Friday, December 12, 2014

Musing in textile: France Disappointed...but...

Excruciating is all i can say but thank goodness we picked it up before shipping, as our printer is in Singapore ( which is why the shipping takes 3 weeks or so):
Update 4 - Delayed Delivery Date
I can now confirm delivery will be delayed until the end of January, and we are really sorry about this. I previously indicated that we were still hopeful of delivery before Christmas and everything was on track for that to happen,as books were ready to be shipped last week. However when we held an actual advance copy of the book in our hands, that was couriered to us before shipping, we discovered that some of the plates had misaligned on one of the signatures- so the long and the short of it is, thankfully not all books were affected , the printer checked every book manually ( and it is not abnormal for the misalignment to happen in a print run, and in this case it was caused by a vibration in the machinery, but because we are doing a relatively small print run it becomes a problem) and the ones affected will be printed again. 
There is no one really to blame as this event does happen from time to time, it is a mechanical thing and short of the printer checking every printed book as it comes off the press,unavoidable to some extent, and obviously the books that our printer had checked were ok, and I guess fortunately the books that were affected were sent to us so we were able to pick up the problem. So the books that were affected have to be reprinted  and rather than go through two lots of customs clearance it is  easier and less expensive to go through one.
All this is most unfortunate and we apologise profusely, but as the printer has been good to work with this far and the problem is one that does occasionally occur we don't want to sour our relationship with the printer by being too harsh and forcing a multitude of extra costs onto their plate especially ( and who knows we may do another book?) as the rest of the book looks good, and the few people who have seen it really liked it. We hope you will forgive the wait.
So we are happy with the book....the images have come out very well and the pacing is lovely- so thank you Celeste! We are happy that this looks different to what is normally expected of a book about quilts. The whole exercise has been a huge learning curve but a good one and has given us lots of food for thought and new ideas. See what you think in this sneak peek!






Would love to hear what you think? I know it's only a few pages but the design aesthetic is the same throughout the book. Books can be pre-ordered- and if you pre-order prior to Christmas a surprise will come your way as well! The retail price of the book is $49.95 and has 240 pages plus a dvd insert with explanations of techniques used in the book.Weight of the book is over 1kg( 2 pounds) and this will affect the shipping cost.
I have just about finished setting up my Studio space at Appleton Street Studios in Richmond. The opening of the gallery space is tonight, you are welcome to drop in and i would love to hear from anyone who would like to do workshops , as it is possible to conduct small workshops at the studio.
I am also devising a new internet workshop which  I am calling Form and Variation and hope to have it up and running  in early February 2015. The idea is that  participants will choose a form/shape/or a collection of forms/shapes and play around with different ideas on developing a body of work inspired by the original shape- we will explore elements of design in the process, and in particular design geared towards textile creation, and  some of the wonderful things one can do with textile in extending ideas and giving depth to work. The workshop will take some commitment from the participant as I intend to run it over a year and encourage you to develop a body of work around your  forms/shapes.The cost of the year long workshop will be $100 AUS, and will involve the delivery of 10 plans of attack  with different ideas of how to deal with some of the elements you will encounter in working on your pieces. You will be encouraged to keep a journal but  this is not a journalling class, merely a keeper for ideas and explorations, to record your story as you work, because stories change as you progress. There will also be a FB group and as we work together I hope we will develop rapport with one another . If you are interested in joining email me and I can provide you with further information.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Life

It's been some weeks since I posted on my blog and I have been intending to for weeks now , but the reality is that my eldest daughter and youngest daughter ( different houses) both moved house on the same weekend( last weekend). As I have a lot of my things stored at my eldest daughters' house that has also meant moving almost my entire household goods yet again in less than 12 months.

To say I am exhausted is an understatement, as I got off the plane from France at 11 pm on a Wednesday night and flew to Adelaide early the next morning to  supervise the Sentinelle exhibition which has been hung by the South Australian Embroiderers Guild. They did a great job and many thanks! Then straight home to packing and more packing.

I have also decided to rent a studio space at Appleton Street Art Studios in Richmond, because I was feeling well and truly fragged having my studio equipment here there an everywhere and I could not think straight. So I have also been setting up the studio there and hope to be working steadily from this weekend onwards, because if all our stuff is not moved by then, I will burst! I will also have space in my studio to do small classes for 2-3 people or even one- let me know if you are interested. The other  really good thing that happened whilst I was away is that they have decided to dedicate a Gallery space and coffee nook drop in at the studios- and it is looking great. Hopefully it will draw more art collectors even of the textile kind!

Meanwhile part of the reason I haven't posted sooner is there is a lot of things going  on with the book which have been complicated by my being away , but I have to earn a living  so it's half a dozen of one and half a dozen of another. Here is part of the update I put on Pozible yesterday:

We are waiting with bated breath for the book , but there have been one of two delays which has set our schedule back a week or two and brings us into a period when Australian customs is very busy with Christmas processing- we are hopeful that things will process smoothly and quickly but I have to be realistic and also entertain the thought that it will go slowly in which case the book will be delayed from our projected publishing date. We are very sorry about this , but with me being overseas and the printer being overseas , some things took longer than expected, and even in this day of instant communication some things have to be actually read and done in the flesh.

So it looks as if our schedule will be pushed back to early January delivery ( we would also like to avoid the Christmas mailing period and would prefer to send after Christmas simply because the mail service gets overrun at this time of year and we hope you will understand)

We are very sorry about this, but sometimes things happen which cannot strictly be controlled. We will let you know as soon as the book is on Australian shores and the new delivery date.


I am really very sorry about this uncertainty and I am still hoping it will all be as we had hoped, but I also have to be realistic.We know that the  printer is reliable as they also print books for Quilt Mania so the book will get here but it's simply a question of when.

 I have finally finished stitching the little Rabbit piece as part of the Medieval Project. These panels are available to buy, just follow the link, and hopefully I will have made a new linocut in the next few days  if I can find time to sit and work for a couple of hours which will be the last of this series for the medieval project....


The panel not completely finished- some of the background seed stitching is not finished. Does the stitching make a difference?

 This is the panel  finished. I use very simple stitches only, things like back stitch and chain stitch and colonial knots. Some of my greens aren't entirely satisfactory but I did not have the full array of greens to hand because much of it is still packed away or I did not take it with me whilst travelling.

The bottom two photos are detail photos showing the simplicity of the stitches. I am still thinking about what I shall do around the edge because the pages are looking a little like illuminated texts, an unexpected but pleasant result!
























I was also invited to be part of Blog Hop Around the World and was supposed to post last Monday- I will post this coming Monday and my apologies to Alicia Merret who invited me , for my lateness, but when I said yes I wasn't expecting to be moving house. So I will try and do an extra special post this Monday!


There has also been another ongoing issue, regarding my block of land which is really starting to impact.There are many people affected in the same way as I am but I can find no action groups of lobby groups to get something happening about this. It affects most vacant properties in Water Catchment areas in Victoria- some people don't even know they are affected because their councils have not told them.Just scroll through, if this kind of thing bores you however it is part of life's little curlies that affects artistic output and inspiration...but shit happens

 I have a piece of  land which is situated in the Gellibrand township , and which was my share of the property divorce settlement in 2009 , zoned residential. It is affected by legislation which  came  into place in 2012- regarding Potable water in water catchment areas. In essence I do not have an issue with the legislation but I do have an issue with  Colac Otway Shires handling of the situation, and the short sightedness in  the state governments implementation of it  and the effect the implementation would have on small holding owners. The legislation requires  that Colac Otway Shire come up with a plan for waste water disposal in the township. I only found out about this legislation and the effect on my property earlier this year when the real estate agent emailed me to ask if it affected my land because he had an interested buyer? "What?" I have gone?? I had no idea( I have been trying to sell this land since 2011). So on contacting all the necessary authorities, my land is affected and I was advised by the overriding authority that they will not allow any building on land less than 40 hectares in areas affected by the legislation( my land is half an hectare). I  sent a letter to Colac Otway Shire , asking about the effect of the legislation and asking them to review my rates until they put in place the aforesaid plan( at the moment my property is being rated on a value much too high given the effect of the legislation, which means the property cannot be built on). They suggested I apply for a Building Permit ( which is on the top rung of  permit costs because of the high rating value  on the property) despite the fact that I have a letter on file to say that all permits must be referred to the overriding authority which will not issue permits unless there is a  Waste Water Management plan in place- and ergo there has not been one made by Colac Otway Shire- not since the new legislation came into place. They also say their rates valuation is based on current valuations of property sales in the area,  but on some investigation I have found out that not a single vacant land property has sold in the township since 2010. There has been a number of letters back and forth but still I am in the position that Colac Otway Shire say ,apply for a Building Permit and see what happens.... I don't want to build on this land , I don't have the money to spend to apply for a permit  which given the correspondence on my file will result in a "no" answer. I want to sell it so I can get on with my life, but I do want to be able to tell a prospective buyer that they can apply for a building permit with a hope of success. Colac Otway Shire now say they  hope to have a Waste Management Plan in place mid next year, but have only just appointed consultants to do this, despite having funding provided by the State Government as early as early 2013- nearly two years ago. The least council could do is grant a moratorium on rates until they bring into  place a Waste Water Management plan ( and there will still not be any guarantee that they will allow new builds)

Meanwhile I have to sit and wait and wait and pay high  rates , which were also increased for this new financial year. I cannot purchase a new property  until I sell this property, and well real estate prices are escalating at a rate of knots-any urban areas are now beyond my means. Apart from going to the press I think I have explored most avenues available to me and would be glad if anyone could make another suggestion??

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Signed Off on the Book Proofs

Well it has been extremely busy the last few weeks, with judging and exhibiting at the Open European Quilt Championships and then heading to the South of France to the  village of Moux to teach at  Canet d'Aude and then back to Charentes next week to teach at Jane Rollason's house before heading home. Then straight on to Adelaide where the Sentinelles will be shown at the Quilt & Craft Fair in Adelaide. Although I won't get there until the Friday the 14th of November unfortunately.

 Some of the wonderful work students did on Thursday working with lutradur at Canet d'Aude- such a variety of imagery!

An old wooden door and skeleton climber plant in an old stone wall, encountered on a morning walk in Moux.



Carcasonne , which I finally visited after many years of driving past it, it was lovely, but so many tourist shops and restaurants and cafes- I like the austerity of Crac de Chevaliers which was built in the same period.

There is a little Chapel in the village of Moux where my  friends Margo and Trevor Bimler are renovating their house so that they can establish a Chambres d'Hotes in hopefully the near future. Right behind the altar was this little stone alcove with a lovely urn. Angels guard either side of the altar, and there was a madonna and babe behind bars- was she valuable as other statues were not behind bars?




Yesterday we visited Le Somail- which has the best second hand bookshop I have encountered- so many wonderful old books. le Somail is on the Canal du Midi and we enjoyed a glass of wine in the lovely late autumnal sun. Of course i found a book that had to  come back with me.




Meanwhile the final proofs for the book Musing in Textile: France  came and we have signed off on those, so now the wait for the book  to come and then all the customs issues of getting them into Australia- more learning curve stuff. And printing and preparing all the gifts we promised to accompany your books that you ordered.

We can also now say that  if you would like to pre-order the book you can by contacting me. If you pre-order prior to Christmas we will add in a small textile gift. The  price of the book will be  $49.95 plus postage which will vary depending on where you are. Email me if you are interested in pre-ordering.

The on-line linocutting class commences tomorrow but if you were interested in still joining it is still possible. As you work through the exercises at your own pace. Just let me know.The cost is $60AuS

And finally some progress on the new panel for the Medieval project- embroidering is moving along slowly- finding the time is the issue. The panels are for sale in a range of colours!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

In Charentes

The artists open studio weekend was great fun but alas only a few sales of printed panels.It was interesting spending time with other artists and we enjoyed each others company despite my bad french!
Here  is one of the cats with the quirky and fun recuperated sculptures of Catherine Pezaire



Then on Monday I picked up a hire car for two weeks as I wanted to go to  Charentes as a friend had offered the use of her house whilst she is away in the  US- and I have been with people since landing all those weeks ago constantly so it is nice to have some time on my own. And the ambience of the house is lovely and the weather apart from a bit of rain has been sensational. I have tried to be outdoors as much as I can in this gorgeous weather . Some of the outbuildings in Charentian white stone.

Then next week I head off to the Open European Quilt Championships in Veldhoven for the last time. There are still some places in my workshop working with Solufix on Sunday the 26th of October but you will need to contact them soon if you want to join the class!

On the way to Charentes which was about 5 hours from Paris I stopped in  at Au Fil d'Emma to get some dyes and to check out Emma's new premises. The shop is light and airy and the space so much better to where she used to be and the workshop space is much better. I shall look forward to teaching there in March 2015! Plus there is a small gallery area for small works and it is much easier to park!


And some of the hand dyed fabrics I made- I never knew I could be so careful with buckets and containers- in situ with some Charentian charm- I am seriously liking the reds. Maybe Charentes is calling to me?


And then last, I am wondering when my run of bad luck with cars is going to end? My youngest daughter was involved in an accident when  the car hydroplaned in bad weather conditions  in Melbourne. Fortunately for her ,she was not going  fast and she and her friend were not hurt ( thank goodness) but my car has been deemed a write off.  I am insured but as the car is old and a under 21 year old was driving  I think I won't get much change out of the market value! Sigh- anyone have a decent little car for sale- not expensive?

So I was very glad  to spend some time with Jane Rollason  and her partner Michel last night , I needed some laughs to take my mind off the demise of my little lemon of a Peugeot ( this car has had so many things fixed it is like a new car). I will be teaching a workshop at Jane's house in Viville on the 9th of November- linocutting and printing.

And I shall be starting an on-line linocutting class on 3 November 2014- contact me for information or if you are interested in joining!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Parcours d'Artistes

This weekend 11-12 October I am  participating in Open studios at Corbeil Essonnes with a friend Solange de Graeve and with Aude De Graeve, Catherine Pezaire and Chantal  Herblot. More information about the artists trail can be seen at the Art Society of Every website. I am looking forward to it though I don't know what to expect as artists trails are not as common in France as they are in Australia ( though I never did find one in Geelong)

I am  absolutely tickled pink with my new Pfeil linocutting tools and am wondering why  I never bought them before... they are expensive but if you buy one  at a time it is not so bad. So I have made a new linocut which will be part of the Medieval Project ( for which I will make a page next week when I have more time to sit and write something  coherent). The linocut is inspired by the background of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries and I can see lots of possibility for embroidery on this one. I will print some more next week. The price will be 10 euros/$15 AUS plus postage. They measure 20 cm x 25 cm. And you can pre-order and indicate which colour you would like! Just email me.

There is also still time to join my on-line linocutting class which starts on 3 November. I  have had a lot of positive feedback from the class and have seen participants go on and use linocut and fabric in wonderful ways. Linocutting and linocut printing is easy to do and not a lot of equipment is needed compared to  screen printing  and can be done on your kitchen table!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Medieval

I am sorry I seem to have lapsed in my blogging habit, but  things have been very busy with a number of events ( Viville And the European Patchwork Meeting 20th celebrations in Ste Marie aux Mines and teaching in Heidelberg and France) It has also been an exciting two- three weeks with barely time to take a breath!

I went to Seyselles to see my friend Karen de Leon Jones who with her husband Phillipe has purchased what was once a convent. The house needs lots of work but actually dates from  renaissance times when it was probably a merchants house before being taken over by the Benardine nuns who stayed there until the revolution at which stage their orders across france were dissolved and only two remain in Switzerland. The house also exudes all sorts of charm and mystery, so I was lucky to enjoy my brief visit.

























We had a lovely walk around the village and visited with local artist  Nathalie Lambert for aperos ( unfortunately she does not have a website)


 Later that day we visited Le Train Rouge the marionnette theatre and creators  of marionnettes, Marie Coste and her mother, Lydia Marie Coste. What a delight to be shown their marvellous creations and to be taken to their  respective ateliers. Marie's mother creates the faces/heads and hands and Marie the intricate costumes.


























Then onto Heidelberg and teaching and then to my friends Christine Moulin's to work on the translation for the book .

Then a reacquaintance  with the  Middle Ages in the Musee Cluny. I just love this museum, there is something new you notice each time you visit.
 But sometimes it is the visitors which offer new insights-yesterday whilst sitting and absorbing the wonderful and marvellous Lady and the Unicorn tapestry, and everything was pretty hushed, a couple sitting nearby were discussing the fox in the tapestry, top right corner ( You have to adopt a texan drawl for this and I am sorry Texans)
Husband- "I think that is the fox" ( they were reading the museum explanatory notes)
Wife- " No I think that's a raccoon" it was really hard not to laugh- does it really look like a raccoon?

















And I did photograph the captions but all i can read is the dates as the museum has very subdued lighting to protect their treasure. So the image on left is a detail from a quite large painting form 1449 and the tapestry is from 1490. I love the couple in the  tapestry- I think it is from a wedding pageant but I love  their expressions.


 I love old books and this lovely example of early printed books  which is dense with imagery.










I also went to Paris and visited the Joop Stoop Print store , and finally found some Pfeil linocutting tools which I have been coveting for some years. I did not want to buy the whole set, as some tools I rarely use and what I  have will do the job, and it was difficult to see the size of the gouges on the internet, so I am a little in heaven- they came with wine cork protectors as well- as they are sharp!



And on that note- I shall be starting an on-line linocutting course at the beginning of November- in fact Monday November 3. A number of people have said they would like to do this course as I have not done one all year so if you would like to join simply email me . If that link does not work try me on my gmail address- just my initial and surname@gmail.com.
The course consist of a number of exercises to improve your skills and to help you design your own linocuts and also to explain  the process of printing on fabric and I will set up a facebook  private group for discussion and sharing.













Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Crossing Oceans

All packed up from the Viville Quilt Expo and off to the 20th birthday celebrations of  Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork at Ste Marie aux Mines.

I shall be  spending quite some time at the Crossing Oceans stand as I have  pieces of work in this wonderful exhibition which has been curated by Jane Rollason. The group consists of Jane Rollasom. Hilary Beattie, Charlotte Yde, Irene McWilliam, Elain Quel, Lin Hsin-Chen, Bergen Rose, Ineke Berlyn, Christiane Kuhr, Pat Archibald , Kay Haerland, Frieda Anderson and myself. We have  five small pieces and one large piece each. I decided to explore olive trees.

And Jane Rollason's lovely tulip arrangement with its beautiful colours!



We have a spare bed in the cabin we have rented at Ste Marie ( about 20 minutes from Ste marie) if anyone is interested. The cost per night is reasonable and I know  accommodation is always at a premium on this  weekend of exhibitions. If you are interested please email me  and I can give you details.

And finally a new panel for the medieval project- a Chartres king. He is  the same size as the queen ( approx 8 x 18 inches  20 cm x 45 cm). The scale of the figure is also the same. The cost of the panel is $20 plus postage ( which is $3) email me if you are interested