Tuesday, June 23, 2009

disappearing blogger

I have been crocheting lots and lots, some simple purses, with hand sewn linings. My favourite so far is cream and cherry red stripes with lovely Japanese fabric lining.The lining fabric piece for this one was recycled from a worn out cushion cover. I made a large floor cushion many years ago for the comfort of my then toddler-who is now twelve years old-ye gods, time flies!

As I was stitching away I was watching a BBC dvd production called "who do you think you are?"
It was truly fascinating and moving to see how each person felt as they discovered truths about their families and past, social history.

It also got one of my kids really interested in the idea of a family tree. I think he thought I was going to create an actual magical tree when I said I would make up one for him.

I tried to make up for that disappointment by making a interesting one and gathered a collection of family photos and stuck them on the wall, siblings next to each other, under parents and so on. It was a really lovely experience and I recommend it to anyone who is separated by land or sea from their family as it really bought my kids and I a lot of joy. The photos were also great talking points to the events they recorded.

I am doing a bit of roaming lately, maybe in part to inspire me and fill up my soul with some light and happiness from lovely people like this little cherub above.
I am heading away again for a few days, up to Montville where I will rest and relax and enjoy a taste of winter in the mountains. And hopefully I will also experience a taste of fudge from the fabulous Montville fudge shop!

Monday, June 15, 2009

winter in sydney, its a mighty priddy city...

Just back from a trip to Sydney and oh my, I have picked up a flu in my travels.
I am not oinking, except when near chocolate(normal behaviour from me)so hopefully its not swine flu. Although a curly wee tail would be cute ;o)

Highlights were catching up with my lovely family, and enjoying all things American washed down with many a cocktail. Yummy cocktails. I also love sitting with Maddy and crocheting flowers for her('you doing some knitting-can you do some flowers-bigger please?') and bushwalking with Nicholas, who was the leader-but in the middle, keeping us safe and on the path!
And after all these sweet moments I spent one morning being totally nerdylicious!
I went to the state library and saw some very cool (for geeks) exhibits. There is some interesting objects selected from the libraries collection including an actual real schindlers list, one of the typewritten lists of people he typed up as he plotted out how to save the people he had come to know, a plain and simple list but special, profound to see. And also a first edition copy of Charles Darwins 'origin of species' book. There is such a lot to see in there, I just dig libraries SO much.
I popped into the NSW gallery but there wasn't anything that really grabbed me so I wandered up through the Sydney botanic , crunching dry leaves under my feet.

catch you all again soon when I am feeling better,
(oink, oink)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I am not a big fan of posting up photos of myself on here, usually I prefer to pop up things like this, my collection of cute retro blocks, or some other nerdish thing, but I feel I must push vain concerns aside. A warning needs to be made. I look pretty calm don't I?

For someone who just discovered these!!
For anyone who wonders 'what is my natural colour now anyway?' the answer may well be grey. So don't say you weren't told. I can't believe it, I am only 21 after all....ahem.

Okay. Onto more interesting things. It is finally getting a bit of a nip in the air, I have been snapping away trying to capture the feeling of that shift to cooler weather, these were all taken in my yard.

To break up the pictures a bit, heres my first ever atempt at a 'how-to.'
Felt making using a woollen garment.(glamorous title huh?)
So, have you ever wondered how to go about felting an old jumper? I am glad you asked!
First make sure whatever you want to use has at least 70% animal fibre content-sheep yarn, angora, whatever-(sure, whatever, even rabbit yarn if you have it!)
Pop your item into your washing machine on the hottest longest cycle you have, add a dash of dish washing liquid or other harsh detergent, if you have a couple of tennis balls throw them in(lets face it most of us are never going to play tennis so this is a great use for them!) A couple of towels will help too but they may come out covered in fluff.

By the time the cycle is through your jumper should have shrunken somewhat, the fibres should be matting together...and now for the tricky part! Ha, there is no tricky part! You just keep repeating the washing process until it is felt-y enough for your needs. I like a really tightly felted, very shrunken felt-as thick as I can get it, but this means the item will be a lot smaller-say reduced by about 30-40%.

If an item is not completely felted (and by that I mean the fibres haven't fully locked together) it may fray when cut, but depending on your needs this may not be an issue.
Felt is lovely. Soft and warm and cozy and I swear doing this will not only shrink your wool but any heart aches too, as craftster says, 'who needs therapy?'


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

oh I just love to ramble...

A gompa is a Tibetan temple or meditation room and is where Buddhist students gather. And recently Katie and I spent the day at Chenrezig monestery in the hinterland of the sunshine coast of Queensland. As we walked around we could have been practicing walking meditation or enjoying the view of the mountains but instead we were singing merrily "goompa, goompa, goompady doo, I have a tibetan prayer flag for you,"to the tune of the 'oompa loompa song' from the classic Charlie and the Chocolate factory film.

So I might not have moved any further along the path to ultimate happiness but it was lots of fun.

Back to Chenrezig it is so beautiful, there is peace that almost hangs in the air and your cares get lost on the windy roads up to the mountain top where it sits.

Aside from the buildings, the grounds are lovely, if a little to snake-filled for some peoples sensibilities. I am not at all scared of snakes, and the pythons and others that sun themselves on the paths always seem way to fat and sleepy to be bothered doing anything to anyone. They are like those full bellied Buddhas, content.

I am not usually content to sit still for very long or lay about, so its work for me to simply be for a moment. Just be.

Unfortunately I felt tired, worn out and stressed driving back to Brisbane, there is always a part of me that just wants to stay there longer.
Fortunately, after a cup of tea I remember there is much to enjoy being back in my normal life-my friends, cute doggies, markets, kids and sewing to reel off just some.

And speaking of sewing I have placed a few new sewn brooches with Sarah at her cafe "the juice tank' on Oxley Avenue in Margate. They are a new design I have enjoyed working on very much. The cafe is so close to home I could not resist, even though I was trying to hold off displaying them until I open my online store. I dont have any pictures to show but imagine brooches made out of cute retro fabrics like these
...oooh how I love these retro designs, I smile each time I work with them, when I find a discarded pillowcase of bright cheery flowers in an op shop I pounce!

The Juice Tank is a popular space with many local crafts workers who have been able to display/sell work. But it has just been sold!

So, I am not sure how long art pieces will be on display there, so maybe best to get in there quickish to enjoy not only the great things within, also the lovely coffee and the friendliness and warmth of the service.