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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

School Holidays

We're halfway through the school holidays here and it has been hard getting computer time, so not much blogging has occurred.

We're having a pretty quiet holiday, as we were all recovering from (everyone else) or starting (me) yet more colds and things - it has been a bad winter for viruses. There's been lots of computer games, DVDs, Gamecube games, reading, beading and hanging out with friends, so that's been nice.

Last night we visited friends for dinner and had a lovely evening - their house is full of dogs and artworks and artefacts from foreign travels, and they are wonderful people.

I took Wombat to see Over the Hedge last week and quite enjoyed it.

It is Baby Bear's thirteenth birthday on Saturday and I have presents to wrap. She is going for a sleepover tomorrow night so I will probably do it then. Hope she likes her presents! She is then going off on a music camp on the Sunday - this is normally in the school holidays, but because our holidays are all muddled up this year because of the COmmonwealth Games, she is actually missing a week of school. She learns so much music though that we think it is an appropriate use of her time. We will go up to Albury for the following weekend to attend her concerts. It has become quite a ritual, going up there every year, and we have our favorite places to visit.

Poor Baby Bear has been going through some traumas at school recently. We have turned ourselves inside out trying to sort things out over the last couple of months. I have been left feeling that the school is not serving her well either emotionally or academically - though it is excellent musically. I strongly want her to shift schools - she doesn't - George is undecided. We have enlisted the services of a psychologist who has been very helpful, and is going to talk to the school himself next week to see if he can shed any more light on the problem. It has all been very stressful. I didn;t sleep properly for a couple of weeks and was close to having a total breakdown at one point, I think, though I have now been able to distance myself a bit and use some of the stress-relieving techniques I learnt last year.

I now have to organise to take Wombat and a friend out to see Cars this afternoon - it was meant to be yesterday afternoon but we took WOmbat to the doctor instead, because he still has a persistent cough after having a cold a couple of weeks ago. The doctor didn't think it was anything sinister, but it took up the time in which I had planned the cinema trip. So I had better check session times!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Project Spectrum - June - Blue

This is another pin I made at the same time. It is a present for someone so I won't go into more details as she might read this blog! I like making these, I feel some more in the works. In fact I am about to make another one to go with the bag I am making for the Tote ExchangePosted by Picasa

Project spectrum - June - Blue

With my school work out of the way for a couple of weeks I have time to do some other stuff. This is a beaded pin I have made for Wombat's school teacher, who has left at the end of the term (boo hoo, though her replacement seems good). This is my first attempt at making one of these and I am rather pleased with it! The face cab came from a seller on Ebay and I have several of hers, they are all gorgeous. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Other Folder Cover

This was the other major project. It was inspired by Fred Williams landscape paintings, which I love. The sky is strip pieced, and so is the first half of the land, which the bottom half is torn fabric strips. The trees are circles of fabric with hand stitched stems, and if you look closely there are a couple of hand stitched dead trees. The whole is held together with free machine stitching and some discreet hand stitching. I am really pleased with it.

The cover fabric is white bengaline, sponge printed in diluted acrylic paint. I used a sea sponge, and placed gum leaves randomly over it and sponged over them to leave show images. Unfortunately the camera battery died just as I was about to take a picture of the back, which shows the leaves properly!! Posted by Picasa

Project spectrum - June - Blue

The complete foler cover. I deliberately dyed the small piece a lot more aggressively that the large piece. It worked out really well considering it was the first time I had tried discharge dyeing (not counting those accidents where one accidentally gets bleach on ones clothes!) Posted by Picasa

Project spectrum - June - Blue

This is my major project for one of my two subjects that will be handed in tomorrow. We had to design a cover from scratch, using the principles we had covered in the course. After much fiddling around with ideas - I originally started off being inspired by Aboriginal dot paintings, and there is still several embroideries in that idea to come! - I ended up with this, which quite accidentally looks a bit Japanese, I think. The appliqued dots are a montage of Aboriginal art that I did on the computer and then printed onto iron-on fabric. The background fabric is denim, discharge dyed with bleach in the washing machine. Posted by Picasa

Project Spectrum - June - Blue

This is some fantabulous, splendiferous yarn I received from The Stripey Tiger for co-winning her blog competition. I think she must have sent it out moments before going into labour with her very adorable baby Bronte Violet.

It is Knit Picks Shimmer, which is 70% baby alpaca and 30% silk, and it is extremely cuddleable. At 440 yards i should be able to get a lacey scarf out of it, I think. It's got green and purple in it, as well as blue, but I;m counting it towards my June pictures.

Not much blogging has occured Chez Sheep Rustler because of protracted illness (children - what a term for illness this has been!!) and frantic finishing off of school work (me). All is done and will be handed in tomorrow, to be followed by a lavish lunch with fellow sufferers. I wrote a draft of a long, whining post about how woe was me because my children are always sick, etc, etc, but it bored me even to write it so I have deleted it and will be posting more pics instead. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Frog Rain and Toad Soup

This mixed media collage would have been perfect for Project Spectrum last month! It's what we did in class last Friday. I don't actually like it much, I felt too rushed while making it as we were pressured to get it done in the two hour class. I mounted it on the green felt and did the stitching at home, though. I would like to try mixed media again with some careful planning and thought. The couple I have done this semester have not worked out very well because I have felt presured to complete them in a certain time or with certain materials, and I would like to practice with some greater freedon of materials and with no time pressure. I have seen some fabulous mixed media stuff that I would like to be inspired by. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mini Wool Expo

For the first time I actually managed to get to the Handknitters' Guild Mino Wool Expo at Coburg Town Hall. June and July are always very busy for me and it tends to be one of the things that gets missed out on, especially as Coburg is a long way away from where I live. But I got dragged along by my friend J and a good time was had. I'd never been inside Coburg Town Hall before and was quite charmed by the gilded mouldings and the balcony - reminded me of Kyneton Town Hall where I often went to things during the time I lived there. But it was freezing cold and badly lit! It was nice to be able to look at things without a crush, though, unlike the craft fairs I am used to going to, where the crowds swell and everyone has really sharp elbows.

I was operating on a strict budget, plus sticking to my yarn diet. (Actually I have not used up my Yarn Day from May yet, but I am waiting on Sock of the Month stuff and I might get two in June, now, so I wanted to avoid buying yarn if at all possible). There was much lucious yarn, of course, but I didn't buy any. I did buy 100g of turquoise blue roving, and could have bought much more roving and wool tops (and other fibre tops - so many gorgeous ones!) but didn't. And I bought two magazines from the Artisan Books stall - the current Interweave Knits Crochet special, and Cloth Paper Scissors, which I wanted to read before I considered subbing to it. I have already subbed to Quilting Arts but I wasn't sure that the other one would have enough textile art stuff in it for me. After a quick flick through last night I am not fully convinced that it would be worth the money for me, but it is a most gorgeous magazine and I love it!

I noticed three major ommissions from the stuff available - there was no sock wool (that I noticed), but then I wasn't really expecting any, necessarily. But I was very surprised not to be able to find any exciting laceweight yarn, or indeed any laceweight yarn AT ALL. It is hard to find really lucious laceweight in Australia, and I had hoped that that might be one place to find it. But none. Not that I NEED any, I already have a modest stash of laceweight yarn, but you know how it is... I was also surprised, considering how many undyed wool and other tops were there, that no-one was selling dye. I would definitely have bought dye! Not that I don't already have a fair bit of dye, you understand, but it's something I generally have to buy by mail order (or treck right across town to far flung suburbs) so I would have snapped up some if it had been available.

J and I then had a late lunch and a thoroughly enjoyable chat before going home to hot cups of tea. If you're reading this, J, thanks for encouraging me to go yesterday, I really enjoyed myself and it was a very pleasant afternoon!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Project Spectrum - June - Blue

Not a technique I am likely to do again in a hurry - or at least not at this scale. Trying to stick all these stupid little pieces of fabric down without losing any was a nightmare. But I like the idea of a skewed grid on a larger scale, and/or repeating it. Posted by Picasa