Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ask not why?

Yesterday after doing some 'chores' you know the bits of life that must be done... I found myself sewing this.
Meet Jeffrey. He ended up a little older than i had first intended, but then again that just means he will have more wisdom to share. Now as i was finishing him .. i did start to wonder 'WHAT on earth are you DOING this FOR???!" It was a warm Sunday. And here i was.
But then art/craft is a bit like that isn't it - don't you think? You just have to go with it. And see what happens.. just explore.. (Incidentally people don't question WHY so many watch/play/train where sport is concerned)..
Anyway! then i whipped up a bit of scenery (something i've been dying to do for ages!) and shot this:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Embroidery

1. watch me grow (detail), 2. Cherry on the tree swing!!!, 3. juggler, 4. Collage Embroidery ~ Best Friend

Do you sometimes see something, then a bit later realise you are admiring something similar, then again something catches your eye.. THEN you realise you are being sucked towards some other arty thing?
For me I have suddenly become a little keen on embroidery.. particularly using it in a collage kind of way..
Here are a few varied examples. Cathy Cullis is amazing you should definitely visit her. Hen's Teeth also does lovely things with envelopes..

Today was a public holiday in Australia. It was quite warm... We stayed cool, inside. I had to try some embroidery collage of my own.. it's postcard size.. maybe i can do one a month?

Where did the idea for the composition come from? A japanese magazine of course!

Once the sun had calmed down we ventured out for an evening snorkel, which was our own little Australia Day celebration. For those of you in Oz hope yours was enjoyable too..

Taaa Dah!

Drum roll for shameless self promo..
my 'Command Z' or 'UNDO" zine using 8 of my hand carved stamps is done.. woo hoo!


It can be found here.

A bit painterly..


Last Sunday i felt like doing a little painting (literally).
Inspired by one of my books from japan.. it included lots of inspirational gems - many of pieces of clothing such as this..
so i flipped through one of my (japanese mags) and stopped here..

I LOVE that layered look, not exactly flattering but I'm just drawn to it.. I found myself doing this..


Who knows why or where this is going.. But when i was made redundant in October ( i now have new job, phew!) one of the things i recognised i wanted in my life was to just be able to 'play'. Here and there. No pressure.. no market stall etc. Just 'do' to see what happens...

sketch club

So about this time of year do you get all antsy wanting to take a course or something?
Or is that just me? Last week i decided to have an impromptu 'wednesday night sketch club', since i had a friend over and Miss R (12 yrs) and i needed some drawing practice. We took it in turns to set up a still life each.. it's also a good idea to put a spotlight on the subject - so you have some light and shade..
We all drew a framing rectangle to start..

I like the idea of using the rectangle as a cropping device. It was interesting to see the individual styles and approaches... next set up..

I liked the way that the leaf in Miss R's monotone sketch took on a landscape feel..
last one was a miniature plastic cat on a dolls' sofa...
I really wasn't enjoying it (mine is bottom left) but just went with the 20minute exercise.. Miss R's (right) would make a great linoprint/stamp/etching i think...
So why not hold your own sketch club - it's a great excuse to use all those little objects you've collected!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sew hot yesterday!

While others may be facing chills, snow and horrific weather conditions.. yesterday in Sydney was an exhausting 4o degrees (C) (104F). So a friend, Miss R and i all took shelter and had a lovely crafternoon.
I had established a need a for a small wrist tote. Something to put the ipod in while walking the 2km trek to work. . separate to the backpack, easy to get to and perhaps throw in a coin purse + glasses too..
This is what i came up with:

yes, the fabrics are from recent visit to Japan, the handles i also found in a fabric shop in Nippori + the button from the gorgeous french button shop (also in Nippori and mentioned here before). This soft linen often features in many Japanese craft books and has such a beautiful feel - both tactile + visual!
Here's the reverse:
It's nothing complicated, just a 210mm square. The handles + materials give it that certain something.. I've also been 'itching' to do a little embroidery - so after being inspired by another japanese craft book i added this old style telephone. Soooo cute..
Oh! and Miss R said she needed a new pencil case for back to school this week - but wanted to sew one..
complete with handed felted ball (she learnt that from the talented talk to the wind and sun).. I hope Miss R can teach me next...
this was her work..

and what a nice sharing mama to 'let go' some of her japanese fabric...

the pencil in my pocket project..

Do you sometimes look at peoples' blogs/projects/work and ask 'how DO they come up with stuff like that?!'
Leaf Cutter Designs is one of those people that makes me ask that question.Check out her various projects here. Recently I signed up for "With a pencil in my pocket' where participants are sent a pencil to 'seek out a real, material manifestation of the pencil’s color name – a place, person, thing, creature, activity, etc. – that somehow embodies the essence of the color name'. The pencil above arrived in my mail box last week.. So today i took the family on a bush walk to find inspiration for my pencil which is named "Mermaids Gown".
10 minutes drive from our house is a very nice track which un-beknown to me lead to a lovely little beach with sculptural rocks in less than 30 minutes.. and I did get my idea.. but more on that later..

ps:rather than do a full scale photographic production - i thought i'd just take some snaps on using my phone.. not bad!..

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mystery tour..


Today i had the day off and announced to the kids that i was taking them on a mystery tour.
"Count me out. I'm not going to some art gallery " said Mr R (nearly 12 years old).
Miss R (also nearly 12) had no choice - as i told her a horse was involved.

But how unreal is Tatsu Nishi's installation at the New South Wales art Gallery? Working with the idea of making the everyday strange he has constructed a room around the bronze statues that are out the front of the gallery..
seen here..
so if you are in Sydney you have until Feb 14 to check it out..
why not wander inside and see the Dobell Drawing art prize..

these 2 separate works i love for the idea of small works and using repetition for effect. The top one was a series of individual drawings on the back of postcards using pen and ink. The one below was several mini accordian books with sketches on dark backgrounds.. some had characters (like tin man) which reminded me of stop animation stills.. all very inspiring.. and one of my favourite artists.. Katherine Hattam the work below (not the best photograph) is made up of pages from a penguin book, of which she paints on top of - with parts showing through..

On arriving home - what to do with this inspiration? I decided to pick up a pen in my left hand (i am right handed usually).. I copied a picture from a magazine (this takes away the thinking part) using the pen (not pencil first) just continual line work. I did this because my usual style is quite constricted, contrived NOT LOOSE! Being a bit of a control freak it is also hard for me to 'just do' and 'don't think'. Anyway this is what happened.. why not give it a ago?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

in the post box


Sometime ago the lovely Applehead and i decided to do a swap.. you know what it's like - you have the idea, then have to decide how to make it happen???... we came up with 'put 4 categories in envelope'..
1) something found 2) something to inspire 3) something to use 4) something paper..
my little bits of goodness seen above included jasmine blossom tea + a wonderfully crafted accordion book of coloured pencils.. thanks Marianne!
now mine is on it's way to you..

Funny isn't it..? How we can connect with and be inspired by like minded folks on the internet, but then to meet in real life or to exchange old fashioned correspondence is soooo delightful too, and in my case has been made possible (often) by meeting online first..

carving my way ..


through the beginning of january.. once i had created my new space - i needed to start creating! but where does the time go? I decided to work on my new zine.. i decided to hand carve a stamp for every page.. WHY? then i thought don't ask why - just enjoy it and go with the process.. so i did...

I am working on layering some illustration, stamping.. now I need to make some copies for the final version..

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Game plan

So I'm back at work but the rest of the family wile away the days swimming, creating, reading, getting out and about .. ok - so maybe some squabbling and raised voices here and there... It can get a bit disconnected. So we have found ourselves instating Wednesday: GAME NIGHT. It can be 30 minutes to an hour but we all participate. It began when we were given a copy of ..

Miss R spent an afternoon on the couch swatting up then facilitated 3 games.
Tonight we did TELEGRAMS where each player writes down a 12 letter word. Start the stopwatch - then players have 2 minutes to write a telegram using each letter to begin a word.

here's a few of ours:
P o s t g r a d u a t e
post office said torture STOP green rabbits and ducks under arm chairs STOP tasteless elephants!

N a t u r o p a t h y
Nature ate tree STOP under roof STOP over path STOP aged troll hiding STOP yawn


O p t o m e r t i s t s (sic)
order pizza tonight STOP only measure even rows STOP time is slow til Saturday.

my tip: having a stopwatch or egg timer is great. Having a couple of dictionaries on hand is also good!

Of course it is great to just BE in the moment, but what if you kept some of these, then later on when you wanted to do a painting/illustration/collage/embroidery project you used one for inspiration and bought it to life?? Hmmmmm.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year, see ya holidays...

Has your holiday been a happy one? What does makes for happy? Here's some of my moments over the last 2 weeks.
• Christmas all having gone well.
• Not chucking out any 'over catered food'
• Catching a few waves at the beach.
• Catching up with friends and family.
• Reading my book at the pool without having to check on the kids second by second.
• Flicking through some mags.
• Reading my holiday books + catching up on some movies.

Completing one sewing project: a little kit i picked up in Yuzawaya (craft MEGA store) in Tokyo. I substituted the included tartan fabric for a piece of my butterfly one above. It also involved embroidering the button. I just love how the Japanese use linen.. Also very handy for my new phone from Santa..

But the most momentous task was turning this:
Into this...

phew! what a job it was. So much to sort, tidy and chuck. Then the painting began.. we uncovered a bit of damp in the corner which i embraced with this... yes, that is fabulous japanese masking tape you see..

then to do a little arranging.. this step was only step one.. but such a relief..

So on the final day of my holiday, the final few hours - my happiness did indeed peak - when i got to actually SIT at my new desk and do a little collage of my photos from my trip..


And so my summer holiday is complete. I try not to link 'achievement' to happiness, yet i do feel i have achieved. I have done all the things i don't usually get time to do. So i can return to work relieved and not frustrated... I hope the New Year finds you happy.. enjoy your last few days if you have some left..
meanwhile back to the city for me..
x
Dudley

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