Archive for February, 2008

Postcard in the post

Three posts in 5 days, wow, this is a record!!!
I had to post today because I received some exciting post (in the mailbox) this morning. An envelope from Susan Lenz with the Postcard I chose from her swap. This was the last one left of her Endless Possibilities Series, which has these digitized words and other machine stitched rows of patterns upon painted, heat distressed bondaweb(?) The scanner does not pick up the metallic thread, but they are in there. I thought this would be a nice addition to my daughter’s 18th birthday book. Susan’s other postcards in this series included vintage keys, but this one doesn’t. Luckily I have a few old interesting keys from our garage doors here and also some I picked up in my favourite second hand yard- Restorer’s Barn. I will add one of these (Hope you don’t mind Susan?).
Susan also sent in this parcel an extra ATC which will join the other one in it’s frame above my sewing nook. (Have to get rid of a couple of children before I can claim a room to be a ‘studio’.)pcard-s-lenz-e.jpg. And here are some pics of the book. I was going to leave space inside for the postcard but thinking about it while taking these photos, I think I’ll dangle it with a key from a group of machined cords on the front cover. The dangle here on the front cover is actually a necklace I made that she can take out and wear. front-cover-18.jpgSome bits on these pages, such as the 18 wishes, were taken from an altered book on the web by Karen. She has some beautiful work on her site, so take a look.18-wishes.jpgHere are a few more pages, just scan through if you’re getting bored with the family snapshots.dressing-up-18th.jpgdriving-18th.jpgfriends-18th.jpgThis last pic is the back cover with a poem I found while teaching at a school. I printed it on some red plastic sheeting that was part of the Country Road catalogue!back-cover-18.jpg
I have started working on the return postcard for Susan Lenz. Following the endangered life theme of the ATC I sent, this will be the Orange Bellied Parrot, which migrates between Tasmania and the south of Australia. Rather than just do one postcard, I am doing a large picture which I will cut up for a series of postcards. This is the initial sketch of a parrot (you’ll have to click on this, it’s a bit pale):parrot-sketche.jpg
Here is the background with some silk fibres/hankies being layed on:laying-fibres.jpg
Here I have added some turquoise organza ribbon to the wing feathers and overlayed with a pale mauve chiffon scarf (from the Op Shop). It is pinned ready for FME. with-scarf.jpg
Just one final note, Dale mentioned at the Australasian Quilt fair that she will be running a Wild Women (and song?) challenge so watch out on the Thread Studio website for that. Perhaps Dale could post a You Tube of her singing a wild women song. I’d like to see that!!!!

February 25, 2008 at 1:34 pm 3 comments

Australasian Quilt Show

What a shame they have to cram so many people into so small a space. I attended the Australasian Quilt Show in Melbourne for the first time on Friday and I have to say I was very disappointed with the venue. It wasn’t even the weekend and it was so choc a bloc you could hardly move. After attending the Craft and Quilt shows at Jeff’s Shed (aka New Melbourne Exhibition Centre) which has a huge space I have to say I won’t go again unless it’s moved to a bigger venue. They had some big names but the seminar rooms were way too small and access in and out was very poor. However I did attend some seminars. Dale Rollerson did a great show and tell but wasn’t game to pass around her art peices as she’d had some go missing the day before. It was good to see her new Marrakesh work in the flesh and I bought some nice Oliver Twist perle cotton from her stall. Have to email off an order this week for the items she didn’t bring with her.
I also bought, from the top, antique Japanese silk and cotton pack, silk hanky, some lace to paint/dye and a pack of silk fibres in a luscious colour. And the gorgeous braids below were irresistable. I can feel some bags coming along with these trims for pressies, I’ll have to check out the web for some freebie patterns.
The other seminar I managed to get into was a booked one with Bernina, which I did to try out their new machine. (I’m checking out some machines before I buy a new one) At the seminar we made this cute as chicken, which has a zip at the back (with the tassel on) so you can place treasures/presents/easter eggs inside. We FME over the fabric, sewed on the face, beak and comb, then inserted the zip.chook.jpg The pattern is just a rectangle with one side twice as long as the other. (This one was 10 inches x 5 inches). This will be daughter No 2’s easter present, so now I just have to make 3 more!! One will be funky fabric, minus the chook bits for daughter No 1 and then there will be two boy style ones. Should have some appropriate fabric in my stash.
I forgot, in my rush to go out for dinner, to include Susan Lenz’s lovely, creative ATC which she sent from the US, in my last post. It is an embellished background with velvet leaves and beading. I intend to pop it into a little box frame above my work area as inspiration. Susan is working on a very interesting installation at the moment so do visit her blog or the Cyber Fyber site.susans-atc.jpg

February 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm 3 comments

ATC off to US

After a busy week/weekend with Daughter No 1’s 18th birthday party(it was a joint party with her friend, also 18 and they invited 180!) I managed to finish the ATC for the Fyber Cyber swap this week. When I couldn’t find an appropriate bead I decided to stitch the butterfly. It is one of several rare butterflies from the Mt Piper region in Victoria, Australia. I am hoping to do a series on the butterflies from this area, which is now protected habitat. The Moonlight Jewel[Blue](Hypochrysops delicia delos) lays it’s eggs on lichen covered branches which is the background stitching on the ATC, quite appropriate that it includes cocoon strippings!
My representation of the butterfly is silk ribbon embroidery on felt with beading and the feelers are one of Sharon B’s woven stitches from the PLOS class at Joggles.
I also started on the background fabric for the postcard and had great fun mixing up a combination of paints. I layered a piece of Zap cloth(bulk nappy liner) from the Thread studio over some cotton material and painted both together, using lots of water.
Here are the pieces hung out to dry (saved the newspaper from underneath too).
With the leftover paint I also did litttle stamping on some white cotton.
I’m off to the Australasian Quilt Fair tomorrow in Melbourne, so probably won’t get to work on this again until next week. It will be chopped up and layered to get the effect I’m after. Off now to have tea out with the family visitors who arrived from London 4am this morning. They’ve been sleeping off their jetlag. Cheers.

February 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm 2 comments

ATC Trade

It’s going to be a fabulous, mild, sunny day. We are having an amazing summer and had quite a bit of much needed soaking rain last week. The garden has perked up and is not looking so crunchy! We still have the rest of February and March to go but hopefully we won’t have any severe heatwaves this year. Last year we had a few 40C+ days so fingers crossed.
I’m just finishing off my ATC for the swap with Susan Lenz for Cybefyber. I will post it when finished but here is a pic of the preliminary stagesatcprelim.jpg
This is dupion silk painted with lumiere/dye-na-flow/acrylic and some cocoon strippings with scrim, ironed to fuse together and sprayed with walnut ink and moonshadow mist. I have free machined these together with different fibres and will now hand stitch.atc-fme.jpg
I’m off to Embroiderer’s Guild this morning, so I will put the final hand stitching and beading on at our sit ans stitch and send off to Susan in USA this afternoon.

February 11, 2008 at 9:21 am 3 comments


I am inspired to write an extra post this week (I have set myself the attainable target of one post a week) by Fibre fan’s blog. She did a very interesting weaving inspired by the Monet waterlilies for the January TIF and then shelved it.
This piece reminded me of some items I have inspired by Monet, I love the colours he uses. The first was from my ceramics phase and is a vase I painted monet-vase.jpg
The next is a lovely pastel drawn by an artist friend.waterlilies.jpg(I had to photograph it somewhere there was no reflection)
I am SO-O-O-O excited, I have arranged an ATC swap with Susan Lenz for cyberfyber. Check out what is happening on her site, there is an international swap happening later in the year as well, and lots of great invited exhibitors.
I will blog the ATC I am sending shortly, I’m just having some beads made up for a special series of ATC’s, one of which I will send to Susan and the others for the international swap.
Before I went to Summer School for a workshop with Dale Rollerson I made up this cute little fabric box to carry some of my bits & pieces.fabric-box.jpg
And the inside:inside-fabric-box.jpgIt is a lovely aussie print featuring Flannel flowers, waratahs, grevilleas and bottlebrushes(callistemons). The beads are from my fantastic local bead man (who is custom making the beads for my ATC’s – he says he loves a challenge). The pattern for the box is in this book:fabric-box-book1.jpg which I borrowed from our local branch of the Victorian Embroiderer’s Guild. I also borrow copies of Stitch as it becomes expensive to buy overseas magazines here in Oz.
Just to finish here are the lovely eucalyptus (gum tree) flowers my 7 year old picked for me.eucalyptus-flowers.jpg

February 6, 2008 at 11:45 am 1 comment

Back to School

The children all returned to school this week after the long-g-g-g-g-g summer break. Lovely to have them home but lovely to see them go back.
Hopefully I can be more productive over the next couple of weeks before I start my Masters at Uni.
No textile work this week but a couple of other projects. altered-book-a.jpgFirstly, the altered book I’m working on with Daughter no 2 for Daughter no 1’s 18th birthday. Her birthday is on Thursday so it is a priority. I bought a board book at an Op Shop and we sanded and peeled off the plastic on the front cover. The best thing about this book is that it has niches inside where the jigsaws used to be so I’ll be able to utilize that to put in some interesting items. We have gessoed all the pages and painted the background on the front and back covers.altered-book-b.jpg
Also have been painting some outdoor furniture for our courtyard. The courtyard was formed about 5 years ago when we extended the house to fit in child number four. I have been waiting for the major works of removing concrete and laying paving to finish it off. I’m sure many of you know this feeling. ‘Patience is a virtue’.
Our house brickwork is a mixture of orange/sandy yellow and red. The colour scheme for the area is deep red and green for accessories so I have painted a table and chair red. The mahogany wood stain wasn’t quite dark enough so I got out my acrylic art paints and mixed up a wash. chair.jpgI have also spray painted an old wrought iron screen red which OH will screw to the wall to espallier a camellia. The garden colours are red/yellow/white/orange/purple/mauve and of course green. The paving will be sandstone crazy paving.
This is the cover of a booklet I picked up at the Op Shop for 20c (great source of all sorts of interesting stuff). It is in mint condition and is a very interesting read. If anyone has any idea I’d be interested in knowing how old it would be, there is no publication date but it is pre decimal currency.singer-book-title-page.jpg
I’m enjoying following along with all the TIF pieces, they are so varied and interesting. Just realized the other day that some cushions I made a couple of weeks ago are the exact colours of the January challenge. (for some reason this sentence has become the link to Sharon b’s site on the TIF challenge)cushions-tif.jpg Those colours are ones we have throughout our house, unlike the new February colours.
I’m still finding my way around the idiosyncrasies of this system. Any hints would be most welcome.
Cheers Jo-Anne

February 2, 2008 at 12:36 pm 3 comments


February 2008

Notebook Project