Friday, February 27, 2015

The End : Where's Wooly?

And so all good things come to an end .... "Where's Wooly? " is now over, having celebrated the first week of  the  Lunar New Year  -  Wooly, the sheep in eight different locations in Newcastle East. 
Thanks to all the participants who so graciously lent Wooly a space in a prominent spot in their shops, galleries and studios. 

Day 8, the last day, Wooly very appropriately spent at Wolfe Studios Building, Hunter Street Mall. Wofe Studios is a hub of creative activity, home to  artists working in various media . It is one of the projects of Renew Newcastle .
Renew Newcastle is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. Renew Newcastle has been established to find short and medium term uses for buildings in Newcastle’s CBD that are currently vacant, disused, or awaiting redevelopment. Renew Newcastle aims to find artists, cultural projects and community groups to use and maintain these buildings until they become commercially viable or are redeveloped. Renew Newcastle is not set up to manage long term uses, own properties or permanently develop sites but to generate activity in buildings until that future long term activity happens. Renew Newcastle was founded to help solve the problem of Newcastle’s empty CBD. While the long term prospects for the redevelopment of Newcastle’s CBD are good, in the meantime many sites are boarded up, falling apart, vandalised or decaying because they are is no short term for use them and no one taking responsibility for them. Renew Newcastle has been set up to clean up these buildings and get the city active and used again - See more at:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Where's Wooly - Day 8 / Last Day

Wooly's  Chinese New Year celebrations are coming to an end.... Today, Day 7, Wooly enjoyed a great day with friends at Hand to Hand Crafts, 1 Wolfe Street  ( corner of Hunter Street), Newcastle
Here's an extract from a  great story about Hand to Hand Crafts,  published in the Newcastle Herald, about a year ago.

 Hand to Hand Crafts amid shelves lined with neat bundles of wool in an array of colours, ...
Established two years ago by the support service, Response, the handicraft and haberdashery store provides training and employment for people with a disability who are aged over 18. Nearby businesses in the Hunter Street Mall support the store by ordering specially made tags and bags...
 Part of the appeal of the store is its extensive range of Jo Sharp, Patons and Sublime English wool, as well as a variety of embroidery threads, but there's no doubt that (trainee) Hely and his co-workers, such as Angie Cox and Mandy Moore, enhance a visit.
"It's more of a social hub than most businesses,"   "And the warmth flows both ways - from our customers, as well as our trainees."

And the clue to Wooly's whereabouts Day 8, 26 February ....
Where’s Wooly?

We’re new arty friends in the mall, but Wooly is afraid of the big and bad .... 
Good luck, Novocastrians - your last chance to find Wooly. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Where's Wooly? Day 7

Wooly was looking a little nervous today. She spent the day with Tony Rufo - Barber and Hair Designers, 64 Hunter Street , Newcastle East. Wooly shouldn't have been concerned .... here's one the reviews from a happy client... A wonderful old Italian barber and son combo. Great prices for men's cuts, and a decent hot shave. The man's shave is going extinct - men reclaim what's yours and see your barber for a shave from time to time. Tony is a great and much-needed local presence in an inner-city neighborhood that is only slowly building a life again.
Where will Wooly be tomorrow ,25 February, Day 7 of the Chinese New Year celebrations... 
Here's a clue for Novocastrians - another long established business in the heart of Newcastle 
Where’s Wooly?
Click go the needles -  today Wooly is ready to give a hand. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Where's Wooly? Day 6

Wooly has been up and down Hunter Street, Newcastle
Where's Wooly ? Day 6 : 24 February
Such an easy clue , you are sure to find her ......  
It’s not a wool shed, but here you will find Tony Baa Baa at work. 

It will be a change from Day 5 when Wooly was amongst the latest fashions at Hunter 81, Shop 2 , 81 Hunter Street, Newcastle. 

Chinese New Year in Newcastle

crowds gathered on the foreshores for "Light Up Newcastle" 
Light Up Newcastle - Lantern Walk for Chinese New Year 2015 ..... lanterns, lanterns, lanterns everywhere

and a rare moment when the family was in one place at the same time .....
and harbour views...

Postscript:  Wooly spent a lazy Sunday at Timeless Textiles, but will be found in a new location on Monday morning ( 23 February) - Day 5 clue for Where's Wooly?
Wooly 9 times 9 - no mutton dressed as lamb here. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Where's Wooly? Day 4

Today, Day 3 of the Chinese New Year celebrations, Wooly visited My Souk Drawer ....Shope 102, 160 Hunter Street Mall, Newcastle....  Entering My Souk Drawer you are confronted with row after row of spice buckets and display cases that hold a vast array of your typical curries, salts & peppers. Scattered amongst these are the blended varieties such as the Ras-el-Hanout a Morrocan spicy twist of rich sweet flavours that perfectly accompanies pretty much any dish.  
( text and photos from 

Wooly has had a very hectic few days, so will be having a day of rest on Day 4. You can still post a photo of Wooly any time on 22 February resting up for another big week, Post on Instagram or Facebook to win a chance in the draw for a lucky red envelope at the end of eight days. 
Clue for Day 4Where’s Wooly?
At home today where woolly felt fibre abounds. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Where's Wooly? Day 3

Day 2 ... Wooly spent the day at the City Pharmacy  where Bob is the pharmacist who obviously "likes Wooly's greasy wool and other products medicinal " ( that was the clue to her whereabouts) 

Now , she 's wagging her tail behind her  to her next location ... hope you can find her ... here 's the clue 
Where’s Wooly?
It’s Spicy Wooly today -mmm, perhaps chermoula slow roasted lamb shanks?  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where is Wooly? Day 1 and 2 Chinese New Year

"Where is Wooly?"  is a Chinese New Year event sponsored by Timeless Textiles Gallery in Newcastle, NSW.  This wool felted animal ( sheep/goat) appears each day for eight days in different locations. Anyone who posts photos of Wooly in her various locations on Instagram or Facebook will go into a draw for a lucky red envelope ( containing a Timeless Textiles gift voucher)

Day 1 was very busy. Wooly started the day off with an interview with Jill Emberson on the Morning porgram of ABC radio 1233.

 Then, off to location 1. The clue was " Wooly wishes you a Happy New Year and wonders artistically what's around the curve?" Of course, Wooly was at Curve Gallery, 61 Hunter Street, Newcastle East.

Where will Wooly be Day 2 - 20 February? Here's a head's up with the clue....
Old Bob loves Wooly's greasy wool an other products medicinal. 
Good luck and Happy Chinese New Year

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Where is Wooly? Chinese New Year in Newcastle

Chinese New Year celebrations in Newcastle, with ‘Where is Wooly? ’

The Chinese Year of the Sheep starts February 19th….and it seems that the
sheep (goat, or ram) is among the animals that people like most. It is gentle and calm. Since ancient times, people have learned to use its fleece to make writing brushes and skin and wool to keep warm. As it is white, people describe delicate and precious white jade to be 'suet jade'. Thus it is close to the meaning of good things.

To celebrate the Year of the Sheep, a hand crafted felted sheep will be peeping out where least expected in very iconic locations around Newcastle.

Local Chinese fibre artist, Wilma Simmons says “Chinese New Year is the most important celebration, focusing on the family in Chinese culture. While there will be many events celebrating Chinese New Year in Newcastle, Timeless Textiles will be welcoming the good fortune of the lunar year by sharing a fibre art creation in the form of a sheep.  For eight days, 19-26 February inclusive, the fibre art sheep will appear in eight different lucky locations in Newcastle. Clues to find the location of the sheep will be provided each day on social media - similar to a treasure hunt!  And the treasure?  Sharing the Timeless Textiles sheep on Instagram in its eight locations will win someone a lucky red Chinese New Year envelope (containing a $200 gift voucher to spend at Timeless Textiles on a workshop of your choice or a piece of beautiful fibre art).”

 The  indigo dyed felted sheep , complete with a special Chinese charm for each day, will be seen grazing up and down Hunter Street  precinct….come and  join in ‘Where is Wooly?’

For more information or to register interest, contact Wilma Simmons,  Timeless Textiles Gallery  

Contact information:
Timeless Textiles
90 Hunter st, Newcastle East
T: 49265888
Hours of opening: Wednesday to Saturday 10am-4pm
Sunday 10am-2pm

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Be Strong, Be Gentle.

Art doll/photo : Rose Keemun by Wilma Simmons
Quote by Han Suyin 
I love this saying, by Han Suyin . It probably sums up her life as much as any of her writings.
Han Suyin, 1916-2012 ( Elizabeth Comber ) physician and author, had a Chinese - Flemish background. She is best known for her  strongly autobiographical fiction with a bi cultural setting , a clash of  values, traditions and ideas.  Her novels were  A Many Splendoured Thing, My House has Two Doors, and The  Crippled Tree. 
Younger  Han Suyin
Xiangwei, her editor writes: 
In the 1970s and 1980s, Han Suyin was frequently mentioned in the news in China. At least one hundred million people were aware of who she was. Before I become the editor of her books, her name only meant to me as a political figure. Every person of my age knew she was the biographer of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. But the publication of 'A Many-Splendored Thing' presented a rather different personality in her. She was such a sensitive person with great literary talent. I admired her for the depth of her thoughts in dealing with her relationship."
The eliciting descriptions of the tender hearts, chivalrous spirits, the infinitely affectionate relationship and the beautiful scenes on the hillside overlooking the Victoria Harbor have attracted many readers around the world, and made it into a successful Hollywood hit  from

 And probably this short article written after her death reinforces Han Suyin's  strong-gentle approach to life.... here's an extract...

Han Suyin defiantly straddled two worlds decades before multiculturalism became fashionable.
"We must carry ourselves with colossal assurance and say, 'Look at us, the Eurasians!' " the half-Chinese, half-Belgian physician and author whose career swept across continents and historic upheavals wrote in "A Many-Splendoured Thing," the 1952 novel that made her an international celebrity.

PS And here's an Australian connection.Han Suyin's second  husband , Leon Comber, author, multi-liguist and highly respected literary consultant and editor, was appointed Honorary Research Fellow at Monash University in 1991. They had been divorced since 1958. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Valley Girl Tags

Valley Girl Tag series. 
The Tag Tuesday group challenge blog is up and running again this year - each person in the group creates and posts  a tag interpreting the weekly allocated theme . For last month, I chose the one digital image of one of my dolls, Valley Girl and challenged myself to use the same image for the four themes. All the images are printed onto cotton fabric.
Winter Wonderland - free form machine embroidery 
Diva - paint and beading  

Texture Tuesday - stitching, novelty yarns, heated painted tyvek and hot glue gun motif. 

Feathers - stitching feathers and handwritten saying

And here is the original image.... Valley Girl - mixed media art doll. 

Original art doll  in Timeless Textiles Gallery, Newcastle NSW