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December 2010

November 2010

Playing with blue...

Yup! I have the blues... and I'm loving it.

My favourite things are usually 2 toned. I really like to pick a couple of colours and then work with pattern and texture variation. So this week it's "murky blue" and cream...mind you a little grey and brown have crept in also, as they tend to make the blue shine a little brighter.

One Day In May playing with blue1 

This is just a little peek at the design I'm working on.One Day In May playing with blue2 

There's been a lot of tracing and snipping this weekend... can't wait to get to the stitching.

Until next time,

Melissa  x


Don't you find that enjoying other people's artistic creation, inspires you to create too? I do....I have really enjoyed the research aspect of designing lately. I have come across some beautiful waterlily artworks in recent months, which just made my desire to create "Waterlily Dreaming" that much stronger.

This beautiful illustration is by Jessie Wilcox Smith. Look at how she has captured the reflection. I didn't notice the fairies at first, as I am currently a little lily obsessed. An amazing painting.

I can't recollect where I found this beautiful photo, but I love it too much to not share.

This next little one is a draw knob!! I would love to own a whole pond-full, just in case I ever needed them.

Lilypad drawer knob 
I know these are nasturtiums, but have a look at the leaves...I thought I could create a similar effect by folding and pressing the leaf on my "Waterlily Dreaming Needle Keep". It might not have ended up exactly the same, but this was the inspriration and I am pleased with the effect I ended up with. 
I've been organising my jumble of fabrics, notions, threads and papers today. The cats were doing their best to undo my efforts, but I eventually ended up with the physical and mental space required to get some sewing done. I spent the last few moments of good daylight collecting these pretty blues together.
My attraction to blue and cream has always been a strong one...couldn't help myself.

One day in may blues selection

I have a special little project in mind, involving gathering and some applique.

Until next time,

Melissa  x 

Dreaming of waterlilies...

I'd like to share my first design with you. It combines the basics of fabric folding, stitchery, applique and machine sewing.

Named "Waterlily Dreaming Needle Keep", this pattern is designed to store those "hard to put your finger on" notions required for any project. I couldn't tell you how much time I have spent visually scanning the room for my embroidery scissors, lifting fabric, checking under the table. (I usually end up finding them 20 minutes later, buried beneath a mountain of DMC --- after accusing the kids of pinching them). 

Waterlily Dreaming Needle Keep-watermarked1 

The little pocket is just the right size to tuck away those little stitching essentials, to take to class, on your travels or simply to the couch.


Waterlily Dreaming Needle Keep-watermarked3 
I've loved using the hand dyed, variegated Perle 8 and 12 threads from cottage garden threads. The variegation adds a whole new dimension of depth and interest to the design.

 Waterlily Dreaming Needle Keep-watermarked2 
 There are a wonderful assortment of new colours, which have just been released at The Australian Quilt Market. Here are some of the range, some older colours and some new ones.

Cottage garden threads 

Have a look at the beautiful ric rac they have designed for us all to enjoy.These a just a few of the colours available.

Cottage garden threads ricrac 

I'm looking forward to using lots of it in "One Day In May" designs of the future. 

Until next time,

Melissa  x

A bit of a lengthy introduction...

Even as a child I had a love of buttons, lengths of ribbon and lace, cotton reels and anything else I could find in Mum's sewing box. These little collections of notions were perfect for sorting and arranging. My favorites were the tiny little plastic novelty buttons - clowns, boats, ducks.... I thought they were truly precious.

I find that I have a lot of memories stemming from the "smell" of sewing. Mum has an incredibly heavy machine (by today's standards) that smelt quite strongly of sewing machine oil. It has a box of cams that goes with it. The cams fit into the machine to create what seemed to be a huge variety of stitches. Again, wonderfully smelly and perfect for sorting and arranging.

The cams below are vaguely similar to the ones in our "toy collection"

I loved giving the old Singer a good pedalling too, while breathing in the perfume of its timber drawers. Its funny how sensory memories can take you instantly back to your childhood.  On a side note, I'm just wondering if anyone else used to lose their Singer pedalling rhythm and get their foot jammed. Ouch!

Wooden spool given to One Day In May by Bustles and Bows 
This little spool was given to me by the ladies at Bustles and Bows, in Surrey Hills, Victoria, to use in my project photography. How nice of them to go out the back to find it for me. 

At the age of 8, I entered an Easter drawing competion in the local newspaper. I received what I thought was a pretty strange prize for a child. There were 3 or 4 edged, printed pieces of linen and a rainbow of threads to "colour in" the design. I remember giving it a go, but not what the end result was. Nevertheless, it is the earliest recollection I have of creating with a needle and thread.

Mum and Grandma were always knitting or sewing, even macrameing at some point (well it was the 80's), and I guess I gave it all a bit of a whirl. Thinking back, there were painted beads, knitting nancies made with a spool and four nails, pom-pom making, crochet, leather gum leaf necklaces, an intricate gingerbread house, lots of fimo.... but that's another story.

There were a few years of textiles at school, which led to alot of clothing construction attempts. But it was when living in Germany on exchange, that I first discovered Danish flower thread and cross-stitch on linen. All those muted colours... I was in love. I cross-stitched Christmas presents for everyone that year, complete with drawn thread borders and mitred corners.

My German host-mother, Sigrun, breathed creativity. She taught art therapy at a special needs school, but also lived an abundantly creative existence at home. I experienced craft like I had never seen. Familiar materials were being used in ways I wasn't expecting. Various colours of tissue paper were twisted and shaped,, before being sandwiched and glued between two sheets of very stiff transparent paper. This "stained glass" was then framed in bright card and displayed in front of a candle. As the candle flickered, the light shone through the paper, revealing a nativity scene from what had looked to me like screwed up paper. These creations were sold at one of the many German Christmas markets. She also hand-pressed little clay tiles, each with an impression of a leaf or something else from the garden. These were used to tile the shower! Huge, dark clay vases were made from rolled out slabs, left all torn and uneven at the top to represent the broken soil, from which the flowers would emerge. Christmas tree decorations were sculpted too. Most impressive, was when I watched her construct an enormous wreath from pine branches, to be hung from the rafters and set with four huge white candles for advent.

I guess you could say, like many other needlework addicts, I had no choice. I was immersed in craft, right from the start. There is no escape. I have resisted for brief periods in my life, but the ideas and the desire to play just keep on and on.... 

Seriously, I'm really looking forward to seeing how my stockpile of ideas materialise. My aim is to combine different styles and simple techniques, in an effort to use normal products in a fresh way. In the next days, I'll share some photos of my first "One Day In May" design.

Until then,

Melissa  x