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.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

This week

Above: work in progress. (Very blue-ish photo I have just realised, sorry).
Above: an assortment of original illustrations on wood (gardening and Japanese food related) is now in the shop.
Above: a very sweet little book from the Ukraine which I received in the mail.
Above: view from the couch.  (Yes!  I DID get to lie on the couch for a short while!)
Above: the back garden after the rain.
Above: the zippered purses were such a hit at Markit, that I decided to make some more.  These are also in the shop.  Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Craft's Christmas 2014 catalogue

My little salami lady friend above is very proud to show you a postcard for Craft's summer range which features my Volcano cushion.
My Campfire cushion (exclusive to Craft) and Volcano cushion with some fantastic friends, above.
 My Lonely Hipster print, above.  Volcano cushion yet again, below.
Below: on the fridge is my Lady and Flowers card (presently sold out but still available as an A4 print) in excellent company!
Wow!!  I am really proud to have my work featured in Craft's online summer catalogue promotion.  Great house, too.....Apart from being in the company of some extremely talented makers, being accepted by the fraternity of Craft Victoria means a great deal to me.  Thank you very much Sarah, Leesa and everyone else at Craft!
Photos by Hilary Walker.  (Sorry about the cropping....)

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Design Files Open House 2014

The Design Files Open House 2014 is -- well -- OPEN!  It is a huge privilege to be involved in Lucy Feagins' incredibly ambitious project of bringing her beautiful blog to life, AND for the fourth year running.  (Fifth if you count Sydney 2013 separately!)  The colour palette this year is particularly interesting, and there's plenty of great art and handmade metal, perspex, glass and ceramic items.  Hooray for Lucy's ongoing support for us little makers!  Photos above are taken from Eve Wilson's, see more here.

Above: the sum total of items I have made for Open House this year.  All acrylic on wood.  (The relative sizes are not shown correctly, more details here.)  I had a fantastic time at the opening last night.  SOOO great to meet Helen Bayley from Lovestar and Emma Lipscombe, who came all the way from Brisbane and Perth respectively, just for the event.  (I came from two streets away so it made me appreciate how great our city is all the more!)  I also got to chat with the lovely Georgia Perry, a recent immigrant from Sydney, and again appreciated how supportive we Melbourne creative types are of one another, especially through bodies like Craft Victoria.  Don't take it for granted!!
I did however make a bit of a crazy fan idiot of myself upon meeting my gardening idol Georgina Reid.  I may never live it down.  I hope she really was just tired and needed to change her shoes....