Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Getting Grubby!

Dear Friends,
Howdy! Every so often - say every 8-10days I have to do some painting, no real need or purpose just a desire to make lots of painty mess with paper and canvas. I find that to work with such freedom is very invigorating.

This messy bit of paper is actually my palette. I use oven bake for my blobs of paint and when I have finished I just moosh it all together and then when it is dry I press it ready for a one day project. They look so detailed and take all of 2 minutes to make!

These are sections of the canvases I did today.

I think that if you can see the details up close it helps to analyze what else you may need to add - although perhaps you might see that it is time to STOP!

Knowing when to stop is a really big issue I think all artists face. It is so easy to gild the lily as they say and after hours of working and fussing and nit picking and adding a little of everything you own, you don't really like it. Funny that!

Lastly - this is a teeny corner of the garden today. How gorgeous that all these shades are on the same plant. In Australia it is called Pigface - really awful for such a beautiful specimen.

Wishing everyone a splendid week.

Love Elizabeth

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I have received a Sunshine Blog award!

A big thank you to Maria at Creative Bumble Bee for nominating me for the Sunshine Awards. I am really thrilled!

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others in the blog world.

The rules for accepting this award:

Put the logo on your blog or within your post.

Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.

Link the nominees within your post.

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

I don't have a great deal of time for reading many blogs but I do return to these people again and again because they do make me feel uplifted and open my mind to a world of other possibilities.

Maria Dent

Mary Stanley

Teesh Moore

Ro Bruhn

Dog Daisy Chains

Sara Lechner

Gustavo Aimar

Julie King

Jane La Fazio

Carolyn Saxby

Dot Christian

Juliana Bollini

Although I don't comment too often I do receive great pleasure from all of these artists each and every week.

So thankyou!

Love Elizabeth

Utilising Scrap!

Dear Friends,
Hi! Today in class Deb brought along her drum carder. See Deb in "Back in class" entry Jan 17th

Now I have always promised myself a drum carder to utilize my fleece in other ways. Somehow or other it has slipped onto the back burner and the one day list.
What a star Deb is - she has left it with me all week to play with!!! I am so utterly thrilled. Easy pleased aren't I! OK The above hotch potch of disparate wool is a combination of fleeces that have been left over after various projects.

The groovy Ashford Carder and me going mad carding the scraps into a batt ready for felting.

Which proves the point, I think, that there is nothing that cannot be made beautiful. I will try and find time to felt it tomorrow.

Our lovely Nell, adopted last year and who in her 9 years had rarely been outside, is here just resting from knitting a scarf.

It really is very tiring work knitting for humans,

Regular cat naps must be strictly adhered to.

Have a lovely weekend everyone
Elizabeth - who is plotting to keep Deb's carder (shhhhh.....please don't tell her!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stock piling in front of the TV

Hi friends,
Busy day making more plum jam and tomato sauce - I am feeling very resourceful and the cupboards have no room left for basic stuff like general food. Oh well - they look pretty sitting there grinning at me. I feel certain I will appreciate them in the winter months!

As you can see I am knitting again - I just adore adding other types of fibre to my layout of fleece before felting. These are just small panels waiting until I get inspired.

If you have idle hands in the evening - mind you I don't think I know any woman who isn't working at something in the evening - and men are too busy monopolizing the remote control - stockpiling in this way frees up your creative time when you are working on a project.

It is a great luxury to have little stockpiles from which to choose. These sorts of things at your fingertips allow a far greater scope when you come to create something new.
For example, if I am laying out a new piece of felt and I require a piece of knitting or perhaps some shredded muslin, maybe some felt swirls or a pile of felt triangles there is such freedom in grabbing a box of the required element and just selecting the piece/s to be used.

If I had to stand there cutting out 50 triangles and whatever other element was required I would never get anything done in my studio time.

SO my point (which is coming!) is this:
Treat television time as a perfect opportunity to stockpile - you will never look back!
Sometimes I end up with leftover pieces of felt from a doll or bag or whatever and these I gather up and cut into shapes of all types so that I might be ready when the muse strikes! Let's face it that could be at anytime - so be a good scout and get prepared!!!!

The first bit of knitting is done with a very fine 2 ply and this one is hand spun and about a 10ply
No idea what they are for but does it really matter?

Below is a wall hanging I did some while ago and the swirls were done from scraps prepared in the evening and stored in shoe boxes until required.

Hoping everyone is doing something creative, if only some stockpiling for the next project!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Creative Art Retreat 2010

Creative Art Retreat March 17th - 21st 2010
Check it out here!

Hi friends,
In March the Creative Art Retreat in Melbourne will be on again and I will be teaching a one day workshop on lace felt scarves.
A really beautiful technique it allows for fabric and fleece to combine very effectively.

For those of you who would like to try something else just drop me a line and we can work it into the day I am sure. Hoping to see some of you in class!

Raining most of the day -and still listening to our water tanks refilling. Which is riveting stuff let me tell you!

Hope your week is starting well

Back in class!

Back to normal!
I am so glad classes have started again. I am really happy when people come to the studio and at the moment a Felt Folio class is underway - here is the lovely Kaye concentrating hard.

This is Deb - very happy to give me a grin! I think they are both going to be beautiful felters.
I will keep you posted on their progress!

A few hand dyed wools in the shop tomorrow - gorgeous stuff with a single twist, so it is just magic to felt or knit and felt as well.

It has been such a lovely cool day today and after I have complained for so long about the heat it was so very welcome. It is so amazing how much more productive I feel in a cooler climate.

I know there are those that rev up with a hotter temperature - but I belong to the other clan - there are those of you who know exactly what I mean:

I love to hibernate and walk in the rain and stand at the beach facing an icy wind and wear an extra layer and put another blanket on the bed and knit every day and make soup and light a fire and watch the leaves changing and the sun being lower in the sky.........................................
Maybe I should stop now!

Roll on Autumn!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Stuff!

New green felt today. I just adore green - of any shade. I think there are more shades of green than any other colour. Nature somehow manages to create bright luminous chartreuse to the coolest deepest pine green. I just love it!

Also got some new kits done now up on etsy if anyone is keen to have a try at felting! Also some new giftcards:

I can assure you that taking a lump of gorgeous fluff and turning it into a beautiful fabric is really a magical thing to do. I still have a promise to myself that if I wake up in the morning and it isn't exciting I will search for something else to do. After making felt for more than a dozen years nothing has ever changed. There have been lots of additions over the years but making felt has
kept me so very enthralled - I hope there are another dozen years at least!

This is the doll with the machine embroidery - she belongs to a group of tree creatures.

Every best wish

Friday, January 15, 2010 start something new

Hi friends,
These little spoon girls are waiting for dresses, hair anything really. Anything to just get off the shelf and begin a new life elsewhere.........................

It is amazing how one can be desperate to start a new life or at least make a big change somewhere else or something new to pursue. To do something out of the ordinary away from the known, to something more exciting.
I was thinking about this today as I was drinking yet another cup of tea whilst I was working in the studio today. I was reminded of some words I read recently and naturally I have completely forgotten them exactly, but let's pretend this was them: "Do that which makes you scared".

Ralph Waldo Emerson also said something similar:
"Always do what you are afraid to do."

SO this is my challenge over the next month -
I am going to try and jump off the deep end, leave safe waters and really do something new.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Machine Stitching

Hi everyone,
Recovering from the intense heat of the past few days, today felt like an absolute gift! Cool and clear. Amazing how very much we take for granted - just a beautiful day - not too hot and not too cold.

The other day I wrote about hand stitching - but machine stitching can really enhance felt pieces as well. The quilting effects add extra dimension and sometimes elements that you added to your layout of fleece, can often disappear once felted. Quite inexplicably sometimes!
The colours merge and there is no delineation between one shape and another. Stitching, either machine or by hand to the rescue and a work of art emerges!

Leaves on a layout of fleece and muslin.

More leaves

Our first crop of plums!!!! So exciting .....just resting before they disintegrate into jam!

Such a beautiful ruby colour!

Would love to send you all some - this might prove tricky - but if you come to the studio I will endeavor to bake my scones to go with the jam.

Hope your week is going well.
Love Elizabeth

PS: Who is not taking beautiful weather for granted!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And the winner is!!!!

OK drumroll.....................................................................

And the winner is...........................................................


Katie if you could please send me your address via email your surprise will be posted to you.

Thankyou to everyone for entering. It was really lovely to read everyone's stories.

Best wishes and I hope that everyone receives a RAK (Random Act of Kindness)
or decides to do one soon.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

The beauty of hand stitching

Whenever I am working in the studio I always try to get a piece of work to the point where I can add some hand stitching in the evening. The loveliest thing about adding details to felt is that it feels as if you are stitching into butter. It is so forgiving and can be gathered and quilted and enhanced in so many ways.

A but like life really - a stitch here and there can make all the difference.

Don't forget to enter my draw below to be in with a chance! I will be announcing the winner tomorrow!

Happy creating dear friends,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Summer is glowing!

Hi everyone!
Just wondering around the front garden today I wanted to share some of my favourites with you. I know that many of you are battling with wet and cold and snow but here in Australia we are just battling with keeping things alive!

Golden nasturtium are so beautiful

Tall Tigerlily

Creamy yellow

These lilys are so magnificent and their fragrance is reminiscent of very strong carnations. Such a shame I can't bottle it and send you all some.

Don't forget to enter my Random Act of Kindness - Surprise Draw! See Below

Hope everyone is finding time to be creative

Monday, January 4, 2010

Random Act of Kindness - Surprise Draw!

I was in our local hardware store this evening. You know the type - large, impersonal and run by an invisible team.
I was there to buy a couple of punnets of seedlings for mum. Just some humble parsley capsicums and red onions.

Well I discovered I didn't have enough cash and decided to leave one at the register.
Suddenly from behind came the voice of a lady "You've left one behind".
I informed her that I didn't have enough money and she promptly said: "Yes you do, I'm buying it for you!"

I was really taken aback and said "" Her reply: "This is a Random Act of Kindness"

I was really touched and promised her I would find an opportunity to do the same by the end of the week.

SO this is it:
If anyone would care to share their experience involving a random act of kindness or you would like to share your thoughts on this one, I would love to hear. So please level a message to this post.

On Saturday 9th
To all that reply, I will put their name/email into a hat (shoebox) and draw one out.

To this end I will post a handmade surprise to the person whose name is drawn on the following Monday (11th January)

I hope that if your name is not drawn, then you are the recipient of a Random Act of Kindness or decide to do one.

Good Luck Everyone!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Silk Fibre!

Silk fibre - the queen of fibres, is really so glorious to work with - I just wanted to share these delicious colours that I was playing with today. Adding a thin veneer to the top layer of your wool will add such luxury and depth to hand made felt. I still have pieces I made years ago that I continue to marvel at the sheen and lustre that it holds.

Available on etsy tomorrow:

Sunset - SOLD

Lavender Mist

Coral Sea

Mixed Blues

Lavender Blues

Blueberry - SOLD

Hope everyone is enjoying the first weekend of the year!