Saturday, 25 October 2014

October has turned out to be a very eventful month. Sadly, most of that has not been good. Usually an excellent month due to Princess Day (my birthday) it has unfortunately been quite miserable. Some fun was had on the day, as I enjoyed lunch and pressies with my mother and sister, and returned home to hear that there was a record attempt across the road at the park for the amount of faeries wearing wings in one place. Well, Matt and I couldn't get the wings on fast enough, and grabbing a glass of bubbles we were off! Sadly it was poorly attended - mind you, we didn't even know about it until right before it!
Saturday got off to a pleasant start with a bottle of Moet, which had absolutely nothing to do with what happened next.....
Let's just say I won't be volunteering as Matt's workshop assistant again any time soon, as this escapade ended with me being catapulted up into the air, then down, down, onto the concrete slab and gravel. I have never hit my head so hard - luckily it landed on the gravel - and it still hurts now. My entire left side is battered and bruised, and after CT scans on Thursday it has been established that my head is fine (anatomically, my Doctor hastened to add, funny man) but my wrist has been fractured. I find out next week whether this will require a cast, surgery, or just a splint.
During this weekend our dear Mishka had been in hospital, and after having a blood transfusion, we hoped he would be on the mend. Sadly, this was not to be, and on Monday we brought our little man home for the last time. Our grief is enormous, as he has always been a part of our lives together, and was such a special cat. He takes a large piece of each of our hearts with him.
Since then, life has been quiet as we come to terms with our loss, and as I recover from my injuries. It has taken a week for my head to stop hurting, but at least my right hand has functioned throughout. This has enabled me to get some good design work done, both on my assignment for college, and on next year's WOW entry. I know, I know, I keep saying I'll have a break, but I've come up with something rather fabulous, I think! I'm going to miss my furry little studio assistant, who always had to be a part of everything..... He was always there to stick his tongue in something, jump in that box, sniff my drink, or just cover everything in hair.  Vale, special boy, you are already greatly missed.
 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Post Brisbane Craft & Quilt Show

Well, the kombi is now unpacked after two trips home from the Convention Centre last night, and it's time to catch up on all the emails and paperwork. As I said in my previous post, it was an action-packed 5 days, where I caught up with many old friends and met plenty of new! One of the most popular garments at my display was this dress, (left) which some of you have seen here before, when I made it as my sister's birthday gift! It was in the studio for a minor alteration, and she had no idea I had taken it in for display, but after the first two days I felt compelled to tell her of it's whereabouts! Thanks to Debbie Gilchrist for taking the photo of me at my stand (right).

I had a lot of inquiries regarding workshops, and I directed many to this site, where you will see the pages dedicated to the workshops I have on offer to groups who wish to have me come out to them. For example, the Precious Fragment Wrap, (image right) which is a two day workshop for felters with some experience. For those that are not part of a group, keep checking back here, as if I do organise any of my own workshops, you'll hear it first here!
Again, I thank Expertise Events for garnering some excellent media exposure - here is yet another article promoting my presence at the show.                                                                                                                          

I also spent a lot of time talking to people about the World of WearableArt, which I have just had my work shown in for the sixth time. I was again this year fortunate enough to have been a recipient of an award, an acquisitive prize, meaning that my work has now been purchased for the museum collection. I still feel that a lot of people don't know much about this amazing event, or the concept in general, but it is my passion to promote awareness of it, and I handed out quite a few 2015 entry kits to some budding designers! Not that I really want the extra competition...!!!
Speaking of WOW, I have had a few more pics turn up from last month - here I am on the awards night, talking to the legendary Sue Holmes, and with Matt.

Some of you may know that it is Princess Week here - (my birthday is on Friday)! I just know it's going to be a fabulous week, culminating in lunch with my Maman and Susta on Friday, followed by some form of pancakes on the weekend with the boyz. That's right, boys, PANCAKES!! Pleeeaase?!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Brisbane Craft & Quilt Show

Wow. OK. This is just a really quick update on what has been happening for the last three days....

The response to my display at this show has been absolutely overwhelming, and I thank all the wonderful people who have come in specifically to see my work, and who have been so effusive with their praise and admiration. Truly humbling.
The publicity achieved by Expertise Events using my work has been phenomenal! This includes the article in mx magazine this week, where I had my photo taken on the banks of the Brisbane River wearing Fimbria Figura!
I also had a shoot with this fine lady in the Convention Centre itself.


I have enjoyed the time immensely, and it has been great to catch up with new and old friends, and have the opportunity to inspire those who are completely new to our world!
When I have not been chatting, I have been having a wonderful time moulding and painting leather pieces for a new creation - I think this one should be for me!!
I have also enjoyed playing with scrap pieces of leather, which have led to a few ideas re interesting brooches!
I have been overwhelmed with requests for workshops, and started by directing people to this blog to see the workshops that I have available on offer to groups who wish to employ me. As of today though, I have considered the idea of running my own schedule of workshops, most likely based at the BVAC community building where my textile group ATASDA meets, at Tarragindi. So for all of you who have expressed interest in doing workshops with me - stay tuned! Both groups and individuals who are interested, please contact me, and I will begin a file of interested parties! studiosvenja@gmail.com
Thank you all again for your kind words of appreciation and encouragement - you really have made this time an absolute pleasure for me!!

Friday, 3 October 2014

World of WearableArt 2014

Is it only a week ago that we were in Wellington, preparing to meet fellow designers for a pre-show drink at the Intercontinental Hotel?!! Already it seems a lifetime ago, as usual.
We arrived in Wellington to a personal pick-up arranged by the Wellington Council - I will never, ever, tire of seeing this on my arrival....


Although we had been warned of severely horrible weather,  the week was warm and sunny - perfect once again! Wednesday we spent walking all around Wellington, shopping, and tracking down the large Studebaker sign Matt spotted on our drive in from the airport. Of course, he was wearing his Studebaker of Australia shirt to maximise the photo opportunity!!
In the early evening, we picked up the programme and headed to the Preview show. Although I had travelled to Wow this year with some fairly high expectations of success, on seeing the show I have to say I felt a little deflated - here was some stiff competition! Not only that, but for the first time I had gone through quite a nervous wait to see my piece Fènghuáng in motion. (Previous entries have been static - this one was capable of dynamic movement). I think the rollercoaster of emotion took its' toll on me!
On Thursday we spent the day in the sun down on the dock, where I enjoyed the opportunity to do some design work for my assignment. Yes, I was doing my homework!! With beer!
On Friday morning I tried to atone for my sins by taking a run out around Oriental Bay. It was another beautiful day, but every time you turned the corner the weather was different! I was very glad to have my ear warmers on (Wellingtonians in singlet tops looked at me somewhat strangely). Just look at this lovely seat set into the hill for looking out over the bay......
I was also motivated by the treats that I knew were heading my way at the Brunch with Bubbles at the Australian Embassy that morning, where the Australian designers would be hosted by the delightful Lynda & Michael Potts. They did not disappoint - a warm welcome, free-flowing bubbles, delicious noms and a great catch-up - what a wonderful way to start such an auspicious day!
In the afternoon, we wandered down to Te Papa to see the current WOW exhibition before heading home for a nap before the BIG NIGHT! Great news - a WOW exhibition is headed to Australia next year!! To Townsville, of all places!! Check out this link to see dates - see you there!!
And here we are, ready, or rather, not ready to
see the show. After waiting all these months, finally, it was here, and I wasn't ready! I knew it would be over all too quickly!! Nooooooooo!!
We enjoyed a wonderful pre-show session at the Intercontinental sipping on bubbles (except for that time I picked up an apple juice by mistake!! Shhheeeesh!!) Also delightful noms - ooohhhhh, the wee goats cheese tartlettes - I can taste you now!! (A similarly good spread of noms was put on at the same venue for the post-show drinks, although it was hard to get into these in between conversations! However, I did manage a few beautiful mushroom pastries....mmmmmm)!
And then.... showtime!
During the show, I gave my feet a break from my killer heels knowing what a long night it was going to be. When it came to the section awards, I put them back on, living in hope. When these passed, I took them off again - but then came the special awards!! I might have a chance!! I put them back on again just before hearing my name called for the Wellington International Award for Australia/South Pacific, and walked up to collect my award with them ON THE WRONG FEET!! And NO-ONE NOTICED!!!! Never going to live that one down.....
I think we got home around 1pm - not really sure.......
The next morning, I was continuing the celebrations with some bubbles in bed, when Matt received a message from my sister wishing him a Happy Birthday - we had totally forgotten!!! We finally emerged to visit the markets and then catch up with other International Designers at Mac's Brewery. (We'd also enjoyed a few drinks with the gang on the Thursday afternoon at the St John's Bar after the WOW Symposium).


By Sunday the weather had turned again, telling us to go home, and we obeyed. After checking in at the airport, we went and visited BioLumina, who was chilling out in the Koru Lounge. I'm happy to say she was looking pretty good!
After a days recovery, it was back to it - two photo shoots in one day! The brief I was given was that both photographers wanted to shoot me wearing some previous WOW entries. The first one was fairly soul destroying, in that the photographer would have preferred a real model, and basically told me I was too old and not appropriate to be doing this. This was after he made me drag myself in my garment out onto the slimy, skanky Brisbane River bank. Fair point, but I thought I was simply doing as requested. I have learned a lot about media in the last few weeks. I don't have to give my age because it is irrelevant, and I don't have to do what they say. Having said that, the second photographer was an absolute delight, who knew that the costume I was wearing needed nothing more than its' own presence, and took some absolutely ripping shots which he deigned to share with me at the time. I do hope I get to see them in the paper this weekend! ( They look nothing like the happy snaps here - so much more!!)












These media opportunities are due to my involvement with the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair next week (8-12 Oct), where I am to be guest artist. I'll be hanging out there all week, and demonstrating techniques from designing, to sketching, leather moulding, felting and hand stitching. Come and say hellooooo!! I;m looking forward to it - I love being able to share the love, and I have a stack of WOW entry kits to hand out to interested parties. So, to wind it all up, here are my exhibited entries for this year, photographed by the amazing Chantal Brennan and modelled by the fabulous Jess Halcrow! Thanks so much, my lovely ladies!! Here is a shot of it on stage as well -  go and vote for Fènghuáng for the peoples' choice  on the Dominion Post website.