Sunday, 3 October 2010

Etsy Store is finally here

check out my new etsy store
It's been a long time coming!
Also, new blog to come soon:
Hope to see you there.


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

latest work in progress...

just to let you all know I'm still around and still working, although with less ferocity than previously, for obvious reasons.
This is Ellie Rose, born August 10 2009.

Somehow it seems I'm still living in the dark ages, on dial up internet access (!) which is such a frustrating time waster that I seldom bother.
But how I do miss all you blog land buddies! I'm dreaming of a time filled with super speed broadband....sigh.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Busy days...

Another thing that has kept me rather busy is the annual exhibition at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, The Christmas Shop. It's a very unique exhibition in which all works are for sale and once sold are removed immediately and replaced with something new.
I entered six pieces this year and was accepted. I entered two art quilts and four Obi Belts (I'm hoping that by making them something practical they will be more likely to sell)
They are all hand printed, dyed, stitched, quilted etc.

I've also been busy establishing my Etsy store. More on that later :-)


So, yes it's been a while. How quickly the months roll by.
Suddenly we are on the home straight to Christmas.
I had an idea last year to make the children an advent calendar, mostly inspired by my loathing for those store bought chocolate ones. I really despised the fact that in the lead up to Christmas my children were looking forward to having a chocolate each day more than anything else.
Now, my husband and I are not particularly religious, but to me Christmas should be about family and taking the time to reconnect and really just being together. I wanted to create an advent that would really imbue the entire family with the Christmas spirit.
In typical Nichole style I waited far too late to start making these bags which I planned to hand embroider and applique every single one, but I did still manage to pull it all together with a combination of decorated and plain bags.
The contents range from small gifts or chocolates (the fun factor) to activities such as making decorations, making bon bons with individualised fillings, donating old toys to charity, special outtings, hand made wrapping paper with stamps, making reindeer cookies etc.
So it's going to be another busy month, but I think it will be fun. I am already feeling the Christmas cheer, and for the first time we are going away, just the four of us to enjoy a peaceful Christmas, in stark contrast to all the others where we race from house to house. And for the first time we will create our own traditions.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Self Portrait - Vessel

Superfine merino, hand felted, stitched.

My Place - exhibition of Art Quilts from Australia, NZ and South Africa

How much do I wish I'd entered this one now! However the time wasn't right for me.
View the exhibition online here.
My Place Quilts Exhibition

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Art vs Guilt

Tuesdays are supposed to be my art days. The one day of the week where I don't have to feel guilty for doing no housework. Supposedly.

And yet I find myself sweeping the floor, clearing the dishes, baking bread, wallowing in tremendous guilt that my child is reading to himself, eating 2-minute noodles, playing alone in the silence.

Perhaps I undertake these chores so as to not feel like I have achieved nothing. So I won't be greeted with the judgement of my husband; judegment merely perceived or actual? I don't know.

Perhaps I'm too hard on myself. Is it ok to just sit and ponder away an entire day? For the sake of art?
Is an artists life so self indulgent that it should come with it's own serving of guilt on the side? Or is guilt just a woman thing?

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

in stitches

I had to rescue this circa 1950s quilt from the op shop - it was destined for the welfare bin. I'd hate to see it go to a home where it was less than cherished. I can't believe that something like this has been discarded so thoughtlessly! My assumption is that it has come from a deceased estate and the grandchildren or whoever has seen little value. This is how we lose our history! Some woman has spent hours upon hours lovingly hand stitching this beautiful log cabin.
Wouldn't you just love to know all the secrets contained in those stitches!

I've discovered that I'm a left handed knitter, after knitting right handed for ...well my entire life! What a revelation! I have actually (finally) finished knitting projects I've started.

This is a neck warmer for my sister (hopefully she isn't reading this before it actually reaches her!) Knitted with handspun merino.

I'm eager to tackle socks. I have much to learn but I'm getting there. Everyone warns me off socks saying they are much too hard, this just makes me all the more determined!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

apron love

my apron from the swap did indeed arrive yesterday much to my delight. The pattern is very similar to one from my apron book which is fantastic as it's actually my favourite design!!

This one is reversable as you can see! Twice the fun, and all my fav colours.
Thanks to Raelene from Sew 4 it.

A new find from the op shop. Martin spotted this and knew I'd love it. I knew he was good for something!!

Monday, 9 June 2008

apron swap

So, I decided to take part in the sassy apron swap after reading about it over at a little bird told me so.
I actually bought totally different fabrics to use and right at the last minute I changed my mind. I hope the new owner approves of my 50s tastes!
And hopefully something yummy is on its way to me...this one, along with a matching oven mit should already be in the hands of its new owner.

Monday, 26 May 2008

on the sticks

A month ago, if you asked, I would have told you I can't knit. Despite the fact that I actually can since my Nan taught me to do so when I was about 5 or 6 and surprisingly I've never forgotten.
It must be the little rhythm we had going:
"Through the hole, around the needle, back through the hole and off!"
It became a kind of knitting mantra that I never really let go of. But despite the cool chant, my knitting skills were, well, lack-lustre. I couldn't do much else that knit and purl and I don't think I ever even finished a scarf.
I do enjoy watching the knitting show on cable however, and have found myself drawn to try different things, which upon watching the techniques, I find I can actually do them.

Inspired by the ever-talented and truly lovely Peta, whose hand knits are to die for!! I decided to bite the bullet and just go with the flow.
Peta describes her style as "organic". She doesn't work to a pattern, but rather she allows the yarn to speak to her as she creates beautiful one-off pieces in this simple yet sensitive manner. (Knit-nazi's schreech: "what!? She doesn't use a pattern!?)

Considering I can't read knitting patterns anyhow, this method really appealed to me, so I went out and bought home a bunch of yummy yarns and whipped up my first ever completed knitted item! (A petrafanella rip-off no less) To the discerning eye it is less than perfect, but that just makes me love it all the more!

And I've been practicing. My knit-literacy levels are up and I have a couple more projects on the sticks.


Craft is a place i visit between doing other things. I have always held a distinct line between what is art and what is craft, and I'm cool with that. And with crafting making such a resurgance, I'm happy to poke my head out of the crafting closet and hold it high.

I was explaining to my friend Carly how between making art I make craft; as a way of keeping myself busy but also as a way to explore techniques in a non threatening way - and I can make something useful from it!
And she said to me that it wasn't really craft, it was more like preliminary sketches, the same as she would do for a painting in her journal.

and i like that.


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Honestly, I never expected that I would be selected to exhibit in Stitched and Bound. This was my first quilted piece and a huge learning curve and now that it's finished I look at it and think ugh, I could have done this or that so much better.
So when I received a letter saying congratulations, I'm in, I nearly flipped. Excitement was closely followed by self doubt: If I was questioning the integrity of my work then how would it stand up to being exhibited publicly?
Doubts aside, I am going through with this. We all have to start somewhere and I learned from Paulo Coelho to recognise self-sabotage. I decided a while ago that it's better to be making crap work and nurturing your inner artist than to not make work at all. It's so easy to give in to fear and equally important not to!
When I spoke to the organiser of the exhibition I was astounded to learn that the judges thought of my work as "exciting" and "sensitive to my theme"
Well...I'm not going to argue with that!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

makin' stuff

a birthday gift
and a work in progress