Archive | 52 weeks

A Recent Failure

Bed Quilt Project

I started this quilt before moving and finished it just after we bought our new house. It was a fitting ‘house warming’ present for our new home. One small problem… as good as I like to think my maths is, something went awry in converting this pattern from a small lap quilt to one that would fit a queen bed. It never did sit right and you would think even when laying it out on our bed (above) that I would have figured that out. Regardless I persisted in putting it on our bed and we happily made our bed with this ill fitting quilt for about 6 months. Then one day… the cyclist accidentally put it on the wrong way, and guess what, it fits much better. It did not even occur to me to try this – he’s so clever. Has this ever happened to you?


July 16, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 3 comments

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A Recent Success

Squiz International User Conference

My 52 weeks challenge is to write about a recent success. It was rather satisfying to discover that I actually had a couple of choices to write about on this topic. I opted for a recent professional success.

It seems my manager has more faith in my abilities than I do as she has put me forward to speak at the training day of upcoming Squiz International User Conference in Melbourne on the 20th – 22nd of October. Go have a look at the Training Day agenda and at points 2.2 and 2.3 you will see my name against the W3C Mobile Design and Squiz Search sessions. I’m quite excited by this and just a little nervous. If you’re going to attend make sure you stop by and say hi. Wish me luck!

July 1, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 4 comments

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Follow Up to a Lofty Goal

I’m so far behind on my 52 weeks posts since this is supposed to be Week 15. The challenge was to write a post as a follow up to a lofty goal. As most know I would love to print my own fabric and last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a two day workshop on screen printing on fabric. It was such a great experience and I got so much inspiration from the lovely and talented Kate Ward who was our intrepid guide. Apologies for the photos but here are two of the four tea towels I came home with. Do you recognise my little medallion? It’s fast becoming my signature. Working with a mixture of photo emulsion – a truly satisfying technique by the way – and good old fashion stencils. I enjoyed the whole process (yep even the cleaning up) and know what I would do differently. I’m going to do another class with her at the end of the year to hone my skills and learn repeating patterns and in the meantime I’m sending some designs to Spoonflower to be printed. And not a cherry blossom in sight.

June 26, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 4 comments

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Baba Imambara (Lucknow) India

As part of 52 weeks we have to write about something in the news. This is not exactly in the news but do you ever have that feeling that the universe is trying to tell you something? I had a serendipitous moment a few weeks ago that really had me wondering whether I was being passed a note of karmic proportions. It all started with Wil, who I can boast that I have known for 30 years. She was the very first person I met on my very first day at boarding school and I don’t remember very much from those early weeks but I remember with clarity that moment she first spoke to me. She would probably laugh at the cheesy small talk that left her nervous 12 year old mouth. Last year I sent her birthday greetings and received a harried reply of her giving up work, dealing with the silly season and packing up house for a move to India with her husband and two gorgeous children. They had decided to walk the walk and her husband works in Micro Finance for 3rd world businesses (I think that sums it up). Her most recent email, without exaggeration, made me laugh and made me cry. I am in awe of what she is doing and really don’t know if I could do the same.

In the same week I received an email from an old friend I worked with at Microsoft. He’s now working for a not for profit that runs an orphanage in Tanzania – and wanted advice of the web geek variety. It just started me thinking… am I supposed to be doing something else? When discussing this with the cyclist he asked me where we were going to move to… I’m not sure that’s the answer but surely there’s a lot of good that can be done in my own backyard. Do you volunteer or work for a not for profit? I would love to know.

About the photos: The are both by Wil and used with permission. Here are her explanations:
Top: Bara Imambara (Lucknow) – built by the Imams 3 centuries ago – with a quirky labyrinth winding its way to the roof and this view.

Bottom: Zardozie embroidery work – elaborate, elegant & highly skilled. This is work for MFI clients in Lucknow. Here 2 men begin part of the design and then it is taken to women in villages to finish.

June 4, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 3 comments

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Can I Help You?

I have a confession… I’m a bit of a web nerd. This has been many years in the making but it’s something I love and 3 days a week I get paid to be one. So here’s what I’ve been noticing. Many talented blogging artisans struggle with the technology behind their blogs. This was a resounding theme in Tara Frey’s book Blogging Your Bliss and it started me thinking. For a while now I have been harbouring the idea of adding Tutorial or How To posts to my blog. Do you have a nagging question that you would like answered by a web nerd like me? Have you seen something cool on a blog and thought ‘how did they do that?’. You have! Excellent… leave me a comment.
Image from Remo General Store shows the front and back of the Body tag t-shirt and yes, in case you’re wondering, I do own this t-shirt.

April 8, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 1 comment

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Studio Tour :: Favourite Equipment

This week’s challenge it to take you on a studio tour or introduce you to my favourite equipment. I so wish I could take you on a studio tour but the truth is the magic happens in a study I share with my darling husband. You’ve already seen my lovely workspace and on the other wall sits my sewing table with my trusty Bernina sewing machine that I bought in Atlanta so I have to use a converter to change the voltage from 240 to 110 – one day I’ll change the motor. So let me introduce you to my favourite equipment. Without a doubt it would be my iMac… I just love it and being a Mac user is a new thing for me. I was 100% a Windows girl up until August last year when I took the plunge. There is no turning back for me and my darling husband now refers to me as an ‘Apple Fan Boy’ – thanks to my iPhone, iPod and iMac.. and yes I do want an iPad. My favourite tools on my iMac are without a doubt Adobe Illustrator (there’s a sneak peek of my next Uni assignment due tomorrow). Adobe Dreamweaver that I’ve been using since the time there was a company called Macromedia. My new favourite tool is Evernote, I have it on my iMac, iPhone, my PC at work and I can also access it online. It just keeps my overflowing thoughts in one easy place that I can reference. Now back to that assignment.

March 28, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 1 comment

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Change of Season and the End of Birthday Month

This is the flash of red at the bottom of my garden. These blossoms herald the end of summer and the start of autumn and coincide with shortening days and chilly mornings. Today marks the last day of summer and the end of birthday month. When the boys were little we would take our annual holiday in March just to recover from the all the birthdays. I just love autumn and I find myself about this time each year scrutinizing the Japanese maple for signs of change. I’m lucky to live in one of the few places in Australia that has the seasons in all their glory. I know some of my antipodean friends are probably looking forward to spring after what has been a long cold winter, if the newspapers are to be believed. So what’s your favourite season? Does it change the the focus of your work?

February 27, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 1 comment

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Dear Lynette, The Romance is Over

Our challenge this week is to write about falling out of love with a technique, fabric or pattern. For me the answer is easy… Thimbleberries. I used to adore the country stylings of Lynette Jensen’s fabric and now I’m really not a fan at all. My first real foray into quilting was in Atlanta where I did a course at Little Quilts in Marietta and the kit I bought for our sampler was all Thimbleberries fabrics. I was hooked,  I joined a Thimbleberries fat quarter club and received 6 fat quarters a month. Then my interest in Thimbleberries started to wane but not before I had built up quite a stash. Now I’m not sure what to do with it . Any suggestions? I do admire Lynette Jensen, I think she’s an amazing force in the quilting world but her work is just not my cup of tea anymore.

February 21, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 1 comment

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Getting Creative

My task this week is to talk about when I first fell in love with creating. For me it started with my mother and her love of sewing. She is such a beautiful seamstress and over the years has made everything from quilts, to dolls clothes to overly complicated Issey Miyake shirts (for me). She started to teach me when I was young and I had the best outfitted Barbie on the block. Eventually I started making my own T-shirts and painted them for myself and friends. I was the girl who always had a sketch book and my creative bent diverged from my mother into ceramics, photography and drawing. When I went to art school I was convinced that drawing was going to be my major – that was up until I met the chain smoking lecturer that we nicknamed Spacey Holliday. She single-handedly turned me off drawing and I haven’t sat and sketched for years. So design became my major and I built stages and furniture and now I’ve come back to sewing.
{Images via weheartit and turned into polaroids using my new favourite toy – Poladroid }

February 13, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 2 comments

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How Do You Store Your Fabric?

My fabric has been stuffed in a Cathcart Allied moving box since we came from Atlanta so this has been a quandary of  mine for quite a few months now.  I’m appealing to you for your help – how should I store my fabric? I am not only aiming this question at my fellow fabric obsessed, all good advice on my dilemma will be most welcome. I really like this solution from Holly’s Street but sadly I no longer have The Container Store down the road and they don’t deliver to Australia. I have exhausted every combination of canvas and storage and container in Google Australia with no luck… but if I ever need a shipping container I know where to go!

I also think this idea from Retro Mama is so cool especially the multicoloured colanders! I confess I tried this once (without the colanders) but this failed on two counts. Firstly, I cannot fold my individual pieces to look so uniform and secondly I didn’t use them all really quickly so they started to gather dust! Has anyone tried this? Is there a method to folding?

The last picture from Jenny B Allsorts is a picture of her studio.. oh those colours! I really like having my fabric visible, as inspiration strikes when you least expect it. Wouldn’t it be nice to work in a space like this? What to do? Can you help?

February 4, 2010 \ 52 weeks \ 9 comments

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