Thursday, 27 February 2014


I'm  on a little roller coaster ride of emotions today. When I was younger it was hard to push my buttons and get a response out of me. Now I am incensed and outraged so easily. I seem to have turbulent emotions and although I don't always voice them I certainly do feel them.
Its almost as if someone has highly strung my nerves and every now and then twangs them. Each nerve fibre resonants with that vibration and things become friable.
What has happened to the agreeable and affable person I normally am?.
Yes we can blame hormones for some of my emotive responses but I feel more stressed and pushed by the events that are going on around me..particularly at work. I work in an extremely busy, high turnover, high acuity area of surgical nursing and the pressures from above come more to the fore everyday. I love the nurses whom I work so closely with..more like family than colleagues..but the overall hierarchy of things is changing and exerting more pressures on all of us. And its showing.
I probably can't mention the thing that most upsets me at work but suffice to say that I feel stressed and generally unappreciated...My gut tells me to dig my heels in, tread water and these things will pass..but the rest of me is screaming.
I didn't realise how highly strung I was until this morning. I went to coffee as is usual for Thursday prior to craft. Whilst waiting  for the others to arrive I was reading a message from a primary school friend whom I had only recently caught up with after 20 years (its like we've never been apart). I'd gotten worried I hadnt heard from her and knew her mother had been ill , so queried her about it. She informed me her mother had been put into terms of nursing experience this means she doesn't have long to live...I just burst out crying and couldn't stop..right there in the middle of the cafe.. a middle aged woman blubbing her eyes out uncontrollably. Thankfully my sister arrived. I'm not saying that I'm not sympathetic to the events of others but that perhaps normally wouldn't be triggered so easily to show my emotions.
Anyway I'm still a blubbering mess but grateful I have the luxury to be so self indulgent.
I feel better to have gotten that off my chest! maybe I need to get my hormone levels checked..I am of that age.
It's exhausting being sad..much rather happy or even sedate.
Hoping all is smooth sailing in your neck of the woods
Monique x

Sunday, 23 February 2014

More Handprinted Stuff


 More denim blue stamping done yesterday.. the same but different. The original stamping is the last photo. I did some strips of leaves to utilise as borders if i need it. If I do some more of these i think I will actually draw up a pattern next time, now that I have had a play with the stamps and have got a fair idea of placement.

I also printed off a few monkeys. When I made up my rainbow monkey quilt I was one monkey short and ran out of fabric to print on. So all those rainbow squares are waiting for one other monkey to join them to complete the quilt top ( or at least have enough pieces so I can sew it together to complete it).

Next days off

Blackberry Jam

I am pleased to announce that I now only have superficial scratches on my arm - predominantly my right arm. I made a blueberry crumble which now resides on my waistline... yummy!
And this morning made 1.2kg blackberry jam. I love the colour as it is cooking in the pot, a little hard to see in the photos but if you've made jam yourself you know what I mean.

 1.5 kg berries
6 cups sugar
juice of  two lemons
bring to boil and cook at a simmer 15 minutes

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Denim Blue Pillow Cover- Hand Printing

Im a little bit excited about this printing.. I really like it..perhaps maybe a little inspired by the blackberries I picked yesterday and all those thorny barbs that I seemed to have caught my arm on .
The picture below particularly gives you a fair idea of what i was up against..look at the size of those things. Jordana says my arm looks like I have been trying to cut myself! Lol, they are a little torn to shreds but for all those lovely berries it was worth it.

I also fought against the biggest inch ants I have ever seen. I swore really loudly when I got bitten by one (I wish I had my camera out  just to show you how big it was. Their pincers really break the skin. It was very fortuitous that we had stopped at a bakery on the way to blackberry picking and they had apple cider vinegar for sale (with the Mother included)  and I actually bought some. So when I got bitten I was able to dab some on the bite and it took the sting out of it straight away..somebody up there loves me

Anyway back to the print. I thought I would make a pillow out of this one and the striped flowers could be the backing..or reversible pillow.

Below I was mucking around .. knid of making a wheel flower but I found placement diffiidult. It was hard to judge how far to place the next flower and allow for the spinning leaves of both patterns. It is also very time consuming!

We filled up that container - at least a couple of kilos worth and two other containers full of berries...berriicious!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Blue Stamp Mosaic

After yabbering about layers yesterday (and it being in the middle of the night, because once you start something and you just cant stop) I thought about the layers and how they relate to the painting i did a few years ago. I actually did two  in this theme. (the other is buried in the shed - I might revive it later today) Anyway I am blabbing cause I am tired but I thought I'd whip up a mosaic combining the two.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

New Stamp, Blue Stamp

Printing more stuff... being inspired by the lovely detailed print of  Ernest Haeckel
It kind of reminds me of trilobites, the shape and form. When repeated a little like pebbled layers..

 So I added an extra layer with one of my first stamps .. a seed head from the Magnolia stamps, kind of  similar in shape.

I kept on dropping my new stamp on my material because i haven't fastened a handle on it yet ( a big block of wood.).So lots of blobs of ink and miss prints. You get to see the best bits! Photography is great because you can edit out the unwanted bits. If I get time I might invest in some perspex so I can see where I am placing the stamp as well.

Printed Stuff - A Compilation

I was looking in my stamp box after finishing printing the blue denim flower and saw I was getting quite a collection of stamp blocks. This led me to start to look over previous prints that I've made and I then  decided to put them all together in a quick photographic display.
Printed stuff and what I've made with it...

Well that's tha, back to the printing Block!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Denim Blue Stamping

Don't you just love blue and white colourings?  It is always fresh, never goes out of fashion and suits everybody.
For a while now I have been wanting to print in navy blue but can never find the right coloured blue printing ink, so I decided to mix my own colour.
The risk of mixing your own colour is that you may just produce muck - which becomes very expensive in terms of ink and when you do produce something you like you will never be able to produce that colour in the exact same way how much do you mix??

Last night I decided it was time to carve a new stamp. I had been toying with the idea of producing something inspired by the Adelaide Festival Fringe artwork - By Ernest Haeckel, view here so see full display of this print.
Nature is very good at repetition and is very precise in its patterning.There is lots to inspire. I on the other hand am not so precise and would never dream of competing with mother nature, so have kept my design simple to make the carving a little simpler

By no means perfect, but in repetition is effective

Of course I ran out of ink and couldn't fill my length of after mixing another batch I decided to change the type of print and mix it up a little.
It's hard to see here but there is a difference in colour - the second mixing is darker ( you can see it in the last photo)

So that's my afternoon of printing.. no plans for the material yet.
Cheers Monique x

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Love Is In The Air

Lot Of Love!

Love To
People -


Monday, 10 February 2014

A Little Brag Time

The latest edition of Homespun magazine with Readers Showcase by yours truly. Always fun to see something you made in print (even if it is someone elses design). blogged about it here. Enough, apparently I have to cook dinner...the wolves are hungry!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Toddler Pinafore

The acquisition of some vintage style patterns has encouraged me to be creative with my hand printed fabrics. The beauty of toddler and baby patterns is that they use up less fabric and when you produce odd runs of fabric as I do it makes it easier to find a use for them (other than pouches)
Another Butterick pattern 248. This pattern had a total of three pieces. I only had bright pink bias binding and couldn't be bother making my own - it gives a nice bright pop of colour anyway. I like the fact that all the edges are neatly sewn beneath the bias - no zigzagging to neaten edges
Pretty good effort after night duty and 3 hours sleep.

Pelicans On the Pat

My drive to work in the morning usually takes me past the Patawalonga River. Going to work at 6am does not make it conducive to stopping and taking some photos of my fine feathered friends. On the way from night duty yesterday I thought I would plan and stop to visit these lolling birds. The most I have ever seen hanging around is 5 or 6 birds but today they were gathered all in a row just for me...actually I think it has something to do with the extreme hot weather and the fishing at sea might be a bit off or the fact that there is a lot of run off water flowing into the river this morning and maybe fishing was good for the birds here...who knows..obviously the birds do!

I was standing on a stairway leading to a locked gate and took photos through the grilled wire fencing

the water looks mucky but this pelican is lolling around near a rubbish grate and the water run off is churning the water. The pelican is hoping for a free feed