Sunday, 28 March 2010

Anatomy of a Tea Cosy commission, March, Stage 2

Last evening as I was stitching away on the other side of the cosy I had the uneasy feeling that something wasn't quite right...

And then this morning when I checked the instructions and ideas from the client I found I'd put the wrong purple silk on the cosy, and also on the cushions, so this morning I've been unpicking the cushions and re-stitching the correct purple silk, and with the cosy I've added the darker purple silk over the top of the paler purple to get it right.

I love that with textiles, its possible to layer and hide areas and thus create rich layers of built-up texture and weight...

So now I'm about to start freehand machine embroidering the Peony flower, to then be hand embroidered to 'colour' it in, and I'll add the three blue wren silhouettes which are to represent the client's three children, which I think is such a lovely metaphor!

The next images will be of this embroidery and I'll start the Mercedes car on the Union Jack side tomorrow morning....I still have to confirm with the client what sort of imagery will be above the car, as this piece is for the client's wedding anniversary and the Union Jack side reflects aspects of her English husband's personality and passions.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Anatomy of a Tea Cosy commission, March 2010

I currently have a tea cosy and cushion commission for a client in Sydney and thought I would document the process, for a change!

So to start with, the cosy is based on one I've already made for friends, and this current cosy will have personalised changes to suit the client- a different car, birds instead of Coco the Wonderdog, etc...

So we begin, by pinning one side (and then giving it to my talented, able and obliging mother, Claire, to stitch down while I progress with a million other jobs and get to the involved embroidery stage, thanks so much mum!!)

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

New cushions for 'Hilbarn New Vintage' store in Tasmania

A friend of mine, talented journalist Hilary Burden, and her partner Barney have opened a lovely little country store called Hilbarn New vintage, at Karoola in Northern Tasmania...and she asked me to make her some cushions for the store (and a magazine feature! Yay, I hope these cushions work well for her and the photographer?!)

also has a fabulous Fresh Produce Delivery service in and around Launceston and this is something I feel passionately about....and just wish we lived a little closer to town to enjoy the benefits of this service (luckily we have productive vegetable gardens and fruit orchards at both our parent's places which we can raid regularly!).

Hand and freehand machine embroidery on silk, with jacquard woven hemp backing and Australian feather inserts, each cushion measures 60 x 30cm.

I'm really pleased with how the Peony Teapot cushion worked out...its quite hard to see this one go away, actually!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Teacup Beecup loveliness from Chile

A friend just emailed a link to designer Mariana Tocornal's website where you can see these amazing and delicate Beecups and Teabag artworks...Happy perusing!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Alice in Wonderland is all the rage...again!

My friend Cat-Rabbit has just shown me this amazing old version of Alice in Wonderland made in 1903...

Isn't it glorious?!! I love the Mad Hatter's tea party scene, with all the restored film scratches and jumpy frames!

Amazing Museum Tea cosy find....

Last Friday I spent a very productive day with curator Elizabeth Adkins at Franklin House in Launceston, in Northern Tasmania.

We are working on an exhibition/collaboration about Tasmanian Women's underwear between 1820 (European settlement/Occupation), and 1930. Franklin House is a National Trust property which happily has a fabulous small collection of antique clothing which we spend 4 hours inspecting and documenting for specific items.

Our current working title for the exhibition project is 'Intimacy' & Elizabeth will be curating the exhibition, drawing on the collections of Tasmania's small museums, and writing the exhibition essay....and I will be responding to the collections we inspect as well as the general historical background and traditions associated with Women's Underwear in Australia and in particular, Tasmania. So I will create a body of embroidered textile artworks which reflect all our research and field trips to inspect collections.

So far Elizabeth and I have been to see and document the lovely collections at the Smithton Museum in North-West Tasmania, and now Franklin House near Launceston. We have a huge schedule of more road trips and will start a new blog about this exhibition project to share the exciting results with everyone who is interested!

During our inspection at Franklin House we found this magnificent treasure....a truly Majestic Tea Cosy of exciting proportions....and so interestingly made to resemble Peacock plumage to some extent. I was so excited about finding it that I HAD to share these pics....!

Also another blog that I love and want to share with you is Toronto based Flock of Teacosy. Check out Michaelle's lovely felted wool cosies.....I'm hoping my sister in Toronto can get me one for my birthday in April?!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Is there a magic formula for stretching days & making them longer....?

I'm really itching to make another tea cosy, well, to finish another one.
I have four cut and pinned and in various stages of completion, maybe more than four actually....though for now I have commission and orders to complete.

These are two of six new purses for my Autumn/Winter 2010 collection for my PARIS+TASMANIA label and have been mailed off to (M)Art at Artisan in Brisbane, Queensland (Australia) for the opening of their new store at Southbank.

I'm playing with some familiar imagery that I really love, mixed with Elizabethan portraits & slashed clothing and 1920's beading on silk satin and Dupion...I really want to start freeing up a lot with my embroidery and having fun again, so this is the start...and you can see more here

Trusty Teapot...

A restrained Willow Patterned teacup...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Tea Cosies brewing in my mind....

Wow, this is turning into a once-a-month blog since I started being a baby-cosy!
At the moment I'm making work to fill orders and luckily there are three tea cosies on order which I'm working on right now....

I had a stall at The Market in Hobart last Sunday and found a very good home for my 1930's Kitchen Cupboard Cosy, which has a lovely new owner. I always feel so happy when coises find their owners!

Also at The Market I had some lovely new purses...coin cosies!!

T for Teapot

W for Willow Pattern

The inspiration for these purses are some old Victorian era wooden alphabet blocks with printed paper sides I found in a junk shop years ago.

Can't wait to upload pics of new cosies, hopefully next week!