Friday, November 30, 2007

What we did yesterday

Well it all started the night before really---I chopped up the fruit --put it in a big bowl--added some brandy--added a bit more for good luck --covered it up and let it soak over night.

Thursday afternoon my apprentice chef turned up to help--in hindsight not a good idea.
But anyway the apprentice broke the eggs into the mixture while the cook did the mixing.
Excuse the fat arms but it was hot and excuse the unsightly cords in the background also.

The apprentice just had to get her hands into the mixture--don't know what the health dept. would say about this but her hands were very clean.
Note the texta on the arms--not a good look.

The cook was putting the mixture into the pudding cloths but the apprentice had lost interest by this time --she had more important things to do.

All done and 6 hours later they were cooked.

I look forward to making my Christmas puddings every year--the good old fashioned way in a calico cloth-boiled in a big pot and the hung up to dry for a few weeks.
Does anyone else out there still go through this ritual?
I love it- love it -love it.
And I love eating it with Brandy cream-- Yummy

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Swaps and Gifts

Yesterday I received in the mail these fantastic gifts from Susan Lenz--if you have never visited her blog-do yourself a favour and drop by for a peek you won't regret it.
Susan does the most awesome textile art.
The top item is a postcard--Susan is new to making postcards and I am so glad I have one of her first.
On the right hand side are two bookmarks that are made from handmade paper with fibres and stitching--they remind me of gum leaves.
The circle is one of Susan's Christmas tree decorations and the texture is wonderful.
Thank you Susan.

Next is an ATC from Anne L in France--Anne doesn't have a blog.
This is the second ATC swap I have done with Anne and she does the most amazing cross stitch ATC's
This one is a little girl with a bucket and spade down at the beach and that flower looks to me very much like an Australian Wattle.
Very apt for us here heading into our Summer.
Thank you Anne your stitching is so beautiful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Next Years Challenge with Sharon Boggan

Sharon has just announced what next years challenge will be and it sounds exciting.
We are almost at the end of this years TAST challenge and I must say I have enjoyed it so much and it has made me realise that I don't do enough hand embroidery.
The new challenge will be called the "Take It Further Challenge"
So if you are interested in doing a challenge next year look into this one and you can find all the details here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nuno Felting Workshop

Over the last Weekend I did another workshop with Fiona Wright who is a fabulous Australian Feltmaker.
Here are some of my samples----The first one has a cotton base with the wool fibres laid on to it and a crappy scarfe over the top --I was really please with this sample.
It measures 23cm square.

This is the crappy scarfe ...................
This piece is 19cm square and has a cotton base with various shades of mauve wool layered over it and another scarfe this time silk georgette laid on top--the piece started out 40cm square in the beginning.

This is what the scarfe looked like in the beginning.

This is my Autumn piece and it measures 28cm x 21 cm.
I used a piece of rusted fabric as the base then layered autumn tones of wool on top then placed a piece of hand dyed silk organza over it.
I really like this piece and will embellish it with stitches.

And this is the reverse side which would be just as nice as the front as a stand alone piece.
It will be interesting to see what it looks like after I have stitched the other side.

More to follow.

Weekend Workshop 2

More of my samples---------------

The first sample was to get us into the mood and it is 19 cm x 15cm

The second sample is 21cm x 17cm I will do some hand stitching on this later--it is all wool except for the shiny threads which are silk.

This sample has pieces if silk felted into the squares--it is 19cm x 24cm.

This sample is a pieceof silk fabric which I used as the base layer -then I put the wool on top and felted it knowing that I wanted the fabric side as my sample.
It measures 32cm x 24cm

Some of these samples I will us as Postcards and ATC's .

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gift for Ebony and that Tree

Yesterday I showed you the gifts that Joanna sent me and this is the book that she sent for Ebony.
It is a beautiful book about fairies and the fairies are cut out paper dolls that have dresses for the girls and suits for the boys.
Ebony just loves it as she is a lover of all thing Fairy.

Here is a photo of her and the paper dolls-- aren't they just gorgeous and is she happy or what.

Last week I showed you the tree outside our front door with lovely red spikey flowers.
Well last night we had a big downpour and this is what the tree looked like this morning----

And this is the red carpet under the tree which was the spikey flowers on the tree last week.

Oh well off I go with the broom to sweep the path.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cards and Gifts from and for Joanna

These are the last card swaps for the year that Joanna and are doing.
We decided to do Christmas cards that were to have fabric on at least one of them.
The first cards are from Joanna and she has placed one of her delightful Fairies onto a pieced fabric with beads--this is so beautiful-I just love the fairies that she uses.
The one with the blue background has stitching on the leaf--I think it is free motion stitching.
the small one folds out to display as nowman and some writing and it has a delightful little clip on the front.

These are the cards that I sent to Joanna-and I have used Christmas paper as the background with embossed cardstock for the centre piece with a red fabric flower to finish it off. I'm sorry they are so dark -I placed them on black fabric hoping it would force the flash-but I am not so sure now.

This one is on a striped paper background with a white Embossed panel in the centre.The Christmas tree is a diecut- which is the piece that is removed when you get those cards with cut-outs in the centre.I then wound metallic thread around the tree and glued sequins over it to look like lights then I dabbed glitter over the tree to hilite it.

This last card has cutouts around the border and an oval cut out in the centre.
I made the fabric centre piece by chopping up fabric and layering it onto gossamer fuse ironed onto calico then a fine tulle was placed over it and I stiched patterns over it from the machine

This last photo is the gifts that Joanna sent to me and a gift for Ebony as well.
There is Christmas fabric-Christmas wire edged ribbon some beautiful threads some rub-ons and the most gorgeous book from hand made paper.
You spoil me Joanna.
Thanks again for the swap.

Postcards sent and Received

I received these 2 postcards today the blue one is from Gunnel and was her Christmas postcard swap with a yo-yo on it which was the theme of our swap.
The black one was from Joanna and it was a complete surprise to me.
Lovely P/Cs ladies.
This is the one that I have swapped with Gunnel -- just close your eyes Gunnel and pretend that you haven't seen it.
The little yo-yo is down the bottom

Challenge from Anna

Once again I have risen to the word Challenge.
Anna had written that if people commented on her blog that she would send some of her rusted fabric for them to make a piece of art.
We were not to use all the fabric on her piece of art but that we should keep some for ourselves.
Anna also included some metal beads that she had made.
These can be seen on the fabric.I know what I am going to make but you will have to wait a few days for that.

Book received and Book made

This is a CD book that I made at a class last weekend.
We used 2 blank CD's and we used a special Craft tool to punch the holes in it to hold the coil binding and for the life of me I can't remember what it is called---I know I know I can hear you all shouting out the name but you are just too far away for me too hear.
After we had the holes punched in we then stamped the images on and coloured the butterfly in with Twinkling H2o's--we then embellished the back as well but I haven't shown you that.
There are 5 pages of card stock inbetween the CD's to form the pages.
When this was finished we inserted the coil and added ribbons.
A great little project for Christmas -you could add your favourite recipes or poems to give to a friend-oh and the blob in the bottom left hand bit is UTEE .

And this book that I ordered from Dale at the thread studio arrived as well but I haven't had time to read it yet.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

TAST Week 47 Thorn Stitch

This weeks stitch is Thorn stitch and oh thank goodness it was an easy one(thanks Sharon)Today was our Workshop on the Web groups day at the Embroiderers Guild and I thought I would take my TAST sample piece along to finish instead of my sewing machine --I really wasn't in the mood for the machine today.
Well I stitched away merrily creating my version of Corin Forest in Canberra (before the bushfires in 2003 that is) and this stitch says trees-trees and more trees.
I had a great piece of hand felted fabric that made a fabulous background for it. Well we only have 5 more weeks left and if you want to know what Sharon is planning for next year just read my previous message.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A new Challenge for next year

Sharon Boggan is working on a new Challenge for next year as the TAST challenge draws to an end in 5 weeks time.
I have enjoyed the TAST challenge and have learned a lot of new stitches that I had never heard of before.
Sharon has asked us to give our opinions from two options that she has suggested--so if you would like to see what they are and maybe take part next year visit the link listed below and leave a message on her blog
If you haven't visited Sharon's blog before it is well worth a visit and I hope you like what you see and join me next year.

TAST Week 46 Chain Braid Stitch

By George I've got it----Chain Braid stitch that is.
This is not a stitch one would want to do in a hurry and one that I will probably never attempt again.
I imagine like the chain stitch sewing machine if you pulled the right thread the whole thing would unravel but in saying that I am not game to attempt it.
I did manage to get the last row with the pink and green thread to look nice and tidy but I nearly tied myself inside out getting it that way.
I used Perle 8 cotton thread on an even weave linen.
Thanks Sharon for introducing me to a lot of stitches that I would probably never have learnt before.
It has been a very interesting and enjoyable journey - One that I am glad I went on.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trees and Squares

Outside my front door is this magnificent tree and it is in full bloom at present.
It is a native Australian tree commonly known as a bottlebrush(I think it's a Callistemon) and my husband says it's name is Captain Cook and who am I to argue- all I know is that it is beautiful.(I'm no gardener and I will be the first to admit it)
This is a close up of the flowers--there is only one problem with this tree and it is that when the flowers are finished it drops the spikey bits and leaves a carpet of red all over the path leading up to the front door and in through the front door if I am not careful.

I can now show you the crazy patchwork square that I did for Sandy because she has contacted me to say it has arrived as well as her "I've found it" postcard.

I enjoyed doing this square as I haven't done any crazy patchwork for years--I think I will do some more next year---

Monday, November 12, 2007

More Gifts in the Mail

I recently answered a posting on Anna's blog whereby she would give one of her pouches to the first 10 people to leave a comment.
Well you know me never one to be backward on the opportunity to get a freebie and especially if it was a piece of Anna's creative work.
The pouch is made from silk pods and is one of the class techniques that Anna teaches.
Thank you Anna I love it.

Next is the Crazy Patchwork square that Sandy and I swapped with each other.
This is my square that Sandy pieced and embroidered.
Honestly I have never seen so many stitches and beads on one square.
I don't know how long it took but I reckon her hands were sore by the time she finished.
I can't show you my square that I sent her as she hasn't received it yet.
And Sandy doesn't have a blog yet so I can't link you to her.

And I also swapped a postcart with her from the "I found it" fabric -I don't have a photo of the one that I sent to Sandy but it is the same as the ones I posted several blogs ago.
Sandy also included this lovely Tag as well.

Thank you Sandy--as usual you have given me much pleasure with our swaps.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A great day today

Today I went to my favourite shop again and spent the day making Christmus stuff.
This morning we made Christmas cards and this afternoon we made decorations..
All the Christmas messages on the cards came off one sheet of 12 x 12 paper which meant there was no stamping involved.
These cards were quick and simple to make and the idea was to show us just how easy it is to make your own simple Christmas cards.

The ornaments were made from a kit with all the craft wood pieces for all 3 ornaments included in the kit.
The first thing we did was to paint the embellishments that went on the baubles and the back of the baubles as well.
Next we put Gesso on the unpainted side of the baubles and covered them with the papers.
When these dried we used a foam distressing pad to make the edges look aged.
We then assembled the embellishment pieces and glued them together and when these dried we glued them to the baubles.
The last thing to do was to tie the ribbon through the small holes at the top of the bauble.

Another very successful workshop with lots of good ideas.

Friday, November 9, 2007

TAST Week 45 Pekinese Stitch

This week we are doing Pekinese stitch-- I have heard of this stitch but I have never done it before.
The base row is backstitch and then the loop stitches are formed around the backstitches.
In the first two rows I have worked a single row of back stitch and I rather like the look of these two rows.
The third row has two rows of back stitch and then the loop stitches are worked between these two rows.
In the last one I have worked two lots of three rows of back stitch separated by a couple of rows of linen thread.
I then did the loop stitches over the three rows of back stitch which formed two braid like rows of Pekinese stitch.
I then laced them together in the lime green thread.
I know this looks different from Sharon's sample but this is how I interpreted the lacing when I read the Batsford Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches that I borrowed from the Embroiderers Guild Library.
To me it looks upside down to Sharon's but I don't think the Stitch Police will come and take me away--well I hope not anyway.

I have used a linen fabric and Perle cottons.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"I found it" Postcards

I decided to make the "I found it" piece of fabric into postcards as it was only the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
I managed to get 3 postcards and one ATC out of it.
I have sent one postcard to Sandy and these two are for Dianne and Lynda and the ATC went to Dot.
I didnt add any further embellishments to them as I thought it would detract from the overall piece.
I know they haven't received them yet but they already
know what they will look like so I thought I would put them on my blog now.

I hope you like them girls.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A bit of this and a bit of that--but not much at all

I have been making lots of things this week but unfortunately I can't show you any of it because it is for other people and I will put it on here when they receive them.
So I have decided to show you Ebony's Potato man.
While I was preparing Saturday nights dinner she was busy making this creature all done by herself.
He has coloured head pins for the mouth etc. and wool scraps for his hair and I think he is held together with tooth picks because she asked me for some.
The stick goes completely through the body for his arms - but no legs--you could say he doesn't have a leg to stand on.

I think she did very well..........