Saturday, December 31, 2016

San Pedro de Atacama

We arrived in San Pedro de Atacama yesterday following a short 2 hour flight from Santiago. This is a small dusty town, full of tourists. At 2400metres above sea level, it is the world's driest desert at altitude. This altitude gave us our first souvenir- a mild headache. However this passed quickly with medication and today we are fine.
Our 2 year old hotel is a 10 minute walk from the Plaza, down mostly unpaved roads. When the wind blows and cars pass on the road, we are covered in our second souvenir!
Looking beyond the tourist trappings, it is a tough life here in the desert. Irrigated crops of fruit & vegetables are grown in the valleys & we will see this tomorrow on a full day tour. The landscape is the main attraction with volcanoes as far as the eye can see. When the sun goes down the temperature drops immediately. As it is a dry heat we are not finding 29 C unbearable!
I have done a little sketching in the plaza. We have also visited the amazing meteorite museum and I am coming home with a small piece, cut, polished & set in a necklace. This makes me feel like an extremely
 small speck in the universe!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cerro San Cristobal

This morning, Wednesday 28th, we walked via Bellavista to the funicular that goes up the San Cristobal hill. This is the highest point in town at 800+ metres and offers great views of Santiago and the Andes.  Unfortunately I am having trouble with uploading photos via blogger.
It is a very hot day and everyone was seeking the shade on the summit. We had stopped at the zoo, which perches on the slopes of the hill, before we got to the summit. Flamingos and bright orange ibis, vicunos, lama, Humbolt penguins and many other species are housed here. The school groups were enjoying their outing.
Now we are cooling off in our hotel room!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Santiago, Chile

We have arrived in Santiago Chile by time travel, in only a short 5 hours, thanks to international time zones! As it was my birthday I had extra time to celebrate and a lovely dinner to end the day plus the hotel staff provided a bottle of bubbles, a slice of cake with a candle and sang happy birthday in Spanish! Here the candle allows 3 wishes, before you blow it out!
Santiago is a very green, pleasant city and is easy walking in the old central district. The towering, snow capped Andes dominate the eastern skyline and we can't help but stare, wide-eyed at them.
 My preparation for the trip included these small 6" squares of fabric and a couple of oil pastels as I am thinking of something in book form for these rubbed pieces on my return.
Our half day city tour was a good orientation to the city, plus I rubbed 2 squares in Plaza de Armas this morning when there.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Flower power

 Loving this time of the year, with Summer solstice just yesterday in the Southern Hemisphere. Christmas just around the corner, getting excited for my Grandchildren and the fun on  Christmas morning. Wishing all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas and may 2017 be full of all the good things you deserve xxx

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Paintbox travels

I was gifted this beautiful Winsor and Newton paintbox by my dear friend Annette, who always has hers when she travels. I am looking forward to the flexibility of this new art toy on my Chilean travels. Water brush packed, tick!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Quilt construction

Currently, before I go on holiday to Chile & Argentina, I am working on a new quilt design based on my visit to Beijing, China last year. This photo shows the progress on the dragon's body, only a section of which will appear in the lower portion of the quilt. Each scale is cut then, using a silicon mat ( Giddess sheet) and Misty Fuse , fusible web, I heat set sections together. I am enjoying the slow repetition of this work.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas trifle

 Family Christmas gathering today and I get to make the trifle. This is a berry trifle and has been popular the last couple of years. Who doesn't like jelly, custard, cake, fruit & a bit of cream, all mixed together?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hand made Christmas paper

I was gifted this lovely Lino cut, Partridge in a pear tree, wrapping paper for Christmas. Too pretty to use, for now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

It's been a while

It's been a long time between blogs. Sorry for that but with our young family of 4 living with us for an extended period, before they settled into their own home, there wasn't time left in my day.

I did get quilts stitched for Viewpoints 9 deadlines though. Bark Impressions, above is one I completed using undesirable materials- synthetics, which I don't usually use in my work. Hoping to keep you a little more up to date on this platform. Bye for now.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

SAQA Auction quilt- Indigo #1

The quilt above, Indigo #1 is my contribution to the 2016 SAQA [Studio Art Quilt Associates] Auction beginning September 16. While I worked on this small 12"square quilt I also worked on Indigo #2, slightly larger and Indigo #3 a much larger piece. The impetus for the quilts was my stitched white fabric that a friend put through her indigo vat.
When I saw the fabric I was disappointed that my stitching wasn't the feature I thought it would be. Much more practice needed! But happily for me, my garden yielded the plant printing matter I used to enhance the indigo background. I use the actual foliage for the print. Luckily I took a few progress photos, as I was on a tight deadline to finish all 3 quilts before returning to live in Mongolia.
Pinned ready for stitching by machine and hand. White and red thread colours were used in the free motion quilting.
Binding strips, cut from Japanese woven cotton, brought more red to the piece.

 It's always interesting to hear the story behind quilts and I hope you have enjoyed Linda Stokes post and go on to read Rasa Mauragis' post on August 27. The full set of quilts from SAQA Oceania members can be seen on the blog.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Viewpoints 9 quilt

This is a detail from my latest Viewpoints 9 group, quilt challenge to use text in the quilt. It was fun to stitch as I took inspiration from Sapa, Vietnam and the roles of the ethnic women living in this area. For a full run down on it please go to

I have not been blogging after returning from Vietnam as I have been extremely busy with my young family who have relocated from Melbourne and are currently living with us. Facebook gives instant updates as to what I am doing via my Sue Dennis Textiles page which I find much easier to use than the blog. So my apologies if you are missing my blog posts. I am thinking of using the blog more for my travel adventures than a day by day description of my life in textiles, but who knows!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Japanese covered bridge

This is a big attraction in Hoi An and usually packed with tourists, except very early in the morning! It links two parts of the old town. Behind these doors is a shrine and it was open and being used later in the day.

And this is the whole bridge.
This graduation photo is being taken next to the bridge, which is a popular posing spot for photos. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Meanwhile, back at our heritage hotel, an old wooden house repurposed and used in the film, The Quiet American starring Michael Caine [they used the room opposite ours], breakfast is being served. Antique furniture, paintings on silk and faded patina on the walls tell a tale of their own. Our table is at the open window, so we watch the world passing by as we eat.
The shop keeper opposite puts his birds out each morning in the sunshine on our side, then hangs them outside his shop, where they sing beautifully all day. Every now and then he carefully feeds them an insect or worm, using tweezers to put it in their feeding bowl.
A group of Monks passed by and then back again. They had digital cameras and took some photos of the hotel.
History in paint layers.
This happy fellow sitting on the table in the internal courtyard.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hoi An

The heritage seaport trading city of Hoi An has been preserved and is now an UNESCO World Heritage site. To me it was poetry in pictures with so many gorgeous vignettes to capture! We were up early and walked around for an hour before 7am when the streets are not clogged with tourist hordes, but with locals going about their morning shopping and errands.
These are many small business people in Vietnam and food stalls are set up where every there are customers and then moved to another profitable location. Pushbikes and scooters move everything! Above, sugarcane.
These golden flowering trees were everywhere.

A door guardian with his companion on the other side, just as alert!
 A living flower curtain.
Aerial roots curtain the street.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Lantern city

Hoi An is lantern city. The bamboo frames are covered with colourful silks and look particularly appealing when lit at night with electric power.
Shapes and sizes.
This is the large one on the riverside and is a favourite spot to pose for a photo. The lotus decorates it beautifully.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Decorative elements

These are some of the decorative elements in temples and tombs that caught my eye. A leaf shaped plaque with lovely calligraphy [don't know what it says].
Mosaic work was used at many tomb sites, as well as glazed tiles. These seen at Tu Duc Tomb.
 Painted and mosaic decorations on this column. Note the wonderful dragon scales made from blue and white ceramic pieces. I assumed it was recycled crockery.

Cloud interpretations.
And the super ornate Khai Dinh Tomb where the walls were covered in mosaic work.