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Are you a fan of shoes?

Do you like the idea of a collection of shoes that don’t actually cost you anything other than time and a bit of thread???

I have the answer for you – The new free downloadable Block of the Month from Ella and Skysie!  Just for the Shoeaholics (and stitchaholics) like me….

This is a peek at the first block:

Ella's Stilleto Bow block

Ella's Stilleto Bow block

Check out Ella’s Blog for details or go straight to her online shop and search for Downloads!


Wodonga Craft Alive has just finished and I am now back home.  This year the show moved to a new venue at Catholic College Wodonga.  It appears that all our visitors loved it – warm, friendly and an inviting atmosphere saw many people return every day to enjoy what the show had to offer.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to introduce some of our crafters of the future to the delights of making postcards and stitchery.

Stitch Me a Rainbow

Stitch Me a Rainbow

These two lovely young ladies are both 12 – they had a great time mastering the sewing machine and completing their postcards.  One plans to send hers to family in the UK and the other to a relative in Queensland. I’m sure their families will be delighted to receive these original cards from the girls.

Not all of us are skilled at sewing and there are many who are in fear and trembling when confronted by the electronic marvels that masquerade as sewing machines these days.  When Helen tried to sell the idea of making a card to her friend Doreen; Doreen’s first reaction was “I don’t do sewing machines!”

Helen prevailed and they each selected their favourite colours and sat down to make the cards.

Helen satin stitching the edge of her card

Helen satin stitching the edge of her card

From the instructor’s perspective, Doreen made the ideal student – she was not fazed by anything!  As soon as I had shown her how to do something, she was off!  For a supposed non-sewer, she was fantastic.

Doreen's first postcard.

Doreen's first postcard.

Helen has decided she will make more and took away some extra packs of supplies with her at the end of the day (she had more than one favorite colour – this way she didn’t miss out!)

Helen's pink card

Helen's pink card

It’s always great to catch up with students I have taught in the past and this year was no exception.  Another of our young crafters, Hannah, was back again this year and it was hand embroidery that she decided to try out this time. Helen and Patty also decided it was time for some hand stitching and out came the needles and thread.  The “Little Miss Dot” design seemed to be the favourite design on offer.little_miss_dot_2

My challenge for the weekend was how to help devise a method for teaching someone who was blind how to knit.  The query came from a lady at the show who had a blind friend she was teaching to knit – how could we help her to stop  dropping stitches?  That tested the grey matter a bit – but between us we devised a solution based on how she held the needles and using feel in your thumb to control and count the stitches as they came off the left hand needle. It seemed to work!

I have always been a fan of Hugs ‘n Kisses. I find Helen’s whimsical approach to design very appealing. She has just announced the launch of her new Block of the Month with a Christmas theme… its all in red so I am sure there will be some fans out there who will just love to get their hands on this.

Helen's new BOM

Helen's new BOM

Pop on over to Helen’s blog and enter into her giveaway for a chance to win the full set of patterns!

This weekend is the first of the Craft Alive shows for the season and it will be held in Griffith at the Yoogali Club.

As in previous years I will be conducting hands on workshops, but I have given the whole workshop programme a face lift.  No longer will I be out in the cold – you will find me in the main hall down near the stage area!

I am delighted to say I will be launching a range of preprinted stitcheries that have been commissioned especially for these shows from Ella of Ella and Skysie Designs.  These are not available from any other shops!


As mentioned in an earlier post, I have this “thing” about trees – more specifically, the wonderful surface textures of their trunks.  For some time now I have been collecting shots of various tree trunks.


I found this one in a car park in Adelaide… although the trunk itself had little variation in colour, the effect of the shadows cast made it all the more interesting.  From memory it was a stinker of a day and any bit of shade was a blessing!


There are some lovely old tree in Kings Park in Perth – this is the same tree I showed in an earlier post but this shot was taken in May – the other in September and the bark colouring is different.


Lovely knarly number – it reminded me of free form crochet at the time I saw it – I’m not sure how I would go about rendering this surface in thread… but I think it would need to be free machining overworked by hand stitching.


Another Kings Park specimen – just loved all the pleats and folds in this.  The length of the trunk was quite badly scarred horizontally; given the width of the band it would have appeared to have been inappropriately “tied” at some point in its life and the scar has remained as the tree aged.

I am still collecting…one day these pictures will form the basis of a series of exercises in thread play, that is, when I find a spare year or three to spend stitching!

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