Saturday, April 06, 2013
Further to my last post, our Intermediate Historical and Contemporary Embroidery coursework was displayed for the month of February at the Embroiderers' Guild NSW and was very well received. I was awarded a Distinction for my efforts, and all participants gained a Credit award or better. I received so many comments about my work, how interesting and emotive it was to the visitors etc. that my head got quite swelled LOL No sooner was that work taken down than I had another paid job to begin, 10 costumes for NSW convicts to wear while commemorating the bicentennial of the first "white" crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813. So I've been helping plan my youngest daughter's wedding for May, while sourcing suitable fabric, cutting out and sewing up 10 colonial style shirts and 5 punishment trousers with side buttons and 5 regular drawstring trousers. With limited measurements supplied from the actors I have all my fingers crossed that my approximations are going to fit. I also commissioned some hand knitted natural hand spun woollen caps from the Kurrajong Spinners and Weavers so only had to make one myself. Now to distress the clothes a little and stamp them with the "broad arrow" in a few places. Photos to follow. All of this was completed this year after successful Carpal Tunnel surgery on my right hand on January 15th. I've been taking it fairly slowly and not straining the wrist, so far so good. Left hand next, but not so urgent. And my granny daycare commitments continue, at the moment twice a week while the other grandmother is overseas. It's been quite interesting entertaining a four year old (going on 14) girl and a nearly 15 months old boy, I'm really out of practice LOL Wouldn't miss the experience for the world though.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Have finally finished my 2 year Intermediate Historical and Contemporary Embroidery Certificate course at the Embroiderers' Guild NSW. The whole experience was certainly "challenging" for several reasons. I knew from the start what my theme was going to be - the difficulties experienced by the girls aged 12-16 years put into "Lynwood Hall" (now called Linnwood) when they were State Wards in the 1940's, 50's and 60's. I thought this would certainly fit into one of the theme categories we were offered, so I chose Pain. My original concept was to make or adapt a 1950's garment and embellish it with details illustrating my theme. About half way through the 2nd year I started to realise that I needed something a bit more unique, and while googling terms to find some suitable illustrations to modify I stumbled on emotional baggage images. Eureka, all I needed was a suitable piece of baggage. As luck would have it, not long after that I was volunteering at a vintage clothing show and bought a great 1950's suitcase at a great price. Full steam ahead. My final piece is mixed media using painted and stencilled handmade paper, unusual fabrics, machine embroidery, quilting and machined text. Don't know if I've passed yet, but hope I will as the marks from our progressive monthly assignments were good.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Why is it that we always promise we'll see our extended families more often, but it's usually at weddings or funerals that we catch up? Today we saw husband's side of the family at the funeral of his father's cousin Grace. A lovely lady, one of those true ladies that everybody just loved and in her 92nd year. We saw cousins that we haven't seen for years except at such gatherings and everyone left with promises to catch up more often. It's a fact of modern life that everyone is so busy that it takes a sad event to bring people together. My New Year's Resolution for 2013 will be to try to do better at visiting family members I haven't seen recently, so many on my side of the family too.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
I've been doing some reminiscing lately, for various reasons, and look what was posted on Facebook today? My husband's 2nd cousin (or 3rd I'm never quite sure) found this photo of her uncles and me. This was taken in my husband's back yard at Lurnea, I can remember the dress I wore, navy seersucker with red and white spots and I made it myself. I'm guessing I was turning 17 and had just started going out with John who was turning 18 and his cousin Bob with beard was 19. I look very like my oldest daughter and youngest daughter combined ! Thanks Kathie, one I haven't seen before and will now treasure.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
It's been difficult to post regularly this year. The Intermediate Historical and Contemporary Embroidery Course I've been taking with the Embroiderers' Guild NSW has needed a huge amount of dedicated time for homework over the 2 years. Then there's the dreaded "Major Work" due this December LOL We were advised at the beginning to pick a theme which would sustain us for the full 2 years, and 5 themes to choose from. They were Body, Time, World, Pain and Anarchy. So naturally I chose Pain! My connection for the last 10 years with the Linnwood/ Lynwood House story and the girls aged 12 - 16 who were sent there for various reasons which were not their fault has affected me from the first hearing. My own teenage years were quite turbulent with a fracturing family unit so I could certainly identify with the pain suffered by these kids. But how to interpret that into contemporary stitch? Well, I'll just say that whilst my theme hasn't wavered, my concept has "evolved" into what I hope is interesting and contemporary. At the moment I'm working on "emotional baggage" with a vintage suitcase, unusual materials and machine quilting. I'll try to post some in progress photos, it's quite hard to photograph this "mini installation" but I'll see how I go. Stay tuned !
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
So pleased that a touch of Spring has come to Sydney this week, I think I suffer in the Winter with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I want to hibernate and not go anywhere or do anything unless absolutely necessary. Today my latest vintage/antique underwear piece arrived from the US, a self-frilled top petticoat with a train. It was "as found" in a trunk in an attic, and after 2 hours of soaking and rinsing the grey colour out it looks pretty good. Hoping for a sunny day tomorrow to do it all again and "grass" it this time. Will photograph it after final treatment, such a pretty thing to own. I've been enjoying a new TV show on Channel 10 Sydney called "I Will Survive" which features one of my entertainer clients. I sewed for Davin GJ and his Performing Arts School for 10 years including his cabaret show costumes, so I can truthfully say I had a small part in his current success. 12 blokes are vying for $250,000 and a chance to perform on Broadway in NY while travelling from Sydney to Darwin by bus as in the show "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" Of course a lot of wearing drag costumes and makeup and performing, but the search for a fabulous dancer, singer and actor (called a triple threat in the business" is the main focus of the show. The judges are Jason Donovan and Stephan Elliot (writer and director of Priscilla) and guest star mentors will be popping in and out along the way. Here's a picture from the first episode, with Davin putting on his drag makeup for the first time