Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Heating Up

Back from Adelaide on Monday evening...I love the smaller shows, a real intimacy about them that just does not happen at the larger shows.
Of course, Adelaide decided to heat up just in time for the fair and is getting increasingly hot this week just as I return to Sydney and wait for the heat to catch up with me here!
I caught up with some family I had not seen or spent that much time with in years: my 83 year old aunt told me stories about the family that had me in tears of laughter and really lightened up a heavy year.
Am getting back to work slowly with a few magazine articles on the horizon as well as being the cover girl for the current issue of Machine Embroidery and Textile Art (Vol 16, #4) with an ultra-fine wool made into a ruana and 3D leaves as well as painted leaves. Thoroughly enjoyed making this one! Titled Wrapt in Oz

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Here today, gone tomorrow

Yes, the willow-the-wisp is back after being missing in action most of October, consumed with finishing up estates and all the other things that must be attended as the family baton is being passed to the next generation. It is quite a consideration being in the 'frontline' now.
I have been also involved at a committee level (shades of last man standing syndrome) with ATASDA, the fantastic textile group I belong to
and am off to Adelaide tomorrow as part of the ATASDA team promoting textiles at the Exotica exhibition. Hence the title of this blog. Come and say 'hello' if you are going to be at the Adelaide showgrounds over the duration of the show (Thurs-Sun).
After all that, at it with a vengeance when I return to Sydney next week.
I am staying with my lovely old aunt...I don't think she has either a computer or the internet, so I will be missing in action for a little while yet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quiet Time

Have been off the blogwaves since last week. My FIL passed away last Thursday so we have been out of the loop and under the radar for a few days

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not hiding, working!

Got back to Sydney and did the usual, took a week to get over my PHD (post holiday depression!). A friend of mine and I both agree, the highs of the holiday are never the same for the folks at home... Coupled with my FIL's condition, the joy of our holiday is hard going at the moment...it takes a while to get back into the swing of everything once more and then a 21st on top of that.
We had a fabulous night at Emad's, a Lebanese restaurant in Sydney with family and friends. Plain good fun!
Now sort of/kind of trying to get everything done a little bit at a time each day with all the extra travel we are doing between sick beds and home. Bear with me once more for the next little while please.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Back in Beijing by ourselves was good, but we really missed both our son's company and his communication skills. We did manage to navigate our way on the underground, back to the silk/pearl markets for a final shopping fling.
Have been quiet...my FIL has gone into a hospice and will probably not return home. We are doing quite some running around and looking after my MIL at the moment. Yes, it's THAT sort of year

Friday, September 18, 2009

Inner Mongolia...still

We ate at a Chinese 'chain' for lunch (3pm mind you) and I admired our very young waitresses hair band: it was immediately taken off her head and presented to me! Our son has written to the restaurant group thanking her for her kindness...all employees have a staff number, a truly good idea. And the food we had was spectacular once more....wish we had chain food as good as this in my hometown. My China trip sounds like an adventure for foodaholics and I truly think it could be such a trip for serious foodies.
Big siesta and very late dinner finished our last full day in Inner Mongolia.
Before we flew out we went to an ancient temple and then an amazing modern arts museum/precinct. Hopefully the Chinese will not destroy all their history in the name of progress. Back to another amazingly modern airport: we were early for our flight and unlike anywhere else I have been, they readily changed our very cheap priced tickets for seats on the earlier flight!!!!!!
Very mixed feeling when we got back to Beijing and our son went back to TianJin and we caught our cab to the city for our last 2 days

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Inner Mongolia

There is something pleasing to say we ate Mongolian Hot Pot in (Inner)Mongolia! And it was sensational!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We arrived early afternoon, our hotel on the outer limits of downtown Hohhot. Our first (wrong) impression was that there was very little there. We were, however, the objects of amazing scrutiny. Being 'older' people travelling with our mid 20's son is an unusual family travelling dynamic, but the blatant stares were a little disconcerting initially. Our son explained that many Chinese from this part of the world would rarely have seen tourists from other countries, let alone a family such as ours. And the fact we were travelling independently too.
We went to the Grasslands the next day, about 150km from Hohhot but an eternity away from civilization and crowds. Discovered Yurtels, our word for the pre-fab rows of concrete yurts (with concrete floors and air conditioning units on the outside)...not the mental picture I had of the fold-up felted numbers I had seen in National Geographic as a kid. Not a cloud in the sky, we saw a 'show' of talented horse people and wrestling...interesting. The journey was outstanding, fantastic roads as we had experienced everywhere else in China.
That night a fabulous Inner Mongolian dinner where we were adopted by a group of Inner Mongolians who were just astounded we had travelled there and that our son was such a good Chinese speaker and good Chinese boy looking after his parents the way he did...another night of too much beer being bought for us as a tribute to our travels.
The next day, we travelled the other direction past coal mines and more working power stations than I ever thought possible! To the desert and sand dunes that just appear out of nowhere. Fantastic! The boys let loose and did a sand slide down a dune and then had to walk back up. We all went in a converted army car, "surfing" the dunes. No OH&S considerations here...old fashioned hold on by the skin of your teeth and keep your fingers crossed....the best part of the journey!
More next time

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Party and Tianjin

Ahh, another child successfully off our hands and into adulthood: great party/meal at Emad's Lebanese restaurant in Cleveland street, Surry Hills (NSW). Spectacular chocolate cake from Chockers in Vaucluse courtesy of long time fabulous cake maker Briar Toose. Spectacularly unwell on Saturday and part of Sunday...too old for long night sessions now I think.
Meanwhile, back in China, we caught a fast train to the 4th largest city in China, Tianjin, a port/industrial/university town south of Beijing. These fast trains go from 6am until 11pm, leaving every 10 minutes...yes, every 10 minutes! And the cost? About 10.00 Aussie dollars...the Chinese realize that they can only grow the road system so far and are really rapidly developing their public transport system. And the more public transport they build, the cheaper it becomes...perhaps a lesson for all of us.
We just hung around and had a really laid back time in Tianjin...out to dinner with a whole lot of student's, our son's professor/private tutor, his mother...another spectacular fun filled evening, so cheap (12 people, too much food, yes, lots of beer) around 40.00 Aussie dollars for absolutely everything. The Prof says our son Dirk is the best student he has ever had...where did that lazy high school kid disappear too?
Next....Inner Mongolia

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Saga of the Great Wall-Yin and Yang

Our son arranged our tour of the Great Wall...we went via a jade shop and then to the wall...I did a little of it, enough to say I had been there and the boys climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed...you get the drift! Absolutely amazing and beautiful and admiration for the sheer physical feat of building it. Oh, all those toned legs from all those stairs!
Back to lunch at another jade shop...we told our guide/driver that we had not agreed to any shopping stops and had in fact already done 2.
Heated words,then we said that wherever he took us next, we would not go in and just get a taxi. He said he would drop us off then and there...AND HE DID!!!!!!!!!!!! On the road we were on, a major highway...but, I will say, at a bus stop. The 3 of us got out of the car in shock and amazement and just laughed. The people at the bus stop realized something untoward had just happened...our son of course had no issue...he reads and writes and speaks Mandarin fluently. However the young man he asked about which bus went to Beijing or the underground stunned us by paying our bus fare when we got on. He escorted us to our final train stop (which was only about 10 stops out of his way!!!!!!). What an amazing Yin and Yang experience!
Add to that, the best fun dinner that night at a very local place to our accommodation...no westerners venture into this restaurant as not one person spoke English or was there any part of the menu in anything other than Mandarin...stunning meal, lots of toasts to each other (beer is very cheap) and our entire meal cost the princely sum of about AUD $7.00.Will leave the missives for 2 days...off to Sydney to set up/prepare for our daughter's 21st dinner tonight

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reverence for the age-d

Our 2nd Beijing day was at the Summer Palace...being Aussies, we came in the 'other' way, climbed a squillion very tall and shallow steps (NOT designed for this short lady) and were greeted with a stunning panorama...worth all the whingeing on the stairs!
So many older Chinese were doing Tai Chi, others exercising in a very vigorous manner and, most impressively for me, part of a 'band' that was being conducted in an amazing building playng ansd singing traditional Chinese folk songs. All for the joy of it and keeping a fresh and invigorated brain as they age.
Back soon

Monday, September 7, 2009

More OIC

Finally left the south...known as one of China's cauldrons with very good reason, and flew to Beijing to meet up wth our son.
We stayed in traditional 'suburb' of Beijing in a hutong in a non-tourist area of town. Local food and shops, walking distance to Tian An Men square...what a place. Big in all senses of the word...wide majestic streets and busy and bustling even at midnight.
Off to the Forbidden City our first day in Beijing...we didn't realize that 4 million people (or so it seemed) would be there at the same time!!!!!!!!!! Crowds, heat and crowds and heat...not my favourite combo at the best of times. Went walking to escape the crush, seemed my legs were walked off up to my knees that day. But the food.....I am ruined for Chinese food outside China now.
More tomorrow

Saturday, September 5, 2009

O.I.C....Only in China

Back last Thursday from China: have spent the last couple of days with family and ordinary things such as buying food! And planning and preparing for our daughter's 21st birthday celebrations.
China...WHAT a place. Our Mandarin speaking (reading/writing too) son Dirk made a potentially challenging country so simple for us. I cannot believe his skills and patience, translating back and forth for us and our Chinese acquaintances. And just how much fun we had as an unlikely family troupe (age-d parents/independent travellers)
First stop, Just my hubby and I on a boat cruise down the Yiangtze river. We flew to Beijing then directly to Chongqing (pronounced Chong Ching) to see the 3 gorges and dam project...how inspiring! The river is immense, the rate and scope of building astonishing and if anyone has doubts about China becoming the economic juggernaut of the world, just go there! Modern roads everywhere! And the scenery...powerful combo plus the fabulous people we met on board. Going through 4 of the 5 lochs is astounding too.
Will continue the China Saga over the next few days as I don't want to clog the arteries of the blog with too much too soon!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jig Saw Year

Well, the puzzle that is my year of 2009 continues. I had an unplanned trip to Canberra with ATASDA, www.atasda.org.au assisting them with their travelling display, then rapidly off to Melbourne and back, seeing family.
It was eerie as we went through the horrendously burnt areas of Kinglake, as we returned to Sydney via Yea: the last time we were through was 2 days after my mother's funeral and 2 days before the firestorm. We drove through fog with the burned, naked trees looking like a forest of ghosts. The countryside everywhere was beautiful, lush and green, perhaps telling a few fibs about just what is happening to the land at the moment.
We are off to China tomorrow evening to visit our Madarin speaking son who will be a perect tour guide. Perhaps a chance to relax and gather all the marbles I've dropped this year

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Interstate Bound

Am off to Canberra unexpectedly this Thursday through to Sunday at the Quilt and Craft Fair, helping out the shorthanded troops--flu ravaged-- on the ATASDA (Australian Textile Arts & Surface Design Association) display stand. Come along and say hello and catch up with me...bring hot chocolate or coffee for me if it's cold! Milk no sugar please.
After that off to Melbourne briefly to catch up with family and then back home to pack for 2 weeks in China with our son...am taking the computer to all places but China where I intend to catch up through Internet Cafes. And take lots of photos of textile related things for us all!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Still transferring data

Taking my time to transfer old files and programmes to the new computer. And I have a new iPhone to learn at the same time. I was wondering why I did all this at the same time (got new equipment) and the tax man had a lot to do with it! Bought the package for tax benefits...but it also taxes my brain at the same time too! I believe all these challenges help stave off dementia though, so there is always an upside to techno-idiocy.
I have a new Great nephew...congrats Aarron and Peta for the beautiful Eamon Jack. My hubby and I are practicing at being Great Aunties and Uncles. So nice to have some cheery news and a new baby in the family! And the new phone already proved its worth when I received a photo as well as me sending an email of congrats...am feeling very pleased with my newly acquired skills, shoo to old age.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I think I've done it!

Spent a couple of hours with the comp. gurus yesterday (most of it enjoying their new home) and trying to get down to using one computer only and not joggling between the two. Think it's nailed!
I feel like a dinosaur when it comes to some of the techno stuff, but history has taught me that it is much better for me to take a couple of weeks to sort stuff out (transferring files) than going like a bull at a gate. Yes, I can transfer everything at once, 'puter to 'puter, but I am actually trying to clean up a lot of files and....scary thought....perhaps delete some really old stuff I haven't looked at for a long time. I'm trying to find a mirror to see if this is really me talking!
In the meantime, sewing some divine summer weight merino t-shirts for an upcoming trip to China to visit with our son. Also helping a very tall friend alter some of her patterns...never realized how challenging it is to get something to fit when you are having to stretch everything at least 25cm/10in. I used to have to do that width-ways!!! Can't comprehend economy long, rather than economy wide.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not in hiding, truly!!

I have not been in hiding: went interstate with my brother and sister to most probably say our farewells to a favourite uncle and auntie of all of ours. My brother has a developmental delay so it was good to see how he was travelling emotionally and physically since our Mum died early this year...interesting travelling as grownups. Some of the same arguments still happen too!!
Back at home trying to break in a new computer...I think I am an idiot of the first order in this dilemma, so Paul and Kay (THE computer gurus for me), expect a visit soon, perhaps when you have settled after your move? Just where are some of those emails I thought I had sent?
I have also decided that I am not going to make the grade as a daily blogger, so expect my missives on around about each week. Guilt or passion for something may well drive my blogging, but every day is just not working for me...I think having too much angst because I haven't blogged each day is not the road I want to take.
Same applies regarding the newsletter...I have most/much of the content, refining the layout and then to make sure I do not get treated as a spammer. The more I learn, the more I need to know. Apparently that will help my brain defy Alzheimer's, learning all this new stuff...just hope I can remember it all too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Not raining, pouring!

You know the old saying it doesn't rain but it pours...happening in this neck of the woods at the moment!
My FIL is in extremely poor health and we have had a lot of running around to do for he and my MIL...yes, the kids just leave and the natural progression to caring for the older folk just happens. As it is probably meant to be in the natural order of things.
I was busy last week as Guest Host with Creative Machine Newsletter: an interesting range of questions (if you are a Yahoo Groups member, you can check old posts) that will be incorporated into my newsletter. I am still surprised after all this time that so few people play with their overlockers/sergers as I do!
I am between computers at the moment, not on the Internet yet on the new one, will happen soon. Still working on my old (not so reliable computer): my computer gurus are between new homes/work spaces, so the newsletter is on its way but slowly, and now with a much better format and focus...just like the shampoo add, it may not happen overnight, but it will happen!
Apology also...I am going back through my history of those who have purchased e-books recently...seems that I need to e-send them manually at the moment until we work out how they are e-shipped upon receipt of payment. I am going through the orders to confirm who has or has not received their books. let me know if you have had an issue please.
I have also decided to blog only a couple of times a week at best. My life is so out of my control with family at the moment, that an absolute daily blog guarantee is just not possible.
Catch you all later

Monday, June 22, 2009

Guest Host and Tour Guide

Cryptic clues uncovered!
News Item #1
I am Guest Host on the Yahoo groups Creative Machine Newsletter, a group of dedicated stitchers in an online forum first started by Robbie Fanning and then continued for a while under the umbrella of Threads magazine. It has been going for some years and if you want info, answers, stimulation or just to sit back quietly and read about lots of 'things' sewing, this may be a group for your consideration. This week is my chance to serger-cally enhance the group.
News Item #2
Next year I am going to be the Australian tour leader for some of you from the Northern Hemisphere. We will have a strong focus on all things textile as well as entertaining any of the men folk who come along. The tour covers lots of the scenic highlights but also goes off the beaten track and takes in countryside not normally covered in a traditional tour. You are all being given 'first dibs' for info.
This is in association with
Downunder Travel Toronto
Registration opens August 1st, 2009
Phone: 1-888-642-1630
Fax: 416-642-1634
E-mail: stephanie@downunder-travel.com
www.creativestyling.com (Jo-Anne)
Contact either Jo-Anne or Stephanie for more details

Friday, June 19, 2009

Busy Week next week!

Just letting you all know in advance that next week will be a busy one with things International happening. Not meaning to sound too cryptic, all will be revealed Monday (Northern Hemisphere) time.
I'll just say think about talking to me or coming to play with ...all will be revealed soonish.
Have shaken off most of the lurgy except for the cough: I think I must be keeping whole households awake overnight at the moment. All in all though, feeling so much better. Nothing like most of the week in bed (again!!!!!!!!!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Glad there's no camera

I am still battling the lurgy I got at last week's show: runny nose, sore throat and raspy voice...definitely not attractive!
I have 5 metres of the most beautiful lightweight wool to create a garment for a magazine article, due by early July: I have so many ideas I could use 50 metres, but the way I feel at present, 5 metres may be 4 too many. Back to find some inspiration and more importantly, energy

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Craft and Quilt Fair

I have just surfaced from the Craft and Quilt Fair at Darling Harbour in Sydney where I was at the Art to Wear exhibition all week, answering questions on behalf of many interstate artists unable to attend as well as endeavouring to stop people from touching wearable garments, an almost impossible feat! It was themed "Black and White, cocktail, elegant", with the emphasis on construction and finish.
Wow, has the bar been lifted this year: I think we will be in a dilemma next year with the judges having a really high level of artistry and attention to detail and more candidates than available mannequins or space.
This exhibition is under the umbrella of the NSW Quilters' Guild, Australia's largest guild: any member of the Guild can enter into this juried exhibition (just giving you all a heads up for next year).
Images of the work will be posted on the website in the next couple of weeks, I will post a link so you can drool over the work.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Advertising hoarding on my forehead

I think I must have a blank space on my forehead at the moment that says "whatever it is, give it to Anne"
Came back from Brisbane...interesting new show...went to the back to back challenge and came home on Sunday night (last week) with a raging sore throat, runny nose and eyes and all that jazz. Just asking myself whether it was swine or sheep flu! Anyway, have tried to keep myself out of the action by staying at home and predominantly in bed! My interesting year continues.
I will be in Darling Harbour from Wed-Sun, with the Art to Wear component of the Quilters' Guild. Have seen many of the images...WOW, they look fantastic. Come over and say hello while you are down there

Friday, May 22, 2009

37 days to go

I have just returned from Queensland...they had their average yearly rainfall in one day!!!! I am waiting for the ark to be re-floated, just 37 more days to go at this rate for Noah and the animals to take off again. (Leave the rodents behind this time).
Have been playing with some felt and working with Jane from the Fibre Hut regarding combined workshops next year. Perhaps I will see some of you at the show in Queensland next week (if Brisbane is still there).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kurri Kurri weekend

Returned tired and excited after the Kurri Kurri weekend with NCEATA (www.nceata.org) as their artist in residence. Working with no agenda other than developing skills and ideas is totally liberating. I have experimented with some new techniques and will be developing them in the future for workshops and e-books. Great tutors there also...Judy Hoowarth,Claire Brach, Kirry Toose and Wendy Scott energised and exhausted the students with their projects.
I will be a tutor next year (3rd weekend in May) so get your bookings in now if you want to come and play. The venue (and food) is great, the stimulation of working and playing and sharing with like minded people is absolutely priceless!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here today, gone tomorrow

Now that I am just back on the blogging air, just advising you that I will not be posting again until (perhaps) Sunday, but then most probably Monday as I prepare for Artist in Residency in Kurri Kurri.
I am working on Black/White/Silver as I said and towards some new techniques for a new publication a little later in the year. I also pick up my Art to Wear entry adn will be taking some image for the blog for next week. I keep on feeling that I have let you down by not getting images up as I had promised, but I am moving forward at last.

All clear

I have had the all clear from the specialist...no known reason why, but I am shooting off lots of extra heart beats (maybe I just have more than enough to go around!!) and unless they all join up and give me trouble, he does not want to see me again.
Phew...do I feel better about this! I think everything is settling down in my life.
Getting ready to pack for Kurri Kurri this weekend, working (??playing) with black white and silver collars/neck attire and cuffs.
And, no, I haven't forgotten Forum photos...I have NONE on my camera, waiting to receive some for show and tell.
I am also trying to take some images of the skirt I wore at the ASG industry day in Morisset last Saturday, but my time just leaked out of the day today.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heart Starter

I came back from Forum and had to have a whole swag of Cardiology tests...off to the Cardiologist today for results. I am absolutely fine as far as the way I feel, but have some weird-crazy-little-guys showing on most of my tests. Probably nothing, but need to eliminate any nasties.
I also took some time off from everything personally. My Mum died earlier this year and I thought I was fine with everything, but I hit an emotional wall after Forum in conjunction with everything else that was happening.

Heart Starter

I came back from Forum and had to have a whole swag of Cardiology tests...off to the Cardiologist later today for results. I am absolutely fine as far as the way I feel, but have some weird-crazy-little-guys showing on most of my tests. Probably nothing, but need to eliminate any nasties.
I also took some time off from everything personally. As I have written earlier, my Mum died earlier this year and I thought I was fine with everything, but I hit an emotional wall after Forum in conjunction with everything else that was happening. I am back on track now, getting everything together for Kurri Kurri this weekend.
BTW, if any of you want to come and visit and see what I am doing, please phone Gail Stahmer on 0418495708. As this is being held on the TAFE campus, permission has to be given for 'outsiders' to visit

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Orange in Autumn

Fantastic weather, people and programmes at Forum this week. I will have images next week from the photography class I am doing.
Just wanted to let you know that all is well and I am actually still in existence

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On and off the air

Sorry about the intermittent blogs this week: I have been having more medical treatment for my shoulder and I am sure you all understand just how time wasting some of that process can be. I am more functional after massage, ultrasound and continuing pain relief. And of couse, I have been told not to use my right arm...HAHAHA...as I am right handed, that is truly impossible.
My F.I.L. has been in the medical wars this week with more radiotherapy and we have been a bit busy there too.
I am off to Orange for Textile Fibre Forum this week where I am doing a camera course. I changed from the original stitching class I was going to do as I hurt too much doing even simple things for too long and thought I could cope with the photo class. Time will tell.
Where I am staying, on a friend's property, is not always DSL friendly:for those of you not from Australia, telephone (Mobile phone) and computer coverage can be less than satisfying once you are away from a large city with little or no reception at times.
I will blog if and when I can, but will be back fully on the 26th.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I did it again

Missing in action again after an overactive morning walk. I have been trying to ramp up some kilometres and walk a number of times a week, sometimes with my husband, often on my own as his 25 cm height difference translates to longer legs and bigger steps than I can keep up with.
It had rained overnight, but was clear and beautiful when I walked the other morning when I once again inelegantly (??) went head over turkey on some slippery ground and braced my fall with my right hand, hurting my right shoulder once again. Heavy duty painkillers and rest once more.
I have always had a tendency to clumsiness, seems it is manifesting itself more often than I care for.
I have to keep the walking up: our son is going to complete his academic (Arts degree, already has finished his Science degree) studies in China (he speaks, reads and writes Mandarin fluently) and we promised to walk the Great Wall with him. It is apparently 10km of undulating walk with 2 flights of steps in the section he is taking us to. The 'surprise' bit is at the end...keep walking up hill and down dale or get on a flying fox across a river. I don't like heights at all, but have promised that I will do it with him as a tandem 'fly'. Keep your fingers crossed for my shoulder! Will let you know when that is happening, much later in the year I think.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Our anniversary yesterday (27 years): I had instructions to be ready to go out at 5pm, dress good casual.
My hubby had researched and found an Indian/Sri Lankan restaurant for us in Homebush (Sydney). We ate well, went down both marriage memory lane as well as travel memory lane with the food. Ate till our stomachs touched the table (well, it seemed like that anyway!) for the princely sum of...wait for it...$22.00. We checked, but that was the right price. Called Janani, on the southern side of Homebush station.
Also found a store selling saris (on sale) from Chennai, in the street parallel to the railway line, also on the southern side. I think I might start doing railway line eating from now on!!! This was in the dark, so I am sure there are bargains galore to be discovered in the daylight too

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why did I start?

You know how it is...the more you do, the more you need to do! Why did I ever start to clean up? I think I am now further behind than when I started and having decided that I was going like a bull at a gate, I thought I should focus on one room at a time.
I have. Our bedroom is now the tidiest it has been in years.
There is still stuff all over the dining table, and I am becoming an even better procrastinator than usual with regard to cleaning and tidying up the stash. And I haven't forgotten photos and newsletters, it is just that I am sorting them out (emails) so that it does not register as spam, and the images so that they are not too big. I am trying to work it out myself so that I can problem solve if needs be when I am travelling.
I have also been organizing my goodies for Forum in Orange. This is fantastic for those who can get to it, am adding the link so you can check it out yourselves
This was the place that really converted my brain from formal to feral.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I scribbled down a few (well, lots really) ideas last night and was going to go hammer and tongs today and then thought I should tidy up a bit. What a disaster!
The more I started to do, the more I realized I had to get orgamanized (as Ruth Barnhill, a Babylock dealer in Florida says)...and you know what that means. I reckon it could take me a week to get back to the surface of my kitchen table where I put everything when I started.
I don't know whether I am disgusted or disappointed that I have so much accumulated orgamization to undertake!
Ah, another day in the life of the creative stitcher (don't think my hubby is too impressed at the moment though). I might just go and have a glass of wine...if I can find the glasses.

Working again

Had the day off but have renewed the creative cells a little too much already!
For those of you in Australia and NSW particularly, I live at the foothills of the Blue Mountains: I went up to Katoomba today and just became a tourist again, enjoying the sheer beauty of the place once again.
On the way home we stopped in Hazelbrook at Selwood Science and Puzzles: WHAT a place to be inspired by.
Amazing old garden as you go in, but each room of the old house is dedicated to different items: games/puzzles/jigsaws (such as Escher, holograms, 3D puzzles)for adults (OK, some kids too). There is a kids room, a science room, a book room and a fun science 'try me' room with interactive playstuff.
My inspiration came in the book room with some of the 3D and optical illusions...all of a sudden I was thinking just how I could achieve some of the effects in my own style.
As I am going to be the inaugaral Artist in Residence at the Newcastle Creative Embroiders and Textile Artist weekend in May (Kurri Kurri TAFE McLeod Road, Kurri Kurri) I thought that would be the place I started developing this theme.
I will let you know if it is open for the public, but I am planning my work already. And another visit to Hazelbrook!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gremlins in the Works

I am having a time of it at the moment!
Don't know what I did to make the pain in my shoulder so acute it has almost rendered me useless for 2 days (perhaps skiting about finishing my art to wear and finally finishing my magazine article under painful duress) but today, all of a sudden, it was OK once again. Who knows what gremlins are in my works at the moment? And to top it all off, I couldn't blog even if I had wanted to yesterday as I kept getting a message about my cookies not being enabled...go figure! Back live today, with a day of freedom from any deadlines.
I have just been invited to be Artist in Residence in May: will tell all once it has been confirmed, but this is a really nice accolade and delightfully unexpected.
Please bear with me regarding images...I am feeling a bit like I am wading in a pond of glue at the moment, but I am more than half way through the pond and can see the other side, it's just taking me a little longer to get there than I planned. I think my life is just like that at the moment.

Monday, March 30, 2009

No More Excuses

Art to Wear is signed, sealed delivered!
Have been at it all day, hand delivered it to the photographer who lives about half an hour away. Will now finish the last part of the technical article (that I did not realize I still had to do, DUH!) and then clean up the images I have taken them and get them on the blog.
I have had too much on my plate at the one time yet again, and my shoulder has been giving me lots of trouble: pain mainly despite anti-inflammatory drugs, so have had other some limitations for the last week or so.
It is cold today, and wet, wet, wet! How can we possibly have winter starting to gallop up when it was so glorious last week?
Photos and Newsletter this week are the next things to address.
Back to the article

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Down to the wire

Have been sitting out the electrical storms, new modem and working out last minute technical sewing challenges.
I thought I had my Art to Wear nailed and then I tried the outfit on a mannequin (courtesy of my local shoe shop, Foot of the Mountains) in Glenbrook, my local shopping centre.
If you've ever been in a store filled with women with something on display, you will realize that 15 different ideas and opinions are directed at you --all at once!
However, I realized I had a draping/technical issue with the "Outer Limits" (my entry for Art to Wear) and have subsequently made a simple top to go under the garment, re-fashioned the straps and am undecided about the petticoat to perhaps go under it. I think I have only 2 more seams to stitch, trim all the loose threads and then press it all. And still no photos yet. However, I think I could have sold the outfit then and there to some of the ladies and I am going to re-work all the panels into separate garments later on.
However, it is to be delivered for (professional) photography on Tuesday, so there are no more chances or excuses for not getting finished. I think.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Electrifying!

What a storm last night! I thought it was exploding over our house at times and then we had horizontal rain. Our little Silky Australian terrier is a sook at the best of times but she was almost convulsing with terror last night, and I was truly scared at times.
I was sewing when it started and with a great big "bang", our power went out and returned some time in the small hours of this morning. Dinner (which I had thrown in the crockpot) was again by candlelight and I spilt a glass of red wine over the new book I was reading with one of the thunderclaps.
We have part of our neighbour's liquid amber over our lawn and driveway, and limbs of trees strewn allover the yard...cleanup day today.
My son pulled all the power leads out of computers andI think we are all OK on the communication score.
Let's hope it is not 3 nights in a row

Monday, March 23, 2009


No, I did not forget to blog: a terrific electrical and thunder storm saw us very romantically (HAHA) eating and reading by candlelight yesterday, and sorting out an unwell modem today.
I am down to the wire on my Art to Wear ( I hate to imagine how many hours I have spent on this garment), only a few more days to go. I will take some images tomorrow and post them as soon as I have worked out how.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sort of Kind of Day Off

I actually Sort of Kind of had a Day Off today, playing in the garden while the weather is at its best in Autumn, though I think it was still a bit summer like today...or was that because I was actually working hard (and working my hubby harder). Did some planting and weeding and by the time I got around to taking some photos, realized I did not have my camera charged (who's a dope?).
It was nice to have a fibre free day

Friday, March 20, 2009

More Lost

How did I lose another day this week? As I said, I have been busy, but this is getting a bit scary losing so much time. However, I have been productive and tomorrow I plan to take some images and start posting them (when I work out how) so I can talk in 'colour' and pictures rather than just word in black and white.
I love all the new technology but I don't like the way it takes time to learn and how much you need to repeat your actions to remember them and to make it second nature. However, I would prefer to have this issue rather than using the teenage lament of "I'm bored" (perhaps that should be 'I'm boring' because I haven't bothered to get out of my own way and learn something to keep myself occupied) and just wasting whole days sitting idle.
I think I feel a bit like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland , just lost.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


No, not the TV programme, just yesterday.
I have been having a real ball going back to my all time love of FME (Free Motion/Machine Embroidery).
There is something simultaneously energizing and relaxing doodling with machine needle and thread and embellishing a simple piece of fabric. I have been enriching some glorious black wool fabric and some natural white wool knit for art to wear. Creating wings for Nike (the Goddess, not the shoes) has proved, and in fact is still proving an interesting and worthwhile challenge as I work out how to make a bolero/wing outfit for initial display and then to actually be worn at a later stage.
I am using conventional machine and overlocker thread to keep a matte finish to all my work: my hubby was v.v.impressed with my efforts so far and with someone who lives with my out-of-brain creations on a regular basis, to get that sort of accolade is truly something else.
Off to share the rest of the night with the birthday boy (aka my hubby) and no more stitching for the rest of the evening

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Onward and Upward!

Flat out like a lizard drinking today, out for a walk first thing (isn't this time of year just THE best weather?) and then a real wriggle on with art to wear. I had a "Lights On" moment (and someone was home) about a way to present some surface embellishment and have been going at it relentlessly.
I am not trying to be cryptic about what I am doing--all will be revealed--but while it is a work in progress I prefer not to do any show and tell in case I change my mind. I will only say that it is very textural this year!
Back to work!

Monday, March 16, 2009


I have had lots of response to the machine Embroidery and Textile Art article and the link on my email for my upcoming Newsletter.
Now, I don't understand why, but when some of you have been on the website and clicked "Contact Anne" I am getting a whole raft of letters of the alpahabet that seem to have been selected at random..sdmwpri[wertnbwnw9...that sort of thing. This is not happening for everyone, just some people. I will talk to Kay and Paul aka my computer gurus tomorrow. If any of you have gone that route, try contacting me via the newsletter link and leave a message.
I will send an email out next week to try out the system. In the meantime, please bear with me as I learn this foreign language called computer. I already understand the language called overlocking/sewing/knitting/crochet/textile art, but in an endeavour to keep my brain somewhat healthy, (seniors week here in NSW, Australia), the pundits suggest learning a new language. "Computer" would not have been my first choice of new language, but it seems I am stuck with it at the moment.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sewing One Handed

Seems I am taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps back at the moment! I tripped and jarred my already damaged shoulder and can only let you try and imagine the pain! Lots of analgesics, anti-inflammatories and rest (sort of, kind of, maybe, sometimes, when I am asleep) have it down to not gnashing my teeth with every movement.
I have been doing some needle felting (with a machine) as I can manage to manouevre fabrics and surface embellishments one handed and I am developing an previously unknown skill of left handed crochet...not for the fainthearted, just those running late.
I hope I am going to see some of you at Darling Harbour in June so that you can see the fruits of my left handed labour as well as some of the mixed media production I have done (Am still doing!!!!!) this year

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Up all night?

I was emailed by a friend yesterday who was marvelling at my keenness and commitment to blog daily at odd hours. I checked the time on the posted blogs...nooooooooo, that is not me at those hours, that's the joy of the intergalactic airwaves and the fact that the posts are dated for the US timezone.
I actually wish I was over in some cold spot at the moment...3 am hot flushes and night sweats would be more bearable in a cold climate. I have the airconditioner permanently set on 'menopause' (the coldest setting, highest fan!) and to top it off I am of course working with pure wool fabrics for my Art to Wear. Perhaps I could have thought that one through a bit better.
After the end of this month I am planning to post images as well as have some sort of interactive forum for all my fellow bloggers and discussing techniques and processes of textile play.
Tell me what you think of the idea. Just go back to the main page and email me via Contact Anne and if you could put "Interactive Forum" in the subject line, I will get an idea of how many of you are interested in the concept.
Now I must stop procrastinating and finish off all my samples for the overlocker/serger article.
Too many things happening at once, yet again!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Well and truly sidetracked!

I said yesterday that I only sidetracked myself for a bit yesterday...not quite true. I decided to play while I was getting dinner (yes I am one of those Goddess Superstars who cook--but I don't clean!!!--as well as stitch) and I will only say that dinner was very late.
I took my play from yesterday and started some knitting and crocheting for this year's Art to Wear. I am busy re-thinking my garment again.
I am sure I am not the only one who sidetracks themselves as much as I have. I always say when I am presenting at shows or events, that unless you stich/knit/cook, it is hard to fully understand creative passion when there are not enough hours in the day, days in the week or weeks in the year when your brain is giving you more ideas than you can create in a lifetime.
I suppose that is my rant for the day, and seeing I overdid my shoulder yesterday, my blog for the moment.


I have been nose down today making overlocker/serger stitch samples for an article coming up in Machine Embroidery and Textile Art later this year. Those of you who are not real overlocker buffs can sympathise that I am re-creating every basic stitch that I have written about (all 5,4,3,2 thread stitches as well as all forms of Coverstitch). Believe me when I say I am sick of both being at my overlocker all day and secondly, changing stitches and needles etc.,...and I do this for a living!
However, I will say that it is good to get back into some real work at last, even if it is to do all the bread-and-butter stitches which are the foundation of all my creations. My mind started wandering to play ideas and I only lapsed into decorative wotk for about a thousand metres of stitching.
Will let you know the issue when it comes out, but off to finish a little more.
BTW, I am already starting to get sign ups for my newsletter...and I thought I was going to be slowing down a bit. Apparently not.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


If anyone is suffering high humidity, put it down to me! My days have been evaporating so fast that I am left high and dry wondering just where they all went.
A quick trip to the doctor had me spending the rest of the day having X-rays and making appointments for scans: my right shoulder (? now X-rated??)has been v.v.sore since I fell over on tram tracks in Melbourne and seeing I am right handed, it has been a real problem trying to "rest" it...HAHAHA, how do you do that in my line of work. Of course, the up side is I can't do the washing or hang it out.
I have also been trying to get up to scratch with my new ideas so I need another 48 hours in the week in addition to a wife or perhaps 2. I will be starting a regular newsletter, and as I do not want to aggravate the heck out of people, I am asking for you to sign up for it. And, no, I will not be selling or sharing your address with anyone, as I hate that invasion on my privacy myself!
Hope to hear from you soon

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Long Tomorrows

I tried getting back to blogging the day I said I would: I had some issues with connectivity for a reason seemingly only known to my computer. I did as I always do and pushed every button to get it working as it should, and then, 'bingo' I had a computer again...hate them when something goes 'wrong' or I just don't understand the problem. $*&$&@*@()!!!!!! When I get a few spare minutes, I will look at getting this one to the computer doctor.
I am developing a new way of presenting any of my new e-books them: it's in the pipeline. The current books are fine but will be reviewed and updated as the new ones come on board. More work than my fat quarters need at the machine or computer, but about time I pushed the boundaries of my art.
Watch this space.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back on Track

Sorry I have not been on the intergalactic airwaves recently.
I think it has just taken me a lot longer to get over surgery, travel and my Mum's death and funeral than I thought. It has been a jam packed end of last year as well as beginning of this year already, however....yes, there's more in store.
I have been hatching up some new e-books with my computer gurus, some new ideas and other things guaranteed to keep me firmly on my backside (fat quarters converting to half acres!!!!!!!!!!) for the next 'while'. That's what you say when you don't know how long all this is going to take!
I am busy finishing off my garment for Art to Wear for June: pre-event photography means everything has to be finished by the end of this month which means my fat quarters are firmly entrenched on my sewing chair. Theme is 'Black and White', elegance and sophistication. My brain has been bursting at the seams with ideas. I need a wife.
Back to work, will talk tomorrow...promise!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On the airwaves again

Hi All
My Mum's funeral was Feb 2nd, which we chose so that the
temperatures were not as extreme as the previous week (46 degrees centigrade
on the Friday) when we arrived back in Melbourne.
Mum's funeral was a fitting tribute to her life, celebrated with lots of family and friends, tears and stories as well as laughter and memories.
My husband and I drove back to Sydney, through all the countryside that has
so tragically been burnt along with so many people and houses.
I feel a great sense of desolation, both with the death of my mother coupled
with the devastation in the state and locality of my birth.
I just cannot
get myself back into any much sewing or serging at the moment, but talking and writing is helping me get back on track.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

At Peace

My Mum died yesterday afternoon, so I am with family sorting out all the necessary funeral details.
I will start back on a regular basis next week

Friday, January 16, 2009

With my Mum

Phil and I came back from overseas and did a flying visit interstate to see my Mum who has been unwell...came back home and then I got the early morning call to come back as soon as I could.
Mum is slowly slipping away, so I am spending the rest of her life with her and staying with my family in the meantime.
It is not a sad time, just the ending of a well lived life, so please bear with us all at the moment