Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ageing fabric

As we have a big fair starting next Friday and being the organised business that we are, Joanne and I have been busy dyeing fabric pieces with coffee and tea, what a smelly brew, ok if you like the smell of coffee. Thought you might like to see what we have been doing and the reason I haven't updated my blog.

Here some of them are, drying out on the veranda at the back of the shop.

This is some of the torn silk ribbons waiting to be wrapped for sale. Don't the colours look great much better than the bright baby pink and blue that they where. This is a great way to tone down colours on fabric that you want to use in your vintage collage.

I have also been very busy making these journals for my two lovely sisters, Phil and Paddy to take to France with them in early September. I have put what I learnt at the Art Retreat with Misty Mawn and painted all the pages inside as well, I am pleased with how they turned out, the recipients also seem pleased. We have a challenge on our website using these techniques which finishes very soon. Please join us to make up some more lovely journals. Look on our website for the challenge

PS Denise I haven't forgotten your challenge, need some time and help from Jo on how to do.

Nina Jewellery

I have been very fortunate to have some beautiful necklace's made especially for me by Nina Bagley. While I do treasure these lovely pieces I am not a jewellery person, usually only wear my wedding ring. The gift I most love from nina is the lessons she has taught me in making books, the lovely one I did in Cortona and the book of trees, I never tire of admiring these. I especially love to look at nina's jewellery and if I am wearing it I cannot see it, so I have made this lovely jewellery tree that sits in front of the window where the light catches it, in my studio, now isn't that nicer than around my neck. I think my lack of enthusiasm in wearing jewellery is that I wear glasses and do not have a lovely long neck, I feel all cluttered up wearing jewellery as well. As for wearing bracelets I hate anything hanging over my hand, being a real hands on person I don't like anything that gets in my way. Do you feel that way too, or am I a bit peculiar? I know, don't answer that one.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Winter is well and truly with us, we have had quite a lot of rain which is lovely for the earth. Its also a good oportunity to stay inside and get things done that you put off when the weather is warmer. I have had a busy week creating some new journals, I have still work to do on them and will share when I finish. Joanne and I went to a small art and craft fair in Leederville put on by Made on the Left Marketplace. We went to have a look as some customers had advised us that it was on as hadn't heard of it before. Was well worth seeing, what attracted me was that it was all handmade products, the large fairs in Perth have unfortunately become more of a venue for made in asia products which the handmade crafts cannot compete pricewise, so it is really good to see that there are craftspeople out there still creating and a new venue for them to share their products with. Very talented upcoming artists where there.
the colours in the garden are so much brighter in winter, here a cyclamen in with ivy and nasturtiums giving varying shades of green.
Isn't this wonderful old clock lovely, it looks as if it has been made from an old soup tin or such, it almost looks as if someone has made it up from bits and peices. To the right of the clock is a small pen knib holder with the rusty old nibs in slots with their sizing below it even has to litte metal nails on the bottom to hold the pen this too looks handmade. I do love aged items such as these that someone has very cleverly created out of need, is he or she still around. Peeking from the back is a lovely little fat concertina book An aMoral Myth of ....the Melancoly star-nosed Mole by elvira Mcswain on 300gm watercolour paper, put through a printer, lovely art, this little book appealed to me when I was in Melbourne, I just couldn't resist it, now you know how I love books.

I want to share with you a really tasty relish I found at woolworths (hate shopping there but do find some little treasures sometimes) the relish is made by Baxters a Scottish producer, Sweet Caramelised Onion Chutney with Orange. It is really tasty, good on fresh Italian bread with a nice cheese, also nice grilled until cheese melts. Would be great in a plowmans lunch. Give it a taste and let me know what you think.

Hi to all me family and friends in Austalia and New Zealand. Jacky

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Knitting scarves

I picked up my knitting needles recently and started knitting again. Nothing complicated, just straight scarves. I found this wonderful knitting yarn by Giotto, 50% cotton, 40% rayon and 10% nylon. The colours are wonderful. The one above I knitted for Kirsty and the one below I knitted for myself. I cannot wear wool it prickles my skin, find this mixture warm and light to wear. Experimented with the number of stitches did Kirsty's with 25 and mine with 19. mine turned out longer than Kirsty's which suited me better, not having a lovely long neck like some.
I do find knitting relaxing as long as I don't have to think to much about what I am doing, sitting in front of television at night I get fidgety with nothing in my hands, too tired to do anything too creative and knitting fits the bill. Have bought another 3 balls of different colours to make scarves for an exhibition that Designing Women (machine embroidery group) is having later this year. I am afraid I don't do machine embroidery, I love what they do but just don't want to use a sewing machine after years of making mine and my children's clothing when they where growing up in New Zealand I am just over it. Much rather do mixed media.
Don't know why there is a black border around this photo, must of been the program I cropped it in. This little girl with the knee length baggy shorts, which she just loves I must add, is my second youngest granddaughter Madison. She loves to play netball, and I had the opportunity to go and watch her play recently before opening the shop. I think she takes after me, I too loved to play netball, winning wasn't the goal, I played centre mostly and loved running up and down the court. I must say I got away with quite a lot because I was of small stature back then, and developed quite a sneaky little hip swing to move the opposition out of my way, mmmh must teach Maddie that one!

recipe for spaghetti and meatballs

I recently tried this recipe from Jamie Oliver's book and with a few additions found it very nice, easy to make after work and economical about $5 for 2 here in Australia.
raw italian sausages (I use one for each person)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes ( I use Italian products I think they taste better than Aust)
clove garlic
fresh herbs (in the recipe he used bazzil, I have used sage and it tastes good too)
balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt and black pepper to taste
olive oil to cook meatballs
spaghetti noodles
put spaghetti noodles on to cook while preparing meatballs and sauce
cover bottom of frypan with oil and heat on moderate heat, when hot squeeze small amounts of sausage meat from sausages into frypan, I make mine about the size of cherry tomato, you dont need to shape them into balls, leave as they are squeezed out.
While meatballs are cooking, turning frequently to cook all sides, chop up garlic and herbs smallish, then throw in with meatballs and let cook until garlic slightly browned.
Add tomatoes (for two people I use only half a tin and freeze the other half) stir.
Finally I add a good splash of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a bit of brown sugar as I like my tomatoes a bit sweeter. Heat through, by this time the spaghetti should be cooked.
Drain spaghetti and put into bowls, spoon meatballs and sauce over top and eat.
bon appetit!
You can add parmesan cheese on top, John hates the smell of parmesan so have to put it on mine before taking it to the table.
With rising food prices I am looking for healthy, economical meals. I am also trying to cut down on the amount of meat I use, preferring to get good quality ie organic and eat less of it. It does concern me the antibiotics that is in chicken and meat, fortunately we have organic meat shops and a shop whose chickens have had no antibiotics.
Anyone out there in blog world that has recipes that fit that criteria please email me and share it with others.