Today I was flying my 60's kite dress during my afternoon library shift. I made it on the weekend, slightly adjusting the neckline to do away with the back zipper. It is rather groovy, with plenty of room to move and certainly great for the beach or slinking about.
I have made a few new frocks of late, using gorgeous Jocelyn Proust native Australian plant printed cottons. I do prefer an A-line which is more flattering and am making the most of my op shop pattern collection and Gertie Makes Jiffy book. There is a lovely pile of fabric waiting in my studio...I feel some flares coming on!
How many blokes, men, chaps, fellas take much notice of artistic and creative opportunities? Plenty no doubt. Change the demographics to the drought stricken north west NSW, how many men do you think will consider entering a hat or headpiece competition? Virtually none. This isn’t because they aren’t creative or have no skills, they have plenty of both of these, it’s more likely because they either don’t think they are creative or don’t think it has anything to do with them.
I believe that everyone is creative in their own way and as a member and supporter of Embassy Arts, encourage everyone to support local community initiatives and to have a go at something a little different.
I am positive that an injection of masculine insight, ingenuity and thinking outside the box from men’s sheds around the state would give all the gals a serious challenge and possibly take out the prizes!
The top hat above was made by one of my male students last year out of duct tape! So whether you google some tutorials for inspiration, use an existing hat as a base or look at what you have laying about in the shed, I’m sure most guys could come up with something amazing and original. As long as it can be worn it qualifies.
So fellas, we challenge you to the task!
Show us what you can do, we can’t wait to see what you come up with.
MAY consisted of...
Autumn sunshine ☀️
Tibuc gardens market, making some sales and world laughter day 🤣
Lighting the fireplace 🔥
Estimations...I’m always learning that it takes longer (or shorter) to do things than expected.
#the100dayproject...is happening in slow motion, most days I’m making something, other days I’m catching up.
Bookbinding...working on my coptic stitch binding, learning and practising new techniques and enjoying the process.
slow stitching 🧵 fabric scraps randomly to create tactile trinkets, raw, experimental, meditative, practical, colour, texture, anything goes.
Attempting to learn the ukulele 😂
Pondering life and loss after my step father died.
I’ve been feeling so angry this week.
The kind of anger I rarely feel.
The kind of anger that makes me feel like screaming and swearing.
If you know me, you probably understand why this is weird for me.
I am not an angry person.
I get flustered, sometimes annoyed and I rarely swear.
It was the usual scenario of one thing then other things piling on
when you are emotionally raw and vulnerable, therefore less able to cope well.
It’s hard to keep your cool and remain positive when you feel so crabby.
Then I get annoyed with myself for letting unimportant stuff get to me,
but hey, I’m human and I deserve to be treated as such...
In a situation, a world where respect is a given.
REALLY! Oh no, I’m not going down the global track.
Way too depressing, besides, in my little world
I am surrounded by respect and support.
I just lose sight occasionally and momentarily struggle to find meaning to grasp on to.
Maybe we can ponder on the possible influences of super full moons, windy days,
Crazy hot days, change of seasons or the alignment of the planets, (is Mars lightning fires
in my celestial houses...now that would explain all those hot flushes!).
In the midst of it all, I saved myself by making;
a little red dress,
Crepes with maple syrup and strawberries,
Listening to The Smiths and The Church
smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs, mushrooms, asparagus and dukkah
A handful of hand bound books,
Pear, cinnamon and raspberry clafoutis
Reading, writing, mind mapping and watching episodes of a sappy series,
Though not all on the same day!
It has been a slower start overall this year with plenty of time to reflect on what I want to do, creatively and generally.
My goals feel less defined which makes the free flow less fluid, if that makes any sense!
Last year I based myself on 52 weeks. This year, 2019, will be month by month which gives me room to move.
I have made myself a monthly to do list:
It is starting to come together this month with 2 unfinished projects above completed!
I have made different attempts over the years at covering the sofa and wasn’t happy with them. I decided that sewing directly onto the existing covers would work best and it does. The foam always seems to expand when you remove the covers so I had fun squishing it back in. I just have to make a start on the other sections now.
Then there is my lovely bed canopy which I will also add extra bits to.
So nice when things come together.
Experimentation...give yourself plenty of time to explore.
Ironing plastic bags together between baking paper is a great way of
recycling reusing reimagining recreating!!!!
How many layers determines the thickness and strength of your new fabric.
Take your time ironing so that the layers fuse well.
Play with colours, patterns, shapes, different types of bags and wrappers.
From this new fabric you can make pouches, purses, new bags, covers, clothing, hats and accessories,
the possibilities are endless.
Add machine stitching, use bias binding, trims, fabric and other materials to decorate or manipulate the new plastic into sculptural forms.
I have used this technique to make journal covers, decorative feathers, bookmarks, envelopes, hats and headpieces, accessories and shapes for mobiles. I love that I’m never quite sure what the results will be so the process is always full of surprises, like a lucky dip!
I spent a few hours reinventing.
Interesting things happen when you rummage through your stash.
Experimenting is one of the most time consuming studio activites.
Basically, it is research. Combining, testing & manipulating materials in every which way to see what you can or can't do with them.
Like editing a photo, you have to play around with the effects to see what works, what you like.
reduce reuse recycle rethink reimagine recreate rejoice!
Folding, ironing, trimming, layering, sprinkling, sticking, sewing...
Old wrapping papers, calenders, clippings & cuttings, fabric scraps, words & sparkly hearts now have new life as bookmarks & cool quirky envelopes.
I often keep and collect interesting bits and pieces or scraps that I think may be useful. Unfortunately they usually lay about or are forgotten somewhere and by the time I manage to transform new life into into them, perhaps years have passed!
Even so, it is amazing when these materials are rediscovered. Somehow they find the shape and form they need as if it was already decided. It is hard to describe how it feels when materials magically speak themselves into new existence. I hardly have to do anything, it all just happens, as if they have minds of their own. Some materials are nothing special to look at but for some unknown reason have caught my eye and combined with something else, change dramatically.
Quite regularly I am obliged to adapt to the materials I have at hand. This is surely when people create their best work. Imagination and improvisation become necessity rather than choice and true creating happens in these moments. There is rarely a plan, only experimentation, trial and error...in fact, some mistakes become masterpieces!
After these first few weeks, I already feel a satisfying sense of achievement. Four of these projects have been in my head or on my to do list for a long time and I am now able to tick those boxes! I love lists and even better, I love ticking or crossing things off lists. I am also reimagining, recycling, repurposing and using up my marvellous stash of materials.
A little ray of sunshine
A crazy laughing fit
A giant fairy floss on a stick
A pot of tea
A bucket full of puns
A sack of potatoes
A rainbow (a sprinkler)
A puppy and a kitten
Copious doses of kindness
Enter the little patch of garden.
Run and dance through the sprinkler under the little ray of sunshine and find your rainbow.
Enjoy the sticky sweetness of a giant fairy floss on a stick and wash it down with a pot of tea.
Play with the puppy and kitten, face licks included, until you have a crazy fit of laughter.
Use the bucket full of puns to add more laughter as needed.
Recharge your spirit at the library.
Sit with/eat potatoes for comfort.
Use the crayons to add colour as needed.
Use copious doses of kindness on a daily basis.
Created by Artemis et Armand for MCA
Hello Big Institute online art course
in the middle of my face
small curvy lines
define this nose
which is right there
plain and invisible
we look past it
into the eyes
which frame it
and yet this nose is preciously
through which I breathe life
and smell the roses
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.