Monday, October 29, 2007

My expectations may be high, I blame them on my youth

I want to show you two things my sister has made for me. The bag was a gift last year, and more recently she presented me with this gorgous fabric-covered notebook. The cover is removable so that when the notebook is full I can replace it.

These were totally separate gifts but I had to photograph them together as they turned out to be quite complementary. The notebook cover combines embroidery, applique and fabric pen drawings.

I always loved the bag but recently started using it a lot more because it has a long strap and is a good shape to wear across my body. I am avoiding shoulder bags these days to try to relieve some pesky neck pain. This also fits in with my broader quest to improve my posture.

And I see now that I will have to get another photo of the bag, because you can't really see the embroidered caravan on it (the button is its wheel). The lining is silk - I think it might have been a scarf.

It's got my name on it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the days are long where I come from

My old dino mate at the Queensland Museum.

This morning I had one of those close-to-waking dreams which can feel like you're really just thinking about something, rather than actually dreaming. I was preparing to take a trip to Brisbane for a few days and then on to a couple of different overseas destinations. There were difficulties with what to pack, where to stay, and then how to find the right departure gate in a large unfamiliar airport. Worst of all, I couldn't work out why I was taking this trip, but it was all arranged, an unstoppable force that I had to go along with.

Once I woke properly, it was such a relief to realise that trip wasn't real. Obviously it's a good thing I haven't got any more travel planned this year.

There's a new Flickr set for my not-so-recent Brisbane trip (end of Sept). I didn't manage to get any worthwhile shots in Melbourne last week.

Honestly, I am such a homebody. It hasn't been that much by many people's standards: a long weekend in Brisbane in July; a ski trip a week or so after that; another Brisbane long weekend in September, and four days in Melbourne last week. Amongst that, a busy time here in Canberra too, with some lovely things like weddings and visits from family and friends. Oh yeah and a bit of extra stuff at work. It's ninety per cent good; just, enough.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I went to a flower festival and saw some beanies

Last Sunday I went to Floriade to look at the flowers.

Then I went again on Wednesday to get a look at those beanies. A touring exhibition from the Alice Springs Beanie Festival was one of the attractions at Floriade. I read about the festival in an earlier issue of Yarn magazine and thought it sounded fantastic.

I really loved this exhibition. I knew I wanted to see it, but I didn't necessarily expect to find it so inspiring. The beanies were made by indigenous women and whitefellas from many parts of Australia, and a few from overseas too (Japan). The majority were crocheted, often with 3 or 4 strands of something like 8ply held together - obviously a useful technique in the speed beanie contests that are part of the festival. There were many felted and mixed media beanies, and a few knitted ones too. I loved the range of techniques and subjects, from simple, symbolic, figurative, whimsical, and comical. It was obvious that the beanie festival doesn't take itself too seriously, though the organisers are certainly proud of the way it brings people together, and highlights and promotes (mostly women's) textile work.

This beaded beanie was made by nuns - the Little Sisters of Jesus in Yuendumu, in the Northern Territory.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Take hold of the wheels and turn them around

In years gone by, Grandma used to do a lot of spinning. But not in the past few years, as she doesn't knit much any more, especially since she moved from Tasmania to Queensland with its much more tropical climate.

Recently my uncle requested a vest from handspun and grandma got out the electric spinning wheel once again. She quickly reported that when she did a little spinning at night, she could do without the usual sleeping tablet. This was great news, and I rapidly recognised a win-win situation. I sent some Ewe Give Me The Knits Moroccan nights merino fibre her way, asap.

I'm not sure this photo really does it justice. The colours are amazing and it is so light and soft. I don't know yet what I will make with it, but for now I am enjoying it sitting in a bowl on top of the heater.

But do you think grandma stopped there? No, she did not. She aquired a bunch of wild colours and really went to town. The peach colour she even dyed herself. I think some of this might be destined for felting projects.

All of this came home from Brisbane with me on Monday. It's lucky I had some space left in my suitcase. Oh, and I've already had a message asking what colour I would like next!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

or whatever will bewilder me

This is the little bowl for Aunty M to go with the earlier bigger one. A good place to throw jewellery when you take it off at night - must make one for me, actually.

Avant feutring, avec chien.

Recently I discovered that these bowls take a different shape when turned inside out after felting. In this case I wasn't sure which way was better, and left it to my aunt to decide if she wants a shallower or deeper bowl.

In these weird closeup photos you can see the difference in the height each way.