Sunday, 27 April 2014

Twas but a lonely carrot........

More of the carrot in a minute but following on from the boiling turmeric of a few days ago, just look at these.....

three different pieces of cotton and one piece of silk organza. 

So yesterday, an idyllic afternoon boiling the cauldrons, small perhaps for cauldrons, but it is magic what happens inside.

 So some cotton is being prepared for dyeing and all alone except for three pieces of silk is a purple carrot.

Such a beautiful gentle lavender grey

then put the fabrics together 

I'm just testing, ( and getting very excited)  a few bits and pieces for my class at Melton.  On the first weekend we'll be dyeing with organic dyes, mostly from kitchen ingredients, but we'll brew up some forest on the barbecue outside too.

On the second weekend we'll do some mark making on our dyed fabrics  to create a more sophisticated contemporary finish.  Then,  create a lampshade and a cushion.  We'll finish these off with a bit of embellishment.   

The dates have been changed now to the two weekends following Mother's Day, not including it as before.  You can book by contacting  or phone 9747 7200.  The class is limited to only 15 participants. 

Nope, this is not actually connected to my class.  Its all to do with the exhibition Margaret and I are  having in September.  You will just have to come and see
"Who Needs Permission"
and find out what and why!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

High Pressure ?

First Train has been chugging along for quite a while now and the giant  white  doyley  is mellowing.   Whilst we never expected it to be pure white for long we have been surprised by the amount of grime it collects.  In the past we have been very lucky to the CFA drop by and give it a good scrub.

They  have a big truck full of water and high pressure hoses

A very big thank you to the Hurstbridge CFA volunteers, you've been marvellous.

Today  it was our turn to have a go with a very big bucket, lots of bottles of water, two brooms, soap, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and lots of enthusiasm.

And our own high pressure spray?

And a lot of train to scrub

Well we got the engine and two carriages scrubbed.  As it was backlit we couldnt really see just how effective our cleaning was.  There is a residue of bicarb, vinegar and soap on it now just waiting for the lots of rain forecast for Tuesday. We wait with bated breath for Wednesday to see just how effective this treatment is.  If it works there are plenty more carriages to practice on.

We like the mellow look , its part of the train settling into the fence. But beating the grime is important too!

We also added a crate and apples to the tree -it definitely needs a few more leaves and maybe one or two more apples!  Its an ongoing project, two trucks and and guard's van to finish yet.  I'm sure we'll find some  extra details to add after that. 

Great fun to have Tess and Lloyd from the Baldessin  Press drop by and say hello as we worked.  They  like Margaret, will have their studios open over the next two weekends as part of Nillumbik Artists Open Studios.  More on that later in the week.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Guilty, once again, of bloggy neglect.  Sorry folks!  

Now as  the house fills with the smell of boiling turmeric...........but more of that at the end.

And now for a Christmas secret (that is I couldnt post when making this stuff cos the family would see.

  We have a largish family, four children which makes four stockings, then six grandchildren (six more stockings), then there's the extra stockings for visitors on Christmas day, plus a few spare just in case.........  My ingenuity is tested every year!

You've heard me sing the praises of the Star Quilters of Warrandyte in the past.  Well SQW Jill rocked up one Wednesday with a beautiful fabric ball she'd made from a pattern off someone else who had a pattern is the sharing custom with quilters.  Perfect I thought, soft balls for the children, pin cushions for the adult ladies.  Even better I'd remembered seeing it in a book I'd acquired a couple of years ago.

This beautiful book "Omiyage" by Kumiko Sudo is full of patterns for keepsake style gifts.  Not only was I able to make balls but also some very cute little bags.  Google this book for where to buy.   I did see a copy in "Kazari" in South Yarra - great excuse to browse through scrumptious fabrics.

Well being me, I became obsessed with these balls (do I hear a laugh and a sigh from the WSQers).  It was just like piecing a quilt in 3D- each new combination of fabrics created a different pattern. FASCINATING!!!!!!

So here's some photos, not sure how many I made but I got so carried away I completely forgot to photograph the rest!

This ball is made from small bits and pieces. I have a habit of picking up bits and pieces  of fabric from the "specials" at Victorian Textiles when I drop in for threads or a bolt of fabric or batting.

All these balls were made from  ranges they had last year. Their fabrics are a lovely quality (and if you're a quilter lend themselves well to "fussy" cutting).

Originally I thought "they look hard so I'll just make one for the littlest, and then maybe one for the baby soon to arrive"........

But then fascinated by the many possible combinations of fabric and obsession I started and couldnt stop- do I hear "here we go again" from my lovey WSQers?

So the next attempt, a vague hint at a "golden snitch"
for a young Harry Potter fan.

Then for "purple is my favourite colour"

Then a fish for a three yo.

Then obsession with line and shape and very fussy cutting

and of course buttons

I just love each different fan in the brown and gold fabric

then the unexpected meeting of the gold lines

 then a completely different mood 

Oh dear you're saying, how many more are there, well lots, but in the Christmas rush I forgot photographs.  Do I hear a sigh of relief from you?

Why fill the kitchen with the smell of boiling turmeric and cotton - because  I'm taking a class (two days on two weekends) in making a lampshade and a cushion from fabric made from "natural" dyes embellished with fabric paints and some other surprises.

As I'll be working from a real kitchen I'm  testing kitchen safe ideas - not edible of course and separate pans but ok to boil up in a kitchen.  

Just imagine, going home with a lampshade and a cushion covered in fabric you've created!  Here's the class....

And now for the last photo

until next time.......