Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Lovely Surprise

This gorgeous necklace arrived in the post today-I wonder what once lived in the amulet shaped bead? Jenny Bowker sent it in payment of my book

And on another good note I have received the inaugural Ozquilt grant to help with travel expenses for Sense of Place to Syria and France. This is a great relief as I was seriously beginning to despair as to how I was going to pay for airfares and accommodation in Syria. So thank you Ozquilt for supporting some wonderful Australian work ! I will be posting more information on the Sense of Place blog later this week.Check out the Ozquilt Gallery as well as it contains work by many of Australia's leading contemporary quilt artists.

Had a wonderful time in Braidwood but forgot to take my memory card for my camera so did not take any photos. Met up with lots of people both known and new. I visited Fyregallery which was exhibiting a wonderful little exhibition of Picasso aquatints and drypoint etchings made mainly for Vollard. And next year I shall be teaching from 1-3 June at Braidwood Townstay, which is an old bank building with a workshop and also rooms for accommodation.If you would like to enrol for the workshops just contact Fiona Hammond via the website. Gill Burke came and showed me some of her wonderful printed silks- check them out!

Meanwhile I haven't done a scrap of work- tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow! But I am wearing my new necklace :-)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Another sample

I did another sample with the tracks- like Stegart I think I like it better with the tracks it gives it more definition somehow.

I will be away for four days up in Braidwood,NSW, for the Airing of the Quilts- Across Australia will be shown there on Saturday and Sunday and I am opening the weekend tomorrow evening.Another chance fo Australians to see these terrific quilts. It will be a long drive but catching an aeroplane would almost have taken as long.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another Sample

Here is another sample I made using the same motifs- and i think it was the colour of the previous one that was suggestive of aboriginal dot painting.

I will be making more of these- exploring the cross and circle as a means of expression- X marks the place , X is the signature of a person without writing, X is the cross stitch, X is the mark.Open circles have always meant family for me, i am not sure where that idea came from, perhaps I read something somewhere, it is also about cells and life, circles or noughts are about noughts and crosses, and about nought.

This sample is 13 3/4 " square- I meant to make it exactly the same size as the previous square. I intend tomake a lot of these so that they will form an installation. These two are for sale, if anyone is interested $75 US inclusive of postage.

Ohh and don't forget my book Seventy Two Ways not to Stipple or Meander is still available- I have had more printed up and getting very positive feedback about it :-). Here is the information again:
Seventy Two Ways Not to Stipple or Meander ( Ideas for Free Machine Quilting). You can see the stitching and the thread count of the fabric I quilted- so the detail is good..

Anyway if you are interested in the CD it will be a pdf document( so you will need Acrobat Reader or other pdf reading program) of the booklet( it's morte of a book with 81 pages and it is spiral bound) email me. In Australia I can be paid by cheque or postal order- for overseas orders I can be paid with Paypal.

So the costings are as follows

For Australia:

CD is $20AUD inclusive of postage.

Book is $25AUD inclusive of postage.

For all other places( Worldwide)

CD is $25 AUD ( $15USD, 12 Euro, 8.50 pounds sterling) inclusive of postage

Book is $30 AUD ( $23 USD, 18 Euro, 12 pounds sterling) including postage

Monday, November 20, 2006


It was lovely and warm yesterday, although it gets a little too hot in my shed especially as my sewing machine is directly under one of the skylights. I am still waiting on the concrete slab so I have had some interesting visitors.... a pair of scurrying blue tongue lizards, and yes it is mating season for reptiles at the moment- everyone asked me if I got a photos- but I wasn't going to get that close!

I made this 13"x13" sample yesterday, dh says it looks too much like aboriginal art, although that was really a long way from what I was thinking when I made it.I was thinking of another x stitch variation. Perhaps the colours add to the sense- but they are my favourites! I was thinking about mark making- crosses, strokes with a brush and then the cross for marking the place and of crossing pathways between different peoples, hence the two different lines of symbols. I suppose I can play around with it some more, but first I need to get some more white fabric from the suppliers, I have none left.

We have been having fresh lettuce out of the garden- it's just so much nicer that way! And it is artichoke season again. Vegetables are so expensive that I have been trying to be more inventive with the artichokes and use them as a vegetable rather than as a tasty appetiser. So last night I made Baked Artichokes with cherry tomatoes. They were yummy! You prepare the artichokes by pulling off the hard outer leaves and cut across the tip of the remaining leaves, quarter them and then pull out the chokes, and leave to sit in water with lemon juice. Meanwhile you heat up some olive oil and fry the artichokes with the lid on the pan for about five minutes and then add some sliced garlic and fresh herbs ( I used thyme and parsley from the garden, it's still a bit early for basil), fry only for a little bit longer. Then you place this mixture into a smallish baking dish with fresh cherry tomatoes and some more sliced garlic and I really put in a handful of herbs and some lemon juice ( or a wee bit of water) bake in a slow oven for about 40 minutes and presto! I think it would taste good tossed with pasta as well!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lorenzetti Madonna Variations

They have all come into blogger out of order. The bottom image is the line drawing I did- the tilt of the head isn't as demure.The darker image on the left is of a mono-print I did of the line drawing. The two images in the centre are a positive lino-cut and a negative lino-cut. I was amazed at how Egyptian the negative cut looked. The top two images are drypoint etching on perspex- one on rice paper( the darker one) where I had not removed enough ink off the plate and the other on arches water colour paper. I think I like the drypoint best- though I need to experiment more with getting the ink off the plate. I also enjoy lino-cutting. Now I can't wait to buy some more perspex. I did try drypoint etching on copperplate, but found it much harder to actually create the lines , i think my tool was not sufficiently sharp. I liked working with the one image because it really allowed me to see the variations and the nuances of the different techniques.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Printing Course I have been doing

I have been doing an on-line printing course with Kristi Schueler. My main reason for doing it was to have a real try at printing on paper rather than fabric. I decided to play with this image of the Madonna of the Milk by Ambrogio Lorenzetti from the old guidebook of Siena which I purchased in Annecy. I am interested by how "mother" is depicted in painting and I do especially like byzantine and early renaissance icon depictions. Obviously Lorenzetti was very much influenced by Giotto.

Anyway I made my own drawing of the painting to work with, reducing it to line drawing.Blogger is not letting me load anything for more than 12 hours now so I will try in another post.


Thursday, November 16, 2006


I have been away for two days helping a friend with some legal things, and so have not got much done. I have been working on the Rug for Persephone but not as much as I would like, as my shoulders have been really sore. I couldn't work out why until it dawned on me my normal sewing tabel is lowered by at least 15 cms , and the table I am working on in the shed is normal height. And thanks Susan for thinking of my work and remembering Persephone.

The stitching is really changing the appearance of the quilt top , hoepfully I will get it finished tomorrow. I have also been working on making small books- they are 7 "x7" ( about 20 cm square) I have still to bind them but I want to print on some of the pages beofre I bind the books.

My friend Robina Summers has finally got her Wild Scarves website up- there are still some pages to come but some of her woven and digitally printed scarves with embroidery are up.

There is an interesting discussion going on on Sharon Bogon's In a Mintute Ago blog, just scroll down the page a little- be sure to check out all her hyperlinks especially to Elisabet's blog. Some of the books referred to I read for my masters in order to contextualise the work i was creating , and found the area intriguing but difficult, because gender does play a major role, and not only that I had problems with art history's canonisation of white male western art. For me there is something so profoundly wonderful about all textiles, something profoundly wonderful about all forms of art- the aesthetic of each is governed by its own process and cultural placement that the possibilities are endless. And when I was in Syria and Palestine, the men seemed as interested in textiles( the quilts that I took there) as women, yet in Israel , geographically in the same region, but much more westernised and being the home of many immigrants from the west, textiles and quilts obviously did not have the same appeal to men.There was a noticeable difference in the way the work was received.

I was fascinated that the history of lace had more business women than most other commercial pursuits until industrialision took over lace making.Martine Bruggeman a Belgian authority on the history of lace in her book "Kant ( not the philospoher but the dutch/flemish word for lace) in Europe", makes this point .Lace at one time was only the second biggest commercial pursuit of Europe making cities rich and famous and lace was coveted by kings and queens and other people of high rank. What is the placement of lace now?

Monday, November 13, 2006

I am working on another Rug

Stitching really does make a difference! The pomegranates with the stitching around them are just so much nicer than the non-stitched ones- and that is why I like quilting/stitching- it really adds another dimension to what painting can't do!

I am working on this rug, not for the underworld this time, but for the upper world. I am still undecided about the green strip on the left hand side, but I will wait and see how it looks once a lot more stitching has gone in.

I will be updating the Sense of Place blog with workshop information at the winery in January in the next day.

And someone please enlighten me- last night literally more than a 100 German visitors visited the site- why did that happen? Anyone out there?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sense of Place

I have been getting my act together for the publicity materials for Sense of Place, the exhibition that I am curating which will open at Samson Hill Winery, Syria and France ( so far- I hope to add some more venues!) The banner above is the banner Robina Summers designed from details of images of the work of the 11 participating artists who are, Jenny Bowker, Sue Dennis, Dianne Firth, Helen Gray,Gloria Loughman,Beth Miller, Beth and Trevor Reid, Robina Summers, Olga Walters, Fiona Wirght and myself.The banner will also be printed on banner materials as part of the signage of the exhibition

As part of that publicity I have set up a Sense of Place Blog. I will update it regularly with all sorts of news including the exhibtions' travels. I will also providing profiles of the artists, and information regarding the fundraising workshops we will be conducting at Samson Hill.The workshops will be as follows:

10 January 2007 ( Wednesday) Brooches- create your own zany art brooches to liven up even the dullest t-shirt!

17January ( Wednesday)2007 Bags of Fun- to wear for fun

24 January (Wedensday)2007 Bandanas- fabric fun to make your hair curl

31 January ( Wednesday) 2007 Belts-hot colours, crazy ideas

There will be three tutors: Olga Walters, Robina Summers and myself taking groups of 10 participants to create fun things- one for you and one as a gift to people on the other side of the world- in the spirit of goodwill. It will be possible to swap around during the day. The cost will be $70 inclusive of morning tea, lunch, and materials- all you need do is bring yourself, a sense of goodwill and fun. A non-refundable payment of $20 is payable ( to cover material costs). Please contatc me for details.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Have to Climb Out of the Hole

I seem to have fallen into a great big hole and am having trouble climbing out. It is not that I have been idle- I have done some lino-cutting and printing on paper- but couldn't bring myself to work with fabric at all. I made the lino-cut of an unfurling fern frond as a metaphor- I am not entirely happy with the lino-cut and am not happy with the inking I am doing- it's a bit too heavy.

I have aso been playing with making books- but have been questioning my motivation- are they for me or for sale, and if they are for sale, who would be interested in hand made books? If anyone has some favourite book arts sites or book making sites I would love to find some.

And then this afternoon the thought hit me I ought to make something cheerful- I always seem to come back to Demeter and Persephone- I have been focussing on the dark side , I need to focus on the light side- the re-entry into the world of people, of growth and corn and perhaps a little invention. So these were the fabrics I auditioned for a more cheerful outlook. Not quite sure about it yet- it needs a bit of tweaking, but it's a start.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A small amount of Sewing

I feel guilty- I have achieved very little sewing this week- just this piece which will be a belt of sorts- just wanted to try the vcolour combinations- I have sewn it on water soluble and more sewing is still to go in- unfortunately it shrank so it won't be a belt for me :-( never mind , my eldest daughter liked it too.

I have also enrolled for an on-line course for printing with Kristi Schueller. I was intrigued as to what an on-line course would be like and have so far enjoyed it.Participants have shared so many interseting sites of printers- a whole other world! In a funny twist of sorts most of the other participants are doing it to print on fabric but I am doing it to print on paper- I would like to make more hand printed books and this is one way of forcing me to sit and do it.

Then I joined up for Nanowrimo again- novel writing for the month of November- almost forgot about it and then registered at the last moment- did not do any writing the first day ( I have found if you can really give it a big burl in the first week it sort of carries you through the other weeks) but this evening I sat down and loosely plotted something, so after this I am off to the laptop to make a serious start- cloth will be woven throughout the story- where it will lead me I have no idea, but that is part of the fun. I also put a new blog counter on the blog- it shows all the little flags that belong to the countries of visitors. My aim is to have all 194 ( some atlasess say there are 189, 191,192 or 193 countries) countries visit- it's a pretty far fetched aim, but 62 is not a bad start! Posted by Picasa