Sunday, March 29, 2009

3 Little Campers

We headed for the hills this weekend with our good friends, Kim, Lindsay and Bridget. They have a property in York (about an hour out of Perth) and we went rough camping. I for some strange reason, thought that the 'shed' Kim talks about was half built.....that meant a metal frame. And because it was just metal frame, that meant that the electricity and running water I expected to be there.....wasn't!!! To Kim's defense, she did tell me 3 times that there was nothing there.....I obviously just had selective hearing that day!

We had a blast and the kids had more fun than us. Stalking sheep, catching yabbies, collecting sheep skulls and of course, peeing in the bush! Luckily boys pee easier than girls, so my boys were good! The wind kicked in at dusk and we thought we would get blown away. We packed up early this morning as it looked like rain and the wind was really bad.....but what a great time we had.

This is a pic of Kai, Bridget and Taj on their favourite granite boulder. Trying to get three kids to all look in one direction, let alone obviously a job left for a more patient soul!

One thing I did collect whilst I was there, was a huge bag of meadow grass. Don't know it's real name, but we call it meadow grass or meadow hay! I should be stocked for fibre for a while and when I run out, I know who to go to!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trudi Pollard & Minnawarra House

Little Taj in the bath on Sunday night....he was just too cute not to put in!!!

I had the most wonderful day today and just need to share it. I visited with Trudi Pollard who was workshopping at Minnawarra House today. We did some bush basketry and I met the most wonderful group of people. It feels like home there....a great place to do some good work I think! Hopefully I will be doing some workshops there for them in the near future.

There is something so wonderful, in the way that people can sit and share time, doing something that they all love. I haven't known Trudi for that long, but she feels like someone you have known your entire life...someone you can be at ease around and not have any walls to guard you. I feel very blessed to have people like this in my wonderful friends Elaine and Jenny are the same.

What a great day!

And to top it all off....little Taj is starting to toilet train himself. I won't describe what was going on in our backyard....I shall leave that up to ones imagination!!!

Elizabeth, thank you so much for your wonderful comments, I do so enjoy them!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I finally joined WAFTA!!!!

Well I have finally gotten off my butt and joined WAFTA! I have known about it for a few years, but because of the meeting day....I didn't bother. After speaking today to the wonderfully talented and most gorgeous human being, otherwise known as Trudi Pollard, she sold me on the idea and I joined. Here I am chatting on the phone to her, bribing my kids with mini M&M's, downloading the membership form.

Trudi is one of the most open artists I have ever met. Some artists are very closed with their knowledge and are not willing to share. Not Trudi! She is a passionate woman who loves to inspire and help others learn her amazing skills. She is very into natural dyes and shibori and has just returned from the International Natural Dyeing and Shibori Symposium in France. If you ever get the chance to work with her, grab it. She regularly does workshops from her home in Bedfordale. And by chance I am now going to a workshop of hers tomorrow morning on bush basketry. It is right in line with the fibre work I am doing right now. And also a very convenient excuse to catch up also!!!

I have talked about my exhibition piece for Feltwest and finally took some pics of the early stages. My wonderful father in law made me the stand and this is my gorgeous branch and a sample pod. Haven't decided what colour the pods and leaves with be, but I am happy with the size and shape of the pod. Now I just need to get the leaves sorted.

It's hard to take a good pic, this looks sucky! It looks better in real life! Will try and keep pics up to date!

I am a bit excited, as WAFTA is having an exhibition this year also which I will be able to take part in also. It will be held in August, in the Mores Gallery in Fremantle. Apparently I can do one of two styles of pieces. Either a 3.5m x 50cm panel, which will hang from the ceiling. Or a 1m x 1m x 1m sculptural vessel for the foyer. I also spent some time talking to the sensational Louise Snook today, who very kindly has sent some workshops my way....Thanks Louise. Being President of WAFTA, I asked which piece she thinks I should do, and she said sculptural. So I've already got plans in my head of a large felt vessel, with my signature flax, but then cut apart and restitched with bush weaving. If you can envisage that.....your pretty good. I will start on some prototypes soon.....again will update with pics....halfway decent ones I hope.
The kids are alseep, the pets are fed and I am looking for some bad TV to settle in front of. Hope you all sleep (or have slept) well!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Successful Day!

Wow, what a busy day. Firstly Kai wasn't too well and then in between demo's, I was puking behind my car at Canning Arts Group. We are not an overly healthy family right now...Taj has been sharing his germs with us.

I met some amazing people today, everyone super friendly, keen and interested. Luckily we had beautiful weather and my little friend Kai, decided he needed his mum and stayed with me. My super friend Jenny Abbott was set up next to me, also doing demo's, so I had someone to chat too....not that got much chance to chat!

Have been writing notes for my next workshop and am going to email my 'gorgeous girls' (you know who you are) about doing another workhop with me...if they are interested. I am off for some well deserved TV time now. Anthony has flown out to Melbourne for the week, so I am flying solo yet again!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Feltwest Toss-N-Tell Day

Today was our monthly toss-n-tell and it sure was a busy day. The workshop I am running next month for Feltwest got booked out today. I took in heaps of samples and my class numbers grew from the standard 10, to being happy with 12 and then up to 14.....I was being a bit generous. Will be a very busy workshop.....hopefully everyone will be patient.

I have been working on my piece for the Mundaring Arts Centre exhibition "Earth" which will be running during May and June. I am happy with the progress....need to take some pics....and it should be finished well before the hand in date.....(I hope!!!). I have felted around a stunning scultpural branch...collected on the Cervantes weekend.....and my wonderful father in law has made me a stand with a metal pole for it to all be assembled with. I am now felting pods and leaves, which will be hanging off it.

I am also planning on doing a wall hanging, which I am hoping I will be allowed to submit.....we technically can only enter one item....depends on how many people put things in and the size of the work. I am going to try my luck anyway. The wall hanging will be of the Bungle Bungles and I am planning to heavily machine stitch it. Gotta make it first though.

I have also been practicing what I preach.......I have been sampling leaves and pods for my exhibition piece. Such a great thing to do, as I am still not happy after 5 leaves! My mistake was I drew a leaf from my no no.....get a leaf....look what it really looks like....then make a sample. My poor leaves were too European....not Aussie bush enough. I have learnt from my mistake though. Pod number 1 was a great success.....but only a now I need to make my exhibition pods.

Tomorrow I am off to the Canning Arts Centre where I will be demoing all day long....oh my GOD!!!! Or at least for part of the day. They want me to run felting workshops and it is their annual Gala Day. I will put my happy face on and little do they know it, but I will be making my pods and leaves....gotta love a girl who can make something useful!

A Feltastic Day

Another of my little creations. Merino with two types of silk. I don't tend to use a lot of silk and fabrics, as I felt my work so much...not my fault's the hot hands!These are some of my little vessels, which I have woven with some natural grasses. I love doing these little things when I am bored....or some nice person has given me something great to play with.

This little guy was woven on my Cervantes weekend. I collected the dune grass from the beach at Ledge needed a break on the trip up.......and then sat and wove him, whilst the kids watched.

Ned is looking a bit different now......I kept changing the stitching on him about 5 times....but once I committed to doing the crewel work....there was no turning back. So I had to keep going. Kai still thinks that he is a letterbox with eyes though!!

A good pic of my rug/wall hanging. You can see some of the stitch work on will eventually be covered....will take some time though!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cervantes was a hit.....

This is my boys at the Pinnacles. We all had a great time, except Taj is a ratbag and this is the only time you can see him with a hat and shoes on. The little explorer thought it was better to rough it and threw everything away. If we would of let him go naked....I'm sure he would of.

Kai was a very happy little fisherman and caught a Trumpet Fish...whatever that is. It was rather pretty and we did let him go...much to his Poppy's disgust, telling us that it would of been a good eating fish and a good size. We on the other hand just like to catch and release.
I collected some dune grass from Ledge Point and made a small vessel, which was fun. My friends girls, thought I was very clever....I liked the praise. Need to go and do some into some hand stitching right now...have done a bit on my rug and will take a pic and put it on.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 we come!!!

WOO HOOO!!!!! It's 5.37am and I am excited, as we are off to Cervantes for a long weekend. Pulling the kids from school and hitting the road. Now it is only 3 days....... but 3 days of gorgeous weather on a stunning beach....what more can you ask from life. And my good friend and her kids are coming with as well!!!!

Have been playing with a lot of hand stitching, so am going to take some work along to play with. My rug is coming along......a stitch here.......14 thousand stitches will take some time.

For long.....have a great weekend......the beach is calling my name!!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The thoughts of Ziggy!

"Ah, thank you mum for making me such a lovely place to you mind if I scratch it up a little??"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Felted Rug Workshop with Liz Odd

Yesterday I went to my workshop, taught by the very skillful Liz Odd. Liz has a depth of felting knowledge that would be hard to beat. As well as her skill, she has amazing design sense. Her work is very well known and she is a wonderful person to be around.

These two smaller works were done after the workshop, as I will still inspired. I have had this Ned Kelly inspired idea in my head for a long time and just needed the right time to get it out. They need a lot of work with stitching and embellishing, but hey.....most they are half made, so that is good!

This is the rug which I made!! I had so many different ideas and designs set for the day. And then I go and do something which was totally different. I went freeform and very organic. It was interesting working on such a large piece, the biggest I have ever tackled. I think you need to be at a workshop or retreat to attempt something like need the motivation and extra hands....I would struggle to do this at home, by myself....I would loose momentum!

A couple of important things Liz taught us, was that when you have a design, always roll with the design facing downwards. A very practical idea, as when we roll our work up, you sometimes get creases, but with the design facing downwards, any creases will be on the back, not the front of your work.
Liz dry rolls her felt a lot before wet felting, like I do. This helps to stabilize the attached pieces and gives them a chance to adhere. Some of the ladies kept asking me how many times to roll? Well I don't count, I just roll. You get a feel for how long you have been rolling and as long as you roll the same amount in at least 2 directions, it doesn't really matter. When working on such large pieces, you really only need to roll in 2 directions, if you can do all 4 great, but sometimes size and space is restricting.
We also only rolled in plastic sheeting yesterday. I am not a huge fan of this, I still like a matt of some kind. I will not roll in my usual material (non slip matting) as it grabs too much and the base matt colour comes through too much. This again is experience and knowing what is appropriate for your project. For example, when I do any of my 3D pieces, I will use the non slip matt. If I am rolling prefelts, I dry roll in a yoga matt, then move onto non slip to wet roll for a bit. When I don't want the background colour to bleed through too much, I will roll in a bamboo blind, but have it lined with thin plastic sheeting. It's all experience and practice!
Some of the girls yesterday were big needle felters (not my thing), but they quickly needled their designs onto their bases, which helped them adhere quickly.......but the needle felting took forever!!!! Often I see the girls use those red hand sanding holders (with carpet protector attached underneath) and have never thought much of them.......until I used one yesterday. Well did I change my mind on that matter. BRILLIANT! Went straight to Bunnings and for less than $10 I was set up. I am converted...thank you ladies!
As you can gather, I had a great time and loved sharing the day with a beautiful bunch of girls. Days like these are just what the sole needs and now I am inspired to do some bigger and more amazing pieces!!!

Sculptures By The Sea 2009

Sculptures by the sea is on once again and runs until the 24th of March. If you can make it down to Cottesloe Beach, go and enjoy yourself. It is well worth the effort.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wogs....have taken over the house!

Illness is now in control at our house! I have had two sick kids all week and have very kindly been infected also. This is the first time I have had all of us sick and I'm not enjoying it. I have been making prefelt for weeks now....well on and off when the feeling has hit....but I need to have it all finished for tomorrow. Am doing a felted rug workshop with the wonderful Liz Odd and must be ready. Have changed my design more often than underwear, so have no idea what I will end up doing. Will post some pics when it is done!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Well the therapy of being by ones self has been very good for me. I am not yet sick of my own company...which I am hoping is a good thing...but I have been very happy to catch up with friends. Have been felting...something different I know.....but it has been wonderful.

I have been inspired by Judit Pocs, since I worked with her last year. I found some of her pieces a little impractical, gorgeous, but not quite sure of the use. Her jewelry is beautiful, but the tiny little openings, didn't make a lot of sense to me.....and I like things to be useful. So....back to the story......I love the design shapes, but didn't want to do them as a resist....I know, me not do a resist!!!! Pick yourselves up, it was a first for me as well. Anyway, I wanted the super defined shapes, but no resist. So I created my own technique to solve this problem.

Have a look at the pics....I think they have turned out well.The purple and green piece was my first, followed by the brown. If any of my 'Gorgeous Girls' are reading....we can do this new technique as a workshop if you want...let me know!

Today also saw the March meeting of the 84 Group and we had Pam Grima from Harvey come and visit us. She does a lot of free form weaving and I am hoping to run a similar workshop with Catalyst later this year. A couple of pics of the pieces I did today....these have been woven with fresh flax leaves and will obviously dry brown and stiffen.