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Posts tagged ‘Inspiration’

New crafting video uploaded despite stuff-ups!

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?!!

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

Vintage Kimono finally loves lavender

What do you do when your eco-printing results flop big time?

I’d forgotten just how disappointing that can be.  My latest creative efforts have been very satisfying, so I felt a bit slugged when today’s experiment went south.  In one day, I went from anticipation, to disappointment, to determination, to delight. Here’s how.

I’m in a real creative phase at the moment, and this morning woke up itching to dye something.  I rummaged in one of my cupboards and came across a brown paper bag stuffed to bursting with some old (literally – they’re vintage) linings from kimonos that a friend of mine gave me a couple of years ago to eco-print.

kimono silk.jpg

Using one oblong of silk that had once graced the inside of a kimono (and perhaps a geisha’s) sleeve, I set about eco-printing it with some kale slaw mix from Aldi, as I figured all the ingredients in that had potential to give up their dye.  I also threw on some cut red onion and a few lychee skins for good measure.

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All excited, I wrapped it tightly in a bundle and waited for it to steam.  Well, I didn’t wait, I distracted myself with another project until the timer went off.

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Like a kid in a toy shop, when it was cool enough, I unravelled the string and swept away the damp plant material … only to be massively disappointed.

The kale hadn’t left any marks, the lychees, only an imprint. The only marks given up had come reluctantly from the red cabbage, beetroot and onion.  After hanging the soaking strip out to dry, I was comforted to note a slight oxidation on the lychees, but overall, I had to admit that this wasn’t my most spectacular result.  The strongest part of the print was the smell – reminiscent of vegetable soup.

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As I had to do the weekly shopping, I set off to the shops in town, all the time pondering in the back of my mind how I could do the vintage silk more justice.  Cruising past the vegetables in IGA, my little eye spied a large red cabbage.  Perfect!  I brought it home heavily disguised as family food, then purloined it for a higher purpose. I must admit, knowing my two boys’ (husband and teenage son) taste in brassicas, it wouldn’t be hugely missed.

A few hours later of multi-tasking: dying with preparing the family dinner – which I didn’t think would be a problem with this eco-dye, considering the most toxic chemical I used to shift the dye colour was cooking salt – I eventually brought into life two unique creations.

The first was chicken Mediterranean style cooked with mirepoix, capsicum, passata and Moroccan spices which looked and tasted rather good, if you’ll pardon the self-praise.

The second was the rather gorgeous cabbage-dyed vintage kimono silk.

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I know, it looks like something I could have dragged out of a river in this photo, but as you’ll see shortly, it dried beautifully.

One amusing result was the queen’s head which imprinted from one of the 50 cent pieces that I ‘shirboried’ before dyeing.  I think the coin must have had a chemical on its surface, because the bright purple image is a lot sharper than the other shades of lavender from the cabbage.  Here it is directly after untying the bundle. Once dried and ironed, I noticed some interesting and unexpected small dark brown oval marks on the fabric.  It occurred to me suddenly that these marks were where the lychee skin had been, and it was possibly tannin from the skin that had highlighted the dye in those areas!

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Finally, here is the result, showing just how beautiful natural dyeing can be, especially when imparted onto a natural material, and in particular, one that has aged as gracefully as the Japanese lady who once wore it.

red-cabbage-kimono

Beach Wall hanging is finished!

At last, after showing you the felted first stage of my latest wall hanging, I’ve worked on it and now (apart from putting a backing onto it), it is finished and I thought I’d share a bit of the process for anyone interested.

First of all, here’s the finished wall hanging:

Moffat Beach wall hanging finished

The colours are actually brighter in real life than in this photo, and I’m very pleased how it has turned out.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had a “Can I do this?” moment, but after feeling very pleased with how my Mt. Coonowrin wall hanging turned out, I began this project with more than a little trepidation. Madame Doubt kept whispering “was the first wall hanging a one-off?”, “will I stuff up this next one?” in my ear and it took several weeks before I got up courage to begin, and lay the first tufts of blue sky.

Once it had been wet-felted though, I was happy that I have got a bit of a knack to doing this, and despite having to shave the bottom half of the project, could see in my mind’s eye how I would complete this work.

How I added detail

I needle felted a lot of detail, including fixing up shadows, adding silk noil to the sandy walkway, and grass details.  Toe make the She Oak trees look more realistic, I embroidered leaves on top of the felted leaf colour, which I think adds depth.

I didn’t like how the yarn had felted into the sea.  It had started off with a lot of blue in the variegated colours, but after wet felting, all I could see was maroon.  I spent time needle felting over these threads with various shades of blue wool and also turquoise silk tops.  Much better.

The waves were added by needle felting thin pieces of selvedge edges from tissue silk that I cut off before making scarves. By cutting off these denser edges, it ensures the wool rovings migrate right through the edge of the scarves.  Plus I get to use the selvedge edges for other projects, like the waves in this picture.  It is delicate enough to give that bubbly frothy white caps that form on the tops of waves as they approach the beach.

To finish, here’s a collage of pics, working up to the finished piece.

My next two are going to be smaller, longer thinner wall hangings – abstract in design but reflecting beach colours, and perhaps shells.

Anyway, here’s the gallery:

I would like to acknowledge Gusha Visual Media who have inspired my latest work with some of their photos of the Sunshine Coast. In particular, Moffat Beach, which is so beautiful, I wanted to try and capture the scene in felt.

Writing my book is like giving birth to an elephant

My personal transformation e-book that I mentioned in a previous blog post is coming along, although it’s like giving birth to an elephant.

After hitting the inevitable stumbling block or writer’s block where I have stopped in all previous attempts over the last few years (gawd, that’s a motivator), I’ve gritted my teeth and struggled along determined to continue.  I wallowed a lot in the introduction, getting caught up in confusion with how to present my story, the reason I’m writing this, the specific content and how much of the Bilderberg information I should share, not wanting to put anyone off before they even begin.

Then I read a synchronistic blog from Leonie Dawson, author of many helpful books and e-courses, some of which I’ve bought and find great – such as the amazingly helpful Business Goddess E-Course.  Leonie’s an Aussie woman … goddess… who’s a great teacher for me, especially in terms of seeing how she’s writing what she’s writing and how she manages to turn each blog into a sales pitch that is wrapped up in love, enthusiasm and inspiration.

I have to admit that envy sometimes rears its ugly head when I see her posts, as an old voice in my head sneers “What’s the point, it’s all been done before and better and more colourfully!”. But even though I weep inside at the difficulty of bringing the colour out of me – out of the darkness – this spurs me on because I know envy is showing me that somewhere within I don’t believe I can achieve this level of influence myself.  That belief is BS I know, but it is a deeply held belief with grungy gapped feelings attached, so work through it I will.

Actually, how I work through this kind of soul-sucking woundedness to get back to enthusiastic creativity is one of the topics in my own book.

Despite my shadow side feelings for this talented lady, I also truly love her genuine energy and am massively inspired by her ability to express who she is in such a way that she touches thousands.

I also went over a few of my past articles on my blog the latest of which I wrote yesterday, and actually like how I write.  So I’m coming to terms with the fact that while my book isn’t going to be written in a formal presentation, it will be written in such a way that appeals to readers who are similar to me and who will resonate with what I’m saying and appreciate how I’m saying it.

What I have learned from Leonie D is that her strength is in her authenticity.  So I don’t have to be like LD to be successful, and the world doesn’t need another LD or even a copycat LD.  The world needs me to be me.  And it needs you to be you.

This book then is pulling me out of me.  It is forcing me to find authentic expression in the written word.

Ocean of TranquillityI’ve already managed to successfully create popular guided relaxation CDs, and even got a couple of positive comments on the home video I made on Sunday of the open studio (much to my surprise.)   I am also able to translate an idea into a painting or a felt work as you can see from some of my posts here – and even am confident enough with that to stretch my boundaries each time I create a piece of art.

So, remembering I have a beautiful, from trust to lovefluffy, mushy, “fill your heart with love and your loins with lust” style contemporary romance (well, two), under my belt and quite a few blog posts I am happy with which are written in a more up beat and sometimes tongue in cheek way, I am digging deeper to discover my e-workbook voice.

What I have also learned from watching LD’s sales video is that she talks to her viewers in the same way she writes, to each one personally, as someone she adores and genuinely wants to assist. That makes it very attractive, I think because it is authentic to her and also because she addresses the ‘needy’/’wounded’/’suffering’/’aspiring’ goddess within me/other women.

So my book is causing me to research.  Not so much on the technical side, but definitely on the way it is written and how it is going to be presented.

My friend and mentor Ari’s (Aristomenes Christos Papageorgopoulos) latest facebook article also continued my momentum after reading it this morning.

Quote from Ari’s article “A Few Words on Discomfort, Passion and Creating our Reality”

“Solutions will not come from our comfort zones. That is my experience and sense of it. The treasure seeds that we can plant into our personal sense of manifesting our destiny potential come from our discomfort zones. It is their blossoming into consciousness as a sense of inspired understanding that often comes in our clearer moments. …

“I find one thing most important to remember regarding this. It is that most passion is found where the matrix tells us we should not go. So I say if you want to be something, be a revolutionary, for revolution is how the real world turns. Be a revolutionary, and make the world turn. Make it do so on your own terms of unadulterated authenticity voiced through your passion.”

So while my e-book feels like I’m giving birth to an elephant,  I’m going to keep writing!  I’m going to find and use my own authentic voice.  I’m going to make my world turn.  And when it’s ready, I’ll publish it for the whole world to read, so anyone who resonates can make their world turn too!

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Embracing the square long enough to be creative

Most of my felting is very free form in the way I put colours and design together.

blue green wool layout

Wool layout for a scarf that turned into a bag – in navy, turquoise, aqua, cerise pink

It starts like this … and I feel my way with the project, which is a very organic coming together of colours and patterns until I love, love, love it!

If I’m working for someone, I focus on their energy while I’m working.  That’s something I can’t explain to anyone left brained enough to want proof, but it’s a thing I do when I’m making felt, that also helps me get accurate readings for folks when they come see me for tarot readings.  I think it’s a genetically inherited ability because my dad used to get psychic insights in front of those old roaring log fires way back when people actually used real trees instead of those ceramic logs that zip into flame with tongues of ignited natural gas.

Anyhow, I digress.

I’ve been thinking about felt designs today as I’ve rolled out pastry in my part-time job – which I have to say is the best little job in our small town, and which I sincerely try to fit into – but honestly, it’s a bit like a star-shaped peg squeezing herself into a square-shaped hole.  It’ll work some of the time, but the rest of the time either the star gets cramp in her pointy bits, or the square gets prickly trying to reinforce its shape.  (You’ve can’t help but feel empathy for both the star and the square really).  Again, here’s another area where I’ve done my best to conform, but my arty intuitive self just keeps failing!

Normally, I’d balk at the thought of failing at anything, but this time I’ve come to realise, failure can sometimes be a kind of self-preservation at the soul level. Being a bit of an intuitive people pleaser means I can’t stand to feel the square reinforcer’s (and I use that term symbolically to illustrate my point here) irritation at my inadvertent bucking of the system – or should I say systems – as the whole job is broken down into methodical, productive systems – but I’m learning to live being constantly corrected for the sake of my sanity.

I also admit that I can be a bit of a square reinforcer at home when my pointy star-shaped teenage son shines brightly all over the place but doesn’t stop anywhere long enough to finish a job… “Oy, empty the recycle bin!!”  Enough said.

So, there I was today, body doing the job, mind doing its own thing when it could, and I thought how nice it would be to embrace the square long enough to be able to do the part-time job better and also to create something more tailored than my usual freehand style of design.

I was commissioned at Christmas to create a black scarf with a “reserved pattern” for someone who doesn’t like to stand out in a crowd, but whom I’ve met once and was impressed by her vivaciousness which I think under other circumstances or cultural background may be more forthright.  The scarf I made for her was quite challenging at first, as I had to put some actual left-brain logical thought sequencing to the structure of the design and colours.

However, I think I achieved a nice marriage of logical and intuitive because the finished scarf was so lovely, I would have kept it for myself had I not promised it to my customer!  This is what it looked like:

Scarf in black merino wool with red silk hankies and grey silk chiffon inlays and rovings, nuno felted onto silk chiffon

Scarf in black merino wool with red silk hankies and grey silk chiffon inlays and rovings, dimensional wool, nuno felted onto silk chiffon

So despite my initial anxiety at creating this scarf, I fell in love with it.

And it is this boxy black and grey scarf that is the inspiration for my next work.  Simple, structured design but using colours that are bold yet harmonious.

With the Easter long weekend coming up, I’m looking forward to playing!

On a more practical theme

I had a great day at a local craft market last weekend and have a big excuse to get creative over the long weekend this Easter.

Hand dying wool and silk rovings,

Hand dying tissue silk,

Hand dying pre-felt batts,

Putting it all together and making …

Scarves

…………………. Purses

…………………………………. Mobile phone cases

…………………………………………………….. Cute little keepsake purses

Now I’m searching for some inspiration. 🙂

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esothemes

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