Friday, April 27, 2018

A Week of April Days

April 21 - Tea Day - Amy pouring herself a cuppa. 
Sometimes, it is just fun to celebrate a week of special days when nothing very special is happening. This last week was one of those weeks for me. Starting off last Saturday, 21 April was "Tea Day" - a celebration of the amazing drink tea is. Tea is a wonderful drink that comes in a wide variety of different flavors, each of them having a distinct personality and character. It’s been used for everything from a simple morning libation to the central element of certain social and religious rituals. 

April 22 - Sunrise at Hall's Gap, The Grampians , Victoria

22nd April was Earth Day  which is not only a celebration but a call to protect our natural environment. it is customary for  groups and individuals to mark the day with community environmental activities.

  April 23 - English Language Day - Watercolour drawing and collage: Wilma Simmons 
Monday 23 April was the United Nationals English Language Day  English was a quiet language that began on a small cluster of islands off the coast of Western Europe, it slowly developed and spread through a few different permutations until one day, in an explosion of colonialism, it suddenly spread across the world like wildfire. It became the language of what was once the most powerful nation in the world and has since become the language of commerce in countries all over the world. English Language Day celebrates this language, its history, and its oddities! (from 

April 24 - Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day - stitched tea bag sculpture : Wilma Simmons

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day  commemorates the day in 1915 when hundreds of Armenian intellectuals were arrested in Constantinople (Turkey)  under government warrants. They were sent to exile and killed. The annihilation of the Armenian intellectuals was a part of a plan to exterminate Armenians in their homeland.  I chose the image of a tea bag sculpture also to pay tribute to Armen Rotch, an Armenian artist who creates amazing tea bag installations to raise awareness of the  one and half million Armenians  killed in the last years of the Ottomon Empire. 
April 25 - Anzac Day - Red Poppy and Nest - textile art : Wilma Simmons 

ANZAC ( Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand   to commemorate the  ultimate sacrifice of men and women  serving in wars, international conflicts and peacekeeping operations. The day was originally the day when the Anzacs attempted to take the Gallipoli peninsula  against the Ottomon Empire in  1915, World War I 

April 26 : Hug an Australian Day - Watercolour and ink drawings : Wilma Simmons 
26 April was Hug An Australian Day. This  is an annual event , founded by Thomas and Ruth Roy of the Wellcat.comwebsite. Though the origins of this event are unclear, Hug An Australian Day has quickly become popular over the last few years, and is celebrated by sending the likes of greeting cards and e-cards to Aussie friends.( from

April 27 - Tell a Story Day - BNeedle felted doll and teabag book : Wilma Simmons 

27 April - Tell A Story Day . This is a special day celebrated in USA and the United Kingdom. The aim of the day to get participants telling, sharing and listening to each others stories. It is a celebration of the art of oral storytelling in all of its many forms, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, a tall tale, or folklore.

And so at the end of 7 very interesting days, I kept wondering tonight  if I should continue ... well, at least until the end of the month - such good celebratory days coming up "Save the Frogs Day, then "Zipper Day" and "World Jazz Day" .  N0 ... you just enjoy the remaining days of April! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Fabric Tags for Tag Tuesday

At Tag Tuesday, this fortnight Sandie is hosting the Steampunk/Mechanical challenge. Although this isn't a theme I usually tackle, Sandie's tags are so fantastic and inspirational that I was motivated to create a tag this afternoon.

I had some fabrics on my desk which I discharge dyed last week.and this piece with the addition of a few copper cogs reminded me of " industrial and mechanical" .

The way the background fabric was created was by applying bleach gel with a roller over the top of a plastic stencil. The fabric was originally a  bluish dark grey   cotton, When the bleach had removed the colour, the process was halted with a commercial  neutralizing solution  called AntiChlor. I have been told that a vinegar solution  will also stop the discharge of colour and act as a neutraliser.

The metal cogs were stitched on to the fabric by hand.
Here are  a couple of great resource sites for discharging colour with bleach.
- Threads Magazine article 
 - All about Dyeing FAQ

Similarly, I used another piece of fabric which had been prepared using the same process seemed to fir very well for the previous Tag Tuesday theme "Black , white and spot of colour" This tag was not only inspired by the great tags  created by Valerie. It was also by a sunset we experienced last week, just before a severe but spectacular April storm. The technique is the same as above, but instead of using a stencil, I sponged bleach around  plastic template of a stylised tree.

I machine stitched around the shape and across the piece . I also highlighted some of the colour remaining with coloured pencil.

I have recently been finding it hard to keep up with Tag Tuesday, but I am trying to continue because I enjoy the challenges, and I have received  such great support and encouragement from the Tag Tuesday team.
Thanks, Tag Tuesday. 

Discharge dye samples - Wilma Simmons 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Eggs

Tea eggs - hard boiled eggs cracked and soaked in spiced tea and soya sauce  stteping liquid. 
Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs,are decorated eggs that are usually used as gifts on the occasion of EasterThe oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil, hand-carved wooden eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as chocolate. Although eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth,  Christians also  say Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus, from which Jesus resurrected.

In addition, one ancient tradition was the staining of Easter eggs with the colour red "in memory of the blood of Christ, shed as at that time of his crucifixion."  This custom of the Easter egg can be traced to early Christians of Mesopotamia, and from there it spread into Russia and Siberia through the Orthodox Churches, and later into Europe through the Catholic and Protestant Churches. 

Happy Easter !