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Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

My Vision for Arts and Crafts

StagI’ve been writing today.  I managed to make time to allow this surge of passion pull me along in its creative wake.

Spurred on by Patreon’s potential, I wrote a little more in a post about what my Vision is for my YouTube channel, and why it is so exciting for me.

If you’re interested in learning more about how I see my YouTube channel’s possibilities, visit my Patreon post.

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Funding for creators and artists 

Balancing art creation with work to pay for living expenses can be frustrating and draining for artists, who have the muse nagging at us and a creative fire in the belly that is difficult to appease, while doing a regular job – whatever that may be for each of us.

Over the years, I have often quietly felt that I’m selling my soul for fiscal responsibilities in a world that is skewed to favour the more business minded soul. Yet, while one part of my heart has often yearned for the freedom of self-expression, another part has been determined to support my family as best as I can. I know I’m not alone in this, I regularly hear creator mums voicing their struggle with this same conundrum.

Perhaps there is valuable learning in the juggling. I know I have learned a lot about myself, within the constraints of time. I have met and made some inspiring friends at each place of work. I’ve also learned new crafting techniques that I perhaps wouldn’t have turned to had they not been an ideal fit to weekend creative freedom.

Please don’t get me wrong, I actually love my current place of work and haven’t got enough fingers and toes to count the blessings I’ve received while working there.  In fact, the supportive environment and accepting colleagues have actually helped me to more clearly understand and accept myself … and that includes validating my artistic nature more deeply myself.

In recent months I’ve found myself mentally beginning afresh as motherly responsibility seeps away with the sands of time and my son is now an adult. 

What to do with myself in the next phase of my life?

New found freedom from parenting provides me extra weekend time to make creative tutorial videos and I’m happy that these are proving useful and popular. But this has left me wanting more. More time to create art. More time to make jewellery. More time to shoot and edit footage.

Funding found

The most exciting discovery an artist can make which has the potential to free up time for creation, is patreon.com.

Patreon is a win-win platform for artists and patrons alike. Artists find patronage (like crowd funding) but the beauty is patrons can pledge from as little as $1, and there are different pledging tiers plus they receive rewards back from the artist for their support.

I love it. So if you’re an artist with the dilemma of making more of a passive income from fans so you can provide them with more of your creative bounty, check it out.

My page shows how I’ve arranged my rewards for patrons. Do become a patron of mine if you’re inspired – it’ll be a great journey with you coming aboard early on!

If you’re a creator and want to get your own page, if you use this link, we can both benefit.

I’d love to hear from you about your artistic vs financial responsibility experiences, struggles and triumphs.

Whatever your thoughts are on funding, I wish you a creative flow that is fulfilling for you.

#funding #artists #creators #patreon.com #patronage #fundingforartists #money #time to #create

New crafting video uploaded despite audio alerts!

Nuno felt eco printed closeup.jpg

Don’t you love it when you’ve promised yourself an early night and have everything nicely uploading to YouTube, for a smooth publish, including subtitles and a nice little hand-made thumbnail – then listening to the newly published video you realise some of the background music is more foreground music? When you listen to the video, you are suddenly jarred into alert!!

Gawd.  So what do you do?  Stomp around swearing with a-gnashing-of-teeth?

I sure felt like it.  But would be the point of that?  I’d end up with high blood pressure and a few years of enamel ground down off my molars, and I’d still have to re-upload the video.  I mean, I wouldn’t want anyone watching it with headphones to have their eardrums blasted into their amygdalas.

So, deep breath, stoic expression, shuffle around on typing chair and off we go again.

Back into Premiere Pro, fine-tuning the audio gain, re-compressing for YouTube, waiting for half an hour for re-compression only to find the pc’s been waiting for me to answer “do you want to save over your old file?” “YESSSS!!!”. Back to lounge for another half an hour.  Upload and wait for two or so hours, while I re-write the tags, but thankfully only paste the description as at least one part of me had been alert during the process.

So, now it’s all loaded, with subtitles re-edited, and a nice new end template to boot.

YouTube have kindly notified Twitter, who is kindly posting on my Facebook page, so all I have left to do is notify a couple of other felting and eco-printing sites and I’m good to go – to bed that is.

It’s way past my bed time and of course, it coincides with the one day I’ve arranged to start walking with my husband at some crack of dawn hour tomorrow morning!

Having had a proper whinge now though, (and thank you for reading this far, I really appreciate you ‘listening’), I must say, I love the video.  It isn’t long, but I think it’s quite a good tutorial.  I mean, if you like felting and eco-dyeing and want to learn to make a nuno felt scarf that you can eco-dye for extra dimension and colour, it’s definitely the video for you! Check it out here.

Overall

Black, Turquoise and Orange felt scarf

Getting ready for the CWA Twilight Markets now moved to 18th April because of lots of rain in SE Queensland, I made a nuno felt scarf the other day.

It is totally different to anything I’ve made before and I love it!

Using a thin strip of black chiffon, I laid the wool rovings well over the edge to get a softer edging. I also made some pre-felts of bright orange and turquoise/teal which I cut and laid out on the top with other bits of wool shapes and lots of hand-dyed silk tops.

It was fun to make as I haven’t felted much lately and I was very eager to see the outcome of this one.

Here are a couple of pics – not the best quality, but you get the idea:

Nuno felt scarf - Black, turquoise and orange

Nuno felt scarf – Black, turquoise and orange

So many eco-tees!

…And lots of other things as well!

Since I wrote my last post, I have bundled, boiled, dried, rinsed, dried and ironed quite a few new eco-printed shirts and tees. All ready for the CWA Easter Art & Craft Twilight Market on 4th April.

Rather than bore you with the details, which are similar as for previous posts, I’ll add a gallery of my latest beautiful nature-painted clothes.

I’ve taken photos of them in the last few moments of sunlight in front of our mini-rainforest – so the colours of the eco-dyed clothes are enhanced by the trees and bushes, and natural light.

Eco tees, black bean dye and Gratitude Cards …

Some silk and cotton prints.

Some silk and cotton prints.

… My feet haven’t touched the ground lately! Well, they have really, thank goodness, to keep me grounded with so much creativity bursting into life after a year of drought!

I’ll be updating this blog tomorrow with all the goodies that have been birthing, but here is a quick photo of some of the eco-dyeing to whet your appetite!

 

First two decks of Gratitude cards!

Over-dyeing with eucalyptus

A few days ago, I experimented dyeing an old tee shirt and cotton scarf which had not been mordanted, but had been washed. I used turmeric and paprika powders from my cupboard and eco-printed with Eucalyptus cinerea leaves dipped in iron water.

After boiling for 2 hours the result was bright yellow turmeric areas, with smudgy black leafy areas.  I dried them but wasn’t really happy with them. I just don’t like the colours! They’re too garish. I didn’t really think it through but just grabbed what I had in the pantry!

Yellow Tee shirt yellow scarf

Undeterred, and not liking to waste a good under-painting, I washed them and dipped in milk/water mordant then dried again.

Today after dipping in water/milk again, I laid out a heap of Eucalyptus leaves from my garden and Eucalyptus cinerea that had been soaking in water with a bit of vinegar.

Yellow tee with leavesThen they got bundled up and as I write they’re still boiling in a bath of water stocked with more eucalyptus leaves and bark.

bundle Tee bundle with bands

There was space in the top of the pot to place an upturned colander, so I bundled up some more paper and leaves (just Eucalyptus leaves this time) and stashed them on there. I covered the pot with al-foil, and secured it with string to keep the steam in.

After a couple of hours or so, I’ll take them all out and leave the cloth as long as I can before opening them.  Good luck with that Madame Impatience!

Blue and eucalyptus eco dyeing

Blue bundlesOoh, what’s in the bundles?  They’re blue and tightly wrapped.  There’s a bit of brown showing through too …

On Monday, I spent the day catching up on unfinished business.  The business of eco-dyeing.  I’ve had such a sparse time of it over the last few months because of work commitments that I was pretty damn stir crazy by the time I’d gathered my leaves and excitedly brought home my first bunch of Eucalyptus Cinerea from the florists.

The other leaves were collected from my driveway and garden, blown roughly to the ground by cyclone Marcia that made her way through our town a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily, Marcia had spent her energy except for gallons of rain that she dumped on us on her way down from Yepoon where she’d crossed from the ocean to the land.

Our normally fairly dry creek burst its banks due to the constant downpour and king tides that had something to do with keeping the river backed up with water for a day or two.  Here’s one of the local road on the first morning …

159

As you can imagine, lots of children were hugely disappointed at not being able to attend school – along with adults who also couldn’t make work because the roads were cut off…

Disappointed.  Sure.  *Smiles*.

Anyway, while cyclone Marcia brought devastation to homes and crops north of here, along with flooding to the south, she did kindly provide me with windfall leaves that I eagerly collected for my dye pot.

I had two second-hand cotton tee shirts that I’d pre-mordanted a few months ago and kept until I had the time to dye them.

Sunday was that day.

I was so eager to get the bundles into the pot that I forgot to photograph the layout of the leaves.  Sorry about that.

Anyhow, here’s the reveal, with a selection of photos. I love the shade of blue imparted by the natural Aquarelle botanic liquid dye.

After they’d dried, I rinsed them in water to wash off remnants of leaves and mordant.  Then ironed them.  Then hung them out to dry.  They have lost some of their depth of colour, but I have to say, I really love them and am pleased at how they’ve turned out.

I also now have two eco-dyed silk scarves using the same eco colour palette.  Here they are side by side.  What do you think?

Two blue scarves with eucI love the tie die lines from the bundling string on the bottom scarf.  I also love the depth of colour from the leaves on the other scarf.

My next project was two un-mordanted cotton items that I stuffed with leaves, tied and boiled in turmeric water.  That produced an interesting result. But more on that next blog post.

Dyeing to show you Tee and Scarf

After about a year of drought in the creative department, I am happy to say I feel a sense of surge of passion for dyeing and felting again!  Here is a sneak peek of two eco-dyeing projects from yesterday. They’re still drying and will be washed and re-dryed to make sure there’s no mordant left before wearing, but I wanted to show you the results.

I used saved onion skins and various eucalyptus leaves from my garden.

This one is the silk scarf, still wet and just unbundled. The reds of the onion skins are showing well!

This one is the silk scarf, still wet and just unbundled. The reds of the onion skins are showing well!

Tee shirt onion and euc

This one is a close up of the tee shirt – showing how well the eucalyptus leaves and onion skins have developed. I also love how there are dark patches with white lines, from the string I tied the bundle with!

Testing raspberry, blueberry and red cabbage

Today I have set up a test using calico (pre-mordanted with alum) in raspberry, blueberry and red cabbage dyes using cold extraction in the presence of (1) vinegar and (2) ammonia.

The berries are frozen, and the red cabbage came straight from the fridge, as I believe after reading India Flint’s book that heat can alter the colouring, whereas extracting dyes from frozen can often produce brighter, more vibrant results.

I put a teaspoon of household ammonia in the alkaline pots (it is really stinky lol), and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar in the acid pots.

I am using tap water so this will also alter outcome as it has not been filtered.

In each glass jar is one small piece of calico and also a small piece of calico bundled with the material and tied with an elastic band.

Hopefully my patience will last for a week and I’ll leave these in the shade to develop.

 

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