Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little pots from odds and ends

Dear friends,
Using up odds and ends of felt and yarn has been my pattern of work this year. I don't know why - but it is so gratifying to get rid of them all productively.

This week has been rather busy with teaching every day, so there has been little time to felt, however I managed to squeeze some time in to make a few little vessels. I use these for putting vases of flowers in and can pretty much co-ordinate my vessel to the flowers that I have.
Now does that sound excessively weird?

Candles look great in them as well.
Hoping everyone has a lovely weekend to look forward to,
Chat soon

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Setting up a felting studio

Dear Friends
This post is in response "Karoda" who left at message at my previous post. She is thinking of setting up a felting studio and all I can say is "GO KARODA!"
Righto. These images are of my studio a little while ago and although I shift things around and more treasures (trash?) are housed there - it is basically the same.

My studio is not huge but compared to the kitchen table it is a palace! I so love going there and I think first and foremost this is imperative for a creative environment. You must create a corner that you are eager to get to. A corner of the study, the spare bedroom, the garden shed, the attic, the corner of the family room, the basement or the weeny space off the laundry.
The first thing is to get in some table/s that can be left in position that can provide storage beneath them and that are white and throw back some light. Perhaps if you find an old door you could whack some cheap white acrylic paint on it. This can always be removed if you want the door at a later stage without any tears at all.
The second thing to get is to get good lighting. Try to get it as natural as possible. The colours that you use will certainly be affected by the light hitting them.

The next thing to think about is designated areas that you keep for jobs that you would do every time you create. Somewhere you will go to use the sewing machine (see above), somewhere to do a spot of ironing, somewhere that your supplies are easily accessed. A wet area for the sink or place for water.

Get tubs or boxes that are uniform so that they easily stacked and can be labelled clearly.
OH YES and believe me, keep one type of item per bucket. This makes creating a real pleasure if you can get to your goodies quickly.
Once a month I do a bucket check out and fix up. On the odd occasion I locate a misplaced treasure but it is really to keep my studio practise running smoothly.
There is a real pleasure in handling your supplies on a fairly regular basis. You keep in mind what you need and what you have free licence to buy more of !

The colour that you paint the studio is a very personal thing. A base colour of pale grey, white or cream or even a glowing colour like gold is a good idea so that any colours that you add on top will look great. Keep it as calm or as bight and cheerful as you like - you can always change it!

Have wool in a well lit area rather than away somewhere out of sight. This will avoid moth. My best advice is to get a shoe rack - ideal for skeins of wool. These are all 50 grams so I know how much I will need for a designated project. As soon as you have a table to work and easy access to a sink and great lighting - march right ahead purchasing your tools of the trade. Good wool at all costs - be suspicious of super cheap offers. You will be spending much time pursuing your creations so buy the very best you can afford.

Have pieces of your own work around the studio to inspire you and display them in such a way that gives you pleasure. Perhaps you have a box of treasures that have never found a real home - the studio is the place for them.

Finally on the floor - avoid concrete at all costs. It will give you varicose veins! Felters mainly work standing on their feet. The carpet I have I purchased at the hardware store and it cost about $35.00 a metre for 2 metres wide. I simply glued it to the concrete surface. It cuts down all noise and is cosier in winter.
My studio was created on a shoestring. I had next to no money. So all my cupboards were from cast offs from the family and I even have my first baby wardrobe in there with Beatrix Potter contact on the shelves!
Do what you can with what you have on hand - most things can be made lovely and cheap, flat pack furniture, will be invisible when you get all your gorgeous creations on them.
The cosmetic stuff is really the inspiring aspect that make you excited to be there. Not just the opportunity to work in a peaceful area, but a place that is truly yours.
OH YES 2 last things.............
A place for a tea/coffee station and somewhere to put your CD player and and plenty of different types of music.

My love to you all, wherever you create
PS You can see my studio article in the FALL 2008 edition put out by Cloth Paper Scissors

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Making quick changes...

HI dear friends,
Today I had about 3 hours of uninterrupted time in the studio. Trundling along and making arms and legs to go on this doll. Complete disaster - she looked chunky and awkward.

So after huffing and puffing and being cross at my lack of my achievement I came to a an unalterable decision. Everything I had done in those precious hours was an utter waste. SO there was only one thing to do - I cut her arms and legs off! Golly that sounds awful!

But she was so much happier without them!

More stitching

Happy at last.
So when in doubt, if it isn't working, be happy in the knowledge that cutting things up is often the way through.

So friends, see how a pair of scissors can help you see clearly to getting a project done.

Lots of love

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In the studio today......

Hi friends
In the studio today I admitted to myself that being tidy is something I am very partial to. Now this is really strange because up until fairly recent times I was quite content to work in absolute squalor!
I pulled stuff out, found what I was looking for (or didn't as the case was) and just stepped over everything and left it all out until I couldn't really see anything properly.
I figured that if I left it out then something else was ready to be brought into the mix - you know what I mean - just in case.

I love collections of things around me. I do admire those beautiful clean, cool homes that are modern and sleek. I just don't think I could live in one - somehow the contained clutter suits me and is somehow so very comforting.

It is just the same when you have close friends over. Everything is OK, everything is comfortable, everything gets back into proportion. Thank goodness for friends both near and far.

Check out the clean floor - now that is what I call a thing of beauty!

Working on a new wall doll. Grey on grey - yep it's me Elizabeth and I'm working with grey!

Really loving the effects of it too!

Chat soon,



Saturday, March 13, 2010

Colours to dream upon!

Hello fellow artists,
Having had a busy week working in the garden I was happy to be back in the studio today sorting out some soy fiber. It has all the properties of silk fibre and can be used for many textile arts. Silk paper - an absolute delight to use in book arts, journaling and art quilts, it works beautifully constructed with soy. I just love it. The dye loves it too, as you can see!

Ever since I was a little girl I have been hooked on colours - I didn't really care about dolls or girly stuff which is ironic considering I can't seem to stop making them now! My main focus was crayons, pencils and paint of any type, with any paper I could get hold of.

Mum used to go around to our local butcher and get wads of paper for me to create with.
She often couldn't keep up and I would simply draw on the walls down our hall! Wall paper followed quite quickly and I was banned from enhancing them after that.

Yet still colour continues to be my driving force. I often feel that felt is my vehicle for showcasing colour. For others it is texture or shape that is the most stimulating element.

Yet it is my firm belief that if you start with your raw materials in shades and hues that are exciting, stimulating, perhaps unusual or exotic and you are completely in love with them - then all else will follow.

I really do believe that things fall into place if you get the colour right. Somehow you can think clearer, you can feel you way through. Colour is so very emotional, we react to it in an instant.
Almost before we find the words to descibe how we feel, the response has happened.
From the clothes you buy to the colour you paint your favourite room.

So if you have some time this weekend consider wandering and wading through your supplies and put together a colourway that you have never tried, that you fall in love with and can't wait to create into your next masterpiece. It will be time well spent, I promise!

Every best wish for a colourful weekend!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

A little of this and that

Hi dear friends,
Just a quick post of a little of this and that.

I know that people say that there is beauty in everything - but truly is there anything more gorgeous than this mountain of silverbeet and our first truly RED pepper of the season - the rest are still yellow and green and we are waiting for them to blush.

I have a very dear friend who is a beautiful potter. For such a long time we have talked about me coming down the coast to her studio so that she can teach me to get beyond primary level clay building! This was my second effort which we will be glazed at some point. I really should have thought what to make - so please forgive my crude efforts!

Sisters Amelia and Carla in class on Friday. We had a super time - here is Carla above, enhancing a wall hanging with the embellisher. Amelia, below is combining fleece and yarn for her next work of art!

A most glorious storm late today has put the air back into the right sphere and the garden is breathing beautifully.

I hope everyone is breathing beautifully, so to speak,
Chat soon

Lots of Love

Friday, March 5, 2010

Teaching in Geelong last weekend

Howdy dear friends,

Hoping everyone has had a lovely week. I simply cannot recall what has happened between Monday and today - no doubt something!

Anyway last weekend had a great time away teaching in Geelong. Day 1 we felted to our hearts content and then on Day 2 we embellished our felt creations until they were so gorgeous we really should have sold tickets at the door.

Thought you might like to see some of the students and their results. I love going away to teach, the best fun is always had and I think that everyone really pulls together to help each other to achieve their very best. I guess it is a sense that anything is possible.

Taking a breather to prowl around the room!

Lovely Doreen working hard at her landscape piece. Day 1

Trees and foliage at the end of the wet felting session.

Judy creating leaves and add ons with the embellisher Day 2.

Smiley Mary working hard on Day 2

Mary's gorgeous results
How thrilling, a lump of fluff - to a work of art.
Now that's my kind of magic!
Hoping that everyone is experiencing a little magic this week. Have a relaxing weekend.