Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cyclone Oswald

Cyclone Oswald has hit the whole of the E coast of Australia with a bang. 
Power, phone, mobile,and internet have all been down for 2 days, but I am safe and so is my home - 
Record flood levels this week and record heat waves the week before, and still fires raging in inland and Sth areas. bizarre!!!
Some people in Brissie may have no water tomorrow and flooding is really bad in Gladstone and Grafton.
Times like this I am grateful for what I have  - friends, family, support networks and good coping skills -
Main Street, Maleny
E side of Showgrounds bridge
 W side of Showgrounds bridge
heating water with a tealight candle to make a coffee [took 2 hrs, but it worked]
day 1 main meal - left over veggies heated with a tealight candle
midnight warm milk - getting out the BIG GUNS - gas torch
day 2 main meal - cooking a defrosted steak - worked well!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wabi Sabi Silk Flags

I found a big bundle of flag bunting in a garage sale many years ago. I have no idea of its purpose but that's another story.

My story is that I fell in love with the 12 very fragile silk flags that were scattered randomly along the lengths of the crudely sewn tape.

I lovingly patched and hand sewed the most fragile and torn sections and sewed them together to make a wall 'banner'. The silk was super difficult to work with as the machine stitching was at times tearing the fabric, as was ironing the flags. The dyes are very unstable and were coming off on the iron, onto other fabrics and at times even onto my damp hands. 
The finished work is nearly a metre square.
The title came to me as I was working.....
'The Fragility of Multiculturalism'

I took great pleasure in creating this piece - there is something about silk...the noble little worms giving up their lives to create beautiful, fine, lustrous thread which is woven into exquisite fabric for our pleasure.

It seems appropriate to include some photos of the processes - taken in one of the old silk factories which we visited in Suzhou, China, in 2011.

Boiling the cocoons to kill the lava and to remove the sericin.
Finding the end of the thread.
  Woven onto spools.

 Making silk caps,
into quilt filling.

 A big Thank you to all those millions of grubs who gave up their chances of flying free in order to make the silk fabric that I love to wear.

Friday, January 18, 2013

UFU #3

Third finished 'Unfinshed Object/project' for January. So far, so good.
This painting started as something VERY different...
'The Way Home'...finished
This small canvas [30cm x 30cm] has had many lives. The layers from underneath show through slightly and add an extra dimension of texture.
 ...progress and details,

I am into recycling my canvases - not enough storage room in the studio.
I'm not sure what it is about ladders, but I feel they generally represent progress, climbing higher to better and more fulfilling things, stability, opportunities for growth ....hmmmmmmm

Sunday, January 13, 2013

UFO #2

On NY Eve, I had a silly notion to finish an unfinished project every week. Hmmmmm......
I have managed another UFO - not very creative but it takes a little bit of pressure off me so I can focus a bit more on my art.
I mended/altered 3 skirts for my 24 year old daughter who, 2 weeks ago, moved to Melbourne to live/work/study. She has only just returned home after 2 years in London  ...sob, sob.... but I love visiting Melbourne and I have plenty of frequent flyer points saved...smile, smile.

This is a pile of antique laces that have been in the drawer for years. 
I turned a torn pair of cotton Nepalese pants into a 2 layered skirt with antique lace.
This skirt started life as a dress.
This old favourite just needed new elastic.

I have 4 or 5 small paintings sitting in the studio needing minimal work to finish. Hopefully my muse will pay a visit in the coming week so I can complete UFO # 3 [mending clothes is far less taxing!!!]

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

NY EVE CREATIVE- 'Spiral book'

I'm not much into NY Eve - I'm usually in bed before midnight, but this year I decided to make it special by finishing a project that has been on the back burner for years [I was still in bed before midnight].
I started an experimental spiral book a few years ago, and it's been sitting in my studio waiting to be finished. I wasn't sure how the binding was going to work, so it stayed unfinished.
I still didn't know how the binding would work, so I made it up as I went along- not a very neat result, but hey, who cares?
One of my issues is that I am a bit of a perfectionist, consequently I avoid starting [or finishing] some projects that don't have clear and resolvable outcomes. I can hear my father saying "if a job's not worth doing properly, it's not worth doing at all".
Maybe my NY resolution will be to clear out old projects - finish or forget.


 ...before NY eve


 ...half complete



Yeah - one less unfinished project. Maybe one a week would be a good goal - 52 fewer unfinished projects by the end of 2013.