Thursday, 31 January 2008

January Take It Further Challenge Update

Well, its the last day of the month and I haven't finished my January quilt. I've been making slow progress but I've really been enjoying it and I love what I've done so far. I wish I could have finished on time but, oh well, next month. I've decided to work smaller and do postcard size quilts, that way I should defineately finish on time.

I have alot of stitching still to do. I need to finish the flowery bit on the top right hand size. Also I have lots of stitching that I want to do on the woman's body and also some follage at the bottom. I then also want to do some stitching on the purple border part and probably also in the background. How I thought I was going to get all of this done in one month, I don't know. It sort of just grew. I'm sure lots of others would get this done in no time. Anyway, I'm not going to stress about not getting it done. I'm going to take my time and enjoy finishing this one off and get ready to start on the February Challenge.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Australia Day

Nothing new to report on the TIF Challenge, I'm still stitching away whenever I get a chance. Hoping to finish on time before the end of the month.

Today is Australia Day and its a long weekend. I work all weekend though. I don't mind because we hadn't planned to do anything this weekend anyway and its also good pay for the weekend and public holiday.

I was sick for a few days this week so I couldn't do the treadmill on those days, but I'm getting back into it. School goes back this week, my 6 year old can't wait to see all his friends again.

Sad news about Heath Ledger dying. It was too young to die. Maybe he was only meant to be on earth for such a short time to inspire and leave his mark on the world. Its sad for his daughter, family and friends.

Also, there was Sir Edmund Hilary's funeral last week. What a full, meaningful and interesting life he had. It was raining on the day of his funeral and in a news report they said that the Mauri people have a saying that when a notable (or honourable) soul died that the earth wept. I'm not sure if I got the wording of this exactly right. But I think it was beautiful.

Also I loved the quote for today - "Peace begins with a smile" - Mother Teresa.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

TIF Challenge - Slow Progress

I've progressed abit more. I still have lots of stitching to do but I'm getting there slowly. I've really been enjoying seeing everyones work and checking out their blogs and flickr sites.

I'm also now a part of the Artful Quilters Webring. I'm looking forward to when I have abit of time and have the chance to go exploring all the blogs on the ring.

This weekend I start the first of my online classes - Journal Quilts through Quilt University. I haven't done a class through them before, so I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like.

On the home front, this week we got a treadmill. So now there is no excuse to not exercise. I've been good and have done 1 hour each morning on it for the last 3 days. I just have to keep it up. I'm aiming to lose 10kg.

Thank you to everyone that has visited my blog and also to the ones who have left comments. As you can see from my side panel with all the counters on it, I really love to see how many people have visited and what countries you are all from.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

TIF Challenge - My progress so far

Women Who Dance to the Beat of Their Own Drum

The month is already starting to run away, so I thought I better get on and do some more of my challenge piece. I have been working on the design over the last couple of days and tonight I cut out the fabric. I'm using some lovely batik fabrics that I got from Joggles. Next step is to think about how I'm going to stitch it.

Also today I enrolled to do the online Journal Quilt Class through Quilt University. It starts on 19 January and goes for 4 weeks. I'm looking forward to starting next week.

Sunday, 6 January 2008


Well, its been raining since Boxing Day. Some days the rain has been on and off and other days raining all day and night. Yesterday we finally had some sun and its become very muggy. This morning was fine but the rains back again now. There's been a low off the coast which has caused all the rain and some bad flooding in our surrounding areas. In the worst flooded areas they had over 300 mm of rain in one night. It is the worst flood in 50 years in these areas. A different river flows through our town and it has been up as well, alot of the country roads around have been flooded but the town has been fine. The towns down the river are supposed to have major flooding by tomorrow morning. Floods are a dreadful thing, I feel sorry for all the people affected.

I've been working on a design for my TIF Challenge piece but nothing to show yet.

Today I did this hand needled felt piece. I haven't decided yet what I will do with it. I've been thinking I will do free motion stitching all over it and then make it into a felted purse. Not sure yet.

The colours look abit washed out in this photo, they look abit more vibrant in real life.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

TIF Challenge

Yah!, I worked out where to edit my time zone and now the dates have adjusted correctly.

Well, the TIF Challenge has begun. I had to work on the 1st Jan but before I went to work I checked what the challenge was. It was a pretty quiet day so I had some time to think about the challenge and come up with some ideas. Anyway the concept for the challenge is the feeling of admiration we have for another.

I did some notes on paper and I came up with a long list of people I admire such as the Dali Lama (for his spirituality, compassion and his positivity even after everything that has happended to his country, Tibet and its people), Nicole Kidman (for her talent, beauty and the lifestyle she leads), Shirley MacLaine (for her talent and because I love all her books), Oprah Winfrey (for coming so far in her life and for using her show to inform and help so many people), Princess Diana (for putting up with what she had to, for being a peoples princess and doing the charity work she did) as well as quite a few musicians (for their talent and beautiful voices).

Then thinking more about it I came up with the idea that I admire women all throughout history who have danced to the beat of their own drum. The women who they say were ahead of their time and the ones who went against the grain. The ones who didn't do what they were supposed to do. The ones who went out and followed their dreams, pursued their passion even though it was against what society thought was the right or proper thing to do.

I then went looking on the internet to find some of these women. One that stood out to me was Gertrude Benham, as I love travel and adventure. I found a biography about her by Raymond John Howgego here

She was born in England in 1867. In her lifetime she climbed more than 3 hundred peaks of 10,000 feet or over, she was the first European woman to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, travelled round the world 7 times, crossed central Africa 4 times, visited the Himalayas several times, she went to Tibet in 1925, but was denied access on further occasions as she was seen as a bad type of British traveller as she hadn't entered Tibet by the traditional route. On her travels she collected 1000's of artifacts and curios, some of these are now housed at the Plumouth City Museum and Art Gallery. She accomplished all of this in an era when she should have been at home, married and having babies instead of having such outlandished ideas. She died at sea in 1938. I admire her courage and determination to go off into the world and to climb mountains, it would have been a real adventure.

I found a photo of her that I really like here I wonder if she ever hitched that skirt up and danced to those african drums. Another thing that really appealed to me was that she financed her trips by selling and trading knitting and embroidery that she worked on while resting at camp. Where there's a will there's a way.

Anyway, from all this I have decided to make a Mini Art Quilt called "Women Who Dance to the Beat of their own drum". Two quilts have come to mind - one general one of a woman dancing wildly with a drum being played beside her and the other one with a transferred picture of Gertrude Benham with different objects and symbols around her depicting her life. I would like to do both but will concentrate on just getting one finished for the challenge. I love the colours but not sure if I will use them or not. I'll have to search through my stash and see what I come up with.

I finished one of my UFO's

I finally finished one of my UFO's that has been waiting patiently for me to finish it off. It is an embroidery piece I started last year for Sharon B's Sumptuous Surfaces Joggles class. I ended up unpicking the stitching that I started in the left hand corner. I liked the contrast of leaving this area with no stitching.

Well, this is a good start as I plan to make 2008 a "doing" year for me. I want to create more, get back into doing yoga and the big one - lose weight. So instead of thinking about these things too much, I'm just going to jump right in and do it - well that's the plan anyway.

My last post "Happy New Year" was actually done on New Years Eve but has come up as 30th December. I think I had my time zone wrong, so I've been in and edited it so hopefully this comes up with the right date. Its been exciting each day checking my blog and seeing how many people have been dropping in and also seeing all the places that you are all from. I'm really excited about doing the TIF Challenge as I'm hoping to get to know lots of people from all over the world and seeing all the wonderful creative work you all do.

I have started thinking about the TIF Challenge but will put that in another post.