Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Being ever mindful of the state of the world economy, and in the knowledge that something handmade is so much better than anything I could find in the shops anyway, I decided that a close examination of the stacks of fabric that I seem to be hoarding would yield some interesting possibilities. In no time at all I had the bag production facility in full swing - I'm rather pleased with the results.... a rather nice Liberty number....
something more restrained for one of my quieter relatives and then a couple for the floral lovers among us.... Someone asked me a couple of days ago if I had found a use for lace doilies, which got my fingers into action. I think they are just perfect for some bag embellishment...
Monday, November 10, 2008
What if I used some of the textiles of my mother's closest friend to capture some of the thoughts that I've been having about what is really important in living a happy, balanced life....
What if I tried embroidering on her damask napkins - the same napkins that played a central role in the almost legendary hospitality that my Auntie Dorothy offered to whoever turned up at her house at meal time...
My mother and Auntie Dorothy were close friends for almost 50 years before Dorothy passed away a few years ago. They remained friends even when they lived far apart, in different countries and even on different sides of the world. As a child I knew that my Auntie Dorothy, and her husband, were to be my legal guardians in the unforeseen event that something happened to parents. My mother used to say that she always knew that there would be lots of love and food on the table in the event that anything happened to them.
Auntie Dorothy wasn't my "real" Aunt, but actually she couldn't have been more real to me. In my family its always been very clear that family can be whoever you want it to be and that the blood ties aren't always the sole way to define "family". It's something that I have continued with my children - some of my dearest friends are called auntie and uncle by my children even though there are no blood links. I'm very clear that it isn't the blood links that creates the love.
Recently my Uncle gave me a box of her linens that he didn't need anymore - he hoped that I would find something to do with them. And it's been looking through those linens that really bought me to my "what if"...
Well, what if..... I think I feel a new quilt coming on.... and I hope Auntie Dorothy would like it....
Monday, November 3, 2008
Can't you just picture the person stitching this to make the family laugh!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
So here's a couple of detail shots which will give a better idea of the colour and fabric ranges - for once the camera decided to cooperate!I am very pleased with it - not least I am pleased to have the top finished as it is only 6 weeks until we depart for the wedding in the topics of Townsville, Queensland (and yes I do know that no one who lives in Townsville actually needs a quilt, but some things just have to be done!).Having got this far, I'm pleased to say that sanity has prevailed in my quilt room and I've decided that someone else can quilt it on their longarm machine. After all, as one of my very dear stitching friends pointed out to me, Nancy Crow never quilts her own pieces......
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
You'll be able to get a taster of what I saw thought their website though. The shop was filled with the most wonderful modern and old textiles which the owner, Mary, had bought one her most recent travels. There were magnificent suzani hangings that just glowed on the walls - I had only previously seen photos of them and as always they were so much richer when seen up close.
I really fell for a chair that had been upholstered in kilms but I couldn't quite work out how to get it home on the plane. I'd have happily sat on it in the plane aisle but I thought Air NZ would probably decline on the spurious grounds that it didn't blend with their decor! I am still wistful about that chair...
If I'd had my way I'd have transported almost all of the shop contents back to NZ - instead I more modestly settled for some smaller treasures. A magnificent hand embroidered silk kantha shawl from West Bengal. Its reversible with cream silk on the other side with the gold thread stitching. More subtle that the black, and completely unphotographable on my camera!And then there were the two kutch bags that I simply couldn't choose between. They have the finest silk stitching that would have taken me an age to complete. I'm toying with the ideas of turning them back into flat textiles and mounting them so I can enjoy them ever time I wander past them. I think I'll try it out on one of them, in due course. If it works I may have to procure a third - somehow I always feel things look better in groups of three, and no that's not just due to my having three children! When I think of what I paid for them, relative to the amount of work put into them, I can't think why I decided to leave the third one in the shop!
I'm despairing of my camera at the moment - it never seems to be up to the mark with what I want from it. I feel some strategic reinvestment coming on.... Oh and did you notice I have finally conquered putting proper links into my blog??? Amazing what you can learn to do when you read instructions properly!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Since the trip I seem to be spotting lots more mosaics - so there are bound to be more to come.
However the highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the Art Deco exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was breath taking.....
and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. There was paintings, textiles, clothes, china, jewels, cars, even the front of a building transported all the way from London. Just extraordinary.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Then there was the beach front at Glenelg where we stayed. There was lots of mosaic there too - some with an aviation theme given the proximity to the airport and famous residents. Of course it was the curves that really called this one to my attention. I've been trying to find the name of the artist via Google - without success so far. Will post if I find it. Anyone out there know?
And then this lovely little iris piece - right low at street level in Hindley St - again I haven't found the artist yet.
There was lots of great street art in Adelaide - I even found the most wonderful brochure with maps highlighting where lots was to be found - that was how I came across the Andy Goldsworthy piece. If you are thinking of visiting Adelaide its definitely worth hunting the brochure out - I picked mine up at the Central Markets.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
and the reflection of the local environment that his work is always reliant on, given its formed from locally available, found materials. There was stone in abundance for me to admire while we were in Adelaide. Buildings were I live are typically wooden - moves better in the earthquakes - so the novelty is probably part of the appeal of the stone. After all, part of the human condition is to want what we don't have - just look at the rage for hair straighteners and curlers if you doubt me for a moment.
This wall - from the Adelaide Art Gallery - particularly appealed. Such a good quilt pattern....
Do I sound truly odd yet???
Monday, September 22, 2008
or this - I've been swept away by mosaic, which I kept finding on my meandering walks around and about, and now I'm wondering about trying it out (as if I don't have enough unfinished projects already!)....but isn't this just fabulous....
or this....the favourite cafe I discovered, overlooking the beach and complete with knee rugs to ward off chills. One morning on my way to coffee I even saw a dolphin playing in the surf....
or this... which bought a smile to my face as we were leaving... have you seen one? can you guess what it is?
I came home so refreshed. It was great. And no sooner had we all settled back into the routines of life than the plague house sign was back out and I was in hospital for two nights with one of the boys. It was all something of nothing but sleeping in hospital chairs (or more accurately not sleeping!) seemed to wipe me out for twice the number of nights that I spent there. Such are the joys of parenthood!
On a brighter note - I'm pleased to report work on the wedding quilt has finally commenced... stay tuned for progress reports and sneak previews - the happy couple don't know about the blog so I'm sure I'm reasonably safe in maintaining the surprise.
Monday, August 25, 2008
and green - both were an experiment in using light weight over lay fabrics for contrasting texture and were drawn from fabrics in my scrap bag. They were both made quickly without too much over thinking. Just do it quickly and see what happens.We always say that they don't have to be an opus - and these truly prove the point! I felt that they weren't nearly as interesting as the embellished indigo which is still a favourite, even one week on.
We had a spectacular day here in Wellington on Saturday. Sunny and, dare I suggest it, warm. I had a fiend visiting from Auckland, where she tells me it has rained every weekend since May. She was so bowled over by the sunshine that she literally lost her footing, blinded by the unexpected sunlight. She was teased mercilessly, as we told her (somewhat tongue in cheek) that it is always like this around here.
As the Tui ad would say, yeah right!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I feel a new journal cover coming on. It's made me think that I might start playing with a few of the other older / precious fragments of fabric that I have hidden away to bring them into a new lease of life. This could be a fun idea to play with over time I think....so many ideas, so little time.
I didn't dare tell my friends this idea tonight - not after the lecture I got that I was to concentrate on nothing but the wedding quilt until it was done. Oh well, I always think confession is good for the soul!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I love starting something new - it puts a real spring in my step, so to speak! Now if I could only manage a few more concentrated days up in front of the sewing machine....
I've also been most productive in my small quilts for our fortnightly group. I have three almost finished this weekend - green, yellow, and a repeated attempt at embellished indigo. All will be posted after the big reveal on Wednesday....
Monday, August 11, 2008
I made a cover for my inspiration journal - I've been jotting things down and sticking things in it very dutifully all year and this weekend it was finally full. So in celebration I decided it needed a special cover of its own, featuring some of the things that have occupied so much of my mental and creative space so far this year - recycled jeans and those wonderful Andy Goldsworthy curves. I also thought this was a very suitable use of my work in progress from my small art quilt group. One of my sons decided that it was so cool that it just had to go on the blog. Such enthusiasm from a 9 year old!I did do some other things too - I made a hanging sleeve for a school quilt that has sat around the house for far too long (delivered dutifully to the school this morning) and I also started pulling out fabrics for the next quilt on the list - a wedding quilt for my brother and prospective sister in law who are marrying in December. Nothing like a bit of pressure.
Finally today I got out into the sunshine for my walk to work - it made me grin just like the sculpture below, which is known in our family as "my old friend,Mr Banana".
It is next to our Houses of Parliament - some things with family names are just too difficult to explain.....