21 October 2014

Textiles Tuesday

I've collated 19 textile discoveries since my last post and I hope you find something of interest among these links.

* Call for entries: Lest We Forget Quilt Challenge. Entries close 6 March 2015 and quilts will be on display at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne, 16-19 April 2015.

* Fancy a hand-stencilled scarf? Jessica Jones shows you how to make your own.

* Fascinating: Carol Milne creates beautiful glass sculptures depicting yarn-like strands that loop around knitting needles.

* Do you want to learn fun and easy textile surface design techniques? Well, you need Lisa Walton's ebook, Fun and Easy Textile Surface Design Techniques. 

This is the first in Lisa's Creative Journeys series of ebooks. Because it's a digital resource, you can download it straight away.

* Call for entries: Dare to Differ 2015. Juried selection, open to all Australian quiltmakers. Entries close 10 July 2015.

* Call for entries: Braidwood Quilt Event Blue and White Challenge, hosted by Canberra Modern Quilt Guild. Entries close 14 November.

* AQC class details now available. Bookings open online on 28 October.

* Interesting articles about Susie Gillespie, who creates textiles from the flax she grows herself.

* Do you like podcasts? This one with Kristin Link (from Sew Mama Sew) and Kathy Mack (from Pink Chalk Fabrics) sounds good! 

* The first issue of the new emagazine, Inspirational, is now available for purchase through John Hopper's blog.

* Learn to create your own fabric designs with these tutorials for beginners from Spoonflower.

* Call for entries: Darwin Patchwork and Quilters - Cyclone Tracy 40 Year Anniversary Quilt Challenge. Entries close 1 December. 

* Techniques to try next time you are stumped for a creative idea - from TextileArtist.org

* See photos of the winning quilts from the 2014 Queensland Quilt Show. Congratulations to all the winners!  

19 October 2014

Sunday shapes

Today's adventure involved spray-painting a plant stand. I say adventure because I have never sprayed paint from a tin before (a graffiti artist, I am not!). It was remarkably easy but appallingly smelly. 

After I'd finished, I spotted a spider's web that had been sprayed. Perhaps I should have put on my specs for the closer work? 

The lines and shapes made by the pieces look so interesting with shadows from Sunday's early morning sunshine falling across them. 

Sunday bliss on a perfect Sydney day...

16 October 2014

Five novels that made me cry

Novels teach us a lot about human interaction: how we behave in particular situations, how we react to crises, and how we deal with our emotions. I have learned so much from fictional characters - thank you to all the authors who have created them!

This is a beautifully-written story about the grief of the headmaster and his wife, who live in an enclosed world. Their unravelling is harrowing.

Read about this book on Goodreads.

This provides such a wonderful look into the life of Frank Derrick. It's a funny, sad, yet uplifting story about an ordinary life. Let's face it, most of us live ordinary lives yet many don't live to be 81. Really shows that everyone responds to a kind gesture.

Read about this book on Goodreads. 

This is one of my all-time favourite novels. The story of a teenager's murder, recounted by the teenager herself, it could be soppy but it's not. Beautifully written, it is full of the complexities of family relationships and the need for answers.

Read about this book on Goodreads. 


This story combines moral dilemmas with a woman's urge for fulfilment and her husband's conflicted desire to understand. It is so easy to be swayed by the decisions each of them makes.


Read about this book on Goodreads. 

If ever there was a story that demonstrates how resilient we can be when challenged, this is it. Written as a series of exchanged letters, this novel celebrates the human spirit.

Read about this book on Goodreads.

Well, these are my top five novels that made me cry. What are yours? Please share in the comments section so we can all sob along together!

13 October 2014

My life in a marshmallow

A couple of winters ago, I bought a new dressing gown. Although I hadn't planned to purchase anything, it called out to me as I walked through a store. Made of rich, deep velour, the gown was begging to be stroked.

It was only after I wore it at home and looked in the mirror that I realised I looked as if I was enveloped in a large, jade green marshmallow.

We use our sense of touch all the time, don't we? It's our most basic sense and found all over our bodies - in our skins.

When I wrap myself in this luxurious gown, it feels warm, cuddly and oh-so-soft against my skin. Wriggling against it, I attempt to experience its cushiony embrace against as much skin as I can. It makes me feel sensuous - well, as sensuous as a marshmallow can be!

Our sense of touch is pervasive and primitive. It's the first sense we experience as we are born and the final sense we lose before we die. Amazing, isn't it, how much we take this complicated network of sensory receptors and nerve signals for granted? 

Do you have any clothing that relaxes you? This gown is first choice when I need comfort. Being surrounded by its embrace is soothing and I feel cosy and cosseted - just the reassurance I need when I feel vulnerable.

Even if I look like a giant marshmallow.

12 October 2014

Textile Tidings is changing!

Hello everyone! Here's an update on my plans for my Facebook pages.

In a week or so, I will merge my Textile Tidings page with my main Creative Dabbling page.

I invite those of you who don't already 'like' Creative Dabbling to click over there and become part of that community. You will be very welcome!

I'm doing this because I want to spend more of my time writing, and maintaining two similar Facebook pages grabs some of that time. You'll still find an interesting mix of links to follow - I promise!

So please click on the Creative Dabbling link and try it out. Please share this post with any of your friends who may be interested.

I look forward to seeing you over there!

10 October 2014

My book of the month: October

This is the second in the series by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling). The first is The Cuckoo's Calling and I recommend you read it before starting The Silkworm. That way, you will understand the characters better than if you plunge straight into book two.

I loved everything about this story. It has complex characters, twisting plot lines and masses of descriptive detail. I'm eagerly waiting for the next one... 

Interested in finding out about this series? Goodreads is the place to start!

07 October 2014

My dream job

I was trying to pull a piece of fabric from the bottom of a precariously arranged pile of objects on the top shelf of my bookcase. The fabric came out easily but so did my set of coloured pencils. The tin crahsed to the ground and all the colours of the rainbow landed on the carpet.

I am very fond on my coloured pencils and am fortunate to have a set of 72 Derwents. They are the most glorious pencils - they feel so good in my hand - and they cover the page with thick, rich colour.

They are arranged in two layers, like quality chocolates, in a beautiful tin.

The colours in the top layer range from deepest ochre, through the yellow hues to orange and apricot; from gorgeous reds and pinks through the purples and mauves and finally into blues.

After I lift out the top layer, the colours of the earth are revealed. There are twelve greens (twelve - what a treat!) followed by the browns, chocolates arnd clay colours of the ground. Then there are the slates, greys, white and black of stone.

All the pencils have the names of the colours written on them I am drawn to the words as I am to the colours - Rose Madder Lake, Naples Yellow, Spectrum ORange, Imperial Purple, and Sap Green.

What a glorious job it would be to name the colours of the pencils! I think I have found the job of my dreams.