Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A wonderful day for a fibre freak

Jen and I headed off to Portland this morning, leaving Kevin behind. We had a fabulous day visiting every advertised store in Portland's Fibre District - yarns, fabrics, beads and needlework (cross-stitch etc, the only store we didn't spend much time in.) In addition we found a gallery that had work from 76 NW artists. While the quality was a bit patchy, there were enough interesting items to make a visit worthwhile. I particularly liked some multimedia collage and some funky felt hats. There were a number of fish sculptures using metal found objects which I am sure Kevin would have liked. Unfortunately for blogging purposes, no photography was allowed.

After we had exhausted the delights of the Button Emporium, we went to the Museum of Contemporary Craft which has just reopened in new premises. We thoroughly enjoyed this visit. Again no photography, but I have scribbled some notes that may eventually result in a project or two. The gift shop had some great stuff and Jennifer bought a funky felted ring.

Then we headed out of town to Selwood where we had a very late lunch at Curds and Whey, a speciality cheese shop. We shared a grilled Serrano ham and cheese panini accompanied by cornichons. The ham was superb and I now have yet another food item to try to find in Perth!

Our last shopping stop was Mill Ends where I bought the silk velvet devore fabric I mentioned before. Tuesday was Seniors' day so I got 15% discount!

Tomorrow we are sightseeing along the Columbia River valley. We hope to see Mount Hood at last - it has stubbornly hidden itself in clouds all the time we have been here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Abundant Yarn and Mill Ends

After our morning excursion to Washington Park in Portland itself (see the family blog for details) we left Kevin at home and Jennifer took me to two of her favourite shops.

Abundant Yarn is, of course, a yarn shop. It has a wonderful range of yarns from all over the world. They also dye their own yarns and wool rovings. Today must have been a dyeing day because there were piled up skeins on the tables of the back room and one of the assistants was winding a large skein into smaller ones when not busy at the cash register. Today's batch was in soft shades of green and blue - very restful. I did manage to resist buying any of that, but I bought a loooong circular needle (120cm) to try another Moebius scarf when I get home. I also bought a packet of hand dyed silk chiffon pieces for felting.

Mill Ends is a HUGE warehouse which sells all kinds of fabrics, yarns and haberdashery. I was very tempted by some white silk devore which could be dyed, but decided it was just a bit too expensive, given the price was by the yard. However, Tuesday is Seniors' discount day with 15% off and Jennifer has promised that we can go back if I really want to. I will think about it.

We didn't even venture into the back of the store where the upholstery fabrics were, but had a good poke around the silks and quilting fabrics. If I lived here it would be my favourite store too!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Quilting in Oregon, Day 3

I have now visited 3 quilt shops. I have also seen at least four quilting shop signs on various highways, but have not been able to visit. From what I have seen, most quilt shops here are very traditional.

Jennifer took me to her favourite shop which caters for both traditional and contemporary quilters. I bought a book on fabric origami boxes which looks very interesting (DW members please note) and a Kayla Kennington bag pattern. Kayla is apparently a local but I don't think I will be able to organise a meeting :(

We are having trouble uploading photos because we don't have any software to reduce the file sizes. I hope this will load.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The trip so far . . . .

We have managed a couple of entries for the family blog while we have been travelling, but I have not done any. So here's a quick summary of the trip so far.

Left Perth Sunday 15th at 7.45, arrived Los Angeles at 5.30 Sunday 15th - the vagaries of the date line . When we come back we will lose a day. Picked up a hire car, registered at the motel we had prebooked, had an evening meal (huge servings left unfinished) and crashed. Neither of us had slept well on the plane.

Next day we set off to travel north, aiming to be at Hearst Castle (halfway to San Francisco) for the final tour of the day at 4 pm. What actually happened can be found here.

We spent the night at Cambria which is a lovely little town. We found an internet cafe there, and a restaurant which served excellent Asian food. We left early to go on a morning tour of Hearst castle. I am glad we did it - the place was very interesting and such an example of conspicuous consumption! But I guess if you have the money you need to flaunt it.

Because we didn't leave San Simeon until 11 am and had decided to drive up the coast, we were rather behind in our planned timetable. There was no way we would be able to get to SF, so we decided to stay in Santa Cruz which is about 90 miles from SF. The drive up the coast is spectacular, but very time consuming.

Wednesday we drove from Santa Cruz north to Eureka. We had originally planned to drive along the coast, but due to traffic chaos the 90 minute trip to the Golden Gate bridge took more than 3 and a half hours, so again we were pushed for time. So we took the freeway and totally at random pulled off at a town called Healdville to find a spot to have our lunch. It was a great find - very touristy, but lots of charming buildings and interesting shops, and a lovely park. The rest of the drive north was very interesting too, through great scenery and fabulous redwood forests.

Eureka has lots of beautifully restored Victorian timber buildings, including the Carson Mansion which must be the best example of Victorian wedding cake architecture in existence. It is also reputed to be the most photographed building in North America. We both took lots, and I will post at least one example later.

Today we just drove, again through redwoods at first, then up into the mountains and down. We are now at my friend Jennifer's house. Tomorrow we need to do some shopping then there is the wedding rehearsal dinner in the evening.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

We're off

The packing is all done. The alarm is set, though we probably won't need it - neither of us sleep well when we have an early start. I hope I haven't left behind anything we will really need. We are under weight - yay! Might be able to buy a few things while we are in the States.

It was Designing Women meeting today. The fabric paper workshop we were going to have unfortunately had to be cancelled, but some members decided to experiment on their own and came up with some nice results. We are hoping the workshop can be rescheduled to November.

Barbara, who is a founding member of DW, turned 80 this month. Cecelia made a cake and decorated it and it was presented after the business meeting, much to Barbara's surprise.

I am not sure I will be able to blog while we are away, but I will if I can. If not, see you in August.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


We (me, Helen and sister Dorothy) met at the Art Gallery Cafe this morning before going to see the Treasures from Australian Libraries exhibition at the Museum.

There was a huge truck backed up to the door of the Art Gallery and they were unloading lots of anonymous crates in various sizes. The area was cordoned off and there was a policeman on duty. Obviously these were the pieces for the Treasures from the Louvre exhibition which opens on the 21st.

The exhibition at the Museum was well worth the visit. However, we all found the low light levels tiring. They were a necessary evil to protect the pieces. The exhibition was crowded and there was some pressure to keep moving along. I am sure I missed quite a bit for both those reasons. There was a huge amount to see.

We went to the Alexander Library after the Museum to look at their own exhibition. We found it more user friendly, with fewer exhibits and more light. There was some great stuff on display there too. I particularly liked a collage by Shaun Tan which was used as the frontispiece for his book The Red Tree.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Progress on the "To Do" list

The software workshop was really good - Pam's knowledge of the software (less than 3 months since it was released in Australia) is amazing. I had no trouble keeping up. In fact I usually managed to do each step two or three times before we moved on to the next. I will make some time to work through the whole exercise this week, even though the days (and nights) are quickly filling up with things to be done.

This afternoon I purchased the wedding gift for Bruce and Tamara and then bought some new undies for both of us. Two things crossed off the "To Do" list. I am still thinking about buying some Aussie print T-shirts for us to wear at the rehearsal dinner the night before. It is supposed to be an "Aussie Barbecue", but I gather it is a sit down meal. Will think more about this . . . .

I started stitching one of the Melville pieces this afternoon. We have to write a little story about each one and I had no idea what the piece meant to me. But as I was stitching I saw a garden and that is what I will write about - the one Kevin's father tended in Murray Road and the one we inherited at 342 Canning Highway.

I haven't printed the 342 picture yet for the photo transfer piece, but I have played with the jpeg and the fabric sheets are ready. I am going to print the same image on silk and silk organza. I may layer both images together or else use a dyed piece of organza over the silk. . .

This is the picture I will use. It was taken about 1901.

The woman is Annie Murray, aunt of the little girl. Her name is either Elsie or Annie - we are not sure which one she is. The girls' mother died at Boulder while the family was living there. The father, William Murray, had a grocery store there and later in North Fremantle. He was Chairman of the Melville Roads Board (predecessor to the Melville City Council) at least twice - I need to look up our reference books to make sure. Kevin's parents lived in Murray Road.

When Annie (the younger) died, the house was left to the Presbyterian Church. We bought it in 1974, while we were living in Papua New Guinea and moved in in December 1975. We lived there for 28 years.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The To Do list

I didn't actually do anything related to fibre today except sort out the pieces I intend to use for the Melville Community Textile Project, but I accomplished quite a few items from the "To Do" list, including a visit to the podiatrist.

I have been suffering from sore feet after walking for a half hour or so and thought I needed to have something done before the US trip. Apparently I need orthotics, but since there is no time to have them made he suggested some gel insoles. I tried for an hour or so, but they were irritating the inside of my insteps, so I am not using them at the moment. I WILL try them in my walking shoes though.

Tomorrow I am doing a workshop on the 4D embroidery software, so I spent a little time playing. I am glad I did since I discovered a couple of little tricks that might have caused me some problems if I had met them for the first time in a class situation.

On Wednesday I am meeting Helen and my sister Dorothy in Perth and we are going to look at the Treasures from Australian Libraries exhibition. This will be my only chance to see it since it opened the weekend we went to Bali and finishes at the end of the month while we are in the US. I was very sorry to miss it in Canberra last February and have been looking forward to it coming to Perth ever since. After we get back we will have to see the Egyptian Treasures from The Louvre exhibition. There is also a exhibition about migration at the Fremantle Maritime Museum which we will try to get to. I hope after we get back.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The next deadline looms . . .

I have done three loads of washing today - some of it is still hanging outside under the verandah because it has been raining most of the day. A lot of the rest of it, dried in the drier, has been put aside for packing on Saturday.

I have finished the outfit for THE wedding and pressed all the seams. I made a covered button for the neck and hemmed the pants. I can't believe it is all done!

There are at least 6 pairs of trousers - mine and Kevin's - awaiting pressing/ironing.

I am well and truly over Bali Time, but I have downloaded some of the photos. Here are a couple of them - flowers from the hotel garden.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Still in Bali

Kevin has already written the family blog for today - but I am wanting to pass some time as well. The plane home was supposed to leave at 12.35, but is now leaving at 3.55. Thank goodness for Executive Class tickets! We are able to relax in comfortable lounge chairs, tea and coffee are on tap and internet access is free.

I am reading a rather dreadful book which I think I will review in a day or so. The author is Traci Harding who has apparently written a couple of bestselling fantasy trilogies. I wonder how her book editor can justify her salary ... the very first sentence set my teeth on edge. Can you imagine a female diarist in the mid 19th century using the expression " all steamed up"? Then a few pages later the same protagonist writes "Wow!" . . . !!!! The writing is so bad that I am now sucked in, wanting to discover what weirdness will next eventuate.

I have enjoyed our time in Bali except for the various frustrations which Kevin has detailed. I am looking forward to being back home though, even though that will not be for very long. I have started the list of Must Dos Before Next Sunday - and it's rather scary how long it is!

We have been given a voucher for lunch so I think we will go and take it up soon.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Sitting in an internet cafe to write this. I have spent the morning by the pool. This is such a slow connection that I can't be bothered waiting for the computer to catch up, so I'll save it till we get home on Saturday. I'll also be able to download pictures then - we didn't bring the cable with us.