Saturday, May 29, 2010

Journal cover, gifts and a swap

I finished this sketchbook cover yesterday. ( opened out above and closed below) Not my usual colours but I'm happy with it.
I'm teaching two workshops in Bunbury soon, one is called From Trash to Treasure, which is about creating things from leftover scraps of fabric, yarns, ect. so I thought I would get some examples done. Also The Old Bakery Gallery, which sells some of my work, has been waiting for more so the things I'm making will go there afterwards. I have 2 bags almost done too.

The postcard is from Emma, from the Isle of Skye, who is running a swap with fellow bloggers from around to world to celebrate her 50th brthday. I love the combination of papers with the rich touches of gold and metallics. I forgot to photograph mine before I sent it and also my new ATCs before they went off to New Zealand for a swap with a Yahoo Quilt group. Remembered when they were all packaged up but didn't want to unpackage them!

When I met Reiko in Japan, we exchanged gifts. She gave me these lovely little decorations, covered buttons, and notebook which she makes and teaches. Also some kits so I can make some. Aren't they lovely? She also gave me a collection of Japanese fabric pieces and a pattern with everything needed to make a bag. I'll do that after my workshop in Bunbury. I gave her a selection of Australian Aboriginal designed quilt fabrics, one of my postcards and a bag.
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Sunday, May 23, 2010


A collage of photos from our last few days in Japan - all in Tokyo. The gardens are Rikugien Gardens again with Reiko and Akiko.
Left, center: a Harajuku girl. These girls are amazing - they must spend so much time on their appearance - we saw several of them on the train and at the Harajuku shopping area - especially popular with the young and trendy (photo: centre, bottom row) The shopping street top left is where Reiko And Akiko took me - not sure what this one is called but there were lots of traditional food shops and restaurants, souvenir shops and a temple.

Thanks for all the nice comments on my quilt prizes.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Japan & the Perth Craft & Quilt Fair

I made a collage of these photos of wood slats at the village in Takayama - I'd like to use them somehow in my work. Further thought required!
Below: just had to show some more cherry blossom at the temples in Takayama. The tree on the left has been bandaged - not sure why.

This red flower (Camellia?) was in the same area - gorgeous aren't they?

Below: Rikugien Gardens in Tokyo. My friend Reiko (who I met at the Yokohama Quilt Fair last year) and her daughter, Akiko, met us in Tokyo. We all had lunch together then they took me to these beautiful gardens and an old style shopping street. We had a lovely afternoon. The tree is typically asymmetrical which as Reiko explained, is preferred in Japanese gardens.

Yesterday I went to the Craft & Quilt Fair in Perth and had a big surprise. My two quilts I entered in the QuiltWest exhibition both won prizes. Magic Carpet won first in the amateur small quilt category & Stitch Sampler Quilt won second in the first time entrant section. I'm quite thrilled as its been a while since I've won anything and I had been wondering if I should even continue trying to make quilts.
There seemed to be more of interest to me at the fair this year but I didn't buy too much - only some Wonderfil threads, a small amount of fabric, a jar of paint and some embroidery scissors. The WAFTA Naturally exhibition was there too and looked good again in the different venue.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New ATCs and Tree

Slowly getting back to work - The cold I caught while in Japan is nearly gone but still feeling tired and not 100% yet.

Today we had to get our big Marri tree cut down because it was dying. I'm very sad as it's always overlooked our back garden with lovely shade and shelter for the birds and animals. The garden looks very bare without it. But on the plus side the vegie garden will have more sun and we'll have room for a couple more fruit trees.

Before and after below.

The men who did the job were very good - one of them climbed up to the top, cut the branches one by one and guided them down so they didn't damage our grapefruit tree or anything else in the area. They've cleared up and mulched all the mess but still have to come back to cut down the main trunk.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010


Takayama is up in the mountains, a couple of hours by train from Nagoya. It's a lovely place to visit - still had some of the famous cherry blossoms (Sakura) flowering which was a bonus, as well as lots of great shopping and eating.

We visited a re-creation of a traditional mountain village. The houses are built with steep, sloping and very thick thatched roofs to withstand severe snow falls in winter. It was quite cold when we were there, but fine and sunny.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Japan Trip continued

While we were staying with Renee, Toshiko, who used to be one of Renee's students, took us to a temple in the Suzuka Mountains only about an hours drive away. A beautiful area and in contrast to my last trip, very quiet and peaceful.

Cleansing our hands before visiting the temple.

While there, we had a tea ceremony - below was the sweet that came before the tea. Unfortunately I forgot to take a pic of the beautiful tea bowls. Tatami matting in the background which you kneel on for the tea ceremony. (if possible with old knees!)
Afterwards Toshiko took us out to a lovely lunch at an organic restaurant.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Gelatin Printing Workshop

Margaret F has just sent me a photo of this quilt she made from the gelatin printed fabrics she did in my workshop for Designing Women on Saturday and she's permitted me to post the pic. It's a buzz when you see someone has taken a workshop technique further - thanks so much for sharing Margaret - well done!
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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Tokoname Pottery Village

I arrived home from Japan Wednesday night but too busy getting organised for my workshop (today) to post before. All the pics are at The Tokoname pottery village near Nagoya. Above: both daughters. We had a lovely day wandering around - lots of little shops, old traditional houses, kilns and fantastic paths and walls made from left over pottery. The cat below is one of many (all different) from the wall outside the village.

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