Hello weaving!

Hey gang! How are you? I have been well. Yep. My man is back at work and the kids are at uni, so we’ve been getting back into a working week/weekend rhythm which has been nice. And I’ve discovered weaving! I’m a bit in love with it.

A couple of months back I went to a little one day beginners workshop with the lovely Anna at The Studio Workshops. If you’re a Melbourne person, you should check her out. She runs all sorts of different crafty workshops for adults and kids (including kids’ birthday parties) – polymer jewellery, gift tags, fluffy animals. And they usually involve yummy food and beverage consumption too! But back to weaving. I think what I like about weaving is the creativity that it allows. I’m not following any pattern, but just making it up as I go along. I might start with an idea in my head and a sketch in my notebook but it invariably changes as I start threading the weft over and under the warp and different combination of colours, techniques or shapes spring to mind. Which is code for saying my original idea was crap and a lot of undoing has taken place!! But weaving is forgiving that way and for that I thank it! Unsurprisingly, it is quite meditative to take a length yarn ‘over, under, over, under’. And, since I am working on a lap loom, it’s a nice activity to do whilst watching some telly in the evening. Bonus!

So which one do you like best? I’d love to know! Have you fallen in love with anything new recently?

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The Sketchbook Project update!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about taking part in The Sketchbook Project. So. Have I been brave enough to put pen/pencil/paint to paper! Indeedy, I have! Here’s how it’s coming along!

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I’m pleased with how it’s coming along so far. It’s been really nice taking time creating an image rather than just banging out a quick sketch ‘to keep the eye in’. And it’s made me think about trying out different mediums. Maybe they won’t all make their way into the sketchbook but it will be fun playing!

The pages aren’t very thick so I avoided watercolour at first but then had the light bulb moment – my dimmer switch was on way too long! – that I could paint on watercolour paper and simply stick it into the sketchbook! My theme is Long Stories, Short so I’ve decided to use one page for words that tell the story of my picture. There’s not really a link between each page, other than they are little snapshots of a scene or thought that has stoked my imagination.

Do you have a favourite pic? I’d love to hear what you think!

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Being creatively brave!

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When the little yellow envelope arrived in the letterbox yesterday, I felt super excited. Finally, it had arrived from Brooklyn, my little sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project! Yay! Have you heard of this art project? It started ten years ago and is run out of the Brooklyn Art Library. People from all around the world have filled sketchbooks with their creative work, be it sketches, printing, painting, collage or words, which are then housed at the library (or mobile library for touring purposes). The books can also be viewed through the online catalogue and are searchable by artist name, theme and tags.

I tore open the envelope, read through the instructions, jumped on the iPad and registered my little book. There’s a list of themes to choose from but you are free to come up with your own too. I decided upon ‘Long stories, short’. I turned the front cover and stroked the paper of the first page. I love the feel of fresh clean paper. Is that weird? I turned the next page and the next. Thirty two blank sheets of paper to fill! That’s right. Thirty…two…blank…sheets…of …paper…to …fill. The fear, the trepidation started to set in. Those pristine sheets of paper looked so pretty in their unadorned state. Oh yes, they would look beautiful filled with colour and lines and images, but mine? Who am I kidding? I’m not an artist! Shani is an artist, not you! Her book was GORGEOUS because she knows what she’s doing. You have NO IDEA! Gah! Imposter syndrome, here you are! So…I had to give myself a little bit of a telling off, ‘comparison is the thief of joy’, ‘there are no mistakes’, all that sort of stuff, you know.

Anyhoo, my excitement is starting to bubble back up a little now. Tomorrow, I’m going to head to the library and scour the children’s section for some picture books for illustration reference and inspiration. I’m trawling through my instagram and loving looking at the work of some of my favourite illustrators, such as Rebecca GreenMarianna Marx and Lauren Merrick. I have a few ideas for a couple of pages and have done some practice sketches. There is loads of time to complete the book (February 2017 is the final date for submission) so I don’t have to try and squeeze it into my daily routine. I will have time to think and explore, and, hopefully, the images that are in my head will be reflected on the page. But in the end, they will be what they will be, and they will be something, which is better than being nothing! I’ll share some of what I come up with with you. And if you haven’t seen me post anything, give me a kick up the bum to make sure I do!

Have you ever had to fight the ‘imposter syndrome’? Been creatively brave? Or do you think creativity and bravery go hand-in-hand?

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Clickety clack

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If you’ve been reading along for a little while, you’ll know that I do love a bit of knitting and crocheting. Usually I’m clacking or hooking away at items I can donate to charity, but I have a couple of things on the go at the moment just for me. Yay!

We are heading away for a couple of weeks at the end of the year to New York – eep! – so I have decided I need a multitude of scarves and cowls. I loved looking through all the gorgeous wools on the Bendigo Woollen Mills website. So many delicious colours but I decided to opt for ‘raffia’. It’s practical and neutral and will coordinate with  most clothing options, such as I have! I’m using this pattern. Must say I do rather like Tante Ehm’s designs so may try out another one too! Head over here if you want to have a look at some lovely, cosy woolliness!

And how vibrant is this green wool? I love it! I’m going to use it to make this scarf. So many fab patterns from Wool and the Gang.

Do you have anything on your needles or hook at the moment? Yay for cold winters so we can wear scarves and cowls!

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Here’s what I’m making #wip

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Hello there! I’m joining along with the delightful Catherine of Saint Cardigan and sharing my current crafty project. If you love weaving, nail art and reading about creative people, you should definitely head on over and have a squiz at her lovely blog.

I’ve been hooking away at these beanies over the summer period. Most things I make are inspired by work I’ve seen by other bloggers. I first spied these woolly hats on The Messy Brunette and you can find the pattern here. I just have the crab stitch border to go on the black one. I’m tossing up between using the green or the turquoise. I’m thinking the turquoise. Thoughts?

I really like making these beanies. They are very quick and easy to make so are the perfect creative project to accompany TV viewing. This is when the vast majority of my creating takes place, after the daily chores and commitments have been completed. They don’t require large quantities of wool so are EXCELLENT for using up all the odd bits that accumulate in my wool basket. I love scrabbling through my leftovers and working out which colour combinations work well together and how to create an eye catching arrangement. I am making these to donate to kogo so I like to choose something that is a bit cheerful and quirky in the hope that whenever the recipient pops it on, it will brighten their day.

Do you have a project on the go? Would you like to share it too? If you pop over to Saint Cardigan, you can see what others have been up to.

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Hello Heide!

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageOkay. I am not going to pretend that I am overly knowledgeable in the art area. I had never heard of Melinda Harper until I saw this exhibition at Heide advertised in The Age a couple of months ago. I was drawn in by the colour, shape and line in her work. But just because you haven’t heard of an artist doesn’t mean you can’t view an exhibition, does it? It’s a chance to learn a little something!

During the week, I spied a window of opportunity between dropping off my boy not too far from the gallery and before my afternoon commitments beckoned. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Heide, you can read about it here. I super enjoyed wandering amongst the vibrant works of the exhibition which encompassed paintings, collage, embroidery and playfully decorated found objects. There were also a couple of things I really loved in the accompanying curatorial information. Harper said that she didn’t pay attention to colour theory when creating her works, but just to what seemed harmonious to her eye, and any ‘mistakes’ she worked around. She also noted her work process – ‘The slowness is an important part of the process, it allows me a lot of time to look.’ I think these are lovely messages about creating with your instincts rather than being constrained by rules, about accepting imperfections, and mindfulness.

I also had a wander around the beautiful gardens. How could you not on such a glorious day? Sculptures are scattered throughout the grounds, some boldly on show, others nestled amongst the gallery’s architecture or its many trees. The kitchen garden was blooming colourfully and buzzing with bees. There were friends sitting on the grass chatting and sipping drinks, and a picnicking school group. I was amused to see the kids all decked out in their hi-vis vests! I overhead a gallery staff member saying they need to wear them on excursions. Bit of a change since my boy and girl were at primary school. Super cautious times!

If you are a Melbourne person and this exhibition looks up your alley, you have until October 25 to pop out and see it. Or maybe you’d just like to sit in the garden? Or perhaps you could take the kids and play ‘spot the sculpture’!

Well that was a nice day!

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image image imageQuite a few months back, lovely Ballarat gal, Emily, of squiggle and swirl, suggested we visit the touring exhibition of the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. So tickets were booked, vline timetables consulted and as my girl jumped – sorry, dragged! – herself out of bed for the first day of term, I bounded out the door for my day in Ballarat. I have to say, I was quite excited! I’ve travelled by train on overseas holidays but I’ve never done any longer distance travel at home. I felt like I was going away on a vacation, even if it was just a day trip. There was something slightly decadent about getting out of the city and doing something arty and friendly whilst the rest of the family was going about its normal daily routine. I’d popped my book into my bag thinking I’d have a read on the way up, but in the end, I just looked out of the window most of the trip, watching the green pastures slide by, spotting sheep and cattle grazing, a pelican and some llamas! Continue reading