Friday, January 28, 2011

I am feeling like a bit of a charlatan on the textile front. Nothing seems to be emerging from my hands, and already another week has passed by and I have so very little to show for it. I know when I am worrying I often find it impossible to work, but usually something eventually emerges- but nothing is talking to me or jumping into my hands.

It also makes me feel a bit bereft- what if I have lost the touch, what if I never think of anything else, what if I am simply meant to be a supermarket check out person or dog washer?I have been applying for jobs but not getting anywhere fast. I have been to see people about my resume , I have phoned people, I have  tried to use as many contacts as i have but  nothing is emerging out of the fog. I have arranged one class in machine skills here in Geelong at  the Geelong Sewing Centre but that is only 3 hours for three weeks which isn't going to pay  the bills. And yet... I get regular  enquiries form Europe but alas I am here.

I did try and put one piece together today- not sure about it ......
Of course stitching has to go in which will change how it looks entirely,but I am undecided what colour thread to use to  bring out the village scene.

The winner of the auction for  Flood Relief was Julie Howard- the quilt is on its way to her now- thank you so much for supporting this auction , so many people have lost so much.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finally Some Stitching

Thank you for all those who had placed bids on my Barrier Reef piece - there is still 4 days to go, but your generosity will help those affected by the terrible floods in Queensland, though I am  sure Victorians will need help after the  terrible floods here- not as devastating but still heart breaking nonetheless. Click on the Flood Relief Button for updates on the blogs  which are part of the auction- the updat yesterday was that $45,000 had been raised thus far- which is a terrific effort. thank you to Toni Coward for co-ordinating this!

I have finally  gotten out my sewing machine. As I was unpacking things I found several small caravanserai pieces I had prepared but had not stitched so i thought I would finish stitching them, just to get going again as ideas are still not  happening! These pieces measure approximately 8 inches square ( 20 cms square ) and are for sale for $45 US inclusive of postage- email me if you are interested in purchasing a piece.

I have been job hunting but am getting nowhere fast- I am not even get to the interview stage which is very disheartening but I need something to happen in order to make ends meet.I have had my resume  reviewed and  apparently it is ok, so I will just have to keep trying!Meanwhile I have to keep the home fires burning somehow.

Don't forget there is still time to enrol in my on-line linocutting class which starts this Monday, 24 January. the course has been designed to teach you the different mark making possibilities of the tools, working through simple designs, working up to more complex designs, including working from your photos, printing with more than one colour and repeats. Each exercise is designed to build on your skills.Lessons are delivered by way of fortnightly pdf's which contain lessons and we will discuss and troubleshoot in a group situation. Email me if you are interested in joining the class.

And I have finally create a stand alone page of work for sale- the  tab is  at the top of my blog.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Queensland- Premiers' Flood Relief Fund

The plight of thousands and thousands of Queenslanders in the face of the most devastating floods has finally made me pull out my sewing machine. So many have lost everything , and so many in the small communities in the Lockyer valley are affected by the loss of life due to the flash flood.
Some years ago  i made this little quilt inspired by rockpools at Turtle Beach ( also known as Mon Repose) near Bundaberg in Queensland, where we had a wonderful holiday. Bundaberg too was affected by floods. However I always felt it  needed something more but it was already heavily stitched and I couldn't work out what it was that it needed. Finally today as I was sorting to my quilts that i have here it dawned on me it needed more graphic line to accent the shapes. So I spent the afternoon putting in a lot of black stitching to  create more contrast.

The first photo shows some areas where I have not yet stitched with black thread. The photo below is of the finished  black stitching. This quilt measures 20 inches by 24 inches.

I am donating this quilt for auction for the 

 Toni Coward of Make it Perfect is coordinating a fantastic initiative which addresses our instincts to make or do something AND raises funds to assist the flood victims. She has organised an online auction with all proceeds going to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal.You can see more of Toni's effort by clicking on the premiers' Flood Relief Fund  button in the sidebar.

This is how the auction works:

How this action works:
1. Bidding starts at $50 Australian.
2. Place your bid by adding a comment here stating how much you are willing to offer to own Barrier reef. Your bid must be greater than the previous bid.
3. All bids must be in whole dollar increments and will be taken to be in Australian dollars.
4. The auction is open to all and the price will include postage to any address worldwide.
5. The auction is now open and closes at midnight on the 24th of January 2011 (Sydney, Australian time).
6. I will contact the winner at the conclusion of the auction. The winner must commit to sending their bid to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal and provide an email receipt as evidence of payment. Non-austrailan donors can still donate by credit card using the online payment link or there is also information about how to do an international bank transfer.
7. Once I have evidence of payment When the Water Subsides will be posted to its new owner.

I hope you can open your hearts to help those who have need.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stitching Khadi Cloth

I have been stitching on the khadi cloth that i dyed whilst i was still in France. I am not sure if it is worth the effort- the contrast does not seem great enough at times and then just as I am about to lay it aside  it tugs at me for more stitching- to keep going or  not.... maybe I don't seem to have any inspiration to start anything else at the moment- my sewing machine sits and looks at me desultorily- and I have no ideas that want to pop into my head.

Thank you for all the comments about the linocuts in the previous posts and the good wishes for 2011. Yasmin thank you for the book suggestion- it has been ordered. Maybe that will fire up my imagination ?? And Starfire's comments that the imperfections make it look lovingly hand made has me thinking.

And in case you are interested I will be starting another on-line lino-cutting class on 24 January 2011- there is still time to sign up. The course is designed to enhance your skills both with the tools and designs that are suitable for lino cutting and stamp making in general.We print onto fabrics- enabling you to make unique one-off fabrics for use.Email me if you are interested

Last year when I was in Syria as a Creative guide several of the women in the group of travellers talked of Jane Digby an english woman who in the nineteenth century after many adventures ended up marrying a Sheikh in the desert of Syria- indeed her tomb is in Damascus. So i ordered a book - The Wilder Shores of Love- by Lesley Blanch which recounts the lives of several women who travelled to the east in the nineteenth century including Jane Digby- so can't wait to read it . It is all part of the research for the trip to Syria from 16 April to 29 April with Creative Arts Safaris which is looking more and more like it will go ahead- we still need a few more travellers. This time I intend to study more closely some of the textile stamps in  the Azem Palace- which had it's own weaving and printing workshop.
  This is one of  the inner courtyards of the Azem Palace with its cooling pool and arched liwan set deeply into the wall for greater coolness in the summer heat.
This image is of some of the woodblocks in the collection of the Azem Palace.

Monday, January 03, 2011

More Printing

I have been playing around trying to create a repeat pattern for a linocut. Obviously this one needs a bit of work and refinement but I have  in the past found it difficult to get my head around the concept and wanted to try this out to see if I could get it to work. And yes I was a bit sloppy in transferring the lines to my lino block which means the centres of the junction of prints is not right- and maybe i should think of doing less tricky centres. But the way the design flows across the surface of the cloth is ok with no real apparent gaps and breaks.I know you can do this in Photoshop- my challenge this year is to demistify photoshop so that i can do more things with it. However I am also one of those people who needs to do the hands on stuff before I can carry the idea further- I need to have a feel for how it works, how to space the design and things to learn from my mistakes. The first two designs i drew were far too balanced- and I did not cut them because the design would have been too much 50/50 on a two colour contrast. You create much more visual interest if your design isn't 50/50

I also disobeyed the number one rule in printing on fabric- Iron the fabric First!!!

Thank you everyone for the positive comments about the grapevines- I am thinking on how I am going to use it on cloth.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Linocut

I have promised myself to be more productive this year and to use my time more efficiently! But as I seem to have few ideas for realising something in fabric I thought I would play with photo I took whilst in France. Nearly everyday i was in le Triadou I would walk the dog through a vineyard- and i watched as it changed from winter,spring, summer to autumn . I loved the changing light , the colours and the growing grapes. And I do want to make a quilt about that experience particularly as the theme for the  Italia Invita event is herbarium.

This was the photo i took on one of my walks- i love the richness of the texture of the bunch of  grapes and then the straight lines of the grass.

 I made the photo into a drawing in order to  to see the balance and to get a sense of the bunch of grapes.I then made the linocut and as i cut I could see much more textural possibilities for the grapes.

This is the resulting print- not  perfect as i can't find the good paper- but I really wanted to see how it looked . I also have not got my printing table set up yet so the surface I printed on was far from perfect. I liked what happened in the negative space- but will probably play around with it some more.

Marlis- I tried to leave a message on your blog to wish you  A Happy and Creative 2011- but it would not let me leave a message.