Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rocky 10

Out taking photos of the grandchildren playing, when Rocky 10 struck a couple of poses. And yes, it is Rocky no. 10. Not all have tangled with foxes but most have. I have managed to find homes for some of them.
He may not look it but he is very gentle. He is a Barnevelder which is a large, docile dutch breed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

God I love bloggin'

Even though I really, really try to maximise the present and not think about the past or future, right now I am stressin' just a wee bit about having to return to employment next year - back to teaching. I have had the best year of my life in 2008 - not having to go to school and doing all those things I have lusted after for decades. My year has been so action packed. Must remember - it's not over yet.

And how on earth am I going to have time to blog? Bloody hell.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Felting Lilies

Still cramming everything in at the last hour. As part of the Experimental Textiles course I am doing with SW TAFE, a sample depicting CONTAIN had to be completed. The night before doing this, I was flicking through a magazine when I saw this photo of lilies - I have a bit of an obsession with this shaped lily in my art work.

It gave me the idea to do some felting CONTAINING this lily image, well, an approximation of it anyway.
So... I chose three of the lilies for their shape and placed a mix of orange and yellow wool over a layer of greens. It's not quite as simple as it sounds. I did put a bit of groundwork into it.

Now time for lots of elbow grease in the form of soapy water and agitation to get those fibres to hook onto each other. I must have done a good job because it shrunk so much more than I expected- more length wise than width wise so my lilies are fat. Before felting, it was very close to the same size as the bubble wrap. Felting is definitely not an exact science.

Next step - machine embroidery - another new skill I am just getting to know.

Yep, the leaves look a bit odd, but it is EXPERIMENTAL textiles and I am having so much fun experimenting.

Following is what I had hoped to be their shape, thanks to a bit of elongation in Photoshop.

And here is another piece I added to my samples folder for the CONTAIN subject, which is basically drawing pictures with the sewing machine. I hope I've got enough life left for all the ideas I have swimming around in my head.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Machine Embroidery with Soluble Stabiliser

Another exercise for Experimental Textiles with South West TAFE - the course that has now finished for the year. As usual, I'm still finishing off required tasks.

As part of the CONTAIN subject, I have used soluble stabiliser, and it was VERY experimental. I couldn't find directions for it's use, so I really had to experiment. Firstly, I laid out silk fibre on top of the stabiliser to depict a simple composition of three flowers. I obtained this beautiful fibre from and a little goes a long way.

I then folded the other half of the stabiliser over the top. Off to the sewing machine and this is when the problem solving had to be called upon. Through trial and error I worked out to lower the feed dog, use a ballpoint needle to help stop snags, change the foot to a darning foot (this made the most difference) and have stitch size at zero. I'm sure there are many other things I should know about this process. All advice welcome.

This is the result after sewing.

Then into a sink of warm water and a bit of agitation to get rid of the gloop.

Onto the line to dry.

And after an iron, this is the final result. It has resulted in a delicate fabric which I like. Actually I really like how it has turned out. The image doesn't do it justice. I made lots of mistakes throughout the process but I learnt a bit too. The next one will be better.

And the last image is from a bunch of flowers I received from grandchildren no. 1 and 3. They made a request to their other grandmother for flowers from her garden. I got a bunch of roses as well. I'm not au fait with flowers so I'm not sure what species they are.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

Just couldn't resist. The year - 1966. If you have time to waste go to the Yearbook Yourself site

Monday, November 17, 2008

Road trip to Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

First stop, Beachport

Pool of Siloam, seven times saltier than the sea, which is reputed to relieve sufferers of arthritis and rheumatism. The high salt concentration in the water makes swimming very easy, as the water is extremely buoyant.

Meningie, located 152 km south-east of Adelaide on the shores of Lake Albert.

T'was the harvesting season.

Spooky. Just had to visit the infamous bank at Snowtown. This is where the bodies of eight murder victims were stored in barrels in this disused bank building. It was the worst serial killing in Australia's history, and it didn't happen that long ago either.

Port Germein boasts the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.

Lots of wheat fields.

Our main destination - Coffin Bay

Coffin Bay National Park

My other half doing what he loves second best.

A visitor to our front yard in Coffin Bay - the Pacific Gull

The front yard at 'our place' - truly amazing. Surrounded by the sea on three sides.

A very common sight in South Australia - the lone church.

And lots of old buildings, either in disrepair or lovingly maintained.

Horrock's Pass - great landscape.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Finished Scarf

I finished this scarf during our road trip holiday. We were at the Coorong in South Australia. Knitting it was an absolute pleasure, using yarns from Lara Downs and a pattern from the Lincraft site.

Here is a closeup of the pattern. Although it may look tricky to some, it was incredibly easy. Three rows out of every four is plain garter stitch.

This image is a scan from my journal showing the details of the yarns used.

The yarn was 1. mulberry silk and 2. cashmere blended with silk. It is so soft to touch, and has a beautiful drape.


Before we left on holidays, this male wood duck was a constant presence on our pond. We thought he was interested in our domestic duck.

But no, he had been keeping sentinel for his missus, which we now realise, was incubating a dozen eggs in the long grasses at the edge of the pond. Imagine our surprise to come home and find these twelve babies (I know, there are only eleven in the photo) grazing on our front lawn and swimming on the pond.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gum Blossom

Just adding this because I can. I took this photo a few months ago and have just discovered it again. One day I hope to use it as a basis for some type of creative work. Feel free to copy it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weaving for TAFE

Having recently returned from a holiday (maybe more on that later) I was able to get into the weaving required for a pass in the weaving component of the TAFE course. Winding the warp was a disaster and very time consuming due to forgetfulness and errors. It took the good part of two days before I finally had success at winding the warp and transferring it to the loom. Hopefully, the experience has taught me a lot that I will actually be able to retain. Maybe...

Here is the weaving in progress. These are samples of traditional patterns.

Here is some plain weave I did just for the experience of whipping the shuttle to and fro, instead of the immense concentration it takes to do a pattern.

These following patterns are from the Johann Schleelein's no. 123 series. Sounds pretty bloody professional, just a pity I really don't know what I'm talking about...yet.

This sample demonstrates atrocious beating.

And this one I'm pleased with. Just as well as I need to use it for a final piece. For the weft I used chunky yarn that was dyed in gradations.

I like this sample also, mainly for the subtlety of the colours used.

And this is what it looked like when taken from the loom. The warping up of the loom took me longer than the weaving!