March 27, 2017

March 2017!

2017 comes with wings! I can't believe how fast it flew by this year. After I got over Christmas and New Year holidays I went back in my treehouse studio to pick-up and work on some of my UFOs. I got the Yellow Crumb quilt top finished which was a relief. At the same time I was hand stitching the Indigo moons block for the Quilty 365 challenge which I started in 2016. I didn't get to 365 blocks, but with a clever setting, I might get enough to make a queen size quilt. 

We have had a sad event in our family. My beloved Mother-in-law passed away in late Feb. My family and I made a short trip to the funeral in Auckland, NZ. My MIL was a lovely and supporting lady for all of us. I know we will all miss her. 

My colleagues and friends at work gave me a lovely bouquet of flowers on my return, so I decided to use them in the dye bundles in memory of my MIL. I also did more dyeing using my usual eucalyptus leaves. There lot of photos here so please enjoy...

Desert Cactus flower from my garden

Sympathy flowers into bundle 

Eucalyptus leave dyed. 

More Eucalyptus dyed

First piece from the bouquet 

Second piece of the bouquet

I read somewhere in social media about the Asia Gallery Warehouse in Auckland. On my last day there I thought I would look it up and what I found was WOW! It was an amazing hidden gem of a warehouse. I got talking to one of the ladies there and found that her husband worked most of his life in Japan. Although retired, he keeps going back there and brings all the gorgeous textiles and vintage artefacts back to Auckland. It happened that he married a lovely Thai lady so he is now importing vintage textiles from northern Thailand as well. I spent a few good hours there enjoying all the displays. I imagined I was back in Japan and Thailand! Naturally, I bought some gorgeous fabric from there! 

BORO indigo Yukatas

Silk for dyeing and indigo fabric

The stash I brought home

The two lovely ladies I met there.

The Japanese wooden doll (Kokeshi doll)
to add to my collection.

Some quilts I'm working on recently: The Indigo Moon is the Quilty 365 block challenge in 2016. It started off very well. I kept it going for most of 2016.

I completed the Yellow Crumb quilt I started with my friend Myra when she visited in October. I got really motivated and got it done over the Christmas holidays. I have just sent it off to the machine quilter and I can't wait to get it back! Out of the blue I started another quilt in January. It's a quilt from the Cultural Fusion Quilts book by Sujata. My favourite thing about starting all these quilts is, I have all the fabric I need for all of them! I'm a true quilter in the sense that I thrive on reusing and re-purposing what I have. I even go as far as getting new clothes with fabric that can be use for quilting in the future!  

Setting I've chosen for Indigo Moon Quilt

Original setting, but it will need more blocks!

Yellow Crumb Quilt

Some blocks from the Cultural Fusion Quilts book

Lucky Find: I haven't posted lucky find for awhile because everything I find these days is a lucky find! But today I'd like to share with you my lucky, lucky find. A vintage Ralph Lauren, RL Polo bag. I found it at a cool vintage store in Bangkok. It's a perfect little bag to carry a wallet and a phone around. I love love using it!

Hope everyone in North America is coping well with the cold weather you have been getting lately. You are supposed to be getting into Spring aren't you? Please keep safe and warm. 

I don't have any overseas travel planned this year, but I'm planning a big trip to the Tokyo International Quilt Festival in Jan. 2018 so I am saving everything for that. You can't just go to Japan without seeing more of the country so we will fit in Kyoto and maybe the south which we have not ventured into. For 2017 we will make mini trips to the outback or a trip to Sydney later on in the year.

My lovely friend Janet Wright is complaining that I don't update my blog enough! Sorry Janet, but I really haven't done much to blog about! I can assure you that I have been physically active exercising most days. 

Until next time

February 6, 2017

How was your Christmas?

I know Christmas is done and dusted, but sorry I haven't got around to sharing my Christmas post with you. It was my turn to host Christmas at our house this year so as you can imagine with me working full time and trying to organise Christmas soon after I finished work. It was a very hectic time! 

We offered DS and DIL to look after the grandchildren so they could spend time away by themselves. They took off to New Zealand for a two-week well earned holiday. They had a lovely holiday while we enjoyed having the grandchildren by ourselves. We kept them and us busy with trips to the parks, swimming pool, ferry ride, library and visiting with friends. Kitiya kindly took them off our hands for a few days after I returned to work. I think we were out of practice with young kids, but we tried our best and all went well.

Hope you all had a nice Christmas whatever you were doing. 2017 is well on its way. I started back to work soon after the New Year. I have no big travel plans this year. I'm saving up for the 2018 Tokyo International Quilt Festival. We will take small trips within Australia this year. 

Below are my Christmas photos to share with you. The captions will explain what they all are. Enjoy!

New acquired Christmas decoration
from Hokkaido 

 My Christmas tree for the last 16 years.
I've bought a new tree for next Christmas!

Stick tree decorated with wooden bells.
The bell quilt I made when I wasn't a quilter!

Redwork tree in the Treehouse studio

Sweet Candy quilt was used for the first time

Various decorations on the tree

Close-up of the tree

Santa Quilt and Santa figurines

A few of Jim Shaw's Santa figurines I own

Treehouse Studio got decorated too

A few small Christmas quilts

Soft Angels

I made a couple of new baubles this year

Santa redwork UFO. Got to get it finished

Pillow cover I made for little Anna 15 years ago

Christmas tree at my desk with recycled
coffee capsules

Cards and decorations at my desk

Christmas table in red and white

Christmas baking

Christmas preserving - Apricot Jam

Visiting Nordic friends on the holiday

 New Christmas tree for 2017 - Boxing Day sale

Went cruising on the Yarra river.

Happy New Year everyone

I was so glad that I managed to squeeze Christmas post in. Every year in January I like to print out my blog. I know I haven't blogged regularly in recent years. Blogging is my life journal. I post things that I make, and share the places I visit. It's great to look back and remember what I did and where I have been. I'm looking forward to receiving my 2016 blog book. 

Until next time

January 19, 2017

Colourful Japan - Hokkaido Part 2

Do I want to go back to Hokkaido? I definitely will. I recently saw a documentary on Hokkaido in winter with the ice festival and yes, I would like to go there at that time.

Sorry for taking so long to blog Hokkaido Part 2. I had been very busy at Christmas time with family. Afterwards we had to babysit our grandchildren to give their parents a break. I also hosted a birthday party for them at the end of their stay. They have left now, and life is getting back to normal. The house is quiet again.

Getting back to Hokkaido Part 2. Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan's four main islands. I've only been to Honshu island and Hokkaido and I would say I like them both in a different ways.

In this post I will share with you the photos I remember Hokkaido by. Blue colour is one thing that reminds me of Hokkaido. Perhaps because Hokkaido is surrounded by vivid blue sea. Please read the captions on each photo for what they are. Enjoy!

Young bamboo shoots dyed blue with natural colour.

Kanariya Fabric Store in Sapporo - a highlight!

Closing down restaurant selling out their
stock. I bought a couple of the blue
bowls  and chopstick resters.

BORO cloth I stitched up on the trip.

Gorgeous gift from a kind man at the vintage fabric
store in Asahikawa.

Beautiful blue gate leading onto the Otaru Canal.

Delicious and colourful pickled
plums served at breakfast.

More pickled plums in turquoise blue.

Blue and white tea set in our hotel's
room at Abashiri

Rice bowls at one of our hotels in Obihiro.

Hand blown Otaru glass wreath.

Japanese figurine found in our
hotel's lobby, Abashiri.

Kimono costume in Tokyo Hands window.

Sakiori loom from the weaving center in Otaru.

Weaving Museum in Asahikawa.

Ainu textile found in Sapporo's
underground exhibition space.

Beautifully appliqued Norens (door hangings) at a
seafood restaurant, Nemuro. 

View from our hotel's window, Nemuro.

Onsen inside and outside.
Ainu village at Lake Akan.

Winter leaves gathered in Hokkaido.

Using tea dye solution. The result is
nothing to write home about!

I have to admit that I haven't done much creatively lately. I have taken myself back to the gym and started a few classes. There is the tennis season here. The Australian Open is on at the moment. I do love tennis! 

My Christmas post will follow later this month. I did make a few Christmas decorations, and I started new quilting projects. I will show you on my next post. 

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for 2017. Let's hope it's a good one for all.

Until next time
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