Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sea Glass

Broken pieces of glass washed up in a secret place on my beach. Mostly frosted but sometimes brown, green and even pale blue. Someone's broken dreams washed away by the floods or just a bottle, carelessly smashed? Transformed by the ocean waves, rocks and sand into something else of beauty. And now a new life - reflecting the light of the summer sun, gently tickling in the breezes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Zealand Botanicals

I've been in Rotorua visiting jc and of course I had to check out the screen printing scene in NZ. I have followed Ingrid Anderson's work for a while now and love the simplicity of her work. Here's her take on the NZ Cabbage Tree

Her designs are featured on the usual homewares - tea towels, cushions etc but also on wood. Here is one of her wooden gift tags - the Pohutukawa (NZ Christmas Tree) (produced by tikitibu)

I discovered these in one of the many galleries visited and in another I came across work by Melina Martin, screenprinter based in Wellington. This is her Pohutukawa - on a cotton table runner.

And one more - discovered at the Rotorua Museum- Moa Revival which features artist Celia Allison's screen printed designs. So simple! I'm going to experiment and make these into wall hangings.

 And all three of these typical NZ plants were flowering for me. I am inspired again.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Still Time to Shop at the Botanique Bazaar

The Bazaar in the Richard Randall Gallery at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens is open until 4pm on the 9 December. Lots of lovely goodies still available.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Setting Up

Yesterday I delivered my goodies to the Richard Randall Art Studio for the Bazaar which starts Wednesday. Some random shots of the wall art already set up - about 4 or 5 different artists work already on display. Lots more to do before opening.

My friend Tricia Smout will be running a workshop on how to make origami gift boxes on Friday 2 December from 10-12 (all materials supplied - $25) - contact Bettina 0405402340 to book. I met a lovely Japanese lady Kazuyo who makes the most exquisite bags from vintage kimonos - they will be on sale

I am returning Saturday and will post some photos of the final exhibition then.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Botanique Bazaar

Just alerting Brisbaneites to this great event to be held in the Richard Randall Art Studio in the glorious Brisbane Botanic Gardens from Nov 30 to Dec 9 (10am to 4pm). As the sign says the market will feature all sorts of original and handmade works of a botanical nature including ceramics, textiles, stationery, jewellery and paintings. I am hoping to have a few items for sale - teatowels, placemats, purses and shoulder bags

but I seem to have misjudged my Christmas stock (again) :-( and have almost sold out already. No time to make any more. Maybe next year I will get it right.....

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Monotype Print

I bought this artist's book at the recent Fibre Fest 2011exhibition of the Queensland Spinners, Weavers & Fibre Artists held in the Botanic Gardens at Mt Cootha.

This was a lovely exhibition of spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting, knitting, crochet,braiding, basketry, papermaking and artist bookmaking (phew!). Of course there was a shop as well, full of beautiful handmade things which I couldn't resist. This artist's book is made by Sandra Pearce, who I blogged about recently and features one of her lovely monoprints on the cover. So now I own one! Can't imagine writing in it at this stage. It will need to be something very special.

This is paper made of onion skin and banana fibre - I have my own banana trees so perhaps I can have a go at paper making as well one day.

While I was at Mt Cootha I had a quick walk around some areas of the Botanic Gardens (the Australian plant communities of course). I loved the Australian rainforest section where I saw quite a few of the plants which I have recently planted in my backyard rainforest - a little larger than mine of course. I particularly wanted to see Syzygium wilsoni and I found one still in flower

Last year I planted a whole fenceline of the nursery form Syzygium "Cascade". Should be a spectacular sight when they all flower next spring/summer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Decisions, Decisions...

What to do next? Sew more stuff, do some more print runs, spend some time designing?? Have to have a coffee first...

P.S. The sewing won. Stay tuned for the piccies.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hibiscus Heaven

I have four species of native hibiscus in my garden and all have flowered this year despite being planted only 12 months ago. They are a bit prickly but stunning. The flowers are huge but only last a day or so.

This is the Native Rosella (Hibiscus heterophyllus) - my favourite which is just coming into flower.

And the Hollyhock Tree (Hibiscus splendens) which has been flowering for a couple of weeks now and is still covered in buds.

The Swamp Hibiscus (Hibiscus diversifolius) which was the first to flower back in autumn

and finally the Prostrate Hibiscus (Abelmoschus moschatus) which flowers in late summer and dies back in the winter.

 All are native to the Greater Brisbane Region and according to "Wild Plants of Greater Brisbane" aborigines reportedly ate the young shoots and leaves, and also the flowers, either raw or cooked. The bark fibre was used to make dilly bags or hunting nets. Strangely they don't appear to be the food plants of birds or butterflies as far as I can find out.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Time for another Screen Printer - Marram Studio

I discovered Marram Studio some time ago and Sarah's blog Silkscreen and Scribble. I think I loved the fact that someone was screenprinting somewhere as exotic as Orkney Is. (to me anyhow), yet there was that lovely common thread of designs being influenced by nature and environment and the passion for printing textiles. Although the studio has since relocated to Glasgow and she uses Facebook and Twitter more these days, the inspiration remains the same. See her gorgeous prints and products at Marram Studio (an example below).

By the way marram is a type of grass which grows near the beach in the Orkney area. How appropriate!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Papers, Pages and Prints

That's the name of a beautiful exhibition that's just ended at the Pine Rivers Art Gallery.  The exhibition included altered books and handmade books from the Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists Book and Paper Group. Two of my Samford Slab Hut artist friends were exhibitors - Tricia Smout and Wendy Sonnenburg.  And the exhibition also included artist prints (mostly etchings) by Judith Rosenberg which are exquisite, and a range of works from the Pressgang Print Group from Noosa. My favourite part of the exhibition were the prints and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a monotype printing workshop run by one of the printmakers Sandra Pearce. Sandra's work is just beautiful - she is inspired by nature and the environment which is probably why I find it so stunning. Here is an example from her website  - scrub turkey.

  And another one - some species of pigeon (native I hope)

I have never tried monotype printing before - and on paper - so it opened up a whole new world for me. We used a printing press to create the prints (but you can manage without) and all sorts of materials including leaves, stencil cutouts, pieces of lace - just about anything. The workshop was only two and a half hours so it was just a taste. Not much time to try out layering but I am happy enough with my first go. Can't wait to try out more!

(P.S. This is the first blog post from my new Toshiba laptop - fantastic to have more power. Now I don't have time to have a cup of tea or a shower while I wait for Picasa to load :-)).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kangaroo Paw Time

The Kangaroo Paw is in flower again. These are photos I took last year of some planted by the Council just down the road from me. You can see why they are called Kangaroo Paw - both the shape and the furry texture of the plant (but maybe not the colour).

I can't believe 12 months have gone by. I was full of good intentions to design a Kangaroo Paw print but nothing has happened yet.... Where does the time go. Maybe in the next twelve months....

I love when the flowers open up. Just perfect for a stencil print

Of course there are lots of other colours. Here are some from my sister's native plant nursery in Tasmania.

Many Australian textile designers/screenprinters have been inspired by this spectacular plant. Here are a few of their interpretations




Have I missed any?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bits and Pieces

These are off to Beth's new gallery in NSW very shortly and to new homes and kitchens somewhere..... I hope to be able to post some photos and details of this new shop soon.

Big printing session last week and these are some of the results. It's been a very satisfying time mixing colours, printing (happily very few messups - I'm getting better), finishing off and preparing the labels and packaging. I never really tire of seeing the end product of my labours.

My white Bower of Beauty place mats have just been included in an Etsy Treasury curated by BrisStyle member Amanda (Daughter of James) - check out her lovely Etsy shop.

'BrisStyles all white' by DAUGHTERofJames

Cloud Brooch

Necklace Resin bead all coco...

White Lace Medallion Paper G...

SALE - La Princesa - Medium ...

Snow Butterflies Paper Garla...

clear pearl resin platter

Screen Printed Linen Place M...

Earrings. Modern Contemporar...

Necklace - Icey White and G...

Vintage Style Cameo Soap (yo...

SALE Vintage 80s - Molly Rin...

A Little Bit of Marilyn Earr...

And finally - another plug for the BrisStyle gals - I attended two great sessions recently organised by the team - the latest on hints and tricks when taking photographs run by Mel from Kimono Reincarnate. Really excellent and professionally presented. Now I need to get my new camera and try out some of her suggestions. Her notes are likely to get posted on the BrisStyle blog soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hand Printing - Japanese Style

I thought I might have occasional blog posts on other artists who hand print on fabric. Screen printers to start with then maybe lino prints and wood cuts, and see how far I get. I will trawl Etsy and Madeit and the web generally to find like souls who have lovely designs, interesting blogs and stories to tell. It will be fascinating to see what I find, and a great way to learn a bit more about this absorbing art form. Of course I will be particularly inspired by nature influenced designs. So to kick off I thought I would feature Japanese surface pattern designer Kalla  (Hitomi Kimura) who has a blog (in English) at and website at  From her website - her Bird print made into this stunning tea cosy.

I love her blog posts and photographs which talk about the creative process, how her designs evolve, the use of mood boards and colour mixing, the printing process and her studio setup. Quite inspirational. I particularly identifed with the posts about colour management - the importance of being able to make the same colours again and having a system to do this, but also the delight in making beautiful colours by accident. One of her recent blog posts is titled - Looking for Mr Red - oh how I know that feeling.
Here's the link to her Etsy site and I can't resist including another photo of one of her beautiful yet so simple designs

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Printing on Silk

I've been wanting to try screen printing on silk for a while. So I bought some blank silk scarfs online and tried a few different techniques. First I tried diluting the colour with transparent white fabric ink - ratio of about 1:10 to see if I could create paler more translucent colours. I used mid blue and light blue in order to try out the ombre effect - also known as a blend, a rainbow or a split fountain. It looked good on my cotton test pieces although I think I could have had a slightly darker blue.

But printing on the silk was very difficult. You can see how fine the fabric is, so the ink goes right through and onto the backing cloth. Very difficult to remove without getting ink everywhere.

I did manage to produce one scarf that I'm reasonably happy with and I've got a few "mistakes' I can keep practising with. I think the trick will be to let the ink dry in situ before lifting the fabric.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bags (and other things) now at Bribie

I can report that my work has been accepted by the Bribie Island Arts Centre and I have left a selection of shoulder bags, purses, placemats and tea towels in their shop. I also have some cafe aprons destined to go there next time I visit. Very pleased :-)

I actually went there to meet their artist of the month - well known local artist Ellie Neilsen - and listen to her talk about etchings, linocuts and screenprints. She concentrates on etchings and showed us some amazing examples of her work. I purchased one of her little water colours - my old friend Viola hederacea!

It was a superb day at Bribie Island so I camera clicked as well.