Friday, August 31, 2012


I find it amazing how time after time I need to enact ideas to see if they work or not. 
The fabric actually has to be screenprinted or the colours crocheted together in order for 
me to see if it's what I want. I love that I can look at something (anything) and know 
instantly whether it 'works' but I'd equally love to be able to conceptualise in my mind 
and 'know' that way too. The thing that frustrates me about this process is that it makes 
for an abundance of waste if I can't find a way to make ideas work.

When it does come together, though, it's do-a-little-jig time. Sorry if this is totally 
boring for you but it's meaningful for me to document my process on this fabric.

It started with an idea. I had an old block I'd carved last year and I wanted to create a 
kind of funky check by lining up the diagonals in the pattern... I soon realised that I 
could only get them to line up in one direction, but I kind of liked this bit of wonk...

I sewed lines to try and make the 'check-ness' of it more formalised and it really 
didn't work (sorry - no pics of this), so I unpicked all of this and started thinking about 
ways to make the design more cohesive, finally deciding to overprint in another colour...

This was okay, but it still didn't have something that punctuated it or drew it together. 
I thought about more overprinting in a different pattern but then was wildly distracted 
by a fluoro floss find online and started plotting a bit of embroidery on the piece, 
starting with some black thread just to see if it might work...

The black was fun but I could see it wasn't going to work on the whole piece, so 
when the floss arrived I set to work and found myself doing my favourite stitch at 
the moment. I have no idea what it's called but I think of it as a skeleton stitch 
because it looks like I've just boned a fish and laid out it's skeleton flat ;)

I've done about five of them so far. I'm going to do alternate diagonal lines with
the embroidery and see how that looks alone. If it needs a bit more interest or 
contrast I might do some black thread detail on the other diagonals.

Do you play with your pieces like this? Do you have to re-work things until they 
come together? I often think that if I was better at designing my blocks I 
wouldn't need to fuss around like this... but then maybe this very process is
building on that body of knowledge that will all come together in my mind one 
day and I'll be able to design without the need for all this fussing ;)

Hope it's a lovely (Father's Day) weekend for you... I'm hoping we'll be able to 
corral our daughters' social and work commitments and go see Moonrise Kingdom 
all together :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Creative Space: Presents

It's been a week of presents hereabouts. I crocheted a ripple cushion in grey 
and white for my good friend Sally's birthday and finished it with a fabulous button
find from assemblage (so hard to find good buttons!).

I also received a present... a most wonderful present of vintage fabric...
I love it so much, thanks Jennie! I'll have to think and plan, dream and 
scheme to come up with the perfect use for it :)

Hope you've had a great week. If you'd like to see some more 
Creative Spaces or join in yourself, click on over to here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Figuratively speaking...

I am such a fan of figurative paintings. They draw me into their world like the 
playing out of a story. I guess that's what the hook is, the narrative of a moment 
captured. The painting below are by Minneapolis-born artist, Michael Carson.
There's almost a photographic reference to his work too, like negatives have been 
placed over each other of the same figures to show a kind of time-lapsed movement.
Lovely, aren't they? You can see more of his paintings here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Creative Space: Group work + photo apps

More craziness this week I'm afraid... as hinted in my crazy neon space last week, 
I've been doing a bit of work with colour groupings in block printing and crochet...

These three panels are soon-to-be-cushions and I've used all the same colours to 
make them, fantasizing in my mind about how they will look all together :)

The colours are natural, grey and neon yellow. It's been quite difficult to capture the 
correct colours actually... for instance, the neon looks right but the natural looks far 
darker than it really is.

And this leads me to my other recent obsession... photo apps! 

This crazy one below is the aptly named ShockMyPic, discovered via Instagram 
when someone there posted some pics (sorry I can't remember who it was now!). 
Isn't it fabulous and creepy all at the same time?

I've also been playing with another photo app called Super Retro. The photos below 
are before and after... It has some really cute features, including the sticky tape at the 
top there... and my big girl did get to see how cute her hair would look dyed red ;)

I've also been playing with the idea of embroidering some detail on the fabric printed 
cushion panel... This is the super macro function from my Holga lens filter attachment
on my phone...

... and happy postal goodness! Some neon yellow embroidery floss arrived 
that I'll be experimenting with too.

It's all too much, isn't it? 
Hope you've made it this far through all the photo app madness! 
How has your creative week been? 
You can see more spaces courtesy of Kirsty, right here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Umbrella Canopy

Sharing a lovely find that made me smile... have you seen this one around the 
blogisphere? These photos were taken by photographer Patrícia Almeida in 
the Portuguese town of Agueda at their local art festival. Patrícia Almeida's 
Flickr page shows more and you can read more about it here if you wish.

I've been out and about most of today, catching up with old friends in a park.
It feels like way too long since we've done something like this. Life gets so 
bogged down into school/work routine, doesn't it? 
Hope you had a lovely weekend :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Creative Space: Neon crazy

I've officially embraced my inner fluorescence.. just can't seem to get enough 
of this glaring garish colour. What is it about this?

I just love it - so fresh and fun and alive!

I'm certifiably neon crazy :) 
Hopefully these will all make it to the shop one day soon.

For more creative confessionals and inspiring spaces, pop over here.

(Just as a curio... the top photo is with my regular camera and the bottom two 
are Instagram shots... funny how the Insta captures the neon but the regular 
dulls it, yes...? Any clever-sticks out there know why?)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Poised on the edge...

It's been a long time coming, but yes, I've finally finished the Isometric Blanket.
It hasn't been washed or blocked yet so it's still a tad bumpy... but I have a question... 

Is the fine edging enough?

I didn't want to distract from the 3D patterning by boxing it in... that was my thinking 
anyway, but does this thin edging make it look somehow not finished properly...? 
What do you think?

All thoughts gratefully received :)

UPDATE: Thanks for your lovely comments! I've gone with the majority and 
have left it with a fine black border. It's all washed and blocked and finished now.... 
and it's in my shop :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Creative Space: Getting out of your comfort zone

I didn't join in with the My Creative Space meme yesterday because I couldn't think 
of a single creative tip to suggest. What I did do, though, is visit the art gallery with
 a blogger friend... and *zammy* I feel so much more inspired now! 

So, that's my tip... get out of your comfy clothes and comfy surroundings at home and 
see what's going on out there :) Meanwhile, this is something I've finished this week 
while I was in my comfies...

And it's available in my shop :)
Thanks to Kirsty for shaking up the comfies and turning things uʍop ǝpısdn!
More creative tips and creative spaces here.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lovely day...

Had a great day today... so lovely to get out of the house :) I went to GOMA with 
 Mady from Abundance and we had a ball! I feel like I've been on holiday. We went 
to the Spanish Masters Exhibition from the Prado in Madrid.. so think loads of Goyas 
and Velasquez paintings ;) It was a strictly no photography event, so I have none to
show I'm afraid... but we did have a fantastic tapas lunch to the strummings of a
classical guitarist.

Image courtesy of the Queensland Art Gallery.

We also went to the New Media Art Awards exhibition and saw some incredible 
pieces. The ones below are by Karen Casey and Leigh Heiss.

And we came out into the sunshine to find an amazing blanket of stripey 
clouds over Southbank and the City.

Hope you had a great day too :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

A first for me :)

I am so excited... I have finally finished making my first item of crocheted clothing!

Yah! Okay, so loads of talented peeps do this every day and mine is the most basic of
basic patterns... it's just a square of bobble stitch, with a bit of track stitch for relief
but I'm so happy :) I have a vest thing to wear and it's still winter!

The family have already commented on its shortness... so if you too are wondering at 
this new midriff trend for me, fear not! it's meant to be a vest... and yes, I promise I will 
always wear it with a t-shirt or dress underneath! ;)

Thanks to Kate for unknowingly reminding me that this was sitting unfinished in a bag 
from last winter :) I've always wanted to crochet clothing but have seen it in my mind 
as this massive hurdle... Have you crocheted or knitted clothing? Was it a big
challenge in your mind too?

UPDATE: Oops! Just remembered I did crochet a skirt last year... Okay, so second 
piece of crochet clothing :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Creative Space: New things

It feels like a million new things have happened this week...

On the weekend I finished putting together a new book bag prototype, made 
from last week's new fabric. So I was thinking about book bags + printing up some 
new lining and I started experimenting with the background block to another design 
of mine from last year. I changed it a bit (two dots) and I printed by lining up the pattern...

I rather like it. In fact, I don't think I'll be using it as a lining... I think it needs more
work; another layer perhaps - but not like the old pattern, something softer. I may
have tickets on myself* here but it looks a bit Mina Perhonen to me! :)

A funny thing my eyes kept falling on while I was printing... a part of an ad on the 
newspaper I was using as table protection... "A well fitted suit is a dream of every 
man and a woman..." What? Only one woman?? ;)

Something else I put together this week... thank you cards to include with purchases from 
my Etsy store. I made use of the 'flooded' tea towel, cutting it up and sewing the panels
on card. By the way, I have two new tea towels in my Etsy store now :)

Hope you've had a fabulously creative week? You can see more spaces here.

UPDATE: You can also have a peek at all the Creative Spaces on Instagram now.

*to have tickets on yourself... Be conceited, have a high opinion of yourself—
‘He’s got tickets on himself if he thinks I’ll go out with him’.