Say cheese

I’ve been working on some of my photos over the last few days, updating facebook and flickr. While I was noodling around I came across Shutter Sisters, a collaborative photo blog for women photographers whether they be amateurs or professionals. So, I signed up. The Shutter Sisters flickr group has amazing photos and it’s an education just to wander through the pool looking at different images, techniques and approaches.

I’ve uploaded three of my shots so go over and have a look (keeping an eye out for ‘ionakat’).


Surf and Turf II




Surf and Turf





Did he really say that?

The ABC News online has a report on the Australia Day brawls in Sydney and the response of the New South Wales Premier, Nathan Rees.

Apparently, Mr Rees says internal vigilance is needed to stamp out racial intolerance.

A fine example of NSW Labor or dodgy voice to text software?

Planning the organising

I was all geared up to do a different post entirely but the memory stick doesn’t have the photos that I thought it had. Please feel free to insert pictures from your own imagination.

I’ve been playing around with some room planning software to trial furniture configurations in the studio. Everything will fit with enough space left for a cutting table as well. Ebay table watching commenced a few days ago. I’m a patient woman (!) so I don’t mind waiting for an ugly laminate table to go for under $10. Fingers crossed nobody bids on the table I’ve just bid on, ‘cos then I’ll get it for a dollar (plus petrol to South Melbourne).

The colour scheme will be white with green, and a few touches of contrast in purple/mustard/orange. I don’t want a fussy looking space and I certainly don’t want the background to compete with my different projects and ideas. I may get out the staple gun this evening and do my inspirations board. I have a large corkboard that I’ll cover with quilt batting and some fabric. I may paint the frame – though that will depend more on the weather at the moment. Out our way, the next four days are 40C or above and those kinds of temperatures are only good for doing nothing.

The one thing that doesn’t fit into the colour scheme or even the room planning software is the lad’s drumkit.

Recent sewing

I’ve been doing a bit of sewing recently and almost all has been free form. No pattern, just tracing around an existing skirt or going back to basics and joing rectangles together. It’s very soothing and by no coincidence, very different from technical pattern modifications and development I’ve been doing with my knitting.

This dress was for my niece and makes a lovely sundress (there’ll be one for my lass soon):



And this is the traced out skirt with a hem of vintage barkcloth:


I particularly like the muted sage green and it makes an effective accent.

With the long weekend coming up, I need to decide which sewing project to tackle. I’ve cut out my 1940s housedress so there’s an obvious start; I may have time to make the lass’ sundress as well.

Summer trees

The eucalypts peel bark during summer and begin their new growth. Rolls, lengths and twists of bark drape from them, over fences, washing lines and lay themselves across the path.


Peeling bark

Gnarled bark

Gnarled bark


Treasures of the sea

On our last day at the beach, the lass and I went to the bay beach while the others went to the ocean beaches. We enjoyed our swim, decided the others would be having too much fun to be home and went op shopping. This is what I found.

Firstly, the sewing patterns. Simple, clean lines that leave everything up to the fabric.

Princess line shifts

Princess line shifts

Slit collar shifts

Slit collar shifts

Next, my new favourite pattern booklet. Tres chic, no?

Paragon Crochet Gloves

Paragon Crochet Gloves

Stylish wrist gloves

Stylish wrist gloves

Dramatic elbow length

Dramatic elbow length

Far more stylish than my improvised sewing tote:

one sewing tote

Wanted: one sewing tote

Knitting in new directions

I’m working on a version of the February Lady sweater (available through Ravelry) that’s been a huge hit with internet knitters. The style – 3/4 length sleeves, open style cardi with a few buttons at the top – is flattering and functional. It’ll be great for Melbourne weather which means that while it can be mostly summer now, it could also be spring, autumn or winter in a few days or a few hours.

Having used up stash wool to create this version of a 1940s top,

1940s Lace Jumper

1940s Lace Jumper

I still have enough left over to use for something else but not all of something else. Which is when I thought I should be more adventurous with my colour and patterns combos and decided to modify the pattern. The top raglan shaping is stocking stitch with a rib band (rather than all garter stitch) and I’m going for a band of smooth wool/silk bronze before moving to the textured wool/silk teal. I’ll make a short sleeve version and band the sleeves and bottom of the cardi with bronze. The lace pattern in between is likely to be replaced by a geometric lace or knit/purl pattern to achieve something of a geometric art deco look.

It’s knit from the top down so at some stage it gets to over 300sts before you move to separating for the sleeves and body. I’m enjoying the knitting of this with its textural and colour contrast and the long rows make it quite a meditative train knit.

Dewey AND Boolean

I’m well into the planning and procurement of materials for my studio renovation. I have paint for the dresser drawers and doors, information on paint primers for old paint and painting over vinyl, corkboard for the design wall and a room layout plan. And because I am:

a) a glutton for punishment;

b) think too much for my own good;

c) slightly obsessive;

d) all of the above;

I headed over to the Domestic Diva for the low down on organising one’s sewing room. Dear reader, I took notes and made lists.

Which led me to more thinking. The Diva offers two ways of organising your fabric – by type or by colour. I can organise a bibliography any which way you like: alphabetically (well, duh), by document type, source, reference type etc. I can set you straight on points of grammar (and I probably have). I have spent hours happily organising hundreds of articles. Give me options on organising my fabric and I go to water. And now I know why.

I couldn’t make up my mind between a Dewey decimal system for sorting or a Boolean search function for finding. How could I possibly sort fabric by type and consequently miss out on serendipitous textural combinations? If I sort by colour, how will those surprising yet effective colour combinations leap out? And what about my yarn stash? Like any good contemporary library, I need both systems.

A Boolean system for the spontaneous project: go with colour with fabric in boxes so that it may be easily moved around for colour combining. Put yarn and fabric together for textural variation.

A Dewey system when form follows function: patterns sorted into garment categories, embroidery designs, needles and hooks, notions and haby all labelled and in their place.

And a table in the middle to bring it all together.

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