am battling to understand all this new "stuff", and change is something I dont cope with these days.

So my stitching project has been a blessing and helping to take my mind off anything stressful.

I have my unit inspection this week so had better do something today about tidying up my sewing room.

10 August 2013

Fabric Pages sneak Peak

For some time now I have been collecting samplers of stitches and techniques which I have worked, and am finally getting round to making a second fabric book.  I reckon that someone in the family might be more prone to want to keep a book I made rather than a whole box of scrap stuff.

I have decided on my embroidery I called ET for the cover, so the pages all have to be 12in x 12in.    I have been working on them for a couple of days now, and thought I would share some of them.   I have worked out backgrounds and positioning of most of them, but these are a few that I consider finished.  The stitches are all from Tast, and some of the pages from workshops I have done with Sharon B at Pintangle

The cover is going to be my ET piece and the blue fabric in the background is some I dyed myself as are a few of the background fabrics.  The felt backing is all I have left of some felt that I was gifted that was left over from a theatre curtain.  I am sorry now that I had used it all up on other projects.
I have still to finish hand stitching the velvet ribbon surround, and find some matching felt for the back cover

I haven't worked out trims for this called Carnivale  yet. This design was produced through Gimp and printed onto linen and embroidered with a variety of stitches in the 2010 Tast.  i dont know why that top centre seam looks crooked it isn't in real life....probably due to my inadequate photographic skills.

On the blue felt background is chevron stitch and the bottom samples of contemporary Casalguidi stitching

The Torso is Bonnet stitch, and the upper sample is of woven wheels, barred chain and a mix of other stitches
You will notice on the page below  the seams are not of professional quality..oops  ..that is why i am not a patchworker. I did unpick it 4 times and this is the best I can get.  I cant even walk a straight line so have no hope of sewing one.
Knotted Buttonhole, sheaf stitch, palestrina stitch, Bonnet stitch, and buttonhole stitch.

08 August 2013

My friend is Back

Yey....Di is home.  Her DH finally brought her back.   I have missed her so much, and this morning she came for coffee.   I celebrated by making her some pikelets with strawberry cream because neither of us needs it.  I was so excited I forgot to take pics. We talked nonstop for about 2 hours...

Before I went away, I managed to finish off the "butterfly" cushion front.  It is now very different because I did quite a bit of reverse stitching of the flowers.  I had worked them in long and short stitch which I did not like....does anyone else have stitches that have stumped them.   I have two and the other is satin stitch.

The work has been sitting unfinished for almost 3 years now, and I finally bit the bullet and unpicked those damn flowers that were aggravating me.

By this time I was not really in the mood for anything fancy so the flowers are now simple and in soft colours.  I am always pleased to get articles out of the ufo pile.

I spent a week at the farm, just relaxing and doing a bit of gardening.  Himself had let a pumpkin grow wild where the roses are and they were surrounded by weeds and grass.....he insists on throwing the mown grass onto the gardens, and the seeds germinate don't they.

Anyway I cleared round the roses and cut them back, and himself took to the rest of the grass after he had pulled out the pumpkin vine.  Next day he sprayed the weeds so by the time I go back in September they will be waiting for me to dig them out.

The next day, we  were trimming off some shrubs, and himself noticed his arm itchy and it turned out he had collected a tick from when he was pulling out the previous day.  Fortunately we got it out, and after a couple of days his arm went down and the inflammation disappeared.  The property is in a tick area, but this is the first we have ever had.

I was amazed at how the coriander plant has grown....I could never get it to flourish, but it probably did so from lack of care.   The flat parsley is also flourishing, and I was able to use those and other herbs in the cooking.

I dug some of this up and bought it home to pot.

While I was there I replenished his supplies of sausage rolls which he loves for lunch.  I am the sausage roll queen...use the best quality pork sausage mince, and lots of herbs for flavour and they are delicious.

Also replenished a small supply of cooked meals for him as well.  He is 80 next month, and cooking is not his I try to do what I can so he can have at least some good meals.

The lavenders are blooming at the moment, and the rosemary bushes are thriving.   My orchard has a lot of bud trails, so hope the flowers are still there when I go back.
The wallabies have been breeding well this year, and there were several does with babies in their pouches.  
This is a photo of "shorty" who has become quite tame.  He lies around the house area of a day, and isn't scared of us at all.
One morning I went for a walk while the dew was still on the grass, and discovered these interesting cobwebs in the garden.

The cobwebs seem to disappear during the day, and they the poor little things have to build them all over again at night.

I have been keeping busy since coming home, working on the fabric pages for my next fabric book.   I will try to have some sneak peak pics ready for my next post. Sorry this has become so long.

Byee I will be back soon!


06 August 2013

Time is Racing away

Hello all my patient friends.  There is a saying "it is a long way between drinks" well for me it has been a long way between posts.   I keep promising myself to be a better blogger but the days just pass so quickly.

I have only recently returned from two trips away...the first to eldest son on the Gold Coast and the second from a week at "the farm"  Both son and "himself" came and collected me and then returned me home so I did not have to battle with buses and trains which was good.

So firstly the embroidery lessons went well.  The ladies who did the workshop were very keen, and picked up the stitches well.  I was very proud of them.  I am having a break, now because the quilt show is looming and everyone is busy sewing.

However, I have started on an idea for the sampler for the next group with the blessing of my friend Anneliese who has given me permission to use her leaf idea.

I have not finalised what stitches I will share next time, but here is a photo of what I have done with the leaf so far.  The next step will be going through my books and deciding on the stitches.

I have not been entirely idle and have made two more lots of green pawpaw chutney.
This is the first lot.  I was a bit afraid of the chillies (6) which was the amount in the recipe.  I added the seeds on only 1-1/2 chillies and it was tasty but no zing so for the second lot I have added the seeds from 3 of the long chillies and I certainly got some Zing.  The first lot I used white wine vinegar, but in the second I used red wine vinegar with a touch of balsamic and it is amazing the difference the darker vinegar made.

My visit to the Gold Coast was to help son look after the pups while his wife was away overseas.  They dont like the pups to be left alone for too long so mum's baby sitting expertise was required.   I did enjoy them they are such lovely "children".   Princess Chloe had an operation to remove a growth on her back paw just before mummy arrived home so I was glad I was there for her.
She was very good, for the first couple of days with me, but as soon as DIL came home Chloe started chewing at the socks covering the bandage and then the bandage.  After I had left she even chewed a hole in her leg where the bandage had been.   i cant help wondering whether that was a bit of a tantrum at mummy leaving her and then nanas. Mr. Beau was very sad during this time, because he did not have his friend to frolic with while she was recovering. Bath day came along just before Chloe's visit to the vet and I must say for a few days they smelt lovely.
Chloe loves her bath

Mr Beau does not like it and cant wait for it to finish he watches everything

Beau having a blow dry....not a happy chappy
While I was there I received a voucher from my lovely DIL for a manicure and eyelash .....such luxury.  I even took a pic of my pretty nails.  Unfortunately my hands, over 3 weeks later, are,  I am ashamed to say back to what they normally look like. But here is when they were pretty.   I loved the red nail polish but thought I should act my age and settle for the soft pink.

 Cant finish off without two photos of my lovely grandaughters.  They were visiting their Dad who is my youngest, so I had a chance to spend some time with them.

Georgia is 13 and Amber is now 16 so they are growing up quickly.  They are both lovely girls.