Monday, April 28, 2014

Living and crafting and ... ahem... blogging.

It appears that I need a few extra hours in each day if I'm to return to the routine of regular blogging. Lately, it seems that thematically coherent posts (with occasional deep ponderings) remain in my head.  By the time I get around to blogging, it's all lightning tours and photo overloads, covering a month's worth of everything-in-my-life-but-not-much-detail. 
I do hope to remedy this soon, because I'm very glad to have the resource of my blog as a record of not just my work, but the life that goes on around it.  I don't want to lose that.
...but for now, here's the latest overview and photo-overload.  There is no coherent theme.
Please meet the new addition to the family (above).  Dolly, as she's fondly known, continues to scare the livin' bejaysus out of me as I catch her in my peripheral vision, lurking in my studio.  I think we may eventually get used to each other.

As much as I love my little half-scale dummy, it's nice to work on projects that don't need scaling up. 
The ongoing couch re-upholstering project continues (and looks a little more advanced in the photo below than it actually is), but that's a coherent, single-themed blog post for another day.
Today's story is about a fleeting spot of impromptu late-night quilting and cushion-making, which were a part of an Easter-weekend lounge-room craft binge.  Along with major upholstery works, the rag rug came out again and saw a bit of action, too.  The cushions were an afterthought.  I think I was eating too much chocolate.
Like the quilt, the quilted cushion covers are all made with Australian-designed fabrics.
Having recently finished a long-haul knitting project (a garment currently being blocked and yet to be photographed), I felt the need for a quick-fix.  I crocheted a Boteh Scarf for my sister in chunky cotton yarn... ahem*... over the Easter weekend.   
*Definitely too much chocolate.

I've also been playing a bit more with some new Pattern-free garment ideas
My late-night attempt to take a selfie with the iPad (with rag-rug-in-progress in the background) tells me that I need to set up a tripod and camera one bright sunshiney day, and take some photos that can show neckline draping and shoulder detail. 
Behold, a good photo of my boots....
There is a segue here, relating to pattern-free and photos, but it is completely unintentional and I don't want to use it as a literary (blogary?) device.  It's just another example of how everything lately brings me back to the recent passing of one of the very special people in my life. 
Denise Nestor, who's photographic work graces the cover of many Australian music albums and CD's, made my work rock in my book YOU SEW GIRL. Since then she became a much-loved friend and a shining light of positivity.  
My grieving process has included much contemplation of all Denise taught me. What keeps coming back is that even when we're faced with what might seem insurmountable, there are still things to make us feel happy and still reasons to hope.  Above all that, I've been thinking of the effect that we have on the lives of other people.... that we never know how far-reaching the effects of our words or actions might be, so it's best if we stick to spreading the good stuff.  Denise spread the good stuff, and I will miss our long chats over hot chocolates or pots of tea.
So, I guess if there's a theme to be had here, its that these are the things that have brought small joys or had some meaning to me over the last month.  These snapshots show the little moments... an overview of the good bits.  I hope that in sharing them, I'm spreading a bit of crafty goodness.
And I'll be back (at some point) with more on the teaching work I've been doing lately, and possibly a bit of other news.


A Peppermint Penguin said...

There is no such thing as too much chocolate. only too much bad chocolate.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Kate said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, Nikki.

Annie said...

Sending my love out to you...lovely to see what you've been up to. I want to make that scarf now!

Katy Cameron said...

Maybe it's because Dolly's blue that she's scaring you - Diana's red, which seems mildly less alarming!

Sorry to hear about your friend though x

Fer said...

It's interesting how the loss of a friend can help to make us step back and take stock. To remember what's important in our lives.

I'm so sorry.

PS. Those boots rock.

Lucy said...

We arrived back yesterday from visiting family interstate and found your new bag bible in the letterbox!!! Woo hoo! Way to go, Nikki. It is fantastic, and I can't wait to get into my next project.

I should comment here that I really appreciate your generosity and the time you take in sharing your skills and knowledge through your blog, classes and books. It is inspirational and very much appreciated.

Condolences also on the loss of your friend. Sounds like you have a lot of wonderful memories.


Jenny from Ohjoh said...

Always nice to read your latest bloggy bits even if they are 'well spaced'.
Denise's photos in your book are great and it is lovely that her work lives on in houses all around the world.
May your memories make you smile.
Keep spreading your good stuff too xxx

Sally said...

Oh I love all the drapey stuff happening here in your picks. Sad to know that you're grieving, good that you've not lost all of her.

It IS all going to be good Nik.

Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

"What keeps coming back is that even when we're faced with what might seem insurmountable, there are still things to make us feel happy and still reasons to hope"

Such perfect words for me today. Thanks Nikki.

Looking forward to seeing you and celebrating with you on Wednesday.