Sunday 18 December 2016

Colour of the Year - Peacock

2016 Diary cover
You couldn't imagine all those green tones on one bird - but here there are!:
Phone cover
For some unknown reason at the start of this year, I felt strongly drawn to the rich green and blue tones of the peacock, leading me to make my diary cover in felt and silk of those tones, and buy a phone cover in similar.
Perhaps it all began a few months earlier, as I worked my way through some dyed wool and fabric in the stash, making several nuno felted wraps.

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Next came my active wear project at TAFE, which continued the theme, this time taking it underwater into the world of the siamese fighting fish and octopus
Active Wear Inspiration Board
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Active Wear Design Boards
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Octopus Print
Anemone Print
At the same time I was working on my Studio subject design, from the given theme of Tropicobana. This time my print design actually made it to the printer. The leggings made from it became an integral part of my NZ WOW outfit, and tied in nicely to the beautiful two-way sequin fabric I found and made three pieces from. A perfect match for some shoes recently bought.

Tropicobana Inspiration Board
Tropicobana legging design
Leggings worn in Japan!
NZ WOW gear

Playing with Beatrice Carlson, who also matched me....
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with her beetle-wing jewellery to match her own entry.
 During the year I had made a peacock coloured felt and silk capelet for my favourite Bunneh - then we had an outing to Cirque du Soleil to celebrate my unmentionable birthday, so clearly needed a hairpiece to match. For this I even resorted to raiding the peacock feathers in my loungeroom vase.
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Image may contain: food During Svestivus, when we visited Melbourne, I bought these gawdjuss buttons at the markets at Federation Square.

Then there is the soft scuplture piece I am currently working on....

I'll going to take this opportunity to make a bit of a leap, and point out that I was ahead of Pantone in choosing the colour of the year... sort of....!!

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 Just to finish it off is this beautiful re-worked photo from a shoot several years ago with Asiara Photography.
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So, for all you doubters who think I only work in pink and purple, just take a look at The Year of the Peacock and all that occurred within it!
In your (Peacock) eye!!

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Some good news

Kelp - leather, acrylic, gel medium, gilding
Well, there hasn't been a great deal to report on lately. Until NOW!! Today I finally received notification that I have qualified for my Certificate IV TAE, enabling me to be a tutor at TAFE - yahoooooo!! What an epic this has been! Anyone considering doing this, do NOT go through Inspire Education!! I'm still debating whether to write a comprehensive letter of complaint, or just stop wasting time on them.
Continuing the good news theme, I also received notification that my leather neckpiece Kelp is to be included in the Wearable Expressions exhibition in California early 2017.
Last week I completed this headpiece for Bunneh to wear with the felt and silk capelet  to Cirque du Soleil this Saturday, where we are to enjoy the VIP experience as a special birthday treat! WOW! My peacock feather collection looks a little sad now, but I think it was definitely worth it!

I was also inspired to cover my oh-so-handy mushroom stool, integrating it more into our decor with a green devoré velvet cover with my bracket fungi pattern on it - how fitting! Certainly more me than the red and white spots! I so often use this little gem when I'm stitching on a piece when it is on the mannequin.

The 'Office' desk

Here is a shot of the 'office' (oh, let's stop this farce - everywhere in this house is studio space!) where I have been finalising the colour scheme for my WOW entry that I have been working on. It's always an exercise in ... I'm not sure what.... when what you thought you were so certain about, you suddenly doubt, let go of, and trial other options. Happily, with very satisfactory results today. I'm feeling very satisfied with this piece at the moment. Well, here's hoping - last night I booked the flights and hotel in Wellington for the WOW 2017 show, before they become ridiculously expensive and unavailable (hard lesson learned last year)!! I'm hoping to complete three entries this year, which you could view as hedging my bets for making the cut!!

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Melbourne Cup and a Workshop for Wild Women!

Last week was the Melbourne Cup, which we had made no plans for, then received tickets that Bunneh had won to an event at Loft, West End, and couldn't use - so of course - we love a dress up! We never bet though, and I struggle with many of the issues surrounding it. However, I had been working on this headpiece, and it seemed like a good opportunity to make myself finish it, and take it out for a spin! I found some nice leather feather arm cuffs languishing in my box of unfinished leather work, and enjoyed painting them up with various layers to create this antique gold look. I also revived Matt's hat with a matching leather feather and gold trim, and made a lamé cravat with lace, and we were sure we would win best dressed at the event.  Sadly, no, as we were nobodies within the group - it is, of course, who you know!
Since then I have been working on my wearable art pieces, particularly one amongst the five or so on the go! Today I went to Trad's to get some basics, and returned with this fabulous fabric (the last 2 metres, and pictured with my sample) which I think may be perfect for the bodysuit. Squeeeee!
Sample with potential bodysuit fabric

The view from Kirra Community Centre
This last Sunday I was invited to teach a workshop for the Wild Women, whose home is at the Kirra Community Centre. Well wow, what an absolutely awful place . NOT!! With stunning views from the hill over the expansive ocean, and a lovely semi-open artspace (which could have wreaked absolute havoc had the wind  come up), it was a divine place to spend the Sunday. But boy, did we work hard! So hard that we missed morning tea, but stopped for a wonderful lunch of goodies brought by all the participants - just what I needed by then! The pace cranked up in the afternoon, as everyone got into the felting stage, and I dashed from table to table to help assess and assist. Although I had thought we were tracking on time extremely well, we ran out of time. I had thought I had managed to cut down my two-day wrap shop into a one day event with the 'Precious Fragment Capelet' but I guess it was still pretty involved! I'm quite disappointed, as there were many wonderful works in progress.  I do hope the girls finish them and share images. Until then, here are a few pics they took of the day (I took my camera, but with no SD card!). I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the company of such lovely ladies - the two hour drive through home-bound traffic, not so much. After a near sleepless night prior, it was  bed by 8:30!
The lovely Helen wearing the sample

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Svestival continues in Melbz

Fifth Province / Second Home
The unwanted large birthday continued to disguise itself in other activities as we headed to Melbourne for a weekend of art exhibitions. One was particularly meaningful - that of Annemieke Mein, whose work has constantly inspired me since I first saw it. More on that soon....
We arrived to some pretty miserable weather, but found refuge in an Irish pub just a block from our apartment, as we waited for it to be ready. We were to return here a few times, as it was right beside the tram stop to the city, full of friendly Irish people, and as I said, a block from home. We settled in to our very handy abode before heading down Ackland Street, enjoying some amazing old buildings along the way, enjoying the crazy vagrants (many shouting, and some with large sticks) and the rain somewhat less.
Kirra Gallery
Buttons and mushroom
We  met up with fellow WOW folk, Phillipa and Mark Stitchbury-Cooper for dinner and a diagnosis of this years WOW show, as we never managed to catch up with them afterwards in Wellington. It's always good to talk WOW!
Federation Square Atrium
Arintji lunch
The next morning dawned with some charming wind and driving rain. We
wandered down to the markets anyway, but ended up catching a tram into town for a wander around, stumbling into some lovely markets inside the atrium at Federation Square, where I couldn't resist some unique buttons, as well as  a visit to Kirra Gallery. I managed to sneak a wee photo from the side, with elements of the amazing chandelier visible behind the bowls in the window, but I think I got fairly frowned at for this from the counter. However, I went in and enjoyed the display of both retail and exhibition work, and decided to purchase a wee memento of the weekend in the shape of a pink, orange and purple glass mushroom (we have a family history of being vulnerable to glass and ceramic mushrooms). By now we were ready for brunch, and I was thrilled to be taken to the lovely Arinjti at Federation Square.  It was a tough choice, but I was very happy with the decision I made, with the guidance of our helpful waitress.
Road texture
We caught the tram back to St Kilda to transfer to the bus to Brighton - oh no - we have half an hour to kill! Hello, Irish Pub! (Did I mention that the roadway where we crossed to go to said pub/tram/bus stop was quite lovely, and I'm happy with the way the photos turned out - Matt did not enjoy the process - get OFF the road, Svenja!!)
We caught the bus alright, but it did not run to
Annemieke Mein exhibition, Brighton
St Hotel
the route I had researched, and slightly too late I questioned the driver, who advised us to get off then and there. Unfortunately, this meant a walk of around 4 kms back to Brighton town centre, with me stressing about missing the Annemeike Mein exhibition, and Matt grumping about having to walk so far. However, we made it in the end, much to my relief and my absolute delight. Unfortunately, as with many textile exhibitions, the lighting was negligible, which, as I get older, bothers me somewhat! Also, photographs were not permitted. I gazed in wonderment at works I have drooled over in a book for  years, and got to see the stitches in the flesh. Some works were bigger than I had imagined, which afforded me an even more detailed view than I could have hoped for. Some had sparkling threads and beading that I had been unaware of.  Did I say photographs were not permitted? There was no way I was going to be denied this once in a lifetime opportunity. I wouldn't use flash anyway, so I don't really see the problem. I was sad not to get one of me with a work, but Matt not only snuck some on his phone, but acted as decoy whilst I took a few! Bless! We left, and trudged the streets of Brighton for a while before realising that a bus back into town on a Sunday was not terribly realistic, so bit the bullet and called a cab.  Traffic was shite, so we got out as soon as we could.
Melbz laneway
Desperate for a beer, we headed to get some takeaways at Woolies, but got drawn into the St Hotel, which had some live music.  We only had a little time before our next activity - dinner with a work colleague of Matts, who took us up some high-rises he does the  water treatment on, for some fantastic views of the city and surrounds.  Then it was off for dinner in Hardware Lane, where we sat outside because it just felt a bit groovier, although it was quite chilly!!
Monday morning was Melbz CBD day, and we set off leisurely, arriving at the NGV just in time as it opened, so it was off to the Viktor & Rolf Exhibition for this happy little Bunneh!! Ohhhh, sparkly, sculptural deliciousness, where photography was most welcome! And photograph I did. This is but a taste of what I acquired. I loved the row of the 'Russian Dolls' series, displayed on slowly rotating mannequins - so often we are stuck looking from only one angle - and the sparkles looked almost electric
as they caught the spotlights. There was also some fabulously atmospheric music, setting a real scene for the works.

Next stop, the pure fun of Kylie costumes, certainly a very different genré, however, I couldn't help but boogie along to the video footage! Goodness, those mannequins were tiny!
From there, it was off to visit the creation of a friend, no, not some wearable art, but some engineering art. Matt's mate Steve made this impressive smoker, now in residence at San Antone at Crown Casino. It was just before lunch when we visited - then we saw they had Fried Green Tomatoes on the menu, so we just had to stay.  They were fabulous, as was the brisket burger that we shared.
Rolex shop window - beautiful leather work 
Fabulous lighting in Crown Casino
We rolled out and trotted through town, to visit Tessuti fabrics, as well as stopping at Quick Brown Fox along the way (lusting after a green rabbit fur coat so tempting but so unnecessary in Queensland!) We also enjoyed a play in RetroStar, a wonderful vintage shop.
Then it was back on the tram to - ooooh, the Irish Pub (Fifth Province for those who are interested) for some drinks, conversation, marvelling at the blue sky, and another shared meal.  My first ever chicken parmigiana, with Napoli sauce - quite fabulous! 
Our last sleep in the fabulous bed of our abode and Matt woke me with a frightened 'did you set the alarm?!!', as it was already quite light outside. Heart attack over, I packed up as Matt picked up coffee and croissants - what a man!
View of The George from our pub

Back home, and I have relished getting straight back into work -  I enjoyed a bit of design drawing whilst I was away, and was totally inspired by things I saw - but nothing replaces the feeling of sewing and cutting leather, and pinning it into a foam head to create something rather lovely.  Happy to be home, but love you Melbz.