Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Painting classes

I started painting classes yesterday. Fortunately, I haven't finished the picture, so none is appearing on the blog. I am likely not to finish, as this seems to be how I work, in any medium. But I am determined to improve this aspect of working. Next week, I'll work on it, and, attempt to finish.

I am happy with the class, the first thing she bought in was some Balinese puppets to paint, so she has won me over already. She offers enough advice, but is not overly hands-on.
I have just received the Jul/Aug edition of Selvedge. It has a stunning cover, hot summers are evoked and the magazine is full of Indian block printing. Wonderful pictures. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that there is a little too much selling of product, so I'm going to have a good look at this issue to ensure I'm still getting the articles. I know that there is a promotion of artists in this, but from the distance of Australia, currency exchange and postage, don't encourage the use of the artists showcased in this way.
I did love this article on the lei. Aren't they beautiful, and not your tacky tourist form. Really beautiful artform.
There was also an article on photographer Tom Walker. I don't know the name, but as he's done alot of work with Vogue I did recognise one of the photos.
I've always been attracted by the Princess and the pea fairytale and I love this version of it. Made me think of why I like it, searching for the perfect princess is not really something that I would want to promote. But are we sure she's a princess....or just some very savvy female who's worked out the game! I also love the shabby sheek of the photo.

Monday, 28 July 2008


What a busy boys weekend. Both boys started their Spring tennis season (misnomer!), one with a good win, the other with a devastating loss. Saturday afternoon was spent making a huge banner for our youngest to run through for his 50th game on Sunday. This was successful as the banner disintegrated in a most satisfying way and the team won. Friends and family finished a most satisfying weekend.

However, I have been working. I have two weeks to get a good photo of the progress on my newspapers, totems and eyes piece. This is a short time frame and I will send off as much as I have.

I've been given some already shredded paper, which I'm spinning up. Because it is quite short, I'm using a cotton core to spin over. This has made joining easier, if not always neat and it's spinning up fairly fine (for newspaper) and fairly quickly.

I now have my totems. Originally, the base was to be larger and the poles shorter, but, I've just taken those I found at Reverse Art Truck and was playing with the arrangement and I liked the tallness of it all.
So, I'm on my way. Eyes will come and I think I've worked out how they will attach, but more on Totem poles another time.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Finger painting on a Sunday

3D5S explores all sorts of topics and this month was fun, colourful and allowed us to explore our inner child. We were finger painting.
It is alot of fun and you can create all sorts of effects. The only problem is the coloured hands, which do wash out, and fortunately no-one asked!
STOP PRESS: Flora Fauniensis has returned from Bendigo and new knitter attended Rosann SnB.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

The train to Bendigo

Had a great day, taking the train to Bendigo for the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, with friends, knitting and provisions. It will definitely be on my list for next year, though I've taken two days to catch up on my sleep.

My walking partner (we walk every Monday morning and our youngest sons are best friends) picked me up at 6am...a little early and wet for both of us, but making it into Southern Cross station with plenty of time to meet up with two more friends was worth it.

My friend is not a knitter, but had invited herself along for the train trip and the adventure, so I wasn't sure how she would go spending the day with avid fibre people. Well, I'm not entirely sure when it happened, some say somewhere around Kyneton, but spare needles and wool emerged (of course we had spares!), and by Bendigo, a good inch of garter stitch had been completed. So captured was she that 3 beautiful skeins were purchased, one for a scarf and two for a larger project. The trip home proved she was a natural, stocking stitch, rib, mastered and explanations of charts, yrn, understood.....she's a natural. I thing I've convinced her to come to the local SnB at Rosanna on Tuesday.

The show itself, was terrific, meeting up with all sorts of friends, checking up on my wool comb technique (will have another go soon), found out a bit more about cashmere and mohair (I love the passionate breeders who are always willing to talk and explain and generally be enthusiastic), animals galore, including this very beautiful Llama (who just knew he was beautiful!) and I did make a few purchases.

I picked up a large Tunisian Crochet hook from Lewis Harper, hand-dyed Silky wool and 1kg of 22 micron top from Virginia Farm Wool Works, hand-dyed merino top from my friend Charlie at Ixchel, some Gotland Lamb top to experiment with and some yarn from Glenora.

The Woolcraft was terrific, my favourite being the Water nymph who presided over the Fashion parades.

Never enough time, but I think next year I'll make it a photographic exhibition and get a few more pictures of animals, displays, and more!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Flora Fauniensis

Aaaah, finally. Judging at the Sheep and Wool Show has been completed and I can reveal our group entry called 'Flora Fauniensis'. Isn't she wonderful? She's the result of over 6 months of work, designing and making by the 3D5S group, with 13 participants.
She came together, on the Saturday before the delivery date on the Monday, and I must say that the effort put in by everyone was wonderful.
We earned a very respectable 2nd in our class, a great result, especially when you see the entries that received 3rd!!!
The quality of the entries for the whole show in all classes, are particularly good and I'm looking forward to seeing them properly displayed when I take the train to Bendigo on Friday. Should be a fun day.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Educating Teresa

Ok, I know some of you are interested in how I went with my Access Arts you might guess from my lack of information, I didn't get it. (sigh!!) However, if you want a lesson in how you should treat people, then the people at the CAE Access Arts are a great example.
During the interview, they were very encouraging and expressed a liking for my work and how I would get alot of value from their course. However, there were 50 applications for 18 places, and, as it turned out, suggested that if I didn't make it to apply again, which I will.
Even more impressive was the phone call the next day to say that I hadn't made it into the course, but encouraged me to apply again and also suggested that I might take some painting courses. Not only had this not been mentioned in the interview, but I would have admitted that this is indeed a week point. Obviously, time and care had been taken in looking at the applications. I will take all their advice and am about to enrol in a local painting course for this term.
I've also included a photo of the marvellous yarns created by the participants in the Bendigo workshop. Aren't they wonderful! As I say, you learn as much as you teach when you give a workshop, this is certainly true.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Abandoning a project

It comes with some relief that you've run out of time and can't get something done, especially when it's not really a properly formed idea.

I wanted to put an entry into Craft Victoria's members' exhibition, but have run out of time. All I needed was a photo to sen, but this is a project which will now form part of the experimentation for the small sculpture award.

I have learnt alot about knitting paper and how fragile it is. When I spin next time I'm going to try and get slightly less twist and work with very evenly cut paper.

It is disappointing, however, the need to really concentrate on newspapers, totems and eyes is obvious.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Back and Competing

Having just handed in my two skeins, one fine and one bulky for the Australian Sheep and Wool Show, and, am not happy with the results, it prompts me to ask why enter the competition. Here are my reasons why we all should enter.

1. To support the Woolcraft committee who work hard to organise a fabulous display to show the quality and variety of work. Anything that promotes and showcases wool, spinning, knitting, weaving, crochet.........deserves supporting.

2. To spin the best that you can. It's not often that we worry about every part of the process in all its' detail. Washing, preparation, spinning, finishing and presenting.

3. To see if you can improve by learning by your mistakes.

So what did I learn?

1. Sample beforehand to ensure the correct amount of twist for the fibre and final yarn.

2. Practice spinning, as I don't regularly spin fine evenly and bulky evenly.

3. Pick the right fibre preparation.using the wool combs for the fine spinning was a perfect choice and made the long tedium of consistently spinning fine, much more of a pleasure. I do need to practice using them. (Back to the Sheep and Wool show for more demos from the makers)

4. When you swash your skeins, before rewinding, ensure you hang them correctly, not scrunge them up in the back seat because you have to drive all the way home.

Will I do it again next year???? See you at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show. (

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Spinning fine

I'm holidaying down at the beach with youngest son, and busy trying to spin 50grams of fine wool for the Sheep and Wool Show. I'm not sure how this skein will turn out as time has prevented me from sampling.

The main problem for me is what to do with this skein. I'm timing myself and am currently at two and half hours for the second single. I still have most of that skein, double it and add the plying! I'm not likely to sell the skein and it seems a bit of a waste simply making a scarf.

I have been interested in trying another 'knit a trip' piece, but maybe this time it should be more of 'knit 2008' with symbols surrounding this year. For example, taking a train trip to Bendigo could inspire railway tracks. Sounds a bit kitch, but could be worked on.

I could combine it with the idea of a totem and think of a pole I could wrap it around. Perspex springs instantly to mind. Planning is also required, I probably would draw this one out before attempting more. I also need to consult the 'real' fine spinners and knitters that I knopw for advice on how far this skein will go.

Lots to think about. More spinning should help that.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Access Arts

Today I have my interview at the CAE for entry into their Access Arts course. This is a fine arts course which covers, amongst other things, sculpture. It's an intense 16 week course and is my first toe into the fine arts ocean.

I have to have a portfolio of my work which I've never done before. I have attended drawing classes both locally and during the Studio Textiles course, so I had plenty to choose from. However, it was fairly easy to choose few as many weren't finished or not that good.
I've printed off my resume and the cuttings and photos I have of my sculptural award winning piece. Very impressive?
I am very nervous as this is becoming more important as I look at my work. Most of my drawings and paintings are from 2002 or before then. The course covers alot of ground in a short time, but I'm hoping to keep up after the course is finished.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Working hard

I've been working hard on the group Sheep and Wool Show Entry. D-day is Saturday, when hopefully all the pieces start coming together. Pictures will eventually be forthcoming when this project is finally out of our hands. Secrecy is everything.
I have also to work on my own entries for the show. I've decided to enter a couple of spinning sections. To prepare the beautiful fleece I have, I've decided to use my mini wool combs, as the rovings they produce are just beautiful. Little clouds of fibre.
There's alot of waste in the preparation, but the spinning is a delight. I haven't tried them yet for mixing colours or fibres, but am keen to.
Anyway back to the floor! (Stitching fabric on the floor....don't ask!) Wish us luck!