Thursday, 19 April 2018


Many of you would be aware thatI have "adopted" a young man from The Republic of Benin in West Africa. Between myself and other wonderful benefactors, Jean-Baptiste Debegni has been able to send his two young brothers to school and to take up a scholarship to further his art studies. He has a lot of natural talent and his drawings are unique.
Jean values education as a means to get ahead in life and help his fellow villagers (hence the desire to educate his brothers). He wants to further his education, and to that extent, he has sent me a number of his drawiings to sell, so he can earn enough money for further training.

I have numbered each drawing. He is selling them - all originals - for the ridiculously low price of $50 each, or 3 for $130. If you would like to purchase any of his drawings, please e-mail me:   with the number of he drawing you would like and for details of a bank account to pay your money into. This price includes postage. I apologise for the shadows on some of the pictures or any other "defects". I can assure you that they are all due to my lousy photography. The drawings themselves are all in pristine condition.



 I hope to receive more drawings to sell in the future.

Helen Evans
Devon Meadows, Vic (about half way between Melbourne and Phillip Island)

Sunday, 8 April 2018

My "Catelaine"

This is my very of a Chatelaine - a Catelaine! I made it way back in 1999 for a Chatelaine - sorry Catelaine - for a challenge for the Southern Cross Quilters (a great Australsian on - line quilt group) retreat in 1999 in Hobart, Tasmania. I was very nervous, as it was the first challenge I had ever taken part in. Of course a beautiful, intricately made Chatelaine won, but no-one thought mine was dreadful, and I have gone on to win a challenge or two over the years.

I tried to include the whole Catelaine in this photo. We were obliged to use the Southern Cross Quilters logo on our entry. I managed it twice, inckuding the little cat's dress (look at her carefully - much more will be revealed later). As you can see there are many little catpockets for sewing implements. It is actually quite useful!

Close up of the head./pin cushion. the front paws and the snazzy bow tie. A Catelaine must be well dressed.

 Note the back end of the cat! The other two paws and a tail, and, of course, its neat little suffolk puff arse!!!

 Look carefully at the back of the Catelaine. There is a little piece of elastic. It contained a small bottle of whisky as a bribe to the judges. It didn't work - perhaps I should have used gin!

Look at this naughty little cat on the side of the Catelaine. It is flashing its bits, with the aid of press studs to open up its dress and use its tummy as a needle holder.

Last - here is Lady Penelope taking extremem interest in the Catelaine - to the extent that she is covering her eyes. Never mind, she might be more impresed with the Artisan Cows (you know them Andy Warholstein, Moonet, Milk van Gough, Frida Cowlo, Salvudder Dairy and all the rest of the famous talented Cow painters).
Bye for now,
On a beautiful warm autumn day in Melbourne, Australia

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


 I am an enthusiastic, if not perfect (please don't tell the quilt police!) quilter and crafter. I live in a rural area, bout 50kms south east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - with my other half Big Bad Merv, and when she is not living in the big smoke with her ever patient boyfriend, our daughter Elizabeth - who is in her last trimester at University and works part time as a phlebotomist (Google it).
We live on 5 acres with our three cats and dog.
I am lucky enough to have a purpose built shed, where I can sew/quilt/craft to my heart's content whenever I get the chance. Up until now, I have always worked from all the marvelous patterns and ideas available, but l do have a habit of putting my own spin on things and changing bits and pieces. Anyway, to make a short story long, I have just added my first pattern to Craftsy - I am starting small, with a "two for one" Christmas Cat Mug Rug, but have plans for further patterns next year.
In the meantime, her is a tutorial you might like to make for Christmas. It is just like me - subdued, tasteful and elegant.

Special Bauble Headband Turorial

 Clear veterinary reminder from table

Make cup of tea (preferably early grey)

Ensure your audience is both attentive and sober

As you can see, all you need are a small/medium pack of small baubles (large balls tend to get int the way), a pair of old bluntish scissors, some curling ribbon. Ensure audience is attentive and sober - ah have all been milked (except for bull).

Time to ditch the tea - there is no need for the tutor to remain sober

Measure enough of the garden plastic stuff to go around your head - add quite a bit extra to twist closed when finished - more is better than less - you can always trim later. Measure and fold exactly at half way point.

Take a break and drink some some champagne

Start in the middle by threading baubles onto pre cut garden tie. You can either thread on as pictures, or tie each one on with some curling ribbon. If threading on, secure on either side with curling ribbon. If you are particularly anal, you can choose matching baubles and curling ribbon. I am not.

Oops! Time for a refill.

Keep adding until you have enough baubles to dazzle any Christmas event - ensure roughly even numbers on each end of your middles baubles.

Measure garden green stuff around you head and twist -very well- to secure. cut off excess.

Cover the un-baubled area (if you have any) with any wired, snazzy ribbon, such as this one, or florist's tape, by winding around the un-baubled area.

And there you have it .....almost.

It you have some snazzy tinsel you want to use instead (or are just tired and emotional), you can just measure off and twist to size, and then just wrap the sentinel around the garden twine - you will need to use a glue gun just to secure it every now and then.

Here we have a "volunteer" from the audience (he was out of shot earlier), modelling two examples of what can be done with the listed ingredients. You may need more or less champagne than me, but either way I hope I have listed everything. Of couse you are only limited by your imagination - bells, other ribbons, and all sorts of Christmas decorations can be added, if you like.