Tuesday, December 25, 2012

At the Beginning of the Day

I want to wish all of my readers the very merriest of Christmasses, if that is what you celebrate and a very Happy and Creative 2013. My intention is to do more work in 2013 and to finish my France book by the middle of April.I also need to find a studio space outside my home as the interruptions to my working days are becoming  so disruptive that I am barely getting anything done.The world only pays lip service to the fact that you work when you work from home. Ok onto my morning pages and then get ready for the day!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Inspired by Dufy

Finally feel like I can start creating again. I know you have to take the steps and  do the work, but working from home and getting so many interruptions does not make this easy at all. I would really love a studio away from home. Before I went overseas I played around with quite a lot of ideas for breakdown printing, trying out various things, and it struck me that that may be a very good way to try and create a piece in the style of Raoul Dufy- who is a favourite artists of mine.I had a postcard of La Vie en Rose by Raoul Dufy( i know it also has another name) and thought I would try and create a screen with some of the elements from the painting.My drawing on the screen was pretty rough and I wished I had paid a bit more attention, but I decided to quilt it today because there is no point painting a better screen if I don't like the effect.
So below is a photo of the breakdown printed fabric.
I know why I did not do anything  with it before I went away because I was a bit disappointed with the colour and the lack of focus in the bouquet of roses and I didn't like the table legs at all and well it wasn't  what I had envisaged. But  a couple of months distance and the need to get going again on something and feel enthused and the fact that  I had not set out to make an exact copy of the painting , but to be inspired by it and the colours.....so..... this is what I ended up with.

If anyone is interested it is for sale for $130 AUS plus postage. It measures 15 inches by 23 inches  ( 38 cm x 59 cm). As you can see it is densely machine stitched.I think I shall try some more of this, as it is a real challenge to make those thread work for you. It was also fun to work outside my usual colour palette and deal with the challenge of pink. Whilst I am completely besotted by pink roses  I generally speaking do not  count it amongst my favourite colours- quite the opposite really.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I have been working on a small ivory coloured  silk dupioni Travellers' Blanket sample. Because the colour choice is completely uncharacteristic for me, I decided to work small but  also within the format for a piece for the Voyageart group to which I belong. I had it in the back of my mind that I might make a big version of this for my France book but in the end whilst I do like the over all effect it is too out of character with all the other colourful work I do. I didn't actually like it at all until the last stitch went in and really is a bit emblematic of the way I feel at the moment, so it has been a catharthic process as well- taking distance and taking a deep breath before I plunge into the main game which is getting my France book done!I felt I could only do that when I had cleared the deck of tasks which needed doing, like my book keeping for my business, this little piece and some other things which had been outstanding. It measures 10 inches by 20 inches.

Sunday, December 09, 2012


The last week or so has also been consumed by my fathers' health issues , and his partners' and I am about to take a few steps back from all those issues because they do not put food on my table or buy school books for my daughter.I need to regather myself and concentrate on the main game which is to keep my business going in these challenging economic times, to seize opportunities and to develop  new workshops ( I am developing a workshop working with the material I worked with in Vicenza which you can see here) and I have become re-enthused with polyester non-woven fibres in using them in a much more painterly way.But I need to  write it down and do the work. Also I am already behind on my France book, and the last couple of weeks have impacted not only on the work I produce but on the head space to do the work and I need a quiet head space to write.

I did do some stitching by hand on more sentinelle panels one of which was a commission. I struggled with the hand stitching because all in all I felt emotionally exhausted  by everything that has happened these last weeks since being back. But on the other hand it has reinforced that I need to keep going with these girls, they contain so many elements of the things that I believe in that somehow they have helped me come to the decision I have come to.
The turquoise sentinelle is for sale for $150 AUS plus postage. They measure about 6-7 inches by 18 inches and are entirely hand stitched.

I did manage to get to see my mother this week and stayed a night with her as it usually takes  about 2.5 hours to get to her house. Her garden was in full bloom.The colours of the particular flowers I photographed seemed to  blend in with the sentinelles I have  recently stitched.

I am currently reading a biography about Judy Chicago and wonder whatever happened to the Birthing/stitching project and the women who worked on them- does anyone know?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life and Things

I have had barely a moment to myself since being back due to my father being very ill. He had a bowel cancer op  about a week after I left  for Europe and seemed to be recovering well for the first few weeks but then things  started going down hill very rapidly.I went to see him the first full day back and wasn't too happy with what I saw and when I rang him early the next morning to check how he was ,he was dry retching on the phone- so rushed straight over there, took him to his doctor who immediately hospitalised him in the small country hospital where my fathers partner was also in respite and then they decided to do an emergency transfer to Geelong Hospital two days later. Things were definitely not looking good and matters are complicated by two  large arterial embolisms in his leg and behind his lung. His medical presentation is difficult  at the best of times and he has just turned 80, so taking into account all these factors I am not sure what the prognosis will be and the doctors are reluctant to say much, apart from telling me the actual physical things going on. He does seem to be improving, but on the other hand the embolisms are still there. Then there is my fathers partner- my father was her carer and she is high care and not able to look after herself- she has no close-by family so she is in respite, but she was in respite in another town about 50 km away so i moved her to Geelong where I can at least take her to the hospital to see dad- so all in all I have had little time to do anything else , but race around trying to organise things, seeing dad and getting  life after hospital organised because it is quite apparent they will not be able to return to the farm where they were living. My youngest daughter was also doing exams, and whilst she still has a year of high school to go it is important that she does well.

It a means I have not done much work, which impacts on my budget, and then I had a workshop for this week and one for next month, here in Geelong cancel as well.I am beginning to wonder whether  my workshops have any appeal at all?

Yesterday afternoon was the first time I had a moment to myself and printed an A3 thermofax my friend Margo from Teinture Textile had made for me when I visited her. I had made a drawing of all things french, from  my various encounters, and the drawing was a little inspired by toile de jouy. I printed it with thickened dye and did not have time to try printing ink.

The first print is done on calico and the  other print was about the fourth print on white cotton . I actually attached the thermofax screen to my breakdown printing screen as I did not have material to make a sturdy frame for the thermofax, so I was surprised it came out so well. This thermofax screen  was not quite perfect ( and Margo did make  me another, but I did not want to ruin it in case the dye did something to it)  which I will make a frame for.Anyway i quite liked the result and will play some more when I get some time.It will also go into my book Inspired by France.

Travellers' Blanket On-Line Class
There is still time to book into the On-line class to make your own memory inspired stitched piece. I call them blankets as a tongue in cheek to the  number of times people  have called my work, blankets at markets etc, and traveller because I often stitch on the pieces whilst I am travelling. The cost of the class is $60AUS and would be a terrific project for the holiday season as it is very transportable and you can stitch on it when you have a moment to spare or when the whim strikes.You can read more about the travellers Blanket in the December/January issue of Quilting Arts and another image can be seen here and here. Email me for an information sheet on the class.The class will commence on 3 December

Don't forget there are Sentinelle pieces for sale- although  the fourth in the image  in my previous post  is sold and will be watching the world from Whidbey Island. Or you can stitch your own sentinelle panel- as I sell the printed panels for $15AUS plus postage and I can print them onto any colour hand dyed fabric you like.( cats and owls are available too!)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

One More Post Before I Leave Europe

I have had a very quiet week. Some little bug inside my brain said why don't you buy your aunt a nice diary and write 7 hand written  fun ideas for each week, to do as she recovers from this  horrible year for her- that means 365 ideas but not only that the diary ran from the end of October instead of November as most do so I had started with 7 ideas on  26 November thinking it was December, so it became 365 ideas plus 35- it's taken me quite some time!

I forgot to put the Sentinelle image on my last blog post when I said they were for sale. They are all for sale and it is also possible to buy the printed fabric and stitch them yourself.I hope one of them speaks to you!

 And some autumn colours from France- don't you love the laneway? My dream is to head that way but a lot of things will need to happen for that dream to come true.

And last but not least; my Blue Travellers' Blanket is on the cover of  Quilting Arts for December/January.So the three traveller inspired pieces are in various parts of the world and living up to their name.I am so surprised but thrilled that the blanket made the cover of a magazine. It's the first cover I have ever had for a magazine, apart from a small thumbnail on a British magazine.So that is an exciting end to the year!

I shall also be running another Travellers Blanket On-line Workshop over the summer ( southern hemisphere) and winter months ( northern hemisphere). Email me for details. I intend to start the course on 3 December 2012 to see you happily stitching over the holidays, and myself as well as I will start on my silk travellers blanket. The cost for the course is $60AUS.

Some travellers blankets started or made in the on-line course in the past...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Heading Home Soon

I have been staying in Hulst the small city where my aunt lives, but unfortunately my aunt has been in UZ Gent hospital. The good news is that the stoma she received when she was critically ill  in August has been removed, and now, it is wait and see as to how well the remainder of her small intestine will function, to see what kind of food supplement she will need in the future.All  small steps, but she is a fighter and has all kinds of plans for the future and looks remarkably well given the ordeal she has been through- and frankly after hearing from my cousin about the difficulties, it is a testament to my aunts' will to live that she is here at all.

I arrived here last week on Thursday- taught one day of workshops in Belgium, unfortunately the second day did not go ahead, and I had a workshop in France cancel as well- it seems to be the sign of the times and it is making it more and more difficult to  survive- I really don't know how the next year will pan out.

Last week I visited Barbizon, a town where artists lived or stayed at the inn from the 1830-1860's, and known for the Barbizon School of Painting. The inn was a drawcard for  artists, most of whom were poor, as the proprietor, a gentleman by the name of Ganne was known to accept paintings in lieu of payment for lodgings or food- and that drawing on the walls could see the delivery of another bottle of wine. It was also the beginning of the movement away from the French Academy with its highbrow and serious neo-classical subject matter, and that the likes of Millet and Corot, who eventually lived in Barbizon, glorified in wonderful landscapes which further down the line saw the development of  Impressionism and inspired such artist as Van Gogh and Cezanne ( who also visited the town). However it was these first artists who went to Barbizon that changed the face of painting. The town is still lovely but like so many places which poor and often starving artists have made famous it is now a pretty bourgeois place where artists can only dream of living given the house prices.
 The image above is from the "inn" where many of the artists stayed and where some of the drawings still adorn the plaster walls and where every cupboard surface has been covered with paintings. The inn has become a little museum well worth visiting and the letter in the left corner is one written by Millet.
How could I resist walking past this tray of beefsteak tomatoes in their blue casing- aren't they wonderful and textured and their colour so gorgeous with the blue- who knew vegetable farmers/packers had such an eye for colour?

 The hotel where Robert Louis Stevenson  wrote Forest Notes, is still a drawcard for visitors with it's collombage exterior walls.
And well... it's impossible to walk past a small crate of pomegranates bedded in straw- they saw me coming and it was so tempting to just buy one to draw it!

I head home on Sunday from Bruxelles- I did try and get home earlier but as I am on an award flight  there were no award seats available. Tomorrow I will teach a workshop in Amsterdam at the DIY Textile School on linocutting and printing and then I will come back to Hulst and visit my aunt who will hopefully be in the rehabilitation centre by then. My aunt has been so very kind to me over the years, allowing me to stay, and even store some of my things with her so i don't have to lug them back and forth.

And on another note I do have some works  for sale, and I need to sell things so I can pay bills- unfortunately my land lord would not take to kindly to me painting all over his walls, nor is he inclined to swap a bottle of wine for printed fabric or a small stitched piece ;-).

 There are some of the  Poppy series- A3 size, which measures 42 cm x 30 cm ( 16.5 inches by 11.7 inches) with its  variations. Each piece is for sale for $85 AUS which includes postage. There are  larger pieces which you can see here. The longer panesl vary in price from $130 - $160AUS depending on actual length. The large poppy piece on the hand dyed background which measures 90 cm wide and 105 cm long is $750 AUS.

I was also reunited with some of my hand stitched sentinelles when I was in France. I have collaged the panels, but each panel is for sale for $150AUS- they are entirely hand stitched/embroidered and measure 15/18 cm  by 45 cm long.

And last but not least a small post card piece that I stitched last week of the half face of a Roman young man...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

And The Winner Is....

Sorry I fell of the blogging cart..... but life has a habit of intervening even when travelling, and then there are things to be seen. But firstly my friend Christine's cat chose the winner for my blog's 8th birthday and the winner is The Idaho Beauty- so please contact me with your address details and something will be coming your way in the not too distant future.

Then I spent some time drawing images for a thermofax for my  friend Margo and we also did some indigo dyeing, but it also managed to snow which was quite exciting as I don't often get to experience snow!

The tie dyed piece is mine and I was really happy with the depth of colour of the indigo. It will be stitched, without being razzled or dazzled without being  zapped or burnt or torn or anything, just stitched by hand in the time honoured old way.

And then I have been teaching and enjoying a visit to Chartres. The  restoration of the cathedral is really moving along at a cracking space and what had previously been a dim grey and dark space, full of impending doom and the overwhelming presence of the church instead turns out to be a splendid  wonderful light space- quite the opposite of what it was previously.You can imagine celebration in the restores space and only the nave has been restored so far,it's positively luminous.So shadows on the restored pillar and looking from the unrestored spaces of the cathedral into the newly restored areas.

There is still time to join the workshop at Kalmthout in Belgium ( near the Dutch border) this Friday - we are working on Form and Variation- looking at ways to develop themes in your work.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eight Years On

I did write a whole post to celebrate my eight years as a blogger but it seems I haven't learnt all my lessons in these eight years after all so I will have to start again.
It's been a whirlwind week with most of it spent at the Abilmente Fair in Vicenza as the guest of Freudenberg, Mettler Threads and Juki. The concept was co-ordinated by Jennifer Manefield. Three artist would demonstrate with the three products produced by each company. Each artist was given exhibition space and equipment and products with which to demonstrate. The other two artists were Jeanette Knake from Germany and Laura Armiraglio from Italy.Everyone got along incredibly well and we had a fun four days whilst doing a lot of work and really testing and playing with the product. I created my wall of poppies especially for the fair.

I also worked with some products I had not worked with before one of which was Solufix- I am in love with it. It allows you to work with your photos and create embroidered images without the expensive software for digitising and the super duper  sewing machine to do it.The other thing I liked was that it still retained the feel of having been drawn by the hand so that the quirky little things that happen with stitching still happen.I will definitely be building a workshop in using this product so contact me if you are interested!See what you think...

I really love the Solufix and can see myself using it a lot. The image above I have often wondered how to translate into fabric and stitch and it's done! Of course it helped that I had a stand of wonderful silk finish cotton threads from the Mettler right beside me so that I could get just the right  nuances in grey for this image!

There is till time to enrol in my online linocutting class which starts today. This will be the last linocutting class I will do for this year. The methods for creating stamps is both suitable for fabric and paper printing and the exercises are designed to build skills not only with the images but also with designs and cutting skills. The cost is $60AUS so email me if you are interested.

And last but not least . To celebrate eight years of my blog ( who would have thought I would keep it going for this long, but it has become a part of my life and a week without blogging makes me fret) I will give a giveaway- so leave a comment and all those who comment will go into a hat and I will draw a winner this Saturday. Please make sure i can contact you if you leave a comment.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I have been working and working , getting all the pieces for the display at Abilmente Fieri in Vicenza in Italy quilted and satin stitched. I had hoped to do more, but life intervened and in the end I was pleased with what I did finish.One wall will be poppies.

I did stitch up another 3 Sentinelle panels made with transfer paint and polyester non-woven CS500- so some more sentinelles wining to another part of the world. They are for sale for $100AUS each

I will surely be sleeping on that plane tonight as I am exhausted. had to mow the lawn ( last time I didn't and I came home to a jungle) and do various other things- there's always more to do at the last minute than you think.I also travel with some anxiety as my father will be operated on 22 October-so I hope it all goes well.

Just to remind you of the workshops I am teaching in various parts of Europe:

29 October ;Gypsy Blanket at Au Fil dEmma in Orleans
2 November Applique Poppies/Cocqueclicot at Best of Quilting Marcoussis
3 November Gypsy Blanket at Best of Quilting Marcoussis
7 November Tifaifai at Best of Quilting Marcoussis
9/10 November Form and Variation ( or free machine Applique or Tifaifai) at kalmthout Belgium
14 November Creating your own Linocut and Printing at DIY Textile School Amsterdam

If you are interested in the class in Belgium contact me direct but for all the other classes contact the links I have given you.

Also there is still a chance to book into the linocutting on-line class and create  your own stamps to print on fabric or paper. The cost is $60AUS  and will run over a period of 6 weeks with lessons delivered fortnightly.Simply email me!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Linocutting On-Line Class

I have been ticking boxes on my countdown list and so far it's been going along at an ok pace and I haven't had to ditch too many ideas yet, and the panic has not set in like it sometimes does when I get overwhelmed by what I had planned and what is actually achievable. I am at that place ,where ,what will get done will get done and I can't do a thing more!

So on that note I am starting another Linocutting Class on-line on the 23rd of October of this year. The cost is $60 AUS and can be paid  via Paypal or internet banking within Australia. The delivery includes 4 lessons with a number of exercises to help you build your skills and to think about design for linocutting. It's all about looking at shapes and lines, positive/negative space and contrast and will help you in making your own unique stamps for printing on paper or on fabric. You could even design your own Christmas cards!I use  linocuts I have made a lot in my work, it simply enables you to make your own unique fabric  that can be used as an image in its own right or simply as part of a fabric collage. if you are interested  please email me

The photo above shows some of the linocuts I have made this year and how I have used them in my work.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Exhausted and Miles to go before I Sleep

It's been a very full on week or two these past few weeks. I am trying to get as much sewing done as possible but  life also goes on. My father turned 80 but most of his  80th birthday we spent at the hospital waiting to find out whether they would operate his bowel cancer that was diagnosed the week before last, because he also has a heart condition which  has been  quadruple bypassed some years ago- so anxious waiting time but they have decided to go ahead- the operation happens whilst I am overseas, so that has created it's own problems as my fathers' partner is no longer able to look after herself properly- thankfully a respite assessment had just come in, and their dogs also need looking after.I cannot believe how much time you have to spend waiting at hospitals despite the fact that they make appointments which always seem to run at least 2 hours behind .

Unfortunately i can't afford not to go overseas, because I am living on air at the moment, so it will be with a heavy heart that I go. Then my mother  moaned  I had not seen her in ages ( it's about a 2.5 hour drive there) so i did go and off course the Burnley tunnel was closed and traffic chaos so 2.5 hours turned into more than 4 hours there. I do wish she would come here sometimes, especially as she is still fit and gets into many activities, just not going to the other side of the bay.So four days of my working week were taken up with hospital visits and waiting rooms and visiting- when i could have done so much sewing. Sometimes it is the pits working from home- because basically the rest of the world and my family don't think I work because I am home.I can't remember the last time they asked to see anything I was working on because they just think I don't work.

So in between all that it's been difficult to focus because  there is family calling finding out about my father, family calling to ask arrangements etc, hospital calling with more appointments.And I have kids......who need me as well- I feel like I am being pulled in every direction because there is only me.

Anyway I made myself some promises before all this happened- and I am trying to stay on track , but inevitably some of it has fallen by the wayside. I have been trying to sew a storm, but there is only so much sewing you can do in one day before the back starts to complain.it leaves no time for playing and I think I find the muse again because I allowed myself a little time to play.
 These are all the poppy variations I have been working on ( these type of variations will be the subject matter of my workshops at Kalmthout in Belgium on 9/10 November- see my previous post for details)

And these are a series of work I am calling Queens of Olde- based on an statue I saw in Bayeaux Cathedral. I am still playing around with the eyes a little. Is it too odd to make them colours?

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.