Saturday 29 December 2012

Studio Progress

With three teenage children about to descend upon my home for the foreseeable future, work progresses frantically to re-house me in my new studio downstairs, also accommodating the industrial machines I have recently bought! Having combined my dressing room and studio upstairs in order to free up a bedroom, I'm currently working all throughout the house (not entirely unusual anyway!). My current World of WearableArt designs for 2013 are taking up most of the lounge! I'd love to show what I'm up to, but of course, I cannot. However, I can tell you that I am loving working with leather....

Back to the studio.... it's certainly come along way from the last update of the framework for the first wall! This weekend we have the framework for the entire room, and this afternoon the framework for my shelves and storage area for fabric bolts was completed.
Looking through the corridor - doors either end, fabric shelves to right.
Shelf framework, 1 more shelf to go on top, bolt storage area at rear around 1m wide.
It's starting to really look like a room!! Yesterday I spent sometime sitting on a deck chair within the framework imagining the space, and deciding what was what to go where, as when you are having a room custom built, these decisions need to be made early on! After an hour or so, I was satisfied that I had taken everything in to account, and made best use of the space. Remind me of that later, okay?!
Visible progress will slow for a while, as fiddly filling-in, and electrical bits happen. Sheeting won't occurr until the end to provide light and ventilation as long as possible. However, enough progress has been made to get me pretty darn excited!!
Last week, I had another great day on the road, at one stage ending up in IKEA (terrifying!!) where I intended only to check out the food market. I ended up having an early lunch there, so I experienced the Swedish Meatballs for the first time. The soft toy section then beckoned me, where I found these lovely mice and rats, (seen here perched on a saggy baggy elephant!), now ensconced on the sunvisors of the kombi for random throwing at people..... they should be cats, as I am known as the crazy cat lady in the kombi, throwing cats at people....
 and I ended up going through the store backwards. Not a good idea. When I wanted to go and find something I had seen earlier, do you think we could find it? Not a chance....

Since then, Matt and I have survived Christmas, and are soon to face New Years. I'm hoping to have a quiet one, celebrating New Zealand style at 9am Australian time, to wake with a fresh head and ready to perform my now annual ritual of felting my new diary cover for the year, incorporating all sorts of meaningful bits and pieces.
I hope you all have a pleasant start to 2013, and that the year brings creative goodness to all!
All the Best,

Thursday 20 December 2012

A box, a burger, and an overload of bling!

Last Sunday we set off on a mission to Chandler Markets to pick up our smoked salmon for Christmas, and any other treats or treasures we might find. In the first few rows of stalls, I came across this gem for $100.
Merry Christmas to meeeeeeee!!
I can't believe I actually had to think about it!! No, I don't really need it, but c'mon!! It's in pristine condition, has all the design lines for pattern draping on it, is my size, and it was $100 instead of the $500 it would normally cost me!! Mine. She'll be perfect in the new studio.
Next I snavelled the last 2 packets of Tasmanian smoked salmon, much to the annoyance of several other shoppers at the stall - sorry kids - you snooze you lose! Luckily I didn't wait to be served and just took them out of the esky - as the stallholder was saying to one customer "I think I've got a couple left in here" I waved them around and said, "Oh no you don't!!"
The rest of the weekend was spent playing with paper, pins and staples as I tried to lock in my design for WoW 2013. It's time to start making! Huge as this last week at work has been for Matt, he was determined to make progress with the studio - and here is the framework for the first wall!

This morning, I set off on an errand to pick up a wooden box for my mother from her friend on the other side of town. It always seems a little alien on the Northside, and I managed to go the scenic route due to my 5 year old refidex - there are a lot of new roads! Mission accomplished, I headed home to the more comfortable zone of the Southside, where I decided sustenance was required urgently, and that a Grill'd burger was just the thing. In a post-burger food coma, I decided that I really, really didn't feel like heading into work, so after a quick call to the boss, was let off the hook - yahoooo!! Well, I am up to date with everything, and it IS Christmas!! Loot was just down the road, and we'd wanted to go there, so it was only sensible to go - I were almost there! After admiring a patchwork 'Alice in Wonderland' style high-backed armchair in Far Pavilions I decided that as I was halfway to Sunnybank, it would also be sensible to go there to search for interesting Chinese and Indian shops. What a disappointment! Nothing but restaurants and normal shops! To cheer myself up, on the way home I decided to revisit the wonderful Indian shops I had found on Logan Road a week or so ago and possibly buy a sari. Here I had a wonderful experience at Kamalz Indian Fashion, where the two proprietors remembered me from my earlier visit, and welcomed me warmly.  Of course, one had to get the bangles to match, and also pictured is the evening bag our hostess kindly gave me on our way out - just fabulous! Such a gracious couple (we were even served glasses of water on a tray - most welcome in such hot weather)! I look forward to our next visit.

 Then the pièce de résistance for me - a stunning pink and green lacework sari.
The extra bit at the end of the sari for making your bodice and sleeves!
Stunning embroidery and embellishment on a variegated leaf green mesh
 Tomorrow I have another adventure day, starting off with visiting a new fabric shop in Eagleby, not that there's much left in the coffers for purchasing! Looking forward to another day on the road in the Magic Bus! If I don't manage an update after this - all the best for the festive season folks, and a new year of peace to you all.

Thursday 13 December 2012

The end of 2012

The end of 2012 it may be, but not the end of the world! The end of an era, the beginning of a new one in my life as I transition back to fashion college mid year. This week, work began on my new studio! "All I want for Christmas is a new studio"......
Mishka supervises the laying of the first bottom plate of the studio - "Good work, Dad!!"
Well, maybe a little after then, but that's fine with me. In the short design process, as we walked it out, it grew and grew until it filled all the available space - well, why not?!! In typical Matt Pettigrew style, it is being over engineered to buggery - and I like that! I don't want to deal with the aftermath of floods etc when it could be avoided....
I'm really excited about having wall space to design on, bookshelves for all my fabulous inspirational books and magazines,  and cupboards to house the ever-growing collection of garments and materials. I'm also looking forward to the studio christening party!!
Luckily my WoW design process is well under way and should be able to progress despite the changing surrounds. I spent an enjoyable Friday picking up supplies for my pieces, and ended up in Wynnum where I found my new mascot - Bunneh!
Last weekend was our first 'Day on the Green' at Sirromet Winery, and what a great experience that was! The Models, The Church, Simple Minds, and Devo - Awesome! Not a particular fan of any of these bands, it was a wonderful chilled out afternoon full of wine, sun, and even some sketching time! And I am a new convert of Devo's..........
The weekend before last, we ended up having a bit of a spontaneous drinks session on the deck, which ended up with us in the inevitable drinking hats!!
The Frenchman
The Cowboy

and a top hat!
Hmmm, this is supposed to be more of a textile based blog, isn't it.....
Last week I made inroads on my latest piece of thick, vegetable tanned leather, cutting out an armband piece. I started work on it after a lot of design work, which fortuitously led to a decision to make my design in this wonderful stiff leather, which will hold itself  in a beautiful sculptural fashion! And I think I might just be able to make it all from this one piece!
Leather piece ready to be cut!

I'm looking forward to my two weeks off, and making some serious progress with my work, as the new studio takes shape. All the best for the crazy season, folks!