Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hello to all, including Carol at Quarading and lots of other feltmakers out there.

Haven't added anything for a while....been quite busy with life, work, and holidays. The holidays were for a short while in New Zealand. Such a lovely place, lots of green everywhere. Not enough time was spent there, and it was a real shame that I could not get to see everything that I wanted to see. But when one is travelling with another person, one has to consider them also, and not just plan the whole trip for one's own satisfaction. This is a shot of a Maori dance that we saw when we went to a Hungi one night. They even got some of us up to participate in the dancing at one stage. I enjoyed it, and I guess by the reaction of the rest of the crowd, so did they.

Got rid of my old bomb of a car the other week.....well, I still have it, but it is just as good as sold......and I bought a brand new set of wheels. Luxury for me, I got a Toyota Carolla Utima. Got the smaller car as it fits better in the carport at my unit that I live in. Love driving it, so I'm out in it more than I am home doing some feltmaking at present. Tomorrow I plan to make a trip to Busselton to visit my daughter and grandkids, plus a few other friends, as I get a day off during my hectic work schedule. No working from 9-5 for this girl, and sometimes I wish I did have such a job. Could plan things more easily that way.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back in May of this year, I had the opportunity to undergo a Lap Band operation to ensure my lifelong efforts of losing weight and dieting. So far, since having the operation, I have lost a whopping 21 kg and am pleased as punch. I still have a long way to go, but am already feeling the benefits from it, and there have been several changes in clothing sizes also. In another couple of months, I will find it hard to recognise myself.

Since I have recovered, I have been able to get back into my feltmaking, and I have posted the picture left, of the latest wall hanging that I have made. I have done it for my niece, Sarah, who will be getting married in November. Because like all the rest of the young people who live together for a while before they marry, they already have a house full of gear and do not need the regular things that one buys for the wedding gifts. So, it comes as no surprise to find that I would make something unique from felt.

I am also now working on another wall hanging which I have envisaged as being presented as a triptych. Pictures are not available just now, as it has only just been started and is still undergoing construction.

I am getting excited about my up and coming trip in October, to New Zealand. I floated the idea to my sister in Queensland, and asked to to accompany me, and she jumped at the chance. We had to wait however, until she could save the money for her fare and other costs, and it worked out that Spring would be a great time to go. We are going for 10 days, to Auckland first, then hiring a car, driving up to the Bay of Islands etc, then back to Auckland where we will be catching a Tour Coach which takes us through Rotarua and down to Wellington, back again to Auckland and then fly back home. We plan to hit the galleries and Museums and maybe take a multitude of photos, having a lot of fun on the way. Today, I think I made the final arrangements for the trip, and all I have to do now is save more spending money.

In the meantime, there is work to go to, wool to play with as well as friends to associate with, and to make more friends. One of the more unpleasant tasks that I have to do is my annual tax return, which will have to be done before I go to New Zealand. It is just a matter of getting all the paperwork together and getting it done.

With my felt, I participated in an exchange with the AussieFeltmakers. We have all done a handbag, sent it off, and now all there is to do, is to expect one back that another Aussie Feltmaker has made. My handywork is pictured.

The weather here in Perth is getting warmer, but one would not think so tonight. After a rather beautiful day for part of it, the evening turned really cold, and now I have my heater going. I have been keeping warm by walking on the treadmill and doing a circuit training workout. I guess I am still trying to learn how to enjoy doing that, as I am not and never have been a gym junkie, but feel that it is a necessary evil at this stage. Roll on the summer, so I say. I have always been more of a summer person than enjoying what winter has to offer. I am like a bear, and would love to hibernate in the winter. As I get older though, I do appreciate the Autumn and Spring more than the Summer or Winter.

At the beginning of the month, I took my mother, who is an avid patchworker, to the WA Quilt and Craft Fair, which was staged at the Claremont Showgrounds, as it always is, on an annual basis. We thoroughly enjoyed all that we saw, but a lot of people asked me, as they know that I am a member of FeltWEST, "why is FeltWEST not represented at this or another Craft Fair that they mentioned". As it used to be originally. All I can tell them is that I do not know what drives the decision of the current committee, and why they think that it is not worth the exposure that Felting would get. I have been told that it is not profitable for FeltWEST, but as I recall, the incorporated body of felters in Western Australia is a non profit organisation, so I for one, think that it is time that they were represented again. Maybe if the organisation will not, then it will be up to a few other members to participate off their own instigation.

Lets see if this posting will draw any feed back from any of the members.

Until next time


Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacation to the Southern tip of Western Australia

Well, what a week I have had. Last Sunday, I said
good by to my home in Leda and drove down to Busselton where I picked up my
Grand daughter and we then drove further south, through a little town called Nannup, then on to Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole and into Albany.
The weather looked ominus, and did not change from that, except to get worse, by being so very windy, rainy and even hailed at a point throughout the week.
Purpose of the visit was primarily to go out on a sailing Catamaran out on the Southern ocean, to watch the Humpback and Southern Right Whales as they did their annual migration to the warmer regions. I think they had the right idea, because it was ever so cold down there. But it was an awesome time, being on the sailboat, getting bounced about by the rough waves, salt water spraying up and soaking us to the bones. We spent all morning and came into shore almost two hours after we were scheduled to do so.
Rushdinah and I walked back to our hotel, cold, wet and in a race to see who could hit the nice hot shower first. I lost. So I did the washing and drying of all the soaked clothes and coats, and tried to dry off the squishy wet shoes.
That afternoon after we had both been warmed and dried off, we headed to the shops where we purchased more shoes and jeans (that is what Grandmas are for, isn't it?)
As if that was not enough punishment, we headed off the next morning by 9am, to the old Whaling Station, now a tourist venue called Whale World. We investigated the old Whaling Boat, the plant where they used to do the 'flensing' and rendering of the whale blubber, watched several movies provided, one of which was a 3D movie, got the history of the whale industry that closed down back in 1978, then had a lovely meal in the restaurant, bought some mementos and headed off to visit three places of interest along the coast back to town.
The first place we stopped into was the Blowholes, where the water shoots up between the rocks on the edge of the shoreline. The rocks down there at the edge of the water are just beaut, and they are so smooth, etched by millions of years of wind and water.
Following that, we headed off to the place called the Gap, which is like a square channel eroded by the force of the waves, allowing the water from the ocean to spray up some 20metres to the top of the rocks where there is a viewing platform. After we oohhed and aahhed at that, we went to see the Natural Bridge, which is another outstanding part of the rocks at the coast being eroded away by the wind and water, to form a bridge from one side to the other.
By this time, it was raining again, and did so intermittently throughout the day, even hailing at one stage, so we went back through town and out to the other side, to a place called Two People's Bay, where we went to a Bird Park, which included a Marron Farm and had other Farm animals there, that were very tame, and ate fruit from our hands. Dinah loved that, as she has a real affinity with animals. We stopped in and had a look at two beaches, which are popular in the summertime in Albany, then headed back to the Hotel as it was getting too dark and cold for any more sightseeing for the day. We frequented one of the Chinese Restaurants that evening for dinner, then watched a bit of TV before falling asleep exhausted.
Next day, we had to start heading back to Busselton, as Dinah had to go to work that evening. At 15, she has a little job in Red Dot Variety store, filling shelves etc and serving customers, and she had to start at 5pm that night, as it was Late Night Shopping on Thursdays.
So after having a catch up hot drink in a coffee shop with an old friend of mine.....Hi Jenny........,whom I had not seen in person for 18 years, we headed off for home, Dinah in charge of the road map. Navigation skills were not top notch, so we did a little loop, on a strange road, ended up on a gravel road, then back to where we started. So when we finally got going again, we drove through the Jarrah and Karri Forests, through Manjimup and then Nannup, back to Busselton, where I got her to work just in time.
Before coming home to Perth, I called in to see another couple of my friends from Busselton, driving home so that I could get here before mid afternoon.
Now it is back to work rest for the wicked.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Winter is here, Feltmaking is almost full time.

Good afternoon to you all

Last week, I went to a FeltWEST Toss and Tell day in Menora, which is in Perth. I had a three day weekend off, and since it fell on the third Saturday of the month, when the Toss and Tell days are conducted, I felt that I could at last go. I haven't been all year, and I enjoyed the day.

I made another wall hanging, mainly reds, blacks and I am embellishing it with a gold stitch. It is very very fine, which is how I like to make my felt, backed with silk chiffon which I had dyed in a tomato red about this time last year. I knew it would come in handy for something. I also had some bits of silk cocoons, and other silk products which all went into making the piece.

My daughter has also organised me to make a pair of leggings to go onto a pair of ugg boots, so I made the felt and am in the process of connecting the two. I once bought her a pair long ago, that another WA feltmaker had made, when I was just starting out on my feltmaking journey. I hope that they turn out, as I have not done that before, but then how hard can it be???

Coming up in the School Holidays, I will be taking a week off work, so that I can take my 15 year old granddaughter, Rushdinah, to Albany for a few days of Whale Watching. I really wanted to go to Monkey Mia and for us to swim with the Dolphins, but alas, all the accommodation was fully booked out, so had to re assess the plans.

Being 15, she cannot go anywhere without a mobile phone, but one rule that I have set is that the phone does not even come on the holiday with us. I have had her for a holiday before, since she got the phone, and it was glued to her ear for most of the time, so this time, big bag grandma has banned it.

Well, typing this is taking up good feltmaking time, so I should love and leave you all.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Felting in the countryside

When a fellow felter cried "Help", I decided that it was worth it to go on a trip out to the wheatbelt and visit Carol in Quairading and give her any help that she may need as a relatively new feltmaker.

We had a lovely time, even if it was a little cold in her studio, and her very sweet husband pandered to our every whim, by being a regular "gopher" and chief cook and bottlewasher. I stayed for a couple of nights with them, all the while creating our little samples and repairing some of her mistakes that she wanted corrected.

I even took an extra day off work so that my enjoyable time spent with Carol and Allan would not come to an end too quickly. I can see more visits there in the future. I used to live in the wheatbelt about 60kms from Quairading, so it was nice to be back in the lovely quiet peaceful surroundings near to where I spent the happy years whilst growing up.

Since coming back home, work has taken up a lot of my time, but I have managed to get in a little bit of felting in the meantime. Using some felt previously made (UFO's), I decided that it was worth doing some wall hangings. These were done mainly using my Huskystar Embellisher on two of them. Only one is pictured here, which I have titled Circles. The other image is a piece that I made after doing a workshop with Fiona Wright, using a piece of Shibori'd silk that was given to me whilst travelling in USA, by one of my many students that I taught in Brownfield, Maine.
Jaruleeli (Julie)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Felting in Western Australia

Today I primarily played with my Huskystar Embellisher. I went through a lot of scraps of felt that I had previously made and decided to do some collages with it. Samples of felt fared no better. I am still deliberating on some of them, laying them out to decide whether or not they need to have something added to them or not.

It has been very interesting reading other blogs from likeminded people. I have some blogs in my list of favourites and I shall continue to visit them now and again.

I have yet to work out how to post some pictures on the blog.....however, until that time, it will remain with script only.

Happy times everyone

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Introduction blog

Good Afternoon Everyone

It has been a while - almost 16 months since I returned from my epic journey around the world, carting with me, an extra bag containing a heap of goodies related to Feltmaking. Be it already felted, wool tops, soaps, templates, notes and a whole lot of memories of the various people that I visited, classes that I taught, classes that I took and learned from, sights that I saw along the way, and the heartfelt good wishes of the many friends that I had added to my network.

Since being away, I have now settled into a new job, trying two others before finally finding something that suited my needs, and have a small unit with a lovely small garden to care for (another of my passions), living not far from my parents, whom I tell everyone I take care of. Really......who am I kidding? It is them that take care of me!

In November last year, I had an unfortunate accident at work, breaking the 5th Metatarsil bone in my left foot. I was off work and my feet for a couple of weeks without so much as a plaster on my foot, so my parents waited on me hand and foot them, and also watered and cared for my little loved garden. Then, the Orthopedic Surgeon decided that I should be in a plaster and on crutches, so another 7 weeks of being off my foot as much as possible. In the meantime, my employers took pity on my bored state of mind, because I could not make my felt which took a lot of being on my feet, let me come back to work on light duties, installing me at a desk, gave me a phone and put my foot up on an upended trash can under the desk. I then continued to survey people by telephone and input data into the computer, did lots of filing that could be done sitting down, and in general, had all and sundry at my beck and call for drinks, food, etc (all except for when nature called.)

Now I am happily back at my normal duties at work, but due to the fact that my foot is still in the process of mending, I am only driving automatic vehicles and doing desk jobs. I now have a shoulder and arm that has been severley damaged by the use of crutches for such a period of time, and to that end, it is still weekly visits to the physio and monthly visits to the doctor.

BUT happily, I am back doing a little bit of feltmaking. I have a lot of prefelts, which I have begun to collate and make into wall hangings and collages. Photos will have to wait until I get them all done. I am busy with the sewing machine, embroidering some felts, adding some special touches. I did make a few Christmas tree decorations with my Huskystar Embellesher for a Christmas Exchange with the Aussiefeltmakers group, and on reading all the talk on blogs on the discussion group with feltmakers in USA, I decided that it is time to get the ball rolling with a blog myself.

;Cheers til next time
Jaruleeli (Julie)