Friday, December 4, 2009

Sciting times ... we live in sciting times.





As I have said before, I have been just ruined by French General. Just ruined. I am not interested in any other sort of fabric. I don't know why, I just don't look the same at them anymore. So, the first of my Rouenneries Bits have arrived (j'arrive!!!)
And here they are. There are many yards in the grey print and turkey red flowers. As for the gorgeous little boutons (buttons) and ruban (ribbon) and the divine Dentelle (lace). It all co-ordinates and that was by chance alone. A bit of a guess on my part. Well it's arriving so surprise surprise surprise, there is more coming. Just in time for the chrissy factory to begin here. I have another telly project to kick off for you all too. A Design Journal. I am still trying to struggle with blogger to get these projects to you. I think what I might do is set them up as a freebie that you can download from Etsy. but I'll let you know. And Studio-Rama sugar, we still need to go there! I think that might be for the new year. Anyway, off to get a christmas tree today!!! woohoo!!! Expect pics.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Let'a try that again ...


Okay. All seems to be okay here for the time being. The last time I tried to post, something screwy was going down with blogger. I cut my losses and got out quick. But now, I'll have another crack at it and see how it goes.

Kellie at Don't Look Now is having a quilt - a - long and it's a cracker. Loved it so much, I decided to sign up and play. Its a lovely pattern, I so much prefer graceful curves to sharp angles. But I am going to change the over look of the quilt just a smidge, a wee smidge. And I am using Rouenneries by French General for Moda fabrics. I am currently wearing a path in my carpet waiting for my bf to call me to let me know that our mega order from Hancocks has arrived, one of three I should add. The first order has my fabric for this quilt along, and the next one has my rouenneries backing fabric so ... Here is a wee pic of how the block will roughly look.



I set it up on a pillow case. The actual background is a french general print from the same range. I'll post a pic of the completed block when the fabric arrives (hopefully) this week. And then I'll be on my way!!!

I haven't forgotten my telly project, that will go up later today, and I want to talk about Studio-rama too. but again, after pickles is in bed, I'll fill you guys in then.


Monday, November 23, 2009

972. Nine hundred and seventy two. I thought if I wrote the number in words it would't look so big. I was an idiot, it looks huge. That's the amount if petals I'll have to cut out to make my blocks for the quilt. The quilt. The Quilt along quilt. I have signed on for a quilt-a-long. Kellie at Don't Look Now has a great project all set out to go. So on top of everything I have to do, I have decided to do this. But me being me, I am going to change the pattern a wee bit, not the technique, not the technique at all but the actual design of the blocks. And I am making my quilt bigger, so it will fit on my bed. It will basically be the same, sort of. I'll write more later as something tricky is happening with Blogger at the moment and I don't want to risk putting anything much up yet. But check out Kellie's site, and have a look at the links and the flickr group. More later.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I can't believe its all done ...





for the record ... I am just buggered. Saying "tired" doesn't really cut it, nor really describe the depth of weariness I am feeling right now. Please USA girls, don't be offended, here in Australia saying you are "buggered" means you are tired ... not what it means there. I have the kind of weariness that has made my feet throb up to my knees and my entire body aches. Its been a whopper of a week and at last, its all done. Doesn't help being a million degrees here in Sydney, the house is like an oven, so all three of us are camping out here in the living room with the air con going. The cat is no where to be seen.



I really want to talk to you guys about the quilt along I have committed to, but that will have to wait for a day or two. I am still getting all my bits together before starting. So I thought I would show you some piccies and have a moan about French General Fabrics. I am moaning about French General's new ranges for Moda because I just love them and I can see them keeping me poor for an age. I am moaning because I have been juts ruined by these fabrics. I am simply not interested in anything else but these. My brain is fizzy with ideas and with three or more ranges coming out form them next year, I will just have a constant stream of yum to play with. And write about here. And show you. And give you tutorials for too.

I'll save that for later, but for now, have a wee squiz:


Yup, its a letter. big bloody deal I hear you say. Well, it's here because for me its a monster deal. I am entering "Little Bow" in the Katoomba Quilt Show. My first quilt show, the girls at Country Pickins were really encouraging. lynne, legend Lynne was rally encouraging and as for my mate Lydia ... well, I have decided I am giving it a crack so telling you too. I'll let you know the ins and outs and all the gory details as we get closer to the show.

Picture no.2

The dollies all done. I think they turned out just great, even if my husband said they creeped him out and didn't understand them. But the little girls squeled and loved them and carted them around all day, everytime I looked at them, they were cuddling their dollies so I reckon that is a good sign.

These pics aren't great but they'll do for the moment, stay tuned for more on the quilt along and I want to also talk to you about "Studio-Rama" as well. Take it easy, and check back in a day or two.

Friday, November 13, 2009

There are things coming ... things I tell you

It's been a few days. Sorry about that. There is a bunch of stuff happening here all cumulating with a huge big week next week and then .... all goes back to normal before the christmas run around. But... there will be things here. This week is too big for me, 7 softies have to be done for Saturday, cooking all day friday and my little pickles is having a wee part on sunday. As well as having folks stay. It's a whopper.

So please please please hang in there with me. I am trying to sort out how to make my telly projects accessible without having to trawl through all the posts (Blogger, you guys need to fix that) and I think I have found a way but I can't sort it all until this coming week is over and then ... chocks away.

There is also going to be some major sciting going on too. My Rouenneries will be here and I am ready to play. The french General fabrics are me all over, and my brain has been getting all fizzy with the multitude of stuff that you will see here. and hang on to your hats, it will be mainly in French General fabric. I loves it, I really loves it.

So I am here and this week I am going to be quiet but once Sunday week is done, I am back on creative deck and my first telly project will be ready for you to play with if you wish.

Have a great rest of the weekend. I'll be back soon!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Telly Project #1 - Coussin Epingle



Here it is, my very first telly project for you. Coussin Epingle is French and it means "Pin Cushion". Please don't yawn, pin cushion yadda yadda but I wanted to actually use my Rouenneries Charm square pack instead of just gazing and gazing in awe at it. French General and Moda have created something so unbelievable yummy, so more-ish .. well, it's almost supernatural. So, I have fqs in the printed fabric coming, FQs in the wovens coming, a layer cake and I have 2 packs of the charm sqaures. I am beginning to believe I made need a jelly cake and I have a couple of prints that need to come home in yardage form. I have a problem. I have already pre-ordered the same in Rural Jardin. I do have a problem.... where was I? Yes, that's right the telly project.



This is a simple little pin cushion to make but it will take you a couple of nights. Still, its a great project to do in front of the telly.

Here are the things you need to make the Coussin Epingle with. Two charms squares, one quilted by hand (yes, you read right) with the pattern and some vintage ribbon. I also filled my coussin with wheat. Makes it feel nice and has a great weight to it. I really believe that if we go to great lengths to use the best natural fibre fabric we can, it would be nice to fill it with something organic too. Although with kids toys it sometimes helps to have something able to be chucked in the washing machine and you just can't do that organically without giving your husband a massive stroke.

This project is a freebie. Nix, nil, nada, zip is what you have to pay for this one. I am having technological issues with my scanner at the mo. It isn't working ... at all. So my wonderful friend is going to scan it for me and I'l pop it up here but if you would like me to send you the project (it's in PDF format), please comment and let me know you want one. I'll get it to you as soon as it's ready.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Keep an eye out ...

This is going on the side bar. What is "Telly Projects" I hear you say? I am so glad you asked. "Telly Projects" is a project that can be done in front of the telly (TV) that will take one night or a couple of nights to complete. I am working on the first one now and it should be ready to motor in the next couple of days. I'll post the details and patterns under the logo for you guys to use and make yourself. For yourself, 'cause you are all groovy and understand that I'm putting this up here for nix to enjoy and not abuse? I know its all cool. So keep an eye out, first telly project coming up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's Sciting time .....




"Sciting" ... it's a word my Nana used to use. It means having a crow or a brag about something etc. I have some stuff I want to scite about. I was going to tell my husband, but other than the fact that his eyes would glaze over and he'd go to his happy place. He would also start to look at the stuff and start adding up in his brain even though he doesn't really know how much it all costs. I'm saving his health by just not sharing with him my addict..er.. hobby with him. So I get to share it with you!!!!! Can't help it, just need to.

The lovely girls out at the Cottage Quiltworks have just moved. They used to be up behind my Parents in Law, and there were a few afternoons when the football was on the telly, Grammy was playing with Pickles and me, I was staring at the wall. So off I would go and just poke about in their shop until I bought way too much. They have moved to a bigger place about 10 minutes away from my in-laws now and they are having a 30% off sale on most of their stock until the end of October. So yesterday, My girlfriend and her daughter, myself and Pickles all went down for a bit of a look. Look hahahahahaha, yeah right. The little girls were amazing, they sat and coloured for ages and had a chat. We were there for two hours, and I bought these (scite warning) ...


Bar the last four on the bottom right hand side, are all for a new quilt design to come hard on the heels of Hard Candy but I'll tell you about that later. Lovely muted palette this time, and a little bit vintagey-shabbyish- whatever. I also found this, drum roll please :


Flea Market Fancy my friends, yes that's right and still on the bolt and it's mine all mine ... well, that's not quite true. I shared it with my girlfriend but I reckon it has to the last bolt in existence and now it's gone and here at my house and my girlfriend's. And just for the sake of it, here is my precious Flea Market Fancy stash:



I have decided to use some, I have too. Now because I felt like a guilty wife today, I went out to Country Pickins to see the lovely girls there and to let them know I hadn't fallen from the face of the earth and to pick up these:


Another couple of Matilda's Own Quilting templates. I have about 6 sets or more now and they are wonderful. I using one of the sets for Hard Candy and have ordered another set for the new project. The dresden plate is being used for the block carrier. When I am finished it, I'll post the details here so if you want to tackle it you can. And finally, this isn't a scite it's an apology. I should always be bothered to make sure the pictures you look at you can see. So sorry about being flip about my embroidery pattern. I am going to take some proper pictures so you can see her in all her glory. Check back in the next day or so, and this pics will be up!


Sunday, October 25, 2009



Its been a couple of days since I posted. Its been a busy week. Cai is back at all her stuff so that means we spent the week going from playdates to ballet to preschool to language classes to the zoo and on and on and on and now ... it's Sunday. So B is painting a cardboard Dinosaur with Cai in the kitchen and me ... I'm making China Blossom dolls for the special little girls we know and I have until the 21st of November to get them finished. So, I'm making dolls and listening to an audio book on my lap top. I thought I would show you a couple of pics of the block holder I am going to make. I figured I needed a block carrier for my Hard Candy quilt. And I muddled about for a couple of days deciding what I would do but now I have decided!

I thought I would do a wee bit of embroidery to put with a wee spot of something else to put on the front of my block carrier. So here is a picture I thought I would use as the embroidery:



Yes, its dark but I really couldn't be bothered getting out my canon, taking the picture, loading it in the puter blah blah blah. So sorry, here it is and its dark. And here she is on the hoop ready to boogie when I watch Bones tonight and I am going to cheat. I am going to use a combination of punch needle embroidery and standard embroidery. I'll keep you posted. I have a spot of crowing about a find for my stash, more on that later!



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I had a bunch of stuff to do ...


But instead I brewed up the rest of the new quilt, not to be confused with the quilt along but my new project campers. I spent a while getting the images ready to boogie tomorrow after the new ink cartridge arrives home. I pay for the Katie Jump Rope tomorrow, so it will be sent and as soon as it comes then it's cutting templates like a fury.

I have decided that I'll pop up a pattern for a block carrier using the same design I am using on the quilt. And the quilt has a name, and because I had a whole heap of stuff to do I decided to pfaff about and make a wee button for it ... because I could. And now I look at the button I am worried that it makes me look a little bit ... well less than the straight girl I am ... aw bugger it, I don't care. The image made me laugh, a cow and a woman in a bra ... what the???? But wait til you see the whole thing, I think it's going to have a wee bit of zing to it...

Eventually this button will sit on the side bar and have pics of the design process and the finished quilt. I'll do this for all the stuff I make and pop in here. Watch out for China Blossies, that will be up soon and I will put up a pattern for a Wee Blos and I think I might hold a swap. Anyway, here is the button. Hoody hoo!








Monday, October 19, 2009

Squueeeeeeee! It's here, woohooo!!!!!


Look what came in the post today ...



I did my happy dance in the Post Office today ... internally. I almost leant over the counter and planted a big ol kiss on the fella behind the counter ... internally of course. But he did get a grin from me as I handed him my license (the book came registered post). To be hard honest, I thought that it was great he was checking my id, I bet there are a couple of girls around here who would have sold kidneys for this one.

I luurv Cath Kidston. And like a squillion others, I mourn the idea that we don't have a store here in Sydney 'cause we need one. Badly.

Anyhoo ... oh and I remembered a very important tip today. Yup, I remembered after everything was finished and I had been wondering what I did wrong. Jo's Wonder Tip for today ... when getting images ready for transferring onto fabric that you spent bloody ages dipping in Bubblejet Set, cutting out the Freezer paper while wrestling with a four year old for use of the really big scissors then trying to keep the same child from wanting to swim in the mix out back. Always make sure that your images are set on high contrast so when you go to rinse out the images you spent ages getting ready and then nearly using up all of cartridge printing out ... because if you don't, you loose half your colour and your totally fab images look like they need to eat a good steak. Learnt that today, just thought I'd share.

So, tonight I watch "Flash Forward" and read this totally gorgeous book and drool over the pics and hopefully get some work done on my new fabric range.

A big thanks to the lovely folk at Lark in Daylesford, I got their last copy and they were bonza good sports.

Make sure you check them out ... they rock.

It's 2.30 in the morning fer crying out loud ...

Aaaaaaannnnnnnddddddddd ..... I can't sleep. SO, here I am at my blog. HAd some cacke too, just to make the no sleeping thing a bit more real. In my own defense I have to say that I have never done this before, eaten cake and blogged at 2.30 in the morning. But sometimes in life, you just have to go with it. That's what I am doing now. Going with it .. and raving a wee bit as well.

I am so very, very, very, very excited. I am going to do a Quilt-a-long. Hoody Frickin' hoo, been wanting to do that for a while now, and managed to locate almost every single one one the web only to find out that had been going for eons and I had come late to the party. Not now chickadees .. kellie at Don't look Now is having a corker of a quilt along and I am down to play. And for my fabric, I think ... hmmm (she says looking like an over weight Vivian Leigh at the BBQ in Gone with the Wind) ... Moda's stunning new range Rouenneries is going to be the go. Yes, I could attack my stash, I really could, and I could use the umpteen different scraps I have left over from little Bow or from the Satchel Bag or whatever but I really love this collection. Its yummy to die for and so I have deemed it to be, Rouenneries it will be for this. It will look seven kinds of gorgeous, and have a really different feel to it. A wee bit olde worlde.

In case you have been living on the moon for the past six months, here is the range I am yapping about ..

Here is the link

THere is just something so .. so ... yummy about the range and then at the other end of the spectrum, I would sell my husband's left kidney for a whole bunch of Tula Pink's new range "Plume", let me see if I can find it for you now where did I see it ... here it is at Hancocks of Paducah in Kentucky. Went to High School there, don't you know (said in pretendy posh voice).

I am loving The tula Pinks, Heather Bailey's, The Amazing Denyse Schmidts of this world as well. Too much gorgeous fabric, nnow it's 3 am and that's me for the night. Now I am tired and my brain is feeling sleepy. Sent my China blossoms off to the good folks at Moda to peruse, I figured ..what the hey, why not? Why not indeed ... now I am raving. Off to bed I go.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The blogging Quilt festival...



I have just found about this . After reading through the requirements, here I am, writing a post about a quilt I have made. The pic is of the main panel, it's missing the yoyos and the rest of the zhuzzing that finished it all off. It's currently sitting in Country Pickin's store down in Dural. I wanted to get a picture of it all finished but I haven't had a chance to get down there but I have a class there on sunday so I'll snap a pic of Little Bow in all her glory and post the pic here in three days time. And if I didn't post today about this quilt, I'd miss out on being a part of the festival so ...

Every quilt has a story, everyone. Even if you don't think your quilt or softie or whatever it is that you are making has any kind of history behind it, baby you is wrong. While we make our stuff, while we sew and create, life whirls around us in a steady stream of phone calls, emails and whatever else happens in our lives. Your quilt has a story. Little Bow does, it's not a happy one but she has a story. She came about just after my friend Chris died. I need to make a wee point here, but Chris was NOT a girly kind of guy. He was a big fella, liked Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd. He wrote prodigiously, was a screen writer professionally and he and I had a shared in interest in WWII history, the people side. He would be liking the new book I am working on, and its a real bummer that I didn't get a chance to run my plot by him when I had the chance. So as I was saying, Chris didn't inspire Little Bow, but in the days after his death Little Bow was the driving project in my brain. I needed to get her into the store lickety split, and instead of taking two weeks tops ... she took closer to 4.

I cried over that quilt. Not because it drove me nuts, although pinning it four times drove me crazy, I cried for Chris. Brent was working a long run of night duty, my little girl was in bed and was working on Bow, by myself in the quiet.

So ... I look at little Bow and I like her, she looks great but ... and there will always be a ... but ... about this quilt. I will always look at her and know that it was made just after Chris left us. Which is both a good thing and a sad thing.

So in response to Little Bow, I have come up with another idea today and its a cracker. So before I post anything else, I'm off to search the web for some Katie Jump Rope .... oh yes .... oh we go .... taa dee ta dum .... whistle!

Hi all, here are the pictures of the finished quilt, she looks okay and the girls at the store said folks have been asking about her, I think that's cool. Anyways, here is little Bow ... all finished!

And here are some close up pictures of some of the detail on Little Bow ...









Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sewn ...

And, I almost forgot ... you might also want to sign up for Sewn. I did, and here you go, off to Sewn with you!!!!

If your wondering what Sewn is, here is the "About Us" form the site, it sounds great and I am so glad to now be a part of it!

"ABOUT SEWN
SEWN is new and innovative online quilting and sewing community for all lovers of fabric crafts. We have Tips and Innovative Tools to help with your projects, an Advice Centre for all your sewing questions, online forums and chats, and information on your local shops, sewing groups, quilt groups and classes.

SEWN will feature designers and shops from Australia and New Zealand, as well as the latest from the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan.

There will be articles, interviews and tutorials from industry experts, competitions and free patterns! We’ll even be reporting via podcast from craft shows around Australia and the USA.

It’s going to be way too much fun! Get excited with me sign up to the SEWN Club for all the latest news and offers from SEWN and our partners, read my blog to keep up to date on all the SEWN news.

Happy SEWiNg!

Sarah Fielke, Creative Director
www.thelastpiece.net"

Give Away at the last Piece...

I love The Last Piece

Its become one of my favourite blogs, as highly read for me as Allsorts . Sarah Falke was one of the quilting Divas who owned Material Obsession, now she is out on her own and is a mega super quilting diva. The give away is fantastic, French General's beautiful fabric line for Moda is lovely and Sarah has generously decided to give away six Rouenneries Honey buns. The details are all there in her blog, get to it!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Something brewing ...


Found these last night, they look groovy together. Bit of Heather Bailey, bit of Kaffe Fassett et al .... Hmmm. I have some things for the Marie Antoinette Mailing list to get out, and thats proving to be tricky. Printer issues, but I'll post the pics here so at least the pages can be seen. I also have some flowers to make plus 5 book pages all before 1 Nov.

The quilting is a distraction, a lovely one but a distraction all the same.

Back to Marie Antoinette Mixed media I go ......

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A visit to Mecca ... I mean Material Obsession ...


I spent most of Monday night reading blogs. Don't ask me why, I have no idea myself. BUt as I read Blog after Blog after blog, it became apparent to me that a visit to Material Obsession was needed. I had been reading a few accounts of the Sue Ross B.O.M club. I was drooling. I wanted to play so bad. There are a bunch of girls out there doing it, 150 according to M.O themselves. the club is completely sold out : ( but there is a waiting list for a second round in Feb. 2010 : )

On the waiting list I went, and then I decided with all the raps the M.O was getting about the traps in blogs etc. I thought it might be a grand idea to go out there and check it out. So after lunch with Brent and Cai Cai and all her little girl friends at Macquarie centre to watch the Ice Skating while they all demolished the nutritionally questionable Happy Meals we were dumb enough to buy for them.

Then it was off to quest for M.O. It wasn't hard to find. I left Brent dozing in the car and with Cai Cai in tow, off we went. I got a wee bit of a surprise, it all looked a bit bare. And that really did make me wonder, in fact, there wasn't a great deal of anything there but and this is a big BUT ... the quilts that I could see were to die for. Absolutely stunning. I bought the two template packs you see in this post, came home and promptly started on one straight away. I'll pop the piccy of what I've done so far below. But I was thinking about it all afternoon yesterday. I get what they are doing at M.O . There was a lot of focus on using contemporary fabrics to make the old traditional quilt blocks to come up with something so new. They have done it. Its cool. I like that a lot. I love the idea of using old things in a new way to come up with something new and hand - downable! (I invented a new word!) . What's the point of spending hours and hours of time tom make something temporary? Let's make stuff out great great great grand kids will love and their kids and so on.

I think there has been a shift at M.O. The girls who started the business seem to have parted company. I don't know how recent that was, maybe its still new days for the changes. The website is no where as extensive as it was, and there was a definite feeling that a lot of stuff was missing so I'll keep an eye on things there and let's see what happens. Yup, I want to start that B.O.M as soon as pos.



Softie Blossoms ...

As if I don't have enough on my plate to worry about, I now have 6 softies to build for the 20th of November. All self inflicted of course but ... I think they should be cute and I'll post the making process here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I have been doing something, I really have ...






I have, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I finished the quilt. Yup, it turned into a quilt, the lady in the pattern, I'll post a pic from her new posie at Country Pickin's . If you get the chance, check out this store if you are Sydney local or check them out on line. Their fabric range is great and the girls are just bonza ! And ... they put up with me, it seems like I spend half my life there!

I spent a great deal of time sewing by my sewing machine light. I reckon it has to be one of my favourite light sources, the little light from my sewing machine. Not the best for the eyes but it's just a nice feeling. Well, that makes me sound nuts.

The lady is done, it was a real exercise. I thought that having all the pieces being big and grand, I would save myself a whole bucket of time. Yeah, right. I still had to pin the thing four times to get it right before I quilted it. Four times. Thank God Brent wasn't around to see me sticking taping the thing to the floor and swearing as I put the quilting pins in only to drag them out again. And then there is the Yo-yos ... sorry, Suffolk Puffs. It was a wonderful idea to use yo-yos as decoration on my quilt, to zhuzh my lady and make her look fab. Even with the help of my much loved Clover Yo-yo makers, it still took an age. But I love the Yo-yo makers, I have three shapes (circles, Hearts and flowers) and they work like a treat. I was so greatful to my mate Lydia for lending me Aaron Sorkin's great series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." I watched the entire series while making this quilt. Its a crying shame that only one season was made, the writing was clever and sharp, the characters engaging. I guess Mad Men will just have to keep me going.

Here is another wee peek at Little Bow:




Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The new project ...


Okay, I have the opportunity to maybe teach a wee class, maybe. I have to get the quilt done as fast as I can ie, in a week or two at the very latest. So, here is the start of Little Bow. The pattern you see here is for the panel in the centre. I'll keep you updated as it comes together. I found out all this today, so I came home and drew this up. Let's see what happens ..


Saturday, August 15, 2009

So very ... Charming ...


Okay, Charmings. I made 'em. I call 'em. These are basically charms, in this case used for my lap top cover. These can be made in ANY size, I used a combination of fabric and paper with a covering of mica sewn together and then hung off a mixture of bits of jewelry I had. Some of it vintage, some of it from what we call here, the $2 shop.

Again so super easy, in the next few days, I'll post a tutorial here so anyone can else make them.

Fabric doesn't get used much for charm making outside quilting and fabric arts but it is so versatile. I have the the makings of three fabric journals all ready to go, and I have a bunch of ideas I want to try and I will be posting here what happens and how. So keep us all going for a bit, here are some pics of the Charmings, you'll be seeing more of them here.








Friday, August 14, 2009

Charmings m'dear and a laptop ....

I have made a cover for my new lap top ( I lurv it). I cheated, I bought a pattern. It's an Amy Butler pattern granted. Whoo wee I thought I was so clever, loved the look of the patterns. Loved the way the finished projects looked, I was short of time so instead of nutting out one of my own I used Amy Butler's.

Slick advertising can be so pretty, you want to run right out and sew while you run through a wheatfield, kilos lighter than you are, head full of luscious hair that doesn't have to be coloured. it's all amazing. Until you open the pattern and try to bloody read it. IT'S IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE! I have a degree in Fashion Design, four years at design school, experience in the industry. Millions of years of sewing behind me, I started when I was 6. I can sew, I am a pattern maker, I can get real technical but when I read this pattern I thought I was studying some weird form of engineering law with a mix of quantum physics chucked in just to make sure I didn't get too comfortable. This is NOT a pattern you read once and then say "goodio, I'm ready to make something wonderful". This is a pattern you read through once and then walk around the house afterwards saying to yourself "I'm a smart, tricky girl but what the!?!"

The official site says that the pattern instructions are "super friendly, hip and cool". There is nothing hip or cool about feeling like you wanted to enrol in a primal scream therapy session after tackling a sewing pattern written in venusian. Great advertising though.

I have read reviews of this pattern and it's listed as being a pattern for experienced sewers but that's crazy. The pattern itself isn't hard, its a great pattern for beginning and intermediate level sewers. What makes it hard is the way the instructions are written. And that's useless. I am going to rewrite the instructions for my friend so she can make it without having herself committed. All the lawyers sniffing about can settle down, the instructions won't be posted here, I will give them to her and then make sure she eats it or gives it to her dogs when she's done. The product is amazing, the instructions to make it should be amazing as well.

So here is the pattern :



And here is my finished lap top cover, it's not beautifully photographed but it will give you an idea of what it looks like and how messy my table is. And you will see along the edge of the laptop cover flap, you will see my charmings. Charmings you say? What's a charming? You'll just to read on and find out ....
















A New Day and Back in the Saddle ...

I am back in the saddle boys and girls. I have decided that what I write about here will be about anything I want. I can't limit it to one thing or another. I don't work like that. So I guess it will be fair to say that you won't know what will be here when and if you look. Making stuff, photography, writing, movies ... whatever.

Friday, August 7, 2009

For Chris

Hi. It's the day after Chris Wheeler's funeral and I want to write about him. It was a huge water shed day for me, the impact has been tremendous. Today, I feel as if the rug has been pulled out from under my feet and my heart is sore. And I dreamed about Grant Chapman and myself opening a hotel all night, so I can guess that is why I am feeling a little wigged out as well : ) Chris taught me: It's never to late too late to follow your dream

Persistence in the face of all odds

Always ask "why" and then find out "why"

Read, Read then read some more

Courage

Writing is lonely and hard but incredibly rewarding and challenging


I always felt, and Chris was so good at this, that he had faith in me as a person and faith in my abilities. There is something that I have told Shannon and Glenn but I will put it here as well, because it means so very much to me. Shannon, myself and Chris went through a period of time where we would go and hang out in a coffee shop in the spanish street in sydney. I can't remember the name of the street because today my head feels like its wrapped in cotton wool, and because I know it so well I'll remember it in the middle of Cai's play date today and swear like a trooper. Anyway, we used to go to this one coffee shop on the corner just down from the Spanish Club. We would sit there and argue, laugh and spend hours and hours just talking about all things big and small. It as a wonderful, wonderful time in my life. One afternoon after Shannon had left, Chris asked me to come with him. So I did, and we talked and talked some more. Before long we down at the bottom of Druit Street , I think or the one past that one. There was a little script shop down there, it's not there now but you could buy a shoe box flat off the plan if you feel so inclined.

In we went, the guy who owned the place knew Chris and they both smiled and then Chris turned to me and said, "pick one, one you think is really really good." I was floored. I wasn't working and neither I might add was Chris, but he wanted me to choose a script so I did, and then despite all my shock and protestations he bought it for me. He told me that he wanted me to go home and read that script and learn from it, study it, get to know it inside and out. He wanted me to do this because he said I could write, and he wanted to me to just "do it". He believed in my ability to write so much that when he had nothing he willing found the money to buy me something he felt would encourage and inspire me to write.

Well guess what, it did. I have an agent now, a really one! She can't sell my books thanks to a financial world wide collapse, but she's still trying and that's cool. I have been working on my third book now for coming on to well over a year. I have been in and out of the Jewish Museum, I have been interviewing and reading and researching and writing but over the past three months, I have been going through a bit of a "dark night of the soul". I have been really questioning what I have been doing. writing has had my in a haze, my brain is always churning about with the deeds of the characters and my internal analysis of why they are doing what they are doing. My book is for teenagers, and it felt as if the clock had been turned back to me as a teenager, it bought back a whole bunch of stuff. Some good and some bad. I was eating, dreaming, sleeping my book. I was wondering if it worth it, if I was fooling myself that I could write in the first place. I wanted to ring Chris, and I should have. He really would have understood.

BUt he isn't here, and we are all the more poorer for it. But I would like to think that he is in the halls of Valhalla watching us and waiting for us to cross the rainbow bridge to Asgard. And when we get there, he'll be so overjoyed to see us because now ... he'll have someone to argue with, laugh with and hang out with. I don't think Vikings "hang out" but Chris and his Viking spirit will be filling the halls to the rafters and introducing Thor to the finer musical nuances of" Aqau Lung".

I am finishing my book, I am finishing it. Chris in his final act of inspiration has lit a fire in my belly. He believed in me, along with Glenn Fraser. And that's enough, that will keep me going until the day I stop breathing. It's a bit of a trite saying that a dead loved one "Is all around us", but the way I see it, Chris will be in every word I write.


Thank you Chris, you will never, never know how much your support and belief meant to me so I am letting all our friends know. We all miss you.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Honey, I'm home ....





hiya,

I'm back. I have finished my designing - for the time being. I have been so focused on tha, I haven't had any room in my brain for anything else. But, now I send it off into the wild blue yonder.

Its been a month, and here I am at my blog. I am tucked up in a doona on the lounge at the moment. I am sick, really sick. My little girl is at her Grammy's until tomorrow. SO here I am, the house is like a tomb, I really miss her. So, all that's left to do is watch I don't know how many episodes of the Rose of Versailles on you tube while I post here. And there will be a feature lenght remake of the Rose of Versailles coming out this year. It will be in Japanese but here's hoping a great english sub version won't be far away. And here is a wee picy:



Hit google or you tube and have a wee look if you are interested. Ever since I was a kid, when I saw "Kimba, The White Lion", I have had a real soft spot for Japanese animation. And not all of it mind, it's like anything. Some of it's good and some of it ... well, not so good. The Rose of Versailles is Japanese animated soap set in 18th century france. Perfect for a girl with the flu feeling less than shiny.

I am going to write something about dolls now, so if you get bored by that, look away, get a coffee whatever. I am sick to death of trying to chase BLythe dolls, just sick to death. Its been hard, way way way too hard. If these dolls are really only available for collectors in Japan to get, then the company that produces the doll should have the guts to say so. Dealers charging hughe prices within days of a release, the bulk of the dolls being readily available in Japan and really no where else. The CWC so called lottery system. I have had it. I found one of my old pullip pictures on the old mac. Hit the net and bammo ... have a wee squiz at what's coming to my house:



Taa dah!!!! She has a bloke coming with her as well, poncy old Alberic. Don't you just love the idea of an 18th century play doll? Me? I loves it, I really do. Will post piccies here when they arrive. Have earmarked another three after these two. Hmmm, now the 64 dollar question, how to pay for them .....

Anyway, done talking dolls, you can come back now. Will post again later on today/ tomorrow about some other stuff.

Friday, June 26, 2009

And the Response is ...

Underwhelming. That's right, no one wants to play Wiz challenges with me. Well, okay, I can always try later. But for now, I have a bizillion things to think about. I finished the Grande Dame and ... she has problems and is now sitting in front of my little girl's bedroom door.

She isn't fit to show anyone, which is a shame, her face was just lovely. Until I stuffed it (literally) and because her mouth was low down on her face, it almost disappeared entirely. It pulled and by the time I had finished, she looked like she should have been a reality show moaning about a lousy plastic surgeon. I am really happy with the Mini Grandes, they work a treat. So the acid test is the mid sized girly, I think I can use her to sort out issues with the large doll, so I can then turn around to make Grande Dame Mk2. Stay tuned.

I am focusing on my fabric range at the moment. So as you can see, its been about two weeks between drinks. So will endevour to talk to me self on a public forum more often. I have to tell you about my idea. Its brewing, I'll get the range out of the way and then post the idea here ... maybe. Stay groovy, if I can bare it and not crack my camera lense, I'll post a picture of my not so grande grande.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Tin Man's Heart Challenge ...


Now my lovelies, its time to unveil the first Wizard of Oz + Gone With the Wind 70th Anniversary Arts & Crafts  Saturnalia (try saying that five times really fast).  There will be a logo for this momentous event soon.  But here is the first challenge:-

Using whatever medium you love (art dolls, mixed media, ATC's, spinning, knitting, polymer clay ... whatever floats yer boat) come up with an item of your choice no taller than 15cm (6 inches) based on the theme "The Tin Man's Heart".  You have until the 10th of July to sign on and then one month to complete your piece.  When done place a clear, well photographed image of your piece on the challenge flickr album.  You will have to be invited to join this group, so when you are done you will need to let me know that you have something to show so I can invite you to tell!

Look on the left for the Button for the swap, and please don't forget to link back to me!

all the best creatively

Jo



Monday, June 15, 2009

the 70th Anniversary Year ... The Wizard of Oz & Gone With the Wind


What a year 1939 was.  It was the year that saw the planet plunged into war and it was the year that saw not one, but two films make an impact on us all that would still last until today.

You must be living under a rock if you don't know the two films I mean, my two all time favourite movies ... The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.

So, in honour of this momentous event, I thought I might propose a few challenges, celebrating these amazing films.

In the next week, I'll get the first badge for the first challenge done.  I will open the challenge for 20 folks, if I can get twenty.  If, by some major miracle, there are more folks wanting to play then I'll open the challenge up for some more.

So, if you want to make an art doll, a mini quilt, mix media you cat or pop a piece of mail art into the post then this is something fun.  Family teams (mum and daughters/sons/sisters/aunties/friends whatever, can team up to play and then post the pics to a flickr album I'll have organised along with the buttons.  There will be at least two swaps, one will be a christmas decoration swap.  You will have to make two christmas decorations based on either the Wizard of Oz or Gone With the Wind and then post them off to your buddy in time for christmas.  If we are all having too much fun, then maybe we keep it going in the new year but considering there is only me so far ... we'll see what transpires.

Okay, the first challenge will be called "The Tin Man's Heart".  Because it's the first challenge, I'll say you can make it in whatever style you feel comfortable with, but nothing bigger than 6 inches (roughly 15cm for all of us metric folks).  I'll take folks wanting to be part of the challenge from now until the 30th of June.  So if you want to sign up, please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know!!

Oh, btw check out the Amazon links if you want to order the amazing special editions that have been done for the films, I am drooling already!


Monday, June 8, 2009

I really like this...


I love this little tin. It's Japanese but with a serious French retro twist. And the little lollies inside it were seriously yummy.

Posted by ShoZu

A mini grande - a madamoiselle!


So I am supposed to be writing. The house is quiet, hubby and baby at the park. Heaters on, house is warming up and ... I thought I would post a pic of my mini practice doll in readiness for the approaching completion of the grand dame. I figured if I could get the mini version working, my grande dame should be a breeze. Anyway, here she is. Oh, by the way ... I have had an idea. I think it's a beauty. If your lucky, I might just let you in on it. But you have to be good.

Posted by ShoZu

Another cat pic


I wasn't going to post any more cat pics but this was taken on the iPhone and I think it looks great. The cat was catching some almost winter sunlight, the shadows were exactley the way you see them. I think I might have to take back what I said about the iPhone "cam" .

Posted by ShoZu