Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More Angels in Foil

Omega left a comment a couple of days ago sending a link to Byzantine icons. I must admit I have had a liking for icons for a very long time- can't really remember when it started, but I have searched for them when I have been in Europe ( there are some beautiful ones in the Pinacoteca in Siena). There is something very peaceful about the images. I have a funny incident to tell about an icon too. In 1990 we were catching the train from Madrid to Paris and were in a sleeper. We were sharing the sleeper with a Japanese couple who were doing a whirlwind trip around the world( and I mean whirlwind- 7 days to fly from Tokyo, toMadrid for a night down to Cadiz for one night, back to Madrid, to Paris for a night, to London for a night, and home via New york for a night and San Francisco for a night- phew!) . Anyway they were delightful and told us they had been to Cadiz to buy an icon- we must have acted suitably impressed for the man then produced the thirteenth century icon they had purchased- about A4 size and aged but still beautiful.It was precious to him and he had it very carefully wrapped in tissue paper and cloth, and he held it ever so gently. A couple of years ago when I was in Vezelay ( in France and one of the towns on the Pilgrims route) there was an exhibition of Russian icons- they were stunning and the monastery at Vezelay seemed such a great place to see them, having to walk through the cloisters to the rooms.
This image comes from a little Ethiopian stone bible, so I presume the imagery may be Coptic. I have foiled the image but it is hard to see form the photograph because the flash reflects - but its effect is like the goldleaf ( though this is copper foil) used on icons- that kind of rubbed look. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 28, 2005

Finished banksia

I finished the banksia panel today except for the binding.It is 32 cm wide and 100 cm long ( 13 inches by 40 inches). it is for sale at $275 US which includes postage. The detail photo which I uploaded separately shows the detail of the stitching. I am enjoying stitching te long narrow panels- for a start it is easier to manouevre but there is something I like about the proportions.
Got to go and cook the dinner !

Why is it that when you make adjustments in Picasa they do not carry over into My pictures Folders? Posted by Picasa

Detail Banksia

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Banksia Panel

We had a really wild thunderstorm on Friday night and the sky was a brooding deep blue grey. I tried to photograph it but it looks relatively mild to how it really looked- the rose in the foreground was like a beacon and the light was really eerie.

I am making a long banksia wallhanging. I have lots of banksias in my garden and they come in many different colours ranging from a soft licheny green to deep rust and maroon. The Banksia I have photographed is one of my favourites as the stamens are gold, rust and red coloured.Unfortunately the actual bush has become tall and straggly. However I am always trying to capture this particular one in stitching. I have hand dyed the back ground panel and printed it with bracken and beech leaves with gold textile ink, to liven up the middle ground. Then I overlay with applique shapes and then stitch these before I start quilting when I will go over some of the stitching again. I stitch first because if I do that in the quilting process I lose a lot of the loft of the batting and thereby texture.

I did manage to stagger to 50,000 words for nanowrimo but the story is not finished- in fact I have no idea how it will end as the characters seem to have taken over .

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Little bags

More little bags
I spent today making these bags and also th etwo below. I started making them in 2000 as I have a tendency to put as much junk as i can into any carry around bag with the result that they weigh a ton and when travelling become really uncomfortable. So I made this bag that fits my wallet- camera or mobile and travel documents but not all the junk . They are between 9-10 inches long and 5 inches wide. I have lino-cut printed an image onto the hand dyed fabric, and then layered these as you would a quilt and then stitched them. In essence they are a quilt and I have found them to be strong and of course they are lined. The corded shoulder strap is made from cotton strips that have been corded and is also very strong. And the beads are made by my kids- I get to buy the fimo, pay them per bead and do get to use them, but I am sure a lot of the fimo disappears into other things as well- so I don't think I am getting the best side of the deal LOL. The bags are for sale for $35 US inclusive of postage and you can email me on the link on my profile. I will also put them on my Seriously Textile blog and the next day or so.Posted by Picasa

Little Bags Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

More Angels in Stone


I have been working on another Angels in Stone panel- this time based on the lino-cut I made. I like the fact that the lutradur is really stable and that you can cut it away so easily and then sew it , without any slipping problems. Wietske asked how do I print with the transfer dyes. I am using a transfer dye known as teepee- which comes already in solution which I get from Kraftkolour- it's slightly thicker. However it is also possible to do with the dye powders mixed with just water.There is a thickening agent you can buy but I haven't tried it. You cannot use Manutex. I have a little printing pad on which I put the ink and then press my lino-cut or stone into that and then onto the paper. The panel is 120 cm long and 30 cm wide ( 47 " x 12")

I am enjoying sewing these, for even though I am using a print and am following the shape of the print for the sewing, each face still somehow has an individual expression. I also like the effect of cutting away under the wings/arms and being able to add a different colour of thread in there.

Oh and Deb Richardson- on my links- has just had her self portrait published full page size in Quilting Arts- Wow Deb! I did try and congratulate her on her blog- but cyber space is still a mystery to me... a lot of the time.Posted by Picasa

More Angels in Stone Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Dandelion Moments

Dandelion Moments- A Book of Today
I have days where I just seem to be treading water and not doing anything much of anything.It's a fight for the computer with teenagers ,on the weekend, and unfortunately we are still on dial-up.
So today was one of those days. So in the spirit of Keri Smith's Wish Jar Journal I made myself do something- where I didn't have to be in my room where said teenagers are commandeering the computer. So I sat outside and made this little book of nothing really- just things I did today. it's an A3 sheet folded in half horizontally- with a split cut along that fold that spreads over the two middle pages and then folded into four on the vertical.It makes a dinky little book- and is loads of fun for kids. I used to draw the cartoon halo( surround) shapes for them to draw in.

I did plug away at my Nanorwrimo novel but then hit a wall of no words.Posted by Picasa

Pages 1 & 2 Posted by Picasa

Pages 3 & 4 Posted by Picasa

Page 5 & 6 Posted by Picasa

Booklet Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 19, 2005


My Walk Today
"In clutter, you may not be able to find what you are looking for, but you may find something else instead.Clutter may not be about the way we hide things from ourselves but about the way we make ourselves look for things.It is, as it were, a self-imposed hide-and-seek."
From Promises,Promises by Adam Phillips as quoted in Isabel Huggan's book "Belonging"

And yes here is the reason for my messy messy work room- actually I am hoping it will result in the studio being built quicker- but I don't like my chances somehow.Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 18, 2005

Creativity and Fabric

Trying out the New Calligraphy Brushes and Fabric

I must admit I feel a little flat today- have done lots but nothing really creative, so I painted this with my new calligraphy brushes. I like the wholeness of the brush stroke you get with these brushes, but yeah the image is well.... I was just playing. I feel a bit spurred on by Claire Bryan from Little Fish who is trying to be creative every day in the Nanowrimo kind of way! I am still pluggging away at my novel, which seems to be leading me rather than me, the author , leading it- but the words are getting written. And I am still on track to get there having gotten in the 30,000 word range. It then becomes a matter of being too many words to just ignore.

I also dyed some fabric- but am really finding the different fabric to be a bit of a consternation- some colours take really well but others are well - different as far as I am concerned. So I will be ringing the supplier and seeing what i can do. And I have set up another blog called Seriously Textile, for the purpose of selling, so that I keep it off this blog which has been my journal. I will mention my "other" blog from time to time, but otherwise will put everything for sale there.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pfftt-What a day

Have been dying more fabric as my stocks are really low. The fabric is different which is a bit annoying, the colours aren't coming out quite like I am used to them coming out, and the fabric has a different feel. I almost feel like complaining to my supplier and begging them to get back their previous Chinese supplier. But...... the fabric still looks nice , feels nice, just is different.

And I sewed a sample piece of the Angels in Stone lino cut print I made. I like what's happening. This one was done on the more papery lutradur which also has more of a sheen, but really the type of sheen you get burnishing cotton- like theTuareg do.

The day started out all planned- dyeing and then sewing, as I needed one of the dyed pieces for the sewing I was planning- and then the high school rang up to say Celeste ( daughter)was not feeling well and could I come pick her up ( 20 minute drive there and back), and then when we got home I had some visitors from the Netherlands- I wasn't expecting them so of course my house was in the worst diabolical state( sometimes I could just curl up and disappear with the state of my house), but the visitors were just lovely!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Not Much Achieved Today

Today started with all sorts of good intentions but ended up being consumed by sorting out my email problems- which hopefully now- finally are sorted. Why is it that internet tech people never believe what you are telling them, make you feel like a blithering idiot and then say why didn't you say this before????- when you have .

Anyway yesterday I made a lino-cut of the stone angel ( actually it looks more like a saint, but as I have no idea which one I like the term stone angel) so that it is much bigger than the original stone one . I wanted to see whether altering the scale of it, would impact on how I found the image ( which I like a lot). I still like it. So I painted some papers for transferring to lutradur and then printed them with the new lino-cut image. I have trasnferred them but that is as far as I got. My youngest child,Ynez, was home from school yesterday due to industrial action against the new Workplace Relations Act- and her passion is cats so she made the cat lino-cut- which I think is pretty cute. It prints nicely as well- she is all inspired to now make her own lino-cut for Christmas cards.

And then today in the post I got the pictured wonderful Chinese calligrahpy brushes , purchased in Beijing by my friend Clare Smith who went there last week. Aren't they just the best? I don't know what it is about Chinese calligraphy brushes,but I am getting quite a collection, but also use them and then don't look after them very well.These ones will be!

Oh and I sold both Angels in Stone panels- the Bindii quilt and th elittle journal Keyholes quilt!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Gang Gang Cockatoo

Gang Gang Cockatoo

It is that time of the year again- the black wattle seedpods are setting and the Gang Gang Cockatoos have moved in to feast. I know I posted a picture of one last year, but this one was so cheeky that i could almost touch him. He is the male, the females do not have the red crest. These birds are a bit bigger than a crow and are very noisy. I hope people enjoy the occasional pictures of things from my surroundings even though they are not textile.

On another note I am thinking of setting up a teaching/textile blog- it would be closed and for subscribers only- but am wondering if there is any interest out there for that sort of thing, so any feedback would be appreciated. Also I wondered what people expect from such a thing- the level of interactivity- the inspiration/motivation aspects- reasonable cost.

And Sheila- I think I was so busy looking at the motif I posted yesterday as and adinkra stamp that I did not see the flower aspect of it. And in thinking of adinkra I was thinking of it as a form of language- for the stamps are used in this kind of way- printed onto cloth to essentially make story cloths that are quite individual to the makers- so I was looking at the symbolism more than its physical aspects. I know in my own work I do use certain motifs as a kind of shorthand for things I want to say- I don't always spell them out as such because I think every one brings their own interpretations to symbolism. And on that point - why do so many of Michelangelo's figures point their index finger skyward? What is this the symbolism for? There is probably an easy answer to this one, but I have been trying to find out for quite some time, and haven't found an answer yet.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I have been treading water as I did not have any batting until friday so could not make bigger quilts. So I have been patching together scraps of batting and making A3 (10 1/2 " x 15" ) 27 x 38 cm pieces. I have also been trying to see how long these actually take me after I have created the fabric- so I have been setting my self a time- 3 hours and I have to have all the stitching including the hand stitching( french knots- or something notty anyhow) done in that time.And I mean three hours of work- so that any cups of tea or walks in the garden are not counted.

The first panel of the tree has been transfer dyed onto lutradur and then stitched. The second panel has also been transfer dyed and I printed the papers with one of the adinkra stamps I have. This one is called fofoo and its meaning according to a booklet I got from the Afrikacentrum
is "what the fofoo plant wants is that the gyinantwi seeds should turn black" or the symbol of jealousy. I think the shape is quite universal which is the reason I used it, but to me it seems much more like a symbol for woman- many handed, doing many task at the same time- or something like that. How do you see this stamp as a symbol? What does it suggest to you?

Anyway both panels are for sale- they are $75 US including postage ( the size is A3). I can be paid via Paypal and my email address is linked in my profile. Also anyone out there who normally uses my gsat email address please use my hotmail address- I am having major issues with my internet provider- they don't believe I am not getting my messages despite my receiving snail mail from people telling me they have been trying to contact me.It's time for change- but apparently we are getting Adsl soon- I sure hope so!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Things that Change your Life -Chassy

In the year 2000 I did a studio residency at Chateau de Chassy in the Morvan region in France. This had come about because one of my quilts had won a prize in Chassy D'Or in 1997 and had been acquired by the organiser of Chassy D'Or , Mme Tison who owns Chateau de Chassy. My husband and children came too and we lived in the castle for three months.As experiences go it was fantastic, and I met lots of people who came to visit the friendship exhibitions organised by Mme Tison and also the exhibition I had brought from Australia- Australian Bounty, which was hung in the attic where the roof soared 60 foot overhead. I got a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation to assist study at the Museum de L'Impression Sur Etoffes at Mulhouse. It all sounds so easy but at the time, family and most friends thought we were fruitcakes and nuts to spend the money. I still run into people who saw Bounty at Chassy and all still talk about it- as an exhibition it had an aura- a tangible aura- hard to explain really but when those pieces hung together, without fail when people walked into the exhibition you could hear the intake of breath and often exclamations of "Formidable. Magnifique" The Dutch prime minister of the time visited with his wife and they stayed for an hour and half. Australian Bounty went on to be shown at Galerie du Pontgirard in Monceaux-au-Perche and then the Australian Embassy in Paris, England the Netherlands and venues around Australia and in New Zealand.

Anyway- I have always wanted to make a quilt about the experience , but never did- but I did make nine little quilts for the Journal project in Houston in 2003. All are inspired by various aspects of Chateau de Chassy. So i thought I would share them even though they are older work. I used a number of different techniques to create the images I made including vliesofixing ( wonder under) tissue paper to fabric ( I didn't have any bubble jet set and could not wait for it to be sent) so printed onto tissue paper and then set with matte spray. I also used some pages from the journal I kept and used photos to make stencils.

I think it is fair to say that Chassy did change things a little- it gave me self belief but also allowed my family and myself an experience which was a little magic, and we made friends that we still see regularly.

And below are some more of my journals ( somehow Blogger reversed the order); All of them are for sale at $50 US including postage. The size is 21 cm x 30cm ( 8 1/4 in x 11 3/4 in)

Things that Change your Life II- Chassy