Thursday 3 December 2015

Where do I start?!

I've had several weeks at home since my return from Adelaide, which already seems so long ago. Within the first week, I had spent a great deal of time in the studio making felted and nuno felted wraps. I enjoyed trawling through my stash of wool, silk, and embellishments, finding cohesive elements to bring together. Here you can see a lovely piece of dyed silk organza which just happened to go beautifully with some wool I had - from layout to finished wrap. It felt really good to be 'using up' all these bits, which simply means I can
dye/buy more! The green and blue piece to the left was made with wool I had managed to matt together during the dyeing process, (I must have managed to boil it!) which was able to be rescued when I bought a comb for removing matted hair from pets, and worked my way through it - I can't throw it out! Sadly, RSI in my arm kicked in after a while, and I had to stop, so I moved on to ice dyeing for a while. I really enjoyed working on these, working out how to fold the garments to get the best effects (quite different to just dealing with plain material or scarves) and how to mix my new palette of dyes.
Dealing with powdered dye rather than liquid means that the dye doesn't always look like it's going to, so I'm really glad I invested in a colour chart as well - very helpful! All this effort was in aid of ensuring I had a varied amount of stock for the Etsy Made Local market, held last weekend in Brisbane City Hall. Sadly, it was all in vain, as it was a fairly unsuccessful day for me. The venue had a bit of a weird vibe, (just look at that carpet!) the poor crowd looked dazed and glazed by the time they had made their way in through the large queue in the sun, and 2m x 2m with no space between neighbours sure was small! I certainly noticed the difference between that and my generous allowance previously enjoyed at the Craft & Quilt Fair, and most noticeably, the lack of walls! It was a long day, but there was a silver lining - my neighbour was the lovely Juliarna of Carpe d'Art, which produces fabulous hand painted sneakers. We had a hoot! Both of us were also supported by our mothers, who came to visit and offer encouragement!
Last week we visited TAFE for the graduate Fashion Parade, which sadly, I have to say lacked a little punch! Many of the designs seemed to share similar elements, and the colour palette was woefully sedate. That may indeed be the 'trend' right now, but I'm sure you've all figured out that fashion 'trends' don't feature strongly in my world of unique design! One piece that did garner my interest was this lovely ombré dress.
This Saturday I will be at the ATASDA Christmas Fair and celebration, at the BVAC hub at Weller's Hill, open from 10-2, so come and visit myself and many other fine textile artists with goodies for sale.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

The last of Adelaide

From here on it is all kind of blurred into one, apart from the hilarity of the Christmas party on Saturday night. None of the days were as busy as the first, but I continued to get many admirers, with my work even moving some to tears! That's pretty special. I also sold some of my recently made wraps, and was very pleased to hear that they would be being worn at special occasions. I also recommended that when they weren't, they be draped over furniture to just be enjoyed!
Gurney's display now facing the wall
Saturday we finished at the usual 4:30, and I toddled home to do some washing, shower, and relax before heading back for the Christmas party, much to Miss Chrissy's disgust! I headed down in my boots, as I just couldn't handle wearing sneakers with my outfit, and was counting on getting changed into my heels at the venue. Imagine my distress when I found it locked! However, Expertise Events informed security that a vital shoe change was required, and they came to open up! Miss Chrissy took the opportunity to duck in with me for some makeup, and no sooner were we in there than she had the devilish idea of messing with Gurney's stand - bahahahaaaa!! We turned everything upside down - the chairs, her craft supplies - we even turned her displays to the wall!
Back in the atrium, Gary hosted a
wonderful evening including trivia questions, and the donning of the Santa suit for the Kris Kringle section (most sarcastic Santa ever!) Even better than that was his helper, Cracker!! I was one of the last to leave, and walked home, snapping this shot of the lovely Capri Cinema close to 'home'.
Capri Cinema, Goodwood
Sunday morning, and poor Gurney was in a spin when she saw her stand, thinking that it was the cleaners that had  messed with it as retribution for asking for it to be cleaned!!
Sunday was a loooong day, as it was super quiet, and the pack up loomed. Chrissie, Kerry and myself were very sad that our tour was finally over - we've had lots of fun together.
 It was a different kind of packup, as I had to remove all the stock and bits and pieces I wanted to take with me for the Etsy Made Local market and ATASDA's Merry Threads market. I didn't quite think this through all too well, and had to leave a trolley full of items to pick up in the morning. I returned with the house trolley in the morning, and was disturbed to find just how much there was! When I got it home, I was faced with the reality that all this was never going to fit in my suitcase, and that I was going to be hard pressed to find something large enough to hold my clothes racks. So off in the other direction to the local Salvo store it was, where I found a brilliantly large suitcase for $15 - Salvation from the Salvation Army! Now possessing three large cases, I accepted that the only way to the airport was via taxi. I was very fortunate to be able to stay in the apartment until 4pm, passing the time with the lovely wine my hosts had left for me!

I ran into Gurney at the airport bar, and ended up having to run to the gate sans shooz, as they were calling my name! And that was after arriving three hours early at the airport! I was pleased to arrive home to my boy, who had chilled champagne waiting. He da man!!

Friday 6 November 2015

The Adelaide Craft & Quilt Fair

Before I continue, I have a photo from my trip into town the other day that I forgot to include - how's this for everything Svenja loves?!! A kombi selling toasted cheese sandwiches?!!! Hello?!!!
Tuesday - a glorious sleep in, followed by a stroll into the Adelaide Pavilion Gardens, then home via the Showground, where I popped in to say hello to Gary and find out when I could set up! I also visited Boulangerie 113 for a coffee and a croissant - the real deal! I spent the day doing some preliminary planning for 2016 and watching the Melbourne Cup  before rolling my suitcase of goodies down to the showground to get a head start on setup. When I caught up with the Craft Spot cats, I received a wonderful gift from Erica of these fabulous, quality sequins, with dentillated edges, and already threaded ready for tambour beading! Wow! We did have a bit of a giggle about them looking like a packet of maggots....
Having entirely emptied my case and the cage, got my lights up, and just about passed out manually blowing up my inflatable mannequins, I called it a day.
Wednesday - It was nice to feel I didn't have to rush down to the fair, so I treated myself to a lovely breakfast at local café Gingers before heading off to work. For some reason I just couldn't focus, flitting around, picking one thing up, putting another down. I think it was because I didn't yet have my bench, which, when it finally arrived, had quite an impact! Eventually it was done to my satisfaction.
Thursday - with rain threatening, I still enjoyed a walk around the area. I'm calling Adelaide the City of Roses - they are just everywhere! Suburbia here is really quite beautiful. So, day one of the final fair - and I just couldn't work out what to wear! I'm really missing a full length mirror here! I
almost got convinced to join in the morning dance, but just couldn't quite do it......
Jesus? That you?!!
I had an enjoyable day (of course, the second question I had was do I do work for film..... I
should, I know...) and my ice dyed garments were very popular.  I even sold my lovely silk wrap which I made last week. I spent the day sewing silk rosebuds, unfortunately twice stitching them to my fingers without even noticing, and having to cut some skin away to get to the thread - well, I wasn't going to cut the thread, I hadn't finished!

We had some fun when one customer noticed this face in one of the botanical print tops - is that Jesus?!! He didn't take long to sell, and went to a very happy home! At the end of the day, the Craft Family took a bus into town to dine at Jamie Oliver's restaurant, and we all enjoyed a great night together.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Radelaide part two

Echo Tunnel
Monday morning I set off for Belair Conservation Park, where I enjoyed a good 6km run through the bush on the Waterfall Hike track. It recommended 3 hours, but I was done in 11/2, running much of the way. The most challenging part was not the hills, but this creepy, long tunnel called Echo Tunnel, where quite frankly, not much echoed. It was a challenge to my height, my sensibility and to my
a photo cannot do it justice....
Ashes to Ashes
claustraphobia and fear of the dark, and about half way in I turned and looked behind me, then turned forwards, then turned backwards...... but on reaching the other side, I was greeted with many sightings of baby Bunnehs scampering about! I also saw a magnificent parrot/lorrikeet - blue and gold and quite large. The landscape was strange - full of ghost gums with screeching cockatoos, and twisted black branches, I think from a recent fire - a very William Robinson look. On the way home I stopped in at a Salvos store, and talked myself into a funky pair of studded wedge boots. Then it was home for a brekky of banana and youghurt, and the remaining prawns, before heading into the city. I chose to enter via the East side, and half planned to head straight to the car rental depot, but then took a few twists and turns. Having sufficiently toured, I was trying to find a servo to fill up at when I spied the Jam Factory Gallery, and got to check that out. I just loved these pieces by Tamara Baillie in the current exhibition 'Shimmer'.  The didactic panel read: Inspired by Papua New Guinean masks, Baillie creates forms that embody her ancestors. With our current taboos about death and bodies, the body bag has become a way to distance ourselves, to obscure and contain death in drip proof plastic, discreetly removed by unobtrusive professionals. Lace flows out of the bags as if seeping from the past, alluding to the spectral, pervasive legacy of our bleached and starched history and to the organic uncontainable messiness of death and decay. This was one of those rare experiences where I was initially struck by the physical beauty of the work, which was then actually enhanced by the words on the didactic panel, rather than making me snort at the attempt to obfuscate the orginal intention, if indeed there ever was one. Bravo! Beautiful and actually meaningful work!
After being led astray twice by the GPS towards no longer existent servos, I eventually got it sorted and delivered the car, free now to walk Rundle Street. I started at the Eastern end, the highlight being the Red Cross shop, then ended up in the pedestrian mall end which was, well, pedestrian. Priceline, Lorna Jane, Novo, Swarovski........ how unique (not!)! Luckily I stumbled into the Adelaide Arcade
and subsequently Gays arcade, where I found the delightful T'Arts Textile Collective, which I have known about for years. A bracelet created by Cindy Durant  spoke to me here, and funnily enough
also goes with my jacket and today's new shooz! There was another fabulous shop in this arcade, jewellery by Sarah Rothe, sadly closed on this day, but I took these photos - I saw some of her work in a gallery in Hahndorf and admired it. Turn away now, Bun - I also found the Button Bar - OMG!!
The Button Bar
What didn't she have?!! How I wished I had a place like this near me, as buttons aren't something you can really buy anticipatorily without a pro. I continued to wander down to West End, before getting on the city loop bus, which, heading in a clockwise direction, ended up taking me back all through town, and across the river into North Adelaide, so it was a great little tour for me! Luckily I wasn't in a hurry. I was able to walk home from the stop at Whitmore Square, and was thrilled to get myself into a shower and then onto a chair with a nice cold beer by 5:30pm.

The weekend in Radelaide

Saturday October 31st was an extremely early start, with a 6am flight to Adelaide. Everything went swimmingly, from security clearance to a nice neighbour on the 'plane, to an easy car pick up and early arrival at my abode. Here I was greeted by the lovely hosts , who have beautifully restored this 50's apartment, right down to the kettle and the couch!
Loved these sculptures in the dunes
They were also amazingly generous, leaving  half a dozen eggs from their own chooks, milk, butter, a bottle of white wine and the most delicious bread from Boulangerie 113. Wow - such thoughtfulness and delicious kindness!
After settling in, I thought I would take advantage of the nice day, and after quickly visiting the (very small) Flinders St Market, drove out to Glenelg, looking for delicious noms. The parking gods were on my side as I found the perfect 3hour park (may have had to do a slightly illegal turn to get to it...) then headed out to assess all the luncheon opti
Why aren't the cafés on this side?!!
ons. The Marina area was weird - all the restaurants faced only the marina, yet they all went through to the beach side, which is where I would rather be. The Surf Club looked OK, but I kept going to the Jetty Hotel and scored a table by the window. However, once I found a menu and decided that I didn't want a $22 burger, or a hotdog, I left, and ended up across the square at the Mosely. Here I was served the most delicious warm bread with olive oil - it was better than cake - and n
Goodwood suburban streets
o matter how I tried, I was powerless to resist it! I could barely finish my pressed chicken (meh) but made sure I consumed my duck dumplings (nom)! I walked the precinct, noticing that Glenelg had clearly not seen platform sandals for some time, nor, apparently, pink hair, or perhaps a leather jacket? Whatever the hook was, I certainly felt like I had my second head on, as we like to refer to this experience. Maybe they're a bit less obvious when I'm with Matt?... I picked up supplies on the way home, and settled in for some relaxation, a small walk around the neighbourhood (picking up coffee for the morning as there IS a plunger) and going to bed by 8pm. The flat at the back was having a party, which was a tad disruptive, but I eventually drifted off.
Loved the rusting on this pylon
Sunday began with some quite lovey 'Laneway' gumboot water (plunger coffee)  and some stretches before heading out to Black Hill Conservation Park for some bushwalking. I expected to head out
there, find a main entrance/parking site from which to begin, but there seemed to be a lot of closed gates and no parking areas. Eventually I found one at the end of a suburban road, and headed in to do the Black Hill Summit track. That was a pretty hard core climb, on a very narrow pathway stacked largely with rocks. Towards the top I found myself under an electricity pylon - the buzzing was quite unnerving, but the rust on the metal was quite fabulous.  It was a little further to the top, then it was time to come down again - honestly, it was way worse than going up - at one stage I did slide and end up on my butt and hands, but luckily didn't hurt anything! I started chanting the usual 'eggs, eggs, eggs' on the way down, and when I got home, put an enormous one on to boil. It was then that I nibbled a corner of the loaf of bread, and was in danger of devouring the whole thing due to it's wonderfulness!!

Moving right along..... I decided to heed mah Bunneh's advice and head out to Hahndorf - again, like Glenelg, only half an hour away. Again, I was blessed with a wonderful park, and walked the picturesque street. Although the buildings, the trees, the street itself are beautiful, many of the shops are full of imported goods (or is that bads?), so apparent that I knew I didn't even need to
Giant Bunz!
cross the doorway. If you're not after a stodgy German dish, some fudge, or an Indonesian import, just soak up the lovely street atmosphere. Whilst ev
My kind of graffiti!
eryone stares at you. There were 3 'real' shops - the craft co-op, and actual gallery shop with work in it by Penny Eamer and Denise Lithgow, and the Museum Shop. There was a highlight at the leather shop, where at the back they have a Bunneh enclosure!! Here I saw two enormous Bunz - apparently NZ giant Bunnehs! Also some baby giants - squeeee!  I proceeded on to Mount Barker, then headed for home, driving through Stirling on the way back, and getting slightly lost on the way home. Absolutely no matter - I love driving through the streets and looking at the different houses! There are so many Colonial Style houses here - I do wonder where they keep all their stuff when they have no 'under-the-house' as we do in Queensland, and where my entire studio is housed! After a lunch of boiled prawns and Pinot Grigio, I spent the afternoon intermittently reading my Dawn French novel, and looking across the street, before going for a last walk of the day around the neighbourhood. It seems so amazingly quiet, and neater than Queensland - rose bushes, especially white ones, seem to be de rigueur if you have a Colonial stone house! I love stopping to smell them - the red ones are very rich, the pink ones very sweet.

Sunday 25 October 2015

Ice Dyeing and felting, and some future judging!

Ice dyed rayon jacket
Soooo, I've slowly backed away from the sequins (all sorted, new ones added!) and delved into the freezer to do some ice dyeing!! My Etsy shop is now looking lively with some very colourful new additions, with more to follow.
Ice dyed silk scarves
Acid dyed silk/wool scarves
I left my camera charger cord in NZ, hence the delay, and hence the phone photos today. Although ice dyeing is somewhat uncontrollable and serendipitous, there is still a certain amount of skill in getting a good result, and it's taking quite a bit of practice. After some research, I did a couple of test scarves today, making sure I used colours which would split, and shifting from block ice to crushed, and doing some simple folding techniques for patterning. I also used silk instead of rayon, foolishly changing too many variables in one go! I am pleased with the results, and feel my understanding of the techniques is growing. The light scarf in the centre was an old habutai one, so doesn't have much of a sheen, but I don't know why it's so much lighter than the others. Groovy pattern, though! Disheartened during the week by some of my efforts, I did some good old acid dyeing on some silk/wool blend scarves, which pleased me greatly with the brightness, and lovely blending of pink, purple and orange!
Ice dyed rayon kaftan
Felted wrap with lace
This kaftan from my second batch of garments has some lovely soft colours and patterns - some of them have been turning out very 60's tie-dyed and bright, whereas I want some more gentle blends. Bless Youtube and bloggers who so willingly share so much information!
I also had a crack at some felting, as I try to get through some of my stash. (I seem to be in a mad spring cleaning fever - you should see the house this week!) It's not my favourite piece, but it's growing on me! I had some lace pieces that didn't felt in too well, so I have spent a lot of time hand stitching them in, which kind of defeats the purpose of the felting!
Simple layout
Finally, I made a simple felted wrap today with a beautiful piece of turquoise dyed silk from my stash. I didn't want to detract from the lovely patterning of the silk, so just stuck to a basic curvy grid pattern to make sure it 'crunkled' up well.
It's hard to tell from these photos - not the best of conditions!
It's a wrap!
It's hard to believe that a week ago was my birthday weekend - look at the gorgeous wee cakes my mumma made for me! It's also strange to think that this time next week, I'll be in Adelaide, having a little Svenja time by myself before my final appearance at the Craft & Quilt Fair. It's been a great year, I've really enjoyed the opportunity to travel around, show my work and explain it, meet people, and see new places in this fabulous country. Already one fabulous outcome is that I have been invited to be a judge at the Common Threads Wearable Art competition in Mandurah, WA. This is a great quality event which offers participants many benefits, and is going from strength to strength, becoming a strong presence on the textile art scene here in Australia, and extending internationally! I really enjoyed my visit to Perth, and look forward to returning. However, that's not until March 2016, next stop - Radelaide!!

Thursday 15 October 2015

Sorting Sequins.....

Yep, that's the kind of activity you allow yourself to do when you are exhausted, sick, and feeling a little down. I did it for real this week (and then bought heaps more on ebay last night!) but I think it shall become a euphemism for when one is really not feeling up to much. It has also been a good time time to do some leather moulding.... on the couch......     watching Charlies Angels........ but good, no?! I'm not even sure how these feather/leaf arm pieces started, but who am I to question.They have kept my fingers entertained, and could be a useful addition to my stand if I am accepted to trade at the Etsy Made Local Brisbane market day. This is what has inspired me to re-stock my Etsy shop, starting with some botanically dyed pieces with my stash of leaves from Canberra. I also did a batch of ice-dyeing on some rayon garments today - I will photograph these and enter them in over the next few days.
Studio table mid leather work and ice dyeing!
So, back to leather.... my contemplative time in the studio has led to some finishing off of pieces started at the Craft Fairs, such as this set (above) - not sure whether that is going to be the front or the back of a bodice or what - but at least I have both done now to play with.
I also have two young nephews with birthdays just gone and just coming, very difficult to find gifts for, so thought some wee fantasy masks might be fun. I think they have turned out very 'Dark Crystal' esque - I hope they like them!