Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thoughts required - please lend me yours!

As part of my new career plan to make more of my living from my art, I've starting making some Maori and Polynesian inspired designs. I've decided to make some smaller items like bags and cushions that will appeal to tourists as well as (hopefully) New Zealanders. To start with, I've made a cutout of the design, using my Blended fabric, and have fused it to a dyed background. My intention was originally to make this a cushion cover but it's a bit large, so it may just be a one-off sample.

With my normal "make it up as I go along" style, I am now wondering how to best stitch this - as a cushion, bag or whatever, this will need washing so the fused piece needs to be sewn down in some way. It's much to fiddly for blanket or satin stitch - I'd never recover my time in the cost - any ideas?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two for tea

Inspired by a book I have on wacky tea cosies, I've made these. Above is "Sea Anemone".
And this one is "Rooster".
Here's a knitting -inspired mug that my dear friend Hope sent me, to cheer me up - it arrived the day Grizabella died, so was most appreciated.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Autumn and Anzac Day

Here are some photos of my autumn garden. Firstly, the Virginia Creeper, which I never really notice until it turns red.

Not sure what this yellow flower is, but it's a little perennial in my rock garden.
The pineapple sage is doing well this year.
This is a pretty little Zycocactus that lived on the deck. It's a lighter pink than the more usual cerise one.
And here are some Nerines.

Today is Anzac Day, the day when New Zealanders honour those who died in the wars. Most of the WW2 soldiers are dead now, though there are veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars too, but the Anzac day parades are well-attended. The horrors of war and the spirit of "Lest We Forget" live on amongst our young people. The red poppy is the symbol we use for Anzac Day, and sales of the poppies support returned servicemen and women.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Colour Wheel dyeing

One of the most enjoyable exercises we do in my Basic Dyeing class is making a simple colour wheel of fat 1/8s in plastic bags. I decided to do some more of this at home, using different primaries, and fat 1/4s. Above is the #1 wheel using Tangerine, Basic Red and Turquoise.
#2 wheel used Golden yellow, Cobalt Blue and Magenta.
#3 wheel was Lemon Yellow, Turkey Red and Medium Blue.

Beyond The Basics class - and a thank you

Firstly a big thank you to all my wonderful blog readers who have posted messages or sent me emails regarding Grizabella. I really appreciate your support.

Here are the last of the photos of my classes at Symposium. Above is a set of colour wheel fabrics drying during the second Beginners' Class.

I realise that all these classroom shots (it's a school art room, for those who commented on it) look a bit the same - in this class, we're working with thickened dyes instead of immersing fabric in bags.
The class work is hanging up on the racks as before - we made colour wheels and gradations of one colour, and blending from one colour to another.
The 2 women on the left were also in my first Beginners' Class. They would have had quite a bit of fabric to take home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Scenes from Beginners' Dyeing Class

Beginners' Dyeing is such fun. I love to see the delight the class has as they watch the dyes work. Here we're dyeing a colour wheel in bags using mixes of 3 primary colours.
While it's fun, the class work hard.

And here's the colour wheel done in different primaries from the one above.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Goodbye little friend

Grizabella took a turn for the worse and was clearly suffering so I took her to the vets first thing this morning. I'm glad I got to spend time with her at the end. I watched her being born, and I watched her die. I've known for weeks that she was dying but I still find it really upsetting.
Posted by Picasa

Surface Design Class

Hard at work stamping. Surface Design was the first class up for me to teach at Symposium. It's a lot of fun, but requires a huge amount of equipment.
Sunprints (above) and (below). We were fortunate enough to have beautiful weather on the morning of the 2nd day -plenty of sun and no wind, not all that common in Wellington which is renown for its wind. Also some of the class were experimenting with salt (centre and front of photo above).

We used the racks in the art room that we were based in to hang work to dry.
The class produced some great monoprints - better than the ones I do!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Overseas Tutors' Quilts

These are the quilts I liked best in the Tutors' Exhibition. This is by Susan Matthews of Australia.
From Ann Fleeton of Ireland. This quilt is hung so it's viewable from both sides, and is quite metallicy (that is SO a word).
Gloria Loughman of Australia. Quite different from the exotic Australian landscapes she's known for.
The wonderful Sandra Meech, now of the UK. Sandra's technique of getting images onto fabric makes this surface like soft plastic.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More art quilts part 2

"Il Palazzone" by Thelma McGough
"Melody for Claire" by Alison Henson
"Floating Rosebuds" by Jennifer Patterson
"Green Eggs No Ham" by Debra DeLorenzo
"Spawning" and "Agapanthus No 2", both by Barbara McQuarrie.

More coming!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Exhibition art quilts part 1

"Layered Textures of an Alluvial Abstraction" by Lee-Ann Newton.
"A Change in the Weather" by Clare Smith
"There is but one eye of the needle, through which white, black and red threads must pass" by Merrilyn George
"From Here to Eternity" by Catherine McDonald
"Bushfire No 2" also by Catherine McDonald.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some quilts I liked at the exhibitions

I'm back from my 5 days' teaching at Symposium. I had a great time but found the standing/walking for the best part of 9 hours each day to be very tiring as I'm not used to it - I'm also a lot less fit and svelte than I'd like to be, and the delicious hotel meals didn't help. I took some photos of quilts I liked in the exhibitions - sorry these ones are not attributed.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Nearly time to go

I'm off to Wellington tomorrow morning, so won't be posting for a week. See you then!

Monday, April 06, 2009

6 into 5 doesn't go

The chaos in my living room this morning, as I struggled to work out where everything that I was sending up to Symposium was going. I ended up having to accept that I needed 6 boxes. After an hour on the phone talking to various courier companies, it's going to cost me $180 just to get this lot to Wellington. Most of it has to come back again. Compare this with $216 to fly me there and back, and the freight weighs less than I do. If I could only have compressed my stuff into a person shape, I could have put it on the seat next to me. Also, I get to take a carry-on bag and big suitcase for that price.

I've spent the entire weekend preparing sale goods and equipment to take with me - I supply everything, but I'm wondering if I'll ever do that again.

If any of my class are wondering why the materials fees for my classes are so high - this is why.

End of rant. I am rather stressed.