Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some of my roses, all gifts to us from friends when we lost Callum. These are Dublin Bay, Winchester cathedral and treasure box you can also see Heritage in the distance. Also lots of lavender, one of my favourite alltime flowers and smells and viscara. The rose flower must be one of the most beautiful of all God's creations. truly magnificent and the scent!!!!!! Well, I know man has worked at them and changed them but the fragrance is divine.
The weather over Christmas here has been wet and cold but that suits me fine coming from the northern hemisphere, Christmas is not christmas if its not cold. But the weather is changing again and the sun is peeking out from the clouds and it is going to be a nice day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some of the goodies I usually bake or make at Christmas. The top ones are a Vienesse almond/vanilla shortbread type biscuit, the next is what is called Taiblet in Scotland but Russian fudge in New Zealand. Then there are 3 other fudges. I usually only ever make fudge at Christmas these days and even then, I sometimes don't get around to it.
I loved looking at the picture of Pat's caramel turtles. Also fascinating to see what traditional things that other do at Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

As we are all pondering this year and looking forward to the next I thought you might like to read a little quote which I think is just lovely. It is from the main character Flavia, in Mary Nickson's latest book, called "Facing the music"
She is playing her flute with a group of schoolboys who are delighted with her playing. One small boy asks her how she gets it to sound like that and she replies.


This is enchanting and I love the concept of making it beautiful inside of you first. It fits in with Sharon's "Slow cloth" and what creating, and making something is all about.

Monday, December 10, 2007

One of favourite scriptures is Isaiah 45, "I will go before....... break down gates of bronze and bars of iron........ There is a lot more to it than those few words but you get the picture. I am also in love with the work that does. She had a article in Cloth paper scissors or Quilting arts, I forget which one, on doorways. Her work is fantastic and I love the way she designs and brings her pieces together. I got the template for the door from QA and have wanted to have a go for a while. This piece is all done on the embellisher. The base is black acrylic felt which has had a cheap organza embellished all over then some glitzy fibres have been added and finally some angelina. On reflection it didn't need the angelina, either that or I just don't like the look of the angelina this time. The words are just walnut ink stained paper embellished with the organa to hold in place. The inside door is also embellished felt, this time with other layers added, including some painted fusible web.
The jewels done the bottom are the hot glue one that are applied with an applicator.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I finished this fan a few months back but just got the seam sewn up and the icicles
attached last night. The gorgeous glass icicles are from Terry of my glass garden.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My log cabinish cushions. They are not finished yet, so much going on at the moment. I stumbled across these through sew mama sew again when visiting one of the blogs mentioned there, infact the one where I got the bag tutorial.
she had made a couple and she got the idea from
I had to go and have a look in what little information I have at home on quilting and read it is best to have a dark side and a light side. I sort of got it. But the fabrics speak for themselves, they are "Lonni Rossi" from 2005, my Darling sons bought them for me, after a little gentle and not so gentle hints as I have been in love with them since reading an article about her in Quilting Arts 2005. Hopefully once I am organised for the Cgristmas holidays I will be able to get them finished.

Monday, December 03, 2007

This is the bag from the tutorial posted on Sew mama sew,
you can find the tutorial here

It is a lovely easy bag, finished very quickly, and it is one of those nice, and useful things at the same time. I am really happy with it. It is fully lined and made the same way as you would make a quick waistcoat. I used some upholstery weight fabric that I have had for yonks, so long infact that there was a distinct musty odour to it. That is gone now, thank goodness.
Go check it out if you haven't done already. Also check out sew mama sew as there is something new and exciting every day.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It is such a long time since I lasted posted, I don't know where the time has gone. I got bogged down in my studies, finding it harder than expected, but it is behind me now for the year and that is good. I did enjoy it very much. Towards the end of my last assignment I reread an article by Lonni Roosi from QA from 2005 she said "Art is about the process not the destination" The words were just right for me at the time as it made me realise how much I enjoy learning something new process but I had managed to get myself bogged down in worring about the grade and passing rather than enjoying the learning of new things. The process is fun the end results is not the be all and end all. I want to remember that for the future years of studying.
About 8 or 9 weeks ago my eldest son had a bad accident while snowboarding where he broke his back. He had three broken vertebrae and a cracked rib. We got he call just a few weeks before the 2nd anniversary of our youngest son death. The first thing my husband said was "Now don't panic but...... I can't tell you just how much I did panic, when you have lost one child you hold on with all your might to the others. Now we are on the side of that and he is fine, doing well and back into life again. Hopefully he will not snowboard so fast in the future???????
Since the studies have been finished I have signed up to do "Playways" with Dale of "The thread studio. I am looking forward to playing a bit before the academic year starts again.
On an other note, I stumbled across:
a delightful blog showcasing several great tutorials everyday for November. That has gotten me doing a bit of sewing, making a bag, a couple of cushions and a small throw. I must take some pictures to post. Its nice to be back.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I am gathering lots of samples. Things like cloth/paper, lutradur and lace, embellished backgrounds etc. So I decided I needed somewhere to keep them rather than shoving them in a drawer and never seeing them again.
The outside is cloth/paper using calico, watered down PVA, strips of handmade paper, paint and tissue paper. I ripped the various handmade papers, laying them onto the pva on the calico. Then added some paints inbetween, more pva, large sheet of crumpled tissue, finishing off with more paint. The inside is black felt with various fibres embellished into it the the embellisher machine. I then fused the two surfaces together, stitched around the outside and have a simple folio/cover to keep the samples in one place. It isn't very photogenic and for once actually looks nicer in real life then in the photo. May be the metallic and interference paints playing with the lense somehow.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

An other piece of lutrador and lace. I think I prefer the texture of the cheescloth on the lutrador, not too sure about the lace. Anyhow, I wanted a quick cover for a A5 journal and this worked quite well. Exactly the right size. There are lots of layers of paint, painted the back first with black paint, then layered lots of colours on the front. I also added an old heart crossstitch that was tattered and torn and a needlepunched motif to the front. Now seeing the photos's I prefer the back, which means, I can just change the cover around, easy peacey.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Spring has sprung in New Zealand.

Busy working on an assignment and trying to take 15 min breaks by doing work either outside or in. It has been up to 15c here today and I managed to get a little while in the garden to weed. I found these delights while there, pansies are one of my favourite flowers. They don't do to well in my garden, as we have a high rainfall and tend to get blackspot. Must try and do something about it this year, as I have almost given up growing them.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Used Deka silk dyes for this ribbon but I don't like the finish. Somehow this dye has changed the feel of the ribbon, there is a stiffness. Can anyone explain this to me? What do others use for dyeing? I would really love to hear.
And while I am here, thank you so stopping by and leaving comments. It is very encouraging.

Blue block, I wanted the words to stand out so kept everything else simple.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I finally got around to making a coffee cuff for myself seeing that I am such a coffee lover and always have a latte at lunchtime at work. I was really looking forward to buying my coffee and slipping it into the cuff, when guess what!!!! My favourite coffee shop have changed the size of their takeaway cups and it didn't fit into my cuff. I was gutted, so took it home again to throw it on the pile in disgust. Never mind, there will be a takeaway shop somewhere with the right size cups. This one is a cloth paper concoction, alah Beryl Taylor. It is my own paper made with red hot pokers.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The first issue of the new emagazine is out, it is called "Fibre and Stitch" If you haven't subscribed you may want to have a look at their website for yourself.
Sue B has issued a challenge to everyone via their new yahoo group to make something based on one of their articles. And yes you guessed it. Lutrador and lace. Using cheescloth lace, lutrador and paints. This is my first try and I loved playing.
You lightly freemotion sew your bits just to attach them them start painting. The back first and several layers of different paint on the front. I have used purple lumiere, cream, interference in two colours, gold and a couple of others. It is quite stiff so I am not sure how it will be for sewing.
I want to play more but I have to go and study now. One of the lovely things about lutrador is that the light shines through, yummy.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Last one for now. Been experimenting with different flowers and the variegated ribbon. I particularly like the chrysanthemums. This is a work in progress.
Rissa, thanks for visiting, great to hear from you.
Sambob, love it that you stop by and I love your comments too.

A couple more, in this first one I lightly pained the background.
The variegated ribbon really adds some depth which I really like

Some more. Why is it that when you look at a photo you can see what is right and what is not so right with your composition.? I can look at an embroidery for ages and not see things about it. As soon as I looked at these photoes, I could see things that are not quite right. Like the organdy ribbon, the pink flowers, bottom right?
Also the blue ribbons in these photoes are actually purple. Someone told me there is a way to correct it but it is complicated!!!

SRE one with dyed ribbons.
I think you have to pick the flowers that you used the variegated ribbons with, the daisies need to have more of a solid colour, or else ribbons with a slight variegation. Not sure if you can see but on the sre on the left the little lavender daisies? I painted some dye on them to try for some depth.
I like the tall spikey flowers being varigated. Just realised that I have forgotten to finish the left one off - no greenery yet, Duh!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I am getting addicted to dying these ribbons. They stitch up so beautifully. I have twice tried to take some photoes of the sr embroideries that I have been working on but to no avail. Shall ask DH if he can try and take some for me.
The ribbons are not quite what I am wanting. Have been trying to get varigated in a single colour. Never mind, I still like them.

Thanks so much too for stopping by and leaving me comments. I do appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Here are my handsome men. This was taken at Cameron's (on the right)
photographic exhibition for his university Diploma, his photos are behind them. Dh is in the middle and our eldest son Andrew on the left. He is holding Callum bear. Our youngest son Callum is in Heaven so we always have the little bear at family things. Just so he is always with us.
This was taken at the end of June in Wellington at the Fine arts gallery.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dyed some more ribbon at the weekend, quite pleased with the results. I tell you what though, it is very addictive and I would love to have lots more colours to try. Especially to get variegations of the one colour. That is what I was trying to do with the pink but it was all so much of a muchness that I dipped it all in the end. Never mind, its still lovely. I also had to do it in a hurry as we were expecting a friend for tea, which meant it all had to be put away and cleaned up before she got here.
Back to the "Nice matters awards" I think everyone I know has already been awarded so best I leave it there.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

This is the award, Pat told me to put it on my blog.
Pop over here to read all about it. Such a lovely idea. There are so many lovely people behind the blogs who deserve more than a mention. It will be hard to pick.
But my bed is a calling me, will do it tomorrow.
These are dyed using ribbonsmyth silk dyes. The oranges ones are overdyed. A yellow and the apricot that I used in the precious SRE, using a technique in Vickie's book using a fan brush. I really liked the results. Also splattered the dye over the ribbon as well. The green is overdyed also using the same techniques. The gorgeous puple on the top in undyed ribbon that was used to mop up the leftovers. A happy accident indeed, and I bet I will never be able to do it again

These are undyed ribbon that were space dyed and really quite yummy.
The last picture is just more of the same of the overdyed ribbon.
One of my alltime favourite mediums is silk ribbon. The first time I saw a SRE was in a craft shop, it was a sampler on black velvet, I had never seen anything so beautiful . It was love at first sight. Needless to say, SRE has been a joy to me since then, even when I am not doing any embroidery.
I wanted to do something for a friend who is a keen gardener.
I had also purchased some transfer pens and tried them on this to transfer the design. It didn't work to well and the technique needs a little refining, but at least it got me started doing something again. These are ribbons I have had for years but I always feel like something is missing and realised what it needed was varigated or overdyed ribbon. So that was my next project.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Well, I am stunned!!!!! My Dear Friend Pat Winter has nominated me for a "Nice Matters Awards" As anyone can see I haven't posted since February as I have been studying for a Diploma in Library Studies. The reading and assignments are taking me longer than I had at first thought, not leaving me much time for stitching. Infact until the break, I had not stitched at all. Hence no posting. Then it went for for so long that I wasn't sure whether to get back into blogging. BUT I have been doing a little stitching and playing with bits and pieces, so maybe it is time to get back into blogging. Having said all that, my next assisgnment is due on 21st and I am really struggling with it.. But the weekend is once again upon me and several hours of typing is beckoning me.
Pat, thanks so much for your kindness yet again. You have always been such an encouraging friend to me, through good times and especially the bad times.
The photograph is a picture a piece of fabric made with my embellisher. I bought a bag kit from It is small squares of dupion silk, embellished on black fabric with various other fibres added. Then, I added some stitching for more durability.
Surrounded it all with an embellished cord, courtesy of, I also did some stitching with thread and ribbon over the cord, again for strength.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Finshed hospital block.
Well it is finished and about to wing its way to America. I realy don't know why the lovely purples come out blue in my photographs. There must be away to fix it but I don't know what it is.
I have really enjoyed working on this block and am sort of pleased with it but!!!!!! There is always a but!. isn't there? So I won't be negative. My friends on the group say it is nice, all that remains is for me to believe them and be happy with it.
The academic year has started and with it my library studies which I am enjoying greatly. It is taking a lot of time being that I am a slow learner or rather have not been doing any serious study for a very long time. It is worth it though and I am pleased that the year has started.
Now that my block is finished it is time to get back to Tast and those Ufo's.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A bit more progress on my hospital block. Allie is posting pictures of all the blocks on her blog. I haven't bookmarked her new address as yet.
Why is it that I can see my work clearer in a photograph? Looking at this photo, I can see what still needs to be done, spaces to fill out or even up. But it is more difficult, for me anyway, to look at the block and see what needs to be done.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Chevron square, I like the square sampler that Sharon did as she was experimenting, so I wanted to give it a go.
Playing about .
Take 2
Mmmmm, still not sure if I like it?
Block in progress.
Looking at photographs of my work helps me to see it more clearly, and I am not sure if I like the threaded herringbone. Might have to sleep on this one!!
Threaded herringbone.
Just wanted to have a play with this and see what it looked like as I want to try it on my "hospital block"
It is OK - not too sure!!!

Chevron stitch.
I am so enjoying "take a stitch Tuesday" as it is making me stitch and play. This week it is chevron and that tends to be a stitch that I don't usually do; not because I don't like it or anything like that. It is because I can never remember how to do it. The beauty of paticipating in a challange is that you have to practise and that is what I am liking about this. Its fun!!!! and I feel like I am achieving something at the same time.
Thanks Sharon.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Spent most of the weekend getting my workroom which is the repository for everything that can't fit somewhere else in our tiny 2 bedroom home, tidy, moving old chairs, settees etc etc out to the sleepout so that I could have a ORGANISED space to do my study. I find that if things are a mess I continue to add to that mess and get thoroughly disorganised and disgruntled in the process.
So I now have a space which is relatively clutter free and harmonious to work in.
Once I had finished there I spent an hour or so catching up on what everyone has done for Tast. I must say I had a wonderful time and was especially taken with all the freeform stitching. Wanting to do some but not knowing where to start. A lot of you seem to use a felt that you appear to have made yourself and as I don't have any of that I got a little piece of tvyek fabric out and painted it randomly heated it up to get a nice shape. I thought I would just practice my stitching on it. I really love the landscapes that some of you are working but have no idea where to start, so I thought I would just go for it with what I have on hand. Looking forward to seeing what the stitch is tomorrow.
To my great surprise when tidying up I found that I didn't have as many ufo's as I thought!!!
Tast/ cretan, I love the way you can play with this stitch so I decided to get out a wisp come sampler and play a little. Did the flower/sunburst on the right with varigated yellow thread and beads, also the heart top left with a yellow rayon thread and circled with beads. The some freeform on the pink card and also with golf thread on the green fabric.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cretan Stitch/Tast.
This is a stitch that I really like as it is so versatile and there is so much you can do with it.
Sharon has provided some lovely examples on her blog, it will be interesting to catch up with everyone today to see what they have done. You can just keep adding to this stitch, whipping wraping, adding beads etc.
Sharon has mentioned her classes, I tried to log in to her site to post a comment but I am doing something wrong. The classes are exceptional, so full of information you couldn't get better anywhere. She starts at the beginning with design, colour theory, so much. These Tasts are that, a tast of, and an extension of the classes. Believe me they are well worth taking and so cheap as the content is great and a resource that you will go back to time and time again.