Monday, August 31, 2015

Berry quilt retreat and a wee bit more

After our little sojourn we moved down to Berry to attend the Berry Quilt Retreat and because people had asked we brought three big boxes and set up our shop

I tried to bring lovely goodies which I thought people would like and I think I got it right - fabric stacks

Packs of lovely threads

Nearly all the Eleganza, Dazzle, Razzle and the Painters threads

Silk flimsies , wool flimsies

Sari ribbons

Textile art stuff - machine threads

Stencils and other bits and pieces

And at the end there was very little left - so thank you so much to everyone who came and bought from us - we really appreciated it - we know it is a long time since we have traded in the east

I had a lovely class - 25 so quite big and as a result I didn't take photos apart from two - we all seemed to be very busy

Of course they all brought enough stuff to share with 1000s of others but then I had a fair bit too

BUT they all produced wonderful work and as usual, I got a few ideas I am busting to get going on.

Berry Quilting Retreat is the baby of Elizabeth Dubbelde who also owns Berry Patchwork and she has done a remarkable job because it was one of the best and most organised event I have attended and Berry is a great spot to visit. I would recommend the event to anyone

On the Saturday night there was a retreat dinner where lucky Ian was only one of two men but he seemed to survive and for the weekend he even had his own name tag which I even saw him wearing.

This year and last year I entered works in the different exhibitions Elizabeth offered, mainly to support the hard work she does. I don't normally exhibit but I made myself. Last year it was the World of Colour - this year the World of Texture with this piece which has kept me busy because it is longer than I usually work and I was experimenting with paper and fibre mostly - it is called New York New York and is based on the sewer covers I took mountains of photos of etc. I hand stitched yellow thread through some of the channels late on Thursday night and handed it in on Fri so no pics of detail. So I was shell shocked when it won. Wow - and thank you!

Then to make it seem super greedy my Red Obsession piece titled Circular Motion (thanks Ian for that) won the One Red Thread prize. I have loved stitching this piece mostly in the evenings. Love weaving flimsies and completing the background with running stitch before adding the top layer. My style of kantha.

So there you have it - a super trip in NSW South - a wonderful retreat with such a lovely talented class and two wins! Indulgence that is

Back to Sydney for a day's relaxation - we went to Bondi and walked part of the coastal path but on the way we found a park and some sea

And spotted a tray of figs - wonder how my fig tree is going

Tomorrow we fly home to lots of work I know and a head full of ideas and a book of notes and sketches

The All Blacks team was announced yesterday - World Cup starts in a couple of weeks - I was sorry that Cory Jane missed out but there are just too many good players.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wet wet wet

We flew to Sydney on Friday but before we left we had to make sure the toilet cistern didn't fall right over in our absence so what better use for the paints in the boxes

I went to a lovely exhibition in Balmain - thanks to Cindy for inviting me, and caught the ferry back

And under the you know what - it was lovely on the harbour

Sunday we drove to Woollongong through the national park - wonderful drive it was - caught up with varsity friends from many years back

In the morning the weather changed somewhat while we were meandering around the lighthouse

And then got worse but it's only rain! And what I haven't heard since I was a little girl

We visited the Buddhist temple - beautiful grounds and drove to Berry because we decided to be central and divert from there if roads were opened etc

We are staying up at Drawing Rooms of Berry in a beautiful spot where I simply love the magnolias - we have two little gem ones at home - the white flowers - but I love these ones

Yesterday lots of roads were under water so we explored Berry and a winery - we have been indulged with a beautiful breakfast - would recommend this place to anyone - and lovely owners as well

The view from our balcony once the rain has gone and the clouds lifted

And another

Red parrots enjoying themselves while we eat breakfast

And some stitching

Now - off to explore

Thursday, August 20, 2015

coming up for air

 It's nearly the end of August and time has simply flown by. We are off to Sydney tomorrow and then driving down to explore the environs before arriving in Berry on Friday to set up for trading at the Berry Quilt Retreat and teaching for me. I am really looking forward to it for all sorts of reasons. I love sharing my ideas and hope that all the class enjoys it - only 2 days so it is always difficult to decide what to do and what to leave out. I am taking lots of samples of things we are not even doing but that's me. Someone is a bit concerned - there is only 1 suitcase out but three boxes have gone and there is activity so maybe Harley is thinking that sending her off with an order might be nice or she is just making sure. We had the show here in Perth two weekends ago and that upset her all the comings and goings. If only we could understand the copious amount of talking she does. Need a google translator.

The show was great - I had my own little area where I did nothing much although I did show many people how to use the flower stitcher and do lots of free stitching on my favorite wash away - Romeo. I didn't do much hand stitching but I had lots for people to look at - this is my Red Obsession for Berry - it is now finished - when do you know you have finished? Certainly been working on it for some time.

 So I have started another to take with me - I have selected some Eleganza and Dazzle to add to my box of tricks and cut and woven a Stonehaven flimsie - of course. I love the rhythm of stitching rows for the first layer.

This is my World of Texture for Berry  - it has more layers and only today so not sure if I will get it finished - the usual lots of work but also new ideas exploring as I go. I will take it any which way

 We gave prizes for two challenges at the show - this was the ATASDA one where they had to use embellished Kunin felt - this was the winning - forgive me becasue I can't find the names of either winner

 this was the doll challenge winner - very topical Bronnie - they had to use thermo felt in their entry. What will I make them try next year?

There are few things I love more than eating - one is being combed and the other is being carted around - I could do this all day except that the humans complain about how heavy I am.

And a close up to show just how much I love this. You can see the piano keys in the background - slowly slowly does it - failing every day but a bit here and there - the left hand is still behind in speed.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Piano in my mind?

After a twenty or maybe fewer or so years, I have returned to playing the piano - at the end of my hiatus- not sure

First I am cleaning up the keys and running up and down the keyboard playing scales- just major at present - it's amazing how your fingers kinda know where to go although working out the three or four finger change sure works the brain

My left hand is having trouble keeping up with my right but with serious words it will get there

One of my favourites to be re mastered - just slowly slowly

And lots of favourites in here too

Not sure why I have been in this hiatus - intellectual break or what ? Anyway for a 4 year old who was anxious to learn to play the piano and who did pretty well over the years, it is time to get back. Music has and always will be so important to me. Watch this space!

Back to stitching though.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

it's mid july


July seems to have been a very busy month with plenty of traumas - Ian's computer went on the blink in the middle of producing issue 9 of the e-mag which kinda slowed everything down while his new one was being built. I became his online secretary and for a while we couldn't do printed receipts etc and a few of his important had to be loaded onto my computer and I had to share.... Meant we started July about 10 days late. on the catch up once more.  But a treat - I went off to the Kiwi shop - there is ones a long way north and the other a long way south so I rewarded myself with a purchase or two of beautiful New Zealand whitebait. Before any Aussies tell me they are crunchy and fishy, they are indeed not. Them most delicate flavour - and yes - you eat the lot. When I was a little girl - 1000s of years ago - I used to bike to beach to the mouth of the Manawatu River with my whitebait net and bring home a bucket full (I really think the whitebaiters probably helped get them but I did go pretty often) and my mother cooked whitebait fritters. I have a slight penchant for them.

I cooked us up whitebait fritters with basically eggs and whitebait and because I read on the net that kiwis love mint with their whitebait, I made a salad with cos lettuce, avocado, persian fetta and mint, and dressed it with lemon and honey - and we had it with a good kiwi chard.

I am off to teach in Berry at the end of August at Berry Quilt Retreat - Ian is trading and we are taking lots of our yummy stuff - but I don't really have work to hang which might sell so I have started  working on a number of pieces on canvas frames - this is one of my little red wovens and stitched pieces. I am hoping to do quite a few but this one took rather a lot of time so who knows. I have three ready so far and had planned 20. Let's see how we go. I don't normally sell my work - it is personal stuff so this is an adventure for me. Probably no one will buy them anyway - the commission goes to charity.

But this is a section of my piece for the Red Obsession exhibition  - I have also started on  World of Texture and trust me this is not hand stitching like this. I love doing it but boy does it take some time. I have also got a few half done bits and pieces for the Perth show in 3 weeks for my Stitching Station spot. I guess that is why I am busy - this really is our only show of a decent size and I have a long list and slowly working through all the packaging and ticking things off. Hand stitching whilst watching the Tour de France in the evening.

I got this wonderful book - have spent time poring through it. i haven't read as much lately - go to bed and read a couple of pages and fall asleep. But I have three really good books I am reading - really should read one and then move on.
 Love Shonagh Koea - have read all of her books - she has a way with words

 and Margaret Drabble's latest - been reading her since university days

and Hannie Rayson - I listened to Margaret Throsby interviewing her and ordered it straight away - read two chapters and loving it.

We have found some great new restaurants lately - this is Shadow Wine Bar in William Streets under a new boutique hotel - Alex - we went for a drink last Saturday becasue we had been working all day and went back to eat the other night. Great addition to the Perth scene.

Sauma Indian basically opposite - fabulous little post - been there a few times - great Indian food
Northbridge is so much better these days.

And this is our favourite of course - Three Coins in Mt Lawley - such lovely people as well as fabulous Italian food - shame people keep writing such super reviews becasue sometimes we can't get in.

All this sounds as though we eat out every day but I do love cooking as well.

I have started work on my family work - i am working on a paper journal as well as textiles and i have extended from just my grannie to the family as there is so much to add - lots of frustrations with my printer and programme but I will get here - it might take me ages to do this one - lots of notes so I don't forget what I keep deciding to do.

Sadly the Hurricanes didn't win the final of the Super Rugby after such a wonderful season but it was a fabulous game - next year!  We enjoyed seeing the All Blacks win against the Pumas last night.


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