Posts filed under ‘Heating & melting’

Slashing & burning with Alsyn

During the school holidays I had a little trip to Hobart for a 4 day workshop with Alsyn Midgelow-Marsden, organised by the Stitching & Beyond textile art group. Alsyn is from the UK, lives in NZ and is often in Australia to run workshops.

Before slash and burn

Alsyn was also at Ballarat in April this year (where I had a fabulous workshop with Claire Benn last year) however I decided on a change of scenery, Hobart is so easy to get to from Melbourne and I love visiting the city.

S&B are based in Hobart but welcome members from all over. To participate in one of their many excellent workshops you need to be a member (only $20 a year). I booked an Airbnb with a fabulous host in a beautiful old restored home in New Town, next door to the amazing Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens. I arrived a day early for the workshop, dropped my bags, walked along the track to the city, bought a green card from the very helpful Metro Shop and bused down to Kingston Beach to visit the fantastic store Wafu Works. I couldn’t go too crazy as my luggage was already full of paraphernalia for the workshop, however I did purchase a few little bits and pieces including some beautiful paper, a calligraphy brush, some grey boro thread, indigo fabrics and vintage indigo scraps.

Nuno felt on silk

The first two days of our workshop were spent working on techniques and building up samples. Lots of slashing-soldering iron, burning and heating-gas tea light candles, camp stove and blow torch, stitching and felting-needle and wet and colouring silk and metal. The final two days were to TIF (take it further) and develop the elements for a piece of work. Chris (one of the S&B organisers) suggested we may like to create an A3 piece to enter into the S&B Challenge exhibition which will travel around Tasmania (which is my aim). My inspiration for the workshop was this photo of The Bluff:

Barwon Heads Bluff

Thank you to Alsyn for a wonderful 4 days, I now have enough elements to make a series!

Possible elements

Also thank you to Chris and the other S&B members for their wonderful hospitality and organisation. I had a great time and will definitely return.

April 22, 2019 at 11:01 am 2 comments

Studio update

I managed to finish my ATC  and Fabric swaps on time and all have now been posted . I won’t blog about the fabric yet as it will take at least a week to arrive at destinations in USA and England. The ATCs should have arrived as they were local.

The theme for the EGV December ATC swap was green. I started with vliesofixed strips and scraps of sari silk, dyed silk rods and other fabric onto a cotton sheeting that had paint overspray from an Angie Hughes project. This was overlaid with green organza and then fine black netting. I have used FME and Flower stitcher over the layers and then burnt back sections using the heat gun. The whole piece was vliesofixed onto pelmet vilene before being cut to size and then zigzag edged. They are named ‘Eucalyptus Forest’.





Now I need to do some cleaning up in the shed so that I can start on the wedding dresses.

I have also finished off the tiling above the sink in the studio. I sourced tiles from Restorers Barn, Mill Markets, Bunnings and some beautiful handmade tiles from Gillian’s gorgeous shop, Leaf & Stone, at Wintergarden. I am really happy with how they turned out given it is my first wall tiling attempt and I chose a variety of sizes, shapes and thicknesses of the tiles. Kind of reminds of Mexican adobe style.

I also used some vanilla coloured grout out of the garage so a good, cheap, recycling effort all round.


Tiling 2

Close up showing the different thicknesses-lots of fun grouting!

Tiling c-up

January 5, 2015 at 3:23 pm 2 comments

What a blast!!

Having survived the toddler tantrums four times, I felt quite at home this weekend creating my own ‘tantrum’ for Dale’s challenge. I began with the colours and the idea of some sort of cosmic blast. The colours were based on some balloons from a charity function we attended:

Bits and pieces: scraps of silk fabric, silk fibres, some dyed cotton scrim, were ironed onto a piece of hand dyed cotton using bonding powder. The base is some of Susan Lenz’s gift of black felt.

It has been painted, covered with an old chiffon scarf, machine stitched, heat gunned and now the finishing details are going on by hand.

Should be winging it’s way west after next weekend.

I will be participating in the Friday Night sew in on March 19th. Sounds like a great idea, I will get some handstitching out for it and maybe combine with a little foot soaking as well.

Visit Heidi’s blog to sign up and maybe win a prize as well.

I have booked in for a great creative beading workshop with Lisa Walton in July. Luckily it is a Monday (my free day). There are spaces left if you are interested.

Time to sleep


March 2, 2010 at 10:12 pm 3 comments

The Workshop


At the fair on Friday I had also met up with another ‘cyber’ friend, Doreen from Canberra. Doreen is a prolific and talented textile artist and blogger and it was wonderful to meet up at last. We had lunch together and then Doreen went off to a workshop to make this sensational little needlecase. Her stitching is just beautiful.

doreen's needlecase

A very interesting exhibit at the fair encompassed works from all the branches of the Embroiderer’s Guilds of WA in celebration of 40 years. Linda Stokes, another talented textile artist and blogger from WA had a beautiful book on display. I didn’t ask Linda’s permission to photograph it but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me showing the cover. I spent at least fifteen minutes enjoying the beautiful pages within (with gloves on of course).

linda's bookAfter whetting our appetite at the fair, Linda, Doreen and I, along with 17 other enthusiastic ladies gathered on the Tuesday for some personal tuition from the ‘master’ of textile art, Maggie Grey.

I was lucky enough to be loaned a new Janome by Wendy Gager’s Janome sewing Centres.

It was a dream to sew with after the clunking of my 25 year old Janome!!


Maggie taught her techniques with massive doses of inspiration, thoughtfulness and clarity and with her help we all created some lovely pieces. I will blog a picture when I have finished putting it together!

This piece of Maggie’s shows how it should look.

maggie's pieceHere is a photo of the two “Grey’s” : Doreen and Maggie.

Doreen and MaggieA photo of the ladies hard at work, except for Linda enjoying a cuppa there on the right!!!

workshop 1That is also Dorothy on the right, another “Holey Moley“.

And a photo of Maggie showing us one of her amazing examples as she explains a technique:

workshop 2Thankyou Maggie for a wonderful time, and thankyou Dale for your fantastic organisation.

Final instalment, at a later date, will be my great final day in Perth, spent at King’s Park, surely the best public park in Australia.


August 9, 2009 at 1:21 am 5 comments

Workshop fun and games

Firstly here are some exquisite embroidered ATC’s Claudia and I received from Anne in France. Anne must have extremely good eyes as the stitches are tiny!! Our return ATC’s have been posted to France but I won’t put them on the blog until they arrive.

Anne's Flower ATC'sThis week began with Claudia off the to National Wool Museum for a workshop called Raggety rugs, where she enjoyed weaving strips of fabric onto a loom. All the kids had great fun using all sorts of colour combinations. We might make a loom at home for Claudia, just some strips of wood screwed together with screws at each end to hold the warp. It would be a great winter activity she could come and go at and use up some of my fabric scraps.

Claudia's weavingThe next day I had a ring to say there was a vacancy for the ‘Buttons’ workshop. I was booked in for the one on the 18th July, but I’m off to Sydney for a conference that weekend. This workshop was based on Margaret Beal’s technique (which is probably in her book) but is also in the Dec08/Jan09 issue of Stitch magazine.

This workshop was great fun and doesn’t require much in the way of equipment. Just a 30 w soldering iron with a fine tip and various bits of synthetic materials. We began with a piece of synthetic felt and polyester fabric and traced around a 20 cent piece with the soldering iron to make our first button. Everything from then on was a variation of this: different layers, different metal shapes to trace around, adding acetate sheet, trapping sequins and beads. The soldering iron can also be used to make marks and different shaped holes in the buttons for variety, which I have yet to experiment with.

buttons:eThe last workshop for me this week was felting.

Leah came down from Euroa to teach a series of workshops (there is a felted jacket one on today and tomorrow) but the one I did was a cobweb scarf.

We began by making a felted square. As I was the last one there I ended up with the boring black wool, but I managed to find some little bits of colour to add. This was two layers of a wool silk mix layed on bubblewrap. We then put netting on top and wetted down and added soap. It was then rolled up in the bubblewrap and a towel and rolled 100 rolls in each direction until felted.

felting jul09:eAnd then using just one layer of wool, we layed out a scarf on bubblewrap: 30cm x 220cm. Once again I was using the black wool. I very rarely wear black near my face as it doesn’t suit my fair skin but Leah let me have some lime green to add, and then I swapped some of my black for the purpley blend. This one was just sprayed with tepid water with a bit of liquid soap added as it was layed out and rolled up. I gave this one 1000 rolls just rolling in the lengthwise direction, changing ends each 100 rolls.

cobweb scarfI’d like to try this again so I bought some nicer wool/silk from leah to make another one. Hopefully my technique and results will improve!!

Finally, this week I have been entertaining myself reading the Yahoo discussions of the Holey Moley clubbers. This group has been set up by Dale Rollerson as a workshop group, and if early indications are anything to go by it should be a fun conduit, riddled  and punctured with a honeycomb of burrowing fenestrations. (How’s that for getting as many puns as possible into one sentence?). The real fun begins this weekend so if you want to join in head to Dale’s blog (link above) for the info.


Until next week.

July 4, 2009 at 11:39 am 1 comment


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