Tuesday, March 26, 2013

spring cleaning in autumn!

Yes, that's what I've been doing over the last few days - and boy, does it feel GOOD!!

I finally got around the photographing the components of a bookmark kit (before I sent it to Denmark!) - that has been on my 'to do' list for a while, as it looks good on online shops to see what you're buying.  Next on my 'to do' list is to photograph one of the larger kits.

I'm a pretty neat and organised person anyway ... but you know how you end up having *something* that is hardly ever clean?  For me, it's my desk around the computer and the 'to do' tray - eeep!  And then I found that I didn't have anywhere to store my weaving stuff.  So I cleaned out a drawer and found a whole pile of Australian Tapestry Workshop wool ... I must have been part way through putting a Diamonds kit together ?? 

So this weekend is stocktaking all my kits, and starting to have the Astrology bookmark kits available as PDF patterns.  Of course, I still have my Tapestry sampler to work on ... and I'm going to squeeze in another cowl for sale - this time a double length in red and black ;)

Speaking of cowls, I've been trawling through www.handweaving.net, which is a fantastic source for old weaving patterns - check out these:

I can't wait to use that middle one especially - very Art Deco ;)

Next I have to get a mannequin / torso form / jewellery display so I can photograph my cowls properly - the photos in my last post were OK for Facebook, but not for Etsy or Storenvy.  I'd like the cowls I sell to be completely unworn, and that means unmodelled.

I also want to make a couple of tea towels ... these wouldn't be for sale (they take too long to weave, so you'd never get your money back!), but I know Anita would like a couple, and so would her mum ;) 

I hope everyone else is having a productive time!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

first cowl available!

Finally, I've finished my first cowl for sale!  I wove myself this one (a single-length cowl in charcoal and black), and wove an identical one that I will be selling for $40 plus postage.  If you're interested, please email me at michellethreefold@gmail.com.

More info and pictures can be found on this post - I really need to get myself a mannequin/jewellery bust ;)

Here's a pic of Anita in her double-length cowl - I will have to weave a few of these for sale too, as most people seem to want one to wrap around twice.

Personally, I'm too short (and busty!) to wear double length cowls, so I'l stick with the single ;)  I think for the moment I'll put the cowls up on my Facebook page first, then put them on my Etsy and Storenvy pages later.

Monday, March 18, 2013

care australia - 'walk in her shoes'

My rant:  Why is it that there are so many people using fundraising sites to get cash for their personal endeavours, like studying, making trinkets, etc?  Whatever happened to good ol' fashioned SAVING??

OK, rant over ;)  But I do want to share something with you here - with the above in mind, Anita decided to participate in the Care Australia Walk In Her Shoes challenge, whereby between 18-24 March you walk 10,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of the average a woman has to walk in developing countries just to collect water (about 6km).  Women in these countries are even more disadvantaged and impoverished than other members of these societies ...

I would LOVE if you could please head over to this page to donate to Care Australia (a non-religious organisation) - even the smallest donation will make a difference, and they accept PayPal - donations are tax deductible, of course ;)


So far she's only collected $40 (that's me!), and her work colleagues are in the process of collating everyone's donations ... but it would be great if we could get a bit more!

Usually donations are a personal thing for me, which is why I wouldn't normally post this link ... but lately I have been bombarded with 'donate so we can release this album', 'donate so I can bring out a new clothing line', 'donate so we can make this movie', and it's doing my head in - the latter request had raised $30,500!!  How shallow is that, when there are so many more worthy causes in the world?? 

What do you think of the new 'fundraising' sites, or is it just me who has noticed them all?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

long weekend

Yes, we had a long weekend in Adelaide, with Monday being 'Adelaide Cup Day' ... not that I know anyone who goes to the races :P   It has been so blisteringly hot in Australia lately (if you're hearing a lot of your Australian friends whingeing, then I can tell you it's justified!) - today is 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F), with the overnight temperatures at 25 degrees (77 deg F), which doesn't allow the house to cool down sufficiently.  After a couple of weeks of this, as well as some days of high humidity (which doesn't happen very often in Adelaide!), I'm very grateful that tomorrow will be only 25 degrees - PHEW!  At least we have a week or so of lovely weather until the heat strikes us again ;)

Unfortunately, upstairs is not air conditioned, so I have been bravely doing as much as I can before it gets unbearable.  I actually achieved a lot on Saturday - I think the strange humidity helped me out, because I lasted nearly all day in my studio ;)  I had time to warp up my loom and do a good 20cm of weaving:

Now I understand this doesn't look very interesting ... but I really needed to make myself a cowl that I could wear with other coloured items of clothing (I'm not a 'plain' dresser :P).  I also thought I'd challenge myself by using more than 4 shafts of my 8 shaft loom.  So I wandered over to handweaving.net, where there are a lot of copyright-free patterns.  I found this gorgeous 6 shaft pattern from 1895 - it's Draft # 29911:

It's so pretty!!  But in charcoal and black it's very subtle, and not as feminine as I first thought it would be.  I think in these colours it would be a great cowl for a man - I have one in mind to try it out on, as I need to get all the measurements right.  I'm looking forward to trying out this pattern in contrasting colours too - I'm thinking black and hot pink!

I have done quite a bit of work on my tapestry sampler too ... but I'm not as excited about it, to tell you the truth ;)  Samplers ... SIGH!!  But I'm pleased with the colours I've chosen:

On kitty news, Misha asked me how Rosie was going - well, on the weekend she displayed a bag-fetish.  Where did this come from?  Suddenly she's obsessed with getting into bags!

Whereas Frankie has always been interested in bags ... mainly just sitting on them ;)

Charlie is a snob, and hates having her picture taken ... seriously, she's extremely talented at turning her head just when the picture is taken ;)

Oh, and I do post a lot more pictures on Instagram - if you're on there, please look up 'michellethreefold'!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

work in progress ... and some thoughts

Well, Mercury is Retrograde at the moment (Feb 23 - Mar 17), so it's a time of misinformation, misunderstandings and miscommunication. But on the positive side, it is also a time for reviewing our lives and revising our goals. So basically, Mercury Retrograde is full of mis- words and re- words :P

I've just started back with my tapestry studies - I'm doing Year 4 over two years, so I have time to fit in everything else in my life (including my new love of weaving). I've just started my first sampler. Let me just say right here that I HATE samplers!!! I know they are important in order to learn new techniques, but gee they are boring :P

I bought rare earth magnets from Aussie Magnets, which are brilliant for holding the cartoon in place. I just have to keep my phone away from them ;)

I'm also working on Tamara's double-length cowl in olive green and black - pretty happy with how it's going!  Anita suggested the width be only 15cm rather than the 19cm I had woven previously, since she said it was more comfortable.

I can't wait until it's cowl-wearing weather!!  The studio has been unbearably hot, so on the weekends I'm getting as much done as I can before the sun really hits in the afternoon.  One day we'll have to investigate getting an air conditioner up there, but the angles of the house make that a difficult prospect ;)

Mecury Retrograde also made me revise my direction as an artist/artisan.  After the lovely Dorothy Clews asked me to write an article about my Goth Deathrock Art Project for the American Tapestry Alliance, I realised that others were taking my artwork far more seriously than I was!  I realised that, at the age of 38, I really needed to grow up a bit and take responsibility for my creativity - this is not just a hobby.

I've always wanted Threefold Designs to be a business, however unrealistic that sounds.  But in the last week or two I have tried to shift my way of thinking in a psychological sense (since it's the psychological which holds us back, not the physical). 

I have an appointment with an accountant tomorrow morning (I've taken the day off) to discuss the (boring) legal side of having a business.  Even though I registered the name Threefold Designs back in 2004, I hadn't worried about the taxation issues because I haven't made any money out of it yet.  One of my subjects in my course this year is 'Address Legal And Administrative Requirements', and I realised that my knowledge in this area is pretty sketchy!

I also changed my Facebook name from Michelle Threefold to my real name, Michelle Driver.  Professional arts organisations (like the ATA) always like a person's real name to be used ... again a 'growing up' moment when someone commented that they hadn't heard my real name before (but had recognised my tapestry work, so had assumed it was me!).

I don't usually do memes ... but I couldn't resist, it was getting too serious around here! :P