Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Indie Craft Corner Feature!

Yay! Thank you to Indie Craft Corner for featuring me on their fantastic blog!


Today's a fantastic day so far ... as well as being featured, I've also sold my first kit on Etsy - eeeeeee!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Misfits At The Markets

Yesterday was a lot of fun! It wasn't commercially successful, but a lot of people took business cards, added their names to my mailing list, and gave me an amazing amount of positive feedback! And that was really the aim of being part of this market :)

Our main battle was the wind ... we ended up putting random items in the bottom of the bags to stop them blowing away ... though some people were wondering why one of the leopard print bookmark kits came with a pack of baby wipes! :P Anita's gorgeous mum, Brigitte, saved the day by bringing large pebbles, as well as a gourmet picnic lunch :D

Of course, the most important thing about being part of the Market is making sure the HAIR is right! I should have taken a pic of Anita stitching the purple leopard print bookmark while wearing purple leopard print :P


I will definitely be part of another Market - this one was more of a browsing rather than a buying market (and is on again next April), but there are many others (like the Gilles Street market) that are more of a shopper's market ... on my list of things to look into!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stream Of Wellbeing ...

I'm currently working on my last Tapestry assignment for the first year - a 'small tapestry of my own design'. It really will be small too, since I don't have very long to complete it (a couple of weeks now), and I have been preparing for tomorrow's craft fair. But here's what I've done so far:
I realise I'm being a bit ambitious doing the 'stream' completely in eccentric weft ... but I'm going to give it a go! Personally, I'd prefer to take risks and get lower grades rather than play safe and aim for distinctions :P

My design is based on the Stream of Wellbeing - basically, everyone has their own Stream - going with the flow and putting positive energy into things ensures a good experience, pushing against the current and resisting creates 'blocks' in life. At the moment, I am seeing some people around me who are so negative and spend so much time picking on other people, that their Stream just beats them up all the time, and they suffer for it. Seriously, if they spent all that energy into doing things that make them feel good, their entire life would change!

Tomorrow Anita and I will be sitting at the MarionLIFE Spring Fair all day - Maggie Beer will be opening it, so I hope Anita won't be chasing her all day, since she's a bit of a groupie, haaaha! :P

I'll bring all my kits, but I'm aiming to sell the small (cheap!) bookmark kits tomorrow - the rest will be there to entice people to join my mailing list for future purchases. I've never had a craft stall before, so this will be something new for me!

I'll post photos!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Treasury - La Sirene, Goddess Of The Sea

I've just created a Treasury in honour of La Sirene ... and couldn't resist including my own design - *blush* :P

La Sirene - Goddess Of The Sea


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's Tuesday ...

Aahhh ... I'm sitting at my desk at work, thinking I'd better do an update before tackling today's deadlines :P

I've been sick with a cold for the last week - I could see it coming, what with cramming tapestry homework, dyeing homework, Threefold stuff, preparing for the craft fair at the end of October ... and the fact that it was end of month at work, and I'm in Accounts so couldn't take any time off - eeeeeeeek! I ended up working half days before collapsing, then going home and sitting in the sun for a while. I do feel a LOT better today!

Anyway, I did get a lot of work done on the weekend. I have to put the finishing touches on a painting for a 'commission design' assignment at TAFE tonight so I can post it tomorrow. Painting is not my forte - I didn't like it when I was at art school either - YAWN!! Then I have a couple of weeks before my next dyeing assignment is due. I also made a stack of hand cream for various people (Kaite - yours will be posted tomorrow!).

The MarionLIFE fair is on Saturday, October 23 - my very first craft fair! I'll bring all my cross stitch kits, though I still have to make up a whole pile of bookmark kits since I think they're the ones that will sell on the day.

And finally ... I've been featured on an Astrology blog:
http://www.kathycrabbe.com/2010/10/just-do-it-libra-wool-artist-michelle-from-oz/

Gawd, I feel like I'm everywhere at the moment! Hopefully the exposure will mean I'll sell my first kit on Etsy soon :)

Anyway, better get back to it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Threefold In Purple & Black Treasury!

YAY! Check out this cool Treasury my Astrology cross stitch is in:
Thanks to Deb, fellow Indie Junction Team member, and owner of ZurDesigns (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ZurDesigns).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Threefold Designs on Facebook

I've succumbed to peer pressure, and have created a Facebook group for Threefold ... if you're on FB, please join!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=150798364953821

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

All The Cool Kids Are Stitching!

Anita had the fantastic idea of asking friends to 'model' my needlepoint kits ... the bookmark kits are small and cheap, so I think they will do well - but it's always a good idea to have a gimmick to create more interest :P Of course Anita and Brett had to be my first models:
I've asked a few people if they'd be interested in me sending them a kit, and have already got 4 responses - how exciting! Now I just have to make up the kits ... in between doing all my TAFE homework, of course. Hrrmm, I really wish I could afford to work part time :P

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hot Hot Hot!

I've just created my very first Etsy Treasury list! Have a peek - there are some very talented people on there!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4c8ea5dde9916d917d5c4b22/hot-hot-hot

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dead After Dyeing ...

Very melodramatic post title! Well, after many late nights (and nearly falling asleep at my computer at work during the day), I finally posted my dyeing assignment last week. I'm still frantically working on my next tapestry assignment (texture samples), so haven't had time to update. Last night I finally grabbed some images from my phone, so here they are!

This is my completed last tapestry assignment - I still haven't got the hang of keeping the edges straight ... but I'm still pretty pleased with the finished product! This was based on a google map of the area in which I live - the glittery blue thing in the middle is the Happy Valley Reservoir :P


Here's a pile of dyed wool, ready to be mounted on cards! They looked so pretty, I had to take a pic - they're shades of the primary colours, as well as blue-green :)


And some of the secondary and tertiary colours, which turned out better than I expected!

I still don't think dyeing is my forte ... I had to dye a few of the samples twice, because the colour was patchy. But it was still more fun than I expected.

Now I'm working on the 9 small texture samples ... three of them have to be 'treated' in some way - my first is currently being toddler-treated! Lily, my best friend's little girl (3 1/2 years old) is helping me out by carrying one around for a week - I promised she could have it back after TAFE had marked it :P


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Life Lesson # 645: Time Management

Yep, procrastination is one of my biggest weaknesses. I'm an all-or-nothing sort of person (not that you've probably noticed :P), and I've been spending so much time on my tapestry weaving, that I've completely neglected the wool dyeing component of my course.

I posted my 4th assignment on Monday (I will post pics soon - but I'm sitting in my office at work at the moment!), and my dyeing assignment is due to be posted next Wednesday - PANIC!

Last weekend was a write-off due to fun social things (and I picked up my new Ashford tapestry loom - eeeee!), so I started dyeing on Tuesday. I'm actually enjoying it more than I expected! I've completed the red and blue ranges over 2 nights (staying up until midnight, which is a bit rough when I have to get up at 5.00 the next morning :/), and will do the blue-green and black tonight, and the yellow tomorrow night. The weekend will be spent doing the colour pyramid, so I'm pretty much on schedule to post by Wednesday.

Hopefully I've now learned my lesson about procrastination ... the next few tapestry and dyeing assignments have very short timeframes, so I'll REALLY have to concentrate on my time management!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hold on tight!

Yep, it's been a bumpy ride! What a week ... I'm putting it down to the fact that Saturn has just moved out of Virgo (where it has been for the past 3 years), and into Libra - and it's a Full Moon on Monday - shaking things up! At least the Full Moon is in Aquarius - I have Moon in Aquarius natally, so I always feel more in my power around this time of year :P

This is a good time to get rid of things and people that are not positive enhancers of our lives - that has certainly happened to me in the last few years! And I have not regretted a single thing - my life is just getting better and better.

And I did promise to post my progress on my 4th TAFE assignment. This was supposed to be a semi-abstract composition based on the landscape, and putting into practise all the lessons of the previous colour exercise. I played around with a few concepts, then decided to take a map of the area I live in, and turn it into a design:

And I was having problems with my back while using the tapestry frame, so Brett set it up on his old painting easel. It's still not great, but I'll be getting a proper Ashford Tapestry Loom in the middle of August - I can't wait! And by the way, does anyone know how to attach the cartoon to the frame? I've used masking tape :P

It was suggested by my lecturer to colour in the cartoon before I started weaving, since I have a habit of jumping in feet first and making it up as I go along. I made an attempt to do this, but I really struggled - those tiny amounts of colour took me about 2 hours! I guess too much planning inhibits my creativity ... I much prefer working on a section, then looking at it and 'feeling' what colour should come next.

And here's the design so far ... it's getting there, though my technique is still pretty horrible! I wanted to make the Happy Valley Reservoir a feature, so I wove it in sparkly blue thread - terrible stuff to weave with, but I'm happy with the overall effect!

This week I'm going to concentrate on weaving as much as I can, since I haven't even started my dyeing wool assignment, and that's due the week after this one! Eeeeeeek! I have to allow quite a while to sew the slits on this one, as there are a lot of them - bleeuurggh :P

Friday, July 2, 2010

Threefold Designs on Etsy!

I just realised I haven't mentioned my new Etsy store, so here's the link!

http://ThreefoldDesigns.etsy.com

So far I have a few of my kits available on there, and I'm adding more all the time.

I confess I've been obsessed with Etsy since Anita sent me a link - I'd heard about it before, but I didn't realise how much of a range of handmade goods are available - very impressive!

I'm currently working on my 4th assignment for TAFE, so I'll post an update with pics very soon :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Woooooah Papa Ghede!


Done!

It's a bit wonky on the top and bottom edges, and I have a problem with ridging ... but I'm still pretty happy with how he turned out :)

I posted to Tafe yesterday, and last night I started warping up my frame ready for my next sampler, which is all about colour. I have only 3 weeks to get it completed, so I'd better start when I get back from the radio show tonight.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nearly there ...

This is an action shot of me weaving on Friday :P

Status of my tapestry: I have cut off the frame, and am in the process of sewing slits and catching the braided warp threads.

I hadn't thought much about how I was going to finish this off ... so I might buy some velcro tomorrow, and attach it to the back of the tapestry, since it's only around A4 size. Maybe next time I'll be brave enough to attach it to a fabric-covered board.

I'm aiming to post this to TAFE on Tuesday - wish me luck!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Update!

I've been so busy weaving, I've forgotten to post some photos of what I'm working on ... so here it is so far:


The skull (Papa Ghede) is the difficult bit ... but it's working out better than I expected!

Monday, April 5, 2010

:O

I am in shock ... my sampler is working out! This is for my second assignment, a small format tapestry of my own design. I wasn't sure what to do, since my technical skills are limited ... but Papa Ghede wanted his portrait done - who am I to argue with a Vodou l'wa? :P


Can someone please tell me how to weave a single vertical row? I have tried, but it's just like I'm wrapping the weft around the warp, and it doesn't sit right!

By the way, the background is the wrong way around - I am weaving on the side, and they are representations of gravestones - lucky it's only the sampler!

In between weaving, I'm still needlepointing - this is what I'm working on - a lime leopardprint pattern:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Inspiration!

While in Melbourne, Anita and I visited the Victorian Tapestry Workshop for a guided tour - so inspirational! At the time I didn't realise they had a piece in the Art Gallery Of South Australia for the 2010 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art - we went to see this on the weekend:

If you're in Adelaide, you NEED to see this! It's spectacular ... Anita thought it looked like a Sopor Aeternus album cover :P

Actually, the whole exhibition is fantastic - it's on until 2 May, 2010.

More info: http://tapestry2008.blogspot.com/2010/03/victorian-tapestry-workshops-latest.html

Sampling ...

Last week I started my second assignment - Small Tapestry, Own Design. I have so many wonderful ideas floating around in my head, but lack the technical skill to execute them. So I had to come up with something a bit more basic!

Papa Ghede, the Vodou l'wa of cemeteries and Ancestors, has been asking me to do his portrait for some time now. So that's what I'm doing. I haven't worked out whether I need to weave on the side or not, so I'll figure this out in my sampler.

Part of the process, according to the textbook, is preparation. Preparation? That word is not part of my artistic vocabularly! When designing a needlepoint, I have the idea in my head, get a blank canvas, draw all over it, and stitch, making most of it up as I go along. Here, I have to sketch my design first, do samples, etc. So starting slowly and carefully, rather than jumping in with both feet - this will be good for me, especially since I'm struggling with the technique.

I haven't heard back from TAFE about my sampler ... hopefully if I'm on the wrong track they'll let me know before I've done too much of this assignment!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More Fart Than Art :P

Well ... yesterday I posted my first assignment to SW TAFE via registered mail.

This is what my sampler looked like before darning in the ends:

Much more artistic than the front:

I decided to do a small additional sampler, with the warp done properly - the consenses between Anita and Brett is that it looks like a small rug ... possibly for a doll's house:

My next assignment is a small tapestry of my own design - only problem is, I have lots of designs in my head, but a distinct lack of technical skill to execute them :P Ah well, I'm doing this course to learn, not to get the best grades in the class!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gold Weavzzz

OK, so I have Pavement's 'Gold Soundz' in my head ... probably because I'm seeing them Sunday night - woo hooooo!! One of the only non-Goth bands I listen to :)

Last night I cut my dodgy sampler off the frame - thanks (especially Kaite!) for the feedback - yep, I did have trouble following textbook instructions, especially when warping instructions were different in every book I looked at, and internet information on tapestry weaving is hard to come by. Oh well, I'm learning so much along the way!

No photo at the moment, as I'm sitting here at my work computer, but I'm in the process of darning in the ends and sewing the slits. Because my tapestry is so chunky, I'm going to have to darn in ALL the ends, not just the ones on the edges. But since I don't have to send in my first assignment until next week, I'll have time to do another (tiny) sampler, just to show I have learnt from my mistakes ... and believe me, there were quite a few! :P

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Moon Is The Number 18

OK - so I'm nearing the end of my first sampler ... in the process of completing the 'landscape' part. I decided to base my landscape design very loosely on a tarot card - you wouldn't guess, but it was inspired by The Moon :P


The edges will be in black, so I can practise sewing slits - though I will also need to do that on the edges of my circle too. I'm finding that I'm enjoying 'eccentric weft' rather than weaving to right angles of the warp. It's just something I'm automatically comfortable with ... though I realise that the whole tapestry can't be made up of weird angled stitching! I've also realised that heavy black outlining seems to be a 'Michelle' thing to do, as I do that in most of my needlepoint designs.

Yesterday Anita and I visited Bev, a fantastic tapestry artist and weaver. If I get stuck I'll go to her for a class or two, since just talking to her for a few minutes taught me so much! She weaves on both the front and back warps, using the floor to join them together, and seemed surprised that I was only weaving on the top warps! No wonder my sampler is chunky ... I'll try that next time.

I'm also excited by the advice that more experienced tapestry artists have been giving me - so if any of you are reading this, thank you! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Steppin' and Hitchin'

No, they aren't dance moves ... they're the latest techniques I have been learning on my sampler!

I finished the (rather dodgy) circle, then started hatching:


I think the wool is too chunky - I have warped up in accordance with the instructions, with 12/18 seine twine, and used 8 x 2-ply yarn strands in keeping with the instruction that the weft should loosely fit in between 2 warps. But I think my work would look a lot neater with finer warp spacing and less strands. Also, my tension is all over the place - it has stabilised now, but started at 16cm wide, and is now 15cm! Ooooops :P

While I'm learning a lot in this sampler (which, I guess, is the point!), I'm not happy with how it's turning out. Though the due date is looming (pun not intended), if I get time I'm going to do a miniature, finer sampler to send with it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weaving Part 2

Yesterday I spent a lot of time learning stepping and weaving a circle. It took me a while to figure out the former, as I found it challenging getting to terms with weaving separate blocks with different colours, and found myself mixing up my unders and overs :P

Next was weaving a circle. What I'm finding difficult is making sure the different colours are even. I started off doing exactly the same amount of rows in each colour, but when they are packed / beated down, they are difficult to count. So I just worked visually, and they seem to look good so far!

Is that wrong? If any weavers are reading this, please feel free to criticise!


The textbook instructions aren't very comprehensive, so at the moment I'm relying on the only book I could get hold of at the library - Kirsten Glasbrook's 'Tapestry Weaving'. I have ordered a secondhand copy of Tadek Beutlich's 'The Technique Of Woven Tapestry' from the US, so hopefully it will arrive soon. Hopefully I'm on the right track, since I've been having a few of those 'I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!' moments :P

Needlepoint ...

Yes, I'm still needlepointing ... well, I can't weave in front of the telly!

The lime leopard-print kit is on hold, since I've run out of green ... my gorgeous friend Anita and I will be visiting Melbourne in March, so I'll go to the Victorian Tapestry Workshop to stock up.

At the moment, I'm working on a needlepoint of Erzulie Dantor's veve for Anita's altar:


Sunday, February 14, 2010

La Sirene

As promised, here is a pic of the small La Sirene needlepoint I finished:

Michelle Learns To Weave ...

So ... Thursday night I taught myself how to weave! I spent a while looking through my books with a perplexed look on my face, too scared to actually start ... but after a while I stopped procrastinating and warped up the frame:

Next I had to put in the 'floor', then 3 rows of waste yarn. I discovered that I prefer using bobbins rather than 'butterflies' of yarn, which I found too cumbersome. In the picture below I'm starting the 'double half-hitches' - a process I found quite difficult to learn, as my textbook only gave me one 'how-to' diagram, without a picture of what they are supposed to look like when finished ... so hopefully I've got it right!

I was getting the hang of weaving, once I realised that beating the weft down would hide the warp threads!

And here I'm practising changing colours randomly:

So now I'm feeling more confident ... I guess I'll find out whether I'm on the right track when I hand in my first assignment!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hot Aftershave Bop

Unfortunately, the stable internet is still not forthcoming ... guess AdamMax is not all it's cracked up to be ... but then again, it leaves me more time for stitching :P

I will post a pic soon of the needlepoint I am very close to finishing - it is another La Sirene design, this time for my little friend Lily.

I've also just received my course information for the Diploma Of Tapestry, which I am studying via correspondence through SW TAFE in Warrnambool. I've just ordered seine twine and tapestry bobbins, and already have a weaving frame - not sure quite what to do with them when they arrive, but I guess I'd better figure it out, as my first sampler is due March 15! Very exciting times ahead :)

I'll post pics as I go along ...