Thursday, 24 April 2008

makin' stuff

a birthday gift
and a work in progress

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The art of making do

A thought has lingered in my mind for some time now about our consumerist nature. I find it so easy to be seduced by new and beautiful fabrics both as an artist and as a collector of pretty things. When I immersed myself back into my textile work I really struggled with pulling out old panels of fabric that I had printed, dyed, stitched etc. to re-use. I had this mentality that if I was using my old pieces then I wasn't moving forward artistically. But the more I pondered on this the more I came to resolve that I need not start with new cloth but instead work with what is already available to me; a kind of reclaiming of the past. And why should a piece of cloth that has been dyed and printed and stitched upon, but is for the most part useless, why should it be left to wither in a box somewhere if it can find a new lease on life by being recycled into something new. After all, the dyeing and the printing and the stitching are still my own work and ideas can be recycled too. That's not to say that I am still making works based on the same concepts that birthed these works, but rather my concepts have evolved and I am challenging myself to bring these new ideas to fruition without the need for new cloth. Why must every painting start with a white canvas?
For example, the other day I found some beautiful linen that I resist dyed about 11 years ago now. At the time I was designing a man's tunic and so the linen is cut into the pattern pieces and has sat like that all this time. I can pretty well determine that I'm not going to finish that project now given that the husband thinks it's not really suited to his style (whatever that may be!) and I have no use for a man's tunic. But what a shame to waste such lovely fabric! I contemplated recutting the pattern to fit me, but can't really be bothered with that, so I think I will instead cut it up and use it for an art piece, perhaps a pieced quilt or such.
This is just one example of many, and I'm really looking forward to challenging my creativity by recycling what I have at hand rather than buying new pretty white cloth. Over the past weeks I have thought of ways to recycle more in my life. It's really disapointing to me that my local shire won't provide recycling bins for us out here. Perhaps the cost of running the truck out here out weighs the benefit of recycling, who knows. But I hoard all I can to take into town to the big bins, but still I want to do more. I have some ideas for plastic bags so stay tuned.
Today while nursing a bad headache and a large basket of laundry Martha was making these. Struck me as something fun to do with the kids while I brain bash them about recycling.

softie love

I have to confess to alot of thinking and not alot of doing this past month. It's been a busy one and perhaps a bit of a lazy one... I had great intentions for these school holidays to be doing some making with the little ones, some felting, some printing, some general mess making, but so far nothing. The realisation that I am a terrible parent sometimes thwacks me full force. How I envy the likes of Soulemama and Angry Chicken and other seemingly super-mums who just spend their time doing.
So anyway, after a good dose of mother-guilt got to me, I decided to do something a) nice for the girl child, and b) crafty - because sometimes I just need to craft.
Nothing like some mid week softie making to put the mama back in favour!

also, very excited to discover EcoColour has arrived in the bookstore, hopefully I will venture down that way before the week is out.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


My best friend Carly opened her solo art exhibition this past weekend in Denmark at the Old Butter Factories Art Gallery. I was so proud to be there to be part of this very special and exciting event with her. Carly and I have known each other now for 13 years and although for much of that time we've been separated by physical distance, I always find we slip so easily back into our comfortable friendship without even trying. She is such an inspiration to me. At 30 she is establishing herself as an artist, she is a specialist art teacher - having worked in some very remote communities; she is a wife and a mother to the most precious two year old twins. Somehow she manages to make her art an integral part of her life and devotes the time to persevere with her craft, whilst balancing family life and also her career as a teacher.

You can see why she is such an inspiration.
I am so damn proud of you Carly!

My New Toy

need I say more?

PIF exchange

So, finally finally FINALLY, I caught up with Peta the other day for coffee and fast-paced chats etc and I took along her yellow felted necklace that has been sitting, packaged and ready to go for three months! I know I could have posted it, and the thought did cross my mind, but I think it's so much nicer giving a gift in person...don't you?

I think she likes it...she wrote some pretty nice stuff about me here. :-)

I actually never commented on Peta's PIF, but being the gorgeous soul she is, she decided I should get a gift anyway. (So I went back and commented after the fact)

I've had such fun experimenting with ways to wear this gorgeous wrap.

I also scored these adorable silk slippers that she bought on a trip in Vietnam

I can't even begin to tell you how devestated I am that Peta is moving back to Perth. It's been such a pleasure having her as a friend these past two years. It's not often you stumble across someone so like minded and I really will miss her creative spirit and fantastic insight about all things textiles and craft! Hopefully I will be able to make more time to visit her and my other neglected arty friends in perth!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

new additions...

A few new books on their way to my collection:

I'm so seriously happy about getting a copy of Eco Colour! I've been anxiously awaiting its release.

And to satisfy my crafty urges; to whittle away at my fabric stash; and to aid in getting rid of this stupid Doubleday membership! In the future I will be buying books through amazon or through Boffins in Perth. Doubleday have the most abysmal selection ever.

In case you were wondering, no I didn't get Eco Colour through Doubleday. I called a bookstore and have it on order, in this case it was Dymocks.