Monday, 15 December 2008

Filled with Christmas JOY

I am always blown away with the process of making and how this act renews hope and joy within your body.

This reath is a little project I hadn't even written down to do in my list of to do things - but here it is and as a completed project I feel just wonderful and in the Christmas spirit.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Jumping Ship

Ummm - just took down my show from Craft Victoria - thank goodness that is OVER.

I really buried my head in the sand when it came to writing and doing anything about this show - I was ill - but perhaps I am jumping from the art ship.

Craft Victoria did do two posts about me and the show here and here.

And you can see the video piece of the work by the brilliant Dylan Fowler

This is my most recent embroidery - from a drawing by my wonderful son - it is the pirate ship I am jumping on board from the art ocean. ARRR ARRRRR

Saturday, 8 November 2008

recent train stitching

A recent trip to Melbourne was a good time with a needle and thread. But I am ashamed to admit I am a Flickr thief.

These are for Christmas pressies and a special birthday too - but lets keep that a secrete

Thursday, 23 October 2008

garden hoop

Lovely day in the studio yesterday - stitching.

This is a little gift for a new born.

Using a heavy fabric found at an opshop and straight stitch.

Apologies for the quality of documentation.

Visit here to check out my other woofie sewing effort.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


I think I might have finally got over Day Light Saving and all the other things that have made me terribely tired.

There has been plently to post about - but simply no energy and the thought of being behind a lap top made me quite ill.

To get the ball rolling here are some images that my son made with felt on paper bags that I just simply adore.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Not just Frills

Today was my first official day in my new studio (pictures to be posted soon) - as well as yesterday my first day at my new job!!!

Loved the day in the studio - complete BLISS and JOY

Working mostly on frills thanks to the loving instructions of my good friend Ellen Coyle.

These frills are to finish off my quilts for A Little Lady Like Tinkling and Smearing show coming up at Craft Victoria.

Very happy with how they have turned out.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Girl at Piano Embroidery

Oh Hen I am sorry this has taken so long - a few false starts - but here you go.

Friday, 18 July 2008

a stitched drawing from 2003/4

Dug this one up for the Friday Archives - a stitched drawing from a information sheet I received from an indigenous walk in Newcastle way back when I was without children and roaming Australia.

I like it - been a little unsure about showing this to anyone as to its "reading".

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Neatly, a Lady's responsibility

This is a new stitched up work - which as always I am not sure about - but very happy with myself for creating.

It is a submission to a member's group show at Craft Victoria.

It is playing around with the fabrics I am using for a Little Lady Like Tinkling and Smearing and also harking back to a earlier work from last year called Gentle, but Useful.

Planning to get up super early and write about tomorrow!

A late gift for my mum

Monday, 7 July 2008

animation story board

Finally this weekend I got around to drafting up my story board for a friend who is helping me make an animation for A Little Lady Like Tinkling and Smearing.

I am super tired and leaving this post like this.

Wont it be lovely to show off the film.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

quick texta drawing

Inspired by the flickr's Lady Bionika I have found a set of lovely textas and pitched the pencil

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Sketches for Croome

The darling and soon to be very famous (and perhaps a sister in law - gee can I write that in a blog?) Helen Croome invited me to do some embroidery images for her up and coming album.

Below are the first sketches. Looking forward to hearing what she thinks.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

week end gift sewing (and a gift for me!)

Being broke isn't such a bad thing - it is a wonderful motivator for gift making.

I seem to have a family birthday each month (if not two) to think of - and I am still making my mother's mothers day present - just can't seem to get it right

But this weekend 2 lap top covers finished!

you can see pics from the party here.

and a very special present for me from some very dear friends - thanks I love it

Oh and this clutch - I have had this sitting around to do in my to do baskets on my sewing bench forever - finally finished. A gift for a fellow blogger who kindly sent me a copy of her beautiful drawing zine nearly 6 months ago.

Friday, 20 June 2008

The Friday Archives

This image is freaky

Scanning fabric and then ink jet print onto water colour paper then using pencil - loads of fun.

It was drawn back in 2006 by request from one of my midwives for a poster she was wanting to put together - I did three drawings in all - but she didn't use any in the end - too bazaar I guess. That is one pregnant belly - it is a wonder she is standing up, let alone smiling.

You can see the others and wonder in this pregnant drawing freakishness here and here

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Pencil Drawings & Utopia

Have been enjoying myself this week doing some pencil drawings - I haven't really done much of this since the birth of my second child. I have been enjoying my new ipod while drawing and listening to a lot of podcasts from Radio National, Classical ABC and also RRR. This week I listend to

Breakfast with John Gray who talked about how our society is hooked on Utopia (I think it is a law to always write Utopia with a capital U) and thinking about my recent drawings and be they about child birth and children I got reflecting (in that special quiet time during the drive home from the supermarket) that my drawings arent really capturing my emotion of the process of birth - especially my extreme fear and that I am really holding tight onto my Utopian view of childbirth - hmmm think I might need an evening with a philospher to sort me out on this one.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Friday Archives

Ok I am going to try and keep up with Claire's initiative The Friday Archives.

This is a piece of work I did back in 2002 for a show that I curated for Next Wave called Plaster the Covers!

I had a wonderful and free lovin' relationship with my scanner and colour photocopier.

You know I dont think I even ended up showing this work - but I love it.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Drawings of installation for a Little Ladylike tinkling & smearing

Installation view of pieces I am working on for A Little Ladylike Tinkling and Smearing

In the front you see the Cubby (which I wrote about here) and in the background the large wall piece with my champion sketch of Bendigo's Alexandra Fountain

This is a view of what you will see in the cubby - thinking of scanning my long stitch work and getting printed onto silk to make some lovely cushions for inside the cubby - any leads for this job - your comments are welcome.

In case you are wondering the black thing is a projector and it is projecting an image of a cat feeding her kittens.

Today I started some research and collecting images to work from for the black and white annimation I am putting together - really took me back to preparing for birth and also the birth experience. Things like the stages of labour and the positions your body is within, the use of rugs/cushions/light/props and other people during birth - all good thinking and plenty of more research activity.

Monday, 2 June 2008

finding the words to sum up my quilt making

Stumbled across Californian artist Anne Von Mertens today, through a review of By Hand: The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art from The Journal of Modern Craft , Volume 1, Number 1, March 2008 , pp. 161-163(3)

Her artist statement from her web site:

I use the stitch as a marker of time, to consider our oblique relationship to the past, present, and future, and ways to forge a relationship with this shifting terrain. I use the stitch as an orientation marker, a way of siting where one has been and where one is going.

- that is my stitch EXACTLY in my English piercing work

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Alexandra Fountain

Back to routine the festival is over and I am home - early morning and returning to my neglected blog.

Over the festival I spent no time in the studio (or the gym/kitchen/at home etc) but I did see a lot of art and I spent a lot of time time thinking about a Little Lady Like Tinkling and Smearing coming up at Craft Victoria in November.

A saw work ranging from installation, dance, performance and photography - a strong theme that came to me time and time again was nature, instinct and the animal and its relationship to humans and the animal within us.

show such as
The Puma, the Stranger and the Mountain
Just Filling In
Six Minute Soul Mate
Night Club 1 at the Gentle Men's Club

Lyndal Jones body of work at ACCA also connects to all of this.

I think I have finally grounded my ideas - and that is upon this fountain - sitting in the centre of Bendigo. Sourced from here and here a few lines on the history of the fountain.

The Alexandra Fountain, Charing Cross, Bendigo, was designed by local architect,
W. C. Vahland and erected by local craftsman. It was named after Alexandra, Princess of Wales whose sons, Princes Albert and George, attended the opening ceremony on 5 July 1881.

Constructed using over 20 tonnes of Harcourt granite. It was presented to the city of Bendigo as a gift from George Lansell the 'Quartz King' of Victoria. George built up an impressive personal fortune from gold mining and speculation during the gold rush era.

The fountain is a landmark in Bendigo situated centrally on the most prominent intersection in the city. Built as a symbol of the rapid development and consequent wealth of Bendigo as a result of the successful gold fields during the second half of the nineteenth century, Alexandra Fountain is a good example of late Victorian ornamental exuberance. The design of the fountain, like many other late Victorian ornamental structures, has a strong classical influence in the composition and detailing.

The Alexandra Fountain is of aesthetic and historical importance to the state of Victoria.

The Alexandra Fountain is aesthetically important as one of the largest and most ornate municipal fountains in regional Victoria. The fountain is a very good example of late Victorian ornamental public art influenced by classical models. The fountain has historical importance as a manifestation of the enormous financial success of the central goldfields and of the consequent prosperity of Bendigo, one of the largest gold mining centres in the state.
I am interested in the fountain because of the women and their naked breasts. The fountain isnt far from the Queen Victoria monument - which I have used many times in my work before.

The fountain will be embroidered onto a large scale horse hair canvas pannel (approx 4m x 4m ) and also in the exhibiting space will be a cubby-like structure that I have been imagining in my head.

It is kind of like a cubby that I use to make as a child and that my children make now - however it is also like a birthing nest (here I will elaborate further with Michael Odents writing later) where a women comes to hide and return to her primal being to prepare her body for birth.

Hiding herself from the man-made world and into an animal.

The cubby will be made out of again horse hair canvas stitched together - but with also lace work and small structures made out of life style magazines teatering on the stop - this all will be sitting ontop of wodden furniture - chairs, tables etc...

Inside the cubby I will use small projection works. During the festival it was really refreshing to see artists using black and white line drawing projection works and also shaddow works - a relief to not see it all designed up and wizz bang - I am wanting to portray the hand, mistakes, the joy, the person, rather than the machine and the removal of the person.

This is an exciting break through for me and somewhat distant from my first proposal - but not too far off the mark - now for reading and drawing.

Friday, 2 May 2008

The handmade

A little lady like tinkling and smearing started forming itself as an idea from Germaine Greer's article Why Women Don't Relax about women and leisure time and her comments about the uselessness of stitching as a leisure pursuit and or as an art form.

"useless, pointless, unproductive, repetitive work: beadwork, shellwork, tatting, making cut-paper patterns and silhouettes, japanning, plus what George Eliot called "a little ladylike tinkling and smearing".

Don't get me wrong I am a fan of Germaine - I listened recently to an interview between her and Margaret Thosby on Classical ABC (unfortunately the interview is no longer online) and I had no idea she is in her mid 70s - I especially enjoyed her thoughts upon the future of our society and that children must be at the heart of this. Inspirational and a woman who isn't afraid of being heard and saying such straight forward things about our society - but few do.

Here is a link to another article that Germaine got her pen stuck into stitching also being an irrelevant art form!

"...why any woman would set about to make a portable artwork, a picture, out of bits of old fabric? What could be the point of such an exercise in futility? The work of art
is supposed to defy time but fabric is bound to fade and rot, even when it is kept in between layers of tissue paper and shut away from sight. There's nothing new in this kind of heroic pointlessness; women have frittered their lives away stitching things for which there is no demand


Germaine got me all worked up about stitching being an irrelevant activity to undertake in one's life. I do agree that I dont have a hell of a lot of lesisure time but the time I do have I stitch because I love it and it fits in around my family - no smelly spills or waiting for layers to dry and it isnt expensive and if I stuff it up I can unstitch it.

Also when I sew I fell connected to other women - women at home caring for a family. Although I am alone and isolated in this house I know that this activity has been shared by other women for generations.

So how does this all fit in with the notion of the handmade landscape?

Unfortunately this video has arrived on its side - for a better viewing visit here. It is a bit of a treat - an extraordinary hand made feat - a rail way bridge. You can go riding along this old bridge - it is at Skipton near Ballarat.

A web site dedicatated to the cultural landscapes of central Victoria states

Landscapes both shape and reflect the lives of their inhabitants.

As does Alain de Botton

where we are heavily influences who we can be

So how does all this relate to stitching?

My stitch work is representational in its presentation and also its process.

Stephen Gallagher wrote about my last exhibition when I started touching on this subject

Born in the Central Victorian town of Dingee, Marwood now lives in Eaglehawk. She draws deep upon her present environment and that of her upbringing. The impact of the human's assault upon the environment, the constant carving up and division of the open flat grass plains with vast straight stretches of lonely road systems are reflected in the subtle pattern of the fabric's grain in ‘Paddock Division'. Comprised of small horse hair canvas panels joined with a loose basic stitch, its subtle blue thread exposes the making process. The panels expand like the subdivisions of land—intersected with a network of roads, visual paths, along which we alone travel. ‘Paddock Division' takes on the practicality of the decision making process—rigid, black and white, left or right.

I am wanting to get close to the solider settlement landscape I grew up upon - this was a thriving community now going under due to drought. I want to get close to the people that shaped this landscape and also how their decision making is still carrying through in our actions and activities today - and I guess now that I don't live in this landscape my actions are my stitching.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

The Friday Archives

Lead along by the blogger who introduced me to the world of blogging - Looblu I am posting art works on Friday from YEEAARRRSS ago.

My first post about this was last weekend - but it went up onto my flickr site.

This work above is a pencil drawing from a photo - usually sketch from a photo or magazine image - never from real life (doesn't sit still long enough) from this sketch I did a oil painting which I gave to a friend.

I think I did this back in 2001 - way before children were invented.

Here is someone else doing some tripping down creative memory lane.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

First Children's clothing sewing

Pattern taken from Bend the Rules Sewing - a kiddies cardie for a 18month year old to two years - although I think it might be a bit short for Hj - she is just on 22 months now.

I made it for my niece - it is her first birthday today.  Made from fleece and bias binding.

The instructions directed only to bind the neck and leave a tie to tie up the front - however once I had done this it just looked too unfinished to give as a gift so I bias bindededed it all! - whilst watching the 3.10 to Yuma again and fast forwarding through that terrible scene of someone getting burnt to death in a horse carriage.

Its Ok - I don't really like that coloured fleece - in fact I am not really a fan of fleece at all - but it was so easy to sew with in fact the whole thing was really simple to sew.  I am a bit pleased with myself and I am inspired to make more clothes - especially for my daughter.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

The planning for the install at Craft Victoria begins

This morning I had a wonderful meeting with Director of Punctum and Castlemaine's amazing new arts resource and venue the ICU which is a live Arts Incubator.

I am planning to hold a preview of my work in progress, for Craft Victoria, in August at the converted old hospital basement. Unfortunately I have been going a bit mad lately and didnt even think to take my camera - my brain has been over taken by the Next Wave Festival.

However this conversation what just what I needed to revive me - it is so tricky being an artist, a mother, an arts manager and curator - that sometimes all my ideas about my art just go round and round in my head and are late night blogging activities. Today made me realise how wonderful it would be to have a studio space with lots of other active artists that have a similar practice to mine and how this really helps you to move forward in leaps and bounds.

I often remind myself slow and steady - and every activity counts no matter how small - but sometimes surely leaps and bounds must be useful - especially when you are spending money on making art and getting no return.

She identified for me the key themes of my work

- the presence of the hand or the work of the hand
- nostalgia (the use of the body as a machine)
- landscape
- the presence of the past and how our internal and external landscapes are constructed from the activities of the past

She identified four activities for audience members who visit a little lady like tinkling and smearing
- watching an animation
- sitting
- walking between art works
- activating art works

Also she helped me come to the decision that I will be come apart of the exhibition as a performer (YIKES) - to sew!

Ok - all of this probably makes no sense at all - but it does for me - I will endeavor to blog about each of these themes and the audience activities.

Her expertise is developing relationships with audience through how an audience interacts with art within a space - this has really honed in my ability to make decisions about my objects I am making and also how the show will be planned out.

Oh so much to do.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

online show at TROCADERO

I have a little solo show online at a Melbourne Artist Run Space called TROCADERO.

It are three drawing works that I love and I hope you enjoy too.

You can visit the works here

Please leave a comment on my blog if you visit - feedback and thoughts are so important for an artist and also independent art activities.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Afternoon T-shirt embroidery

On Saturday at the last of our garage sale I had a couples of hours to myself in the backyard with the rest of my family having a late afternoon snooze. After using up all the thread for a top secret work I am making for my mum for mother's day I decided to start an embroidery on a t-shirt.

I have started a little plain t-shirt collection from op-shops or bargain shops for my kiddies to appliqué or embroidery. I started this a while back with my sewing machine eating the t-shirt you can see the results here

The design above was taken directly from Allison's the larks web site from her second day of posting embroidery patterns - Danish lines I couldn't resist!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Bend the Rules Sewing

Bend the Rules Sewing, by Amy Karol has been around for a while and I found that we have a copy at the local library.

It has heaps of great sewing advice and patterns to try out - here is my first attempt.

It didn't arrive quickly without the numerous uses of my quick unpick I am ashamed to say.

I need lots of practice reading instructions & patience!

As you can see by all the tags in the book I have lots of plans for more sewing projects. Hope the library will let me borrow the book out for the next 6 months.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Embroidery Pic : Mouse with Umbrella

A week or so back I posted about an embroidery work I completed for a niece Christmas pressie that I adapted from a vintage colouring book - I managed to borrow it back for a minnie and take a pic

Made a mess of my signature - dont think I will do that again

How do other people sign off their work - if at all?


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