Friday, May 23, 2014

A thing about the colour purple

It all started with an email. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a lady, who has since moved from our li'l town in search of warmer climes, requesting if I had any quilts for sale. Apparently, her daughter is getting married in September and the lady wanted to know if I had any hexagon beauties that I would unload sell for a unique wedding present. gloriously coloured, purple, satin-backed bohemian inspired, hexie is for sale (though another lady had visited our li'l ole abode a couple of weeks ago to have a bo peep at it....and is still toing and froing as to whether she will part with her hard earned moolah and take it home with her); and a beautiful pastel coloured hexie, just waiting to leave the confines of my humble abode and go and abide somewhere else. daughter hates, simply deplores the colour purple!!! What!!! Hates the colour purple....unthinkable!!! Indeed....purple throughout the ages has been associated with royalty, power and wealth!! Though each hexie in this quilt is backed with a purple satin, each hexie sings a rhapsodic, rainbow-inspired melody. This hexie is a song of riotous colour! on earth can I part with this beauty? pastel hexie quilt wouldn't have a chance of staying clean and pure in the daughter's home. It seems to me that both my hexies may be sitting a li'l while longer in our humble abode.

So I will have to stitch another HUGE hexie; but this one will be 'simple' with hardly any embellishments. Of course I will have to handcuff my hands so that they won't be tempted to add a li'l fancy button here and a li'l ribbon, floral pretty there......but I will be strong. I suppose, 'tis good news......just means this hexie will take less time to stitch.

When I enquired as to what colours the daughter would love in a quilt, the mother answered, "oh I don't know.......anything will do"!!! Now, as we all know, just anything will most certainly not do. We all have our particular likes and dislikes when the subject of colour is involved. We all have a penchant for certain colours and though there are some who are happy with whatever, most of us are not. For most of us, there are colours that we just cannot live with.

And....just to add pressure and a li'l fire to the quilting cauldron, the daughter works for a well known designer!! No pressure at all.

So, after a lot of  questions and donning my psychologist hat, trying to ascertain what colours makes the daughter's heart sing, I discovered that she loves bold colours; reds, teals, pinks, greens, black, blues, oranges, yellows...... and as she is an arty farty type loves a plethora of fabrics. Though I have a few sumptuous fabrics stored away I needed to  purchase some more.

Of course Tassie can be a bit light on in the sumptuous designer-ish fabric department, so li'l ole me had to visit Spotlight to see if there was anything suitable for this hexie. I hate that Spotlight is my only choice of fabric shops here in this li'l part of the world. The whole experience of searching for fabric in Spotlight is rather akin to an archaeological dig; where one scrounges and burrows under hundreds of bolts of fabric to unearth the fabric of choice, with the possibility of being entombed forever more by toppling bolts of fabric! It can be exhausting and rather arduous on the back; and after lugging the chosen bolts to the counter, one has the bearing of Quasimodo!!

Of course I could visit places on-line but I need to touch the fabric, I need to see see the quality of the fabric and decide whether it would be suitable for my new hexie. And.....of course.....the fabrics from the likes of Tessutis (one of my fave fabric stores in Sydney) or similar gorgeous stores are a li'l too expensive.....after all I do want to make a li'l 'doh-ray-me' for all my efforts.

So after a lot of toing and froing over fabrics, 'will she like this, will she like that'.....(it is so very difficult, when choosing for someone whom you do not know) I have come up with these fabrics. Each of the hexagons will be backed with a black satin. Oh no......those of you who have read my other posts telling the sad and sorry tale of making the odd hexagon quilt or two, will know that I hate stitching with satin. Satin has an inbuilt DNA which will not play at all slips and slides everywhere. 'Tis a pity that the lady didn't want a lovely 100% cotton pieced quilt. That would have been sooooo easy!!

As I only have three months to stitch this hexie I intend to stitch a little each day...(well...that's the plan; and we all know how plans go belly-up...don't we). This quilt is going to be more like a bedspread, with the sides just touching the floor. Huge....and as with all my other hexies, this quilt will be all hand stitched (excepting of course machine stitching each fabric hexie to the batting) I had better get a move on.... I had better skiddoo out of here!!

Toodlepips for now......I am off to enter the world of hexies once again.

Happy Stitching !!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

To market, to market to gather some treasures......

Home again, home again with a bounty of pleasures!!
Yes indeedy, in celebration of Mother's Day, last Sunday, our li'l ole tin lizzie took it upon itself (again) to manoeuvre my good husband and his good wife on a fun-filled day trip through the Autumnal Tassie countryside, in search of some markets and some mighty fine coffee houses to whet the thirst throughout the day. After all, roaming around markets, fossicking for treasures is thirsty business which needs plenty of caffeine.....oh and of course enjoy the odd delish treat or two!!

And......... it was a wonderful day. A sun-kissed day with Old Man Sun stretching out his radiant arms of warm sunshine and lighting our path with a spirit of cheeriness.

One of our favourite pastimes is to embark on long drives throughout the glorious countryside of Tassie with no idea of the journey's end, stopping at markets and quirky places that we might discover along the way.

And.........of course our li'l Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-ish, tin lizzie, never fails to deliver. It just seems to know which winding road to jaunt along to explore out of the way quirky li'l places.

So with a special Mother's Day breakfast having been served and enjoyed.......we were on our way.

 And.....what treasures jumped out at me. We happened along a li'l market in a quaint town hall in a pretty town called, Lilydale where we discovered a lovely antique/bric-a-brac booth. Such, such pretties.....embroidered pretties, just waiting for li'l ole me.

Lookity look at my pretty gal hanging her washing on the line. Love it!! Though it is a laundry bag, me thinks I will make it the centrepiece of a new laundry window curtain, surrounded with other embroidered fineries found in my dowry of cloth. Oh dear, but a new curtain, demands my laundry to be painted in a crisp white as a little pick me up from those wash day doldrums.

Imagine my surprise when I ever so 'nicely' asked my husband if it would be at all possible to add a lick of white paint on the walls and ceiling and he answered....."of course"!! Wow...such a sweet man. I did search his face for the look of  "what is she dreaming up this time"....but no, nothing but sincerity and genuineness to be seen. This pretty bag with the most gorgeous crewel work was also added to my dowry of cloth.

But enough of painting and tarting up laundries for now....there are more important matters at foot.

A pretty hand embroidered floral filled tablecloth and a whimsical 1960 printed tablecloth with a smattering of cute as cute furniture dancing around the tablecloth. I love this....not only to be used as a tablecloth, but there is oodles of fun inspiration to be had, as I design for the free hand drawing with my machine that I love to do. There is actually a fun project formulating in my brainpan as I 'chat', just looking at this fun tablecloth. That's the thing with can be found everywhere, any moment of every day.

With a little do-ray-me having exchanged hands, snug as two bugs in our tin lizzie, we were then off to Evandale Markets and then to meet up with our daughter and son-in-law for afternoon tea. Evandale is a very pretty, historic Tassie town which oozes charm of a bygone era filled with charming historic buildings and churches with streets lined with glorious autumnal trees, clothed in lovely shades of burnished yellow, russet brown and ochreous orange leaves, slowly falling to the ground forming a crunchy carpet......'tis rather heavenly.

I found this pretty mirror. Though I have many looking glasses scattered throughout our li'l ole abode, I couldn't resist this one. As I have a penchant for Southern Belles, I just had to, had to take this li'l lass home with me. For now, she is keeping my other mirrors on my bedside table company.

Also unearthed was the sweetest print of the cutest little, love, love!!

I also found this pretty inspirational plaque with an English scene. As a gal with a deep faith in God, I love collecting vintage inspirational plaques and placing them throughout our humble abode, reminding me each day of God's love and His goodness to me. The particular ones that I favour are hard to come by, so when one discovers one of these plaques hiding in a market, they somehow or other find their way into my thankful li'l hands.

My whimsical plaque has found a home on my kitchen mantle sitting on a beautiful runner that my daughter bought me as a Mother's Day gift, when holidaying in China.

 Isn't the runner gorgeous? This photo doesn't do it is embroidered with a riot of beautiful, bright colour.....I could look at it all day!

Mmm........I left this lass sitting on the shelf, even though it had my moniker on it!

And of course Mother's Day just wouldn't be Mother's Day if flowers didn't make an appearance somewhere throughout the day. When we stopped to fill our tin lizzie with some juice, lo and behold these beautiful potted chrysanthemums were sitting at the petrol station! I know....a petrol station! Unbelievable!

So of course my husband thought that he would buy them for me (not that he needed much persuasion, especially with his predilection for all things pertaining to plant life). They are truly gorgeous. Big, blousy, plate-sized flowers. Just gawjus!!

These beautiful chrysanthemums will add a lovely splash of colour to our Autumn garden. I am afraid that the curtain has been lowered on our glorious Spring/Summer garden, which  has been decimated to a black, burnt mass of organic matter by 'good' old Jack Frost!! Beautiful flowers one day, flowers that are no more the next!

A lovely li'l café tucked away in the pretty town of Evandale.

So after the loveliest of Mother's Days and with 'our' treasures safely tucked away in the back of our tin lizzie, we rambled our way home, with many a happy thought that surround our two daughters and all those memories that encompass my darling mum, who is no longer with us; thankful that we are able to enjoy a countryside drive on a perfect sun-kissed day.

Just a little something I stitched a li'l while ago, pondering, "What is a Mother"??

Wishing you the loveliest of weeks, filled with many a blessing!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Oh what a tangled web I weave!!

A very tangled web indeed! Chilly Winter days will have drifted into warm Spring days, before I invisibly weave this chaotic disarray of coloured twisted yarns into my jumper. Really....the things I do. Perhaps next time I really shouldn't. (Note to myself: Under no circumstance should you knit by the seat of your pants ever again; nor, should you make it up as you go.....ever, ever, EVER again!!) Me thinks I am cured of the malady of experimenting with all things that fall within the category of 'Woolly Ventures' least for a week or two!! If nothing else these spaghetti-like strands look very pretty in all their unruliness.

I am still click clacking away on my second sleeve....I know, I know.....B O R I N G!! 'Tis very wearisome for you, clicking on post after post to see nothing else but the various phases of my woolly jumper! But what is a gal to do.....I would like to post something for 'Wool on Sundays' in support of the sisterhood of knitting and crocheting.

This week a honeycomb pattern in mauve and a lovely brown....or perhaps it is fawn or taupe. Whatever the gradation of this delightful 'tis.

 But the really, really gob smacking, hands down, highlight of this post is..... (have I piqued your interest yet....)

If you remember, a few weeks ago, whilst enjoying a mighty fine coffee at a seaside cafe, I happened upon this gorgeous yarn storming of a bicycle. me and my good husband decided to venture out for a sunny Sunday afternoon drive and of course the jalopy took it on it's own volition to navigate itself back to the cafe. The bicycle in question is now wearing the most gorgeous crochet fancies around it's wheels!! Now this is just too, too scrumptious!!

Well if that do beat all!! I can't wait to return to have a bopeep at what other exaggerated, imaginative woollies they dream up!! Until next time........

Linking up to Janine's lovely blog Rainbow Hare for "Wool on Sundays"

Saturday, May 3, 2014

When is a lamp shade not a shade??

Why......when it's a hat, of course! And not a run of the mill, plebeian kinda hat. Not the kind that stands (or perhaps sits) row after row, unnoticed in all it's prosaicness in a lighting store. But...the kind that oozes chic'ness', the kind that effuses elegance and fun!

Hat? I hear you ask. Yes....not a shade......but a hat! For a very long time now, this gorgeous lamp base, which my husband gifted me years and years ago, has clamored for a rather voguish fashion statement. It has worn a few hats over the years but now the time has come to set it apart from the humdrum of the lighting world. Not that my beautiful lamp base could ever be considered humdrum!!

Isn't it a beauty?? Daffodils, Irises, violets, tulips; winding their way around with butterflies flitting here and there. Now can you see why a  tiresome shade just would not do. Indeed, a bewitching and alluring milliner's concoction is the order of the day. And.....even if I do say so  myself doesn't it look perfect  with my botanical inspired hallway as a backdrop.

Oh, I have searched high and low in search of  something swank, but to no avail. Believe it or not, I found the perfect hat right here at home. In another life it sat serenely and unadorned on a lamp stand. So I stripped it to its au natural state and began to metamorphose it into an elegant concoction. Who would've thought that I would have a bevy of shades hats waiting to be tarted up. I know, I know, 'tis hard to believe!!

I did consider fashioning another hat from my dowry of embroidered pretties; and it's no secret that I am obsessed love these gorgeous embroideries, evoking this lamp will sit next to a curtain that I fashioned from embroidered doilies and tablecloths, I wanted to set my beautiful lamp apart. I desired it to make a statement. Sitting next to my embroidered curtain could be deemed as over kill.......even for me!!

I chose a beautiful Kokka fabric that I purchased a li'l while ago, that would be perfect!! Now, I admit I am benumbed with grief that I didn't take photos of the fabric, nor indeed of the process of making the shade, because to tell you the truth I was inspired and didn't give it a thought, until after I had finished my li'l concoction. I was monomaniacal with the task at hand! I only had a small window of time to finish and sometimes, photo taking and the detailing of each step for this blogging caper thwarts the creative process!! I picked up that creative baton and skedaddled like the wind, to the finishing line, without heed or thought of boring enlightening you with step by step happy snaps!! Sorry...but I'm guessing there are other luminaries (more proficient than li'l ole me) who can cast a li'l light on 'How To Make A Lampshade'.

But, don't worry, there are oodles and oodles of  'after' shots. Actually, so many that you probably won't ever speak to me again!!

One side.......pretty blossoms trailing up to the heavens.

The other side.......bluebirds sitting ever so prettily in amongst the flora, with butterflies

I am in love with the shape of this hat. It is rather reminiscent of something Audrey Hepburn might have worn. Think Eliza Doolittle at Royal Ascot....think Sabrina......or indeed of Audrey as Fred Astaire's muse in Funny Face!! Hat after hat of designer inspired concoctions that defy the imagination! Can't you, in your mind's eye, picture this li'l Cecil Beaton-esque number atop Audrey's head as she yells out to Dover to move his bloomin........ummmm....derriere!! I have seen a lot more outre at the Melbourne Cup Carnival!!


Can one ever have too many flowers, with a bird or two in the bush and  a flutter of butterflies?? Me thinks most definitely not!!

Oh dear I have just had a li'l thought, perhaps this rather lovely hat would look perfect gracing my curvaceous wire mannequin (actually it's not mine...I pinched it from my daughter...but I won't tell her if you won't). When she left our humble li'l ole abode to walk along the road of matrimonial bliss with her dearly beloved, she left it course, now it's mine!!

Speaking of Cecil Beaton, Audrey Hepburn and all things fashion, lookity look at this li'l number. Me thinks that I will have to employ our friendly sparky to transform my lovely mannequin into a lamp. Of course, he will think that I am a li'l potty, perhaps even a li'l muddly, but that's okay; anything to bring a little culture, a little savior-faire to his rather mundane day! I mean really, this li'l electrical conversion certainly beats extricating electrocuted and fried, itty bitty meeces from the back of one's stove and repairing the electrics before one's house burns down.....don't you think!!'s vintage!! Yes indeedy another quirky lamp (albeit with an understated 'hat'...but for this lamp....'tis perfect). This vintage lamp spends it's days (and nights) in my boudoir. Also have a bo peep at the luxurious butterfly vintage top. Again, my daughters.....but she was throwing this li'l number out (now I am hyperventilating)........ so of course I ripped it out of her hands. Some day, if I can stand to cut it up, I will do something with this. Perhaps a butterfly on an hexagon beauty?? But for now, it makes for a perfect prop.

Mmmmmm......oodles of possibilities!! I must say this tickles my fancy!!

But......for now, the final resting place for my beautiful lamp adorned with it's oh so elegant hat. I love the unexpected scale of the over sized lamp sitting atop this cupboard. I have probably broken every rule and design element relating to scale and proportion and 'busyness' in 'The Designer's Bible', but frankly ma dears......I don't give a damn!!

Oooh-la-la!! I do love it. Every time I pirouette along my botanical, inspired hallway, this beauty puts a smile on my face!!