December 8, 2014

Christmas 2014 and Tree-House Studio

Christmas season has fully started at my work. Everything seems to be early this year. We have already had our main Christmas function this week. The departmental lunch also happens this week. 

First day of December saw us putting up the corporate Christmas tree and the different departments are decorating their areas to get people into the spirit of Christmas.   

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know I'm big on Christmas spirit and decorations, but this year my son and his family are spending Christmas with my DIL's family, so I thought I would have a break from decorating the whole house. I will put a small tree in the Tree-House Studio just so it won't be completely Christmas-less! I did put up a Christmas tree on my desk using recycled empty coffee cups with stick-on stars that I made from recycled wrapping papers. 

Coffee cup Christmas tree

Silly photo-booth photos from the Xmas function

The Xmas ornaments I hope to make

Departmental Xmas lunch

Institutional Xmas tree

I have been slowly filling the Tree-House studio with more stuff from the old sewing room. This week I moved the books up. I thinned out books that are no longer relevant with my interests at the moment. I couldn't have fitted all the books there without thinning them out. I'm pleased to say that some of the cabinets are still unfilled! The top of the book cases become shelves for my baskets.

Double clicks to enlarge

Book case partly filled

Library index drawers cabinet found
a home there as well

Beautiful silk and linen Kilim.
A gift from friends

Vintage Sakiori rug is on the floor now

Library stool I rescued from being discarded

I haven't made any quilts lately, but I still like to think of myself as a quilter come textile artist. I can say I have good quilting skills. I love to get good quilting books. I pre-ordered the new book Cultural Fusion Quilts by Sujata Shah of Root Connection blog. I was so excited when it arrived. I only had a quick glance through it, but from what I saw I really loved it. I marked a couple of pages of the quilts I would like to make. 

I particularly like how Sujata turned patterns of ancient objects, surface designs, basket weaves she found on her travels into quilt blocks! Sujata quilts are happy, quirky and playful. 

Another book/magazine I recently read is Womankind. It's not a feminist magazine. It's a magazine with interesting reading not only for women, but for everybody. Womankind magazine is good reading for everyday or on a trip. I highly recommended it.

I hope everyone is having fun preparing for the festive season. It's going to be a quiet Christmas for me, but I will have a couple of weeks off work. I hope to do some dyeing and might even start a new stitching project. 

Until next time

November 26, 2014

The Tree-House Studio

Wow, it has been a while since my last blog update. I have been busy with lots of things. Everyday life things, work life things and creative life things. Not a moment to be bored that's for sure! 

The Tree-House Studio is full of life and colour. The furniture has all been moved in. I take a couple of boxes up at the time. I then put everything away in its new home before going back and getting some more stuff from my old sewing room. I have moved everything except my books. You have been seeing lot of photos of the outside. Today I'm excited to show you the inside of the studio.

I took a Panorama photo inside the studio starting from the entrance to the back wall. Double click to enlarge. An awesome space!

My pride and joy is the designer table. I used the two Ikea units to support a large piece of timber as a table top. The white utility unit I already had in the other room. The designer table serves as cutting table, or for book binding, journalling etc.

Mr Notjustnat sanded and applied both top and underneath with special vanish. It's a solid piece of pressed timber. The photo shows preparations for a farewell journal I am making for a colleague at work.

Here it is: the farewell journal for my colleague Peter Mathews. It was the first project created in the Tree-House Studio. 

Found a perfect home for my BORO cloth I have been working on for ages. It needs more stitching, but it has to wait. I found just the right piece of smoked bamboo from Zigu Zagu to hang it. 

As you enter the studio this silk and linen Kilim is the first thing you would see. It is my favourite rug I brought back from the Middle East. The folk art design has camels and roosters all over it. The border has gazelle designs all around. I'm glad it found just the right place in the studio.

I took this photo after moving the sewing table up on Sunday. You can see the corner of the table loom on the right. I've got enough floor space for the vintage Sakiori rug. It looks at home there.

I got a nice and practical stool from Ikea for my computer use.  It's simple with an adjustable height to slide under the work bench when not in use. 

Mr. Notjustnat's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. I treated him to a movie, a concert and dinner. We filled a full day activities for him. I also did a little stitching, dyeing and visited an exhibition. It has been a busy November!

Montsalvat for the concert

Lots of garden cultures at Montsalvat 

Making another journal cover
for the studio guestbook 

Dyeing result

World of fashion exhibition
by Jean Paul Gaultier

As I stated to some of you in my emails, Christmas is creeping up with me this year. I'm not planning to decorate the house this Christmas because my family and the grand children are spending Christmas with DIL's side of the family. I thought I would give myself a break from doing the decorations. I will put a small tree in the Tree-House to welcome it to the first Christmas. I even plan to make decorations for the tree myself. Will share that with you once I make them.

Until next time

November 7, 2014

ANZAC Centenary and Other Celebrations

This year on November 11 is the Remembrance Day (ANZAC Centenary). The ANZAC countries celebrated with red poppies. Red poppies happen to be one of my favourite flowers too so I'm happy to join in and make a few out of felt and paper. Apart from celebrating the ANZAC Centenary I have included a few other celebrations on this post as well:

Melbourne Cup happens every year on the first Tuesday in November. Melbourne cup is the "race that stops the nation". The tradition for Melbourne cup day is wearing fancy hats. The hats have now getting fancy and fancier as the year goes by. 

First red poppy 

A pair of red poppies done!

Paper poppies for the hats

My 10 year old dress fitted perfectly
to the theme!

At the university where I work we put on a lovely party for Melbourne Cup. This year's theme is vintage floral. My colleague Ben and I went as duo wearing my ANZAC red poppy pins and more on our hats. And we won the best costums for the even! I wished I could posted our photo, but I hate posting photo of myself on the blog! 

Something else to celebrate here is the completion of my Tree-House Studio! When I said complete I mean it's the moving in stage. Mr Notjustnat and I have been working hard putting together the cabinets we got as kits. We finally finished and the bench top has been installed.


Ikea table supporters

The cabinets minus the bench top

Another celebration is my craft group's turning 8 anniversary! I started this craft group at work 8 years ago. We have had 4 exhibitions in that time. We only meet one hour a week during the lunch break. 

Craft group in session

Peter was hard at work

We use the conference room to meet and spread  our stuff. The group started with book binding which I have shown them. Then we moved on to do whatever people want to do, but Peter always works on book binding. We make special books/journals for members who leave retired. 

Graduation Day at Monash

The last and final celebration is graduation day for 2014 graduates at Monash University. I love being part of this celebration. I enjoy seeing the graduates in their gowns in the colours of their faculties. I love seeing the proud families and friends line-up for photograph. Working in the university library I have a big part in supporting these graduates with their study. You can't help but feeling proud of them as well.

Until next time

October 20, 2014

Minication and Creative Weekend Away

School holidays came and went. During the holidays DIL brought my DGC to visit. They visited and stayed with both her sisters who live in Victoria. The children had a chance to visit and played with their cousins while they were here. They stayed with us for almost a week which is a bonus for us. DH took a few days from work to spend time with them. I also took a few days off to take them shopping. Ziguzagu was a request from DIL and you know I would go there in a flash! 

When they left I went along with them to help with the long drive. The trip was fun with songs (children songs), I Spy game and paper crafts by DGD! We stopped many times for picnics, toilet stops etc. 

Read on to see what else I did while I was away for 4 days...

DGD got a bag of colour papers that her Aunty Kit Palaskas gave her for the road trip. DGD made all those little paper animals without scissors or glue. She tore the paper and used saliva as glue! 

Our first stop was at Grass Tree Walk. There was a short track we could walk around. There were so many beautiful Grass Trees Xanthorrhoea growing along the track.

Jugiong's Lake

An old pub at Jugiong

Rusting objects found at Jugiong

Next stop was at Jugiong Village. We needed petrol so we had to side track anywhere we could. Jugiong Village is a charming little place by a lake. I took some photographs while we were there.

Canberra Farmer's Market

Cosmorex Coffee ACT

We arrived at Canberra around 8 pm. We did good time in spite of the many stops we made along the way. Next morning was Saturday and DIL and I went to the famous Canberra Farmer's Market where I had a delicious Chai from  Real Chai. I needed more Chai to bring home as well.

Cherry Ballart bush

Various leaves

My DIL and I were excited to play dyeing together in their unisex shed! The shed was completed recently and they loved to see me use it while I'm there. It has running water, a cooker and all the equipment for dyeing. I got DIL trained well, haven't I? 

Cherry Ballart leaves soaking in pot

Jars were stuffed ready to steam

Steamer was packed with jars

Some Shibori using rusted nails

Shibori opened after only a few hours

Prunus and Eucalyptus leaves

Various Eucalyptus leaves

Eucalyptus Sideroxylon on wool

Round leaves Eucalyptus and Prunus

Shibori using Madder roots

A subtle result 

Various leaves on linen

I was due to return home Sunday afternoon so it was time to open our jars and get excited together! We had amazing results after only an overnight wait!

Time to board! It was the smallest plane
I've been on!

Complete picture of the Tree-House Studio
with apricot tree full of leaves

I have been back home for a week now. I had a full week back at work and the weekend was full with things I needed to do for the Tree-House Studio. I finally got the business of the cabinets sorted. We are getting flat-pack cabinets and we will assemble them ourselves. After installing Ikea wardrobes we can now do anything. The thing now is to find time to do this. The bench-top that will cover the cabinets will take up to 3 weeks to come, so I hope we can get all the cabinets installed in 3 weeks. 

Summer has fully set in here. Warm days and cool nights and a little rain in between. 

Until next time