Well,after two lovely FAMILY oriented days and absolute extremes of weather........
Christmas Day we sweltered in 35 degree Celcius and enjoyed (cold) prawns (Shrimps to our US cousins) Lobster/saltwater crayfish,salads,cold drinks and cold dessert,
Boxing Day (December 26) saw a climate change to cool weather.
Today in southeast Queensland has virtually qualified as the COLDEST December day in a century.........maximum here at Moodlu was 16 degree C (approx 64 deg Fah) and for a sub tropical area in SUMMER,that is cold!
Between the "cold" and the wet weather I have been able to catch up on a few committments,so now have ready for mailing my last 8 cards for the "Art2Mail group18" fabric Postcard swap and cards for Emmy (cramzy in the Nederlands) and Nellie in the USA.
I still owe Gerry in the USA and Helen in the UK an art meme swap,but at least my conscience isn't pricking so badly, and they WILL get theirs....eventually
Tomorrow we go off (again) to view some houses.............I didn't realise how difficult it was to find a reasonably 'young' low-set house close to the bayside of Moreton Bay on the Peninsula!
I have included pics of some of the postcards going out in tomorrow's mail.............but I'm not saying "which" goes "where"!
From top to bottom,is:
The wrecks at Tangalooma.
Now,I'm off to enjoy a few chapters of a good book and listen to the gentle patter of RAIN on the roof...............'night all!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I came across this poem which reflects for those of us in the southern hemisphere what our " white christmas" is really like!
CHRISTMAS UNDER THE SOUTHERN CROSS
I am tired of snowmen and sleighs while we swelter in summer heat.
I am tired of talk of Jack Frost while we struggle with swollen feet.
No glistening snow in our lane and no snowman called "Parson Brown".
It is sun block and sunhats and "Do we really have to go to town?"
Our meadow is a thirsty paddock and a farmer reaping grain,
The ever-present fear of bushfire and a land that cries out for rain.
No Yule log and no mistletoe,No frosty morning air,
Just endless days of summer,And children without a care.
It's splashing in a swimming pool,And walking on the beach.
It's lovely summer meals and fruits,Cherries, apricots and peach.
It is insect repellent,and Carols in the Park,
Children in pyjamas,waiting for the dark.
It is seafood and salads,Icy cold drinks and ice cream,
It is holiday time and friendship,Such joy these things mean.
It is travelling many outback miles at night to avoid the heat.
It is the joy of catching up,and the friends that we meet.
It is the friendly handshake underneath a sky of blue.
It is the "welcome to my home"
It is the "I have missed you"
Christmas under the Southern Cross in a vast and "Wide Brown Land "is really not very different when we feel the touch of friendship's hand.
So as we celebrate again this year and we delight in the Christmas season.
Let's remember it matters not where we are,
What matters is the reason.!
Posted by Maureen at 10:56 am
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Today's mail brought cards from Brandi in Mt Vernon,IN amd Merna in Victoria.
Brandi's card is a cool glittery affair of sequins beads and yarn.just what you need with our summer weather.
Merna's card features folded teabags as the back ground and a (hybrid) FME'd flower.
I heard of another Victorian friend using teabags to make flowers but this is the first I've actually seen.
Looks as though I NEED to start drinking tea doesn't it!
Posted by Maureen at 6:31 pm
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Some months back,QA magazines did a feature on "secret treasures"
citing a Balinese influence for the four petalled shape.
I had this carved agate leaf which I felt lent itself to being a Secret Treasure.
I attempted to create a treasure within treasures!
The outer layers of both 'boxes" are an upholstery fabric;A tone on tone cream leaf pattern echoing the shape of the agate leaf.
The smaller "box" is lined with reddish orange dyed silk;
the larger container lining is a cotton quilting fabric.
Both containers were embellished with chunky antique gold FME.
Posted by Maureen at 8:56 pm
Can you imagine.........a very dear friend gives you a gorgeous brocade fabric and says
"I thought you could cut it up and use it in your CQ"
The "it" in question she acquired when living in Japan a couple of years back;
"It" is a sample of Obi fabric from a sample book,much like we Occidentals are used to seeing upholstery samples.
When you look at the reverse side of the brocade,and see the count of silk threads used to weave the pattern on the front,you are" blown away" by the intricacy of the weave.
No way will I ever be "cutting it up".
The fabric is 12 inches wide...........when I think of the Haiku that refers to
"A folded fan of autumn is inserted
In the obi hard like a board"
It makes me wonder,just how uncomfortable a twelve inch sash around the waist would be!
I still dream the improbable dream,that "one day" I might get to visit Hokkaido and northen parts of Japan and experience for myself a culture that has long fascinated me.
Posted by Maureen at 8:33 pm
Saturday, December 16, 2006
A while back Emmy of Cramzy's blog said she do a swap with me............ This week this embellished/needle felted card arrived from her.
Emmy does such beautiful work.........it was she that first introduced me (via the Internet) to Embellishing machines and now some time later I have my own!
Emmy combines needle felting/needle punching with FME;
there's felting with fibres and fabric which appear to have been cut to petal shape and a background of soft metallic mesh for added definition.
The machine stitching at the base puts me in mind of some exotic lily.
Thanks Emmy.........I haven't forgotten that IOU!
Posted by Maureen at 4:45 pm
Friday, December 15, 2006
This little "house hunting angel" arrived in my letter-box yesterday.
She was sent to me by a young friend in Victoria to assist in my/our hunt for a new home.
(after 22 years in this little patch of Paradise,age and health have forced a change)
Catherine's angel came with a note including love and prayers to find a new home.
The angel has her own special charms adorning her:
A flower bead for a garden
A key for your new front door
A bird-house for the birds that will visit
A fish and shell for the ocean views you both want.
"Meow"-- for the cats that share your lives.
With wishes and blessings like those,we will surely discover a new dream.
Thank you Catherine,for caring
Those of you that have visited my blog "for a while" will appreciate how Catherine has covered the parts that make my "whole".
I can only hope that "one day" I get a chance to meet with Catherine in the flesh....she is special!
Posted by Maureen at 9:13 pm
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
You go outside to bring Madam Puss in for the night,and there above your head is Mother (Ringtail) and two kids.
It emphasises all the more,how much we will be missing when we leave here in two months.
(It doesn't bear brooding over.....already it feels like Paradise Lost!
On a more positive note..today I mailed off 17 of my required 23 fabric and fibre Postcards to Art2Mail/Group 18 Swap.
I'm not going to bore you with 17 pics! Suffice to say the main theme was birds that visit my back-yard-------King Parrots,Galahs,Sulphur-crested Cockatoos.............
Posted by Maureen at 8:22 pm
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Firstly you see a close-up of Jo's work on Joma's block
(at this stage you'll need to go visit Jo's blog,because emails and Jo's blog are NOT reacting favourably with me tonight.
The second pic shows the block in its entirity(is there such a word??)
In my archives I have a pic of Joma's block before we started embellishing-----I attempted to add it as a "reminder" but Mr Blog does not like me tonight,so I will have to add it as another entry.
Posted by Maureen at 9:02 pm
Saturday, December 09, 2006
No artistic merit in this composition,but an attempt to meet the challenge of
"Shapes: Rectangles" before attempting the next challenge:
Firstly,using brown (craft) felt as the foundation I needle felted some Sari yarns,then cut them to shape.
The three tone green rectangle was felted directly to the green foundation,
and the rectangle superimposed on it was cut to shape then embellished to the base felt.
The sari yarn rectangles were then cut to shape and added.
(Some metallic threads were added for extra 'life'
My personal reaction to sari yarns?
Make sure you choose the type designated as suitable for embroidery......it's softer,easy to handle and fairly easy to 'destruct' or unwind to fibres for needle-felting.
On the other hand,the orange-red toned yarn above was purchased for knitting......NOT a good move,as I found it rough and scratchy and not at all pliable or satisfactory for the scarves I intended knitting...........it seems to have a high component of fabric strips rather than the respun fibres of the embroiderers yarn
Posted by Maureen at 5:45 pm
Thursday, December 07, 2006
The following excerpt arrived as an Email,and I just HAD to share with you.Enjoy!
"A little background--I wrote my Artist Statement (The Surprise Factor)with a little bit of humor. IMVHO, some of the artist statements Ihave read at various quilt shows sound a little pompous and lofty (tome). It seems like serious business, and I think a more relaxedapproach appeals to and encourages others to think that they, too, canshow their work.
I included this little essay, along with all the blurbs and paperworkfor the exhibit and I really liked to see the smiles on the faces ofthe readers as they read and then scrutinized my quilts, and have themrealise that we are all in the same boat, and we all have talent, andit is supposed to be fun!
I have been asked why I usually name my quilts with words startingwith the letter F. Fabricated Flurries, Fabricated Feathers,Fabricated Forest, Facets and Reflections, and Fabricating a Fond Farewell are just a few of the quilts I completed for a show at HomerWatson Gallery.
My response was that I am fascinated with F-words as I cut, stitchand complete a quilt. Aren't F- words a part of every quilter'svocabulary?
Now, before you get flustered, I should elaborate, and try to explainexactly what I mean. I have a fondness for every facet of fabricating..
It goes without saying that Fabric is always on my mind-I am a fabricfanatic-but fat quarters made with florals or fruit aren't really myfavourite. I have a fond fixation for fussy cutting and funky fabricand fragments of these are never frittered away.
The fraternity of quilters is frequently female, but a few malesfabricate, too. We never have enough file folders to keep our freebiepatterns found online organized and at our fingertips.
We all have fancy machines to facilitate our fabrications, but a few of us find Featherweights are fine, too.
We are all familiar with frog-stitching (rip-it, rip-it) and fussy-cutting and freezer paper for foundation piecing. We all fantasize about fancy flourishes and are full of ideas to bring to fruition.
We all have to be flexible financially to finagle funds from our finances for affordable fabric. And we must always purchase enough-we try to be frugal, but it is fairly frustrating trying to figure out where you found the fabric in the first place! And we find that this frame of mind fatigue forms frown lines on our faces.
We all know that frazzled feeling when we foolishly promise to finish a fabrication and time flies so fast, we have to stay focused to finish. Most of us are afraid fellow quilters will find the flaw that we tried to fix when we made a faux-pas figuring out that fraction. By now, we are fraught with frustration and we have to force that fabric to fit. This is often referred to as the Fudge Factor.
It concerns me that I was forced to forgo fitness so I could finish fabricating for this show, and now I am fretful that I have a flabby fanny-I ate a lot of finger food. I made frequent forays to the freezer to forage for food for my family that could be defrosted fast.
I think my favourite F-words are in the familiar refrain: Fabric,Flat, Friends, Fortunate and finally......Finished!
So, you see, I (and now I'll bet you do, too!) often think of F-words when fabricating.
What did you think I meant??
Anne Beaudoin Ontario."
...and FYI,the lady featured in an Exhibition "The Art of Quilting" last April.
Fortunately for you my friends I felt like finding some facts about a lady who could fabricate with words as well as fabric.
Posted by Maureen at 2:27 pm
If you look closer,you'll see three different species of birds sharing the Feathered Freeloaders Restuarant!
The blue and yellow birds are pale headed Rosellas;
Sitting on the bowl on the right is an immature Magpie----hatched out about 3 months ago!
And the brilliant scarlet is of course the male King Parrot.
Waaaaay up in the branches above the King Parrot can be glimpsed the female Pale -headed Rosella who is more shy than her mate.
Posted by Maureen at 9:58 am
Monday, December 04, 2006
To keep Emmy of the Embellisher group on Flickr happy,I've posted four different views of my Janome Xpression.....a needle punching/embellishing machine.
The first view is of how 'she' looks..a lightweight compact machine.
Lightweight because it doesn't have the bobbin and shuttle and thread carrying components of standard sewing machines.
No thread is used for stitching at all-----the barbed needles meld(?) punch fibres into a base fabric, meshing all layers together.
This machine comes with a five needle configuration and a single needle (and spares)
I like the fact that there is a movable needle guard to protect your fingers.........although I'm sure if you didnt watch out you could still punch a finger.
The second view shows the guard raised for a better view of the needle.
Picture three is the guard in position for embellishing.
Picture four:I've removed the free-arm and opened the front of the machine: that little "compartment is where any fluff or lint from the action up top hides out until you clean the machine..........guess who didnt clean the machine after her last effort.
Oh I forgot to mention:the toolkit and spare needles slot into that free-arm
Now as regular readers of this blog know,I've only had the Xpression for a very short time;
I'm an absolute novice at this and am learning as I go,with help from online friends.
What made me buy a Janome?
Well it's the fourth Janome I've bought.........does that say anything?
The price...........a lot less than other make(s) on the market.............I could not justify to myself the purchase of a Babylock......after all,I'm not a person who sells her work, so I couldn't defray the cost that way----
I'm happy with what I have at this point in time.
Posted by Maureen at 5:22 pm
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Oh it feels good to see what's been accomplished today!
Two rich fruit cakes finally baked....for Christmas/New Year;
A beautiful loaf of bread;
Four jars of Tomato Relish
EIGHT postcards completed and ready for sending on their way as part of the Art2Mail Group 18 swap....(only another 15 to complete my committment there)
A birthday card printed for my only grandson's eighteenth birthday next week.
And I'm still trying summon courage to switch to BetaBlogger as 'everyone' seems to think I should.
Posted by Maureen at 6:11 pm
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I "know" I should have been doing 'house things" today,but I was itching to stitch!
So here's a peek at some of my yet to be completed cards.....eleven in all,but you don't get to see the lot-------yet!
I need a whole heap for international postings,so I thought maybe I could do a little cheating....
The wild bird photos have all been taken in my yard in the last couple of months,so I've printed some to fabric and,using Australiana fabric designs have framed the pics with a rudimentary crazy patch.
WHY do I think this is cheating.........because,although the photos are my work it doesn't seem arty enough.
What do YOU think?Would you be happy to receive one of these cards,or would you feel 'cheated' at lack of art work?
The third card....another masked reveller has been languishing in a WISP pile for a few months;
and the fourth: another Christmas card.
Posted by Maureen at 4:20 pm
Friday, December 01, 2006
Barb Stone,one of the members of the Art2MailGroup18,sent me this "Walk on the wild side" this week and hoped I "didn't mind" where she walked!
Not at all,Barb...........vive la differance!
Although I must admit the hairstyle puts me in mind of the Wandjina people.........People of the Dream time!
It's so great to receive so many different themes and styles.
And my grand daughter asks at each visit:
" What new cards this week,Gran?"
So,Barb and others,let's all walk a little on the wild side!
Posted by Maureen at 11:47 am
From Nellie Durand!
Early in November between visiting Nellie's Blog ,and she visiting mine we arranged to swap Postcards.
(The Link for that was my November 9 blog entry.)
Nellie's fibre card ,which is one featuring Lake Michigan was accompanied by another card
"Passing Storm", advertising a Textile Exhibition featuring her work.
Close examination of the fibre card shows the way Nellie has used curved layering to represent the waves of the lake,and added paint/foam on the wave tops.
A visit to her blog is well worth while, not only for all the techniques she shares with the reader,but to enjoy her quilts and artwork.
Now to attempt a card for Nellie!
Posted by Maureen at 11:11 am
Thursday, November 23, 2006
When you have such glorious wild birds visit your backyard...........
and let you spend ten minutes or more taking pics of them.
This cock King Parrot was most co-operative yesterday.............spectacular looking bird isn't he!
The hen is quite drab in comparison and more difficult to photograph..........
I'm going to MISS "my " birds when we move to suburbia
Posted by Maureen at 1:19 pm