Monday, 30 July 2012

I'm a Mountain Lion!

But I'm not brave enough to get on the ferry in this weather -

This was taken earlier in the week as the ferry made its way towards the Heads and the South Island. Today I don't think you could have seen the ferry at that distance, the clouds were down on the hills and the rain has been persistent.  

The Mountain Lion is on my now upgraded computer and I am having fun with all the improvements.

I had occasion to go to Kilbirnie a few days ago and happened upon a new shop - a quilt shop yet! with a delightful name, Stitchbird, and there I spent some time talking with the delightful owner about vintage fabrics, furniture, art jewellery and Apple computers!  

And I found this fabric......... I haven't bought much these last few years, but if you knew my background  you would understand why I couldn't resist this.

And so beautifully wrapped -

here is the amazing fabric -

Did you know I trained at Portsmouth Commercial College to be a shorthand typist?  So now you understand -

It is such a special fabric being linen and cotton, it has a lovely feel [and smell!] - and I haven't a clue what I shall do with it!  Maybe a lampshade, or a bag - yes, I did say bag.  Quite surprised myself at the use I am getting out of the pink elephant bag I made recently; I have even promised one of my granddaughters that I will make her one; her fabric choice is a hoot!  More later......

Some while ago I shared the canvas work I did while a member of the 127 Group, there was also a quilt - not just an ordinary quilt of course, this was named "Ripeness is All" which I think you will agree is a fitting title -

It was pretty big, large single bed size,  and all those fruits were hand made before being attached to the quilt.  My contribution can be seen bottom left, next to the pineapple - the aubergine!  I made more than one but am not sure whereabouts the others were placed.  We had so much fun making it, I particularly like the kiwi fruit - though in those days I think we called them Chinese gooseberries.

And now I will leave it to my son, his fellow drivers and a man who was hanging around the studio, to say cheerio for now -

My son is second from the right in the tan coloured hat - I have appreciated all the photos he has allowed me to share with you.

A most apt quotation has popped up today, "He who does not hope to win has already lost." Jose Joaquin de Olmedo

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

This is the wonderful Wairarapa - I can understand sun worship when you get such clouds!  Lake Ferry  in front and a glimpse of the ocean over to the left.

Nothing to do with the shoe store, but a great photograph I think....

I need new shoes, anyone who wears orthotics as I do knows full well that you can't wear shoes that are worn down, so I went to the Mall, walked around a shoe shop and saw so many ugly, ugly shoes then into another and the same thing, but I spied a book shop and went there for some relief.

I spied a book that beckoned to me -

It's been ages since I bought a cookery book but this one reminded me that my meals are becoming very predictable and unimaginative and just plain boring, and already I have book marks in -

Asparagus - doesn't that say spring is here? - well, I shall wait until it is in the shops and spring will be here - my mouth is watering at the prospect of crisp beautiful asparagus.

Once more I have spoken too soon - remember the squares I am knitting and my blithe comment that at least knitting diagonally means I shall stop at the correct size?

Should have been eight inches, somehow I managed to make it nine and a half!  So I ripped it down and have redone it and another.  So easy to do while "watching" TV because I really can do it without looking.

There was some discussion at a recent club meeting about hand quilting and marking patterns, this is one of my hand quilted quilts -

I named it Floribunda Stellata [my take on lots of stars] and it was as a result of a swap amongst some friends.  I have told you about it before, a year ago yesterday - how spooky is that, 23 July 2011 was the post, but this time I am more interested in the actual quilting.

The beauty of the design is that I didn't need to actually mark the fabric - and I remember quilting it in 1994 after I'd had an operation on my ankle that led to me giving up golf - being stuck in plaster for eight weeks I had plenty of time to hand sew.  I used a little ruler and marked the line going from the edge of the nine patch in the alternate block, bouncing it around the plain square - just by dragging the needle across the fabric.  I could clearly see the line.

 And again through the calico which was the paving around the garden.  Don't know that my stitches are that small these days!

So a visit to a shoe store will have to be made soon, but I won't be coming home with a pair like this!!

Thanks for stopping by - and remember as  Betty Talmadge said, "Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans."


Friday, 20 July 2012

A special quilt

Well no, this isn't the quilt - just me having fun with my new App - MarbleCam - this was a handbag on display in the Mall...I'm sure I can use these photos somehow; perhaps print them onto fabric, set on point........

The quilt I want to share has a fairly long history, it was the first thing I started doing soon after the death of my husband.  John died in 1997, we'd been married for nearly forty years ............ as one friend said to me, You are on auto pilot, aren't you? - well those of you who have been through a similar experience will know what I mean.

I was still meeting with Anna every few weeks, the rest of the group had moved away for various reasons  ........  Anna had a book open on a stand with a photo showing, I can't remember what the photo was of, but the colours are vivid still.

I had always wanted to do a square in a square [and have done more since] so she suggested doing one sort of freehand, maybe slashing them, putting them off centre - which was just how I felt.

So I gathered the fabrics and started cutting and sewing - then I don't know, it just sort of got put aside until I sold our house and moved to my bungalow - and even then it was a couple of years before I had access to my main fabric stash and found the pieces.

By this time I wasn't sure what my first intentions had been, so I listened to the blocks I had done, found other fabrics and finished it...... and felt pretty good to have it completed - Light at the End of the Tunnel seems an apt name -

and most appropriately, I asked sweetly and my son agreed to hold it up in our workshop.

Here is the back, being held upside down, but who cares?

And here is the label,

As I said, a fairly long history - fourteen years in the making!!!

And to finish, before I go off to have dinner with my family, here is a quote from Agatha Christie that I can agree with wholeheartedly!

"I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find - at the age of fifty, say - that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about....It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you."

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

New shop on Jackson and the elusive pattern

Clementine's was closed the day I had to walk to the bank from the office - I'd had a close encounter with the side of my son's carport [mine is huge, as I told my builder when it first went up it would sleep a family of six! so I have plenty of room to park creatively] the result at my son's however, was a parting of the ways between the car and the wing mirror - funny thing that - it showed me how many times I actually glanced into that mirror while I was driving, only to be brought up by the sight not of a reflection, but the innards!

Anyway, I couldn't resist the gorgeous model with the beautiful clothes - and because the shop was closed and I had to photograph through the window, you get the ghostly reflection of the other side of the street.

Clothing, jewellery & accessories - and I saw some two layered skirts - they are silk and so graceful.  Open only at weekends at present because of a new baby.  I shall return...

Back in April I told about a present for the person who has everything - well, each time I tried to put the item up, Blogger cut me off.  Now, I am beginning to wonder whether the joke, as it was supposed to be, is going to fall flat.

You see it is for such a quaint item - and I have to admit I don't have the skills to work out how to do it, or write it up, so it is not very nice to poke fun.......... anyway, here it is -

And I do love penguins!!

I just think it is a bit o.t.t to put one on my teapot.

I'm not sure if it will enlarge enough for you to be able to read the instructions but if you really want to make one, get in touch and I will email you a larger version!

Now here's another blast from the past; in the olden days [?!} when I first came to New Zealand, my very favourite shop was James Smith - I loved the wooden escalator, the marvellous window displays and of course Nancy's Embroidery shop - where I bought my first kitset tray cloth to try my hand at embroidery.

The other day my granddaughter was tidying her mother's kitchen drawer and came up with this -

 I love it  - did you ever get one?

Now I'm on a roll, so I will also share with you a bar of soap I discovered when I had the big clean out before my bathroom was renovated.  I hope you can make out the wording - so pure   so mild   - and the cute baby -

Well, you know that the harder the soap is, the longer it will last!

I've been doing a bit of knitting these chilly evenings, a friend belongs to a group and they are making eight inch squares to be made into knee rugs.  I found a few I had tucked away so they have gone, and I tidied up my knitting container and am doing more.  I think the pattern says thirty stitches with double knit and 4.5 needles, just as well knitting is flexible, as some will have to be squashed and some stretched.

So I thought I'd have a go at working from corner to corner, see how that pans out  -

At least I will be sure the straight side measures the correct size before I start reducing......  Not terrible exciting colours, but the rugs made are very warm.

Thank you for your comments, I really appreciate hearing from you.

I'll sign off with a retro quote - from the early days of feminism I think, "People call me feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute." Rebecca West.


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Patterns and things......

Well maybe I haven't got it completely!

This little photo reminds that we all have different points of view - this is an ordinary blind but altered with the use of my latest iPhone App - think it's Marbled.

I can see great possibilities - maybe use it with striped fabric, or fabric that has patterns set in sort of stripes - which is what I have been doing.

It started with a Block of the Month for Wellington Guild, oh ages ago.....  You cut two squares, then use them to make half square triangles.  I found lots of my vintage fabrics fitted my bill and away I went....  The thought came to me that the pattern was a bit like life, in particular marriage - take two people and try to join them up - sometimes you get a perfect match, other times they seem to take off in different directions, but most times you can get a new attractive pattern.

I auditioned many, many fabrics for the setting triangles - had lots of fun,

Finally settled on this one

and then made a bit of a mistake at the edge - well, I was getting tired, so I stopped for the day and got it right the next day.

The setting triangles look pretty big but I plan to cut them back when I put the binding on.

I shall take a photo of the whole thing to share -
Thanks for stopping by and for your emails and comments - they are much appreciated!

The quote for today is one that we quilters can well appreciate, "The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns.  George Santayana


Saturday, 7 July 2012

I think I've got it!!

This is a portrait of my son, the one who has been working on the Hobbit and sending me such glorious photos - well, we had a day out in the Wairarapa and this is Lake Ferry - not that you can see the lake.  The wind was wickedly cold and strong, you can see where the ocean had surged over the shingle bank.  I was not game enough to go up there in case I couldn't run back fast enough.

The point is I have been playing on the computer trying to find a way to publish my blog with photos, and I think I have found the way to downsize them..........  I'll try one with a quilt.

Not exactly a quilt, but a bag - made under tuition I might add, another friend and I were volunteer guinea pigs for Jan who is teaching the class for Pinestream Quilters.

We had a lot of fun, she is such a good teacher - and what else could I do with that amazing fabric?

All the shades of green and pink were on the one piece.

Jenny put up a much better photo when she showed all the lovely quilts at the recent Pinestream meeting.

I had some fun with the Hit'n'Miss top; really enjoyed finding plaids to go with the pinky four patch and the tee dyed calico

Umm, well; I have just clicked on it and the quality is pretty awful.  Maybe I have been too harsh on the resizing- more experimenting is in order.

In the meantime I have a quilt waiting..........
Thanks for stopping by - as Buddha says "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else you are the one who gets burned,"

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Words of Advice

This piece of advice was given to me by one of my sons - the one who has taken such great photos when he's been on location - on the occasion of re-organising the office at the family business.

Actually there's no-one I can delegate to, we are a small office, so it's Do it or Dump it!

Well, I'm not yet at the point of dumping my blog and I am having difficulty doing it myself, so I have to search elsewhere for assistance.

Several people have suggested I start another blog, but they haven't actually said how - in words of one syllable preferably!!

I thought I had done so,  and Blogger loved my new name [just the old one with a number added] until I tried to put a photo up - whoops, I have no space.  So I am trying to get another Google account; I think I first have to get another email address - great, except that my computer keeps telling me I'm not connected to the internet......... gremlins are having such fun with me!!

There must be a way to make my photos smaller because I can put up as many small ones as I like, maybe another trip into town to Yoobee.

There is a competition on at present to write a poem about Coffee bars, I entered the competition last year

A cup of coffee with you

The familiar beep 
Signals a message from my son
“Coffee in ten? – you know where”
Our favourite meeting place.

I do look forward to my morning fix - but
I could do without
Screaming kids with my flat white

Well done, Mum
Distraction is the key
And the road works
Are a Godsend
To an embarrassed Mother
Having coffee with one of the 
Girls from the office,
Trying to prove she
Is still smart and with it
And motherhood’s a breeze

We read the paper
Make plans for a cinema visit 
And enjoy the music – funny that
Had a friend who insisted on sitting
Fat Freddy wasn’t to her taste.

Such a pleasant interlude
In this meeting place that is also
A place of refuge 
Or a refuge from loneliness
And did I mention the good coffee?

 - No prizes for guessing why I didn't win one!!

Ok, back to the sewing room for a last half hour before bed.  I've been waylaid by a pile of two inch squares......

My quote to finish today is, "The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp." by John Berry - I wonder why that one came to the top?

Nice talking with you

Sunday, 1 July 2012

One year a blogger!!

One whole year ..........

Now how amazing is that!!!  Not just the photo which is another taken from the house in Roseneath looking towards the Hutt Valley - but the fact that I can publish it........ I have been going round and round this problem and perhaps this is the solution.

No, I'm not going to bombard you with photos of Wellington Harbour, but this was taken many years ago and is a digital version of an old slide - so probably very few pixels.

I have been advised to make sure I show smaller photos but not exactly how [all the information I could find is based on using Windows]  I tried to start another blog with a slightly changed name, but it was no use; obviously it's me and my address that has no more space, so perhaps I shall have to look into getting another email address, a new Google identity and try again.

I had to take my computer into Yoobee for more Ram so I can upgrade and the technician suggested I try Wordpress which will apparently take over the old blog.

I finished piecing the Marriage Quilt which I set on point - had great fun with the setting triangles, somehow managed to twist one or two of them as I carried the pieces from the design wall to the machine - I have a very good unpick.

Things are going well at the prison, with some beautiful quilts being produced.  The Attic Window pattern is proving so popular and they all look quite different.

Thank you for your emails of encouragement, I do miss the chats and sharing and My New Year resolution is to solve the problem and just Do It!

And a most appropriate quote - "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow", Ralph Emerson

We will talk again - soon and with pictures!