Friday, May 30, 2008

May TIF Challenge, an apology.

Well here it is, the second last day in May, and the teddy picture says it all. I'm wearing the Black Belt in Procrastination again, and I'm sorry to say that time has beaten me to present a finished piece for Sharon's TIF challenge.

This week was going to be my catch up week. Things started well enough, I finished another urgent sewing job for the Heritage Centre, and it's all packed and labelled and ready to be picked up for a photo shoot tomorrow. Then on Tuesday a very disturbing phone call from my SIL Gail. She's just been diagnosed with APL, a rare form of Leukemia which requires urgent extensive treatment. Poor Gail was given the bad news at 4.30 pm, phoned me at 4.58 to tell her brother and father, and left for hospital at 6.30 pm. We visited her there on Wednesday about 1 1/2 hours away by road, and she has been offered a clinical trial of a new drug therapy that includes arsenic and Vitamin A in massive doses. Sounds very scary, but results so far overseas have been encouraging apparently.

It's been even harder than usual to concentrate on stitching just at the moment, I had a brief burst of hand stitching last night after dinner, but alas! no solid idea has come for the May TIF challenge. I DO consider myself a costume maker and textile enthusiast, but in reality I'm just this little teddy, sitting wearing her black belt staring at an empty PURPLE box :) and wondering what's it all about??

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I've joined stitchin fingers !

Exciting news again this week. Sharon B. has initiated a new group for textile enthusiasts to share information and knowledge and called it stitchin fingers
As of today there are over 300 members! The word sure has travelled fast, with lots of familiar faces turning up every minute. You can even join special interest groups, such as crazy quilting and fibre books. I've joined hand embroidery and postcards, as these are 2 areas which especially interest me. And look what arrived in the mail today, my postcard swap from Cyber Fyber artist Susan Lenz. It looks even greater in the flesh than on her website, I'm so honoured and thrilled to own it. I've made a new backing sheet for my April TIF challenge card which is soon to travel to Susan in exchange for her wonderful art. Hope she likes it, I certainly enjoyed making it, in the end, after lots of putting on and off of the Black Belt in Procrastination, LOL.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cyber Fyber exhibition

I followed a link from Doreen G's Creative Meanderings yesterday, and found the Cyber Fyber Exhibition page. Susan Lenz is a textile artist in Columbia USA who will trade your ATC's and postcards for some she has made especially to exchange, and they will be in her exhibition of international fiber art scheduled for January 2009. I emailed Susan and offerred my April TIF challenge card in exchange for her card number 207, and she has agreed to swap with me. My card will join lots of others from around the world in the exhibition in South Carolina in January, how exciting is that! If you'd like to join in, have a look at the site at
and follow the link to round 2 postcard swaps.
PS many thanks to DD's boyfriend Steve for showing me how to do hot links! Woohoo!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Artist Trading Cards received!

Last year a good friend of mine told be about Scquilters, or Southern Cross Quilters. This is an online friendship group of patchwork and quilting enthusiasts which also has a Yahoo forum group. Now I'm not a prolific patchworker or quilter, in fact I'm still to finish any major quilts. I've made one Blanket of Love with my Embroiderers' Guild group, and I'm hand pieceing a star and hexagon quilt, and a pioneer braid quilt. But I'm definitely an Enthusiast. I just love antique quilts, and later this year I'm reproducing the inscription from the Rajah quilt for an exhibition which is to commemorate the Women Transported to Australia in convict times.

In May this year Scquilters is holding a face-to-face retreat in Perth, Western Australia. As not all of the 2,000 odd members intend to go, one member suggested we might need cheering up, VBG. So the Cheer Me Up Artist Trading Card Swap was born. As a "warm up" project, several one on one swaps were successfully trialled, and now the ATC swap site has grown like topsy, to include regular ATC swaps. I've pictured my cards received today in the Cheer Me Up swap in 2 groups, as well as the lovely one received for Mothers' Day in a one on one swap with Liz Needle from South Australia.

The makers of the cards in order from top to bottom are:
Shirley Mason
Ann Halden NSW
Carol McGill QLD
Joy Vale VIC
Sasha Nelson
Jenny Loveder
Julie Donovan QLD
Helen Ducker TAS
Robyn Williams
Anieta Barendrecht ACT
Mandy Collins NSW
Tania Mancia NSW

and Liz Needle SA for the Mothers Day card.
A BIG THANK YOU for all my cards, I'm very grateful for such talented and generous fellow textile friends.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May "Take it Further" Challenge

This month Sharon has asked us a curly question. "What do you call yourself and why?"
Since 1996 when I first started working in the theatrical costume world I have thought of myself as a costumer. Before that I guess you would have called me a dressmaker or seamstress, as that was my main source of "income" (if you don't count the DH's salary, VBG) These days I introduce myself as a freelance costume maker. That causes some confusion, as lots of people think I mean I design and make swimsuits !

I'm technically unemployed and any money I do earn is as a result of my "hobby" of making theatrical and historical costumes. By the time I deduct fabric and trimming costs, power and light, depreciation of equipment etc. I actually make a pittance, but that's not why I do it. I get a thrill seeing my clothing in performance, whether in a major stage production like Sound of Music, Annie or the Producers, or in the dancing studio shows, or on stage in a major Club show. Of course it would be lovely to receive a fair payment for my work, but they couldn't afford me, LOL, and neither could the historical house I sometimes sew for. Now that's not to say that I work for nothing, but I have a fee scale dependent on the type of work. Most seamstresses work this way, and the fee will vary with deadlines and difficulty of the work, as with any other "business". That's the part I hate, quoting on a job.

I've never considered myself as a textile artist, but I'll answer to an embroiderer, miniature enthusiast or lace making enthusiast. I'm certainly a collector of an eclectic mix of items. I have antique and vintage underwear, babies clothing, and enough theatrical costume pieces to run an ad hoc costume shop for my friends and relatives!

Now, how to translate some of that into a textile piece by the end of the month?
Some more thought is definitely required. Or is it time for a piece using the colour palette for this month, above? It's right up my alley with a purple shade included!