Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The new project ...

Okay, I have the opportunity to maybe teach a wee class, maybe. I have to get the quilt done as fast as I can ie, in a week or two at the very latest. So, here is the start of Little Bow. The pattern you see here is for the panel in the centre. I'll keep you updated as it comes together. I found out all this today, so I came home and drew this up. Let's see what happens ..

Saturday, 15 August 2009

So very ... Charming ...

Okay, Charmings. I made 'em. I call 'em. These are basically charms, in this case used for my lap top cover. These can be made in ANY size, I used a combination of fabric and paper with a covering of mica sewn together and then hung off a mixture of bits of jewelry I had. Some of it vintage, some of it from what we call here, the $2 shop.

Again so super easy, in the next few days, I'll post a tutorial here so anyone can else make them.

Fabric doesn't get used much for charm making outside quilting and fabric arts but it is so versatile. I have the the makings of three fabric journals all ready to go, and I have a bunch of ideas I want to try and I will be posting here what happens and how. So keep us all going for a bit, here are some pics of the Charmings, you'll be seeing more of them here.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Charmings m'dear and a laptop ....

I have made a cover for my new lap top ( I lurv it). I cheated, I bought a pattern. It's an Amy Butler pattern granted. Whoo wee I thought I was so clever, loved the look of the patterns. Loved the way the finished projects looked, I was short of time so instead of nutting out one of my own I used Amy Butler's.

Slick advertising can be so pretty, you want to run right out and sew while you run through a wheatfield, kilos lighter than you are, head full of luscious hair that doesn't have to be coloured. it's all amazing. Until you open the pattern and try to bloody read it. IT'S IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE! I have a degree in Fashion Design, four years at design school, experience in the industry. Millions of years of sewing behind me, I started when I was 6. I can sew, I am a pattern maker, I can get real technical but when I read this pattern I thought I was studying some weird form of engineering law with a mix of quantum physics chucked in just to make sure I didn't get too comfortable. This is NOT a pattern you read once and then say "goodio, I'm ready to make something wonderful". This is a pattern you read through once and then walk around the house afterwards saying to yourself "I'm a smart, tricky girl but what the!?!"

The official site says that the pattern instructions are "super friendly, hip and cool". There is nothing hip or cool about feeling like you wanted to enrol in a primal scream therapy session after tackling a sewing pattern written in venusian. Great advertising though.

I have read reviews of this pattern and it's listed as being a pattern for experienced sewers but that's crazy. The pattern itself isn't hard, its a great pattern for beginning and intermediate level sewers. What makes it hard is the way the instructions are written. And that's useless. I am going to rewrite the instructions for my friend so she can make it without having herself committed. All the lawyers sniffing about can settle down, the instructions won't be posted here, I will give them to her and then make sure she eats it or gives it to her dogs when she's done. The product is amazing, the instructions to make it should be amazing as well.

So here is the pattern :

And here is my finished lap top cover, it's not beautifully photographed but it will give you an idea of what it looks like and how messy my table is. And you will see along the edge of the laptop cover flap, you will see my charmings. Charmings you say? What's a charming? You'll just to read on and find out ....

A New Day and Back in the Saddle ...

I am back in the saddle boys and girls. I have decided that what I write about here will be about anything I want. I can't limit it to one thing or another. I don't work like that. So I guess it will be fair to say that you won't know what will be here when and if you look. Making stuff, photography, writing, movies ... whatever.

Friday, 7 August 2009

For Chris

Hi. It's the day after Chris Wheeler's funeral and I want to write about him. It was a huge water shed day for me, the impact has been tremendous. Today, I feel as if the rug has been pulled out from under my feet and my heart is sore. And I dreamed about Grant Chapman and myself opening a hotel all night, so I can guess that is why I am feeling a little wigged out as well : ) Chris taught me: It's never to late too late to follow your dream

Persistence in the face of all odds

Always ask "why" and then find out "why"

Read, Read then read some more


Writing is lonely and hard but incredibly rewarding and challenging

I always felt, and Chris was so good at this, that he had faith in me as a person and faith in my abilities. There is something that I have told Shannon and Glenn but I will put it here as well, because it means so very much to me. Shannon, myself and Chris went through a period of time where we would go and hang out in a coffee shop in the spanish street in sydney. I can't remember the name of the street because today my head feels like its wrapped in cotton wool, and because I know it so well I'll remember it in the middle of Cai's play date today and swear like a trooper. Anyway, we used to go to this one coffee shop on the corner just down from the Spanish Club. We would sit there and argue, laugh and spend hours and hours just talking about all things big and small. It as a wonderful, wonderful time in my life. One afternoon after Shannon had left, Chris asked me to come with him. So I did, and we talked and talked some more. Before long we down at the bottom of Druit Street , I think or the one past that one. There was a little script shop down there, it's not there now but you could buy a shoe box flat off the plan if you feel so inclined.

In we went, the guy who owned the place knew Chris and they both smiled and then Chris turned to me and said, "pick one, one you think is really really good." I was floored. I wasn't working and neither I might add was Chris, but he wanted me to choose a script so I did, and then despite all my shock and protestations he bought it for me. He told me that he wanted me to go home and read that script and learn from it, study it, get to know it inside and out. He wanted me to do this because he said I could write, and he wanted to me to just "do it". He believed in my ability to write so much that when he had nothing he willing found the money to buy me something he felt would encourage and inspire me to write.

Well guess what, it did. I have an agent now, a really one! She can't sell my books thanks to a financial world wide collapse, but she's still trying and that's cool. I have been working on my third book now for coming on to well over a year. I have been in and out of the Jewish Museum, I have been interviewing and reading and researching and writing but over the past three months, I have been going through a bit of a "dark night of the soul". I have been really questioning what I have been doing. writing has had my in a haze, my brain is always churning about with the deeds of the characters and my internal analysis of why they are doing what they are doing. My book is for teenagers, and it felt as if the clock had been turned back to me as a teenager, it bought back a whole bunch of stuff. Some good and some bad. I was eating, dreaming, sleeping my book. I was wondering if it worth it, if I was fooling myself that I could write in the first place. I wanted to ring Chris, and I should have. He really would have understood.

BUt he isn't here, and we are all the more poorer for it. But I would like to think that he is in the halls of Valhalla watching us and waiting for us to cross the rainbow bridge to Asgard. And when we get there, he'll be so overjoyed to see us because now ... he'll have someone to argue with, laugh with and hang out with. I don't think Vikings "hang out" but Chris and his Viking spirit will be filling the halls to the rafters and introducing Thor to the finer musical nuances of" Aqau Lung".

I am finishing my book, I am finishing it. Chris in his final act of inspiration has lit a fire in my belly. He believed in me, along with Glenn Fraser. And that's enough, that will keep me going until the day I stop breathing. It's a bit of a trite saying that a dead loved one "Is all around us", but the way I see it, Chris will be in every word I write.

Thank you Chris, you will never, never know how much your support and belief meant to me so I am letting all our friends know. We all miss you.