Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sophie Appleby - Giveaway

" Sophie Isobel Designs is a quirky little nook that offers one off handmade artwork and accessories created by a lover of all things vintage, recycled and unique. Teapots, keys, old books, ink, vintage brooches and postcards, buttons, Alice in Wonderland, typography and wild flowers are just some of my favorite things. " - Sophie Appleby
If you wish to find out more about Sophie and her wonderful pieces visit her store www.sophieisobeldesigns.etsy.com or her blog www.herlibraryadventures.blogspot.com.

This talented young lady has kindly created one of her experimental mixed media original pieces especially created for this giveaway 'A tale of two cities' which resonates the works of Charles Dickens. The canvas is 8' x 8' x 1.5'.

Here's how you can enter:
- Visit Sophie Appleby's Etsy Shop at www.sophieisobeldesigns.etsy.com
- Send me an email at nicole_a_tattersall[at]yahoo.com.au with the answer to...
Which gorgeous item in the Sophie Appleby's etsy shop would you love to own?
- All entries are to be received by Friday 6 February 2009, 10pm
- It will be drawn via random.org

Biribiri Creation - Giveaway - WINNERS!

Congratulations to Carly, Courtney and Emily! Each have won a set of 3 recycled bookmarks, each lovingly created by Corry by using recylced paper and icy pole sticks (these are not recylced)

To find out more about Corry and her work visit her store www.biribiricreation.etsy.com.

Introducing 3...


A few weeks ago I introduced three clocks that I just adored, since then I've come across yet another three stylish time pieces that I feel are worthy of a mention too.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Gallery 1988 Presents Cackle Factory

'Cackle Factory' is Brandt Peters Debut LA solo exhibition at Gallery 1988 in LA.

LA, USA
Gallery 1988
7020 Melrose Ave (At LA Brea)
LA, California, USA
Exhibition Opening: Tuesday 3 February 2009, 7pm - 10pm
Exhibition: Tuesday 3 - Friday 27 February 2009
Website: www.gallery1988.com or www.88point5.com

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Repurposed Paperback Apple Sculpture

A little while ago the gorgeous people at Creature Comforts posted a tutorial from Cheeky Magpie on how to make a fabulous Repurposed Paperback Apple Sculpture.

Visit creaturecomforts.typepad.com to find out how to make one yourself.

Art on your Sleeve - TONIGHT

Just a reminder that 'Art on your Sleeve' is on tonight! The first of the exhibitions I'll be curating at Stay Human in Richmond. Hope to see you there!

It will consist of 30+ artists each with 20 badges/pocket mirrors

Featuring...
Satta van Daal, Celso, Beastman, Bec Winnel, Fray, Lisa King, Scarlett, Miss Blimey, Rachee, Capital Simon, Cultural Urge, Jasper Oostland, Seldom, Floh, Dan Withey, Laura McKellar, Jessica Tremp, Kate Griffin, Leeana Edwards, Tarquin, Meta Tribe, Snookie, Yuki Nakano, Nicole Tattersall, Josephine, Kaitlin Beckett, and more...

Melbourne
Stay Human
368 Bridge Road (cnr Coppin Street), Richmond
(upstairs above the Boheme Restaurant)
Exhibition Opening: Thursday 29 January, 2009, 6pm - 9pm
Exhibition: Thursday 29 January - Wednesday 11 February 2009
Website: www.stayhuman.com.au

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Interesting Or Not So Interesting WIth Textile Lover & More Lisa

When I spotted Lisa's wonderful felt brooches I was in awe and when I found out more about Lisa, and how she works as a museum exhibit fabricator, has a intense knowledge of textiles and it's history, I just has to interview her.
Lisa's answers are long but are well worth the read. So got get yourself a cup of tea and some biscuits, curl up and enjoy this weeks interview.

Q. Lisa, you are so very interesting with a passion for the oddest arrangement of things from making /designing costumes to animals and animal rescue, paper goods to British TV and books to film. Hence I feel it only natural to interview you for my blog, as the title is 'Interesting or not so Interesting with...'. Though I do have to ask which category do you think you fall into? Why (besides the above)?
A. Such a hard question - I don't think that is for me to say. Others can determine which category I fall into by the end of the interview. I'm quite happy with my own company, but I may be easily entertained.... ;-)

Q. You currently work as a museum exhibit fabricator, specialising in botanically accurate plants for natural history museums. What exactly is it that you do? How does one get a job like that?
A. I build models that fit the clients specifications, and in doing so, I have to consider style, viewing distance, budget, etc. I don't have a certain set of materials that I always use. Sometimes the materials can be quite unexpected - Who knew that glue covered pipe-cleaners would make the perfect seed head for a specific kind of grass? Or that wool-covered sheep skin and modeling paste would be a perfect addition to a taro plant. I guess there is a lot of experimentation involved in the job.
I got the job I have now through a friend of a friend, but the company I work for has been known to advertise on www.craigslist.org.

Q. What is it that draws you to mid-late 1700's, early-mid 20th century fashion? For both eras what do you think was the key features of fashion during these times?
A. I am drawn to those eras by aesthetics - personal preference - nothing more. I love the juxtaposition of elegance and ridiculousness in Rococo fashion - exquisite silks, delicate colors, airy lace paired with exaggerated silhouettes, crazy hairstyles/wigs, and harsh make-up. Sounds horrid on paper, but I find the look quite lovely.

The early-mid 20th century fashion really represents the beginning of the modern era with its emphasis on comfort and function (at least in women's fashion). The time period was much more formal than today, and we might look back on a lot of the clothing and shudder at how uncomfortable it seemed, but compare it to preceding eras and you'll understand what I mean. Gone are the huge underpinnings such as bustles, hoops, paniers, etc. Skirts, with the exception of the New Look trend, were no longer voluminous, lengths were shorter. Some garments actually had pockets and pants were starting to be acceptable for women. Girdles hardly scream comfort, but when compared to the tight-laced corsets of the Victorian era, they seem fairly benign. I love this era because, while being modern, the sense of elegance and formality was still there - not to mention some really excellent ground-breaking design work.

Q. Which fashion icons/models/designers do you think best represented the mid - late 18th and early - mid 20th centuries?
A. Marie-Antoinette immediately comes to mind when thinking about the Rococo period, as does the Duchess of Devonshire. Some of my favorite fashion designers and icons of early-mid 20th century in no particular order: Chanel, Schiaparelli, Lavin, Poiret, Lisa Fonssagrives, Louise Brooks, Audrey Hepburn.

Q. Currently you make the most wonderful silhouette brooches, what originally inspired you to create these?
A. The idea didn't hit me directly. I wanted to make something using non-toxic materials (I'm exposed to an amazing amount of toxins at work - just the nature of the biz). I had been knitting and felting - making neck pieces without much success. One day I stumbled upon the work of the English felt-pin-making-genius, Lupin, of bugs and fishes. I was completely inspired by her methods (sewing by hand - no glue!) I had already had a color palette in mind - black, white, neutrals - so it was just a matter of time before the idea of silhouettes popped into my head.

Q. Textiles seems to be you thing, which textile do you find the easiest to work with and which ones do you find are harder?
A. Felt and leather are by far the easiest to work with because fraying isn't an issue. Muslin is nice because it is relatively inexpensive which frees me up mentally and allows for guilt-free experimentation. Silks are very fussy and hard to work with because they love to slip around and fray.

Q. They say with a recession that there is a significant change in what people wear? What do you think? Do you think that we are in for a change in regards to fashion?
A. This question is worthy of a book and definitely beyond my scope, so I'll be mercifully brief. I certainly hope people change their wearing/buying habits, though I'm hoping it will be for wanting to do the "right thing," rather than out of economic necessity. I would like to see a switch in buying habits that emphasizes quality over quantity, and I would love to see and the demand for sustainably produced clothing rise dramatically.

Q. Are there any new things coming up for you in the next few months?
A. I am looking to expand the range of items I offer in my Etsy shop - and I'm itching to get back into shoemaking. I have so many ideas brewing. It has been several months since I last made a pair of shoes and I miss it.

Q. Which websites can people visit to find out more about you and your wonderful pieces?
A. My Etsy shop: www.lepetitcadeau.etsy.com
My blog: www.lepetitcadeau.typepad.com

Q. Thank you so v. much Lisa, hope you've enjoyed this short Q&A?
A. Thank you for the opportunity.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Biribiri Creation - Giveaway

Corry is new to Etsy and she is trying to use as much recycle goods as possible to create her items, which is something I fully endorse. Her recycled made items are so very quirky and beautiful.

To find out more about Corry and her work visit her store www.biribiricreation.etsy.com.

There are 3 sets of 3 recycled bookmarks to WIN! Each lovingly created by Corry by using recylced paper and icy pole sticks (these are not recylced)


Here's how you can enter:
- Visit Corry's Etsy Shop at www.biribiricreation.etsy.com
- Send me an email at nicole_a_tattersall[at]yahoo.com.au with the answer to...
Which item in the Biribiri Creation shop would you love to own?
- All entries are to be received by Friday 30 January 2009, 10pm
- It will be drawn via random.org

Anonymous Postcard

With this anonymous postcard to Yarra Trams, I agree! It's a little daunting and with all this stranger danger/beware of flashers, even more so, to be approached by strangers who flash a badge and ask to see your tram ticket.

To read other anonymous and hilarious postcards or to send one yourself visit www.anonymouspostcard.org

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day!

Wishing everyone a Happy Australia Day! Enjoy a beer, some sun and mingle with close friends and family.

Gotham News Day

Some good news for all designers and people who use Gotham there are 46 new fonts available of Gotham thanks to the people at H&FJ.

Visit www.typography.com to read more.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Three Melbourne Artists at McCulloch Gallery

Group show featuring work by 629W, Baden Johnson and MJ Egan, all three are Melbourne based artists.

Melbourne
McCulloch Gallery
8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne,
Exhibition Opening: Friday 30 January 2009, 6pm - 10pm
Exhibition: Wednesday 28 January to Saturday 14 February 2009
Website: www.mccullochgallery.com.au

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Introducing 3...


When someone follows my blog I take some time to go and check out theirs and I'm pleasantly surprised by what lies the other side of the link. This week I would like to introduce you to three blogs by three of my followers.


Aya - Giveaway - WINNERS!

Congratulations to Liz, Amanda, George and Ruby! Each have won one of Aya's hand painted prints.

To find out more about Aya and her work visit her store www.louchelab.etsy.com or her website www.louchelab.com

Friday, January 23, 2009

Australian Stencil Art Prize 2009

Submissions for The Australian Stencil Art Prize (ASAP) are due 3 February 2009. This Prize aims to recognize and reward stencil art in Australia.

You must be 18 years or older to enter and be an Australian resident. To Enter or for more information visit www.myspace.com/australianstencilartprize

Neo Pop

"Pop was the term coined by the English art critic, Lawrence Alloway in 1956 to describe the work of a new generation of British and American artists who reacted to the then entrenched position of Abstract Expressionism by creating an art which was a response to the post-war phenomenon of the new, rampant consumer environment. Artists like Richard Hamilton, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenburg, took the mundane stuff of everyday living - Television, packaging, Magazine ads, comics, billboards and the like and elevated it to the status of High Art.

We live now at a time when most of the major Art movements of the latter part of the 20th C, including Pop, are being revisited, re-examined and re-cycled by new generations of younger artists who have been weaned on a diet of irony, quotation and post-modern-theory.

Neo-Pop gathers together the work of a number of these new-generation artists and allows us to see how their current practice comments upon and further extends the Pop genre into the first decade of the 2Ist C." - John Buckley 2008
Melbourne
John Buckley Gallery
8 Albert Street, Richmond
Exhibition: Wednesday 3 December 2008 - Saturday 7 February 2009
Note: Closed for Summer recess: 21 December 2008 - 27 January 2009. Exhibition program re-commences 28 January 2009 with the N E O P O P exhibition
Website: www.johnbuckley.com.au

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bid For A Designer Bonds Singlet And Support Clean Up Australia

Collette Dinnigan

Sass & Bide

Marnie Skillings

With the aim of raising much-needed funds in support of Clean Up Australia, Marie Claire (Magazine) is auctioning off eight one-of-a-kind designer Bonds singlets. Bidding opened on 21 January 2009 and will finish on the 31 January 2009.

The eight designers behind these altered Bonds singlets are, Peter Morrissey, Sass & Bide, Marnie Skillings, Josh Goot, Collette Dinnigan, Easton Pearson, Akira Isogawa and Alannah Hill.

Even if you don't have the cash to splash on some upmarket singlets do check out all the designs at www.lifestyle.yahoo.com.au. They are all so divine and have me even thinkinking of altering a Bonds singet myself.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Interesting Or Not So Interesting With Knitter Erin From DC

She may appear to be simple but Erin is highly talented and from my opinion fits into the category of being interesting. Based in Washington DC and working as a teacher she also finds time to knit wonderful creations whilst keeping her commitment to the environment.

Q. Erin, you make such wonderful knitted objects and more I just have to ask are you keen to be interviewed for my weekly interview on my blog? The title is 'Interesting or not so Interesting', which category do you think you fall into? Why?
A. Everybody’s got an interesting story to tell, you just need to get to know the person to hear it. As for me, I’m still young so I guess I don’t have as many stories as others might, but I have a few. I studied abroad in China for six months and traveled throughout the country. I teach art to inner city public school students. I’ve been creating things with my hands since I was five years old. I decided a while back that I refuse to live a “normal” life, and do what I can to stick to that goal. It’s an on-going process, but I think I’m doing pretty well so far. :)

Q. Your based in Washington DC, the home of the White House. If a visitor was tired of looking at all things politically related and wanted to check out something more crafty where would you recommend that they go to see?
A. The Smithsonian Museums are all wonderful. The one with African Art has some fabulous craftwork—clothing, baskets, jewelry. The Asian Art one has a lot of stunning pottery. Just a short hop away in Alexandria, VA there’s the Torpedo Art Factory, where a lot of artists have studios and shops, and offer classes and workshops. And if you’re here in the summer, be sure to check out Crafty Bastards—it’s one of the coolest arts and crafts fairs in the area.

Q. Has there been anything that you've learned that has assisted you in your craft through working as an arts teacher in a public school?
A. Haha, well I try to remember a lot of the advice I give my students every day. Share your materials and your work with others. Don’t pay attention to someone who says mean things about your work for no reason. Don’t give up. Always try your best. The biggest thing though, is patience. I try to teach my students to be patient with themselves and their work—not to rush through things, and not to get frustrated when they make a mistake. You can always go back and try to fix it, or you can just go with it. Some mistakes are what Bob Ross liked to call “happy accidents.” That’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, because my first tendency when I make a mistake is to rip my knitting off my needles and start over. (And that’s one of the things my students do that drives me crazy, when they beg to start over because of one little mistake)! But I’ve been working on just going with it and having more patience with myself. I’ve always been pretty patient when it comes to others (which is good for my students because it takes A LOT of patience to work with an inner city population!), but it’s a different story when it comes to me. I have high standards for myself.

Q. What is it that you love about knitting and everything else crafty that you do?
A. I just love to create. It’s a great feeling to know you made something with your own two hands. I’ve been making things since I was very young. When I was five, my mom taught me cross-stitch, and then sewing a little later on. She was always buying my sisters and me little craft kits from the store—dreamcatchers, stained glass, paint by numbers, all sorts of things. I loved doing them. It was always such a treat.
I always enjoyed drawing, but never really thought about taking art classes until junior year in high school. That was when I realized, Hey I’m actually really good at this! I ended up studying drawing and painting in college, and dabbled in photography, printmaking, and metalsmithing, all of which I loved too. But I’ve always known that I wanted to teach, so once I discovered art, becoming an art teacher made perfect sense. I love sharing art and the process of creation with others.
I didn’t start knitting until about three years ago, when a friend gave me a teach yourself knitting book, ball of yarn, and pair of needles for Christmas. And as they say, the rest is history! I was totally hooked. Knitting is a very relaxing and meditative process for me, and I love learning new techniques and stitches and incorporating them into my work. I find it very rewarding and satisfying to create beautiful things with my own hands, things that other people love to wear!

Q. With the current recession do you think more and more people are looking more at upcycling/recycling products/items?
A. I hope so. I know I’ve been thinking twice before I go out and buy something new. I have to decide if I really need it, because maybe I can fix something I already own or make it myself. If not, I might try to buy from a thrift store or buy handmade. When I do have to buy something, from anywhere, I try to make sure it’s good quality. I’d rather spend a few more bucks for something I know will last than get something cheap I’ll need to replace in a year. It seems like a lot of people have, or are developing a similar mentality, with the economy the way it is. And that’s good, because we cannot afford to keep up this consumer culture that’s been so rampant in recent years. There’s too much at stake.

Q. You live such a simple life, one that is highly environmentally conscious, this is translated into your works. What are the main things that you do in regards to your crafts to minimise the environmental impact?
A. I try to use natural materials when I can—wool, cotton, etc—and try to buy local too. I also use yarn that I find in thrift stores and I do swaps with other crafters to replace unneeded supplies with ones I will use. I recycle/upcycle when I can. My bags are all from old clothing and fabric scraps and the like.
I also try to bring these ideas into my shipping process. I use minimal packaging, reusing whenever I can, and only include a small thank you note with my item.

Q. What do think are top 5 things that people can do to reduce their own environmental impact on the world?
A. I think a lot of what I’m about to say can be summed up by the following—Don’t waste!
1. Re-use/upcycle: Turn something you already have into something new and wonderful.
2. Recycle: If you have to get rid of something, recycle if at all possible.
3. Do it yourself: It’s often cheaper if you do or make something yourself. And if you don’t know how, maybe a friend does.
4. Buy natural/organic/ecofriendly: When you have to buy something new, go the ecofriendly route. It might be a bit more expensive, but chances are it’s better for you and for the earth.
5. Buy local: Frequent your local farmers’ market. Support local shops.

Q. Anything new and wonderful coming up in the near future?
A. I’ve been working on new hat and scarf styles, which should be making an appearance soon. I would also like to learn to knit lace so I can make some lighter-weight accessories for warmer weather.

Q. What are the best site for people to visit to find out more about you and your works?
A. www.erinmapes.etsy.com (This is where I sell all my knitted items and upcycled bags, as well as some pieces of hemp jewelry).
www.ravelry.com/people/erinmapes (Here you can check out my latest projects and what I plan to do in the future. Some of these projects end up on Etsy, and some are just for me. :)

Q. Thank you so v. much Erin, hope you've enjoyed this short Q&A?
A. Very much. These were some of the best interview questions I’ve had. They really made me think. And I always love sharing my craft with others. So thank you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

St Kilda Night Market

" The St Kilda Beach Night Market is one of Australia’s most beautiful outdoor market installations. The market attracts thousands of people who shop & soak up its magical summer evening atmosphere.

One hundred hand picked traders and producers, selected on quality, diversity and design, contribute to the gorgeous range of quality goods on sale: fashion, textiles, graphic arts, vintage, decorative arts, jewelry and produce.

Look out for local design favorites including Muscrats, Zoe Gennat, Matt Irwin, Island Girl, Upcycled, Global Princess and Silver Rocks Oz."
Melbourne
O’Donnell Gardens (corner of Acland Street and the Esplanade between Luna Park and the Vineyard), St Kilda
When: Thursday Night 5pm-10pm, 22nd and 29th January , 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th February, 2009
Website: www.stkildabeachnightmarket.com.au

Monday, January 19, 2009

Designs from Country

" Just in time for Australia Day, Famous When Dead Gallery presents an exhibition of works by young and emerging artists from Western Desert communities Yuendumu, Balgo, Mt Liebig, Papunya and Utopia.

Featured artists are Linda Tjariggarda Anderson, Kevin Dixon, Steven Bird Jungala, Norma Kelly, Lucy Loomoo, Mandy Pegg Nakamarra, Susie Pollard Nangala, Janelle Eggley Napaltjarri, Serit Wheeler Napangardi, Annette Ellis Napangarti, Jessie Bird Ngale, Hilda Bird Ngale, Carol Turner Ngwarrai, Irene Nungarrayi, Selina Teece Pwerl, Sharon K Hayes Peltharre, Natalie Holmes Pwerl.

The works were collected at the 2008 DesertMob exhibition and market, the annual showcase of community art centers in Alice Springs, and Alpitye Art Studio. " - Famous When Dead
Melbourne
Famous When Dead
207 Victoria Street, West Melbourne
Exhibition Opening: Saturday 24 January, 2009 4pm - till late
Exhibition: Saturday 24 January - Sunday 8 February 2009
Website: www.famouswhendead.com.au

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Art In Mind - Contemporary Art Group Show Part 2

A while ago Nom Kinnear King a talented little lady, was in Australia and sadly she went back to the UK. Though at least all is not lost because if she hadn't she wouldn't be in this exhibition and many others that allow for the people of London to see her wonderful work. If you are in London do make you way to The Brick Lane Gallery and check out Nom's gorgeous pieces alongside many other wonderful works.

To see Nom's works online visit www.nomchomski.com

Art In Mind - Contemporary Art Group Show Part 2 features...
Sue Nunn, Kahled Al Najdi, Zoe Eaton, Francis Akpata, Steven Farnworth, Sarah Nolan, Yves Eric Deboyet, Virginie Gandoin, Nom Kinnear King and Nikki Willson.

London, UK
The Brick Lane Gallery
196 Brick Lane, London,UK
Exhibition Opening: Wednesday 21 January 2009, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Exhibition: Wednesday 21 January - Monday 2 February 2009
Open Times: Daily 1pm - 6pm.
Website: www.thebricklanegallery.com

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Introducing 3...


It's the start of 2009 and my how the year has flown past already. Inspired by this I've found three very funky ways of keeping track of the time I would like to share with you.


Aya - Giveaway!

The first 3 things that you've got to know about Aya, to understand the art she makes, are:
1. She is a woman
2. She is an immigrant
3. Feelings are probably more important to her then anything else.
These things come thru in my art, whether she's painting, designing a web site or just binding a book.

Aya, is a highly talented young lady and I feel so privileged to be able to offer my readers some of her work to win.

To find out more about Aya and her work visit her store www.louchelab.etsy.com or her website www.louchelab.com

Aya has kindly offered 4 of her simply gorgeous hand painted prints to give away. I'll be offering four lucky people the chance to each WIN one to call their very own.

Here's how you can enter:
- Visit Aya's Etsy Shop at www.louchelab.etsy.com
- Send me an email at nicole_a_tattersall[at]yahoo.com.au with the answer to...
Which animal in Aya's shop do you like the most and which one you would like see?
- All entries are to be received by Friday 23 January 2009, 10pm
- It will be drawn via random.org

Friday, January 16, 2009

Save The Cash

I'm no finance adviser, millionaire or anything else highly money related. I'm just someone who works full time, paints and enjoys spending time with good friends.

Recently when talking the topic of money with some friends, they were delighted of my techniques of saving. So here a some I think are worth passing on:

• Purchase things only with notes where possible and save all the coins in a jar, then every few months empty it out and deposit it all into your saving account.

• Make your own coffees/teas. When I was working in the city I use to have 3 coffees a day @ $3.20 each = $9.60 per day x 5 working days = $45 per week
Now I use instant coffee and tea bags at work now, my coffees may not taste as good as a great latte but they taste better than the worse lattes I've had.
Why not jazz it up, with a nice mug/cup the represents you. Even use the money you've saved and get your self a little plunger.

• In the way of presents, I like to give something that is personal yet has a homemade touch. For Christmas I potted some cuttings from my herb garden and gave them to friends, in a cute recycled glass jar with a bright red ribbon around it. Simple and yet so appreciated. Every G&T drinker will appreciate some mint.

• I shop online a far bit as it saves me the time spent at the shops and allows me to shop around at other places for not only the best price but also the best priced postage. Some books I've bought have been up to $30 different in price. It does help to also know roughly what price you would be paying for in a shop to compare it to.

• When my pay comes in I try to save at least 5% but aim for 10% to be put aside into my savings. This can be hard sometimes but if you keep a routine after awhile you'll hopefully not notice the diffrence.

Also Known As

'Also Known As' opened last Wednesday at the Somedays Gallery in Surry Hills. It features some of the most highly talented Sydney artists who I just adore. Max Berry, Ears, Beastman and others. If you didn't get to opening and are in Sydney do go and have a peek!

Sydney
Somedays Gallery
72b Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills
Exhibition: Wednesday 14 January to Monday 2 February, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Engrave Your Book is back!

Engrave Your Book is back! After discovering that laser engraving directly onto PVC Moleskines is an unsafe manufacturing process, they’ve since developed USA-made leather covers which slip seamlessly over Moleskine notebooks. Not only do the leather covers look incredible engraved, they're reusable and will only get better with age. Currently, they are only offering pocket-size covers; but promise that the large covers will be available early February.

To purchase either one designed by their artists (samples below) or to customise your own visit www.engraveyourbook.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interesting Or Not So Interesting Felt Painter Diane

When I saw Diane's wonderful felt paintings, I knew I wanted to know more. As someone who doesn't do felting or ever tried I was highly intrigued to find out not only more about this craft and but also about the wonderful painting like images she creates with this medium.

Q. Diane, I would love for you to be the next interviewee with interesting or not so interesting people for my blog. Are you up for it? Which category do you think you fall into interesting or not so interesting? Reasons?
A. I must be interesting. I believe that everyone is interesting in some way. The problem is that we all try to hide the very things that make us interesting because interesting is often synonymous with different. Finally I am old enough not to mind being different.

Q. You create some of the most wonderful felted paintings, where did this idea come from?
A. I actually got the idea from looking at the work of a felt artist named Andrea Hunter. Her work really showed me that felt can be fine art. I was very proud that a couple of months ago I had one of my pieces of felt accepted in an juried art show that was almost all oil and acrylic paintings.
Q. In your work you use wet felting and needle felting, sometimes both in the same piece. What are the major differences between these two methods? What should a consumer look for to know they buying something well made?
A. Wet felting is done by layering bits of fiber on a flat surface, adding hot soapy water and doing quite a bit of rubbing. The felting occurs because there are microscopic scales on the fibers that open up in the hot water. The rubbing causes them to entangle so much that they can not be pulled apart. Needle felting uses a barbed needle to poke the dry fibers to get them to tangle together. When I do one of my felt paintings I first lay out what I consider to be an underpainting. I put in all the big areas of color using wool roving. Then I add smaller bits of wool for more detail and lastly I add things like yarn or silk fibers. This pile of fibers is then wet felted. When this underpainting is dry I needle felt in some sharper detail like blades of grass for example. With wet felting I can be more spontaneous but needle felting allows me to put in the detail I want.
As it is becoming more popular there is also alot more bad felt out there. Some of it looks barely held together. Many of us just don't full (agitate) the felt enough. I still have this problem sometimes.
With well made felt you should not be able to see where individual fibers go as they should be too tangled. If you stretch the felt it should pull back, not stay stretched out.

Q. Are there any other mediums you are thinking about or looking into for use in your felting works/pieces?
A.I just took a workshop on silk and a workshop on dyeing, so I am hoping to do more work with dyeing my own silk and fibers. I love nuno felt, which is when the wool fibers are allowed to penetrate the weave of a fabric before felting creating a new fabric. I want to try making some bigger pieces of clothing from this fabric.

Q. What have been some of your biggest learning curves you've had with felting?
A.My biggest learning curve has been learning how to do the business end of things especially in the age of computers! I am a self taught felter who found a great mentor in Christine White who is the author of Uniquely Felt. It was serendipity meeting her.

Q. You seem quiet passionate about your craft, what is it abut felting you love?
A.Felting seems to so perfect for me in so many ways. My favorite part of the process is feeling the felt change as it begins to go from a soggy pile of loose fibers to a cohesive piece of cloth. I have found that all of my senses are heightened when I am creating. Many mediums only appeal to my sense of sight and touch but when I am felting I also enjoy the smell of the soap and the sounds of the water. My sister who tried it one day said it was “kind of like making mud pies when we were kids but you don’t get dirty.” I also love that it uses a sustainable material and I can create useful objects of beauty. I could go on and on.

Q.Working a full time day job as an illustrator, working as a artist and a mother, what are your key tips in being top of everything and staying organised?
A.Well, I have actually only been working part-time and my kids are pretty well grown so I have it easier than a lot of the women I know. And to tell the truth I am not organized even though I am a Virgo!

Q. What's new coming up? Any new projects or exhibitions on the way?
A. I am a member of the Northeast Feltmakers Guild and we are having an exhibit at the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council later this month. I am also going to teach a few classes on making one of my felt flower pins. I also have a few orders to fill. Then I can get back to playing!

Q. Where can people find out more about you and is there any websites you want to plug?

A.I don't have my own website but I do have some pictures of my felting process up at www.flickr.com/photos/feltinspiration
People can purcahse my work online through Etsy www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6245200
The Northeast Feltmakers Guild has some great information www.northeastfeltmakersguild.org
New England Felting Supply which is home to Chris White and my store for wool www.feltingsupply.com
And my other source of information, Pat Spark's feltmakers list www.members.peak.org

Q. Thank you Diane, hope you've enjoyed this short Q&A?
A. Thank you Nicole for this opportunity. It really was a nice experience and you are a fantastic interviewer. Watch out Barbara Walters!

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