Thursday, May 27, 2010

Flowers Blooming

With the weather becoming a bit colder, I decided to finish a scarf I started last year. I loved this pattern when I saw it in a Patons book, and a few of us at one of my dollmaking groups decided to make it - so you will probably see various versions of this around Newcastle this winter. 
I enjoyed knitting the flowers and the leaves, but I did not enjoy the sewing up, so that is why the fifteen flowers and thirty leaves were all finished but not assembled. I wanted to wear this to my friend Connie's birthday last weekend, so took a couple of nights in front of TV to sew the flowers and leaves together.
I chose some sunflower fabric at Dollies last Saturday and had a pattern in mind . It's been made up into a little drawstring bag, constructed from a square, folded diagonally, and then the corners are folded in to create a pocket. What I love about this bag is that the lining and pockets are all made in one - the folding means that the outside fabric is also the lining. Just an hour or so and voila, a great little gift!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Creative Retreat Weekend

Last weekend, I was very privileged to be one of the tutors at the NCEATA (Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists) creative Retreat at Kurri. My workshop was entitled “Felted Fashion and Fallalery’ (fallalery is the creation of useless, trifling items). Here are some of my samples – the Compass Doll series. South Seas,  Western Landscape, Northern Lights, East Wind. These were made using the plastic resist method, wet felted merino wool  and silk. The faces are polymer clay, and the bodies embellished with simple embroidery, beads, metal pieces, sequins

My workshop group was thirteen talented and enthusiastic women, including a delightful student who made some wonderful accessories for her HSC textile art.   We were all very productive, had lots of fun and enjoyed one another’s company and artistic support.

  The venue was the TAFE campus at Kurri Kurri, with wonderful accommodation facilities and great food at the Conference Centre. This is an annual event organised by  NCEATA and already exciting workshops are planned for 2011. I am very grateful to NCEATA for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Creative Retreat 2010 and to share the tutoring roles with such highly acclaimed textile artists as Claire Brach and  Anne van der Kley. What an inspiring creative weekend!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fascinating Places

Every day during a recent trip to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam provided fascinating sights - along the Mekong River.

Natural limestone monuments in Halong Bay, Vietnam
Peaceful reflection by the river in Hoi An, Vietnam

Sparkling waterfalls Kuang Si, Laos

Not all the amazing sights were natural - many many wondrous temples, statues, structures....

Bridge built by Japanese in Vietnam
Cave entry ....
stone dragons ....
homes and hotels....

and even tunnels ...

Obviously not built for the western physique!