Friday, July 31, 2009

Craft Fair Day One

Yesterday went well. Helen B came along and organised us - I think Jan and I would have been there till midnight. As it was we finished by 3.30 pm. We worked on a sort of colour wash, and my latest scarf didn't make the cut. Not to worry - I think it needs a little needle punching, so it's a WIP.

I was back there today - a little delayed by the necessity to deliver daughter Helen's car to Canning Vale. The stall looks great and there was a lot of interest in the pieces. Here are Pauline and Alcira on duty.

Today was my shopping day, and I indulged - though a bit less than I had anticipated.

Tomorrow I am helping at an Embroidery Guild workshop. I need to deliver more flyers for the DW stall. I printed 70+ and almost all had gone by late afternoon.

There are some great displays at the Fair. Tomorrow I plan to take photos of lots of stuff - particularly the Art to Wear and the Embroidery Guild's 40th Anniversary display.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Count Down to the Craft Fair

I finished the scarf.

I searched all my cupboards and bags and found a few things that are "new" (ie not displayed last year) so they will do at a pinch if stuff does not miraculously appear tomorrow morning. We are still short of work to display on the DW stall.

I searched all my files (on 3 different computers) but couldn't find the flyer for Designing Women. So I rewrote it. I had forgotten how to add the title to a picture in Word - finally a lightbulb went off and I did it in Photoshop - easy peasy!

The rolling trolley is packed. I am going early tomorrow to help with setting up the Art to Wear, then Jan will help set up Designing Women in the afternoon. I WILL remember to take a picture this year!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Display work

I have been intending to use this wool yarn to make a scarf for some time, so the necessity to have a few more bits for the DW display at the Craft Fair provided the impetus to actually do it.

It is a simple recipe: layout fibres or yarns on Vilene 541 (aka Sol-u- Web), cover with another piece, pin well and stitch. Dissolve the Vilene and you have a scarf or piece of fabric or whatever, depending on the size and shape of the dissolvable base.

I got as far as the laying out and pinning today. I am doing a computer workshop in the morning, but plan to stitch and dissolve tomorrow. I will have to do it - set up is on Thursday.

As for the purple circles . . . The Innovative Stitches group came up with some different ideas on Saturday. I will have to try to do that as well.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ring a Ring a Rosy

I have been making these buttonholed rings in spare moments for some time. The phrase "purple circle" keeps coming to mind, so they are all made from different purple (or mostly purple) yarns and threads. Some are made over foundation rings of plastic, others were made using a couronne stick. I have no idea what I will eventually do with them, but Dale has an interesting idea on her blog.

We are in dire need of pieces for the Designing Women display at the Craft Fair next weekend. I dug out an old piece of work - scraps of threads and fabrics woven on a frame. I made this in 2002, so it is overdue for recycling.
I cut it away from its frame and I am going to attach some of the rings to it. Watch this space.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not quite MasterChef

We followed the last week of the MasterChef Australia program with interest. While Chris was not our favourite we felt he had been dudded when Julie, who had made a hopeless mess of her dishes that night, was chosen to proceed to the final. And then she won - admittedly with better cooking than her previous effort.

I was not impressed by the way the contestants in the competition were permitted to wear such unsuitable clothing. Chris's hats were an obvious health hazard, though they did at least cover most of his greasy hair, while I kept expecting Julie's curls and frills to catch on fire. At least they wore aprons.

I could not possibly enter such a competition. I am a pretty good cook. I have done a Commercial Cooking course at TAFE as well as teaching Home Economics for many years, but I am sure I would fall to pieces under any sort of pressure.

But I can produce something pretty good for the evening meal. This was last night's offering. Fillet steak, smashed potatoes with chives, slow roasted Mediterranean vegetables (finger eggplants, baby zucchini, sliced fennel, onion, tomatoes, garlic and basil) plus steamed green beans and broccoli. Kev was so impressed he took a photo. Pity it is not presented on a white plate.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Signed, sealed and delivered

We took the Designing Women piece to the WAFTA meeting last night. Alcira and I travelled with Juliet and both of us also delivered our pieces. Here are two photos of the Windows part of mine.

Apparently there are 65 pieces entered. I am not sure how many are hangings because there is also a 3D section. It should be a great show.

There was a guest speaker at the meeting - Katrina Virgona. Her work focuses on language and letters and includes sculptural pieces that represent an invented alphabet. It was a most intriguing and inspirational talk and display of work.

After supper Katrina led us in an activity where we twisted a wire coat hanger into a shape and covered it with cloth, which we were then to decorate. I am hopeless when it comes to manipulating wire, but eventually a most peculiar shape evolved. I have painted it black. Further decoration may or may not happen.

Monday, July 20, 2009


It is 363 cm long (it was supposed to be 350). We decided that we couldn't do anything about shortening it without destroying the integral value of the piece. The exhibition committee are planning on each piece being 40 cm from the floor - we hope the exact height doesn't matter, and it's probably better to be a bit long than too short.

It is now wrapped in an old doona cover, folded into the cover Alcira made, labelled and ready to be delivered tomorrow night.

Mine will be delivered then too. I discarded the idea of outlining the windows with a heavy thread. Experiment demonstrated that it added nothing, while placing unwanted emphasis on uneven stitching. I have stitched the label on the bottom binding and it is ready to go.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Progress Report

My piece for the WAFTA exhibition is finished - well, almost. I am going to stitch around the windows with a heavy (12 weight) cotton thread in both bobbin and needle. I also plan to write my name and the name of the piece in thread at the base. I estimate an hour or so tomorrow will see it done.

Juliet and I have also made good progress on the DW piece. Yesterday we straightened the edges. While it took a while to do, we found we fell readily into the pattern of work we developed for the Melville Art Project and we didn't have to reinvent the wheel.

Today we ironed a lightweight interfacing to a beautiful piece of silk dyed by Marlene. I almost cried at the thought of cutting it up, but it was perfect for the binding. The binding is now sewn on and will be slipstitched tomorrow. Then we need to add the extra bits: Jan's frogs and Loraine's dragonflies as well as assorted additional leaves. We should have it finished easily by Tuesday's deadline without stressing out.

I intended to take some photos today but forgot. I will tomorrow, and it will look better without pins, I promise.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Almost there

I pulled the final bit of background fabric out of the cake tray where it had been rusting quietly since Monday. All good - in fact a a bit darker than I wanted, but I don't have any more and it's OK. Some very nice rust patterning.

I stitched all the windows - once on the organza side and again on the window side. I bound the bottom hem and attached the new background piece.

Tomorrow I will measure twice for correct length, bind the edges and make a sleeve. Then I will think about some embellishments - I may actually have enough time to add them.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fiddling with Fervour

The deadline is fast approaching for the pieces to be entered in the WAFTA Naturally exhibition.

I spent a LOT of time today on both my own entry and the DW one.

Alcira and I tried to make the multiple segments in the DW piece more organic and less geometric. I don't know if we succeeded, but Alcira is now going to do some more stitching. Then it is over to Juliet and I to bind the edge. I am still worried about this - more thinking and consultation needed.

And my entry? I trimmed all the paper prints to be 1 cm less all round than the organza prints. I arranged the paper on the fabric, hung the piece over over a door and took photos, decided it was all OK and started to cut out the windows.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Last Rose of Summer

We have a green waste pickup in our area starting today, so we spent yesterday morning pruning the roses. I wore a long sleeved jumper and gloves but I still managed two cuts and a bruise.

I couldn't bear to toss these last few flowers, so even deformed as they are, they are in a vase on the kitchen table. It will be a couple of months before I can harvest more.

But in the meantime the camellias are in full bloom.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Designing Women

We held an ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap at our meeting yesterday. We were all supposed to make 20 cards, one to go to the group for a display at the Craft Fair at the end of the month and the rest to swap.

For various reasons, not everyone who was supposed to participate was there, and we ended up with 12 cards. We are hoping that more will be available next month.

Here are the 12 I received. Mine is the furthest left in the middle row.

We also had a bit more of a fiddle with the piece for the WAFTA exhibition. I took this looking down from the verandah. It doesn't look quite as good as it will when it is hanging because it is lying on top of white paper so the colour and translucency is not quite correct.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Catching Up

After the workshop yesterday I went to visit my uncle and aunt who live in the same street as the school where the workshop was held. Naturally they weren't at home (I didn't warn them)

So today I decided to call in again on my way home from my sewing group. This time they were home, along with my cousin Trish and her youngest son.

I had to have the relationships explained. John (aka Boy - only son after 4 girls - my mother was the second one) and Pat will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in August. They had eight children and almost all of them have produced multiple offspring. I don't know how many grandchildren and I suspect the great grandchildren are approaching double figures.

Pat produces lots of photos of gorgeous looking teenagers. My mind is confused: who produced them? It is explained to me, but I don't register much. This is my penalty for limited contact.

We are invited to the anniversary celebration. I guess it is obligatory - sister Dorothy and I were flower girls at the wedding. I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The workshop is over and I think it was really successful.

The participants really loved the colouring fabric bit, and there were some spectacular results.

This piece was done with a leaf stencil, then oil crayon rubbing over a leaf texture plate. It will be a fabulous base for further embellishment with machine embroidery. She did not use it for her bag sample - I wouldn't have either.

I thought I took photos of some of the final bags but I obviously didn't. I shall have to request copies from those that did.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Workshop Preparation

I have spent the day doing samples of simple ways to add colour to boring white fabric. This is for the workshop I am teaching on Tuesday. I have also started to write the notes.

These are some of the pieces: stamping, two pieces done by rubbing over texture plates with oil pastels and stencilling and stamping with plastic lace.

Tomorrow we are giving blood first thing in the morning. I then plan to go and buy the materials the participants will need. I spoke to the organiser last night and it seems easier if I go and get them. After that I will spend the rest of the day sewing more samples.