Sunday, October 31, 2010

Little Lady

Meet Ruby, she's been a 'ufo' (unfinished object) for about 2 years now,
and I finally finished her. 

I begun to make Ruby when I worked at the Steiner School and this was an inservice activity that all of the staff spent the day doing.  It was great as we all got to sit around talking and sewing. A good way to get to know your colleagues and it sure beats the usual staff training days that teachers are subjected to!

Anyway, she was nude and hairless so I made her an outfit and gave her a hair do. It's interesting though that Hamish isn't very fond of her? Maybe it's the hair colour?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Miss B Goes Soft!

As I mentioned earlier we've jumped on the softie bandwagon and we have been using our cuddly old chenille to make some soft creatures. 

This is one that Miss Beatie designed and made all by herself! 

She has called her Cupcake and I'm very proud of the way her sewing skills have improved in the last month (I didn't even have to thread any needles).  Cupcake is a little rough if you look too closely but hey - aren't we all!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hoot the Third

Another great Brown Owls meeting last night in Nords Wharf Hall. It was a beautiful night and we spent the evening with lots of lovely people who were keen to learn and share. Each meeting is growing and growing.

This week we did lino printing.  Everyone was supplied with a small piece
of lino, a carving tool and away they went.


We had some great results printing on paper and fabric.

And of course there was time to stop, sit and chat (without interruptions!).

I'm sure we will be doing more lino at the next meeting. We'll keep bringing all of our materials with the hope of inspiring new and old members when they come.

I had a great night as it was so nice teaching lino printing to a group of people who were so keen to learn!

Next Meeting: Tuesday 9th November,
7-9pm, Nords Wharf Hall.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just a Reminder.

Yes just a friendly reminder - if you're up for some 'me time' why not come along this evening to Nords Wharf Hall, Marine Parade, Nords Wharf and do something creative with your fellow crafters in a Brown Owls meeting. 

Nothing sinister, just art, craft, a cuppa and a slice, and a chat.  Let's get a great network happening in our local area so we can share our ideas and experience, and make some new friends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I wish.

Wallpaper printing?
Yes I thought I'd share a bit of 'I wish I could do that'.  I came across this printmaking workshop at the harvest textiles website the other day and had a bit of daydream about being there. I loved the patterns and the size of the works. 

Once again it's great to see someone making a living out of something creative!  One day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Frazzled Fairy?

Told you there would be more 'friends' appearing over the next week or so.  This is one I made last night - yes an exciting Saturday night in for me! 

This is a fairy which I modelled off James' drawing (see below). I liked the simplicity of the face and thought it would suit the softie style. She looks a little disgruntled to me?  Apparently she is called Annabelle.

Miss Beatie is almost finished her monster.  I'm loving the rainy Sunday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Going Soft.

I know it's strange but until yesterday I hadn't made a softie doll.  This is Paula, who I felt needed to be made after reading about the Softies for Mirabel challenge. 

I have made a softie before when I worked at the Central Coast Rudolf Steiner School.  I did a unit with the wonderfully creative year 10 students where they printed their lino prints onto fabric, then used that fabric and others to produce an organic shape which was then turned into a softie.  It was an introductory fibre art exercise as later in the year they were making a wearable art piece to enter into the Wave exhibition at Shearwater Steiner School at Mullimbimby on the north coast of NSW. 

My students made some great outfits out of recycled materials including a dress out of rubber thongs, another out of old film negatives and seatbelts.  Just wish I'd taken photos of them.

So anyway this is Paula and I don't know if she'll be leaving Nords Wharf as Hamish has taken a bit of a shine to her!

I expect you'll be seeing more little creatures over the next week or so as Miss Beatie has already started 'designing' hers.

And finally just a reminder
Brown Owls is on again!
This Tuesday the 26th October
at the Nords Wharf Community hall, 7-9pm. 

I'll be doing a lino print demo and I'll have a few pieces of lino for you to try carving to see if you like it! 

Or you can bring along some art/craft work that you've been working on.

We always have plenty of inspirational materials and activities to get you started as well.

All it costs is a gold coin to cover the cost of the hall. 
Tea & coffee and nibbles provided.
See you there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Like a drug?

Do you love art & craft books?  I always like to buy them for inspiration, and of course steal some ideas!

Today I was at Borders with my two small boys looking for a present for my husband's birthday - and of course I was in the craft section when a friendly shop assistant came up to me and commented on her love of craft books.  I agreed that I too loved them and pointed out the ones I owned.  She then said that to her they were like "crack cocaine".  Hmmm??. . .well it just shows how addictive this whole caper can become.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Way back in July was when I first tried my hand at screenprinting.  Since then this material has been sitting in my material box just waiting to be used for some creative purpose.

So this afternoon after a day at the beach I was itching to do something creative and thought it was about time to get the sewing machine out.  I'm not the world's best seamstress but I really wanted to make something using my hand printed material. 

So I tried my hand at making this top for Miss Beatie.  It took me approximately an hour and a half, but I felt pretty pleased with myself as I didn't have to unpick anything! 

And as you can see Miss Beatie was pretty pleased with it too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Official!

Brown Owls Members Blog

I emailed the wonderful Pip Lincolne from Meet me at Mikes to tell her about our chapter of the Brown Owls and she invited me to contribute on their blog.

So yep it's official! We're now part of a craft community that networks all around the world.

Go to the Brown Owls blog and you will not only see info on the Nords Wharf Brown Owls, but others in Australia and overseas.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What a Hoot!

Well we had our second Brown Owls meeting last night and had some new members come which was great to see. Welcome to our new members.

Everyone was busy beavering away - grabbing that chance to be able to sit down for a couple of hours without interruptions and create something unique and beautiful.  Bliss.  It was great to be able to have a chat, a cuppa, and sew - this is mulitskilling at its best!

I managed to sew all of the Brown Owl flags that were created at last our last meeting and during the holidays.  They look great together and our first activity as a collaborative piece was a nice way to start things off.  As you can see there is great diversity in the works which is what we were hoping for.
This week we set a new activity which was making a Brown Owl badge.  I took along some lino printed owls and Caree brought along her inspiring mountain of materials.   

Here's Gaye with her fancy Owl.  Isn't she clever. 

And here are some other badges - some owlish others just pretty.

At our next meeting I'll be doing a lino printing demo and everyone will get the chance to try it as well. 
So why not come along and doing something creative?

Our next meeting is on the 26th October, Nords Wharf Hall, 7-9pm.

All we ask you to bring is a gold coin
donation to cover the cost of hall hire.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More Inspiration

No, this isn't my work, but I wish it was. It's the work of a South African woman called Jesse Breytenbach.


I've just stumbled across it through Thea & Sami - a blog by textile designer, Thea Samios from Queensland.  Always great to see someone making a living out of their art!
Check out more of Jesse's work on a printmaking blog called Print Specs.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Snakes & Owls

Yes, I've had a bit of a blog change.  Thought I'd try out a new look and hey change is as good as a holiday.

Oh, that's right - I did just have a holiday!  I've had six long days away from my craft (& computer) and I couldn't wait to get back into it.  It wasn't exactly a relaxing holiday with three young children . . . you know bike riding, walking, swimming, bike riding, walking, swimming, etc, etc. 

I also had a very close encounter with a red-bellied black snake while I was riding with Hamish on the back.  Talk about getting your heart pumping!  

Here are two of them 'playing'.

Caree came around this afternoon and we did some lino printing (soooo much more relaxing). Caree hadn't done printing since school and we had a great time experimenting.

We printed a few owl faces on different materials in preparation for the next Brown Owls meeting on Tuesday night.

The next meeting is Tuesday 12th October,
7-9pm at Nords Wharf hall. 
All welcome.
(Cost is a gold coin donation to cover the hall hire.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A bit of rain, a bit of art & craft.

Isn't it amazing how much more productive we are when the weather is not so great?  This morning Miss Beatie was quickly into sewing her Owl. 

She's doing a fabulous job with her sewing (& her painting), and as I type this she's back at it again.

I've also been busy doing some lino printing (& threading needles).  I decided to do a lino print for the letter 'r'.  Which I will now do some 'enhancing' with sewing.

It's a bit tricky getting those letters the right way round - which is the wrong way round!  If you know what I mean.  Thought we might be able to use this as the template for our leaflets?

And I printed onto more fabric for another 'flag'.

At our 3rd meeting on the 26th October I'll be doing a lino printing demonstration so why not come along and learn something new?. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

B for Brown

I thought it might be nice to include the the words 'Brown Owls' in our group art/craft flag activity we started on Tuesday night. 

Caree and I discussed it and I've been allocated the word 'Brown', whilst Caree is doing 'Owl'.  If any of our other Brown Owls out there would like to do a letter that would be great - just leave me a message over the next couple of days. *Just an update: Thanks to Georgie who has offered to the letter 'W'.

I've started with mixed media for the first letter. I began by putting down collaged newspaper on the canvas.

I then used watercolour paint for the background, outlined the letter in oil pastels, and then used my sewing machine to go around the letter.

 Here's a close up of the detail. Still need to put an owl on there somewhere.

I guess I'm trying to show the alternative nature and talents of the Brown Owls.  I think I will do a lino print for the next letter.