Monday, March 31, 2008

Beach landscape

I made this accidental landscape last night. It is slightly smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, (the inside scene is only 5x7"). I used a piece of wool for the breaking wave, and machine wrapped some brown wool to use as old fence posts. Then I attached a piece of beading wire to the fence posts. I really like the wavy sashing/boarder edge, it's really effective. Instead of binding the edge I over sewed it and edged it with thick blue wool to add extra texture. I like the way that these can be quite small, you can finish them quickly and they would make nice gifts!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oops - Another accidental landscape!

It has been a drizzly old day here, if it's only going to be this light then it needs to last for a couple of weeks. Oh well, some rain is better than none!
This afternoon I played with the accidental landscape idea again. It's a bit plain, but I like it. This one is slightly smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, I'm going to try making one that is 5x7". Hope you've all had a great weekend!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A visit to Waipukerau

Yesterday I had the day off work and drove up to Waipukerau (232 kms round trip) to visit a friend. She has an 18 month old son and her husband is a kiwi soldier serving in Afghanistan. He will be back at the end of April after 6 months away. She has her hands full, and reckons he will owe her big time when he gets back! I agree! We had a fun day and managed to walk into town and look thru some of the shops. They have a fantastic new quilt store which of course I just had to visit! I bought 2 jelly rolls (couldn't help myself!) Don't you just love the colours and textures?
I also bought this piece of fabric which I thought might lend itself to some artwork, paints, neocolours or stamping? (or all 3!) I also received this pretty block from Paula for the 8x8 block swap. Three blocks left to come - they are all so different.
Tomatoes! And more tomatoes! I bought one lonely little yellow pear shaped cherry tomato plant, and one little red cherry tomato plant, plus 2 plants of larger growing fruit. The plants with the bigger fruit have been swamped, and the yellow cherry tomato is like a triffid, it's taking over the whole garden plot! And I must admit that although it's nice to have a bit of colour in the vege garden and on our plates, I am over the yellow tomato now!! I don't think tomato soup is quite the same if it's yellow, and spaghetti isn't quite spaghetti if it's yellow! If anyone has any suggestions for their use please don't hesitate to let me know!! (with my luck, it's probably gonna self sow everywhere and next next I'll have millions of the darn things!! HELP!)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blocks in the mail

Today I got two more blocks in the mail. These are for the 8x8 quilt block swap. The colour theme is red/yellow/orange. The block above a got a few days back, it's from Heather. Neat pattern!
The block above is mine, I had many problems with this, you'd think it would be pretty basic, duhhh. Nothing is ever basic round this place!

This block arrived from Candy

This block is from Aynsley. She has even added some beads. I'm not sure how I'm going to put these blocks together yet!
I'm away tomorrow, so may not have time to blog by the time I get home.

Bits of this and that...

I found some lace to try with the ATC booklets. I think it is cotton too, which means it will take the dye well. I will keep you posted.

I thought I'd also share this with you. If you don't already recognise it, I have used part of it in my header up the top!
I run a Coffee and Craft group at work and last year we ran competitions during the year. One of the comps was to take an ordinary handkerchief and turn it into a work of art. Most people have an old fashioned 'hanky' in the back of a draw somewhere, even if they now only use tissues. No one was enthused or motivated to make anything, so I found an old hanky with a small bit of lace on one corner, dyed it purple, dyed the yellow background and sewed them together. I then sew a piece of tyvek onto the middle of it and stitched round that. Did a bit of painting, stamping, embossing, and Wel-laa! I thought this came up great! Especially as I had sure turned it into a work of art!! Weeeel, come the judging day and a few other bits and pieces dribbled in, but a friend, whom shall remain nameless, anyway, Dawn bought along a bikini top made from a large mans hanky. Clever idea, she made it quickly the night before, had a couple of stitches here and there, a couple of bits of fabric added for ties, ok, ok, pretty smart idea, but mine took days and days to make! Hers won the $50.00 gift voucher! I was very happy for her, spit hiss. Now in case you were wondering, I don't normally enter anything in these comps, seeing I run them, but sometimes it's like pushin a darn horse up a steep hill! So I often make something to try and motivate others. Here's the dilemma, if there's nothing made that is clever enough or if you can tell no one has made an effort, do you still award the voucher?
Anyway, I must say my friend Dawn is one very talented lady! There is nothing she can't turn her hand to!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Canape anyone?

This week we have a group of chefs from the mess in camp who are preparing for a competition on the weekend entrenched in our kitchen. We have a commercial kitchen here at the community centre where my office is. They arrive en mass at lunch time and start preparing dishes for the evening service. (This dishy young man is preparing the canapes.) There are canapes and entrees, starters and soup main course, desert and drinks liquers and coffees. They have silver service, and the stewards make the cocktails while you watch, and they always serve one dish which ignites into flames. Last year they had 2 invited guests pull out at the last minute and because I was still at work they invited me and my daughter to have a meal with them. It was to die for! I have never been for a meal at a restaurant flash enough to have silver service. (There was so much cutlery I didn't know what to eat what with!) Last year they won the competition. I wish them well this year, but there are a whole new team this time.

Now onto a bit of art. Remember the small pieces of sack that I cut up in order to make some more ATC booklets? Well I have now added some colour to them. I painted them and used a bit of embossing enamel.

I am quite happy with the colours and don't want to over do it as there is still embellishing to come. I would like to make another book using lace instead of the sack. See what effect I can come up with.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not much to eat

This is one of our paddocks, on another beautiful sunny hot day... I'm over summer now, roll on winter! (Never thought I'd ever say that!) I don't enjoy seeing everything dry and brown, I like the lushness of green, the greenness of green!

I haven't done any interesting creating over the Easter break, I just did some repair work on some of my daughters things. It's great when your kids come home to visit!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The next best thing to a quilting show

This morning we headed to Wanganui (1 hour west of Palmerston North) to watch some classic trials bikes. These were the old classic bikes, and to ride the trials bikes skill is required not speed. The idea is to traverse an obstacle course without putting your feet down on the ground, and the bike rarely gets out of 1st gear, so it's a slow. I was amazed to find that the oldest rider there competing today was 73, while the youngest was under 14. Of course toting a camera with me everywhere I had to take gazillions of photos!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!!

Well I haven't been around over the last couple of days, it's been very busy at work and I had heaps to do catching up round the home. I had to unplug myself from the computer and get on with it!
First up, it just wouldn't be Easter without an bunny or 2! (and I like these kind as they don't add inches to the waist, are soft to cuddle and last for ever!!)
I managed to get into town on Thursday and pick up a few bits of fabric, these will be put aside to use in some landscape mini quilts. Probably seascapes which for some reason appeal. The browns will be used for sand and the blues will be used for sea.
Yesterday we had visitors calling which called for something yummy for morning tea, so made some lammingtons. For those of you who are not familiar with these, they are small squares of sponge cake, I then dip each square into jelly which I have made with only half the water, and then they are rolled in coconut. You can slice these half way thru and serve with whipped cream, which would be simply devine, mmmmm, but without cream sounds slightly healthier?
We are soooo hanging out for rain here, the sheep are now being fed our grass clippings, which they have decided to eat to ward off starvation. Not that they are malnutritioned or anything, they look pretty damn fat to me! We bought some hay and put it out for them, but do you think they would eat it? NO, NOT ON YOUR NELLY! So we got cunning and threw some sheep pellets out amongst the hay for them to find which has kept them entertained for ages, and they have eaten some of the hay trying to get to the pellets. HA! There's more than one way to outsmart a sheep!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Something incredible to show you...

Thought you might like to see this arch I received from Annette in the UK. There were 3 of us in this particular swap, Annette sent her arch to me, I sent mine (the pic was in a few posts back) to Pam and Pam sent hers to Annette. My theme was to be garden related, any colours. Annette has made me a garden at night, isn't it soooo cool! I absolutely love it!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A little bit of trivia....

What Carole Means
You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.
You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

Monday, March 17, 2008

2 posts in one day!

Nothing exciting, but I am working late tonight, this is what I had for tea. Good old kiwi favourites, fish and chips!! (notice how I'm tryin to balance the meal with a coke zero!) Hahaha!


Not much to show or tell today. Here's a pic of my bookmarks I finished last night for a swap, they are plain janes, but practical. The chances are they will be going to the USA so I thought a little taste of kiwi would be good!

It's been real hot. This summer has lasted soooo long, and although I'm not looking forward to the longer hours of darkness, I'll be pleased to get some cooler days and nights!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I wanna be a pilot now...

Oh dear, it's never gonna happen! Like they're going to let me loose with their very expensive toys! Today we went to an open day at Ohakea Air Force Base, 40kms from home. What an amazing display and sooooo many people! My favourite was the big F111, it was the plane you saw before you heard it! It sounded pretty powerful, yep, I'd be happy with one of those! I also loved the huge Hercules, (reckon you could do that up pretty cool inside, with mezzanine floor, huge bedroom, lounge, state of the art kitchen, craft studio, probably even have a small gym in there. Think of the visitors that would pop round! And you just have to love the Red Checkers, the air force aerobatic team in their cute little planes.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

BEWARE: Crash photos....

What an interesting morning. First up I had to be at work at 9.00am, and for those of you who don't know me I work for the New Zealand Army, I put together a small community newspaper for the Army Camp here in Palmerston North. As I am it, I do everything, from taking the pics, writing the articles, thru to design and layout ready for printing.
This morning the local police held an exercise in camp for the benefit of local teenagers who have been convicted of drink driving or other serious driving offences. Apparently this is a new programme which has only been run once before here in Palmy. The teenagers are subjected to a range of experiences over 2 days, starting with a trip to the morgue. So, they happened to be driving round camp and came across a mock accident involving 2 cars, both cars contained young guys who were driving while under the influence of alcohol. Shortly after the teenagers arrived at the scene, the fire fighters and ambulance arrived. They arrived to find 2 occupants alive but suffering serious injuries, and the driver of one car dead. Although I have seen these exercises a number of times during my time at the camp, I could tell that some of these kids at least would remember what they had stumbled on. After the 2 injured guys had been bundled into the ambulance, the funeral director/undertaker arrived and loaded the "dead" body into the hearse.

The police officer who was in charge was telling me that a nearby city has been running this same programme for 3 years and they have 100% success rate! Not one of the teenagers who attended their course ever re-offended! Palmy held their first course last year, 20 teenagers attended it, and not one of them has re-offended as yet either.
I was very impressed. I hope that what they see helps to turn their lives around.
The top photo is the mock crash scene, the bottom pic is the firefighters dealing with the removal of bodies from the car. The guy with his head out the window covered in paint should be in the movies, he played the part real well. All 3 of the guys in the cars were soldiers, the fire fighters were also all soldiers, but were volunteer firefighters.

Then it was a trip into town to find some fabric to make a couple of bookmarks for another swap. I want to use fabric that is New Zealand related, so hope they don't look too boring! Mmmmm, might need to add some embellishments.......
And speaking of embellishments, last night I treated myself to a night of bead making for a swap with Fibre Art Traders. These beads were lots of fun to make and very effective, although I think I'll probably use them as embellishments on things rather than the tradition bead. However, what cool embellishments!!
Some I made from rolling tyvek round an old knitting needle, then painting them with a mixture of glue and paint, then applying some embossing enamel and zapping them with the heat gun. The other lot were made with some silk carrier rods which I had bought some time ago and had no idea what I would use them for! (Am I the only one who buys stuff cos it's way cool and think sometime, one day, I'll need this????) So I snipped them up rolled them round a needle and them put some thread and wire round them. I am pleased with the colours, and think now that I wouldn't mind making a few more!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

oooooops missed a day somewhere

Actually I think I missed a post cos I left it too late in the day (or night, as the case may be) and someone, who shall remain nameless hogged the internet before I got to it!! LOL
Anyway, Wed night I went to "Finishing Class" at my local quilt store, The Cloth Shop. It's a "do anything" class in which you can work on any project and there is always someone much smarter there who can help you if you get stuck. Mostly it's just a social night, where you get to goo and ga over everyones projects! Oh, and did I mention the chocolate biscuits??

Anyway, moving right along... here are a couple of pics, in fact a bit of a teaser really, as I am hosting a swap on F.A.T and am working on a sample to trade. The top pic is some fabric I found which was perfect, the second pic is what I will use in my project.... now if I tell you any more than that I will have to kill you all!!!Hahaha! If it works out and looks good, I will put a step by step on here for you.

Answering questions: -Fannie, yes I will be painting the sack pieces I use, it's time consuming cos the little suckers don't like absorbing the paint either.
Lisa, I tend to be a little heavy handed with the glue and thought that I would end up putting it everywhere it wasn't needed! I think I would certainly be using steam-a-seam to hold them all in place. I've never had any trouble with steamaseam and sewing thru layers either.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In pursuit of messiness...

Some time ago I made one of those purchases that you wonder about, especially the reasons behind the purchase, anyway I bought 10, (yes I know) coffee bean sacks, large ones, One probably would have been plenty. But since I have them and I'm not sure what I intend doing with them, one at least is getting chopped up to use in my fibre art projects. It has been used here on the covers of the ATC booklet, (in pic below). It is going to get painted and glued onto Fast 2 Fuse as the outside covers.

This is a pic of my finished ATC (artist trading card) booklet I made for a swap with F.A.T. I only made the one and it was sent to Noelene in Aussie. I have decided to make some more, (mainly so that I can have my very own to drool all over!) This one was very tactile with 4 pages inside. I love how the colours came together.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What on earth was I thinking????

These are the 3 blocks I've finished from the McKenna Ryan art quilt I'm making. There are 5 more blocks left to make. I don't know what came over me when I decided to tackle this one? The house block was the first to arrive and very daunting! I did that second. Everything is appliqued and I just know that once I've finished this I will never ever want to applique anything ever again!!

I am having problems uploading any more pics, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow.
In the mean time - Why did the chicken cross the road?
Dr Phil: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes to the other side of the road...
Oprah: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross the road. So that is why I'm going to give this chicken a car, so he can just drive across the road...
George W Bush: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road, we just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not...
Colin Powell: Now to the left of the screen you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...
Dr Seuss: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told...
Ernest Hemingway: To die in the rain. Alone.
Grandpa: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road and that was good enough...
John Lennon: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace...
Aristotle: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road...
Bill Gates: I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook...
Albert Einstein: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
Bill Clinton: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken!
Colonel Sanders: Did I miss one?

Monday, March 10, 2008

All good things must come to an end

Well here in New Zealand, the days are starting to close in, by 8.00pm it is starting to get dark now, sigh, I'm not looking forward to winter. I thought you all might enjoy this pic, couldn't you just eat the lot!! I have now picked the last of the strawberries. This is the first year I have grown them and have a large bed with about 50 plants. They have flowered and fruited for  just over 3 months! I am really impressed, and they had so much more flavour than the store bought ones. I will definitely grow them again next season! My tomatoes have taken over another garden bed. They are all cherry tomatoes, yellow and red, it's like an invasion of triffids! 

Yesterday I did a bit more work on 4th panel of the McKenna Ryan art quilt I'm working on, In Full Bloom. I'll try and get a pic up for you tomorrow. I've finished 3 blocks and have 5 more to do. I think it's a long term project!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Well now -  I ask you? It's the weekend, a time when you feel like blobbing out and watching tv or reclining with a QA mag, who's got the best seat in the blinkin house??  Not happy with one chair either, we have to stretch over both chairs!  Buddy is only 6 months old, I don't think this is a good sign of things to come!

Lindi - Hey! thanks for the neat comments, and I really like your idea on croppin and framing the portion of quilt I do like! 
Pauline - Thanks, and welcome to my madness!
Wanda - WOW! I found your card! Congrats! You guys are inspiring, I think I'm gonna have a go at entering some of these things too!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I'm over rainbows now!

This is a close-up of the Jan quilt journal, and to be honest I think the close-up portion is much better than the whole lot put together! I decided to just finish it after all, it is collaged, and there are layers and there is lots of colour! I am really over rainbows now!! The technique for the march journal is ... wait for it... ABSTRACT! I reckon I'll be able to polish that off with my eyes closed!! 

Friday, March 7, 2008


First off, thanks MorningDove for all your neat comments, and yes it is our Gretchen from FAT who had her post card accepted in the ArtCards Deck!
Here's one for you all, of course it's not finished yet, but do I go on with it or trash it, I don't know if it's doing it for me, if you know what I mean! The brief is to make a journal quilt, and the theme is colours and the techniques are layering and collage. I think it fills the criteria, but think it's inbetween abstract and representational and maybe it has to be one or the other? Mmmmm, if I don't compare it to the pics I guess it's ok. Maybe I'll have to redo it. What do you think? (I think I can feel a re-work coming on)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Accidental is an understatement!!

Well here is a little arch I made for Pam, in the Textile Challenges group I belong to. I had the chance to attend a talk by American Karen Eckmeier on her Accidental Landscapes and Happy Villages, just recently while she was doing a trip to various parts of New Zealand. She had a great range of different sized quilts for everyone to have a close up look at, (and in my case a poke and prod! I learn with my fingers!!) Her work was very inspiring, and she made her techniques look veeeerrryyy easy! yeah right! So I decided to start small and work my way up and made this small accidental landscape. And it was accidental! It started off as a seascape and ended up as a riverscape! Lol, and one that has a slight flow south! Never mind, I was quite impressed with the technique, I think it made a neat little landscape and I'm keen to attempt it again! I hope Pam likes it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I've got mail!

A parcel was delivered to my mailbox today, a lovely ArtCard Ideas 2007 Idea Deck! Thank you so much Gretchen. In 2007 ArtCards ran a competition and Gretchen had one of her cards accepted, wow! Congrats Gretchen! There are 55 cards in the pack which you can use for inspiration when you suffer a "creative block"
I also managed to get out and pick up some fabric to use in my next journal quilt. The theme is colour, and I'm going to atempt the trees and rainbow from a couple of posts ago. Mmmmm, not short of colour, I can hear Tim Gun saying, "okay, now make it work!"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Just had to share this...

Last night mayhen broke loose in the kitchen! Everything happened all at once! The phone rang, a tele marketer, at the same time one of the kittens jumped onto the kitchen bench stalking a piece of chicken left over from tea, and moving to shoo Buddy off the bench I caught a glimpse of a small grey creature scampering along the kitchen wall! A mouse! I hung up - somewhat abruptly - pushed the kitten off the bench, and yelled 'MOUSE" thinking as you do that having 2 kittens in the kitchen the mouse wouldn't stand a chance! (and of course I kinda expected them to know what the word 'mouse' meant!) WRONG! Shelby, who was trying to sleep amongst all this mayhem leaped from her basket and slid across the floor, into the path of the mouse. She missed it first time, but was not going to let that little sucker get the best of her! Amid hoots of laughter and much cheering back and forth the mouse ran, back and forward Shelby slid until she had it cornered - then with one gigantic snuffle she sucked it up and it was gone!!!! OMG! Kittens couldn't believe it! We couldn't believe it!

Shelby - my hero!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Wow! I got colour!

I'm very excited that I am finally able to upload some pics! I've yet to work on the layout, but the basics are there! Thanks so much Fannie and Debmarie for your support and encouragement! (It feels pretty special to have TWO guardian angels!)
My next project/adventure is to make a quilt journal for Feb for the Australia and New Zealand Art Quilters Group I belong to. The theme for Feb is Colour or Graffiti and we are supposed to use layering or collage as the main technique. I found this photo I took a couple of months back and ran a filter over it, and HEY PRESTO!! It's not earth shattering, but don't you think it lends itself to collage, layering and colour?!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My very first post!

Welcolme to my blog, and of course, my very first post! As I would expect, I can't get anything to work, so you can expect to see changes happening as my brain clicks into gear!
What can I this site!