Monday, 30 August 2010

Sunday Outing - The Artist Studio Trail

Yesterday a friend and I went along to this week's Newcastle City Farmers and Craft Market and I felt I had been missing out on all this goodness for this having been my first visit...I'll definitely have to make it a regular event. It has oodles of fresh produce, yummy food and artisan stalls...with jazz music in the background to bring it all together nicely. There were lots of locals milling around enjoying this laid back Sunday morning ambiance...

After the market we went along to this month's Artist Studio Trail here in Newcastle. A relatively new initiative, beginning in April this year, that allows local artists to open their studio to the public and showcase their work. Talk about studio envy! The first stop was the home studio of Sophie Mill...entering through a side gate we came across a sun filled garden with a long table that displayed all of the media related material. The studio flowed on from here and was filled with natural light and Sophie's vibrant artworks. More artworks were displayed in an atelier-style sun room off the terrace, yes, complete with glass roof and terracotta tiles, very nice...and then there was Sophie herself, stylish, friendly and very welcoming :)

The next studio was that of Helene Leane in Merewether which also showcased the work of her mum Jeanne Harrison. Wow! What a studio! We walked down a wide driveway that was dotted with artworks and the gnarled, silvery hollowed-out trunk of a tree (an artwork in itself). The studio sits along the back boundary of the property, spanning the width and is divided into two rooms...filled with creative goodness and loads of natural light. Two very lovely, energetic and creative women :)

Unfortunately, the third studio of Julie-Anne Ure that we had planned to visit turned out to be a misprint and was not open...so we ended our day a little early but had lots of inspiration to take away with us.

The reason I didn't take any photo's is this...
When I got my Nikon D90 DSLR in January this year it was in fact a display model and the last one left. Believe it or not, I have not had to recharge my battery until now, yes, this is true...and when I went to investigate how to do this I noticed on the box that it should have come with a battery charger but I guess when the staffer at DJ's packed it up he obviously failed to put the charger in (though I don't understand why it would have been removed from the box in the first place). Naturally I called DJ's and began negotiations...not easy...but not as hard as it could have been and we reached a compromise. So...hopefully soon I will have the battery charger and can charge the battery ready for the next round of photographs...which I'm really ready to do NOW as I have been busy, busy, busy sewing all my cushions and am so happy with them thus far that I wanted to post some images here and also need to upload images into the listings in my shop...ready for all those sales (she says confidently)...

In the meantime I still have the bolsters to sew and some table runners. I am waiting for some strike-offs to come back from Ink & Spindle of this new fabric I am sampling - both fair trade and organic, one a cotton velvet and the other a pin-wale corduroy. I have ALWAYS wanted to print on this type of fabric since being inspired by some vintage printed velvet and corduroy I have, though I am not certain how they were printed and so am just doing some samples to see how they go. I am also starting to get my head around some greeting cards and gift wrap I want to have printed and have begun the process of looking for a 'green' printer I can work with. Fortunately there are plenty around as many printers are going this way which is good to know. Everything I am doing still involves loads of research and steep learning curves which is why it is all rather slow at the moment but I LOVE living creatively and wouldn't have it any other way. I guess, with time, the more I learn and get under my belt the easier and quicker these tasks will be in the future.

Monday, 23 August 2010

The kangaroo paw cushion...

Even though yesterday was a lovely day to be outside I had set it aside to sit and face my zipper fear once and for all. My replacement zippers finally arrived on Friday afternoon and so now there was no excuse to put off doing the cushions once and for all. Actually, not that I had been making excuses...I was in fact waiting for the zippers but it just seems SO much time has passed since I first got my fabric back from the printers to now... to actual production... so I had to ask myself what I had been doing all this time... and well... I have been busy with all the beginning stuff of a new business, so I can't be too hard on myself, I am a one woman show after all.

So... I sat at my machine and was determined not to do anything else until I figured out how I was going to sew in zippers. It took a few hours, yes, I feel silly for saying so... to do just one cushion but I am a perfectionist and I wanted to get it right. I wasn't at my machine the whole time...I was on the computer searching for tutorials and found one that really helped me get my head around the whole process. I also dug out my old tafe folder from my fashion certificate as it had all examples of the basics, like hems, cuffs, collars, zips, etc so this helped too as I just had to jog my memory.

Anyway...I am so excited to be on my way now and just had to share my first ever cushion made from my fabric - ta da...


Now back to production to do the 35 others :) The cushions will be made from each of the three designs I have plus pieced fabric cushions too and will be available in 40cm square, 60cm square, 40cm x 30cm rectangle and 15cm x 40cm bolsters...and they will all be for sale in my online shop