Out and About – Eumundi Markets

30 12 2015

If you are a regular follower of mine, you probably know that I am having some time off for the Christmas break.  We are on the Sunshine Coast, Qld and have been having a lovely time.

Today, we headed out to Eumundi for the Markets there. Now, many would have suggested that this is a complete act of insanity due to the crowds expected on probably one of the busiest market days of the year. And it probably was, but I thought it worth the time and effort.

The traffic, both foot and road was horrendous.




The Eumundi markets began in 1979 and it would have only been a year or two after that I visited as a child. A lot has changed in that time, but a lot was as I remembered it. There is no doubt the size is different. When I was there last, probably in around 1985, the whole market was on the pavements of the Main Street. However the feel of the market and the general mix of stall holders felt the same today despite being enormously bigger than I last saw.

If you want to see the website for the “original” market, go here:  http://www.eumundimarkets.com.au

There now is both the Original Market and about four other market areas, all maintaining the theme of hand made or grown.  In some areas you can find mass produced goods, but these remain in the minority.  There is also a lot of wholistic health products, loads of massage and reflexology, more palm or tarot readings than I have ever seen in one place and a simply huge array of food; fresh home produce and cooked food from around the globe.












I want that Paella pan!


The Tibetan Momos were delicious.

My favourite traders were in one of the newer areas, the Eumundi Square.  Here are some photos of them.



All in all, a nice trip despite the crowds.




Adventure West! 2015

3 10 2014

I will be bringing two terrific International tutors to Western Australia between 27th February and 8th March 2015.  If there is demand and support for the workshops, we will be running 8 classes across three different locations:  Perth, Margaret River and Albany.  The tutors are Patt Blair from the US (www.pattsart.com) and Alysn Midgelow Marsden from UK/NZ (www.alysnsburntofferings.blogspot.com.au).

To book your place, go to this link:  http://tinyurl.com/okrnxaz or



Here are the details of the Patt’s classes:

Painting with Tsukineko Inks (being run in Perth on 27th Feb and Albany on 7th March.

Patt tigers_eyes

Description:  You will be amazed at what you can create using these flexible and easy-to-use pigment inks made by Tsukineko of Japan. These permanent inks are used to enhance commercial fabrics or to create an original art piece painted on clean white fabric.

Special fiber stick applicators make painting much simpler than traditional brushing techniques. Students are delightfully amazed and proud of their creations.

Paint a landscape, still life, or animal using TSUKINEKO Fabric Inks and special stick applicators. Bring your own artwork or choose from Patt’s drawings. You’ll love these inks.. They are surprisingly easy to use… It’s like crayons for grown ups.!


Media Mixer (being run in Perth 28th Mar and Albany 8 Mar).

media mixer

Description:  Can you believe this little quilt top is created using fabric, napkin and kleenex tissues, stamps ,stencils, marking pens and pencils. You will design your own whimsical version of what you chose to adhere to fabric. All will be beautiful. I will bring several types of napkins, tissues, and stamps for you to play with but I encourage you bring something you love too. You’ll chose items, lay them around on your fabric piece ’til you are ‘happy’, then adhere them to your art quilt top with my instruction.


Fun Faces with Tsukineko Inks (being run in Perth 1st Mar)

Patt faces

Description:  I’ll bring to class an assortment of face and torso shapes/eye/nose/mouth/hair shapes. You can mix and match into a collaged drawing to be used as a basis for a painted with ink caricature of yourself or a friend. Your result can be finished as part of a quilt, wall hanging, placemat,etc. You will have a ball!


Fusing to be Free (Margaret River 3rd Mar)


Can’t fuse because the quilt top becomes stiff or the edges lift? No worries! This clever fabric fusing method avoids both problems and will have you fusing and designing original work almost without effort. Its fun and freeing… kinda like grown up play time! You’ll be proud of your newly enhanced quilt top. No machine required, really!


Painting a Portrait Quilt (Margaret River 4th Mar)


This class is for anyone who wishes to learn the basic elements of portraits on fabric, and as importantly, capture an image of family or friend (2 or 4-legged ) in an engaging art medium using textiles and ink. Come to class with a tracing /drawing of your family or friend ( as outlined in pictures via http://pattsdrawingmethod.blogspot.com.au/), and you’ll leave with a portrait of which you’ll be proud.


Rubbings and Beyond (Margaret River 5th Mar)

bumble bee

Start by rubbing a textural pattern onto your fabric, use a range of paints, markers and more and then embellish layers to create a fabulous art piece.


Now here are Alysn’s classes:

Crown Jewels Gone Mad (being run in Perth 27th Feb and Albany 8th Mar)

AMM Crown Jewels Gone Mad

Description:  Exploit the textured surfaces which can be developed by fusing and melting the Angelina fabric.
Really go for it with bright, lustrous, over the top combinations of Angelina fibre, wires, beads, soldering, burning, hand and machine stitch to develop a wild embroidery by layering and stitching.


Golden Romance (being run in Perth 28th Feb)


Create a sampler collage which introduces the different forms of gilding we can use to apply onto textile backgrounds and stitch over, it throws in a little goldwork, then updates and twists the techniques to produce a sensual, subtle wall panel. The traditional is mixed with a couple of my favourite surfaces to stitch into which are waxed papers and felt from silk cocoon strippings. The stitchery is worked in delicate machine embroidery using viscose embroidery threads for their soft, silky sheen. If you are a hand stitcher, go back to traditional long and short stitch with floss silks, you will achieve wonders! (And it doesn’t have to be gold or traditional!)
Handmade Books – Make a Book without the Bind.  (being run in Perth 1st Mar and Albany 7th Mar)
Description:  Have fun with a contemporary approach to bookbinding. Make your own special book which is also a work of art using the piano hinge style book binding giving a modern, flexible format.  Expandable, interchangeable pages are held in place with a clever technique using kebab sticks. The spine creates room for creating exciting sketch books and sample storage, or to use as a special occasion memory book with photos, writing, and memorabilia.  Best of all, there is (almost) no measuring!
Elemental Layers (being run in Margaret River 3rd Mar)

AMM Elemental Layers

Description:  Use silk, linen and flax fibres to create a textured surface, further developed using felt and stitch (hand and/or machine) which will then be treated with layers of paint, patina, verdigris and gilding to create a surface reminiscent of ancient bas relief carving or natural weathered and gnarled features.
Richly Stitched (being held in Margaret River 4th Mar)
AMM Richly Stitched
Description:  Velvet and metal are such perfect partners! In this workshop you will use machine stitching to create a rich, luscious, embroidered panel on velvet using metal and metal fabrics enhanced with a smattering of beads.
Mixed Media Layers (being run in Margaret River 5th Mar)
Description:  Use an exciting mixture of different paints, resists, glazes, and stamps. Embellish with embossing powders to create densely layered and textured background fabrics for stitching and beading later. Expect to get messy and finish the workshop with plenty of experimental surfaces and a piece underway.

I love trees

26 04 2013

Trees are one of my all time favourite things. I take photos of them for a vast range of reasons, but often just because I like them. I love the enormous range of shapes, colours and most importantly textures you get from trees. While I was in Melbourne for AQC, I visited a few places sight seeing with my overseas guest/s. Here are some of my favourite photos.













This last photo was taken at the McClelland Sculpture Garden at Langwarrin.  The trees frame a sculpture by Christopher Langton called Away with the Fairies

AQC week proves the world is full of possibility!

18 04 2011

We are home after almost a week away at AQC.  What a fantastic week we had.  The show was very good, we met lots of old friends and made some very special new ones.  The atmosphere at AQC is unlike any other show.  Being quilting only, the crowd is different to the Quilt and Craft Shows.  The venue adds a dignity and gravitas in itself and the quality of the tutors is always sensational.  The event runs like clock work despite having many, many moving parts.

AQC is as much a show as an event.  I have gone to every cocktail party and gala dinner since inception and this year was no different.  The gala dinner was the usual extravaganza with stacks of entertaining and most people dressed to the nines.  On Friday night I went out and bought a new dress and shoes.  I only went to one shop for both, so my options were limited, but Glenn and I had a great night.  As we walked in, we met up with Jane Davila and Anna Williams, two of the international tutors.  I thought they might be sick of us by then, but they joined us for dinner and we then joined five lovely ladies from Sydney.  It was really pleasant and relaxed.  I only took two photos, but here they are:

Anna, Jane and

Our dinner companions with the Bernina sun glasses. Bernina sponsor the dinner

 This week provided four amazing new opportunities for me.  One I was offered before and thought I had lost; one that I have been chasing for a while; one that is an extension of previous opportunities and one that came purely out of extending the hand of friendship to a stranger who is now a friend.  A big week in all possible ways.  Now I just have to free up some time to make the most of these.

Imagine what I found when I drove around Alice Springs

15 01 2011

FABRIC!  So, I had to go back on my way to the airport and buy some.  I bought these from Dianne at the Aboriginal Fabric Gallery.  She has a website on www.aboriginalfabrics.com.au

It just seemed the right thing to do.  I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but I liked the colours and when surrounded by indigenous culture and the very special country that the Central Dessert is, bringing some thing home was irresistable.

The terrain was amazingly green.  The locals all commented on how unusual it was for it to be that cool (30+degrees C) and that green.  This hill reminded me of one not far from where I lived as a girl.  That is minus the car park, the trees and the green-ness

They have, like most of the rest of the country, had very high rainfall this year.  So much so that there was water in the Todd River.  This might not seem odd to some readers, but trust me, this is a river in name alone and it generally only runs it flood conditions.  So I had to take a photo of that too. 

you might have to look hard, but the Todd River was over the road at the river crossing.

If you want to see what the River usually looks like, go to this link to see the Henley on the Todd Regatta –  not your usual type of boat race!  http://www.henleyontodd.com.au/

Festival is in full swing. This is a bit long.

5 11 2010


yesterday was a lovely interlude between two very frenetic shows.  I took part in the Quilt Shop tour yesterday which took in two quilt shops, the amazing George Ranch and a contemporary art and craft space which provides small studios to budding artists.

The quilt shops were interesting.  I expected something amazing and was a little disappointed.  Apart from the Haloween decorations and the accents, there was very little difference between the two shops and any reasonably mid sized shop we have at home.  They were both lovely shops with an amazing array of fabric, a good range of notions, threads and patterns and one had an amazing class room.  I went on this tour to see what the US stores were doing differently to us, but the answer is really not much.  On one level, I was not surprised by that as I have long believed that in Australia we hold our own if not lead the way in many things and it was good to reinforce that.  I guess it is an element of the colonial cringe.  We assume others do what we do better, but this is simply not the case.  Lets face it, Australians have been taking out top awards in Houston and Paduchah for years, so why wouldn’t our shops also shine.  It is good to know and as someone working in the retail quilt world, something to be proud of.  Needless to say, I bought a very small amount of fabric.  At the first shop, I bought a yard of a green/brown to go into a quilt I am making for a family member.  At the second, I bought three smaller pieces, on pure whim, that I may make into a vest or shirt for me.  I will take photos and upload them when I get home as I have packed my bags ready to fly home tomorrow, QANTAS flights allowing.

The trip to the George Ranch was interesting.  It is, like many similar Texas ranches, enormous.  It has cattle, oil, gas, electricity generation, cotton and other crops and, unlike other similar ranches, a dedicated historical education program.  The Georges, now deceased, were the last of four generations that farmed/grazed this land which was granted to them by the then Texas Government.  The family has a very colourful history from there, but they struggled to have their family members live longer than to 30.  As such, amidst great tragedy, the last Mr and Mrs George, died without an heir.  So, faced with this position in their latter years, they set up a trust to administer the vast fortune for predominantly educational reasons.

Statues of Mr and Mrs George in front of the MOST amazing tree house

What the trust then did, was take the four family homes or similar, renovate them and set up an historic village of sorts, which teaches school students and the odd tourist about Texan history.  It is an interesting place.

They feed us a traditional Texas BBQ.  It was a bit devoid of vegetables, but really quite nice in a Texan sort of way.  I did not take the sauce or the ice cream for dessert.  It was all a bit brown.

The Contemporary art space was nice.  I liked that they were providing space for young artists to create.  A bit like the old Meat Market in Melbourne used to do before it controversially shut down with no notice.  This is something we could certainly learn from in Australia.

Last night, we had the VIP preview of the show.  If you had enrolled in classes or prepurchased tickets for the week or something else, you got into the show before the public.  I took the opportunity to go to the Quilt University as I did not think I would get in when the full public entrants were there.  I got into three sessions, but was happy to only do one.  It was fun and I can now tick the box to say I have attended.  I would love to set something up like this with the hype and excitement that goes with it at the shows at home.  Something to think about.  Again, one of the things I learnt is that we are doing everything that is cutting edge here.  In fact, some of it I have been doing for three to five years.  This is great to know.  I feel comfortable that the path I am on is good and I am well placed to bring mixed media, surface design, art quilt ideas to all of you, my fabulous customers.  It has been a great reinforcing exercise for me, forcing me to dismiss self doubt and under confidence.

Today, I hit the Festival floor with a vengence.  My main aim was to see how the US traders set up, marketted, promoted and displayed their stock.  It was interesting and again reinforced some of the things Glenn and I have planned for next year.  Not that I am ever going to be cutting thousands of fat quarters again, but I was very impressed by the presentation of one fabric shop that had presentation nailed.  Here is their stand, or at least one part of it:

Customers were queueing with fabric right up their arms to buy this.  Great fabric, well presented and they deserved the success they clearly got today.

I resisted buying fabric at this stand, and it was hard to resist, but I have bought some fabric today for a quilt I am making for my niece.  It is six months overdue, but I think she will forgive me.  Here is the fabric I bought today.

Again, very well presented.  I bought a couple of other things, mostly examples of products I want to carry that I did not see at Market.  That way, when I get home, I can follow up as I get time and money.

I have packed my bag now and am about to have dinner, a shower and a relatively early night.  I will have four or five hours at Festival tomorrow to finalise everything and then head off to the airport for the long trip home.  Hopefully QANTAS will have sorted out their aircraft problem by the time I get to LA and I will be home Sunday.  I will try to post from the QANTAS Club tomorrow night, assuming I have anything to say. 

If you have access to Facebook, don’t forget that I have a Unique Stitching page there.  I have loaded more photos in albums on Facebook, so visit or “like” the page and you will get updates from there too.

Today’s Class – Fabric, Stitch, Collage with Lynda Faires

3 11 2010

I had a great time today.  Some of you will know that I have been ‘collaging’ for some time and really enjoy it both as a small showcase for a range of techniques and for a way to achieve and complete projects which can then be used for other purposes such as sewn into bigger projects.

The class today was fabulous fun.  There were no ‘new’ techniques as such, but I learnt stuff and had fun and got to play in an unrestrained, free and supported manner.  It was lovely.  My big hint out of the class and a technique I will be using a lot from here on in is free motion zig zag.  Try it.  The pattern you get when you go sideways is to die for.  Truely.

I have loaded a few photos on my facebook page, but here are the critical ones.

Here is Lynda:

Here is an applique collage I completed:

And here is one where we trapped stuff behind tulle and stitched over the top:

I had a class yesterday but did not take the camera and when the day ended, I got the shuttle bus back from the convention centre to the hotel.  The bus goes to about seven hotels on its loop and it can be organised chaos getting people on and off with all their bags.  As it turned out one of the three ladies who sat next to me on the short trip must have walked off with my bag of samples from yesterday.  I was a bit disappointed, but I have no way of tracking them back.  Hopefully they will work it out, but even if they do, they will not know how to find me.  The fabrics I made were very nice, so I hope that they go to a good use.  I still have the knowledge and the experience in my head and probably did not need to bring home any more bulk than I already have.

Tomorrow I am indulging myself with a quilt shop bus tour.  I am really keen to see if the shops here do anything that I can adopt.  I am curious about layout, merchandising, set ups, stock lines and so much more.  It will be interesting.  We have a ‘traditional Texas BBQ’ lunch at a proper ‘Texas Ranch’.  I am a bit apprehensive about that.  The biggest challenge I have found about the US is the food.  It is awful – not really food at all it is so processed.  And you can taste the chemicals for days after you finished eating.  Yesterday I went into three so called food stores looking for fruit.  Everything was either vacuum sealed or frozen.  Amazing.  Tonight I had Subway for dinner because at least I could see fresh lettuce, cucumber and tomato. 

After that, we have the VIP Quilt Show opening.  I will take heaps of photos to share if I can.

Until then, Cecile

Took a day off – ACTTAA Exhibition and Floriade

18 09 2010

Well I have taken a photo of my finished quilt top.  It is not a good photo, but if you can imagine it square, it might help.  The colours are fairly true.  It is lighter in the middle than the outside.  That is not a trick of the flash.  I am standing on the kitchen bench to take this because it is just too windy outside for any of the better options.

It is amazing to think that every part of that quilt started off as the same bolt of white homespun.  I would be interested in what you think.

This morning, my lunitic 16 year old decided to ride up Black Mountain Tower to begin a geology assignment.  I hope he makes it home and does not get blown off the mountain on his way down.  He would not take a lift under any circumstances, which is a shame because we were on our way to the CSIRO Discovery Centre to see the ACT Textile Art Group – ACTTAA’s amazing exhibition.  The theme was a tea party with Alice.  I did not feel that I could take photos, but now I wished that I had asked.  I may go back tomorrow.  There was some truely amazing work there.  Get along if you can or to find out more about the group, visit their ACTTAA website.

From there we went to Floriade.  It is a glorious day here, all be it very windy.  We found our second Alice in Wonderland theme for the day.  Below is a carved Cheshire Cat.

Most of the annuals such as the pansies are all out as are about 2/3s of the Tulips, but there is still a lot to bloom over the next few weeks.  As always, it is well worth a visit.  I took about 100 photos.  Here are two:

A white double tulip

Part of one of the many beds. This one was called the Yellow Brick Road.

And the final photo I will share with you today is of one of the amazing Lake George Zebras.  You may be aware that a family of Zebras migrated to Lake George where they clearly found the grazing to their liking, but the politics in NSW where too great for them.  Created by sculptor Alan Aston, the zebras became subject to controversy when the NSW Government declared them trespassers on Crown land and ordered that they be removed.  After a bit of outrage and lobbying, this decision was overturned and they were allowed to stay.  Named Stopper, Reviver and Surviver, the three sculptures were positioned at a popular rest area often used for Revive/Survive coffee breaks.  Click  here for a news article on them, including a photo in situ. This did not end happily for the family of three, though as soon after the reprieve from the NSW Government, vandals decapitated one and damaged another and they were removed.  It is good to see that they not only survived the ordeal, but appear to be breeding with a baby zebra being added to the flock.  I am pleased to have seen them close up after passing them several times on Lake George.

One of the Lake George Zebras

so behind – trip to Bendigo

29 07 2009

I meant to make this post before I went to the Melbourne Craft Show, but ran out of time. However I am determined to load it up so there may be a couple of posts over the next few days that are retrospective.

Last weekend Glenn and I went to the Bendigo Wool Show.  It is at events like this that I remember that I am from the bush, not the country.  In some parts of Australia, there is a big difference.  It was a 15 hour round trip and we spent 3 hours there, but it was worth every second.  I finally sourced a couple of products that I have been trying to lock down for a long time.  I was excited.  And then I came across something that really blew my mind with possibilities.  I just need to put a couple of things in place before I purchase “the machine” then watch out for some truely spectacular new products.

I asked the boys, particularly the “little one”, if they would come to the show with us to see the sheep.  They thought I had gone quite mad and declined to accompany me despite the valuable family time we could have had.  The “little one” – Andrew – is my nearly 6 foot 15 year old who believes he is past patting sheep so I took some photos to show him what he is missing.  The first photo shows a ute cover that I could not walk past.  What fabulous marketing.  It was not until I looked at the photo that I even knew what was being advertised.

Cool Ute Cover

Cool Ute Cover

Just for Andrew, here are the sheep and alpacas.

"Coloured Sheep"

"Coloured Sheep"

Judging the Sheep

Judging the Sheep

The cutest alpacas - I think

The cutest alpacas - I think

Corriedales - I think!

Corriedales - I think!

While we were there, we met up with Mandie Chandler from Ewe Give Me the Knits.  Mandie does some of the most amazing hand dyed fibres.  Check out her website if you have some time.  Mandie and I have been communicating via email for some time, but finally put faces to names. 
Mandie busy selling stuff

Mandie busy selling stuff