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29 October, 2011

Fabric Origami

I went to the Craft and Sewing Show in Melbourne last week and discovered a new craft. Well, it's a new craft to me.  

Participants at this 'make and take' workshop were able to learn how to do Japanese Origami (paper-folding) on fabric not on paper!  Using special kimono-printing fabric I was patiently shown how to fold and twist and turn fabric measuring approximately 50cm long and 15cm wide,

Starting with this

into this pretty Origami Kimono.  It wasn't easy but with some help from the experts  Mariko Ikeda and Daisuke Ikeda I was able to transform a length of fabric into this kimono shown below.  Mariko Ikeda is a quilt artist specialising in origami fabric folding.  In time my little piece of folded fabric will become a quilted wall hanging.  

Ended up with this

Patchwork Mariko Japan have a blog here.You can read about traditional kimono's here.  I found some lovely traditional kimono's on Pinterest for your viewing pleasure.  Gorgeous works of art.

24 October, 2011

The Slap - What's the fuss all about?

I've just finished reading "The Slap" by Christos Tsiolkas.  It had me spellbound from beginning to end.  As well as having devoured the book, I'm watching the eight part drama series on the ABC.

So many issues come to a fine old head throughout this drama.  Particularly the backyard BBQ where it all started.  How many family and friends get into a right old pickle when they've had a few too many drinks, got personal issues and perhaps, just perhaps not everyone gets on that well.  Add a bit of weed and a few happy pills to the mix and the day is not going to turn out all sunshine and roses.

The story raises a plethora of social issues.  Yep, there really is a slap to a child, the book wasn't given this name just to suck you in.  I felt a bit uncomfortable that readers might construe this story as typically Australian, honestly it can happen anywhere.

There's heaps of hard core swearing as well, so you need to get past that if you want to experience "The Slap".

That's the book now for the TV series.  I do not want to watch the drama on TV with my mother in the room.  No sirree, no way hosay!   Way too uncomfortable for me.  Is that another issue the story raises?  No, that's my very own personal issue, not something you have to worry about.  If you get the chance have a read, it's not going to give you sleepless nights, just get you thinking about some real social issues.


19 October, 2011

My Garden's In Harmony

My son tells me I read so much and so quickly that I ‘inhale’ books.  He’s right; I love the smell of books and paintings.  I can spend an entire day in an old book shop smelling the books and when I visit an art gallery I smell the paintings.  I inhale antique shops too.  I would hate to lose my sense of smell, take away my eyes and ears but please leave my nose alone. 

The weather today is hot and windy and I know that my precious garden struggles with these conditions.  I lovingly mulched my entire garden two weeks ago; it helps during these sluggish, hot and windy days.  I’ve been nurturing my garden for ten years now and it’s no longer a baby it’s a young and boisterous child.  I have to tidy it, trim the edges, and provide food and water and lots of love.  Oh how I love my garden.  Oh how it makes me works so hard for that love.

With my nose on high alert I take a stroll around my garden sniffing the breeze, picking up the orange blossom perfume and the lemon balm and crushing some lavender in my hands to release the minty aroma.  

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I peek at the cauliflowers and see a beautiful white caulie protected in the folds of the plant like a mother holding her child in her arms.  The broad beans are waving in the wind and sharing a moment with my ruby rose bud.  

The silver beet towers over the tiny carrot seedlings protecting them from the wild wind and searing sun.  Celery lives contentedly beneath the old grape vine alas a youngberry bush is threatening to consume the vine and the celery.  Coriander and basil sway in harmony and the sweet peas dance in rhythm to the howling hot wind, slowly they go.  

The olive tree stands majestically centre stage, proudly displaying young fruit.  In the heat of summer it will burst forth with olives, it never lets me down.  

The Freesias and Boronia have settled back into the earth to re-energise for another year.  They did me so proud and how I miss them.  

The cumquat tree is bearing fruit and will take their place willingly.The perfume in my garden continues to intoxicate me and I have to drag myself inside. 

 Goodbye lemon tree, till this evening Miss Daphne.  Don’t get cross Miss Gardenia the wind will soon settle and you can doze in the afternoon sun.

11 October, 2011

When Is An Old Book Vintage?

Does it have to be 100 years old to be vintage? These delightful books belonged to my mother-in-law, she had them since her baby days, so they're not quite 100 yet.  They have only just worn the test of time.  Most of the binding is brittle and breaking away.

 The pages are old and yellow and have that stale smell that comes with age.  'Our Kiddies' Yarns' was given to me not so long ago and it has 1936 written on it.  The publishers back then didn't seem to want to give much away, although each story has an author.  Some of the stories are delightful and funny, some would no longer be acceptable today regarding political correctness.

'Let's Go Shopping' has no dates, only the name of the publisher, authors don't get a mention.

This is a lovely picture book (quite faded) and the only way I can identify it's origin is by a stamp on the back cover.  'Printed in the Netherlands No 1480 A'.  This book belonged to my husband and I would read it to my boys when they were very young.

'Weekday Story Book' is another new acquisition, which my mother-in-law gave me just recently.   The binding has completely crumbled.  It was given to my mother-in-law in 1934 for second prize in a kindergarten class.  No idea what she had to do to get second.  At the end of this book is an advertisement.

Isn't that just the cutest thing you've seen in awhile?  It think it means 'Chill Proof for Children'.

This is 'Walt Disney presents Pluto's Play-Time.  There's nt dates, no clues as to how old except it has brown and brittle pages.  I can't imagine my kids being too taken with the text in this book I think the unknown author wasn't much into relating to children.  Not sure if you can see the text in the photo above but this is a line from another page.

"The end of the game comes when the cat flies up the fence again and vanishes from sight although, of course, I do a spot of cheering for a few minutes afterwards - winners always cheer their defeated opponents, don't they?" 

Super serious, the only way to save this story is with a funny voice. 

If these are to make it to 100 I had better do something to save them.  So does anyone know how to preserve these treasures?  

07 October, 2011

I've Been Ridiculously Busy Today With Sixteen Paws

Well really I’ve been ridiculously busy this week not just today.  What is the cause of this you ask?  Well, thanks for the question.  Here's my response. 

I’ve been babysitting my BFF’s two big dogs, plus I have my own two little dogs hence making my days a bit hectic this week.  Worse than having the grand kids over I can tell you, BTW I don’t have grand kids but if I did I can imagine that they would be a handful.

Rosie wants more toys

Putting four dogs in the backyard that get on really well together (when they are not eating) I would have thought meant sublime happiness.  Nope, it didn’t work out that way.  I had a guard of honour for every bathroom stop, if I went inside the house four wet noses rubbed against the door.  If I worked in the garden, sixteen paws were digging with me.  Apparently I was showing them how to dig by example.
Tilly wants someone to play ball with.  Who could that be?

Dogs do not entertain themselves, they want to be entertained.  They want to be cuddled, have long belly scratches, and even longer behind the ear scratches.  When they get tired they just drop and sleep, when I get tired I get nudged into action.

Is that the sun in Lilly's eyes?  Nope, she wants a nap on this sun lounge I'm sitting on.
Did I mention they like to lick my toes; yup, my toes!   Let’s just stop there, these canines are needy, sometimes smelly and often noisy but I love them dearly and despite my complaining they can come and stay at my place any time they want.  No swimming allowed.

Lilly and Tilly after a tough day by the pool.

Rosie is out for the count.

Goldie is the shy one, and she is overwhelmed by all the going's on.

And of course not that I have a cat, but if a cat were brave enough to live at my house I think it might just have this to say.

03 October, 2011

Make a Dream Catcher

About Dream Catchers

 Dream catchers were originally made by the grandparents of the American native Ojibwa tribes.  The web represents a spider’s web and each dream catcher has a hole in the centre.  The web catches the bad dreams which melt in the sunlight, and the good dreams pass through the centre hole and travel down the feather suspended from the centre.

It is believed that when you make a dream catcher, you should clear your thoughts and be at peace, because whatever energy surrounds you will be transferred to the dream catcher.

Dream catchers look good against a wall as a decoration.  However, hang them near a bed if you want to catch your dreams and in a window that catches the sunlight to melt the bad dreams.

A dream catcher’s healing powers are said to be greater when it’s a gift.  You can personalise your gift by adding bits and pieces which hold special significance for the recipient.

Understanding more about dream catchers can be found here and here.

My dream catcher is in the shape of a heart, traditionally a dream catcher is a circle.

Six easy steps to making a dream catcher, instructions can be downloaded here