Thursday, November 27, 2014


It's been some weeks since I posted on my blog and I have been intending to for weeks now , but the reality is that my eldest daughter and youngest daughter ( different houses) both moved house on the same weekend( last weekend). As I have a lot of my things stored at my eldest daughters' house that has also meant moving almost my entire household goods yet again in less than 12 months.

To say I am exhausted is an understatement, as I got off the plane from France at 11 pm on a Wednesday night and flew to Adelaide early the next morning to  supervise the Sentinelle exhibition which has been hung by the South Australian Embroiderers Guild. They did a great job and many thanks! Then straight home to packing and more packing.

I have also decided to rent a studio space at Appleton Street Art Studios in Richmond, because I was feeling well and truly fragged having my studio equipment here there an everywhere and I could not think straight. So I have also been setting up the studio there and hope to be working steadily from this weekend onwards, because if all our stuff is not moved by then, I will burst! I will also have space in my studio to do small classes for 2-3 people or even one- let me know if you are interested. The other  really good thing that happened whilst I was away is that they have decided to dedicate a Gallery space and coffee nook drop in at the studios- and it is looking great. Hopefully it will draw more art collectors even of the textile kind!

Meanwhile part of the reason I haven't posted sooner is there is a lot of things going  on with the book which have been complicated by my being away , but I have to earn a living  so it's half a dozen of one and half a dozen of another. Here is part of the update I put on Pozible yesterday:

We are waiting with bated breath for the book , but there have been one of two delays which has set our schedule back a week or two and brings us into a period when Australian customs is very busy with Christmas processing- we are hopeful that things will process smoothly and quickly but I have to be realistic and also entertain the thought that it will go slowly in which case the book will be delayed from our projected publishing date. We are very sorry about this , but with me being overseas and the printer being overseas , some things took longer than expected, and even in this day of instant communication some things have to be actually read and done in the flesh.

So it looks as if our schedule will be pushed back to early January delivery ( we would also like to avoid the Christmas mailing period and would prefer to send after Christmas simply because the mail service gets overrun at this time of year and we hope you will understand)

We are very sorry about this, but sometimes things happen which cannot strictly be controlled. We will let you know as soon as the book is on Australian shores and the new delivery date.

I am really very sorry about this uncertainty and I am still hoping it will all be as we had hoped, but I also have to be realistic.We know that the  printer is reliable as they also print books for Quilt Mania so the book will get here but it's simply a question of when.

 I have finally finished stitching the little Rabbit piece as part of the Medieval Project. These panels are available to buy, just follow the link, and hopefully I will have made a new linocut in the next few days  if I can find time to sit and work for a couple of hours which will be the last of this series for the medieval project....

The panel not completely finished- some of the background seed stitching is not finished. Does the stitching make a difference?

 This is the panel  finished. I use very simple stitches only, things like back stitch and chain stitch and colonial knots. Some of my greens aren't entirely satisfactory but I did not have the full array of greens to hand because much of it is still packed away or I did not take it with me whilst travelling.

The bottom two photos are detail photos showing the simplicity of the stitches. I am still thinking about what I shall do around the edge because the pages are looking a little like illuminated texts, an unexpected but pleasant result!

I was also invited to be part of Blog Hop Around the World and was supposed to post last Monday- I will post this coming Monday and my apologies to Alicia Merret who invited me , for my lateness, but when I said yes I wasn't expecting to be moving house. So I will try and do an extra special post this Monday!

There has also been another ongoing issue, regarding my block of land which is really starting to impact.There are many people affected in the same way as I am but I can find no action groups of lobby groups to get something happening about this. It affects most vacant properties in Water Catchment areas in Victoria- some people don't even know they are affected because their councils have not told them.Just scroll through, if this kind of thing bores you however it is part of life's little curlies that affects artistic output and inspiration...but shit happens

 I have a piece of  land which is situated in the Gellibrand township , and which was my share of the property divorce settlement in 2009 , zoned residential. It is affected by legislation which  came  into place in 2012- regarding Potable water in water catchment areas. In essence I do not have an issue with the legislation but I do have an issue with  Colac Otway Shires handling of the situation, and the short sightedness in  the state governments implementation of it  and the effect the implementation would have on small holding owners. The legislation requires  that Colac Otway Shire come up with a plan for waste water disposal in the township. I only found out about this legislation and the effect on my property earlier this year when the real estate agent emailed me to ask if it affected my land because he had an interested buyer? "What?" I have gone?? I had no idea( I have been trying to sell this land since 2011). So on contacting all the necessary authorities, my land is affected and I was advised by the overriding authority that they will not allow any building on land less than 40 hectares in areas affected by the legislation( my land is half an hectare). I  sent a letter to Colac Otway Shire , asking about the effect of the legislation and asking them to review my rates until they put in place the aforesaid plan( at the moment my property is being rated on a value much too high given the effect of the legislation, which means the property cannot be built on). They suggested I apply for a Building Permit ( which is on the top rung of  permit costs because of the high rating value  on the property) despite the fact that I have a letter on file to say that all permits must be referred to the overriding authority which will not issue permits unless there is a  Waste Water Management plan in place- and ergo there has not been one made by Colac Otway Shire- not since the new legislation came into place. They also say their rates valuation is based on current valuations of property sales in the area,  but on some investigation I have found out that not a single vacant land property has sold in the township since 2010. There has been a number of letters back and forth but still I am in the position that Colac Otway Shire say ,apply for a Building Permit and see what happens.... I don't want to build on this land , I don't have the money to spend to apply for a permit  which given the correspondence on my file will result in a "no" answer. I want to sell it so I can get on with my life, but I do want to be able to tell a prospective buyer that they can apply for a building permit with a hope of success. Colac Otway Shire now say they  hope to have a Waste Management Plan in place mid next year, but have only just appointed consultants to do this, despite having funding provided by the State Government as early as early 2013- nearly two years ago. The least council could do is grant a moratorium on rates until they bring into  place a Waste Water Management plan ( and there will still not be any guarantee that they will allow new builds)

Meanwhile I have to sit and wait and wait and pay high  rates , which were also increased for this new financial year. I cannot purchase a new property  until I sell this property, and well real estate prices are escalating at a rate of knots-any urban areas are now beyond my means. Apart from going to the press I think I have explored most avenues available to me and would be glad if anyone could make another suggestion??

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Signed Off on the Book Proofs

Well it has been extremely busy the last few weeks, with judging and exhibiting at the Open European Quilt Championships and then heading to the South of France to the  village of Moux to teach at  Canet d'Aude and then back to Charentes next week to teach at Jane Rollason's house before heading home. Then straight on to Adelaide where the Sentinelles will be shown at the Quilt & Craft Fair in Adelaide. Although I won't get there until the Friday the 14th of November unfortunately.

 Some of the wonderful work students did on Thursday working with lutradur at Canet d'Aude- such a variety of imagery!

An old wooden door and skeleton climber plant in an old stone wall, encountered on a morning walk in Moux.

Carcasonne , which I finally visited after many years of driving past it, it was lovely, but so many tourist shops and restaurants and cafes- I like the austerity of Crac de Chevaliers which was built in the same period.

There is a little Chapel in the village of Moux where my  friends Margo and Trevor Bimler are renovating their house so that they can establish a Chambres d'Hotes in hopefully the near future. Right behind the altar was this little stone alcove with a lovely urn. Angels guard either side of the altar, and there was a madonna and babe behind bars- was she valuable as other statues were not behind bars?

Yesterday we visited Le Somail- which has the best second hand bookshop I have encountered- so many wonderful old books. le Somail is on the Canal du Midi and we enjoyed a glass of wine in the lovely late autumnal sun. Of course i found a book that had to  come back with me.

Meanwhile the final proofs for the book Musing in Textile: France  came and we have signed off on those, so now the wait for the book  to come and then all the customs issues of getting them into Australia- more learning curve stuff. And printing and preparing all the gifts we promised to accompany your books that you ordered.

We can also now say that  if you would like to pre-order the book you can by contacting me. If you pre-order prior to Christmas we will add in a small textile gift. The  price of the book will be  $49.95 plus postage which will vary depending on where you are. Email me if you are interested in pre-ordering.

The on-line linocutting class commences tomorrow but if you were interested in still joining it is still possible. As you work through the exercises at your own pace. Just let me know.The cost is $60AuS

And finally some progress on the new panel for the Medieval project- embroidering is moving along slowly- finding the time is the issue. The panels are for sale in a range of colours!