Tuesday, July 24, 2007

TAST Buttonhole Wheel Stitch

After spending most of the day surfing the net, I felt quite inspired to get straight into this week's TAST. Here is my sample for your consideration. I stitched in a Steff Francis overdyed medium silk thread over some little white clay flat "beads" from an old op-shop necklace. The "flowers" are cut from sequin waste and they are couched down in perle thread with a DMC metallic 3 wrap French Knot in the centre and scattered about. Would make quite a nice little postcard, in fact I might even send it down to the EG for the Postcard Challenge we are collating for the October Festival of Embroidery and Exhibition. Will see how it looks when finished.

Blogging Without Obligation.

I've been feeling quite guilty lately that some folks visiting might feel shortchanged that I'm not regularly doing TAST at the moment. I'm also not very regular in updating this blog. Today I was surfing around the TAST ring and found out about BWO and so have included the logo on the sidebar. You can click on the logo to find out what it's all about, but just let me say I agree with the sentiments wholeheartedly. Blogging means different things to everyone, for me it is a way to connect with people all over the world, sharing my passions, trials and successes. We shouldn't feel obliged and guilty when life gets in the way, as it has a habit of doing when we are busy women, wives or mothers. I love reading everyone's blogs and try to do so regularly, and of course I have favourites that I identify with, or just love their quirky sense of humour, or marvel at their creativity. I hope you find this blog worth visiting, and now I have added a visitors' map I can see who visits, even if they don't leave a comment.

Monday, July 23, 2007


As promised, here is one of the costumes I designed and made last week, while still recovering from the worst cold I've had in about 20 years. But the show must go on, so while it did take twice as long as it should have for a fully lined and fused jacket, pants and shirt, and 17 ties (I made a few extra in case they lose some) I do think this outfit looks pretty authentic compared to the movie still. The wig on the model is one I had in my props box, not the one being worn at the Eistedfodd. More information on my costume blog, see sidebar.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Finally, some light at the end of the tunnel. Today I'm starting to feel a little less "under the weather" and coughing is getting less frequent and less severe. Just as well, I think, because I've put several big projects on HOLD during the last few weeks which really MUST be done soon. One of them is very urgent, and it is started, but not much progress really. I'm making some Eisteddfod costumes for the dancing studio where I freelance. For full dress rehearsal this Thursday night they need a size 8 black and white striped men's suit with a hot pink organza sleeveless top underneath for "Beetlejuice" as played by Michael Keeton in the movie. And 16 hot pink organza ties to go on the supporting dancers. The fabric supplied was black and white cotton lycra, so of course that will all have to be fused to Whispaweft for the jacket. Hope my machines behave and sew through the fabric nicely, otherwise you'll hear me yelling from the other side of the country. I'm not an habitual swearer, I was always taught that swearing is a sign of ignorance of more approriate words. So usually I just threaten the machine with destruction, replacement and other dire consequences if it doesn't perform properly. It usually works. Failing that, I have a back-up domestic machine or two, and they are so old that they don't DARE misbehave or they know they'll be on the scrap heap ! Time to head into the sewing room now, set up the ironing press, and start that fusing so I can get sewing this afternoon. I'll post a picture of the progress later.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A late reply to "You're tagged!" from Jenny B.

You may have noticed on other blogs around the traps that people are being "tagged". Just a bit of fun, recording 7 things about yourself that people might not know, a little insight into your true character. Now that's a bit of a worry, I'm not sure I WANT people to know me THAT well, hee hee. So my reveals might not be all that earth shattering, but here goes.
1. My biggest flaw is that I hold a Black Belt in Procrastination. Now the cleverer ones amongst you might have read between the lines in my previous posts and already worked this one out.
2. The previous point always results in me having to pull all-night sessions to make up for lost / lazy time. I am at my most creative when this happens, out of sheer neccesity.
3. Despite my terminal procrastination, no bride has ever walked naked down the aisle and no dancer has ever had no costume for a performance. Refer to my costume blog for more details if you dare.
4. I'm a chronic organiser. I can't stand leaving someone else to organise ANYTHING because I always think I know how to do it better. Of course, this is not 100% true, and I often drive myself nuts trying to organise every little detail myself, I just don't know HOW to delegate. A therapist would have a field day with me!
5. I aspired to be the next Prue Acton when I was 18. She was a young, hip, Aussie designer in the 1970's and I really wanted to go into Fashion Design. I applied and was successful for the Fashion Design course at East Sydney which was THE place to train at the time (Akira Issagowa, Trent Nathan etc. trained there), but life got in the way and I couldn't continue.
6. I spend WAY too much time on the computer. I belong to 15 Yahoo groups, contribute to 4 blogs, and belong to 3 or 4 other forums, not to mention my LiveJournal account. This all adds up to at least an hour every morning checking emails and links while I eat my breakfast. I don't know what I'd do if I had to go out to business every day, I'd have to get up at dawn to fit it all in.
7. I would love 8 or 9 hours sleep every night but unfortunately it doesn't happen because I can't seem to get to bed before midnight most nights. The result is that I'm always tired and frequently cranky.
As you can see, nothing too earth shattering, but I think I fulfilled the brief. Now I'm supposed to tag 7 other people, but I don't know 7 people who blog well enough to tag them !! So I'm breaking the "chain" I'm afraid.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

June Craft and Quilt Fair Day 2

On arriving home from the Show, I unpacked my purchases and thought, "oh, is that all I bought?" as you do. See post below. So on the second day between my shift at Cavalcade of History and Fashion and lunch I scooted back to Dale's stand to buy a few more bits. We are very fortunate in Sydney to have 3 major craft show events each year, and that's not including various Bead fairs and ready made art fairs. But Dale only brings The Thread Studio http://thethreadstudio.com/ over from Perth once each year, to Darling Harbour. So if you want to fondle the goods in person, you just have to be there! I bought a few of the things Dale mentioned in her new book "Surface Tension" (which she kindly inscribed for me with my matching purple pen) such as jute scrim, hand painted muslin, an Oliver Twists experimental pack, some hand dyed wool felt, some felted yarn and one of her great variety packs of various threads in one colourway. I also bought a half metre of an orange metallic knitted tubular ribbon, about 2 1/2 inches wide. No idea what I'll do with that, it just appealled to me. I also added to my stash of old fashioned floral fat quarters for a WISP quilt and bought some little lacy motifs to make a challenge for my EG group ladies, who will be learning some CQ at their meeting in mid July. Now I just need to shake off this dreaded lurgie, get my strength back and Bob's your uncle.
(I can just see all the non-Aussies reaching for their dictionaries to try to translate that last sentence, hee hee. Basically I meant I need to get better and everything will be all right. )

June Craft and Quilt Fair in Sydney.

These are the goodies I bought from various traders including The Thread Studio on my first day at the show. They include some Sari "ribbons" in a hank, some stranded variegated silk mill ends threads (very reasonable, at a wool shop) some machine embroidery threads and some lovely wool tops to do some felting. I loved the little square sequins seen in the middle of the photo, they are not super shiny but will add a little zing to wherever I put them. Please don't expect any photos of any of these projects SOON, I have a bit of a reputation for buying up at these shows and using the goodies about 5 or 6 YEARS later. Perhaps this time I'll be a bit more motivated, seeing all the fabulous work on the net these days is very encouraging, and now I belong to a few Groups as well where people are just so prolific, I feel positively LAZY. Just at the moment I have a good excuse though, I volunteered 3 days in a row at the Show for my Guild and for Cavalcade, and have come down with a really heavy cold, spending the last 4 days in bed or lying on the couch feeling downright miserable. Today is the first day to even sit at the computer, a big deal for someone like me who is so email and blog driven. I'd actually forgotten what I purchased till I opened the bags to take these photos, hee hee.