Eventually I found this little museum just around the corner from me. It is a collection of buildings including a replica of one of the first houses built in the area. The site includes 3 original graves and proof of long ago aboriginal visitation, also some coastal rainforest and a sub-tropical cottage garden. This museum is run by a volunteer organisation called the Gold Coast and Hinterland Historical Society. The entire committee was there on the 6th of November working, and they insisted I sit and have tea!. They followed me around to make sure I was Ok or maybe to make sure I didn’t steal anything. They were helpful and very chatty and generally made it difficult for me to draw. Luckily there were only two other visitors there that day. It was extremely hot, there were few places to sit and draw and there was very little notation about things. Consequently I only got a couple of pages drawn and I am not very happy with the results and haven’t submitted them yet. I did manage to take a few photos.
This is part of a little table mat that was at the museum sitting on one of those twig hall tables. It is sacking with cotton string and is supposed to be original from the 1860’s. It does look a bit clean to be original but I thought it was interesting.
I have a new Application on my Mac called Turbo Collage. It lets me put several photos together and add text. I find it useful to add groups of things and to show progressions. This is of a glue resist experiment. I used Elmers Blue Gel glue as the resist and then soaked it in Soda Ash and painted Procion MX dyes with a brush. Then I added more doodles with the Sharpie Pen after rinsing and washing. This is my fern frond which I have shown before in a sketch book in an earlier post. Really I have been drawing this fern frond since I was a child in New Zealand.
Here is a doodle also dyed using a brush with unthickened Procion dyes. I have redoodled over some of the piece loosely. Next time I will try painting with thickened dyes. I think I like the black and white doodles best.
Since I had some dyes made up and Laura Kemshall had just presented a video on dyeing on DMTV I decided to do some simple pieces using her methods. These are the results and I am quite pleased with them, they will be useful. I also dyed some more threads to finish off the quilt from the same TV programme using the 2 metre piece of fabric and the rail fence block.
Finally here is the finished quilt. There is some machine quilting and quite a lot of hand quilting, all practising my seed stitch – I am still not great at random – The hand quilting caused my hands quite a few problems and eventually I realised that I had used the wrong batting to pull perle cottons through by hand. Its all a learning curve!
Finally, here is a photo of Bagley in my friends garden. Her lovely husband had taught him how to dig a hole. In actual fact he is much dirtier than this photo shows. My friend also has a Westie who is female and nearly one year old. They had a lovely day together and got into such a mess they were banished to the hot garden! Bagley was a hot and exhausted puppy after that and spent the next 24 hours sleeping. He can’t wait to get back to that garden and practise his hole digging!
I went with the Serendipity group to the GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art) to their “Threads” Exhibition. It was very interesting, there were quilts and textiles from the Asia Pacific region. All of the quilts and textiles are actually owned by the Queensland Museum, Queensland Gallery or the GoMA. If you like textiles its well worth a visit. I took this photo because it was amazingly hand stitched in the English Piecing style using half inch squares! I have another friend who is doing a postage stamp type quilt on one inch papers, it is going to be magnificent.
Finally, my very un-scientific 6 month light-fastness test on the copper dyed fabric is finished. there was very little fade. I don’t have a good photo yet and still have some tests to do – sewing etc using the fabric.
This is a quilt that I started in about 2003 and completed in early 2005. I may have put it on this blog before and if I have I apologise. Its the summer quilt for our bed and it’s nearly time to put it on again. Half of the silk was garnered from decorator fabric samples, some I bought, and some was brought back for me, by my daughter, from Vietnam. It is a bit faded now and looking a bit older from wear and tear, it has a hard life on our bed, what with dogs and kids and whatnot. However it still looks good and I love it. Silk frays and sheds even if you just think about looking at it, and even if you use a walking foot it likes to travel but I still would like to make another silk quilt.
Here are two of the three Sharpie doodles I have done over the last few days. Both of these are on fabric. I am addicted to this now and I have done a third doodle on previously soda soaked fabric and I am going to try dye painting with it. This was our homework for ‘Serendipity’, we got the idea from the book “Sew Wild” by Alisa Burke. Next I am going to try a text doodle!
Last week we had the pleasure of being shown around a beautiful garden in the very West of Brisbane, the roses were magnificent and there were lots of lovely other flowers which I also took photos of but I just love this one. The garden was mulched with barley straw and here is a barley ear fully grown so really a weed! One day I am definitely going to do something with all of my texture photos!
These blocks are rail fence blocks for my ‘Sisters” Tuesday project. Only three of us are doing the project but we are all very pleased and I hope to show you the results in the next blog. I put this photo in because it had the weird insect on it. In the past I would have shooed the insect away, now I quietly get my phone to take a picture and get quite close up. At the time I was laying out my blocks sorting out the order of things!
Here is one of my last Activities for my City and Guilds course Module 1. I now have Module 2 which requires that I visit a museum, I need a reasonable sized museum with OLD things that are beyond copyright, also a museum that will allow me to take photos. For example the V&A or the British Museum in London, or the Auckland Museum. The Queensland museum in Brisbane would do, but no! Its closed until January! What museum closes it’s doors? What about school visits? Google gave me a couple of other local museums, a war museum in Mudgeeraba with tanks and arms, yuck, a maritime museum at Southbank, a wax museum in Surfers Paradise. None of these appeals really but I will try the Maritime and until I do this I can’t move on with the course. I feel like I live in some sort of cultural wasteland. This isn’t true, we have an Arts Centre and galleries, playhouses, theatres.
Bagley at Obedience School. The photo is very dark because there was a raging thunder storm going on around us. We are under a shelter carrying on with the school! As you can see, he is very good at sitting now.
These three photos are before during and after, using the whole of the top of the milk bottle. I cut the plastic quite close to the neck so that you can still screw the lid on over the fabric. This is an idea I got from Janice Gunner, I only had enough caps to do half of the piece of fabric. It is dyed with procion mx dyes from Dharma Trading in the US, using Bright Orange and Burnt Orange. The dye concentrates have been in my frig since April 13 which makes it about as long as they are safe to use. I think the worst thing that will happen is that they will not be very light fast – too bad, I have had commercial fabric fade in a matter of months as well.
I call these “Kitchen plastic Shibori”. They are all ideas from Janice Gunner and easy and fun to try. I think some of them might work better in an Indigo Vat because it works a little differently to Procion. Indigo seems to attach to the outside of the cell, where Procion goes right in and makes changes in the cell.
These two photos are from My DM Creative Quiltmaking course photographs. The first exercise has been to find a collection of objects, which will later be used quite a lot for inspiration. I chose the old Optrex bottle because Optrex is supposed to make you see more clearly. The glass is one of Mum’s sherry glasses. The rubber duck is to remind me of Sophie. The Christmas decoration is my something red and something shiny. The seed pod I found a while ago and is from the Gold Coast. I am not sure what plant it comes from. I have discarded the round basket in favour of the simpler square box, however I am going to add the patterned shell. The next few stages involve sketchbooks and drawing – deep breath!!
The Star fish are in a shallow pool in Shark Bay at Sea World on the Gold Coast I had to wait for a long time to get this photo while children came and went and cast shadows and touched the starfish. We were visiting Sea World with the Whirlwind while she was here! They are in about 10″ of water!
We thought Sea World was extremely expensive to enter and also expensive to be there, food etc is mediocre at best and as a captive audience you are stung badly in the wallet. I also had the WORST cup of coffee of my life there! Having said all of that we had a lovely day and the displays are wonderfully done. I could watch the polar bears and the penguins all day and Shark Bay was fantastic.
This carved stone is in The Cathedral in Chester. The Cathedral was built on the site of an ancient Abbey hundreds of years ago. This stone was saved from the ruins of the Abbey when the cathedral was built. It takes my breath away when I see this sort of detail that is so old. I wish we had such great artisans more prevalent these days!
This photo is taken of a shop called All Saints of Spitalfields. The Shop is in the Bluewater Shopping Centre which is just off the M25 near the Dartford Crossing in London. There are more than one window covered with sewing machines in this shop plus displays inside. There are other shops in London as well.
I did a class with Janice Gunner learning new Shibori techniques and also how to dye with pre-reduced Indigo. It was a great two day class and this little piece includes several of the techniques and also different fabrics – cotton, linen and silk.
Here is the completed challenge quilt for the JEMS Quiltsitters Quilt Show. I really did not like this quilt until I had nearly finished quilting it. I am very pleased with it now. I think when you get so close to your quilt or your art work and it does not really seem to be happening quite the way you wanted, it is difficult. Then when you stand back and breathe, and get away from it for a while… it all falls into place. This is quite a different sort of quilt for me and I am now looking forward to making more similar quilts.
I purchased these flat metal rest shapes in the very small outdoor department in Liberty’s Department Store in London. Here is the result after rusting them. I really like the leaf shape and might use it for some quilting patterns.
I am going to do some more experiments with the copper solution and have already soaked a rusted sample in the solution successfully. I have also discovered that vinegar removes most of the copper colour from the fabric which might be interesting. I also need to do some sewing on the copper dyed fabric to see how it goes with needles and thread.
This is a sketchbook cover I have made after seeing one at my friend Joybell’s home recently. My cover is a different colour to hers, and I could only vaguely remember her instructions. The backing is some fabric paper I had made earlier in the year. The text is sponge fonts from four different sets which just stick on then I hurriedly machined over them to keep them in place. Then acrylic paints – I used Winsor & Newton heavy body acrylics. Then a few coats of varnish. I used some old Jo Sonja Satin Varnish. I really like it and it will make a great gift idea. This one is for me – it has my name all over it!
This is a really cool photo taken with an app on my iPhone. The App is called ‘Paper Camera”. There are multiple different ways of viewing the world through this app. This is called sketch up and I think its great.
Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. Travelling and blogging was more difficult than I thought it would be, then the Whirlwind and her mother came back to Australia with Perse and Myself. Then had the elderly-but-delightful parent in and out of hospital. Plus changing from the Windows operating system to the Apple Mac system proved to be more challenging than I had anticipated, however I have had several more classes at the Apple Store and am a little more comfortable with the new lap top now.
I have enrolled and been accepted to do a City & Guilds on line course in Creative Quiltmaking with the Design Matters Team. Crazy I know,adding more to my already crazy schedule but I am really excited and will update my progress on this blog now and then.
The final photo is of slime at the Albert Docks on the Mersey River in Liverpool.
Last Friday we went to watch our eldest daughter present for her confirmation of candidature for her phD. Of course she got it and is now a student again. I think it will take her about 3 years or so. She took this photograph and it is one of the more serious pictures that I have of her. Congratulations Eldest Daughter, we are all very proud of you!
This is an old quilt I made for this daughter which came back to me last week to have hanging sleeves put on it as it is to be hung in the Cherbourg State School Library. It has hand prints of all of the children in her first class in Cherbourg and they used it to sit on during story time. The turtle is made from a really lovely batik fabric that I have run out of and cannot find again!
At the last Craft show I made the great purchase of a new machine. It is an embellishing machine, although on the box it says “punching Machine” what it really does is needle-felt with five needles at once – quickly! The Picture on the right is of some of my experimentation with some wool roving and pre-felt cut into shapes and a bit of yarn on a dyed batting base. Eventually I will make this into a little bag, but it will have quite a lot of stitching on it first.
This wine glass I drew then painted quickly into my altered book the other morning. I spent years in the 1990’s trying to learn how to paint glass and the other day after very little painting in the last decade, it just came to me. Although its not perfect I am quite pleased. The spine of the book is a piece of fabric glued down with acrylic matte gel. I can’t remember where I picked up this technique but you stick down some flat alphabet stickers and then iron them (under some baking paper) then using a stencil type of process you paint over the stickers with some fabric paint, I used Pebeo Setacolour. When dry you just remove the stickers and heat set from the back with an iron. I then cut the strip to measure and glued it down. I had already changed the colour of the cover to match the fabric.
On the weekend I saw this wooden block stamp from India in a shop called “Tree of Life” This is not a shop I usually go into, it looks a bit like the old hippy shops, although in the 1970’s you might have found fruit flavoured “cigarette” papers under the glass of the counter! The painted yellow and blue piece of paper is painted vliesofix, and the gold is fabric foil. I am very taken by these old hieroglyphs that make you think the ancient greeks had mechanical implements with gauges and steam pouring out etc. I have stamped with fabric paint onto some decorator weight 100%wool felt. eventually I will cut it up and weave it back together with some other stuff and punch it all together with my new machine!
This picture of the tree trunk was taken at UQ St Lucia. I think it is some sort of pepper tree. Usually when I take this sort of textural photo I have no idea of how I would translate it onto some fabric. But this time I do!
I am so busy rushing around getting from A to B, often I forget to really look at the things around me. For example we have a lot of flowering trees in Australia, many of them are introduced but they do very well here. I have decided to pay attention to the trees and make a note of when they flower and how long for. (At this point my daughters are both rolling their eyes!) So to that end I spent today taking photos of some of the trees in my neighbourhood that happen to be in flower. Some of the trees I have omitted because they are just so over publicised, for example the frangipani, or because they are a whole species in themselves, for example the palm trees; and some because I just could not find a nice specimen to get a good photo. The first tree is the Shefflera Actinophylla, native to Northern Queensland and considered a pest on the Gold Coast by our esteemed council – I should point out that the photos I took are in the Park on Bundall Road adjacent to the Council Chambers!
The flower is the spiky thing sticking out of the top I know this from watching Burkes Back yard! The Lorikeets seem to like it! It is really a whole lot of berries stuck onto a stick randomly!
You might know this as a Royal Poinciana tree – they come from Madagascar and love the Gold Coast!
Probably the Tibouchina is really a large shrub and not a tree, but you can park your car under it and get some shade so in my book that makes it a small tree!
I found this by accident, just driving around the council buildings looking for the Tibouchina. If you didn’t pay attention you might miss the tree because from a distance it looks quite inconspicuous. This tree was quite small so I could reach and pull down the flower to photograph.
These Jacarandah trees are by the Q Centre. I have never noticed that they flower at this time of year. Usually they flower at the beginning of summer before the leaves come in. I wonder if they are flowering now because we have had such a lot of rain this summer. Does any one know?
- I have been playing with different glues for quite a few weeks now , looking for a cheap, locally available, glue which will resist dye, paint and other runny colouring fluids. I have had many dismal failures and quite a few surprises. Eventually I got some successful Glue resist! The one most people say to get! Elmers blue gel. I got it from Essential Textile Arts which is owned by Susan Pietch in Brisbane. Speaking of purchases, my first order from Dharma trading arrived today Yay! I have such a busy week I won’t be able to get stuck into playing until the weekend.
I wanted a photo of some fish for my altered book project. These fish are at the Ferry Road Markets. Have you heard of Fish Printing? You get a fresh fish and paint it with some printing paint and then press fabric or paper onto it. They used to do it in Japan to record fish size and type! These fish were too expensive but I was tempted.
So here are the pictures for my flour paste resist experiments. The first picture is the piece of fabric all pinned down to my print board, this is a failed shibori piece I dyed by tying onto a piece of plumbing pipe and then did not put enough dye into the mix, or too much water, or both. I had no idea how thick or thin to spread the flour mix and I feel I could have gone quite a bit thinner, I have written and drawn into the mix with a skewer in the second picture and in the last picture I have waited for the paste to dry which took about 24 hours, and then painted the whole thing with pebeo setacolour transparent in their Indigo colour. You can pretty much do the same thing with a whole range of kitchen goodies. Rice flour, cornflour, instant potatoes, oatmeal, cooked rice you name it, if you can make a batter you can give it a go!
Here is the fabric after rinsing and washing. I had to wait and passively cure the paint because obviously you can’t iron it! Don’t read it it is a whole load of rubbish about Strelitzia. I waited about 4 days. Pebeo gives you no idea about passive cure time and I really think that this was too soon. Next I would like to try the same flour paste technique with thickened dye, also using potato dextrin in stead of flour which is supposed to give you finer lines.
I was googling something the other day and accidentally came across a person who rust dyes and adds tannic acid to make black. Not having any tannic acid, I made a very strong cuppa – 4 teabags strong! and got my little pipette and dripped some of the tea over the area where the fabric had started to rust. This piece is only about twelve inches square unfortunately, It was a piece of leftover Lakehouse white on white spot. I really love this little piece and will definitely do something with it. I am also going to try to duplicate it. To that end I went to that big hardware store today and made some purchases for the rust experiments.
This first little picture is the things ready to be rusted. The second is all of those things in a plastic bucket with some vinegar and salty water. I have added a couple of already rusted bits to encourage the others. I am going to time how long it takes.
The third picture is a foam monoprint of a Strelitzia leaf ready for printing. I have glued it to some foam core board with the Elmers Ultimate glue. This is for my Quiltsitters challenge quilt which I have made a really good start on.
Last week my fabric arrived from Whaley’s in Bradford! Just need the Dharma trading order now! Today block 2 of the Sue Spargo Block of the Month arrived. Below is the completed block 1.
Here is a page from my Altered Book which I am doing as a weekly project with the DMTV programmes. The spoon says Taumarunui NZ: this is where I was born. Perse wanted to go all engineer on me and get mechanical devices to flatten the spoon, eventually I just took to it with the hammer on a chopping board! This page is not finished, and yes I know NZ is not aligned correctly! I am really enjoying doing this project and I am learning such a lot about all sorts of different media.
Perse was working down at the Avalon Air show last week and he sent me this picture of an F22 Raptor! If it was rusty I think I could use it, in the meantime I will just file it away with my texture photos!