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....(...you'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

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Summer rose

One of the first of this Summers roses blooming this morning in our garden.

I'll be opening a new section in my Shopify store soon to sell cloth adornments. There will also be patterns and kits available shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Get Stitched newsletter loosed to the wild...

HUZZAH! Get Stitched September (heh! a week late!) was sent out yesterday. Within minutes many were picking up the download for the instructions to make the "Pucker Up Pocket" It's in my pattern store for free for a few weeks - boho-banjo-art-to-wear.myshopify.com

I'm going off on a tangent for my next publication. As a textile artist I've always had a wide ranging interest in all the ways we wear cloth. Part of the reason the newsletter was late published was that I've been caught up my latest compelling obsession to make fabric adornments. And how very satisfying it is that I can justify my compulsion by planning to publish a book of patterns, designs and techniques for wearable adornments! The working title at present is "Boho Banjo cloth and fibre adornments" and the loose concept is to have 10-15? specific designs with step by instructions plus several chapters outlining lots of techniques for making parts as separate units that can be combined to make a finished piece of the makers own design.

Of course some samples have already been prepared but I'll hold off showing them for a while until the book is coming together in a more substantial way. Until then here are some pictures of beaded necklaces I've designed and made....but they are different from my design ideas for cloth adornments...

Beaded bracelets by Pearl Red Moon, 2013

Necklace of beaded beads by Pearl Red Moon, 2015

Necklace by Pearl Red Moon, 2012

mixed media necklace by Pearl Red Moon, 2015

The necklace above has some cloth components.....

What do you think? Do any of you make or wear cloth and fibre adornments?

Thursday, 24 September 2015

next issue of Get Stitched coming soon

With the end of September less than a week away I'm working on pulling together the next issue of the bi-monthly newsletter to publish very soon.

One of the creative ideas I'll be describing is how to add these these lovely puckered texture pockets to a garment. You could add them to a jacket, tunic or a skirt....or perhaps you could suggest something I haven't thought of? 

The pictures below show the pockets as an added feature on my most recently published pdf pattern, the "Hester Skirt".

I also put the pockets on another version of the skirt made in a woven fabric, which was a natural colour seeded broadcloth, and they looked just as great. I placed them a little higher up on the second skirt version. But I like the pockets placed low on this first version shown here because I plan to wear it with a long line tunic and the lower placement allows the pockets to show below the tunic hem, though in practical terms they are below the natural reach of the hand  

Hester Skirt with pucker pockets

the two pockets, this skirt is a soft 100% cotton double knit

a close up of a single puckered  pocket.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hester Skirt pattern release on Saturday

page 3 of the Hester Skirt instructions showing all the options for surface embellishment

The Hester Skirt is within a few days of being ready for publication. I'm biased of course(!), but this style is such a great basic staple for the wardrobe. Not only is it super comfortable to wear but the drop waist basque feature puts the fullness of the circle skirt below the natural waist and makes the design very flattering to wear if you're an "apple" or "pear" type figure, as the great fullness of the skirt is below the knee and the fabric swirls as you move.

I had a lot of fun coming up with 6 ways to embellish the skirt to give it all sorts of interesting alternatives that add texture and surface interest...I had to stop myself at 6 options!

Friday, 28 August 2015

Hester pattern to be published in a week!

Alls going well with writing up the new pattern....touching wood...

I hope it'll ready to publish in 7-10 days, then I'll get back to finishing and publishing the Scarlett tunic and jacket and that will be released to the wild hopefully by mid September. Heres some more pictures of samples

Hester Skirt with "popcorn". In my fabric print "Palimpsest in Grey"

Hester Skirt with Willara top, both in "Palimpsest in Grey" jersey knit

Scarlett tunic (over a teeshirt) and Hester skirt with dangling tape details

side view of Scarlett tunic, worn over Hester Skirt
If you love it and want it I have a special offer to make to the first 5 people who email me to pre-order the pattern. You can have the Hester pattern plus any other of my patterns that you choose, BOTH for $10.