Year: 2012

Why didn’t I think of that before.?

Its that time of the year. So many things happening at once. I'm making some feeble attempts at getting back into the swing of things but I'm a little hampered. I have 2500 books where my fabric stash is situated….just one box of 24 books is 15 kg, so I can't shift them without help… I just have to be patient. I can't work in a less than tidy studio, so after finishing the Christmas shopping today I cleaned like a woman possessed. Now I'm happy. I purchased some super containers for projects from IKEA today. I like the flat breathable containers with a zip lid to prevent dust and bugs getting in. I love IKEA, but it seems each time I go back to buy more of the same thing, its disappeared from the shelves and finally they have re-introduced the containers. Works in progress (other than the Bayeux) can now be stored tidily and cleanly rather than sit on the table awaiting construction. I have all my quilts stored in these bags, but …

Problem solved.

Its been 2 months since I worked physically on my project. I had  a panel of the applique prepared, but its been really hot while I’ve been away and I imagine the  studio became hot and dry. I got out the prepared applique today and found that the glue was very dry and when I put it onto the background it slipped all over the place… not tacky as normal.Being tacky the fusible allows me to place all the pieces down and then I press it as a piece. I had a whole panel ready to put down and it was going to take a lot longer if I had to iron each piece down. The thought occurred to me to re-heat the glue…. voila, it worked…. the backing glue became tacky again and I was able to place it as usual.

Thread painting preparation.

Last year I photographed the window of an antique shop in England. I have blue and white china and I also inherited my Grandmothers' and Mothers' pieces. All my daughters have blue and white too, so as a testament to them all, I decided to make this image into a quilt. I've been planning this piece for almost a year now but I had so many other things to do. I also wanted to know if I could thread paint adequately so the last two quilts, the Fisher mans Mother and the African lady have given me the confidence to go ahead with this large piece. Originally I changed the image with sketchmee and had the image printed on silk… But it just didn't fit the bill. How to the heck do I do it…? So I printed the photo and cut it up into 4 pieces and scanned each of those pieces…. But the image was too small. So I cut the pieces in half again… and scanned all 8 pieces and printed them …

There are no words, just inner reflection.

I've been home a week today, fortunately I've had no jet lag because Thailand is only 4 hours behind us…. a bit different to 13 hours difference from the USA. But gees life has moved at an alarming pace. I got out some important work and hugged and spent time with the grandies, then I sat in the chair yesterday and fell asleep for two hours.!!!! For some of our children it has been a life changing week. It brings about thoughts of thankfulness, and yet, I just couldn't bring myself to write yesterday because it  didn't seem right after the sadness that fell over us all with the horrifying events in that small town in the US. There are no words, just inner reflection.  

That was my day.

I find I've had elves in my studio… then again it was possibly some of the 6 little Hollands who came for cake this afternoon. !!!! We also had another little granddaughter given to us this morning, Jaya Grace, Meg and Jamie, the proud parents are thrilled.   Kaiden waited for his cake all day. Lily, kept him under control. Ollie had to wear a hat bought home from the Hill tribes, but there's not much you can do about it when you are only 4 months old. Oscar showed us how clever he was at almost walking at 10 months and sat on the table and ate Mango. Tilly showed us her missing tooth. And kodi is just plain gorgeous.  

whoow.

I'm behind with the blog.. BUT, the past 4 days since our arrival home have been full of interaction and action. I haven't started back on the Bayeux… I hope Monday is the day…. (I just can't wait)  There is such a backlog of paperwork that piles up while I'm away and can only be done in the office. Its been hard slog for the past two days and as a result my Houston papers got posted today.   Yay !!!!   They take so long to complete thoroughly.  Miss Tilly and I also made cards this morning. I love the way she writes her name…. soooooo cute for a 6 year old. Where does that come from? We have a 2nd birthday party tomorrow so a great photo op. I have to travel miles and miles before that to buy Furbies in the right colors for the 4 year olds… and buy Ipod Nanos for the 6-8 year olds. (4 of them) so no work tomorrow unless I can get out here early…. Gees Louise …

Live in your art.

Finally home and working in the shed. Unpacking —- I have the delight of playing with all the goodies we bought on our trip. The embroideries from Thailand and China still take my breath away. The first thing to do was to scan each piece. I really want to work out how they are made. They are old… not antique, just old, dirty and faded, but I love them. There was so much dust on the scanner when I had finished scanning the, I had to stop and clean it 3 times.!!! I believe this piece is hand couched… in fact, the block is just 2" square, and I had to enlarge it 30 times to see the stitches. I think most of these pieces were from the Akha tribe. Then again, I might be mistaken. In the traditional Akha view art is something one wears. They don’t hang their creative work on walls. They put it on their bodies. To an Akha, art is the adornment of everyday being and to wear it is …

It made me think.

15 little kids in pink shirts all sitting in the back of a pickup on a school outing…made me think. It wasn't the only pickup… there were about 10 of them. An entire family on a motorbike…. made me think. The politeness of the average person in the street… made me think. The devotion to religion exhbitited at the temples …made me think. The love of flowers, specially the lotus….made me think. The beauty and the art even if its a bit quirky…. made me think. This is an amazing place.

Fabrics, Fun and I’m finished.

Faced with shops and booths with dirt floors full of the most amazing goodies and then bargaining with the gal who sits on a little plastic chair with an antiquated calculator is fun and exhausting. Salty perspiration drips in your eyes as you try to remain cool physically and emotionally. There's the overwhelming feeling that I might leave some gem of a discovery behind if I leave the store.   And a rising panic when I eventually do leave. You need to be able to separate the old from the new (if you so desire). Most of my pieces are old, worn and in a need of a wash, so that will be a challenge. The pieces above are old fabric re-worked and they sell for a fortune in designer shops in the West. Chiane bought one to wear, it looks super on her and after being in the village where they created the batik she now knows the difference between original batik and printed. There is a danger of becoming carried away and you …

Fabrics, Elephants and an amazing experience.

The eye of an Asian elephant at Elephant Nature Park, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Its still dark. From the picture window in our hotel   the lights of Chiang Mai are subdued in the early morning hours….I have coffee in hand and the air-conditioner has finally kicked in to drop the temperature to 24 degrees. My mind wasn't in the right place to update the blog last night, I needed time to reflect on our fabulous day and then I felt I could do it justice in my writing. ————————————————————– The Grand-kids were waiting for us at 8.30 am and this day was their Christmas present because they will be still traveling on the 25th. (but to be enjoyed by us all) We don't do "Tourist" if we can help it… so our brief to our driver was to visit an Elephant village as far off the beaten track as possible… The swing bridge across the Ping river made of bamboo and wooden planks was the first challenge for Chi especially as it moved under your …