Saturday, March 30, 2013

We love Easter in Perth

 Mostly because everyone goes away and it is quiet. Bring it on more often. We love it. This is the eucalyptus tree growing outside our front gate with these lovely yellow flowers and the red pods you can just see at the top.

 We have lived here for 20 years and this is the first time we have been to the City Farm - walked down across the freeway etc and nearly got cleaned up by all the cyclists out on the footpaths. One did actually say thank you as he passed us by. We bought organic stuff which was great and now we will go again next Saturday.

 Watching the rugby and great to see the Hurricanes win.

 Since I got back from Albany I have been very keen to play with the encaustic stuff so I bought myself a griddle/frypan thing at Kmart and some tins to melt the wax in - this is the Jacquard encaustic wax which we now have and I have melted a little metallic gold in the muffin tray.

My first little effort - khadi paper sprayed with Oppulence paints - silk fibre paper sprayed with Starburst Sprays - lutradur coloured and stamped  - with added foil, shiva stik and pan pastel. No stitch though but a very good start.

Monday, March 25, 2013

three lovely days to play

I have been in Albany at a three day encaustic workshop with three different tutors. I really enjoyed it because I wanted to learn about Encaustic wax stuff and how I might use it in my textile work. I flew down and back, shared a room with a lovely lady from Geraldton, went walking every morning, had my coffee and breakfast at the Vancouver Cafe - and all of our lunches and dinners were catered by them too. only problem was that dinner was so early, everyone was off to bed very very early and I was let standing at 9pm all alone.

Day one was Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch who is one of the encaustic gurus and she went through all the basics and then more. I was a little daunted when I arrived to find I had paid for a large pile of very thick boards (which are now on their way in someone else's car) - I enjoyed the play but boards are not really me so I took the opportunity to try other things as well. Watercolour paper - fibres - fabric - stitching - I can see it all happening.....

 This was what I think might be a sort of landscape - lots of people were very abstract and I didn't actually enjoy just meaninglessly dropping wax - for me it needed to do something. When you are in a workshop situation you don't always get to play with the colours you like but I loved the encaustic medium - which we sell now - and I loved the encaustic blocks which we don't sell yet because of the extreme price I have to pay at the moment. but we do have the little ones very affordable which are very good too. I am off to buy cake tins etc to melt my wax in.

 I did some image transfer and found some of my skeleton leaves and of course happened to have a gold shiva stik in my bag. I also loved using the pan pastels which we should have soon as well.

 I took very little with me because I wanted to have an open mind - of course I wished I had taken lots of stuff once I got started but for this piece I used heavy water colour paper - alcohol inks and stitched silk rods. I discovered foils work very well - stencils are ideal - TAP is excellent and more.

Day 2 was Trace Willans and she is everything natural so we did some natural plant dyeing on water colour paper, used natural pigments - out will come my wonderful collection from Rousillon - and other things but definitely natural.

I went to the farmers market on Sat morning and brought home some super thick strawberry jam, strawberry vinegar and olive oil and managed to buy a couple of big blocks of bees wax as well.

Day 3 was Julia Sutton and 2 and 3 D. Julia got us to come up with a number from 10 to 30 and collect the appropriate number of something from out in the environs. I have a thing about smallness for travel so I found 13 wood chips in the garden wrapped them with silk thread and waxed the lot. Then I ventured out again and collected another 13 which I wrapped in plaster bandage and waxed each and wrapped each and then wrapped everything - pleased with this because I am working more into what I might do.

There was a variance of people there - people who obviously loved to draw and were not into textiles and others. So a great diverse group. So now - I just have to find time and get exploring more.

When I got home lastnight Ian had a bbq all prepared and it was great to sit outside and enjoy it. not necessarily a good weekend for our rugby teams....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Evenings out with friends always good

We received a big shipment of mulberry bark - think I have mentioned it - it came to Perth, went back and came again. So from November on I had been waiting. Some of the pieces are HUGE and some are small - so we are now selling the bleached bark by the weight - very generous weighing down though but needed to in order to make it fair. Still wonderful value. I sprayed part of one piece with Starburst Sprays and made a little book, adding some silk rods and silk pods. It takes colour very well and of course can be dyed easily but I prefer to not dye. i sprayed the rods and pods too.

The other night we went to a new restaurant with old friends and new ones to the Nishi Japanese Restaurant south of the river - long trip for us! The food was great and the company excellent. We sat at the teppanyaki table and had a charming boy cooking for us. Very nice owners as well.

Our new e-mag is falling into place I am pleased to say. All articles bar one are written - most of the creations are done and next up the photos. Hoping to be ready by the beginning of April or not long after. Very exciting.

If you have been to our house shopping - you will know we keep the flimsies in the hall - of course this morning they all fell off and gave Harley one big fright. At least it makes me tidy everything up!

Thanks for all the lovely messages for Rae - and the emails.  Whenever anyone dies, it leaves a big hole in our lives. We all think we are invincible. On with the swimming.

Tomorrow night I am off to Albany for three days to the encaustic workshop, looking forward to it but not organised at all of course. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Rose for Rae

A rose for Rae Cummings - a wonderful friend, colleague and so often my rock - someone I could email when fed up and cross and who would reply immediately to get me back on the straight and narrow. She had a serious thing about karma and always made me feel positive. Rae was the 3 of our trio of Jacinta and me and her. A tireless worker, a generous person, straight as can be and one of the loveliest people I have ever known. We are going to miss you so much - may you rest in peace. Our love to Jacinta and Frank and her family and I shall whip up a lovely cake for you. So pleased that Rae and Frank had a wonderful holiday in Europe last year - even staying in the same place that we did in Istanbul. Remember, everyone, just how precious life is - grab every moment as though it was your last because the chance will never come again.

The funeral for Rae Cummings will be held at 10am on Tuesday, March 26 at Ashton Manner in Diamond Creek. 

Ashton Manor
49-55 Main Street, Diamond Creek Victoria 3089
03 9438 1910
Melways Reference 11 K6
Husband Frank, sons Blair, Tarin and Perry welcome all to attend this celebration of Rae's life. Tea and Coffee will be available proceeding the event. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

diverting myself with transfers

 Exciting rugby last night - Hurricanes beat the Highlanders. Close running games when two teams are desperate to win are always exciting to watch. Even the Waratahs vs Cheetahs game was exciting. First Tahs game I haven't fallen asleep. Wonder if the Crusaders can win today?

The rain did its day and is back to a non-issue but at least the garden had a happy day and we enjoyed it being cooler yesterday. I can almost start looking through the wardrobe for different clothes. When the temp is slightly cooler outside the swimming pool water seems very warm.

I thought I would frame up my little Marrakesh transfer. I am really pleased with the new method I am exploring - a little fiddly but slightly clearer and crisper than the webbing method I like. I personally prefer the slightly esoteric effects rather the very crisp clear copies. And being able to use glossy mags I collect means an excuse to collect more when we are away.

This one is on tissutex - one of my favourite 'fabrics' to work on. It is at the markets in Broome at the soap stand where we get our soaps which we love to use. It is a fiddlier process and I wasn't sure if tissutex would work but I am very pleased and will explore heaps more.

Back to work - loads to do today and some more rugby to watch.....

Thursday, March 14, 2013

lubberley lubberly rain

 We have had the most glorious rain today - and lots of thunder and lightning. Harley has been roaming the house with her bellie down low - she does not like cold or wet at all. We love it as you must know by now. Almost forgotten what it was like.

I have been busy stitching and doing but in the middle of all of that I tried my hand at a new image transfer - onto silk organza and to tissutex. Very pleased with the results. All using glossy pamphlets which you pick up on holiday and now you wish you had more because there is the other side of the page you can't use. Pottery from Marrakesh - we love our two big bowls we carried down from the Atlas Mountains. (with the carpet).

 this one from Broome - I can always get more of these pamphlets.

And of course the camels on Cable Beach. It is always exciting when something you try, works.

Looking to the Artful Journey Exhibition at the Perth show in August - 20 people are sending work and very exciting that 2 have arrived already. Shan't show you though - pleasure is for me until them. I only had one person reject my invitation so very happy. You will love all the work if you are coming to the show.

We are busy here working on the e-mag - things starting to fall into place.

Off to enjoy more of that rain.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Oh boy the Internet can be frustrating

The Internet - or rather the email department - has been driving us a bit nuts since Thursday. Our server has been having mega problems and while it is working again, mails are dribbling in from Wednesday night - I have been telling people to email me at my gmail addy - then I have to send them from my I phone to Ian so he can print them out. Got all the orders we collected, out last night but then some more have appeared and they will go on Monday. My apologies to anyone who has not heard back from me - just try again. I know I sent emails on Wed night which have only just arrived. Don't we just rely on it all but I do learn to work around it.

I have been stitching wee houses with my lovely new flimsies and have a short offer on Facebook for anyone interested. I do love the new colours.

We have, of course, been having lovely bbqs and my favourite thing is to experiment with salads. This is fig filled with basil and goats cheese and wrapped with prosciutto - I have popped the recipe in the tag at the top of the page.

We had a green salad to go - this one of my lovely bowls we bought in Marrakesh - we went up the Atlas Mountains and came down with a carpet and two beautiful bowls - pretty sure I carried them back as hand luggage.

Finished a piece for one of the articles for our exiting new e-mag. I am pleased with how it is falling into place - lots of work and I am creating new pieces. Do go like the fb page and see how we grow and if you haven't had. Look at the blog, click on the tab at the top for the link.
Today is WA sate elections. What a bore fest - and if you don't vote they fine you. Voting should be voluntary and when you do go, you have to tramp past all this garbage.
Much more important - the Hurricanes won their game against the Crusaders yesterday - fabulous stuff indeed.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

playing with the gelli plate and....

 Thought I would play with my Gelli Plate today because after waiting since November, the fabulous Catatlyst Wedges rocked up. I spooned on some Opulence paint - it is acrylic and packed with pigment and mica and always my favourite (and it is made in Australia) - then I used the wedges to make marks. Yummy.

You can see the wonderful shapes you can get - I didn't cover the whole surface with paint and I also sprayed the surface with water first just to see how it went. There are lots of people doing lots of things with the Gelli Plates but I think I have said before, you have to see how things work for you. It is only a tool, after all, and the art comes from how you use the tool. Tools are only a means to an end.

My surface all ready for action. I used Evolon to work on - Evolon is the most fabulous fabric I have ever used. Soft and feels like suede - easy to hand and machine onto - takes colour so well - doesn't fray and you can carve it with the Versa Tool. What more could a girl want.

Lay the fabric down and use your fingers to smooth it onto the surface. Kinda sensual like. And you can see that the back of the fabric is going to be okay as well. Means you can use both sides.

then I spooned more paint onto the plate and swished it around. I didn't roll it much, just used the plastic spoon to move it about.

And I sprayed some water as well.

Another great thing I like to use for mark making on any surface. Carving stamps seems to be the 'in'
 thing at the moment. I am too lazy to do this but I do like my own stamps. So I stitch them - stitch stitches onto foam and use them to print with. Many possibilities and I just wash them out when finished - some are 3 -4 years old now and still going well.

You can see the marks on the plate - I use this method on all sorts of surfaces - sometimes it is subtle and others more prominent. And usually I stitch to complement. Sometimes I print my stitching out as well for backgrounds. Many possibilities.

 I ran out of taking photos after that but above are two of my pieces not particularly good colours - I sprayed over the surface afterwards and trust me the colours are rich and sparkling with mica. And lots of layering.

 This is another layered print using the Gelli Plate - it is a very popular tool at present - I like it because it is easy to clean and use and goes back in its container and i haven't lost it yet. You could work on a sheet of glass or perspex and plenty of people do but on the other hand, we are selling plenty of these plates and I am so pleased that the wedges are here - I have just placed a second order. I knew they would be great.

Finally - clean up papers - you know these are from my precious Qantas Club stash. So fabulous for stitching on as well as everything else.

We have had a rugby feast this weekend - not so happy for the Hurricanes but it will happen pretty soon. Maybe they will wipe the Crusaders out next Friday.

We have just sent out the newsletter so I hope everyone has received it okay. In between all the rugby.....


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