All the things I love to see and do. Fabric, Threads and other lovely things.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!!! Hope everyone has a great celebration. We had bacon and eggs cooked on the barbecue for breakfast so we've done the "Aussie" thing! :-)
Now, "A Sigh of Colour" is the exhibit that Artistic Licence are presenting at the Tablelands Regional Art Gallery in November this year. Artistic Licence is a group of us, five in all and we're all textile artists. The five of us have different styles but have exhibited together often over the past 15 years. ASOC is an idea we had and, "hopefully" we will achieve it. ALL of the pieces are to be 30cmH x 45cmW and, if looked at from a distance to represent just the one colour. We're all doing pieces in all the colour ranges so that, when hung, will create a "ribbon" of colour going around the walls of the gallery. I can only show portions of three of the pieces I've completed so far as I have to keep the full piece "unseen" for the exhibition. It's been very challenging for us working the colours so that there is a continuity, especially now with me 1500km away from the others! Thank goodness for digital photos and the internet! The green one (Earth's Oxygen) was my first one...fancy me picking green to start with! hee hee You can't see in this portion but I also used the tree fabric in green like the other two in the ochre and red. I've had the set of four fabrics for years now (Nancy Crow design) and always wanted to do something about the four seasons but hadn't. When going through my stash I discovered them again and decided to use the four for ASOC. The ochre one (Summer's End) is the latest one completed. The red one (Prelude to Winter) has a host of "falling" 3D leaves over it. The fourth in the fabrics is a sand colour and is completed and left behind in Atherton but I didn't take pics! I have asked for pics to be taken so will show them along with the next one which is aqua in colouring (Coral Cay). Along with these particular pieces we are also doing a large piece - in segments - to hang in the foyer of the gallery AND also some artist books as well!!! I have to fit all of this in with my magazine and design committments so guess what I'm doing for 2010! Also a handmade journal about the pieces.
We're having another hot day today at around 38C with a projected 40C tomorrow as well as a thunderstorm! Hurry along winter! lol
Hope everyone is stitching up a storm! Cheers,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Another of the big "O" books...this one for Dot who turned 70 on 23rd December, 09. I decided to do the cover as I did as Dot loves beads and embroidery. I chose the monochromatic idea purely for the hec of it! I started out with the embroidery and really didn't have a plan in mind and it all just happened as I went along.
Once again I think I've got the pics all topsy turvy but it will be obvious which ones are the cover and the close-up of the beaded/embroidered section. The beautiful silk ribbon and flower beads page is Judy's. The blue page is Liddy's - wonderful old buttons and Liddy is a blue girl hence the choice of fabrics. The crazypatch style landscape is Robyn's -she actually started that piece in a workshop with Judith Montano when she (Judith) was out here in Australia a while back. The hand-dyed lace and embroidery bouquet is Carole's..Carole does the most exquisite embroidery with fine, silk thread. I turn 60 this year so I'm hoping I'll still get MY book! lol

I've also learned that if you click on each image it will enlarge. You will see that I stitched a small "reef" section in the bottom left hand corner using real shells and I also had to add the moon and the stars up the top. The beaded section was reverse appliqued into the cover and I added small amounts of embroidery and beading to soften the hard edges. I'd like to work a larger piece with the same idea in mind sometime in the future.....time consuming though!

Happy stitching!


Monday, January 18, 2010


Here's some of my newer bags. I never seem to be able to get the text in the right place for the pics so I'll just describe and, hopefully you will work it out! lol The Rust/Navy/Green one with the stitched inserts is called Take Me Shopping - a very roomy bag with loops at the top of the gusset to enable it to be opened out if you have shopped big time!

The Green/Bone one is Tablelands Tote and I had fun designing and making it. Just loved the new round handles and that was the basis for the design. The semi-circle is scrunched fabric with a bit of beading and I "squared" the base by having the triangle on the outside held with a large button - just for something different!

The Black one is Black Magic...fairly simple but a very usable bag once again using the new round handles.

The yellow one is Casual Chic and it's "soft" with heaps of room too. I used the Studio Mio leather handles but any sort could be used or even fabric ones as well.
I've got more designed and one already half made but have lots of other projects I have to work on as well so bags might have to take a back seat for a while. Who am I kidding!!! I really enjoy designing and making them and one day will have a huge sale!
Looking at a 38C day today so maybe won't do much sewing and probably have LOTS of cold showers! Hope your day is a good one! Cheers,
Jan - do you think this is a COOL colour? :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


This is the house we left behind in Atherton, Far North Queensland....after 20 years with the last 18 months or so being rather stressful as the Queensland Governement (in their infinite "wisdom") closed Kairi Research Station. This left Ross virtually without a job. Luckily, because of enterprise bargaining he was not made redundant. However, he had to find a job "somewhere" in Queensland, within the department. Luckily a job became available in Gatton, SE Qld. The big move happened on the 17th November...almost 20 years, to the day, that we moved from Laidley (only 5 mins from where we are living now) north to Atherton. It has been so difficult to leave behind the strong friendships formed over 20 years, plus it's where our children grew up (being 7 and 5 when we moved) but it was a case of having to. No government house like the one you see here and it's much, much, MUCH smaller!!! We're finally relatively "settled" in the house and have had to convert the 2nd bedroom into my sewing studio and the 3rd bedroom into my office. Where visitors are going to sleep we have yet to work out! It's quite a nice little house though and the lounge area is very liveable now that we've taken over the 3rd bedroom for the office. I haven't taken a pic of the house as yet but have of the lovely view we have from the side verandah (verandahs all around which is lovely). We have some "neighbours" - 4 horses and a flock of geese as well as human neighbours as well. The rather aggresive frilled neck lizard was a random visitor! :) 1/2 acre of land which is rather dry but we're hoping to green it up a little. No town water but we DO have a grey water tank so here's hoping. I never seem to be able to get the pics to sit where I want them to but they're pretty self explanatory. The house is the one we had in Atherton and the views are from our new home here in Plainland. A terribly hot day here today with temps reaching around the 37C. It's been a bit lonely since we got here as all the quilt groups etc have closed for the holiday season but I'm sure things will improve as the year progresses. I'm hoping to do a bit of teaching - perhaps from home here as it's very pleasant on the side verandah...time will tell. Until tomorrow, Cheers and Happy Stitching,

Saturday, January 16, 2010


It's the 16th January already and I DO apologise for being so bad in keeping up to date. Mainly because of all the major happenings since I last posted. After many months of uncertainty we finally had direction in our lives! A job became available within the department for Ross but it meant a major move of many kilometres. I'll tell more about all of that in the following days. I'm going to make a concentrated effort to write each day over the next week or so to catch-up up with all the happenings. The major one for this month is my dear Mum's 95th birthday. We travelled up to her place on 8th January to celebrate the big day on the 13th. Matt was to come too but he caught a terrible virus when he returned to Newcastle on Boxing Day and couldn't even start work when he was due. He's improving now but the doctor says he'll be very tired for quite some time. Not sure of the virus (very long name!) but something similar to glandular fever. My Mum is pretty amazing for her age and whilst her eyes and ears are letting her down a bit the rest is spot on! She still lives in her own home and generally takes care of herself with help from the local community care and meals on wheels. We had a great time with her and she celebrated a couple of times. My friends from when I was a teenager (I've never lost contact with them) came down to the beach for a get together on the Saturday evening and Mum was still firing at 10.30!! Even though she had said earlier she might have to excuse herself to go to bed...LOL My Aunt (Mum's sole remaining sibling out of 11 children) Connie arrived the morning of her birthday on the train from Mackay and we had a full day of shopping and visitors plus a special family dinner in the evening. My brother Ian was there too so she was surrounded by family. Ian lives closeby and visits her every day which is a big relief to me. Another night where she didn't go to bed until very late! The two photos are of two new outfits - the blue set Aunt Connie bought her for her birthday and she bought the other outfit herself - just because she felt like it! :) We travelled home on Friday 15th and I'm now back into finally getting my sewing room (aka the 2nd bedroom) sorted in the new TINY house - but more of that later! It's been such a horrendous job moving into a much smaller home as well as leaving all my friends behind in Atherton but it had to be done. Catch up with all the news as each day passes...hoping everyone is well and had a wonderful Christmas season with family and friends. Cheers,