Saturday, October 30, 2010

1/2 way to 100!

My 50th post - it happened so fast....Lots of busy family things this week - hoping to be able to show you more project progress next week.
I have started the sashing for my quilt. The instructions were to cut 270 light and 270 dark 1 and 1/2 inch squares! I decided to do it an easier way and cut strips of fabricswhich I machined together into pairsAnd then trimed after. Next step is to join them alternately as you would see a checkerboard.
This weekend Craig is away with the band and Sam has gone to stay with his Uncle, so this afternoon Jacob & I went to the movies and saw this - We had fun.I have been enjoying this latest fiction - another one to add to your recommended reading.And I was very excited to find this at the library the other day.It looked like it would be fantastic - lovely cover (I know - you can't always judge!...) and promising title. Worth a look if you are wanting to start your own blog, and I might try some of the tips about editing photographs in the future, but ultimately I was a little disappointed. There were lots of featured blogs, but most of them had a sameness about them, and not enough craftiness for my liking. This was a good find though : colourful and lovely - she also writes for Papaya blog which I guess figures.
My own blog followings this week turned up some gorgeous wall art from Donna Downey - inspiring for a colourful quilt - and if you fancy making a lavender pillow, check out Rebecca Sower's tutorial - simply lovely.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Star Books

When Katherine & I did our talk on Monday night, one of the projects people really loved were the star books. Katherine & I have made quite a number over time. The original instructions came from one of our favourite people, Beryl Taylor, in Somerset Gallery Volume IV. This link will take you to instructions by Lynn Davis - her measurements for the pages are the same as what we have made, but of course you can make the books as large as you wish. Hope you enjoy the pictures below, and if you are inspired to make one yourself, do let me know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mixed media fibre art talk

Last night my dear friend Katherine & I were the guest speakers at our monthly Rose City Quilters meeting. We had been asked to share our experimental work - so we made sure everything we showed had a fibre content, but was in no way a traditional quilt. We shared our fun playdays and explained about our various projects from the last couple of years with a powerpoint slideshow (that's the first slide they saw above), and then people came up to look at everything we had brought to show set out on tables. It was very well received and we had a great time preparing and then sharing it.
At the end we were presented with a lovely gift. This is mine - Katherine's was orange. Wrapped in a gorgeous fat-quarter of fabric and tied with ribbon that I am told is great for burning!!
And then inside, a yummy variety of fudge from munchkins....and I may just be able to use the box for a future project. You just never know what might come in handy ;-)
A fantastic evening, and a great way to finish our long weekend. Thanks to those who were there to see it, and gave us such lovely positive comments afterwards. And a huge thanks to Katherine - my partner in crime - without whom the talk wouldn't have happened, and playdays wouldn't be quite as much fun :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Inspirations

Added words to 2 more of my cards this week and posted them off : Week 2 of the final school term gone already - it is speeding by. We are back to after-school practices and sports for both boys : Touch rugby on Monday, Swimming on Tuesday, Teeball practice on Wednesday, Cricket for Jacob and Teeball for Sam on Saturday mornings.
Just completed my last fused block of my Simply Delicious series - next I will sash the 9 blocks together and layer them to quilt and applique in one step.Have been enjoying my latest novel: She is a NZ author and the book contains similar supernatural/ ghostly elements to those which I enjoyed in Audrey Niffenegger's "Her Fearful Symmetry". Both good reads.
Also inspired by many of the quilts in this Kaffe Fassett book.
These log cabins for a start - I've never been partial to log cabin quilts, but the colours of these are great. This is Spring.And this is Autumn. Also this is a Kim McLean design from that book - blogged about here.
And there are many other beauties in there. Might have to own this one.
Have also seen a couple of great DVDs this week - both 'family' enjoyment. The first, an oldie but a goodie : And the second a recent release that is so good we have decided to have it in our own collection.
This is getting to be a very long post, but I also have some great blog love to share this week.
Have I mentioned that the Papaya blog have a cool selection of free printable envelopes - I reckon they would be lovely printed and used for art journalling.
This link is for a very cool tutorial that I will definitely try - making your own faux japanese masking tape.
Gorgeous painted pumpkins from Alisa Burke - not at all halloweeny!
Natural dying and gorgeous hearts this week at Love Stitching Red
And Ali Edwards is sharing her preparations for her 2010 Xmas Album - you need to start preparing now if you want to do it.
It's a long weekend for us in NZ - hope it's a good one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Garden Fairy

When I was looking for something else the other day, I found this piece that I did last year. 4 friends tried a challenge where we had a month to make a small journal quilt/piece following a technique/theme/use of a product - each of us had a go at suggesting the following month's theme. This was the result of the first challenge - we were required to use some grungeboard, and my self-imposed theme for my pages (to help me focus) was "Beauty in the Garden". The following are some of my notes from that time.
TECHNIQUES : Fabric paper a la Beryl Taylor. The wings and heart are grungeboard - heart painted with pebeo shimmer light copper, edged with gold krylon pen, then curved metal heart shape sewn by hand on top (no problem with sewing thru the grungeboard). Wings painted with lumiere metallic gold, then a layer of glitter glue, and the addition of feathers underneath.
CHALLENGES : I think working from the 'Angel in the garden' project in Beryl Taylor's book "Mixed Media Explorations" made it harder -- it raised my expectations of what I wanted, and made it more complicated than my first page probably needed to be. Grungeboard - great to use, can see specific advantages of it now...but once painted (both sides on wings in case could see back of them when attached) was impossible to glue to. Used unfeasibly strong double-sided tape for the feathers! Ended up stitching the wings by machine to the background (which was no problem), and then gluing the angel over the top and onto background. Face -- I had a big block for a while over how I would do the face/head cos I didn't think I'd be happy with anything I drew myself. In the end I printed an artistic face and then glued cream tissue over to give it a similar feel to the rest of the papers. I still wasn't happy cos it looked too flat. Lovely husband suggested embellishing the hair with some flowers, and from that I ended up attaching the dried pansies in place of the hair. I now love that.
LEARNINGS : It is darkest before the dawn! When you block/can't see the way on a project, you just have to keep thinking, and giving it some time, and asking what others think - the end result is often better than your first expectation, and may be completely unimagined. When in doubt...embellish ;-)
SUCCESSES : The fabric paper : I really enjoyed this process, and learned lots from it. My colour is all from using coloured tissue as the last layer (not adding any paint). Will definitely do more of this. Haven't neatened the sides of this page yet....may back it with my purple fabric paper, embellished in some way (but that will be later - not this month!) Grungeboard is usefully stitched by hand or machine and is quite nice to hold dimension on a piece - my wings are up off the page which lets the feathers be free too. And I would probably have it still lying in my drawer untried if not for this project...

Well - those notes were from March 2009 - and the day before yesterday I re-discovered it, and decided I still didn't like it without background stitching. It now has a felt backing, and my swirly free-hand machine stitching that is one of my fav's - and I feel so much better....if only I could have spent that 15 mins 18 months ago - I could have felt better, sooner!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

End of the week

It's the weekend -'s been a funny kind of week. Kids back at school, but Sam sick at home for the first 2 days. It takes a while to readjust to waking up at the right time after the hols, and then of course this morning (Saturday) they were all ready to get up before 7am....I can never understand that!
Yesterday a budAnd today it's open - my first rose of the seasonI attached some words to a 3 of my blank cards this week and sent them off. These were for a birthday and a get well....I am always excited when the new issue of Quilting Arts Magazine arrives. This issue arrived in my mailbox yesterday....My heart speeds up and I have to have a flip through to see the delights in store for a more thorough reading. Although this issue doesn't have me racing off immediately to try something, I love that it has so much colour and new ideas. There is always something to feed my creativity - even if it is a new website discovered from an advert. I have almost every issue, and last year I revisited each one by always having one in my car door so that if I was stuck waiting unexpectedly I had something to flip through. It is amazing to me how I can look at an issue that I haven't seen for 6 months, and see something that I never saw before. It all depends on what project you are working on, or what is percolating in your head at the time....I think it might be time to do that again.
Blog love for you and me this weekend :
I'm sure you know the Papaya blog - gorgeous colours and lovely gifts
One of the contributors is the fabulous Anahata Katkin - check our her website gallery of art journals
Teresa Martin has some lovely collages currently available in her etsy shop. Have a look before they sell.
And I discovered a wonderful quilter this week : Malka Dubrawsky - take a look at her blog, and her gorgeously colourful quilts on Flickr

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Presents from Paris!

You remember that I made this journal for my friend who was going to holiday in Paris? She is home, and I finally caught up with her today over lunch. Here are some of those originally blank pages - now written on and glued onto, with envelopes stuffed full of tickets and memorabilia, and evidence of places visited and memories captured. She said she was glad of all the envelopes :-) It is so wonderful to see that it has been lovingly used, and will be enjoyed for a long time to come. And then she gave me some simply beautiful presents....I am so so lucky to have such a thoughtful friend, who really gets me and what I love :-)
First up - a sweet wee notebook. This is the cover.And this is the blog of the artist - Gaelle Boissonnard, and a flickr page of her art.
Next up, some beautiful cream perfume - I am wearing it now - it smells divine...and I should be able to use the lovely bag in some art ;-)And last (but definitely NOT least) - a lovely package of promisethat delivered some gorgeous whimsical earrings.....What a lucky girl I am.
Talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sweet Canteloupe

This block fused - only one more (gorgeous grapes) to go and then I can construct the top ready to layer and quilt....

Friday, October 8, 2010


Yay for Friday. Holidays are always a curious mix of loveliness and craziness. It has been great to stay in PJ's until 9am and not have to make school lunches, but two brothers age 6 and 10 can also drive you to distraction with their arguing/annoying of each other.
Happily, there were lots of good things this week - first barbecue of the season on Monday evening! More than half this week was sunny and warm. Started weeding the garden and the lawn has finally been mowed - looks so great. New colour in the garden The collage challenge of my last post is the only thing completed this week. I have lots of lovely fabric laid out in my sewing/craft room waiting for the right quilt pattern.And I am half way thru another applique block - had to buy some more fusible. Hopefully can show you this after the weekend.Read this book and really enjoyed it. Quite different from others of hers I've read ("Mistress of Spices" and "Sister of My Heart), but a great story. And I'm up to Book 5 of Sara Donati's series - now reading "Queen of Swords". Book 6 is beside my bed...
In the coming week : Jacob is staying with his Uncle for the day tomorrow so we will have a nice day with Sam and no brothers fighting! I am working at the library Sunday afternoon. Boys back to school on Monday so some time back for me, and Xmas card making on Monday night with my Quilting Housegroup. A day with my friend Katherine on Wednesday. Coffee group here on Friday, and I may even get to a quilt show next weekend.
Just a couple of blog loves to share this week - haven't been looking at the computer very much....
Gorgeous felt works from Ieva Vilnius in Lithuania.
And take a fresh look at Geninne's Art blog - her recent colour posts are stunning.
What are you looking forward to next week?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Green Paper October Collage Challenge

Love Mary Green's work (she was one of my blog loves last week) and I decided to take the plunge and enter her October Challenge. She provides some images, and the challenge is to create something using at least part of each. These are the images for this month:And this is my collage creation. You can see I followed the french theme again, and continued to use the butterflies, musical heart and stitched scrim that I used in my recent cards.
Check out the other entries. There is some lovely work there.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Postcards from Paris

The friend for whom I made the Paris book (see it here) has had her trip, and being the lovely friend that she is, sent me 4 postcards while she was away. They are all very cool, and I am sure will inspire some art in the future, so thought I would share them with you.
Ils sont très jolis, n'est-ce pas?

(thank you google translator!)
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