Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Slight change of plans !

I added my photo to the sidebar beneath my profile recently, but have now removed it. I was a bit reluctant to reveal my face to the world, but if Sharon B. can put her lovely face on her blog, and Downunder Dale can, I thought I could too. Blogger wouldn't let me put a thumbnail in my profile, which is what I really wanted to do, and it was VERY much bigger than I really liked. So you'll just have to wait till I can get my act together with a smaller picture.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yummy fabric

This gorgeous fabric "begged" me to buy it at the Craft Show, so how could I refuse its request, hee hee? There were several colourways, but this one just appealed the most, as well as a couple of pieces of complementary fabric. Not sure where I'll use it, I seem to have quite a stash of "must have" pieces just now, so I can see lots of hand bags and totes being made, where you don't have to cut the fabric into such small pieces. I've been admiring the "padfolios" popping up on other blogs, they look great, and goodness knows I could use some fancy folders to organise myself better. Must search my bookmarked blogs for the tutorial.... if I find it I'll post the link here.

Craft Show roundup.

The sun is shining, the birds are announcing that Spring is fast approaching, and I'm sitting here musing "What was I thinking, volunteering for 4 out of 5 days at the Craft Show???" I'm very tired and I spent a small fortune, but I don't think I was frivolous, everything will be used and enjoyed. I'm a bit reluctant to admit the total cost, but here is the shopping list.

2 packets tiny hand dyed lace motifs suitable for crazy patchwork embellishment, 4 pkts bulk silk embroidery ribbon, ergonomic rotary cutter for sewing, short quilting ruler, long quilting ruler, 10 fat quarters (or is that 12) for my ongoing scrappy old fashioned florals quilt, gorgeous piece of fabric from Logans (no affils etc.) with co-ordinating fabrics, 3 vintage Australian Home Journal magazines, 4 metres of beautiful beaded trim for my 1890's vintage dress I'm planning, a hand felting tool and mat with a cot blanket piece and wool rovings, oh, and a Bernina Activa 240 sewing machine.

Yes, you read that correctly, I finally decided to update my domestic machine. Eventually I'll have to give up sewing on the industrial due to my arthritic neck and consequent hand problems, so this machine will be the one to use into my dotage. Not top of the range, but top of the medium price range machines, and no automatic embroidery which I'm never likely to need. I'm like a kid with a new toy under the Christmas tree, waiting for the day to open the box. It arrives on Wednesday week, with an introductory lesson in my home. Gee, I'll have to tidy up a bit before then!! This last week has been hectic so very little of the domestic goddess has been seen around this house!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Embroiderers' Guild at the Craft Show Pt. 3

The rear wall highlights the upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebrations, the Festival and Exhibition being staged in October 2007 at the Sydney Showgrounds. For more detail, click on my sidebar link to the Embroiderers' Guild. I have also included 12 examples from the 100's of fabric postcards which the members have made as part of the 2007 Postcard Challenge. The complete collection will be displayed at the October exhibition and I can't wait to see them all "en masse". Let's hope we get lots of visitors at the October Exhibition and new members of the Guild as a result.

The Embroiderers' Guild at the Craft Show Pt. 2

The right hand wall features work from the western Sydney groups. Some are novice embroiderers and were reluctant to display their work. The Guild likes to encourage all levels of embroidery from beginner to "master craftsperson" so I have included all types of work in the display. I think it all looks pretty good, don't you?

The Embroiderers' Guild at the Craft Show

The left hand wall features the YTFG (Young Textile and Fibre Group) display of children's work and information about the clubs, and the samples of the YTFG workshops at the upcoming October Festival and Exhibition. I think the workshop samples are particularly cute, and hope the kids do too. The panels with the green background are called the Australian Farm Challenge, and the children have made all the 3D objects stitched to them. There is a link to the YTFG blog on my sidebar for more information.

Monday, August 20, 2007

August Stitches and Craft Show, Rosehill

This week promises to be hectic around here. It's the Stitches and Craft Show at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse again, and the last opportunity to advertise the Embroiderers' Guild 50th Anniversary Exhibition and Festival to a captive audience, hee hee (click on link on sidebar for more details) The Guild Groups which loosely border the Great Western Highway out of Sydney agreed last year to act as hostesses, and I offerred to be the co-ordinator. Did I mention that I'm a compulsive organiser? I've spent several days contacting hostesses, arranging for work to be sent in, and collecting all the Guild information we usually display. I'm getting a ride to the Show tomorrow to set up, the best bit of the whole experience in my opinion. You get to see behind the scenes and get an early-bird look at what's going on the various stands and displays. I'll be there for the next 5 days I think, so will try to take a few photos of the general area to add to the blog. I usually come home with several more pieces of must-have fabric and threads, the odd reference book, and the latest gadget. Thank goodness I no longer have a credit card, so easy to overspend without realising it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bathex 2007 photos

Here are the promised photos from my weekend exhibition at Bathex 2007 at Bathurst, NSW. You'll have to scroll down 6 or 7 posts for the full report, but the first few photos are some details from the display. In order going down they are
1. My fan laced 1940's - 1960's corset, purchased on E bay about 12 months ago. This is the back view.

2. One of my grandmothers' maiden aunts' camisoles, which were the nucleus of my underwear collection and inherited about 10 years ago. Pre 1920 era.

3. My repro 1885 corset, made of coutil and grey furnishing weight woven fabric, with plastic artificial whalebone stiffening and a 5 eye busk on the front. Laced through 3 piece eyelets at the back. Size 23 inch waist.

4. A gorgeous camisole from the Linnwood Collection, assymetrical fastening with tiny pearl buttons and featuring crocheted lace trimming. About 1900 - 1920 era.

Bathex 2007 photos - some details

Bathex 2007 photos

A few of the pieces borrowed from "Linnwood" beside my fan laced corset. A photo of Linnwood helped people to visualise the house and started other converstions as well. I also found a possible guest exhibitor for Linnwood and a potential new member from a lady who used to live locally to the house but now lives in Bathurst. Like I said, a small, small world.

Bathex 2007 photos

3rd section along table. Some lovely camisoles on the homemade stands behind.

Bathex 2007 photos

Next section along the table. Note appropriate photos (copies) on the easels.

Bathex 2007 photos

Looking left to right along the table. Note the copy of a French postcard I found of the girl putting on the divided drawers on the little easel behind my pair of drawers.

Photos from Bathex 2007

Looking along the tables towards the front door

Home from Bathurst

Well, Friday morning dawned wet and cold, so I abandoned the idea of painting my little easels. I was packed and ready well before DH, but it was 1.30 pm before we eventually left the city. We stopped in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains for a late lunch in a deli cafe, where the temperature was a brisk 6 degrees C, a foretaste as it turned out. We arrived at Bathurst showgrounds and registered at the Show and, as I had been warned might happen, my allocated table was in the centre of the first pavillion. My DH promptly helped me cover the tables with the heritage green poplin I had brought along, and we pinned a skirt of the same material around the table. I had packed the large suitcase in assembly order for a quick setup and was able to pull my easels (raw wood), makeshift display stands and boxes for tiers out before I had to uppack the clothes. We had my display all set up in 1 and 1/2 hours, thank goodness, as it was starting to get very chilly indeed, down to about 4 degrees. The forecast was for a cold weekend, about 10 - 11 degrees and possible light showers. We had had several days of very mild weather in Sydney, and they had the same in Bathurst, 18 degrees on Thursday.

Friday evening we booked into our accomodation, a boutique hotel with only 3 guest rooms in a renovated 1886 2 storey home on a hill in Bathurst. The owner Lindsay showed us to the Rose suite upstairs. The decorator details were quite nice, with rose pictures on the walls, a rose wall freize, rose painted bead fringed bedside lamps and a square patchwork bedspread featuring rose design prints. The bathroom had underfloor heating (quite a luxury in Australia) which I really appreciated after a long day on Saturday. We ate dinner at a local Thai restaurant, and then went "home" to the roaring open fire in the parlour. The owners were very welcoming and we felt like visitors in their home (which we were of course since they lived in half of the house!)

Saturday morning saw us up before 7am to shower and get ready for breakfast in the parlour, near that roaring fire again. Poor Lindsay must have been up with the sparrows to light it for us, and we had a beautiful cooked breakfast and chatted to him about the Show and Linnwood, comparing the two houses and noting similarities. The drive to the Show was about 6 minutes, so we arrived in time to uncover the tables and settle in. In hindsight, I was underdressed for the weather, as I had no concept of the cold weather. Well, the maximum all day was 7 degrees, and that was in the sun. The concrete floor of the pavillion made it much colder, the hot food and drink van did very well from my business !! I can't recall ever being so cold in daylight hours. But it was worth the discomfort, as I talked my head off to everyone who stopped to read my labels and made eye contact. I gave out quite a few printed contact cards, and of course everyone offerred to give / sell / put me onto wonderful underwear they knew about. I did get an invite to display at a a local historic house open day in the future, and the local Historical Society would like me to help date some of their collection of underwear. I also spoke to two ladies on Sunday who have collections they are wanting to downsize, so fingers crossed they come to fruition.

Saturday night we went to the Show Dinner with other exhibitors, and we made up a table with 3 other couples we have known for a long time who were also attending. I also had several surprise encounters, including 2 ladies from Sydney who I haven't seen for a long time who were visiting Bathurst. I also found several mutual friends with people I spoke too, very spooky how small the world is, isn't it. We enjoyed seeing 2 dear friends who recently moved to Tasmania from the mountains. Edgar had inoperable prostate cancer and other problems as well, and the doctors have told him to go home and enjoy the rest of his life. So he and his wife have moved to Tassie, bought an 1830's stone cottage, joined the local Historical Society and been made honorary life members and patrons already!! I think he has a new lease on life, if his body will just allow him the time.

Sunday was slightly warmer, about 9 degrees I think, but I dressed in more layers, DH bought me some pantihose to go underneath my trousers, and I added a fleecy jumper. I don't own any wool ones, and Spring clothes are already in all the shops. I empathise with the Michelin Man ;} I had bought a cute knitted hat on Saturday from a trader so warmth triumphed over fashion! I hope there is no photographic evidence of how "interesting" I looked !! On Sunday I felt warm enough to do a little bit of the patchwork piecing I packed in case I felt like stitching. It was a good talking point anyway, even if only a little was done.

The taking down of the display took about 15 minutes (I'm not kidding) and after goodbyes all around, we set off for home. The traffic through the Blue Mountains was dreadful, and we took just on 3 hours to get home. The cat was very glad to see us, although the youngest daughter moved home for the weekend. We will never complain about Sydney in winter being cold EVER AGAIN !! I'm glad we went to the Bathex Show, but I've put in a request for it to be held in the Spring next time !!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Packing for Bathex 2007.

The last 2 days have been spent organising and packing for my display of antique and vintage underwear at Bathex 2007. I've been allocated 12 feet of table space and as this will probably be in the centre of a hall, this involved making small portable stands to display 4 camisoles to their best advantage, using candlesticks, sections of cardboard cylinders from fabric rolls and sewn fitted covers for same. I also had to collect suitable boxes to give a tiered effect on the table, and round up about 12 metres of matching (cheap) fabric for table covers and table skirt. In the morning I have to spray paint 5 little wooden easels matt black to display some copies of photos of vintage underwear to complement the display. I'll try to take some photos of the display in situ, but for now I will show 2 of my pieces to whet your appetite. The top photo shows my "free traders" or divided drawers, dated about 1870's. Hand made broderie anglaise trims the legs, quite nicely embroidered. The second photo shows the bottom of my late Victorian / Edwardian long petticoat. It features bands of hand made bobbin lace in between insertions of broderie and other laces. Quite exquisite, slightly grey/white in colour, and very wearable. Now I'd better go and finish packing the case, or I'll never get to sleep tonight.