Monday, November 30, 2009

These boot(ie)s were made for walking

A part ball of Patonyle, picked up for 50 cents from Vinnies Tuggeranong on Saturday morning got me thinking about booties for my (colour loving) CIT teacher's baby to be.

Thanks to the joys of Ravelry I managed to hunt down a version (rav link) of my favorite stay-on-no-matter-what 4-ply baby bootie pattern and whipped these up. The fact that the striping is ever so slightly off bugs me big-time but I'm telling myself it adds an air of handcrafted charm...

And I rediscovered a large ball of cream Bendi 4 ply I got in the $5 bag I've mentioned before. I think my baby knitting is sorted for a very very long time...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Here's one I prepared earlier...

(Reprinted from I op therefore I am - ACT)

On the same trip (to the new Salvos Mitchell) that netted me the $4 loom
I used for one of the pieces for my final assessment I also picked up a large bag of vintage sewing patterns for $3: (Early morning eye candy for you)
There were more patterns in the bag: some went home with Taph, who visited later that day and the rest (nasty frothy 1980s formal dress patterns) have already been recycled. Into packing material for the pieces for my final assessment. I thought it quite apt:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Brooching (*ahem*) the subject

For those of you who don't know, I'm a volunteer intern at Craft ACT one day a week. Which means I'm surrounded by arty people wearing arty things. Now, much as I'd like a jewellery box filled with clever little bits and pieces from the Craft ACT shop, my budget doesn't quite stretch that far. Yet.

So I have to be inventive.

While I was in New Zealand recently I spotted a very cool paua shell caravan* fridge magnet in the Te Papa gift shop: It cost $NZ 14.99. Brooches made by the same people cost $NZ 21.95 (and they didn't appear to make a caravan brooch, just lots of boring birds).

I brought it home, raided my jar of brooch backings, and after a dab of contact adhesive(and 24 hours waiting for it to cure) I had me a very fine brooch which got lots of comments when I wore it for the first time to the Craft ACT Christmas Smash.

Next on the list for recreation is this black plastic tiki I picked up from a $2 shop:
And now my brain is buzzing with other cheap and cheeky jewellery ideas...

(*You know how I feel about caravans)

Five years ago

- A (not so small) frightened cat accidentally followed me home from the RSPCA. We'd only gone there to drop off an injured bird but it seemed a waste to bring the cat carrier we'd put the bird in home empty.- I still had one whole room in my flat basically empty and set up for occasional visiting guests

- I didn't knit (except in miniature). And I hadn't sewn (apart from mending) in years.

I had no idea what a blog was.If I did I would have been blogging photos from the Mediterranean cruise I'd just returned from...I didn't own a car. Or have a licence to drive one. I did own a Vespa, though(alas, not as big as this one!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Slowly, slowly

Things are getting back to normal round here. A little bit of quiet sorting and pottering each morning and night is making a great difference to the state of my flat and my mind.

I even managed to pop over to Y's Buys at lunchtime today (yay! op shopping!) and spent $4.30 on this:
Four rolls of vintage wallpaper, a good dolls house scale, for $2 the lot (let me know if you'd like some and we can arrange a swap). Three rolls of vintage tape for $2 the lot. And a length of braid for another 30 cents.

I stocked up on groceries this evening which made me very happy. Especially as I discovered Woolworths now sell eggs in black packaging!

And plans are well in hand for a repeat performance of the Pop up exhibition, but for longer this time. Watch this space...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Today's photos*

So I ran with the mad and crazy idea of a pop up, 20 minute exhibition. I had an exhibition poster on the door, advertising the opening:sparking apple juice (Woolworths were out of white grape juice), snacks, a room catalogue and red dots (in case anything was sold**)
Here's the exhibition set up and ready to go:(Looks almost real, huh?)

When I (belatedly) got to Craft ACT I was presented with morning tea to celebrate*** with local cupcakes and
tea from New Zealand (which I'd bought as a souvenir, forgetting to get a tin for myself...)The cupcakes were soon demolished:And the only other photo on my camera? This foam truck emerging from the Civic Library building:which has to be an art school project but I could find no information about it in the vicinity. And the girls working in the library weren't much help: they had no idea it was even there...

(*because we all know it never happened unless it was photographed and blogged about. Although I drew the line at photographing my assessors. That would have been just too weird for words...)
(** alas it was not)
(*** because they knew I'd pass)

High Distinction! :-D

Monday, November 23, 2009


I watched TV tonight. 'Twas most odd: I'd returned from the fish and chip shop, poured the apple cider vinegar and the wine, squirted out the tartare sauce and settled onto the sofa to eat dinner. When I had the sudden urge to turn on the TV.

So I did. And discovered an ABC was playing an interview with James Morrison. Who said many things I can relate to and definately need to hear on the eve of my final assessment. When I should probably have been hard at work not lounging on the sofa, stuffing my face with grease and watching TV.

Never fear, the TV is off, I'm back in my workroom, Lady Gaga is on the stereo (it's a tradition: my last minute creative frenzies always have her playing on repeat) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I have success with my final freezer paper and fabric print job...

A very productive weekend indeed

... Embroidering my nest
... Deciding to do something with some of the blocks I bought back in 2006
(Yes, that's a miniature knitted nest you spy. Don't tell me you weren't expecting it?)... Covering one of the wooden suitcases I bought cheap years ago (can't find the original post but the stickers on the bottom for the biscuits say they expired in April 2007)

And I bought my Christmas presents to myself.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Today was one of those days

You know the sort: time seems to slow to a crawl. You do heaps. And think "It must be bedtime by now!". But it's only 9am.

I worked on my assessment for Tuesday. I read a book. I started a deep tidy of the house. I did a spot of shopping. I had friends visit. I got my laptop back. I did more work on my assessment. And it's still only 7:30 pm...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Shopping Sherpa unplugged.

Somehow I found myself offering the use of my laptop to a friend with a lot of typing to get done this weekend and not much time at home.

So there'll be a blogging break until it returns. Unless I get twitchy and descend upon the free library internet computers/ turn up begging at friends' doors for a few minutes on their computers/ finally hook my Mac up to the internet.

Have a good (and creative) weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This morning seems like an age away.

A stream of last-minute ideas woke me up early. Just what I need at this stage. NOT.I went to work. I did storytime. The theme was scary and spooky. We played the song from Ghostbusters (but decided the Timewarp wasn't such a good idea: a sea of three year olds doing pelvic thrusts was not something we wanted to see...) I read a story with a monster on the bed and a monster under the bed. Made it widely known that monsters most certainly do not live under beds and are, in fact scared of bedrooms or anything in them**.

I went to class. Had first stage assessment. Passed, so I'm now free to do final assessment on Tuesday morning (9:20am if you want to send good thoughts)

I got thinking on the way home. If my classmates were all encouraged to pretend to be presenting their designs as if they were selling their products in the real world (textile designer, clothing designer, publisher, educational aid developer, lighting designers) does that mean I should stage a fake gallery opening with glasses of cheap champagne, a plate of snacks, an opening speech and little red dots on things?

Tempting. So bloody******* tempting. But would that make my body of work into a performance piece? And can I arrange a 9:20am flash mob to descend on the place to play the liggers******?)

(*Hence no links****)
(** I know is for a fact as I had alligators under my bed who would bite my legs off if I didn't make it from my bed to the light switch in one stride. They were like vampires: they dissolved in light...
(*** Of course I didn't tell them that as alligators under the bed may have been only a regional thing.)
(**** But stupid amounts of footnotes*****)
(***** Really. I mean it)

(****** OK, I lied)
(******* And swore in two posts running. Bugger.********)
(******** Oops!)

The view from my loo

Do you see?
Probably not the most sensible place to have stuck it at this stage of the game.

I'm happy to say it's not working though. I still appear to be calm and unworried. Which is a little odd, with first stage assessment tonight and large swags of work still incomplete...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday. In pictures.

I call this one Screwed. A close up picture from Craft ACT's Secret Back Room...where we were creating a display for these: Dress and drill: because it's important that they match...The Craft cupboard next door in the studio at CMAG. I'm filled with jealousy and lust... I told the Big Important Person who visited that they should a) provide us with lunch for an extra charge and b) have a programme of Sundays for grown ups... Printmaking 2.1: all about The Big Very Important (Scary) Final Brief. There are fuck-ups*. I include them in the body of work as I'm sailing close to the edge and working on a one print edition: (because I only have an hour to get this right...)
(which, of course, I don't, as I forget to invert my work!*)No time to ponder, though, as our hour is almost up. This is the very first three colour print I've done. I tell myself that I can scan it and sort it out later...But there really is no later.** I'm still happy, though... In th
e "Things that make my heart swell and (almost) make me cry" category, I met Li in the print studio at CIT tonight at our catch-up class (where I spent my time helping my classmates with their projects as everything I needed to do had to be done at home.Oh the irony of having several rooms of toys at CIT at my disposal and no need for any of them!) Li told me she started this course after reading my blog. I didn't know what to say: I started documenting my experience in class partly because I couldn't find any information on the course before I started but to actually meet someone face to face who used this blog to decide their next move was quite overwhelming... (and Li, I meant it when I said I'd love to hear the outcome of next week for you!)

And here's a photo I took of the people le
ft in my class (less Dani and Edith, who didn't show tonight). Of the original 30 people, we're down to the final 7...

(*Thank goodness for thinking on my feet and Photoshop!)
(** Especially when my still-not -laughing tutor tells me it looks like duck feet)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good news. And bad news.

The good news:

I went through my body of work (as it stands so far) with my tutor tonight. And he didn't laugh. (Not even at the photo of the nest with the dolls house furniture in it...)

The bad news:

1. After discussing my work with my tutor I came up with an avalanche of new ideas. And the first stage assessment in Wednesday night. 43 hours away.

Before then I have to pack up a pile of stock to return to my distributor, visit the doctor, intern at Craft ACT, attend a printmaking workshop at CMAG, then a catch-up class at CIT (which won't be much help as I have everything I need to work on my pieces here) and work. Oh: and sleep, shower, and eat.

2. I appear to have tidied away my two pieces of A4 sized, stringy bark dyed fabric when The Collectors were due. And I can't find them anywhere. Which means I either have to find time in the next 43 hours (minus the time needed to use them to create something) to turn the house upside down to find them (you won't believe where I hid stuff!) or drag some more stringy bark into the kitchen and do a redye job...

(Shamed into) clearing the nest

My dastardly plan worked. Before I went to bed last night I spent 15 minutes sorting out my desk space. And this morning I just had to have a wee play while I waited for the kettle to boil downstairs: I always said I wanted the answer to my brief to be a dolls house. Now if only I could justify it as part of my body of work.

Let me think: this work explored the concept of flying the nest. The nest is empty apart from two vintage chairs, signifying the "empty nester" parents left behind once the child has left the family home. The rug signified how the family has been woven together over the years. And the lamp? Ummm.... Oh yes: the child is the light of their lives. Think it would (ahem) fly?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Corners of my (messy) home

I wanted to share the very fine black and white rubber band ball I picked up at the National Portrait Gallery Store yesterday. But by the time I got home from work today the light was going and, as I looked over to where I'd popped the ball yesterday before getting back to work on the The Big Very Important (Scary) Final Brief, I decided I should document what my work space really looks like at the moment: (Clockwise from left: lace from a bag I bought the other day that I haven't put away yet. Empty tea mug and Keep Cup. Packs of Lifesavers I need to post to my mother, who tells me they're no longer available in New Zealand. Op shopped dangly things to be turned into stitch makers. Beautiful black and white rubber band ball. White tape measure to replace dead white tape measure. Free black and white (and red) jellybeans from the Canberra Theatre 2010 subscription launch. Lundby lights waiting for payment before I box and post them. Knitting nancy and random piece of ribbon from my weaving. EBay invoice. New sketches for The Big Very Important (Scary) Final Brief. Avant card I want to send to a friend. And the omnipresent To Do list.

I keep kidding myself that I'll get on top of it all soon. Definitely after final assessment on the 24th. But first I have a seven day working week to get through. And a brief to finish. And a mountain of stock sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor to pack up and arrange to get sent back to my distributor...