Archive for August, 2009


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August 25, 2009 at 9:19 am Leave a comment

Wings take flight

Linda over on her textile blog was talking about trying machine stitched flowers on soluble with wire edges so they can be manipulated into shapes. The scan below shows part of the angel wing for the Sea Angels (it was too big to fit in the scanner).


I drew the outline in fineliner, stitched the diamond grid twice over with straight stitch, then went over in a small zigzag stitch. Then the dissecting lines were stitched twice over with straight stitch. I had a nice easily bendable wire (probably jewellery wire) and zigzagged that around the edges, then went over again with a close satin stitch. I used up as much of the romeo as I could stitching the little bubble fragments. I dissolved it in a sink of warm water, rinsed in cold water, patted dryish with paper towels and laid flat on baking paper to dry.


August 24, 2009 at 9:43 am 1 comment

Christmas Preparations Not!

Just thought I’d pass on this link from Handmaiden. Lots of links here to give you ideas for making Xmas presents. With a thesis to write I will definitely not be having a right old, sewing presents xmas; the credit card might take a hammering instead!!!


August 23, 2009 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

Kings Park

Kings Park (this is how the official website spells it!) was renamed from Perth Park when King Edward VII acceded the throne in 1901. I would add an apostrophe as it was only one king!. It was originally gazetted a park in 1872 (175 ha). Of course for 40,000 years it had been home to the Nyoongar Aboriginal people until the invasion of the British (of whom I am a descendent, with a quite a bit of Irish in there too).

I spent my last day in Perth wandering around these wonderful gardens, beginning with a free ‘History of the Gardens’ guided tour.

A view of the War Memorial and through to the Swan River:

war memorial

Our tour leader was very informative and also made the effort to find out and cater to our individual interests. She was very patient when I kept interrupting her history talk to ask the names of plants. It is well worth taking one of these tours which are held twice a day on different topics of interest. 

After the tour I had a delicious roast pumpkin salad lunch at the cafe before meandering through the botanic garden section of the park. The botanic garden consists mostly of indigenous WA plants , a major aspect of Kings Park being the conservation and propagation of endangered native flora.

Not being a native WA (who regard them as commonplace), I am fascinated by the sculptural form of the grass trees which have become a sought after landscape plant over here in the south east.

grass trees 1

grass trees 2But wait, there is more!!

grass tree 3I won’t post any more of my 100 photos of grass trees!!!

This is the glass bridge which gives an elevated view at the end of the treetop walkway.

Glass bridgeAlso very sculptural are the boab trees. There are many young trees throughout the gardens:

young boabAnd this ancient specimen, which has just been moved from a development site in the north of WA. It will be two years before they know whether it will survive the move.

big boabThe water garden incorporates the Pioneer women’s memorial water fountain and a large sandstone wall sculpture.

water fountain

women sculptureThe Banksia garden included these wonderful serpentine benches and mosaics:

Banksia benchBeing wintertime the acacia garden was at its flowering best:

acaciaI returned to the cafe for some sustenance, coffee and cake, as well as browsing through the Aboriginal gallery and Kings Park Shop. This is a lovely bandana I bought from the Gallery, a printing of artist Karen Walker’s ‘On Walkabout” design.

bandana:eAs well as the Botanic Gardens there is a native bush walks area, picnic areas and playgrounds. I jumped into the hire car for a drive around the rest of the park. The Synergy Park was a very imaginative play area based on the dinosaur era. I loved this island playground and the metal sculptural elements incorporated. Claudia would have had a great time here.



island 2

Despite spending 5 hours in the gardens I only experienced a fraction of the sights, activities and areas (it is a huge park). If you are going I recommend allocating at least a full day to fully enjoy all there is on offer.


August 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm 3 comments

The Workshop


At the fair on Friday I had also met up with another ‘cyber’ friend, Doreen from Canberra. Doreen is a prolific and talented textile artist and blogger and it was wonderful to meet up at last. We had lunch together and then Doreen went off to a workshop to make this sensational little needlecase. Her stitching is just beautiful.

doreen's needlecase

A very interesting exhibit at the fair encompassed works from all the branches of the Embroiderer’s Guilds of WA in celebration of 40 years. Linda Stokes, another talented textile artist and blogger from WA had a beautiful book on display. I didn’t ask Linda’s permission to photograph it but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me showing the cover. I spent at least fifteen minutes enjoying the beautiful pages within (with gloves on of course).

linda's bookAfter whetting our appetite at the fair, Linda, Doreen and I, along with 17 other enthusiastic ladies gathered on the Tuesday for some personal tuition from the ‘master’ of textile art, Maggie Grey.

I was lucky enough to be loaned a new Janome by Wendy Gager’s Janome sewing Centres.

It was a dream to sew with after the clunking of my 25 year old Janome!!


Maggie taught her techniques with massive doses of inspiration, thoughtfulness and clarity and with her help we all created some lovely pieces. I will blog a picture when I have finished putting it together!

This piece of Maggie’s shows how it should look.

maggie's pieceHere is a photo of the two “Grey’s” : Doreen and Maggie.

Doreen and MaggieA photo of the ladies hard at work, except for Linda enjoying a cuppa there on the right!!!

workshop 1That is also Dorothy on the right, another “Holey Moley“.

And a photo of Maggie showing us one of her amazing examples as she explains a technique:

workshop 2Thankyou Maggie for a wonderful time, and thankyou Dale for your fantastic organisation.

Final instalment, at a later date, will be my great final day in Perth, spent at King’s Park, surely the best public park in Australia.


August 9, 2009 at 1:21 am 5 comments

Craft, Quilt and Stitch Show

Day 2 of our Perth sojourn and Carly headed off to the state library to do some uni work online and finish an assignment.

I jumped on a train to the craft quilt and stitch show at the showgrounds. As I got off the train I started chatting to a lovely lady who was there for her second day, so she showed me the way. The first person I saw as I came into the fair was the ‘infamous’ Maggie Grey. It was so exciting to meet her and Clive in the ‘flesh’ after chatting online and admiring her textile prowess for so long. After meeting her I can say she is the one of the most open, friendly and welcoming people I have ever met. It was quite amusing that she continued to call me ‘aussie’ over the next few days.

M & C

(This photo was actually taken at the workshop on the Tuesday)

Maggie gave a wonderfully professional talk about her textile work (despite the technical difficulties) to packed houses, and demonstrated at the Thread studio stall, surrounded by her beautifully crafted creations.

The first and most obvious port of call at the fair was the emporium of “The Thread Studio“; Dale and Ian’s stall was massive!!! Of course that meant all the more goodies to tempt you with and of course I managed to find some (well quite a few) items that were absolutely necessary. It makes it so much easier to pick out the colours in the flesh. 

After Carly had flown home I amused myself making a wrapped cord (a la Effie Mitrofanis) with one of the Thread Studio’s beautifully dyed stranded cottons.

wrapped cord:eRead on for “The Workshop!” 

August 9, 2009 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

Rottnest Island

Our first full day in Perth was glorious; light wind, sun shining and driving around the city in circles. Luckily Carly’s navigation skills improved after the first day. We picked up our hire car at 8.30am and had extreme difficulty finding our way out of the city to Fremantle thanks to all those one way streets. Finally we were on our way, but just missed the 9.30 ferry to Rottnest Island. Not fazed we bought tickets for the 11.00 ferry and headed off to browse the market and then sit in the beautiful sunshine with a latte (skinny!!).

The ferry ride was extremely smooth. On disembarking we checked out the various lunch menus and settled for a great little cafe in the village, serving the most delicious soup and focaccias. This little quokka was enjoying his meal under my chair while I ate!!

quokkaAfter lunch it was off to the bike hire shed for our transportation to explore the island. Next time I would go the multi geared bike!!!

The scenery is superlative, the water is the most exquisite turquoise blue and the weather was sensational. Being a Friday and not school holidays, it was not overly busy, making for a wonderful 2 hours touring around the island.

bike ride rottnest

rottnest beach

While waiting for the ferry back to the mainland……

drinksWhat a life!!!

Read on for Day 2.

August 9, 2009 at 12:08 am Leave a comment


August 2009

Notebook Project