Tuesday 28 December 2010


This is my first ever blog post from my "new" Mac. (I have been a PC user both at work and at home for ten years. It has taken me weeks to get it all working, and I am far from used to it yet.) Above: I have also been making this mortadella-like lady for a while, in between other things. I would like to give her a nice belt, in the way that salami often has, but I am too scared to go to the Vic Market for research purposes in case I just buy lots of salami and eat it. I would also be interested to know if anyone thinks that maybe she doesn't actually need the belt.
Above: Hungry cats from a book of Victorian games that I bought at that nice second hand bookshop in Northcote recently.

And a pipe mirror, this time with bonus smoke! Soon it will be finished and in the shop.

Safe and happy holidays to all. See you next year!

Friday 24 December 2010

Basse Couture, No.1

Above, front. Below, back.
My first (and possibly last) piece of basse couture. (Thank you very much BB and Lambert for correcting my previous attempt at humour in a language I do not actually speak.)

Merry Christmas everyone, and wishing you a wonderful year in 2011! Thank you so much for your support, it makes my heart glow and helps my hands to make more...

Monday 20 December 2010

Circus Highlights

Girls just wanna have fun? Just a few of the many highlights from Taschen's giant book of the circus. (So giant that I had to photograph rather than scan these, unfortunately.)

See more on Creestal's flickr photostream.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Lino Lady

Photo above by Anna Parry.
Thanks to the lovely Miso (and the equally lovely Tim) my work has been included in the awesome Fit to Print exhibition at No Vacancy. A great part of the exhibition has been a series of printing demonstrations where you can see gocco, screenprinting and linocuts being created
in-house. As the latter is the only style of hand printing that I am half capable of, I volunteered to sit in the gallery last Sunday and make a little linocut. It was a fun afternoon, chatting with two young art students called Jess and Peter, gauging away at the lino with tools I hadn't touched in five years and stupidly cutting my finger. I actually gave my lack of expertise away even before I injured myself, but my two companions didn't seem to mind.
A scan of the unfinished and as yet unprinted lady, above. She may be a self portrait. Her ponytail is meant to double as a brush (somewhat Illustrators Australia logo style, oops!). I also don't smoke a pipe or wear a hat, and my head isn't quite THAT big, but never mind. I don't know whether I will ever finish her or print her: I actually quite like her just as she is with all of the gauges showing.

For anyone out there who lives in Melbourne and is interested in linocut printing, or any sort of printing, The Australian Print Workshop on Gertrude Street is highly recommended for its classes and facilities. And gallery, which often has higly covetable work by Aboriginal artists.

Saturday 11 December 2010

Well behaved

I have mostly been behaving myself, stitching another bunch of scarves for the Craft Victoria Shop. In between I have been spending a bit too much time on etsy: now that the interface has been updated to include Facebook-style real time "Activity Feed" showing who has been putting one's items in their favourites and "Your Circle" which shows what selected etsy friends have been putting in their favourites, really there is no reason to ever leave and have a normal non-computer life. Yesterday as I finally logged out (um, I had an appointment to keep), I noticed a very familiar eye half way down the front page, below:

It was a detail of my mark II version of the Lady with the Village on her Head! When I clicked onto it, this is what came up:
Alison Feldmann, AKA TeenAngster, smiling up at my Lady! To say that she made my day is quite an understatement.

For those less familiar with the staff of etsy, Alison is the very cool editor of The Storque, etsy's blog, has her own fantastic blog called TeenAngster, and a bunch of etsy favourites that is always a browsing must.

And for those who are even less familiar with anything to do with etsy, it's simply a huge thing to have your work anywhere on the site's front page, as it means that millions of people could potentially see it.

Thank you thank you thank you TeenAngster Alison.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

I FINALLY fixed my saw.

I have cut out an aqua sweater clock with bright orange 'knitted' people.

A hanging tattoo clock with a mother tattoo. (I left the hairs off this time because I always make them look like rain, which would have been even more likely now as it's raining every single day on the tropical isle of Melbourne.)

A Lady with a village on her head mark II: this time she has a dark and mysterious visitor.

And of course the original wooden tattooed sailor who was first shown here.

Yes, I finally found a blade for my scroll saw and cut out the things that I had been working on over the last couple of weeks. They are now all in the shop.

Here's an interview with lil' baby Bro!

Saturday 4 December 2010

Rags to Riches II

I took Thea's advice and opened my giant circus book the other day. It is so full of incredible images that I am beyond words. The photo below of performer Zelda Boden, taken in the 191o's, so intrigued me that I had to do something with it.
I actually painted this picture a couple of weeks ago when my back was at its most sore, and it took a while to get it right. My memory of exactly how and why I connected the headdress to scraps of food packaging has faded. I know that one of my inspirations was the work of the brilliant Rob McHaffie, a Melbourne artist whose work I love, and whose blog I stalk occasionally and write incredibly inane comments. (Intelligence of comment and admiration of work have an inverse relationship as far as I am concerned.)

A print of her is in the shop, by the way.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Little plaits and a pipe

New mirrors in the shop. I love plaits, particularly classic plait wearing characters like Pippi Longstocking and Anne of Green Gables. The comparatively simple pipe design is inspired by one that I found on my favourite blog, Agence Eureka.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Goodbye Seed!

Artwork for a musical set above, and the finished product below. I really enjoyed working on this, and I feel a bit nostalgic looking at it now, as
I left my "proper" job at Seed about a month ago. It's been a strange month: on my first day in the studio a panic set in, and about ten days later my back gave out. So it has been forcibly slow getting used to this new life, but I have been kept optimistic by new surprises every week. Ongoing freelance illustration work, running to the post office to send sold items and then replenishing the etsy shop, trying out ideas that have been waiting in my sketchbook, sewing scarves for Craft Victoria and a generous greeting card order from a lovely friend which I am just finishing off. I miss the camaraderie of the workplace though, and often wonder just what my colleagues are doing as I sit alone. They are working hard too, no doubt, in between having a laugh and a gossip and discussing where to go for lunch.

I really don't miss the bland corporate nature of St Kilda Road, nor do I miss HAVING to be at work at a certain time and then the day pretty much set out for me. I do miss walking home via the Botanic Gardens, and sometimes I miss being part of a brand like Seed, having been there for over five years. (Three stores when I started, over 50 now.)

I don't panic as much, and mostly I am really enjoying this new life, though I can't say that I am anywhere near used to it yet!

Wednesday 24 November 2010

A tattooed sailor in love

Above: detail of a finished poster, and soon-to-be greeting card.
Above: the sketch and the sailor completely naked, with just his working-man tan lines on show. I always have a conniption before I start, and have to make cups of tea or do something really important like looking for ideas that I don't need anymore --you know -- just in case.
Above: cup of tea provided rescue (and as usual is only half drunk) and the sailor man is nearly done. Phew!
Above: cut out in Photoshop -- the completed poster. The little wooden man himself (sans Photoshop) will be in the shop too: as soon as I work out how to fix the blade on my fancy saw.

Sunday 21 November 2010

Making a knitting pattern

I have been making a proper pattern of my confetti-coloured 'Riches to Rags' scarf (previously discussed in this post) for a sweet lady I met recently who loves to knit for relaxation and is going through a very difficult time in her life.
I'll put it in the etsy shop one day soon too, although I can't make pdf files yet and don't think that anyone on my side of the equator is going to be remotely interested anyway in these particularly glorious last days of spring.

And speaking of knitting, here is a photo of my minimalist (ha!) lounge room. Kind of like Where's Wally, see if you can spot the beautiful knitted tree cushion by Sara Carr which my brother bought for me.

(A highly appropriate gift considering that a few months before he took my Sara Carr pencil scarf before I ever got to wear it. Surely he must be the only six feet plus dark hairy male in the whole world who has ever worn that item.)

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Two new mirrors

I have made some new mirrors for the shop. The moustache mirror, a good gift for a lad whose Movember is not going well, is actually the same size as the lips mirror but I uploaded it at the smaller size for some reason and now it refuses to delete. Weird.

(You can also spy my very dry looking left hand painting the moustache mirror in the previous post.)

Felicity if you are reading this, a crown mirror is almost done too!

Sunday 14 November 2010

Studio shots by Anna Parry

I am very lucky to have a super talented friend like Anna Parry, who very kindly took these great shots of the studio last week. It was interesting to see what caught her sharp Scandinavian eye, as some of the photos are very different to the ones I took a few months ago.
Thanks so much, Anna!