I admit to collecting just one or two (or a few) miniature jointed teddies.  All of my bears are small….not more than four to five inches tall at most and are hand made by a range of bear artists from around the country.

A few years ago I met a lovely lady from rural South Australia who made bears… her bears were original and all made by hand.  Each one was different, she didn’t use commercially available patterns and they were few and far between.  I have coveted one of her bears for some time, but I had not had the opportunity to purchase one.

Just a few weeks ago, we were chatting and she asked me for a mailing address….no reasons given and I didn’t ask.  I had almost forgotten the conversation when she popped me a message on line saying there was a surprise in the mail for me.

Imagine my delight when I opened the parcel and found this darling little bear!  I had been feeling pretty lousy and this was just the most wonderful gift. 

Even more special was her note telling me that this was likely the last miniature bear she would be making as she was hanging up her shears!

Thank you, Kerryn. She will be treasured.

 

Were you one of the many people who savoured all the beautiful garments on loan from the V & A at the Bendigo Art Gallery a couple of years ago?

Have you been hanging out for more of the same?

It’s fantastic that we are privileged to see some the extraordinary collection from the V&A here in Australia as a result of the close collaboration between these two galleries.

And now there’s a new exhibition about to open that is sure to delight students of fashion, lovers of haute couture as well as evoke strong emotional responses from those who remember their wedding day as being THE most important day of their lives.

All the information about  The White Wedding Dress –  200 years of Wedding Fashions exhibition can be found  here.

There is a fantastic range of associated events running in conjunction with the exhibition so make sure you check out the website for further information.

 

 

 

I have noticed recently that there have been a number of searches for “replacement needles for the Siena Mist Adorn” popping up on my stats.

If you have a Siena Mist Adorn and are looking for replacement needles, I can supply you with information as to how you may find them in your local area.  If you have no local supplier, I can arrange for a mail order sale!

If you are in either the Wodonga or Wagga Wagga areas around the times of the forthcoming CraftAlive shows, you can purchase replacement needle packs directly from me at these shows.

Does your passion for all things Textile find you heading off for exhibitions featuring lace, fabric or historic costuming?

Do you hoard sewing paraphernalia like old cotton reels, ancient cards of press studs, darning mushrooms or thimbles?

Are you like me and have more sewing machines than you are ever likely to use just because they are beautiful pieces of equipment?

The simplest and perhaps most underrated accomplishment in the development of clothing design and functionality was the advent of the button.  Made from all manner of things – wood, plastic, bakerlite, polished stones, ivory, shell, metal, enamel, porcelain and even perspex – buttons have kept us and our clothing together, made sure we were warm and modest and added that little something extra to couture designs. They are both functional and decorative, hand made or mass produced, can signify rank or status, colourful or plain and often found languishing in jars, boxes and drawers once separated from their garment of origin.

This weekend is a great opportunity to explore all things buttonlike with a visit to the Kyneton Museum’s exhibition “Button Up” and this Saturday is especially recommended as there will be a button sale held along side the show.

Details on the Kyneton Museum opening hours and location can be found here.

Over the last weekend I have been indulging in all things paper for a change….there are some out there that think you should mix your interests up but how can you really explore mixed media as an art form if you don’t have the media and the requisite skills to mix?

Paperific offers all sorts of opportunities to try out product and learn new skills through their “Make and Take” programme. A day can easily be spent exploring all that is on offer – in my case, I ‘tagged’ with Azza at Scrappmats, ‘structured’, ‘foiled’ and ‘scultped’ with Jo at Izzii and acquired bits and pieces from Yazzii, Art Stamps Australia and others.

Such fun.

Paperific will be back in August 2011 at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in Ascot Vale.

 

 

For those interested in the Art of Costume, this exhibition of Costumes, designs, photographs and even one set of scenery, the Ballet Russes exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is a ‘must see’.

It was a last minute decision to take the trip to Canberra this weekend but I had to come as it was advertised that the exhibition was to close next weekend.  Whilst I have been here it has been announced that the exhibition will remain open until 1 May, so those of you who have procrastinated like I have can take this chance to come and view this wonderful collection much of which has not been seen in public since it was last worn on stage by the dancers themselves.

For a ballet company that was so obviously European, I was surprised at the number of Australian artists including Darryl Lindsay who had over time contributed to its international standing and success.  Illustrations for references depicting costumes, original costume sketches and paintings, programme and poster designs gave the viewer a feeling for the intricacy and the level of collaboration between various artists in order to realise a production.

The most striking of costumes is the piece the Gallery has selected as the “star” of the show – a tunic worn by the dancer playing the role of the Blue God in the ballet Le Dieu Bleu. Having seen this pictured in advertising and promotional material, I had assumed it a costume for a woman but no – it was designed for the principal dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and apparently it still bears traces of the blue body makeup on the inner surfaces.

I found it extremely interesting to see several garments on display that had received no conservation treatment at all – the work that goes into maintaining and preserving these pieces can surely be appreciated all the more when you see the pieces that have not been treated to this as yet.

Not being a fan of classical ballet, I was unaware of just how much the classical Australian Ballet scene owes to the existence of the Ballet Russes and its dancers.  It would appear that our  own companies and the early top schools in the country were begun by members of the company who elected to stay in Australia after a tour here.

What a remarkable legacy we have.

Have you been part of a gift exchange in your craft group?  Perhaps you have signed up for a Christmas swap over the internet?  Perhaps you exchange small birthday gifts with your friends at you local Stitch and Bitch group.

Over the years I have been involved in all these scenarios and have often thought I would like something just a little different that wasn’t too expensive as part of my gift to my friend.

I found this little basket at the recent Dubbo CraftAlive – the labels appealed to me as most people who know me realise I am a little twisted! Perhaps these would make a good gift for one of your friends!

…..nothing else can go wrong for you, my mobile phone has just thrown in the towel and refused to show me whats coming up on the screen!  One dead Motorola….sigh….and I did like it a lot! *sad smiley face*

 

All the last minute things that you find you have to do in the lead up to a show and someone chucks a curve ball at you!  Thanks to the help of my lovely friend Mary Jane, I have managed to get everything in order and will be leaving at the crack of dawn for the wilds of central west NSW.

However , my dear little cat deserves no thanks at all… in the midst of all this packing she thinks its a great lark to bring in her latest catch – a young rat – and let it loose in the lounge room!  Luckily both the cat and the rat were successfully ejected into the back garden.  I’m not going to imagine what took place…. Cats – they are such helpful creatures!

This is a of sample new project from Ella and Skysie I have just completed – it will be available as a special gift to customers at the CraftAlive shows this year but I thought I would post it here to celebrate friendship – thanks again, MJ.  You’re a star!

May the hinges of friendship never grow rusty!

 

At each CraftAlive show, I conduct a series of hands on workshops as well as demonstrations alongside those presented by the various stallholders.

Over the past couple of years I have been delighted to have had the opportunity to share the fun of working with the Siena Adorn Needlefelting machine and encouraging show visitors to try their hand at making  postcards using this great little machine.

 

Del and her first postcard

There have been many “postcard” students over the past couple of years who have discovered how quick and easy these cards are to make and how much pleasure they can bring to the recipients.

In preparation for this year’s shows, I thought I would make up some other items using the Siena Adorn to make needle felt…..and I have incorporated the use of a warm water washaway also available from the Siena Adorn Creative Products range.

This is a sneak peek at just one of the items that will be on show at Dubbo CraftAlive in a couple of weeks time!

Needle felted tiny treasure box

Needle felted from merino, silk, kid mohair and silk throwsters waste on Siena Warm Water Washaway.  Embellished with hand dyed emu feathers, assorted beads and ribbon.

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