Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

To all my readers - I hope you have a safe and happy Christmas (or whatever festival you celebrate).  As I graduated a week or so ago and my children came down to Invercargill for the weekend, we had our family time then.  Tomorrow (it's Christmas Eve here in New Zealand), I will be having Christmas lunch with my friend Angela, her 2 sons (aged 7 and 9), and a lad who works with Angela but whose family don't celebrate Christmas.  We are having a frugal Christmas this year but it's also stress-free.  There will be plenty to eat and we'll have a good time.
 Here's me in my cap and gown.....
...and with Sophie and Cass.

I have a very long degree - it's a Bachelor of Applied Media Arts (Visual Media).  BAMA for short.  Now I can join the ranks of unemployed artists.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Having fun.

I'm currently writing my screen printing course, which involves a considerable amount of writing interspersed with hands-on printing.
 It's great to get back into some of the stuff I love doing.  The joy of playing!  The colours!  The fabric! How I've missed you.
This tree print is the 5th print from the stencil I cut -it's losing a bit of paint at some of the ends, but the colour looks great against the hand dyed fabric.

I also finished crocheting this scarf from merino and silk.  Now I'm making  knitted knights' helmets and little crocheted Daleks for my friend's boys for Christmas.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

More changes

Yes, life is full of changes.  Those of you who connect with me on Facebook will have seen that my degree passes are confirmed and I will graduate on 13th December.  More of that when it happens.   The end of my studies brings about its own set of challenges, with "what am I going to live on?" being the main one.

While I sort the big questions out, here's what late spring looks like in my front garden.  I have let poppies seed so they'll fill all the spaces and crowd out the weeds.
 Of course, they're Shirley poppies!  I've grown these for years because I love them and they self seed beautifully.
Unfortunately, they suffer from wind damage so tend to fall over easily. 

 where they have some protection, like these plants growing under the weeping silver pear, they can easily reach over a metre in height.  Those flowers are chest high on me.
 Round the corner, I obviously planted a pun net of Iceland poppies which have much plainer colours.  the fuchsias like it here as they get protected from the frost.
 I adore the look of poppies that have just emerged from their buds - so delicate and wrinkled.
The Shirley Poppies have a wide range of colours, being mostly bicolours.

Of course, there's always something creative going on inside.  Several things at once, usually.
 This Seafoam scarf for example.  I started to knit the pattern with some of my birthday wool but decided it was wrong, so I dug out a ball of white wool  and dyed it sky Blue, Wedgewood and Charcoal.  It'll look better when it's blocked and the pattern is more obvious.
And this was knitted with the other birthday wool - Malabrigo Rios, if anyone's interested.
Possibly this was Mothers' Day wool - are you seeing a trend here?  It's merino and silk.  I'm crocheting this; it makes an easy portable project to take when you have to sit around, as I did on Tuesday while waiting to see if I was to be chosen for jury service.  No, I wasn't picked.  Yes, I would have liked to have sat on the case.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Back again!

Dear Reader,

For the past 3 years, I've been immersed in doing my Bachelor of Applied Media Arts (Visual Media) degree, which seriously impacted on my creative time - especially as most of it was not related to fibre arts.  However, this is all over now, and I hope to graduate in a month's time.

Fortunately, I have reconnected with my fibre art roots over the past few months and I'm longing to get back into creating mode.  Here's a taste of what you can expect to see in the coming months:

Inktense Watercolour pencils - suitable for fabric.  Just add water, and these pencils turn into paints.  The colours are permanent, and I'm jst itching to find ways to use these. 

 Screen printing - I'm about to write an online class for screen printing that can be used by fibre artists and quilters (as opposed to making t-shirts).
 Electric Quilt - another online class that I hope to have up and running in the New Year.  Honestly, this software is amazing.  I've had an earlier version of EQ so can't wait to get into this new one.
Plus you'll see a bit of this sort of thing - one of Dijanne Cevaal's  Mirrabelle dolls that I am embroidering and playing with adding beads to.  For anyone proficient in beading, don't look too closely - I've never beaded before and have only a random selection, so this is very experimental.  I'll post some more photos of Mirrabelle as I progress.

Of course, I'm always knitting in the background, so you may see some of that too.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Something for everyone

At felting group today, member Christine Munro showed us these 2 wonderful garments she had made.  The first (above) is a long sleeveless vest.

 This one is more of a sleeveless overtop.  It has paua buttons and features crocheted decorations.

Both these are for sale - if you're interested, contact me and I'll get Christine to talk to you.

The irrepressible Bek Pilley was also there, and showed off what she'd done to one of her long-tailed (for want of a better expression) hats - it's decorated with beads and stitching and looks magnificent.

I  have posted before about Bek's hatmaking classes - well worth going to.

Invercargill's weather isn't always delightful, but there are some wonderful sunrises.  This photo was taken one weekend morning as I walked the dogs along the Waihopai River.
 For the dyers, this is a piece of overdyed fabric that I've made to go in my major project this year. More photos as they come to hand.

For knitters, this is a simple but very attractive scarf I'm knitting.  The idea is the team a plain colour stripe up with a wool that changes colours for the other stripe, creating this interesting look.  Done in 1/1 rib with an uneven number of stitches, it creates a thick, compact scarf with no annoying loose ends to darn in afterwards.  

Lastly, a gratuitous cute animal shot.  Here's Frodo, suitably backlit with late afternoon sun, down by the ponds where I walk the dogs each day.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Carpet Bag Revealed, and a new quilt top assembled

I couldn't find any suitable patterns that looked like real carpet bags, so mine is a tote bag made using sumptuous furnishing fabrics.  It's big enough to hold folders and books for my classes, with extra long handles to sling over my shoulder.  The inside has 3 pockets (large, medium and cellphone) plus an elasticized band to hold my drink bottle upright.

 This week, I've focused on assembling this quilt top - I made all the blocks several years ago.  Unusually for me, I purchased ALL the fabric rather than including my hand dyes in it, as I found fabrics that worked well with the feature fabric, which is Hoffmanns "Feathers" - you can see it more clearly in the detail shot. It's the centre of the blocks and also the outer border.

It's just draped over the spare bed in this photo.  I'm happy with the size, so I'll go ahead and sandwich and quilt it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Following on....

This is a sample photograph that I've transferred onto hand dyed fabric.  At this stage, I haven't done anything with it.  I plan to work with photographs of buildings destroyed in the Christchurch earthquake, as this has personal meaning for me.

Anyone out there done any 3 dimensional work?  I don't mean designs that look 3D, but actual dimensional and sculptural work with fabric.

Getting my mojo back

Hi everyone,

I've been struggling with my planned course of study for this year, and have decided to go back to my fabric roots.  Considering I'm majoring in Photography, this may be an odd statement.   I've accepted that my degree is not likely to lead to work but I may as well finish what I've started and made a commitment to.  As a result, I plan to work with transferring photographs onto fabric in 2013, and hopefully devise a way of integrating these into 3 dimensional fabric sculptures. There, now I've said it so I have to do it.  Talking of doing, there hasn't been much of it happening chez Goodwin.  However, I've been doing  a lot of thinking about doing, so that's a start :-)

Today, I had a lovely surprise.  Jenny Brooks, a KQ from Auckland, is down here visiting and suggested we catch up for afternoon tea (which was lovely - thanks, Jenny!) which we did at the Art Gallery/Museum cafe, and then moved out into Queen's Park when that closed.  When it was time to leave, Jenny gave me this gorgeous skein of laceweight baby alpaca - so soft and cuddly!
When I got home, I immediately went onto Ravelry to find a suitable pattern. I've found several that might suit, now to sit down and decide which to make.  Jenny and I have both knitted the Clapotis pattern - I made mine while in France and England so it has many memories of my trip.  Such a lovely thought, Jenny - I'll make something really special from this alpaca.

In NQR news, my son Cass and partner Catherine are currently tramping on Stewart Island.  No mean feat as the tracks are challenging and so is the weather.  They'll be back here on thursday for a few days so I'm looking forward to spending a bit of time with them - I haven't see Cass for a year and Catherine for 2 years.  They expect to be moving to Christchurch in April.  Here they are pictured before they set off: