Tuesday 30 November 2010

Quilting at Christmas

I am just sitting here thinking of all the things I need to do before Christmas and then thinking of my 3 quilting deadlines.  I'm wondering how I am going to fit it all in.  I love so many parts of the Christmas season the lights,  secrets,  Christmas carol evenings, creating  and the lovely time with family and friends.  I find some parts very challenging I.E end of year functions,  shopping, crowds, too many things to do, and everything being left to mum.  Every year I drop something to try and keep my head above water and every year things still keep on getting busier. 

I have decided this year to only go to functions that are important and ones we want to attend.  I have also tried to simplify my gift giving.  So far I am feeling less stressed.  hopefully this will continue so that all of Christmas will be more joyous. 

So my goals before Christmas run as follows
  • Be happy
  • Be loving to everyone, especially my family
  • K.I.S.S keep it simple sister
  • Enjoy Christmas
  • Get some sleep
  • Create everyday
  • Keep balanced
  • Be excited with my kids
  • And celebrate the real reason for Christmas....The birth of Jesus

Saturday 27 November 2010

Thoughts for your inspiration

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can
be made in a very narrow field."
-- Niels Bohr

"In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not
to do the next time."
-- Anthony J. D'Angelo

"It's not that I'm so smart; it's just that I stay with
problems longer."
-- Albert Einstein

"Improvement begins with I."
-- Arnold H. Glasgow

 "Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be
perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less
than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each
step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and
more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more
-- Mark Victor Hansen

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the
-- Brian Littrell

Thursday 25 November 2010

Break from quilting

I want to take a break from quilting on my blog today and pay tribute to the 29 miners who have lost their lives in The Pike river mining disaster, in New Zealand, and those countless others who have been affected by this disaster. What a sad and very unexpected loss of lives.

This tragic disaster has affected many people in such a small country and in a very small community.  Greymouth (West coast of the South island of New Zealand)  is in shock and morning the loss of so many men.  It is a beautiful and rugged part of our country and full of resilient strong and wonderful people. 

Each man has his own personal story,  his own set of friends and family and his own personal mark on the world.   As I sat and watched the news last night my eyes filled with tears as each of the men's names were read out and a little told about them. They were real people not just a number on a page. 

I hope the families and friends of the miners are comforted at this time.  I hope time can help heal their loss and in time that their memories will be sweet of their love ones.  God bless.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Quilting and Photography Education

I have been pondering how to gain more education in art and photography (or any subject I want to find out more about for that matter) without spending money

Education in New Zealand has increased in price very rapidly without many scholarships to support this increase. The other issue I face is the education in art quilting is often overseas so the cost increase again.  I started my Certificate in Patchwork and Quilting with City and Guilds in Britain but the company closed down and the cost made me reconsider enrolling with someone else.

In my blog post on Wednesday the 27th August  http://catherineparkinson.blogspot.com/2010/08/budgeting-for-art-and-craft-work.html  I listed ways to gain some education with minimal cost.  These ideas have  worked well but I wanted to gain a deeper and more rounded education in art.  So I wrote an education programme for myself.  Over the next few weeks I would like to share this programme with you.

Friday 19 November 2010

Thoughts for your inspiration

"Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to

self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt,
that's real power."
-- Clint Eastwood


"To teach is to learn twice.:"-- Joseph Joubert

"Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing does
- except wrinkles. It's true, some wines improve with age. But
only if the grapes were good in the first place."
-- Abigail Van Buren

"Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will
vibrate in eternity."
-- Sean O'Casey

"Just because you make a mistake doesn't mean you are a
-- Georgette Mosbacher

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

-- Dr. Seuss

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the
same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller,
Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci,
Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."
-- H. Jackson Brown

Thursday 18 November 2010

photography for the festive season

This time of year is such a wonderful time to get your camera out and capture moments of delight and of the festive season

How can you capture the season from a different view?  What objects mean Christmas to you?  Think about taking photos from different angles,  from a child's perspective and of sensory experiences that make you think Christmas.

Here are photo of objects that describe Christmas to me.....

Take a photo of decorations close up

Photograph Christmas tree lights

Photograph your place settings

Try taking photos with lights off

 Use sepia tones

Photograph what is special to you about the season.  For me it is Christ

Photos of yummy food

The play of light on decorations

Use your imagination!!!  What can you find to photograph.......

Monday 15 November 2010

quilt challenge-52 cards in a year

Week 25

I really enjoy felting.  So this week I continued the felting theme and added stitching to the card.  I chose to portray a leaf on a orange background.  I wanted to give the feeling in the colours of autumn

The background is wool rovings and kapok felted onto painted cotton batting.  The cotton batting is beautiful to work with.  Like butter in a sewing machine.  The Leaf is made from an unfinished piece of knitting (I have a few of those :) with wool and wool rovings felted through it.

I love the way the colours blend in felting.  it is really like panting with fibres.

Friday 12 November 2010

quilt challenge-52 cards in a year

Week 24

I created another felted piece of work for this card.  I love seeing our world from above.  One photo I have admired is a view of the amazon from a birds eye view.  How the amazon meanders through the luscious rainforest is awe inspiring and incredible.

I have made this artwork from dyed wool rovings on poly/cotton batting.  The river is edged with wool.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

quilt challenge-52 cards in a year

Week 23

This week I have explored the blending of colours in felting.  I have used dyed wool rovings on a poly/cotton batting.  The felting was done by machine on a machine that only does felting.  It is a wonderful machine and even my 16 year old is very excited by the work that can be done on it. 

I was inspired by the amazing sunsets we have on our farm all through the year.  It is so wonderful to see the glory of our world we live in.  The fence line is hand embroidered

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Thoughts to inspire

Some thoughts to inspire you to create,  love and ponder

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

--Audrey Hepburn

"Laughter is much more important than applause.

Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward."
-- Carol Channing

Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always
beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may
alight upon you."

-- Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your

-- Mort Walker

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have
never been in the dark with a mosquito.

-- Betty Reese

"We all have different desires and needs, but if we don't
discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we
will live passively and unfulfilled."

-- Bill Watterson

"The past does not define you, the present does."

-- Jillian Michaels

"You can do so much in 10 minutes' time. Ten minutes, once
gone, are gone for good. Divide your life into 10-minute units
and sacrifice as few of them as possible in meaningless

-- Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA

Sunday 7 November 2010

Quilting frustrations

Do you ever feel frustrated when you can't get to things that you just want to do?  I find life gets taken over by things we have to do daily some of which is really not important but in our lives we live necessary.  I am reminded of a song by a New Zealand artist Brooke Frazer a line in the song reads ....
'70 thousand  things to ponder today the most significant the bottom of the list'
I feel housework is one of these things.  Necessary but in the whole scheme of things not really important.  My quilting over the past week hasn't really been happening in the studio because of those necessary things.  Every time I walk into the studio  the phone rings,  dinner beckons or another family crisis looms  which turns out to be something important like such and such a body has taken my.........  I am itching to be creative.   

I did get a chance yesterday to attend a quilting exhibition.  It was wonderful.  I didn't get any official prizes for any of my work but I did get a lot of unofficial prizes of lovely compliments and joy at my work.  I bought some new fibres for felting with and lots of yummy threads and material.  I think it is good to go and experience something you love on a regular basis it does rejuvenate the soul. 

I hope this week to get a few minutes to create but........... the first one of my children breaks up from school tomorrow for the summer holidays so we will just have to wait and see.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Photography-in jounalling

The expression a picture paints a thousand words becomes in more meaningful in Journalling.  A description of a view can take a long time but a photo or drawing can describe the same view in a very short and instant time.  When something special is happening or I have been on a trip I try to take photos to instantly describe the images I have seen that day.

The joy on my boys face would have taken a long time to describe and I probably wouldn't have done it justice.  It is important to record with the photo though so that future generations and other people would know the background to this photo,  who was in it and what was happening.

This photo was taken on Tuesday the 26th of October 2010.  The 2 boys and I had gone out on an exploring day.  We ended up exploring all the coast from our house to Waiuku and here we found a beautiful duck pond to feed all our old bread too.  My wee man was captivated by the ducks hunger and found it very amusing to see how much the birds all wanted the food.

This photo was taken on the same day and on the say exploring trip.  This is a view of Glenbrook steel mill taken from the Glenbrook beach wharf. 

  • Recording expressions on faces
  • a view from a point you visited
  • Taking shots from different angles of a ordinary event IE a birthday party.  instead of all the photos being of the child unwrapping the present photograph those who are watching or not watching
  • Thinking of ordinary events in a day that other people might find interesting IE. Me sewing at my machine,  eating lunch on the deck,  Making a meal,  children studying
  • Photographing a place where something very special happened to you or you had a special sweet peaceful feeling when you visited one day.
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