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Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Update - the Sequel

I had fun at the Australian Quilt Convention! See the goodies I bought.

There was interesting quilts there, too. As usual, I liked the smaller art quilts the best, but could appreciate (and like) a lot of the more traditional quilting as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. But I came away feeling perturbed about something. The three years I spent studying textile art was supposed to enable me to discover my 'voice' and come away with a defined body of work which I would build upon for ever afterwards. In one way I did discover my 'voice', the very detailed bead embroidery that I love the best of everything. But nobody is ever likely to pay the price for that sort of work that I would like to sell it for, so I am unlikely to make money out of it. Maybe I could write and (probably) self-publish books on it, which is a possibility but would still not make money in any serious way. I am a lousy teacher - too impatient. There are other things I love to do too. Nothing I bought today had anything to do with bead embroidery (I already own the books I like the best on that subject, though there may be some new ones that I don't know about yet!) but with other things that I have already experimented with but want more inspiration and technique to encourage me. I have had a couple of forays into selling on Etsy, or rather NOT selling on Etsy, though I am planning to start again. There is also an Australian equivalent that I am building a shop for ... From the market research I have done, for things to succeed in these online marketplaces they need to be reasonably inexpensive and postable (obviously), and preferably have a unique selling point. I am working on things like this.

Anyway, that isn't meant to be a rant or suggest that I have not enjoyed my day nor that I am not feeling creative. But I wonder if I suffer from some art-related form of ADD - can't I stick to any one thing but have to keep experimenting and trying to find new things to try? All of which require new supplies and books. If only I could add the hyperactivity part to it - I am so slow to get anything off the ground.

And now I will indulge in the wonderful procrastination of doing nothing about any of it, but drinking tea and knitting a sock instead. Oh, and I might start to flick through those new books!
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday Update

Painted papers. I will be tearing and collaging these to make two-sided ... bookmarks, maybe, depending on how I feel about them at the time when I have done collaging and whatever. I was really pleased with these papers until the final layer. I just didn't know when to stop, did I! I had never used iridescence medium before and thought I would be clever and water it down and sponge it all over the papers. Well, it doesn't look very iridescent, more spotty. But the collages are going to be sealed with Mod Podge and glitter and hopefully that will be less noticeable by then.

These were great fun to make, just adding layers of shapes and squiggles with drying periods in between, using ordinary acrylic paints. I would like to do similar things with inks and watercolours too. Watch this space.

It was a short week, being away over the long weekend, and I am very pleased to have achieved anything creative.

I have also been working my way through some more cookbooks. This time, a handful of the vast number of tiny ones I have - you know the A5 format that you either buy for a few dollars or are given away with magazines. I have picked some recipes and will blog about them as I do them.

I hope to spend next week collaging.
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8 Things Thursday

8 features I want in the new house that we might build sometime this decade.

1. Energy efficient everythings
2. Polished concrete floor
3. Hydronic heating
4. Masses and masses of storage space
5. A studio
6. A practical, big cook-top and oven
7. Lots of wall space for bookshelves and art
8. Eaves

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

8 Things Thursday

8 photos taken on our summer holiday in January, in and around Golden Beach on the Ninety Mile Beach in Victoria. It was pleasantly warm then, not too hot but lovely, quite a contrast to this week which has been wet and cold!
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Creative Tuesday

This is a selection of works I made for the first semester of my first year of studying for the Diploma of Studio Stitch Textiles in 2006. Each week we had a different task. It was very challenging, especially for someone like me who could not draw (it was not listed as a prerequisite but this particular tutor assumed that everyone there could draw. I eventually picked up some skills but I was really floundering at this point).

From top left clockwise: Sweet potatoes. Organza, hand stitching, and paint applied around and on top of the fabric after stitching.

Self Portrait. Hand stitching on black felt with perle cottons based (loosely) on the (really bad) self portrait we were (cruelly!) forced to draw.

Abstract. WE spent an hour sketching still lives of objects using a variety of methods, then chose a small section of a sketch to turn into an abstract colour sketch with oil pastels, then an embroidery. Again, hand stitching, this time heavily massed together.

Apples. Similar techniques to the sweet potatoes using organza/chiffon, hand stitching and paint.

Out of these pieces I enjoyed the techniques of the abstract best although I was pleased with all of them. The stitching onto black felt with bright colours was great fun. I love hand stitching - I did have a decent go at free machine embroidery but never really took to in a big way, though may post some pictures of my efforts in the future. My sewing machine doesn't seem to like free machine embroidery - I had my biggest success with a borrowed machine that ended up being donated to a Black Saturday victim whose machine was lost in last year's fires.
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Wordless Wednesday

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Monday Quote

Ode to a pair of socks

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
that she knit with her
shepherd's hands.
Two socks as soft
as rabbit fur.
I thrust my feet
inside them
as if they were
little boxes
from threads
of sunset
and sheepskin.

My feet were
two woolen
in those outrageous socks,
two gangly,
navy-blue sharks
on a golden thread,
two giant blackbirds,
two cannons:
were my feet
They were
so beautiful
I found my feet
for the very first time,
like two crusty old
firemen, firemen
of that embroidered
those incandescent

I fought
the sharp temptation
to put them away
the way schoolboys
fireflies in a bottle,
the way scholars
holy writ.
I fought
the mad urge
to lock them
in a golden
and feed them birdseed
and morsels of pink melon
every day.
Like jungle
who deliver a young deer
of the rarest species
to the roasting spit
then wolf it down
in shame,
I stretched
my feet forward
and pulled on
and over them
my shoes.

So this is
the moral of my ode:
beauty is beauty
twice over
and good things are doubly
when you're talking about a pair of wool
in the dead of winter.

Pablo Neruda

Friday Update

There was going to be a Friday Update last week but it never quite happened. There wasn't really anything to say. I have completely abandoned the plan of working through a specific project a month and I've gone back to flitting around trying out different ideas all the time. The original plan helped to focus me at an unfocused time but has served its purpose, at least for the time being. Now there are other things I am more excited about, though the general flitting approach is not proving very productive as yet!

There are no photos this time as most ideas remain that, ideas. I was going to paint papers today and photograph them but motherhood as intervened and I have more important things to do. The (long) weekend is also going to be spent being a wife, a mother and a daughter-in-law (with, hopefully, a quick gallery visit in the middle!) and although there will be talking and eating and sock knitting and reading, there won't be paper painting. At least one craft book will make it through the weekend though so that I can continue to think inspirationally.

The cookbook thing (as a friend called it, an 'anti-Julia' approach) started off well and will continue. The Margaret Fulton Cookbook is a 2006 fully revised edition of a classic Australian cookbook, bought for Baby Bear to encourage her to cook (with some success) and therefore it was never going to be discarded from the cookbook collection. The problem with it from my point of view was that most of the recipes that would appeal to the family are ones that I already cook by heart or else have many versions of. I ended up cooking Cardamom Cookies to go with coffee at the end of an extravagant Good Friday lunch with friends. They were hugely successful, very easy, and would have earned the book its place on the shelf even if it wasn't exempt in the first place! Subsequently many books have been scoured through but no new recipes cooked, though that will resume soon (not in the next few days, unless it is baking again, as there will be a lack of opportunities for family meals at home for most of the next week owing to visiting over the long weekend and then George being on a business trip).

Next week there might even be photos. And more regular blogging. Honest!

Monday, April 12, 2010

8 Things Thursday

8 Authors I Loved When I was a Child

Tove Jansson
Arthur Ransome
Rosemary Sutcliffe
Henry Treece
Geoffrey Trease
C.S. Lewis
Sundry adapters of Greek/Roman/Norse/Irish myths and legends (there were several I really liked)
Ivan Southall

Wordless Wednesday

Creative Tuesday

This scrumbled hat dates from the days when I was trying to create and sell patterns as PDF files. It failed largely because most of the people who bought the patterns off seemed to be completely ignorant about the nature of PDF files and tended to berate and abuse me for notposting them a paper pattern. (Yes, I did make it crystal clear what they were to expect). I did however sell some hard copies at the now defunct Yarn Fest that used to be held at The Highway Gallery in Mt Waverley (now, apparently, also defunct).

Being scrumbled, this one did not have a 'pattern' as such, more a recipe with lots of pictures. It was great fun to make. I also consider the beautiful model to be one of my favorite creations, though she is a lot older and taller and more grown up now than five years ago!

Monday Quote

'I didn't do it'. Bart Simpson

Regular blogging is recommencing. Serious computer problems put a bit of an obstacle in the way for a while!