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!