Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

To my mother, all mothers, and all those who fulfil mothering roles , I wish you a very Happy Mother's Day to day and every day of the year. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Faces for Tag Tuesday

 For Tag Tuesday's theme FACES , I am revisiting 4 of the 29 tags I drew and painted for the 29 Faces Challenge in February. These are my Bush Babies inspired by the May Gibbs' characters. Earlier this year, I went to an exhibition at the NSW State Library in Sydney, celebrating 100 years since the first publication of May Gibbs' books - children's fantasy stories about the Gumnut babies and friends who live in the Australian bush and this has reignited my interest in Australian literary folklore. My favourite book is still "The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie". The opening plea from May Gibbs  is still relevant for our environment  today "‘Humans Please be kind to all bush creatures and don’t pull flowers up by the roots’.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day ... Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on the environmental issues that the world faces. In 2017, the March for Science occurs on Earth day (April 22,) Respect our environment ... 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Heritage : Tag Tuesday

Today, 18 April is World Heritage Day and today, on Tag Tuesday , I am the featured designer , Naturally , I chose the theme Heritage .  Hope you will join us and create an art tag and put your own link on the Tag Tuesday site. If you don't want to make a tag, just go to the link and have a look at the tags others create - each fortnight, there are lots of new ideas!
My first tag uses a torn section of one of my photos of a temple dancer carving in the World Heritage complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The background is so far removed from that - it is waxed and painted 'butcher's paper' but I like the aged look it has.
 The second tag is very simple - a manipulated photo ( again from Angkor Wat) transformed into a line drawing for the background. The panels pasted over the top are strips from a magazine page. And the gold blob is my attempt to gild one of the visible statues.

A couple  of years ago, I also made a 'family heritage ' tag so thought it should also be included in this line up. Yes, that is a baby photo of me on a photocopy of my birth registry document with a few embellishments. Today is a good day to acknowledge the diversity of cultural heritage and the vulnerability of  heritage sites worldwide.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Eggs

I love this way of decorating eggs for Easter - it is a natural process and we can eat the eggs without too much guilt or damage to our waistlines. All I did  today was boil up some brown onion skins /peel. I prepared the eggs by cutting up some nylon stockings and placed a leaf down over the stocking and then the uncooked egg on top. Then I pulled the nylon stocking tight around the leaf and egg, making sure the leaf was placed where I wanted it, and secured the parcel with a rubber band. I put the eggs in the dye bath and slowly brought them to a boil, let them cook for about 10 minutes, and let them cool in the dye bath for at hour. I think the better results came from the heavier, stronger leaves -   the upper left is grevillea, and the lower left is rosemary or perhaps you prefer the more delicate prints from the ferns? Happy Easter!  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Wednesday's Child/3 : Progress

Wednesday's child is full of woe... 
In this ongoing series about the inmates of the Newcastle Industrial School 1867-1871, I have been sharing the progress of my proposed art installation for the "Stitched Up" project and exhibition.
I have previously written about the background story on March 1  and then a couple of weeks later on March 16  about the process.I am using to create 193 stick dolls representing the girls who were at the school during those four years. Please refer to these previous posts to put everything into perspective  I am happy to report that since then, I have made more progress. Today, I am sharing more of the process, so that by the end of this series, these posts will serve as a tutorial as well as information about the project. In the last post, I ended with the sticks at the stage pictured below....
Sticks collected from the bush - covered with aluminium foil,
two way stretch fabric and then cotton and stitched - adding skirts . Sometimes, I add the skirt after creating a head for the doll, as I like to add clothing to match the 'personality'! 

Sculpting faces with polymer clay - each face is different.- no moulds here!  

Faces cured in a domestic oven and holes for attachment drilled by hand. 

Addition of some shading to highlight features 
Attaching the faces with stitch to the prepared 'bodies' - note the curved needle.
 In the next post in this series, I will share how I create the arms  for these dolls....

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Who Lost a Wing? Tag Tuesday

If you haven't caught up yet, Tag Tuesday has changed its format as an open blog with links to participants' posts.  Here's  the Tag Tuesday link to an amazing array of tags, creative ideas on various themes. The current theme is "Things with Wings" ( but no birds!) . Above is my very simple stitched tag on a piece of printed fabric lurking in my stash for a long time, just waiting for this occasion! I used whipped running stitch for the words. I also got out of my stash a bag of  beautiful butterfly wings made by Suzy Brewer , thinking they could be inspiration for another tag,... and discovered that someone has lost a wing! In fact, two bodies have lost wings it appears. A mystery yet to be solved. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Birds and Nests - Stitched Collage

'Bird" - stitched collage postcard 
'Nest" - stitched collage postcard

The current theme for Tag Tuesday is "Birds and Nests - apologies to all the devoted Tuesday taggers, these probably don't meet the criteria. It is hard to disguise these are tags when they are clearly postcards. Being a little short on time this fortnight, I thought I would use something I made in a workshop I attended last weekend  . The workshop was led by UK based artist/author, Anne Kelly, who specialises is stitched collage using the natural environment as a source of inspiration. Both "Bird" and "Nest" were created from a  combination of fabric and paper - images from paper serviettes, text from abandoned books printed fabric, scraps of lace and braid - layered with printed organza on top. Then I added both machine and hand stitching to enhance the design. My first attempt at writing with my sewing machine was so rewarding and surprisingly less difficult than what I had previously  imagined. 
  1. Work in progress- Anne Kelly workshop 

"Grevillea" folded book ( centre)  

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday's Child /2

Work in Progress - 3 of the 193 for "Stitched Up"- Wilma Simmons 
 The work for the "Stitched Up " Project  continues. See the previous "Wednesday Child" post for the background to this art project celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Newcastle Industrial School.
I have been documenting the progress of my work, so I thought it might be interesting to share some of the early stages of the "stick dolls" ... Here are some of the beginning steps..

Sticks collected while walking the bushland in my neighbourhood 

Drying and getting rid of any insects - oven heat 75 degreesC for approx 1-2 hours. 

Trimmed and cut if necessary 

Ends sealed with matte sealing solution. 

Drying  - solution goes on white but dries clear. 

First wrapping - foil to create a body shape 

Second wrapping - stretch fabric. 

Third wrapping - fabric strips 

Some stitching - more stitching and embellishment to come. 
Follow this series of blog posts - Wednesday's child - for the later stages of these dolls and more about the work in progress.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Everyone is a Winner!

  Today, the winner of the art tag giveaway was decided....
There were only 4 entries in this giveaway - a little disappointing for me but good for the four participants. Thank you Michele S, Gamarna, Annie Trish and Narelle for entering . This is how the draw was done. I put the four names on separate pieces of paper and folded them and put them in a jar. My husband Jim who is very trustworthy was given the task of pulling the first name from the jar and then the second....

And because there were so few entries, I have decided to send Annie Trish and Gamarna a consolation prize of two tags each from the same series.
I hope you will all like your prizes. Please contact me with your postal addresses.

This set goes to Michele S 
This set goes to Narelle. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tag Tuesday : Hats and Headgear

"Always Wear Your Invisible Crown" ...
Tag Tuesday this fortnight is hosted by Michele whose blog is "art from the well". Michele set the theme " Hats and Headgear" I am dedicating these tags  to all who are currently undergoing treatment for cancer.  I got my inspiration from an event held  here in Newcastle, (NSW Australia). The annual event is called "Bald and Beautiful" which is a special day of pampering, laughter and joy for cancer survivors and current sufferers. 
All of these tags are made from  motifs from a printed fabric, generously given to me by a friend,  The backgrounds are from scrap painted paper with a overlay of paper serviette.  
Visit TAG TUESDAY to see all the tags from participants worldwide.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Stars for International Women's Day 2017

2017 IWD event Newcastle 

It has become a tradition in Newcastle ( NSW Australia) that International Women's Day is celebrated in style at  Timeless Textiles Gallery , with a message of peace, community and compassion and  a public stand against violence. Over the  years, we have made artistic fabric birds to raise funds for women's refuges; stitched 500 metres of white ribbon to raise funds for the anti-violence organisation, White Ribbon;  held free community workshops to create a huge fabric footpath mural; stitched prayer flags to support a women's project in India  and made a giant bird which was auctioned to supply tertiary education to underprivileged women in Nepal.

This year, 2017  the focus  at Timeless Textiles was again strengthening a community against violence - the One Million Stars to End Violence Project. Thanks to Anne Kempton, gallerist and the Newcastle Star Weave community , today's event was truly a celebration of all that 2017 International Women's Day stands for -  "Be Bold for Change " - creating a world of equality, gender parity and peace.
2017 IWD event Newcastle - Sharon Claydon MP 

2017 IWD event Newcastle - Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes
The "One Million Stars to End Violence"project began as a personal response by  weaver Maryann Talia Pau to the horrifying rape and murder of a young woman in her community in Victoria.  Maryann was inspired by these words :

"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Dr Martin Luther King Jnr

and sent out a Facebook message to the world to join her in weaving a million stars by 2018. This is Maryann's message : 
"To me, one million stars represents how monumental the task of ending violence is and that everyone needs to participate to end all forms of violence. Each star represents a person’s commitment to practise light, hope, courage and solidarity and the one million star installation will be a peaceful statement against all forms of violence in our communities." 
Maryann Talia Pau at Timeless Textiles Gallery 
The one million stars will be a shimmering, bright installation at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, held on the Gold Coast, Queensland as a part of the vision of the Commonwealth Games program to build and support sustainable and peaceful communities worldwide.  As leader of this global project, Maryann has been travelling to Commonwealth countries in the lead up to 2018 Games, connecting with communities and teaching weaving workshop with this message of peace.  What an inspiration! 
2017 IWD event - some members of the Newcastle Star Weave community. 
Just as inspiring is the  Newcastle Star Weave community, a small group of committed people who  have been teaching many others over the last  year  to weave the stars with a target of 10,000 stars to be completed by International Women's Day. The goal was achieved well before today, and these stars will become part of the one million. What a visible reminder that we can all achieve a dream together. Thank you to all involved - the power of each one of you offers hope to the world. 
Happy International Women's Day!