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.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Flammable When Dry

This quilt measures 50cm by 50cm. It didn't get accepted into the My Place exhibition, but I am still very happy with it.