February 23, 2015

Festive February

A lot is going on these last couple of weeks! I love having my calendar filled or almost filled. But really I only have weekends to play/create and catch-up. I'm not doing so bad for someone who works full time. I found that creative people can be creative even at work. I think I'm known for that now. I always get asked to do something creative like taking photos of events etc. Recently I was asked to make a Time Capsule for my department. That was a really fun job (not really a job!).  

In this post I will include Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, thank you morning tea and trip to Supergraph and some of my creations. Enjoy everyone!

DD Kitiya had a booth at Supergraph last weekend. It is Australia's Contemporary Graphic Arts Fair. This is their second year of the fair. Kitiya was there last year as well. I went to see her at the fair and took this photo of her being as gorgeous as ever! 

Time Capsule I created for IRD

On Valentine's Day we were planning a dinner out to a new steak house in our neighbourhood. It was fully booked (sad face) so we went the next day instead. We really enjoyed it. It was much quieter the next day too! 

I had a house beer and BBQ ribs - delicious!

We shared cheese cake!

Next was Chinese New Year. The year of the Goat. On the actual day it was a work day so we celebrated by having morning tea together. I have a couple of Chinese and one Japanese friends at work. We all brought in little something to share. I wrapped up some gifts and money for them just for fun! In the evening Mr Notjustnat and I went to a cafe for tea and a sweet.

Chinese tea with Mr Notjustnat

Thank you morning tea for my manager with
delicious raspberry cheese cake.

Now on to something I made or am working on. I have been doing bits and pieces of everything. It seems to be the story of my life, and it keeps me amused and entertained! I'm not one for finishing one thing before I start another! No, no, no that's not me! 

Framed a piece of eco-print.

Stitched journal cover.

A piece of crazy quilt for a bag.

Last Friday I was given a kilo of coffee grounds for dyeing. I was hoping to dye raffia for a basket workshop I signed up for on March 21st, but for the life of me I couldn't find the raffia! So I ended up dyeing canes with coffee. Canes take up dye very well too. I'm happy with the result!

Canes in coffee dye.

While I was dyeing canes I came across a basket base I started before I built the Tree House. I thought I'd finished that first before starting a new one using coffee dyed canes. 

Old base with added side.

Last Sunday the weather was extremely hot and humid. It was a chance for me to try out the air-conditioning in the Tree House. I'm so happy it works beautifully! While I was there I found some instructions on how to make a paper crane (Origami). I used to know how to make paper cranes, but I forgot how to do it (use it for loose it). I made a few while I was at it!

It was lovely to learn how to do it again! 

Lucky find: Lucky find this week is this sweet framed redwork embroidery. When I took Jacky to Waverley Antique Bazaar I found it there. The redwork embroidery that someone lovingly stitched and framed. It now has a home on top of the library card drawer cabinet in the Tree House! 

That's all from me. I hope everyone is keeping well out there. The weather hasn't been the best for us. Cyclone Macia hit North Queensland last weekend, and here in Melbourne the temperature reached 36'C/96'F which is very hot for us.  Please keep well and safe.

Until next time

February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day, Dye Results and Friend

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I hope you are all having a lovely day. Mr Notjustnat and I are going out to dinner tomorrow instead to today. Today I have arranged to have Jacky over for our first stitching with friend in the Tree House for the first time. I'm so excited and looking forward to it. 

I mentioned on my last post that I did some dyeing using fresh herbs that one of my friends brought to the Tree House studio opening party. I added some Eucalyptus leaves I collected from my work. The results of the dyes are very pleasing. Please see some photos below:

Extra large heart shape pendant I wore today with the black and white blouse. I took a partial selfie of myself this morning! 

In the dye batch I did both bundles and jar dyeing. After steaming the bundles I only left them overnight when I opened them. I'm happy how all the pieces turned out. I left the jars to stand for over a week before I opened them.

Some of the pieces drying over the railing

Some lemon verbena, eucalyptus leaves and
madder root pieces.

Left cochineal. Right eucalyptus leaves
and madder powder. 

Various eucalyptus leaves on silk. 

Eucalyptus leaves on silk

Juvenile silver dollars on wool. 

Eucalyptus silver dollars on wool.

I invited Jacky to come over for stitching in my Tree House today. We are trying to get together once a month if we can. We stitched for most of the morning then went to lunch and coffee at my local mall. In the afternoon I took Jacky to the Waverley Antique Bazaar which she had not been to.  

Jacky in the Tree House: I made us both a healthy drink with water melon, ginger with fresh mint. I also brewed us a pot of roasted green tea. We stitched and chatted for most of the morning. It was lovely to get together with Jacky again.

Jacky stitching her "red stitch for protection" a piece she has been working on. She added the word Tree House on her stitching as well. 

Lucky find: I haven't posted any lucky finds for a while now so here is my lucky find this week. A Japanese tea pot with bamboo handle and indigo blue cherry blossoms on the side. It's a perfect tea pot for green tea. Do you want to know how much I paid for it? I paid $3.95 for it! It was really a lucky find!

I have been busy planning our around-the-world trip since the beginning of 2015. I'm happy that I will be meeting some of you during our travels. I wish I could visit you all, really!  

Until next time

February 2, 2015

Tree House Studio Opening

The Tree House Studio opening day finally arrived on Saturday, 31 Jan 2015. There was a lot of preparation beforehand and there were even some sleepless nights thinking over fine details. About twenty five people came including Simon the builder and his wife Mandy. The opening was at 3:00 pm so I had most of the morning to get the last minute shopping done and some food prepared. 

Soon after the guests arrived it was time for the speech. I left out one important point in my speech (sad face). I forgot to raise a glass for a toast! I missed writing it down on my note. It made me appreciate those party organizers and wedding planners out there doing the check list for you every step of the way! And to think I was an event organizer for many years in my last job! I do hope when you read this you can tell me if it happens to you too!

Despite that small mishap the day went very well. Everyone was inspired by what we achieved both in the building and what I've created in there. Simon the builder was most impressed with the interior decoration and furnishing. Everyone had heard of the Tree House studio from me more than once so it was great for me to show it to them . 

Below are some photos from the day. Enjoy guys...

I found the red and white protection tape from a construction site at my work and I tied it across the stairway. It caught people's attention.

A bunch of sunflowers brighten up the studio even more. Good choice for studio flowers!

A row of footprints directing the guests
to the back entrance.

Shane the barista from my work kindly brought his coffee machine to make coffee for the guests. Shane is working at one of the leading restaurants Taste Bargette on my campus, but he is going to open his own cafe soon. 

Everyone kindly brought a plate to share on the day. The same amount of food was on the outside table as well. Thanks everyone for the helping hand. It helped a lot on the busy day. 

Jacky was there to give support.

My supervisor Carl in red with Andrew, and Kevin
my colleagues were there too.

Almost half of the guest were men, so Mr Notjustnat didn't feel left out on the day. He caught up with Simon and got to meet the other guests. It was a good social day for all the men too!

I did remember to ask the guests to sign my guest-book (I did good there!). I made a sign and placed it by the book just to remind them. 

To my surprise, everyone was very interested in the Studio Journal I have been keeping. Simon didn't know I kept the journal right from the beginning. Everybody spent ages and ages looking through it.

My great colleague Ben signing my book.

Two of my darling colleagues Ebony
and Sophia came to give their support.

Mother and daughter - Tomiko visiting from Japan
and Ayako who lives here.

Sneaking into my travel journal.

Opening cupboards

Finding a large box of dyed threads. 

Time for me to have photo taken with my friends.
Nan, Sophia me and Jocelyn.

DD Kitiya was here to give a helping hand. I was tired but happy at the end of the day. 

The next day was Sunday so I had another day off from work. I still had a bit more to clean up. I did that in the morning. One of my friends brought me a bouquet of fresh herbs from her garden and I thought I would try dyeing with them. I steamed the bundles and jars, but I will share the results with you on the next post. 

Hope all of you in North America are keeping warm from all that snow you have had lately. We didn't have that great a summer this year either, but that was fine for me since I don't like hot weather all that much. I'm happy as it is. 

Until next time

January 19, 2015

Getting Back to Normality!

Life is getting back to normality again here. This is my second week back at work and things are happening at work with the beginning of the library refurbishment. Also it's nice to get back to the daily routine. You go to bed and wake up at a more civilized time. You get dressed and there are places to go to each day! Does that make sense to you? I also made travel plans for the second half of 2015.

A few things happened this month that got me excited! I would normally feel down after Christmas, but with a few things to do I'm all energy and ready to face 2015. I've set a date for the Tree House warming party on the last day of January. I've been working on a guest book for the studio warming party. 

The book is finished.

Book cover in stitching process.

Speaking of the Tree House studio. I took down the Christmas quilts I put up for Christmas and replaced them with the collection of my small quilts. Some of them were quilts I made in my early quilting career. You can see that even then I couldn't just keep to one type of quilting!

Flamingo quilt stands out among the rest.

Books and baskets at the other
end of the room.

A few photos with a Japanese theme to follow. I met up with Jacky for lunch last week. It was lovely to catch up with her after a long time. After lunch we visited Ziguzagu for the after-Christmas sale. 

The tall Kokeshi doll is the new
acquisition from ZZ.

Small Japanese inspired quilt I made for a gift.

Robert Joyce the co-owner of Kazari/Ziguzagu 
has a brilliant way to transport furniture
around the shop. He told me he learnt it
in Bali when he was 18. 

Japanese garden at Japanese Language Centre at
my university.

I did more dyeing since DIL left after New Year. You know, one gets addicted to dyeing when one starts. I have so much dyed fabric that I swore I will have a break from dyeing for awhile, but that promise didn't last for long before I started dyeing again. Here are some results of the batch.

Bundles after steaming

Another piece dyed with rose leaves.

Dyed silk hanging out to dry.

Juvenile Eucalyptus leaves. 

Kangaroo paws and Eucalyptus leaves.

Mixed Eucalyptus leaves.

I know I haven't been posting regularly. I appreciate that you are still reading my blog, so thank you. My next post is going to be about the Tree House studio warming party. I hope I will have time to take photos on the day.  

Until next time