Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I was a little late arriving at Montsalvat today. Is this a disapproving stare?

On the other hand, the very busy state of our workbench may not have come up to best standards of tidiness.
The umbrella frame at the back was the sad looking black umbrella in my empathetic chair post .  Its slowly being converted into a magic reading light for the chair. You can just see a beautiful cobweb made by Alex.

Its not unusual to see a film crew at Montsalvat, its a perfect location for so many different fantasies.  The last two days there has been a big shoot on.  Yesterday evening the whole front of the Great Hall had been lit.  This evening as we left the geese were watching with mixed opinions as the film crew started bumping out.

Tomorrow its the ufo/wip, the chicken and the horse!!!!!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

This morning as I walked through the beautiful Montsalvat gardens to our cosy studio I was seized with pity for the poor old knob on our door.  With a cold wind blowing it needed a cosy.

This flower is made from soft variegated and yellow wool given to us by my friend Judy. The petals have been chain stitched  looped into a piece of old doylie, the centre crocheted as a chain into the doylie.

Problem solved, a warm yarnbomb entrance for a warm studio.


Monday, 29 July 2013

For some time now Margaret has had the idea of a doily curtain running through her head.The idea kind of boiled over on Saturday after lunch - gotta be done before the party tonight!

Remember those beautiful doilies spread all over the carpet in an earlier post ? Well with the evening deadline looming and with Margaret as chief designer we set too and spread the doylies over our workbenches and set to work.
The theory was that we could link them with just a few corner stitches here and there.  It turned out we had to hand sew right around each one - that was the moment when the deadline seemed just too close.  But not only did we get it done, we got them hung too.
and we have a very happy Margaret!

We are both thrilled. These are all op shop doylies.  We both have heirloom doylies languishing in our cupboards.  Our homes  might  just be asking for  similar treatment.

Our door has a whole new character

and inside the play of light is fascinating
 And just to finish off - the back window of the gatehouse - designed so that you can peek in and see the installation inside.
A quite elegant yarnbombing I think.


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Dinner is finished so now Sunday begins.

We have several "works in progress"  or "ufo"s (unfinished objects) if you are a quilter.  Remember seeing these on our workbench on July 26?

 the next stage of the ufo/wip

 in place.  What would we do without husbands?

You'll be wondering what it is, and you'll be wondering what the pieces of pipe  and wire holding the lantern have to do with it.  Nothing actually, just another ufo.
All will be revealed in the fullness of time! The background building is at right angles to our studio,  just walk out of our door and feel lost in time. 
Then back inside to a nice cup of camomile tea and the view out the window.
Oh dear slipped up again. This time its Saturday's post on Sunday. Followed by Sunday's post before I have dinner tonight!

 Got home just before midnight - too late, too tired to upload photos from camera and phone.

Why so late? 
We had a studio warming party.  Lots of lovely food and wine - thanks  everyone.   Got a bit distracted and forgot to take any photos until well over halfway through the night..........

The party overflowed into our tiny kitchen - Mary-Lou Pittard, Shaaron Smith, Margaret Summerton and Chris Pittard   - all Nillumbik Open Studio artists (more about them all in the future)  

Not too late for our grandaughter Henri with her mother Alex.  Remember the cobweb in front of the Wesley Anne - made by Alex !   I am lucky enough to have its  miniature.  Its part of the  Gardener's Reading Room installation in the Gatehouse at Montsalvat.   Come and check it out - just peek through the tiny Gatehouse window!
Right now lovely smells are coming from the kitchen,  I guess  Sundays post will be a little later tonight after all......... 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

I didnt quite manage before midnight tonight - just too much to do.  This post is my Friday post even though its Saturday morning.  It also means because its late I'm going to be very lazy and be a person of few words.

So here we are, three " in the studio"  pictures.

That odd looking stack of stuff is a small project we were working  on Friday - hope to show you the finished object in the next couple of days!

Now for some sleep.........zzzzz

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Well we are through the door - this morning we had bags, baskets and boxes to unpack.

Turning around and looking back through the door , a scene out of time but not place - that is going to be a distraction!  

Met lots of lovey people - resident artists and volunteer gardeners
End of the day bags are unpacked.  We've been so busy I forgot to take photos.

Looking forward to tomorrow in a cosy studio

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Well only one sleep now.  There's a stack of baskets, boxes and bags waiting at the door  in both our houses.  

I refer you back to the earlier post about the horse. 

Margaret and Jeanette as the horse took flight.

An alarmed horse just about to land - He's  no need to worry he's not going to get a real bath.   You'll just have to visit Montsalvat in a few weeks time to see him cleaned and happy!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Now its only two sleeps.  Tomorrow will be spent in packing.

It may be a very cold mid winter but we will still have flowers for the table.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Well its Monday and three sleeps to go! 

Today will be spent checking through raw materials and knitting and crocheting flowers, and maybe the odd macaroon!

Meanwhile back to our "First Train to Allwood" project.  Some wonderful pieces of carriage and leaves for our apple tree arrived on Saturday as well as..........

By now you will have thought back over the previous posts - what have flowers and macaroons to do with a horse and a work chair?  You will just have to visit Montsalvat and find out.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

With only four sleeps to go until we move into Montsalvat Margaret and I are thinking about food!  In fact we both enjoy food a little too much so when I found the ultimate in low calorie macaroons we thought we must keep a stock of these in the studio.

Browsing last week I found a yummy copy of "Knitting & Crochet" and this morning I knitted  according to the instructions, at least I thought I was.  I am not noted for following instructions exactly, in fact I have a reputation for bending, twisting, avoiding and varying instructions to produce something completely different.  These are almost right!  Just that I ended up the right sort of size with double the number of pearl rows and far too much filling.  But then if I were cooking macaroons they would be over the top and just a little disreputable like my knitting. 

Next go will be more like the original - the magazine makes them look so pretty...............

Saturday, 20 July 2013

 Margaret and I have just had a lovely time playing with some of the raw materials we will be using in our project.......Its so sad to see beautiful work like this for 50c or a $1 in an op shop.  

The hours of work, the love  and the skill that went into making little pieces like this to decorate the home have long been forgotten.  We want to pay tribute to them, and we will!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Well now its only six sleeps.  Question, will I have my work/thinking chair finished in time?  Margaret and I have set ourselves  some real challenges with the project we are going to work on (more of that another time)  which means  we will need a chair just for thinking.

I just might get the seat finished tonight. But then there is still the back, the bird, its eggs,  the flowers and leaves and the umberella.............

As I turned it upside down to stitch the lining under the bottom I noticed the underneath of one of the arms.  I'd forgotten how interesting they are - I will have to regularly drop things so I have to bend down and reach underneath and take a look. 

Not the worlds best knitting, but definitely nice for underneath.  Now I wonder, instead of just having a lining under the seat ..................... 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Its now seven sleeps til Margaret Summerton and myself take up our residency at Montsalvat.  (excitement!!!)

Meanwhile we have been working on our joint community project in Hurstbridge, near Melbourne, Australia.  Its a large yarnbomb project involving over 60 volunteers.  Working with heavy white cord we have been creating a whimsical very large doily steam train  on a chainlink fence in the main street.  Its taken around two years and we expect it will be finished  by Christmas. 

Today Margaret added a chook......

Then we started the guard's van.

The carriages are modelled on actual rolling stock from around 1912 when the first train ran to Hurstbridge.  The project is called First Train to Allwood after a photograph taken of the first train. 

Without doubt yarnbombing is great fun, our knitters and crocheters are constantly amazing us with their imaginative interpretations of the paper pattern pieces we hand out.  As we attach the work to the fence passers by stop and chat and passing cars toot. Its a very happy and social form of street art.

Googling "First Train to Allwood" will take you to our website and to our facebook page.  

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

I need an emphathetic work chair that speaks of my textile meanderings. Noble but slightly scruffy, suitable for thinking moments and flights of fancy, suitable also for cups of coffee and conversations.

I fell in love with my chair on the roadside, I fastened its loose bits together with cable ties, reinforced it with irrigation hose, then bandaged its rusty bits.  As you can see I have started to knit its cover.  Its going to have lots of green and brown to remind me that the garden is my other thinking space.  The wonky umbrella will be part of it too.

It will be a noble chair!  Note the broad flat arms for resting books, knitting, quilting frames and coffee cups!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Now for something completely different - a cobweb!  But not just a cobweb a lovely yarnbomb with flowers crocheted by the fair hand of Alex Summers.

Location: The front of the Wesley Anne, High Street, Northcote. 
 Be sure check it out soon - up for a limited time only!

Monday, 15 July 2013

I rather hope you are puzzled by this picture.  Are you wondering what on earth a flying horse and a lump of wood have to do with textiles?  All will be revealed over the next few weeks!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Well third time lucky?  Not really, still figuring out all the edit commands so not only is my content experimental so is the layout , template and everything else.  But despite that  here's another post:

 Suspended  above the entrance to the "Nillumbik Prize" exhibition is another yarnbomb piece.  Titled "There Goes the Neighbourhood" its by Margaret Summerton.  You'll be  hearing  a lot more about Margaret as we'll be sharing a studio in eleven sleeps from now!  

- go to for further information.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Day two and I've learned how to change the header.  Maybe that's a start......

Yesterday's picture is "Restructured Noncomformist" a yarnbomb sculpture from doylies, new and old knitting and crochet, beads, resin, lacquer, the remains of an old sewing mcachine, a bicycle pedal and a bathroom stool.   You can see this piece in the "Nillumbik Prize" exhibition at Montsalvat Arts Centre until August 24th.  

Thursday, 11 July 2013