Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yesterday I sent off some digital and hard copy prints of photos of one of my textile pieces for possible inclusion in a book to be published at the end of the year. It is the first book to be published by TAFTA (The Australian Forum for Textile Arts) and I am not sanguine about my chances of being selected. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I don't think I should show a full photo, but here is a tiny detail.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Flowers

Kevin has planted broad beans in the rose bed in front of the house. I don't mind at all, because I love young broad beans. We have already picked a couple to try and I was able to eat them, so that's a plus too. The main crop is still quite a way off, although there are plenty of flowers.

Another bonus is that the beans hide the pruned rose bushes, which aren't exactly pretty to look at. However, a couple of roses have managed to burst into bloom already, so here they are.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I received my selection of ATCs from the swap co-ordinator, Diana in New Zealand, today. They are fabulous as usual, and cheered me up after a really crappy letter I received.

Thank you to Dorothy Faithfull (from NZ) for the top two on the left, Cherie Hoyle from Adelaide (top right - balloons), Amelia Ruscoe from Wellington (well, they certainly know about wind there!) for the turbine, Marie Bezzant from somewhere in Australia for 'Walpa' (aboriginal sign for 'wind') and Jenni Strachan from Werribee, Victoria for 'Wind Blown Grass'. I love them all.

The next swap theme is 'Metal'. Must get onto it - it's due at the end of September.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Checking in

I have been very lax in updating this blog, both because of lack of energy and the fact that I have done almost no fibre stuff for weeks.

I did manage to finish off a quilt top I started back in 1996 and it is now with a professional quilter. I promise a photo when I get it back. The quilt started as a nine-patch swap between Scquilters - the Australia-New Zealand online quilting group. There was so much interest that we were broken up into groups according to our favoured colours and I ended up with the mid - to - dark green group. I joined my swap bits up pretty quickly after I got them and produced a top and that is where it has remained for the last 14 years. I decided it needed two more borders and finally finished it off last week. Phew - only 3 more quilt UFOs left. Let's not mention other kinds!

And here's a photo of some fibre related stuff: Amber posing on a cushion next to a stuffed needlepoint tabby.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A good day out

I went to have my blood test this morning, then Juliet and I set off to the Holmes aCourt gallery in East Perth to look at the Stringmakers exhibition with indigenous artists from Warburton in the North West and three others from Perth: Nalda Searles, Holly Story and Bronwyn Goss.

We had omitted to check the address, but eventually found it - largely due to my hazy memories of a previous visit. Then there was the problem of access. The official entrance is down a flight of steps to the boardwalk which I was reluctant to negotiate (no handrail), so we entered the building at street level and found a lift that went to the lower level, but opened into a small hallway with several closed doors. We investigated one (labelled Restaurant Toilets) and found a narrow corridor which led to the restaurant which is next door to the gallery. Boldly we marched in and a helpful young waitress told us where to go next. Unfortunately we were there an hour before opening time.

We decided to fill in the hour with a visit to another gallery (the Old Bakery on 8th) in a neighbouring suburb, and enjoyed ourselves looking at the exhibition there, browsing through the gift shop which has some wonderful objects, including some spectacular knitted and felted scarves, and having a coffee at the attached cafe. Then back to East Perth.

After we negotiated our way through the toilets again we finally got to see the exhibition. It was well worth our effort. Most of the exhibition is huge felted pieces, called "blankets", but not intended for use on beds or as rugs.

There is a most moving paper scroll about 25 feet long which was a collaborative effort by all the artists. Nalda had written about how the paper piece had come about and then screen printed the words on to long silk scarves dyed with native vegetation. They were exquisite, but definitely out of my price range!

Nalda also had a blanket dyed with natural dyes on which she had couched tufts of human hair, then embroidered the words "mangko warntu" on one side and their translation "hair blanket" on the other. It was hung so you could see both sides.

I liked it, and the installations by Bronwyn Goss, but I LOVED Holly Story's pieces. There was a set of four tiny framed scrolls, dyed with plant dyes and imprinted with various leaves from the Warburton region - fabulous. However my favourite was a diptych where she had imprinted tree branches on to woollen blankets, one branch from Warburton and the other from the South West where she lives. This technique is one she was taught by India Flint and she gives credit for it to her. The dyed pieces were then emboidered with red and white silk threads in a design derived from Indian symbolism. Absolutely stunning.
I also loved the string hanging. A piece of string travelled backwards and forwards from Perth to Warburton several times, with every artist adding in bits. The finished length was looped to hang on a wall. You can read more about the process of putting the exhibition together on the Stringmakers blog site.

I had a lovely day. Thank you to my chauffeur Juliet and to the artists whose work I so enjoyed.
Also thank you to the photographer whose images from the catalogue I have used. I cannot find a name to credit.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday at the Craft Fair

Designing Women had a display at the Craft Fair that was held on the weekend - and for once I remembered to take a photo. This is Jan on Sunday morning and the display which was beautifully set up by Liz and Stephanie.

We had an excellent position - right opposite the entry to the display of Jenny Bowker's quilts and in full sight of one of her beautiful quilts. I looked after the stall in the afternoon with Dorothy and then we pulled it all down with Juliet's help - in much less time than I am sure it took to set up!

I spent the morning looking at the stalls, with a break to listen to Jenny Bowker's talk about her quilt journey, which was absolutely fascinating. I met and talked to lots of people, but was extremely restrained about buying, because I need to downsize, rather than accumulate. I did buy some wool to nuno felt a silk shawl that Helen gave me because it has some holes in it. That won't affect the felting, and I will give it back to her when I am done. I also bought an ingenious dish and holder to use for grating garlic - I hate garlic crushers because they are so hard to clean, and chopping with a knife makes your hands so smelly. I haven't used it yet - I still have no appetite.

My favourite part of the Fair is always the Art to Wear section. There were some great creations this year, but the piece I liked best in the Adult section was a felted jacket by Carole Redlich.

The student section was absolutely fabulous - especially the garments from Penrhos College. The girls had to use nothing but plain calico with a theme of geometric and there were some wonderful interpretations and some superb fabric manipulation. I loved this one, but I failed to take photos of some of the other spectacular creations. What a dill!