Monday, November 30, 2009

Simon and Harvey's Garden and Catching up

Steve just reminded me that I had not up dated my blog since last week - where has the time gone?

I have been very focused and productive of late and am happy to report that When Dreams Flower is almost finished in design - it looks gorgeous - my part is finished and now I am on to more text for CE 26 - which is looking oh so good.

Simon had been nagging me - actually constantly nagging me to draw up designs for Harvey's Garden a children's design CD. He is just itching to get into childrens designs at present. Between him and Mr. Brooks, I had to give in - they both know how to motivate me into doing just what they want - which is not easy might I add!

When my children were small I used to draw toadstools, butterflies, snails, bees and butterflies in a magic garden and they would colour these drawings in - keeping them quiet in church, shopping centres or on rainy days - they would colour for hours. I made the plaque for Simon's room when he was around seven and he has kept it - now he is a man of 32 and still he remembers and treasures this. I had forgotten I made it - we never know how we effect our children until they are adults - how precious our time is with them when they are small.

Well I finally have drawn up all the creatures, the toadstools, clouds, sun, moon and flowers and we are stitching them out. Both Simon and I have such happy memories of our days spent together when he was young with me drawing and him colouring in my pictures as I told him stories of Sammie Snail - the lonely snail!
This is just a preview of our stitch outs - I intend to add to this picture with fabric pens - cannot wait and we will make the blocks into a quilt - eventually we want to make a quilt and I am going to write a story book to go with the quilt - this will be in my spare time of course, but I will do it. Can't you see all the possibilities for these little creatures.
Well this is keeping you up to date with our studio - Simon is also working on another quilt for his dad for Christmas, Robbie is making her mum a foot warmer for her new apartment - me I am glued to my computer. However on the week-end I did take time out to have lunch with my daughter and Peaches, and shop for shoes - two glorious pairs, and go to the movies with Sandy and Toni as well as working until 1:00am each night. Life is good and I am happy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week-end Pelican Party and where has the week gone?

I just looked and I have not up dated my blog since Saturday - shame on me. The week has just vanished before my eyes.

Harvey and I were invited to a Pelican Party on Friday last - the food was a bit 'fishy', and they ate so much but Harvey did manage to pat one and made a new friend. It was one big adventure.

Next there was the Pool Party, with the water spurting clown and sea gulls, life is just so exciting for our boy Harvey - Noo Noo is going backwards rather than forwards in age - or so Harvey thinks. There is no such thing as too much water to play in or chocolate to eat are stronge core beliefs of Harvey.

Well, my working week-end away from home is come and gone and deadlines are hard task masters. Well When Dreams Flower is almost finished - yippee and I am now working on CE No 26 - out February 2010. How are you all liking CE No 25 - our Christmas edition. Lots to create for Christmas and besides.

Here is a little teaser pic of an up coming new design CD coming out in 2010, the pillow will be in CE No 26.
Must sign off - been sitting at this computer for around 12 hours so it is time to let my feet de-swell from sitting so long - Honey is already in bed waiting for me. Night all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Toowoon Bay - my Perfect Retreat

This is our million dollar view from Robbie's and my beach retreat. It is around 50 miles north of Sydney and is nestled in a little bay, shelterd by a reef which is a marine park on one side and a doggy surf beach on the other - nothing better. Today is just glorious and we have been swimming - you have to be in the water or you will bake on the sand. We have to admit that we were both unceremoniously dumped - several times but it was worth it. How perfect is this view and how amazing is technology that I can be working her on my deck.
Here I sit on the deck with the fan, my computer, B'Berry and Kris Kristofferson in my ears and working. I can take my office with me, how good is technology? However how crazy am I, would you believe working on the week-end! This is just a little bit of paradise on earth, surely, God has perfection in mind when He created this paradise.

It is 38 degrees plus here today, we in Australia are getting a heat wave. It was 43.5 degrees when I was driving up here from Sydney on Friday.

Honey is asleep with the fan on her. We walked around 7:00am this morning, it was glorious on the beach and she flirted with the waves, chased sea gulls and just ran in circles with glee.

Thank you for those who have commented on this blog, it is great to hear from you.

I have heard from Windham that the fabric line is coming along nicely, as are our two new CD's, book and CE - you can tell we are all very busy and with Christmas and all coming up.

Harvey and Cleo came down on Friday afternoon and joined me at Toowoon Bay, we had a ball. Harvey had a swim in the surf, ate fish and chips - and Noo Noo spoiled him with a chocolate ice cream - I tried to have one too but he thought it more efficient eating time to have one in each hand - his ice cream in one and mine in the other - he literally inhaled them! At the end we were both covered in chocolate ice cream - Oh joy. Harvey patted a pelican, played in the kiddies pond and just stood under a clown spurting water, and then next the play gym - he slept all the way home and Noo Noo must confess she was a little tired also - but joyfully so, haven't done so much climbing in a long time!

Must get back to work - then perhaps a glass of wine in the cool of the evening on the beach! Sound great - what do you think?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Harvey, our Beach Boy

Well summer is here in down under - temperatures are in the forties and it is beach time. Our gorgeous Harvey is having his first summer at the beach - this is a big adventure for him. Now I am not sure but they tell us kelp is good for us - but Harvey perhaps you are taking on too much - Noo Noo is glad she doesn't have to change that diaper!
Harvey is now walking - or should I say running everywhere these days - he is such a joy and a real little chatterbox - one has to be careful what they say as it is quickly repeated.
I am off to the beach for the week-end - have so much to do but need the break and the weather is going to still be in the forties - I do love summer.
Our instructional video for When Dreams Flower is finished and looks really great - the cover for the book is finalised and looks great - that is for maybe the next blog, cannot give you everything at once.
I just want to leave you with a thought: Cancel your subscription to expectations you shouldn't read that sort of thing any longer!

Monday, November 16, 2009

And I thought it would be easy!!

Well I thought it would be easy to post a blog every day - Erica from Eric's in South Bend Indiana said I was crazy - now I know why. I have been meaning to write this for the last three days - but alas my spirit was willing but the flesh weak. I am feeling a little like my beautiful Mz Honey who is in the picture and went back to bed this morning after our early morning walk!
The week-end went by in a flash - gardening, then out for lunch with Sam and Peaches - left my cell/mobile phone at Sam's - it was like I had lost a limb - what does that say about me? A Blackberry is certainly addictive no wonder my daughter calls it a 'Crackberry'.
Sunday I had a real veg out day - with lovely long phone calls to Margaret (Moorehead) and Catherine (Heighton) two of my best friends - it was wonderful to catch up - it was just like we were out for coffee - over 10,000ks away! How I love technology - when it works for me.
Bought a new out door setting in around an hour and then horrid things like shopping - Sam dropped in with a picture of her new car - she is so excited and then casually asked if I had any fried rice - well I didn't but she went home with some for dinner and lunch the next day. What else are mothers for?
Today has been run, run, run - When Dreams Flower is really looking fabulous, Mickey from Windham Fabrics says the matching fabric is on track to be released at Spring Market and we are doing the Video (an instructional one that goes with the book) on Wednesday - so all is good.
Weather is very hot - wish I was at the beach but a commitment is a commitment - oh yes - wait till you see Peaches Purse designs - they are just out of this world.
Let me leave you with a quote: Winners expect to win in advance. Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be a winner!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holiday at Noosa

Well as you can see - here we are at Noosa Heads, north Queensland. Toni and I had a fabulousl time - not long enough though. We had this wonderful little Bali style bungalow situated in its own little rain forest an easy walk from the beach.
It was then morning walks along the beach, dinner out, afternoon cocktails and lots of shopping. We met up with friends, (surprised Sue and Mirri, they did not know I was coming up) and family and of course went to the movies along with 'the must do' shopping!
The weather was temperamental with four seasons in one day, but mostly humid. The water was around 24 degress but very choppy - except the last day - as always when the weather was perfect.
I went and saw my darling dad - he is just so beautiful and enjoyed an evening out with my sister Sue and nephew Christopher.
Today was full swing back to work so much to catch up on - and in case you think I did not take my Blackberry with me you are mistaken - Jo (my graphic designer) and I have half finished designing When Dreams Flower it is looking beautiful - all via B'Berry.
Robbie and Simon are getting ready for our Video recording day next week - yes we are including a Free instructional video with When Dreams Flower along with other great things.
We are also working on three need design CD's wait till you see Peaches Purse - it is amazing you will love it - something totally new and different. I also finished drawing the designs for Harvey's Garden!
Well my girlfriend Sandy is busy upstairs keeping three machines going - so had better run off and check on her

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Faux Knitting Fringed Patchwork Pillow

How do you like Margaret Moorehead's, beautiful pillow? Margaret is my only International Accredited teacher and is a magic presenter and teacher. She gave this pillow to me when I visited her earlier on this year it is really amazing.

Now I had told Margie about our new Faux Knitting techniques and she immediately set about making this fabulous little pillow - which she is offering as a class. I want you to look closely and you will see all the techniques she has used. The fabulous fringe around the edge of the pillow is made using our Magic Tassel and Fringe maker, the embroidery designs are from Lottie's Poppies and the patchwork is make up of decorative stitching blocks and Faux Knitting blocks all backed with Quilt Magic the ultimate lightweight fusible batting- how cool is this? And yes Quilt Magic is back in stock whoopee!

The embroidery designs are not embroidered directly onto the pillow, rather stitched out over a layer of nylon organza and Cutaway Magic and then heat-cut around using our Magic Heat Cutting tool (while the embroidery is still in the hoop) over a tile. The embroidery is now free standing, soft and pliable (without washing out stabilizer) and can be stitched onto any home dec item such as this pillow using Invisa sheer thread and a tiny stipple-stitch to sew around the edge of the embroidery. If you are really smart you can also glue such Embroidered Decoupage motifs in place using Magic Tac permanent fabric glue (which is washable/dry cleanable) and dries really fast.

Now can't you see shoes, handbags, hats, lampshades etc all embellished in this way - fast, easy and fun. You may also choose to embroider your designs over a layer of nylon organza sandwiched between two layers of Dissolve Magic, heat cut as mentioned above and then wash the stabilizer from the design and once again you have a fabulous free standing Jenny Haskins' design that you can now be creative with on any item - be it a quilt, pillow, garment, frame, mirror - the list is endless - what till you see what Kerrie Hay from Bernina Australia does with this technique in our February issue of Creative Expressions.

Thank you Margaret for allowing us to share your creativity.

If you want more information on the Embroidered Decoupage or the Fringing technique plus heaps more creative embellishment ideas, then you can find them in Jenny's Heritage book a must for any embroiderer. You can purchase all the products mentioned above in Australia: and the US: and email Margaret: for her class schedule.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Melbourne Cup - 2009

Melbourne Cup (a little like the Kentucky Derby for the US) is an Australian institution - our nation stands still for the 3 minute running of this horse race. The city of Melbourne actually has a holiday for this occasion.

The rest of Australia, gets dressed up to the 'nines' with hats, dresses and shoes all matching, and go either to the horse races in that town or city or go out for lunch.

This year Simon, Laurie (his father), Robbie and I went out for lunch at the Euro Lounge in Castle Hill - we found out the Mayor of Castle Hill now owns this restaurant so he was present also. It was a glamours occasion with all the ladies wearing hats and the waiters wearing jockey outfits, with sweeps and competitions. The four course meal was fabulous as was the champagne along with coffee and truffles.

We had a great day out and Robbie and I enjoyed getting dressed up - which we love to do for any reason or no particular one.

No we did not back the winner but Robbie's husband John did - way to go John, (but he could have shared his secret with us)!

Today is reality day so now back to editing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cairns, Kay and Sandra

Well we arrived at Cairns - not at all what we expected, it is built on the coast surrounded by Mangrove swamp with hills at the back. Arriving, at Cairns we drove to the resort of Palm Cove, around a 25 minute drive north. Palm Cove is a beautiful and filled with tourists from around the world. For my overseas readers Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, which one reaches by boat, and does have crystal clear 25 degree water and amazing coral and fish.

This was an adventure for Simon and I as neither of us had previously been to Cairns before. Upon arriving we stripped off our travel gear and changed as the climate is tropical 30 degrees, hot and humid. We took in the sights walking along the beach, did the boutiques and walked to the end of the jetty. This is me on the end of the jetty - and yes the water was that colour do to the wind and the choppy seas.

The most beautiful and interesting thing to me (other than the 'Beware of the Crocodiles' signs) were the spectacular paper bark/teatree gums which dated back to prior Captain Cook days (1770) and are over 200 years old - unbelievable and so beautiful. The resorts are built around the trees with our accommodation having two glorious trees growing up the middle of it.

Well here we all are at Kay's Fabrics Cairns for the Far North Queensland Machine Embroidery and Quilting Retreat.

To the left is Lizzy Allen, our Jenny Haskins' Accredited Tutor in Australia, who promotes our products and teaches classes, as well as working all the major shows. She joined us on stage as well as teaching classes. We always have a great time together.

On the right are Simon, Kay, Me and Sandra (Kay's daughter) - Sandra being the MD of Kay's Fabrics. This photo was taken after the 'show' (Simon and my presentation) was over and we all heaved a sigh of relief. With over 150 attendees at the week-end of demonstrations and presentations, it is safe to say it was a wonderful success.

There were were many hours of prior preparation and planning for this machine embroidery and quilting event, with Sandra and Kay's family, friends and customers volunteering to help; the end result was amazing and worth all the effort.

Simon and I were made to feel right at home by Kay, Sandra and their family (especially Kay's girls, who both have dibs on the dress I am wearing in the photos). Creative machine artists,who attended, travelled from as far afield as Newcastle, NSW, Darwin NT, northern Queensland towns as well as from Cairns (and the out lying areas). We all had a ball!

By the way the glorious dress that I am wearing was decorated by Ruth Osborn, a friend and magic artist from Queensland. I commissioned her to decorate this skirt and top (which were given to me) and she amazingly transformed a size 20 skirt into a size 8 and created my Titania queen of the fairies dress. Thank you Ruth, I do feel like a fairy queen when I wear it and it fits perfectly. The Titania dress will be featured in our up coming book When Dreams Flower.

Congratulations Sandra, Kay and families - you did a fabulous job and we loved being part of it.

Today is Melbourne cup day in Australia and tomorrow I will tell you about our day.