Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My studio

I often read of people wanting a workroom or studio of their own to work in, and I'm fortunate enough to have one.  It used to be a semi open area next to our pool but hubby turned it into a dedicated work room for me.  I'd completely out grown the spare bedroom, taken over the lounge room, covered the dining table, and was working my way through the rest of the house when hubby said "you need somewhere to work outside of the house environment" ... YIPPEEEEE!!!!!  (so that's how its done ladies!).
Its across the garden, so separate from the house.  I can feel like I'm going to work and switch my mind off from the housework.  Its a wonderful place to study, work and teach, but anyone who has a workroom will tell you - you soon find that the more space you have - the more you fill  it up.  As you can see above and below my studio is full to the brim despite having ample storage space ... I just keep buying more!  These photos are taken after I'd completed Module 9 ... its like I've pulled everything out of every drawer and just left it in my mad panic to complete my work.  Then I just walk away and shut the door for a week or two whilst I get my breath back.
As I'd started work on Module 10 I really needed to get in and have a good clean up so that I could concentrate (and find things), so last week I got in and sorted things out.  Notice how the filing tray just gets bigger and bigger though ... I loathe filing.
As least I can see my table top and have room to work on now ... how long it will  last is another thing.
I wish I was a more orderly person, but I'm just not.  I try hard, have the right ideas, but then I can't find where I've put anything - this usually applies to the more experimental materials, as I never know how to categorise them.  I do keep all my working hand threads sorted into boxes in colour groups and this works.
And I try and keep my machine threads sorted into colour groups in a portable set of drawers, than I can wheel around and have close to me when I'm using the machine.

I  like to have little motivational sayings dotted around to help me get back on track when I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself or lacking confidence.
But most of all, I just like being in there.  Its my own space, its full of all the things I love and it inspires me.  I hope your workrooms do the same for all of you.  I would love to read about them, so please do share.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fairbridge and Edenvale

After 23 hours of sitting hunched over my sewing machine, like a frenzied witch over her cauldron, I've finally finished the machine lace. 
A close up view of the fossils all linked together.  I'm now in the process of stitching it to a fabric base ... more pics to come later.
For a break away from the machine, and to stretch my legs, hubby and I took a drive out to Fairbridge yesterday.  Despite being in Australia over 40 years and Fairbridge only being half an hours drive down the road, I'd never been there before, but I'm glad we went yesterday.  It was really lovely and very interesting.
That's the chapel above.  Fairbridge Village began in 1909 as a Farm School for orphans from the UK and Dutch East, to teach them skills and education which would help them in their adult years. 
The village is made up of 52cottages, each with their own unique name, where the children were taught and lived with a house mother to simulate a home environment.
Today Fairbridge still operates to assist people with disabilities and disadvantages.
Many craft groups hire out a cottage for a weekend retreat, where they have a long weekend of quilting or stitching and I'm sure lots of chatting and laughing too.
We specifically went there yesterday to see an exhibitiion by the Murray Arts and Crafts Group of paintings and textiles.
Of course there were birds there too, but only a few, not enough to send me screaming down the road.
I was so impressed with the Village that I'm planning to go again soon.
This is hubby enjoying the view of the hills ... or perhaps he was just resting after I'd dragged him on a long walk around the village.
From there we went to Edenvale Homestead in Pinjarra, to the Heritage Tea Rooms.
Another quaint place to visit, with lots of history, and lovely gardens.
My main reason for going here was to see the possums.  Again, despite living here for so long, I've never seen a possum, but recently the local newspaper did an article on a group of possums living at Edenvale who come out in the day time to feed and play, so armed with my camera I dragged hubby along for a chance to see them.
But ... they'd come out and been fed just before we got there, and had disappeared in their burrow under the verandah, so we missed out!
I was consoled with a cuppa tea and apple cake and a nice chat with the owners who showed me their photos of the possums (not quite the same thing!).  So there's another place I have to go back to ... I won't give up until I see these possums.  I'm on a mission now.
The gardens at Edenvale were just starting to show their Spring promise with tulips and, surprise! surprise! something we don't see often around our neck of the woods - snowdrops. 
They brought back some lovely childhood memories for us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

17 hours and counting

So far, I've spent 17 hours stitching away, bent over a sewing machine, to make my fossil lace, and I'm still only half way there.  Why oh why do I start these things ... do you think I'll ever learn to do a quick and simple project for a change.  Mine always seem to involve hundreds of hours of creation.
Saturday afternoon was a dyeing day - trying to get the right colour fabric to match my machine lace.  I want to use this for the inside of the noodle box.  I also had to dye a piece of fabric purple for the outside of the box which will be covered with the machine lace.  The purple dye I bought was more a plum, so I added some blue and eventually got the colour I wanted but it was a bit splodgy.  I'm hoping I can hide it with the lace and stitching.
I did end up with some nice mottled and mixed coloured pieces, so I hope I can do something exciting with them at a later date.  The box is coming on slowly and starting to take shape.  I've got to rework the handle idea.  I woke up at 4am the other morning suddenly realising my handle design wasn't going to work .... why didn't my brain pick that up at the time of design instead of deciding to wait until 4am in the morning to tell me!?
After all this brain storming and stitching I needed to clear my head and stretch my legs, so I took wee Bons to Lakelands for a walk and found this lovely duck.  Usually they're the mallard types, brown and boring, but this one was lovely and was happy to pose for me.
When I turned around I found I had an audience.  What is it with these birds!!??  Last year I was terrorised for 4 months by a Heron, who took great pleasure hiding behind the trees near my pond, waiting until I got near before taking off into flight like a B52 bomber and scaring the life out of me, as well as stealing my gold fish.  I'm getting worried that one day soon my neighbours might find me running down the street, arms and legs flaying widlly screaming "the birds, the birds". 
They already think I'm whacky ... that'll just confirm it!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A day out

The other Sunday hubby and I decided to have a break from the decorating and took a run out into the hills.  We went to Serpentine Dam firstly, which is horrifying low on water, and had a cuppa and a cake.  However, two Japanese tourists next to us bought some bird seed to feed the local wildlife, and while it was amusing at first it soon turned into a scene from Alfred Hitchcocks "The Birds" ... the parrots came from everywhere.  They are very cute and cheeky and looked appealing when they sat on the table with us ...
but when they sat on the plate and you had to fight to get the cake in your mouth before they did, it soon lost its appeal, so we moved on.
We then went driving around Jarrahdale and came across the Millbrook Winery.  You can get nice lunches here but have to book, so I'm waiting for Spring to arrive then will go back and have a leisurely afternoon there.  It was a really beautiful setting, and very peaceful.
And I have a thing for statues.  I love how they age and discolour.  This one of Baccus was apparently shipped over from France.
Not sure whether these are plum trees, or apple trees or what, but the flowers were so pretty.
As we were leaving we spotted kangaroos coming into the vineyards and having a great feed on the growth around the vines.  It was dusk so they were coming out of the bush from everywhere .... we didn't want another scene like the parrots, so took our cue and headed for home.
Just at the gates leaving the vineyard we saw this big fella, and he kindly posed for us. 
Majestic heh?  They have amazing eyes and cute little faces ... I still can't bring myself to eat them.  I think Australia's the only country in the world who eat their national emblems.