Sunday, December 31, 2006

9 Artist Trading Cards
I make these when I feel like doing something small, using whatever comes to hand. they're good for getting the ideas flowing. Dale is having a swap in Feb so will send 5 to her. It's interesting to hear back from the artists who get them, sometimes they end up all over the world.
Hope everyone has a happy & productive New Year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dyed paper towels
I read about this technique in Traci Bautista's book, Collage Unleashed, & thought I'd try it. So far I've only dyed the towels with some drawing inks but will explore further.
In this holiday period I'm going to catch up on some of my unfinished projects. I've got lots of things on the go. I also got the book, Tray Dying by Leslie Morgan & Clair Benn for Christmas & am waiting for some cooler weather so I can get into my studio for a dyeing day. I tend to use Napthol dyes more lately because they're so fast acting but the low water techniques with Procions are great fun. Ruth Issets book, Colour on Cloth is another one I like. I keep getting it out of the library, think I'm the only one who borrows it!
I made this set of cards & folder for my Sister in Law. The pink fabric was made a while ago & I jazzed it up a bit with an appliqued stitchout of rose buds done on my embroidery machine.
I don't use my machine for this type of embroidery much but they are good for cards & gifts. I usually paint the backgrounds & add some free stitching, beads or sequins to make them individual. The compendium has 2 pockets for the cards & 1 for a pen.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I've been making some Christmas presents. The bookcover is for my teenage niece. I was inspired by Traci Bautista's book Collage unleashed. Fabric collage is something I've often done but for this, I wanted something with a bit of a punk feel to it. This is a bit more free & incorporating text is new for me. I was pleased with the way it turned out & will do more. I've still got to make a set of cards in a folder for someone else & a bag for Kathleen, my younger daughter.
I think I've got nearly everyone's presents sorted now.

Fabric Collage Bookcover

I havn't posted for a little while. My daughter changed my blog over to beta & I had trouble working out how to post the photos. She's in Austria, so can't help with that. It is very easy really but it takes much longer than using Picasa to load photos.

The neckpiece shown below is the one I did for our 84 Group Christmas breakup lunch. It was a sample from a workshop I did ages ago with Elizabeth Morley. Machine embroidered on dissolvable, it has wool nops, couched cords, scrunched fabric bits & stuffed stocking balls. I just added a bit extra and some beads then used some of my heatgun beads on a machined cord to finish. I'm now in the process of taking it apart & using it to embellish a bag. I'll post a photo when it's done.


Monday, November 27, 2006

On Saturday the Innovative stitchers, another group I'm a member of, had our final meet for the year. We all took food to share for lunch and had a useful session on organisation/time planning/brainstorming so we will all produce great work for the exhibitions coming up. One is in May & the main one we're woking towards should be early 2008.
This week will be busy as the 84 Group has it's Christmas breakup on Sunday and we all have to make a neckpiece as well as a hand made gift for someone & take food too. I should also get my woven bag finished for show & tell but may not manage that. At least I've finished all my scarves & sent off 2 lots. I did some extras as well. Today did some Christmas shopping so I can post a parcel to Renee in Austria.

The piece below was made by layering lots of scraps of polyester fabrics onto felt, covering with poly organza, stitching then burning with a small blowtorch. I think it will end up being a bag.

Layered, stitched & burnt
Last Tuesday I did an embellisher (needle felting by machine) workshop taught by Dale Rollerson at her new studio, which is fantastic by the way. The samples below are some I did there and after. It was an inspiring workshop, Dale had loads of great samples & techniques to show us and my embellisher has now emerged from it's hiding place in the cupboard where it's been for quite a while. It's really a matter of playing & experimenting to realise the potential of the embellisher machine. I think it will be particularly usefull in combination with machine embroidery.

Embellisher samples
The samples below are done on kunin felt which on the 2 left ones, was then burnt with a hot air gun. The other piece is various fabrics embellished onto black felt.

close-up view
Sometimes it's hard to know which side is the right side. These look quite interesting from the back too.

Back view of samples
Dale showed us felting with the embellisher machine without using any kind of backing fabric, just running the needles over the fleece. When I had a big enough piece, I cut it into srips & embellished it back together, laying some wool over the joins. Note the embellished wool fringe, also from the workshop.

embellisher felt

Monday, November 06, 2006

84 Group Challenge

I made the bag below for our embroidery group challenge. We each made A3 pieces of fabric which were then cut up so that each person would have some of everyone's fabric.
The challenge was then to use all of the different fabrics to make something. It was quite difficult to get the various colours & textures to go together. I divided my fabrics into 2 groups, blues & golds, & used the blues on the front of the bag & the golds on the back, with a background fabric & lots of machine embroidery to integrate the design.
I was reasonably happy with it but would do it differently if I had to do it again as it was a lot of work for the result.
On Sunday at the group our workshop was to make a woven bag using a cardboard rectangle as a loom. Another time consuming project but its looking OK so far.

84 Group Challenge Bag (front)

Challenge bag (back)

Tassel Swap

Dale (The Thread Studio) has organised a tassel swap. I'm sending in the blue one in the centre of the photo & will receive one in return that someone else has made.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm back

Hello everyone, I've been back 2 weeks from my trip & have finally managed to post some photos. I had a great time apart from getting sick in Croatia with a tummy upset & needing antibiotics to get rid of it. But it is lovely to be home again.
I also went to the Knitting & Stitching show in London which was excellent. I really enjoyed seeing the fantastic work on display & meeting some well known textile people. Some of them, authors of my favourite books. Also caught up with Dale (The Thread Studio) at the show. I did a mini workshop with Julie Capara too.
The day I arrived home I got an email from the gallery shop that sells my scarves saying they want another lot, so its back to work again. I've also been working on my 84 Group challenge piece, will post a photo when it's finished.

Fresh food market at Zagreb, Croatia.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Bridge at Mostar, Bosnia Hercegovina

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Ceiling dome in Roman Emperor's Palace, Split, Croatia.

Roman Forum at Zadar, Croatia

Spa resort at Bad Blumau, designed by Hundertwasser.

Typical Austrian snack

at the Huerigen in Rust, Austria

Cathedral roof, Prague Castle

Jewish Cemetary, Prague

Prague Old Town Square

Copper door at Prague Castle

Dome on the Reichstag, Berlin

Mosiac ceiling in the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Changing of the guards, Prague Castle.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

a patchwork
I leave on my big trip today! So this will be my last post for a while, although I may have a chance to post some photos of Prague, Berlin & Austria while I'm away.
I've posted a photo of some work I did a while ago which is still not made into anything. Its one of my using up scrap pieces & involves applique, free machining, hand painting etc. Hope you'll visit my blog again, I'll be back home 17th Oct.
Bye all.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The above photo is my sewing room wall with all the ATCs I've received from various people in different parts of the world through Dale's swaps. I'm relatively new to this so there aren't too many yet & they're displayed just above my sewing machine.

Tulips at araluen
The tulips are at Araluen Botanic Park which is not far away from our house. My daughter Renee has a waitressing job there until we leave Monday week and she took this photo one day before work. I love the way the morning sun is shining through the tulips making them look like lanterns.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Finished silk scarves 1

I did finally finish the scarves and have sent them off. The photo above shows the ones I still have. There are 3 designs for this size but only 2 are shown. The end borders are interchangable.
They do take a bit of time to do as I don't have the designs on a big screen so each scarf takes a few prints which of course need to line up. They are printed with thickened dye which doesn't change the feel of the fine silk. The thickener is washed out after the print is dry. They don't need any steaming or setting because the 2 part dye process involves a chemical reaction and the colour is permanent after this takes place.

Scarves 2.

The above photo is just a close up view, it's so hard to photograph prints on silk. I thought this shows the designs a little better.
The photo below shows a whole scarf with its organza bag & label which I make too.

Scarf with bag

Friday, August 25, 2006

A3 Cloque piece for challenge
Hurray! I'm back on line again. Our hard drive gave up, causing us to lose lots of files. Then we had more trouble trying to get started again but after 2 computer technicians & lots of re-installing of software it's finally sorted.
The above photo is for a challenge at the next meeting of a machine embriodery group (the 84 Group) I'm a member of. Everyone has to make an A3 sized piece of fabric which will be cut into pieces, one for everyone. We then have to use all the different pieces we receive to make something of our choice like a bookcover, cushion or bag. Should be an interesting challenge, I'll post a photo when it's done, although as it's just before I leave for Europe that could be a while!

Tommorrow I'm attending a new group called Innovative Stitches associated with the WA Embroiderers' Guild which I will join if we like each other. They're working on the theme of WA's maritime history & plan to have an exhibition in the future.

Friday, August 11, 2006

This is my studio in full scarf printing mode. It's great to have a studio, I used to print on my dining room table and dye in the laundry before my husband Wayne built the studio. He has a divided off part as his shed.
Today it's one month to my trip to Europe, which is a bit worrying considering all the news at the moment, especially as we are going via Heathrow in London. I hope things will have calmed down by then. I'm going to Berlin, Prague, Austria (where my daughter lives), Croatia then 5 days in London on the way home where I'll be going to the Knitting & Stitching show.

My studio

Samples from workshop
August 11th
The above photo is some of the sample pieces from the Carol Wilkes Masterclass. They are done with PVA glue, tissue paper and various bits & pieces. Then painted and the texture brought out with metallic wax. They were fun to do but I don't think I'll use the technique for my finished work. I think it will be a wall hanging although I was considering a vessel too.

Yesterday I went to a great textile exhibition at the Old Bakery on 8th Gallery by Elizabeth Morley, called Unveiling. She had a few artworks using the the above technique, on a much grander scale of course. I loved her small scale pieces, some prayer sticks wraped in vegetable peelings and a series of delicate lacey embroideries each in a tiny glaas jar. Also some great wraps & wall hangings.

Monday, August 07, 2006

This is as far as I've got with my wrap from the first Carol Wilkes workshop. It's on silk organza and uses free machine embroidery & applique techniques to embellish each end of the wrap. I will have to wait until I've finished all the scarves before I can get back to it, but I'll post a photo when it's finished.

Work in progess
This is my practise sample for the work in progress above.

Carol Wilkes workshop sample
Last week was busy as I had 2 workshops with Carol Wilkes as well as having to print my scarves.
The workshops were great but I haven't got much to show yet for the second one which was the master class. The eventual outcome will be an exhibition quality piece inspired by a photo. The photos all came from a few Carol took of some old wooden pallets. She magnified small sections on the computer and we had to pick one whithout seeing it. Day one was design exercises and a lot of information. Day 2 was spent on experimenting and sample pieces.
The photo above is the scarves I've finished so far. These are the small ones, I still have to do a range of large ones with similar designs. The designs are from botanical drawings by Charles Gardner (1896 - 1970) who was Government Botanist and curator of the Western Australian Herbarium for 40 years. I was first commisioned to design the scarves to go with an exhibition of his drawings a few years ago.
Last week I also went to a great exhibition of contemporary quilts called Stitched and Bound. Very inspirational.

Finished Scarves

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I had a good dyeing day today, these are some of the silk scarves drying. I use Napthol dyes because they're quick and with a few colours mixed up you can get a big variety of combinations.
The next step is to print the designs using a photographic silkscreen.

dyed silk scarves

Cloque experimental piece
Teaching always inspires me to do more experimenting. This cloque piece is one example. It was done by using a stamped resist in combination with stitched circles of fabric with beads trapped under. The lighter circles you can see are where the fabric has not shrunk because of the resist.
As I was dyeing scarves today, I threw this in too.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I thought I would begin my blog by posting a few photos of some of my pieces from an exhibition called Contemporary Threads which was at Heathcote Gallery in April this year.
The Thread lace scarf is free machine embroidered onto soluble fabric which is then dissolved.
The wraps are made using a shrinking process called Cloque - a french word meaning to blister.
They are also stitched & hand dyed.

Thread lace scarf


Embers wrap

Embers wrap

Greenery wrap

Greenery wrap detail