Wednesday 12 August 2015

Canberra Craft & Quilt Fair

Matt and I arrived in the surreally empty Canberra airport to collect our bags, where we observed the usual idiotic behaviour of passengers clustering right at the edge of the conveyor belt, so no-one can see their bags. As Matt observed, "Sometimes people with bags don't make sense"! (This references an anti-terrorism campaign we have here of which the slogan is "Bags without people just don't make sense".) We picked up our hire car and headed towards town, only to completely miss it due to the appalling lack of signage. I have to admit, I usually am pretty good with directions, but for the entire week could not orient myself in this circular city). After finding the hotel room not yet ready, we headed off to the War Memorial, where we spent several hours. I thought many aspects of it were really well done - I particularly liked the mannequins which were roughly fashioned as though out of (metal) sticks, giving them a skeletal, sometimes barely humanoid, and therefore timeless quality, and the large dioramas depicting various battlegrounds. The walls of names with poppies leading to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were visually stunning.

Miss Chrissy
After a late lunch, it was in to explore the city and collect supplies, before settling in for the night. As with most of my trips, I was expecting to have some kitchen facilities, so was a bit put out when I turned up with my carton of eggs and turkish bread to find only a tiny box of a fridge (I think my handbag's bigger) and two cups and saucers. Not even a glass for wine!! Luckily breakfast was included, but making my lunch was to prove difficult!
Set-up at EPIC (Exhibition Park in Canberra) was freezing cold, 
although I did manage to warm up lugging the mannequins around. We were finished by midday, and drove up to Black Mountain, thinking we might get a view of the city, but the Telstra viewing tower wanted to charge $7.50 each for us to look out of their window. I don't think so, Telstra. We set off back into town, visiting the Canberra Glassworks (sadly, the glass blowers had just finished for the day) and Craft ACT where I really enjoyed the exhibition Daylights by Michelle Day. By now the Bunneh needed noms, so we found Shorty's, where the boss was not in so they were playing great 70's/80's rock music instead of hip-hop, and we enjoyed a very delicious plate of pulled pork nachos - nom indeed!! As we were leaving, Miss Chrissy of The Lindy Charm School for Girls called, so we decided to meet up at our hotel. The bar didn't open until 5pm, so we ended up sprawled in our room until her lift arrived, and enjoyed a few giggles.
With Jan Pettigrew
Miss Chrissy and my earmuffs
Opening day, and the poor Canberrians have to do the craft dance out in the cold!! I went out to rescue Matt's sister Jan, and they enjoyed a catch up whilst I settled into my stand.
After a busy day working on my bridal bouquet (I ran out of floristry wire!) we joined up with Miss Chrissy, her host Kay,
Bouquet progress... of sorts!
Kerrie Gurney, Jeannie, Erica and Amir for trivia night at the local pub. We enjoyed a yummy meal of crab cakes and meatloaf and many laughs, including when Kerrie (the only non-drinker among us) managed to break the water bottle (which admittedly, I had placed on the floor ready for pinching - it was a government issued '2 drinks a day' one!!) We got totally lost on the way home and eventually deposited 'Gurney', as she was to become known, at her hotel.
Sparkly shooz!
I received two messages from the girls the next morning, both showing my poor deflated mannequin - another victim of the fatal slow leak!! After a quick 'blow job' from Matt amidst endless ribald comments, all was well again. This day was spent working on my wedding shoes with my new 'Bedazzler'! No, it's not really, it's some kind of rhinestone glue gun, and it's addictive!! If the design looks like it's going wrong - just add more!! It took me all day to do the one shoe, and I didn't attempt the second during the week as I think it's going to take some zen-like focus to make the other match! Matt and I had a quiet night at a local called Edgar's Inn, where we sat outside (encased with plastics and heaters) and enjoyed a brisket burger -delicious, but not worth $20! Canberra seems to be the town of the $20 burger..... As we were near shops, we thought we'd get a few bits and pieces, and wandered into this innocuous-looking IGA where we found A CHEESE WALL!!!! I was in heaven, and amazingly surfaced with only a piece of Trelaggio, whilst Matt
wandered out with a Chorizo - these were to form our second course, along with the as-yet-unused Turkish bread! As I was about to open the Chorizo, I noticed it was one of those very uncooked-looking ones, so kept it in its vacuum packaging, popped it in the kettle a few times and viola - delicious!
Corporate Kerrie
Matt n'muffs!
Another successful day at the fair - this time sewing the lace edging on my waistcoat. It has certainly received a lot of admiration over the last few months, which has been a nice way of sharing and prolonging the wedding day vibe. By late Saturday afternoon I was starting to lose it, and the word was spread that we would be leaving ASAP, heading for a bar fittingly named Debacle. Another merry evening was spent with Chrissy and Kay, Kerrie, Matt and myself as we relentlessly paid out on each other and became hysterical with laughter. Poor Kerrie bore the brunt at one stage as we sledged her for being a suck-up, wearing the corporate colours of Expertise Events and even the lanyard in off-time!
The last day, and pack-up loomed, like a thunderous cloud hanging over a picnic. In reality, it wasn't so bad, and having a helper shaved an extra half an hour off the pack-up procedure - whoot! By now I was exhausted and Matt was coming
Nearly there!
down with a cold, so I think we were in bed by 8:30 that night! Party animals, that's right!
We had the whole of Monday to fill, so headed over to the Capital to visit Old Parliament House, now the Museum of Democracy, and housing an exhibition of current political cartoons. On the way back to the car, I couldn't help but gather some of the wonderful looking gum leaves, and then, as we had plenty of time, suggested to Matt that we drive down by the lake to look for other varieties. As I saw lovely grey leaves I shouted to pull over, unfortunately we were going
up the drive to the Chinese Embassy! After a
successful collection outside the Embassy, we headed back to the War Memorial, where I had noticed some very large gum leaves previously, along with acorns. Sadly, Matt was only able to find one intact acorn - after all, I guess they did fall months ago in Autumn. From here it was on to the new Canberra Arboretum where we met Matt's sister Jan for lunch, and viewed the Bonsai Collection, before spending the afternoon at the airport. Two tired bunnehs were glad to get home to their own burrow that night.

Friday 7 August 2015

Common Threads Wearable Arts Presentation

I am presenting a satellite workshop on behalf of Common Threads Wearable Arts on Sunday August 30th at the BVAC Hub, Wellers Hill, Brisbane. This should be a very interesting afternoon as I discuss the many techniques possible to use in the construction of wearable art works, as well as the all important concept development and design process. Please register with Common Threads if you'd like to attend!