I had a lot of fun organising and coordinating which fabric colours/patterns to put together for July's fabric scrap packs. And as an added bonusRead More
It's nearly September...what?! To celebrate entering the ninth month of the year, all September orders will receive a little Hei Hey Hallo Hi! screen printed postcard. Cute! I'm also working on a little card idea using some multi-coloured designs I've created lately.
Also coming soon - some more art prints, on the best textured paper ever. It's taken me years to find a stock that I like and this is it (below). Hope you like too. Watch this space.
I'm having a very drawing-y week, trying to get some recent and super old ideas refined. And I should clarify, when I say 'refined' I mean more like how I see them in my head, rather than more polished or professional looking. Because I like my work to be raw and real and sometimes sketchy, just like my favourite music and my favourite people :) This afternoon's task was redrawing (as in with pens) and scanning and recolouring a picture I did a while ago - all the combs of my childhood. So many memories in a comb! I think I used to study them and the shapes of some of them are etched in my mind. Here they are, and maybe one day soon they'll be an art print.
When I get in a creative rut I like to try something new, to keep myself happy and push myself in other directions. Trying out a different technique of drawing/painting/colouring/whatever is usually a good way of doing this - just do something, anything, right now, as quickly as you can.
So when I felt in a funk yesterday I took time to draw a heap of patterns with a Sharpie, then scanned them and turned them into a handful of minimal two-colour patterns (my favourite). Happy Wednesday to you.
How is it possible that I've only just discovered the art of pysanky, ie: the decoration of eggs with fun patterns, using beeswax?! I do vaguely remember doing some basic egg decorating as a child, maybe using a fern and a stocking and some dye. But being able to 'draw' really detailed patterns onto an egg using a fine tipped wax pen, called a kistka, is so much more fun.
If you're at a loose end over Easter and you can get your hands on a kistka, some wax and dye this week (hello, online shopping!) I'd highly recommend giving it a shot yourself. Below is a really basic tutorial, with the method my friend and I used - it really is so simple!
PYSANKY EGG DECORATING
- Eggs (free range of course!) - try a range of shell colours and sizes
- A pin
- A small screwdriver
- A kistka hot wax tool
- Paper towel
- Wash your hands thoroughly. You want to remove any natural or other oil from your skin, to make sure you don't transfer this to the eggs - it will stop the dye from penetrating the shell.
- Hollow out your eggs. Prick a hole at each end using a pin and then use a small screwdriver to make a slightly bigger hole, being careful not to crack the egg. Blow the eggwhite and yolk into a bowl and use in baking, or make some scrambled eggs for lunch.
- Light a candle and hold the kistka tip in the flame to warm it up. Scoop the tool through the beeswax to fill the well with hot wax.
- Decorate your egg using the kistka. You can transfer a pattern onto the egg using a pencil, then trace it with the tool. Or go freehand and decorate however you want. If you need some inspiration, hello Google!
- Mix up some dye and submerge the wax-decorated egg for at least 15 minutes. You can buy natural egg dye or try making your own, using beetroot or onion skin or eucalypt leaves or whatever else you can dream up.
- You can now do some further decorating and then dye in additional colours, or you can stop at one colour.
- To remove the wax, heat the egg using a hairdryer. Be careful not to burn yourself or blow the egg out of your hands (tricky!) As the wax heats up, use some paper towel to wipe off the wax. And that's it! Admire your handy work.
UM, HAPPY 2017. Glad we've got that over and done with, especially as it's mid-February already.
My year has gone way too quickly but has been pretty great - it's summer, I've been swimming in pools and the bay and the ocean and eating lots of amazing fruit - two of my favourite summer things.
Last week, five days into February, I decided to set myself a challenge of spending an hour each weekday in Feb working on new patterns. IE: the one thing I really want to do but never seem to have time for. I'm so used to thinking about pattern and design in terms of screens and colour separations (for screenprinting) but for this project I've set no limitations. GO NUTS! The aim is to just create, starting on paper and then digitising. So far I've used tools I haven't used before or haven't used in a while - thick Sharpie pens, potato stamps, new paint brushes with India ink and a range of black felt pens I got in Japan. Here is a selection of what I've come up with.
Not only is it September, but it's nearly the end of September. How did this happen? The Royal Melbourne Show is on, another radiothon is over for my favourite station RRR and it's definitely spring in still-cold Melbourne.
Here are some snaps of the things I've been working on lately - lots of ceramics, lots of watercolour patterns and lots of fabric (that I don't have proper photos of yet), soon to be added to the shop and/or for sale at some upcoming events.
On a different not, today I listened to this podcast from The Jealous Curator while working (found via Tess at Creative Minds Publishing & CWC) and recommend it to any creatives who love hearing artists talking about their work and their thoughts. Sandra Eterovic is so generous with her thoughts and her ideas, what a gem.
And finally, there's a post about me at the Maribyrnong Makers Market blog.
Here are some watercolour patterns I painted yesterday and today, when I realised I had a full blank pad of watercolour paper that I'd forgotten I'd bought. I've been quite into making freeform watercolour doodles lately - it's fun and therapeutic and relaxing. And because I'm so colour restricted with screen printing and with ceramics, I've gone a bit nuts on colour overload. Who needs a colouring in book?
I just love fruit and vegetables and most weeks I go to the local farmers market and buy produce directly from those who grew it. Although often not perfect looking, it tastes so good (and who wants perfect looking produce anyway?) I like that there's dirt on the potatoes, mushrooms and beets, that the apples and pears have russeting.
The other day I decided to draw some of the produce I'd bought that weekend. I'm no great drawer but trust me when I say that the first few greylead sketches looked terrible. I was about to move onto doing something else but then I picked up a new pen I bought in Japan and it was like the pen took over (seriously!) and I was drawing things in a different way. And the drawings just all seemed to fit together. Yesterday I finally had time to sit down at my computer and turn the drawings into a pattern. I might yet tweak it a bit but think it might soon find itself onto a tea towel.
Because screenprinting requires a different separation for each colour, I tend to think about design/patterns in a certain way. As I'm also a massive fan of minimal colour palettes (two or three colours maximum), this has been just fine. But lately I've had a hankering for a change, so the other day I bought a set of watercolours. Here are a few patterns I've been playing around with (ie: me going colour crazy).
On a different note, I've just posted a couple of fabric packs in my Etsy shop. Snap them up while you can...