Rainbow after the Hailstorm

In the aftermath of the hailstorm was this gorgeous double rainbow.  It was as beautiful as the hailstorm was exciting and the sky before the storm, threatening.  I love rainbows, they are always a symbol of calm after the storm, hope after adversity……Rainbow


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While I was driving home from work yesterday afternoon, I noticed that the sky behind me was getting darker and darker and looked really threatening. About five minutes after I walked in the door, a really strong wind started blowing accompanied by firstly rain and then hailstones…………..so exciting that Eddie grabbed the camera and started snapping away at the garden. Here are some of the photos. Hailstones in the gardenHailstones

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Underwater Picture for Louise

Closeup of underwater picture

After I had finished my Underwater postcard, one of the women from work wanted a larger version which she could frame. She and her husband are scuba divers, in fact her husband is an underwater photographer. I found the larger version quite hard to do because everything had to be on a larger scale. The finished picture measures 7 1/2 inches wide by 9 inches deep. It had a lot of glittery threads but although the scanner kill off the sparkle,  it shows the threads and stitching clearly. The second photo was taken by digital camera so it has captured more of the sparkle and  shows the silk paper backing behind the blue/green/turquoise dyed Tissuetex.Photo of the Underwater picture ready for framing.

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“Nice Matters” Award from Pat Winter

Nice Matters Award

What a compliment! Pat Winter has awarded me the “Nice Matters” award. I have so much admiration for Pat’s work and her own blog is a treat to visit. The Nice Matters award was started by Bella Enchanted for people who write blogs on good things and nice matters and it is with a great deal of pride that I accept Pat’s nomination for the award. What a buzz. Choosing seven people to nominate is very, very hard because I have so many lovely friends who all write blogs on nice matters too. I think I might have to think about that one for a while……..


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Glamourous Postcard with the Glitz added……

I have had a lovely weekend finishing off my Glamour and Glitz postcard, mostly adding “Glitz” in the way of beads, sequins, silver, silver/gold and cerise pink sparkly threads. The tiny black beads around the lady’s neck are from the same era that she is…….I think 1900 – 1912 time. I really enjoyed adding the glitz to the glamour even though a lot of my friends thought it was fine as it was!!!!  Unfortunately, the scanner has killed off a lot of the sparkle, for instance the leaves around the two diamante flowers are actually a very sparkly silver and gold twisted Kreinik fine braid not a light fawn colour as shown.  I’m happy with my lady anyway and she will go into my frame at the other end of the same row as my little boy with the candle,  separated by the blue floral postcard.  I have no idea at this stage what next week’s postcard will be………???Glamour and Glitz Postcard finished.


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Glamour and Glitz postcard

Some of the ladies on one of the lists I am on have joined to share a postcard swap with the subject being “Glamour and Glitz”. Unfortunately full-time work commitments (oh, how I hate them!) mean that I don’t have the time to make multiple postcards for the swap but I still wanted to feel part of the action so I’ve chosen it as my challenge for this week. I hope you don’t mind, Catherine???

 Glamour and glitz postcard
I’ve been tossing ideas around in my head ever since my friend Catherine suggested the theme and found it difficult because it is wa-a-a-a-y out of my comfort zone. I was thumbing through some silk and cotton prints and spotted a very glamourous lady from the early 20th century – well, that solved “glamour”, now for “glitz”! When my friend Mary Lewis was staying here from New South Wales, we went op-shopping and Mary found a very bad taste jacket in St Vinnies – sparkly silver, black and exactly the right shade of cerise pink to match the lady’s belt. Being good friends, everything we bought that day, we cut in half and shared (thank Heavens or I wouldn’t have that fabric)……..

I put the lady slightly off-centre on the Timtex backing and stitched a strip of fabric on each side of her. I tried lots of different materials on the top and bottom and finally decided on some black metallic “velvet-pile” type fabric for the bottom but black was too heavy for the top………another problem. I tried silver (too bright), grey (too dull), a sheer black with silver stripes (too fine) and in the end I used the black sheer with silver stripes over the plain silver lame and it seemed to create the right balance.

So, apart from two very sparkly diamante earrings which I bought in an op-shop in England and which Eddie very kindly filed the screw-on backs off, I have absolutely no idea at this stage what I am going to do in the way of embellishments for this postcard!!


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“Hot Tropics” postcard

I don’t really know why this postcard evokes an image of “hot tropics” for me because (a) I’ve never spent any time in the tropics and (b) I doubt that there would be flowers that colour anywhere, let alone the tropics! Every time I look at it, I think and feel the same thing so while I can’t explain it, that’s what it is going to have to be called.

Blue Flowers postcard
I began this one with a background of silk paper which I made ages ago covered with a layer of black tule into which I machine stitched long leaf shapes. Then I satin-stitched around the edge with a primary coloured variegated cotton before I cut back the surplus black tule so that I only had the leaves and the background silk paper. I tried various ideas but none of them worked until when I was rummaging through the boxes in my studio I found two bright blue material artificial roses and the colour fairly shouted at me to use it. I pulled one of the roses to pieces until I finished up with four flower shapes and a plastic centre. Even ironing the petal shapes didn’t completely flatten them so I still finished up with slightly puffy 3D flowers . Because they didn’t fray around the edges, it meant that I only had to chain stitch around them to keep them in place. I rather liked the way that they overlapped the satin-stitched edge of the postcard so I left them there and added some bright green leaves which were cut from a green dyed silk rod, so they didn’t fray either. All it needed then was a wrapped satin stitched stem, yellow beads in the centre of each flower and straight stitches in a dark blue Kreinik fine braid for the stamens on the petals.  Easy peasey but very effective and it will go in my postcard frame next to the pale coloured “Goodnight” postcard.

This photo shows the postcard and one of the squished fabric roses which I pulled apart.

Blue rose and postcard

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“Goodnight” crazy quilted postcard

This is one of my favourite vintage postcards, entitled “Goodnight” and features a darling little boy holding a candle. First of all, I used only antique and vintage broderie anglaise lace pieces to stitch into a crazy design around the cotton print in the centre, so I finished up with a lot of different shades of off-white and cream and several totally different floral designs. The print came out a funny sort of blue-green colour so I decided to stick to just three colours when it came to the embellishing – cream, a very pale apricot and an equally pale sludgy blue-green like the photo. My biggest problem was keeping the colours pale, my natural tendency was to go brighter……..however, I think the pale colours suit the little boy going to bed and the old cotton laces. Here is the finished postcard……

This is the original postcard once the cotton laces had been sewn into a crazy design ready for embellishing with beads, sequins, an antique cream silk thread, one strand of Rajmahal Art Silk thread in a pale apricot, two sludgy shades of DMC stranded cotton and a skein of Minnamurra stranded cotton which had been dyed in exactly the right shades of blue/green and apricot.

Before embellishing


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I’m back on WordPress.

I haven’t been able to post a blog on WordPress for over a week now but I just checked out the WordPress “Help” page and found this suggestion…………type wp-admin after the https://anlabyhouse.wordpress.com/wp-admin and hey presto! problem fixed for now anyway…….

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UnderWater Postcard

I have been working on my second postcard this week, this time it had an underwater theme. I started with a backing of silk paper which I made about a month ago, using various shades of coral pink, watermelon pink, apricot and pale peach. I laid a sheet of hand-dyed tissue-tex which I bought from The Thread Studio over the top which because it was so fine, allowed the pinky tones to show through.

Underwater postcard

Some of the threads I used were unpicked from their original form, such as the sparkly green/purple yarn which I unpicked from it’s companion yarn of matching chunky wool and the variegated “sea-weed” at the bottom right of the photo. This was originally some chunky 1/8th inch wide knitted rayon tubing but once it was undone, it formed a really curly frizzy yarn which was perfect for couching down in a wriggly sort of sea-weed looking plant. Other than that, I used hand-dyed ribbon floss, re-cycled sequins from an old hand-bag, glitter threads and clear plastic “bubble” beads.

The last photo shows the silk paper which formed the backing for the stitchery. The tissue-tex which comes in white or black looks like tissue paper however it is very strong and can be sewn through quite heavily by hand and machine without tearing.

Close-up of postcard

Silk paper backing for postcard


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