Sunday, April 30, 2006

Foot fetish

Yes, I AM obsessing about my foot at present. In lieu of any art/quilting this week, I present what is currently on my mind - namely, one ankle that is 4cm (1 1/2 inches) thicker around than it should be. Yes, I can walk - after a fashion. Yes, I even drove the car today. But the improvements are so tiny, it's hard for me to see them when what I can see is an ugly swollen foot. Enough of wallowing in self-pity.

Friday, April 28, 2006

And more...

These were all taken in the Lindis Pass, on the way to Queenstown in Central Otago.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Completely gratuitous

Yesterday was Anzac Day, when New Zealanders remember the soldiers who died in the wars. It rained. And it's raining again today. Which is great. I now live in the part of the country that contains our hydro lakes, responsible for most of the country's electricity production, and these have been dangerously low through lack of rainfall. Which means power cuts over winter if they don't fill up.

Here are some completely unrelated and gratuitous photos.

A vapour trail - doesn't it look great?

The Lindis Pass in Central Otago - so bleak, so austere, so beautiful....
The lighthouse at Akaroa, Banks Peninsula (close to where I used to live). Now just for decoration. I have a thing for lighthouses, cos my grandmother grew up on one (sadly, it's no longer there, and neither is she).

Monday, April 24, 2006

Nine of Hearts

Work in progress. A reflection of how we, as humans, have to cope with disappointment, heartache, pain, grief and lost love.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Knitting update

Here's the finished back of my jacket - you can see how the colour changed in the top half of it, when I started on the second skein. I'm knitting the first front now, which is mainly red, blue and purple.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Going Crutchless... in, I am no longer using my crutches, at least around the house. It feels strange after 3 months (almost to the day) to be able to walk around unaided, even though I have a big limp. I will still need a week or two of physio to help get my leg muscles working properly.

Because I haven't done any art work this week due to day surgery, recovering and then working, here are photos of the black and white quilt I made my daughter's boyfriend Erlo late last year. It's fully reversible, and made block by block, then joined together with the sashing. One side features "rivers" of freehand cut wedges; the other side is 2 plain blocks followed by an appliqued cow (all drawn by moi) either standing, running or jumping, and all slightly different. Erlo is very keen on cows, so I wanted to make him something completely original.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

You put the colour in, you take the colour out....

I played a bit with discharge paste over Easter as well.

Box of Fluffies

For non-Australasians, this translates as "I feel as great as a box of fluffy ducklings". And no, I have NO idea where this saying comes from! Presumably little fluffy ducklings are bright and happy and chirpy. As I am today.

I had my day surgery yesterday, which went brilliantly apart from a 4 hour wait. The 2 big screws have now been removed. So my ankle is all bandaged up, today I rest, and then it's back to physio tomorrow to start learning to walk again.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Getting into it

Here's the first skein knitted up. I've started with a predominantly green skein - although they have around 6 or so colours, they are all different, with some colours more prominent than others. I'll use the reds, blues and purples down the front.

The pattern is a Kaffe Fassett one, but without the design. It's a jacket, with the back and fronts knitted in one piece, and there is a shawl collar. I'm knitting in plain stocking stitch seeing as the interest in this garment is in the colour.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A complete lack of self control

I had NO intention of dyeing any wool today, but there were several balls lying around that I inherited with my dye business, in multicoloured pinks, white, blue, mauve etc. They sat on the floor and just begged me to do something more interesting with them so I did. The left hand skein with red in it was the last grey one that I didn't dye yesterday - I didn't want to waste the leftover purple dye so I mixed up some red and used it all on this skein.

As before, the colours are much nicer in real life than I can show in the photo, and all the subtleties of blended shades show up more as the yarn dries. However, I have now run out of white vinegar so there will be no more dyeing for a few days.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Obsessing on my wool

I can't wait for my wool to dry! I keep looking at it and seeing new colours.

Here it is wound into its skeins - you can see the colours much better in this photo. They are deep and vibrant.

Dyeing wool

Because I'm not getting to go to the Dunedin mini-symposium to play with wax, I decided to play with dyeing wool instead. Specifically, hand painting, as I'm not really interested in plain colours.

This is my first attempt at using acid dyes. There are 8 x 100g skeins of 60% wool 40% alpaca - this is commercial wool and was grey originally, as you can see. I mixed up around 9 or 10 colours, and handpainted each skein with at least 6 of the colours. So while each skein is different, they will
all blend together in a garment as they all contain some of the colours.

And that garment will be mine! I'll show you how it progresses once I've decided what to knit and started on it.

Now that my wool dyeing has turned out so well, I'll do a tutorial next time so you can see how to do it yourself.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Handbags du jour

I am too busy (oops, typed "busty" to start with - a Freudian slip?) to make anything at present as I'm getting orders out of the way before Easter. So here are my Designer handbags.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Quilt Du Jour

I'm not doing anything creative right now, so here's something I've done before. This is "Out of Africa", made from South African large scale animal prints combined with earthy hand dyes. It sits on the bed here in my B&B guest room.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lazy Sunday

I've had a completely uncrafty weekend. My quilting friend Ruth came to stay for her older daughter's wedding which was being held in Oamaru. I had Ruth, the bride-to-be Amanda, younger sister Emma and Emma's boyfriend Chris in my little cottage, along with the dogs of course. When we also had 2 photographers and Amanda's father in the house for a while, the dogs stayed outside as it was tooooooo crowded.

Amanda is the designer of my dyeing2design website. It is screaming out for updating, but I am having major problems with my editing software, partly through lack of virtual memory and partly as I suspect some setting in my computer (but which one?) was changed when I had a Trojan Horse attack in February. I've decided to bite the bullet and buy another computer with more capacity, in the hope that when I transfer the programme across, I'll leaeve the problem behind. When I finally get to have my shop in the Historic Precinct (no date on this, depends on how much money the Trust who owns the building has for renovating it), I'll use this machine in the shop.

Friday, April 07, 2006

At last!

Blogger has finally let me upload a photo after a squillion attempts.

These are the lovely fabric postcards that I've received in my postcard exchange. From top left and going clockwise, they are from Emmy (Holland), Maureen (Australia), Jane (NZ) and Linda (USA). Yum!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dem bones, dem bones...

How many quilts or pieces of art have you seen featuring leg bones? Not many I bet. Well, it's a subject close to my heart, so here's one. The background is a piece of my "striped" fabric.

Monday, April 03, 2006


This is my lovely daughter Sophie. Of course, she doesn't look like that at present as she is always changing her hair. This is so she can mock me for not recognising her at the airport. I don't think she currently has all those stripes. Hopefully she'll be coming down the stay with me later this month. It's harder to do that now I've moved to Oamaru, as she never fails to remind me.

Here is the start of a cardigan I'm knitting her. It's called Sonnet, from, and is knitted sideways. I think it's a great pattern and it's fun to knit. The colour is deep forest green (she didn't want any of that multicoloured yarn).

Morning Mist

No art today. Here's a snap of my view yesterday mrning when it was all lovely and misty. The bright light down by the sea is at the railway yards.

Thanks to all those who have made suggestions about naming my last piece. It seems to suggest quite different things to different people.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Help! Name this baby!

Here it is, all fused up, but nameless. Help me suggesting a name for this piece.

Paint du jour

OK, here is some of the paint du jour. I did another lemon print in different colours (not sure if I'll use other fruit or veg, Cathy - the lemon was just appropriate for the situation).

I made these cutouts for a completely different background which was striped in browns. Because the cutouts looked like plants, I made them in a restricted palette of mainly greens, but they didn't look right on the brown, so I transferred them to this bright in-your-face piece I painted yesterday. They are not fused yet, just sitting while I get the arrangement how I want it.