last of the season

I’ve been playing with some photos and the photo-editing program I have on my computer- I use PhotoScape, which is a free online program and has a lot of scope for editing and creating different effects. It’s also good to use if a photo you have taken isn’t as good as you would like it- use a filter or special effect and make something else out of it!

original photo

original photo

As you can see, this photo is not the best- fuzzy and out of focus. So instead of abandoning it altogether, maybe it can be utilised in other ways. I played with it…
'Newspaper' filter

‘Newspaper’ filter


Gave it its own reflection...

Gave it its own reflection…


Then cropped it to just use the large bloom in the middle:
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Used the 'crystallise" effect

Used the ‘crystallise” effect


These next photos are some I’ve taken in the past:
Left: original.  Right- use filter called 'colour engraving'

Left: original. Right- use filter called ‘colour engraving’


Clockwise from top left: original, fishbowl filter, graduated tint, vignetting.

Clockwise from top left: original, fishbowl filter, graduated tint, vignetting.


I think this next one might be my favourite:
Left: original photo. Right: antique filter

Left: original photo. Right: antique filter


Such great effects, and the possibilities for use within your textile art is limitless!

gardens and dogs

Hi everyone. Thought I would show you a few photos of my sister’s garden from a recent visit. There’s something lovely to see there each time I go; my brother-in-law is the keen gardener and spends a lot of time working on his garden.
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When I go to visit I always go for a walking tour and can’t help but take some photos. I can’t pretend to know the names of many plants, because I am definitely not much of a gardener but I do like looking at them!
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I also took the opportunity to take along our dog Hayley so she could have a ‘play’ with King, who is my sister’s Greyhound. King is a very big dog and has the loveliest nature. He likes to have a run around, but Hayley didn’t really want to run after him- her natural tendency to want to round him up kept coming to the fore so it was all a bit hit and miss!
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But we all had fun, so it’s all good!
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gardens

So, every now and then I post here some photos from our garden. Often we are in near-drought conditions and the grass is decidedly crunchy underfoot, but just now we have been fortunate to get some rain over the last week or two.
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So now there is a lot of lawn mowing and weed-eating happening around the neighbourhood… as well as little crops of mushrooms popping up here and there! I find them fascinating- I know those with more scientific knowledge probably know the answers to these questions already! but I like to ponder about why they appear at some times after rain and not others, and why do they often appear in circles?
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And all our plants and roses are happy….
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As I write this, the north coast of Queensland is preparing itself for a tropical cyclone due to cross in the next 12 hours. Our thoughts are with everyone living up there, and hope TC Debbie goes easy on you all!

playing

I’ve just had a great weekend, especially with taking my lovely daughter to a pasta-making class in Brisbane. I had given the tickets to her for her birthday which was back in July, but this week was the first class vacancy they had. We had such a great time- it was held at Angelo’s Fresh Pasta, and they truly treated us very well.

I'm learning to roll the pasta

I’m learning to roll the pasta


We learnt how to first make the pasta dough and then roll it out on those nifty rolling machines- who knew there was an electric version?!- but also cut and roll into shapes or cut into ribbons for fettucine.
I so need to get one of these!

I so need to get one of these!


After the class we were treated to a 3-course lunch which was fantastic- fresh pasta is so much better than the packet dried version!
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My daughter mastering the roller

My daughter mastering the roller


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In last week’s post I showed my small quilt that I made for the ‘Orange & Purple’ challenge. I also have some photos of some of the other group members’ 6in quilt to show you here.
This is a group photo, followed by a few close-ups.:
Top row, L-R: Helen H, Lyn, Jan M,Karen; Row 2: Marg, Jan K, Meryl, Marilyn; Row 3: Shirley, Helen S, Trish

Top row, L-R: Helen H, Lyn, Jan M,Karen; Row 2: Marg, Jan K, Meryl, Marilyn; Row 3: Shirley, Helen S, Trish


Marg

Marg


Shirley

Shirley


Trish

Trish


Plus, here are some other works by the group members:
Jan K

Jan K


helenh Helen H

Enjoy your quilting week!

Spring

September is a beautiful month isn’t it? The start of Spring and perfect weather- warm days and cool nights, nothing too extreme. I thought I would indulge a little and give you a photo essay this week- our garden, and a few furry children thrown in!

Hayley

Hayley – 4 years


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Little Chloe- the matriarch, ~14 years

Little Chloe- the matriarch, ~14 years


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Lemons

Lemons


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This was my mother's fern- >13 years old.

This was my mother’s fern- >13 years old.


Dublin 4.5 yrs; acting smoochy

Dublin 4.5 yrs; acting smoochy


Hope you are having a good week!

the weekend

Weekends are what we all look forward to. Ah, the promise of it- all that time to do ‘other stuff’ – besides work! Last week we had a weekend in Brisbane. We had a night out, and of course I took some photos.

Brisbane- August 2016

Brisbane- August 2016


There’s something about city skylines and cityscapes that I love, and often a theme in my art quilts.
This was Brisbane at night…
Brisbane - August 2016

Brisbane – August 2016


just as impressive as New York at night- don’t you think?…
Karen Mundt  NYC- from the Empire State Building; October 2015

Karen Mundt NYC- from the Empire State Building; October 2015


We even had a steam train ride in and around the city. It got me thinking. We live about an hour from Brisbane and even though I visit Brisbane fairly regularly I don’t know it overly well as I mainly just go into the city. There is a lot about it that I haven’t seen so there is always lots to look at and investigate if you put your mind to it.
And I have a couple of photos from the recent Gatton Quilters meeting day. Kaye finished this quilt top that she was working on at our Coolum retreat, using the Grandmother’s Fan block:
Kaye

Kaye


This was Cornelia’s blue and green block from last month’s challenge- note the ‘banana hair’ in the centre that she made and dyed that beautiful blue:
Cornelia

Cornelia


Cornelia

Cornelia


and another one from Cornelia- she was catching up!:
Cornelia- Batik fabric challenge

Cornelia- Batik fabric challenge


Makes you want to just get in there and create!

weekend trips

When I was young, my mum and dad liked to go on picnics. My sister and I have many memories of picnics at parks, at lakes and dams, at picnic areas near waterfalls or at the beach. As I grew older and had children myself, we still went on picnics with Granny and Grandpa coming along. However, in recent years as my children have grown up and all but left home, and sadly my parents are no longer with us, the frequency of our picnics has dropped right down.
So, our little day trip a few weeks ago, out to Queen Mary Falls, near Warwick, proved to be a lovely day evoking lots of memories.
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My photos are of whatever took my eye- the colours, the textures and the lines.
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… and even some beautiful birds..
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At the end of the day we landed here for a meal- a little pub with lots of character and big meals!!
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I also recently attended a weaving workshop that was held at Palm Beach at the Gold Coast. The workshop was given by Ellie Beck (she instagrams under @petalplum) and I had seen the workshop promoted on Instagram with such beautiful photos of woven creations using lots of varying yarns and threads. This is my loom with my first foray into weaving:
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The workshop was held at a little place called The Craft Parlour where lots of crafty workshops are offered.
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At the end of the morning, I had grown my weaving and had experimented adding some tassels to one end, but I’m not sure if I’ll keep them. I’ve placed them where they are until I weave that whole empty area with lots more wool rovings or threads.
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knotty sister

Have you noticed the increasing popularity of lots of handicrafts that were favourites in the past, and are now making a resurgence? Crochet, knitting, weaving and macrame are all back in a big way. On a recent visit to my sister’s home, she showed me her latest creative endeavour. She has been teaching herself macrame, and produced this lovely piece for her home:
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I love it and think it looks so good, with the cream rope against the blue wall of this nook in the entryway.
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She made up the design herself by looking up various knots on the internet and in books, and incorporated some various threads and bits and pieces to make it uniquely her own.
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Nice one, Amanda!
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And a visit to her home isn’t complete without a look at Mark’s garden:
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Now, I have to get back to quilting!

shells, dear

The little clamshell quilt I mentioned back here is now finished.
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It was fun making this, and by using this method of raw-edged circles overlapping each other, really quick too.
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I used the Sizzix die-cutting machine to cut out perfect circles all at 4″ wide. By not repeating any fabric, it was another way to use up some fabrics sitting in my stash. All the circles were placed with a couple of dots of glue then machine sewn a row at a time.
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I decided to sew really closely to the edge of each circle, and used a light grey Invisifil thread which blended into all the colours. Choosing that thread colour was probably the hardest part of the whole thing! because I didn’t want to be changing threads all the time I wanted to use one that would fit in with all the colours of the circles. I even used up some more fabric left over from a past project to make the backing.
clamshells2 Very bright, hmmm?
I decided not to bind it and instead stitched the top and backing right-sides together all the way round leaving a little gap to turn it through, and then just closed up that gap with some hand-stitches. I also put some little loops in to use for hanging.
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It was at this stage that I considered leaving it as it was, wondering if I could get away with not quilting it at all. After all, it’s only smallish??…. But no, it didn’t look right. It needed something to highlight the shell shapes, so I’m going to hand-quilt with big stitches along the tops of each curve, across in rows. I’ll use a crimson-coloured 12wt thread called Spagetti by Wonderfil.
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Other things I’ve been up to: I thought I would get caught up with photos of the quilts I’ve made over the last year or two and put them in my album.
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Do you do that too? I think it’s good to have a record of them, even if for no other reason than to look through them every now and then. It seems a lot when they are all together.

I haven’t mentioned about this next quilt before on here, but it is one I have been making, or not, for some years. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of the Dear Jane quilt, made by hundreds of people all over the world. I started it with a couple of lessons and have been making a block every now and then. But it was also a project that got put on the back burner when I was trying to finish last year’s Lollipop Trees quilt. So I thought I would start to show a block every week on here (that I’ve already completed), as a motivation to keep going with it! I am making it in batiks, which are more my style than the traditional reproduction fabrics most often used.
This block is E8- Mama’s Maze.

E8 Mama's Maze

E8 Mama’s Maze


Hope you have a good week quilting!

as we say goodbye to 2014…

The first day of 2015 and lots of promise and hope ahead. I hope you and your families all have a wonderful year ahead, especially in your arty and quilty endeavours!
I thought I’d just show you a summary of the daily photos I have taken over recent months. I’ve been participating in the online Photo-a-day challenge for a couple of years now and at this stage I’m planning to continue, although I’m thinking about not necessarily taking a photo for the stated theme, but we’ll see! I try to take photos that also give both my son and daughter who live away from home a little glimpse into what’s happening back here.

I have recently returned from a couple of days spent down in Victoria visiting with my son and his fiancee. We had a great time, and as it coincided with Christmas festivities, this first photo was very apt for the theme ” I like..”. We went on a drive to look at Christmas displays, and this house was just spectacular:

The theme was [loud], and this fellow, Dublin, who came into our lives earlier this year certainly knows how to make himself heard (and he also has a lovely soft tummy!). He likes to keep me company when I’m sewing- that is, when it suits him:

In October the themes centred around letters of the alphabet. When the time came for [R is for] what else could I show but these beautiful roses grown by my husband in our front garden:

[made me smile today…] we have had a drought for many months so it’s great to see the rain. Currently the grass is still green….

[I made this…] for my Mum a lot of years ago, and has now been passed back to me.

[letters]… my favourite text prints used in a New York Beauty block….

[I really love this…] lots of stitching whenever and where ever I can fit it in! These were some little stars I made for Christmas gifts.

That’s enough from me- ‘see’ you next week!