Friday, 27 April 2012

New burlap items

There is still a pile of coffee sacks in my sewing room* and I keep thinking about what to do with them. Do you like this fabric postcard? ;-) I have just added it to my shop on Etsy!

A loyal customer asked if I could make burlap coasters. Of course! I have sent a set of eight to her and this set of four is now for sale. (I've also made one for hubby)

This Burlap Cafe ACEO (ATC) has also been added to the shop - it was just a fun thing, to use up some small pieces of burlap, interfacing and muslin/calico.

I do love burlap! Any more ideas on what to do with it? I'm thinking aprons, bookcovers, Kindle covers... Would love to hear your suggestions! And would you be interested in a tutorial in how to make these cards and coasters?

* I need to get used to calling my sewing room a studio as I am joining the SAQA Oceania Studio Blog Hop in May! More info about this soon!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Blue Rose selected

Yesterday I received a letter telling me that my quilt Blue Rose has been selected for inclusion in the PETITE miniature TEXTILES exhibition at the Wangaratta Art Gallery in Wangaratta, Victoria, from 16 June until 22 July 2012. Yay!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Etsy Shop Feature: Mary Ann Farley Art

'Chapeau', original mixed media painting

Today in my Etsy series I am featuring one of my favourite shops; Mary Ann Farley Art. I just adore the lovely lady in the painting above!

Here are Mary Ann's answers to the questions I asked her:

Who is behind MaryAnnFarley Art?

Just me, Mary Ann Farley, resident of Hoboken, NJ and the world at large.

ACEO/ATC Art Giclee print 'Cabaret'

Tell us about your work process

I generally create paintings of all sizes, then translate them into items that I sell in my shop, like pendants, lockets, rings, bags, journals, etc. It’s a way that people can enjoy my artwork without having to spend a lot of money. Plus, I love the idea of “wearable art.” There’s something fun about loving a particular image, then looking down at your hand and seeing that image in your ring or necklace. They’re usually great conversation pieces!

As for my painting process, last year I was stenciling lace onto canvas as a background, then painting an image in the foreground. It gave the piece this odd 3-D effect, even without creating shadows! I’ve done just two of these so far, and have another prepped.

As they’re pretty labor-intensive, at the moment I’m working a little smaller, either on paper or on a small canvas. This year, I’ve branched out into doing mixed media works that have collage elements. I love the idea of putting text into a work, which a lot of artists frown upon. But as I’m also a writer by nature, I can’t help myself…it’s going to happen a lot more as time goes on, I think.

As long as the words are somewhat obscured into the piece, they can work incredibly well and can have the effect of being a little treasure. As you’re looking at the painting, suddenly you discover this little thought or phrase. I like that.
As for the creation of my jewelry, the hardest part is getting that image under glass without any bubbles. This has become the bane of my existence! Sometimes I have to make three pieces in order for one to come out just right, because the bubbles don’t always show up right away. It can truly be a recipe for insanity, but at least the bulk of my jewelry is made, for the time being. As each piece sells, I then make future pieces as custom orders.

'Louise Brooks' Bronze Locket

Where do you get your ideas from?

Some images literally just pop out of my head, while others are inspired either by pre-Renaissance religious icons, which I adore, or even artists here on Etsy, who are amazing! I can’t begin to tell you how many favorites I have. They level of quality can be astounding, but I also love outsider art. I’m also inspired by how well so many of these artists are selling! I’ve had my shop since 2007, but it just sat there for years, until August of 2011, when I relaunched it in earnest. I’ve been working like a dog on it ever since, easily putting in 10 hours a day most days.

I also just bought a new digital camera, a DSLR, so I plan on taking a lot of pictures this spring to use as sources as well, mainly for color inspiration.

There Lay a Rose (Print)

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I’ve been a writer and editor most of my adult life, which has been the job that pays the bills. Unfortunately, in the last decade I became quite ill with a serious blood clotting disorder, that left me in a lot of pain.

For years, I’d also been a singer/songwriter, and even put out two successful albums, but when I became ill, I just couldn’t perform or tour anymore, so that’s when I turned to art. I also turned to my writing, and I keep a blog about my chronic pain journey, which has been so helpful not only to me, but to others who suffer similarly. I plan on having more surgery this year in hopes to finally rid myself of this terrible ordeal, but at least the writing has helped heal my soul.

I invite anyone who suffers with something unthinkable in their lives to read and comment. I don’t blog as much as I used to, and lately, my posts have been more about creativity. But if one were to read previous posts in the last three years or so, I think they’d find a lot of support there. And, of course, they can always reach out to me personally. (Find Mary Ann's blog here)

'Aviatrix' Blank Journal

Mary Ann Farley Art links:

Saturday, 14 April 2012

State of the Art quilt 12 at Gallery 159

Today the State of the Art quilt 12 exhibition opened at Gallery 159 in The Gap, Brisbane. Mel took this photo of me next to my quilt,
The Final Round.

I made this quilt in May - July 2011 and have shown some sneak peeks here last year. Very glad to finally be able to show the full quilt!

It was hanging upstairs in the gallery in very good company: next to Mel's quilt Platforms and Sue Dennis' quilt Roundel (only partly visible here). Downstairs another 13 quilts were exhibited:

Sue's quilt was my favourite in this show; it was simply stunning:

I also really liked this one: Waterline by Felicity Clarke:

And this one: Living Threads by Rosemary McCall, made with beautiful silk fabrics (read more about it here):

And finally this one, Number Nuances by Tricia Smout - brilliant!

I had often heard about Gallery 159 but never visited it before. It's a lovely place and even the bathroom sign is a piece of textile art!

When I left the exhibition there was a double rainbow outside waiting for me and my camera!

The exhibition is at Gallery 159, 159 Payne road, The Gap, Brisbane until Sunday 29th April 2012. Gallery hours: Saturdays & Sundays 11am to 4pm. Entry is free, so if you are in Brisbane, do go and have a look!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Journal quilts at AQC in Melbourne

I wish I was in Melbourne this weekend! The Australasian Quilt Convention is taking place there now and I would love to go and see it... Unfortunately that is not going to happen, but it's a nice thought that my country quilts are there, with the other journal quilts of the Australian and New Zealand Art Quilters.

Many thanks to fellow Aus/NZ Art Quilter Sue Collins for sending me these photos! (and her husband John for taking them!)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Etsy Shop Feature: Liquid Silver Designs

Ocean Waves Pendant

Today in my Etsy shop series I am featuring Liquid Silver Designs. I love their beautiful and original jewellery! Lucy kindly answered some questions I asked about her and her shop:

Who is behind Liquid Silver Designs?

My name is Lucy. I'm a metal clay artist living in the beautiful county of Suffolk in the UK. I started Liquid Silver Designs at the beginning of of the year in order to share my passion for creating beautiful everyday jewellery with the rest of the world.

My love for metal clay started when my mum bought me some craft books. Among them was one about metal clay and I discovered what seemed to be some form of modern alchemy! (in fact the science behind it is quite simple) I began by making pieces for myself and family.

When a few friends started asking for custom pieces, I started looking around at other jewellery designers. What I discovered was that although the silver jewellery I found was very beautiful, they were often statement pieces and not affordable everyday pieces I could see myself wearing on a daily basis.

So I created Liquid Silver Designs, supported by my family and friends. You asked me who is behind Liquid Silver?... well it is my wonderful support network! They have given me the help and confidence I needed to jump into the online craft market.

Cutout Heart Earrings

Tell us about your work process

My work process is rarely consistent. Often one idea will change into another, evolving as it takes shape but the basics are always the same.

Anything you can do with clay you can do with metal clay. Firstly pieces are shaped and molded into a rough idea, then refined once the clay has dried.

Each piece is then fired at a high temperature to just below melting point which binds the silver together and brushed sanded and polished by hand.

Lollypop Pendant

Where do you get your ideas from?

I take my ideas for the most part from mother nature. I love the variety of shapes, textures and colour you can find. I will often collect things when I am out and about like twigs, leaves and flowers to name a few.

I also love to garden and I'm very lucky to have a large south facing garden which is lovely in the summer! I grow many plants and trees often just because I love their foliage and flowers and want to replicate them in my work.

Blue and Yellow Polka Dot Bangle

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

My other big passion in life is for herpetology, which is the study of reptiles and amphibians. I particularity love snakes, I find them completely fascinating! I keep several species including Royal Pythons, Boas, Crested Geckos and not forgetting my pride and joy, my albino Burmese Python.

I'm also a member of my local reptile group which holds various events from talks to creature events where members of the public can come along and meet members and their animals. I believe events like this are very important giving people a chance to interact with animals they might ordinarily not come into contact with.

Triple Hearts Pendant

Liquid Silver Designs links:

Through the whole of April you get 15% off anything at Liquid Silver Designs using code CFAPR12 at checkout!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Etsy Front Page!

While I was away during the Easter weekend my Burlap Cappuccino Bookmark made the front page on Etsy! Woohoo! Another milestone reached :-).

We were at our caravan at Wooyung Beach, of course, and had a great time. The weather was gorgeous; sunny but not too hot. I've made hundreds of photos - the one above is probably my favourite (more on my photo blog). And I found lots of shells:

It's been quite hard to get back to the routines of daily life this time... but luckily it's still the school holidays, and we plan to go back to Wooyung this weekend!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Etsy Shop Feature: Vividplease

Penny Bag

Today in my Etsy series I'm featuring Vividplease, a very funky shop. They are based in Edinburgh, one of my favourite cities. Read all about them here!

Who is behind Vividplease?
Vivid are a creative duo living in Edinburgh, Scotland. We met whilst working together at an advertising agency and started making things when we found it difficult to get what we wanted in the shops. We then started up our blog and opened our online shop when we realized others liked what we do and felt the same way.

Ice Cream Van Photo

Tell us about your work process
Unlike many Etsy shops, we offer a wide variety of products. We sell illustrated prints and retro photographs, cards and note pads, engraved pencils, tote bags, lunch bags and have just started making accessories too. As we do a little bit of everything, there is no specific process that we use. Our concepts are the consistency though our work as you will see a lot of cheeky double entendres and a kitsch twist in everything we do. We find we come up with the ideas quite easily, then we get itchy feet and run off to make it as quickly as we can. I can't concentrate until the idea is on paper, then get really excited and don't do anything else until it is made! We probably spend more time on the promoting and marketing side of things as we make so many different things, but we don't mind though as we love what we do!

Hello Pips Brooch

Where do you get your ideas from?
We find a lot of our ideas come from our daily lives. We love markets and car boot sales so you will often find us rummaging across our inspirations. We are both avid collectors so take a lot of inspiration from the characters and items we find. You can't really come up with good ideas when you are sitting there trying to come up with one, so when we get stuck we like to get out and forget about everything. Getting the banter with friends and singing along to Elton John always works a treat!

You're So My Type Print

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
We love vintage things, so thrifting is pretty important to us. I'm going through a bit of a nesting period so hunting down treasures for my apartment takes up a lot of my time! We also love to travel about the UK as it is full of hidden gems. We recently went to Blackpool and had the time of our lives! Music is also important to us and we have just picked up tickets to a festival in August. Having things to look forward to is the best feeling in the world.

Geek Stationery Set

Vividplease links: