Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Little bit of play with blocks

 Last weekend we were in Adelaide for the craft show at the showgrounds. Friday was really busy and it was wonderful catching up with so many old friends and customers. I actually played with easy peasy silk paper making that day but on Saturday I decided to get out my Inktense Blocks and Evolon and play with these as I love them. You can see that they are broken in the tin above - this is deliberate - they are easy to use when I break them in half. You can use them dry or wet - drop your water brush on the surface to pick up colour - great for mark making - or use them wet - I didn't - I chose to use them dry over stencils because it is an easy way to show one use for them. I created layers of different shapes and colours - sometimes it works and other times it isn't so good. BUT - remember - when you don't like something, colour it with something else (always a Moonglow Spray at the ready) - or cut it up and weave it - or stitch lots of stitching over the surface. You get the idea. Thanks Valerie Campbell-Harding btw.

This was already in my stash - rubbing over the surface with the side of the block - spritzing with water - machine stitching (which I could not do at the show - and how many people asked me if I was demonstrating the flower stitcher I ask?) And finally a few marks made with the Creative Versa tool

This one was already in my stash too but I wanted to show how easy to draw on the surface - add some water and then some stitch.

Building up some layers - pop your stencil underneath your fabric - Evolon in my case - and use the side of the block to rub - there are mostly three stencils in the pieces I was playing with

More layers again and some some Hot Spots with foil -

I liked this one the best - the underneath layers were pretty blah but see what a great stencil can do? This is a Joggles one we have. Now it awaits some machine stitching but not just yet - I have a very large piece to finish as fast as along with getting ready for the WA Craft Show here next week  -

Now a wee vent - I love to teach and if you follow my ramblings you will know that I don't teach projects - I toss out ideas and hope people will run with them in their own special way. Of course I teach techniques and demo the stuff I use - often it is stuff that you can't get anywhere else or has my own special spin to it. I felt rather insulted recently (shan't say by whom or where) when I was asked if I still teach (this person says she reads my stuff so should not have needed to ask) and would I do a project or do I just do little demos of stuff I sell. I resent that - my business evolved because I needed stuff - I teach as me not as an adjunct to what I sell. If you like my ideas you are free to buy from anyone - of course I use my own stuff - how silly would I be not to? I have spent (with the wonderful Jacinta) a long time developing our beautiful colours and textures and in the textile art side of things - I sell what I like to use - not just any old thing. I am passionate about my art. And I know I would be as bored as can be if I had to teach a specific project - I couldn't imagine anything worse than looking at a group of students holding up clones of my work. I love it when people run with my ideas and I learn so  much every time I run a class.

Just sayin...... Vent over.......

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Yes I am Still Here and Alive

 No - I haven't fallen off the perch - just been further frustrated by Blogspot trying to write my blog when away. I even have a helpful girl from blogspot trying to sort it but I have loaded blogsy but just need to find the time to work out how to use it. most frustrating. I had a lovely weekend in Rockhampton as guest at the Craft Show - lots of lovely people and a very nice host - Elaine - look what she had in her garden - wow!

 I played at the show with  an embellisher and with the flower stitcher - both were very popular and I took a few related goodies to sell - not much - just a table full

 and this was my messy table full of samples - I always take loads of samples becasue people like to see them and handle them and ask questions - it always shows just how well things stand up to the handling etc.

Right now we are getting organized to go to the show in Adelaide tomorrow - set up on Thursday and show opens on Friday to Sunday so we hope to see anyone who is going. I am actually demoing throughout most of the show and have actually got everything organist for this - packed and in the suitcases. Our stuff went last Friday but there has been mountains to do.
I have set myself the task of creating work for three exhibitions - one piece has gone but this is another - much larger than I usually do so I have a lot of stitching to do - guess what I will be working on in the plane and in any other moment I can find.

I have started stitching though. Good occupation whilst watching Le Tour de France because it is slow go - well they are biking fast enough.

Bruce is in UK biking for 3 weeks - he got to the start of the Tour de France and seems to be having a great time.

Grant has been sailing on Lake Garda in the European 18ft Skiffs Champs which they won so looks like it is us slogging away at home. Never mind our time will come.

Just in time for June, Issue 5 of appeared and I reckon it's a good read.

and today I sent out Month 1 of the Artful Journey club - wonderful response it has been

and I woke in the night thinking about a new idea and a new project or two - fabulous Boro - this book Bruce and Kazuko bought for me when they were living in Japan - so inspirational and my brain is thinking what next - but really - I must wait until the current deadlines are done.

i have also been slogging away starting to get everything sorted for the Broome Artistic retreat next August 22nd and 23rd  - all the info should be up on the website next week when we get back from Adelaide.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lake GraceArtful Journey workshop

 Last weekend I went to Lake Grace which is about 4 hours or so driving south of Perth. We went through here many many years ago on our way to Esperance - I turned off Albany highway and through Wagin - the home of Woolarama and the giant ram. I didn't take any photos on my way down - just thought it best to drive - I  took lots of cds and wound the sound up.

What a lovely weekend - 13 wonderful women all very creative and ooh - country hospitality. I put back on one of the kilos I had taken off. I also had a very hospitable host in Tania - thank you - flannelette sheets I have not had on a bed since we left NZ. I also took my pop up shop which was well received.

We played with all sorts of things - at the top is a Qantas serviette - yes I still have plenty to share.


 I haven't names for the owners of each piece but it is always amazing to see what people come up with and  the beauty of running a workshop is that I learn new things and come home with ideas to try out. Here is aome wonderful weaving (something dear to my creative heart) - I love the colours she has used.

 Some more weaving - we played with sari ribbon and flimsies

 and tissutex and papers and more weaving - stencils - sprays etc

 and we made silk paper and discovered new things we could do with it

 different things we could put on it

 lovely sari ribbon weaving

 prefelt weaving

making some little felt

 more weaving

 this was a very ethereal sheet of silk paper - quite lovely -

 and of course we played with paper napkins - why not?

 paper napkins and stencils and sprays

 silk paper with extras

 silk rods - wonderful effect

 paper napkins

 using the gelli plate

 paper napkins and silk paper

 I had never thought to weave through paper napkins - wonderful

 an eclectic collection

 weaving and image transferring

 playing with the gelli plate

 weaving and adding

 paper napkins plus

 weaving and starting on a Romeo grid

more Gelli plate fun

As you can see they were  pretty productive. I drove back on Sunday night in time for a glass of wine but not dinner - never mind I had eaten far more than I should have over the weekend. Thank you so much to the lovely Lake Grace and surrounding - ladies for a wonderful weekend.

This week we have been working on the e-mag - Issue 5 is getting closer - it has been raining a lot and quite cold - I watched the replay of the All Blacks versus England game and am looking forward to today's game. And i am putting my stuff away - gathering my stuff for my trip to Rockhampton next Friday where I am so lucky to have been asked to be a guest artist - I shall be playing away on an embellisher and with my flower stitcher. I have also purchased a new suitcase extra so I am bringing two suitcases - not sure what to take as yet!

I also want to thank Felicity from Norseman who sent me some fab Japanese papers for my upcoming project. You didn't give me your address so I could send you some threads!

okay - back to work.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thermo Felt

I have had three wonderful people testing the thermo felt for me and I have been playing with it as well. So much potential for experimenting for shapes and moulding - hope you enjoy reading what we have all done.

Thermo Felt
Thermoformable wool felt is made from wool and polyester (90% wool-10% polyester). It can be used as a wonderful felt for backgrounds and stitching but it contains enough polyester to enable it to be moldable. Thermo Felt can be permanently shaped and creased under heat. It will retain the shape you create before you apply heat. You can stitch it and shape it first and then apply the heat. This is a very new fabric for those of us who just love to experiment. The possibilities of 3D is exciting.
Comes in large 50cm x 50cm squares (fat quarter) 2mm thick
We have 20 colours in stock  - $8.50 each or any 10 for $66.00
See all the colours here -

To activate Thermo Felt
All you need is HEAT
*immerse it in boiling water
*steam it with a steam iron
*bake it wet in the oven at 90C for about 30 minutes

Before you do anything else – soak it in boiling water first to open up the fibres. It makes it nice and soft if you plan to stitch on it and it has that wonderful sheepy smell. Let it dry and then shape and/or stitch as desired.

Don’t expose the felt to an open flame and be very careful when handling the felt when it is hot.

Try pleating or creasing the Thermo Felt. Fold the fabric concertina style (or tuck into a ready made pleater) and with the folds pointing vertically, press a steam iron over the top, flip it over and heat the other side. Make sure you use lots of steam. I have quite a powerful steam iron.

Try stitching lines first before you steam.

Cate Whitehead tested it and says
I have done some playing so far - with steam. I used the method I've been using mostly for my shibori-ied scarves, knowing that the polyester content should respond to steam.
I've also tried shaping little offcuts with steam and tentatively tried the microwave. It's a really interesting material isn't it? Lots of fun and I think I like the sculptural possibilities the most.
I use good old rubber bands and steamed them for 10 minutes. I use glass mosaic beads (the flat-bottomed ones - they're just the ticket) 

 You can also try immersing the whole piece in some boiling water

Helen Beaven tested it and says

The purple and black are Merino/Alpaca/Silk blends that I machine needlefelted. The orange is hand-dyed muslin strips.
There didn't seem to be any change in colour (or burning) after 20 minutes in the oven. I used ceramic baking beans to help weigh it down.
Even before the cooking, the felt was holding the shape of the container quite well. 

 Shaping and Moulding
Felicity Griffin Clark tested it and wrote these notes

Hand dyed cotton scrim, needlefelted with silk and wool fibre layered and stitched with silk thread on a sari silk loom end. Microwaved for 8 minutes

Felt dyed with ink and fabric paint sandwiched between silk satin and silk organza from the same dye bath, Stitched with silk thread. Cooked in the oven for 20 minutes

Machine needlefelted with cotton scrim, silk and wool fibres and silk organza. Formed then stitched with silk thread. Cooked in the oven for 20 minutes

 Felt slashed with craft knife, then layered with silk and synthetic organza. Overlaid with tuile and machined. Burnt back with heat gun and cooked in the oven for 20 minutes. Rubbed with Shiva Paintstiks.

OR – You can simply use it as a felt – wonderful for working on

Remember – play and experiment because there will be lots more to discover

+61 8 9227 1561


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