Monday, 15 September 2014

Around the world blog hop

My quilting friend and art group buddy Rona has invited

me to join the Around the World Blog Hop. 

 I am so excited to be part of this blog hop. It is so interesting to read what other people are up to with their quilting and other projects. If you want to to catch up with all the other posts in this blog hop follow the blog trail back through Rona's post.  There are some great posts that are well worth reading !!!!

1.  What am I working on?

At the moment I have a lot of different projects on the go. I generally work on a few projects at once.  It keeps my busy brain more stimulated (that's the theory)

First of all I am building my web page and I am preparing to launch that this week.  It is looking amazing and I am so excited to have it published. 

I am also preparing for the upcoming Pirongia art fair and the Waitomo art society exhibition where I have been invited to be the guest artist for the show. So I have been building up a portfolio of work for these shows.

Lots of yummy quilts 

Almost all ready for my shows

All uploaded and ready for my web page launch this week

I have been experimenting with a new technique combining a scrap applique and painting technique. 

You can read about this technique here  These 2 quilts use this technique.

Floral Sea

Floral rust

 'In his image is a quilt' is a quilt  I have on the go at them moment.  It also uses this scrap appliqué technique.  This quilt is of Adam and eve.  The clothes are made using the scrappy appliqué technique and the faces are painted.  

In his image

A close up of in his image

Another quilt I have just finished is ‘Caught reading”  This is a picture of my daughter Kelsey when she was caught reading instead of doing her homework. I have painted white fabric and then machine quilted all the details into her face. 

Caught reading
15" x 15"
38 x 38 cm

I am also making original art pouches of different sizes. they are really fun a quick to make.  You can learn how to make them here with my tutorial.

This little pouch is made from a machine quilted practice cloth and you can learn how to make it here

Some more little pouches

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I work very differently from a lot of quilters.   I am not a traditional quilter. I work in a contemporary abstract and pictorial style.  I use a variety of surface design techniques, different mediums  and materials.  I love to experiment with different mediums, media and textures.  My favourite surface design technique is painting.  I really enjoy bring boring old white fabric to life with textile inks. 

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I couldn’t live without being creative it is like the air I breathe.  I have to make things and I always have done.  As a child I was obsessed with touching fur, velvet, soft materials.  I loved to cook and make birthday cakes.  I made my siblings soft toys, made my own clothes and furnishings.  I have always loved to create.  I have great satisfaction in making things. I really love Seeing the finished product but I mostly love the process of making art.  I love being so immersed in my work and that the world just dissapears for a time.

"a musician must make music, 

an artist must paint, 

a poet must write

if he is ultimately

at peace with himself.

What one can be, one must be."

Abraham Maslow

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I have so many projects buzzing through my head that I will never have enough time to create them all.  When an idea settles I sometimes begin by sketching the idea with permanent black ink pen and water colour paints and acrylic paints.

Some of my art journal pages that are upcoming ideas for quilts

Sometimes I just play and experiment with different textures, mediums and ideas. Sometimes I take a photograph that I work from.  This is the process I worked with for caught reading The first picture is the original sketch.

Painting on fabric

The beginning of the quilting

The face quilted

The whole picture quilted and metallic paint stick added for more colour and depth.

Carol Brungar is following on from me next Monday. She is an amazing and very talented textile artist from the beautiful Levin in New Zealand.  I am honoured that she is following me on this blog hop.  I love her beautiful work.  You will find her  blog here. She will be posting next Monday 22nd September and I am really excited to see how she works with textiles.

I am going to leave you today with this quilt called "Floating" that is the beginning of a new series of work.  


Dimensions: 20 x  19”  51 x  48cm
Technique: Painted whole cloth quilt, machine quilted
Materials: Cotton fabric, textile inks, oil paint sticks


Friday, 12 September 2014

Photographs this week: Sunrise/sunset

We had a stunning sunset followed by a beautiful sunrise the next morning. 

Just gorgeous 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Working with kids at home.

I love to be creative and to work as an artist.  It is so fulfilling and enriching to be create every day of my life.  But my job as a mum is even more important than the art work I do. I love being a mum to my 5 children, they are my priority, but there are times when I have to work when I have the children at home.  I may have a deadline looming or a blog to write or a competition to enter. 

Over a few years of trying to balance both my family and art work I have come up with some great strategies and solutions to be able to do both well.  I

It takes planning, organisation and a lot of drive and commitment to be able to make it work.  these are things I do when I have sickies, holidays or need to work a little in the weekend (I don't do that much though because that is usually family time) These Ideas are for school aged children if you have 0-5 year old children many of these ideas would need modifying or changing.
  • Do basic routines of house (before school time)
  • Do dinner preparation in the morning and use a meal plan.
  • Have a rest time for you  & the children every day (1 hour per day) In the middle of        the day. 12:30-1:30 works for me.
  • Make a sign for the door something like -Artist at work do not     disturb unless there is Blood or a fire
  • Make an options to do list for the fridge.  Include ideas for boredom I.E a chore              list for those who can't keep themselves occupied
  • Make a Stay at home kit (ideas below)

  • ·           Schedule for my day
  • ·          A list of create things to say if children come into the studio while I am working

  • ·         List of ideas to do
  • ·         Creativity box
  • ·         Problem solving ideas
  • ·         Let children write down ideas for box
  • ·         On box: Only disturb me if there is blood or fire

·         Make clear and very strong boundaries for you and the children.  What times will you be working and what time will you be fully available for the children.

·         Be committed and present to time and for each thing you are doing
·         Plan to succeed
·         Get children to make boundaries and put up somewhere to remind them of them
·         Treat you time sacredly 
·         Keep positive in voice
·         Restrict time on the phone
·         Schedule appointments (If possible) outside work time
·         Give yourself permission to have your own consistent routine for work

This is a normal schedule for me when kids are at home.  The left column is when I have sick kids and the right when the children are on holiday.

Normal school week (ideas)
Holiday/sick week (ideas)
·         Daily routine as normal
·         Start work 9am finish at 3pm
·         Break every 1 ½ hours for 20 mins.
·         12:30 -1:30 pm rest
·         1-2  hour of work in evening
·         House daily routines night before
·         6am – 10 am work
·         10:30- 12:30 pm chn
·         12:30 -1:30 pm rest
·         1:30- 2:30 work
·         2:30 – 7pm Children
·         1 hour in evening
(shuffle around hours as needed)

·         Build routines with yourself and the children and keep them.  We can be our own worse enemies :)

·         Start at the same time every day
·         Be consistent
·         Plan each morning/ or evening before what needs doing that day
·         Make an action plan

·         Be clear with work times
·         Be consistent
·         Discuss routines before they are put into place
·         Focus fully on children when not working

The last thing that really helps me is being able to transition between work and home.  Most people will have time to transition while commuting to and from work. When you work form home that transition time needs creating yourself.

-Be mentally prepared when you leave 'work'
-Take handbag and coat to work in the morning and leave 'work' with them.
-Do hair/ face etc like you would if you were leaving the house.
-Try leaving house and then coming back in 
-Prepare lunch/snacks and drink in morning and have them nearby so you won't be lynched going to the fridge for morning tea. 
-Try exercising between work and children time
-Be organised and prepared.

With a bit of preparation and a good mind set a real balance can be achieved and your beautiful babies will not miss out on the most important thing in their growing years YOU

Sunday, 7 September 2014

New quilts in the gallery

There is new work in the art quilt gallery on my blog !

During the last couple of months I have been finishing off work and staring new projects. Today I have updated my art quilt page with all of my new work on it. 

Orange crush
14 ½ “ x 18 “   37 x 46 cm (with frame) 
Technique: Appliqué Painted and printed 
quilt, machine quilted, beaded

Materials: Cotton fabric, textile inks, oil 
paint sticks, Tinsel, Beads, Angelina fibres, 
recycled fabric and paper

Price: $ 200.00

I have uploaded all my new work into my Art quilt gallery here or press Art quilt on the pages header above the blog posts.

There are many new pieces of work to view.

I have mounted many of my smaller pieces of work with fabric fames.  They look wonderful.

Come and have a look and see all my new work and let me know what you think :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Photography this week: Flowers

I love flowers.  Any type will do.  They are just so perfect and beautiful.  Their petals are so delicate and perfect and when you get up close they are full of intricate detail.

Art quilt progress: In his image

My new series of work on the family is staring off with a quilt based on Adam and Eve and is called 
'In his Image' 

Preliminary sketch

I am making this art quilt using a new process.  I am combing painting directly on the fabric and a appliqué technique I have developed.  

This is an art quilt I have made using this technique. You can find a tutorial on this technique here.    

The start of this process of 'In his image" is shown Here  in a recent blog post. 

And you might like to read about further progress of 
'In his image'   Here.

This is the finished quilt top before it has any quilting on it. I have used my scrappy appliqué technique on Adam and Eve's clothing.

Quilting on the clothes.  

I have used a variegated brown thread on Eve and a a gold brown on Adam. the aim was to add as much texture as possible to the clothing for added interest and depth.  


When I am quilting larger areas of clothing I choose 3 styles of quilting and combine them.  In this instance Adam has Small circles, spirals,  and paisley feathers all over his top. Narrowing it down to 3 quilting patterns makes the quilting very simple but it adds plenty of texture and interest.

Eve close up.  

Eve has small circles, an original tapa flower (designed by me) and 2 large circles surrounding the flower. 

Back of quilt

Can you see how the 3 patterns add a lot of interest.  There is no need for any marking.  I

Feather paisley

Tapa flower

The next stage for the clothing is to add shadow to the clothing to give them more depth and then to add oil sticks on the surface to bring out the quilting more. 

Now onto quilting the Hair and faces.  :)

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