Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vintage Ephemera pack

I have just put a new item in my etsy shop, while making up packs for the upcoming fair.

I have included various papers and ephemera for your vintage mixed media art.this sheet of images is included in the pack, images from a french photo album I was given when I was in Europe a few years ago. If you are interested go take a look.

Friday, July 24, 2009

WA Craft - Quilt and Stitch Show

Next Friday, Saturday and Sunday we are exhibiting at the WA Craft - Quilt and Stitch Show and we have been working our fingers to the bone preparing and making sure we have enough stock etc. Joanne is demonstrating Painting on canvas using Caran d'ache water colour crayons and Golden Fluid paint, that will keep her out of trouble while look at what everyone else is doing. Other years we have run a class there, but found it took us away from the stall for 2 hours at a time. Will be much better demonstrating at the stall where the product is at hand. This fair is always a good one to go to, a) plenty of free parking b) lots of great exhibitors, Dale and Ian's from Thread Studio is always popular, Mareene who runs this show brings out really great guest artists, this year she is bringing Maggie Grey from the USA I think although I always thought she was from the UK. I am doing a workshop with Maggie called Dissolvable Delights on Tuesday, hahaha Jo will have the job of putting the stock away, planned that one well didn't I. I like to try new crafts and have admired Maggie Greys work for ages. Year before last Mareene had Beryl Taylor at the show and Jo and I did workshops after the show, such a lovely lady and her work is stunning. I believe you should never stop learning, keeps you from getting bored.

As we will have a lot of the stock at the show we will not have the shop open on those days as well as Thursday, so come and see us there, learn some new skills, see amazing artwork and the beautiful displays of innovative handmade clothing made by students and artist, these are amazing, such talent we have here in WA. Will next catch up with you with what I make at Maggies workshop.

bye for now


Suffragette women

At Artistic Journey we are onto our 4th week class on a book on suffragette women, and I thought I would share with you on our progress. Am loving teaching this, in the beginning there was several students not to keen on the subject but I am thinking that they are now enjoying learning about these women who fought for the rights to vote of women. It amazes me how much information the girls are coming up with on the internet, its a mind field out there.

This first page was to highlight the actions taken by these brave women, we fashioned a copy of the Holloway brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst from the well known Pankhurst family. The Portcullis was the symbol of the House of Commons. The arrow in the centre was purple, white and green signifying freedom and dignity, purity and hope. This is placed in an aged tin with dark green fabric with white arrows which was the fabric they made the prison garments from, and the metal wire the bars of the prison cell. This brooch was awarded to the women who served in the Holloway prison on their release. The women chained themselves to railings in protest, held protest meetings, broke windows and for these crimes they where imprisoned. Inside their cells the suffragettes went on hunger strikes, to which their husbands complained in parliament where some of them where members, to seen to be not totalling misunderstanding they ordered that the suffragettes be released, force fed and thrown back in jail, hence the Cat and Mouse act was coined. A medal was awarded to the suffragettes who went on hunger strikes as well as the Holloway brooch. Would we as women be as prepared to go to such lengths today to gain what we think as a right, but we come from the generations who benefited by their actions and have been made stronger through them, it does make you think.

The second page is on the Rebels in Petticoats using some rusted fabric. Women where considered on a level with children, drunkards and lunatics. When they took their cause out into the streets they where labelled Rebels in Petticoats. Does anyone wear a petticoat nowadays, hmmm. There where many cartoons published to denigrate the suffragettes. The rusted angel is one I got from here and easy way to rust your fabric is wet or wash your fabric (I used calico) sprinkle over some white vinegar, spread fabric out and wrap some old rusty items (I used nuts, bolts, nail, screws etc)around into a firm handful so fabric is touching the rusted pieces, then place out in the fresh air for several days, spritzing with water to keep moist. I did this piece at a retreat and placed it screwed up into a plastic bag where it was left for several weeks. You should wash it well to stop the rusting effect if you don't want holes in your fabric.

Week three was on the suffragette movement on your country of origin, as mine was New Zealand, the portrait is of Kate Sheppard who was the leader of the movement in New Zealand WCTU womens christian temperance union. NZ become the first country to gain votes for women, this was accidental, Richard Seddon the then prime minister appointed a council of 12 men, half of which where known opposed to women getting the vote, he tried to influence one of the members to change his vote, this had the opposite result with two members voting against his vote and the bill was passed in parliament. Some members of the council tried to influence the Governor General Lord Glasgow not to sign the bill. The suffragettes on finding out what was going on moved into action and sent all the members of parliament who had supported women's suffrage white camellias and those who did not support where sent red camellias. The Governor General passed the bill. This information can be found here across the front of this portrait was an image of a scene taken at a suffragette protest, this is sandwiched between mica, hinged with vintage fabric. behind a watch glass is an image of a proud Maori women, NZ was also the first country to give indigenous women the vote. The NZ suffragette WCTU was formed in 1885 and the vote passed in 1893. It was thought that NZ got the vote first was early settlers where from the UK ie English, Scots and Irish, they had little legal recognition, worked hard helping their husbands settle farms and businesses and coping with extreme hardships, they felt they deserved equal recognition as their male counterparts. They also where receiving a good education with Kate Edger being the first female to gain a bachelor of Arts degree in the British Empire. Gee I am learning so much, I find a thirst for learning of those that went before me.

This weeks class is on the Pankhurst Family, Mother Emmeline Pankhurst the founder of WSPU womens social political union in the UK, who died in 1928 shortly before the UK women got the vote. Her daughters Sylvia and Christabel. Many of these women suffragettes travelled to other countries to support their efforts.

And next week will be the students family member who was a suffragette (as Donna Daniel has discovered since we started) or a family member who lived in that era as my Great Grandmother Howchow was, she arrived by boat in 1884 at 26 years of age, I think that was pretty courageous to come from the UK so many miles away, she married a Chinese man, very uncommon in those days. I do not think she would have been involved in the suffragette movement as she was married in 1885 and had three small children by the time the vote was gained but I am sure she was aware of what was going on at the time and would have supported their efforts. That will leave the front and back covers, I have used a lot of techniques learnt at workshops with Nina Bagley in Cortona, Italy and here in Australia. Her unique style in making journals was my dream to learn. Look on her blog to see more of her lovely journals.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More pics from Dwellingup

For overseas visitors to my blog, I want to share with you some small samples of the Western Australian countryside, best seen in Winter.
Do you not think this flowering gum is spectacular can you see the bees that where so busy

The dirt in the Australian countryside is red, you can see it in the gravel here and it colours the rainwater in the pot hole a dirty orange, see the towering trees in reflection.

The driveway into Banksia Lodge, the cottages can be seen through the trees

Homes of some of the locals, idylic countryside, so peaceful, no hum of vehicles here

The bare twisted branch's of the wisteria, you see it is winter, even the grass is green, brown in summer

I love the lovely soft blue on these rusty beams at the timber mill

lovely moss covered tree stump

Here is the large arbour hidden in the bottom of the garden, Banksi Lodge

Dwellingup Retreat 2009

We had a wonderful time in Dwellingup, a small group and me. The weather was very comfortable, log fires in the evenings and brisk walks in the bush. Dwellingup is always a lovely place to relax and unwind
Cheryl finished her journal Diane drove all the way from Brunswick Junction Linda rocked along almost finishing two journals

Donna with one of her lovely pages Cheryl proved she could work in a messGeoff,s Ducati motor bike, I believe he plans to ride this in Canada with friends on their vintage bikes, what a guy not afraid to get out and give it a go Masses of jonquils and daffodils you would think it was spring not winter

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I loved playing netball, I love tearing up and down the court, I live in another world when I play netball its me the ball my team mates and the competition, and I am oblivious to anything else. Winning wasn't important but a game well played where the score was pretty even was the best, win or lose. Of course I haven't played for over 25 years, the mind is willing but the body won't keep up, oh well!!!! Recently I went to a National competition game with Joanne and my Granddaughters to see the West Australian team play the Bay of Plenty team. Now if it had been another Australian team I would have yelled for the local team but as it was against a New Zealand team, I supported them, Joanne and I where voices in the wilderness, think we should have gone and sat with the very vocal Maori contingent on the other side. NZ won and they are leading the competition, there's something about seeing a live game you get caught up with the atmosphere and the excitement.

Can you see in this photo, the girl in the black leaning back on her player if the other girl stepped away she would be flat on her backside, this part I do not like, you would have been pulled up for contact when I played, it must be so very tiring to have someone leaning on you all the time. I guess the rules have changed? All my grandchildren play sport, the girls netball and the boys football, I get the opportunity to go and watch them occasionally but really prefer playing to watching.


I like hanging my washing on the line, it brings memories of other clothes lines I have stood at, chatting with my fellow participant. In Wellington with the wind blowing a gale, where you dash out in gumboots and raincoat in a squishy muddy lawn, with clothes whipping you in the face as you struggle to get the pegs on, then a mad dash back inside where its all warm with sister Sharon. Or chatting with Paddy as we companionably shared this chore in Auckland on a sunny day. Or in Europe with my other sister Phil and the only clothes line was a couple of metres of twisted cord that you untwisted and poked the edges of underwear which it held as it twisted back, or driving through Germany with damp clothes draped over suitcases and seats to dry in the sun, anyone walking past our parked car would have had a giggle, no it wasn't our undies. In dear old Gisborne my home town, checking nappies that where stiff as boards after a heavy frost many years ago. Now in Perth where you can hang your clothes out in summer and two hours later they are all dry with the lovely sweet smell of sunshine. A mundane task but it gives you the opportunity to day dream of doing this chore with others, or just to day dream.

A gift for me

A gift for me from my dear sister Phillipa, she made this lovely necklace just for me. She hammered and made the large links on the left side and made the bezel with the little bird image. Go to her blog to see more of her jewellery.