Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Climate Change

Is it true that cows ,sheep and other ruminating animals are responsible for climate change through the exiting of methane gas into the atmosphere by burping or farting- look at me how could such a sweet little thing as me be responsible for that????
Brown cow in the back ground- eeewww- is that methane I smell????
The view from the side porch of my house- it looks so benign and wonderful in the early morning sun- but in a northerly gale and summer overheat it is full of the possibility of danger.

I have been thinking about my climate change quilt- will I really put cows on it? I recently found that black cow looking into my back double glass doors as I was sitting and quilting- she is very bossy and cheeky!

I am off to Adelaide to teach for four days- so you won't hear from me in that time. Needless to say I haven't got much work done- just ruminating without the methane....
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Carvanserai and Other work

You are invited to come and see my work at the Gellibrand Town Hall on Sunday 22 March from 10-4.30. Gold coin donation entry for the Gellibrand Brigade CFA. Please come if you can. Will have books and fabric there as well.

Also if you ar eint he area- pancake brekky at the Gelli Store- apple, blueberry or savoury caponata- all fundraising for bush fire victims. Just oput the door now to go and cook the pancakes.
It's been a busy week!!!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lino cut Village Scene Done and Printed!

Yes I am a happy little vegemite right at this moment! Never mind that I was meant to be doing other things- I am really happy with the way my linocut turned out as a print, and not only that, it printed happily onto fabric ( sometimes when you have large areas of ink, fabric is not the best material on which to print and you get a certain blotchiness in the printing process).

I am also thinking I would like to make some books using this lino-cut and perhaps making others as well. I rekindled my love for lino-cutting these past two days ( just as well I need to project enthusiasm for the class notes!) I also downloaded an e-book from David Bull's website entitled Japanese Wood-Block Printing by Hiroshi Yoshida. I know lino cuts are a very poor cousin of woodblocks but on the other hand cheapness of material ,ease of carving has a lot going for them! If you do like woodblock prints ( and I have been a lover of Japanese wood block prints for a long long time- and fell in love with Monet's Japanese print decorated room at Giverny in France) please take the time to look over David Bull's extensive and highly informative website. He also has a number of publishing projects under way including traditional Japanes wood cuts, as well as his own work that he has published in a series of books. I have actually added a button to my sidebar taking you directly to the publishing site entitled Mokuhankan, as I believe in preserving this very beautiful art form, in its modern interpretations as well as in its older interpretations.

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Village Scene Lino Cut

Obviously I am not yet done with my Caravanserai work regardless of what I may think and what i should be doing. Yesterday the urge to create this lino-cut emerged, it is taking quite some carving and I will be interested to see how it actually prints-it may be different to the way I envisaged it. And yes I am working on devising a lino-cutting course to do as an inernet workshop.

Of course none of this is getting a climate change quilt done, which is what I need to be doing plus putting the thinking cap on to get hanging stands for my quilts this Sunday at Gellibrand- I am hoping to show the My Place quilts as well.Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Place is Finally Here!!!

Elaine Barnard
I Have a Place in Africa

Odette Tolksdorf
You Are Here

It has been a minor nightmare getting the quilts here to my house. They did not arrive in time in Australia to be shown at AQC, much to the disappointment of some fo the Australian participants who had made the trip especially to come and see them- but the quilts arrived in Melbourne on 1 March- a Sunday. I could not pick them up at that stage because the very next day we had to activate our fire plan because of the high alert warnings and so it wasn't until later in the week I could possibly think of going to Melbourne - but by that stage my eldest daughter had come down with a severe case of tonsilitis- which involved us sitting and waiting for appointments in the doctors office because there is such a chronic shortage of doctors in Colac that we couldn't get an appointment until late this week. We were worried i tmight have been glandular fever- she was very tired mixed in with the anxiety to do with the last year of high school and having to do well- that shot my week to pieces. Then it was the long weekend- and I finally received notification from Qantas the quilts had arrived yesterday.

Then to add confusion to the whole process the goods were marked as" spares"- which meant I could not do any of the declarations for customs on their pro-forma forms because the goods and description did not match.

In any case I had to do the trip to Melbourne to go and get them ( I live about 2.5 hours from the airport on a good run) . I had a wonderful customs fellow who passed the quilts through customs after I showed him all the documentation explaining what they were and why they were here ( late) but Qantas was less kind- they hit me with storage charges because according to them the goods arrived 1 March and I should have been watching and ready to get them even though they were by then a week late ( never mind I was more worried about getting out of my house and trying to remember everything that was valuable) - they did come to the party a small way but it really was a token effort and they charged me quite a lot for storage.

I have opened the parcel and the quilts are wonderful and you can see them all on the My Place website built by Brenda Gael Smith, but why oh why were they not shipped door to door??? What made the South African organiser think I lived in Melbourne when clearly i do not? Australia is such a big place and going anywhere takes hours

I was supposed to have been home organising my workroom, so it looks like a workroom as I have some students doing textiles in their VCE year coming to visit next week- well that didn't get done and this weekend we are going to my mothers for her birthday as I can't make it on her birthday as I shall be teaching in South Australia.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Rosewater jug and teapot

I made some more rosewater jugs and teapots for AQC- it was awhile I had made any and my stock had depleted. This one is for sale for $40US inclusive of airmail postage.

We are having a big fundraising weekend for the bushfire victims in our small township on the weeken of the 21-22 March. On the Sunday I shall be showing my work and all are welcome for a gold coin donation entry at the Gellibrand Town Hall- Hopefully I shall alos have some fabric for sale and some other things. On the saturday I shall be down at the local store cooking breakfasts- but we want to make special breakfast at a set price. I was thinking maybe an Indian breakfast and spanish omelettes as the other breakfast?? Any suggestiosn of what you would consider an interesting other kind of breakfast would be appreciated!
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I did some monoprinting the other day with some of the Trapsuutjies textile paints. I must get a glass plate on which to print- the thick table plastic I used had a few too many undulations. I am not quite sure what i shall do with these, but it made me set up a printing table on my back verandah. I had my things in a little shed but it was too dark in there- so now there is much more light and things dry more quickly. Then I thought I would do some lino-cutting but I could not find a largish bit of lino, so had to wait until today until I could buy some more.

Ohh and I shall be exhibiting some of my work at the Gellibrand Town Hall on Sunday the 22nd of March- I shall show as much work as I can. It is part of a fundraising weekend our township is doing for the bush fire victims- so there are a number of other activities on as well- of which I will give more information when I have it to hand. I am very tempted to show the My Place quilts as well- just have to think of the logistics fo hanging them as I do not have quilt stands for hanging. Gellibrand is in a really lovely part of the world and is one of the routes to the Great Ocean Road and the twelve ( now seven) apostles.
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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Finished Palms of Palmyra

I must admit part of the reason for posting little in the past 2 weeks is that I promised myself I would finish all the pieces I had started for my Caravanserai exhibition last year. I had intended to finish them before I went to Europe late in August 2008 but it didn't happen- and then they languished. But I wanted them finished for AQC- and whilst the thought was good, in all reality nothing much was happening on the stitching front at all. The week before AQC I sat up most nights until 2am stitching- trying to get things finished after I got embarassed into doing so- and I got there! The tops were in various stages of preparation but none were ready for quilting, except the Palms piece, photos of small sections which I have shown before- but it needed a lot of hand stitching - a real lot! And then the dilemna became what to do for the binding- I ended up binding it in orange.Unfortunately lutradur does not photograph the best but in the end I am not displeased with the result.

One of the really nice things that happened at AQC ( apart from enthusiastic students) was that Jane Sassaman ,who was one of the international tutors, and whose work I have always admired, made a special effort to stop by my class room to tell me how much she had enjoyed the work in Carvanserai. I have met Jane before and she is very quiet, unassuming even ,despite her very great talent, so I was thrilled that she did- one of the things she said she liked about my work was its simplicity, and its reliance on the stitch for expression, that the work felt uncluttered and expressive of the idea it was trying to communicate- I don't think I could have asked for better comment and it came unsolicited- so has given me food for thought and some fresh enthusiasm. I am considering the fabric steel as an object of memory akin to the traveller's blanket. I have always loved hand made books, have always wanted to make them, have made some, but I kind of feel making a steel of prints I have made on fabric might be something worth pursuing....maybe

And I have to make a quilt for a Climate Change Exhibition which I am a part of that will be shown at Minerva Gallery in New Zealand later this year- Pock Marks in the Ozone is the working idea title. Once upon a time holes in the ozone layer were a big topic- you barely hear it mentioned anymore per se though it is part of the bigger climate change picture and they certainly have not gone away- anyway there are thoughts and ideas floating around- lutradur is demanding to be used because of its layering ability.
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Friday, March 06, 2009

Then the Rain Came!

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It is with some joy that I tell you the rain came on tuesday- what welcome relief it has been for everyone in this bone dry state. We had activated our fire plan on Monday and had gone to Melbourne, after the dire weather warnings- and the winds were indeed horrible, but fortunately they came with real rain on its tail.

AQC was busy busy busy- as we also had to activate our fire plan on last Friday- as they cancelled school busesI had to rely on friends to help get the kids out to a safer place as well as the cat- most of this had to be arranged by telephone as I was in melbourne teaching.

Another issue was the fact that the My Place quilts did not arrive from South Africa in time to be hung for AQC- and I am still waiting on them as I write- I still have not heard exactly why they are late- it seems they are no doing me the honour of replying to my emails. I certainly hope they turn up soon as they have to go to New Zealand in early April.

Have I told you how relieved I am that the rain came??? Life can get back to some normality. The photo is of the negative pomegranate tree of life tifaifai which I finished just before AQC so it could be hung with its positive partner which you can see here if you scroll down a little. Hard to believe the red fabric is the same colour in both pieces!