Saturday, December 19, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS

I  only looked at the website for sewing lessons with my Janome 11000.  Seeing a Pfaff for sale I got to dreaming of how I had always wanted one, it was a downline machine and affordable once I put my birthday money and the proceeds of a sewing machine sale together.  However, and there is always a 'however' in the best laid plans, the saleswoman put this machine in front of me.  It was instant love, the 9 mm fancy stitches, the automatic foot that rose at the end of a row and the large free arm that would fit the largest quilt.  It was after this I realised this was a much better machine than I had seen online.  My husband came to the rescue and put the rest of the money to the purchase and I proudly brought her home.

What a joy she is.  A bit of Christmas joy.  I find Christmas sad this year, the loss of my eldest son last year hangs heavy on my mind.  I keep seeing Christmases past, the children all gathered for Christmas Eve dinner, faces shining and expectation written all over them.  The smell of Ginger blooms in the vase wafting through the house, heavy with their beautiful perfume.  Then again, maybe that is what Christmas is all about, to remember with joy through the pain, for those memories belong to me till I am gone.  I will always smell ginger flowers at Christmas  even though the flowers have long since faded and I will always hear childish laughter ringing down through the years.  Merry Christmas, may it bring everyone love, laughter and joy and make precious memories that you can hold forever.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

BLOWING A GALE!

After all the heat of the last week the Southerlies have moved in, blowing strongly off the bay, scattering the leaves in the garden and generally it feels like the temperature has dropped a good 10dg C.  The sky is dull and grey to boot and even the dove population that inhabits our back garden has left to seek shelter in the next door neighbour's fig tree.  We have trees of course, lots of them, however the fig tree is dense and protective of delicate feathers on crazy days like these.

I am on the last gasp of a long ongoing project and am quilting it on my Singer Red Eye.  She does a wonderful job of quilting with an ordinary foot if you use cotton batting.  I love cotton batting for its strength and it does not quilt with a high pile.  Since I only do wall quilts it is perfect for this purpose.

Today has brought news of mass shootings in USA.  It is so sad.  Every day the world holds more violence.  I think back to the beautiful summers days when I was a child and the most you had to worry about was would Santa remember where you  live and what was for dinner that night.  It was a simpler world then, out in the country on the Tablelands of New South Wales and I look back on it with great fondness.

Today is my birthday.  What greater joy than to sew on an old machine that existed before I was born  to complete a modern art quilt.  It strikes me as sort of quirky and I love quirky. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

THE GATHERING STORM

It is the storm season in Brisbane at the moment.  Yesterday was awful, the storms gathered out west of Warwick and cut a swathe through the region over the next few hours arriving at our suburb  just on dark.  Our Manx cat was found cowering under a small table and later moved behind  the lounge for cover.  The dog was brought inside as she too hates the lightening and thunder.  Moggy Lucy rode out the storm on the inside of the window, watching the light show with great interest. Thankfully no hail for us last night. 

We were awoken about 3.30 a.m. today with a storm and more lightening.  I chose to finish quilting this small basket quilt on my 1910 Singer with Lotus decoration today.  The colour somehow matches the moody air we have at this moment outside the house.  The storms have already risen to the West of us and we are promised by the storm chaser online that today will be a cracker and we are right in the firing line. 

An unusual visitor to the garden greeted us this morning. a White Headed Pigeon, normally a rain forest dweller he had perhaps been carried here by the storms.  After breakfasting on our bird seed that we put out for the doves and lorikeets, he headed off again on his journey.  The possum hide withstood the storm, riding high up in our huge gum.  No Kookaburras came for breakfast, an ominous sign of bad weather to come.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A COWBOY

I have been tempted by the local scrapbooking shop for some time now.  Aisles full of delicious things that I have had no idea what to do with but was fascinated by.  I finally booked into a class to find out just what happened there on a Saturday.  I made a small book which I thoroughly enjoyed, it was just so good to be learning something new again.  Having gathered quite a few scrapbook papers on various visits to the shop I decided last night to start inventing a book of my own. 
As a child in the country I was an absolute tomboy.  I always wanted a toy gun for Christmas till I was about nine years of age and dolls entered my life.
I cut several sepia scrapbook pages and sewed them down the middle adding a small lace runner from my collection of what nots.  It was late and as I flipped through my photo collection I found this one, the perfect beginning to my journey into self made books.  She was all I ever dreamt I wanted to be when I was a child.  So confident, out there, "look at me".  She was absolutely me as I saw myself back then.
The dolls really arrived in my life only in recent years.  I started 'adopting' them from thrift shops in an act of kindness.  The tugged at my heart laying on dusty shelves, forgotten by once loving owners, little girls who had simply outgrown them.
There is a cowgirl/boy and doll lover alive in all of us, it never leaves, merely lays dormant till we start playing our inner child again. 

TEXTURED COLLAGE ON CANVAS

Playing with paint and texture has been an enjoyable week for me.  I made my own glimmer mists using Lumiere paint and alcohol rub.  Gesso and texture paste went down first then beads, metal bits and buttons in adhered with Gel medium.  A bit of embossed heavy paper around the photo.  I spray painted various mixes of my self made glimmer mists then added the photo and a piece of lace coloured with the same mists.  I love the encrusted surface all this produced and impressions for the eye to wander through.  I can see this is going to be a new art form  for me.  I have grown tired of quilting having spent some ten years sewing.  Size 10 inches x 12 inches.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

COLLAGE EXPLORATIONS

I like to paint and collage and I find that the two areas actually cross at times in what I create.  A small canvas using stencils, papers, paint and a photo of an old portrait, wording cut on my scan n cut machine.  12 x 12 inch size. 

BEBARFALD BLUEBIRD AND BEARS PAW QUILT

Winter is making it's presence felt this morning, cold air wrapping insidious fingers around the house and the crispness making everything in the garden stand out in stark contrasts.  The Lorikeets and Pale Headed Parrot have been in for their seed from the bowls we hang in the garden, they seem to be here no matter what the season.  Our cats are suddenly finding us
attractive to cuddle at night and the male Manx has taken over our bed for himself most of the day, seeking warmth of course. 

I have begun doing a series of mini quilts.  The one pictured here is Bear's Paw block adapted from a pattern by Kathleen Tracy of Country Lane quilts.  My old Bebarfald Bluebird has been doing a lovely job of quilting it.  She takes a modern walking foot and stitches in the ditch as well as any of my modern machines.  Bebarfalds of George St Sydney made the cabinet back in their heyday, the machine being a Vickers 3/4 treadle machine.  Yes, same company that made the machine guns.  She is a lovely neat little machine and when you close the top the machine folds down with a chain straight into the cabinet.  The first time I ever saw one opened and watched the machine come out of the cabinet as the lid swung up I knew I had fallen in love and simply had to have one.  I am still just as fascinated each time I close or open her and how clever was the cabinet maker who invented this. Some Bebarfalds came with stained glass front doors, mine not being one of those.  Noted for the butterfly on the machine, always identifies them as genuine.  Even came with a hard cover book all about her and how to sew.  I shall share some of it further on in time, the advertising would never see the light of day now since the feminist movement.