Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Cot Quilt baby arrives!

This is Marco. Sorry about the photo quality but this is a PXT that his mother Ros sent me. He's just a few days old here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Roll on the Year of the Horse

Yes I know it's now the Year of the Ox. However, I am apparently a Horse. My Chinese zodiac says:

"The horse personality is often willing to give as well as expect a lot of liberty. These people are extremely independent and confident. The horse person is very quick-witted, inquisitive and determined. They are very good at recognizing patterns: she or he is on to the thought in your mind even before you've expressed it. In general, these people are gifted.They adore being the center of everyone's attention, but they prefer to be recognized for their skills and are easily flattered. On the other hand these people have an honesty and genuine warmth which attracts lots of people and helps them make new friends. People as a rule confide in a horse person because he/she is sincerely interested in their thoughts and feelings and is able to help with both wise words and an action, but there is a small problem about it - the horse person is so excited by new discoveries that it is difficult for them to keep a secret. This is not something that arises out of malice or revenge - sometimes they just cannot help themselves.

It is easy to inspire such a person by new ideas and he/she tends to act on them without delay, carried away by the excitement of the moment. But it is also important to remember that there is a danger for a horse person to be too impulsive and it may cause some problems in the future. And if they do not see the result of their efforts, it is rather natural for them to turn their attention to a new project and head off once again, brimming with new ideas. The horse person is always ready to offer good advice and can be very persuasive, but his/her confident and carefree approach hides inner doubts. Those who know such a person will recognize this, and offer the support and reassurance he/she needs. Males born under the year of the Horse are considered charming and attractive to members of the opposite sex."

But not females? Damn!

Actually, there's an awful lot of me in that description....makes me wonder if there isn't something to astrology after all.

Then the information goes on to say:

Positive Traits
Lovable, witty, free-spirit, enthusiastic, independent, creative, optimistic, unflexible, a long life

Hmmm...."unflexible"? The rest is good.......but THEN it says:

Negative Traits
Anxious, greedy, childish, defiant, selfish, gullible, quick-tempered, rebellious, unattractive, over weight

Well, THAT sure put me in my place! You can check your Chinese zodiac info here.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Even when I seem to be doing nothing, I'm usually doing something. That something is knitting socks - the pattern is Primavera. The yarn is Maya from Vintage Purls.

Both the hearts quilt and the cot quilt have gone to their new homes. The cot quilt baby hasn't come into the world yet but is only a few weeks away. I haven't heard anything from the hearts quilt recipients, but no doubt they have other priorities at present.

I haven't yet started on Dark Side of the Moon, due to work pressure. I am current;y technically unemployed, but working on setting up a new financial services business and writing a website.

Forgive me if I don't blog as often.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shame on you

Poodles are great dogs. They're loving, devoted and very intelligent. It makes me mad to hear them denigrated (as in "Tony Blair is George Bush's poodle"). I also hate how poodles are crossed with other breeds to make what the pet stores call "designer dogs" (but are just cross-breeds) and are then sold for twice the price of a proper pedigree poodle. This just encourages people who know nothing and care less about breeding quality animals to indiscriminately breed these dogs because they think they can make a fortune out of the puppies. Here is Cressy smiling for the camera. And as I went upstairs to post this, I saw them doing their twin thing again.

As for this.................
....and this..............................and this...............SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dark Side of the Moon

I made this quilt top almost entirely out of 2 pieces of fabric. As soon as he saw it, my brother baggsed it but I haven't yet got around to completing it. I've decided that I had better make it my next project as I've been putting it off for so long.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finishing the hearts

Here's the heart quilt with its borders and quilting done. Just the binding to go now. Below is the reverse.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Work in progress, and a new look

This is part of the quilt I'm making as my tutor's quilt for symposium at Easter - it's 2 panels of the 3, and is called "World Financial Crisis". You can see I don't do "pretty" quilts....
...although this might qualify as pretty. It's for a woman I know whose husband is terminally ill with motor neuron disease (similar to what physicist Stephen Hawking has). Although I don't know her well (my association with her was professional rather than personal) I heard his health was failing so I decided to make them a hearts quilt. This is a tradition among quilters, usually done in a group where members contribute a block or 2, and given to people who are suffering tragedy and trauma. It's a tangible expression of caring, and has brought comfort to many people who are amazed that people who don't know them would bother to do such a thing. As I don't know how long he'll live, I'm making it all myself so it can be completed quickly. I've chosen reds and browns as the colour scheme. Now I'll put a narrow dark inner border and then a red outer border to complete it.
I have decide to go for a short and curly look for 2009.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

In which I bring out some more old work

I AM in fact in the throes of making a new quilt, which I'll take to Symposium as my contribution to the Tutors' Exhibition. However, I don't want to show any of that at present, so here are some I made earlier (as they say on cooking programmes). Above is a wallhanging I made for an exhibition called "Birds". The background is woven with raw edged strips.
This is a favourite that I produced as a pattern. It's called "Monet's Hexagons", because the colours reminded me of Monet's garden.
And this is another woven wallhanging - I have a bit of a thing for lizards. Unlike the first quilt above, the fabric strips on this quilt and folded and ironed so the edges are smooth.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Excuse me while I wilt..

34.5 degees Celsius = 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Personally I find this too hot for comfort. I am not doing a great deal today.

I've passed the chicken cot quilt onto its new owner. Now I'm going to blob.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Summer garden part 2 - the visual garden

Hydrangeas by the back door.

Rose " Sally Holmes"
Day lily - I love the red ones.
I know what this is but can't think of the name.
And a tigridia that's growing in the vegetable garden.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Summer storm

Yesterday afternoon we had a southerly change -the only place south to us in New Zealand is Antarctica, so south is COLD. Storm clouds gathered and I had to turn lights on although it was only 4.15pm. There was some thunder and lightning, and then some pretty big hailstones. The temperature dropped to 2 degrees C briefly, but it was all over in half an hour.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Summer garden part 1 - the edible garden

Here's today's harvest - I've been a bit slack with the beans and peas - I need to keep picking them so that the plants keep on producing. These are my first beetroot of the season. There were more strawberries but I think the dogs ate them.
Here's one of the big raised gardens - the tomatoes (heirloom varieties in various colours) are romping away.
This squash is fruiting well and is running over the garden behind. I planted flowers in each raised bed (lupins in this one) but have pulled most of them out as it became too crowded.
I have an amazing crop of potatoes that were not planted - who knew potatoes were this tenacious? Every tiny tuber that I failed to lift last year, and some that were left in the ground by previous residents has grown. They have sprouted right through the weed mat base of the small raised gardens. They have grown in the greenhouse. They are all through the berry garden. And of course, I have some elsewhere that I actually planted. I will be able to feed a multitude with my potatoes. I will have to give some to the Foodbank.

Friday, January 02, 2009

A creative year

I decided to dye some allover pieces to go with the shibori - you know, actually MAKE something from the fabric. I wanted one in the golds and the other in browns. I thought they turned out too wishy-washy so I overdyed them by the "suck up" method with more brown and the warm black.

Still didn't like them. Then I decided I wanted to put luscious crimsons over top, so I mixed up Magenta and Turkey Red with some warm black -this takes the brightness out and gives the red a gorgeous depth. (They look better in real life than in the photos). Here are the results, which I'm happy with. I've decided to make something in the theme of fires - where I live is a dry area with not much rainfall in summer, so fires are a constant fact of life. I'm not so happy with the original shibori - some of the colours smudged and are not crisp, plus the colours are now wrong for the reds.

On the surface design email list I belong to, we're working through the alphabet (one letter per fortnight)doing a project or technique related in some way to that letter. I've chosen Arashi Shibori for my "A" project - this is done by wrapping cloth (usually silk, but I have to practise on cotton) around a pole and dipping or painting it with dye. I thought I'd play with that using the same reds, plus browns and black and yellows, to see if I can come up with better results. Watch this space!

I haven't been entirely idle on the knitting front.Here is my take on the Yarn Harlot's ribbed scarf. Not being able to afford Noro, I am using a ball of my own hand dyed yarn mixed with a ball of op shop boucle (cost=$1).