Saturday 31 December 2016

a couple of Loopholes

My first pattern release for 2017 will be “A couple of Loopholes” It needs a few more twiddles then I hope to push the publish button within a few days.

cover page of "A couple of Loopholes" lagenlook style PDF pattern by Pearl Red Moon

I made the sample dress to the right on the pattern cover a few days ago. Its made in viscose rayon which is my all time favourite fabric. 

I did some research on Rayon fabric to be able to summarise its history:

·         *  The Rayon fibre was invented nearly 200 years ago in 1855
·         *  The first commercial quantities were manufactured and sold in 1881 by the French patent holder, the Count of Chardonnay and it was called “Chardonnay Silk”. However it was soon withdrawn from the market due to the dangers of its highly inflammable quality. In the USA in 1953 the FFA ACT (Flammable Fabrics Act) was created to ensure rayon and other man made fibres were produced within acceptable safety criteria.
·        *   By 1889 a better process had been developed – “viscose rayon” and large commercial quantities were being produced by 1905.
·         *  Though rayon is described as “man made” it is the only manufactured fibre not made from petro chemical processing (nylon, polyester, etc) as it is produced from wood pulp, a naturally occurring cellulose based raw material. Wood pulp is an inexpensive and renewable resource but the large quantities of water and energy required for processing mean costs to the environment by the resulting pollution.
·        *   Rayon is capable of absorbing more water than cotton or linen, which makes it a great practical choice to wear in hot climates…i.e.  Australia

What I like about Rayon:

·         *  Superb draping quality
·         *  Lovely surface sheen (why its often compared to silk)
·        *   Great range of colours and patterns its available in due to its excellent retention of colour
·       *    Relatively inexpensive to buy compared to other fabrics
·         *  It sews and irons beautifully
·        *   Easy to care for, quite durable for machine washing and good fade resistant qualities, as I always line dry laundry
·        *   Easy receptive surface to paint, stencil, applique and stitch

I     I wanted to make this plain black rayon fabric look more arty with some hand painted marks. After cutting out the Centre Front panel it was laid flat on the cutting table and I applied all over at random some scratch like marks with a dish scrubber dipped in fabric paint. After considering that I wanted to do some marks that looked less abstract (i.e. as opposed to …ooops, I fell over the paint bucket) so I made a simple stencil from tin foil by cutting out an approximately 3” circle and used this as a background resist to daub largish spots over the scratches. This seemed OK but I wanted to add a bit more detailing so after heat setting the paintwork I machine embroidered circles around the painted ones. To further “integrate” the centre panel with the whole garment I embroidered the same circles onto the left and right Side Front panels before seaming them together. Below are pictures of the Centre Front and Side Fronts during this process and the finished garment.

Loopholes, Centre Front Panel is painted and stitched, the Side Front panels have only the circle motif stitched. The whitish spot near the middle is the paper template I used to mark the circles before embroidering.

Loopholes VIEW 1 from the PDF pattern, with painted marks on rayon viscose

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Dreaming of moonflowers

I'm a hugely enthusiastic Pinterest user and spend time nearly every day pinning.

I think it's possible the concept may be based on the old fashioned hobby of scrapbook collecting. Decades before the digital era it was a popular pastime for people to collect pictures clipped from books, magazines, advertisements and cards and paste them collage style into a blank paged album. As a child in the 1960s I received blank scrapbook albums as presents at least twice.

Scrapbook collections took off in the late Victorian era as mass mechanical reproduction made books and magazines cheap and widely available. Its a quaint idea now, in this age when we're deluged with paper (a great deal of it so utterly disposable that much of it becomes landfill within a few days of being produced) but people once valued the printed paper products that came into their homes. Woman and children had recreational time together choosing and cutting out the pictures that appealed to them to glue into a scrapbook before the remainder of the paper got used for other purposes. Even in the 1980s I remember my grandmother hoarding brown paper shopping bags to reuse....

A few decades ago the term "scrapbooking" was hijacked by another bunch of paper loving crafters and turned into a business model whereby the practitioners created artistic theme albums. However, this new iteration of the scrapbook differed significantly from the older concept in that all the materials collated to paste onto the pages were newly manufactured items purposely produced to cater to the consumers of the newly imagined hobby format.

On Pinterest I have 102 boards mostly dedicated to art in some way or another. In the last 2 years the images I've collected are the most important artistic source I refer to when designing textiles, adornments, digital art and my mixed media art canvases. A lot of the pleasure of collecting images this way is being able to follow the link back to the source. In this way I've read many interesting blogs and joined a number.

A few days ago I came across the image shown below and tracked the source back to a young american artist that I'd been vaguely aware of; Jane DesRosiers - or she recently changed her name to Jane Spakowsky (got married probably?....aaiiieee! why do women still want to adopt their spouse name...???...surely a horrible patriarchal tradition best ditched with distaste) It's no wonder Janes art has great appeal to me...our preoccupations are the same (romantic images of women) executed with quite similiar aesthetic.


Jane has 3 art classes she offers as tutorials for US$25 ea and I signed up for her class "Beyond Skin Deep"  (follow link to her Open Studio group if you want to check out her classes) 

The class includes 2 hours of edited video with commentary while she creates the beautiful artwork above, called "Dear Isis", starting from the blank sheet of paper. It's really well done and I enjoyed the class immensely. It achieved it's purpose and inspired me to want to spend a little time going back to making some fine art. Last night I created this digital image I'll use as the basis to make into a canvas utilising some of Janes techniques.

I call this picture "Dreams of moonflowers"

....however!!! I've made a resolution to finish and publish the 2 clothing designs I've been working on, before I'll reward myself with this little divergence.

Hope everybody is enjoying getting prepared for Christmas Day 

digital image for basis of future mixed media canvas Dreams of Moonflowers. Pearl Red Moon 2016

Tuesday 6 December 2016

brain farts, scum et al

re blog post yesterday - why did I say that? – that I was bullied in a workplace nearly a decade ago (in truth I have been bullied in 99% of them)

On this blog I rarely mention my “private” life. Apart from my art I don’t think or do much that anybody would find interesting. There are some bloggers, like Eden Riley, who write absolutely amazing stuff about their lives, emotions, world view and kudos to them.

Generally I only feel comfortable talking about my garden, textile art and the things I make.
One of the characteristics of people with Aspergers is that we have difficulty communicating (or so the NTs maintain) Its not that we don’t have feelings, thoughts and experiences that are compelling, it seems to be more about not sharing a language with the neurologically typical that we both understand (actually I often think that NTs simply create the delusion that others are empathising with them…heh, but not going there today)

Being in workplaces can be a daily nightmare for Aspies. Each and every one has its own culture and peculiarities that is the result of the chemistry brewed up by the specific participants in that environment. While its hard enough to negotiate your way in general society then there these unique microcosms that you also need to succeed in. All these organisations pretend to have rules, policies, procedures, ethics, blah-de-blah ,or some other fancy label that somebody in management got paid a lot of money to cogitate up out of their wildest imagination… supposedly defining what you do and how to interact with others in the workplace.

For a great deal of my life I was confounded to find that not a single workplace ever, ever operated like that. Some of them were gobsmackingly blatantly operating in contradiction to their fancy pants declarations. It was only as I got older and wiser, and as the elasticity of the brain stretched to accommodate my real life experiences that I realised such expectations are a very literal and naive Aspergers construct of the world. As scum rises to the top, workplace cultures will rule and they are fashioned by the dominant personalities to suit their own agendas, egos and world view.

Workplaces aren’t about people labouring together to achieve “specified outcomes” (nice bit of selected management drivel); people get paid to turn up to engage in group rituals. Nobody would turn up if they didn’t get paid….would you choose to? When you go to work you do the tasks that are assigned because you get paid for it. Would you do those tasks if no one asked you and weren’t being paid for it?

Perhaps NTs will think – duhhh!!??? well yeah so what! – but it really took me 30 years to work this out…

I won’t do it anymore – go to work and participate in meaningless rituals at the behest of the scum. It has made me literally sick – depressed, psychicly wounded, suicidal. Its just the logical outcome of doing meaningless activity and being the pawns of scum.

I’m trying to “monetise” the work I do now.  In reality(?) my creative enterprises aren’t succeeding on a financial level. Without the emotional and financial support of my husband I would have had to stop years ago. I’m so immensely grateful to him that he values my happiness above requiring me to be in a damaging environment for the sake of the money earned.

I felt I owed an explanation for my unusual blog yesterday. The place name “Port Stephens” pushed buttons and I had a brain fart. Now I look forward to getting back to doing my art and blogging about that.

Monday 5 December 2016


Nicky Elliot, who is the creative genius that made "Pearl Red Moon" will be having a radio interview at Port Stephens today.

She sent me this:

More great publicity for Createability film 'Pearl Red Moon' today. I'll be chatting live with Bob McKay on Port Stephens FM 100.9, at 11am.

Tune in here

Pearl Moon Northern Rivers Screenworks Pete Delahunty #createability Anthony Scully Catherine Marciniak

Unfortunately my memories of living at Port Stephens are marred by my devastatingly awful experience of working for the Port Stephen Council and I sent this to Nicky in response....

Hi Nicky
remember I used to live at Port Stephens?....many years in fact, about 3 years at Mallabula and 5 years at Soldiers Point. I was a cleaner for the Port Stephens Council, cleaning cabins in their holiday parks. Those bastards in management bullied me so badly (because I was annoyingly pedantic about doing the job properly and sick of always covering for the lazy, incompetent male cleaners....) that I tried to commit suicide in 2007 after being ferociously screamed at by a Park Manager at work on Christmas Day. His name is Steve Paul and he was/is? a notorious bully who caused many workers to live in despair and leave their jobs. An absolute arsewipe. Many more unhappy memories about Port Stephens....may it sink into the ocean with the weight of all the holiday tourists, heh...

wear a  life jacket today, just in case I have more power in the world than I think...
all the best to you!

Thursday 1 December 2016

the horizontal gift

I have just returned from a trip to Muswellbrook where I had a radio interview. This coming Saturday December 3rd is the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) and parts of the interview will play on ABC TV on Friday and Saturday to promote the Createability short films, which are already available for viewing on ABC iview. There are 9 x 3 minute short films discussing the lives and art of people living with a wide range of disability - some with multiple disabilities! - including physical, cognitive and intellectual. The following link goes directly to the film Nicky Elliot made about me.

I was dumbfounded when the radio interviewer asked me if I liked being a spokesperson for people with Aspergers. In truth it is very awkward for these reasons - 1) I'm not an "expert" or have any special clinical knowledge about ASD so I fear the potential to say something about the condition which might be incorrect, 2) I am an individual and my experience and personal manifestation of ASD is likely to be quite different from others. While there are broad similarities there can also be divergences and I don't want to give the impression there is a stereotypical "Aspergers" personality.

However, apart from this discomfort I am simultaneously pleased to have the opportunity to publicly blast some stupid untruths about Aspies, in particular to clarify that it is NOT an intellectual disability and that we don't have empathy towards others. We have a neurological difference that means we process information in a non-typical fashion. Another way of interpreting that statement could be to say because we are in a minority (like people with violet eyes) its more obvious when we do something differently from the majority.

I may get in trouble for telling this anecdote, but it makes me chuckle because its a such a graphic depiction of how I feel about ASD. Decades ago I worked in a brothel and a regular visitor was a person of exceptionally short stature who had an enormous penis. The joke was that what he had been deprived of vertically he had been gifted horizontally.

Saturday 19 November 2016

Adeline pattern makeover

A week ago I just released "End Point" which is my 11th PDF pattern since I started publishing my designs two and half years ago. I haven't yet officially announced End Point as I'm still working on grading it into a larger size range and will write that blog when that is completed in about a week. However, a few close observers have already purchased End Point....

In the meantime I was inspired to re-publish "Adeline" which was an early design released in 2014 because I realised the cover picture didn't do justice to what a fabulous garment this is. My technical skills with creating illustrations have improved vastly since the original clumsy effort. I also went through the instructions and tidied them up to make them more succinct....over the years of blog writing and pattern publishing I've been learning to curb my natural inclination to excessive verbiage...

Here is the cover of my new, improved version of Adeline

Adeline is now relisted in my Etsy and Shopify stores - see buttons on the right side panel of the blog if you want to get more information or buy.

A few months ago Rodney and I went up to the border of New South Wales to the lovely coastal town of Brunswick Heads to see the release of the "Createability" films. About 6 months ago(?) I mentioned in a blog post that I had been selected to feature in one of these 3 minute short films for ABC TV as I met the criteria of being a creative person with a disability. I'm ASD - on the Autistic Spectrum with Aspergers Syndrome. We have just heard that the 9 short films will be available on ABC iview next year and will soon be promoted on public ABCTV. Apparently I will be in a short cut for this TV promo....I am definitely a bit anxious that you will soon be seeing my face on national TV...please be kind!

Thursday 27 October 2016

Wave Dress in expanded size range

Since publishing the Wave Dress a couple of months ago I've had a number of requests to offer it in a smaller size range. So I took a few days to grade it into a small size range and it's now listed in the Etsy and Shopify stores to buy. The new sizes are

Women sizes approximately equivalent to: 
Australian:   10, 12, 14 
USA:   8, 10,12 
EU/European:  38, 40, 42

Bust range:   92 - 107 cm,  36 - 42 inches

Maximum Bust measurement of the finished garment is: 114cm, 45 inches

cover page of the Wave Dress

Heres pictures of a new sample I made from the Wave pattern. It's in a lightweight black cotton knit with red overlocking and stitching turned to the outside. On the middle left panel I hand sewed some circle motifs on with red thread.

...and if you like the necklace I'll list that in the shop too

Tuesday 18 October 2016

camouflage chook

Roger the rooster in my garden this morning camouflaging himself as a Salvia.....

Monday 17 October 2016

Red Cross Garden Ramble

Yesterdays Red Cross fund raising garden ramble was a great success. The weather was pretty good, just a light breeze. Rodney and I were flattered to get many compliments about the garden.

Heres pictures of what it was like...

garden beds in front of the studio

pathway at side of garden studio, leading to the gazebo and ponds

door of my garden studio and some Yucca trees

front gate of our house

Bali style gazebo

house frontage from the footpath of Haydon Street, we planted the verges about 10 months ago

mondo grass and paving at the back of the garden studio

a bridge across a pond channel

Roger, our pet Bantam Rooster inspecting young tomatoes as a potential dietary supplement

looking down the garden to the home studio

Saturday 15 October 2016

our garden today

I can't resist showing some more pictures of my garden, it's lovely at the moment

Today is the last day for preparing the garden for the Red Cross Ramble tomorrow. So this afternoon I'll take more pictures in the afternoon, when the light is at the best and show more views.

Thursday 13 October 2016

New PDF pattern - Serenade

Today I've just published my new PDF pattern - the Serenade Skirt. I really love the flattering cut of this A-line skirt and the ever so practical elastic waistband. 

I had lots of fun making samples for Serenade. The multiple panels of the skirt give so much scope for creative mixing and matching of fabrics. As a sewist of many decades I have a big stack of leftover short fabric lengths and it was a delight to go through them to mix and match a heap fabric of leftovers to make the olive green skirt shown here.

Then I went all ecstatic Summery with the bright orange and blue cotton version, which is a mix of those 2 vibrant colours and one of my fabric designs printed by Spoonflower. 

pattern cover of Serenade Skirt

The main picture on the pattern cover shows a black skirt made in a crepe georgette that has red contrast stitching showing on the outside. This fabric has a lovely weight and drape and this skirt feels wonderful to wear. While the red thread was still on the overlocker I also made the bright lime green cotton knit version.

Serenade Skirt, made in knit from a variety of prints and solid colours.

uber Summer version of Serenade in lightweight cotton

Serenade in black crepe georgette with stitching featured on the outside

Serenade in medium weight lime green cotton knit and red stitching
I hope you like this new design. To go with it I've also designed a wonderful little sleeveless vest with applique detailing and hope to have that ready for publishing in 3-4 weeks. Will show you some pictures of the Serenade Vest soon....

On a completely different subject....You are all invited to see my garden! This Sunday October 16th my garden will be opened for viewing as part of the local Red Cross' annual fund raising Garden Ramble. There are 2 other gardens included and the cost is $20 to see all.

Here are the addresses

1. "Rosewood", 4 Debenham Street. Blandford 10am - 1pm

2. Swansborough Garden, 34 Haydon Street, Murrurundi, 10am - 4pm

3. Riverside Garden, 505 Pages River Road, Murrurundi, 10am - 4pm

a view of my garden at 34 Haydon Street

Thursday 22 September 2016

new pattern - "Grecian Tunic"

This is my newly published PDF pattern - Grecian.

Grecian tunic made in grey 

I often have a hard time finding a name that feels right for a design but this one came easily as the way the fabric of the garment drapes and swirls reminds me of the way greek women in ancient times wrapped the "toga" cloth around their body.

The Grecian Tunic is a long line loose fitting pullover tunic with elbow length sleeves. The hemline is irregular, slanting to a V point at the right side front hemline. At the left front the side seam falls in looping soft drapes from the underarm to below the hipline. 

There are 2 versions of the garment to make, VIEW ONE has a deep round neck and VIEW TWO has a wide and softly draping cowl collar. There are no zips or button openings, it just pulls on over your head. Much of the reason why the garment drapes so elegantly is because the front pattern piece is cut on the bias of the fabric. This also results in any print lying diagonally across the front, offering the possibility for creative use of stripe fabrics.

Grecian Tunic pattern cover

Grecian Tunic made in an open weave cotton gauze

Grecian Tunic in a polyester elastane knit, note how the print lies diagonally across the front
because the pattern piece is cut on the bias of the fabric
back view of the Grecian Tunic

Thursday 14 July 2016

in defence of chooks

I had to post this entreaty on behalf of KFC on my community forum this morning.....

As regards the matter of the feathered outlaw known as KFC:

The notorious complainant “Anonymous” has been roused to call upon the local Council by-laws to protect tender ears and the sleep they are entitled to. This morning I received a visit from “Compliance Officer” - Anonymous having turned me in as the party harbouring the feral noisome Haydon Street cock-a-doodle-rama.

KFC, as the bandit feathered throat has become referred to in our household, is a bantam rooster that did in fact find asylum in our backyard about 2 months ago. KFC found it an environment conducive to rooster flourishment, being able to avail himself of the water and parrot seed provided in daily abundance for his feathered relatives. We didn’t bring him here as a pet and initially tried to catch him, intending to turn him over to the border control authorities who would duly torture and punish him for his presumption….KFC however proved a wily escape artist capable of flying literally into the treetops to prolong his outrageous desire for survival.

After a few weeks we got used him, despite his enthusiastic proclivity for celebrating the arrival of daylight around 4 am (though Compliance Officer astonished me with Anonymous’ assertion that the immodest Rooster starts whooping at 1am and goes on to 10am…..)

I would like to sincerely apologise to Anonymous and any other residents of Haydon Street, who have lately suffered the affliction of KFCs awful assault on their eardrums, particularly for the infelicitious hour of the morning when KFC is aroused to perform his Olympic scale yodelling.

In the manner of bleeding heart latte sippers my husband and I would like to plead for “live and let live”. Can we beg the Rooster Intolerance Posse to pause it’s pogrom long enough – perhaps up to a couple of weeks? – while we seek to instigate a solution that has been put to us by a fellow dissolute  poultry lover. We have heard that a wide Velcro collar may be applied to the offending feathered throat, thereby obstructing the windbaggery from filling the bladder from which the opera of offence is subsequently emitted.

To perform this procedure we take on the challenge of capturing the wily critter and this may take several days….? This morning we are obtaining a cage to be able to enact this. Regrettably we are away this weekend as a relative is inconveniently turning 80….but promise to be back on the case Monday morning at whatever hour the 2 legged descendent of the dinosaur starts his furore…
In the interim we beg you not to resort to throwing poison into our yard as we have little dogs we adore (rescued from another canine prison camp….) Fortunately for them they aren’t inclined to noisome barking!

Compliance Officer is satisfied we are actively seeking to remedy riotous rooster and will give us a couple of weeks grace to capture and de-bark the aforementioned.

Anonymous, may all your eggs be fresh and praying you don’t choke on your next chicken roast dinner

All the beast,
Pearl Moon (defiant defender of the under-chook)

PS. Compliance Officer arrived at the door when I was in the middle of writing a letter of outrageous indignation to politician and local MP Barnaby Joyce after hearing him on Radio National this morning coming out in defence of maintaining the Greyhound racing “industry”,  which I’ll now resume……..

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....