Surface design group

I have been participating in a fabric swap group over on the Stitchin’ Fingers Ning site. This involves using different techniques to alter or decorate fabrics and then posting to the others on the list. At this stage there are now two of us from Australia and 7 from USA. It has been great fun to not only receive fabrics in the mail each month from all the other participants, but also to chat online on the site and share ideas and tips on each of the processes.

So far our swaps have involved an interesting range of processes with a free choice month every now and then. February and March were free choice so I did some hand dyeing, overprinting and gelliprinting. Unfortunately forgot to take photos of most of this process.

April was a directed swap-printing. For this one I took garlic as my inspiration (eaten afterwards so no wastage!) I cut the hand of garlic in half and made a few sketches, simplified the sketch and carved into lino for printing. I used some hand dyed fabric to print onto using black block printing ink.

Lino printing

May was Collagraph month. I used the covers of an old address book as a base, gluing rubber bands to one and spaghetti, All Bran and burnt matches to the other. Both were sealed with gesso so they would survive the printing and washing off process.

collograph 2

collograph 3

These are the prints drying on the porch:


My June (resists), July (sun print) and August (ice dye) fabrics are almost ready to post off. I will post photos in about two weeks when they have arrived at their destinations.



July 29, 2014 at 10:48 pm 1 comment

Getting closer

I am just about to spend the rest of the day putting the final coat of paint on the very, very long project of the girl’s shed. This is all the woodwork which is quite a slow process-skirting boards, window and door surrounds and the huge cupboards. This means I can finally start moving in all my ‘stuff’ which means a big sorting through, emptying of all the cupboards inside and probably numerous bags to go to the Op Shop.


The view out the door (ignore the work table)

The view out the door (ignore the work table)


The row of cupboards

The row of cupboards

Inside the cupboards

Inside the cupboards

view to the right

view to the right

view to the left

view to the left

the sink unit (to be plumbed in)

the sink unit (to be plumbed in)

Hopefully this second coat won’t take the five hours the first coat took!

The floor is still covered in old carpet pieces for protection. Unfortunately I didn’t think to do this before the shed ‘putter upper’ got to work and took chunks out of my¬†specially chocolate coloured (for heat absorption) concrete floor. The floor will be given two more coats of sealant when all else is finished off.

Autumn will be a great time to get a garden going out in front and on the side of the shed, hopefully some plants for a dye garden (if we can get some decent rain-temperatures here 20 celsius all week and only just over two weeks until winter-amazing).

I am still debating about the rest of the furniture- do I buy a second hand large table for cutting and sewing (2 metres or longer) or make one up from bits and pieces; do I buy that very expensive adjustable Horn sewing table ($1000 is a lot of money for quite a simple table) or once again, make something up. Big decisions!!

May 15, 2014 at 11:48 am 2 comments

Shed Update

The shed is almost complete, just waiting on the carpenter to fit out and finish off and the plumber to install the sink.

Absolutely love the trapezium lights, thanks Jackson:
lightsAnd a great find at the vintage market was this quite old dress form, would love to know how old? I have been looking for one for ages.

dress form

dress form 2

I will need to give it a good clean up and see if all the fittings inside still adjust. I will make a champagne coloured silk slip to go on this to display my grandmother’s wedding dress.


April 7, 2014 at 11:20 am 2 comments

Samantha Bryan fun fairies

This weekend we have had a wonderful two days with the delightful Samantha Bryan creating fantastical vintage fairies of all manner of descriptions. This was run through the Trolly Dollies (great job Kerrie, Jenny and the rest of the crew). The fairies created were as varied as the participants. We began with making ten heads from air dry clay, all with individual characters. This was followed by the elongated armature to which we added our beetle shaped bodies fashioned from leather and stuffed with filling.

My heads:


This picture shows the bibs and bobs that go into making one of Samantha’s fairies:

Samantha's bits

It was great to get a close up look at the amazing detail Samantha puts into her fairies also:

Samantha's flightful fairies


One thing that was constantly reinforced by Samantha throughout the weekend was that her work is always constructed with the rigours of them travelling to exhibitions in mind. Therefore the processes taught and the materials used were ones designed to be hardwearing and resistant to handling. Samantha uses a lot of silver soldering which would a great great further workshop for when she visits next year (that’s a hint Kerrie!).

My ‘Movie Man’ is headless at the moment:

Movie man 1

The head I originally made (with red beanie) was too small for the armature constructed so I had to make a new head (sheoak seed ears). The body and camera were sewn from leather scraps.

Kerrie had her ‘action man’ almost completed and was also very busy on the Saturday night constructing three more bodies:

Kerry's action man!

Thankyou for the delicious slices also Kerrie, the peanut butter brownie was very badly more-ish (you can get Kerrie’s yummy recipes here).

And it was also wonderful to meet and work with Samantha, she was an absolute sweetie!

Kerry & Samantha



April 7, 2014 at 9:52 am 1 comment

India Flint & my Girl’s shed

Firstly India Flint has a giveaway on her blog. She is a most thoughtful, interesting blogger, well worth reading regularly. I am very hopeful I will find time to attend her workshop one day.

An update on the shed-the building is up and clad, plumbing should be finished this weekend so it can be signed off.

Hopefully I can start to move my gear in over the holidays!

shed 1and from the other end where the apple tree is recovering from a necessary prune. I have some ‘pink lady’ prunings which I will attempt to graft on in the direction I want it to head.

shed 2and the inside

shed 3


shed 4and my lovely ‘happy birthday’ rose which has had the most amazing blooms, nearly time to prune for hopefully a repeat flowering.

HB Rose


Happy xmas all, I will be blogging over on GeeTAG after our Christmas gathering on December 14th.





December 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm 1 comment

Girl’s shed update

We are getting there!!

Slab-chocolate brown for thermal heat absorption (needs to be sealed after the tradies have finished so will come up darker)



Frame is almost up:

frame 1


Gap where the door will go:

frame 2Double glazed door (going for energy efficiency on this shed- there will be lots of insulation too):

door 1


The cladding they put on the walls last week (wrong!!):

cladding 1


The cladding they should have put on to match our other shed (had to be re-ordered!):

cladding 2


And the space (up the top and facing north) for the windows:

north wallTwo sets of these to go in under eave, calculated to let winter sun in and keep summer sun out:



Hopefully new cladding will arrive and it will be lock up by end of next week!

Then the power and storm/water tradies will come in. Then we can get it signed off by the planning department, and then maybe I can move in.




November 9, 2013 at 11:58 am 2 comments

Studio started!

I have just returned from a few days enjoying the scenery over the water hoping to find the concrete slab in place. Framework went in Monday and no sign of concreters since, hopefully they will turn up this week so the shed can go up before the end of the holidays.

slab framing


The few days we had away were great to recharge the batteries and spirit. We ate great food, sampled great wines, shopped, walked and drove around the magnificent Mornington Peninsula.

Cape Schank

Cape Schank


London Bridge near Portsea

London Bridge near Portsea


Beach huts at Dromana Beach

Beach huts at Dromana Beach

I’m sure some of the photos taken will find there way into textile art, especially the upcoming workshop with Alison Holt in November (can’t wait!!).

As always I found some handy little tidbits in the local Op shop:


Sorrento Op shop

Sorrento Op shop

The thick brown twine will be used for a coiled basket of some kind.





September 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm 1 comment

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