Tuesday, December 22, 2009

hearts for PassionART

I roughed up a heart using a piece of embroidery I had been playing with - a way of using a sample .

The back photographs so much better than the front!

and the photo doesn't do justice to the lovely yellow green and the fact that it looks good with the blue...

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I have been reading about voyages and journeys across the pacific which lead me on to looking at maps and then on to ancient maps. Love the muted colours that they are now. Wonder whether they were really vibrant when first painted?

Thanks to google I found this wonderful map from 1581. Many of the ancient maps feature Jerusalem. Here the holy city sits in the centre of the world.

I am intrigued by visual detail - especially when you consider the fine line that would be hand etched and painted. Here is a close up of the merman and fishes swimming in the sea - and the galleon too.

The other thing that strikes me is that of many of the ancient maps have a mandala sort of effect - they have a centre which leads the eye in and out and they are calm or calming. I love the way the ocean is captured so simply with black ink lines and limited colour. This is one thing that I will sample in fibre in a couple of different ways

There will be more on maps - I will post some drawings and fibre samples as I keep researching.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

new pastels

Been playing with new pastels and did the following drawing . On the right is a poem by Judith Wright called Request to a Year. The poem is about her great great grandmother who was an artist. The last lines reads:

Year, if you have no Mother's day present planned
Reach Back and bring me the firmness of her hand.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

drawing and felting

I confess that I cropped this drawing as the proportion go lost from the waist down.
Spent a morning trying to felt butterflies - added to my photo with a bit of rough painting to put abdomens in. Will try in a little applique or embroidery and see how it goes

Monday, November 23, 2009


charcoal drawing and collage inspired by the pebbles at Colac Bay

Thursday, November 19, 2009

stones - Colac Bay< New Zealand

Below this rise was a lovely stoney beach with small rivlets of fresh water running into the bay.

Plenty of ideas spring to mind when I look at the stones - circles and more circles. I will have to have a play with paper collage to see what transpires. Christmas holidays are not far away and perhaps I will have a little time to do more than think about it...?

Monday, November 9, 2009

back in the virtual world

Been busy and on holidays. Found lots of imspiration in Dunedin New Zealand.
Details from First Church:

The tulips, poppies and pansies were out. I took heaps of photos. This cactus in the Cactus house at Dunedin Botanical Gardens to my fancy:

and a photo I have played with of a surfer at St. Claire beach which has possibilities for interpretation onto (embroidery) canvas:

Cheers. will post a few more photos soon

Saturday, September 26, 2009

stuff and pracrastinating

I have been spending most of my time (which is after dinner) working on my dragon fly table runner. I am very pleased with myself./happy with the result/chuffed with the nearly finished item - take you pick. All that is left to do now is finish the edge. I elected to bottom hole it and all that is left is to cut away the surplus fabric. Because it is a very course linen the buttonholed edge has gaps, so, before I cut I am going to 'fray stop' the edge - i do want to use it as a runner on my table. Means I will have to clear my table first. When it is done I will put a photo up - should be by next week.

In the mean time I am facing dead line for an art quilt for an exhibition in St Vincent's Hospital Exhibition Corridor. I have know for months and I have consistently baulked at doing it. I can't understand why. All that it requires is to big stitch quilt it - it doesn't profit me to avoid doing it - which I have done by finishing the table runner.

I shouldn't chastise myself too much though - I have been busy with other things - caught up in arrangements for two exhibitions in November at the local library for a challenge organised for members of the Embroiderer's Guild NSW to sync with Breast Cancer awareness and a major exhibition at the end of April next year.

I missed going to Stitches Plus last week as some of my family was visiting - three generations of women in the one house - must say I enjoyed it immensely. Because the family is scattered , and the children are now young adults family get togethers don't happen that often. So any get together, even if it is not the full complement is enjoyed I normally don't put photos of people up but in this case I am going to - I am enormously proud of their personal achievements and love them madly. The women are my daughter, my sister , my mother and I.

Oh, and there was an amazing dust storm over Sydney on Monday - I rely on the sun to wake me up but there was none so to speak - I took a photo from our front door when I got up a bit after 7:00 am. This the church directly opposite:

Cheers all - must go and try and clear up some of that dust that flew in on Monday ... and avoid that quilt just a little bit more.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

playing and experimenting (and having fun)

I recently bought 'Stumpwork dragonflies'by Jane Nicolas. I have a couple of her books - for me they are a bit like top end cook books - I drool over the pictures and then put the book back on the library shelves. Jane had an introduction about study and sources that inspired her - and an adaption of a dragonfly which tempted me to do a style of embroidery which I have avoided/evaded/said was say too hard (but attracted me) for way to long. Anyway, to cut a long story short I bought some very course linen and had a go. I did the dragon flies first and then looked out some black work filler patterns on the net and here is a table runner in the making. I am quite chuffed with myself.

At the opposite end of the embroidery spectrum I have been playing with papers ( bond, brown paper and mulberry paper) and have created a collage which I will hand and machine sew into and see what happens. I previewed my collage on the fridge door -

I am continuing to play with postcard sized fabric and paper collages as well - all are still in the making and I will post a few of them up next week.

I haven't been to sketch club so no drawings this post!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

playing with pattern

I had a wonderful morning with Stitchers Plus on Saturday - we played with pattern. It is addictive. I did some more on Sunday and a bit on Monday night.

First I chose a drawing I did a while ago and printed it out in black and white:

Then I copied it, cut it up to create a kaleidoscope (needed some gentle help at this point - thanks Robyn), pasted it in my book , and then I painted it when I got home.
I also cut up a square and did a repeat pattern and painted it too

I now have lots of lovely patterns and can sidetrack myself forever and not actually do anything in cloth if I am not careful!

I went to sketch club on Tuesday - Jenny - I have moved on from bottoms and graduated to breasts. A new model I hadn't drawn before - I seemed to be in the wrong spot in the room last night- all the poses seemed to be foreshortened.

cheers all

Friday, August 14, 2009

more of the same

I have been stitching but it takes a bit of time for the result to come to light.

I have also been going to sketch club - this is a 10 min sketch from a couple of weeks ago. I keep promising myself I will go back and work on it some more but time has passed and I think the moment is gone.

I am back working on Daintree Dreaming but an hour of work gives me about an inch of coverage so it will be a while before I have much to show.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

drawing and sewing again

Not that creative in the stitching line but very good for the soul. Been working on a small canvas which will become a footstool when done. It has been good to do this before venturing into the big portrait piece I intend to do - my tension has been all over the place and thread a bit thin in places. And yes, before you say anything, I have been working this free in my hand and don't have the canvas taunt which does affect the tension - I will need to block it before it becomes a little stool.

I got to sketch club for the first time in over a month. My drawing is progressing. The one above needs more work - I forgot to take a paper stub with me and the charcoal needs to be worked more. But what I was pleased with was the fact that I actually got the hint of feet. I avoid hands and feet like the plague as I find them so difficult. It is interesting looking at what you do after it is photographed - it shows there is lots of room for improvement!!!
I have been looking at paintings by Hunterwasser and have been inspired by his use of colour (not that that is reflected in the above) and will have a play with colour and shape -maybe play with a paper collage. I am trying to encourage myself to play with colour but seem to run out of time and energy. In fact, I am off to have a little snooze once I have done here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

texture - sea and shore

Every where I look I see something that I would like to capture in cloth; in this instance - a coral reef, its marking light and the trunk of a fallen coconut tree .

Sunday, July 19, 2009

stitchers plus

I went to stitchers plus yesterday - not everyone was there - however, i missed last months meeting and it was good to catch up. Apart from a bit of drawing when i was away last month i haven't actually done much.

I have been think though and yesterday I was able to blow up a photo and draft a basic cartoon of a photo of my sister and I which I propose to work in canvas.

This is the photo which I printed out in black and white:

Here is the cartoon:

I selected threads for the skin tones, marked the canvas and attached it to stretcher bars. I should have a little show and tell by next month

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

WRAP at Fountain Court, NSW Parliament House

WRAP unwrap officially opened at Fountain Court in the Parliament House of NSW last Tuesday 7 July 2009 . It runs for about 3 weeks. It was lovely to see all the quilts again. I haven't seen them since the opening in Wagga Wagga almost a year ago. It probably sounds foolish but it was like catching up with old friends. The idea of the exhibition took off about 18 months prior to the Wagga opening and I hadn't seen any of the works since then.

I went back to Parliament house today and took a few photos of the quilts and of Fountain Court. It is a lovely spot and has a lot of light coming through the courtyard that holds the fountain - it is open to the sky. And it is very quiet … but comfortable with it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ni sa bula

I have just returned from a lovely holiday in Fiji. I took lots of photos and did a few drawings and a tiny bit of sewing. Fell in love with the patterns on the trunks of coconut trees and the reflections in Nesekowa River. I will set a slide show up of these a little later on.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

crazy cozies

was wastng my lunch hour and come across these tea cosies - take a minute to browse

Saturday, May 9, 2009


After a week or two of very little sewing I have finally put a needle and thread into action and created this little fabric collage - 'reflecting on a rock pool'.

I used had dyed perle, cottons and silk ribbon plus a little bit of silk facric on vilene. It is backed with el cheapo commercial felt. I had painted the vilene in a playday earlier in the year.

The rings were made using an enormous version of tool similar to that used by lacemakers and buttonholed washers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

fabric collage

A dragonfly - hand dyed silk and cotton, silk paper and a few gold threads. Photo is a bit dull but the blue grey silk paper really drains the colours. I stitched through in various blues and blue greens which come forward in good light.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

doors & entries

old buildings in the Rocks - access to storage on the first floor.

Friday, April 10, 2009

autumn is here at long last

... with its cooler mornings and evenings. Of all the seasons I think I like autumn the best.

Its been ages since I posted and I was thinking that I had done nothing much but on reflection it is not true. I have still been drawing. I finished the journalling workshop and I have managed to get a bit of canvas work done. I have also been playing with ideas for a quilt for Filament's exhibition later in the year and an embroidery challenge.

I turn ed up to life drawing last Tuesday to discover that it was not on. Fortunately Mook (the convener for want of a better description) was there drawing a drapery he had set up. Having made the effort I stayed for an hour. Here is the result:
I am rather pleased with it -as a novice I find drapery a real challenge and my eye is not so good. This drawing was done starting with some rough outlines in pencil and ten I moved onto pastels.
I learnt quite a bit doing this including what the texts books referred to as "muddying" colour when it is over applied. I was trying to make the bottom area dark and kept putting more and more brown on the area. I ended up with an area that has a very flat dull look to it - and to my eye it tens to come forward rather than recede. I will work it again and see if I can improve on it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

what are you trying to say?

I have been busy but not much embroidery in the last month. Happy to say there has been a bit in the back of the brain which has been thinking about what I have been doing and where I have been going.

Have been doing quite a bit of drawing and also started a journal ling/book making type class with Gillian Hand at the Ashfield Artist in residence program. We had a play with collage last week. Not easy for me at the best of times. I have been seduced by and purchased a number of books on artists books, journal and mixed media collage and have rarely been happy with what I have produced.

As I was saying, last week we played with collage. I tore pictures out of various magazines that attracted me and laid them down ... I was not prepared so it was material from old mags that were available to me at the time. Whilst we were playing with these pictures Gillian talked about the elements of design. Something which I have read about but hadn't really clicked. I wasn't happy with what I had done and Gllian asked the sixty-four dollar question - What are you trying to say?

Here is what I came up with on the night:

I had a play at home a bit later in the week. I had palyed with an ink wash ages ago and the page was waiting for something - the result is the eagle at the beginning at this post.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

whats up

I have had a more than average busy February and not posted much. Been playing learning and faffing about. Hopefully I will have some photos by the end of the month. Still sewing, drawing, started attending a class about journaling and book binding. Early days yet in the latter but I can see the cross over for thread and fabric.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

fall of icarus

A4 sized quilt done for online group - this is January's - the theme heat.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

life drawing

K & I went to life drawing on Tuesday. It was a scary process - not a classroom and no teacher. We started out with 2 minutes sketches and then 5 and then 10 and, finally, three 20 minute ones. My first efforts were very scratchy - I began in charcoal and quickly reverted to pencil. By the time I got to the third 20 min session we were exhausted and packed it in. We got to stand back and look at what we did when we got home and were quite pleased with our efforts.

I am already trying to work out how to translate this one to cloth.

Not quite a self portrait

Not quite a self portrait
small 8' quiltlet with embroidered hair

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