Sunday, June 23, 2013



Where Have I Been?

Hi everyone.  A few of you may have been wondering
what happened?   Well, the killer of all creativity happened - study and work! 
Those blissful hours where I would spend making and creating are now spent reading and working. 
Luckily teaching still gives me a creative outlet.
Exams have finished and today I've spent the day looking for ideas for class tomorrow.  I've decided to look at insects.  I even went to my own blog for inspiration
who would of thought!

Thanks for all of the encouraging comments, hopefully I'll produce something for myself over the next couple of weeks, till then, bye.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Will it be square?

Always a worry for us novice knitters, will it be square?  My knitting is usually about as square as well, one of those potty mouth teenagers I so often have the pleasure teaching.  I'm currently knitting a 20cm square for our school who are joining in a "Born to Knit" drive, making baby blankets which will be shipped to mothers in need.
I know this is no baby blanket, but I urge you to check out this sight for some very creative graffiti kniting.  Hmmm, one day I might get beyond the square and start on a tree?  Maybe it's more up my alley (or street).
I do love these street signs.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Inked up Another.

Last weekend I did my second and final lino printing workshop at the WEA Newcastle.
I had a lovely group of ladies, all from different walks of life, but all keen to spend a Saturday learning and creating.
As you can see here during the design and carving stage, they had their heads down and were deep into the 'zone'.
There were no cut fingers and lots and lots of prints.
This was a really nice chincolle version of the robin.
Mother of three Jane, came up with her own cute little birdy.
Kim came up with this Japanese inspired print.  She later told me about her late uncle who was an artist and his advice on learning how to draw.  He said 'copy, copy, copy - then distort, change it and make it your own!'  I agreed (luckily).  Her Uncle was the late Brett Whiteley
And this hand was created by a student who came into the class very definite about her lack of abilities in anything artistic.  Hmmm?
It's good to spend a day with some grown ups in the classroom.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

High Tea with Mrs Woo

Last night was a bit of a wild and woolly night in Newcastle but I braved the conditions and was lucky enough to attend a seminar put on by Renew Newcastle.  The  presenters were the three sister design collaboration - Rowena, Juliana and Angela Foong who are 'High Tea with Mrs Woo'.

It was wonderful to hear about their passion, starting out with $1000 each, buying an op shop in Darby Street Newcastle, where they manipulated some of the clothing, then deciding to make their own range partly due to the hay fever experienced from the 2nd hand clothing. 
As they say on their website; We stumbled into the world of fashion design by winning the 2005 NSW Mercedes Start-Up Awards and the AUSTRADE-POWERHOUSE Market Development Award. This led us to the runways of Shanghai Fashion Week (China) and Australian Fashion Week (Sydney + Melbourne). The unique craft and style of our work invited formal exhibitions with the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art (Adelaide) and Object Gallery (Sydney).
Not bad for a couple of Newcastle girls. 

Sounds like they've had a great time, but have worked really hard, sewing from 8.30am to 2.30am each day, and have now gone from earning about 50c per hour, to about $15 per hour! (They now outsource their sewing to Sydney).

Check out the Renew Newcastle website for more seminars.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Year of the Dog.

Well I let another birthday slip by . . .  oops.  Yep, the Arty Dog has turned one!  I'm so glad I stuck in there and so glad my followers stuck in there as well - all ten of you (thanks).

This blog has helped me get my creative journey back on track. Sometimes this journey goes flat out, other times it hits a few bumps, slows down, then picks up momentum again.  Thanks for showing an interest and thanks for giving those helpful comments.  Always nice to read.

Anyway enough talking, more making, and here is my satchel bag which I made at three consecutive Brown Owl meetings. It was a mix of vintage table cloths and screen printing.
I used snoopy for the lining of course.

Speaking of the Brown Owls, next week Wendy is willing and able to show us how to knit.  Yes, she promises she will have us doubters knitting a scarf for winter in no time.  See you next Tuesday 17th May at 6pm. Bring your needles.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mixed for Mother

Thursday night I quickly decided to make a couple of mixed media works for the Mothers Day stall (the next day!) and I'm finally getting around to putting them up. 

They were small 8x10 canvases and I began with an acrylic wash, then another coat of acrylic, then when that dried I used silver spray paint and plants from the back garden as templates. 

The round one is a nasturtium.  I then decided to tone down the silver and went over it again with a white wash.  Materials and tissue paper were used for the mixed media. Oh, and then I used graphite to go around the flower shapes.
I think they sold, but it's always hard when your buyers are aged between 5 and 12 years old.  I probably should have left the silver paint, cause they like shiny.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Little books

I've been trying to come up with a few easy crafting options for the school Mothers Day stall later this week. 

I must admit I struggled. I wanted something easy to make, yet be something I would use myself.  I finally made a couple of these small notebooks which each took approx 10 minutes to make.  In fact I'm going to do a few of them tomorrow night at the Brown Owls.  I used the sewing machine for the applique on the front and the seam down the middle.  The most time consuming bit was cutting the paper.

The Brown Owls meet tomorrow night, Tuesday 3rd May at 6pm, Nords Wharf Community Hall.  We'll be making more Mothers Day gifts including cushion covers, bunches of paper flowers and perhaps a bag or two?  Come along if you're keen to spend a couple of hours creating.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Up to the Tops.

What a better way to spend Easter than turning 40?  What a better way to spend it than hiking 20km up Barrington Tops with friends and family?  Well there were plenty of other things I could think of as I was actually doing it but I feel 40 and fantastic now.
I was so proud of Miss Beatie doing it without any complaints, and she was the first one to Careys Peak.

This was one of the blissful flat sections.

 Proud mother and daughter.
 Very proud of everyone including Angus, Cameron, Jake, Maurie, Jen, Miss Beatie and my Dad.
What a beautiful place.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Now that's style!

How do you like this cute little number I found ferreting through knitting mags at my local Vinnies? 

Unfortunately it's a pattern that uses a knitting machine.  It reminded me very much of my little man and thought I'd include it anyway.

Last night the Brown Owls did meet but unfortunately due to technical problems I didn't take any photos. 

Technically speaking my batteries ran out yesterday when I was taking a photo of this very interesting looking muffin I was about to toast for breakfast.

Yes, it had a nose and reminded me of a muppet. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Still Learning

As I am approaching 40 (who me?) I realise that yes, I am still learning how to do most things in life just getting better at bluffing my way through it. 

 A bit of that goes on during a busy week away with the family.  This time we were spotting spotted quolls and snakes.  As usual I'm left feeling exhausted and the kids are always left looking a bit feral. But they love it!

I did manage to find time to do a spot of craft myself (no tv!).  I followed the wonderful step-by-step instructions by myrtle & eunice and made this
Steiner inspired Easter chick. 

Miss Beatie made the pink one with legs.

And Master James chose the colours for the brown chick with green wings.  I made this pink one using chenille and felt. 

So I am still learning, but I am enjoying teaching myself along the way.
If you're interested in learning more or sharing what you
know come along to the
Nords Wharf Brown Owls
tomorrow evening (Tuesday 19th April) at 6pm.
See you there.