Sunday, January 30, 2011

weekend away..

Hello, hope you all had a lovely week.. we just had a 3 day weekend away. I'm not a big fan of driving.. after 2 hours - that's it.. i'm out of the car.. but while i watched miles + miles of our vast land pass me by, i decided to try out the hipstamatic..I couldn't really see what i was capturing, so i took a few. I like this one as it is a real 'snapshot' of everything i saw (repeatedly) for a while.
After 3.5 hours we arrived in Canberra.
Miss R and i shared an audio tour at the National Gallery where we walked around the Ballet Russes: The art of Costume. It was wonderfully curated, very evocative. 150 costumes and accessories from 34 productions from 1909 to 1939 featuring designs by Picasso, Henri Matisse, André Derain, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Georges Braque, André Masson and Giorgio de Chirico. It was wonderful to see so many great works - i think i was drawn to costumes that featured hand painted medals and details. One of my favourites is this one..

A costume for a soldier, 1921 from the Chout ballet. Click here to see more fabulous works, or try and get to Canberra before it closes in March.
Miss R must have been inspired too - as back in the hotel room she whipped up this..


Speaking of 'the hotel'.. have you ever tried the 'secret hotel' option on Last Minute.com or wotif? It was fantastic! I typed in 2 adults, 2 children and hit book now - it revealed a hotel in the CBD that had fantastic facilities for $129 a night for all of us! WOW. If you've ever tried to book family accomodation, it can soon add up.. It won't reveal the exact place until you pay - but it does give you a rating and a list of its facilities..
So.. then i got to check out the National Portrait Gallery..


Which had some great pieces. Mr R jnr (nearly 13 yrs) sat with his book in the cool foyer.. as far as i'm concerned the galleries in Canberra tick several boxes: cool, cafes + great little shops, with the National Portrait Gallery having one of the better ones - good mix of books, gifts and Australian design/craft.
There is so much to see + do in Canberra. We have been several times.. this time i wanted to check out the Botanical Gardens.. unfortunately we needed a bit more time.. BUT we did catch the very talented Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens who were performing as part of the Summer series..

I lay on the ground, inhaled the faint smell of eucalypts, watched butterflies flutter and enjoyed the whimsical sounds..

A change of scenery is always welcome. I would love to explore the inspiration i found.. I hope it stays with me through the working week.. how do you hang onto yours?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sew sleepy..

Sometime ago i squirreled away a pair of plain white IKEA cotton pillowcases. I had the intention of 'evolving' them into something a little vintage + crafty. I had been looking online + in shops, but either very expensive or not quite right..

So i got out the japanese fabric pen. It 'disappears spontaneously', but also' with water'. I sketched my designs..

I stitched over the top. Wiped the pen away..



I added strips of vintage fabric down the sides..


His, and...

Her...
orgh, cute.

Stitch + go..


Finally! chance to get back on the machine.. as i said, i'm drawn to green. Don't know why. Found this in Lincraft before Christmas. 40cm cost me $3.50. I chopped it in half. Gathered up 4 strips.
When i saw it on the sale pile it just said "i could be your scarf".
And 'sew' it was!

The Sketchbook Project 2011

Although i did actually get to do some sewing this weekend.. here is another update from the Sketchbook Project (it's over - should be in Brooklyn, right now).. but here are some more of my pages.. these ones all use watercolour..


Just repeating 'blobs' from the end of a paintbrush can be therapeutic and effective. The hearts were ripped pieces of tissue paper.

I think this was just a whimsical exercise in pattern ... and?

I am drawn to green. Don't know why. The paintbrush just started doing the shapes on the right.. the rest jsut happened.

It was fun playing with the blobs. The collage cat + dog i added later. Originally i imagined a whole page full of cats + dogs.. but i like the simplicity of this.

I did most of this project in my 2 week Christmas holiday.. i was listening to the radio, it was about space and how various countries had invested in it. They mentioned that the French had sent up animals into orbit. I had a blank page and this is what happened.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Sketchbook Project 2011

No time for the new projects yet - so here's a bit MORE sketchbook project..
I had a random, experimental approach - but now i look back i did use several different styles.. here is my 'inky one'...

It must be ... a midnight snack.

it must be ... unspeakable.


it must be ... time to get in touch.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Sketchbook project..

Firstly, just a note that it is of course difficult to think about anything else or look at your own supplies, books etc when people + families in Queensland have had many things washed away in the flood.. it made me think about what is it all for ? All this stuff - the things that i do .. While i can donate to an appeal and take time to think about all that has happened. For my own family's sake it's best i keep going.. because if i didn't do the 'stuff' i do, then i wouldn't be living my life with purpose... (not sure what that purpose is, only that it makes me feel connected to something, which is enough).

Here is a sequence from my Sketchbook project..



it was inspired by that hairy fella on the last spread, he actually appeared in the garden over Christmas. He moved very fast. I took his picture and collaged him into the scene. The hole was cut out and went through the 3 pages. The apple i painted was a still life i set up on the table, i couldn't quite get the folds right - so added japanese masking tape and VOILA! it was helped along nicely.. The leaves were done seperately on thicker paper - this added a nice 3D touch to the actual page.
Best of all, that was 6 pages DONE!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Sketchbook Project 2011

The arthouse coop seem to have some great ideas. Apparently 28,834 other artists from 94 countries ALSO thought the Sketchbook Project 2011 sounded like a cracker idea. This week is the deadline and I'm ready to post mine back, hooray!


This is mine. For the cover i thought i might as well reflect a bit of Aussie 'kulcha'. I used a 1970's picture book, which incidentally is great quality paper.. and a bit of Japanese binding tape..
here's the inside spread..

The sketchbooks will tour various cities around the America. You could choose a theme or be given one..
I started off with a plan. Ditched the plan. Began experimenting.

It is 100 pages!! oooh yeah! i'd say i did about 65% in the last 3 weeks.. I'll be posting the whole thing on my flickr link.. plus my favourites on the blog.
My computer has been sick for the last week and a half.. shame.. so i had to trade it in.. back on board now..

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Also on my desk...



It all started on the last day of work - after our Christmas lunch. I casually strolled into a newsagent and picked up the latest issue of cloth, paper, scissors magazine... lured by the work of grrl + dog - who i now realise lives in Sydney.. she has shown me the way to satisfying papier mache! You see i've always loved the idea of it.. but, every time i've tried it's been... disappointing. Denise was also inspired by Julie Arkel whose whimsical work can be seen here..
So the key? I believe IS wallpaper paste! yes indeed! it only sticks to itself. Is very quick. Is not mucky + icky like the combos i've tried in the past...
Here's what happened..

Of course it is fun to get out your scraps and dress your creation.. i did have some balance issues - the body and head are just scrunched up newspaper - but she was toppling over, so her feet needed to be air drying clay..
I also finished (almost) off one i had started a year ago - thanks to this new discovery.. the paste keeps in the fridge too.. bit tricky during this festive time...but i wasn't going to let this go..

But the dog is a little twee at the moment, a little too matchy-matchy, so i need to work on a coat + add some buttons... can't wait to get back to the bodies on my desk!

On my desk..



There's 2 weeks left to complete the Sketchbook project 2011, my last post was this..
So i have been at my desk during my holiday trying to thrash out some pages.. I say thrash, because even though i originally had intentions of planning and structuring it - the whole thing has ended up fairly experimental..
When i say experimental, i mean like, unplanned, not thought out. Not cutting edge. This piece uses a thrifted pillowcase - i drew the image with a fabric pen - the kind that disappears or washes out.. Stitched over the line then blocked in the colour with acrylic paint.. if you water it down the pattern comes through, which is nice.
I'll be posting more of my latest efforts in the next few days as i see the end in sight..

Saturday, January 1, 2011

summer time...

We live about 30 minutes (on a good day) from Sydney's centre. Our house was built in the 1940's while the family lived in the garage (my shed), it's fairly modest and we haven't done much to it. We don't have a water view, but, we do live 10 minutes from some gorgeous beaches.. this was Curl Curl the other morning..

This is the before pic.. I couldn't resist using the tilt shift app... you may have seen it already... you can apply it to any photo here...

Having taken the kids to see Gulliver's travels this week i enjoyed creating my own small world..
how's life in your part of the world going?

Happy New Year!

I hope all your festivities, planning and presents all went well. This arrangement sat on our kitchen bench for the last week. I think it says Aussie summer Christmas very nicely. The red flowers had a very velvety pom pom feel to them.. I've had a lovely time just floating around.. the few days before Christmas eve saw a couple of gifts to be crafted.. a bit of stitching.. to add a handmade touch ..


a robot.. where no reason is ever needed.. although i had been meaning to try painting on fabric then stitching ... this is how it went....


mr r jnr made his dad this gift from polystyrene, naturally it was a big hit:




Rock on 2011!

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