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
Nat

January 7, 2015

Post Christmas and Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you. Hope you all had a lovely and festive time during the holiday. Mine was busy throughout the holiday and at the end I needed a few outings to recharge! 

Christmas day was nice and quiet. Kitiya came and spent the day with us. We decided to just have cold cuts and antipasto for Christmas lunch. Matt (Kitiya's boyfriend) came over in the afternoon when I put high tea and dessert on for us. For dessert I made mini Pavlova and Kit made pecan pie. The weather was terrific; not too hot, just right for a relaxing day! All in all it was a lovely day. 

Below are some photos of the holidays. Enjoy! 

A very hot day where most people
headed to the beach!

We had a few hot days over the holiday. It was over 40'C/104'F for two days. One of those hot days was the day I arranged to meet my friend Ayako for high tea in the city. I took DIL along with me for a treat. I think she really enjoyed it.

Family picnic

Family picnic: We have family visiting from Germany. The first visit for the little ones. Most of the time we have visited them, but it was lovely to have them visiting us. We took them out for a picnic at the Rhododendron Garden in the Dandenong Ranges. The temperature is always lower there than in Melbourne, so cooler weather gear was required. 

Aussie BBQ on New Year day

Pavlova - the Aussie favourite summer dessert 

My DIL Bron and I found time to play dyeing on one of those busy days. Bron brought some red gum leaves from her sister's farm in Gippsland and we gathered more leaves from my neighbourhood. 




Here are some bundles before and after steaming. We had a lot of fun using my new electric burner. It worked perfectly. Below are some of the results from the batch. I will add captions to each photo. You can double click on each photo to enlarge. 

Rose leaves on wool. 

Unopened bundles

Eucalyptus iron bark and red gum leaves

Eucalyptus silver dollar leaves

Bundle opening with rose leaves on wool

Well, that is all from me for now. It's my first week back at work. It's going to be a big year for my library. It's a year of major library refurbishment. All the staff will have to move to make room for construction. Our department will be moving at the beginning of Feb. I have to go through the stuff I have been collecting to clear my desk (sad face!). It's okay, lives move on don't they?

Although I don't update my blog very often. I'm always posting photos on Instagram so don't forget to have a peek at my daily photos there. I decided that I will only blog when I have something to blog about. Have a great year everyone. Good health, good fortune and good friends all around. Those are my New Year wishes and the same goes to all of you too!

Until next time
Nat




December 19, 2014

Christmas Post I

Still on to Christmas, but nothing much else from me lately. I have been moving stuff into my tree-house studio but the process is not yet complete (sad face!). There are things I don't know what to do with or can't decide if I still need them (decision, decision).

As I said in my last post I'm not doing Xmas decorations in the house this Christmas. The first time in 31 years that I'm having a break from it. Not having my DGC here this Christmas gives me the excuse not to decorate. 

Building the tree-house has taken a toll on us physically. We have been at it for almost the whole of 2014. I have been enjoying it, but frustrating as well because we both have full time jobs. I have settled in and starting to create some small things in the tree-house. I love that I have all my supplies in one place. It's bright and beautiful in there. At least while everything is still tidy! It's bound to get messy. After all it's a place to create not a gallery! 

Not all is Christmas-less! I decorated just a little bit in the tree-house. I used the old step ladder on the wall to hang a few of my small Christmas quilts. I normally use a small tree with redwork decorations. Not wanting to open all the boxes just to find the redwork decorations I made do with hearts (double click to enlarge all the photos).

Christmas decorated wall in the tree-house

Fabric hearts made from
vintage doilies

Mini Xmas quilt is always out

Close up of one of the hearts with
crochet edging and embroidery

An Angel block from one of the quilts
hanging on the step ladder

I saved this one lady holding a wreath. I
gave the rest of my ornaments away. 

Christmas morning-tea table at my work

Now for the non-Christmas activities. I thought I'd show you some creations in the tree-house in the last couple of weeks. 

Bojagi cloth made with eco-dyed silk

I've left wall space in tree-house to hang my Bojagi cloth that I made last year. The wall is too narrow to open it out so I hang it from a corner. Looks quite effective! 

The bookcase is filled and baskets were
rearranged for better fit

I made a book for a dear colleague who left for
overseas. I used an Aboriginal print from
a book for the front cover and end papers

I got a seal made for me by Lucy Patterson
in one of her trips to Vietnam

BORO Furoshiki cloth and handle

BORO Furoshiki boho bag

Ayako's colourful Furoshiki bag

I must tell you about my boro Furoshiki boho bag. I got the red leather handle through my friend Ayako who got it from her Japanese friend. Ayako made one for herself using colourful Kimono fabric. When I saw it I knew what kind of Furoshiki cloth I wanted to make. I only base-stitched the cloth at this stage. I will hand stitch all the seams and will share it again once it's done. 

It's time for me to wish and thank everyone for dropping by to read my blog and leaving lovely comments. I haven't been very active on my blog lately, but you can always find me on Instagram where I post daily photos. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Enjoy and be safe!

Until next time
Nat

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
Nat