March 28, 2015

Easter is Coming!

Just in case I haven't got around to blogging again before Easter I wish you all a Happy Easter 2015. We are having 5 days off at Easter! When you have a full time job, any day off is really appreciated. I know it's going to be a busy 5 days, but that's how I like it. 

Last Saturday I attended coiled basket workshop with Jacky, Dot and Lee. As you know I'm a basket weaver and I love baskets in all shapes and sizes. I thought it would be fun to go along to a workshop with friends. The workshop was held at Alowyn Gardens in Yarra Glen. It was run by Ruth Woods of Craft School Oz. The venue is about an hour's drive from Melbourne. Below are some photos of the event. Enjoy!

Workshop samples

My basket base using natural raffia and indigo dyed raffia

Jacky's and my bases

These are all the basket bases the class did that day

I added more to the base

It's getting bigger

Twined Together is a book inspired by bush baskets

Rock feature garden at Alowyn Gardens

Original mining cottage 

Rustic chair in the original condition

Sculptural arch 

Garden maze

Another arch

I thought that I had not been doing much this last couple of weeks until I gathered together the photos and realised that I have been quite busy. Below are some photos of textile related activities I have been creating. 

This is the journal cover I'm making for my travel journal. I used  BORO style piecing, but used traditional embroidery stitches on it. I've add more embroidery since I took this photo. I will share with you again once it is completed. 

And this is the Civil War Quilts block I mentioned in the last post. The red fabric is a "F" (featured) fabric found at an opshop/thriftshop. I've featured it in every block I have made. Barbara put out free pattern for 52 blocks, but I think I'm only going to make about 30 blocks and set them on points and alternate with plain fabric.  

I hope you didn't miss the International Day of Happiness? At my work we had a little fun competition to see who would come in to work that day wearing the most colourful and happy clothes. The prize was a bottle of "happy bubbly". I thought if I wore my Yukata with silk boro patches I would win and I did!  

Blog ending photo for today is this coffee art/heart created by the barista at Market Lane Coffee Prahran Market, South Melbourne. Melbourne is known as the world's best coffee capital. We are spoiled for choice with coffee shops! I have been there twice now and will go back again. 

I hope everyone is keeping well, busy and creative. The weeks and months are moving on so fast that it will be nice to stop and take a breath. I'm looking forward to driving into the sunrise next Friday and heading to see our DS, DIL and DGC in Canberra. Happy Easter Everyone!

Until next time

March 13, 2015

Mid of March 2015

You all know without me saying how fast time is flying by this year! Mid March already? It has been a good year for me so far! I have been busy doing everything from work stuff, creative stuff, physical stuff, planning stuff and all the life stuff! Life is beautiful (some of us says booful)! 

So with the colourful expression in my life at the moment. I'm going to post something lively and colourful for you here! 

My colourful stuff!

Colourful vintage Japanese silk I have stashed away.

A bit of creative blue stuff I have been working on lately is this Furoshiki cloth for my bag. I posted about here. It's not much closer to being finished, but I do pick it up and add a few stitches every so often. I've also bound a handmade book for a colleague who's leaving us this week. During the week Mr Notjustnat and I went to see Richard Thomson in concert at the Recital Centre in Melbourne.

Three red hearts and indigo moon for
Furoshiki cloth.

Stash of vintage indigo cotton. 

Coptic stitch binding.

Recycled book covers and cords.

Melbourne city

Also this week I finished another Scallop basket. I used the canes I dyed with coffee that I posted in February.

I finished it with a coat of vanish. 

Attaching the handle 

Last Saturday I helped my friends moving house. I didn't have to do much except driving back and forth between the old and the new house 6 times! He is a collector of vinyl records and he had so many of them to be moved. For a treat we had a lovely coffee at Market Lane Coffee, Prahran Market, Melbourne. 

Single estate Costa Rican 'rapadura' sugar
is best for coffee

The end of the move treat was green tea and cake

I found a wild fig growing at my Campus. It has plenty of figs if you get there before the birds. I was lucky to walk past it when the figs were just ready to pick. I got enough for a batch of jam.

Chopped, soaked in sugar and sat overnight

Next day boiled and bottled

An interesting ending for this post is this handsome vintage vehicle. Don't ask me what make it is. I stopped at the traffic next to this gorgeous looking red truck. I had my camera right by me so I took a shot of it. The driver was so happy that I took notice of his vehicle.

I have been working on many projects, but none is finished enough to blog about yet. I even got inspired lately by The Civil War Quilts newsletter that I subscribe to. The result was that I dug out the Civil War blocks I did many years ago and posted here. I hope to finish and put together a quilt top before we leave on our trip. I wanted to get it machine quilted in New Zealand by Donna while I'm away and to collect it on my way back. It's exciting to think that I will get a new quilt in 2015! I always need an incentive to complete a project! 

Until next time

March 3, 2015

First Day of Autumn

First of March is the first day of Autumn, Fall for those of you living in North America. To celebrate first day of Autumn my friend and I went out looking for this scrumptious cafe Chez Dre in South Melbourne. We weren't disappointed when we got there. The French patisseries on display were to die for. We thought they were there for display only! Too gorgeous to eat, honestly!  

Only this much fits in my camera lens!

Waterlogue Latte

Full, Skinny and Magic are just a few interesting names for latte. I used Waterlogue app to enhance this photo so it looks like a water colour painting! After morning coffee and cakes my friend took me to South Melbourne market. To me it's one of the best markets in Melbourne. I did my usual weekly shopping there. 

On my way back I stopped at Ziguzagu Warehouse at 7-11 Hill St. Cremorne (Richmond). The week before I went to Kazari, which is the parent of Ziguzagu, and saw some amazing stuff there. 

Beautiful Japanese vintage metallic threads.

BORO Kasuri jackets

Bits and pieces from ZZ warehouse

ZZ warehouse is also where furniture restorations take place. Every time I'm there I spend as much time in the workshop as the shop part itself. 

I dyed some canes with coffee and posted them here. I started weaving a Scallop basket. I finished the first basket. I was on a roll and started another one with finer dyed canes I dyed a while ago. 

First Scallop basket finished.

Second Scallop basket finished.

These baskets might look complicated to you, but for me it's easy and straightforward to make. I lost count how many I have made to-date. I have given most of them away to friends and family.

Another journal cover is in the making. I used the string that I wrapped the eco-dye bundle as surface design and crouched it down with dyed threads.

Instead of a lucky find for ending my post, today I would like to share with you what my week ending is. After I finish work on Friday, I swim about 25-30 laps each week. It's a refreshing way to end a working week!

So, what is everyone else doing this week? March is zooming along at lightning speed. It won't be long before we are off on our around the world trip to celebrate Mr Notjustnat's retirement. The preparation is under-way at the moment. All dates are fixed, tickets booked. Some more accommodation to be booked and we are ready!

Until next time

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