Tuesday, December 20, 2011


These images are from an interesting website WebEcoist.  Click here to be diverted to their site for more amazing images.

I find the spirals and curves in shells entrancing.  Find I embroider spirals a lot and will keep playing with them - hopefully the penny will drop one day and a work will grow out of my play!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

dream weaver

Mixed media work started at a work shop with Pamela Priday.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

All Stitched Up In Canada Bay

The exhibition opened yesterday .. a collection of works by embroiderers who are members of the Embroiderers' Guild NSW live in the municipal area of Canada Bay.  If you can come and visit - the exhibition is open library hours at Concord Library, 60 Flavelle Street, Concord NSW  til 30 October 2011.  Then it will be at Five Dock Library,Garfield Street, Five Dock from 3 November 2012 to 24 November 2011.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

more on where does the time go?

Creative time has been consumed in the organisation of an exhibition - and it has become clear to me the amount of creative energy required just to get such things off the ground.  Anyway we are nearly there and the works will be hung on Tuesday 4.10.11 and the opening on 6.10.11.  Then it will al be over save for bump out and moving to next venue and a small amount of promotion for same - I hope.

In the interim I have been doodling to get some inspiration of same hand work:

And procrastinating about commencing some small machined panels which I have drafted but put off doing.

I have also spent some time framing memorabilia and photo collages.  Again taking time away from embroidery and depleting creative energy.   Will keep doodling, drawing and taking photos and try and fill the well!   The fighting fish in the tank near my computer is a collection of wonderful reds, blues and purples or reads black depending on angle and sunlight.  No doubt the colours and fin shapes will inspire something soon!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Wikipedia says:

A fractal is "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole,"[1] a property called self-similarity. ... There are several examples of fractals, which are defined as portraying exact self-similarity, quasi self-similarity, or statistical self-similarity

Its not as if I don't have enough cluttering my head but fractals have come up in a couple of conversations with maths orientated friends of late.  Having been at the back of the line when the maths gene was allocated I struggle with the concept and have been looking a bit more closely about me to try and spot fractal patterns in nature.  .  Directly out side my window is a tree fern  which I have decided is a fairly good example.

new frond

There is also quite a bit of bracken - the smaller leaf sets look like a lesser version of the  whole frond - well that's what it looks like to me - and I think the reflection show this up:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irish Lace

I have been diverted by the thought of learning to make Irish lace and spent a little time looking at the internet. This photo is from a site with lots of pattern which you can find here. Only drawback is I have to learn to crochet! I have started a scarf and will post a photo soon

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I love to draw with charcoal

I try really hard to draw with pencil but I find charcoal is so more forgiving. These studies are based on pictures in an encyclopedia type picture book I got from the library. They were done on cream paper - can't seem to get the colour to photograph well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This is one of the projects I have been involved in with a stitching colleague. The Concord and Five Dock Libraries have given us exhibition space, participants invited to attend and the invitation list to an opening has started to go out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

gosh where has the time gone?

been busy with a number of stitching and framing projects - still not the camera fixed...waiting on a call from the repair man

Monday, July 11, 2011

monday morning thoughts and musings

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. ~Pablo Picasso

Well - that's strikes a chord with me and I find it sort of true.

We journal our travels and explorations through fabric, fibre, paper and paint in the things we create.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

sketch club

finally got back to sketch club after missing it for a couple of months - only to find out that there is a two week recess starting next week! This time round I abandoned charcoal and used a graphite stick on quality paper . This week I seemed to get awkward poses so I concentrated on different aspects like elbows and hands. My best sketch was this portrait of the model as she held a 20 minutes pose.

Been knitting slippers (well it is cold and they are needed) and working on my cnavas piece 'party girls' and will try and post a pic of progress at the weekend. Haven't got to doing the faces yet but the background is falling into place.

Today I have spent time creating a page on facebook to promote my framing business worth a thousand words. Please have a look.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

embroidery in film and literature

WE recently watched South Solitary on DVD. I really enjoyed this gentle film set in post WWI for both its costume and the rough coast. The characters in the film wore some lovely knitted jumpers (which we would pay a fortune for these days) and the female lead played by Miranda Otto passed some of her time knitting socks. The film was sort of dull (in terms of colour I mean) and at one point towards the end it was revealed that the character Fleet, a light house keeper, embroidered to pass his time when in duty. The embroidery provided a rare splash of colour. At the end of the film there was another splash of colour which mirrored the embroidery - it was delightful.

I was curious about the embroidery and, with the aid of my friend Google I found that the person who actually embroidered the piece was Ferri Bond (who is a costumer based in Victoria) and the embroidery coach was Mary Brown.

You will have to hire the DVD to see the embroidery!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cook Islands

Back from a holiday in Rarotonga - the largest island in the Cook Islands group. This is a picture taken at the market which is held every Saturday. The lady in the stall makes and sells tivaivais. She also designs and cuts them ready for sewing... I purchased the small tivaivai hanging at the front of her shop - the one with two orange flowers on the right of the booth.
I also came home with some of the fabric that is traditionally used to make tivaivai - it is call Azlan and has a slightly looser weave than homespun.

There is was some pretty amazing fabric works at the market. There were lots of pareu - (like a sarong) Many were commercially printed fabric but there were hand dyed and individually printed ones which I would be inclined to mount or back and hang - glorious colours and bold design

I found a fantastic book called "Tiviavai The Social Fabric of the Cook Islands ' (Susanne Kuchler & Andrea Eimke) It is not a project book but contains a short history of patchwork in the South Pacific, many wonderful photos and interviews.

I was very fortunate to meet Mrs Vereara Mavea (President of the Cook Islands Tivaivai Association) who talked to me about tivaivai and showed me some of her work. If you click here you will find some examples of her work.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

on the travials of markets and exploration of tivaivai

Photo from Atui Fibre Arts Studio - Polynesian Patterns

I spent yesterday with a small stall at a local market - not one bite - even though the next day was Mothers' Day. I spoke to other stall holders and they said it was sometimes like that and markets could be capricious. This was the third time I've had a stall with a nil result and I have decided not to lose another Saturday at this at this particular market again and will review my thoughts about another stall closer to Christmas.

In the interim I have been researching tivaivai- quilts made by ladies of the Cook Islands. I came across this site of the studio of contemporary quilt maker and artist Andrea Eimke - I think the work is really interesting and exciting and I appreciated how Andrea shared her thoughts aspects of her life and exploration of her medium - more about Andrea here. I have taken the liberty of posting a photo which is also linked to the studio from the website as well just to tease you a bit. Wish I had had this to share with Stitches Plus when we played with shape last time we met.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

party girls

Finally started my canvas piece 'party girls'. Been held up thinking rather than doing and have finally got the background started. My delay has been a fine example of over thinking - I looked back on my blog to see what I had posted when I had the idea - I posted my initial thoughts and had drafted the cartoon of faces to be embroidered in 2009!

When in doubt I have sampled stitches on the work and ripped them if I haven't been happy. Some which looked OK done on the horizontal plane looked so much better when vertical and vice versa.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

after Easter

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. ~Leonardo da Vinci

Its been a busy time with family and a 21st birthday celebration. I haven't picked up a paint brush for yonks but I have been doing a little stitching . Will be back to both soon. Both stitching and painting are poetry which stirs and soothes my hands, heart and mind all at the same time. Being busy makes me rest. Go figure!

Publish Post

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else. Pablo Picasso

Still Life with bowl and Fruit
Paris, winter 1912
Charcoal, black chalk, watercolor, oil paint, coarse charcoal or black pigment in binding medium, on newspaper (Le Journal, 6 and 9 December 1912), blue and white laid charcoal papers, supported by thin cardboard
64 x 49.5 cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Thursday, April 7, 2011

bottle brushes

I remounted these two postcard sized embroideries - they now look more like botanical studies which is rather pleasing. The bottle brushes came about after experimenting with collages of cloth and images and are hand and machine embroidered.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

framing .. and stitching

a not very good photo of a now framed embroidery - I posted a this embroidery not so long ago launching my micro framing business. I have also framed a couple of my paintings - they look so different with a frame around them. After seeing this posted I think I will turn the abstract around and hand it portrait rather than landscape. The following painting of an apply is small - done on a canvas board and mounted on mat board with no glass. and I have been working on stitch samples nearly every night - one of them (colonial knots) also ended up in a frame too, but, in this instance, behind glass :-

Thursday, March 24, 2011

'worth a thousand words' launched

I have now launched a micro custom framing business with a focus on needlework, textiles and textile art. Domain name registered but www not yet live. Ti celebrate I finished this little cross stitch which was my Christmas holiday project two Christmases ago! Not what I would normally do but I get a chuckle out of it when ever I look at it. As the business will be run from home I have decided to use Concord West Craft Market as a public face and the embroidery will be my stall logo/mascot. The market is held on the first Saturday of each month between 9 and 2.00. The mouldings are on order and I will post a photo of the framed embroidery shortly.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

another quote on miracles

The ordinary can be so gob smackingly amazing if you stop to look and think.

"We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?"

S. Parkes Cadman

To find out more about S. Parkes Cadman go here to see what Wikipedia says. I think he was a pretty remarkable guy for his time.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in ones bath like a lump of sugar.

Pablo Picaso

Friday, March 4, 2011


Designed by Diane Edwards (& my piece named by me) - with several colour palettes to chose from and instructions to go for it four of us stitched up distinctly different works by adding or altering the design and stitch guide provided. I got to play with different threads that I hadn't used before such as velour and a variety of silks as I tend to stick to perle and cotton.

Still working on an embroidered canvas piece inspired by an abstract painting I posted a while ago - it is taking me so long that the dimensions have been shrunk and I have decided to colour, paint or dye the canvas that will represent the night sky (so I don't have to stitch it!!)

In the interim I keep painting - my son has dibs on my painting inspired by a postcard of the Dali Lama as a child.

(yes, the wall needs a paint too- we have stripped the wall paper and need to clean it up before we get there - painting an art canvas is just so much more fun)


Saturday, February 26, 2011

floral theme

I promised my self I would stitch every day - even if just for 10 minutes and put every thing to one side and see what comes from my efforts - below is one of my samples:

and I am still playing with the paint brush:

Monday, February 21, 2011

paper bark

Paperbark, some stitch and acrylic paint.

Paperbark trees have such lovely colour and texture and are always shedding - can't help but collect it when I pass and I have a large piece of bark still pinned to my wall. For some interesting bits about these trees have a look here.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

blue bouquet

Each year I ask for buttons for Christmas - occasionally that request gets a response. I actually think I just like the look of a bottle full of buttons - the complexity of colours, shapes etc. I have started to put a few of the buttons I have received together into a flower format. This is the result so far - I have worked a 10 cm (4") area. I will cut some mat board shortly to see how it comes up framed and what more work it needs.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

well is is so hot and before that it was humid ... and I am not inclined to do much at all except sleep.

I have been stitching a bit recently but I can't post a photo yet. It is a sample done in the company of friends - a test stitch for a class submission (but not by me - I was just the happy paticipant). I have been beavering away since Saturday and I am nearly finished. It has been very enjoyable and just the thing I need to kick start myself into more sewing - especially as I am participating in two different exhibitions next year - see http://mapsby11.blogspot.com/ for more information about an interesting project kick started by an interest in Captain Cook's voyages. And my home group at the Embroiderers' Guild NSW is planning an exhibition about mid 2012 - snippets of information and teasers can be found on the Stitchers Plus blog in my links.

Of course - with these commitments on the horizon I have been procrastinating and picking up drawing and painting tools instead of a needle... sketch club has started again and I have posted my pick of my drawings last evening - I left before the longer poses as it was so hot - the drawing is from a 15 minute pose with a horrible foreshortening of the right arm. I spent my time grappling with it and here is the result:

I have been painting too - when I was doing art classes we did an painted an item of clothing using a palette knife. I tried this again - this time a silk kimono jacket:

Not as successful as my first attempt last year but the fun is in the doing and I had fun.

I have also been sitting on a painting I did before Christmas thinking I would add something to it - I have decided I like it as is and will frame it:

Well after this I think I should sort my sewing requisites for the pieces I have planned to do in the coming year - some are definitely going to be based on cactus plants and flowers after my visit to Cactus Country.

Cheers all

Friday, January 14, 2011

blackwood and gardens of st. erth

Sights in the main drag of the country town of Blackheath in Victoria included these wombats on a roof. The owner of the Two Fat Wombats created these wonderful animals. Not to mention the dog below. There was a pig in boots leaning up against an outside bar drinking an ale (albeit through a straw) at the bar next door and a few other creatures were about town too. Not to mention bits of garden merging into the street scape.

The Gardens of St Erth are just out of town and were looking marvellously green after all the summer rains (which are now flooding parts of Victoria not so far away)

This is part of the vege garden -

I didn't take many photos in the main garden but this plant is amazing:

Will try and make it a stitching post next - I have heaps of flower (and cactus) photos and will work on a sample in the next coupl of weeks.
Take care

Not quite a self portrait

Not quite a self portrait
small 8' quiltlet with embroidered hair

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