Month: December 2013

The artichokes are blooming.

I’m going to miss the blackberries ripening and the kids will have to make up the jam for me.I’m going to miss the tomato crop. (I love my own tomatoes)But I’m home to see the artichokes bloom, I am fascinated by them. The shapes and colors have been the subject of a couple of quilts over the past few years.How about these colors.Its really well worth spending the time examining them in detail. Even the cactus captured the water drops

Quilting and creating again. yay!!!!

It nice to have our own chef on staff… well we don’t pay him, we actually feed and house him.Joshy purchased the ingredients and cooked us dinner while Keith and I finished off the rest of the shed this afternoon.I’ve had it, I’m exhausted. The shed looks great, outside it looks like a tip. I can’t believe we threw out so much stuff. We have a skip doing tomorrow so hopefully it will be all gone tomorrow night. I finished this quilt today, I needed to do a couple of hours of quilting on it and I added bright green  binding. Its thread painted with a free motion zig zag. This is the back of the quilt.Then on to the next project. I’ve printed this photo onto fabric and the background is Indian silk. His turban and clothes will flow out of the image in bright profusion (I think) OMG, how do I get away from orange.!!!  The picture isn’t very bright so I need …

The studio – The Shed.

I’ve had a love affair with my studio for over 30 years.Its just a shed. A big Shed.It was my studio where my business partner Cynthia and I designed and produced our clothing line for about 10 years. All the hard work went on here. The factory made the garments and they were shipped from the Shed.To say it was an intense and hectic life is an understatement, but we both loved it.We had second hand carpet left overs from our houses, so it was old when we installed it. We had second hand desks, tables and stuff.  A sewing day with friends and Grandie Oscar on the table as we sewed and chatted in the shed. It was in desperate need of a re-vamp, it was very tidy, organised and I know where everything is, I loved working in there. But on the long travel days of my last tour, I drew up a plan to change it.Out go all the old carpets, tables, desks and bookcases, and in come the …

Have a Christmas with 30 children and one bathroom.

 “Alone Lying, thinking Last night How to find my soul a home Where water is not thirsty And bread loaf is not stone I came up with one thing And I don’t believe I’m wrong That nobody, But nobody Can make it out here alone. Alone, all alone Nobody, but nobody Can make it out here alone.” Maya Angelou Christmas is now a fond memory for 2013. Roll up your sleeves with anticipation at the arrival of 2014. I’m revamping the studio and today I found an old news paper cutting  of Keith and I with the Bambinos and it bought back memories of past Christmases. We didn’t get invited to relatives or even our parents houses for Christmas with our troops. Its not that they were badly behaved, to be honest they were more polite than most, but the sheer number put the fear of dread into the most staunch of family members. For years we shared Christmas with a family like ours, The Howards. With our 13 and a few extra foster children …

Christmas is Christmas, is Christmas – I love it.

Christmas is a lot of work to begin with. Each year, I vow to lessen the present giving, I vow to delegate more, and I vow to buy less food.But, the time comes around and we do it all over again, bigger and better. I did delegate a little more this year. Everyone is bringing something. Well they do every year, but this time I asked for it to be cooked and deliver hot.I couldn’t believe it,  the pumpkin cost me $16. It better taste special. I remember with great affection, the excitement of the children on Christmas morning when they were little. It was a wonderful feeling.Now we chart Father Christmas on the Internet instead of imagining him landing on the roof. I’ve been doing Christmas lunch since I was 20 years old. 47 years of providing food for the troops and cooking over a hot stove on a summers day. I love it, but in all honesty, I’m pleased when the day ends. and everything it tidy again. Its tradition  in …

Christmas for the Creative.

These are Christmas pockets made for friends at Christmas, I’ve made them most years but not this year.I used scrap book paper, fabric and notions. They look so darn cute.You can make 20 or so in a day. and I love sewing on paper.You hang them on the Christmas tree and put …. stuff in them. I use my old calendars for the paper too.

What is your Mojo?

I’ve written about this before, but its something I try to  review often. We hit, 40, 50, 60, or other significant ages.Suddenly we are faced with new situations, new ideas and a continued emotional growth. I’ve had a bit of time to reflect recently as I write about my travel adventures, my creative experiments, my ideas and techniques in textile art. But it hasn’t always been that way. For 40 years, we had a large family to take care of and I had a business to run.Life rolled on at an alarming pace. The adventures were many and varied in those days, mostly good, sometimes frightening and the deaths of  three of our children flung us into deep despair.I’ve known more than my share of grief,  but I’m fortunate to have  Pollyanna on my side. From a very early age I was looking to find ‘me’ not the daughter my Mum wanted me to be or the wife and Mother that I was in reality.I was so busy in my 20’s 30’s and 40’s I …

Notebooks.

An absolutely delightful gift arrived yesterday.Friend Carolyn, has given me a treasure trove of books and gifts over the years. I value them so much Notebooks by Betty Churcher In this gorgeously illustrated book, Betty Churcher takes you on a personal tour of her most beloved works, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Goya, Manet,  and Cazanne. A trained artist, Betty’s sketches reveal the secrets within the artworks and the processes of their creation.Her deeply held belief that art has the power to transport the viewer to another place and time is evident in this wonderful book. My friend Carolyn knows me so well. Thankyou. The other book, Nurturing Walls, Animal Art by Meena WomenThis new book from Tara Books explores the traditional artwork created by women of the Meena tribe. The tribe, located in the Aravalli Hills of India, live in mud homes with tiled roofs. They paint graphic decorative designs all over the walls and floors of their village in white paint. This is a tradition that gets passed from generation to generation between women- mothers …

Processing the purchases.

It was a very hot day today and despite the ancient aircon pumping out coolish air, by 2 pm, its was a bit too hot to work in the studio.So I sat inside and began to pull  apart some of the Thai skirts I bough a few weeks ago.They had to be washed. I don’t think they had ever seen water and they were possibly worn for years and years. Call me strange, but I just love this piece, what was she thinking when she mended it with these fabrics and in this way?  But stop and think Pamela… this is probably all she had, an old worn T shirt. As I pulled them out of the washing machine the colours came to life. Years of grime were left behind. This panel has cross stitch and then tiny appliquéd blocks just 2″ square. Each panel is 7 meters long.I can’t imagine how long it would take to do. How about the repairs to this piece.!!!! The Indigo looks wonderful and I did put a colour …