Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas is Upon Us!

Dear Friends,
Well December has rushed on by and tomorrow is Christmas Day - can hardly believe it.
I have been busy renovating sections of the studio. New draws from IKEA I am in LOVE with - I got a glazier to cut me come glass to create a fresh finish to them - making them super easy to keep clean as well.

Fiddling around with what will go in them has taken up a lot of play time in the studio!

Tall CD cabinets cast off from my sister now hold all my paints organised into colour - BLISS! This has freed the table up considerably.

I really need to do other things to the studio but with the joy of Christmas approaching cooking and decorations have taken priority. SO mess galore in the kitchen has resulted in way too many yummy things.

Testing different lollies to set into shortbread was my technical research to our Christmas fare. Boiled lollies simply don't work - but jubes do! These little star ones held onto their shape and went shiny! Perfect!
AND YES they tasted quite lovely.

We ALWAYS have these balls that are crushed biscuits, sweet and condensed milk (mmm....) and dark cocoa. Covered in coconut. So easy to eat - sadly!

OH yes here are the lollies before and after for the shortbread jewels.

I decided to put my tree up on the ceiling in the studio - it used to be in a corner and tended to fall over.
Up on the ceiling it can hold many decorations! FAB!

Along the work tables are the avenue of Santas! Can a girl have too many Santas?

In our lounge room we have candles on every night in the Christmas period.  It is a special time and I am always glad we make the effort to add all the little touches that live in a cupboard for the rest of the year.

The tree is 8 ft tall and the angel just gets in before scraping the tips of her wings on the ceiling!

Well off to the land of nod until the day begins

Much love to everyone who has written in and followed my blog - I so love hearing from you all
Have a splendid holiday season however you celebrate it


Monday, December 3, 2012

And the winner is.................................

Dear Friends
Well thankyou for such a lovely response to my Blog Give Away of one of my Felted Birds!

The winner is    GILLIAN CHAPMAN  from the Isle of Wight. Congratulations!

I will be posting your parcel on Monday morning and feel certain it will arrive before Christmas. I hope you have fun displaying him/her somewhere!

I am sorry I can't send one to everyone, they take me such a long time to make from dyeing the fleece, to making the felt through to embroidering the details. There are more available over at Etsy if you are still keen to own one.

So every best wish and happy creating in the run up to Christmas and Holiday Season!
Good grief 2013 is almost here!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

3 Days to go!

Hi Friends,
Thankyou so much for your wonderful response to the give away! I forgot to mention that if you would prefer a more subdued little bird in quieter tones then no problem.
Like any artist I always assume that everyone likes my colours best, brights, but this doesn't suit us all. If you would prefer a felted friend that is brown/blue/silver colours then that can certainly be arranged! Remember just leave a comment or "follow" my blog and you will be entered into the draw.

Everything is bright and warm here and our first bowl of cherries have been harvested! They have come from a very young tree, earlier than expected and this little dessert bowl was the ENTIRE crop. Henry thinks they are superb - not too certain what they are - but sensational fun to grab the stalk in your teeth and fling it across the table!  Is this young fluff monster entertaining or what? 

The obvious question I guess is, "Should Henry be on the table?"   Mmm...............Oh well...........

Good Luck in the draw!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Away!

Hi everyone!
Well I thought it was time to announce a fabulous give away!

Simply leave a comment or "follow" my blog and I will choose a name at random from a hat on the 1st of December.  Your new little felt bird will be winging its' way to you just in time to hang on your tree or anywhere you like. Your little bird is created from handmade felt from my hand dyed wools and then embroidered.

There are a couple of other items in there too but that would be telling.The festive season is supposed to be about surprises anyway!

Good Luck on the 1st of December!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012


'and then Goldilocks tried the Queen sized bed with the lovely warm quilt and crept in. Pretty soon he
fell fast asleep and his poor family couldn't find him for ages and ages and were getting quite worried.'

We had a really noisy storm this morning and Henry disappeared. He tried to stick it out and kept running from window to window - upstairs downstairs and all over. After a while we couldn't find him - sure enough
the most reassuring place for us all was his chosen spot as well - IN BED!

Happy snoozing!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Spring is truly here!

Hello Everyone!
Well Spring is truly here and our wet wet wet winter is really paying off now. All the roses are just so joyous and I am guessing that extra deep soak has given them a real boost.
The kitties are loving rolling outside again after clinging to heating vents and fighting over the favourite chair.\
As you may know Nelly has not accepted Henry although a bare toleration is in progress and she has stopped hissing at every doorway - just in case he might be in that particular room. (You will be able to see them both if you click on the pic)

Here you can see them very close together outside and Nell just couldn't be bothered rising to chase him away.  A rare day. We are having a small summerhouse built in the backyard - a nice place to dream really.

These little daisies were about the size of my thumb nail  - thankyou macro lense! They were in the down the street and just so gorgeous. I think that more than any other flower, daisies signal that heat is on the way.
I am going to try and paint them this week.

For the first time in years the foxgloves are marching around the garden all by themselves. As we have such a deciduous garden, they get a good start before everything is in full leaf. I just love them!

After a sudden shower last week followed by wretched wind, the roses here just littered the driveway in the loveliest way!

Spring can be so unpredictable but whilst the lovely days are lingering we are all taking advantage of them.

Hoping you all get some outside time this week

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

School creations!

Dear Friends,
Well at last I have finished my school work for the year! Such a busy term but had a wonderful time throughout! Here below are some studies done by Grade 2 students at MLC - just love what they have achieved.
I got them to design a house based on some research - giving though to location, colour and shape.
After attaching them to heavy card the they drew in the surroundings to set the scene and add a story to the felt home they had created. We had everything from castles to tee pees!

Here below is the latest installation at St Catherine's in Toorak. This has been created by children from Prep to Year 6 and we even had some weeny folk in from the preschool. The theme is Underwater Circus.
The children had a lot of fun imagining all the different creatures and what they would do  - a challenge but I really love the end result. Three members of my family are holding it up so that I could get at least a couple of shots. Imagine lots of yelling and "For goodness sake HURRY UP!"  You get the idea.

Felt lends itself so beautifully to works such as these. The ability to be able to create any shape and mould distinct forms. It is hard to see in these shots but the bottom has many coral and rock forms that are very dimensional.  I will get a better shot when it gets installed.

I am looking forward to getting on with some smaller projects this week! My arms have quite had enough of rolling bit felts!

Hoping everyone is having a wonderful week

Monday, October 1, 2012

Journal studies

Dear Friends,
I find it funny that when I have a large felty thing on the go I need to draw and paint as a sort of antidote or refresher.
It is not that I am not enjoying the felting process - it is always a magical thing to me - but the getting back to
basics with a pencil and a brush has no pressure, easy, comfortable and more importantly just so portable!

This is a little square book that I picked up at the Hong Kong airport about .............years ago! Just a little  8" square blank book. Finally decided it would come off the shelf leaving its endless relatives of blank books stuck there.  I started by painting each double page a single colour.

I have kept this journal study focused on working out new colour combinations and trying out the poppy
bloom in different shades. Even if they don't exist in real life  - the artist is able to do as they please. How groovy is that?

Each double spread has the same elements in different colourways - and I have discovered great joy in just challenging myself to find new shades to marry.

I think that postage stamps are a great addition to journalling  Little gems that provide information regarding colour and subject and very stimulating for further study. A bag of used ones is very inexpensive and the international ones are a real education.

Of course a few birds have crept in as well. The one below is actually just done in markers rather than watercolours.

Well I hope you are all finding time to do something creative just for the heck of it. Not for sale or an order or any other time monitored reason - just for fun.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Canvas and Felt Class

Hi Everyone!
The Canvas and Felt Class will be going ahead on the following dates. I think I put the wrong ones down last post - typical! So the dates are:

15th 22nd and 29th September

This will be three consecutive Saturday mornings and will start from 10.00am - 1.00pm

Please let me know if you would like to book in and reserve a place and I will then send you the requirements list.

You can do any type of figure you like from aliens to robots to angels or cats or birds if you prefer! We will make enough of each textile to create at least 2 figures.
Topics covered will include free form canvas painting, handmade felt, pattern making as well as hand and machine stitching.

Hope to see you in class!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Catching up, classes and Queensland

Dear Friends,
Very busy since last we chatted and also having a weeny break from so much computery stuff. Amazing how much of one's life it can siphon off! Anyway enough of that.

I have been painting a lot lately and was lucky enough to go and teach in Queensland  - right in the middle of freezing Melbourne weather. It was a painting and felting class and we were all busy as beavers.

I find it eternally wonderful that the passion of artistic endeavour frequently takes over all other elements - forgetting the time, forgetting to eat, pushing on to finish a work, tackling a new piece with very little time left,
the sharing of ones treasured supplies with no hesitation at all -  often with a fellow class member previously unknown to you.  The bonding between class members in such a short time is rapid and often long lasting  - certainly well after the class is finished.

Here are some close ups of my samples  - using unprimed canvas, acrylic paints, watercolour crayons, pens, coloured inks, textas, pencils ..............................  groovy fun!

Below are a new set of canvas and felt figures - they are now up on my etsy site.

I really love working on them and seeing what sort of characters people create is so interesting.  Students who don't think they can paint are so gorgeous to observe  - they don't know how very talented they are at wielding some colours and a brush. I suppose it is the same for anyone who thinks they lack a certain skill - to see them achieve it is just SUPER!

The CANVAS and FELT workshop runs for 3 weeks. This consists of 3 half day classes.
The next dates are: 15th  22nd & 29th September. If you would like to book in, just email me.
Please remember I only take 4 students.






Below is the gorgeous view I was faced with around 6.00pm on my first evening in Queensland. The shade of pink after the sun had set was just like a a pearly shell colour.  So restful and dreamy.

This is the very same beach early the following morning. Now when I say early what I really mean is about 6.30am. For many people this is a natural time of day to get a move on. WELL, I rarely see 6.30am unless I have a job that takes forever to get there. But I was so eager to see the beach that I was out walking having just the best time collecting stones  - they are so different to the ones I normally find.
An ocean beach provides different types of treasure to a bay beach I think.

Below is a completely different beach - about 25 minutes away and much more public. These shots were taken at lunchtime at the teaching venue which was nothing less than PERFECT! At the top of a hill at a  school - now used for a variety of classes and community opportunities. The beach was beautiful, cool breeze, warm sun...........................

At the lookout point was this wonderful art installation of an ocean eagle - I had all sorts of imaginings - that he took flight when no one was around and got back on his post when observed...............well he might!

A very formidable piece of work - such strength and beauty. I just loved it!

A few shots taken during class with students hard at work - such hard workers! There were lengthy periods of silence - well almost silence - I do tend to talk quite a bit.

Finally back at home - of course I weighed my luggage down with stones - that's normal isn't it?
After washing them I left them on the sink. For the first time ever, (which is quite surprising really)  Henry
was up and inspecting these new interesting pieces. Needless to say he wasn't there long - especially after the first one was pushed to the floor.

Well still cold here in Melbourne and wishing I was back in Queensland puddling along the beach.

Hoping everyone has a great start to the week and finding time to stitch or felt or paint or draw or write or puddle along a beach......