Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Flower

This is the beautiful orchid which my sewing group gave to me. It has lasted three weeks so far, even with the high temperatures we have been having. I have been remembering to water it too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I had a few bits left over from the ATCs, so I decided to make a necklace with them. The cord is twisted knitting yarn. Each "bead" is two layers, the cord is sandwiched between them and it can be moved along the cord, so they can be grouped or separated.

After I made it I felt it looked a bit boring, so I decided to add beads. I'm pretty pleased with it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I am reading

lots of books and gaining immense enjoyment from them.

On Sunday I finished Geraldine Brooks' "People of the Book" which I really liked. Juliet has now given me her first book, "Year of Wonders", but I am putting it to one side for the moment. Last night I finished "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. (You were quite right, Jennifer, I loved it). I enjoyed it so much that I think I will read it again almost immediately - I know I was so involved in the story that I probably missed a lot. I think Kevin may enjoy it too.

Tonight I am going back to Ian Rankin's Rebus. I read a heap of them all in a rush and suddenly had enough. But I have two that Sheila loaned me months ago so I will attempt them before the next gathering of our sewing group in mid February so I can return them to her.

And I went to Husqvarna Club today. I hope to keep up with as many groups as I can - I will just stay firm on not taking on too much within them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Elizabeth's Open House

Once again, a great afternoon at Elizabeth Morley's , even though numbers were down due to the appalling heat - another 42 degree plus day. I must confess I thought about staying home in airconditioning, but Juliet had offered me a lift so I went.

I had over-estimated my stamina so spent most of the afternoon sitting under an airconditioning vent and chatting to others. Lovely to see people like Zoe who have moved away from the city. I forgot my camera so didn't take any photos of the Show and Tell which was excellent as usual. Dale had the most fabulous Flower Stitched piece - I covet it and ordered her new booklet on the spot.

Thank you, Elizabeth. I have been to every one of your Open Houses and I look forward to it each year. And thank you for the threads - I will remember that I owe you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

ATC Swap

I thought I would join in the Aus-NZ Art Quilters ATC theme swaps this year, as they are small commitments (4-6 cards) due every second month.

I fiddled furiously today and I have completed my first set. The theme is water.

For the base I used painted felt (which I already had) and scattered over bits of angelina and some metallic threads. Then I covered it with a nylon organza and quilted it in a sort of wave design. Suitably watery, I thought.

I was in two minds about embellishing. I tried a freemotion bubble thing and decided against it, though I will keep them as extras. I had more painted felt, so I repeated the base process then stitched some leaf shapes.

" Leaves fall into water " is the title of the series. I will take them to Show and Tell tomorrow at Elizabeth's if I go, which I probably will since I am feeling well, but tired, then send them off to Diana in New Zealand for swapping. I will actually be well ahead of the deadline (January 31st) for once.

I have also been playing with "skins" (acrylic paint on freezer paper which you lift off and reattach to a base. These ones are made with Plaid dimensional paint which I have had for yonks).

Not sure what will happen to these, but I quite like the look of them on painted felt.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A bit of fiddling

I finished the pillowcases this morning and I am pleased with them. Helen will be able to mix and match or use all of them at once. She is coming tomorrow to try and sort out some of the 20 or so tubs of teaching resources she has in the storeroom so I will give them to her then.

I tried to coil the dragon tree leaves, but they are too brittle. I am reluctant to compost them since I love the colour of the ends (wish I knew the technical term). I think I might try stitching bits to a background.

Started the second round of chemotherapy this afternoon. Details on the other blog.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Followup on 'The Quilt'

When I gave daughter Helen the quilt on her birthday she was very pleased, but it didn't take long before she decided she needed/wanted some matching pillowcases. This wouldn't have been a problem if I hadn't used up almost all the fabric. What was left was in small bits and I really didn't want to piece it all together - it would have looked like leftovers, not planned patchwork.

So I googled Klimt fabric. Found some in the US that exactly matched the backing fabric I used for the quilt and another that went well with it and sent off an order in the middle of December. I had an email back in a couple of days that said it had been sent, but that US Post was experiencing long delays with international mail and it could be 6 - 8 weeks before delivery.

Not a problem - I had other things to worry about. However the fabric arrived in the first week of January (2-1/2 weeks after ordering).

Today I decided to grasp the nettle and make the pillowcases. First problem: I hadn't done any calculations on how much fabric I actually required and found that I didn't have enough to make the 4 pillowcases I had planned. But I did have all those scraps.

I have finished 2 pillowcases and almost the other 2. I had planned a photo, but I had to go to the dentist, so that is tomorrow's task: finish and document.

Tomorrow is Day 1 of the second round of chemo, starting at 1.30. I will have enough time in the morning to finish them off.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dracaena Draco

or Dragon Tree, a native of the Canary Islands. Helen gave me a smallish specimen in a large pot for my birthday a couple of years ago and it has survived my haphazard care. In fact it has almost doubled in size.

Today I noticed a dead leaf so decided to do some tidying. There were quite a few dead fronds.

The dead fronds have the most fabulous colouring and textures on the ends that were attached to the stem.

They were on their way to the compost, but I am now thinking coiled basket. I am sure I have some fine red-orange coloured cord somewhere . . . .

Friday, January 8, 2010

Two good days

Yesterday and today. Actually got stuff sorted and paid some bills today.

Yesterday was our 44th wedding anniversary. We went out to eat Chinese with Kevin's brother and sister. Very nice.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Books are fibre, aren't they?

It has been wonderful to have complete justification for losing myself in a book every day. I confess to not being able to tackle anything heavyweight as yet and my textile books remain unopened. Maybe next week. In the meantime I am devouring mostly crime and fantasy/SF.

I have been hoarding the Bujold books - she is an excellent writer (Miles Vorkosigan, anyone?). This seemed like the time to read them - especially since there is a fourth volume due out in late January. I have ordered it from Amazon and will read Volume 3 and 4 together - there is a logical break between them and the first two. I thoroughly enjoyed them and will now reread the Miles books soon.

Kerry Greenwood is one of my favourite Oz writers. I have all of her Phyrne Fisher series (something else to reread), but felt like wallowing in more contemporary Melbourne. This is wonderful fantasy crime. I started with this

and have now reread all but Devil's Food.

I borrowed from the library for a couple - I do not actually own every book I have ever read - just a lot of them.

Other books I have read and enjoyed in the last weeks include Body Double by Tess Gerritsen (definitely a white knuckled page turner) and The Bread with Seven Crusts by Susan Temby.

My sister loaned this to me some months ago and said I would enjoy it. I did, though I felt the ending was less satisfactory than the body of the novel. It is the story of an Italian POW working on a farm near Southern Cross in World War II. Our father employed Italian POWs during the same time period and it brought back many memories, even though I was only five when the war ended.

Tonight I intend to read a Nora Roberts. I feel like some very easy reading.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Cancer Blog

I have started a new blog where I intend to chronicle my battle and eventual victory over my cancers. This way I can keep this blog as a record of my forays into fibre fiddling.

Unfortunately, there has been nothing in the way of fiddling as yet in the New Year.