Monday 28 May 2012

I want an Egg Basket chair!

Almost June – amazing! The hectic start of 2012 is hopefully going to slow down to a more moderate pace – not too many deadlines left now! This is me a few weeks ago having breakfast with The Brains Trust after the markets, feeling very happy and creative in my little egg basket – I WANT one!! So nurturing, so good!

With Mirror Mirror safely in the hands of Bernina for the Art U Wear competition (wouldn’t I just love to win, the cash or the machine – either would be great!) oh wow, I just checked the website, and the prizes have grown this year – last year viewers choice was $500! Prizes this year are:
1st prize: $3,000 cash
Runner Up: $1,000 cash
Viewers’ Choice: Bernina 215 sewing machine, RRP $1,199.
Judging for that one is on June 13th. June I’ll be spending working on my nuno felted bridal collection for the Fashion Flair competition. On Friday I posted 3 preliminary outfits down to Tasmania for the fashion parade at the Campbell Town Show. Made using superfine wool from White Gum Wool, they continue my experiments with the felting process taught to me by Vilte. The white one is the original workshop sample, and to make it more substantial, I tacked on the other 2 sample pieces! The boa was made for my Morphology Exhibition last year, as was the slate coloured one.

The pink wrap was the first piece I made like this in my own studio, and turned out to be quite a substantial piece! I incorporated some embroidered silk organza and beaded chiffon from garments found at op shops and markets into both dress and wrap so they truly match! 

Another beautiful beaded dress was cut up for the slate/purple dress, and some pieces were only felted in at the top edge, so they hang as little frills. When I finished this piece, I saw that I had managed to leave the derriere completely undecorated – it was a layer of very fine silk only! So I created the lovely little draped piece for a bit of modesty, and am very pleased with it! The original silk dress had 2 rouleau straps with lovely beaded ends – I have used these for the halter straps, and the ends look lovely hanging down.
I hope they like my work at the show! 

Photos were required and I suddenly realised that I might not get the chance again if someone was interested in buying them! I try not to model my own gear as I am so appallingly bad at it, and decided to wear a more natural coloured wig for the shoot. Not a good idea. After I was showed the first few shots, I castigated myself, I totally looked like a MAN IN DRAG!!! Sheeesh!! So out came the pink hair! 

More photos next week when I check the files – we got some fantastic ones last night at Cloudland as we celebrated…May your lives be full of wooly goodness……

Tuesday 15 May 2012

May update

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the opening of ‘Push Pull, In out, Over Under’ , the current exhibition at Gallery 159, featuring the shibori work of Margaret Barnett and my good friend Beatrice Jackson.

 A hand weaver and shibori dyer, Beatrice has extended herself into new territory, by working with shibori stitching on organza and lame to create stunning shapes, and all twinkling with her trademark beading. I took ‘Les Girls’ over for use in the exhibition, which was a cunning plan – I was there for set up, and got to nab a few pieces before anyone else saw them!
After another busy week on the planet, including being sent home from TAFE on Tuesday night because I was falling asleep, then missing gym the next morning because I stuffed up my alarm, it was Friday again! Friday evening saw the shoot for Mirror Mirror,
Mirror Mirror getting pushed through the machine!!
with the fabulous Miss Jess. Anticipating a ‘walk in the park’ shoot, it turned out to be a bit more challenging. Firstly, the zipper failed – aaaaghhhhh! So I had to stitch, pin, and safety pin Miss J into it. Ever the professional, she was not at all phased, and pulled out some amazing poses.  I just said the word ‘Vogue’ to her, and she was off! I’m sure Jess was thrilled to hear “OK, just do everything you just did again”!! But look at the result!!
Miss Jess - you ROCK!!
Exhausted, the we headed home for our trusty pick-me-up, Mr Mojhito!! And Mr Champagne, and Mr Japanese Slipper……… well earned after a big week!
Saturday morning saw the domestic chores done, and with the house sparkarlingoo, I headed down to the studio to start the next project, the nuno felted bridal party! I was quite nervous, as this is using the new techniques I learnt at Vilte’s workshop, including working in reverse. However, 6 hours later (really, 6 hours?!!) I had a beautiful wrap, and felt more confident about making the matching dress on Sunday. Layout went well, but the process was put on hold due to Mothers day smoked salmon sandwiches and champagne! It was nice to show Mum what has been keeping me so busy – I made her come to me, and still worked whilst she was here! Then it was out for a drive in the latest ride, Fred the M5 Studebaker. We stopped off at the Storey Bridge for some jazz and Sav Blanc – a lovely way to finish the weekend!

The lost time had to be found somewhere, so it was up at 6am Monday morning, no gym, just hard work rolling cold wet felt in an extremely cold studio! Of course, felting prefers the warmer weather, so it took a long time! I left it to dry and went to work, eager to return to see the results.  Overall quite pleasing, but I’m still not convinced about making dresses in the round rather than making two sides and sewing them together for a better fit!
One more dress next weekend with my lovely studio assistant, Miss Jenelle, and it’s time to post a bag full of goodies to Tasmania. (Miss Jenelle, you will understand the pain I felt as I made myself do 500 more rolls! Then 500 more rolls!! I kept thinking of you!) I'm building on the original white workshop dress for this too.Then I have until the end of July to finish the collection.
Tuesday – and I’m happy that my silk order arrived at last today – whooo hoooo! Velvet for devore, black and white paj, and tissue silk! Off to college tonight – hard to drag myself there with silk to play with, and after a lovely day with the boi having lunch down at Marina Mirage – prawns and champers – whooo!

Thursday 3 May 2012

The Last Hurrah!

To celebrate the trans-Tasman crossing of our work, The Lounge Bar saw the hosting of another soiree, with model, special helpers and friends invited. House mojhitos were consumed whilst superb videos of the two shoots played in the background, and mounted stills of both our works were displayed.  Many, many limes later………..
Later the next morning….much later…. we toddled off for breakfast, and wondered how to waste the day. Well, we never really waste a day, so we set off for Fort Lytton, a place I have been meaning to investigate as a photo shoot locale. It offers so many great shots, but is also just so inspiring and lovely in itself!
Beautiful mould and fungus growths -  dripping down walls and creeping across ceilings, wonderful vistas across fields and lakes to ruined buildings. 
I had a wonderful time, skipping from building to building, taking photos of mould and imagining wonderfully atmospheric photo shoots…..

So, an easy going day, but time well spent. Also impressive was the friendliness and helpfulness of the guides/volunteers there. It’s such a nice change to come across such folk these days, and it really made the experience most pleasurable.
Time since has been spent planning for the month of May which is dedicated to felt-making. I have been gathering supplies to include in the felted garments, including pieces of lovely beaded silk chiffon – I just know it’s going to add a wonderful touch to my felted garments. I had bought one such piece many months ago for just this purpose, but have become so attached to it on my antique mannequin in the corner that I can’t bear to cut it up as planned! 
So I went to the op-shop and bought another beaded silk garment!
I do hope my silk order arrives tomorrow for this long weekend!
Tomorrow I deliver 'The Girls' (my mannequins) to Gallery 159 for their use in Beatrice Jackson's exhibition, opening this Sunday 6th May. Can't wait to see her beautiful shibori work on display - so proud of you, Miss Bea!!
Can't wait to play!
Love and Light,