Farewell Arts Focus for another year!

Last week it was our final week of Arts Focus with some very talented sewers from our school. I was really impressed with this owl fleece hat – I think this student has set the bar high for the next session! The quilt we made was given to our school principal as a gift for her baby, here is a detail of it – embroidered by one of the students.

This 2017-2018 session we brought in some new projects such as the yarn octopus and felt emoji. For the second session, we introduced the button tree to fill in some time as we had a lot of older grade kids (5th grade choose what class they would like to do as their final class). My co-lead also made the kids get fancy with their pillow making which is always a plus to see the kids stretch their creativity. The pipe cleaner doll and embroidery on the bottom left was made by a kinder girl who sewed such beautiful stitches. A favourite of mine is the platypus embroidery sewn by one of the 5th-grade girls in the class.


At the school where I work the students have been busy making a dollhouse for the auction coming up this weekend. The kids started with making little dolls of themselves and in true Reggio fashion, it evolved into something magical – this dollhouse. With some help from their science and art specialists, this all came together. I am helping them with pipe cleaner dolls this week to give away with the house when it goes up for auction this Saturday evening. Tomorrow we will wrap the yarn around the pipe cleaners and define the bodies of all these dolls lazing around in the playroom of the house 😀

It was back to University over the weekend and what better way to get the brain going on this clean eating diet I am currently on is to have grilled sardines over sauteed kale and roasted garlic topped with watermelon radish and tomato – very tasty with a dash of sriracha.

The annual Holi celebration my friend celebrates each year was a lot of fun on Sunday. We were very lucky to have the sunshine and warm weather after our all out splash of colour followed by buckets of water.


To add to this weeks collection of food I am looking at lentils as a high protein food so I needed to discover new recipes to eat them and this came to mind after enjoying lentils in Melbourne last year.

Black Lentils with Grilled Asparagus topped with watercress and goat cheese salad

1 cup black lentils (cooked)
1 small onion (cut finely)
Olive oil
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
1 tablespoon miso mixed in a small amount of stock (a thick consistency)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Bunch of watercress
Goat cheese (as much as you would like!)


  1. While waiting for the lentils put the asparagus in some oil on the grill.
  2. Simmer onion on a skillet in a little oil until transparent, add lentils.
  3. Mix onions and lentils and add diced tomatoes.
  4. Mix through miso and stock through the lentils and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Finish with watercress, tomato and goat cheese.

Viewing the arts


A week of art and craft happened last week with a field trip to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco on Friday with the 2nd graders.


The kids had exploration one day of the week and created many fun objects, this doll was inspired by the pipe cleaner dolls.


At the volunteer sewing teaching, we were working on LED cuffs, and these are examples of the Kinder and 1st-grade students.


I was teaching the 2nd graders to make Gods eyes in their exploration time – so much fun yarn to make holiday decorations.

Friday came, and it was time for the field trip to San Francisco! The kids were very excited, and we drove up in the morning for a 10am Storytelling throughout the museum with volunteers. They told us many stories beginning with the story of Lakshmi and Diwali the festival of lights then we travelled to Indonesia to view Kris (daggers) and listen to a folk story and the last story was about Ganesh riding on a rat with his love of laddoos. Our storyteller Monique was so full of character and brought the stories to life!

After lunch and no running around the kids and their chaperones and teachers went wandering around the museum. We found many beautiful textiles, which I love plus little tiny colourful snuff bottles and this nephrite shepherd with his goats. The Asian Art Museum has something for everyone, though our 2nd-grade class maybe could enjoy it more if there were more Pokemon!

Couture Korea was an exhibit the kids really enjoyed with many kimono to view and also to touch with fabric samples on the information panel – the interactive was a plus with these guys! Of course, I really enjoyed it too being a textile lover and always wanting to touch interesting fabrics and seeing detailed clothing design. The majority of the pieces were silk and felt beautiful.

Come the weekend I enjoyed a white elephant exchange with my work friends and a tasty dinner of savoury crepes and potluck appetisers. Saturday was a bike ride day and catching up on study and Sunday the house needed a bit of sprucing up after I enjoyed a fabulous Thai massage at Sawadee down the road, it was well needed and has enlivened my soul, namaste.


A piece a Week – A Damask Upcycled Tote for my Crochet Pouf Project

This week has been crazy busy with the start of the week with a trip to San Francisco with my son’s 3rd Grade class for their storytelling and book writing field trip to 826 Valencia a writing center dedicated to supporting ages 6-18 with their writing skills. The kids had such a fun time collaborating together to create a story called ‘Food Fight on Planet Bakery’. Everyone had a character to work on and it was amazing to watch the story unfold before your eyes with help from the kids. The kids were given paper to complete their own ending for the story and this was sent up to the Captain to be ‘approved’ and read out to everyone. After the ‘approval’ the kids books are bound and given to their teacher to be given out back at school. We had lunch in the city and then had a play at the playground with this awesome merry go round / spiderweb structure that the kids just loved at the Mission Playground and Pool. It was a bit of a crazy thing to do after I had eaten but I could not resist as it looked like so much fun! At one stage it was so hard to get off that I felt my lunch coming up from my tummy :/ After this fun day in the city I had two other errands ahead of me till my evening finished at 8:15pm – whew!
The next day I did my ceramics class which balanced hump day Wednesday very well. I love playing with clay and we were learning about under glazing this week. This is my third week and it is such a fun thing to do as each week I am learning to relax with the clay and just play – I hope my pieces come out well after they are fired and glazed. I learn to appreciate how much work it is to make ceramic objects that I admire. 
Thursday it was Arts Focus day and volunteering at school teaching the kids sewing and lucky for me the afternoon was free for some creative tasks. I found this pattern from the book Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara and the fabric is from my last trip to FabMo straight out of a fabric sample book. It is so luxurious. I was so thankful to have some time to do some sewing this week as my usual work day was volunteering with the field trip. Lucky this project did not take much time and I did learn a new way to finish the base of a tote bag which I love! I am making a crochet pouf / foot stool for my lounge as a crochet practice project this year – I like to use the hook instead of the knitting needles sometimes. With ends of yarns from other projects it is coming together slowly.
Now to the weekend and it is relaxing with a hike with friends tomorrow…
Front of the tote with the yarn inside

Back side of the tote bag with batik handles

The culmination of creativity happens this weekend at the Textile Art Boutique

Time is closing in and it is my last week to prepare for the show this Sunday October 27th. I have been working like a busy little bee since the kids went back to school in August. The last couple of months has been intense and very challenging with crazy things happening like a power black out (therefore time dedicated to sew could not happen and I lost hours), my iron giving up the ghost (all fine till I could head on over to Target and grab another one) and a whole week of minimum days for the kids. Even with these time sucks I have managed to create an inventory of over 35 items (13 of which are small hair clips / lapel pins). So here are some highlights of my collection – more can be seen here.

I have loved the organic unfolding of the creations and just working randomly with the fabric. Knowing how many pieces of each item I wanted to create and letting the fabric and colours come together. It has been an incredible experience to be working with colour and experimenting happily. So here goes the following pics are some of my faves!

The colours in the bag are so vibrant – I would be a happy market shopper with this tote

This is a linen fabric by Jim Thomson and it is just beautiful 

The fabric on this reminds me of pixels and the pocket is a cool contrast to the colours

What a sweet little handkerchief embroidered onto a pillow

I used to do a lot of patchwork and my husband said do more so I came up with this with these incredible fabrics

More of the patchwork in a linen fabric

The handbag I have been road testing – oh my I love this fabric so much, it is vintage from the 1930s

This fabric was from a 1970s skirt and now it is a super cute hat – perfect for the beach! 
I love these and they are going to be hair clips or lapel pins as there’s an alligator clip on the back

A Fabulous show!

An update on the show which was last Saturday the 27th… It was super successful and I sold about one third of my stock. The rest I have put up on etsy for now till I can find time for another show. I would have to say that the FabMo Textile Art Boutique has an amazing array of talented folk showing their wares at a location that was just beautiful and airy. I would have to say I was happy with my spot outside under the eaves and the weather was perfect. A big thank you to all the people who came by to say hello and show their support, I truly appreciate you coming by. Here is a picture of my booth on the day – what fun it was and I met some great people there too!

Outside at the Quadrus Conference Centre

Maker Faire 2012

Tapigami installation

We attended this years Maker Faire and there was a tonne of stuff to check out. After arriving on time and waiting in a line that snaked it’s way around the car park we were finally in. Thank goodness for hats and a cool breeze with the sun shiny day. We now know for future Maker Faire trips we will catch the train in and use the alternative entrance to save the waiting in line. The Tapigami installation is something I was really interested in as it is made entirely from masking tape – more info on the link about how this was created. Another highlight was the homegrown exhibit with anything from beekeeping to survival in the wild. A lot of crafty goodness was to be had with the kids enjoying the needle felted animals. And of course we had a crazy time in the dark warehouse full of neon and bright lights – just like clubbing with your family, make sure you hold on tight! 

Easter amigurimi

Girl and Boy eggs in felt baskets

As a cute little easter gift for my friends from Australia I made these easter eggs from a Lion Brand Pattern I found. They make terrific tree decorations for easter being Spring over in this hemisphere and a super substitute for chocolate. The baskets were decorated by my kids with glitter, rhinestones and buttons.