Thursday, April 28, 2011

What I Did at Remarkable Symposium - Queenstown

Derrick and I flew to Christchurch on the Saturday before Symposium started and stayed 2 nights at Lake Tekapo. They had their first snowfall of the season (very light) while we were there so I got some great light in the photos. This one is a favourite, and is the monument to the hardworking sheep dogs of the MacKenzie Basin:
My first day at Symposium was as an angel for Noeline Johnson - her class was doing Tumbling Boxes. Now this is not something I would choose to do, but it was interesting watching everyone else - I think I would enjoy just 're-shaping' the square and colouring it in on paper. Too hard for my brain to figure it out. Nevertheless most participants left after 2 days with a block finished.
Wednesday I had a class with Larkin Van Horn doing beaded buttons and edges. Now my button isn't beautifully designed as some people did, but I had fun and learned how to read the beading patterns, and decided it wasn't as hard as I thought!
Here are some of the class finished buttons:

On the Thursday I was an angel for Gail Lawther's Celtic Knot class - I did learn 2 little tips, but as I have already made a couple of bed cushions with self-made bias into celtic knots there wasn't a lot to do. Friday I 'helped' at Barbara Weeks' Mosaic on Fabric class - helped in that I bought coffees and needles for some of the ladies. This was an interesting technique class which I was allowed to participate in, in a small way. I'd like to try this, perhaps with a photo taken over this holiday.
On the last day, I was back with Gail Lawther, this time she was teaching a Rose Window class. Almost every participant in this class went home with a completed wall hanging - well some had quilted and had only the binding to do. Gail is a good tutor, visiting everyone many times during the day, and giving lots of advice.
Next Symposium, I think I'll just 'angel' for a couple of days, because it is very tiring being on your feet, or just sitting waiting for someone to ask for assistance - even unpicking is better than nothing!

Symposium Challenges Revealed

We are back in the wintery north after 10 days in Central Otago - where the weather was divine, most days having beautiful blue skies and only a little rain during one lunchtime break.
I can now post photos of my competition entries - these were for the ANZAC challenge - I didn't win anything and being totally unbiased, reckon that they were just as good as the 2 winners! They all just fit within the 1m x 600mm size restrictions.
The first one is In Flanders' Fields, the poppies are made from fabric inked cotton batting which are hand stitched onto the quilted background. The centres are buttons and beads with stitched stamens. This is a very vibrant quilt!
In Flanders' Fields

This quilt is called The Nation's Most Gallant Sons and has printed onto handitowels each of New Zealand's Victoria Cross winners. Willy Apiata, who is our only surviving winner, has been worked in fabric and the quilting lines of his face are like a Maori tattoo.
The Nation's Most Gallant Sons

Last Post
Last Post I made really quickly - it is thin strips of fabric stitched on top of a piece that varies in colour from dark through to light - I wanted it to look like the dawn - the threads of fabric were to convey how cold it can be, and eerie with the Last Post being played as the flag is lowered. The bugler is intentionally small in comparison - he is not the focal point because often you just hear the music not see the player.
Finally, there is Lest We Forget. This one took me ages to complete and I almost didn't have it finished enough in time for photographing. It represents the war memorials you will find in every city and town throughout New Zealand - in some places the Roll of Honour list most of the men from the district - how incredibly sad that brothers and cousins were placed in the same unit and as a consequence whole lines of families were destroyed.
Lest We Forget

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anzac Day - We Will Remember Them

This year Anzac Day falls on Easter Monday - this is a once in 88 year's occurrence. We will be in Queenstown for the Remarkable Symposium and have decided to attend the Dawn Service in Wanaka. I will wear my Grandpop's medals for the first time (he received them for service in World War 1) - actually I don't think they have been worn for over 40 years! Derrick has got new ribbon for me and I had quite a job in getting the oxidation off the Victory Medal (it is brass). The other medal is silver and lemon juice worked very well for that.
The Victory Medal is the one with the rainbow ribbon and the British War Medal has the gold center with outer blue stripes. Mostly people show it with the reverse view, but we have checked and the King's head is the obverse view.
So I have made some Anzac biscuits - these are for Judy in Chicago. Judy, they are very nice, with a slight chewy center. You need to enjoy these with a good cuppa.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Catch-up

Last weekend New Zealanders put their clocks back an hour, and can you believe it? Winter has started already! Well, OK, we've had a few days with cooler temperatures, lots of rain and grey cloudy skies, so it is probably just autumn.
On Monday evening I had the lambs shorn. The poor little dears, firstly they were rounded up with a dog, onto a trailer with a crate and then left in a strange place. Then a man with a noisy machine grabs them and takes all their wool off! It was such a cold evening, they spent the night 'inside' the shearing shed.
Here's my lil' Beauty five days after shearing (she's so little compared to the others):
Here are some photos I've taken this week while out on my walks:
Underside of toadstool and bug
New family

Enjoy the textures and colours!