Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Thyme for an update

I can't tell you how pleased I am to have a tiny window of time to show you what I've been working on here at Exotic-cushions. It's been ages since my last post but the grass hasn't grown under my feet. Sorry, I'll stop with the Dad jokes.

I had a delightful time last week photographing these cushions for the website. There is a perfect patch of Thyme growing behind the workroom at Montsalvat and for a brief moment we had some sunshine dappling that patch. After I finished, the peacock had to come and have a look. They're such sweet curious creatures.

 The other curious creatures that are plentiful at Montsalvat at the moment are these cheeky cockatoos that have had great pleasure in nibbling off the pinnacles from the ends of our Glasshouse  Studio roof. 
I've also had a great deal of pleasure making these mini cushions that make the perfect present for the seamstress (or that a word?) in your life. I've put a small amount of lavender in each one so as you sew and pin, you get a delightful waft of scent. As I was making them I felt myself relax as the day went on as the smell was so incredibly strong. The lavender is from the gardens at Montsalvat.
These only live at Montsalvat at the moment but feel free to email me if you'd like one sent in the mail. They can be made in a multitude of colours too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Edwards Point

As I flip-flop from house-sit to house-sit here in Melbourne I often have nightmares of looming homelessness. So far that scenario has not eventuated and I'm lucky enough to live in a social strata that means I have enough friends to call on if I'm "in between" houses.
Some of my truest and most trusted friends are Ruth and Ian (and of course Lady the dog)
They live on the Bellarine Peninsula at a place called St Leonards and have always embraced my presence graciously. They have calmed my fears numerous times, saying that I can always come and live with them.
And who wouldn't want to live in this beautiful little corner of the world.(To all my northern hemisphere friends this must look like heaven; and it is)

 Unfortunately this little corner of heaven is 2 hours drive from Melbourne and work. So what I'd gain on the roundabout of idylic beach-side living, I'd lose on my money making swings.
Luckily last November, I had a big job of a whole house full of curtains which gained me a little bit of money to see me through over the summer break so I could spend a bit of time with these darlings without too much anxiety about my finances or place of abode.
I've been so lucky to be able to spend time with lovely people in a spectacular place. As my counsellor says "You always seem to land on your feet". Just look where those feet landed!

But now that Christmas is over & thoughts return to regular life, I find myself worrying afresh at my state of home or lack of. My photos start to all be of pathways
and me on them...

or living question marks...

BUT, I've had an idea! and you will have to wait for the next exciting instalment to find out just what that idea might be.....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The one that got away

Last week my sister Sue called me to say a nice man named Todd had contacted her about a cushion he'd seen at the Montsalvat shop that he wanted to buy for his wife's 40th birthday. Unfortunately it had sold!

So, the next day she organised to picked him up from the Eltham station, took him to Montsalvat and went through all my fabrics, arranging them until he was happy with the combination of colours and size.

I made the cushion up the next day and called him to say it was ready. It was 7.30pm and I heard his wife's querulous voice in the background as he told her he had to go and "pick something up". I felt as if I were having a clandestine affair with a cushion lover.

They both loved the cushion and recently sent me an email to say how pleased they were with it.
What a man is all I can say. To have noticed that she loved the cushion in the first place & then to go to all that trouble to get one to her.

There are photos of the finished cushion coming but this is a photo of the one that got away.
Here's his email ...

Dear Jo,
I hope you will forgive this very belated email to say a huge thank you for the fantastic cushion - J. loves it! And it was a huge, wonderful surprise for her!
We both think it is very beautiful and love that it was hand made, unique and there is a history to each of the fabrics, not to mention its creation.
Thank you so much to your self and to Sue for being so lovely and guiding me through the process!

With very best wishes,


Friday, January 31, 2014

Hot sun and squashed lemons

It's been a long time since posts gang I know, I know. I've been hiding from the heat down at the beach with friends.
I'm sitting house at a gorgeous place now though, owned by a gorgeous woman in Northcote. She has GREAT taste and I love staying here. It's cool and quiet, with an incredibly productive lemon tree and nice neighbours.
While I'm travelling & keeping my options open, I'm loving not having many possessions to cart round but occasionally I come across a house or a place that makes me think settling and buying "STUFF" again might be a good idea. 
 There are beautiful things to ponder in every room, like this tender combination of snake's skin and black & white baby photo, with tiny pieces of dried seaweed.
 A collection of Albert Namatjira's beautiful paintings as prints.
This painting in the bathroom that speaks of safety under water with your clan. 
 This clever use of seed pods from a date palm that lives in the back yard.
 Every room smells like lemons and I'm struggling to use them all. If you'd like some, give me a hoy and I'll bring them 'round (it might take me a while for me to get to East Harling, Norfolk though)
 Just one more beautiful combination of things for you to lust after.
I love living in Northcote, it's full of surprising things and great food and coffee. Graffiti everywhere and amazing tattoos on even the tiniest girls.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An extremely Exotic location

Exotic cushions has fallen on it's feet again!
Really? where?

 In there?

Yes, I've been blessed again with friends and sisters in high places and have found myself on my feet at Montsalvat, the artists colony in Eltham, Victoria, Australia.
Sue (my sister) and I had an open studio recently to show our wares.
Here are some photos of the surroundings I'm lucky enough to find myself working in.

 Montsalvat was built in the 1930's although it looks much older and much more French.

 There are many fascinating nooks and crannies where artists create beautiful things. Here is David Brown's studio where he makes violins and shakuhachi flutes and is a maker of international reputation and calibre.

 There have been some wonderful yarn bombers here as part of the artists in residence programme.
 I'll keep you informed as to what transpires. For now it's goodnight.