Saturday, December 28, 2013

Flashback of 2013

I thought I would share this little flip book of 2013 moments.  It has been a crazy year with my work at the gallery being super busy which has meant that I've taken more time out of the studio.

Some of my 2013 highlights:

  • visiting Hong Kong for the Art Basel HK Art Fair.  So much fun!  We ate amazing food and met lovely, lovely people.  I can't wait to go back.
  • Hanging out with friends for Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, I fell in love with the giant snails around the city!
  • becoming a sock master!  I knitted loads of socks this year, I'm starting to get pretty good.
  • I had a solo exhibition of tapestries this year, I also sold a few of them!
  • I became addicted to baking bread, this simple act brings me so much pleasure.
  • I grew my hair long and then cut it back to short... who knows what it is going to look like in 2014.
  • beginning a regime of clinical pilates.  I am loving this so far and I think in 2014 my body should be back on track.
  • I managed to get book completed with my colleague Marion on 10 years of collecting at Town Hall Gallery.  This is my first large publication, it was exciting, stressful but incredibly rewarding.
  • Getting an awesome team together at the gallery.  I'm so proud to have my wonderful team of Marion and Kent, we definitely have some wonderful things planned for 2014.
So what will 2014 hold?!  I guess we will just have to wait and see!

Monday, December 9, 2013

What do you wear to a Pink Flamingo Party?

Preparing to Pink Flamingo party!!
I could totally get used to pink hair!

It was my best friend's 40th birthday party recently and he decided to have a Pink Flamingo Casino/ Las Vegas party.  A strange theme maybe but he is slightly obsessed with flamingos and we always had a promise to go to Vegas for his birthday (which we couldn't do for work reasons) so he brought Vegas to his house!

Roll out the pink carpet

As you can see, he really went all out with a pink carpet and flamingo themed decorations.  It was a sea of pink and glitter... so much fun!


Even the cocktails were pink and served with pink flamingo straws!  Everyone needs a pink flamingo straw to get into the spirit!


I madly decided to make a 60s inspired dress from this fabric that I had floating around.  I noticed that it had pink flamingos on it so it seemed perfect!  I can see that this is likely to become a Summer staple in my wardrobe now.  It is soooo cute!


The birthday boy naturally went as Elvis... really anything with a cape and he is in it!  My husband went for the Hunter S Thompson 'Fear and Loathing' look.  It was such a great night!  So much pink!!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Inspiration via the Web!

My cooking uniform, Birkenstocks, #marimekko stripes & #marimekko apron
my original photo

I am always amazed at how small the world can feel now that most of us are connected to the internet.  I have met some amazing people via photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Instagram and also had the pleasure of meeting them in real life.  There is something about the photo sharing sites that allows you to connect with others who have similar interests, it is like you have been brought into their day to day life through photos.

I have been on Flickr for quite some time and I use it as a photo documentation service.  I love being able to group my photos in files and have access to them anywhere.  Also my friends overseas can check out on what I'm doing too.  It is also a great way to connect with other members, artists and makers.  I had the pleasure recently to be contacted by a friend on flickr about the photo above. (yes, another pattern clashing photo of me in clogs and a crazy Marimekko apron).  She asked me if I minded if she used the photo as inspiration for a piece of art.  I was totally up for it and flattered that she had taken the time to ask.  This was a few months ago now.

Miss Mardi, Marimekko and Birkenstocks on linoleum

Then just this week, Peggy contacted me again to let me know that she had used the work for a woven beaded piece!! Amazing!!  I absolutely adore it and feel very privileged to have inspired a work.  I love how the internet can bring two completely different weavers together and that we can inspire one another... pretty awesome huh?!

Friday, October 18, 2013

About 12 years ago...

Ahhhh.... #nyc I think in 2001! Very baby faced here! @jamesred8 this is when I would of met you!!!

About 12 years ago, this photo was taken in New York City.  It was close to Christmas time and it was my first trip to Manhattan to spend a month with my best friend John.  This is us at some fancy restaurant called Tao which all I remember had a giant Buddha statue in the restaurant.

John found this photo of the two of us recently and just seeing it just makes me smile and think of all the adventures the two of us have had over the years, especially the adventures we had on this trip 12 years ago.  I had Christmas in NYC, it snowed on Christmas eve, I went on a helicopter trip and saw the Statue of Liberty from the air and ate Belgian fries near St. Marks place with John.  Such good times!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Taking care of business...

I have been missing in action from this blog of recent times.  My life as a curator has taken over with my new gallery space being completed and about to be relaunched!  There has been many 12 hour days, lack of sleep but also much excitement.  You can check out what we are doing over at

I've also been looking around my projects recently and really need to 'take care of business' and finish off some things!!!

Here's a recap of what's on the needles at the moment and what I need to finish before the end of the year.

#knitting I think my hands are starting to get a bit sore!!

The Crazy Cat Lady coat.  I have completed the two fronts and almost finished the back.  The sleeves are still to come but I think getting this finished before the end of the year is pretty achievable.  This project has been taking forever.  It is super big and unfortunately not one of those projects that you can take around with you!  This baby uses up close to 40 balls of yarn.  I am realistic that I am probably not going to be wearing this coat until next winter.  You can find out more about this project via Ravelry

My studio sweater is coming along! Bless knitting in the library at lunchtimes like a nerd!!!!

My studio sweater.  Gee, this project has just been sitting there.  I totally got sidetracked by the crazy cat lady coat that this poor little sweater is sitting there with a sleeve to go!

My sock knitting is a bit #sockmonkey inspired....

My two-tone socks.  Second sock started!!  I think that this project will be finished this week.  I also think that I shouldn't start any other socks until those sweaters are off the needles!

What is it about knitting that makes you start so many different projects?!!!  I really need to start taking care of this knitting business!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Organising my Japanese Dress Patterns...

Organizing my Japanese sewing patterns like a nerd!

In my ever constant search for organising my 'stuff', I decided to go through my collection of Japanese dress pattern books.  I've been collecting these beauties for a couple of years and I love how simple the lines are how loose fitting and innovative the patterns are.

I've popped them all together in an easy to grab place in the sewing room now, ready for some warm weather sewing inspiration!

Dress books
I adore the use of linen in these loose fitting tunics.  Raw edges, beautiful trims.  Simple and stylish for Summer!

Dress books

Anyone who knows me, knows how addicted to stripes I am.  It's a staple in my wardrobe and I can't have too many.  A good striped tee with simple pants is a go-to for a casual weekend.

Dress books

I am also a sucker for denim and chambray on the weekend!  This loose fitting dropped waist dress can be popped over leggings with clogs for the weekend or with bare legs and vans sneakers in the warm weather.  I love the ease of it.

Dress books

I think that there will be some sewing in the near future to take in a new Summer wardrobe full of practical, comfortable and stylish outfits!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Comedy and Knitting...

@mepiper knows me too well! A vintage intarsia knitting book featuring British celebrities?! Hell yeah!

I do love a good vintage knitting book from the 80s.  They seriously give me so much joy and laughter and to be honest, some of the patterns are pretty good too.  My friend Marion brought this gem back from her holiday.  She discovered it in a thrift store for $2.  I love that it uses many 'celebrities' to model the fashions.  I wanted to share some of the intarsia patterns with you!

Guitar anyone? (Yeah, this is my new 'selfie' pose!)
Grrrr.... Love a cat sweater!
Huzzah! It's Mr. Humphries! From such shows as 'are you being served?'
I'm sooooo knitting this!!!!
The back!! Priceless!!! That's it for vintage knit photos gang!

Priceless aren't they? Now which one to knit first?!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Exhibition: Thoughts - That Is...

I thought that I would share some information about an exhibition I was involved in, held in Vilnius, Lithuania recently...

VIII International Biennial of Textile Miniatures

July 9 – 28, 2013

International textile miniature biennial "Thoughts - that is..."  invited 87 artists’ from various 25 countries – from the Baltic countries to the most distant parts of the world (Australia, Japan, Latin America) into the join venue, which continues to tackle the urgent problem of human existence. Who and what are we? What settles our environment? The concept of the exhibition is based on the metaphysical statement, that material and spiritual worlds are interrelated, that thoughts can materialize. The invisible processes which are taking place in our mind create reality - real things, phenomena, emotions. Every object from our reality is the embodiment of the ideas, which have ever existed. Everything that surrounds us is the result of human mind. Human thoughts form not only objects, but also ones activity, creativity and personality. There is a lot of everything in the modern world - not only goodness, but also anger. The biggest discoveries in the world were born from bright thoughts, while anger and hatred gave birth to evil. Human mind is energy, which is able to create wonderful objects. Mind is propagating magnetic frequencies, which attract similar frequencies phenomena in the universe. The artists were invited to shape they thoughts into creation, irrespectively to what method of expression trey would choose - even surface or 3D composition, traditional forms of expression or innovative, interdisciplinary project.

The organizers of biennial encouraged the artists: a) to reflect the depth of their own personality through the materialized ideas in their creation; b) to raise the problems of human mind ecology and responsibility of what you think; c) to reveal the interaction of bright and dark minds and the consequences of their opposition; d) to analyze whether the thoughts have nationality, or whether the minds of different nations or ethnic groups are different. It is being expected, that facing the crises or disasters prioritizing spiritual values will correspond to the expectations of the artists at the time of biennial.  

The works exhibited in biennial are different with respect to style and technique combining both traditional and innovative methods, reflecting individualities of the authors’ and dominating textile tendencies.

Thoughts exhibition

Sometimes I Just Need to Unplug My Mind (2013)
Wool, cotton, linen, silk & recycled computer parts
 19.5 x 19.5 cm

Thoughts exhibition

Too Many Thoughts (2013)
Wool, cotton, linen, silk & recycled computer parts
19.5 x 19.5 cm

I created two small works based on self-portraits that utilised found computer parts and cords. The works stems from ideas about how our life is now kept into an external hard drive, like our phone or laptop.  Some days I can't even remember my phone number and I am horrified if I lose the information on my phone as I don't have it saved anywhere else.  Our world is becoming more complicated and our brain doesn't appear to remember as much as it used to.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Tapestry: Self Portrait as Mary Kate with Carpet Bag

Self Portrait as Mary Kate with Carpet Bag

After my stint away at Art Basel Hong Kong and staying warm inside on the weekends, knitting, I thought that it was time to get some weaving done!  I have been working on some small pieces that are based on collages that I did awhile ago.  I am enjoying working these tapestries as shaped pieces, meaning that they still reference their collage roots.  It also allows me to play around with them in other collages.  You can see below that  I thought it would be fun to add the tapestry to a magazine cover!

#tapestry as magazine cover layout

The tapestry has been shortlisted for the Kate Derum Small Tapestry Award 2013, so it will be on display later in August.  I will post the dates and shortlist information closer to the show.  I'm looking forward to seeing the other tapestries from around the world!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Nifty Knitters!

Wow! My mittens were short listed for the @elementeden_au Knit Off prize! So glad to see knitting promoted and to be apart of such an awesome group!! #knitting #knitgeek

I am so excited to be a runner up for the Element Eden Knit Off competition!  There were so many fantastic entries and I'm so pleased that my grey and yellow mittens made the list!  I'm meant to receive a small runners up gift, not sure what it is but I will keep an eye on the post.  The winner had created a beautiful sweater with triangle patterns, definitely a worthy winner.  I'm slightly jealous of them receiving a years supply of wool from Cleckheaton, though I'm sure my husband is a little relieved.

Yup... Added a Pom Pom! #knitgeek

Keeping on the knitting theme, I finished a beanie recently using up some of the lovely Ms. Gusset yarn that I had left over from my fingerless mitts.  And no hat is complete without a pom pom!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Obsessed with: Fingerless Mitts

Finished one fingerless mitt, beautiful lime yarn by @gusseting #knitgeek

 I am currently obsessed with knitting fingerless mitts, or arm warmers as some might call them.  I like to make mine quite long so they do keep your arms warm, mostly because I tend to wear 3/4 length sleeves quite often.

A nice simple knit, I've made up 2 pairs in some delicious hand dyed yarn from the gorgeous Kylie Gusset.  The cormo yarn is so soft and knits up super well.

Vacation knitting in #hongkong - yarn by @gusseting !!!

I am definitely in love with these for Winter!  You can find the pattern and more information on my Ravelry page, which is here!  Stay warm Melbournians!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dying Yarn, making socks...

I had some lovely 5ply sock yarn that needed dying.  I'm not a professional yarn dyer by any means but it is fun to play around with the colours and see what happens!


Here is the yarn with the dye on it.  Playing around with yellows, oranges and pinks... oh, with a touch of green.

Dying some sock yarn... #knitgeek

The yarn has come out of the microwave, all hot and steamy.

Giant skein of socky yarn!!

All dry and wound up into a super delicious skein of tutti-fruity loveliness!

And here is how the yarn is knitting up... It reminds me of those delicious fruit salad lollies!

And here is the start of the sock!  These will sure be some crazy looking socks but fun and cheery.  On a down note, I discovered a hole in one of my hand knitted socks.  You know what that means? Moths!!! NOOOOOO!!!!  I need to clear out my closet and add moth traps and deterrents etc... kinda boring but it has definitely bugged me!   I hate moths!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Inspiration: Hong Kong building patterns...

And arrived in Hong Kong!

Like an amazing collage! Reminds me of my addiction to weaving cityscapes

Since we have been in Hong Kong, I have been loving the patterns that the tall buildings make.  There is something different to them to New York, where I am used to the towering skyscrapers.  I think here in Hong Kong, there is a wider variety of patterns in the buildings, more balconies and windows.  I have definitely been inspired by their shape and pattern making ability!

Dusk in Hong Kong
Wet today ...
Beautiful tall buildings #hongkong
Hong Kong City pattern
#hongkong patterns
Coloured buildings #hongkong

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hunting for yarn in Hong Kong...

Puppy yarn! #hongkong
Cute puppy yarn lightbox

Whenever I am in a new city I always try to hunt down the local yarn stores.  I love seeing what is different and new and also try and pick up some special yarns that I wouldn't be able to get back home.

Managed to find a cute little yarn store right near our hotel!
Cheer Wool shop window

I had been googling 'Hong Kong Yarn stores' for a little bit and was still having trouble finding what I needed.  And then it happened.  I spied the words 'wool' from our Hotel!  OMG, there was a yarn store less than 5 minutes away!  The store Cheer Wool is small but has a big variety of yarns and craft supplies.  They had amazing Japanese knitting patterns that I was drooling over but decided that they would be too difficult to decipher when knitting.

Crazy kid mohair #knitgeek

Through all the masses of yarn, I spied this super fine and super bright orange mohair.  It is about a 2 ply but the colour is amazing!  I purchased some of this along with a matching, bulkier yarn to knit together.  I'm thinking of a super bright orange fuzzy cowl.  Very muppet like!

Got some cute hello kitty buttons

I also got these tiny Hello Kitty buttons to add to a shirt or dress.  They seem so perfect in their packaging.  I also picked up a length of Hello Kitty quilted fabric to make a knitting bag from.  Though it would also make a wild pair of oven mitts too...

A big thank you to Cheer Wool for their wonderful supply and very helpful staff!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Getting a little bit sew-ie...

My view today! #singer #sewing #handmade

I've been on a bit of a sewing frenzy lately.  I've drafted a simple A-line dress and sewed four of them - yes four!!!!  I was inspired as I am heading to Hong Kong very soon and the weather is going to be warm and humid.  It also seemed appropriate to be on a crazy sewing frenzy, using up quite a bit of my stash during the month of May as loads of my favourite sewing bloggers are chatting about "Me Made May" (check out Kelly from True Bias blog about this!).  This is where you don't buy anything and just wear beautiful clothing that you have made yourself.

Anyway, I thought that I would share with you some of my creations, they have been super fun to make and I've had quite a few requests for the pattern!!  When I get back from Hong Kong, I will attempt to PDF it and share with you all!!!

So here we go!!!

And another dress completed!! I love this blue! #marimekko necklace #sewing #handmade

Here's the Cobalt blue number.  It's made from a very lightweight gaberdine fabric (I think?!) and has inseam pockets and is finished with bias binding at the neckline and armholes.

Oh yeah and the gingham dress! Notice a little peekaboo pink binding!! #marimekko #handmade #sewing -sorry tired & no make up!!

And here is a very cute black and white gingham number.  I finished the neckline and the armholes with a hot pink bias which has a little bit of a 'peekaboo' effect.  This is a lovely soft cotton fabric and will be great for the Hong Kong heat and humidity.  For those people digging my necklace, it is Marimekko (of course!)

And a little chambray number! Loving that all this fabric is from my stash! So 4 great summery dresses made!

Here is a light coloured chambray dress!  Again there are inseam pockets.  A little more casual looking, the fabric is beautiful and soft and doesn't seem to crease too much.  I bought this fabric for $2 a metre too!  A great bargain!

Just drafted and whipped up this basic black cotton dress for travelling... Some cute shoes & bright accessories and she'll get loads of wear! #handmade #sewing

And to finish it all off, a little black dress naturally!  Even in warm weather, I love a simple black cotton dress that can be dressed up with some cute ballet flats and a great necklace or bright cardigan.  The fabric came from Ikea and has washed up surprisingly well!

So I think that I am just about ready for my trip away!  And my fabric stash is 4 pieces lighter!  Woo hoo!

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