Wednesday, December 29, 2010

fabric through spoonflower #2

I was absolutely delighted when Australia Post delivered a parcel from Spoonflower on Christmas Eve. The parcel contained a few more design samples, so the above four designs are now part of the fabric collection. The below is the new colorway that is now available for one of the designs in the pallet series.
new colorway available

           Click here to view the full collection

Enjoy the upcoming New Year celebrations and wishing everyone a happy, prosperous and creative 2011

Thursday, December 23, 2010

red turkey for christmas

Redwork is one of my favorite traditional techniques and its also one of the oldest embroidery styles being most popular between 1885 and 1925. Any plain outline stitch is acceptable for Redwork with most being embroidered with "Stem Stitch". Embroidery stitch "Back stitch" is also widely used, and "Backstitch" is my preferred stitch. I enjoy the rhythm of stitch and the impact of simplicity, one color against a plain cotton background. The stitched portraits I'm working on at the moment while by machine have been heavily influence by Redworks impact of simplicity and the use of just one color. 

The term Redwork was adopted because the majority of the embroidery designs were stitched with red thread - "Turkey Red Thread". Turkey Red Thread was one of the few colorfast threads you could buy in that time period.

In the above quilt I have hand stitched the Christmas pictures, machine pieced the pictures with borders and finished it off with both machine and hand quilting. Patterns for the pictures are as follows: The toy shop in the upper left corner is by Bronwyn Hayes the Holiday Elves are by Aunt Martha's for Colonial Patterns. The finished quilt measures 47" X 50" (120cm X 127cm).

Would just like to wish my visitors and followers a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Many Thanks for your support and encouraging comments throughout 2010 the year of new beginnings.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

natural Line, pattern and color

While I might be looking forward to a few days break from the constant rain, the garden on the other hand is loving it. Early Early this morning it wasn't raining so I started the day with this weeks photo project and just focused on taking photos of leaves.  When we start to work on our art projects we consciously or subconsciously use the elements of design: color, line, shape, texture, and form. Mother nature provides us with so many natural examples of these elements. The veins (line) on the leaves form patterns, shapes and texture. For example: the veins of the Monstera Vine (bottom photo) are quite thick and raised creating texture.  So as well as taking the photos I was also able to lay a piece of fabric over the leaf and do a rubbing using "Shiva" oil sticks. The red vein on the Strelitzia leaf is the complementary color to the green. Complementary colors are colors that lay opposite each other on the color wheel - other complementary colors include yellow/purple and blue/orange.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Sketchbook Challenge:

I've decided to join the 

How the Challenge Works: "Here's everything you need to know about how the Sketchbook challenge works: The sketchbook challenge is a new project launching on 1/1/201..."

We will be following along with the below artists as we fill our sketchbooks based on a monthly theme that will be announced on the first of each month.

We'll be sketching alongside:

Each month the next theme will be announce on the blog and throughout the month we will be shown sketchbook pages from the above artists on the blog and they will be sharing their inspiration and intention behind the pages created. See link on side-bar it will take you straight there to sign up and join in!

Time to dust off the pencils!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

all shapes, forms and colors

Spotted while at the Christmas meeting last Saturday with  ATASDA (QLD Branch). With all the rain we have been having recently the cracks in the wood of a couple of outside picnic tables have become the perfect spot for the yellow fungi to grow. There are many different shapes, forms and colors. The below photos have been taken on various bush walks around the South-East Queensland area.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Creatively De-Cluttering

Collage using magazine pages only #1
Collage using magazine pages only #2
There is no choice than to think that my studio at the moment is a little cluttered. What's even more surprising is when you type the word clutter into Google, it's like you've just discovered Pandora's Box. My Grandma's dictionary printed in 1952 and the various websites all seem to agree that clutter can be defined as:
Things you do not use or love
Things that are untidy or disorganized
Too many things in too small a place
Anything unfinished
And there's various websites that give you plan of actions to de-clutter both your surroundings and your mind. Anyway it seems that I have intuitively embraced the task as per the recommended formula, I picked an area (the magazines) and got stuck into it even gave myself little breaks and rewards along the way in the form of creating several collages just using pages from the magazines in front of me. I so enjoy creating the collages their fun, enjoyable and finished in the same day so no unfinished projects (a criteria satisfied). And even better they go straight into my visual diary which means I've satisfied another criteria of de-cluttering - put it away straight away. And I even threw the magazines out once I finished the collages. The best quote I found during the internet surf was by Peter Walsh: "Homes are an orgy of consumption"
  That certainly conjures up all sorts of thoughts and images.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a garden full of flowers and food

My weekly photos this week are of a few of the natural delights that we are enjoying in our garden at the moment following the recent rain. Late this afternoon we picked and enjoyed a bowl of fresh strawberries then picked some corn, Asian greens and dug up some fresh ginger for tonights' stir fry.  
It really is a great time of the year

Monday, November 29, 2010

moving ideas forward

Moving On - Stitch on paper
I'm quite enjoying doing the stitch on paper portraits. 
Timeout Please - acrylic & charcoal on paper
Also finished working on another painted piece.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Chappy

The Sunflower remains bright and cheery against the overcast morning. We planted some corn and sunflower seeds a few weeks back, they work well planted together as the corn acts as a support. I've always liked the colors and presence of the sunflower.

Monday, November 22, 2010

fabric through spoonflower

When the 'Broadstrokes' creative group met a few weeks back, I had a copy of my calender there for show and tell and the lovely Kate suggested to me that I might be interested in having a look at 'Spoonflower' which specializes in digitally printing fabrics.

I created an account, uploaded a couple of images, ordered the samples, made a couple of adjustments and then released the above fabrics to my newly created 'Spoonflower' e-shop. And of cause ordered more fabric, lengths this time and they arrived on Friday last week. It's very exciting when the the post people leave parcels on your doorstep. Breaking into the parcel is like taking the wrapping off of a yummy candy and enjoying the wonderful delight that lies within. 

At the moment there are seven designs available with more on their way. Visit Mels' Fabric available through 'Spoonflower'

Saturday, November 20, 2010

succulent flower

from this
to this
When I went up to feed the chickens on Thursday morning the flower on one of our succulents had finally opened, even though it was raining, photos were still taken before heading off to work. Our renovator home also included renovating the garden. It's an older style garden with many mature trees and old style plants. As we cleared out the back section we discovered a couple of hanging baskets filled with different types of succulents that had fallen to the ground. We re-potted them into half style baskets and hang the baskets up along the side of the chicken house. The next step is to work out what type of succulent it is - I think it might be the Cryptocereus anthonyanus Ric-Rac or Zig-Zag succulent.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

anyone for tea

The Leaves of Pineapple Sage
a bit of Lemon Grass
and some mint
Totally enjoy a good cappuccino and especially love an affogato but I also enjoy wondering around the garden and gathering together a selection of leaves from the herbs we have planted and drawing a fresh pot of tea.  Mints, Lemon Grass and the leaves of Pinapple Sage is one of my favorite combinations, periodically I add a little bit of Lemon Balm.

Enjoy the cuppa and many thanks for the wonderful comments

Sunday, November 14, 2010

stitched portraits on paper

I've been really enjoying the acrylic painting but I tend not to stray to far from stitch or textiles so a few weeks back I started to explore with free motion stitching onto various types on paper. The first picture is stitched onto white paper, the second picture I have painted a background and then stitched over it. The third picture I have painted various pieces of paper, stitch one piece, cut the others up and then collaged them onto a piece of watercolor paper and further embellished with hand stitching. I've been really enjoying this adventure - paper isn't as bulky as a quilt but is doesn't have the flexibility of a quilt so there has been a couple of little challenges with maneuvering  the larger paper pieces through the machine.

All three images will be availble as prints at mels redbubble gallery

Monday, November 8, 2010


acrylic, charcoal and collage on paper
The other piece I finished over the weekend.
I've called the piece 'Spin'

my feet got wet

my feet got wet

It was a beautiful weather day on Saturday, so we took off on an impromptu picnic lunch out to Wivenhoe Dam Picnic and BBQ area. Wondered around taking photos, spotted a koala and went to the spillway lookout. The dam is currently at 90% capacity but it has spent the last few years with less than half it's capacity. 
The dam is Brisbanes' main water supply.

Acrylic and stitch on paper

Finished off a couple of pieces over the weekend, this is the first piece. I started this piece during a recent abstract painting workshop. I had alot of fun with this piece experimenting with different acrylic mediums (impasto & moulding paste), acrylic paint, collage and of course a little bit of stitch all onto A3 paper.

Monday, November 1, 2010

1 night - Tannum Sands/Gladstone

A few months back I offered to take the 2QAQ Art Quilts up to the Childers Art Gallery where they will be on display until the 12th December. Instead of just driving them up, dropping them off and heading back we decided to build a short escape. On Saturday we headed up to Gladstone to visit family, stayed the night out at Tannum Sands and went exploring along the banks of the Boyne River. There's a hard turn off the highway onto a track that takes you under the bridge and a certain distance along the banks. The Boyne Rivers bed and banks are covered in mostly stones and pebbles. I enjoyed exploring about and always wonder what stories the lost/abandoned items could tell.

1 night - 1770/Agnus Waters

We spent last night in the 1770/Agnus Waters area. Our accommodation (Sandcastles 1770) had a connecting pathway directly to the beach. We also went walking along the water front out at 1770 but what really stood out was the number of plants that were in flower when we went up to the lookout area of 1770.
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