"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Thursday, January 28, 2016


 My friend Chris John visited last week. After a very satisfactory trip to a few art and papercraft shops, we settled down to some serious crafting!
We started with the cards. Chris had brought some of her card making equipment along and we had fun trying out some designs and new inks and powders. I had bought a small book of blank watercolour paper postcards, so we gave that a try, with Chris' inktense blocks! Ooooh, I liked! One of those is definitely on my Xmas list. The colours are so intense, and the hues are divine. Finished the little watercolour landscape. Then we tried some stamps, and distress inks, glitter pen, and paper cards to make more cards. The little owl is so cute. I'll have to finish some of these off before I can use them.
The next project was a little steampunk box, inspired by a YouTube video by Einat Kessler. Einat does awesome things, and I love steampunk, so this was by way of an experiment, as I hadn't attempted anything like it before. I had collected a whole lot of steampunk itty bits for another project (see the Alice in Wonderland Quilt), so there were lots left. Then I raided hubby's garage and found a few more bits to use (and if you want to donate any little metal bits from your hubby's collection of stuff, please keep me in mind). We first painted the boxes with a mix of black gesso and umber acrylic, a nice dark colour, then dried them. Next, we used glue to stick on the metal bits and left them to dry overnight. The next step was to repaint everything with the acrylic/gesso mix and dry it.Then we went wild with all sorts of sprays and mica powders and paint and inco gold, building up the layers.A final drying and voila - my steampunky trinket box! Such fun.

In the meantime, things are moving - slowly! - on the building site. The plumbers were a little flummoxed today because they couldn't find a convenient connection to the main water drain, so after ripping up one of my pretty white dwarf aggies (I hope they'll put them back!), they ran a direct trench over to the septic. Hopefully that will be all the digging required. The next job will be the plasterwork, possiby starting tomorrow. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Poetry in quilting

Today the temperatures will climb into the high 30s, low 40s even in some places, so I won't be moving far from the air conditioner! Good opportunity to do some quilty things.
I found these two fabrics recently, and since I love any fabric that has script, typing etc. on it, I just had to get some. These two were especially welcome because the writing on both is in German.
The purple fabric has gold lettering, and is a type of hand writing similar to the one my German grandmother used. Oma went to school before the introduction of Suetterlin-script, and used the Kurrent script taught in schools then. They are very similar, and I think the gold lettering here is the later version.
My sister and I always found it very hard to decipher Oma's letters and recipes, and I still have difficulty reading this. As far as I can make out, these are just phrases jumbled together to make up the fabric. Pretty cool though.
As for the other one, It is not an 'official' type of script, just very elaborate. I deciphered some of it, and entered a couple of the phrases into Google, and hey presto! found out that these were some of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poems! One of them is called "Eigentum" (Possession). Here's the original -
Ich weiß, daß mir nichts angehört
Als der Gedanke, der ungestört
Aus meiner Seele will fließen,
Und jeder günstige Augenblick,
Den mich ein liebendes Geschick
Von Grund aus läßt genießen.

English translation (1814)
I FEEL that I'm possess'd of nought,
Saving the free unfetterd thought
Which from my bosom seeks to flow,
And each propitious passing hour
That suffers me in all its power
A loving fate with truth to know.
I thought Goethe needs a modern overhaul, some of the language the old translators used is archaic and interpretive. So, here's my translation, which doesn't flow like the old one, but I think it makes more sense:
My own possession
I know nothing belongs to me
if not the thought that flows 
freely from my soul, 
and every moment in which, by a kind fate,
I might delight.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy 2016!

 A new year, and new beginnings. Our NYE was a quiet affair, managed to stay awake until midnight and toasted the new year with a glass of bubbly, then watched the Melbourne and Sydney fireworks. Added to bucket list - watch Sydney fireworks live from a good vantage point one year!
The year started with some hexies for a new table runner. Stay tuned!
The studio is waiting to be completed. The bricks are up, and I think they matched fairly well. I just wish the brickie had matched the mortar. Oh well, can't have it all.
For 2016, I haven't made any resolutions, however, I'd like to get some quilts finished that have been sitting around for a while. Also, I want to get my bedroom back into shape, it has been looking a bit like an op shop lately. And lastly, a thorough cleanout of all kitchen cupboards and pantry. That's challenge enough. Energy would be a fine thing!