Thursday, 29 April 2010

My CUE for this week

Not much to offer tonight - just this little notebook pad with a pocket which I have made to go into my overcrowded handbag. Pocket was the subject of this week's CUE.

I was experimenting to see what would work and not be too rough to slip easily in and out. This was a piece of fabric I made for the Technique of the month in March. I added an elastic cord to the outside, which I stitched over. I will use the pad for a while, then decide what I will do in future.

We have actually had three days without any rain - almost a drought!!! It can't last though, far too hot and muggy for this time of the year, so obviously more rain is on the way. At least the builder came back and anchored the garden shed to the concrete and put the shelving inside, so now we can move some (I really hope only SOME) of the stuff back in. A trip to the dump would be a good idea for a lot of it, but I suspect Bill has other ideas. Now we have to wait for them to put some new roofing on the green house..........sometime......
I am typing this with my new glasses on my nose...yippee! I think they are making a difference, I only got them late this afternoon and I haven't used the sewing machine yet, I am looking forward to that tomorrow. I also received my new orthotics yesterday, what a week. My purse is a lot lighter, but my feet and eyes are happier. Cheers.

Monday, 26 April 2010

ANZAC day and more

Yesterday was ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand. Alexander is the Joey scout in the middle taking part in a wreath laying ceremony during the parade and service in Mackay.

Christopher is also in the middle. He is a venturer scout. I would love to cut his hair, but he is a teenager and thinks it looks great! The whole family is a scouting family other than Hamish, who is still too little, so he stood with me to watch them all march past.
These beautiful Xanthostemon or Golden Penda trees are used extensively around Mackay as street trees. I am planning to put one in our back garden when the repairs are all finished.

They flower several times a year and attract the birds and insects. The flowers are these gorgeous large pom poms.
The mother of a friend of mine died a few days ago. Clare loves reading so I am sending her this bookmark which I decorated with the flower stitch foot. I love this foot but I need to practise using it much more.
As usual if you click on the photos they should all enlarge. Now I had better go and get some lunch for my hardworking husband.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Sampler and beyond

Do you remember before Christmas I posted a photo (which I now can't find) of my new secondhand Bernina 1630 sewing machine? Although it was bought by the original owner in 1998, she hadn't even taken the plastic off the somputer screen and had hardly used it. I was so thrilled to see all the stitches available, but I have been very frustrated as I have extreme difficulty seeing what is on the computer screen. I have bought extra lights, tipped it this way and that, but finally I seem to have found the answer - a small torch, but one with an ordinary bulb, not the new led lights. I tried them, but they are useless for me.

Anyway, now that I can actually se what I am doing, I have been trying out some of the yummy stitches available - this sample is not even half of the available stitches, and that is before I start playing with the balance control - when I manage to learn to programme the thing!!
I stitched these onto calico with a gold thread, then I sprayed the piece with various sprays of colour.

The colour is not right in this photo, but I can't manipulate it any better. The red end has more of a violet tinge to it and the other end is much bluer that this picture shows. The sparkle doesn't show, but it is there after I sprayed plenty of pearl glimmer mist over everything. The stencils don't stand out quite as much in real life either. I used Interference green Opulense paint. I am very happy with the fabric, which will now go to making up more souvenirs for the Gardens shop.
Have you checked out some of the other handwritten blogs today? Jackie says it will be a character study, I think she may be right, but it is fun.
We have had a thoroughly miserable day here weatherwise, rained all day with only 2 mm to show at the end of the day! That is English weather, not tropical Queensland weather at all. I would just like to see a couple of weeks of brilliant sunshine to let all the ground dry up.
Now I have had my whinge, I am off to bed.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Jackie suggested this for today's blog. Please click on the photo to enlarge it so you can read it.

See my side bar for a link to Jackie's blog. I am sick of editing this blog and I don't seem to be able to make the link work - this last time I was taken to some ads for Google! Definitely not what I wanted.
This is the very interesting fibre fever page I received yesterday from Margreet in The Netherlands.
My chosen them is Nature and I love the way Margreet has used hand embroidery to add the flora to the page.
No time for any more. Blogger has been most unco-operative today and I have deleted and reloaded this post three times! Perhaps I should admit that it is probably my lack of knowledge which is the biggest problem. Cheers.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Fibre-fever page and photography class

This year I have joined the Fibre-fever group, swapping a fabric book page with another member each month. This month my swap partner was Ritva from Finland, whose chosen theme is Art Nouveau/Jugend. That sent me off to Google to do some research. I am familiar with Art Deco, but I had not heard of Art Nouveau before. The movement started in the late 1800s and lasted to about the First World War. I hope this picture has captured the idea of the fluidity of the movement - I went back to my applique techniques which I haven't used for years and years.
Twenty years ago, I was making lots of appliqued pieces, but then I started experimenting with free machine embroidery and all the rest of the newer (to me anyway) textile techniques, and I have been too lazy to go back to applique. It is a bit like quilting in that it is very unforgiving if you make a mistake, so there can be lots of unpicking involved!
We had the last of our photography classes yesterday and made a visit to our local Marina to test our skills.
This lighthouse used to be located in the Percy Island group not far off Mackay. It was the last operational keresone powered lighthouse in Australia, but was closed down in 1985 when the Federal Government converted all the lighthouses to automatic lights. The lighthouse has been moved to the Marina and has been restored to full working order, but is not turned on very often. If you click on any of the photos they should enlarge for you.

These are some of the very expensive yachts moored in the marina. This photo is a bit busy, but we were experimenting with different locations and techniques. After we had all taken various photos which our tutor had asked for, we retired to the coffee shop for refreshment and he put our collections up on his laptop computer for us to see what we had done right ans wrong! I think I have leant quite a bit from these few lessons - not least how to navigate my manual and understand what it is actually saying a bit better. Sometimes I think these manuals for new techological gadgets are designed to confuse us completely!
We has showers again overnight, but a fine windy day today and we now have two concrete slabs in our back yard. Jock is confined indoors much to his disgust - we don't fancy doggy footprints across the concrete. I am beginning to be hopeful we will be able to plant two trees early next month rather than having to wait till spring. The builder says they will be finished before the end of the month - three cheers!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Glass cases and eye tests

At long last I have managed to get to my workroom and sew up the lace fabric from the Technique of the Month into this glasses case and some bookmarks. I am very happy with the result as I think the fabric is more robust for handling than the usual chiffon covered fabrics. I think I shall be trying this technique again.
The next class I take should be one to teach me how to keep within my limits - as usual I am so over committed at present I am not catching up with anything! I have had fun taking a camera class to teach us how to make the most of our digital camera. We had to practise taking action pictures for one exercise. Hannah was visiting and was blowing bubbles. Jock thought this was a wonderful game, but the photo below is the only one I could get which was any good - he was far too quick for me, even with all the tips I had been given. This photo looks like he is standing still, but believe me it was only for a split second! We have been taking him to doggie school for the last few weeks, he behaves really well there, sits, stays, comes, drops - and doesn't jump all over everyone. Just a pity he is not doing the same thing at home!
He has been completely stir crazy lately as we have finally got the repairs under way - and when they they started there was no stopping! We had 10 people from four trades here yesterday with Bill and me trying to clear out the greenhouse and garden shed to keep ahead of them - I am exhausted. This has certainly been the catalyst for a giant springclean though - particularly in the garden shed! The junk Bill has kept in there is incredible.

I have finally been back for a scan of my eye and then to the optometrist - who says he can improve my computer glasses anyway, and the script in my dark glasses is one behind the rest so that can be replaced as well - yippee. I will keep having injections in the eye each month, they haven't improved it, but they seem to be preventing it from getting any worse. Do get your macular checked with your eye specialist or optomotrist - it is so important to make sure you will still be able to see.
Thank goodnessthe weather has cooled down a little in the last couple of days. but we have had quite a lot more rain. I finally have a new clothes line after nearly a month and the first day I wanted to hang clothes outside of course the rain came down, so I had to hang them under cover again after all! It seems hard to believe that some parts of Queensland are still in drought, but our state covers a very large area.
The State Government, based in the bottom south east corner of the state, is trying to bring in daylight saving again, and even talking of having a trial just in the south-east corner. I loved daylight saving when we visited Tasmania, but here in the tropics the heat would be unbearable in the late afternoon. Apart from being 1100 km north of Brisbane, we are also a lot further west so the sun sets later anyway. I know there will be a lot of you out there who will say I am mad, that you just love it - my country background is coming to the fore I think.
Having got on my high horse, I am now off to bed!