Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a safe, peaceful and joy filled Christmas.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas


Well school has finished for another year and Holly and I have taken advantage of our freedom and been busy in the studio making some new collectables for Christmas. I know it is last minute but we only just thought of them. Holly was madly drawing while in Melbourne and came up with these adorable "Christmas Beetles". Exams and all that goes with end of year meant we could only start making them now. Hope you think they are as cute as we do.
Each beetle is approx 10 inches tall to tip of antenna...fully painted cloth and weighted so they stand nicely for display. Butterflies and wabbits to come...stay posted.

Melbourne was loads of fun. Met Helen and Lori from Pattern Press and was thrilled to see my quilts etc up there on display in Helen's beautiful stand. It was a really interesting day with lots of new fabrics ( OMG the new Michael Miller fabric) and lots of inspiration to take home. I picked up some beautiful felted wool fabric and can't wait to start using it....may be better in our winter as at the moment it is really humid and I'd rather be painting.

Some shots of Melbourne I'd like to share...

This is a facinating design journal on display at ACMI and the dress Nicole Kidman wore in Moulin Rouge.....

and a costume that Cate Blanchet wore in Elizabeth 1st.

This beautiful gown was so was in 100 years of fashion at Federation Square....Ian Potter Centre.

This is where we stayed (the dark grey building) Breakfree Hotel in Little Bourke St. Everything was booked out in Melbourne so we gave it a try. The room was much nicer than the reception area....such a lovely heritage building but a lot of the charm had been built over inside. Still, a comfortable and well appointed room and certainly a perfect location.

Busy, busy Melbourne...what a great image....bikes, taxis, trams, trains and feet.
Great shot Holly!!

Chicken soup for dinner. It's been raining all week and really humid when it's not so we took a chance tonight and yes, it stopped raining....but we do like soup.

Take care


Saturday, November 13, 2010

special people

Something very special comes with having an online shop. Over the years I have had the good fortune to "meet" some very special know who you are. It's the best part of throwing yourself into the www. On Thursday I received a parcel all the way from Brazil and after eagerly unwrapping - Oh! even the parcel smelt lovely, I held the most beautifully made "Country Seamstress" cloth doll. Angela, my Brazillian friend makes cloth dolls too and I felt very honoured to receive this much detail and so beautifully finished. I really love the crotcheted bag.....and the small cotton reel earrings.......and the little rolls of fabric...everything!!

If you have ever watched "The Castle" you will know what I mean when I say she is going straight to the pool room (Studio). Thank you Angela.

Been busy, school almost over for another year...countdown on now. Can't wait to have full days sewing. Friday 19th Holly and I are heading off to Melbourne (probably mentioned that) we're looking forward to it. It is a trade show so it will be lovely catching up with designers and the lovely people that stock my patterns. I'm looking forward to also showing Holly a little bit of Melbourne.....whatever we can pack into 3 days. Melbourne is a really nice city to visit. Next April there will be a Home Economics trip for year 11 & 12 and as I work in that Dept (as well as art) and helped plan it they can't go without me..yeah!! I have booked a lunch at The Press Club, George Calombaris's restaurant, and the staff have been so nice in arranging a talk with the chef/kitchen staff afterwards, I hope George is there too :)
We have pencil cases and reading/sun glasses cases to make today, so lots of sewing and then I have a party to deliver Holly to. The boys are at the beach collecting worms...that's another story, if you are really interested I will dig up some info on beach worms..ha ha!
Oh! and a bit of wildlife on our verandah..the possum of course looks startled, who wouldn't with the camera flash, and the gorgeous parrots eating the flowers off my Golden Penda tree. The birds are very rough and break branches but the sounds and the flurry of colour is amazing.

Take care,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm Back

October was too crazy a month, all forgotten now.

The stress of preparation for Holly's semi formal, last weekend, is over. She had a wonderful time, looked lovely and danced all night......everyone happy.
Starting November with a fresh slate and a few new additions to my studio.....another great find at Ikea. I LOVE MY ROOM!

On friday afternoon I visited the Valentino Retrospective. Amazing!

We are heading down to melbourne on the 19th for the Australian Quilt Market. If your going too pop over to the Pattern Press stand on saturday and say hello, I'll be there, looking forward to meeting you, and showing some of my quilt patterns. The latest -Pretty windows, will be there.
Back to working on new quilt. Olivier loves fish, boats and all things ocean related, living at the beach will do that to you, so that's the theme for this quilt.
Take care and happy sewing,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lifting Spirits

This has been the month from hell! Well maybe not quite that bad (there were nice bits as well, Olivier turning one and now walking)...but viruses, tummy bugs hayfever(family) and then the final touch a lovely case of severe allergy reaction to "something"by me. I won't frighten you with the gory details, suffice to say only a mother could love what I look like at present. Went to the doctor today and have medications to stop itching, swelling etc. Fingers crossed they work as I'll be writing the next post from hospital otherwise.

I took some lovely photos in between puffing up and they do make me feel better. Hope they bring a smile to your face too.
Pots outside my studio door.

I surprised myself by finishing a new doll for Christmas....
Playing with buttons.....
A few leaves...
and here's "Holly".
Well it's the end of the school holidays here and it is back to study for another 8 weeks at least and then Christmas holidays. Boy has this year flown. I'm looking forward to that time of year again though.
For now, off to medicate and apply a cool bag...try to sleep...........more importantly try to get up in time for a hectic morning.
Take care
ps. I finished a cute drawstring bag to accompany the pink/choc quilt. Will show pics next time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spring Sprung!

The last of winter...
The birds are tuning up and perfecting the sounds of Spring. I'm sure I heard something that sounded awfully like a Barbara Streisand tune this morning. Chirping, trilling and tweeting abound.
I love this's like steping into my own little sanctuary.
Okay, I also love IKEA. Don't they have some clever solutions. I finally found the perfect sewing table, even though I went for a computer station, but hey! It's nice and strong and for once really simple to put together.

A lovely shelf ( ready and waiting) to display some treasures and gorgeous fabrics to colour my world.
Working on some cute cases for glasses. They have magnetic closures and are padded for protection. I have been using up some of the gorgeous fabrics I brought home from the last Craft Show.

As promised some pics of the completed "Pretty Windows" quilt. I allowed myself a limited pallet to see what could be done and I'm happy with the results. Something for everyone I hope. I love applique so this quilt's in a combo of raw edge applique, embroidery and embellishment. It is easily adaptable for needleturn or blanket stitch...however you like to work it.

Not the best shot, but you get an idea. Pattern writing and testing to complete and it's off to Helen.

Take Care

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Close up

The finishing touch for my room is this gorgeous painting by talented local artist, Karen James. So many cute details and yes, that's me sewing....I even have a little "bee' pin.

Must get up early for a busy day tomorrow as I'm off to the Exhibition helping supervise a group of yr 10 students...then back to finish quilting my chocolate & pink quilt. It's coming along nicely and I'm really happy with it. Hopefully I'll have a picture of the finished quilt to share next post.

Wishing you a lovely day also.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Studio time

Finally downloaded some peeks of my studio. I feel very at home there and it is a pleasure to work in. A glimpse from outside. I'm thinking of a cute little awning over the front door.

Still sorting, culling and finding homes for everything. I've had the big old table on the left for a long time. It has served many functions over the years and I suspect it had a pretty interesting life before I found it too. Later on I'm going to ask my friendly carpenters for benches to house my sewing machines and computer, but for now this is it.
No shelves either till I decide where things will stay.
I love collecting vintage sewing bits & bobs...didn't want to hide them away. Some of the buttons came from the vintage habby shop in Melbourne that I mentioned in an earlier post.
At the moment Holly & I are working on some cute projects for an upcoming Gala Night (early Christmas) at school.
The rain is pouring down tonight as it did most of the day. Tomorrow we have a public holiday for the Ekka (Exhibition) in Brisbane and then Thursday as well for school children..Yeah!! I'm hoping for a couple of lovely sewing days.
Whatever you are up to...have fun!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The old days

Not exactly our flight home...but what a display! I love the glass and the open expanse of light and sky.
A panel of a very pretty quilt ( not the best photography through glass) made by Martha Bergin in 1843. Born in Ireland, she moved to Australia in 1851 and lived a full and adventurous life. This beautiful delicate handstitched work was spotted at the museum. Her father was a draper so she obviously had a great choice of fabric scraps to work with. So much detail.

Paragon shoes...I don't think I'd get too far in those.

No visit to Melbourne would be complete without seeing Pharlap.

A view of the city.
Just taking a break from transferring all my treasures to my almost complete studio. It is such a lovely space and I feel very lucky to have it. Will take some up to date photos to share as soon as it stops raining. We have little things like trims and the front door to paint but apart from's all good! I'll get some benches made to suit the sewing machines and office area later but for now any old desk etc will do.
Is it raining where you are? I don't mind if it keeps raining until the weekend, so much nicer to work with the gentle sound of rain splattering over the metal roof.
Have a lovely day

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

All aboard

Outside the Melbourne Museum...I love this image and I thought our fishing mad sons would be envious of "the big one" shown here.

An amazing transformation.
Lining up to board the Titanic. This exhibit was well worth seeing and beautifully presented. Without spoiling anything if you are going to visit yourself, the trip starts with being presented with your boarding pass. Bothy Hubby and I were first class passengers and after reading our little bio it made the experience much more interesting as at the end you can check whether you survived or not. I was really surprised to find I went down with the ship ( may have had something to do with the amount of luggage I was supposed to have taken)and my hubby survived....not sure about that one! I was also surprised to find quite a number of Australians had been working on the ship during the voyage.

Felt like I was being watched in the museum. An impressive display but also a little sad.

Take care


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back to normal

Hi everyone,
Just in time to have a holiday from my "holidays". Yes, it's July already and I feel like time is slipping away. We will be getting ready for Christmas before we know it.

Melbourne was wonderful, apart from being freezing. They had the coldest day on record just after we arrived home so it could have been worse. Melbournians (think that's right!) are geared for the cold, unlike us, so they are better prepared. They also are very helpful and have setup helpful information centres everywhere (it seems) for visitors. I love the free shuttle buses and City Circle trams as they have commentary on route and you can't get lost. I was the guide, as I had been before, and I usually have a terrible sense of direction but we found our way around without hitch.
On the Sunday we decided to head to St. Kilda and the Esplanade markets. Lots of wonderful handmade goods found on a surprisingly clear day. The smell of salt and seaweed was strong walking along the boardwalk...not unpleasant though. And yes, we did indulge in a couple of St Kilda's famous ( rightly so) cakes. Coming back the tram broke down. We thought we were really clever finding an alternate one and it broke down as well. After walking along St. Kilda road FOREVER we gave up and caught another. Does this happen regularly? Couldn't believe I didn't have my camera strapped to my body as usual and it was too late to go back and get it so I missed getting any shots of that day.
Our room was cosy.........
Okay, not actually our room but in the 19th century a typical bedroom in Lonsdale St. I really enjoyed seeing the Melbourne Museum. They had some amazing exhibits and in particular, the early days of Melbourne.
Inside a huge shopping mall............and there is this incredible glass tower for a roof. it covers an old shot tower. Certainly unexpected.

Outside Federation Square and the Tim Burton Exhibition. Lots to tell about the Titanic exhibition & more.

Almost forgot, while exploring I found a gorgeous Vintage Haberdashery shop at The Nicholas Building 205/37 Swanston St. The owner was lovely to talk with and I collected some wonderful items to use in decorating my studio. She also has a Blog . L'uccello is open Thursday-Friday 10-6 & sAT 10-4.

Take care


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bring on July

Hi everyone,
June has been a miserable's my birthday month so that part was great, but having the flu makes me wish for a new beginning....bring on July! The weather has been cool/cold and fairly wet. Well it is winter here so I can't really complain about that.

I feel a bit lost at the moment which doesn't help either as my youngest is in Japan on a fantastic school trip. She has been studying Japanese for 4 1/2 years & I'm so glad she is having a wonderful time...she says Japan is "awesome"!! Just miss her though.

Also finishing off my secret squirrel project for Homespun Magazine. Really happy with the result. Will have some pics soonish to show.

I promise to brighten up the blog posts with some photos soon as well. Hopefully some shots of Melbourne as we are leaving early in the morning for a few days R&R. I'm looking forward to seeing the Titanic Exhibition at the Museum. I've always been fascinated with the Titanic so should be great.

Still waiting on the Studio. Windows are in and the walls are partly painted. Lights are hooked up, so not much left to do. My old area is not very inspiring at the moment as STUFF is everywhere waiting on shelves being finished. Now that would be a lovely surprise on our return....will have to speak nicely to the resident pixies!

Off to finish packing, just wanted to say I am still here. Will have lots to share next week.

Take care

Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy Bees

Hi everyone,
The excitement is building in my little corner of the world. My new studio is becoming a reality. Step by step it's coming together. The boys have been working hard and Holly has been sorting buttons! We might get some pretty new jars or some cute old ones to house the colours and they will brighten up a shelf. Decorating is in her DNA.

Looking through one of the windows to a pretty wild garden. Outside is an old, very big mandarin tree with the worst fruit in the world. It's absolutely laden with fruit too, of course! It's fate is often a topic of conversation but I'd hate to remove it as it looks so lovely.

Inside, boxes of tiles to lay. The floor will be lovely and cool in our hot climate and easy to clean. And the best inclusion ever...a store room.

This is the lovely old door I have been saving. Now to strip the paint, clean & sand.

Not sure what colour to paint the door....will think about that!

This is the front. There is another set of windows on the right under the tarp. I can see a large pot of flowers will be perfect under the window.
Apart from all the outdoor construction I have been asked to work on a project for Homespun's Australiana issue out next January. Sounds like a long way away but as everything needs to be completed by end of June it is a priority right now. I really enjoy doing this particular issue and Wattle was my contribution for last year.
Well, back to organising some more patterns to be sent down to Helen in Tassie ready for her return from the US quilt show. As well as finishing off my pink nursery quilt.
Enjoy your day.


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