Monday, December 26, 2011

stitching and stitching

I don't celebrate the Christ-Mass, but I DO love this time of year because I have a couple of weeks off - yippee!

I finished the Felicity Hall Peacock Clutch - being tent stitch, it has warped a bit, so may need some blocking. I'll have to get the Sewing Master (ie Anita's mum Brigitte) to help me make it up into a clutch.


Although I'm itching to start my own clutch, I've promised myself I'd finish my 'Red' cross stitch kit first. This picture gives you an insight into my chaotic way of designing ... scribbling all over the canvas with texta, then drawing into a graph afterwards to create a pattern for the kit.


OK, after this short computer break, it's back to stitching!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

feeling a bit cocky ...

Haw haw ... bad joke, sorry!


This is the progress of the Peacock Clutch designed by Felicity Hall.  It's looking gorgeous so far ... but it's not very friendly to stitch.  As I've mentioned, I hate printed canvas, since the print is never exact, and you have to guess where the stitch is supposed to go.  I also feel the wool is too thick for the gauge of canvas.  Ah well, it's good for a change ... though I'm *itching* to start designing my own clutch ;)  The metallic thread running through gives the design a real 'kick'.

Oh, and here's what Charlie thinks of it ... this was just after I had sewn the canvas to my frame:


Hrrmmmm .... cat hair on bag is just a bonus!

I've googled, but I haven't been able to find anyone online who has completed this kit, or who has made a needlepointed clutch - this is a pity, as I was hoping to get some making-up and finishing-off tips!  Luckily, Anita's mum Brigitte is a sewing whizz ... so I may need her help ;)

Next on my stitchy list is finishing off the 'Red' kit, and starting a clutch for myself.  Then I'm going to investigate making smaller coin purses to see how easy they are, and how long they take to stitch.  I'd love to sell these ready-made on my Etsy store

My other little project at the moment is a new radio show on Cathedral 13.  It's called 'Cannibal Roses', and will be monthly starting Saturday December 3, playing mainly Coldwave and Dark Post-Punk.  I hope listeners like it!

Oh, and here's a couple of pics of Anita and I before we went to my work dinner:



Right - I'm off to do more stitching!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

finished for the year!

YES!  A quick blog post to celebrate the fact that I have just finished Year 2 of The Diploma Of Tapestry!

I finished my last drawing assignment yesterday ... and last night I celebrated by starting the Peacock needlepoint clutch kit that I bought to stitch for Anita's birthday.

And I've just remembered why I started designing my own cross stitch designs:  I hate printed canvases, I hate tent stitch ... and I hate the wool that comes with these kits - it's already a tangled mess, and I've only just started!  Ah well, it's a beautiful design, and will look gorgeous when it's finished ;)

Proper blog entry with pictures soon!  xxoo

Sunday, November 6, 2011

necklace of awesomeness!

Wow!  Check out my new 'everyday' necklace:

It was made by a gorgeous Etsy seller from New Zealand, Charlotte Burkhart from Little Sister Designs.  She was a featured seller, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw her original work - very talented!  Head over to her store for a better picture, but basically it's sterling silver castings of bones and a mummified squirrel's claw - it's called the Witches Brew Necklace, haaha!

Aaaaah, I LOVE Etsy ;)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Needlepoint Clutch Bags

Wow!  Have you seen what my fellow needlepoint designer Felicity Hall has created?  Gorgeous needlepoint clutch bags! 


I have just ordered the peacock clutch to stitch for Anita's birthday in February, since she LOVES peacock feathers ... and it's not something I would design myself ;)  I am inspired though, to design my own - I first saw the idea in the book 'Adventures In Needlework' by Jessica Aldred & Emily Peacock.

So ... I've just ordered a clutch purse frame, and will start stitching over the end-of-year break - I've promised myself I must finish my last 2 assignments before doing any more fun stuff!  I think I'll start with a simple design - hot pink with lots of black bats (reminiscent of my website logo)!

The possibilities are endless ... skulls, spiders, leopard print - in colours to match every outfit!

More Flossie!

I received another order from the fabulous Jenica from Flossie Fern on Etsy - she closed the shop for a while, as she was moving house ... a disaster, as I had run out of hand cream at home!

I've tried quite a few hand creams, and have also made my own ... but these ones are the best!  They are pretty much identical to the ones that I have made myself (olive oil based salves), and come in many different fragrances ... as well as being *very* reasonably priced - in fact, it's cheaper for me to buy my salves from here than to make my own!


This time I ordered the Olde-Time Herbal Salve, which has a yummy herby scent.  I also ordered this pair of solid scents:


The Spooky Gal Collection is made up of 'Haunted Attic' (lavender and rose absolute) and 'Graveyard Dirt' (patchouli, spikenard and rose absolute).  They are both gorgeous, but my favourite is the latter - very deep and complex fragrance - YUM!

They're not as strong as the perfumes from For Strange Women, since they're larger and in a less concentrated form (like a more concentrated version of the salve, with an organic olive oil, jojoba oil and beeswax base).   I've decided to use them as a very strongly scented hand salve for work, as the fragrance makes me feel good every time I use it ;)

She makes the Salve in a whole range of fragrances - check out the selection here - there are so many more I'm looking forward to trying!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bowerbird Bazaar

Although I already mentioned helping out at the Bowerbird Bazaar on my website (here), I thought I'd post a picture from their blog of part of the queue on Sunday (eeeeek!).


Adelaide's not used to queues like this to get into an upmarket art/design fair!  I recommend heading over to their blog to see stories on all the vendors.

Pssst ... one day I'd like to have a stall there - if they accept me!  They apparently have a very strict selection process, which is how they keep their stalls so upmarket ;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting Heckled


It's funny ... I've dressed differently from most people for as long as I can remember.  In high school I had platinum blonde hair and styled it in 1940s waves (I really wish I had a picture - it was awesome!).  It took me ages to do (rollers in my hair at night!), and I was bullied mercilessly all the way through school.  My parents said it was my fault for being weird ... I guess they were right, since we all know how conformist teenagers are!

These days, I'd be trendy (and popular) if I looked like that ... and it would be much easier finding clothes!  Ah well ... I was goth-punk inspired in my late teens, and shaved my head in 1993.  Now it's a combination of my love for goth/deathrock music, and my love for colour ... I like to dress Chelle-Style ;) 

The point of this post is that I have been called so many different names over my life, that I really should be keeping track of them all.  There are three main groups of people who feel the need to insult me about my appearance:
  1. Bogans:  this is the most common one ... for some reason, very rough people (usually overweight, chain smoking, and sporting dirty tracksuit pants - footwear optional) are the ones who feel the need to comment on my appearance.  They are usually very imaginative, calling out 'FREAK' or 'GET A HAIRCUT!'.  Hmmm, if I had a dollar ...
  2. Teenagers:  these are only in gangs, and insults are called out after I am out of range.  They are actually not very brave when they are by themselves.  Everyone knows teenagers are the most conformist of all age groups - even though they don't think they are ;)
  3. Middle Aged People:  they're the ones who shake their heads at me and say 'that's disgusting',  and variations on this theme.  Sometimes I get religious nuts who call me 'JESUS CHRIST' ... very strange.

Of course, there are always exceptions ... but I can't think of any right now.  Old people, once they've decided I'm not going to rob them, usually smile at me and say hello.  Well, I guess they've seen it all before, right?

Anyway, I had two very imaginative reactions this week.  First was an over-the-top compliment (I think!).  A girl with a baby in a pram tapped me on the shoulder and said (loudly) 'OH MY GOD, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING!'.  I assume she meant 'I like your hair', but who knows?  I just blinked and said 'thanks' before I ran away. 

And today, a bogan with a mullet and a cigarette said 'SHE LOOKS F***CKING AWFUL!' before proceeding to explain to his friend how dreading my hair and dying it bright colours will make it fall out when I'm old, blah blah blah.  I always pretend I don't hear these people, since a reaction is what they're after ... in this case, I was trying not to laugh - did he seriously think my wool dreads are REAL???!!  Hilarious.

Anyway, people who feel the need to pick on other people have some serious psychological issues.  They're obviously not happy with themselves, so think that putting someone else down will make them feel better about their awful lives. 

The one time I have reacted, it was something like 'well, you're fat and ugly - I choose to look this way.  Do you?'  Heh heh ;)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Threefold Designs Pinup Girl!

This is the gorgeous Evilyn Frantic from Hellzapoppin: A Sideshow Review stitching the Lime Leopard Print Bookmark kit!


Ages ago I asked a few people if any of them would like to 'model' my kits, and a couple of people replied ... one asked for 3 kits, and ended up losing 2 and returning 1 - with no pics :(  Obviously she had no respect for my work at all, and has no understanding about the fragile ego of the artist :P

But Evilyn went ALL OUT, working with a professional photographer and everything!  I was so excited, especially since she stitched it herself too.  It all worked out perfectly - she makes this other girl look incredibly boring, which would have effected my branding - so I guess everything happens for a reason!

These are the low res images - we're still waiting for the photographer to send the high res ones ... but since he's taken months, I thought I'd put these up anyway.  Enjoy the eye candy!  And don't forget to recommend Threefold Designs to people looking for cool end of year pressies ;)





Sunday, October 23, 2011

Finished!

Yay, I've finished my miniature Tapestry ... it's being posted tomorrow ;)

Cutting off the loom:
And finally finished ... though I just need to give it a press ;)
I've enjoyed weaving this one - probably because it's more 'me' than anything else I have done in the last 2 years of my Tapestry course!  It's a bit wobbly-edged ... but that's because I used a lot of eccentric weft, and took way more risks than I would have normally - I've decided that learning more is better than playing safe ... seriously, what do grades matter? (though I'd like to pass, thanks very much :P)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Berrylicious!

That's what Anita's calling my new hair - Berrylicious: blueberry swirled with strawberries ;)  Well, she *does* have a foodie blog, haaha!

Here are my new dreads - first, what they looked like before installation (thanks to my friend Wilbur for minding them for me!):
And then after installation:


And yes, that fringe is very high maintenance, haaha!  But at least I've finally found a turquoise that is bright enough and doesn't take 2 hours to process - this one's Special Effects' 'Fishbowl' ... FYI, the hot pink is Manic Panic's 'Hot Hot Pink'.

I used the following to make my wool dreads:  Black: Ashford Corriedale Liquorice, Pink: Ashford Corriedale Pansy, Turquoise: Ashford Corriedale Turquoise and White: Bendigo Woollen Mills Merino.

That Merino was bloody awful to felt ... I'm trying to stick to the Corriedale as much as possible!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Naked Space!

Yes, Naked Space is a very cool name for a shop ;)  Anita and I were in there buying yummy things for the house ... one thing led to another ... and now I have some of my bookmark kits for sale there!  YAAAY!

Hopefully they sell and this becomes a successful venture - and if not, not harm done ;)

That same day, I received a phone call from my local council - they saw me on the local Artists Register, and asked if I'd like to teach kids how to cross stitch as part of next year's Adelaide Fringe Festival!  Um - WHAT??!  Hey, I have no experience teaching kids anything ... and she didn't even realise that I've just designed some kits for kids.  So yeah, why not?  What a day!! 

As well as working on my tapestry (just needs the hem woven - pics soon!), I also finished making my next lot of dreads, since they are being installed on Thursday.  Here are a couple of pics Anita took while I was hand felting them (excuse the dodgy quality - it was late at night):


I palm roll first, then roll out onto the towel.  After doing this 3 times, I put them in a lingerie bag in the washing machine.  This gives them a final felt, and a 'crinkly' quality which looks very cool ;)

Colours are hot pink, turquoise, white and black - I'm looking forward to getting them installed!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Productive Weekend

Yes it was!  Apart from the obligatory annual dentist checkup and mountains of washing, I spent it weaving and cross-stitching - YAYNESS!

Weavy stuff - nearly there!


Stitchy stuff - the 'Red' cushion in progress:


And I'm experimenting with making a cross stitch badge/hairclip combo.  Not sure how it will work out, but I'm stitching an eyeball on black Aida cloth.  If it turns out, I'll back it with felt, overlock the edges and attach a combination brooch/hairclip to the back.  You can never have enough eyeballs in your wardrobe, after all ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pink?

OK, I haven't been to Ikea for a while ... but when did Princess Cakes turn pale pink?  I loved the weird lime green of the old cakes - they remind me of good old South Australian Frog Cakes ;)

Yep, totally random post ... ;)

Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm 37 - eek!

Yep, my birthday was Monday ... went out to dinner at the gorgeous Dragonfly on Saturday night with the girlz (Anita, Lily, her mum Brigitte, and her sister Emily), where an amazing dinner and Espresso Martini was much enjoyed!

Can you see my gorgeous skull waspie that Anita bought me?


And here's the fantastic eyeball hair clip that I wore on my birthday:


There are a few things I want to get done before I'm 38 ... so here they are, and I'll see how many I can 'tick off' by next September!
  • Get fitter.  Yep, I realise that I have to start exercising - GASP!  Anita and I are going to a class once a week that's a mixture of pilates, weight training and cardio.  And a weird vibration machine :P 
  • Drink a lot of water every day.  I've started using Habit Forge, which works on the premise that if you stick to something for 21 days it becomes a habit.  It's great!  I'm up to day 6 ;) 
  • Finish the Threefold Designs kids' kits, and the Red kit ... then stop doing kits for a while!  I'm going to concentrate on creating one-off art pieces instead. 
  • Create a one-off cross stitch for sale at the next SALA Festival. 
  • Finish at least one tapestry that is good enough to hang in the house.  That's a tough one!
 I'll be adding to that list incrementally as the year progresses ... but that's a good start.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Weavy skullz skillz


Here's the beginning of the my last Tapestry assignment for the year ... a miniature tapestry.  The bottom hem is a tricky technique Cathy (my lecturer at SW TAFE) gave me, which is apparently the same that the Australian Tapestry Workshop use - that line of light grey apparently gets pulled out later!

This is my first attempt at pictorial weaving ... after speaking to Cathy at Warrnambool, I decided to not worry about my lack of technical ability, and try to weave the design as best I can - whether it works out or not!  She said that it's best to take risks rather than 'dumb down' a design to make it easier to weave.  So what do you think this is?  Well, hopefully you can tell it's going to be a skull - the teeth will be embroidered on afterwards!  He's wearing headphones, part of which is being woven in silver thread - ghastly slippery stuff!

I also have one more drawing assignment for the year, as well as a couple more Research & Critical Analysis essays.  Luckily we have a public holiday this coming Monday, so I'll bet able to get more done then.

I must say I feel much better about my tapestry work after visiting Cathy - it gave me an insight into what is expected in the course, and gave me encouragement about my own personal work. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Are You A Celebrity?"

Yep, we're back from yet another road trip - this time we went to Portland, Port Fairy and Warrnambool.

Thursday was spent driving - we left at 5.30am, and stopped by at our favourite place in Robe (Robe Providore) for some brekkie!  Someone had yarn bombed a couple of stobie poles, so I had to take a pic for Kaite ;)



We stayed in 'The Cottage' (built in 1840), just out of Narrawong (about 10 minutes from Portland) and very close to the beach. 


We had afternoon tea at Portland ... a very weird town - some people are very friendly, and some people incredibly rude.  We were lucky to choose a lovely place (The Lido Larder), and ended up having a wonderful meal at Edward's Waterfront Restaurant on Friday night.

Friday was spent in Warrnambool - now this is a town I could definitely live in ;)  We first visited the SW TAFE, and it was great to finally meet my lecturer Cathy ... I even met my other teacher for this year, Karen, as she was on her way to a class!  It's nice putting faces to names, and I hope I can come back for a visit very soon.  Lily's highlight was the giant playground (or group of playgrounds).



 


 

Yeah, the flying fox is actually meant for kids :P

We headed over to Port Fairy on Saturday.  This is another town I really enjoyed - very friendly.  The farmer's market was on, and a women selling preserves asked me (quite seriously) "are you a celebrity?".  In hindsight, I should have said yes ... but she caught me by surprise!

We visited the 'Notorious', a replica of a Portugese merchant ship ... here's Lily (literally) posing inside:




For afternoon tea we found a gorgeous little place called Clonmara Tearoom.  We had fruit scones and a pot of tea each (or in Lily's case, fizzy apple juice).  Beautiful cottage gardens, nice owners and a very friendly Hungarian Puli called Sam :P

On the drive back to Adelaide on Sunday, we found yet another gorgeous place to eat - Henry & Rose is an (unexpected) find in Keith, SA.  It's quite unassuming from the front, but inside it's a large, trendy cafe that would not be out of place in a big city.  We sat outside in the courtyard, and had delicious cafe-style meals with Mahalia coffee - yum!

Anyway, we really enjoyed our little road trip.  Anita's keen to drive to Melbourne some time - though our next weekend holiday will be Port Augusta, so Anita can show Lily where her mum grew up :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Breathe ...

Yep, that's what I'm trying to do at the moment!  So many things are going on, that I haven't had much time for stitching lately - GASP!

Threefold Designs has gone through a bit of an overhaul - it's nearly there, just waiting for my website's header image and background to be created.  The Etsy store has a new banner, and I have a new logo:

Gorgeous, huh?  Thanks to the amazingly talented Dominique from VioletCrimeDesign ;)

My Facebook group has just been moved over to a new page - unfortunately, members can't automatically be transferred over, so I'd appreciate it if you'd head over and 'like' it! 

And the other thing I've been working on is the new radio show - yes, Shadowplay has moved from a physical radio station (Three D Radio, where it's been since 1996) to the amazing Cathedral 13 online goth/darkwave radio station!  This means that the show can be recorded from our dining room, rather than having to go to the studio every Wednesday night.  It also means we have a much wider audience, since we've tried to cover as many timezones as possible.  After the show has aired, it will be available as a podcast from our blog ... so hopefully we're keeping everyone happy!

Here's the write up on the Cathedral 13 site, and the Shadowplay page on their website.

PHEW!  I'm exhausted just re-reading all that ... but hopefully all these changes will mean more time to spend on stitching, and my tapestry studies.

On Thursday morning Anita, Lily and I will be driving over the Warrnambool for a few days - well, visiting Warrnambool on Friday (and finally visiting my TAFE!), while hanging out at Portland and Port Fairy for the rest of the time.  We'll come back on Sunday night - I'm looking forward to it!  Pics will be posted here, of course ;)

Bye for now!  xxoo

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Oceans and Skulls

I just realised I hadn't posted a pic of my last assignment!  It it (loosely) based on sand dunes, and the different colours of the beach near our house.  I'm really pleased with how this turned out!

Next tapestry assignment is a miniature tapestry of our choice.  I've chosen to give myself a brief to design a logo for our radio show, Shadowplay.  Let's just say there will be a skull wearing headphones involved ;)

Our current colour scheme is black, purple, grey and white ... so I'm keeping the tapestry in these colours too.  Here's a sneak peek at the wool I've chosen:

OK, I'd better finish off my sketches and warp up the loom! 

Oh, and by the way ... the website is now up and running!  I have a few more tweaks to do, and a new banner is on its way - but I'm getting there! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Craft for Misfits!

Heh heh - do you like my new pic?  I asked Anita to draw on my head ... but I didn't expect the lettering to be so gorgeous!!  :)

You *may* have noticed I've updated my blog theme ... I've had my website since 2005, and a lot has changed since then.  I've decided to re-brand, since I feel my website doesn't really match my personality and my work.  When I originally set it up, I wanted it to look very professional ... but now I've kinda changed my mind!  As Anita said, 'it's not very you' ... as soon as I changed this blog around she said 'now THAT'S more you!'.  Yep.

I spent a *lot* of money on my original website - so this time I'm doing it by myself using Wordpress.  I prefer Blogger, but it doesn't have the same functionality, so I'm keeping it separate.  I have a gorgeous designer working on a new Etsy banner, since all sales will be through Etsy - the ecommerce page is just getting too big and clunky!

The new site won't be up for a while yet ... but I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My First Exhibition! :O

Finally, one of my pieces is in an exhibition - YAAAY!

La Sirene is on holiday for a month or so, featuring in the SALA Festival (South Australian Living Artists), as part of the City of Holdfast Bay's Salabrate The Journey, Sea Change 175 Art Trail.  I'm listed as being displayed at Tangerine Treasures, but that's now been changed to Holdfast Walk.  I'm sure La Sirene wanted to be closer to the ocean, as well as in a busier location ;)

Anita and I will be attending the exhibition opening next Monday, so hopefully I'll have some pics to post soon.

Wool Dreads For The WIN!

Well ... after 4 1/2 years of wearing dread extensions, I've finally decided that the person who will always be there to make me dreads every 3 months ... IS ME! Yep, I'm making my own dreads from now on. My last dreads were felted wool, and my scalp (and hairdresser) are so happy, that I've decided to continue with them.

Luckily, Bella Textiles (www.bellatextiles.com.au) are just down the road, so I was able to get some gorgeous Ashford Corriedale sliver in Pansy (hot pink), Lime, Magenta and Liquorice (black). Yum, sounds good enough to eat!

And here they are installed! My hairdresser bonded them on like normal extensions, and I've attached one more on top with elastic bands (short hair install method):



My last ones were in for 3 months, and although a few of them have pilled, they are in amazingly good condition!