Monday, April 25, 2011

FibreArts Ballarat 2011

Where have I been? Well since you asked, I have been on my annual jaunt to Ballarat. The weather was beautiful, the company excellent and the class I did superb.
I have had a serious case of the "Blahs" for quite a while. I really wanted to make something but couldn't even find the initiative to finish one of my many WIP’s (works in progress).
The doll I made with Jill Maas changed that and I have recovered my drive.
I spent the 6 days in Ballarat creating up a storm. As always there was a class I would love to do in the future but for the first time I didn’t look at the other classes and think “Damn I wish I had done that one”.
Joss Farmer Jones is a truly excellent, incredibly patient teacher and an wonderful book maker. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart this was one of the best classes I have ever done. Fun, relaxing and filled with (for me) new techniques and lots of information.

We made lots of different coloured papers in a variety of techniques I have always wanted to have a go at. Itajime, marbling and dipping.
The blue book is a technique where you dip tissue paper in inks that you have splashed about on a piece of glass. After they have dried they are ironed onto a piece of freezer paper and then 3 coats of blonde shellac is brushed on allowed to dry between each coat. The freezer paper is left in situ.
I used it as part of the cover for my leather bound binding. The leather and paper were glued and stitched in place.

The orange marbled paper covered book is a simple spiral bound item, it is actually all our class notes that we made into a book on our last day. An excellent idea that I will use in the future.

The other 3 are concertina books, I haven’t written anything in them yet.

The teachers and classes for 2012 are up on Gleny's site FiberArts Ballarat
I am doing a Mixed Media class with Jenny Crossley let me know if you are going to come and I'll catch up with you there.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jill Maas

I spent the weekend making a doll 'Snowdrop and Frosty' by Jill Maas. I haven't made a doll for ages. I ran out of oomph for doing much in the way of textiles. I wasn't even that keen to do the doll workshop but I had made the committment to do it and didn't want to let my friend Christine down by dropping out at the last minute. Off I went on Saturday thinking 'Why did I commit to doing this'.

I made my favorite Spice Cake to take along. I hadn't made that for quite a while and it is an easy cake that everyone who eats it always raves over so it was a good choice to take along. I knew I would know just about everyone there and was looking forward to spending time with them, still I had a large case of the blah's.

Getting out and making something was just the thing to cheer me up. Starting and finishing Snowdrop and Frosty in 2 days gave me just the sense of accomplishment I needed to kick start me back into my textile adventures.

I hadn't made a doll with or by Jill Maas before her patterns are very popular. I know why now. The patterns are easy to make and the results are beautiful. Jill was a great teacher, she made sure everyone got the help they needed.
I also bought the pattern for High Octave Hester
and The Little Singers
Photos courtesy of Jill Maas's website.

I had the best weekend. It was just what I needed. I found my initiative. I'd left it somewhere and couldn't find it. Now I have and I am madly keen to go off to Ballarat on Thursday. Something else I was wondering why I had committed to.
I found talking to my textile friends that a lack of enthusiasm for our favorite past time is a common complaint. I put my own lack of enthusiasm down to a busy life, work and family don't leave a lot of time to do anything else. I have to make the best of my available time. One way to do that and get maximum satisfaction from that is to make small things. they get finished.
I am doing a book making class at Ballarat so I am confident I will not be bringing home a pile of raw materials that will still be waiting to be used this time next year like the fabrics I dyed last year that are still sitting in my studio waiting to be turned into the jacket I have planned.
I wonder if our modern lifestyle is one of the reasons so many of us are suffering from the blah's. I want to do so much, yet lack the time and then when I have the time I lack the enthusiasm and the initiative to even start let alone finish. I read and wrote about Getting things done excellent advice from Mary Gordon and Micheal Nobbs. I need to go back and read it again and get organized. I'll talk to you again after I get back from Ballarat.