September 13, 2015

Around The World in 80 Days

Around the world in 80 days! How does it sound for Mr Notjustnat and I for our round-the-world trip? In early 1990 Michael Palin hosted the series Around the World in 80 Days on BBC television. I enjoyed the series until the end. Our trip won't be as interesting as Michael's, but to us it will be. 

The trip combines Mr Notjustnat's retirement and my 10 years long-service-leave. By coincidence they happened in the same year! The trip gives us the chance to visit friends and family along the way. I'm also looking forward to meeting with some online friends for the first time. Some kind souls even offered us to stay with them! 

We will begin our trip from East to West and around. First stop is United Arab Emirates where we lived for almost 7 years. We land in Dubai and then by road to Abu Dhabi. I'm so excited about going back there for the first time since we left in 2002. Below are some photos I got from the net to give you an idea. I will try to update my blog every so often when I have a chance. You can also see my daily feeds on Instagram.

The title page of the original AroundThe World in 80 Days
by Jules Verne

In Dubai I will catch up with my friend Becky. Another dear friend Cynthia will come to pick us up and drive us to Abu Dhabi which is about 150 kilometres from Dubai. I'm looking forward to this ride. I'm sure it will be unregonisable compared with when we lived there.

Abu Dhabi cornish where we lived in from the mid 90's to 2002

A camel train in the desert not too far from Abu Dhabi City

This photo could be any souq in the Middle East!

The highlight for me in Abu Dhabi is to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Construction of the Grand Mosque began when we still there, but with the grand scale of the project it's taken longer than planned. Apart from the Grand Mosque I would like to visit our old apartment building we used to live in. Of course I would like to see the changes that happened in Abu Dhabi. 

So please come along and follow us on our Around The World in 80 Days. 

Until next time

September 2, 2015

My Birthday

I had a birthday last week. I did not go out of my way to do anything special on my birthday but friends, colleagues and family had other ideas. I went out to 2 lunches, many morning teas and dinner. Not bad for celebrating being a year older! I received birthday presents and some e-cards from distant family and friends. Thanks everyone!

I have been busy as usual. Only 3 more weeks till we leave on our around the world trip. I'm starting to get a bit excited now! 

I did a few batches of dyeing these last weeks. The results are getting better and better, and I don't do anything different from what I did in the past. I'm so thrilled to get rich colours and patterns from my dyed fabric. 

Below are some photos from my birthday, and dyeing results. 

Birthday dinner at Steak Ministry

A selection of art journal supplies from Mel Tan

Knitted cowl-neck and other gifts from my colleagues

Bolgatanga African market baskets from DD Kitiya

Some gorgeous gifts from Myra and Cynthia.
They know I love blue!

One of a kind birthday gifts. Rusty objects from
Geo's daily walks on her farm.

Since Jacky's Create Journal Workshop at my Treehouse Studio, I reshuffled some furniture to make more space in the Treehouse. I can now have up to 6-7 people in a workshop at the Treehouse. I recently acquired a vintage silk houry/kimono from Kazari/Ziguzagu. I have the right spot to display it in the Treehouse, the only wall space available being the wall the BORO cloth was hanging. I took the BORO cloth down and hanged the houry/kimono in its place.

It looks beautiful on the wall. The designs
on this kimono was individually woven.
Finely silk woven. It's so beautiful. 

These two chairs are now replacing the long vintage
bench that was there since I moved into the Treehouse.

Baskets are now overflowing over the bookshelves,
but I love them!

Below are some results from a couple of batches of dyes I did in the last couple of weeks. Some of them are better than others. I can use all of these in stitching projects by varying colours and textures. What I need now is time to stitch! 

Jacky called them eco-roses. Collections of dyed silks

Great result dyeing with vintage Japanese wool and eucalyptus

Cotton thread I dyed a couple of weeks ago by wrapping
it around rusty tin

A tint of yellow from wattle flowers and eucalyptus

I made this gorgeous piece of milky merino into a cowl-neck

When opened this piece I thought I wouldn't be able to
do better than this!

Only half of the leaves were removed in this piece

When I opened this bundle, I thought yes, I could!

I also got domesticated last weekend. The olive tree we have in our garden produced a lot of olives this year. I was too busy to do anything about them until last weekend when I had some free time. I started by soaking them in water for a week. Even though the olives are quite small, they are the tastiest olives I have ever tasted. 

I got all necessary ingredients and was ready to bottle
them after a week of soaking. 

Using all jars available I packed and filled the jars
with brine water and a little olive oil. 

It doesn't seem like I have been doing much stitching lately, but I always have a hand stitching project or projects nearby. I keep forgetting to photograph them. I will try to remember to do that soon.

Until next time

August 20, 2015

Creative Journal Workshop

I was delighted to host a Creative Journal Workshop at my Tree-house Studio. It was the first workshop with many more to follow, I hope. The workshop was run by my bestie Jacky Williams. Jacky is a fulfilled artist and she keeps up a creative journal in her spare time! Her work is gorgeous, and I'm glad to host her first workshop at my Tree-house. 

The Tree-house is not that big. We can fit six comfortably with room to spare. I moved all my bits and pieces away on the day. Jacky arrived armed with kits, journalling supplies and props for everyone. She also brought samples of journals she has made.

We were given a list of what to bring. I think we brought far more than we needed! I had dabbled with journalling before and already had my supplies ready. It was good not to have to obtain more supplies for the workshop.

The Tree-house was filled with artistic buzz on the day. We started the day with morning tea and introduced ourselves so everyone got to know everyone else. Jacky talked us through many techniques and process of journalling. It didn't take long before we were busy creating. Time flies when you are having fun. It was like that for us that day. Below are some photos from the workshop. I only had time to take photos of my journal pages. Enjoy!

Jacky's many art journals for inspirations

Jacky busy setting up before everyone arrived

The journals are spread out for everyone to admire

Part of the props to work on that day

The art supplies were spread out

Some water colour paints

My bestie Mel was in her element.
She was natural at journalling!

My first page using collaging technique

My second page using nature and earthy theme

Another collage I did after the workshop

I pasted eco-dye photo over the collage

The theme for my creative journal is eco-dye, surprise surprise! It's easier working with what you know! The workshop went very well and Jacky was a great and generous teacher. Of course I knew she would be! The Tree-house was buzzing with creativity that day. It feels empty afterwards. I hope to have more workshops there soon.

Lucky find: 

Let me share my lucky find with you. No, not all of the Kokeshi dolls are my lucky find. This collection of Kokeshi dolls are at Kazari/Ziguzagu show room on Malvern Rd. I brought one home that day. I wished I had brought more though! I got a few in my collection already. I want to take my time collecting them so they are more special that way. 

We can slowly feel spring in the air here down under. The days are getting longer. I actually get home before dark this week! It hasn't rained much either. It's a nice change without having constant rain for a while. 

Until next time.

August 7, 2015

Hands-On Workshop

You can't beat a hands-on workshop! It wouldn't have taken me over five years to learn how to dye (Eco-dye) if I had taken one or two hands-on workshops from the experts. For some strange reason, I thrive on teaching myself and learning as I go. Trial and error teaches you where you go wrong and mistakes you make along the way. But it's not for everyone. It's sometimes good to jump in and take a hands-on workshop from an expert. You do appreciate what experts have to go through to get where they are and why they are experts. I don't call myself an expert by any means. Learning is life long. When you stop breathing is when you stop learning! 

Anyway, what I want to say in this post is, I ran another Eco-dye workshop a couple of weeks ago. It was very successful and I learned a lot from it, hehe! I got inspired by the workshop and I haven't stopped dyeing ever since! So here are photos of many hands in action I took on the day. Thanks to all workshop participants for a fun day. You ladies were very creative and inspiring!

Gentle hands revealing first bundle. I love this photo!

Dyed fabric strung up to add to the dyeing atmosphere 

First batch was ready to reveal. Can you see colour
seeping through? 

A great photo of such a simple process taken by Mary. 

Here are the sweet ladies in the workshop

Everyone of these ladies is on Instagram. Do look them up on IG and see what other creative stuff they are into! From left is Jenny koolungamama, Mary maryhandweaver, Vic vic_pemberton, Jacky jacky_wllms, Kay shocking_hocking and Mel msmtan 

Head down, ready steady go ladies!

Jacky unwrapping her bundle

Close inspection!

Wish you could hear the conversation that went on here!

Love the hands!

Too busy looking at the cloth to focus on the hands!

At least five hands here!

Purple carrot power! Can you see?

Almost can't wait to open it!

A great placement of leaves on this piece

Great colour combination!

This is the piece in the first photo

I got all inspired after the workshop. The next day and with all the dye stuff still on the table I bundled up using the leftover leaves from the workshop. Below are some great results I got from that day.

Eucalyptus leaves and seeds on Milky Merino Wool

Eucalyptus leaves and seeds on Milky Merino Wool

Beautiful texture made by eucalyptus seeds.

Double print from Eucalyptus leaves on cotton

So right and so red

This could be leopard prints! 

Another piece printed with Eucalyptus leaves and seeds

Sorry for a photo heavy post. There is so much I love sharing with you. I was happy that some lovely friends commented that my dye fabric has been colourful lately. I think it must be the winter leaves that I found all around my neighbourhood that have given me great colours!  

It has been cold and wet here these last two weeks. This coming weekend is the first weekend that we will have a bit of sunshine. Let's hope it happens! 

Until next time