Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spring in the garden

I know that for many of my readers, it's turning colder and going into wintertime. Here we're revelling in spring, which is my favourite time of year. I love growing stuff, so really enjoy planting and then watching things flourish and flower.
So to brighten up your fall days, here's some mid-spring flowers. I'm not sure what the tree below is, but the leaves have only just emerged a week or so ago, and they are absolutely beautiful - fresh and lime green. This tree is in the front corner of my garden, beside the gate.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Disine inspiration

Yes, I CAN spell! The heading is intended to be a play on "divine" but looks very strange due to the vagaries of the English language. . I quite often succumb to the charms of, and my latest enchantment involved these 2 books on design and...err...mark-making. Books for inspiration, anyway...seeing as we find it in all sorts of places, and it's often triggered by something completely different from what we actually make.

And for the pet lovers.....backlit poodles. All together now.......awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Teaching Time

On Friday, I went down to Waimate (3 hours' drive south) where I was to teach a class on Reversible Quilts. I chose these very simple designs because it's a technique class, rather than a pattern or design class. I stayed Friday night with Rhonda, the club president, in their lovely new house on a dairy farm just out of town. We talked about quilting (what else?) and Rhonda was delighted to get ideas from me, though I really didn't think I contributed all that much. The Waimate club is very traditional, mainly older ladies and not a lot of experience, so I think it was just having someone with different ways of doing things that was helpful to her. I gave her some of my Blended fabric as a thank-you, which will work in well as she wants to make a set of 4 appliqué landscapes representing their lovely view over the 4 seasons, and the Blended fabric is very good for landscapes.
The class members seemed to enjoy themselves, especially once they understood how to do this technique - it can be used in many ways provided you're using the same sized blocks or strips on each side. I only had 2 blocks joined together when I went down, rather than the whole quilt as I'd intended, but this didn't matter as I worked alongside the class. Above is the first row on each side - you'll see that I've just quilted slightly inside the cat shape. This is the only quilting that I'll do for this. I have the second row nearly ready, and then I'll sash between the rows. The batik cats look good, especially on the quite plain hand dyed backgrounds. The other side is all browns and raspberry-type reds and pinks.

More photos as I go!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Releasing my wild side

I saw this on DebR's blog and just had to go make my own Wild Self. Click here to go to New York Zoos wild self builder. Like Deb, I didn't fancy not having human arms and legs, though I'm also quite happy to have animal ...err...appendages. Let me know if you've made one of yourself, so I can come and see.

I'm off today to Waimate, about 3 hours' drive south of here, to teach a class on making reversible quilts. Of course, I had intended to have a completed sample quilt to take with me, but will be assembling mine along with the class as I just haven't managed to get furtehr along than quilting the first few blocks. I'll post photos when I get home.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pay It Forward

I learned about the PIF exchange on Annica's blog Fabulous threads. I thought it sounded like a great idea and decided to join.

This is how it works:
"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

So, join the PIF exchange and leave a comment!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Out with the old....

These are some of the pieces of old hand -dyed fabric that I'm selling off. These are crackle dyed fat quarters, made in the usual low water immersion method of scrunching the fabric into a bag or tray and pouring dye solution over. See the spotty one in the middle of the large stack? I was experimenting with spraying bleach on the fabric, using a pump spray device intended for use in the kitchen. I seldom make this kind of fabric any more, as everyone else is doing it. What I do now is this:
Ahhhhhhhhhh......I love this Blended fabric!

Friday, October 19, 2007


I have been tagged by Sally from Feather on a Wire blog to do this meme. I don't usually do these, but this is a kinda fun one - it's 7 little known facts about me. So here goes!

1. I spent about a year living in the Cook Islands and Western Samoa as a baby (don't remember any of it) but haven't been anywhere overseas since then.

2. I vividly remember the very first time I ever put my head under water. Funnily enough it was here in Christchurch at a place called Coe's Ford (not many swimming pools around back then).

3. I have chewed my nails on and off ever since I started school.

4. I started work at the tender age of 16 years and 2 months.

5. I didn't learn to drive until I was 32.

6. I have additional blind spots at the back of my right eye due to having measles as a child.

7. I used to be a commercial orchid grower when I was married (plants, not flowers). I still grow some orchids.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you'd like to join in and use this on your own blog, let me know!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Red Carbon Footprint

I am not totally up with all this carbon footprint stuff...however, I DO know that mine will be red in future. Yes, I've traded in the wagon (which I grew quite fond of) for a VW Golf hatchback. And it comes with a silly number plate - though "EEK" would have been even more fun. Now that we have 3 letters on our number plates, these make actual words so the powers that be take out all the potentially rude ones. Pity. I consider "DCK" to be an unfortunate combination, so I'm glad I don't have that one.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cruel and unnatural

"Koru" - reverse applique, marbled and hand dyed fabric, original design.
Not this quilt, I hasten to add, but Life. With a capital "L". It's all work work work at present. This week, I've been training for my new job - not because I've gone to a different occupation, but because the company I'm now working for does things in a completely different way from how I've done it before. I won't bore you with the details, as it's not creative stuff, but suffice to say that my time and energy has all been sucked out into this, and there has been nothing left over for creativity. OK, I'm knitting a cardigan at present, and I'm planting up the garden, but that's as creative as I'm getting.

And that's what is cruel and unnatural. I am a morning person, so do not do creative stuff at night. That leaves me only with the weekends, and there are many other things demanding my time then. Sigh.

Because I've been such a slack blogger (forgive me, readers, if I haven't been visiting you), there isn't much to show you. Once again I offer you some spring flowers from out on my deck. These are tulips and irises.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lucky me!

I found a parcel in my mailbox yesterday which at first I thought was an early birthday present (yes, I am about to become a year older). However, on closer inspection, the South African stamps alerted me to the fact that this was, in fact, the painting I'd won on Suzi-k's blog. Thanks, Suzi! It's lovely.
And just to show that I still get to see the sunrise here (just not as dramatically), here's one I prepared earlier.