Friday, December 28, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Well it has been said that women are great multi-taskers but I have never really found that myself.
However I would say that cooking and dyeing are almost one and the same.

Mum's family ham recipe and dyeing with red cabbage.
Careful when it comes to serving, Jude!

Seasons Greetings to one and all

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Now Seven Days

I am still happily dyeing and producing...Christmas really is fitting around the wedding.

I have pre-mordanted this length of humble calico with soy milk and it's been stuck in a oniony/eucalyptus dye bath which was already a couple of weeks old, removed the science experiment from the top before immersion.
Used my favourite pieces of rusty tin as the mordant.
During the dyeing process, I went out to run some errands and completely forget about the calico.
When I returned the pot had dried up....

This will definitely make for a very interesting piece of cloth

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A moment at 11 days

Busy in Belgrave getting flowers ordered and thankyous bought and then...a moment, just a moment.
One of the wedding waistcoats hanging in the window of the sewing studio

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 Days to go

Amanda and Paul's wedding is more my focus this Christmas and with my new birthday present iPad, I am attempting to document the run up to Christmas through my obsession with creating the best Naturally Dyed wedding in the world!

So, with correct apps downloaded and armed with photos on this beautiful new tool, here I go!

Featured are the calico backings from the little Lily and Arwen's dresses.
The technique is hapa-zome, taught to me by India Flint. This is the first time I have used it in my own work since the workshop and the results are scintillating.

The dresses are off to meet the girls and gain approval or/and await the tweaks which is every woman's perogative.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

...and so it begins

As the date is 6th December, is seems appropriate that I am starting to post about Paul and Amanda's wedding which will be on 6th January!
Preparations, measurings, fittings, discussions, brain-stormings, not to mention coffees have been have been taking place for many months but now is 'the business end' of the project. A time to pull it all together, consolidate and relish the fruits of our labours. Amanda's 'team' assembled last Thursday for a walk through and I must SEW! Sew, like I've never sewn before!

I visited ZiguZagu and bought some delicious vintage kimono silk. A really big roll, tied up with string allowing beautiful purplish leaf prints to caress it's surface, thanks to a big bar of iron.

The Wedding Dress Angel

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Not Just Nat

My friends, Nat Palaskas and Jacky Williams did a workshop earlier in the year. When I advertised again, I included them but never expected that they would be coming back for more....but they did! And this time they invited some of her friends, Dot and Ro to come to my studio for another Naturally Dyed Workshop.
To say we had fun is not enough!
I have been trying to 'blog' about our day all week but a broken computer and work for the Naturally Dyed Wedding have conspired against me.
However, tonight as I sit with a glass of wine (well-earned), reflecting on a wondrous day at Grassroots Market in Upwey and leafing through the blogs of the week...I see a solution.

The ladies have documented their day better than I ever could.
So I direct you Nat's blog....thank you Nat!
or Jacky's blog....thank you Jacky
or here...Ro's blog....thank you Ro

and gorgeous Dot, didn't get your personal blog, if you have one and made a record of the day, I would LOVE to see it!

Til next time xx

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fun in the Sun

Well, Sunday was a glorious day and I was thankful. The studio space can be a little cold, due to the fact that I have two missing window panes from over exuberant young men with footy balls! But I was blessed, the sun warmed us up; in the morning, the smell of eucalyptus tickled our noses and in the afternoon we tolerated the red cabbage for the sake of our 'art'! Another great day at Bye-Ways and we all went away a little the wiser and a little more gripped by the world of natural dyeing.

This rusted chain is still working it's magic on the hand-felted scarf.

Some very experimental use of stamens from the Arum Lilies mixed with wild mint and red onion skins.

Who could ever tire of onion skins? The Navajo Indians admired the humble Allium Cepa as did the marauding masses in Europe for it's easily extractable colour...and we love it too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My little Helper

Apart from sharing ideas, spending time with like minded people and creating some magical marks on cloth, another bonus in running workshops is the impetus to organise, cull and generally clean up the creative space.
I did alot of dyeing yesterday. Each piece; I considered the destiny of each piece...pot, sewing project, butterfly, already good and don't know then happily filed them in the appropriate basket.

Lobey helped....

........and then fell asleep!

Monday, October 22, 2012


I have many balls in the air, many plates spinning and (my favourite) my hands in many pots at the minute.
End of the Line Festival in Belgrave is just one of them and it's a totally exhilarating project to be part of. It's the inaugural year and hats off to CJ and Brent from Limerence, ably aided with their band of trusty organisers for instigating this.

Go to the website HERE of like on facebook HERE

But most importantly put it in your diary for
Saturday 24th November

This is the space I will be inhabiting for the day. It's the tranquil space, a place to take one's ease, a place to plan your next move, a place to chew the fat. Other artists will be there too, performing, playing and exhibiting, workshopping, teaching....just confirming who this week....super exciting.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Workshop Update

Only 1 space left for the 28th October...11th November and 18th November are still available.

Beavering away with Paul and Amanda's wedding, scarves to sell at an up-coming exhibition and a festival in Belgrave....spring really has sprung!

And who's decided to renovate the studio at space at this moment in time?
That would be me!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Spring Workshops

Naturally Dyed

Explore the art of natural dyeing using locally sourced plant materials in this eco-friendly experimental workshop. In this workshop, we will share knowledge and investigate
·         Which fabrics dye well and why
·         How to get dye from natural sources
·         How to mordant (fix) the dye to the fabric.
Most importantly you will gain the knowledge to continue experimenting at home.

When                      Sun  14th October 2012         
                                    Sun 21st October 2012                                  
Sun   28th October 2012  
Sun   11th November  2012   
Sun   18th November  2012

How much       $80

Where              My Studio,  contact

What to bring
·          Light coloured 100% silk or wool fabric - preferably second hand, like some of the old wool blankets you can get in op shops! 100% linen and cotton will dye but to a lesser degree. Fabrics can be in small pieces or long lengths
·          Interesting bits of old metal (eg, copper, iron) up to 30cm long - rust is great, as is texture
·          Cord, thick wool or metal wire to bind pieces Thread, assorted needles, bulldog clips
·          An apron, gloves, notepad and pen

Dyes, mordants and some suitable fabric will be provided. This list is not exhaustive.
If you feel inspired to bring anything else, please do... sharing and swapping of items encouraged!

This is a one day workshop running from 10.00 to 4.30.
Please email me with your preferred date.
Classes are limited to 5 students
Arrangements for payment will be offered once classes are consolidated.

Lots of fun for everyone. Last summer the workshops were as much about sharing and having a day to be free and be imaginative, as they were about learning a new skill. I have included two links from students (now good friends!) from last year which gives the best overview in the world

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Wedding begins

Not the image you might expect from the title...some dyed fabric hanging on a clothes dyer, in my bath. What a see, I'm getting to use all fabric pieces from many past projects to create garlands to decorate the wedding venue. It's a process of sifting and choosing and stitching and is a delight, a sheer delight! Metres and metres of recycled silk creating magic staircases of wonderment

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Springtime...time to spring!

My studio, my wonderful space that I LOVE! My studio, my wonderful space that I love...when it's warm. As much as I embrace the image of the struggling artist living in the garret, I don't want to be one. In winter, I move my work out and it co-exists with family life and consequently is moved frequently to accommodate family meals, children at play and recalcitrant puppies who may just have the urge for a chew.
But now spring is in the air and big scale work begins with a vengeance.
Luckily for me, I have two projects to kick start that creative process.
A wedding to style, naturally of course and a performance at End of the Line Festival.

So the new dog, Lobey and I better get down to more posing for photography students like Jess...thanks Jess, love the shot...gets those pots simmering and those bundles rolling...there's work to be done.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Leaving on a jet Plane...not a silk one!

Tomorrow, we're hopping on a plane (or a few) and going to Ireland, Morocco and England for five weeks.
This is my piece at Burrinja and I was wondering why I had been so obsessed with making silk 'paper' planes until I am writing this post. Five weeks of new experiences and reconnecting with the old ones.
 What an adveture is ahead of us all.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Well, I had to post it, hope you can enlarge the media copy but at least you won't miss the 'oh sexy on cloth shot' xx 4 sleeps! very excited x


The gallery space is ready and the butterflies are jolly. Natural dyes are simmering in huge pots, the aroma permeating the air with a homely scent. Just the signs to erect and the mulled wine to make and we should be scheduled for a great weekend.....maybe I need to give that studio space a tidy too!

Remember, there are lots of studios to visit this weekend of
You can plan you route online, how very clever.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Show UP !

This is my third year doing Open Studios. What a journey! Its so amazing living in the hills surrounded by creative folk who pop their heads out of their studio spaces once a year and come together to celebrate. Yes! celebrate, being an artist and not creating art in a void. The comfort that others around you are in the same place, head space, zone, sometimes state of disarray! 

Opening night is Friday 18th May at Burrinja, Glenfern Road, Upwey from 6.30pm


BUT......after that all studios are open on 26th and 27th May......I'm NUMBER 10

Show's going up and mulled wine will be on tap to warm you up!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Open Studios 2012

The opening of our group exhibion is Friday 18th May at 7.00pm in the Jarmbi Gallery, Burrinja.
A thriving creative hub in Upwey, just east of Melbourne

There are lots of other fantastic artists to peruse on this website but I thought I would start you of with ME!

Monday, April 30, 2012


My piece for Burrinja Open Studios Group show is planes, photographed from an obtuse angle. Well I don't want to reveal my hand just yet!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spirals of Metal

Scrap metal yards are one of my favourite places to visit, sporadically, as is my want and I find pieces of beauty like nowhere else. This spiral of metal is a great example, I mean.....yes! I could have selected a piece of metal and twisted it into that voila! but that piece of 'found' metal had already been melded into that position for a reason and then was vanquished to the bin.
A fortuitous meeting one day and in my studio, it has played it's part in the dyeing process, making it's mark on silk and mordanting the colour to the cloth and now, it embellishes my textile work.
Plucked from imminent metal melt-down, bet that piece never thought it would have a life like this!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lets get this Show on the Road

Just easing back into the creative blogging which I have seriously neglected...a picture a day... may be the way!

Friday, March 16, 2012

I luv ya...t'marra!

Opening tomorrow at 3.30pm at Burrinja. Everyone welcome, children and big people alike. Marty, Mike and myself will be at Grassroots Market in Upwey from 9am til 2pm. Its going to be such an exciting day! AND did anyone mention that it's St. Patricks Day too...'you're only a day.... aaa..wayyy!'