November 27, 2012

This and That

I have been busy, but not much to show here. A bit of this and that going into my life these days. I have to say that I'm content with myself and my creativity even though I don't have many finished projects. 

I have been going through the garage looking through boxes we had in storage before we went to Abu Dhabi in mid 1990s. When we came back from Abu Dhabi we brought back even more 'stuff' but our new house was smaller, so much of the 'stuff' was left in boxes. We decided to have a thorough look this time and make some room in the garage for car! We took car loads of 'stuff' to the op-shop and another load to the tip, but what I can't give away are my craft supplies. I saved some wool fleece for spinning, plant fibres for basket weaving and old quilting fabric that I will use one day to make charity quilts. I'm happy to say that I managed to find room for everything. Now I have an empty three door wardrobe in the garage to store all my book making and jounaling supplies in as well. I can't wait to get them out of my sewing room and make room in there for sewing instead of for storing!!!

A little bit of stitching I have been doing is this eco-dyed moon to use as a center for bojagi cloth. I started piecing it from the center out using log-cabin method.  I'm really just randomly added new pieces on in circle motions. I enjoy stitching it a lot in the evenings when I don't have anything else to do haha!

The blanket I started pinning here is finally basted down. It lived on my dinning table for far too long before I got around to finishing it. I can now clear my table and work on some Christmas gifts. 

Natural dyed threads from different batches of dyes. The latest one is the yellow  thread from turmeric. I just love stitching with them. They go well with my dyed fabric. 

Do you spontaneously start a new project out of the blue? It happens to me all the time. I was happily working in the garage when I found the plant fibres I stored there. Before I even knew what I was doing the basket frame almost started itself from the handle I must have made years ago! 

Out of all the crafts I'm doing I think basket weaving is one of the things I love most. This type of basket is called melon or egg basket. You start with two circles in any sizes. You tie the handle to the body using a technique called 'god eye'. You add spokes and you are ready to start weaving.

In this basket I used mixed plant fibres of Red hot poker and Watsonia leaves. Red hot poker is called the golden threads by basket weavers. Watsonia is more fragile, but it keeps its colour even after it is completely dried. The basket measures 15" long x 8" wide and 9" tall. It's only a small basket, but it took quite a lot of fibres because I like to weave it tight to make it strong when using it to carry stuff in.

I have been dyeing again after the workshop I did at Jude Craig. I know you are not surprised.  I have more leaves to experiment with so what to do, what to do? As you can see they are quite a few colours and patterns on them. More fabric to use in my bojagi cloth. 

It's easy to make imprints on fabric when you dye, but I prefer a more spontaneous or incidental result. The cloth above was wrapped around a giant spring that is stuffed with eucalyptus leaves. After steaming I left it for days before opening it. I think it's an exhibition piece. Talking about exhibitions, I've booked an exhibition space at the Monash Gallery of Art for 2013. I know it's a long way off, but if I don't do it now we won't get in. So watch this space for more details.

For the first try with Kangaroo paw. I read somewhere that they dye too, but it might be the red kind. We will have to wait and see. If all else fails, the eucalyptus will dye!

The last of the cotton tote bags I brought back from Bangkok. I shibori it in turmeric dyed bath. It's really that yellow. Turmeric gives a true yellow, if you are looking to dye yellow. 

Why have an empty bag if I can add something on it? Pieces of indigo fabric make perfect patches on this bag. I only pinned them on so far. Another project to work on during the Christmas holidays.

The weaving project is still on the loom. Not a lot of moments left in a day to weave, even though I love it. I have already dyed some warp threads for the next project. I can't wait to get started on that. 

I will leave you with the high tea. Remember the tea cosy I knitted here? It was a lovely day last Sunday so time to bring out my new tea cosy. High tea with home made scones and jam, yum! Cup of tea anyone? 

Thanks again everyone for reading my blog. I have not been very active lately. Considering I have been blogging for 4 years now and still going strong, I think I'm doing well. I still enjoying blogging, but I do like to show some finished projects. It's harder and harder to get things finished these days. 
Life is full...!

Until next time


Nedra said...

I have a lot of UFO's too. But, most of mine are quilts.
Such beautiful colors with your dyes. I especially liked seeing the threads with the variety of shades you've been able to achieve.

Needled Mom said...

I just love coming over to your blog for inspiration. The colors are so wonderful and your dabbling in the different crafts is always such fun to see. Your fingers must never be idle.

I always enjoy seeing your finished work, but I enjoy seeing the process of your pieces just as much.

That yellow is incredible!!!

deanna7trees said...

so many beautiful things in this post. that 'exhibition' piece is gorgeous and love your table setting of blue and white with x-stitch napkins. i laughed when you asked about 'spontaneously starting a project out of the blue'...i do that at least twice during every day. have a great week.

Jeannie said...

You have been so busy!!! Your cloth and threads are gorgeous. I love the softness of the eco dye color. Your basket makes me want to do that again. I have the supplies, but not the time - soon!!! The bojagi is glorious! I love the color and the design. It is a piece that I could look at for hours. Have a fun week, Nat! I know you will. :)

Terry said...

It's not the end that's important it's the journey. I enjoy sharing your explorations and discoveries. Nice basket. Waiting to see the results of the kangaroo paws.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hi Nat....I love the one with the imprint...just stunning! Boy it must feel good to clear out some space....I reckon you can never have enough projects going ha ha! Fantastic post xo

Penny said...

ai love reading your blog Nat, so many different things you do. Love that basket.

liniecat said...

Love that bed cover!! wonderful!

blandina said...

Not so much to show?!?
How many beautiful things, I love the blanket and the basket is terrific. I would like to learn how to weave baskets one day.

Kim said...

Oh my what beautiful projects. I think it's wonderful that you let your imagination lead you to whatever project that inspires you that have so many talents Nat, I like one better than the next! What a beautiful little basket....and really from red hot poker leaves?

Happy Sewing

Queen of the Tea Cosies said...

Oh Nat. I love coming to your blog. It never ever fails to astound and inspire me.

Ro Bruhn said...

What a lovely selection of work Nat, needless to say I love your dyed fabrics, your quilt is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Hi Natima, lots of lovely things to see on your blog, your Devonshire tea setting looks inviting, and the basket is very cute.
Lynda XXX

Jacky said...

Life is full, and life is good Nat! Love everything in this post...your beautiful eco dyed fabric, your eco-dyed quilt, weaving and most especially your lovely basket. I'm a bit like you when I start cleaning things out...find things I cant throw out! get sidetracked and start new projects. You were so good to be able to send a few carloads off!!!

Take care and catch up soon.

Jacky xox

Peggy said...

Hi Nat, I enjoyed this post so much! Honestly, it would've taken me two months to do all of this. I would love to follow you around for a day but I bet I wouldn't be able to keep up. :) That coverlet on the bed is amazing. How luxurious it will be to sleep under that, I adore it, what a treasure. All of your makings are so beautiful, Nat. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hi Nat, what an amazing amount of stuff going on here! I really love so much of it - like the basket, the blanket, and the first quilted piece - but the thing that really really grabbed me with the dyed cloth using the spring. how great!

PS I hate it when my projects linger for too long on the table, too!

Kathie said...

love the tea cozy! so fun.
ok that yellow bag is adorable, love that color yellow, just so happy. the weaving project is beautiful I hope you get to that over the holidays when you have some time off.
after the holidays I am looking forward to working on our project!

jenclair said...

So many pretty things--love the eco-dyed moon piece!

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