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Concertina artist books ~ or are they maps?

I have been really busy creating; too busy, it seems, to be writing here. So I am just popping in to show you two things I have listed in my Etsy shop.

Remember my post about how the wetlands were inspiring me? They have continued to be an inspiration, and these artist books are some of the things I have been working on. [I have been writing in more detail in my newsletter, so if you would like to get the letter from my studio, you can sign up here.]

I am not sure what to call them. They are not really concertina books (and I have been making lots of those), and they are not really books at all. Maybe they are folded maps? Any thoughts?

Anyway, the fold is called the Turkish map fold. I am enjoying it as it allows the inside to be a surprise, almost a secret. Does it bring back childhood memories of treasure maps and secret compartments? It does for me, which is probably why I am finding them so satisfying to make. It’s a lovely mix of childhood feelings and adult art work.

One of the ‘books’ has the watercolour map on the outside and a crazy abstract painting of the reeds inside.

The other has the abstract painting on the outside and the map on the inside. This one has a couple of glass beads that sort of closes it.

I like that these are taking me in a new direction, while keeping the old of the watercolour and feathers. And what’s not to love about folding paper?!

Hopefully soon I will post more about my work. In the meantime, if you would like to see these books/maps in more detail……

Click here to see the first one.

Click here to see the second.

SAL ~ The forest regenerates ~ update

Running a little late with this post, but I do have progress to report 😇

Last time I was here, musing about how to finish off the work.

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Now that section is finished! Yay!

contemporary embroidery

And a close up…..

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So, that last little section to go, and a bit to tidy up around the top. Almost there.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley,Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny,Laura, Cathie, Linda, Sherrie, Helen

These talented embroiderers are all working on their personal sewing projects. Do go and have a look at what they have been sewing. (Welcome back Helen!)

I hope you are still well. Restrictions are being lifted in many countries but remember that the virus spreads very quickly and it is important that we maintain our good hygiene habits and social distancing. Stay safe everyone.

Coffee and cake

I am joining in with Meeks, inviting you for coffee and cake, cos we can’t meet up at the coffee shop.

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The cup is a very pretty one from my Mum, and the biscuit is quite delicious. It comes from Celia, her quarantine cookie recipe. It uses dried fruits and oats. Celia puts in chocolate chips, but I didn’t have any. Just as well, as these are quite dense, so don’t count the calories!

So what would I tell you while we ate biscuits and drank tea?

Firstly I would tell you way more than you want to know about the gelli printing and collage work I am doing. I am loving printing, making backgrounds and textures, chopping them up and pasting them on paper again. I actually wake up thinking about what I am going to work on!

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I might mention too that when footballers were asked what they are looking forward to doing again, many answered meeting friends in coffee shops and having brunch!

I am sure our conversation would have Covid news, because all conversations for the last six weeks have. A big part of today’s natter might be about whether to down load the Australian Government’s app to locate and trace people who have been exposed to the virus. After thinking hard about it I downloaded it, believing that helping to protect people is what all of this is about. I wonder whether you would have it on your phone?

Of course we would catch up with all the news from family and friends. That would probably lead on to a chat about how successful, or not, we have been with chatting on Zoom!

And before you go, I would tell you one of my pet peeves about washing my hands. Like everyone I happily wash them quite a few times a day. My peeve is that the sound of the water as I wash makes me want to go to the toilet….and then I need to wash them all over again!

Stay connected my friends. One day you will meet friends for coffee and cake.

SAL ~ The forest regenerates

Welcome to this latest Stitch-A-Long, where a group of us post updates on our personal stitchery. It seems like the last SAL post was just the other day, but 3 weeks have flown past. (Do you find that your sense of time is warped at the moment?) I had done very little on my piece, as I didn’t know how I was going to finish the bottom part. So last night I mapped it out. There is not much to show as most of it is still in my head. At least now I know where I am going…..and I think it is going to work.

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Those wiggly lines at the bottom are tree trunks. They may change, may become more defined and less random.

Close up…

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My other reason for not getting a lot done is that I am doing an online mixed media course, which I am loving. Read my earlier post if you would like to catch up with that.

The other members of the group are very talented embroiderers, and a very warm welcome to Sherrie. Use the links below to have a look at the stunning work that they are doing.

Coffee and cake

Meeks has decided to catch up with friends by posting her coffee and cake. I am missing the catch ups with friends too, usually down at the local coffee shop. So let’s chat over a morning cuppa.

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I have used the tea cup my Mum gave me for my birthday.

The cake is a German apple cake, although don’t ask me why ‘German’ (the apple is obvious!) My friend, with whom I often have coffee, recently came out of the mandatory 14 day quarantine at a hotel chain, after returning form overseas. Each day she and her husband were given two pieces of fruit each. The fruit mounted up. They knew that it would be thrown out if they left it, so, brought it with them when they were released into the fresh air. I received a bag of apples.

I pulled out the Nursing Mum’s Cookbook, which is one of those fabulous cookbooks with every basic recipe you could ever want. The cake is very tasty!

If you would like to have your own coffee and cake, link your post to the comments on  Meek’s page. It doesn’t have to be fancy baking, it is the chat that is important.

GERMAN APPLE CAKE

Cake

  • 125 gm butter
  • 90gm sugar
  • 1 cup plain or self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 3 cooking apples
  • 2 tablespoons sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • juice of 1 lemon

Cake: Melt butter in a large saucepan, add sugar and stir until it is beginning to dissolve. Add flour and stir well, beat in egg. Grease a 7″ cake tin and using fingers spread a little more than half the mixture over the bottom.

Filling: Peel, core and slice apples, place half of these in layers over the cake mixture. Mix together sultanas, sugar and spices and sprinkle over apple slices. Cover with rest of the apple slices. sprinkle with lemon juice. Spread resining cake mixture on top, in spoonfuls.

Cook in a moderate oven for 45 minutes.

 

Interpreting the Wetlands

Down the end of my street is an oval. When I moved into my house decades ago it was enclosed on three sides by a large, old industrial site. The site was owned by ICI, and aside from the far corner there was little activity. For many years I walked the fenced perimeter peering in at the old buildings, musing about what might have gone there.

The oval was only used by the cricketers and footy teams, and the occasional dog walker. A creek meandered through the site, sometimes buried, sometimes encased in a drain, eventually making its way to the nearby Maribyrnong River.

Of course the site was prime inner suburban land, and after remediation, it was sold to developers. The development wasn’t too bad. The best part though was that the creek was freed from the drain and turned into a wetland. The fences were removed from around the oval, and the space was opened up.

Now I can walk down the end of my street, across the oval and into the wetlands, where there is always something going on.

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Now  that the fences are down the oval is an integral part of complex and is well used.

I am very fortunate to be able to walk here as my daily exercise. The Fella walks around the oval while I go further around the wetlands and often join up with him on the way home. It is a safe place for kids and scooters and bikes and dogs, there is room for us all.

For me though, it is more than just a place to exercise. I am intrigued by the textures, the reflections, the light.

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My fascination never went further than many photos and a thought in the back of my head to translate what I am seeing into art. Then, by wonderful serendipitous luck I enrolled in a course with Tara Axford, whose art I have loved ever since I came across her on Instagram.  She takes the different elements of the bush around her home and makes artistic sense of them. The course is designed to help us see past the clutter and messiness of nature to interpret our special places.

I am loving this course, loving it so much that I am taking it slowly, absorbing, learning, allowing my mind to play with the ideas Tara gives.

What’s not to love when the first module encourages me to beachcomb though the wetlands on my walk, picking up treasures as I go. Tara calls these ‘pocket finds’, a term that is perfect! I was so inspired after watching the first video that I went down to the wetlands in the wind and rain to see how different it would be. Of course I came back with many pocket treasures.

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Over the last few days I have been creating vignettes with my treasures. Rather compelling and very satisfying.

 

I wonder how the next modules will help me further interpret the wetlands.

 

Masks

I was inspired by Kate’s fabulous looking mask.

There is great debate about the efficacy of non-medical grade masks. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that, if you unknowingly have the coronavirus, wearing a mask may prevent you from spreading the virus further. They are not for preventing the virus getting into you. And I would imagine that this is more so for the cloth type that I have made. The US Centre for Disease Control has suggested that everyone wear a mask when outside.

Don’t forget that which ever mask you use it must be taken off carefully and disposed of/washed properly. The virus may be on the outside of the mask, or on the inside if you have it. Fold it carefully inside itself and dispose of. Then wash your hands. For 20 seconds and with soap. (The soap destroys the outer coating of the virus and it takes at least 20 seconds for this to happen.)

And of course, if you have symptoms STAY INSIDE!!! Mask or no mask!

Kate’s pattern came from CraftPassion’s blog and you can find out the details here. Watch the video, as it is for an updated version of the mask, which allows filtration material to be inserted.

The pattern comes in a couple of sizes. Yesterday I made the women’s size. When I was road testing it this morning I decided that it was too small. It wouldn’t stay in place, especially when I talked.

Today I made the Men’s size, and was happier when I road tested it. (I am not sure what that says about the size of my face. 😳) It stayed in place better, but talking was still a challenge, as the mask wanted to move around more. It may be a problem with the tightness of the strap. Conversation was doubly difficult because the Fella is quite deaf!

The issue of my glasses fogging up is better resolved now that I have a trusty bread tie to hold the top of the mask in shape around my nose. A pipe cleaner would probably be the best, but there aren’t any lurking in my stash.

I was particularly chuffed with the tie. CraftPassion has a neat tutorial for making yarn out of an old t-shirt. I realised that I only needed to cut one strip from the bottom of the t-shirt, about a cm wide, and cut it at one seam, to have a length that was ample. Tug it a few times and it rolls in on itself.

They are easy to make….well the second one was. For some reason I kept stuffing up the first one. One mistake was attaching the bread tie holder to bottom. That had me confused for a little while! And then annoyed when I had to unpick it.

I don’t do selfies, but it is hard to show off a mask without one….