Thursday, 28 April 2011

my creative space - mulberry tea

mulberry tea

With lots of encouragement from (birthday girl) Tania, and generous and invaluable advice from Suse, I have finally taken the plunge and started knitting a tea leaves cardigan.
The wool I'm using is Woollahra from Morris and Sons, in Mulberry. The colour reminds me of these. Its a wool, silk, cashmere blend. Very luxurious. Here's the ravelry link.
I took these photos the other day. In actual fact our long holiday and the rainy weather means I'm a bit further now, past the sleeve holes and heading down the sides! Its funny how addictive it becomes, I'm feeling now like maybe I could make a whole cardigan, though I still have the sleeves and dpns to face, yikes, not my favourite thing. Hopefully by then I'll be on the home stretch and nothing will stop me.
I love this print Wet Afternoon by Ethel Spowers and its very apt for the weather here in Sydney which is typical April Showers. My brother bought me a printmakers calendar from the AGNSW this year and this is one of the images. I must show some of the others here, it features lots of fantastic early Australian women printmakers, I love it.

Friday, 22 April 2011


Happy Easter to all. We had a lovely, large family get together last night with nieces and nephews, mothers and brothers, sisters, cousins, daughters and sons. So nice to catch up with everyone. Now we're looking forward to lots of quiet, pottery time, a bit of knitting, maybe a swim and a bit of chocolate this long, long weekend.

Here are some of the close up photos I took of different banksia cones down south. Aren't the patterns and colours wonderful.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

show & tell - kate dixon

Liberty Napkins...

One of the many glowing comments on Kate Dixon's Flickr pages reads "you are so good at putting fabrics together", and its very true! Kate's skill at combining different fabrics and designs make her quilting work compelling. She has a great eye for colour and pattern, combining them in sometimes unexpected but always successful ways with the result that her work is somehow classic and modern all at the same time.

Its the same with her patterns, in her recently released Geometric Quilt pattern Kate takes the traditional Log Cabin block and turns it on its head, creating a lovely fresh design with firm foundations but a lovely randomly pieced look. I'm lucky enough to have some of Kate's patterns and they are written in simple and easy to understand terms, and she is always sharing skills and ideas through her blog and Flickr sites, helping quilting newbies like me find our feet and share the fun.

In fact Kate was one of the founding members of Fat Quarterly magazine and worked with the online publication for the first year as it became established. She is also the organiser behind the successful Down Under Doll Quilt Swap, which is now in its second round, as well as an enthusiastic member of many other quilt block bees.

On top of all that Kate has many other crafting talents, as a quick look through her One Flew Over blog and Flickr site show. You just need to look at her list of links, below, which are the first here to include ravelry, pinterest and twitter, to see how busy she really is!

For those of you who love Kate's style she has also recently opened a new shop, Bespoke, where she sells her one off quilts and beautiful quilt patterns.

Thanks Kate for joining us for this month for Show & Tell. I especially loved the story of how you came to crafting, and the sound of your perfect landscape!

Kate Dixon
Currently - Melbourne, Australia

1. Can you give us a short description of your blog/style/work.
My blog is a little space where I chronicle my crafting adventures.

Sea Breeze Quilt

2. Why blog? How did you start?
I remember the time well. It was in 2008, my youngest was six months old and I felt like I was slowly losing my mind. Like many mothers with small children I was out walking the streets trying to put the little guy to sleep when I walked past the Prints Charming Studio. The colour and fabrics coming from that place were unbelievable and incredibly inspiring, I signed up to one of their stitching classes and never looked back.

Blogging just kind of happened. No-one in my family is remotely crafty and I was really just hoping for some feedback on some of the things I was making. 'One Flew Over' has given me so much more than that. If the whole thing goes kaput tomorrow, I will walk away with some lifelong mates and I think that is pretty special.


3. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
A bit of both really. I love taking classes and try to get to as many as possible but I have also learned a great deal from other crafters.

4. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
It used to be the kitchen table but the kids are now sharing a room which means I have a dedicated sewing space. It has made a huge difference.

Ballerina Mosaic

5. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
I have my Nan to thank for my blog name. As a baby she started calling me ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’ which was then shortened to just One Flew Over and eventually my little family nickname evolved into ‘Cook’.

Which, I still get called today…'Cook' or 'Cook-a-loo'… not so cute as a 30 something.

6. Favourite media to work in?
Fabric & wool.

Silver Fox

7. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
I would love to try my hand at dying fabric.

8. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
Organised... ridiculously so.

Glacial - Strip

9. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own not made by you.
That's a tough one but my 'rein it in' footstool made for me by Kirst.

10. Favourite food/recipe?
Does wine count?

11. Favourite colour?

Everyday Colour - Blue & Green

12. Star sign?

13. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
A very special farm in Tuscany -

14. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
Get organised, set goals, write lists and enjoy the making.

Linen Pincushion

15. Favourite artists, artisans, crafters?
Far too many to name but most have had a direct influence on how and what I craft.

16. Your favourite thing you've made/written/done.
Probably the second quilt I ever made.  It's imperfect in so many places but that's the best part about it.

17. Three words to describe yourself?
Bossy, organised and very black or white (no room for grey)

18. What do you like to do besides creating?
Eating, drinking wine and reading

Just Because...

Monday, 18 April 2011



The light in this place is so magical, some alchemy in the way the sunset reflects on the water... its quite ethereal.
More to share later in the week but first my April Show & Tell tomorrow... make sure you come by and say hi!

Sunday, 17 April 2011


The Mr and I were delighted to see Margaret Olley's face smiling back at us from yesterday's Herald in Ben Quilty's Archibald winning portrait. (For overseas readers the Archibald is the premier Australian painting/portrait prize.)
I've blogged about the wonderful Margaret before. She's quite inspiring. In her late eighties now she is still painting and exhibiting, sponsoring and supporting galleries and collections and mentoring young artists, including Ben Quilty. And this is the second Archibald winner with Margaret as subject, the last time was in 1948.
We're just got back from our week away with sand in our shoes, shells in our pockets and the wind still in our hair. I'm coming back to share photos once I've unpacked and collapsed a bit.
Don't forget that on Tuesday this month's wonderful Show & Teller will be revealed, I'm really looking forward to that, she's another wonderfully talented blogger, in fact I think some of you might know her ;-)
I came back to a handful of postcards with exotic stamps as part of my swap. Once I have them all I'll post some pics. I'm loving the stamps as much as anything! Its inspired me again about swapping and I promised to get my swap organised and get a sign up out. Soon!

Monday, 11 April 2011

postcard swap

postcard swap
Last month I joined the postcard swap on iHanna's blog. As usual it sounded simple until I sat down at the last moment to craft my postcards. I love the way they looked all together when I finished. I really hope that the recipients, around the world enjoy receiving them. So nice to get some special mail. I can't wait to get mine!
What do you think about swapping, I've got this idea I've been thinking of for ages, I think once the holidays are over I might post about it and see who's interested! I ran it past one of my favourite girls and she's put her hand up already :-)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Giveaway Winner

yellow marbles fabric

The Random Number Machine has chosen Catherine, from Pencils and Pins blog as the Print Giveaway winner. Congratulations Catherine, you win your choice of print... the Yellow Marbles design! Email me your address and I'll pop it in the post (link up there on the left).

Here is a sneaky look at the fabric proof of that design which I ordered to check colours (and, luckily, scale). I think its come out really well! As I said before the marbles are much bigger than I meant to order but, you know what, they are really starting to grow on me this size! Each marble is almost exactly the size of an Australian 20c piece, a little over an inch and I like the way it works as a larger scale print. I think it would make a fantastic quilt cover.

I'm looking forward to sharing the other proofs with you all. Not next week though as we are taking a little holiday down south. I can not wait! Time with my little gang, some intensive jigsaw building, beachcombing and maybe some knitting if I can organise a quick project before Tuesday.

When I get back I also have a fabulous new Show & Tell for you. You are going to love it!! And I'm planning a little print sale too for those who missed out.

p.s. Did you see the ten finalists for Project Selvage? I was really surprised with the popular vote, especially as the design I liked didn't make it. Did you vote? Did your choice make the cut?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Spring Colours Week

poppytalk spring coloursEmmaLambmosaic
I loved joining in last time for Poppytalk's themed Nature Collection Flickr group so I was really excited to look through the submissions for their Spring Colours Week and add some of my own photos.
Over consecutive days this week we all added our take on the spring colours in order from green, yellow, pink, lavender and finally white. Did you join in the fun?

I was excited when Jan featured some of my white pictures on the Poppytalk blog yesterday and then in the white mosaic. And I loved it when I saw another of my pictures on Emma Lamb's lovely blog in her roundup of the week. To check out individual credits follow the links. Can you guess which are mine?

Apologies for the delay in choosing a Giveaway winner. I had some more boring stuff to sort out yesterday before we go away next week. I promise it will be drawn and announced here tomorrow. Looking through and sorting the comments yesterday I was feeling a bit sad that I can't send prints to everyone, so many lovely friends and followers have joined the fun and some new faces too! You know I would if I could right!

Just now we're getting ready for our birthday sleepover - six ten year old boys camping in the backyard overnight. Think of us, won't you!?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

my creative space - collection

Do you remember my collection of blue and white pottery which I showed back here,  inspired by Poppytalk's Collecting Nature theme. A while ago I sketched some of the pieces with the intention of painting a small watercolour study. Its taken a while but on a trip to the wonderful Tilly's art supplies shop the other day I remembered to buy some new brushes and yesterday I finally sat down and added some colour to my piece. It was so nice to sit and paint, very meditative. I haven't done it for a long time.

The scanning has killed some of the subtlety of the painting I'm afraid, watercolour is a hard medium to capture. The shading of the original is more delicate and fine and the colours too. But I'm inspired to do a larger piece based on the original photo. I'm not sure if I'll stick to watercolour though or go back to my old favourite gouache. (I'd love advice from the painters amongst you about scanning or watercolour if you have any tips.)

I haven't had a chance yet today but I'm dying to head over to Kirsty's and see what everyone's is making, its always so interesting.

And of course I will be back tomorrow to draw the winner of the PRINT GIVEAWAY, I'm looking forward to it, so if you haven't entered yet you still have time. Just leave a comment saying which print you'd like to be in the draw.

Monday, 4 April 2011

ten by two

birthday cake
zinnias and easter daisies
zinnias and easter daisies

I had the best weekend, busy but lots of fun.
We started with sport, two games, at different grounds. As it was the start of the season the netballers then held their traditional march past where all the clubs walk in turn to a lovely old 1930s soundtrack.
Then it was home for presents. Happily the boys loved them all and declared it the best birthday ever. They were so suprised and grateful for even the smallest gifts, I love them for that. As always we got to indulge ourselves with two birthday cakes, which like every year since they could choose were Raspberry Ripple and Chocolate Mud cake. The sleepover party comes next week which will be a good excuse for a bit more cake!
Sunday was exhausting but fun too. The weather was perfect and the entire Inner West seemed to pass through our School Fair, opened by our new local MP (the first Green ever elected as a lower house member in NSW).
It was a lovely chance to see lots of friends in one place. Its a bit like a small town here in the Inner West, everyone seems to know everyone. I like that!
These zinnias and easter daisies were bought early on from our plant stall (I just wish the ones I'm growing looked half as good!).
Mr Flowerpress and I did about five hours duty on different stalls. Then after helping with the mammoth job of packing up we all ended up at a friends house were a big bunch of us toasted our successful day with a cold drink or two and rested our aching legs.

Friday, 1 April 2011


paper pots continued
paper pots continued
paper pots continued
The semi finalists for Project Selvage were announced yesterday, and sadly my Marble Collection didn't make the cut. Go here to see all the great designs that did. I have voted for only one design this time, can you guess which one!? There seem to have been some popular themes and a couple I liked missed out. I am so interested to see which ten make the final cut in the popular vote and how the designers go on to build a collection around their initial design. 

Thank you anyway for all for your lovely support and for all those wonderful GIVEAWAY entries! I just looked and the Red Teapot is ahead in popularity by one comment, followed closely by the Blue Marbles print! For those of you who are interested in the Marble Collection fabrics, I will be printing some small quantities and selling them through my shop. I also have a new coordinating design I'm really happy with which I'll share next week as well as marble fabric proofs that arrived yesterday! The good news is it looks great on fabric, the quality is amazing! (The bad is only that I got the scale a little wrong, duh :-) But I can easily fix that before ordering quantities.)

If you haven't entered the giveaway there is still plenty of time, it won't be drawn till next week, did I make that clear enough, perhaps not, I meant next Friday! Just leave a comment here or on the post saying which print you'd like to win. Followers get an extra vote!

Think of me this weekend. I have J and D's birthday tomorrow but we're out early for the first games of this year's soccer and netball seasons first (the kids not mine!). Sunday I have four hours of stall duty at our School Fair. As you can see the paper pot seedlings have thrived in the autumn rain and are itching to get out and grow! Look at that leggy dianthus! Pray to the weather gods for us and if you're inner westie pop in for a ride, a plant, some craft, some music, some great food or flowers! Its always a great day and a wonderful cause.