Tuesday 29 June 2010

Quilting-time saving tip #3

Another thing I find works well to create more time to make art is to get all your work done early on the morning and to have the house tidy before bed at night. 

I always try to tidy up at dinner time.  I try and make a game out of it with the children.  We see how much we can get done in 10 minutes I always make sure the kitchen is tidy and clean before bed and that the sink is shiny. 

The fly lady has a wonderful web page on how to keep your house wonderful and clean and organised even if you are working full time.  Her first tip is to keep her sink sparkling.  To look at her programme go to the link below. 


 It is amazing how much cleaner the house feels if the sink and benches in the kitchen are clean.   I try and make sure everything is laid out the night before for the next day and I get out the meat for the next nights dinner.

In the morning I try and have the washing done,  prepare the dinner,  have the house tidy and the breakfast dishes completed before the children leave for school.  When had children still at home I made a goal to have it done before 10 am.  With the important jobs out of the way I feel a lot more free to create art in any time left throughout the day.  It also means that in a busy day,pockets of time are more likely to become available rather than them getting sucked up into house work and other necessary but unimportant tasks.

Friday 25 June 2010

quilt challenge-52 cards in a year

Week four

This week I have added colour to fabric and I have have also taken colour away.   

I started by painting white cotton fabric with fabric ink and then I stenciled the main image on the middle of the fabric.  With  thickened bleach  I painted patterns on the fabric.  Once this was washed and dried I used a black,  silver and white pen to emphasise pattern.  Then I machine quilted the piece.

I added shiva oil sticks to give the piece a nice sheen and more definition.    I then used pens and coloured pencils to add shading and more depth to the lines.

For information on how to purchase these wonderful paint sticks follow the link below.

Thursday 24 June 2010

Quilting arts calendar competition

It has come to my attention that some people have found it hard to find my
2 winning entries for the 2011 Quilting arts calander competition so I have put a new link up here to see if it is any easier. 

I'm sorry for the inconvenience. 

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Quilting arts calendar

I have just found out that my quilting art piece
"2 peas in a pod"
 has been chosen as the front cover on the 2011
Quilting arts calendar.   

Go to
to see the cover or to order a copy. 

Sunday 20 June 2010

Art photography ideas

When looking for a subject to shoot for art photography the first thing I consider in the sculpture of the object.  I tend to gravitate towards nature.  I enjoy the organic shapes,  smells and texture of natural resources.

 I place what ever I am photographing on a plain background  (like above) or I blur the background if the object can't be removed. As I have done in the photo below.

By minimising the distractions in the background I find I am able to "play" a little more with he photo.  I can emphasise the strong sculpture and texture of the photo.  It also draws the viewers eye to the image immediately.

I also like to get up close to the object, in this case a flower.  What can be seen closely is beautiful.and the camera can capture this beauty so well.  Sometimes it is even hard to tell what the bigger picture might be.  As in the case of the first picture of this blog a newly opened fern leaf.   Also try taking the same object form different angle and with different effects.  The following photos are of the same fern leaf.

Try getting down and getting close and seeing nature or other objects from a different angle.  See where a another view might take you.

Friday 18 June 2010

Quilting-#2 Time saving:Once a week basket

One of the best time savers I have found so I can get to quilting more is our once a week basket.  

I use this tool everyday to get the house tidy.  Anything found in the common areas of the house i.e.  Lounge,  hall way,  bathroom kitchen etc that dosen't belong there gets put in the once a week basket.  Every saturday morning someone in the house sorts the belongings in the basket out and retuns then to there proper places.

  When I began doing this the basket was emptied every day but as we have used theis tool more once a week has been sufficient. Using this method of clean up have freed my time up more,  created a tidy atmosphere to work in (which has cleared up my mind) and eased the load of housework on a daily basis.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

quilting-#1 How can I make time?

With our busy lives it is becoming harder and harder to find time to quilt.  I have had to choose to make time rather then find it.  Some things that work for me, as a very busy mother of 5 children and a wife of a dairy farmer, are

  • Prioritising-When I had the children at home during the day, the children would go down for a rest no matter what the age. This would be my time.  Not time to race around the house cleaning.  The housework will always be there.
  • Creating in 5 minute doses-I try and leave out what I'm working on so I can do little bits of work
  • Work on smaller scale pieces so they have a chance of getting finished
  • Good routines in the house so my time is freed up.  Now my children all go school each day I have housework,  dinner,  washing,  etc all done before the children leave for school so I can create all day. 
  • Dovetailing jobs-When I take the children to lessons I do the groceries,  library drop of etc so i only have to go into town a couple of times a week
  • Planning-if I plan what I want to do on a daily basis I am more likely to accomplish it
  • Writing down my goals of what I want to achieve.
  • Only creating one piece of work at a time so I get the feeling of accomplishing something.  When I finish something I am more likely to keep going back and doing more
  • Keeping my work space tidy and clean
  • Having handwork I can do while my children are watching a movie or T.V.  I can still be with them and create at the same time
  • Quilt, paint and stitch along side your children-this teaches them new skills
  • Make time for yourself-it helps our children see the importance of looking after me so that we can give to others with a full spirit
  • Have a meal plan so you know what you need to cook each day
  • read about other peoples art and techniques.  I try and take a book with me on quilting everywhere I go in case i have a chance to do some learning.
  • Allocate a night a personal date night every week where your husband/partner or friend looks after your children or if you have no kids a night that they know about so you won't be disturbed so you can quilt, stitich and create to your hearts content.
  • Sometimes turn of the phone,  the comuter and the I Pod.  Have techno free days where no one can reach you.

I know if I can create on a daily basis I am happier,  healthier,  a much better mum and a much more completed human being.  Making time for my needs is imperitive for my life.

Monday 14 June 2010

quilt challenge-52 cards in a year

Week three

I wanted to explore the running stitch in this weeks challenge piece.  I chose to stitch a nikau palm which are found in our beautiful New Zealand bush. 

The background fabric is hand dyed and stamped with my own "eraser stamp.  I then embroidered the nikau palm on the middle of the card.  To finish with I used metallic paint sticks to give a shimmer to border of the art work.

Close up of nikau palm. 

Saturday 12 June 2010

Art photography

Taking photos and "playing around" with them on photo programmes seemed like I was cheating.  But when I changed my view from cheating, to an art form I was hooked on "art photography"  

I found when I began to change colours, contrast and lighting,  shapes in the photos began to change,  interesting patterns emerged and different parts of the photo was highlighted. 

To begin with this photo of a palm leaf was completely green and the contrast was quite strong between the background and the leaf.  I love the sculpture of this leaf and how the leaf disappears into the back of the photo.
When I started to play with the negative and positive,  contrast and colour a whole new photo appeared.  The different tones of the leaf have been really highlighted with the introduction of red to the leaf. 

By taking the negative of the left photo and making it black and white the structure of the carnation is the focal point.  The structure of the flower takes centre stage and makes a very powerful image.  The petals are almost translucent showing to the viewer how fragile they are.

Having a new point of view has helped me to see the world around me in a different way.

Thursday 10 June 2010

quilt challenge-52 cards in a year

Week two 

In this weeks playing card challenge I decided to quilt first and add colour second.  I quilted using a variety of brown threads.  Next I painted a a variety of tones of brown onto different parts of the art piece.  I finished with metallic shiva paint sticks to make the quilting pop out and to give a nice sheen to the material.

Here is a close up of this piece.

My inspiration for the design of piece came from a piece of art deco iron work that I loved.  I chose the colours to be very gentle to match in with the very fluid lines.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Quilting - the need to create

Do you have a need so strong that if you don't do it your life doesn't feel like it is worth living.  I find if I have a gap from creating and making art work I don't seem to fuction as well.  I need to make things and create with my hands.  I think it comes from a desire to visulize what thoughts I have inside so I can share them with others and to also express hidden desires and emotions in a constructive and safe way. 
It is a need to journey down an unexplored path and to not know what is around the bend.  To create the ending and to have others find meaning and pleasure from your work.

Sunday 6 June 2010

quilting arts calendar challenge

I am a winner again of the Quilting Art calendar challenge!! I entered 2 pieces and both accepted in the calendar.  I have won 2 price packages.  The theme this year was flavour of the month.

The first piece is a cup of hot chocolate sitting on a magazine with a roaring fire in the background.  The second piece is a pea pod opened.  Both pieces are crayoned,  painted and heavily machine quilted.

To see these pieces visit the quilting arts website  http://www.quiltingarts.com/

The calendar will be out later this year.

Friday 4 June 2010

quilt challenge-52 cards in a year

Week one

After having children,  family, school and the government coming for handouts,  this week I thought I would begin on a piece entitled money doesn't grow on trees. 

This is the tree that every parent has in their back yard for any whim of any child or school.  An ever open cheque book ready and waiting.
This piece is machine felted with wools,  threads and dyed unspun wool,  embellished with beads ana money disks.  The tree is made on a piece of wool tweed.

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