Thursday, 24 September 2015

WOW 2015

Tuesday: Well, the big day is finally here, and we have successfully got ourselves to the airport, albeit waaaay earlier than necessary, to ensure we made it through Customs before they went on strike!! None of us cope with stress that well, and after not much sleep, 4 shots of coffee, and an early cab, my body was already trembling!! Much better now - plugged in an connected in the departure lounge!
It has been a busy week, as I finalised outfits, made fascinators for family, and even whipped up a cravat for Matt last night! My hands are sore from stitching and folding, cutting and holding, and are looking forward to a rest. Yesterday I had one more fascinator to make, having found out that my bestest Bunneh is arriving in Wellington on Friday to see the show and be there for the wedding! Best surprise EVER!!
We arrived, a little later than planned, and were picked up and driven to our hotel - thank you Wellington City Council - you made my sister's day! I was due for a photoshoot at the Foxglove at 4, so sidled up to our driver José and asked if he could drop me off there after leaving the others at the hotel. The dear man agreed, and I quickly delved into my suitcase for my make-up bag and bouquet, and made it just in time. I was pretty stressed by then, but the lovely photographer Moniqué said not to stress, fix my face, and of course I had time for a drink! Which I attempted to pay for with Australian money. Shoot done, it was time to meet the staff of the Foxglove in preparation for Saturday, and all looks to be under control. Next stop - noms! And wine. Then back to our lovely abode. Here's the article.
Pettigrew. Callum Pettigrew.
Wednesday: After the usual holiday 'gumboot water' we set off into town, ending up at The Lido for brekky and some rather good coffee, served by a lovely man. There's a certain breed of menfolk in New Zealand - they're kind of old-school, well mannered but good fun, and snappy dressers. Such as our next encounter at the suit hire shop, where our very helpful man ended up doing Yoda
impersonations! I just love it when people 'play' with us - it just makes it fun for everyone! So many people seem to be so miserable in their jobs and their interactions within them - yet it's so easy to make it fun!
From here we walked up Cuba Street, where Liam arrived in Paradise, aka Comrades Army Disposals, whose sign reads "Everything you want but don't need". Nailed it. Further wandering took us down near Coles, so we decided to get our shop done. Good Lord, the price of asparagus and tomatoes!!! But ahhh, the joy of buying the beer and wine at the supermarket.  Next it was back to the Foxglove to sort out the final details, then a little shopping. I exhausted myself running all over town looking for a protective iron cover as I have a lot of special silk garments to iron, and forgot to pack mine. I also needed a new sleeper as Liam noticed  my nose-ring had disappeared - whaaat?! I've had that in for so many years, and that has never happened before! Success with the sleeper, none with the iron cover....Then it was time to meet with our celebrant, where more detai
Matt at the Foxglove
ls were sorted, and it all started to feel very real! I must have been a bit tired and emotional, as I looked down at the paperwork and saw my father's name, and instantly teared up as it would have been so lovely if he could have been here.  He should have been here.
Acrylic chain mail goodness
Beloved Boi then went down to pick up the tickets for the show, leaving Callum and I to start getting ready for Preview. By now, I started to realise what a ridiculously busy week this was! Before we knew it, there we were, reuniting with designers and getting excited!  As usual, we pored over the catalogue afterwards, and I stayed up too late doing so with some vodka....

ICK!!!
Thursday: .....leaving me slightly dusty for Designer Day! More reunions at Rydges before boarding the bus to the Roxy, where we enjoyed Sir Richard Taylor's introduction, and a presentation by WETA technician Gino. The next few hours were quite relaxed, as we enjoyed demonstrations of the application of body paint and prosthetics, as well as a display of WETA armour and chainmail made by Eve Gilliland. There was also a display of amazing
ly realistic body parts, which felt absolutely ooky!! After lunch, it was off to the latest WETA attraction, a bit of a behind the scenes look at the makings of the prosthetics and the armour. No photos, no touching - we exercised an incredible amount of restraint!! Back to the Roxy for a Creative Industries Panel, which was very enjoyable, although many of us had drooping eyes by now! And so ends this post, as I relax in the warm burrow with some bubbles and a pile of ironing....

Monday, 7 September 2015

Calico on the Catwalk

Time flies when you're having fun - and zoom - the weekend is gone! On Friday I was off into town to hear Costume Designer Noelene Hill speak about the creation of tutus at the QUT Art Museum. As I waited by the river for the ferry I felt myself relax - I had nothing to do for the next few minutes except enjoy the wonderful Spring day. Bliss. 
The exhibition featured tutus created by Australian fashion designers - my favourite was this sculptural piece by Dinosaur Designs.
I greatly enjoyed Noelene's presentation (she was my costume tutor at QUT in the mid '90's!) and learned a lot about the construction of a tutu. We got a fascinating look inside some pieces of the Queensland Ballet's wardrobe.
After a quick sustenance stop in the centre of town, I enjoyed an afternoon of shopping. I always love walking through the Brisbane Arcade, and was particularly glad I did this time as it was beautifully decorated throughout with Spring flowers.

On Saturday, Matt and I headed out west to Boonah, where I was to judge the Calico on the Catwalk fashion parade, part of the Boonah Arts Festival. 
We checked into our motel, and headed for the pub, where I became entranced with the pinball machine ( I never got the chance as a youth) - so much so that I had to be dragged away with games still left to deliver my display garments to the venue! A Pinball Wizard cut down in her prime......
After working out who was going to fit what (I'm so glad I took the time to do this, as they were all super tiny, and no-one would fit poor Siren of the Sea who got pulled back from the tour for this very occasion!) we were treated to a lovely dinner with some of the IGA sponsors and local organisers. This was a surprise for us, and as we both needed to change, we shot off quickly to the motel for the quickest quick-change EVER!
The evening was great fun, with some really great entries, many of them so very different it made it quite difficult to judge! The mood was set at the beginning with the entertaining and ingenious display garments made from packaging from the IGA, including this avocado tray delight!
At the end of the evening, the girls modelling my work came out and did a fabulous job (although seeing a racer back top underneath my strapless felted gown gave me a small conniption!) Another surprise - I was to go up on stage and announce the category winners, where I gave away far more Highly Commended's than I was officially allowed to, but simply had to do! It was also a great opportunity to thank Boonah for continuing this event, where I got my start eight years ago, and this may be what moved the IGA representative to pledge even more support next year! Yay!!
We met some wonderful people at the after party and enjoyed chatting before the 'ugly lights' were turned on, immediately taking me back to high school dance days! Our spirits buoyed by champagne and great company, we didn't take the hint, and were almost the last to leave.
The Sunday sleep in was great, the only thing driving me out of the super comfortable bed being my growling tummy... but first stop, the newsagents, for a copy of the Sunday Mail which featured yours truly in the U on Sunday magazine! It was with trepidation that I turned to page 5, but was very happy with what I saw, and didn't stop smiling for the rest of the day. Thanks Cat Lindsay and Mark Cranitch for your lovely words and images. Although the article mentioned my winning the WETA workshop internship, that is still only a dream, but I am taking Cat's words as a prophecy!!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Three weeks until New Zealand!

The time since we came home from Canberra has flown! For me, in the preparation of the Wearable Art presentation I gave this past Sunday on behalf of Common Threads, for Matt, in the design and further construction of Hubert, the Humber Snipe he is rebuilding from scratch - a project he gets me in for consultation on as far as design lines and placements. From now, though, only three weeks until we go to New Zealand, my focus is on all things WOW and Wedding! My fellow 'Circus Family Members' (Craft Show folk) are currently in NZ, touring from Hamilton to Christchurch. I would love to have been there with them, but I had a lot of gear to freight, which was cost prohibitive, and some other rather important plans! I can't wait to catch up with them in Adelaide, or even beforehand at the Brisbane Show, where I will be unofficially present most days, helping out with Miss Chrissy's demonstrations.
Watching the dvd at tables covered in samples
I hope the participants of the 'Afternoon with Svenja' enjoyed the session, where I gave an overview of my past experience and development, my WOW pieces, before going  through the many stages from conception, development, design and construction in several of them, before discussing the
methods and points of inspiration for other WOW designers. I also took along many sample pieces from my collection to be examined and photographed. We finished off with a viewing of the Common Threads dvd, which served to both inspire,  and demonstrate the high quality of this event.  
The unwrapping
You saw the many leaves I brought home from Canberra - I did manage to do a dye-pot with these within the week of our return, and these were the results. The biggest difference is the length of those magnificent gum leaves!! These make an interesting 'necklace' effect on one of them. I now have the leaves hanging up under the house, ready for the next session.
Sneaky peek at my bouquet of silk flowers!
I've finished blinging my shooz, and my bridal bodice, and am loving my bouquet! Many of you have seen all of these in progress at the recent Craft & Quilt Fairs. I hope this week to complete Matt's waistcoat, and then get to work on the rest of my outfit. I am still yet to find a photographer for the event - any Wellington photo folk who can be there, please get in touch!

Flutterby, 2007
This weekend we are off to Boonah, where I am to judge the Calico on the Catwalk wearable art competition - where I had my very first success in 2007! What a wonderful journey it has been since then!