Friday, December 28, 2012

red 'taw'

Yeah, I had to look 'TAW' up in the glossary:
"Trompe as writ", woven as drawn in. The shedding draft follows the same pattern as the threading draft."

Well, there you go :P

This one is more complicated - instead of a pattern of 4 repeated (the 'shedding draft'), it is a pattern of 16 ... which means I have to have a cheat sheet to count out what I'm up to. And yes, this red is also a long-lost cone of Scottish yarn that I found ;)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

officially addicted to weaving ...

I knew it would happen ;)

This is my first bit of 'proper' weaving after finishing my first little sampler - I'm pleased with it, but really need practice with my beating technique ;)

For the last day or two I have been working on a herringbone pattern using a black warp, and a gorgeous Scottish purple wool with turquoise flecks. It's a bit scratchy against the skin, but I figure if it's a cowl it should be worn over a jumper or coat ;)

The tension is *so* much better, and my edges are pretty straight! I'm just trying to figure out the dimensions to make cowls - one version will be just one wrap, and the other will be longer and wrap around the neck twice.

With enough practice, I will have these available for sale in my shop - cross fingers!

OK, time to put another warp on - there's some gorgeous red wool that is just crying out to be woven ;)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

hair dye

I *love* dyeing my hair, and have been doing so for many many years. Brightly coloured hair dye is way more readily available than when I was younger - in the early 90s I struggled to find Fudge Paintbox, whereas now I can buy any brand I want on the internet. Ah, the internet!!

I will add to this post as I find more pictures (I wish I had taken more in the past!). The links I have given are from the 'Beeunique Hair Dye Gallery'- not because I purchase from there, but because I have found it a very good reference for how the colours look on different people ;)

Pink: Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink (lasts well, needs refreshing every 1-2 weeks)
Green: Special Effects Iguana Green (green isn't very long-wearing - the more lime, the less it lasts)

Pink: Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink
Orange: Manic Panic Electric Lava (lasts well, needs refreshing every 1-2 weeks)

Purple: Crazy Color Violette (turns a pastel purple after a week)
Blue/Green: Crazy Color Peacock Blue (can last up to 3 weeks - amazing!!)

Turquoise: Special Effects Fish Bowl (lasts around 2 weeks - brilliant, much better than Manic Panic Atomic Turquoise)
Pink: Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink

Royal Blue: Manic Panic Shocking Blue (lasts very well - around 2 weeks)
Pink: Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink

Purple: Manic Panic Ultra Violet (needs refreshing after 1 week)
Red: Manic Panic Wildfire (amazing red, lasts 1-2 weeks - I used to use Pillar Box Red, but it must be a new formulation, as it isn't as bright anymore)

Hrmm, I use Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink waaaaay too often!! :P

FYI, I visit my hairdresser every 4 weeks - she bleaches the roots of the coloured areas, refreshes the colour and dyes the black with Paul Mitchell semi-permanent black hair dye. I maintain the colours in between - some colours are higher-maintenance than others! I couldn't find an image of the yellow (Manic Panic Electric Banana) ... but it was terrible, and only lasted a couple of days :(

What are your favourite non-natural hair colours?

Monday, December 10, 2012

guess what? i'm weaving!

YES I AM!! Well, a dodgy form of weaving, but I'm sure I'll get better :P

I actually enjoyed the warping up process, strangely - there's something satisfying about seeing all this beautiful wool on the warping board:

Of course, I made a couple of mistakes (like missing a couple of dents in the reed, and choosing incorrect shafts when threading heddles), but hey, not bad for a beginner learning out of books!

And here is my very first attempt at basic weaving!

And then I played with a few patterns ... I'm loving that zig zag!

I had a bit of trouble with my work not beating straight (you can see that above), but that was because the tension wasn't spot-on. I warped front to back, since I didn't have a raddle ... but I will make one so I can use it next time for warping back to front. I guess I have to experiment until I can figure out the best way for me.

But I had fun - and that's the most important thing!

Oh, and FYI ... I got 96% for my large tapestry - CRAZY TIMES!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

yesterday + today

I took some pics ... firstly, my little Frankie being crazy:

Last night Anita and I went to my work dinner - it was supposed to be a 20s themed night ... but I *hate* being told what to wear, so ignored it and dressed as myself!

And today I picked up my table loom! I've spent all afternoon putting it together - tomorrow I'll be warping it up ;)

Right - I'm *exhausted* ... some relaxing needlepoint now, methinks!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

autumn - 'how it came to be this way'


studio shot

What is it about new rugs that makes cats want to sit all over them??
Apparently it is the hip place to be right now :P

The table is now ready for the loom (which I pick up this Saturday!) ... I still have to get an adjustable stool, but I want to see how high the loom is first!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

ready and waiting ...

Look at that expanse of floor space, just waiting for a table loom ... !

If you look at the window, you can see Charlie spying on the neighbours :P

I'm picking up the loom next Saturday - in the meantime, I have been cleaning up my studio.  I just need to get a table and I'll be set ;)

I'm also pretty excited about the whole house being painted in January - due to the architecture of the house, the interior will be white with coloured accents.  Upstairs, the accents will be the window alcoves (which are quite large, as you can see in the above picture) - they will be purple.  Downstairs the theme is white and turquoise blue!

OK, back to cleaning ...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

spring cleaning

Well, it's 'officially' summer in Australia on Saturday ... so I guess I have been doing some spring cleaning ;)

We just returned from Robe - I have posted pics of this gorgeous place before - but here's a reminder:

Of course, I was under my parasol the whole time, with Anita laughing at my inappropriate beach wear ;)

We drove down late Friday afternoon, stayed in a very nice cabin (our usual holiday house was unavailable), and dined on Saturday at Wild Mulberry Cafe, Mahalia Coffee and Vic Street Pizzeria. I feel HUGE now! :P

But now my task is cleaning up my studio ... I haven't really moved in there properly, and have a few boxes of 'must sort out' items.  I'm not a sentimental hoarder, but have found some interesting things:

-  Newspaper and magazine articles about Siouxsie & The Banshees - there's my teenage self still lurking around!
-  Waaaay too much occult material that I have kept 'for interest', but that I really don't have room for.  You never know when you may need to summon entities from the astral plane!
-  Too many books - seriously!  That's why I buy as many ebooks as I can these days.
-  Playlists for Blood & Black Dahlias from 1997 and 1998 that I had printed out in 2001 - I was very excited about this find, since I am trying to record as many old playlists as I can on the Shadowplay blog ;)

And all that was from one box! ... I have a couple more to go, as well as some Ikea furniture to put together.  The whole house will be getting painted in January, which I'm super excited about!

Is anyone else spring / autumn cleaning?

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Yes, that's right - FINISHED!!!

And now the more boring bits ... leading up to the finish-line ;)

Cutting the tapestry off the loom!

Me posing with my tapestry (Anita thought I should have left it like this, with the warp ends hanging down :P):

After the warp ends were plaited and stitched to the back, it was ready for an iron:

I finished my little cross stitch to be attached - here it is, pinned on the tapestry:

Monday night I changed my mind, and decided to see what badges would look like instead - MUCH BETTER!!

I'm feeling so relieved right now ... but also quite sad that I have to say goodbye for a little while while it's in Warrnambool. I confess I'm quite attached to it - when you do a piece of artwork that expresses your style and personality, then it's more than just a piece of artwork - does that make sense?

I've just come back from a couple of days at Robe - Anita took me as a little celebration for finishing my studies ;)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

yurt girl world

Check out Anita's banner for her new blog!

It was designed by the amazing Jeski - if you want graphic design/drawings, please go and visit her - she's amazing! Can you see Lily and I in the background?? I love the fact that I'm wearing my bloomers and have a glass of wine in my hand ;)

Anita's tried her hand at a couple of blogs in the past, but has been a bit directionless ... now we have the 'Yurt' (technically a 'geodesic dome' ... but Geodesic Dome Girl World doesn't have the same ring to it :P), she is passionate about our garden, growing more veggies so we can be more self-sufficient, cooking, and DIYing. Her first post is a little video introduction.

Anyway, please follow her if you're interested! ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

natural perfumes

For a while I have been changing over all my synthetic skin creams, make-up and perfumes to natural versions, with excellent results. Anita especially had rashes from commercial perfumes, which have now stopped since using natural oil-based ones.

Since my favourite natural perfume from For Strange Women has been discontinued (Sweet Androgyny - *cries*!), I have been ordering samples from all over the internet, looking for new favourites. This post is both for my own reference, as well as providing suggestions in case you are looking for natural alternatives ;)

Satin Corset by For Strange Women:  One of her gorgeous solid perfumes set in jojoba and beeswax - floral blend, vanilla bourbon and tonka.

Bloody Kisses by Dawn To Dusk Essentials: OK, the name is a bit tacky, but what a fragrance! I actually received this one free with other samples, and did not expect to love it so much - it's a combination of Cardamom, Pink Lotus, Turkish Rose, Black Tea & Oud (in a base of sweet almond oil and coconut oil).

Fragoletta by Plume Natural Perfumery: Florals and clary sage on a base of oakmoss and labdanum.

Courage by One Seed Perfume: Seller from my hometown of Adelaide ... this is a blend of musky ylang ylang blossom, magnolia & rosewood and blends seamlessly with creamy vanilla, white jasmine & magnetic amber. This one is more expensive, but it is a far more sophisticated perfume - still natural, but with the feel of a commercial Eau de Parfum.

Graveyard Dirt by Flossie Fern: Patchouli, spikenard and rose - gorgeous combination, but needs to be reapplied more often.

I have a little bowl of samples that I still need to get through - I've promised myself I'll use them all before buying more perfume!!

Have you come across any natural perfumes recently?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

threefold designs = cross stitch, tapestry ... and now weaving!

Yes, a new medium to make up the trilogy!!! I have just ordered this little baby:

I have a few weeks off work at the end of the year, so guess what I will be doing??

I asked quite a few people, and the deciding factor (apart from the cost) was a helpful reply from Holly Berry, who learnt to weave on the fabulous Mastercrafts series. She said her first loom was the Ashford 8 Shaft Table Loom - after 2 years she bought a 24-shaft Arm Loom for her studio, but said she still uses the Ashford for developing, sampling and experimenting. If you haven't seen the show, it's available on DVD ;)

I already have one of these ready:

Aaaaand a couple of 'how to weave' books on order! All I need now is a table (hello Ikea!) ... I have plenty of scrap yarn to practice on.

I have a 'to do' list to complete before I start learning how to weave ... consisting mainly of tidying the studio (incl. unpacking) and finishing off assembling our bed head (which is currently in pieces in the studio).

And of course, I will be documenting my progress right here! I'm sure the first step of putting the loom together and warping it up will be accompanied by much cursing ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

on the home stretch ... and some life lessons

YES! The last couple of weeks have been crazy around here ... but I can see the end in sight, even though I've had to make a few difficult decisions in order to get there ;)

Weaving finished - about to do the hem:

My original brief was a tapestry 3600cm2, so my idea was to have the final dimensions of 50cm wide x 72cm high. My loom is not much bigger than that - and I have realised in the last week that weaving that close to the top of the loom is very very difficult (hello bleeding fingers!). So I made the conscious decision to make the tapestry shorter (since my technique was also suffering), and deal with the consequences.

Here you can see how close I'm weaving to the top of the loom - eeep!

I must confess it's pretty hard for me to let go of my 'I must get as high a grade as possible' viewpoint. I mean, the Diploma Of Tapestry is a creative course - a higher grade does not mean a better artist. I think it's just ingrained, I'm so hard on myself for no reason. I've had a pretty tough couple of years - marriage breakup, new relationship (+ young child), moved house twice, blah blah blah - and I've *never* let any of that get in the way of anything I've wanted to do. I've still worked full time, still done the weekly radio show (and for the last 12 months another monthly radio show), and handed in all my assignments in time.

Anyway, that last paragraph is just to illustrate how much of a big deal it is for me to say 'ah well, that will just have to do!' - A VERY BIG DEAL!! ;P

Sorry, I digress - back to the tapestry! I also decided my cross stitch that was to be attached was too busy (I didn't realise until after I had finished weaving), so I'm re-stitching just the figure. It will be white instead of black, and will be attached to that large black space you can see at the top of the first picture:

I know, I'm crazy - but I have a week before posting, so it should be fine. I'm a very fast stitcher ;)

Over the next few days I have to finish the hem, finish the cross stitch, sew the cross stitch on, cut the tapestry off the loom ... and then the boring task of sewing in the warp ends and finishing off the back.

Pictures soooooon - see you on the flipside!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

11cm to go!

Well, it's about 11cm at the middle point - note photo below (with lots of butterflies and needles hanging down - sorry!), you can see the cartoon with the end in sight!

Of course, I've turned the picture on its side ;)

And this has been me most nights after work, and most weekends - only 3 weeks until the end of year 3!

Like the 'concentration face'?  And yes, I need a much better chair - will have to find a stool that is height adjustable ;)

OK, back to it! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

21cm to go!

Yep, 21cm to weave of this tapestry!  Eeeep!  You'll have to tilt your head to the side to have a look at the correct orientation, as I'm typing this at work, and I don't have Photoshop here to flip the image :P

It's been a crazy few weeks ... work has been awful (my boss was retrenched, which we're still upset about), and the stress is mounting to get my tapestry finished for the November 21 deadline. 

I want to finish weaving at least a week before posting, as it takes a long time to finish everything off.  I'm still stitching the cross stitch that will be attached to the tapestry - I have no idea how that's going to turn out! 

Anyway, on another note ... I *really* want to buy a (horizontal) weaving loom early next year.  I'm looking at the Ashford 16 Shaft Table Loom, with a stand so it has treadles.  Well, my business name is Threefold Designs - I'd like to make it literally threefold:  cross stitch / weaving / tapestry.  I've been looking around, and there doesn't seem to be any hand weavers out there who do gothish designs ...

I'm looking forward to making millions of tea towels and scarves to get some practise before I can figure out how to weave skulls :P 

I think that all the stuff that has been happening at my day job has made me re-evaluate what I really want to do with my business.  I'd love to sell my cross stitch kits, but I'm finding it difficult to crack the market (I'm even thinking of selling off all the large kits and just selling the patterns - there's no profit in the kits!).  My artwork will be my side-project, but it's not exactly a practical business venture.  Weaving, on the other hand, is far more commercial than my other work - what do you think??

Anyway, the clock's just ticked over, so I'd better get started with my day job ... the corporate world beckons :P


Friday, October 12, 2012

the last couple of weeks ...

Life's been too hectic for blogging, so here are some pics in lieu of too many words ;)

I have changed my dreads! They are now peacock / mermaid dreads (I haven't decided which is more appropriate), with Crazy Color Peacock Blue and Crazy Color Violette hair dye.

How I wear them when I want them out of my face:

Close up, in the sun to show you the brightness of the colours - woah there!

View from the front of our house - not bad, huh? :P

My finished tapestry sampler - we had to weave a face. I added grey to my usual black and white face palette - I'm pleased with it!

This weekend will be two days of intensive tapestry weaving ... as well as doing the next Elements Of Design assignment. Not sure whether all Diploma Of Tapestry students know this, but the course will be changing in 2014 - please contact Cathy if you're not aware!

Regardless, I have decided to do my 4th year over 2 years to lessen my workload, and will be taking at least one day off work a month to concentrate on getting some art pieces done for a future exhibition I'm aiming for in 2014. These will all be part of the Goth/Deathrock Subculture series, and will be a combination of woven tapestry and cross stitch on canvas. I'm so excited!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

i'm 38!

Woohoo, I love birthdays! Here's a quick post, mainly in pictures ...

Outfit for my birthday (taken at work ... I really *must* buy a full-length mirror!) - Sourpuss cardigan from Anita:

Flowers sent from Anita to my office:

Anita *did* spoil me ... here is her main pressie - an LED 'daylight' lamp - perfect for tapestry weaving!

A psycho cat (Frankie):

An inquisitive cat (Charlie):

Aaaand, my birthday 'cake' was my favourite ... the typically South Australian Frog Cake! I forgot to get the pics from Anita's phone, but here's the Wiki image of the Frog Cake ... and yes, you feel very sick just eating one ;)

And the cross-section, just in case you don't believe how incredibly sickening they are:

I hope you've all had a great week! xx