Design Feed

Seen on Netflix

Monique has been quietly watching a cooking show on TV and has fallen for the work of Zumbo on the show "Just Desserts" on Netfllix.

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Seems pretty ordinary doesn't it?  But then she heard that the national cake decorating competitions was going to be held in Brisbane.  She had to go.  Her father said "it will be too expensive."  Her reply, "kids are free."  So off they went.

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She loved the demonstrations and when the host was walking around talking the 'spiel' she bailed her up and asked could she please get Zumbo's autograph.  She told them how much she admired his work and that he was the best in the world.  So, being young and cute she got to meet her idol.

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And got her autograph and a whole lot of goodies from the sponsors.

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Aunty Laura is green with envy.  He is her favourite desserts chef.  We better watch this child.  I was president of Chefs of the Future back when I was teaching and didn't realise just what an impact I had on my daughter, Laura, until she dropped out of her prestige Uni course to do hospitality.  Luckily I was able to talk her into doing a business degree with a major in International Tourism and Hospitality.  Looks like we have another one who might go this way.  Although just at the moment she wants to do something in science.

Cool Weather

I have been hoping for the cool winds to come and they are here.  It is blowing about 35 knots out on the bay and the wind is coming from the South West, that means it is cold.  The sun is shinning but there isn't a lot of heat in it and the wind is racing through the trees, making quite a noise.

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I have been preparing for this weather.  My patio at the back of my sewing room is hot in summer and a beautiful sun trap in winter.  I bought a set of table and chairs so that I could sit out there.  I have a fold up deck chair as well if I want to read.  At the moment I have picked up my knitting again and have been sitting enjoying the warm, along with a cup of coffee.

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I also purchased a stand to put my flower pots on. 

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I don't know how long the flowers will last in this wind so I picked some for my bedroom.

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This patio will get a lot of use from this point on.  For reading, sewing, knitting and drying the washing.

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I do like this time of year.

Art & Quilting

This Sketchbook Revival has really got me fired up.  I need to buy more colours for my watercolour paints as I am using them at a great rate! This class was about intuitive painting.  I tried that and the first results were not too good.  So  I used a photograph as inspiration.  The first one doesn't really look like the photograph but I like the picture.  (These are all tiny 17cm x 12cm)

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The second one does look like the photograph but the colours were dicatated by what was in the paint box.

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I need to explore watercolour painting a bit more I think. 

The next class was from Nina Rycroft who is a book illustrator from New Zealand.  You know I look at those books and admire them so much but would never think I could draw them.  Her class on drawing a dog has turned that all upside down.  She starts with a side view from a photograph all based around the circles for the shoulders, hindquarters and then the head.  Easy Peasy.

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Then put that drawing away and using your imagination, or observation of dogs start giving it some animation.

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There is no way that these are good drawings  but they are a start.

My godson's two boys, Oscar the eldest and Leo the little one, who has cystic fibrosis, got a new dog last week.

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Leo is such a dear little boy and although there have been a lot of medical advances he is still looking at a life expectancy of 40 years.  Both of his grandmothers and other members of his family raise money for research.  I look at my huge stash of fabrics that I will never use and have decided that I will make items for them to sell to raise money.

So, the first one is this wall hanging.  I have had the fabric like forever and will never use it.  So this is my first contribution.

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New Embroidery Design

It isn't what I expected to find.  It comes from my course on the Book of Kells and it is a margin note left by a scribe way back when.  But I think it is amusing and as it is written in Ogham script will be easy to reproduce.

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I will try and get this stitched by next week.  At the moment I am sewing on buttons,  I had 80 buttons to sew and am down to the last 16. 

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I never want to see another button again. Having said that I do like some of these old buttons.

My new course

As I thought it would be my new course is a wonderful source of inspiration.

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Copyright of the images is owned by Trinity College Dublin.  I don't think I would have any problem using them for personal use but would have to gain permission if I entered any of my work into a competition.

Other works that are featured seem to all come under Creative Commons, so I could use these.

Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 1.15.40 pmAs usual it is the comments of other participants that I find one of the best sources of leads for further reading and sources of new illustrations.  This illustration, about the deadly sins, reminds me so much of the house of Sirius Black from the Harry Potter series.

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I find the the course only goes on for three weeks and my access to the material ends in April, unless I want to spend some money, about $100 for continuous access.  Lots of book marking going on at the moment.

Some Progress

Most of my time seems to be taken up with my computer course lately.  I swing between elation and utter frustration.  I have to work really hard as I just don’t have my brain set at the same responsive rate as the kids.  They just dive in and it seems to work.  I tried this.  I dove in and everything just siezed up!  Still I have made some progress.

I have worked out how to trace around a photo using my Apple Pencil and then,


removed the photo layer.


I had to try 3 different drawing programs because I kept getting nowhere.  I ended up on Adobe Sketch, which I signed up for when it was free.  My copy is still free but I don’t know for how long so I had better learn how to use Sketches quickly!


I then played around in Airograph to make the image more geometric,


then onto Moku Hanga for another effect.


I decided to stay with the same image to make a repeat pattern in mega photo.


Next I am moving onto printing these designs onto fabric.  That has meant a trip to the shops for freezer paper.  I have also gone on line to buy some ‘wonder under’, who knows when this will arrive?

This is all very basic stuff, but one has to start somewhere.

The wish list

I have thought all January about my new year resolutions and decided that I will have a wish list.  I never know from one day to the next just how I am going to feel and if I will need to take to my bed.  I would feel a lot more comfortable knowing that these were wishes and I could just let them go if I have to.

No 1 on the list is to go to India with Pammie at the end of the year.  I will not commit till a lot closer to the date.

The trip is mainly to textile centres that I missed on my trips to India.  She has a great article on her blog about quilting in India and Africa and the links between the two countries.

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No 2 is to make 50 place-mats for charity,  so far I have finished four.

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No 3 it to complete the remainder of the children's classes for the year.

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No 4 A couple of bunnies for my grand daughters for Easter.

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This is a very short list.  I may have to add more to it later.



I am really scared of snakes.  They give me the creeps.  I keep my eyes peeled all the time for them as we have some big pythons that live on the island.

But it Myanmar (Burma) they see snakes differently.  Here there are legends of kind, magical snake-like beings known a nagas.  They are said to live in the rivers, lakes oceans and at the bottom of wells.

This sculpture depicts the goddess  who rules over these spirits and her name is Naga Mae Daw. People pray to her for good luck and protection.  (Didn't know that!)

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Still looks like a snake to me even though it is a ceramic.

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And it still gives me the creeps.

Jakkai Siributr - 2

These tapestries are very interesting.  The use of running stitching, in much the same style can be seen in Kantha work from India and Boro from Japan.  This is very much the same style of stitching and Thai people say it is there traditional form of stitching.  As yet I can't find the name they use.

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In the craft markets I visited on my recent trip to Thailand the use of the stitch was prominent.

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Along with some western influence as well.

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Jakkai Siributr - 1

I am going to have to go back to this exhibition.  My legs gave out after about 45 mins and I didn't see half the things I wanted to.  By the time I got home I was a wreck and my aching legs kept me awake all night.

But to continue:


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The embroidery appears to have been done separately, the shapes then cut out and appliqued to the dress.

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A very interesting way to portray family life.