New Fine Art Print: Toiletries

OK, now you know too much about me, even down to my moisturiser of choice (Aesop Mandarin Facial Cream, so good!) and my favourite nail polish (Kester Black is the biz), because I drew them all and then turned that drawing into an art print. Is that weird? It feels a tiny bit weird. Oh well. The packaging of these objects are burnt into my brain, cos I use them all the time. And some of these things are sentimental, like the Mason Pearson hairbrush my mum got me for my birthday when I was a kid (thanks mum!) and the comb my friend gave me for my most recent birthday (thanks Em!) Oh, and my tip for nail clippers? Go to Muji. 

And a little heads up that all art prints are now available in A4 and *new* A3 size. They're all archival quality giclee prints, using the highest quality pigment inks, printed on fade resistant canvas paper (I just love that texture!) Hope you like.

X Susan

New Quilt and maybe a Pattern!

This weekend, for the first time in ages, I didn't have much on, which meant I finally had time to finish the quilt I started last month. I'd forgotten how fun they are to design and make, and how the little details, like making your own binding, can be so rewarding.

For this quilt I had a few aims - I wanted to make it small and lap-sized (perfect for the cooling weather here in Melbourne), to test out a simple pattern I had in mind, and also show the size of a quilt made using five panels of my fabric (which are around the size of a fat quarter). 

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I'd already cut and started sewing up the pieces for the front, and finishing this off didn't take too much time. Then I dug deep into my stash to find some fabric for the binding and the backing - pieces that fit in with the overall colour palette but also provide a bit of contrast. 

For the binding I chose some fabric I printed in my old studio in Kensington in around 2009 (which is horrifyingly nearly 10 years ago!) It's a small brown dot on a beige cotton linen and mixed in well with the other basecloth fabrics. For the backing I chose some of my yardage fabric from around the same time - Akzidenz alphabet printed on a sturdy organic cotton, in a mushroom grey ink. I recently found a small bolt of this hidden under a bunch of other fabric, which was a nice surprise discovery!

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For the actual quilting part I simply sewed across the front in long lines - kind of boring but I'm not into facing quilting stitch patterns. This part is quite meditative, and makes me appreciate how good it is having the right tools, like a proper walking foot (a bit of an investment but totally worth it!).

The pattern for the quilt is super simple - squares and rectangles made by cutting up five different panels of Spin Spin fabric (including one plain unprinted panel, the charcoal coloured pieces), then arranging them into a grid. I used a super generous 1cm seam allowance, which I'd probably reduce a bit next time - this would also mean the quilt would be a bit bigger, as there are so many pieces! For the homemade binding I made strips of fabric 2.5" wide but next time I think I'll make the strips a bit wider, so you can see more of it. It would also make sewing it on a bit easier, as there's more room to move. The overall size of this finished quilt is just what I wanted - around 90cm x 100cm (35" x 39.5").

I'd love to know what you think of the look of this quilt and also if you'd be interested in a pattern - please comment if you do/don't like it or if you've got any suggestions. If you'd prefer to send me a message that'd be great too.

Below are some images to give you more of a look and if you keep an eye on my shop, in the next day or so you'll find the April fabric special, a pack of five pieces :) And did I mention that next time I want to make an 8- or 10-panel quilt? I might need a bit more time to sew that one up, hmm.

New Yallourn House print & a bit of history

OK, so I *may* have an addiction to drawing houses. Often pastel coloured, wonky houses. Some are houses I go past all the time and some are houses I used to live near but the latest fits neither of those categories - not only have I never seen this house, I can't see it because it doesn't exist anymore*. In fact, the town it's from doesn't exist anymore either.

So what is this place and why did I draw it? It's from a town called Yallourn, which was built by Victoria's State Electricity Commission to house the workers of Victoria's open-cut brown coal mines in East Gippsland. It's also the town that my dad grew up in and it looked to be a wonderland of green spaces with a vibrant, engaged community. But it's a town I never got to see because it was all but gone by the early 1980s. You see as the mine expanded, it swallowed up the whole area, and all of Yallourn. You can read a bit more about it here on the new house print's shop listing page here.

So that's the story with the latest house drawing. And even without knowing the background story, I still think it's just a very cute little house and I do hope you like it. 

X Susan

* When I say the house doesn't exist anymore that may not actually be the case. A lot of the houses from Yallourn were simple constructions - a timber frame with weatherboard cladding - and were removed and relocated to towns nearby and also far away. So if you're ever in the Latrobe Valley region keep a look out and you might just see this house, or one like it. How cool is that?

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Hello 2018

Yep, it's most definitely 2018 now but it took a while for the year to kick in here, due to a bit of an unexpected and crap end to last year. My advice: don't get food poisoning on Christmas Day, then faint with a glass of water in your hand and end up in hospital, needing plastic surgery on Boxing Day. Yes, that really happened to me. But there's nothing like being incapacitated to reevaluate your life and the point of your existence (and what you'll do with yourself if you can't take photos/draw/paint/use a mouse etc etc.)

 Stitches!

Stitches!

 And more stitches, just before they came out.

And more stitches, just before they came out.

I'm glad to say that my hands are nearly all better, which I am sooo grateful for, and now I cannot wait to see what cool stuff awaits in 2018. At the moment I'm dedicating a bit of time each day to drawing (mainly because I'm so happy that I can draw) and have just listed a brand new drawing called North Carlton Houses, I've just sent off my first textile design to be digitally printed as fabric yardage (I really want to make myself some outfits from my own textile designs), I have a new batch of earrings waiting to be fired in the kiln and I am trying to finalise the design of a new multi-coloured screen print. Oh, and I can not stop taking photos and more photos. Hope your 2018 is going great. 

 Digitally printed textiles! This is a sample I designed and had printed last year.

Digitally printed textiles! This is a sample I designed and had printed last year.

 This brand new print,  North Carlton Houses , has just been listed in the store

This brand new print, North Carlton Houses, has just been listed in the store

Summer in November

I'm doing a bunch of screenprinting today, to ward off Monday-itis and get some orders sorted out. The ink colours I'm using are very pastel and I just realised it's kind of summer here in Melbourne, though it feels like we got no spring. Oh well, at least that means endless salads, like the beetroot and cabbage slaw I had for lunch (and yes, I get to keep the reject plates - this one's got a hairline crack in it, what a shame!)

I'm thinking of using the paper I rest my squeegee on between prints (bottom photo) to wrap some orders - I usually throw that paper out but today the mess of ink and patterns looked pretty cool. Watch this space.

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Shop update update

I'm posting shop updates each day this week. Mainly because there are so many new things and dealing with them all at once would do my head in! Here's a sample of what's gone up so far - lots of ceramics...

Happy Thursday.