some progress

I did it, got started on the quilt, and would love to continue today but I have big plans that culminate in a party!  The very best of plans hmm?

For those of you who have never sewn Chinese brocade, it’s what I call ‘skiddly’ in that it slips and skids all over the place when you cut and sew it.  Cut with care, sew with caution, and keep to the KISS principle – Keep it Simple Sweetheart!  HA!  It’s more like, lay you sanity on the line however my sanity is really questionable as this is the second quilt I’ve made in this material.

Sorry about the lighting - it was a brilliant sunny day in Bangkok.

It was a simple square made up of 6 small squares and a rectangle - there was the occasional big black square thrown in. All random - which is hard to arrange!

The first was a luscious queen-sized creation in red, black and gold for my daughter – very dramatic, the quilt, and gorgeous, the quilt and the daughter.  It was made to the accompaniment of many expletives and fine fluff floating off in all directions into every corner of the room – with traces found for weeks afterward.

The blue sewing machine thread s the middle shows how fine the fraying fabric is.

I thought I’d do a test yesterday using my overlocker.  So what if quilts are not sewn on an overlocker – who said they couldn’t be?  I’d try it with some sacrificed fabric and if it didn’t work, what would be lost? Just 10 cms of material and a couple of hours.

There is no 'give' in this fabric. While it slips sand slides out of square there is no stretch whatsoever!

The experiment was reasonably successful although lining up seams is nigh on impossible – I have shown the best of a 16×16 square section!  I recall this being a problem the first time around and, for the most part, managed to disguise the offset seam intersections when I tied the quilt – I am not so insane that I’m about to sew the layers together!   Machining would be impossible given the skiddly nature of the fabric and it’s against my better judgement to even consider hand quilting a queen-sized quilt – I know my limitations!

Well, do I continue on the overlocker or sew another sample on the regular sewing   machine?  And while I’m pondering this choice, I think I might give some consideration to a pattern where there are no seam intersections.

I don’t think I have ever used so many exclamation points – better than expletives I guess.  And yes, I use dashes a lot – I know but I don’t care – there comes a point when it ceases to matter what people think of such idiosyncrasies!!!


I thought my procrastinating was all done but it wasn’t – is it ever?

I thought to myself, it’s almost time for lunch so I’ll just wash the salt off the windows then eat so I won’t find myself starving at 3:00pm.  Living at the beach it gets to the point where you can hardly see out!   I am to be congratulated for cleaning them all on the inside as well – if someone even so much as looks sideways at them they’ll be given the white vinegar solution and some newspaper!

Lunch – go outside and pick a fresh acid-free tomato and some basil.  Can you go into the garden and not pull a few weeds?  Now the entire (albeit small) vegetable garden is weeded and I’m thinking about what to plant in the space left by the lettuces that had bolted.

Lunchtime – avocado, tomato and basil on toast – will an avocado tree grow here?   Research of whether an avocado can withstand salt winds is done and the answer is, probably not.  What will I plant?  Broad beans, carrots, beetroot and some lettuce seedlings.

The postie (mailman) went past while I was eating so I collected the mail, read my new contact for work but drew the line at filling in some forms.  The idea that I would be working full-time somehow that triggered the thought that I have some air-points about to expire so I rang Thai Airways in Auckland to find out where I can go – I need to top up 2,000 points and then I can go to a Pacific Island.

Checked emails after I looked up the number for Thai Airways – there was a reminder that Paul Phillips was about to go live on U Stream so I decided to watch and do some knitting. That way I wouldn’t feel guilty about not cutting some patches for the quilt.

No Paula for some reason so no knitting – I’m writing this instead!

It’s now almost 2:30 hours since the earlier post so I better pull finger and start cutting!

And that, my friends, is another reason this is called Late Start Studio!

Creativity Queue Challenge

Tammy Garcia over at Daisy Yellow has a Creativity Queue Challenge going – a great way of getting all those part-completed (even if it’s just an idea), out there into the physical world.

My particular challenge is a Chinese brocade quilt.  Now I know that once I start it will be addictive and I’ll find that it’s 3:00pm and I’ll not have eaten lunch.   The  actual starting is the problem.   So how late is this project?  I bought the fabric in Bangkok in 2009 (there are those who would say I should lead shopping expeditions in Bangkok).

3 years isn’t too bad is it?

Okay – table cleared, equipment out, procrastination over!   There’ll be an update of progress tomorrow.

pumice pieces and the work/play dilemma

Beach treasure – pick up the pumice, bring it home, play with a pocket knife!

Last week I was off to interviews and ended up with a temporary job for 5 months.  5 months income is better than none however I now have a small problem which I may have found a solution to.    It’s been a good news, bad news kind of week.

The good news was I found some work in a field I love with wonderful colleagues, many of who I know.

The bad news was that it was in a city some distance away across, sometimes, icy roads and I would need to find a place to stay.

More bad news, I recently re-homed a very neglected little dog and won’t be able to keep her.

The good news is that my across-the-road neighbour has adopted Kizi so I get visiting and walking access and yesterday, I think I found somewhere to stay.

The bad news is I have a full-time job for 5 months just when I’m really getting into the swing of just mucking around and re-learning how to play with abandon in The Late Start Studio.

How will I find the time?  That is my work/play dilemma.


an award!

Oh those job interviews – I missed out on the position I wanted however I got a temporary one with some wonderful people so all is not lost.  Ah, there I was, feeling a little discouraged so I visited a few blogs that give me a lift.  The first one up was Quinn McDonald over at Quinn Creative and there was my name and blog, nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award – and to be nominated means you’re a winner!  I’ve followed Quinn’s blog for a while now and find her to be a really savvy, down-to-earth writer and artist – always encouraging people to take that next step.

This is my first blogger award (I’m not discounting that I may get more – how’s that for confidence?) and I’m really excited as I have only been blogging a couple of weeks – this is my 11th post.  I’m grateful to Quinn’s encouragement and to The Versatile Blogger!

Here are the rules:

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Finally, list 7 things about yourself.

Here are my nominations – part of the fun here is discovering new blogs to love!

  1. Diana Trout – check out her YouTube Channel, it’s full of wonderful ideas and I love her book Journal Spilling.
  2. Violette’s Creative Juice – I just love Violette’s work, her blog is open and honest and she isn’t afraid to encourage others by being vulnerable – I love her honesty.  She also has a terrific book, Journal Bliss, and a YouTube Channel .  She’s branching out and working with teens so check her site Purple Juice out if you haven’t already.
  3. Leslie Herger at the Comfortable Shoes Studio – her automatic drawing are truly incredible!
  4. Milliande – oh!  Her videos are amazing and her website a meeting place for 100s of artists – amazing!
  5. Lynette Collis’ blog All of Me is lovely – and she lives not to far from me!
  6. Tammy Garcia over at Daisy Yellow is a definite favourite – I love her colour!
  7. Traci Bunkers – does everyone know about Traci and her stamps?   Wonderful!  I love her work.
  8. 8 That Create is a bonus blog!  8 wonderful artists who have their own blogs but collaborate on this one. I guess it would be cheating to name each one as one of my 15, but please check them out individually.
  9. And Ricë Freeman Zachary – love her books, love her rants, love her re-styled clothes.
  10. Leslie Avon Miller’s blog textures shapes and color is one I have just discovered and likely to visit often.
  11. How can a list of favourites be complete without Traci Bautista’s  blog creativity UNLEASHED
  12. As far as non-art sites is concerned, I’m rather fond of checking in on Zen Habits.  Leo Babauta has some good thoughts based on his own experiences in beating bad habits.
  13. I drop in on Mystele at little glimpses studio for a fix of her painting – nice videos here.
  14. And Journal Artista – terrific!  Love her U Stream events too.
  15. Another new blog I’ve bookmarked is Mundo Lindo – Beautiful World.  This is kid’s art – a group started by the wonderful Jane La Fazio, it’s a free weekly 2-hour after-school art class for fourth and fifth grade children in the low-income population of Escondido [San Diego North].  Inspirational

I think I got more than 15 in there but I could go on and list so many wonderful blogs.

Now 7 things about me.

  1. For nomination number 10 it was unbelievably difficult for me to spell colour without a U.
  2. I can be somewhat rebellious – stroppy is the appropriate descriptor I think.
  3. I had a motorbike license before I learned to drive a car.
  4. A dawn ride in a hot-air balloon over Cappadocia is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had – and I’ve had quite a few!
  5. I love driving off on a holiday in the early hours of dawn while the rest of the city sleeps.
  6. I drink my morning coffee strong, black and unsweetened.
  7. I never thought I’d enjoy quilting as much as I do.

So that’s it – I guess I need to let all those people know they’ve been nominated just in case they miss this post!


Today I have two interviews for jobs.  Great – or is it?  I have become very used to this life of leisure and can live on the smell of an oily rag if I have enough to play with – and we all know that stamps cost nothing.   I need a job – sort of don’t want a job – I need a job to save so I can have choices in my life of leisure which I shall embrace with all my heart in a few years time!Meg as Tinkerbell

And then I get to go and celebrate Tinkerbell’s 4th birthday.

Coming up – lions tails, pumice faces and a stairwell.

a contradiction?

Does anyone else find this a little bizarre?

I mentioned it to a woman in the shop and that most people want a laptop because they’re small and portable – she just didn’t get it and was not the least bit amused poor thing.

The best advertising I have seen was an outdoor supply company that had a sign the said “Now is the summer of our discount tent.”   Clever eh?

more mucking around

I’ve been mucking around in the evenings making note cards and gift tags.  I wonder what’s best.  Sell online or at a market?   The local Sunday market I think.

notecards and gift cards

I’m afraid the photographs don’t do them justice.

Even here the glitter glue doesn’t sparkle, despite the sunshine!   Oh lucky me, my daughter-in-law is a photographer!  Lessons please!!!


doors opening and shutting

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door – Milton Berle

Rombuk, Tibet.   June 2007

Rombuk, Tibet. June 2007

Sometimes doors are opened for you however the doors I’ve opened for myself are the ones where I have gained the most out of what was on the other side.    I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel quite a bit and I often took photos of doors and windows, sometimes it was because I could glimpse something through them but often not -I was always fascinated by ancient doors and windows.   Who had been through them, looked out of them?  What were their hopes and dreams?

With a door in front of us we have a choice to make.   Do you choose to create opportunities?