Sunday, April 27, 2014

White Ribbon

a small section of the 150 metre embroidered white ribbon 
On International Women's Day, 8 March 2014, an amazing community event occurred.... It was a 14 hour stitch-a-thon starting at 6am and finishing at 8pm ( 14 hours for 2014). Not only did we celebrate the achievements of women doing an activity generally classified as domestic art, we also raised awareness for the national and international campaign against domestic violence. We embroidered a white ribbon .... at Newcastle's well known  gallery, devoted to textile and fibre art - Timeless Textiles 
Early morning stitchers - the first came at 6.15am 
Why White Ribbon?   This is directly from the White Ribbon website .... White Ribbon is the world's largest male-led movement to end men's violence against women. White Ribbon Australia is a non-profit organisation and Australia's only national, male-led primary prevention campaign to end men’s violence against women.Through primary prevention initiatives and an annual campaign, White Ribbon Australia seeks to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to and perpetuate men’s violence against women, by engaging boys and men to lead social change.

Family groups, and groups of friends enjoyed the beautiful  weather  stitching outside

Many of the 70 + stitchers came in groups - friends and families, male and female, all ages but there were some who came alone; some  were passing by and  stopped to stitch. Some of the stitchers were very experienced from groups like the Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists, and for others, this was their first experience with needle and thread. 
Both experienced and inexperienced stitchers contributing to the stitched white ribbon 
It was great to see at least three generations stitching together and the true sense of community this event generated. We had the support of community service groups like Rotary and Zonta, as well as visitors from overseas marvelling at the event. 
Standing room only? 

Hunter Zonta and White Ribbon supporters. 
The Hunter Zonta Club  treated the stitchers to a beautiful cocktail party to finish the long day. 
and  White Ribbon Ambassador, Kevin Maher offered his support of the event and reiterated his dedication  to  the anti-domestic violence campaign. 
Nicola Henley, internationally acclaimed  textile artist and the last stitch on International Women's Day 
While Nicola Henley, celebrity stitcher, put the last stitch into the ribbon at 8pm on International Women's Day, there were still quite a few metres to stitch to complete the 150 metres, so many thanks to friends who came to my house and stitched for a few more hours last week.... and now the white ribbon is finished. 

What happens to the white ribbon now? It will be the hanger for the beautifully printed and stitched "hope" flags, created by women in Pushkar, India. This is a collaborative project between local stitchers and  Indian participants in the Stitching Project , led by Newcastle textile artist, Fiona Wright. All of the flags will  hang from the white ribbon and adorn shop awnings in Islington on Mothers' Day, 11 May 2014. Each individual flag and  its section of the white ribbon will be auctioned to raise funds for micro loans and support for village women. To be involved in this project, go to the Timeless Textiles page

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tea on Thursday 10 : Africa

khadi paper, rooibos tea bags, permanent ink pen, card, tea bag tag. 
This tag was created with the theme "Africa" in mind. The khadi(cotton)  paper has been dyed with rooibos tea bags. Many of you may already know about rooibos tea , but if you don't here is some information straight from Wikipedia.... 
Rooibos (Anglicized pronunciation: /ˈrɔɪbɒs/ roy-bosAfrikaans pronunciation: [rɔːibɔs],) means "red bush";  is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants growing in South Africa's  natural shrubland.  Its scientific name is  Aspalathus linearis . The leaves are used to make an herbal tea called Rooibos, bush tea (esp. Southern Africa), or simply rooibos. The product has been popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries. 
I used a permanent ink pen to draw the Adinkra symbol and to write the story explaining the symbol. The tea bag tag didn't have any markings on it, so I stamped a pattern, which I think looks a little African.   

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tea on Thursday 9 : Tea Eggs

Tea eggs 
It is actually Good Friday here as I write this , but I did make these tea eggs last night when it was still Thursday. These are not as colourful and shiny as Easter eggs from the shops, but I really love their simplicity, and the subtle colours of the "cracked" patterns. And they taste good!
 Here is a recipe - please note all quantities are approximate! 

1. Boil eggs slowly until they are hard boiled . Cool the eggs and when they are cool, crack the shells using the back of a teaspoon. Leave the cracked shells on the eggs. 
2. Prepare the steeping liquid. For every three cups of water, add about a tablespoon of  dark soya sauce, and 2 tablespoons of black tea leaves ( you can use tea bags - this would probably be the equivalent of 8 tea bags?) . To add favour, I add some cinnamon, lemon or orange rind and 2-3 star anise. You could also add a pinch of salt,but I think the soya sauce is quite salty enough. Bring the steeping liquid to the boil and simmer for about an hour or so until it reduces. Remove from the stove. 
3. Add the eggs to the steeping liquid overnight ( about 8 hours) 
4. Peel the eggs carefully to reveal the patterns. 

Happy Easter! 

PS : The plate, cups and saucers and teapot are a Wedgwood pattern of the late 1960's/1970's - Pennine.  I have a few remaining pieces from my original dinner set and am interested in buying other pieces if you have them for sale. Contact me by leaving a comment. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tea on Thursday 8

Earth laughs in flowers.... Ralph Waldo Emerson. 
Tea bag luminary - tea bag paper, silk organza, dried frangipani flower, stitching and beeswax.
Created 3 April, 2014 at Elizabeth Bunsen's workshop, Tea, Leaves and Sandwich Magic.