Sunday, September 30, 2012

Form and Variation

The threads have finally arrived and I am desperately trying to make as many samples as I can whilst planning workshops etc. One of the workshops I will be teaching in Belgium at Kalmhout I call Form and Variation, which is basically playing with one shape or form and  changing it to  change the shape/lines and even colours so that you get variations on the one theme. I like playing around with the shape of things and finding  details and contrasting them with  larger forms. It teaches you to look carefully and notice differences and exaggerate differences and use them to  create contrast and interest.
The first photo is of some poppy variations, all done with polyester non- woven fibre and coloured with transfer paint.One of the problems with the threads that were sent is that  they are not  in the colours i would normally use- yes i requested certain colours, but my idea of colour and the person who picked out the threads is obviously different- so another challenge in that regard!

The photo above is of some abstraction i did of a sea shore debris, just looking at how different things look when you change the colour of fabric and thread.The workshop at Kalmhout will be 9/10 November and it is possible to do you r choice of Form and Variation, or Tifaifai or  machine applique/embroidery. Email me if you are interested.The cost will be 65 euros per day or 120 Euros for both days per person.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Long Blog Post; Workshops, Tours and Some Poppies

I have warned you ... this will be a rather long blog post, but there has been so much in the planning these last few weeks, I can finally write it all down- so scroll through what you are not interested in ( I will start each topic with bold writing so you know)

It always seems so long away, but getting a tour off the ground always takes long lead times and bookings need to be made well in advance  for various hotels etc. So for 2013 I have two tours planned.
France Tour ( from Australia) 14 April until 1 May 2013 ( a total of 19 days including flights). This tour will spend 2 days in Lyon, so much to see in this city, 2 days at Quilts en Beaujolais, 5 days in Paris to sample all this wonderful city has to offer, and 5 days in Normandy visiting Giverny and Monet's garden in the spring, Jumiege and Rouen, the Bayeaux Tapestry and Cathedral, The Alecon lace museum and Tours,Chateau de Chenonceau and gardens and Chateau de Blois, lots of wonderful food to sample, lots of art and general joie de vivre!
And Brand NEW- Tour of Northern Italy from 4 May   to 19 May 2013. This tour will start with three wonderful magic days in Venice ( it is my aim to one day live for a few months in this city!), Verona. Mantova and the Pallazo Ducale ( the seat of the Gonzaga family only second to the Medicis in the fifteenth century) and Pallazo Te, with its Julio Romano paintings on all walls and ceilings and Garden, Verona and Padua and Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel, Bergamo wonderful medieval old city centre ( and great food!) , Milan city of fashion and opera, with tours to  Lagos Maggiore,Como and Isola Bella, and  then chill out for nearly 3 days on the Italian  Riviera and the Cinque Terre.I love this part of Italy,  my first memories of a holiday was in the Mantova region where we stayed with friends when i was 5 years old.

18-21 October 2012 I will be demonstrating at the Abilmente Fair in Vicenza  at the Juki/Freudenberg/Mettler booth
29 October 2012 ( Monday ) Gypsy Blanket at Au Fil d'Emma   Orleans ( and then Emma and I are making a video for her on-line classes programme)
2  November 2012 ( Friday) at Best of Quilting at Marcoussis- Poppy Free Machine Applique
3 November 2012 ( Saturday) at Best of Quilting at Marcoussis- Gypsy Blanket or bag
7 November 2012 (Wednesday) at Best of Quilting at Marcoussis- Tifaifai
9 November 2012 (Friday) at Kalmhout - Form and Variation
10 November 2012 (Saturday) at Kalmhout - Tifaifai and /or free machine Applique
14 November 2012 DIY Textile School in Amsterdam- Make your own Linocut and Print

If you are interested in any of these courses please contact the businesses involved which I have linked. If you are interested in a course in Belgium please contact me direct

I leave Europe on 18 November so would be available to teach if anyone were interested on Friday-Saturday 16/17 November.

I have been busy making poppy variations this last week. In the photos that follow I have upped the scale of the flower itself to see if I liked the result. It has been made with lutradur and transfer paints  and machine  stitched. The size of the finished piece is 11 inches x 15 inches ( A3 size). It is for sale for $95.00AUS inclusive of postage.

It has been awhile since I worked with lutradur and transfer paints and thought I might have done my dash for awhile, but I have really enjoyed doing the poppy variations and trying out different colours, threads and scale of image.

And last but not least on 23 October 2012 I will have been blogging for 8 years. I can't believe it has been so long and that i have kept up posting in all that time with not too many or too long a breaks. It's been a lot of fun, and I have met so many people through my blog both in the flesh and virtually- some of you have been on my roller coaster journey with me and have given much appreciated support, wise words and friendship. I  will think up  something as a give-away to celebrate 23 October.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Linocut

I have been making a new linocut- I wanted something that suggested France, but after spending quite some time looking through my photos I could not find anything that stood out and yelled-me, me I am Paris! In the end I opted to  make a linocut of a quintessential parissienne past time, drinking coffee and watching people walk by.I was happy with the way the actual linocut looked but when I printed it was rather disappointed- I think my ink may have been too runny or  something else was not quite  right- it can be a fiddly process getting the printing surface just right for printing on fabric due to the consistency of the  textile printing ink.It will change with stitching  but i was too disappointed to even attempt that.

I did try printing it on lutradur and I was much happier with the result, and the stitching really brought it out. I stitched this entirely with Aurifil mako cotton 28 weight thread ( which I love as it is thicker and has a lovely sheen). The finished piece measures 11 1/4 inches by 111/2 inches and is for sale for $80Aus inclusive of postage.

And I shall be listing the classes I am teaching in Europe in the next few days as I am still finalising things- if there is something you would particularly like me to teach please contact me. I shall be doing two days of workshops in Belgium now too at Kalmthout.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tour to Italy

Part of the last year has involved reinventing what i do to some extent, especially as i have been unable to find any sort of permanent employment. So it has involved quite some planning and crossing of fingers and hoping that the economic situation will turn around to some extent- and trying to come up with some saleable products as well  as continuing with my arts practice.I have been lucky to have exhibited work three times this year but unfortunately that  brought only minor sales. I have created new linocuts, but they only seem to sell when people can actually see the worked up samples in the flesh- and the internet isn't the best avenue for seeing what they actually look like.Part of my  ideas for the future is to lead tours to a range of places and I am happy to say that a tour to France is planned for April 2013. The itinerary will not be substantially different to the tour we did this year but we have tweaked it a little, and added a day in Lyon as I love that city. If you would like information on the French Tour please email me.

We have also added a Tour to Italy- as I am in Europe in any case for the French Tour. The tour starts in Venice, where we will spend three days and then lopes around northern Italy and the lakes areas and all sorts of wonderful pallazo's, gardens and art off the beaten track to some extent and ends with some days in the  sun on the Italian Riviera. This tour will commence in May and I already have some interested takers from my previous French tour. Again email me if you would like further information on the Italian Tour.

Next month i will travel to Europe - firstly to demonstrate at the Abilmente Fair in Vicenza ( Italy ) from 18-21 October and then to teach in France and the Netherlands. I will provide details of the workshops I will be teaching, as I am still finalising the actual workshops. If you are interested in my coming to teach  in France or the Netherlands, or Belgium or Italy- it is possible as I have a few gaps .I could not get a flight home until 18 November on my frequent flyer program because the airline company decided to have a three day sale just as I was trying to book my rewards flight and flights were disappearing at a rate of knots.So if you are interested in my teaching please email me!

I have been preparing some samples for Vicenza- but am still waiting for threads as that is part of the demo- so I can only run up limited amounts at the moment. I have been playing with the poppy theme and find the water colour effect you get on Evolon, quite  interesting. I think the sample below needs more stitching but I haven't quite decided what. The first photo is the beginning of the stitching and the second photo with more stitching.

I have also been hand stitching some small traveller blanket inspired pieces. I want to make another but do you think I can find the fabric? It was in my hands last week and now has  disappeared and my workspace isn't in too bad a state at the moment.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Week That Flew

It's been a week I would rather forget and yet on the other hand a lot of good things happened.Firstly my favourite aunt who I always visit when I go to Holland and who is like a friend not an aunt has been critically ill in hospital- things are still in the balance but last night there was some improvement after 6 days- I will know more tomorrow and feel terribly frustrated being so far away- but the hospital is only allowing her two daughters to visit and then for only small moments in time once a day. I have been burning candles and sending prayers to the universe in the hop that I may get to see her when i go to Europe in October- maybe there was a reason why I could only get my rewards booking to fly into Brussels.

Then on Friday went to see my eldest daughter and drove her to work as I was going to visit friends I had not seen in ages and not far from my daughters work the car lost power and just refused to start ( I had the timing belt and big service done the week before last)- so it had to be put on a trailer to be brought back to Geelong. Have no idea what is wrong with it and don't really have any people in my life that can give me any clues or help in that regard- so now I have to wait for news from the garage..... The only upside was that it did not break down  near the Bend of Islands way where my friends live, because beautiful as it is,  it is pretty isolated. So I didn't get photos done and wasted a day.

But  then I did manage to get work done. I had to send  images of samples of some of the work I shall be demonstrating at the Abilmente Fiere in Vicenza 18-21 October - where I shall be demonstrating for Juki,Freudenberg and Mettler. As they had not sent me samples to work with I had to quickly invent some;

Working with lutradur and evolon and linocuts and thread. I need to make some more but I wanted something that was image  related but clearly showed the differences in appearance and texture.
Then I finished the article for Downunder Textiles- yay- it always takes longer than i think but it continued the playing with the breakdown printing. So I did an image of a Norman knight- does he go with the lady?Is it worth playing around with these some more?The image was influenced by the Bayeaux Tapestry where the dress of the knights is very simple but graphically illustrated.

I also did some printing with my owl linocut. Each  printed owl measures 25 cm x 50 cm so quite a lot of surface for stitching. The printed panel is for sale for $15AUS plus postage.The prints come up really well when you stitch them, but I haven't had the time to stitch the owl panel as yet.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

A Bright Sunny Day

It's so wonderful to be up early in the morning and to see the sun greeting the day instead of dank dark clouds filled with rain.It also means if I  paint a silk  screen it has some hope of being dry so that I can print with it today and not have to wait until tomorrow!So  I have been playing with the faces of ladies that i encountered on my travels in France. I am particularly drawn to the ones that look out into the world. So I took a photo of one at Bayeaux Cathedral- I am not sure what period she is of- whether it was part of the original building or a later period as the cathedral was consecrated in 1071 in the presence of the Duke of Normandy and his wife Mathilde. The Duke of Normandy is  also know as William the Conqueror, who defeated Harold of England at the battle of Hastings in 1066 and thus became King of England.The wonderful Bayeaux tapestry records the battle.It is one of the things you will see if you come on a tour of France with me ( and yes it will be happening again in 2013 so contact me if you would like details).
This photo is of the sculpture I was drawn to  ( the cathedral is devoted to Notre Dame) and as I looked at her I wondered was she  inspired by Mathilde ? Was she made contemporaneously with the life of Mathilde or is she from a later period?

Anyway I tried drawing her- a not very good likeness I know but I did like the face and well it's my hand and eye translation of a photo.The odd thing that did occur in the translation is that instead of looking slightly up and out she is now directly looking at me- yes i know my bad drawing....

And then another translation onto my silk screen. because it is not possible to make short strokes with the  squeeze bottle it changes yet again- the nose became much longer and the eyes are looking even more directly.You can see the finished lady on Voyageart, but here is a stitched detail.She came out quite quite different than I expected and the breakdown printing process really added to the end result.