Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

"A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert".

Andrew Carnegie 

Andrew Carnegie founded many a great library; and I love his belief in them, and his commitment to them.

It is so interesting to see what great importance he places upon them as the number one thing a community can do.  I love libraries of all shapes and sizes. All over the world I visit libraries and soak up the wonder of them; the magic of them and the sense of community they create.

I think libraries offer people so much - a place to be,  to sit in the company of others, to research, to learn, to discover. So many great verbs are associated with libraries.

The idea of a never-failing spring speaks to me of renewal and I know that libraries are so clever at renewing themselves, their community offering, their availability and their services.

Sigh, I should just get badge that says I love libraries.

Cardiff Library - a great space and a great place.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

When sewing is what's left to do

After packing off all my work, and unpacking my bags from teaching I felt slightly flat.  Not quite ready to go back into the studio and think about making and creating just yet, I stole a few hours and headed to the sewing machine.

A dress and a cardigan/jacket were the result.

As ever its in the details for me.  I love this neck binding where I left it unstitched, and it frayed and softened the neckline.

The dress/smock/tunic hanging. These will never be Vogue shots that's for sure; I am lucky to find a place to hang it for a moment or two! No styling. Sigh.

I wore it out the other night with a slim top underneath and leggings.

The jacket facing underway - so many pins!

Almost done - a button and button hole needed to finish it off.

Again, just a little bit in love with this binding on the sleeve edge.

And then just because I'm not really finished with paper, I stitched some pouches for my prints. Plan A is that if they sell, I'll be able to pop them in these pouches to protect them a wee bit; then into a bag they go.

I think the next month or so of studio time will literally be tidying, sorting, cleaning and re-imagining the space. Never as much fun as making, but oh so necessary after months of neglect.

But I might find time for a little something, we shall see.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Teaching and Packing and a re-visit

The title is pretty much the story of my creative life this week.

I taught the Year 11s on Wednesday - and the time flew.  I did not get any images of their stitching as we were packed up and off to lunch in a rush and a roar.

Still they were doing interesting artwork and enjoyed learning the Japanese stab bindings.

Some details of some of the artworks en route to becoming pages for books. Always fabulous to see young skilled people expressing ideas...

And then packing.  Tory Cathy and I met at Tory's studio to finish the packing of our work and sundry items we need down in Sydney, in order to pop them on the truck and have them delivered to us on 5 September.

It was strangely exciting and strangely terrifying. I kept having the notion that I hadn't packed everything and that in fact I had left half my work somewhere in Tory's studio.  Checking and double checking didn't seem to really help.

It seemed strange that months of work could fit in this box, and all in all it was a kind of surreal experience.

The next day they were collected by an art transport company and carefully laid down with bubble wrap and no stacking!

We received our DL cards though the week as well. Lovely design and hopefully they remind folk of us and our work, and to pop back and purchase some!

As I was working away at the computer I heard an odd noise - looked up and saw her hopping outside my window. Dashed to a sliding door and tried to photograph her through the glass - and here she is! Bliss. Barry has seen a joey in her pouch, but I am yet to spy it.

PS - I quite like the composition of this photo now I look at it - all those lines and diagonals and leaves. Unintended!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” 

Buddhist Saying

For a whole bunch of reasons these past few months have been challenging and tiring.  Our world sped up and we were stretched in so many directions, for so many reasons.  At many moments it felt as if we were only just keeping our heads above water.

And here now, as the spinning slows (doesn't stop) and things settle in small ways whilst much continues to move apace, it seems right to stop and think about these words.

In the end - these are the things that matter.

I imagine the end signifies the end of one's life' but just as a saying it makes sense as well, and I consider the words at the moment - at the end (maybe) of a difficult cycle.

How much you love/d - am I acting with love? Am I caring for folk? Am I doing things that are hard from a base of love? Am I showing love with my actions?

How gently you live/d - Am I moving through the world gently? Am I being kind? Am I avoiding harsh and angry words and ways? Am I not being cynical and hard?

How gracefully you let go of things not meant for you - Am I clinging to things that are not meant for me? Or can I recognise things that should be elsewhere? That are meant for someone else? Am I hoarding things?

I found these words a lovely gentle reminder at times when I am caught up in all the demands and worries of the world; that if I return to these I will be better able to do the things I need to do with love, gentleness and grace.

Peace flag from 2013.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Preparations and garden visits

Preparations continue here for the Sydney Contemporary.

I said I'd sort the tablecloth for the display table - I have a couple here we use for different events and thought for sure it would be fine. And then I started to worry. After about 4 hours researching, phone calling and the like I discovered the table which will be supplied is an odd size and given that we want to go from the top of the table to to the ground to hide stuff we are storing underneath; I needed a new option.

No luck anywhere local, the Coast or online - to buy or to hire. I found one the right size, wrong colour for just over $250 and thought - "I don't think so".

So we went and bought a stash of fabric today and sewed one instead.

I say 'we' because Barry helped choose the fabric, helped measure the fabric, helped cut the fabric and helped feed the fabric through the sewing machine - a real team effort. It would have been so much more awkward and difficult without his help.

Trying to get it laid out straight on the floor.

Measuring and trimming.


Washed, dried, folded and ready to pack.

And then it was back to the studio to unpick and re-sew two books.  I had never unpicked like this before and loved the little animal bits left behind!

Here's the garden visitor - found this morning as we headed down to do some lucky are we?

A real mixed day - finished by packing the car for an early start tomorrow to teach; and then to pack my work into the truck that is taking it to Sydney...

Sunday, August 20, 2017


This week is a bit of a week for finishing a few things.

On Wednesday I will be teaching artists' books to the Year 11s at Grammar again.  The focus will once again be on telling a story and not simply stitching a book that you paste things into like a scrapbook.

For simplicity's sake we aren't going to do a whole lot of complicated layouts; instead we are going to use  single pages, and bind them with Japanese stab bindings.

So I did all  my preparations and packed my bags; and also made a few sample books.

But first of all I came across rainbow on Barry's keyboard!

Getting ready, choosing colours and making templates

The first few sample books. I thought that the purple one looked a bit weird.

And realised that I made a mistake, leaving out a few stitches, so I re-did it.

The final four samples - we will see which ones they choose to do.

And the paperwork for Sydney got down to tin tacks this week - printing off the documentation, printing off the envelopes, signing the documentation...

Books of stickers arrived!

New business cards arrived!

Mylar bags and acid-free card arrived, as well as photo corners, so prints were packed.

And envelopes and cards inserted.

 And then everything packed in bubble wrap, and put into boxes for transport.

The boxes for the books should arrive tomorrow so then I can be fully packed to deliver to the transport folk on Wednesday. Phew.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

“For me, poetry is an impish attempt to paint the colour of the wind.” 

 Maxwell Bodenheim

Today's pondering are about art - and so I made poetry art because this quote talks of painting! And of course, it is an art in and of itself.

This is a delightful way of capturing what poetry does so well. I like that it suggests poetry is being impish in the manner in which describes things - that it takes advantage of not necessarily being tethered; by not being ponderous; and by saying more with less.

To compare it to painting the wind just makes me go a'wandering and think about how you do that - is it coloured? or swirly? or moving? or is it just up to your own imagination? Is it only seen or understood by its impact? Do you only see where it is? Or can you see where it has been?

So interesting to ponder the wind and how to represent it in an artistic way.

I nonetheless like that poetry is not quite able to be pinned down and that it sort of tilts at windmills...

A windmill blade, Brugge.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

more bits and pieces...

The paperwork's humming away, things are ordered and will hopefully be delivered in time.

I came across this today - my artists talk ay he Sydney Contemporary - really looking forward to it!

And as I wander the block the big blue sky is a backdrop for some of Barry's peace doves still hanging from last year's International day of Peace (21 September). Reminders of gentle and peaceful times, amongst the scary chaos of our world right now.

And the bright sunshine makes happy shadows across the barbed wire balls alongside our front pathway...

And from a recent trip to Nimbin- more peace

And because our country just needs to find its better self and do the decent thing and let people who love each other marry if they want to - rainbows from Nimbin for marriage equality.