Sunday 26 July 2009

Finding a theme... and time.

Boy I've been a bad blogger. I've been pretty busy but just everyday stuff, kids and work- my computer time has been taken up with creating work packages for an Online Teaching and Learning System that I've been learning about but haven't used enough to be very proficient at yet. And crochet.

Mollie Flowers tutorial from Roman Sock

But yesterday I did something a bit different. Months ago I enrolled in a workshop at the Art Gallery of WA run by David Walker. There is an exhibition of his jewellery on at the gallery at the moment. I woke up feeling a bit tired and not really in the mood for it but having paid I went. It was quite interesting and I came away with a couple of bits of important information.
At one stage he was taking us through his exhibition and telling us where his ideas had come from. Now I know you will all probably shake your heads at the obviousness of these revelations but I guess it was just something I needed to hear at this point.

1. Make something that you like...yes it is important that it is something that others might like especially if you want to sell it but make things that you like.

2. Focus on things you are interested in or passionate about- emotionally or intellectually.

The aim of the workshop was more about exploring ideas than creating a piece of jewelery.
Unfortunately one other girl and myself did not get the preliminary workshop notes so we were well and truly behind all the others who came with materials, tools, notes and stimulus pictures as well as some idea of the materials they wanted to explore.
I made a start wrapping yarn around a curly vine. playing with the contrasting textures of the wood and the different types of yarn. I felt a bit embarrassed when David came to talk about "My ideas" and "theme and direction" and I weakly replied "oh, I'm just playing with the textures at the moment....nothing deep and meaningful"
Than I tried melting plastic together with an iron, surprisingly easy and quite effective- something I might do with the kids at school (Sorry no photo, I've lost the piece I made.)

Then I started to think about weaving yarn and came up with these ideas.
(Remember they are an exercise in idea development not finished pieces)

As I worked I thought about my interests, I love fibers and traditional methods of working with textiles things that are predominantly or generally thought of as woman's crafts. I feel passionate about my children and my role as a mother. In my head I played with ideas of how we weave the threads of our lives together, we weave stories and treads of memory and how we bind those memories close - especially now that the kids are growing up I feel a bit sentimental about those memories and those traditional crafts have a link with the women of the past- my own direct past with my grandmother who knitted vests for us and our children and my great grandmother who crocheted, knitted and embroidered but also with the generations of women who sewed their hopes into things they made in the home and wove their memories into quilts, and other things they made for their families. These things in turn become the fabric of the life of the family and serve to provoke memories in the future for the children and grand children.

So I guess these little pieces are about that taking a traditional craft and presenting it in a more contemporary way. I actually enjoyed the different textures but these could be woven in different types of wire.

I also felt better when David found these experiments interesting and wished me well in my jewelery making pursuits.

And this afternoon I finished my crochet (It will be a cushion cover for a round cushion I have hiding somewhere or a trivet for hot pots. I'm not sure which just yet.)
And I managed to post this!

Friday 10 July 2009


Where has the week gone? I've done
a bit of knitting
a bit of sewing
a bit of cooking
a bit of drawing
a lot of running about after my cherubs
visited my dear friend
caught up with a couple more,
saw a movie (Coco Chanel)
watched some DVD's
and have done a very little bit of housework.
And no photography!

I'm trying to decide what to make in order to make money so I can go on my trip.
I think I will do some of my HANDbags as they sold well.

I'm also thinking of tiny mosaic pendents using some of my broken tea cups but I've not yet figured out the best way to do them yet.
I thought of making some crocheted cotton dishcloths with some left over cotton yarn but they take far too long to make and I just wouldn't be able to sell them for a reasonable profit.
Then I thought tea cosies or coffee pot warmers, crocheted and embroidered.
A friend suggested making some felt cone christmas trees like I made her as nearly everyone who saw them on her bench commented on how lovely they were.

Any other suggestions????

Right LOTS of ideas, no direction and one more week of holidays.....

Monday 6 July 2009



It's holidays at last. I managed to do report comments for all my art classes, This means that I don't have to do them at the end of the year (although I don't think I should HAVE to do them at all as it is not required by the department) anyway they are done. In the last few weeks I've also managed to crochet a chevron lace cardigan in black.

This is a fantastic pattern. Very easy and very comfortable. The sleeves have bounced up a bit and although I did want them shortish for work they are a bit short!

And I've made a couple of neck warmers one for me then one for a friend because she admired mine so much.

(She also wants a cardigan!)

So far this holiday we have had a 'gathering' of teens here - 20 or less people is a gathering not strictly a party I've been informed. Although I think loud music and sneaky alcohol, loud singing pizza and then sausage sizzle later in the night and me being evicted from my lounge room at 12ish and not being able to get to sleep properly is a party. A gathering evokes a much more civilized kind of affair. It must be a generational thing. Bantam Boy still has to clean up after it. Saturday was out as there was another 'gathering' (on a much smaller scale) at another friends place and then he had work on Sunday. Now it's Monday 10:30 and he's still in bed. Never fear I'll wake him in a bit, but right now I'm enjoying the quiet of being on my own.

I had to get up bright and early- well early at least. Chicky Babe is off to Rottnest Island for 3days and 2 nights. It is cold and rainy this morning so the half hour ferry ride won't be too pleasant, but she will be with all her mates so she will be oblivious to the adverse conditions. I'm sure she will be fine they are staying with the parents of one of her friends from drama. There will be 18 people in all. Apparently the family own a holiday house on the island and so the kids don't have to pay for accommodation. I spoke to the mother (much to Chicky Babes horror - she could see no reason why I would have to do that, see how unreasonable and embarrassing I am to her!) The mother said she would feed them all too. How generous are they? So I went and bought a whole lot of treats and snacks for her to share.

After dropping her off at the ferry I went to the Fremantle art centre and wandered about looking at the exhibition and had a coffee and a lovely chat with a complete stranger.

Now because it is so grey and dreary outside, I'm going to wrap my feet in my finished Babette rug and put on a DVD and a pot of tea and sit and knit my next project a lovely chunky circular vest. And think about what I am going to do to sell at George Street Festival this year so I can make lots of money so that I can go elephant trekking in Thailand!

One of my friends had planned to travel with another friend when they turned 40 this was put off and off until now that she will be 50 next year they decided to go elephant trekking . Then her friend said no again...So I've decided that I would go with her instead. (much to Chicky Babes surprise! She doesn't know that I do have a mildly adventurous side although if you check out the link you will see that it is camping but only in name they have bathrooms attached to the tents. And it is quite civilized really.)