Saturday, 5 December 2009

words written and to write about my work ecology of place ... explore relationship between European identity and Australian landscape ... Holly Story

I found this today - the artists work and her web site I am not so keen on.

Here is an article about my work - havent posted as made me kinda cringe. But reading again this evening not as bad

Friday, 4 December 2009

some baby gifts

Recent studio follys.
Wont be driving on the machine for a while - managed to tear my calf - vey painful and stuck on the couch

Here is a link to a great tutorial to make a crayon roll or pencil holder, which is very similar to what I have made.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Advent Stockings

Last night I hauled my husband off the couch when I got home from the studio to put up these blasted Christmas Advent Stockings that I have been working on FOREVER. See a post in July here and another in November here.

Unfortunately I did not plan this project very well - I ran out of space cross stitching the numbers on, I ran out of ribbon, now I have ran out of fabric and missing 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13!!!

So some are finished off without love and in mismatched I-thought-I-found-the-right- fabric from a op shop - oh well.

The kids loved them this morning and they are an excellent bribe to get pesty children off to sleep.

Here is a link to other advent making ideas for kids - much less elaborate than mine.

and here from sew mama green

Check out this cute advent pic and here

Best not to follow any of my advice.

Ps did you spy my Italian oven just sitting there - hoping that I may be cooking in this for Christmas lunch - my first attempt at a Pav.

Monday, 30 November 2009

some stitching artists who I fall over

Miko Sato

Takashi Iwasaski

Sustainable Textiles

I went to talk a few weeks back now, hosted by the local Sustainability Group and presented by an artist who has not long established herself in Bendigo - Vertiy Lougoon.

Opened my eyes up to the long series of processes to making fabrics - let alone making them into a garment or item. Such as the material that the fabric is made from - fibre plant or animal or a synethetic process and the resources that go into growing/making these such as water, land and chemicals - then the process of making the fabric again using engery and often unethical work processes such as child labour, then the dying and the waste, vast amount of chemcials and water used in this process too! Completely NUTS!

Very overwhelming and depressing - making with fabric from the op shop really makes sense or refashioning even better.

here are some businesses in Australia who inspire me greatly:
Gaye Abandon

Here is a list of green tutorials here from Sew, Mama, Sew

My favourite materials are horse hair fabric and embroidery floss - a good project for me is to sort out how sustainable they are and if there are any alternatives?

The images dont really relate to my post today - however they are off the new decorating activities taking place around our new home!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Waterford House

This is Waterford House in Avoca, Victoria. Years ago J and I fell in love with this home so it was with great pleasure to show some of my work here as apart of the first Avoca EcoFestival.

This bedroom has inspired the painting for our hall way - loving the black doors and the ceiling to floor curtains.

The garden has been designed by a local landscape artist Mel Ogden. I just love the use of slate - I would never have entertained this idea due to the heat that slate creates - but doesn't it look great!

Waterford House is central to the Avocal project initiated by Lyndal Jones. She is interested in working across community with artists from around the world - creating works that focus on climate change and in particular water use. The house stands directly facing the Avoca River.

Complementing the art show was a festival in the town - having talks and also fantastic second hand clothing stalls. I was a good trigger thinking about the content for the Sustainability Festival I am putting together this coming March.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Did any plans work out for October? Some...

My last blog post was for the very end of September with a list of plans, goals and achivities I wanted to achieve - here is a bit of a reflection on how I went:

Moved House CHECK

1. Making


J present CHECK

Inspiration and pattern from Meet Me at Mikes

Finish Christmas Advent stockings NEARLY Four down - twenty one to go!

Finish Hj Dolly Cot Quilt cover CHECK

and for the detail on the back stitching (tried out a new quilting technique)

2. My Business


Experiment with making work documentation process

Approach darling brother to re-work web site CHECK

Blog here three times a week and plan these posts HELL NO


3.My Health
Commence eating and exercise diary on a daily basis
- really wanting to loose 5kg

4. My Family
Regular weekly family activities
- Monday night drawing
- Wednesday night bush walk & board games

Did I mention that I moved house last month....

Not sure I feel up to planning for next month - although hope to make lots of Christmas cards and finish my Christmas shopping and making :)

Monday, 28 September 2009


Hello Neglected blog. I am back with lots of plans for October - despite moving house again and supervising builders

With the graceful inspiration of Planning with Kids I am announcing my goals for this month. - What the go is at the start of the month you write up your goals then review again at the start of the next - to see how you went.

So Here we go

1. Making:

Kd lunch bag
J present (pretty sure he dosent read this but will keep hush, hush)
Finish Christmas avent stockings
Finish Hj Dolly Cot Quilt cover

2. My Business

Develop map for my web site re-development
experiment with making work documentation process
Approach darling brother to re-work web site
Blog here three times a week and plan these posts
Get Knot Ladies cranking

3.My Health
Commence eating and exercise diary on a daily basis
- really wanting to loose 5kg

4. My Family
Regular weekly family activities
- Monday night drawing
- Wednesday night bush walk & board games

Did I mention that I am moving house this month?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Water Colour

Like so many parts of my life I have only a few hours of a week to enjoy my studio and also what is at my core - creative play. sigh

Often I say quietly and gently to myself - just do bit by bit - keeping my hand in with only a few hours a week in my studio will give me a base (although slim) for when I don't have extra hours in a office.

Tonight I enjoyed water colours again and took a new tangent in my drawing inspired by Iamana who I happened to bump into in (now days very rare idle flickringing)

That couple of hours of just playing and enjoying my own thoughts and company - my mouth closed to conversation and diversion- is so very healing and completely renewing.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Making for posting gifts

Gee I finished up Uni in 1996!!! So that officially makes me OLD. And keeping me in check and order is my good friends from those days. We are scattered all over Victoria and maybe see each other once or twice a year. (I must admit they are heaps better at getting together than me - I always have some silly art project on).

I am missing them at the moment. My family and I are going through a major transition at the moment physically and I am having lots of inner questions about art and also all those years I worked on art that doesn't seem to have given me much of a professional foundation at all - other than my own shear joy and pleasure.

These girls have known me much longer than my husband and have witnessed me go through all sorts of phases and silly decision making and they just know how to make me feel good about myself. Thanks girls.

So writing a letter will have to do for the moment. Also it is Kel's birthday next week and made her a little pouch to pop Mum's new book inside. (pattern from Bend the Rules Sewing)

This bit of floppy sewing is a cover for all our letters to go in - the pattern adapted from a design from Meet Me at Mikes - but I must admit that the pattern and design in this book is missing a few instructions - and have adapted a few times.

This time instead of writing I drew - Oh I had forgotten you black ink and paint brush. I am glad you didn't forget me. xxx

Hope they make for special posty love surprises.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Only time at the moment for quick pencil sketches

Inspired by a friends art competition I started a drawing piece as a design for an embroidery work -but haven't got very far. This moving house thing seems to take up a lot of time. Thankfully our weekends aren't taken up by open house days any more.

are appearing all of their own accord in my work. What joy.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Lighting my life

Busy day today. It started with a yoga - gee my teacher is brilliant - she is in her mid 60s - vibrant and wonderful got me doing hand stands and backbends and really brought me out of my repetative negative rut xxxx Often I walk away from this class with lots of new insights into myself. Today I reflected on some of my tatics to stay distant from people - such as being a teacher or leader.

Then breakfast with another special woman my nan - she is in her early 80s and is managing at home still without her husband - sad but curageous. Nan tells me is often is shocked at how lonely old age is. Yet she is bright, loving and positive. I left with a lovely warm belly.

Then work for a few hours and ticked 3 things off my to do list. YAY

Then off to a Home Birth luncheon that my darling husband cooked to share; yummy mini pizza squares. Below is a picture of my hyped up children, myself and my darling midwife who, with me and my husband, delivered both our children in our home.

Here is another woman who takes my breath away and leaves me tinged green. Elsa Mora - she is American and some how I stumbled over her flickr then blog site - she is an incredible artist (snipper and crafter) and a shining beam on celebrating ourselves as women. (that is if, dear reader, you are a woman!)

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Avent in cross stitch

Getting stuck into a project that I have thought joyfully about the past couple of Christmas's. A cross stitch Advent stocking.

Mum taught me how to cross stitch, with careful references to the revered cross stitchers in our family and close friends (Great Granny and also Wendy, Mum's best friend who passed away after fighting cancer).

As usual, the desired has been fired by a blog post by Soule Mamma back in 2007.

I have been collecting little trinkets and I will also make bits and pieces for the kids to open each day leading up to Christmas. In previous years I have simply made an Advent activity calendar in envelopes. I also spotted an great dead bush for our Christmas tree this year too.

I am looking forward to having a house with more space in it to enjoy Christmas this year (hopefully!)

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Protecting women's choices

I entered into motherhood guided by other women who supported me to give birth to both my children in my own home.

It was an extra-ordinary experience and has given me a strong bond with my children and family and also great health. - no birthing complications or illness picked up while being in a hospital. As Home Birth Australia say "birth is not an illness".

The picture above is a little bit confronting with its rawness, but it is the moment of the first embrace between myself and my new born son.

Two things are happening in Australia's law and health sector including the Exposure draft of Health Practitioner Regulation National Law 2009 (Bill B) and a Senate Inquiry into Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners)

What is concerning for midwives who provide the support and resource for women to both at home is the bill does not provide midwives with indemnity cover to attend homebirths.

For more backgound information visit Midwives Victoria blog.

A friend has emailed through a information sheet that you can use to assist making a submission in response to these proposed legislation changes. Please contact me and I can email through to you.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

what I have been sewing and plan (hope) to sew

This a work in progress shot of my first doll's quilt. I had never heard of these before until reading the blogs such as;

Wee Wonderfuls

They looked pretty, easy and fun - nothing keeps me happier and grounded than a good session of hand stitching!

So I decided now that all my gallery commitments are almost over I thought it was time to make making for my children (especially my daughter) a priority.

I was planning to give it to Hj for her 3rd birthday with a doll (that I also plan to make) and a beautiful crib that my grandfather made for me - but I think it will be a Christmas gift now.

I am using English Paper Piercing technique, a method of patch working I have used for five years - but the first time using a template that my Mum made two quilts from, for me when I was a little girl (but I don't have them any more - one of the greatest regrets of my life)

The fabric is sourced from local op shops, old table cloths and sheets. I enjoy using these treasured finds. Environmentally friendly and finding them is way less stressful than shopping at those commercial places - like the horror shop spotlight.

Examples of my other patchworks can be found here and here

More posts coming about my Christmas sewing I have started too! And just to prove that I am not completely mad check out this brilliant mummy blogger

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Hand Crafted Landscape at Ararat Regional Art Gallery

Hand Crafted Landscape completed its showing yesterday. It was a wonderful show at a wonderful gallery.

Although the Regional Ararat Art Gallery doesn't get the visitation that inner Melbourne might I experienced a great show that is a turning point in my practice.

It also knocked the puff out of me (hence no posting for some weeks now)

- I am working extra hours for the next six months as well as moving house as well as turning 34 - plenty of excuses there for not sitting on a lap top and just hopping in bed really early and reading lots of books.

Not only has Handcrafted Landscape provided me with space for reflection - but also another opportunity to produce new works for a Sustainability Festival taking place in Avoca in October with the Avoca Project.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Reading Report

So while I haven't been even thinking about blogging I have been READING:

After the first death,Robert Cormier (teenage fiction - blow your mind away and takes you into corners of your mind to examine Fear)

Sleeping dogs Hartnett, Sonya Harnett (teenage fiction - blow your mind away and takes you into corners of your mind to examine Fear)

The long way home Audrey Howard (trash - great for a bath)

The witch's trinity, Erika Mailman. (trash - great for a bath)

Garden spells, Sarah Addison Allen. (trash - great for a bath)

The omnivore's dilemma : a natural history of four meals, Michael Pollan - watch your supermarket world fall upside down....

The discovery of slowness : a novel, by Sten Nadolny ; translated by Ralph Freedman. I completely recommend that EVERYONE must read this book.

It was report and parent teacher interviews a week or so ago - Kd went OK - in my clean up of the filing cabinet I had a quick skim over my reports to find the comment from my darling Year 5 teacher:

"For a person with such reading talents as Tamara has her word attack skills are limited, and this area of learning is still below that which is expected of her." Report from Mrs Richards Year 5 1985

My Grandmother was informed by Mum's prep teacher that Mum would never write properly - however Mum recently published and launched another book Star Jumps - I havent read this since last year as it makes me cry - it is about the farm that we grew up on. I miss this place terribely - the other night I dreamed I took my children there so they could hear the sound of the wind during winter.

The wind there explained everything and was like a good book to read - the ultimate winter comfort.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

oddly the sameISH

This scroll thing was in the AGE a few weekends back and also in Home Beatiful before Christmas (in my clean up I managed to throw the edition of the magazine out!)

It is by nobody&co - hit products in their side bar then hit scroll table.

I should email them... maybe we will become brilliant friends and they will commission me to do heaps of embroidery work for them - custom made for their rich clients...

I made my scroll table called This Fountain Operates without Water back in 2005 as a studio residency with the Castlemaine State Festival.

Is this sheer coincidence - crazy how we both have used that RED pattern....

Sunday, 10 May 2009

A funny weekend

Oh we had lots of laughs this weekend. Starting with Friday nights decision to go to Pizza Hut for tea (lovingly renamed as Pizza Palace by Kd)

We were seated next to the all you can eat desert bar, which had a whipped ice cream dispenser on hand. My darlings couldn't get enough bowls of ice cream with chocolate sprinkles (making for my decision that this was the first and the last time we visit Pizza Hut) - however Hj got stuck under the ice cream and as a result a mountain of whipped up swirls poured over her hands - which alarmed her greatly - and us awful adults nearly wet our pants with laughter. Oh it was silly.

And this is what can happen after a meal at this fine eatery;

Then it was the Multicultural festival on Saturday. Our children came home looking like this:

Then lots of Mother's Day joy....

Saturday, 9 May 2009

some new exciting things

Some images of a commission I am working on for the end of the month. A gift for two special girls. I would like to make a special acknowledgement to Molly Chicken and her inspirational tutorial.

Our house has sold offically (although they haven't put up a SOLD sticker across the front of the for sale sign)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

a talk at Shepparton Art Gallery

Wednesday... well it is Saturday now - sometimes life just get so busy and I never get a chance to post a blog that I have written up in my head.

Wednesday was a special day a trip to Shepparton Art Gallery to do a talk to their Friends of the Gallery Group for Come on the Scene.

I also had lunch with a very special friend, who lives in Mooroopna (just out of Shep in the country with lots of native birds and peacefulness) with her beautiful children and (also beautiful!) husband. - not to mention her incredible garden.

I really enjoyed the collection of ceramics at the gallery. While viewing their collection I had some lovely thoughts about the links between ceramics and textiles. But as usual my brain has drawn a blank and I can't for the life think again of any of my insightful thoughts... I really must get into the habit of writing things down more (not just a list of all the jobs I want to get done...)

This is some of the wonderful sublime work by Gwyn Hanssen Piggott

And these delightful little pinched animals wanted to come home with me forever. They are by Stanislav Halpern.

I am getting a little concerned with by absent mindedness. Is it a Mum thing or could it be linked to my recent head surgery?

Monday, 4 May 2009

On ya bike ya mug

ooops - when asked on live radio craft artists I am into I FROZE and simply could not answer. Simply hanging my head in shame - lots of nervous laughing. Gee I could have a least said my Mum and my sister (who is an extraordinary stitcher).

Ok I am going to pick up my game.

Here is Miss Pen Pen - I like here work as she lives her craft - teaching at RMIT, running a store called cottage industry in Gertrude Street Melbourne - that sums it up really. She is living it!

Umm I would like I could promise to post regularly about artists - but I can't promise anything other than cooking regularly for my family and staying true to my constant nature of being dazed and confused.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

City Connectors

At 7pm tonight you can hear me on the air waves in our fine city on Pheoenix FM Central Victoria Community Broadcasters 89.5Mhz. My darling friend Elly Coyle has invited me onto her program Bendigo Framed, a Craft Special. She has a panel of guest including myself Clare Fennessy, Christi Ferguson and Dean Stanton.

She suggested that I might provide a list of films that a good to stitch in front of - seeings I claimed last week that I am the only person in the world who has embroidered in front of Wolverine. But it isn't really a film that I would highly recommend - it is series of disappointment after disappointment.

However another film, rather a documentary, I recently viewed was Of Time and City - also about disappointment. I will be stitching watching this one again. Really opened my eyes up to the impacts of the first and second world war on Brittan and how trapped people become in terrible government planning and decision making. No wonder they immigrated here.


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