Sunday, June 28, 2009

A bit of fibre today

I succumbed and went shopping today. It is really difficult when you are by yourself – the sellers only have you to focus on. There don’t seem to be many tourists looking in the stalls, though there seem to be lots around in the restaurants and bars. The market parking areas are crowded, but these bikes belong to locals.

The stalls are rather boring. They all seem to have the same merchandise: tacky (sometimes very tacky) Tshirts, batik shirts, bags and sarongs, glitzy lacy tops and bling covered shoes. Not much I liked.

I finally gave in and bought two sarongs at different stalls. The red one is silk batik done using a traditional style copper stamp, the other is cotton (or rayon, I’m not quite sure which) on which the wax motif has been applied with a more contemporary looking stamp.

Neither is “real” Indonesian batik, but I think I will be able to use them later. And they were inexpensive.

I continued walking along the beach and eventually traversed the gardens of the Besahki hotel to reach the main road. A short walk and I was at Nogo. I was really disappointed. The shop didn’t seem to have changed at all since three visits ago. I looked at both garments and fabric, but nothing appealed. By this time I was hot and bothered so I took a blue (metered) taxi back to the hotel. It cost 7800 rupiah – less than a dollar – and no bargaining needed. Way to go!

A dearth of fibre

We have been in Bali 5 days and I haven’t had a fibre fix. I did have a look in the Animale dress shops in both Kuta and Sanur. Some interesting design details as usual. I haven’t managed to get to Nogo Ikat as yet – it is right outside the Griya Santrian which is quite a walk from where we are staying, but I may yet make it.

I am avoiding the market stalls clustered near the hotel.

Today we went to the Bird and Reptile Park which we really enjoyed. Some fabulous birds, including a larrikin sulphur crested cockatoo who put on his own performance while the bird show was on. He stayed in the same tree, but did not show off again. He had obviously wanted to upstage the stars. Kevin made a short video on my camera and has uploaded it to the family blog.

This is perhaps the closest to fibre I have been for days. The skin of these iguanas looks like soft velour and their bodies like a softly stuffed bean bag.

The texture of this riverstone paving is quite wonderful.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

500th Post

I have noticed that many bloggers make something of a fanfare when they reach such a milestone. I'm sorry that there is nothing exciting on offer - unless you want this piece of fabric that I coloured today. It is a sample for a workshop that I will be giving on July 7.

I will need to pull my finger out to finish all the samples I need to make, since we are off to Bali for a week on Tuesday. The hotel is supposed to have WiFi, so we may be able to blog.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Two good exhibitions

I took my SiL Shirley, who is visiting us from Esperance, to view 2 art exhibitions. We went first to Mundaring to the "Earth" exhibition (catalogue at left). This is a must see, but finishes this Sunday.

There were some great pieces, and Shirley was really put out that she was unable to purchase Claire Bestow's "Bungle Bungle" felt necklace because it had already sold.

I particularly liked the wall pieces from Liz Odd, Soosie Jobson and LeeAnne Davis. Katrina Virgona's mounted sculptural piece also greatly appealed to me and I was fascinated by the construction technique used for Nancy Ballesteros' nunofelted vest.

I also loved the felted timber installation by Vianne Sleypen. I confess that I was nowhere near as excited by the ceramics as the textiles. Demonstrates my personal bias, doesn't it?

Afterwards we went to the "Head and Shoulders" exhibition at the Old Bakery in Maylands. I confess that I liked this less, maybe because I had been driving for so long. There was a certain sameness to the silk and nuno felted scarves, even if they were by different artists.

I did like Linda's bags though, and Jennie Abbott had a wide variety of work on show. There is a spectacular wrap in the entrance passage way. Go and see the exhibition for yourself and make up your own mind.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mission accomplished

I have finished my piece for Designing Women's contribution to the WAFTA exhibition. I will give it to Alcira tomorrow, because I won't be at the next planning meeting - I'll be in Bali.

I am very happy with it - I may even rustdye some more cotton and make another piece for myself - I still have lots of the silk left. Here is a photo of the applique side: silk stitched on cotton and cut back.

This is the other side. Reverse applique: cotton cut away to show the silk. It looks even better hanging so the light passes through it.

I also finished the foundation fabric for some more ATCs for the Designing Women swap. While they do not all have to be the same, I liked the idea of mine being instantly recognisable, so I made another fabric piece. I should be able to cut the extra eight I need; I may even be able to do a bit of fussy cutting.

And the fabric shop down the hill is closing down this Sunday - boo hoo! But I went and bought a pile of stuff including some raw silk and some devore (not silk, though) and got it all for half price. Think I may need another visit at least.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Joy and Renee

Joy and her husband John are amongst our oldest friends - even more so for Kevin than for me. He and John were in the Rover Scouts as teenagers.

Joy turned 70 today and her 8 kids (she has 5 of her own and 3 of John's brother's that she helped raise after their parents died young) organised a party. Most enjoyable, especially watching the grandkids bashing at a pinata. Isaac, the oldest GK present, did an admirable job of holding it steady for the younger ones to have a bash. Eventually, as frustration became obvious, he took over the bashing and delivered the load of sweets onto the patio floor, much to the delight of the youngsters. Well done, Isaac!

The only shadow on the day was John's absence. He is in a nursing home and is no longer able to leave it.

And Renee, who lives next door to us, turned 21 today. Happy Birthday to you, too.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Silk with the guru

Judith Pinnell ( who is a very well-known artist using silk 'paper' - 2 books and a third at the printers) gave a workshop today to Designing Women. It was great. Even though I have made lots of silk 'paper' before, I still learned heaps. And surely this is the reason you do workshops with different tutors - you can still learn more.

The room was crowded with 20 people all needing work space, but we managed - just. We almost had to push people out the door at the end of the afternoon - they were so involved in the pieces they were making.

Judith also gave a presentation on her trip to Mongolia in 2007. Fascinating, and her example pieces were wonderful.

A good day, but my camera had a hissy fit. Even with new batteries it refused to work. So no photos. And I have threatened the camera that if it doesn't shape up I will buy a new one to take to Bali. That'll larn it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

What a difference a line makes

I did a one and a half hour workshop today at Contemporary Quilt Group with textile artist Bev Tarling. We had to bring along a stabilised piece of fabric, bits of other fabrics to go with it, some matching and contrasting threads and our sewing machines.

We were all given a small bag of bits. Some of them had a straight piece of crochet in a virulent green, some had a crocheted circle in the same green. If you got a circle you had to stitch curved lines and shapes, basically using a serpentine stitch; if you had a straight piece your shapes had to be angular and your stitching variations of straight stitch, including zigzag.

I took along one of the sundyed pieces I made a couple of weeks ago. Naturally, because it is so organic in feeling, I got a straight stitch bag! After stitching frantically for an hour (that was our time limit) this was my result.

I HATE it, but I am also thinking of ways I might be able to salvage it. I need to lose the green crochet bit, but also the plonked on feeling of the bits I added. I do have some ideas.

Here are some other results. All much more successful than mine. And I like the curved bits better than the straight lines. However, a very useful exercise overall.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sewing Group and the WAFTA leaves

I managed to cut out (reverse applique) five leaves today at Sheila's, with minimal swearing. In fact, only two leaves will need some Gossamer Fuse treatment. I thought I had already dealt with one, but obviously it didn't work.

There are three leaves to go, a bit of fusing, and it's finished. It looks great held up against the light.

Sheila, thank you for your hospitality today. I intended to return two of the Rebus books you loaned me: I still have 2 to read.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A little progress: fiddling with the WAFTA bits

We met today to look at how the pieces are working together. While only two pieces are actually finished, there has been enough done that the whole is starting to look more cohesive.

After the last meeting it was thought that the arrangement looked too "striped", so today experiments were made in changing directions and adding bits. Here is the top bit on the floor.

We argued and fiddled lots, then pinned it all together and hung it in Alcira's stairwell. Here is a shot of it hanging.

We all liked it better that way than when it was flat, despite the fact that it wasn't straight.

We will have another meeting on Saturday after the Designing Women meeting. I posted off the entry this evening - we are committed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

More progress on the WAFTA piece

I stitched a second layer of silk on the front, then cut it back to the leaf shapes.

I am now cutting out the leaf shapes from the back. It is very slow going.

The silk is still tearing and shattering, but because there are now two layers I think I have found a solution. Gossamer Fuse is my new best friend.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Papercuts hurt

and so do bits of rust. I really don't know which piece of rust-dyed silk carried the metallic shreds, but one of them has lodged in my finger. It HURTS! and I can't see it.

Obviously I have been working on the Designing Women WAFTA piece today.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Stitching and problems

Today I have been stitching my piece for the Designing Women entry in the WAFTA naturally exhibition later this year.

I layered rust-dyed habotai silk on rust-dyed cotton and stitched gum leaf shapes. I planned to cut away the silk back to the leaves, and cut away the cotton from the back so the leaves were translucent silk.

A problem has arisen. The silk is so thin and (probably) distressed with the rust that it is shattering and fraying as I remove the paper stabiliser. There are holes where I hoped there would be silk. I think I may need another layer of silk where the leaves are.

Here are two scanned views of parts of the piece.

Front (silk)

Back (cotton)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Art and new shoes

from the Myer sale. 50% off. I LOVE red shoes.

I went with my sister Dorothy to see the 2008 Year 12 Perspectives exhibition at the Art Gallery. We have been going to this since it started (? 5 years ago) and have always enjoyed it. This year there was almost no teenage angst, death and doom, but some really great art works, including some textiles. I really liked the "Petri dishes" - dinner plate size and shape machine embroideries inspired by bacteria observed under the microscope.

The student visual diaries are a new initiative by the gallery - fabulous to look at. The depth and scope of the work done by the students in their final year of High School art studies is most impressive. We also enjoyed the other major exhibit: Thing, which was craft objects from the gallery's collection.

We went shopping afterwards. Did I say I like my new shoes?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I finished stitching the edges of the metallic ATCs and tried some Treasure Gold on the ones I finished yesterday. I am not sure that they are finished yet, but Kevin saw them on the bench and was complimentary (WITHOUT prompting!) so maybe they are.

The silk paper has dried and I decided that I didn't like the wrinkles in the purple one so I have ironed them out. I am thinking of using it as a base for stitching more circles with the flower foot. The purple circles are multiplying.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ATCs Part 2

I decided to use heavyweight iron-on interfacing for the backings of the cards I have cut from the very stiff embroidered and painted piece and found it worked perfectly.

I considered a couple of alternatives for edging them. Juliet gave me some copper tape and it would have looked good, but it is only 6mm wide and is too narrow to enclose the edges. I thought about using double sided tape and a metallic ribbon: I have both. Then I decided to try a size 100 Jeans needle, copper metallic thread and a variable width zigzag. Worked great. So now I have done the edging for six. Halfway there.

I am still considering additional embellishments. Possibly foil or Shiva sticks. Then I need to decide whether to try to replicate this fabric piece as background for another eight cards (I need to make 20 in all) or just use some other fabric.

Today's fiddling also involved making another couple of pieces of silk paper. The green one is based on a section of a silk cap with some additional throwsters waste.

The purple one was made with three layers of silk tops, then the net removed and crinkles pushed into it while wet.

They are both still drying - it has been raining today and the air is very damp. Love it after the extended dry spell!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Reading about it

Not much fibre today - does reading about it count? The latest Workshop on the Web became available today and I have spent too much time downloading and reading. I really don't like the new format where you have to download each article first - I much preferred to read first, then download only what appealed and that I would print out.

I have also done the June newsletter for the Contemporary Quilt Group. The usual editor had a quilt accepted into Quilt National in the US and went to the opening - yay, Ruth! Good onya! - so I offered to take it on. I am about to send it off - I hope all the email addys transferred properly to my address book.

I did some ironing and took up a pair of trousers for Kevin. Does that count as fiddling?