Thursday, 23 June 2016

Pearls news

Hi everybody....long time, no posting....but I'm still here and plodding on with the work.

Tomorrow I'm off to Rockhampton in Queensland to teach for 5 days at "Wrapt in Rocky" and greatly looking forward to it.

For those who've been asking me the WAVE pattern is now available for sale in either my Etsy or Shopify shops and I've fixed the problem that was occurring with Etsy.
WAVE pattern cover
Front of WAVE dress
Recently I had the privilege to be asked to participate in a 3 minute documentary style film for television. Createability 2016 is a project open to professional filmmakers to profile artists with disability living and creating in regional NSW.  I look forward to talking about my life experience of being on the autistic spectrum (I have Aspergers) as an adult woman.When I come back from Rocky at the beginning of July the producer will come to Murrurundi to spend a couple of days filming at my home and studio. The resulting short film will be shown on TV from time to time, as a "filler" item between programs, over a few years. I'll let you know more about this as things progress....

Sunday, 3 April 2016


Just added to my Etsy shop. More tomorrow......

embroidery scrolls

Pink neon delight

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Wrapt in Rocky not far away

Last year I wrote about "Wrapt in Rocky" an art event that I'll be teaching at during 26th July - 2nd June. Theres only a few weeks left to book a place either in my class or in one of the other 11 fantastic choices on offer. The classes at Wrapt in Rocky are 5 days so this is a wonderful opportunity to really immerse yourself in learning new skills and techniques in the presence of the talented tutor of your choice and surrounded by other enthusiastic student artisans.

Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to show you some of the skills and projects you could learn in my class. My class is called "Bling your Cloth" and I'll be teaching the variety of techniques I combine to create a piece of art cloth.....

This is a skirt I finished yesterday. Its just called "Libby's Skirt" after the customer who commissioned me to make it.

Front of Libbys Skirt
This is essentially a straight skirt that has an assymetric wrap overlay attached at the waistline.

The main decorative techniques I'ved used are applique, stenclling, machine embroidery and hand stitching. It took about 12 hours to make it.

front view of Libbys skirt shows how the overlay is a flap that closes across the midriff at the top right of the waist

The overlay wraps right around the skirt, lapping across the front and closing with a button and loop at the right side waistband. There is no zipper, but a vent that is open on the left side under the flap.

closure of the flap at the right waistband. I've made those cute budgie buttons and they're for sale in my Etsy shop.

back of Libbys Skirt showing the front flap opened out, the slit along the hemline is actually the side seam

back view of Libbys Skirt
a close up of the decorative work across the front flap. The loop at the top can close on any of the 4 buttons on the right side

I'd love to meet you at Wrapt in Rocky and show you how to make a garment like this.

More tantalising creations will be featured in the next few days.

Footnote... in my last blog I showed the "Byzantium Treasure" necklace and said I'd be giving away 3 kits. I still intend to do that in the near future when I can get enough time away from the multiple other pressing priorities...!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Treasure to give away...

This is a new adornment called "the Byzantium Treasure"

Close up of the focal piece of the Byzantium Treasure

I'm surprised there isn't a lot more mixed media wearable art being made. I think the combination of materials makes strikingly beautiful decoration. Here we have metal, glass, cloth and stitching in a juxtaposition of mediums; putting together the <soft - hard> and <shiny reflective - matte, light absorbing> surfaces makes this an intriguing object, to me....

Three of the very well known mixed media adornment designers you might know are Ayala Bar from Israel, Odile Mandrette and Marie le bas Bleu, both from France (not sure whether the latter is a person or a brand...?)

On my Pinterest page "Adornments - fibre and cloth" I've collected hundreds of images of items I admire so if you'd like to see more here's a link to have a look -

If you like this necklace stay tuned for my next blog towards the end of this week as I'll be giving away 3 kits for the Byzantium Treasure!

I'd love to hear what you think so please post a comment....

Sunday, 21 February 2016

new gorgeous things to wear...

Honey pot bees earrings, cloth and mixed media
Pictures of some more gorgeousness finished in the last few ever I'm prevaricating about getting the next pattern completed and published by getting caught up the delight of designing and making these beauties.

necklace "Pensive Maiko", cloth and mixed media

detail of the focal piece of the Pensive Maiko necklace

more tributes to FK - Frida with parrot coloured tassels
Silk and shisha earrings

Plum Brocade earrings

Marrakesh Lanterns earrings
These are my favourites of the current bunch of earrings - Secret Garden

All these will go into the internet shops in the next couple of days. If theres anything you might be interested in buying this is your chance to get in first by emailing me for the price and anything else you want to know.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

a-way with the Fridas...

Do you like the new adornments I made? (now for sale in my Etsy shop....)

Most of you who've followed this blog for a while would have noticed I'm a huge fan of Frida Kahlo. When I was doing my Visual Art degree at University of Newcastle (Australia) I did my major thesis on her art and life way back in 1999, when she was a much smaller cult icon.

In case you're an Australian fan and haven't heard this yet, there will be an exhibition of the art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in Sydney in the middle of this year, here's the link -

Frida Kahlo exhibition at Art Gallery of NSW, 2016

One of my dear friends here in Murrurundi recently bought some earrings I'd made with FKs image and told me she would be wearing them when she attended the Frida and Diego Rivera exhibition. Hope I don't get in trouble! as the copyright issues around FK images are some of the most vague and wishywashy in the contemporary art world. I've been a fascinated observer of the huge and growing cult for making altered images of Kahlo and have collected hundreds of them on my Pinterest board -

Pearls Frida Kahlo Pinterest board

FYI, the images I used on my brooches above were all created by another Etsy artist, D Cakes, and sold with limited permission for use. I've bought and used a number of her images over the years, not just the Fridas...I really like her zany and inspired digital images. You can check out her work at "Bubblegum Blowfish"

Bubblegum Blowfish Etsy shop

Thursday, 21 January 2016

new design "Wave"

This is my new pattern "Wave"....the first pictures.

front of "Wave" dress

I love this dress, I'm so excited about it! After a couple of years of publishing pdf patterns I'm still learning a lot and working out what my "niche" is going to be. I feel that Wave is the best expression of where I'm heading so far. It's alternative, arty and eclectic. I've been able to use the design to showcase some surface embellishment techniques that emphasize that its truly a hand made garment and an art cloth.

detail of some of the surface embellishment on Wave

On the upper left panel are simple sashiko running stitch patterns. The panel below features appliqued spots and to the right is the reverse applique, where the spots on the left were cut out from. These central hand and machine stitched panels are counter balanced with other fabrics of coordinating colour and pattern.  The dress still works very well in different versions with or without the embellished panels, and I'll be showing these over the next few weeks.

I won't be publishing the pattern for sale until later in February as I've just started the process of writing up the making instructions.

Add caption

Applique and reverse applique panels

back of Wave

Sunday, 20 December 2015

less is more....

I'm failing badly to keep up with adding pictures of the adornments I've been making. So hard to discipline myself to do all the tedious photography, descriptions and uploading to websites thats required. 

It's a struggle to tear myself away from the obsessive joy of playing with all the glittering resources laid out on the work table....sigh...

I made this necklace - "The Glass Daisy" over the last few days and its now been listed in both my Etsy and Shopify shops if you want to buy it....

Thursday, 10 December 2015

adornments for you

I've been off on an exciting creative tangent for 2 months. As a mixed media artist I've always enjoyed using a wide range of mediums and making a wide variety of adornment. Along with fabric beads have often been a medium I use. In using beads to make adornments what attracts me is the potential for creating micro scale 3 dimensional sculptures. (I find the description "jewellery" annoying, as I don't use anything that is "precious metal" or a "jewel" in my work. Sometimes maybe crystals and semi precious gems)

I will eventually return to cloth and clothing design but for the last few months I've been loving this foray into making adornments. Plus it can be justified in that it expands the range of "products" I make....

I recently started adding earrings and necklaces to the Shopify store and revived an old Etsy shop I'd let lapse since a brief experiment in 2008 (I found Etsy won't let you start a new shop from scratch even though I only tried it out for a few weeks in 2008)

 At present I've only listed a dozen items and have about 50 more to add. I find it so hard to discipline myself to do all the tedious photography and writing up the blurb to advertise them for sale as when I arrive in the studio and see all the gorgeous resources glittering on the work table, they call to me to indulge in the pleasure of creating a new piece of art, rather than the humdrum necessity of commerce.....

So please buy something soon so I can keep making these beauties....and I'll put my tortured nose to the grindstone over the next week or 2 to get everything listed. Most of these adornments are one of a kind or won't be reproduced in editions bigger than 4. It would kill me with boredom if I had to sit down and become a one woman production line....

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wrapt in Rocky

I'm very proud to announce that I've been asked to teach a class at "Wrapt in Rocky" in June-July 2016. Wrapt in Rocky is a 5 day arts workshop event in the city of Rockhampton, Queensland.

My class is "Bling my Cloth; 10 ways to make your textiles extraordinary" Students will spend the first few days of the workshop learning at least 10 techniques in fabric embellishment then be supported in the process of creating their own wearable garment.

I haven't taught any classes since 2008 through a self imposed need to just immerse myself in my own art. After this long break I'm bursting with excitement to share some great techniques I've been developing.

I've started a Pinterest board called "Wrapt in Rocky" to pin images of clothing styles and embellishment types that students will have the potential to achieve from what they learn in the class. Over the next 6 months I'll progressively add pictures of garments I've made with reference to how they were developed from specific techniques to be taught in the class. I hope that anyone who enrols in my Wrapt class or is considering it will join the board as a contributor so we can share ideas and it will help me adapt the lessons to suit what the students want to learn.

Today I'm showing my first completed project. This is a dress made featuring two fairly small swatches of embellishment measuring approximately 40x30cm each that were emphasised by adding lines of applique and machine embroidery stitches....

Swatch #1 above started out as fibres and fragments sewed on wash out solvy film. This was backed with the bright green cotton and more appliques were added.

Swatch #2 had a background of stenciling then over stitched with machine embroidery stitches, cords and appliques applied with free motion embroidery

The picture above shows some of the elements being combined in advance of sewing the garment together. Swatch #1 was cut into 4 triangles and swatch #2 was cut into 4 strips. Then I cut strips of the lime green fabric and another print to stitch along the sides of where the swatch pieces were appliqued on the garment....('ll have to take the class...!)

Heres detailed close ups and the finished garment

The dress bodice, with large applique from swatch #1 across the bust and a strips from swatch #2 horizontal around the midriff. Cords, buttons, reverse applique and machine embroidery stitches decorate the neckline

the skirt, with 2 triangles from swatch #1, cords and appliques. Strips from swatch #2 on the far left

the completed dress