Monday, August 31, 2009

Creative Scrap Heap

I came across some articles in Handeye Magazine which set me to procrastination, and feelings of inadequacy- I am not good at marketing, I do hone my skills but to what end, to make a barely sustainable living?

From an article entitled Rites of Spring from Handeye Magazine Li Edelkoort comments on the global consumer economy: “The world is now a market, governed by mega-mergers and mega-brands. Suddenly, almost naturally, men and women are looking again at handmade, man-mastered, artisan arts, as a refuge from mega-monotony. In terms of economy, employment strategies, and social development, we believe that quality arts and crafts will have a very important revival.”
There is room in this world for broader thinking about societies near and far, and for what products are needed by makers and consumers alike. Just ask any Parisian wearing handmade indigo."

LI Edelkoort has a airy light studio in Paris, is a trendsetter and forecaster in trends and colour.

And from another article:Madeline Weinrib's Own Voice and interview with Madeleine Wienrib
MW: Find ways to understand the aesthetic of the market you want to enter. There are real differences in what people perceive and appreciate. The challenge for artisans is to see what people who are not artisans and who live in another culture will value highly enough to purchase. “How do I make what I do seem beautiful to these customers at this moment in time?” Linking with designers can be a big help, as they are, on a visual level, professional translators.

I like to work in isolation, but when all the other aspects of your life fall away as in divorce and the dismantling of a dream, that isolation can of itself be a shackle, because there is nowhere to turn. The isolation also makes it difficult to market yourself-I am not part of any mainstream let alone any stream in art textile or design sense. Yes I make and I do exhibit, but it all seems to be in a vacumm- what strategies do I have to market what I make- because I do have to sell in order to make a living.I do aspire to make beautiful things or at least decorative things, but I know very little of the market place in terms of trends or forecasts- should I know more?If I did, how would it influence what I make- is this just a bad dose of angst? So the photo is a little of how I feel- a heap of scraps that once emerged at the behest of a creative urge that suddenly lost its impetus.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More Circles

I am intrigued by the landscape from above- it is so different to the normal landscape one normally thinks of- you have to take imaginative leaps with the landscape from above. One of the strangest landscapes i have encountered from abocve is a small part of western Australia in the south, as the flight path heads towards the great Australian Bight. The plane has reached it's cruising altitude and the landscape is dotted by what appear to by water pools- in the weirdest colours- lots of turquoise and terracotta and yellow. This little piece is inspired from what I remember seeing from above.

And I have finally done it- creatd an album on my Picture Trail site detailing all recent work which is for sale. I would love it if you feel inclined to comment, and I am prepared to consider all reasonable offers.. I will also be adding to it periodically. There are also albums there of earlier work.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Concours Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork

Another Teapot and Rosewater jug FOR SALE $45 US inclusive of postage.

I posted off my quilt "Tracks Across the Land" to the Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork yesterday- I am only showing a close-up shot at this stage as the Patchwork meeting does not commence until 17 September- wish I could go!Oh well. I need to get creative- have some ideas for more waterways quilts- but the weather has been so bad I can't get outside to do any dyeing or transfer painting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Teapot


For Sale $45 US including postage.
Posted by Picasa

I forgot tomention in The Wattlepoint post that if you click on the image a large image will come up.

And I wanted to share two projects that two friends in different parts of the world are involved with that will help disadvantaged and poor people. You can also help!!

The first project is being planned by Laura Liebenberg from Belgium in conjunction with the city of Essen called Colours of Africa , to create an installation of A4 quiltlets to be auctioned at a textile event in Essen in 2010 to help raise money to create a safe play centre for children living in a shanty town in South Africa. The deadline is 1 December 2009- so please if you have the time use colour as your inspiration to send a small quiltlet ( A4) size to help build an installation to help children have a safer place to learn and play .

The other project is called Iraqi Bundles of Love- and has been organised by Kristin la Flamme's husband-he was stationed in Iraq- and as a way of leaving more behind than war memories, he is co-ordinating a project to help women in Iraq have parcels of fabric and sewing notions to make things with- and the project has now expanded to include knitting.So if you ar ein anyway inclined to help with this project check out the blog for the project- it is a very worthwile project to help women be able to make things (maybe we should send such bundles to the pollies as well- help them understand that building bridges is more important than destruction)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Teaching

I am back from teaching at Wattlepoint- such a lovely spot. I had a great bunch of people to teach- really enthusiastic and fun, the venue was wonderful- the windows of our work area looked straight out into the bush with lots of banksias and native grasses and the odd kangaroo or two, and the units in which we were accommodated were also lovely ( I had one all to myself- wonderful and relaxing)- with rosellas demanding their nightly feed of seeds kindly left by the owners of the park. A small walk and you looked out on a little jetty and water. I could have stayed a week! And it was beautiful and sunny so we were able to do a lot of the dyeing and transfer printing outside.

Now onto the serious business of sewing up a storm adding some extra stitched onto my Concours piece for Ste Marie aux Mines before sending it off tomorrow and working on the Caravanserai book, I have been lagging behinfd in writing the text- when it actually comes to putting pen to paper- I get this awful feeling of what do I have to say?? I have written the intro and the first 8 pages so that is a start but....gaping emptinesss....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Boabab Tree

FOR SALE 12 inches x 16 inches ( 30 cm x 40 cm) $120US SOLD

Thank you for the advice regarding the formal dress- it is almost finished- just have a few tweeks and straps to attach and then the hem.... I could not use the starch method as the silk water marks. I ended up hand basting everything. I will be so glad when the dress is finished!!

I have to drive to the other side of Victoria tomorrow to teach Saturday and Suday- so I don't even get to see my daughter all dressed up. I will be teaching at Wattlepoint. I am still on a mission to get to Syria- but unfortunately it had to take a backseat in order to get the dress done.When you count the cost of the fabric and my time, it probably would have been better to buy the dress as it took up a lot of my week. The boabab tree is printed on lutradur and stitched by machine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Extreme Conditions

FOR SALE Click on the photo and you will get a much larger photo.

I am making my daughters formal dress- why do I do this???? It's all cut on the bias and one of the seams that should sit straight isn't sitting straight- but because of the bias cutting it's creating a nightmare- it's in a satiny silk ( quite light weight) so it's slipping sliding everywhere and I have already spent way more time than I can afford on it- any suggestions?????

I don't think I ever posted a pic of the completed Extreme Conditions quilt that I made for A Change in the Weather Exhibition- it recently came back from New Zealand. Not sure what I sahll do with it now- it's entirely hand stitched, because that was when my machine was playing up- it is for sale but the price is high because of all the hand work. Because the piece is long it's really difficult to get a good photo.

And this is my 900th post- I am also getting close to 250,000 visitors. I know the Neoworks counter shows a different number but I put on Sitemeter earlier than Neoworks and it is sitemeter that is getting close to 250,000 visitors.

Sunday, August 16, 2009



I have been playing aroud with some different kinds of stitching- machine and hand for the waterways series I intend to make. The last lot is colonial knots- they are easier than french knots- and less likely to not knot properly, and done densely really give an interesting texture- and its another variation on a dot ( and yes I do read Jude's blog- but I have also had a long standing love affair with dots and circles- they have occurred in my work throughout).

Went to see Kavisha Mazella last night- very inspirational and upbeat. I love how she weaves her stories around the music and uses her cultural background to add humour, depth and diversity to her music- I was very much reminded of story cloth- in all reality and charmed.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Quiltet 1 is SOLD Quiltlet 3 is Sold

Each Piece is For Sale $45 US inclusive of postage

As I have said we have been working on a book entitled Caravanserai for my daughters VCD folio- for her final exams. Last week we went to open day at RMIT- and we were really enthused by the Visual Communication course - it seems right up her alley- it requires a really good folio to get in. My daughter is designing the book and layout- I am providing the text, photos and textile works which will form the basis of the book- looking at our Syrian encounters and how they have inspired my textile work. We have hit a snag however - we have done a few runs of getting books printed but my photos are probably not of sufficient resolution to do my daughters hard work justice or to meet her hopes of submitting the best possible folio.

So it puts us in a real dilemna- the go with what we have or go to Syria and rephotograph. There are a few problems- I have to renew my passport ( least of the problems), I have a very small window of opportunity as she will obviously need the school holidays to work on the project so that we can get it printed in time- so I need to go early in September, but the biggest issue is budget. I manage to survive at what I do by living on a very tight budget, that is fine I have been doing that since 1995 and it is part of daily life, but the cost of going to Syria would be outside my budget. One thought that occurred to me is I could work like the blazers and make more Teapot and Rosewater jug pieces ( the sales of the last two days have encouraged me in this thought) and hope to sell them. I think the price is very reasonable as there is quite some process involved in making them- papers have to be painted then printed, then transferred to lutradur, background fabric needs to be dyed, then the whole is stitched and then satin stitched bound.

Of course I won't mind going to Syria- but it would be for four days only madly running around photographing- but I also want my daughters folio to be the best that it can be. What would you do?

So dear readers would you be willing to put up your hand for a Teapot and Rosewater Jug embroidery quiltlet - no payment until the piece is complete? And as I said I would work like the blazers to get them done- but it would be good to have some idea of numbers before I commit to an airfare. Of course I am also willing to entertain any reasonable offer on work I have for sale and will later today or tomorrow load a new page on my Picturetrail website. Feedback would be appreciated!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And Another teapot!



This one is for sale also- $45 US- it measures 8 inches square.

I have been trying to sew but being a single parent and living 22 kms out of town makes me the only taxi- so a lot of my time gets eaten as taxi service!And I am supposed to be writing proposals as well as My Place will be shown in the Colac Entertainment Centre- which is really exciting. I will also be teaching on the weekend. The exhibition will be on from 30 October to 1 November- so if you are in Australia and Victoria put it in your diary!

Tomorrow is another day- hopefully fuller of creation!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to Teapots



For Sale $45 US each inclusive of postage

My daughter and I have been working on the Caravanserai book- which she is designing for part of her VCD assessment. It means I have to write the text to go with the images, so it started me thinking about my Teapots and Rosewater jugs again. When I take a break from writing the text I have been running up a few more of these small pieces, as I really need to sell some work as well. I haven't had any of these for sale for quite awhile. They measure approximately 8 inches square ( 20 cms square )

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Arts & Craft- Averil M. Burleigh

I went to my shed today to find some papers for book making and happened across this old magazine called The Studio which I had stuck away- it is dated from April 15 1913, and is in slightly tattered condition. I also have been doing some research on the Arts & Craft Movement ( in preparations for the Creative Arts Safari tour in England, Belgium and Paris next year) and long and behold I stumbled across these lovely illustrations by Averil M Burleigh. The accompanying article qoutes the late Sir George Reid, member and president of the Royal Scottish Academy as saying womens' art as being "deplorable" and "they appear" he is reported to have said " to be the work of young ladies who have nothing to do and who therefore 'paint a little' without having the faintest notion of drawing or colouring. They are all anxious to have their pictures exhibited, but they have no idea of working honestly and hard in order to produce good work" The article goes on to say " it cannot be denied that there was and still is a great deal of truth in this criticism, even if we allow that it may have been tinged with a little (?????) masculine bias and possibly a general lack of symphathy with feminine work at large." It was also observed that parents often had their daughters taught drawing and painting whilst boys were given no such instruction and that indeed a lot of boys had enbarked upon artistic careers in the face of stern parental opposition. Hmmm- what do I really think about all this???? were women perhaps better trained then men?

The line drawing is entitled "All in a Garden Fair" and the coloured drawing is entitled "A Stately Measure"

Friday, August 07, 2009

Colours of My Country

Posted by Picasa

I am realy happy- the quilt I made for Colours of My Country for the Concours at carrefour Europeen du Patchwork has been juried into the exhibition, so even if I am not at Ste Marie aux Mines this year at least one of my quilts will be! I will be interested to see what other work was entered , as the theme,which required you to use the colours of the flag of the country you had chosen was not easy.In the end I only used the colours of the Australian flag with a minor variation as I used variegated thread.I am still considering adding more hand stitching.

This is another little owl I have made for the fabric swatch book I am making- same colour lutradur background, but rubbed with green crayon-it looks so different to the owl in the previous post. Again big postcard size.

The meeting with Fiona Wright from Creative Arts Safaris was fun- it was a beautiful sunny day so we sat in the Botanic gardens and brainstormed and then went to tne NSW Art Gallery. Saw a couple of exhibitions one; Intensely Dutch, which showcased dutch art from the postwar years- not a single woman amongst the artists however.....which is very disappointing. I enjoyed seeing Corneille's work and also the artists books- where artists had combined with poets to create artists books. I also encountered the work of Judy Watson- in the indigenous section downstairs- this work was wonderful and thought provoking and I could not resist a book of her work entitled Blood Language.A Chapter of her book entitled Water has been produced as a pdf file by Miegunyah Press.

So with some creative fuel in the sails- I am set to continue my waterways series as a way of marrying memory culture and environment-and perhaps morphing that into a presence.

And please don't forget to go look at Creative Arts Safaris- Fiona and i will be leading a trip into the rich depths and layers of Syria and in particular its rich textile history which the last century has eroded at an alarming rate. Hopefully we will be inspiring you to create little memory pieces to create a true travellers book ,not merely of photos but of tangible tactile objects, whilst visiting some of the archeogical treasures of Syria. Then in August we will be doing another tour commencing at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham going on to exploring the Arts & Craft Movement, by observation and exploration , visiting London and the Iconic Victoria and Albert Museum and the William Morris Museum, going onto the Venice of the North- Brughes ( Brugge) and exploring tis rich lace making history. onto Paris and the wonderful world of Qaui Branly and the Cluny and the stunning medieval Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries. If you are at all interested register your iterest at the Creative Arts Safaris website or come and join us!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Little Owl


I am finishing up my notes and exercises for the on-line linocutting course I have been teaching and one of the things I wanted to do was create a fabric steel book ( sample book) Trouble is a lot of the linocuts I created were all different sizes , so finding the right sized page to fit those sizes on was creating a bit of a headache- until this morning. I made an owl lino-cut for the course and decided I would make a Little Book of Owls. So this is one of the "samples" for the Little Book- transfer dyed and printed and stitched on lutradur.This little owl measures 5x 7 inches- large postcard size.

Have to go to Sydney tomorrow to meet Fiona from Creative Arts Safaris- we are putting together the dreamblocks for a trip to Syria in May next year and a Arts & Craft inpsired tour of England in August next year. Fiona will lead the tours and I will hopefully inspire you to be creative! .
Posted by Picasa