Monday, September 08, 2008

Answer: My House Keys

Question: What fell down the really deep rain sewer in the front of the house?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Scatterdays - Wet

The Scatterday challenge for August is 'Wet'. Here are my three photos.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

June Journal Quilt

The theme for June was Fire. This A4-sized quilt was made from the scraps from my quilt Flammable When Dry.
I did a much better job on the binding but realised, when I sat down to hide the threads, that I'd used the binding strips for another quilt. The ones I'd planned to use are a dark charcoal grey and might look better than these middle grey ones.

So, to unpick or not ... that is the question.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

February Journal Quilt

The technique for February's journal quilt was collage or layering with scraps. And I've done both in this little A4-sized quilt. The scraps came from Recess!!, a quilt that I entered into the Sydney Quilt Show in June.

Here's a closeup shot ...

... and another of my cheater binding. I thought that I'd remembered how to do it but, taking another look at the corners, I'd say I didn't.

The variegated thread looked a lot more purple and blue on the reel. But it turned out to have more pink than I expected.

P.S. Yes, I know that it's a bit past February ...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My New Cufflinks

Just because I dress like a grownup doesn't mean that I have to be a grown up. I love weird cufflinks but they can be a bit tough to find. These are the latest additions to my small but ecclectic collection. Going clockwise from the top left, we have footballs (I'm pretending that they are rugby balls), cricket bat and ball, the TARDIS and Daleks from Dr Who.

These beatuies came from Benjamin Cufflinks and, in addition to the above, I also have their red lips cufflinks. But, just now, when I went to their site to confirm the link, I noticed that they have Budwiser can cufflinks and Cuban cigar cufflinks. Oooooooo!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Bit of Gardening

I have done more gardening in the past 24 hours than I have in the past 24 years. But, when it's time, it's time. I decided that the collection of dead plants in tacky plastic pots really was a look that needed to be updated a bit.

These are new additions to my chlorophyll menagerie -- lavender is one of my favourites, along with leafy green ferns.

The ceramic echidna has been guarding has been guarding my poor garden for years and is now keeping an eye on the brand new gardenia, in honour of my paternal grandmother and my namesake.

The other flowers have a proper flower name but I refer to as my Jason flowers. They have spent the past two years (at least) in tacky plastic pots, completely ignored by me. But every time it rained or one of my horticulturally overachieving neighbours took pity on them, they let me know that they were still fighting the good fight. Like Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, they just won't die. And that kind of determination should be rewarded.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lunch at Chowder Bay

Lunch yesterday was at Ripples at Chowder Bay. The weather was a bit cold and rainy but with good food, good wine and good company, we didn't mind at all.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

SCQobber Swap Blocks

I am taking part in a block swap with some fellow SCQuilters who were all sitting at the same table one night at the last Retreat in Perth. We each were to make cobblestone blocks in black and white, one set starting with black and one set starting with white.

I've figured out that I need 48 blocks for a new quilt for my bed. So I've made 4 sets of ten blocks and have posted them off for swapping. I only have to make 8 more blocks to have enough for my new quilt.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scatterdays -- Reflections

The Scatterday challenge for July is 'Reflections'. Here are my three photos.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Embellisher Experiment #4

More embellisher samples on acrylic felt.

For the top sample, I tried a dense lace on a sheer fabric next to etched velvet on top and heavy silk on the bottom. For the lace, I embellished only the sheer fabric between the lace parts. On the other two, I only embellished on half of the scraps so that I could compare the before and after.

For the bottom sample, I just put a plain piece of felt through the embellisher, from the front, on the left. The resulting texture on the back is shown on the right.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Embellisher Experiment #3

The embellisher samples on acrylic felt continue.

For the top sample, I tried nobby yarn with holographic sheer fabric on top on the left and and chenille yarn on the right.

For the bottom sample, I used more multicoloured wool yarn on the left and synthetic eyelash yarn on the right.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Embellisher Experiment #2

More embellisher samples on acrylic felt.

For the top sample, I laid out some wool fibres on the left and nobbly orange yarn on the right.

For the bottom sample, I tried a scrap of shiny posh frock fabric and scrap of Thai silk on the left and scraps of bright patchwork cottons on the right. The sample on the left, I only embellished half the fabric so that I'd be able to compare the before and after.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Embellisher Experiment #1

Here are some samples I made with my embellisher using a base of acrylic felt. The front is on the left and the back, flipped end to end, is on the right.

For the top sample, I laid out some wool fibres on the left and nobbly orange yarn on the right.

For the bottom sample, more clumpy wool fibres on the left and loopy synthetic yarn on the right.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Big-O Birthday Party

I recently celebrated by 50th birthday party with a very select group of friends over lunch in the city.
Here I am demonstrating my prowess with chopsticks.

Some want to come to my party for the good company and lots of laughs. But, truth be told, it's for the desserts. You can see why.

I asked that, instead of giving me presents, my friends buy a gift from Oxfam Unwrapped, which resulted in:
  • Sewing training for a group in South Africa that offers support to women affected by HIV and AIDS, providing not only an income source and skills training but hope for the future,
  • Training for parents in East Timor to prepare nutritious meals for their children,
  • School fees for one year, including the cost of uniforms and books, for a child in Zimbabwe who has been orphaned by AIDS and
  • Support for a grandmothers' group, bringing together Indigenous female Elders to work with and support young people in the community.
No village goats, but, hey, there is always next year.

Others chose to give me a gift certificate from Kiva so I could make a loan to an entrepreneur in the developing world. My Kiva portfolio includes loans to Guatemala, Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Nigeria and Togo. Not exactly blue chip in the conventional sense, but much more important than that.

But the best pressie of all the Hilary Clinton nutcracker. So appropriate.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Life -- kambrachallenge 2008

I never met a challenge that I didn't like. Well, couldn't say 'No' to. The kambrachallenge celebrated its 10 year anniversary on Saturday. The theme for this year's kambrachallenge was 'This is Your Life'. Stephanie, did I remember to say 'Thanks'? No, I didn't think so. :-)

A bit of background ... This year I celebrated a Big-O birthday. The best part about this birthday was telling someone how old I was now and having them say one of two things (and sometimes both): 'You don't look that old' and 'You don't act that old'. Of the two, I am rather proud of the second. Of course, they could be lying to me, on both counts, and that's OK too. I choose my friends carefully and selective truth is a criteria high on the judges' list of key characteristics.

So, because I turned 50 this year, I took some time to look at my life: where it's been, how it is now and where it is going. Cut a long (boring) story short: life did not measure up to what I thought it would be by now. Some things were better than expected; some were worse. The duality of my life was palpable.

I couldn't decide how to represent the duality in a single quilt without it turning into a cliche. And they don't live side by side -- it's one or the other. That is sort of the nature of duality. So I decided to make two and join them together to form a two-sided quilt.

One side represents the part of my life that I'm happy with, when I was happy or when I bucked convention and listed to my heart instead of someone else. The other side represents times when I haven't been happy or when I did what was expected and not what was right for me.

Here's my quilt, the happy side first, followed by the unhappy side. It's a small quilt, 24cm by 29cm, but big enough to say what I wanted to say. Like life, really.

Each one was finished with the zig-zag stitch in black rayon thread, then they were put back-sides together. I stitched along the line at the top and then around the other three sides leaving a gap of about 3cms from the top line of stitching. This left a little tunnel across the top of the quilt for a hanging rod.