Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Making Merry!

Our big craft sale, the one we've been going on about for weeks, the one we've worked hard for all year (in between work, kids, families, home, other arty jobs and fun stuff) is on this weekend!
There'll be:
• Quilts, bags, soft toys, baby lovelies and other wonderful stuff by my best friend Jane. Jane has a fantastic eye for colour and her contemporary-style quilts are knock-outs. She loves to collect old and vintage kimono and obi silks and other fabrics, and these feature in her highly sought-after quilts.
Only the best-quality fabrics in linen and linen blends, many of which she imports, add an artistic quirkiness to Jane's designs and she mixes them up with Free Spirit and Kaffe — she's brilliant.
• There'll be cushions (to die for), greeting cards and gift tags by my best friend, Isme. Young as she is (14!), Isme has a confident eye for colour and pattern, and her cushions can feature up to a dozen fabulous fabrics — from Liberty to Echino and beyond — that all sing together superbly.
My friends, many of whom are accomplished sewists themselves, cannot believe the quality of her work — her cushions are plump, generous, top-stitched and fitted with invisible zippers, so you can use both sides.
• Seattle-born artist and now North Perth resident Nick (Lily's lovely boyfriend) has painstakingly designed (starting with miniatures), made and painted a series of amazing masks/headpieces for kids. Made from upcycled cartons and boards that are cut, folded, moulded and painted by hand, these are total originals and are purely for dress-up fun — though they'd look brilliant on a kid's wall. Because each is made so lovingly, there are a strictly limited number available, so don't miss out!• I'll have bags and a range of my aprons and tea-cosies, many of them featuring the now-famous Our Lady of the Immaculate Kitchen fabric panels I bought in New Mexico (didn't I have foresight?). There are aprons in a range of colours and sizes — even a couple of virgin-free numbers for men — and my tea-cosies are all free-motion quilted, padded, lined and tassled.
I've also made some papier mache birds to hang from your Christmas tree, or to give as one-of-a-kind gifts. I modelled each by hand so they are all different, then I dried them and then sanded, painted, sanded, painted, sanded and painted them in bright colours. Then I decorated each of them with a very fine brush and white waterproof ink.
• And there'll be much more. Jewellery, zines, other crafty lovelies and some surprises from Lily and her friends are all in order!
We're open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, at the courtyard garden behind 361 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth.
* Please note there is no access from the front gate on Fitzgerald; instead, walk past the real estate agency next door and around the corner into Raglan Road, and you'll see the courtyard entrance next to the agency carpark, off the short laneway. We'll have signs. so you won't miss it.

There is plenty of free street parking in Raglan.
If you are a Perth reader, please come along and say hello — I'm looking forward to seeing everybody. I've got short grey hair and purple glasses and I'll be wearing one of my aprons.
(If I've sent you repeat emails, or facebook event invitations, please forgive me. Lily told me yesterday that I'd done it all wrong so she did it again for me, so some of you may be already sick of hearing from me - sorry!)

Monday, 22 November 2010


This was in the big shrub near the garage door on November 13 ...... and this is what's happening in there today.There are two surprisingly big chicks in a small nest that's just above my head height and perilously close to the garage door and our linen line, so the mother bird is frequently disturbed, which is a shame.
Mum is a beautiful spotted turtle dove (Streptopelia chinensis), which, as its Latin name hints, is not native to these parts, though they are really common.
(Added later) Oh, and this is its call — always reminds me of warm, early summer gardens.
Back to the sewing machine!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sunday scrapbook

Something besides trees for Dawn's Sunday Scrapbook!
This is a peek at Will's painting, from his course work. His first self-portrait (above), from week two of his painting class, worked quickly and entirely in paint, without sketching. Really good.
These are really attractive abstracts from later in the semester ...The one below is a view of the farm ...
And here he has played with it in Photoshop — it's now my desktop image.:: I just clipped Yoshi's claws and we went for a long walk together. It rained the entire time and we didn't get wet, but it was ever so slightly refreshing.
Back to the sewing machine ...

Saturday, 20 November 2010


I'm putting together a couple of pages in our newspaper's upcoming Christmas feature, and thought I'd do a step-by-step craft idea. So I'm trying my own instructions for making a simple and colourful quilted Christmas stocking made from scraps.After weeks at the sewing machine, it's great to sit hand-sewing these mindless quilting running stitches. And they are just the ticket for watching Luther on Friday nights - anyone else hooked?
:: We're off to the theatre tonight. David has to review a new play and I'm planning to tag along.
He is so excited about his blog. Every morning while I'm drinking my tea in bed, he calls out to me where his visitors have come from. "Wow! Someone from Vancouver came last night! Italy ... Japan ... Moscow ... they're coming from all over!"
So much fun in Schloss Zed.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


My best friend Dace's gorgeous daughter asked me to make her a bag for her 21st birthday (tomorrow). A sort of red sort of a messenger bag sort of thing.
I was dead chuffed, and, of course, left everything until the last 48 hours before getting started. Just like last time.
Lily told me there was no point in making a messenger bag that wouldn't take a laptop, so after a bit of research and a lot of google images, I worked one out.I needed quite a bit of thinking and swearing time when it came to the gusset, and again with fitting and lining the flap ... but the closure idea came from pictures of an Amy Butler bag. There is a huge zip pocket on the outside back of the bag, pockets across the front, and an even bigger one right across the inside back, as well as custom-fitted pockets for iPhone, pens, camera and anything else.The wonderful hand-printed outer fabric, which I got from Materialise (click over there on the right -->) is a sturdy twill that I reinforced with very stiff iron-on interfacing. I had trouble trying to centre the pattern because it isn't exactly symmetrical. But once I'd realised that, I was okay.
I also had trouble banging in the press studs, and working out how the strap adjuster worked, given that this cryptic drawing was the only guidance the manufacturer, Birch, sees fit to provide (it's bloody useless). Fortunately, I was able to take everything over to Nick, who easily and efficiently fixed it all for me.
Dace had thrown me a curve ball by saying this bag had to be h-u-g-e, and by holding out her hands to show something vaguely the size of half a fridge. But my research in cyber-webby land all pointed to a bag that would fit a 14" (36 cm) laptop, so that's what I made.
Only dang is that I'll miss the party tomorrow night, or most of it, because I'll be at work. But I'll rock up on my way home for a piece of birthday cake and a hug.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sunday scrapbook

These shots were taken in the park at the bottom of our garden one afternoon, while I was taking Yoshi for a ramble.
Jacaranda season will be over soon, so I'm making the most of it!
Posting for Dawn at Rattling On.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Sunday Scrapbook

It starts in the second half of October, when you think you can just detect a slight mauve haze about the bare branches of the jacarandas — I can see four from my kitchen window.
These shots were taken from the door to our back deck in three-day intervals, starting with the one above on October 25.And then, all of a sudden, it's obvious the flowers are truly on their way.For Perth people, this loveliness is a symbol of approaching summer, but sadly, the stronger association for younger people is with the start of the TEE exams (brutal end-of school exams that determine university places ... or not).
The jacarandas are at their full purple magnificence right now. Posted for Dawn's Sunday Scrapbook.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Book club

We met in Shelley's beautiful walled garden, on a warm morning with just a gentle breeze.Shelley served a perfect brunch, and the table was set with crisp white linen and bowls and bowls of flowers. We really do have the most wonderful book club.:: I fear the old Chapter III has become a little dull of late. Neglected, even. But what with working the occasional full week (another one coming up next week), and trying to amass crafty creations for Our Big Christmas Sale (more on that very soon), I have hardly had time to do anything, let alone blog about it. However, I'm aware of my shortcomings and normal service will be resumed as soon as things settle down.
:: My grandson's Big Seven party wet off brilliantly last night, and the candles really added to the cake's volcanic landscape!

Thursday, 4 November 2010