Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's TAST Time Again

Yeeh it's on again and starting this Tuesday the 2nd March.
What is TAST I hear you ask--well it means Take A Stitch Tuesday and is run by Sharon Boggon of Pin Tangle
How does it work?
Well in a nutshell-every Tuesday Sharon introduces us to a new embroidery stitch and we then set to and embroider it.
You may like to do a sampler and add the new stitch to it each week 0r you may decide to make a postcard or do a crazy quilt block and work the seams using each different stitch -it is up to you.
If you want to know how it works go here to Sharons blog where she explains it better.
The first TAST was in 2007 and we worked 52 different stitches--I didn't know that there were that many embroidery stitches--and now TAST 2 and Sharon has found even more different stitches for us to work.
If you want to join in then just sign on by clicking on the link above and let Sharon know.
And guess what?--it's free so what are you waiting for- come along and join me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

ATC Birthday Swap

This year I have joined an ATC birthday swap started by Kate which has about 34 members.
Each month we send an ATC to the person(s) who are having a birthday in that month and then when my birthday comes around in September I should receive a birthday ATC from each of them.
In March there are only two people having their birthdays and here are the ATC's that I have made for them/
One is for Kathy and the other is for Kelly
I am not saying which one is which in case they read this.
The background is again from one of my Embellisher samples with a stamped flower on cardstock and then the paper flowers were added using brads and machine stitching.

I had both of these in their respective envelopes-sealed up with stamps attached and then I remembered that I hadn't scanned them so I had to undo everything carefully-scan them and then re-seal them.
One day I will get it right and remember to scan them first.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When Lakes Become Rivers

I'm back from the coast after a fabulous 3 days of loafing around-walking along the foreshore-watching DVD's-listening to birds chirping all day and generally just veging out.
The place where we stayed is called Tuross Heads which is a beautiful little coastal town where people retire to and live the rest of their lives doing what they please in a leisurely manner.
There are beautiful homes built along the beach front and up into the hills around the area.
On either side of Tuross there is a lake--on the left hand side is Lake Coila and on the right hand side is Lake Tuross.
I mentioned last week that we had several days of continuous rain over the weekend in Canberra but down on the coast they had even more rain that us.
At Tuross Heads they had over 300mm of rain that weekend which caused flooding and a lot of damage.
They had also had a lot of rain 10 days earlier which caused the lakes to flood and the authorities had to cut a small channel in the sand bar to release some of the water from the lake into the ocean as it was causing flooding to some of the lower areas around the lake.
When we took Ebony down there 5 weeks ago the beaches were in pristine condition but nothing could prepare us for the damage that these storms had caused.
I took these photos mainly to show Ebony but I decided to share them with you also.
In the first photo Stephen is walking down the concrete path that leads to the beach--if you click on the photo you will see tha damage caused at the bottom by the water racing down the path.

At the bottom of the steps you can see all the tree trunks etc that had been washed up from the ocean and down the path.

In this photo you can see how the force of the rushing water carved a huge chunk out of the sand as it came gushing down--the depth of the walls is over a metre in places.

This is a photo of the beach now----
When we down there with Ebony the sand stretched as far as the eye can see-but now just behind the rocks in the centre of the photo is where the lake broke it's banks for the second time now making it impossible to walk to the other end.

In this photo you can see the water coming from Lake Coila.
Before the banks burst this whole area was sand as far as the eye could see.

Here you can see what looks like a river.
But at the point where the rocks are in the centre of the photo is where the lake wall was. and in front of it was a huge mound of sand.
If you click on this photo and the one above you will see how the water carved a wall out of the sand.

The children were having great fun sliding down the sand into the water.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Fabric Paper

I have finally made a piece of fabric paper that I like as a whole piece.
This time I used gift wrapping paper and it has worked out fine-whereas before I was using paper serviettes which I wasn't happy with.
I also used a different tissue paper and this allowed the printed paper to show through.
I have hilited the ridges and creases on the piece with Goldfinger but it doesn't show up in the scan.
Trust me it looks good in the flesh--would I lie to you?

I will be away for a couple of days as we are off to the coast again for a bit of R & R --see you when I get back.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Making Paste Paper

Today I have been making Paste Paper in preparation for our next Paper Arts group meeting.
I have been wanting to try this for ages but never got around to it-so when the opportunity arose I decided to go for it.
There are a few recipes on the internet for making the paste using cornstarch and similar products but they had to be cooked so I chose the one here which used wallpaper paste.
The idea is that you mix up the powder with warm water and when it is all dissolved you add the acrylic paints and mix well.
Next you paint the mixture onto the paper and then make marks in the paint with pattern tools.
I used a Tsukineko multi purpose squeegee tool which is a three sided gizmo and one of the sides has teeth cut into it.
I just drew the designs and hoped for the best.

This one was created with the side of a spatula-----------------

In this one I used two different blues painted in a check design-then I drew squiggles with the squeegee on an angle and lastly I used the bottom of an egg carton to form a new pattern.

Again I used the egg carton------------

I painted red paste on the paper first and drew in it with the squeegee.
When it was almost dry I painted blue over the top and again drew squiggles on it.

Painted --then drew squiggles and then used the bottom of the egg carton.

Circles drawn with the point of a spatula----------------

These will be very useful for a lot of things.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Picnic Lunch

Today the weather has been beautiful-the temperature was around 27 degrees Celcius-sunny with a gentle breeze blowing.
We decided to go for a picnic lunch down by the lakeside in the town centre.
Just as we arrived another couple were leaving so we headed over to the table that they had been using.
We sat and ate our lunch consisting of tomato-lettuce-cucumber-cheese-cold chicken-hard boiled egg-some cold leftover baked veggies and some potato salad and 2 slices of fresh hi-top bread washed down with a nice cold soft drink.
It was so peaceful and serene watching the ducks wading by and dragonflies flitting past.
When we were about to leave Stephen spotted this spiders web.
As it glistened in the sun it looked like a wire stretched up high between two trees.
We were amazed at the length of it so Stephen stepped it out and he reckons it was about 12 feet long.
How on earth does one little spider manage such a great feat.

I then noticed the spider rushing along the web and if you click on the photo the blurry blob in the centre of the web is the spider.

I noticed this tree trunk with lovely lichen and moss on it------------------

This is a tree root that has grown up above the ground and had then been mown over a long time ago by the the man on his ride on mower.
The design that has been created by the regrowth is beautiful.

Now for the ugly bits.
The table where we ate our lunch was a solid plastic type of material and some idiot had tried to set it alight-how I don't know but it it was all black and scarred.
When I took a closer look the residue that was left behind had formed an interesting pattern.
The blue is the colour of the table originally and the big cracks are the definition between each section of the table top.
The bits that look grey are really black but the sunshine made them look paler in the photo.

The destruction that some idiots leave behind makes me angry-not just because of the damage to the table but also the inconvenience that it causes when people go for a picnic luch.
Luckily I had taken a cloth which meant that I could cover up the offending ugliness so that we could enjoy our outing.

Ah--roll on Autumn which by the way is the most magical season in Canberra because when the city was designed they had the forsight to plant lots of beautiful trees that change colours in Autumn.
I know they then loose their leaves and make a big mess but in my mind it is all worth it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Final Fibre Fever Pages

February sees the final swap of our pages in the Fibre Fever Group.
My swap partner that I had to send to was Cobi and her theme was "Haiku" which is a Japanese form of poetry.
When this swap was first started I had never even heard of a Haiku.
We had to write the verse on the back of the page and then interpret it on the front.
I wrote a Haiku about a butterfly which meant that I sent Cobi a butterfly page which just so happened to be my theme for the swap.
The background is a piece of silk fabric and I added a lace butterfly that I added stitching to.
I added a flower because my Haiku also mentioned flowers.
Now I have to confess that I forgot to take a photo of the back of the page with the verse on it.

Today I received my page from Helga in Germany.
Thank you Helga for my final butterfly page--I love it and now I have to think about how I am going to construct my "Butterfly" book and I also have to make the covers for it.

A big "thank you" to all the ladies who have participated in this swap.
I not only have all my wonderful butterfly pages from them but I have made some fabulous friends as well.
Thanks ladies.
****Rain update*****
You will all be pleased to know that over the weekend we have had 48 hours of drenching rain--which has soaked into the ground and my Erosion Bundles as well.
In fact the bundles got so wet and heavy that I had to go out and move them further up the trees because they were almost touching the ground.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fabric Paper ATC's

At the Embroiderers Guild this week the Paper Arts group made fabric paper ala Beryl Taylors method.
I wasn't very happy with the pieces that I made-(sometimes I am my own worst critic) but when I cut the paper up into ATC sized pieces and cut out some heart shapes as well I changed my mind about the piece.
I think when you look at it as a whole piece it sometimes leaves a lot to be desired (mine that is).
Anyhow I had to make ATC's for the small online group that I belong to where the theme was hearts (naturally) so I decided to make them out of my fabric paper.
I mounted the heart shape piece onto a square of hand made white paper and then stitched both pieces onto the background with the sewing machine using gold thread.
All in all I am a happy chappy and I hope the recipients will be as well.

I have made a few extra ones that will be exchanged with the other group members when we meet next month.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Nuno Felting

On Saturday the Creative group at the Guild did Nuno felting.
There were 3 of us who demonstrated the technique but we each used a different way of doing it.
These are the pieces that I made.
The first one is made from pieces of a silk dress.
The patterned fabric was the dress and the plain pink was the lining.
I used the lining as the base and then added the wool tops in two layers and then added the printed fabric on the top.
I used bubble wrap for the felting process and felted it until I had achieved the desired effect.

Here is the reverse of the above piece.
What I intend doing is stitching around the patterns with perle thread in the same colours as the patterns-----and then using the back as the front.
The patterned piece will be base for my design element.

These two pieces are made out of a silk scarfe which was black with off white flowers.
The base fabric is black cotton Voile and the wool tops are black as well.
I intend stitching on these but I am unsure as to how I will do it yet.

I thought that I would make a landscape scene--the top piece is blue silk with white wool scattered to look like clouds.
Next are the hills/mountains and then the foreground.
I used wool tops for this and some throwsters waste as well.
I used white wool tops between the two layers of silk.

This is also a silk scarfe that had mauve flowers on it.
The scarfe was a bit torn in places but it felted really well.
I think this will be a needle case.

This one didn't have a silk layer on top only the wool.

All in all it was a fabulous day--I must admit that I didn't do these all on Saturday--I did some on Sunday at home as well.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hold the rain dance-----------

----------it has worked.
Finally we have had a good saturating rain that lasted more than ten minutes.
In fact it went on for hours.
I promise this will be the last rain photos for a while--but when it started to bucket down late yesterday afternoon I went out and stood in it (as one does) with my camera.
I noticed the rain drops were creating a wonderful pattern in the bird bath--(click on the picture to get a better look.)

And look at the colour on one of my Erosion bundles-I think the pink is coming from some hand dyed paper that I put inside and the brown is probably from the bark but I not sure.

When I got up this morning the birds were chirping happily and the bundles were swaying in the gentle breeze and everything was wet.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A miracle has happened

We had rain half an hour ago------------
Lovely heavy rain-----------

10 minutes later the sky looked like this-----------

Ah well the bundles got wet at last.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A New School Year

Today was the beginning of the new school year for Ebony.
This year she is in year 5 and is looking forward to all the new stuff that she will learn.
We always go and see her off to school on the first day-something of a tradition really.
I thought that she would not want us to go this year but she still wanted us to be there as long as we didn't kiss or cuddle her in public.
She has a school uniform-which includes the top she has on which has her school logo on it-plus a pleated skirt or shorts and a hat.
Today she decided to be herself and wear her three quarted leg pants instead of her skirt and left her hat at home.
She is supposed to wear her hat because of the sunshine and we hadn't realised that she didn't bring it with her.
Now can you blame her really with all the hair that she has and the hat sits on top like an umbrella.
But most of all please take notice of the shoes-------
She has a black pair of these shoes and a pink pair and a camoflage pair as well and has decided to wear a different coloured shoe on each foot.
I wonder how long this craze will last.
May be odd sox will be next.

Here she is with her best friend Lily.
They were so happy to see each other as they hadn't been together since school broke up six weeks ago.
They have been friends since pre-school -through kinder and then every class since.
And how they have both grown.