Hello friends! And a happy birthday to my Dad who turned 87 today. This week has been a busy one and I’ve not had very much time for crafting. That has changed as I’m currently at the Contemporary Crafting Retreat at the Greenhills Conference Center, just outside of Canberra, near the Stromlo Observatory. Monday was the only day I spent at home because Tuesday and Wednesday I was in Wollongong looking after Evie. I’ll be doing that for two days every fortnight and we are having some wonderful quality time together. She’s such a happy child. On Tuesday, I called into a shopping centre in Nowra on my way to Wollongong and I can’t believe they already have their Christmas decorations up! Surely we need to get October out of the way? Evie and I had a couple of walks during our days together, mostly to the shops but on Wednesday we had a big walk around Wollongong Harbour. As we were heading home from the shops I passed the Sip Studio which has wine and paint. That sounds like a very fun and interesting concept that we may need to adopt for our paint days.
I left for Canberra on Thursday to catch up with some friends before the Retreat. Lunch was at Tulips Cafe at Pialligo and, when I left to move onto my next social engagement, I found a beautiful peacock had decided to hang about on my bonnet. I spent the afternoon with other friends and the evening with my sister-in-law and her husband. Another social engagement first thing on Friday morning and then I had some time to fill in. That was done with an early lunch and a visit to the Stromlo Observatory. The weather was very hot both Thursday and early Friday but turned nasty when I got up the mountain. I filled in a little time at the observatory grounds but it was very unpleasant so decided to head straight to the Retreat. I met up with my friends Mary and Karen there.
The Greenhills Conference Centre is a great venue for crafting retreats. Next time, though, something soft over the bunk bed mattress could be a good idea.
I didn’t have much opportunity for knitting this week but did work on my Starflake Shawl Westknits MKAL. Clue 4 dropped on Friday but I’m still only in the beginning stages of Clue 3. I think I’ll get more time this evening after today’s class to work on this. I finished the brioche section and have moved into a large lace section. It’s not a hard pattern but I do need to count on certain rows which means I can’t really do it in a social situation. I had to cake up the second skeins for each colour and had some issues. As all the bedrooms were occupied last weekend, I had to move my swift and ball winder. When I replaced them, I had lost a couple of the little rubber feet under the ball winder which made the base move up and down and was sending the winder revolving in a strange fashion. I think I’ve fixed it but I still need to replace the missing rubber bits.
The only other knitting I got to do this week, apart from two rows tonight on my Ranunculus, is on the Lunae shawl. I’m still working on the decrease end of the first part of the shawl, though there wasn’t a lot done since last I blogged about this one.
The Contemporary Craft Retreat has been held at the Greenhills Conference Centre annually since 2011 on the last weekend of October. We started on Friday and we finish with a class on Monday.
Friday – An Abstract a Day with Gaye Nieuwenhof: This class started at 1.30 pm with the first session finishing at 5.30 pm for a dinner break, and the second session from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. We had a great day working on colour and composition with four samples, each growing in size. They are shown below in the order we did them and the two on the right are not finished. The one on the right is still in the skeleton building phase. We may get some opportunities tomorrow or the next day as I have the same tutor then. From left to right, the compositions styles are Golden Section, Constellation, Curves and Overlapping Frames. The day was very full-on but fun and we learnt so much. Gaye’s teaching style is great because you have several projects going at one time so that you can allow each to dry whilst working on others.
Saturday – Book Making, Cover to Cover with Pam Annesley: This class was much more relaxing but still a great class with finished products. Everyone ended the day with one book and Karen and I managed to get two done. It’s such a simple process once you know what to do. For the cover of the first book, I used some paint samples I made a couple of years ago. I always knew I’d have some use for them. The paper used for the signatures inside was from an A4 210 gsm sketch pad. The second book, the teal one on the right, required some artistic input. The cover is made from heavy card with a textured paint covering made by gluing tissue onto it and then painting over the top. The same signature paper was used.
A couple of months ago, I signed up for the October/November/December Ixchel Bat Club. This arrived this week along with a couple of braids that I ordered about a week or so ago. I ordered a double dose of the Batt Club and you can see the one I’ve opened up in all its glory below. As the card states, they are made up of superfine merino, Tencel, angora, cashmere, bison, angelina and silk. I’m really looking forward to spinning these up but I will really need to think about how I’ll do it. The two braids are merino and silk.
I started a new book this week and went back to an old favourite. Robert Craise started the Elvis Cole series a long time ago and I have been waiting for more. There are actually two new ones now available so I’ve gone for the next in the series – The Wanted. I really love these books as they are full of excitement but the main character has a great sense of humour. On Netflix, Peaky Blinders has been keeping me company but, again, there’s not been a lot of time this week for that either.
Today I’ll be working on some more painting/collage work focussed on neutrals and tomorrow will be monotype printmaking. I’m really looking forward to trying out these new crafts. Apart from our spinners group attending a fete-type event at the local Baptist Church next Saturday, there is not much happening during the week ahead. That means I’ll be able to catch up on some dyeing and sewing that I’ve been itching to get to, along with a few other bits and pieces. So, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!