Sunday, August 31, 2014

Berry Patchwork Exhibition Sentinelles

We have 10 hours to go in our Pozible campaign and we have 213 supporters for our dream to publish our book. Thank you for sharing in our dream  and we will keep you updated in our progress on a regular basis! It is still pozzible to pledge and get a book at a 20 % discount. That discount will not be available when the Pozible campaign finishes in 10 hours. It will help some of our storage issues as well as books take up a lot of space! We would be excited if you decided to join our journey. Hopefully if all goes well with this book and then we  will dream about our Italian project.

I am at Berry Patchwork exhibition this weekend showing off the wonderful Sentinelles- everyone is loving them!

And an early morning photo of Merimbula Beach on Friday in memory of my favourite aunt who sadly passed away last week- I shall so miss her, I often stayed with her because she was also my friend, we laughed a lot , told stories, shared delicious food and wine and even had some holidays together. I have special memories, Diana and for those I am grateful.Her family  are much in my thoughts in this sad time for them.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thank YOU !Target Reached but You can Continue to Pre-order the Book

Oh my goodness- last night we reached our target and  we are absolutely thrilled that you have believed in our project. Early next week I will publish the full list of thank yous to all of those who pledged and believed in our project! So Thank you one and all. Big or small your pledge has  made our dream possible!

But  if you wanted to pledge and missed out you can still pledge until the 31 August- as this is the only way to preorder the book at the discount price. You can still do this through the Pozible platform.The book will not be available at the discount price after this date, and in the future I shall not be carrying too many books in my luggage as it will be a substantial book and my luggage is reserved for quilts and fabrics! Continued pledges would also be useful in helping pay for some of the in-kind services we mentioned in our previous blog post.

Also we can now say the book will be a definite goer !

So if you missed out it's still possible to pre-order the book and if you do we will add a small gift as well and  giftwrap your book. Or indeed you can still pledge for any of the other available Rewards. We were delighted that all the rewards for the hand made books were taken up. And yes we shall have our work cut out for us!

This weekend we are heading off to the Berry Patchwork and  Quilting Retreat  to show off all those wonderful stitched Sentinelles- yes they will see the world again!
and I shall be selling my  panels of the Chartres Queens, which is part of the Medieval project- which will premiere in france in April 2015 and Berry next year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

4 Days to Go and 181 Supporters

Cocteau's cat looking heaven ward in the little chapel in Millie le Foret in France at the La chapelle Saint-Blaise-des-Simple

What a monster of a day yesterday turned out to be in our fundraising campaign and we are getting closer and closer to our target. First of all our heartfelt thanks to Carole Veillon of Quilt Mania not only for putting our quest on the front page of the Quilt Mania website but also  with a very generous gift to help us realise our dream. 

We also want to thank Emma Coutencier of Au Fil D'Emma on her blog for her translation into french of how Pozible operates as it is  relatively unknown platform in  France.

Thank you everyone for believing in us!

  But most incredibly we are 97% funded- which is just  so exciting for us and we hope for you as well! We still have a bit to go but hope it will  be reached by tonight!

Remember that  we have also used Pozible as a system for pre-ordering the book- at a 20% discount. We will not offer the book at that discount again so if you would like the book at $9.95 off order it through Pozible plus the postage and packaging within thebnext 4 days when the project finishes ( we will even nicely gift wrap it for you!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

5 Days and 144 Supporters!

 We have 5 days to go in our Pozible campaign and we now have 144 supporters. Thank you all and one ( and you will be thanked on my blog if we reach our target ) for without you we would not be at the 66% mark. Thank you for believing in our project.

I have  been told that some people consider our target of $20,000 to be expensive for  self publishing a book. We did  put on our Pozible campaign page  what the money will be spent on  and  publishing in Australia would have been much more expensive ( though we have not closed that door quite as we would love to support a local business). In fact in most of our research of other campaigns for self publishing , the targets for self publishing full colour books at around the same number of pages but much smaller format, were at $30,000 plus ( and not signature stitched but glued).

So  part of our savings have been that design fees, colour photography fees and colour matching and typesetting are all in kind fees. If you don't typeset properly you end up with really ugly looking text- its an important lesson I learnt from one of my teachers when I did the  desktop publishing course and it is something my daughter Celeste- the  designer- is passionate about. It means  each word is hand kerned- which means you adjust the spacing between most letters in the chosen fonts because believe it or not not all fonts are beautiful just on their own, they are often tweaked to make your paragraphs look beautiful. We have translation fees of course and then there is all the work in ensuring good photos that are inspiring. We have also chosen to use a high quality paper because we would like the book to  be a quality object, and of course a hard cover  and signature stitched case bound, which means no glued pages to fall out or come loose and which adds to the strength of the book and last longer.

I hope this explains some of our costing in more detail- getting to all the nitty gritty has been a huge learning curve and we researched  about a dozen books we liked the look off, and went though every page critiqueing and noting what we liked and didn't like. We are really attempting to make an art house book that is a number of standards above the every day craft book whilst still acknowledging that many textile pople do want to know how to do things  which is why we are making the dvd.

Anyway number 150 supporter- if we reach our target we will have something special for you!
 You can see sample pages of the introduction at a preview we have set up on Issu

Monday, August 25, 2014

6 Days to Go for our Pozible Fund raiser

Oh my goodness it's so close and so far. We are at present 60% funded in our Pozible campaign or close to it but there is only 6 days to go for our fund raising efforts to self publish our book Musing in Textile: France. If we do not reach our funding target we will receive no funds and all our work will have just been hard work for nothing.

Yesterday made us believe again and we want to thank all 133 supporters for your  pledges and sharing of our  campaign- without you we would not be where we are- close so close . Somehow halfway was always such a landmark for us but when we reached it we thought oh no it means we have another 50% to go and not much time left.

We are surprised only one of the workshop rewards  has been pledged. I often get emailed  as to when I will be teaching in Sydney or Canberra- but unless the big groups invite you it is  difficult to organise so we really  costed the workshop reward to be good value for you and 7 friends plus you will get a book each as well ( and I have to travel to each place as well which is part of the whole package). In Melbourne you even get lunch :-)

The Book Reward is offering the book at a 20% discount to entice you to pre-order in effect- this will be the only time that the book is offered at a discount like this . Postage had to be included because it is difficult to travel with a mass of books that will weigh over 1 kg each.

We hope you will help us cross our Target line!

And some images of ice dyeing I did to make some fabric  on which to print the medieval tree linocut. If you pledge  for a Reward of $80 or more one of these prints will be yours as a special thank you gift from us. Top photo is the tray  of ice dyeing. On the left is linen fabric and on the right the normal cotton fabric I use.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Journey to Pozible-9 Days left to Pledge

 To say that this Pozible funding campaign has been a journey is an understatement- we go from high to low in a matter of hours but at the same time we are blown away by the fact that 102 people have so far believed in our project and the journey. So I feel I would like to share the journey  to some extent.

My eldest daughter, Celeste who is designing the book was almost at the beginning of the journey. She was just a toddler when I started my textile/quilting business. After initially learning the skills and taking to machine quilting like a duck to water- using the needle as my pen I found I could draw things I would never draw by hand. I was off and running. Two more daughters  came along and we moved to the Otways- we recycled a house rather than build a new house and we battled along in the pre internet days, teaching, creating and dyeing loads and loads of fabrics and even printing some.

The in 1997 one of my quilts won a kudos prize in France and so I started the dream to go to France with my young family. I corresponded with the  organiser madame Tison and so was hatched the plan to take 30 Art quilts made by different Australian artists  to be exhibited at Chateau de Chassy. As part of the event Madame Tison graciously allowed my young children and ex husband and myself to stay in the Chateau. This was a typical burgundian chateau that had definitely seen better days- but what an adventure- we lived in a castle for 3 months and the exhibition was a rip roaring success and ended up being seen in  a lot of European venues and the Australian Embassy in Paris- and so was born my curating career.

Between 2000-2010 I toured many exhibitions - all of them on crazy shoe string budgets and  always with a child in tow as I could use their luggage allowance to carry the quilts that always weighed in excess of baggage allowances that the airline companies allow in flights form Australia to Europe. We went to the Middle East, Egypt, Syria even Israel and the Palestinian Territory and meanwhile many events in Europe as well in many different countries. I worked hard at trying to put Australian and New Zealand art quilts on the world quilting stage- I was passionate in my belief that Antipodeans are extremely talented!

In 2010 I hung up my curating shoes- the economy was increasingly impacting on costs of travelling exhibitions and baggage allowances were a nightmare and my children were now at high school so they could no longer accompany me. (little did I realise those curating shoes would only stay in the cupboard a little time). I also decided it was time to focus on my own work- carrying around suitcases of other people's work meant there was little room for my own work.In 2007 I separated from my ex-husband, though still lived in the Otways.

2010 was also the year I spent  mostly living in France with my youngest daughter ( she didn't like it I loved it and will forever be grateful to  my friend Liwanag Sales and her  husband Michel Fromont) for allowing me to live at le Triadou at the foot of Pic St Loup. I came back with my youngest daughter needing to finish high school at a better school than Colac could offer us at that stage, and so we moved to Geelong. Olive tree linocut inspired by the landscape around Le Triadou.

During this time I still made trips to Europe but shorter ones and only once a year. I also joined Geelong Quilters, became president and convened their Bienniel exhibition last year. However after my year in France I really wanted to write/create something about the experience. I have always loved France but felt I wanted to create something more- after all the country had received me with open arms- so brewed the idea for this book. But I wanted it to be a beautiful book, something that was inspiring but also went some way to answering the question as to what inspires me- it is a really difficult question to answer on the spot!

And so we have come a full circle- my eldest daughter loves books as much as I do and is also studying  visual communication and design ( my other daughters are all incredibly talented as well) and so we decided we would embark on this journey together- to create this book Musing in Textile: France and  we ask you for your help in pledging for rewards which we have framed in such a way that  most rewards are pre-orders of the book with some extras thrown in. If we reach our target we feel this is the beginning of another journey- to bring more books in this vein to you our supporters!

So we are nearly at the half way mark of our fundraising efforts and there is  9 days left to Pledge for a reward- without you this book cannot happen- we hope that you will share in the dream and be inspired by it  as well!

The sample pages from the Introduction are about encounters in France- later chapters will have some of the work I have created as a result of the inspirations.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

10 Days to Go

My goodness last night was lively in the fundraising effort to self publish on Pozible and we thank each and everyone of you that pledged. It gives us hope again and we are now at 40% funded. However we recognise there is still a long way to go so please share our link widely in your  social networks!

Also we are going to offer the pledger that brings us over the $10,000 ( the half funded mark) something special which we will let you know about tomorrow.

Further those who pledge for the workshops will have a choice in which workshop  which you will do- it will be entirely your choice!

We have been working hard on creating a sample chapter- please bear in mind that the translation is in its beginning stages as we do not want someone to spend all that time and effort if we don't reach our funding target on Pozible.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

11 Days to Go

 The nerves haven't calmed any more in the past two days- we had hoped to be further along with our Pozible fundraiser than we are, but also know from research that a lot happens in the last week. We also realise that not everyone is in a position to support but you can help us by spreading the word far and wide in your social networks and we would really appreciate it if you could.

We have added in a new reward at $25. If you pledge for this reward you will receive a linocut printed medieval tree inspired by the Lady and Unicorn tapestry and also a printed original card and our heartfelt thanks  on my blog. And  without your support this project will not go ahead so to those who have already pledged you are so much a part of the process and the book in a sense for without you it will not be possible to  make the book.The image below is the medieval tree print- it is A4 size ( legal paper)

And I have available my Chartres Queen panels which will be part of the Medieval project which will premiere in France in Nantes at the Quilt Mania Exhibition  in 2015 and have its Australian premiere at the Berry Patchwork retreat 2015. The project will  be in a similar vein to the Sentinelle project and I hope many people will stitch/embroider or embellish a pattern. There will be a size restriction- no wider than 50 cm by 70 cm long  and if you want to exhibit with the project there will be  an administration fee of  $25 to help defray the travel cost and administration costs per person ( however if you want to make  more than one panel this cost remains the same). I am also looking for further venues of course. This cost is over and above the purchase cost of the panel. 

The panels cost $20 each plus $3 for postage.Here are some of the colours I have available( and of course yellow ones which I did not photograph):

Monday, August 18, 2014

13 Days to Go

Just 13 days to go in our Pozible fundraiser. Yesterday we reached the 30% mark of our fundraising efforts.  Someone pointed out to me that not everyone might understand the Pozible fundraising  platform. It operates in much the same way as Kickstarter but is more directed at creatives and fundraising for  things like self publishing, events, exhibition costs even residencies. The idea is that you create rewards to which people pledge and only if your target is reached is money collected. If the target is not reached it's bad luck  for the person seeking the funds. You can also look on the Pozible website to find some answers to questions you may have.

So with this in mind we have really tried to give good value with our rewards and have looked at it as a kind of pre-ordering of the book, but it is also actually helping us to create the book because without you there will be no book.

So a lot of the work we are doing at present is in the hope that the project will be funded and if it isn't well at least we have tried to pursue our dream in creating an art  house style book about quilts.

One of the chapters in the book is devoted to  journals and how I use my journals.

Also you can read some of my travel thoughts in the newest edition of Through Our Hands magazine which is available for free- just click on the image. There is some interesting articles by some very interesting artists from around the world. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our Pozible Fundraiser- Last Fourteen days

We have been on tenterhooks during our Pozible campaign: it is an rollercoaster of emotions as  from day to day and even hour to hour we prevaricate between thinking yes we will get there, to oh no what if we don't get there. The reality is, if we don't get to our fundraising target , there is no other way for us to  self publish this book because the cost of self publishing is very involved and doesn't only involve the printing, but many other incidental expenses such as translation, isbn's and bar codes , shipping and customs clearance, trial prints, postage and storage because you have no idea how much space  books take up- just think of your book case and multiply it a few times. Meanwhile we keep working away and try to keep positive!

We have really used the rewards in the campaign as a type of pre-ordering of the book and offered it at a discount for all of those who pledge. Those who pledge more will be rewarded with original prints and hand made books. And remember you can do a workshop too with 7 of your friends! There is also a link to our campaign in the sidebar.

We do  feel however that with this book we are attempting to take quilt making out of the craft realm and "how to realm", into something it deserves and that is an artists monograph ( however we do understand  our demographic does want to know how I do things so hence the video and pdf file in a sleeve on the inside cover with a description of techniques).

We want to thank everyone ( and you will be acknowledge individually at the end of the campaign) for their support so far- you have made it possible for us to get to the 25% funded bar on the campaign page and we are extremely grateful that you have got us this far. We hope you will spread the word far and wide for who knows we may reach our target!

As an enticement to get to extra support we will put all of the supporters who pledge $80 or more into a draw to win one of my olive tree inspired pieces , see image below- this is a collage of four different pieces so  the winner will win one of the pieces ( the pieces measure 12 inches  x 24 inches- 25 cm x 50 cm)

And I still have prints for sale for the medieval project for you to stitch which will be shown now at the Quilt Mania Fair in Nantes in April 2015 for its French premiere and in berry Australia in August next year for its Australian premiere. Prints are available for $15 plus $3 postage.

I would love to get some comments and feedback in the comments section if you are so inclined.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Musing in Textile:France

We have had our hearts in our mouths as we have tried to promote our Pozible fundraiser far and wide and await with some excitement and trepidation as to whether we will reach our  goal. We daren't hope and we are hoping all at the same time. As an enticer we offered to create a limited edition print of a tree inspired by the Lady and the Unicorn  tapestry in the Cluny museum to the first 50  people  who pledged for the rewards we offered in the fundraiser. We have 49 pledges so far, so there is one more chance to get this limited edition print in our Pozible campaign. Also if you would like to be included in the medieval project ( there will be an administration fee for the project as we are lining up some exciting venues), you can be  included with  your embellishment of this print.

We have also created a Facebook page dedicated to Musing in Textile:France where we will make updates form time to time.
So here is the unveiling of the print....drawing the design and transferring it onto the lino.

Carving the lino, and yes I did shed blood- I didn't do what I tell everyone not to do, cut towards myself

And the resulting print on fabric- plenty of scope for embroidering or quilting here! It is A4 in size (just a bit smaller or 286 mm x 210 mm)

 There is still time to support our Pozible  campaign by pledging for a reward and we have tried hard to make the rewards as enticing as possible.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Fund Raising to Self Publish

I can't tell you how much we ( my daughter Celeste, the designer of the book and I) appreciate the support and positive comments on the Pozible site we have received so far. To know we have this much support already shows there is interest in the book we are proposing. However we still have some way to go. I know I pitched the idea to a publisher back in 2011 and even wrote a sample chapter but it was decided there would not be enough interest and that it was too difficult, and that I was not well known enough in the American market place. Well really that is like waving a red flag in some ways. My number one priority in the last few years was to get daughter youngest off to university, so some of the things on my priority list had to go to the back burner for awhile, but this year I have promised myself to do better, to really meet all the challenges and to fill the year as full as I could.

 It hasn't helped that I have had quite a few workshop cancellations here in Australia, in fact I haven't taught in Australia since November last year which makes me quite sad really, and well it is a burden on the budget as well. I know people are interested in what I teach from the number of emails I get and I know there are lots of people wishing to step beyond patchwork and quilting, but still work with textile and thread and ideas, which is where my teaching comes in. I also know that there are great supporters here in Australia through your support  with Pozible ( and also the sentinelle project), which gladdens my heart because with workshop cancellations you do sometimes wonder.

So onward and upward is the only way, and to keep doing the work and to make sure I meet all those challenges . So some recent work I have been doing playing with the fictionalised olive tree image, the orange tree still needs to be hand stitched. This  tree will be part of the chapter dealing with Trees and Grapevines in our book Musing in Textile: France.

The Pozible fund raiser really works like a kind of pre-ordering system in our case, as our rewards are tailored around that idea ; you will get a book , and more ,if you  pledge a higher reward with some enticing extras thrown in. For example the master class which is the highest reward is not only a master class but also a kind of mentoring which I thought would continue even after the 4 days of the actual class. And likewise the other  workshop rewards  mean not only will you be able to do a workshop but you will also get a signed copy of the book, and the  reward amount  has been worked out at a workshop cost of around $60 per person- so you could get together with  7 of your friends and  you would not be out of pocket more than attending any other workshop ( indeed when I look at  print making workshops or other art workshops the going rate is much higher than $60 per person per day )

One of the  wonderful things of this project has been working with my daughter, Celeste who is a final year Visual Communications and Design student at RMIT, Melbourne. I know I had  ideas about how I wanted the book to look, but she also has ideas ,so that the book has become a true collaboration.She also pushes me along as we have timelines and deadlines to meet. This week the collaboration has suffered a bit as she has struggled with a really bad cold, last week it  struggled because I had to get all the words down in their final form and plan the videos which will be on the dvd that will accompany the book. In working together we have also decided we would like to do more  of this kind of writing and visual stimulating but perhaps in an even more truly collaborative way.

We have really  nutted this idea out in over a year of planning. We sifted through  books we both liked ( and not necessarily textile) and pulled from those books things we liked and did not like, we have had great discussions and study of the actual design and layout, even to the minuteae of how the type will be set and the hand kerning ( the kind of type, we both had ideas about this but it is my daughters' passion) and the width of margins( we really did get the ruler out, when we found a book that we both found visually pleasing to read and work through) We have also made a conscious decision that we want the "how to" section of the book to be on dvd as a sort of resource which you can dip into separately. I find how to pages in  books to be distracting and because of what they try and show ,often have  boring and uninteresting photos. We have also realised there are many ways of learning hence the video section of the dvd.

We really hope you will support our project!

Don't forget there is a great exhibition of quilts ( and some of my work) on at the Media Art Gallery  in the Age Building in Melbourne, opposite Southern Cross Station and I shall be doing a floor talk there on 19 August. The opening was last Wednesday and the work looked fabulous. You can find details and the stories of the work on  the Yarns, Stuff and Stitching Blog

Monday, August 04, 2014

Musing in Textile:France

A totally frustrating few days  after the bad storms we had at the end of last week because  my internet access  crashed, so I was unable to share some of the things that will be in the book which we will hope will entice you to support our Pozible Fund Raiser  so we can self publish the book. Also just a little about how Pozible works. If you pledge any money for the rewards we have created it is only payable if we reach the target.That target was determined by creating a budget and taking into account many factors but most of it is directed to shipping and printing.Without your support the project will not go ahead.

A detail from the fifteenth century tapestry The Lady and the Unicorn

We will be including a DVD detailing the techniques I have used in my work. We decided to include the DVD which will have written explanations and video demonstrations because we understand people learn in different ways. The book itself will discuss how I arrived at my designs but we decided to leave the book uncluttered by how to photos and simply offer you the inspirations and  resulting work. The techniques are as follows:

Dyeing; the recipes I have used for the last 20 years and some tips on creating interesting contrast and also a colour mixing chart.

Breakdown Printing- a great method to draw or create cartoons on your screen and then let the dye create an interesting contrast- I use breakdown to create an image more than a background

Linocutting- how to make your own linocut ( or stamp)  and I will go through designing techniques to make the linocut print look good on fabric.

Printing on fabric- with linocut or other stamps as well as mono prints to create interesting landscape backgrounds that can be overprinted or appliqued over.

Transfer printing on Polyester non-woven ( Lutradur) I use this method a  lot in my work and again I use it for image making purposes  and there are a couple of add ons like foiling  and melting to add interest

Stitching by Machine or Hand- stitching for me is the ultimate mark making tool learn to use stitch as a creator of line and texture

Working with Solufix- a kind of threadpainting for photos ,which can be printed onto the solufix and then stitched.

And a bibliography of my favourite books and why!

In terms of our larger reward packages the offer is for me to teach any of the above workshops for you and 7 friends (some techniques can be combined) for one day as well as each of you getting a book. This amounts to  approximately $60 per person for the  workshop plus your own signed copy of the book for each participant.

Further for those of you in Melbourne I am part of an exhibition called Stitching Stories at the Age Media House  Gallery opposite Southern Cross Station. The Opening is Wednesday night August 6 ( see details on the invite) I would love to see you there. If you would like to come just leave a comment so I can pass on numbers to the curator.