Saturday, 21 March 2015

Around the place in the last month!

Good morning......This is where I am sitting right now.  I apologise for my blog absence, it is mostly because I have been working on a big project that I am not really able to share with you yet.

I have been trying to decide whether to put the (rather heavy plywood) painting of my lounge room in my lounge room.  I had it propped up against the wall for a few days.  And then a storm hit, and I thought it best to take it down.

Black and white Pete.

The inside of a worm.  (Colours not correct.)

Bird and flowers.  Inspired by a vintage fabric design.



 I have been working on illustrations for a children's book!!!  I have been enjoying the experience very, very much.  These tiny details are all I can show you for now, unfortunately.  I am looking forward to being able to show you the whole thing.
Gardening Australia magazine illustration, April.  (The glove was later changed to charcoal grey in Photoshop.)

Monday, 23 February 2015

Home textiles & a home made textile

Above: there is a rather big pile of cushions in the front room at the moment, along with the Svenskt Tenn fabric that my mum so generously brought back for me from Stockholm, some Indonesian batik, and Angela Dalinger cushion with a naked man on it and a doona/ duvet cover made from my sewing and op shop left overs.  Below: a rag rug that I started so long ago that I don't even remember how to hook fabric anymore.  (Or where my hook is.)  I do remember that it was fun and easy, although obviously not fun and easy enough to bother finishing..... HMMMM.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

New things in the shop; and a gift for a friend

The last of the painted table tennis bats!  Thanks again Miss Pen!!!!!!!  Awake Really is the New Sleep II.  This one is in my Etsy shop.

Above and below.  Making their shop debut too: a Love Conquers cushion (in a MUCH smaller size than the ones at Craft Victoria, please note!) and a one-of-a-kind patchwork number, 50 x 50 cm.


This one is definitely NOT in the shop.  I don't know about you, but when I went to university, every second person seemed to be wearing a "Don't ask me about my thesis" t-shirt.  I thought that my friend Drew might enjoy my take on this phenomenon because (a) he happens to have completed a PhD thesis  without resorting to such attire (b) he has a Bristol Stool Chart in his toilet.  Oh, and (c) he has a sense of humour generous enough to find this sort of thing amusing.

Monday, 9 February 2015

New cushions and an illustration for Gardening Australia magazine

Above: a new illustration cushion in the shop, and a BRAND NEW Love Conquers cushion below, a smaller version of the ones that I made for Craft Victoria last Christmas.


Above: illustration for Gardening Australia magazine, March.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Around the place this week....


 I'm working on a really lovely project at the moment, but I can't show you ANY of it -- and won't for AGES!  So I have just been taking photos of things around me, like stuff in my kitchen, above.
The thing that I am working on that I can't talk about necessitated a trip to Heide this week.  One of the many highlights was an exhibition of work by the mysterious H. Dearing, above. Professor H.A. Tipper, first man to ride a five inch bicycle.... 1925.  Oil on cardboard.

 I am officially an art collector!  In love with this work by Emma Lipscombe.
Born Devotional Sandy, 2012.  SOLD, as of yesterday! Thank you D, if you are out there, reading this post.  Sandy is snugly wrapped, and on her way to your place....   :-)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

New work/ around the place this week


SO pleased to be able to show you this little portrait, above, which was commissioned by a wonderful husband to his darling lady on the occasion of her 40th birthday.  They recently bought a house in Footscray, and are very happy there, despite kind of living on a flight path.  Have a look here for last year's birthday present commission, which I was also very privileged to be involved with.

I have a longstanding fear of canvas (I paint on wood normally, using acrylic) so I decided to buy one and paint on it largely to try and get over that fear.  Here he is above -- pretty boy -- a gift for a friend.  He is actually feeling quite relaxed about being on canvas, after all.  It seems to require more paint but overall it doesn't feel that different.  Maybe if I had made a dreadful mistake it would have been a problem: the sanding back option that one has with wood is one that I really like.

Above: Mouse looking particularly evil the other morning.....

Above: last Sunday I tackled a mending job that I had been avoiding for about a year.  My trusty patchwork quilt has holes no more.  (And can someone please tell me why it was largely the RED fabrics that had not just faded beyond recognition but looked like they had been chomped on?  Are there special moths that like to chew red dye??  I may never know the answer to this question....)

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Two commissioned portraits


I'm so pleased to be able to show you these portraits, which were commissioned by a young lady in Sydney called Amber.  The subjects are her grandmothers Audrey and Valerie, who are both still alive in their  90s.  Blessed with a fantastic eye for colour and detail, Amber played a big part in making these paintings as lovely as they are.  Her grandmothers are very lucky.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Around the place, this year so far

My sketch for Kitty (2013) and a print out of Sylvia Sleigh's Annunciation: Paul Rosario (1975) bid you hello, above.  Moving just a few years later, below, my brother Nick and I say hello to you from a framed Polaroid.  Nick is wearing a purchased shirt, while I am dressed entirely by our mother, including the knitted belt.  I still enjoy a bit of double denim, or denim combined with red, white and blue.

Above: this dear koala has moved to a new home in New Zealand!  I know that he will be very happy there.

 Above: don't store your cotton reels in a shoe box.


 Above: this month's illustration for Gardening Australia magazine.  
 Above: a beautiful gift from my beautiful friend Anna.  WAAAAHHHH!!!!  I miss your presents, I mean, um, presence....!!
Above: DRUMROLL, PLEASE!  I am going to be teaching a knitting class at the Melbourne CAE this March. It will be an all day class for people with basic knitting skills who are ready to go further and try a bit of experimentation with colour and words.  It's going to be fun!!!  More details here.
Above: there's a new volcano cushion in the shop.  US customers please note: due to the fluctuating fortunes of the Australian dollar, items from Australian Etsy shops (like mine!) are cheaper now than they have been for a long time....

Monday, 5 January 2015

My studio in Beci Orpin's new book




Happy New Year!
It was a lovely (and slightly surreal) experience to have Mrs Beci Orpin visit my studio last year and take some snaps for her latest book, which features ten creative studios in Melbourne alongside Beci's craft projects.  I have been a fan of Beci Orpin's work FOREVER.  Yes, FOREVER.  I am happy to gloat that I spotted her work in her RMIT Textile Design graduate show sometime in the mid to late 90s, and wanted to buy some of her printed silk fabric but was too poor -- or too shy -- to go through with it.  Since then I have admired from afar the various guises of her happy, clever and beautiful work, from the Princess Tina fashion label to graphics for Beatbox Kitchen.  Photos of my studio above by Beci Orpin, taken mid 2014.  Below: signature Beci Orpin goodness: just some of the beautiful craft projects in the book.  (I really want to find the time to make a mask or three!!!)




Make and Do by Beci Orpin, published by Hardie Grant, Melbourne, 2014.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Around the place this week

 Indecisive notebook Virginia, above.
Above: Black Rock last week at around 6:30pm, looking a tad dramatic and quite lovely.

 Above: A painting, a print of another painting and objects in front.  More is more I say.
Above: look carefully and you will see my new studio companion.  A tiny tiny mouse on the bookshelf.  He wasn't shy either: he came forward and said hello a few times.  He also did some poo on my books, which was less appealing.  I think we need a studio cat.
Above: I found an old piece of work behind a bookshelf (at home).  Some spots of mildew on it, but I don't mind it, and am actually quite impressed by the trouble I went to with the drapery.  (Not so the hands: but what else is new?!)

Above: a few things on the wall of the studio, photo taken this morning when the eastern sun was coming in through the left.  The soup-making photo on the right is the work of Irving Penn.