Wednesday, May 30, 2007

7 Random Things

I've seen this on other blogs, and while I don't usually do the "tag" thing (it's a bit like blog chain letters), this one is quite interesting. You post 7 facts that most people wouldn't know about you, and encourage (not I'm not tagging anyone!) others to do the same. All in my usual succinct style.

1. I lived in the Cook Islands and Western Samoa for a year as a baby, but haven't been anywhere overseas since then.

2. I used to be a commercial orchid grower. My (then) husband and I imported orchid plants from around the world and sold them by mail order to hobby growers in NZ.

3. I love the fact that my grandmother used to live on a lighthouse.

4. I can speed read.

5. I can't swim.

6. I can speak French. Not very well, but enough to get by.

7. I didn't learn to drive till I was over 30.

Today's competely gratuitous photo is a painting done by my son Cass. He said "it was a reinterpretation of a photo of Hundertwasser back into his own style for my drawing class last year".

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Art for your couch - what do YOU think?

I am working on producing a range of cushions as art for your couch, and I'm having some difficulty in deciding just what to do. This is why I've been posting my old work.

This is a piece of my Blended range of fabric, that I've leaf printed in metallic paints. The colour is more orangey than the photo shows, and the stamping is in bronze and pearl white.

Your opinion, please! Would this appeal to you? Is it sufficiently arty? or complex? Should I do more stamping or printing or dyeing? Or is this enough?

Also....I want to print images (a la naked man sort of thing, but with Pacific/Maori themes), but I'm constrained by the A4 size that will go through my printer. This is not an ideal size for a cushion, as it'll need to be pieced with similar or other fabric to get to the right size. Any brilliant ideas?

If you're reading this on Planet Textile Threads, click on my name in the list on the right, which will take you to my blog where you can leave a comment.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Just because...

..I haven't posted an early morning shot for a while. Here's my view of the harbour this morning which I'm pretending is "soft focus" (not blurry!)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

In which i produce MORE old work to look like I've been really busy

These are some fabric samples that I use for my Surface Design class, showing leaf prints, sun prints, discharge, stamping, painting and so on.
This is "X-Factor", an unfinished lap quilt that I can't decide how to finish. I started to quilt it, then frogged it all.
This one is called "Goddess" - painted background, appliqued images and couched threads.

And this is "There Are Flying Geese In The Circle Of My Life", which has the distinction of being the first art quilt that I made.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In which I produce more work from the past.....

For the slightly more traditional readers, here's a quilt called "Taurus" that I made several years ago for a (male) friend.

I don't make a lot of bed-sized quilts any more, as i find them too much of a pain to quilt.

It's a variation on the Bullseye block, hence the name, and is made with a combination of plain hand-dyes and checked shirting fabric.

I actually produced this as a pattern, so you can go here if you're interested in buying it.

It's not always easy to make a masculine quilt, but I think this one works. It looks more complicated to make than it is.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Time Travel

If you've been reading my blog for a loooonnnngggg time, you may possibly have seen this before. It's called "Eclipse", and I made it in early 2006. It was the first totally fused quilt that I ever made, and it was intended to be entered into the Dunedin mini-symposium exhibition, where works had to reflect items from the Otago Museum. Of course, I didn't make it to the symposium due to the Broken Ankle saga.

In this work, the unusually shaped objects are based on Melanesian tortoiseshell combs that were in the museum's South Sea Islands section.

This wallanging is still unquilted, but I've decided to complete it as my next quilting project.

More blasts from the past will be coming soon!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Evil Twin strikes again (or money and desire don't coincide)

I am rejoicing this week about The Paying Off Of The Credit Card, due to a well-deserved influx of income from my day job. In case you're unaware, this is a million miles away from what you see on this blog - I am a mortgage & insurance broker & investment adviser. This is all commission based, so I can work whatever hours I like. That is good.

The bad part is that it often takes weeks (even months) before I get paid for what I do. I've lived on commission for around 10 years so I'm used to it, but it doesn't suit many people.

What has this got to do with books, Evil Twins, money and desire, I hear you ask?

I have had only a very small income for some weeks, (ok, quite a few weeks) due to taking all January off to concentrate on the National Quilting Symposium. When you earn commission, the flow-on effects of not working for a period of time don't manifest themselves for a couple of months, because of the delay in being paid as mentioned above. Consequently (I AM getting there!), my credit card was somewhat higher than normal because of the Evil Twin (ahem!) being seduced by bee-ootiful books on Amazon. Above you can see the latest - these are 2 very small books, but very cute ones.

You see, when the Evil Twin sees desirable books, she HAS to have them. Right now. Allowing for the fact that they'll take several weeks to reach New Zealand. That's practically delayed gratification, right? By which time, I fondly imagine (oops, I mean...the Evil Twin fondly imagines) that I will be paid. However, the vagaries of commission mean I often have no idea when I will actually receive money, so the credit card balance was creeping higher and higher, and my credit limit was getting very small.

But now it's all paid off. Isn't that great?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fortunately I'm still sane

I find dyeing and creative stuff keeps me sane. Perhaps I need to do more of it than many other people for this reason?

While you ponder on are the skeins I dyed at the spinners and weavers open day that I went to a couple of days ago. The pastel one I made to show a woman that you can, in fact, dye in pastels after she said dyeing wasn't for her as she didn't like bright colours.

As usual, click on the photo to see it in more detail.

Today I may do something creative annual accounts!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Copper changes - and some silk

The consensus of opinion was that the copper wire I had couched on the rust dyed pieces was not adding to its look as it was too random. I am now going to remove it and redo it, relating to the shapes in the printing.

Yesterday, I dyed some silk scarves. Today I was at the Spinners and Weavers open day at Waimate (about 1/2 an hour's drive from where I live), demonstrating hand painting wool. Photos tomorrow once the skeins have dried and been re-skeined.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sit. Stay. And where is this going?

Hah! The dogs will sit on command. They don't stay however. And it appears that the only time they sit and pose like this is for no reason at all. But I'd like y'all to believe that they're SO well-trained that I just tell them to sit together and they do.

Back on the naked man theme (ahem! I promise I WILL move onto printing other images, I just don't have any yet)....I also printed some onto my rust dyed fabric. Then I sewed them together with black binding and sashing.

Then I couched copper wire in random squiggles across it. You may have to click on the image to see it better.

just for fun, I also crocheted a bit of the copper wire - that's the curvy bit at the top of the photo.

What am I going to do to this next? (This is not a guessing game, I just don't have any ideas). Suggestions are welcome.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Look Left, Look Right

Here's some of my raw images (heehee). I haven't got Photoshop loaded on this computer, so I'm just doing some very basic fiddling around in Paint.

I can flip and invert the images, which is what I've done here. rather than apply fabric paint afterwards as I did with the wee print in the last post, I've used some of my Blended fabric as the background. This set of 6 will be sewn together to form a wallhanging.

I'm really enjoying this printing. The hard part is finding images that I would want to use.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

More hot stuff

This is a sketch I printed out (regrettably, I didn't draw the original) onto fabric stiffened with Vilene, then I've painted it with Dyenaflow (Brass colour) which has given it this sepia effect. I'm going to play some more with this image - for some reason (can't think why) I find it very appealing.

And in case you think I spend my weekends painting naked's my first play with the taniwha stencil, painted with Lumiere metallics. Admittedly the taniwha is naked too....

Hot Stuff....but no Parental Advisory required

I've been playing with my hot tool (no, not THAT sort of tool! Grubbyyyyyy!). I've burned a stencil of my taniwha design (taniwha are mythical Maori monsters - however, I should mention that our national roading authority, Transit NZ, had to divert the building of a highway, or pay reparation, or something, NOT VERY LONG AGO...because the road was going through an area with a taniwha in it). Hmmmm......interestingly, there's no accepted form for a taniwha - if you Google it, you'll see all sorts of different designs. This is one that I like.

Unfortunately, my stencil plastic prefers to be cut with a knife rather than burnt, so it's not a complete success as the stencil has bumpy edges where the plastic's melted. It's rather fun burning things, though!

And here's something else hot - the latest edition of Textile, the magazine of the Australian Textile Fibre Forum. This mag is LUSCIOUS!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Amazing two-headed dog!

The sky really DID look this pink this morning. And just after that, I discovered this amazing two-headed dog sitting on my settee.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Subtle as a brick

Awww, I love you bloggers! When I moan about having no comments, you front up and post some. Thank you, sweeties. Margaret, as far as not taking photos while looking at the sun - I learned that back in the old pre-digital days, so maybe it no longer counts. Personally, I like the effect of the sun in my photos.

Happy birthday Hattie! Glad you like the scarf.

You may be wondering what that all has to do with the post heading. Nothing. Nothing at all. That bit is coming.

I am planning to do some work based on New Zealand designs, as interpreted by moi. (It will NOT contain sheep. Just because we have 40 million sheep and only 4 million people doesn't mean our lives are dominated by sheep. though apparently tourists love the sheep thing.....)

Now, we Kiwis are not known for our subtlety. Not in any way. As far as our colours go, our creations are often thought of in terms of brights, due to our harsh light and excess of ultraviolet.

However, my planned work is of a more subtle nature. Just to show you we CAN do it. Here's some blended fabric that I made today which will form the background. I actually set out to do more browns but the other colours snuck in.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ok I get the picture..... must be time for me to do some OTHER creative stuff, seeing as I am getting the usual number of visitors to the blog, but hardly any comments.

While I gather my creative forces, here's this morning's sunrise. Now I know you're not supposed to take photos when looking at the sun, so just caught the edge of it around the cabbage tree. I am sooooo excited to even have any sun, as we've had grey miserable days for the past week or so, so much that I'm sure I've had SAD as a result. I just don't function well without my sunshine. Cold is ok, I just need to sun to lift my spirits.

And I love the shadow on the living room wall created by my little ponytail palm and my cat clock (seriously, see below) which sit on the TV. I have faux French doors that you can also see the shape of. "Faux" because they're aluminium and not wooden.

Here they are. If you click on the picture to get the fullsize version, you can see the cat and fish on the clock's hands.

Go on, leave me a comment! Pleeeeeasssseeee!!! Pretty please! I know you're out there, all 350 per week of you, sneaking looks at my blog but not saying anything. Tell me what you'd like to see more of!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Autumn Sunrise over the bay

In lieu of anything creative from me, today you get subtle autumn sunrise colours created by ...err....Someone Else, depending on your beliefs.

Well done, Someone.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Love that silk

I decided to dye a purple silk scarf for Hattie, my son's girlfriend. The first attempt (top) was with liquid silk dyes, much of which washed out when I put it in the setting liquid. It's nice, but very subtle. I used Purple and Green so ended up with some interesting shades.
Because it was too pale, I used acid dyes (mainly Brilliant Violet with a bit of Purple) to do the second one, as Hattie likes this colour - I made her a hat from hand-painted wool in the Violet.

I loooooooooooooooove silk, but it's soooooooooooooooooooo expensive.