Sunday, February 28, 2010

Do you Doodle

Firstly a big thank you to all of you who leave me comments. So nice to know I am not just talking to myself.
Betz White (Her blog is one I follow) is talking about doodling and designing. Her insights made me think about how I don't doodle as much as I should. When Greg and I went to Art Classes I used to doodle and draw a lot more. It was something I made time for and now I don't so much. I might draw a bit of a figure or a diagram to jog my memory while I am planning a new project but not so often. All the art books and magazines recommend drawing everyday and I always have good intentions rather like my walking machine. I intend to walk on it everyday and some days I do but really it is a good place to hang the ironing. Anyway back to the doodling and designing. I have planned out my words piece in my head and a little bit of pre-work. I am also doing a blue piece for the Embroiderers guild and I found a doodle design I was working on ages ago and I might expand on it. Drawing is not an inborn talent of mine and I do need to work at it. So I shall unearth my drawing supplies and return to doodling, a little drawing everyday is a relaxing thing I just need a little more time each day. Perhaps I shall give up on sleep.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Slow Cloth

Two Posts in one day wow. Before the painting could begin I was distracted by the blogs I follow. I wound my way from India Flint along a twisting path to InLeaf and Lotta who on her January 29post on Slow Cloth inspired to trek a little more along the path to Ten Qualities of Slow Cloth on Red Thread Studio

Elaine Marie Lipson is the author of the words below and this is just an extract of the whole post so please go and read it in its entirety.

You can have a Slow Cloth sensibility as an individual artist or artisan, and it bears repeating that slow is not meant to be literal -- it's not about how long it takes to finish or whether you're stitching by hand or machine. There are also companies that I think have a Slow Cloth approach even if they are manufacturing clothing or textiles in commercial quantity.

Elaine goes on to say more about the ten points so please go and read her wonderful thoughts.

* Has the possibility of joy in the process.
* Offers the possibility of contemplation in the process.
* Involves skill and has the possibility of mastery.
* Acknowledges the rich diversity and multicultural history of textile art.
* Honors its teachers and lineage.
* Is thoughtful in its use of materials and respects their source.
* Honors quality. We want to make things that last and are well-made.
* Honors beauty. Beauty is a whole complicated subject all its own.
* Supports community. A Slow Cloth company respects all of its labor force; individual art and artists acknowledge their relationship to other textile artists.
* Is expressive of individuals or cultures. Remember the old saying in art circles, "Anonymous was a woman"?

Work in Progress

Another lovely day in South Australia, I am having a few days off before starting on afternoons. Today I babysat for a little while which included taking two year old Jessica to pick up four year old Caitlin at Kindergarten. Today is a half today and tomorrow is a full day and she gets to be a lunch kid which is a great thing apparently judging by how excited Caitlin is about Wednesdays. I then took them to Fruit and Veg shop which was amazingly fun. The two of them had half the shop in hysterics at their various comments and the quite serious bargaining that went on so they could both have their favorite lollies because Jessica really likes jelly beans and so does Poppy I was assured and yes Jessica would even give him the black ones. Caitlin really wanted sugar jellies and "You know Poppy doesn't like sugar Nanny but you do and we can share OK" So being the tough Nanny that I am I got out with two lots of lollies and a My Little Pony juice drink for each of them because Caitlin told me in a very serious voice that you have to drink lots on a hot day because you get sick if you don't and I didn't want them to get sick did I.
The check out lady told them they were getting spoilt today and Jessica assured her that that is what Nanny's do.
By the time I got home Bronwyn was back and we had sausage rolls and sauce for lunch and then chocolate donuts and lollies. They were bouncing off the walls by the time they went home.
But I did manage to get my doll to the painting stage this morning before Jessica arrived.

She is about 30cm's high. Ages ago I bought a cheap plastic face mould and I used that to shape the paper clay then used Susie McMahon's techniques to attach the head to the body. Next I will paint then decorate. She is going to be a sewing caddy for my friend. So I am off to paint.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A New Doll

I am immersed in a new doll. She is for a dear friend who has recently given me two beautiful books. This doll is an original design. I don't often do my own patterns. I've really only done one. The little girl riding the frog.
I am inspired to do another. All shall be revealed soon.
We were promised rain by the idiots at the Weather Bureau those sadistic sods think it is funny to say oh yes it will rain. I am not sure if it was rain or just a bird peeing on my car from a great height. The Madonna lilies are out though we do call them Naked Ladies here in South Australia. They are a good sign that Autumn is coming. The maple leaves are changing too. winter is around the corner yay. I now have four days off work and I am going to be productive no matter what.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Well just a little note. It is my birthday, I did work Midnight until 8 am which is the easy way to go. I had a couple of hours sleep at home and then had lunch with my daughter and granddaughters. Greg bought me a dymo label maker which is something I use a lot at work and never thought to buy myself and it will get a lot of use. We didn't go out for dinner as I have to work tonight too. We had fresh salmon with lemon, dill and sour cream potato salad and then Sara Lees Cheesecake bites for dessert with strawberries. So all in all I had a very nice day. Now I am off to bed for a couple of hours sleep before the last of my run of midnight shifts. I have four days off after tonight and I have plans to finish the dreaded crocheted jacket, draw out the first of the pages for the embroidered concertina book I want to make and start another doll using a paper clay face. I already know what I want to do for her as well. I am in the mood for another Goddess doll.
We are still melting in the Aussie Summer heat and I am really looking forward to Winter.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Felting woes and other stuff.

Prepare yourself for a long rant-babble type of entry today.
This working from Midnight until 8 am is working out quite well for me this week. I had convinced myself that it wasn't to my taste at all however I think I am going to have to reconsider that mindset. Working the time slot meant that last night I was able to do all the work things I had to do and still have time to cruise around wikipedia for quite a bit of time and get some research done for the embroidered concertina book I want to make.
Yesterday I went to my Cloth Doll Club totally guilt free as I had already been at work. I have had the occasional sick day to go to dolls.
My friend Yvonne gave me Janet Arnolds Patterns of Fashion book 1 and 2 she is such a wonderful friend and I bought a silk/rayon sari length from one of the other girls that I am going to make into my belly dancing outfit. About 6 meters of embroidered silk/rayon for $60 dollars. I got a bargain there.
Thursday I went to my embroidery group again guilt free as I had already been to work. So last night after doing the work stuff I crocheted a sample piece of the wool I have used to make a huge jacket. It is in the photo below (the jacket not the sample).

I was assured that it was shetland wool when I bought it and that it would shrink and soften when washed so I had to work it quite loosely. So I did that and thought to myself night before last 'Self how much did this shrink anyway?' I have vague recollections of doing a sample piece last year but that memory could be a chocolate overdose delusion speaking to me or wishful thinking.
So I crocheted a little piece of trebles and gave it a hell of scrub in the kitchen sink which is usually enough and it softened up beautifully but didn't shrink at all, even though it has matted a bit. So I thought 'Oh crap', The thing which is based on a pattern from Lily Chin's Crochet Couture with added sleeves and I played around with it a bit and it is now nearly two meters across. The sleeves which I crocheted straight on are long and weren't on the original pattern which is more of a vest.
Anyway there are a lot of treble crochets there let me tell you. So last night while watching late night TV at work in between cups of tea and reading my book and doing the few little work bits and pieces that came my way I crocheted a 20 cm circle. I thought that as the jacket is a big circle the rectangular piece I failed with was not the best choice to play with.
I am going to do another circle I think and felt one as is. If it doesn't shrink enough or at all I have a plan that hopefully I won't have to use.
The color is gray with little flecks of blue and pink that you can't really see in the photos. I plan to overdye it after washing and shrinking with food coloring, water and vinegar.
I dyed a felt bag that way last year and it worked beautifully. Here's hoping that I haven't spent a lot of time crocheting some acrylic horror it feels like wool damn it and I bought it from a friend who assured me it was shetland wool. It is 4 ply and was a cone for a knitting machine which my friend still has and I am contemplating buying. But don't tell Greg.
I also got to spend an hour and a half on the phone with the phone/broadband company who keep screwing up my bill I usually spend about $160 for mobile/home/internet but the last few months they keep sending me bills for over $500 and after my heart starts beating again and I hide it from Greg I spend hours on the phone trying to sort it out firstly with some one with an english name and an accent that sounds like an Indian (from India) who learnt English from a Texan before I get cross and have to apologise and ask to be put through to someone with less of an accent because I can't understand them.
Anyway hopefully it is sorted now and I don't get another heart stopping bill. Also my cordless phone is dead it is ten years old so I am going to bit the bullet and get a new one.
Ranting is over I am off to bed so I can go to my belly dancing class tonight. Hpe the weather is being kind to you. It is hot here again. I want to see a bit more rain, we have had a little bit this week nothing like the eastern states of Oz are getting. Here's hoping for more.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Words in Textile Art

I had a lovely day today. Well pretty good anyway. I worked from Midnight to 8 am. Had a McDonalds breakfast in the car on the way home. I do like their coffee and a bacon and egg mcmuffin is surely nearly healthy. At home got changed and off to the South Australian Embroiderers Guild for my No Limits Group. We had a discussion on what we would do this year. We are going into our third year together and we always have a list of challenges for the year. I even get some done.
Long term friends Wendy and Emanda were there and as this is about the only time we get together these days it is always fun to catch up. We are doing a group project later in the year with words. One of the suggestions was to use limericks but I don't know any and it didn't really appeal to me. I prefer poetry myself and thought that you can't really go wrong with The Bard and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Oberon states in the play:

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in

I can see this in panels of embroidery so I think this will be my suggestion and I might even just do it myself.

Then I slept the afternoon and early evening away and back to work.
So here I am back at work with my laptop to play with during my break. I have caught up on my emails, worked out the words to use and have a long term project to plan.
I had a look at my ideas journal yesterday while looking for my library books which I have put somewhere very safe and now can't find.
I did a design drawing with Alison Cole a couple of years ago and I might even make that as well. I have all the bits and pieces and the drawing.
I have finished two long term projects recently and I am going to bring my crocheting with me tomorrow night. I started a jacket last year and just have about 15 cm's of one sleeve left to do and I should be able to get a good bit of that done. I don't know why I complain about late shifts. I always enjoy them once I get organized and bring my projects with me.
Oh well back to the grindstone.