Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dream Big in 2014

I got out early this morning for a walk on the beach before the expected Summer rain hits us for the day.  On my journey I was thinking about Dream Big for 2014 which was in my Christmas Fortune Cookie.  As always nature provides me with answers and inspiration and later today and tomorrow I'll begin putting my Big Dream down on paper, so I can hang it up on the wall / carry it with me and be reminded everyday of my Dream intentions, to help me bring them in to reality.

My favourite read for 2013 was a goal setting book:  When Success is not Enough by Adam Walker.  In October I began putting this particular goal setting practice to work in my life and the results have been incredible, a new job within 9 days, renewal and new experiences.  If I could afford it, I would buy everyone I know a copy of this book - that's how powerful it's message is.

So my lessons from nature this morning (provided courtesy of leaves) are:
* Have a big dream
* It may begin with a very small idea
* It may take time to let your dream vision take shape
* Dreams come in all shapes, sizes, colours, textures, types and patterns
* One Dream may have many paths or directions
* Gather your dream thoughts together; each is a fragment of the dream you are birthing into reality in 2014.
* Believe in Yourself and your Dream!

Love Always

.... and the rusty bits, I hear you ask ... a fragment of the Big Dream of course!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Out Walking

On this morning's walk, I had time to see, really see, things I pass every day or two.

This is on a wall - at a quick glance it looks like a painting, but up close reveals that these are stones set in something and then the piece has been cut to the same thickness.  

These mesh screens have two pieces of ordinary mesh circles back to back and put together, they form these moving patterns as you walk past.  The front screen has then been spray painted over.

And then ... A find!  A few weeks ago I acquired a piece of rusted iron and I've been experimenting with transferring the rust into my journal and on to fabric.  These are the fabric results - all obtained from a piece of metal about 2.5x6".

And this ... is today's find!  It came exactly in that shape, complete with pinholes and folds.  What a wonderful universe!  If I went searching for such a wonderful piece, I'm sure it would take a very long time to find it.  But there it was, waiting for me to pick it up.

I'm so happy to be blogging again, grateful to have the time and for being stress free.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I have a recommendation:  Read this -

Here's an excerpt:A man was walking down a road and he came across a bricklayer.  He asked the bricklayer what he was doing.  'I am laying bricks,' the man replied.  'I lay this brick on top of that one and then I am going to lay another brick on top of that.  That is what I do - I am a bricklayer.'

The man walked on down the road.  A few yards further on he came across a second bricklayer.  The second bricklayer was smiling and whistling and was going about his work with the most enormous enthusiasm.

'What are you doing?' the man asked the second bricklayer.

'I am building St Paul's Cathedral,' the second bricklayer replied.  'It is going to be one of the finest buildings in the world and in 350 years' time it will be seen as a triumph of British architecture.'

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Inspiration for a weeknd of Art

I'm spending the weekend with a friend and we are totally focussed on Art.

It begins with this:

And ends in smiles with these:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Scrap Quilts - the work of other quilters

At the National Quilt Symposium, held in July 2013 in Taupo, three quilts inspire me towards some new ways to look at scrap quilts.

Behind the Lines - by Gael O'donnell

Is it Autumn already?  by Margaret rogerson

Assemblage by Anna Prussing

Friday, August 09, 2013

A Thousand Promises

Art At the Speed of Life - by - Pam Carriker
Motivation + inspiration for making Mixed-media art everyday.  This book has helped me realise I can do a small amount towards a finished result, everyday, over time, for as long as it takes to complete a page.  I worked on the page shown in the image below on six different occasions before I felt it was complete.

Imagine what a thousand promises might be.  Imagine the birth of a thousand children and the potential; imagine a thousand wishes given the wings of prayer.  That is promise.  A visual sense of a thousand promises, would be the image of a thousand butterflies in a field of a thousand daisies.  This work honours the divine feminine and masculine that reside in us all, and the promise made to unite these.  The promise is one of sleeping beauty.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Botanical Skeleton Inspiration

This is the beautiful work of Elisa Emma King, which was on display among the 17,000 items on show at the Great Exhibition which was held at Crystal Palace, London from 1st may - 15 october, 1851.

I discovered it at the Lake Taupo Museum where it now resides, far from its time and place of creation in England.  How did it come to New Zealand?  The museum has a brochure that tells it's story so I won't disturb the joy you will find in discovering it there for yourself.

The work contains 32 different plants, many that you recognise when taking the time to really look.

Miss King began work on the time consuming task of collecting plant specimens and soaking them in rain water for several months, before beginning the task of removing any plant membrane supported by the skeleton.  Elisa was close to 30 years old when she made this exquisite work.

The gentleness of this work and it's complex detail, really move me, and it is a joy to share it with you.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Scrap Quilts

Don't you just love scrap quilts?  Is three at once too many to have on the go?  Why does the volume of available scraps never reduce?  I also seem to have a huge number of green scraps, but my finished quilts, don't really feature that much green - what's going on there?  It's a total mystery.

I've got this thing with scrap log cabins.  This will be my third, but with a new layout of course.

Celebration - Acceptance

My quilts La blu e bianca and The Devil's Marbles - Karlu Karlu
Have been accepted for the National Symposium Exhibition being held at the Great Lakes Centre in Taupo from 18 - 23 July 2013.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Devil's Marbles - Karlu Karlu

The central motif of this quilt is from a photograph I took on tour in the Australian Outback.  Getting it on to fabric was a technique learned in an "Images in applique" class with Jenny Bowker.  The ideas for extending it beyond the original photograph are my own concepts and play with a contemporary look, and the idea of the Devil's marbles rolling across the landscape, being formed and broken.

The quilt is hand quilted using back stitches to give the appearance of solid lines, sometimes broken with running stitches as the wind wips across the outback.

Artists Statement:
"The 'big sky' as it carries along dust particles in bursts of stacatto; shaping the landscape.  The morsecode of stitching; of the movement of the wind: short, short, long.  Shapes within lines; deliberate messages of the dreaming.  226.20 hours of hand quilting.

Materials: cotton, batiks; Valdani variegated threads; polyester batting.
Techniques: applique

Dreaming Stories:
There are many dreaming stories for Karlu Karlu.  My work is based upon the tradition of Arrange, the Devil Man who travelled through the area.  He made a hair-string belt  while walking.  as he went along twisting and twirling the hair to make strings, he dropped clusters on the ground and it is these that turned into the boulders so famous today.

The Devil's Marbles are made of granite formed millions of years ago as a result of the hardening of magma within the earth's crust.  Thick layers of laid down on top of the sandstone put pressure on the granite.  The folding of the earth's crust, lead to the lifting of the granite and the erosion of the sandstone.  Without the pressure of the sandstone, the granite in a square block expands, cracks form and eventually the granite falls apart forming square blocks.  Over time these are exposed to water and wind.

The rounding of the granite blocks is a result of spheroidal weathering - thin layers of rock come off the boulder. weathering has its most effect on areas with edges.  The boulders are exposed to the heat of the sun and extreme temperatures between night and day causing them to expand and shrink every 24 hours and it is this that causes some of the rocks to sometimes split in half.

Found at last - the Perfect Chocolate Brownie recipe

After a year of testing recipes, I have finally found the perfect chocolate brownie recipe.  The brownie turns out crunchy on the outside and gooey in the centre!

The pictured result was iced - but I find this is too sweet and have reverted to simply dusting it with icing sugar.

I can completely recommend the Healtheries, Crispy Apple Tea to go with it.

So here is the recipe ... it's from a Student Cookbook I purchased as a gift from The Warehouse and then slightly adapted by adding chocolate bits and pistachio nuts.

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

2 eggs
225g (8oz) caster sugar
100g (4oz) butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
100g (4oz) self-raising flour
50g (2oz) chocolate bits
50g (20z) pistachio nuts
Icing sugar to dust

Makes 15

Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4
Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy
Melt the butter in the microwave; beat in the cocoa powder.  Add this to the eggs and sugar
Sift the flour and fold into the main mix with the nuts and chocolate bits
Grease a 20cm (8in.) square cake tin with butter or spray oil.
Pour in the mix
Bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes

La blu e bianca trapunta - Monoprint Quilted

This was quilted in two days in January 2013, with Pearl 8 Variegated thread using big (appx 1cm) stitches.