Sunday, December 1, 2013

craft fair
Our arts centre's annual craft fair and fundraiser was on today, so I offered to donate a cake for the cake stall. It didn't even touch the table - a lovely member of the public fell in love and bought it as I was handing it over for display!

top, with ingredients

side of box

inside, yay!

The recipe is a no-fail by Annabel Langbein HERE from her 'simple pleasures' book, and it needs to be shared! The first time I made it I didn't have any sultanas or raisins, so I substituted them with prunes. It was so yum, I make it with prunes every time now!

250g butter
3-4 apples
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sultanas or raisins (or roughly chopped pitted prunes)
1/2 cup walnut (or pecan) pieces
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Grease the sides of a 26 cm diameter cake tin
and line the base with baking paper.
Melt butter in a large pot. Remove from heat and mix in apples and sugar then eggs.
Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, sultanas or raisins and walnuts, stirring just enough to blend evenly.
The batter will be quite runny. Spread into prepared tin and bake until it is risen
 and golden and the top bounces back when pressed (about 1 hour 20 mins).
Allow to cool for 15 mins before turning out of the tin. If desired, top with
 extra walnut pieces and dust with icing sugar before serving.
This cake keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days and is also delicious heated
 and served with cream or custard.

Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yesterday I fell in love with this beautiful mixed media painting

breathe grow change

by my artist friend Linda Misa. She now lives here. I'm so happy.

She is very timely with our life at the moment - breathe, grow, change! A lot of all that has been going on - along with trees, birds, houses and a baby crow who visits and leaves debris in the bird bath for me to wash away.

See more of Linda's unique and whimsical work HERE.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

not much sewing
but some progress here ...
west end to stove nook on left
and boot room behind ;-)))

east end to kitchen, yes, it is coming!

 back wall after small window was taken out
and before new ones went in ...

... here
It has progressed since these were taken, and ceiling lights are going in this week!

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

overflowing dam
What a lovely sight this was at the end of September. I took time out with Himself for a drive in the hills and to see Wellington Dam overflowing.

from the top

from the lookout
at the bottom

lace wall of water

rocks above

natural cliff with wall ...

... looking down into picnic area below
We took time out here to eat our icecreams ;-)))

And I managed to find a beautiful farm gate along the way. We risked life and limb to stop here on a corner of the highway and up this abandoned road to the gates on the hill!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

happy birthday Helen

A casserole holder ...

 made from two tea towels
with folded tea towel apron inside ...


All wrapped in yet another one. I just love tea towels, especially when they have nothing to do with dishes, LOL.

fun sewing

Last week I made some jama pants for himself out of this fabric. He doesn't actually sleep in them ;-)))

This is to keep me sane while the renos progress. We're living in a building site, condensed down to three rooms - but it will be worth it.

Has anyone else managed some fun sewing lately?

Thanks for visiting!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

stitchery progressing
This version on cotton is almost ready to start adding the detail foreground flowers and grasses. I can't believe how much it's 'shrunk' ... but I didn't use a hoop, so it's to be expected. Next time I'll use a much stronger backing - will try canvas - that should hold it tighter! Haven't started the silk one yet.

all-over stitching
building up stitch colour in foreground
[click to enlarge]

thermofax workshop
Last month Linda Stokes came to Bunbury for a workshop at our arts centre. Lots of fun and experimenting with this method, similar to silkscreening, but using a more economical/less permanent screen.

I scanned my beautiful jacaranda leaves and sent the pic to Linda, so she was able to bring this screen on the day! Very happy with the results.

jacaranda print on thermofax screen

background fabric was discharge dyed first,
then overprinted with jacaranda
and discharged with blobby stripes
repeating this A4 size design of Linda's 
creates a 'cityscape'

two foliage designs printed on white cotton

these ovals discharged onto batik didn't give the results
I expected, but they look 3D here!

gold circles overprinted with
jacaranda leaf

annual retreat
Once again our quilty retreat at Augusta was full of laughs, too much food and even a bit of sewing this year!

Our challenge from last year was to make one of two awful pieces of fabric (IMHO) into 'something'. Here are the results - we're soooo creative and talented!

our finished challenge pieces showing the two
fabrics (pumpkin and Jacobean style)

Jo's corded bowl and Mary's cushion top
Helen's linen tea towels
(the overall unanimous winner!)
my discharge dyed Jacobean fabric.
I was desperate to kill it, LOL!

Mandy's door stop

Meanwhile, it's back to reality and major renovations. Yup, off to the B-word chain hardware for door quotes!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

silk painting workshop
This week at creative textiles, we had a morning workshop preparing a silk painting for stitching. This beautiful sample was created by Rhonda for us to follow.

The background was painted first. Rhonda has left the sky area unstitched, which I think works really well. We're all doing the same landscape design so it's easier to keep control of us, LOL!

[Click to enlarge so you can see the stitches.]


foreground grasses and flowers

To begin, we did a practise piece on cotton fabric using Genesis paints. Oops, I was working from another sample and forgot to leave a space at the top left of the yellow/dried grass section.

cotton fabric, stretched and painted

Once that was dry, we started on the silk - first drawing the basic landscape design and using a resist over the pencil lines so the paint didn't bleed into an adjoining area.

silk, showing resist lines

The paint was mixed, watered down and applied, then dried with hairdryers in between each colour. It can be a bit tricky to ensure that the paint doesn't run through the resist - thankfully, I didn't have any problems.

The paint behaves very differently between cotton and silk, but this background will be hidden - it's just a guide for thread colours.

At home I pressed it with a warm iron to heat seal and now it's ready to stitch. Next week we begin ... hope I can wait that long!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

teacosy finished
and un-gifted back to me for pics! I'm happy with it, although the shape has turned out to be a bit weird ;-)))

Davida's 'scraps' of felted pieces became my beautiful leaves, stitched on by hand and machine.

one side ...

inside, lined with two lengths of gorgeous sari silk
Next time I'll insert a gusset(?) thingy at both the spout and handle ends and it should sit a bit more politely?

... looks a bit like it's been caught
in a strong sea breeze!

layers of hand dyed felt, topped with
stitch and dyed gauze and
hand dyed felted fabric pieces on top

... the other side
Thank you to my new followers. I do appreciate you being here xo.

Have a great weekend everyone - we're planning to head out somewhere interesting for lunch!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

ooops, it's happened again
How time flies!

I have been doing a little bit of creative textiles work over the last few weeks (sorry, no photos) ... but mostly I've been involved with preparation for major house renovations.

So here is a little catch-up since April.

India Flint
Bunbury artists were honoured to welcome India Flint in April for a workshop, and I was lucky enough to attend her talk and demonstration at the end of her stay.

India's trusty old battered dye pot (below, right) travels the world with her and was used to create the sample pieces, which were freshly unravelled and still wet at the end of the talk. Wish I'd taken a close-up pic of its yummy, rich, slurpy contents!

India Flint, and her trusty travelled dye pot

India's book, Eco Colour

 felted and hand stitched samples

All the flowers, leaves and bark pieces used in the sample below were collected from within 50 m over the road from the venue before her talk and demo! There are no harmful chemical additives - the natural colours vary depending on the type and age of the leaves and there can be a huge range, just from one tree.

sample pieces dyed from leaves
found over the road!

India's work is so inspiring - I literally wanted to go home and throw out all my dyed work using commercial products (but I didn't. Yet.) 

She also signed my book. I'm such a groupie ...

misty day in Bridgetown
On a grand day out with some gal friends in Bridgetown last week, I found a large old cupboard - with enough shelves and drawers to house a sizeable amount of my textiles stash. What a find! 

So, Himself (wonderful as he is) agreed to take me back with the trailer on the weekend. All measured, sizes checked and everything will fit, yay! After it was loaded, we warmed our 'sitting bones' ;-))) by the open fire and warmed our tummies with hot soup at a nearby cafĂ©.

Here are some pics of the misty views along the way.

fruit trees near Mullalyup

eucalypts and mist

sheds at Balingup

Stay tuned for some progress on the cupboard restoration.

tea cosy
The beginnings of a tea cosy to be gifted to my friend Fiona. It was such fun to stitch and play ... the pieces were hand or machine stitched in place. Then I forgot to take a pic when it was finished. Now I'm inspired to make some more!

playing with layers

playing with stitch

Thanks for visiting!