Wednesday, April 28, 2010

House Bound!

After arriving hom from Ballarat, I had to go and have surgery on my foot. I had this horrible cyst, called a 'ganglion'. I named it Rottnest, as it was a similar shape and size. My surgeon had never seen one soooo big before.

Going in for day surgery, I arrive home a few days later. I had really poor oxygen levels and they wouldn't let me leave. My source of entertainment, was the old Italian lady in the room with me. It amazed me how good her english could be for one doctor and then for another, she could barely speak english. This amused me immensely, as I found it a game to pick which doctors she liked and disliked.

I have never heard such an interesting array of noises come out of one person. If the snoring wasn't bad enough, I was unaware of how loud, often and continuously, one can fart in their sleep. If only I had a recording device with me. She was a lovely lady and in very poor health, but she did provide me with some much needed smiles.

So now I sit at home, with my foot resting upon 3 pillows. Pain killers are wonderful inventions, unless your 20kg, 3 year old child, jumps on your foot. I think I taught him a new word or two.

I am bored, unmotivated and wait paitently for Ellen to come on at midday! Oh joy!

Pictures From Ballarat

Ballarat was fabulous! These are some collective images of work that was in the final exhibition. I can't credit individual photos as I am not sure who's work everything is.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bound for Ballarat

Tomorrow I am spending Easter Sunday, travelling to Melbourne and then through to Ballarat. It's fibre forum time again (must be school holidays) and this time I will be attending Dorothy Caldwell from Canada. I am told she is amazing and she has travelled to Australia many times teaching. The workshop is called, Mark Making : A Book. Your guess is as good as mine!

It shall be nice to be just me, not a mum, wife, friend in need or neighbour trying to escape the clutches of a talk-a-holic......yes there is a story in there somewhere.

I am happy to report that Tango (weiro #4) has safely made about 3 weeks now......and his new buddy Peppy, is coming up for two weeks. I think we have this situation sorted now. Will take a pic of my boys when I come home......I hope they will still be here!

Have a wonderful Easter and may the bunny be generous.....if he isn't, I hear rabbit stew is good!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sculpture Walk

I finally got around to uploading the camera today. This is how my work looked prior to the very large and aggressive storm that came through Perth. Don't really want to take any pics now.......only 6 pods came down, but lots are twisted up in the branches. The pods laid out in a colour aray, waiting to be hung.

I don't know why, but I keep making things objects which hang. I have learnt that it is very difficult to photograph well, a large scale hanging sculpture. These are about the closest I am going to get.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome Tango

Tango arrived last Saturday and has nearly lasted a week....woo hoo....that is the second longest time, a weero has lived at our house. If he survives another week I will post a picture of him.

Keep an eye out!!!! I sincerely hope to post a pic!

Endings and New Beginnings

I made the choice to withdrawl from the uni course that I had started. Too much time away from my young family and not enough time to create my own work.

I know to keep myself mentally healthy I need to create. I need to be able to create my own work and not create what others tell me to. There is a huge difference between the two and I know which is right for me.

It bewilders me how people have such a negative response to my withdrawl. A friend emailed me and said she was proud of me for knowing myself and how much strength it took to walk away from something which is not right for me. Those words have brought me much comfort. You are a wonderful friend D!!!

So now that one door has closed, more are opening. I have started on a piece for an art award and am very happy with how it is starting out. Lord knows how it will finish, but at least there is a beginning.

After the monsterous installation for the Sculpture Walk...I have decided that hanging 42 pieces is a lot of work and probably won't do it the near future.....would love to attempt another multiple installation....just not for a while!

Promise to post pics as soon as they are downloaded.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Life, Death, More Death and More Life

We have had quite a bit going on in our home of late. Firstly Rocko, our beautiful weero entered our house, with much love. Then Monty (the husky) ate Rocko. Very sad indeed, especially since he did it in front of my boys. One of the boys left the door open and Monty ever being the opportunist....made his move. So at the end of day one of Uni, I had two very sad and tearful little boys, who where hatching revenge plots against the dog.

Rocko lived with us for a week and a half.

Rocko 2, came to our house, again with much love and joy. Today while I was at a workshop, my husband had let the boys have Rocko out of the cage and again......the door was left open and Rocko was eaten by Monty. I will defend myself, by saying, that the door man was coming on Friday to put auto closers on the sliding door, but got delayed and will be here on Monday.

I am no happy. I won't say what words were said (or should I say screamed) at my husband, as they are not G rated.

I was so sad, angry, pissed off, ready to throttle the first person to get in my way. I said I wanted the dog gone.....and meant it at the time....still thinking about it.

Anyway, Rex Ray has entered our home and is the last weero. If he gets eaten, then no more birds and I guarantee the dog will either be destroyed or sent to the Husky Rescue people. Rex Ray is one of my favourite artists and I though that a new name was needed for my new friend.

Wish us luck. May the force be with Rex!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stitching and Magazines

This is the mainly finished first piece from my workshop series with Michele Eastwood, Memories in Stiches. I have a few small things to finish, then I am planning on taking it to the Barbara Caldwell workshop at Ballarat and see what else I feel like doing with it. I want to do some mark making...not sure what yet.
Some nice fabric I found for my next project with Michele.
The latest, Cloth Paper Scissors (actually it's the Jan/Feb issue) had these great little people by Elaine Thomas. Not a magazine I would usually purchase, but it had a couple of things which peaked my curiosity.
Don't forget, if you live in Perth, The Thread Studio are having their first ever warehouse sale on Saturday and Sunday....something not to be missed. And just think of all the friends you are guaranteed to run into. I will be there early with bells on.

Garden Surprises......

When I was watering the garden yesterday afternoon, to my surprise, these beautiful little flowers were staring at me. They came from my mum and I can't remember their name, but they were such a lovely surprise to see. Mango anyone!!! These are just a couple of fruit on our wonderful tree, grown by seed by my dad. We are having a good season, still to eat one, but I think we are up to about 12 on the tree. Our best crop ever. Anthony has rigged up his own special slow drip water system. I just refill the jerry can every couple of days.
Our pumpkins and bananas have gone a bit wild. The bananas have another big hand on them, but the pumpkins have gone out of control....think they came up by themselves....not sure...but they are definitely healthy!
One of my gorgeous frangipani's, this was a Qld import....all legal....had to have them sprayed and everything....just love them.
A sculpture that my husband bought me one year for my birthday. He has a lovely girlfriend to his right.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Typical Sunday Late Afternoon

At 5.39pm yesterday, I stopped to think how lucky I am.

I am standing in front of the stove, cooking chicken noodle stirfry for dinner, and here was Taj, plastering his hair with hair gel, looking so proud of himself (he smelt great) Kai sitting, staring at our latest edition to the house, Rocko the 'Rock Star' weero and me up to my armpits in sweet and sour sauce, with my Oscar (my white maltese) hard up against my heels, so if I move not only do I go down, but so does dinner.

It was so nice to able to stop amongst the chaos and see the happiness and joy in our house....not to mention the dirt. I am very lucky to have such great kids and a lovely place to live.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Brotherly Love and Lost Teeth

I do love my boys when they are loving each other. Taj has learnt that if he sits nicely for a photo, he will get to see the picture on the camera. What did parents do to make their kids sit still, before digital cameras? The highlight of our day yesterday (18th Feb 2010), was when Kai lost his first tooth......or should I say teeth. He lost not one, but two, at school of course and not at the same time. He is so proud and has just run downstairs to check and see if the tooth fairy has left him some money! He has just come back with 2 $2 coins. He agrees that he must of looked after his teeth very well, to get $2 for each tooth. My baby is growing up!

These are a few of my favourite things.....

Now I do hope you are singing this posts your inner Julie Andrews!

I just loved this platter I found today. I already have the bowls to match........and possibly have already bought this.....or was it the large bowl......I actually haven't unwrapped the others and I did buy them a couple of months ago....was hiding them from the hubby. Oops! Hey it was on sale for $10!
The most amazing husband in the world, has let me have my 40th birthday present early this year.....not until July!!! I came home grovelling and he didn't even put up a fight, just told me to 'go and get it'. If only all purchases were this easy. So now I am in love with this amazing new toy. My gear is looking pretty damn professional now!
This is a fabulous original 1930's sewing box I found at a little antique store. It was filled with all kinds of treasures from over the past 50 odd years. Amazing old sales dockets from the 50's, Sheffield scissors (that Rosie very kindly sharpened for me.....she rocks), a gorgeous old apron, buttons and anything else you can think of. I gave most of it away, only keeping the scissors and the apron. I didn't think I would use the other things, so I passed them on to those who would love and care for them....not to mention use them.

This is my new calligaphy brush holder....have wanted one for ages and finally found them on ebay. Am very happy, this one is about 40cm tall, so it holds pretty long brushes.

My First Laptop

This is my new little blue Acer laptop! She is just beautiful and I am actually managing to handle her quite well. I must admit she has no programmes on her, so that is probably why! All I have been able to do is change the background, as I need to load programmes and what I want to load, looks like it wants me to be online for that to happen. So now I sit patiently and wait until my husband comes back from his shutdown. I also wipe off my sons footprints, as he walked across the computer when he was looking for a straw on the breakfast bar.....yes I was upstairs at the time! They were perfect little footprints...could of nailed him is I was a CSI.
Now one thing I hate and despise about laptops, is that stupid little area where you are supposed to wiggle your finger to make the arrow scroll around......a major reason I was never interested in a laptop. Check out my funky little wireless mouse.
The wonderful thing about this mouse, is how it folds up when you aren't using it. This turns it off and makes it a hell of a lot easier to transport around. The boys are loving it and keep stealing the mouse! Have had a very threatening conversation with them, and hopefully it will stay put.....or I will have to start setting 'mouse traps'.....sorry that's a shocking pun!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some people make your life go faster!

Have you ever noticed that some people make your life go faster? I have some amazing women in my life and today I was thinking about, how by just having them in my life, it seems to go so much quicker. I am never bored or lonely......there is always someone to talk matter how much you think you are bothering them, they always have the time to stop and chat, even if only for a few minutes.

I am truly blessed to have found such wonderful people. And as I quietly head towards 40, I understand what it honestly means to have good women in your life. I didn't get this until well into my 30's, but now I treasure it. The great thing don't have to name names....they know who they are and they know I love them deeply! XXX

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My brain feels like scrambled eggs!

My brain feels like scrambled eggs.......all mixed up with forgein elements and thrown into a hot pan!

I have been felting like a maniac, getting ready for the big sculpture walk. Surprisingly, the rigorous felting regime has not taken it's toll on my body yet!!! (She says with caution) I did go and have a massage yesterday and have learnt that I can do shoulder and back massages, but should not let, very strong little asian women, anywhere near my neck.....I am very delicate!

I have had to send in some photos for the sculpture walk and I must say, photographing felted sculptures, they move around in the breeze and seeminly have a mind of their not the easiest thing to do. For me, finding a suitable background is the hardest thing, so my fence is the easiest thing I can find. I would ideally like a bush setting, with the pods suspended from a tree, but the logistical process of that, just for a couple of get my drift. So these are the front runners. The above pic is my this hour of the day......I hope it's the one they use. The main pod was the first of my series and honestly, probably one of the best pieces of felt I have made.

So far I have made 15 pods and am expecting to make........a revised number......of about 40 pods. Luckily I still have about 3 weeks up my sleeve. I find that making 5 a day is good, but remember that making 5 will take me around 7-8 hours......and that is if the little people in my life are not around. Try throwing in bickering, food prep and clean up, bathing, resolving life altering disputes "he took my lego".............that is pretty much an entire day.
Felting anyone??????

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Amazing Sand Drawing

My wonderful friend Rosie Whitehead sent me this link. Please take the time to go and look, you won't be disappointed. I won't ramble on.....for once.....but simply tell you that this is a clip of a girl drawing in sand on a light table. Just watch and enjoy!

Michele Eastwood Workshop

OK, I know the picture is sideways, but I have uploaded it twice and can't change just deal with it. Or turn your head sideways!

Today was day one with the fabulous Michele Eastwood and this is the beginning of my first stitched memory. This was Taj at Christmas 2008. Lets see how it turns out.
Now if it wasn't for going to Michele's today, I would not of found those great mags or the super adorable bunny!!! Michele is a true gem and wonderfully generous with her knowledge and skills.........something which can be hard to find. Her workshop is running for 6 weeks and I will keep posting my compositions throughout this time.

Michele is teaching at the Orange forum later this lucky am I to be in a class of 4!!!!

Exciting New Finds

Oh what a wonderful day!!! Today I have found 2 magazines which are new to me. The first is Inside Out. A wonderful design mag, with the sub title 'Inspiring Homes With Heart'. Well the editors have my sort of design style and I have found amazing little things in here to inspire me. at only $7.95, this is an affordable and great mag to check out. It comes every two months, this is the latest March/April issue. My favourite of the two new mags is this one, 'Dubo feather, pass it on'. My local newsagent doesn't stock it, so I will probably just do a scubscription, which is about $40 for 4 issues for the year. This publication is more book-like than mag. Superb quality printing (& paper stock) made me think it was English or European...but no, it is Aussie. I would highly recommend a look at this if you can find it.
My favourite, non magazine for the day. This is just the funkiest little guy I have seen for a while. Michele Eastwood found him (or is that her) down in Albany and I am in wraptures over this fellow!!!
My amazing Etsy find, Megumi has two online shops (Etsy and Ebay). Follow the link!

I had everyone who saw this book today, drooling like a baby and I have to admit, I was right in there with them. This book is soooo fabulous, I will take some pics from the inside to show later. The only downfall is that it is in Japanese, but Fiona who I met today has a friend who runs the Japanese School here in Perth......handy contacts. There is a follow up book to this....on my wish list. This book contains all the patterns and is too delish.
Three other books, which I ordered from Megumi. If you ever search 'japanese sewing patterns' on Etsy you will find the most wonderful stuff!! Now all of these books ranged from $18 through to about $25. A very affordable purchase, especially when you know how much a sewing pattern will set you back!!!
I am so seriously in a dress phase of my life.....I want to live in them and probably have enough now that I could for a couple of weeks. That doesn't seem to be stopping me making more though!!!
Today has been a very good day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The trouble with depression.......

The trouble with depression is the changes you have in personality, without any control of it. I have never been the most diligent of bloggers, but a five month absence and then a flood in one day, may seem a little to strange to those who don't know me well.

When my depression is out of whack.....I close of to the world and isolate myself. This is one of the first signs of depression and one I know very well in myself. I have been sitting back, reading blogs, thinking to myself ' I have to get going again'........yet nothing happens for months. Then I blog and feel great.

Sometimes the hardest thing to simply to start. Once you start, you don't know what all the trouble was about. I do that a lot......I mean a lot. I think to myself 'all you have to do is create and you will feel good......just do it'. But then I do nothing and feel even worse.

So if you see a may understand why. I'm still here!

Taj.......I want to look like white bear!

This is my new frangipani 'Lipstick'. It is a new flower out this year and is just gorgeous.......and it smells pretty damn good too. Yoda has survived a lot, being hit by cars, moving house too many times to remember, being invaded by puppies, kittens, budgies and fish, and her last challenge of loosing a leg. But I do think her biggest challenge is TAJ! That little fellow of mine just loves her. This is her after the great orange sticker challenge. She has managed to pull the stickers off which were placed inbetween her eyes and directly on the end of her nose. She was covered in them, but just laid so still and placidly, whilst my monster plastered her, very gently, in the orange stickers!
Ziggy on the other hand, has learnt to run from Taj, that is after he has bitten or scratched him. This is Ziggy tonight, as I am trying to take a picture of my latest stitching......he truly is my studio cat.
And this is the monster in question!!! Taj on Saturday! He loves to pick the frang flowers and I put one behind my ear. Little did I know what I started. Kai's beloved 'White Bear', was sitting out the front with us and had one flower placed inside his ear. (Kai used to chew his bear's ears when he was little and they are vey 'holey') White Bear ended up with about 3 flowers in each ear, I had to have one behind each ear and of course the master of the universe had to as well. If only you could hear the screams of 'my flower fell out'. I could just hear the neighbours dialing real estate agents. Of course the following line was "I want to look like White Bear".

Promised Pods

Ah............the promised pods. These are the first five, drying on the rack. Oh look, I need to bring the washing in too!

I am hoping these will look good on mass. I have choosen an earth palette and have a large range within which to work. I shall try my best to continue the pics as they come along.

My first major public exhibition!

I am about to take part in my first MAJOR public exhibition.

I have been accepted as one of the artists in the City of Melville Sculpture Walk 2010!

I wasn't going to apply, but was persuaded to, and in! I been busily felting away and am planning on having a larger number (20-30) medium sized pods, hanging from one tree. I am planning on the same size and shape, just different colours.

I have madly been trying to upload the invite, but think I need someone a bit more geeky than me to do this. Have some pods drying downstairs and will take a pic soon.

So if you live in or near Perth and have nothing planned on the 12th of March, circle the date in your diaries and calendars........and come on down and have some great food and wine........and maybe even look at some sculptures.

Biting off more than one can chew.......

Oh my friends, I do fear that I am biting off more than I can choose.....but I see it as a challenge. Check back with me in a month or two.

At the end of last year I was a bit lost....actually very lost. Not knowing what to do with myself, not caring that much either. I met with Elizabeth James Taylor and wonderful artist here in Perth and before I knew it, I had applied to Curtin Uni to study textiles. I didn't know exactly what I was doing......but after an interview on the 6th of Jan.....I received an acceptance letter on January 20th.

I am now enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts Textiles at Curtin University for 2010 (part time). We just had our info session and I was only planning on attempting 2 units, but have enrolled in 3!! I am either insane or am up for the challenge. Lee Anne Davis, who is another textile artist and only lives a suburb away (is a fabulous felter and teaching at Ballarat this year), is also doing the course, but full time. Her kids are older than mine.

This time around I can honestly say I am a matured aged student. When I did my teaching degree I was 23 and classified as mature aged......boy were they wrong! So now, I can happily say that I have studied at university in my 20's, 30's and 40's (if I make it to July).

Uni starts March 1st. Wish me luck....I just hope I can get the kids to the right place and me too....not to mention remembering to collect everyone at the end of the day.

Indigo, Rust and Tannin......oh my!

Flipping through folders labelled "Kai's Birthday", I came across some dyed felt that I did at the end of last year with my good mate Trudi Pollard. We had an Indigo and Rust and Tannin day up at her house and I was keen to experiment with my felt. The pic below has been thrown into every dye pot we had except the indigo.
This is a piece of nuno (merino and muslin) which had been stiched (shibori) and then placed in the rust bath. I am not overly keen with the texture of the felt once it has been through the rusting process.....a bit harsh for my liking....but something nice to stitch into now!

This piece of cotton, went through the rust and tannin and didn't thrill me, so we rolled it up and threw it into the indigo. A nice combination of colours and textural effects. I gave this one to Trudi, as I didn't know what I would do with it and have toooooo much stuff laying around the studio.
A piece of satin, which was the first time I had put satin in the indigo. This is after all the rinsing and you can see the colour difference between the section that came into direct contact with the indigo. The colour before rinsing was so intense, and I was rather sad when I saw how much colour came out. Again, it is important to learn your fabrics, man made versus natural.

This was my favourite part of our dyeing. I had various white felt, some just felt, some nuno with silk, some with muslin. It was fascinating seeing he outcome. The colours were lovely and intense, but the felt very clearly took on a side. By this I mean, one side of the felt looked as it does below....whilst the other side (which you would expect to look very similar) looked very different. It was nearly all blue from the indigo. I can't explain it and quite frankly, have no idea what is going on.......but it was the same for every sample.