Total Pageviews

Monday, January 04, 2016


No, I'm not even going to bother with excuses this time. I just haven't felt like blog writing for several months.

I've just started an upcycling project. Years ago I bought a denim trench coat with the intention of embellishing it in some way. I've had various ideas but none that ever really jelled. I've been reading about the Japanese art of boro and have been hankering to give it a go, so finally decided to try it on the trench coat. I have cut up scraps of denim left over from other projects, or from worn out clothes, into rough rectangles and I am sewing them around the bottom edge of the coat with running stitch. I don't really know what it will look like, but it's worth a go! The only problem so far is that I am sewing on the front of the coat where I have to go through two layers of denim plus the patch, because of the facing, and it's hurting my wrist a bit. Most of the patches will only go through one coat layer, however, so should be easier. Herewith some progress pictures:

It will a slow project, obviously, which suits me fine - it can easily be done in front of the television.

Dressmaking remained largely in my imagination during 2015, sadly. I did finally finish this dress - I drafted this pattern myself and the cotton turns out to be a little too robust for the style. It makes a very comfortable and cool dress to wear at home on hot days. I would only wear it out of the house with something under it (leggings? jeans?) and I guess that with a few more washes, the quilting cotton will soften and drape a bit better and get that lovely patina that quilting cotton gets after it's been washed quite a few times. I am halfwayish through a reversible dress - one side green, one side purple - so hopefully at least some progress pictures will happen soon.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Tentative Foray into Poetry

Apologies for what is largely a repost, but I wanted to add something to this collection of images and it seemed best to repeat the information about the sculpture.

George and I spent a week in northern NSW and southern Queensland over Easter. Among other things, I was hugely taken with a sculpture in Brisbane called Forme del Mito by Arnaldo Pomodoro. It tells the  story of Agamemmon from Ancient Greece. Fabricated in cast bronze each piece has its own identity. ‘The Prophet’ Cassandra, ‘The Machine’ Aegisthus, ‘Ambition’ Clytesmnestra and ‘Power’ Agamemnon King of Mycenea.  I think it was commissioned for the World Expo that was held in Brisbane in 1988. 

It was, presumably, inspired by the gold death mask of Agamemnon, which is displayed in Athens after being found at Mycenae:

Last semester I studied the poetry of the early and middle twentieth century - mostly European, with some American and a very small amount of Australian poetry (the omission of Australian poetry was essentially because of the very late adoption of modernity by Australian poets, compared with the rest of the world). During the course of this (very interesting) subject we had to write poetry as well. This is a bit of an experiment - it will be the first time I have posted any of my creative writing in this blog. One of my poems was inspired by this sculpture. The style owes much to the Russian futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky.

Here's a couple of pictures of the sculpture:

It’s three o’clock
                should you be asleep?
Broken stars collide with bats
                so much for sonar
Fruit bats don’t need satellites
                actually they do

No, not clouds
                not rain
                                not fog
                                                not plagues
The Milky Way has vanished
That can’t be good

What is the morning?
                the colour of twelve
                                the hunter’s stew
The death mask four ways in a Brisbane square

The dog at the door and
                the wolf at the fold
And the colour of twelve
                and the water-rat drowning

Where can you get a drink, I’m hot

C Judy Edmonds 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Adventures of Bobby and MoMo - Fiji

It became necessary for George and I to visit Fiji for a week. He was working a lot of the time, so Bobby and MoMo came along too, to keep me company where necessary. They thoroughly enjoyed the luxurious Westin Hotel on Denauru Island. The beds were very comfortable.

We visited the Marina, had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe - and Bobby got a bit excited about the cocktail menu. Don't worry, we all drank iced water. I rarely go to a Hard Rock Cafe, though now I have been to one in America (cannot remember where), Paris and now Fiji. Three in 25 years is probably allowed.

Later, we stopped for a refreshing beer. I rarely drink beer, but Fiji beer suited the Fiji weather (mid to high twenties, pleasant breezes) so I drink more beer in that week than I do in a whole summer. It wasn't very strong. Bobby tried to steal mine, but I resisted,

 On Denauru Island there is a cute shuttle bus for tourists called the Bula Bus, for which you pay F$7 for a day ticket and can travel as much as you like. We used it to travel between the hotel and the Marina, and back. It has a thatched roof and is a bit of a tourist gimick, but quite fun and useful. MoMo and Bobby were a little disconcerted about it though, sitting on long benches with no windows.

They were all worn out when we got back to the hotel room. Can't blame them, so were we!

 At breakfast every morning I was given a hibiscus. I tried wearing it once and George laughed at me, so I let MoMo have them. They looked better on him anyway.

 And then good old Bobby got hold of it. Made a tasty snack after the photo op, I believe.

Now here, for once, is a genuine photo of Bobby with a bottle of water! I must admit I had always assumed Fiji Water was just a marketing lurk, but it turns out it actually is bottled in Fiji.

Finally it was time to leave. Bobby and MoMo relaxed for one last time under a vase of tropical flowers before we left for the airport, slightly tanned and having had a great time.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bobby the Ram and MoMo do Springwood

George has been spending a lot of time working in Sydney recently, and as uni was finished for the semester we decided that I should pop up for a weekend - as it turned out, not in Sydney itself, but in the Blue Mountains, in Springwood. It was a most delightful weekend, staying in a cottage with an open fire and pottering around.

It's been a while since Bobby the Ram and MoMo had had a decent break, so they came too. And posed for pictures.

In the brief time I had in Sydney before meeting up with George, I spent a while in the Queen Victoria Buildings, enjoying coffee and cake and admiring the restoration.

Edited to add: in view of the tragic events that happened at the QVB on Sundau night, which were reported after I had published this piece, I have removed the photos and other references to my time there, as it seems inappropriate.

Then I was able to meet up with George and we ate a delicious French meal in a tiny French restaurant. Bobby's time in rehab has obviously been a complete waste of time :(

There is a fabulous secondhand bookshop in Springwood. These books followed me home - useful for Lit studies, of course.

Bobby and MoMo enjoyed brunch in a trendy Springwood cafe.

We went to the Norman Linsday museum, and of course, there had to be a Magic Puddin'.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Peeping From Under the Table

A month ago I wrote a post about participating in Me-Made-May. I then didn't write anything else during that month, but kept telling myself it would be fine because I would make myself post at least once a week during May to explain what I was wearing that I had made myself.

Now it is the last day before the start of May and I am exhausted and a little stressed from university assignments and feeling rather not like forcing myself to do anything. In fact I seriously want to hide under the table and let the whole world pass by for a while. Except that I would have to take a pile of books and my laptop in there. And snacks. And if so, I might as well write *something*, maybe even find some photos of something. Anything other than rewriting a short story for a major assignment!

George and I spent a week in northern NSW and southern Queensland over Easter. Among other things, I was hugely taken with a sculpture in Brisbane called Forme del Mito by Arnaldo Pomodoro. It tells the  story of Agamemmon from Ancient Greece. Fabricated in cast bronze each piece has its own identity. ‘The Prophet’ Cassandra, ‘The Machine’ Aegisthus, ‘Ambition’ Clytesmnestra and ‘Power’ Agamemnon King of Mycenea.  I think it was commissioned for the World Expos that was held in Brisbane in 1988. 

It was, presumably, inspired by the gold death mask of Agamemnon, which is displayed in Athens after being found at Mycenae:

These are three of the scultpures:

I thought they were very beautiful, atmospheric and exciting.

I also really liked this scultpure in the main mall, I think, which is shell shaped and kids can worm their way through it:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hand Made

I haven't blogged for a month but have been productive, just not in the photographing and writing sense. The only finished piece of dressmaking is the totally handsewn Alabama Chanin inspired dress that I am blogging about today. There are another two dresses partially sewn waiting by the sewing machine, too, plus another cut out but not started, and fabric washed and prepared and patterns prepared to cut out another three things. (And uni starts on Monday, so I'm not really sure how quickly any of that will progress!) There are also two small shawls finished but not blocked or photographed.

I love the Alabama Chanin look (there's a link to her site on my list of links on the side of the blog, if you don't know what I am talking about) but for my first go I did not want to go to all the trouble of the stencilling and reverse appliqueing and stuff that looks so fantastic but I suspected I would get bored and grumpy with it. I intended to do a very simple tunic/short dress and make a feature of the seams with contrasting thread and possibly a little bit of stitched embellishment, just using one layer of jersey. In the end I gave up on the embellishment because I found it impossible to keep my tension on one layer of jersey - doing the seams and binding was easier because it was always at least two layers, so if I do another piece (and I would like to) I might consider double layers and a touch at least of reverse applique or something similar.

I used 1 metre of 100% cotton jersey from Clegs (navy blue), and the heaviest Guterman thread (uphosltery, perhaps? I can't remember) used double (bright red). I drafted the pattern from a jersey nightie I love could easily be worn as a dress, and it fits comfortably.

Navy blue is incredibly difficult to photograph. It didn't seem to matter whether I used natural light, filtered light or flash, it never came out the right colour. It is an ordinary, bog standard navy blue. It looks abominable just hanging on a hanger but I promise it looks better on, I'm just terrible at selfies.

This is a detail of the stretchy stitch I used to attach the bindings round the neck and armholes. There are a variety of options but I liked the simplicity of this one. The seams and flat felling are done in running stitch.

This is just another stitching detail, the same as before, but it gets a bit closer to the real colour.

I haven't worn it yet but will soon. Yes, I know summer is technically almost over in Australia, but there is always substantial warm (and often hot) weather during March and sometimes into April, and it's also designed to be a layering piece worn with a long or short sleeved Tshirt underneath and over jeans or leggings, so I intend to be able to wear it all year round.

It was fun to do. Yes, it was time-consuming, as you would expect with a totally handsewn item, but I could do it all in front of the TV and it was oddly relaxing to do. I'll have to wash it in a lingerie bag on the delicate cycle but that isn't a huge imposition. I really enjoyed the handsewn ethic, down to the fact that I drafted my own pattern from something I already owned.