Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Snippet at the End of the Year..........

New Years Eve 2009!

A snippet of a challenge I'm working on!

Challenge Snippet

Rain, rain, rain………………We’ve had glorious rain! The lawn is no longer dry and crunchy underfoot! In fact we'll have to mow before it warms up again as it will be a great haven for snakes!) The paddocks are greening up too and that means we won’t need to buy in as much hay for the animals.

Little Lily (the calf) is growing daily and is such a source of joy! Watching her bucking and yee-hahing around her yard makes me smile….

We had a lovely couple of days away over Christmas….  We rode the motorbike and being fair weather riders don’t even own wet weather gear but we had to ride home in the rain (about 31/2 hours!)- Suffice to say I’ve never been that wet whilst wearing clothes! Once you reach saturation point it really doesn’t matter any more does it? Hubble did a wonderful job of getting us home safely.

It’s been lovely to get back in the studio! I’ve been working on some challenge entries and so can only show a snippet! The photo above is so unlike anything I've done before! I'm working on 3-4 entries at the moment. Once they're done I'm going to clean up the studio! (I promise!) Hopefully find some shelves, rip up the vomituous carpet and paint the walls also! I've been offered some casual work in the New Year too so I shall be a busy girl!

Best wishes to all for a creative,  joyous and prosperous 2010!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our 'Lil Christmas Lily!

We have been gifted an orphaned newborn (4 days old as I write this on Sunday) Black Angus Calf. She is absolutely beautiful and healthy and large! (The demise of her mother it seems) Hubby works with the owner; and because they are going away over Christmas they won’t be around to bottle feed her… Guess what? We have a new member of the menagerie…. Her name is Lily.

My 2 youngest kids are with their father for 3 weeks over Christmas but we have a houseful anyway (5 extras!) with hubby’s twin boys (15), his daughter (19) with her boyfriend and my eldest daughter (18). So Lily has been very well received and spoiled and will grow up to be the tamest cow ever!

She has the most beautiful big dark eyes with the longest lashes you’ve ever seen and is the most adorable creature! She is so easy to love… and I doubt that she will end up as steak! The original owners would like photographic updates!

Black Angus Calf
4 Days Old

Little Black Lambi
Approx 3 months old

Hasn't Lambi turned out to be a handsome boy?

Indignant about her new haircut!

Occupied with her favourite past-time

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Something Old..... Something New!

I bought a pomegranate whilst doing groceries the other day... Not to eat (well not yet anyway!) but to paint! We had a pomegranate tree at home when I was growing up and I'm afraid I haven't even seen a fruit for years and years! These were imported from the US and I just knew one had to come home with me as inspitation! They have such a gorgeous voluptuous shape and beautiful colour  topped with a quirky crown!

Pomegranate on Saucer

Still quite a lot to be done on this; highlights, shadows and I'm not so sure about the window frame colour.

Here's something else new, pretty faces painted onto onion skin dyed silk.

Pretty Faces
Painted Silk

Now for the something old! Here is this mosaic style stitching I was working on a few months ago. The stitching is finished but I haven't done anything with it yet!

'Mosaic Rose'
Rayon Thread on Inkjet Transfer on Cotton

This little cross-stitch was completed about 3 years ago. I designed it from a pastel painting I had done (with the aid of some Cross Stitch software)

'Posy for Klimt'
Cross Stitch on Linen

This Tree of Life is my own design too; from an acrylic painting. It's also about 3 or 4 years old.

'Tree of Life'
Needlepoint on Canvas

And the shape of the day is... SQUARE! All these pieces are square format; which is not usual for me as I'm a circle fiend! (Except for the last photo which is a bit off skew as it hasn't been blocked yet!)

Looking back, I have also noted that generally I am using more earthy colours than I have ever before... My work is becoming more muted, rusty, earthy... I think I like that.

I love colour and I have always used quite saturated colour; lots of colour contrast and solid colour with black and or off white. (This is true of my home too... ) Maybe it's an age thing?! Or maybe it's just a realisation that maximum volume loud colour isn't the only way to get noticed! Or maybe I just don't care about being noticed at all!

My alpacas are shorn and I have another couple of bags of beautiful wool to play around with! Really must get my act together and hunt down some carding combs! Think of all the fun I'm going to have! The girls really aren't happy with me and seem to be quite indignant about the whole process- and they do look rather hilarous without their thick coats!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Just a quick post with a couple of photos of some old work (2008).

From memory this was my first painted quilt! Approx 5" x 7" Postcard size. It was machine quilted and embellished with beads....

Copper Contours

My second painted quilt was a lot of fun... also machine quilted with bead and silk embellisment along the top and approx 5" x7". I like how the paint turned out on this one.

Cinnamon Moth

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Of Creative Challenges and PaperCloth

I've been busy playing in the studio and have succumbed to having the aircon on in here most days as it has been 35degC + again. We had a storm come through yesterday and about 5 minutes of heavy rain which all soaked into the dry earth immediately. We really would love some good soaking rain to green up the paddocks for our menagerie. We are hand feeding everybody at the moment! I'm about to 'batten down the hatches' as my Mum says (close windows, curtains, blinds) in an effort to keep the heat out of the house as much as possible. We have a ducted evaporative a/c in the rest of the house but I try not to run it until at least early afternoon! 39degC forcast today (100degF+) It really is just too hot to be outside... and the garden looks parched! Hubble and I were up at 5.30 am again this morning to water the trees we planted in Autumn and Winter... we do this every 2nd morning in this sort of weather. Still, the rain will come.... We have had some small bushfires around the region caused by lightening strikes and today is very smoky/dusty which tends to filter the scorching sun a little......

Here's what I've been doing: I finished the art doll for the Cloth Paper Scissors Challenge. (Unfortunately there is a limit of only 1 entry per person so I've sent in photos of the one I've completed and have let the other just sit for a while. I know I'll get around to finishing her but I'm busy doing other things for now!

Art Doll Challenge -Detail

My latest play; making PaperCloth!

Ranunculi Paper/Cloth Detail WIP

I think I may have added too many layers of paper as it seems quite stiff (I'm not sure if that's how it's meant to be?) Also, the PVA has dried glossy which I don't like so much! There is a tutorial at Quilting Arts Mag website- somewhere... I can't find it again. Will add link when I do....!
Here it is: PaperCloth Tutorial

Ranunculi Paper/Cloth
WIP with some freehand Machine Embroidery

This is for another challenge I'm going to enter also for Cloth Paper Scissors Mag. It's for the 'Make it Pretty' Calendar Competition. I'll only be able to post sneak peaks as the entries have to be previously unpublished!

'Pretty' WIP
Hand dyed fabric and lace

... about the smoke/dust filtering the sun. I lied! Just walked up the driveway to the letter box (about 350metres) and I got baked!- we get mail delivered 3 times a week. Good news!Guess what arrived today? My Dec/Jan copy of Quilting Arts! Yay! Guess what I'll be doing this afternoon???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Of Rust and Earth and Sacred Symbols

Here is a sneak peak at a couple of things I am working on at the moment....

Winter Wonderland
I mentioned in my last post that I am entering a Winter Wonderland themed Exhibition at Hand Embroiderer's Network. I'm gradually building up some surface embroidery on the felt design, including couching a fluffy novelty yarn around the edges.

Couching and Running Stitch
Winter Wonderland WIP

Mother Earth Art Doll
This is another challenge I am going to enter, but I need to work quickly because the deadline for photos is the 18th December! Yeek! It is a Cloth Paper Scissors Reader Challenge to create one mixed-media art doll representing Mother Earth. I have two versions on the go and will choose my favourite upon completion! Nothing like amping up the pressure on oneself!

Version one is plain cotton that has been rust dyed with sacred symbols; I think I may still be adding some embroidery.

Mother Earth Art Doll
Rust Dyed Sacred Symbol WIP

Mother Earth Art Doll
Ooops, sideways photo but you get the idea!
Painted facial features (lips) and rust dyed markings. WIP

Version 2 is using some leftovers of the discharge dyed fabirc that I used for my first Quilts 4 London pennant and a similar technique....

Mother Earth Art Doll- WIP
Discharge Dyed, Fabric Paint and Embroidery

Here is an old embossed book cover that I rusted. I'm so pleased with how it turned out! I'll eventually use it in a mixed media piece............ but for now it is sitting on the mantlepiece in my studio!

Rusted Book Cover


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