Friday, October 23, 2009

my creative space

i think for the purposes of my creative space i will have to pretend to live somewhere where it's still thursday. as i work monday to thursday i just can't get to it before what is friday in melbourne :(

this week's creative space is my indispensable notebook - a moleskine A5 (i think) it is lovely to write and sketch in and contains most of my creative ideas. it lives in a rust dyed canvas cover made by the supremely talented but blogless alice springs artist philomena hali. you can also see my pincushion (actually a doorstop but serving a higher purpose) made by also supremely talented flickettysplits, my camera bag (made by me with much cussing - it was a pattern full of acks and pharks). my Mother's recipe for microwave marmalade is in the top right hand corner keeping company with some wax crayons

i have to write regular lists to keep track of where i'm up to and what is still to be done - you can see i have a lot on my to do list (a bit eeky at the moment)

more puzzling is the runic measurement on the right hand page - i have no idea what this relates to although clearly it was important enough at the time to record it for posterity. no doubt it will come to me in a dream - and then i will forget it again.

see more creative spaces here

off to see dirtsong tonight - very excited :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

wot? another post?

yep this is major avoidance, folks - i have cardi seaming to do... i finished the ruffle cardi over a week ago and have yet to even pin the seams, let alone ply the chibi needle.....

although i did accomplish one of my weekend goals - which was to make some progress with one of the big southern lands quilts. i dyed the fabric for this on the evening of the last federal election when uncle kevin was swept to power and lazarus with a triple bypass carked* it (for non australians that translates as the current prime minister kevin rudd won power from the previous incumbent john howard - a name which still sends shudders down my spine). apart from shrieks of joy that the 11 year regime was over, my main memory of this night is cleaning red and orange paw prints off the kitchen floor the next morning (i left the tub of dyeing fabric on the kitchen floor - well within reach of the curious cat)

this fabric is also notable for taking ages to get to the right shade - i even hung it on the washing line and squirted it with the kids' water pistols (and no i don''t have a photo)

anyway today i finally leapt in and started quilting - as usual i had only a vague idea of what i wanted to do but i listened to gurrumul and thought of the deep country in the west macdonnells and just went with the flow of the piece.

and this is the result so far - who knows what will evolve next?not me. i have an idea but i never really know what a piece is going to look like, not in any detail. a few commenters have admired what i do but really it's just playing and letting the thing create itself - being open to whatever may happen. i only know one thing -if i try to force it the piece doesn't work. it only works if i let it unfold and reveal itself.
and experimenting is crucial - can you guess what this is for?
* further translation pm rudd became known as uncle kevin after he gave everyone cash as part of the financial stimulus package and howard described his own prospects of becoming prime minister as 'lazarus with a triple bypass' after losing a second leadership battle back in 1989 - see how old i am? it is still green in the seahorsean memory

Saturday, October 17, 2009

small snowman in a sad landscape

this afternoon we took w to lake mountain for his first glimpse of snow - and a glimpse was pretty much it, seeing it's october. we were lucky to see any as snow is a novelty in australia and is usually only around from june to the end of august. thanks to the freezing cold and rainy weather we have had lately there was still enough lying around for a 5 year old to play in.

the snow was sparse but enough to make a few snowballs and the world's smallest snowman.
while w had fun the scrumpster and i were sobered into silence by the unrelenting stark blackness of the landscape. lake mountain rises above marysville - one of the hill towns that was destroyed in the black saturday bushfires eight months ago. further down the mountain the black tree trunks were covered in feathery green new growth but up on top of the mountain it is still black sticks with little sign of life.
but as the snow recedes you can see the green that will come

Friday, October 16, 2009

exciting breaking news

cue running around with knickers on head - i got home from a long dentistry session to find wonderful post - i submitted 2 quilts to this year's Victorian Quilters' one step further exhibition and both were accepted!

so if you're in maryborough in november you can see my quilts - oh, and a few others accourse :)

and although my jaw feels like i have swollen up like shrek due to a ginormous filling i am extremely grateful to have avoided root canal by a whisker....

red ochre landscape

the piece i posted yesterday for kootoyoo's 'my creative space' is one of the 8 i am making for an exhibition. being asked to make textile art pieces with minimal boundaries (4 small ie A3ish and 4 big - more than 1 metre on one side) has been incredibly freeing for me and has really inspired me to try different techniques - so inspired that i have ideas for 12 pieces!

red ochre landscape is one of the small pieces - i started by painting canvas, then deepening the colour with soft pigment pastels. the 2 outside pieces are painted silk - the piece on the right was free sewn with a pintucking foot to get curves and ridges before i attached it to the canvas. then the piece was backed with a chunk of painted op shop sheet and i sewed as the spirit moved me - circles and squares on the left, contour lines for the rest. then some more colour.
here it is freshly painted, post stitching.

i played with the idea of attaching a piece of plastic grid that i found in the street in darwin and maybe a layer of fine black tulle but it didn't feel right and the colours had dried too pale, too pink.
So i went over the whole thing with red ochre pigment powder mixed into cold wax medium ( a beeswax paste similar to cold cream - usually used in oil painting but perfect for carrying intense colour) and more pigment pastels and burnt sienna shiva stick (a solid oil paint crayon) and rubbed deep into the fabric with my fingers (wearing gloves, arlee)it's still drying on the sewing table and so far the colours look about right - maybe a few more touch ups. my goal this weekend is to finish a big piece... stay tuned

Thursday, October 15, 2009

my creative space

this week the kitchen table....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

the dyer's hand

this weekend feels somehow unproductive - i haven't sewed and progress on crafty things has been bitsy

i have, however, dyed silk and some manipulated cotton (hence the dexteresque lady macbeth photo above) for another southern land quilt and had great success turning some lovely chunky yarn (given to me by the lovely susan ages and ages ago) from a not-really-me beige into a very-me purple, using wilton's food dyes. and i finished the second collar ruffle for my ruffle cardi - now comes the sewing up....

i went to the northside makers' market yesterday and bought young w a couple of wonderful birthday presents from flicketty splits and someone who makes sock monkeys whose name escapes me at the moment (photos will follow when they have been given to the birthday lad who turns 5 on tuesday.

we had a small family knees up for said birthday boy this afternoon - when questioned he asked for a party at macdonalds (blench) but only wanted to invite nan and pa (sigh of relief). so we had lunch at the golden arches (averaging 70g of fat per person -eek) and then most of my family came over for the traditional chips, 'furry bread' (in other households known as fairy bread but w firmly sticks to calling them furries) and birthday might notice the racism free blog badge at the top of the side bar - i don't want to give That Show any more free publicity but go to the ANTaR website and do what you can to speak out against racism. (as an aside there is some research that indicates that racism is bad for the health of the racist as well as those it is directed against... and intent has nothing to do with it, racism is an expression of the dominant culture and is always always wrong. in the most recent case i think the onus should be on those who defend it to say how the piece was not racist)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

filling in forms

i am feeling unreasonably proud of myself for filling in the forms for this year's one step further exhibition. i loathe forms of any kind and am always afraid of making a mistake.

i am very fond of lists and make a lot of them - but forms make the back of my neck feel weak.tonight however i measured quilts, filled in forms, stamped self addressed envelopes, assiduously labelled photos and will post the fat envelope tomorrow - 6 days before it has to be received by the Victorian Quilters. usually i do these things in a frenzied last minute teeth gnashing stress-out....

i think it helped that i chose 2 pieces that i had already finished so there was no last minute hair tearing out on the actual quilts.

but still i think i deserve a small elephant stamp

Saturday, October 03, 2009

or perhaps a cat bed?

i know i said i made land sea alchemy for the art quilts around the world challenge but miss molly moth knows i reeeely made it for feline sleeping purposes