Monday, 29 September 2008

An afternoon in the garden.

Tick two more things off my list, I sat in the swinging garden chair reading 'The Divided Heart'. It was lovely and sunny but not at all hot,just perfect. I am amazed at how lovely the flowers are, they are true survivors as they get little TLC from me. I'm not so impressed with the tenacity of the weeds that appear with relentless regularity between the brickwork!!I suppose they don't realise they are weeds and are only trying to survive as the flowers are.

My poor roses are covered with aphids. I read somewhere that you can spray roses with milk and water solution to kill aphids but now I'm thinkig that it could have been to treat black spot. Anyway I did a little tending to the garden by spraying them with milk, so that's actually three things off my list. I think I will have to try white oil or maybe look up the book to find out what I actually have to do!

Chicky Babe wanted to know why I was taking a photo of the dog poo - I was taking an 'arty' photo of my shaddow in the garden. I think this is an illustration of how people see things differently. I tend to look past the 'crap' to see the pretty , unexpected things beyond it.
One of the kids visiting said he wished that he lived in a house like mine where the mum didn't care. What?? I care!!!! About the mess he explained. I just wish that my mum would just sit down and watch a movie and not worry so much about the house, it's more relaxing. A kind of backward compliment!

Funny really because the chapter I'm reading is an interview with a writer that says she lets the housework slide in favour of her artistic pursuits and mothering. I can so relate to this. Plus I know it's clean under the clutter! For a brief moment once every week it's nice and clean AND tidy. So if you come to visit me it must be on a saturday afternoon, on any another day you will have to turn a blind eye to the mess and look for the lovely little bits and pieces hidden in the rubble of my life.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

first set of journals

first set of journals
Originally uploaded by dette.k
Today's work. I've already got orders for some!!

Pikelets and Patience

Breakfast this morning stacks of pikelets for the 7 teenagers who slept over last night. They kicked me out of the lounge room where I was sewing at 1:15am apparently they were tired and wanted to set up their bed. Which they did, then put on a video and stayed awake until about 3!!
This looks quite civilised doesn't it but if I pan to the right and up a little....

This is what you will see. (I'm glad I paid the cleaning lady to come yesterday morning!!!) I'd best admit that the sewing mess is mine. Check one point off my holiday list!

I think the dog's face says it all! Most of them are still here and I am required to take them all to Mac Donald's fur lunch, now and I think I am required to pay for it too! I think my face resembles that of the dog!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

sock top.

sock top
Originally uploaded by dette.k
I've made a start on my socks ....

oh no!

oh no!
Originally uploaded by dette.k
just don't look too close! See there are little ladders on the side! i think with some practice I will improve this.

Holidays (Again!!!)

Oh my goodness the holidays are here again, I'm not complaining but gosh the time has flown past! Here's my holiday to do list.
1; Sew lots and lots of things for george st.
2; Go out into the garden and sit in the sunshine.
3; Maybe tend to the garden
4; Buy some soil and put it in the garden bed outside my french doors and plant some plants there.
5; Paint the bottom half of my house (outside) it is exactly the wrong shade of cream that does not match with the other shade of cream both chosen by the people that owned the house before I did.
6; Fix ie replace the bathroom sink top that has suffered water damage from a faulty tap.
7. Fix the faulty tap!!!!
8; Visit friends
9 Have friends come to visit;
10 NOT spend too much time looking at all the lovely things other people are doing on line.
11; More sewing
12 See a movie
13 Read at least one book.
14; Sew some new cusion covers for the patio area.
15; Sew myself some new clothes.
16; Get children's art work ready for a district wide schools art exhibition.
17; Transfer the last drawings onto the wall for the mural- that was supposed to be finished 5months ago!
18. Go swimming more often (if I did this once it would be more often!)
19; More sewing for stall
20 Even more sewing.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Wrist purse

This is my next idea for the George st Market. It's a purse worn on your wrist for when you go to the beach or for that walk with a girlfriend and stop at a coffe shop, for traveling or clubbing when you dont want to carry a bag or want to carry a seperate secret stash of cash,a key and or a condom!

This one is quite simple made from linen and embroidered with 1oo% crochet cotton. I might make some even plainer from cute fabric to sell as a more functional item but origionally I imagined them to be a chunky jewellery item and therfore beaded or embroidered. I think kids would use the simple ones more and I could sell them more cheaply as they take less time to make.

This particular model has 2 large buttons on the side and an invisible zipper on the top.

It was a little fiddly to turn through at the ends and on reflection I would use a shorter zip next time. I wore it all day today to see what it felt like. It was very comfortable. The next plan is a wrist purse when I figure out exactly how I'm going to do it!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

multi tasking

I found this image while browsing blog land, it made me laugh. I often feel I'm in need of 8 arms to complete all the necessary tasks along with the unnecessary ones! I found it on Pengin & Fish. She has links to a variety of beautiful and quirky sites. This one really tickled my fancy!
Right at this moment I'm enjoying breakfast out in my patio making use of this wonderful wireless network! I think I'll bring my sewing machine out here to do some work today. It's a little overcast and cool but nice to be in the fresh air.

I'm beginning to wonder if it is a good idea to do the George St Market or not. There is not a great deal of time and I do need to balance work commitments. Term 4 is alwasys busy and a little stressful- trying to get everything complete, writing reports and the principal and P&C want to do a huge whole school art exhibition with each child having a piece of artwork to sell for a large fundraising event! This has me a little concerned as I'm a bit of a control freak and like to do stuff myself, I will have to learn to delegate, and hope it gets done properly! Also I have to confess I have not yet finished the mural so this also has to be a high priority! See I truly do need 8 arms! (And less time spent browsing looking at all the lovely stuff everyone else is producing!)
Time to get back to it... making not browsing!!!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Tuck Tote mosaic

Tuck Tote mosaic
Originally uploaded by dette.k
Yay I did it! Thanks to Hoppo Bumpo! This was how I wanted to put these photos onto my last post!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

off the leash

I am currently sitting comfortably in my warm lounge at a reasonable hour using my laptop computer to browse the net and blog! One of the kids has the computer in the cold hallway/ computer nook. I mannaged to set up the wireless thingo complete with security. (It took a great deal of reading and rereading the manual and a great deal of cursing but now it is done and it is wonderful! I can take my computer anywhere and work in comfort.)

I made this today, a trial design for the market later in the year. I call it a "tuck tote", it is a shopping bag that folds into the side pocket making it easy to carry in your handbag or to pop into the glovebox.

Shopping bag about 40cm x 45cm Made from Retro cotton fabric.

To tuck the bag into it's pocket fold the sides in....

in thirds...

Fold it in half and then in half again.....

Fold the red pocket bit over- like folding socks

Now it's all neat and tidy about 15cm x 10cm

I'm really happy with the way it turned out and the best bit is they will be quick and easy to make. Hopefully with the talk of charging for plastic bags and the move to reusable bags they might sell.

I just showed Bantam Boy how it worked and he was impressed!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Ahhhh!!!!! And where has the time gone!!!

Bantam Boy's new trick- hiding an over sized spider toy in unexpected places. I know it's not real and it is impossibly large yet that little part of my brain that alerts me to danger amuses him every time! Chicky Babe was not amused to find it in the freezer. And Tweety Pie screamed in the most satisfying manner when it dropped from the doorway one morning before school!

There are days when I feel like the world is a roller coaster. And I want to get off the ride! Things were chugging along nicely, the house was tidy for a few days and things ran smoothly then all of a sudden the wheels fell off. The house is bedlam and it's friday AGAIN! This is the first time in ages that I've been able to get near the computer for any length of time. But things should improve as I've just got my new leased education department laptop and I've bought a wireless modem thingo and I'm going to have a go at setting it all up. Wish me luck!

I've decided to do the George St market again this, this means I've been trying to decide what I will do this year. I'm going to focus on textiles again. I've made some little layered felt cut out designs to use as pins or pendents.

I'm also thinking of using lino prints or silk screening images onto fabric and making 'calico' shopping bags, making little purses for bare essentials and obi inspired aprons that are more of an accessory than a purely functional item. I'm hoping to come up with ideas of things that people will want to buy. Last year I sold a few handbags and some aprons but none of my little crocheted pins/brooches.

Someone said "They are really cute but I never wear brooches" I hadn't really thought about it properly. I love brooches on my jackets, scarves and hats that I didn't stop to think that they are not really a mainstream item and therefore wouldn't sell all that well.
We'll see how it goes this year and perhaps any remaining stock I can use to finally do what I said I might do this year and sell it on etsy!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The Art of Mothering...

Yesterday was Bantam Boy's birthday. (He is 17!) Rather aptly I received a belated birthday present from Kirti - apt because it was a book called 'The Divided Heart' that is concerned with what it means to be both a mother and an artist. It based a collection of interviews the author has had with a number of artists across a number of art forms including writing, visual art, drama and music. From the first few pages I was laughing and crying simultaneously as I reflected on my own personal experiences in relation to those being discussed.

A part of me felt shamed at my underachieving- in that I am merely a creative person playing with art and that I have not had the courage to pursue art seriously. I am challenging the thought that I have nothing worthy to say. A lot of what I want to do revolves around the role of motherhood and the relationship I have with my children. Why do we so undervalue this so much?

The painting below is a painting that I have been 'playing' with for about 5 years maybe more. It is based on a photo that was taken of me and Chicky Babe at a friend's wedding many, many years ago (I was chief bridesmaid and designer/seamstress, for the bride and 4 bridesmaids and a flower girl -Chicky- and I was the florist too! All made in five weeks while working at my 'real' job full time too.). This painting is one that challenges me. I so want to get it right because I love the way I was captured whispering lovingly into her ear and yet she hardly seems to be paying attention with her eyes turned looking beyond to her future, as she should! I'm happy with parts of the work but every now and then I pull it out and fix the colour here or a line there and look at it a while and then shove it away behind a shelf, damage it a bit in the process, until the next opportunity comes that happens to coincide with my desire to work on it!

Reading the book raises many questions about how society perceives motherhood, how women perceive it and perpetuate myths around mothering and indeed how I perceive it myself. I know I value it highly and I an grateful for the way my children have grown, and I like to think that I can take credit for a portion of that but also recognize that I have been dealt good cards in that department, neither of my children have any serious health or behavioral issues that I have had to contend with. Yet I am dissatisfied that I am just a single mum and school teacher when I could be doing something REALLY important!

I've been thinking that as a single mother I have made some choices that have meant that I have taken the safe road as a primary school teacher rather than actively pursuing an artistic career. It means I can pay (although sometimes at a stretch, especially when I worked part time to fit in time for art and mothering!) the mortgage, drama and music lessons etc. I don't really regret these decisions yet a part of me is always wondering 'what if???' Being on my own has made it tricky at times to fit in time to be creative but it also allowed me to 'selfishly' follow my dream and go to art school for a very very brief nostalgically wonderful year. Then the pull to be sensible and dependable took over and I returned to work being a far more acceptable reason for abandoning my children to daycare than pursuing my desire to learn something as flippant as an art course!

When I met my husband I was 'arty and creative', I designed and made a lot of my own clothes and although I was studying teaching I majored in art. This was not something he valued (although on reflection I think it was something he was jealous of) and over time as the relationship deteriorated this became obvious in the way he spoke to me and I was more and more trapped in my depression and self loathing. Many people say that they feel having children hinders their creative self and to a large degree that is true and I can relate to the ways in which choices have to be made but in a way for me having the children reawakened the desire to express myself creatively.

When bantam boy was born I had just lost my artist, father and really began to question where I was, what I was doing and who I was. By the time Chicky came along I was really wondering if the I who is me would survive and I had a very dark internal struggle that eventuated in my leaving the marriage knowing that if I did not the real me would surely die inside. Hence the sojourn at art school. From then onwards it has been a juggling act making sure I find and allow myself the time to be creative because I know when I don't it is so destructive to my soul!

I'm looking forward to the rest of this thought provoking book.