Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear crafty friends,

We have been busily creating spring inspired goodies at our monday craft sessions.
Our rainbow mother and baby bird were lots of fun to make.
Over 30 people came to this workshop.

Our silk dying workshops are also a big favourite with our mums. With just yellow and blue and a touch of pink we created some stunning spring playcloths for our seasonal tables.
We created a rainbow angel mobile in hounour of our newest craft baby Skyla.
She loves it!The ladies worked in pairs to make the mobile which was really enjoyable .
Our Australian animal series continued with the rascally dingo designed by Dionne.
Isnt he gorgeous!

 We held a saturday workshop showcasing Christina Lane with her needlefelted spring maiden.
She is truly the queen of facial detail!

This bee hive was inpired by Satchico one of our talented mums.The coil basketry technique is so useful to make all sorts of containers.We are very lucky to have so many talented women in our group!
The chidren love to hide the bees inside the hive!
It can also be used as a string holder!

We have a couple of weeks left in the term befor our market so I will share them in the coming weeks!
Cheers for now .... nikki

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dear crafty friends,
We have some beautiful work from Christinas crystal cave workshop which is ready to go to our end of term craft market next week.Im also keen to enter our craft groups work into our local agricultural show. Here is some of the beautiful creations!
The central one AND the one below was made by wendy. She delighted us all by creating a treasure hunt list of 14 different things to find in the landscape including a treasure chest full of jewels, a bat, a bear, a frog, a snail, a mouse, a pile, of wood, a camp fire and an owl. What an inspiration she was for us all!
I love the little camp firers that appeared.
they all turned out so well and all so different.
so much attension to detail.
They are so 3 dimentional its hard to do them justice in the photographs.
I love the tree idea! and the fairy ring of flowers.
 and more detail.
Well done everyone!

Hi Crafty folk,
Its been a busy couple of crafting weeks for me .I have so much to share with you!
At our craft group the week before last we made beautiful bees wax candles in a felt candle holder.

I started with a huge 8kg block of pure local bees wax.
It was then cut down into smaller size peices.
This took us almost an entire day to complete!
The wick was then cut into lengths, folded in half ( to make 2 candles at once) and dipped in wax once or twice.This first dipping  helps the wick to absorb the wax and burn better as well as making a nice straight shape to build the wax onto.Here they are hanging over a stick ready for the next step .

On the day I then set up the burners outside on tables with the tin of wax sitting in a pot of hot water.
The smell of the heated bees wax is absolutely devinely honeyish and heavenly!

 We then dipped untill they built up to a good thickness then hung them up to cool off.

And here they are all along the fence and then put together in a box.

We then made the felt holders and beaded them.They beading is so beautifully done!

Not a bad effort for a monday morning craft session !!
cheers for now!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Interveiw with felting artist Christina Lane

Dear crafty folk ,
I would like to introduce you to the very talented artist Christina Lane
who has contributed the wondrous crystal cave woodland scape project to our monday craft group this week (see photos of crystal cave at the end of the previous post).We had a record turnout of 32 people to our Monday session which is testament to the inspiration her work brings to us crafty women and ultimately to the children.

Christina how did it feel sharing this beautiful project with so many women on Monday?
Exhilarating! I was overjoyed to be able to inspire others to tap into their own creative potential and imagination. I enjoyed the buzz of people at play and the merry mayhem that ensued as the muse stepped in and unlocked inhibitions.
Christina has kindly allowed us  to share some photos of her other work she does for children.

What did you most enjoy about the process of bringing this project to the group?
The joy and delight that the group experienced was just totally mind-blowing.
I loved being part of the co-operative team process with Nikki and Mia.
I enjoyed brain storming and refining the ideas  so that when we presented it to the group everyone would feel able to participate and have a successful result .
What inspires you in your creative work?
I am inspired by my love of nature and humanity .
I feel  in absolute awe of the beauty, wonder and magic that comes with each new dawn.
I am inspired by seeing the world through the eyes of a child and the challenge of creating craft work in a way that shares that delight and sense of wonder with others.
My work is a response to the beauty around me and an expression that comes from, and endeavours to connect to, the heart and the soul of this beauty.
I love reading, poetry and music. One of my favourite artists is Albrecht Durer. I admire his amazing drawing, line work and detail. I especially love Mozart whose beautiful work are so intensly uplifting. Gratitude.
Christina you have a beautiful attention to detail in particular your characters facial expressions. What experience have you had with craft and art in the past?
As a child I spent many hours my aunt's French fashion salon playing with fabric scraps, colourful buttons and her sparkly bead box. My grandmother taught me to sew and encouraged me to explore art and craft. She sent some of my sketches to the National Art School in Sydney, N.S.W. Consequently I was invited to sit for an entrance test and was awarded a teacher training scholarship.
After a year teaching in the western suburbs, I decided that I could serve better as a social worker and returned to University. For one of my pracs I set up a Community craft group with the idea  to present craft as therapy, reaching out to socially isolated women to build their skills and self esteem. At the time it was a weird and new concept but it worked .

At university I met my ex-husband, and when I completed my course we moved to rural N.S.W where I raised a family of four children. During this time I became involved with playgroup and fibre arts, patchwork and creative sewing. I was teaching Craft at night for Community education, knitting custom orders as well as  running a craft supply shop and tourist information centre.
In the early 1990s our family moved to Canberra where my eldest daughter and I opened  a cafe. At this time I also became involved with teaching English to refugees and set up a craft group for them. For many years I have  painted miniature houses for sale in shops. Also during this period I worked in patchwork shops and was fortunate to be able to attend Canberra Quilters meetings which were a great motivational and inspirational force as well as joining the Cloth doll club.
Eight years ago I moved to Queensland  again having the opportunity to teach patchwork and quilting .One of the groups is still meeting even though the shop has closed. Then through my new friend and neighbour Marlee, I was introduced to Jennifer McCormack. Again through Marlee I was led to Silkwood, connecting with Nikki and Mia and their beautiful craft group. 

This little owl family is so special. Do you have some affinity to certain animals you create?
When I create a piece, animal or landscape, quilt or painting I do so with a deep love and respect for the subject. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Thank you for asking and allowing me to participate. Monday craft sessions are sacred. I hope I can continue to learn and inspire others. I truly believe that through craft we reach out to others and give an opportunity not only to make beautiful items and share that beauty but to enable people to create  a sense of achievement and self respect as they explore the wonder of the world and of their own innate abilities.
Thank you so much Christina for kindly sharing your extensive experience with us and for giving your generous gift of creative inspiration us all!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

 Preparing and finishing garden gnomes workshop.
    Hi lovely friends,
           This week I was blessed with some gorgeous helper angels to assist with the dyeing and        
       cutting of the felt in preparation for Monday's craft session making gorgeous garden gnomes.
              I did spend most of mothers day completing the process but managed to make it to bed by 11pm which is pretty good for a night before craft.
The felt looked lovely in the pot!
Preparing for our craft group on mothers day sunday before craft on moday!
My small children helped paint the faces and boots with much enthusiasm!

School craft table with supplies for the session and all the lovely mums out for some creative time!
We were very happy with our new little friends!
Next week at monday craft we are making these lovely woodland secret crystal caves.Inspiration and guidence by Christina Lane.