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.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Scrambled Eggs

I know there are lots of craft out there at the moment however I stumbled across this cool website the other day and thought what an interesting twist to the usual Easter craft.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

One term down.

And only three more to go!  Does anyone else out there feel as pleased as I am that term one is nearly over?  (Those easter hats are done and dusted!).

On Tuesday night the Brown Owls did meet and it was a small but productive group.  
Here are those yo yos that Caree made last meeting.

And here is Caree's creation.  A beautiful gift for her sister made from silk scarves, and fabric from the Salvos.  It was very oriental and showed Caree's creative ability to put it all together without a pattern.

 Hopefully I can get a photo of the finished product. 
I am about 3/4 of the way with my satchel bag and so far so good.  It's just finding the time to complete it without the guidance of Wendy (who hardly got a chance to do her own stuff because of my questions!)
Speaking of which, the next Brown Owls meeting is going to start at 6pm.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Joined together.

I've slowly been getting it together lately.  My fabric that is (everything else is a long way off). 

At the last Brown Owls I began to put pieces of my vintage fabric together in order to make a new satchel type bag. 

I thought I'd better get a move on in order to get organised for tomorrow night and to be able to tap the knowledge and skills of Wendy.

Now though I'm thinking that it would make a really nice skirt, or cushion cover? It is satisfying seeing that pile of fabric join with others and become something new and exciting. 
Sounds like a metaphor for the Brown Owls?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Brown Owls on Tuesday

Easter is coming and this week the Brown Owls will be meeting at the Nords Wharf Hall, Tuesday 7-9pm.  I know there will be bag making and mobile making (hanging not ringing).  Perhaps even some Easter gifts? 
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Full Moon, Owls Out.

The full moon was out last night and so were the Nords Wharf Brown Owls.

This week we did a number of creative things including lino printing, yo yo making, a bit of applique and bag making.

New member Judy brought along her carved lino and printed up this amazing Margaret Preston inspired print.

We finally worked out what all of those circles were for - yoyos.  Yes, lucky Caz bought these a while ago from an op shop already cut out and last night made a few yoyos herself. (Sorry I didn't get any pics!)

I've started work on another bag.  This time I'm after more of a satchel so I spent the evening matching fabric and doing some applique. 

Another great evening spent catching up with new and old 
friends AND of course creating and making.  Two hours is never enough.

Next meeting we'll be making hanging mobiles and bags. New members are always welcome.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Brown Owls Tomorrow Night!

Yes, you will find a number of Brown Owls tomorrow night at
the Nords Wharf Community Hall. 

There will be lots of creative things happening including lino printing, sewing, talking, and drinking (tea of course!). 
BYOC or start something new on the night.

Hope to see you there, 7-9pm

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday at work.

You know you've had a great day at work when you come
home (from working at the weekend) thinking "I love my job!". 

Today I spent the day with seven lovely ladies teaching them how to lino print at Newcastle WEA.

As you can see they were a very talented bunch of ladies.

And so productive.

All had little experience (only in high school) with lino so I was very happy with the results.  I think they were too!

All experimented with colour by using chincolle method (printing onto tissue paper).

 And as you can see there were lots of different designs and styles from birds, trees, flowers and fish.

The next class is on in May, so checkout the Newcastle WEA website.  Thanks ladies for a great day.