Saturday, December 27, 2008


I used to make all my clothes, especially in the days when knit fabrics were all the go. Now I usually only make slacks - I can never buy any that fit properly and I have tweaked two patterns that work really well.

However, I have a pile of patterns (quite a few never used) and somehow I keep on buying dress fabric.

Boxing Day I went through my dressmaking stash. We are going on a cruise in February and I feel the need for some new clothes. I found so much that could be used that I doubt I will have time to make it all - OR the luggage allowance to get it to Sydney from where the cruise leaves.

Today I have cut out 3 lots of trousers using both my old faithful patterns and pinned the pattern for a top on a silk sarong I bought in Bali about 6 years ago. Everything fits - phew!

Tomorrow I plan to cut out a silk chiffon big shirt, a black devore velvet jacket and a black silk camisole to go under it.

I think I should sew these before I undertake any other garments. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Beating the Sales

Since I had the Christmas stuff all organised and I didn't feel inspired to do anything textiley today, I decided to go to Garden City shopping centre and buy myself a pair of really comfortable shoes to wear tomorrow.

I had expected the place to be really really crowded. First piece of good news - easily found a parking spot. Second bit of good news - while there were lots of people about, it wasn't jampacked and it was easy to move about.

But the really exciting bit was that Myer was getting ready for the after Christmas Stocktake Sale (looked like 20 -50% plus off most things) and because the sale stickers were already in place those prices applied. So I examined shoes at my leisure, tried several pairs on and finally bought a pair at almost half price.

But buying them involved quite a drama.

I had tried on a pair which fitted well in a bronze colour which I didn't really like, so I asked if they came in another colour. The sales girl found one box in the right size out the back with the left shoe in black. The right shoe was somewhere on the sales tables. We went looking for it - couldn't find it anywhere. More sales personnel became involved. No sign of it. Even more sales people now looking. I felt quite embarrassed, but they assured me that there were no more pressing tasks at the moment. Eventually the shoe was found in a big box of markdowns and I paid for them - I could hardly not have after all the fuss, but I did want them.

Imagine all this happening when the sale was actually on. I think I would have got short shrift on Saturday when the sale starts, apart from probably having to fight with other wouldbe purchasers.

I don't think I will be going to the after Christmas sales. I got my bargains today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Angels and an organised workspace

Designing Women had their Christmas party on Saturday. Venue was Helen B's new house in Wembley - fabulous, especially the art on the walls.

We made our angel swap. This is the collection laid out on a table - I hope I got it all.

Kevin and I got a Christmas present from the government last week - $2100 for the two of us, being holders of the Seniors Health Card. The government says SPEND, SPEND so we did - a bit of it.

I have wanted shelves in the laundry almost since we moved into this house. The laundry is very large and was obviously designed to be a sewing room for someone who did not have all the stash I have, or do the the multi media stuff that I do. There is a L-shaped bench that runs under a large window and then along a blank wall.

No longer blank. We bought an Elfa hanging system yesterday and installed it today. We had to go back to the store to exchange components - the shelves I chose were too wide - but I am very happy with the finished setup.

I wish I had taken a photo of the bench before I cleared it. Imagine a pile of shopping bags on the left, and assorted piles of stuff on the right, with the embellisher surrounded. How long will this present neatness prevail?

Today I have also decorated the (fake) Christmas tree and put out the various Christmas decorations all over the house. I admit to being a bit surprised at how much hand made stuff I have (and how old some of it is). I was planning to make a lace Nativity scene which will probably not be done this year. At least I made a couple of lace snowflakes - see below.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Parties and Loot

All the crafty groups I belong to are having their Christmas parties this week.

Yesterday I went to Husqvarna Club and scored some great stuff in the swaps. Denise (who has been working there, but is now going to devote all her time to her own business) had made a gift for everyone. Mine was an embroidered cosmetic bag.

I got a great bag in exchange for the bag I had made for the swap - made from Japanese fabrics and fully lined.

I also got a $5 voucher in the lucky dip to add to the $40 voucher I had won for having the most stamps on my membership card. (If you brought Show and Tell to a meeting you got a stamp; if you had done the previous month's project and brought it along you got two. Kindergarten stuff, but a good way to get lots of interesting Show and Tell at each meeting.) And I will make good use of the voucher I am sure.

Today was Secret Drawer. Lunch was great and my swap gift was a bottle of wine - very nice!
I will report on the two more to come this week after they have happened.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Decorating paper

A while ago I bought 100 sheets of rough handmade (probably in Indonesia) paper for the princely sum of $2. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but it WAS a bargain.

Last week I tried to use it to make paper casts, but it is too thin and just fell to pieces.

Yesterday and today I have been using some of the stencils I have made since FibresWest and now have 4 sheets of paper ready for wrapping gift swaps.

And that's not all I have been doing. I made the wings for the two wild angels I am making, plus stitched two 3D lace angels and three snowflakes on water soluble (and THAT took a lo-o-o-ng time).
(I know - they don't look much like angels at the moment - more like bumblebees!)

I have also used up the rest of the packet of Model Magic that I opened back in September to make some Feral Female faces. You are not supposed to try and save this material, but I had sealed and wrapped it carefully and it was still OK.

I made a few more faces (these are some painted with Twinkling H2Os) and a whole lot of casts from various moulds that I have. Not sure what I'll do with them as yet.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Facing a challenge

Contemporary Quilt Group is having a swap at the December meeting. You had to hand over a small bag of assorted textile bits, then collect a bag that someone else had contributed. You then needed to make something with your bag of goodies, using some mixed media techniques.

I am not sure how the swap is actually going to work. I hope that the completed piece goes back to the original provider of the raw materials. I would love to see what has been made from my bag.

I lucked out with the bag I collected. A pile of silk scraps, a piece of a cotton flour bag and two small bundles of metallic fibres. Immediate response - an evening bag.

And this is what I have made.

I laid out silk bits on a sticky stabiliser which I had ironed to the flour bag, scattered bits of the metallic fibres over, then covered the lot with a chiffon scarf. I stitched lines with a metallic thread, scribbled with a soldering iron in some of the spaces, made a twisted thread cord for a handle and then lined and constructed the bag in one step (a technique I learned from Glenys Mann - thanks, Glenys!)

I had been sewing digitised Xmas lace designs on the SE while I was working on the Orchidea to construct the bag, so the final step was a metallic snowflake to make it Christmassy.

I am really pleased with the result - hope the recipient likes it too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Killed Catalogues

I intend (truly, honestly, cross my heart) to do the online lessons that Maggie Grey has set up for people who have bought her book: Textile Translations.

So far, all I have done is slash a couple of catalogues (plenty available at this time of the year!) and put them in the garden.

This shot is of one that has been there for about a week. It looks quite dead to me. At the lower right is a second, newer effort. Not visible is a baking tray which I am trying to rust.

Lots of hiding places for peculiar stuff in our garden - and Kevin usually asks if it is intentional before he chucks it in the bin!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The end of Spring

I downloaded some photos from the camera tonight and found a couple of photos that demonstrated the weird weather we had last month. The first November for whatever years without a 30 degree maximum temperature on any day (and that measurement is Celsius, not Fahrenheit, for any US reader. 30 degrees is getting hot, not cold!) Much more rain than usual.
And a hail storm one night. This was the back lawn about 9.30 on November 20th.

On the other hand, I think the jacaranda blossoms have been better than usual. There were magnificent displays during the last week in November.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tool Making

FibresWest Bunbury: LOVED this part of the workshop I did with Jane Dunnewold. Since I returned I have been making lots of stencils and stamps.

What I need to do is USE THEM.

I am looking at this scarf. I think the centre bit can be left for a while, but the end pockets need at least a couple of processes added.

Please crawl out of the woodwork and add your comments.