Monday, February 07, 2005


I am been musing on mermaids today because I have been creating a mask for an event I am going to. The mask is based on a mermaid and is quilted, beaded, drawn on and painted and I am very pleased with the effects I've created. I'd add a picture but I haven't wrapped my head around the Hello BloggerBot as yet and don't feel like being technical this avo. Mermaids still fascinate us and are considered dangerous, luring men (mostly) travelling in ships to their deaths on rocks and into whirlpools - you cannot resist a mermaid's siren song it would seem, some must have, or there would be no tales to tell .

I've also been thinking about singing. I love singing, it fills my soul and also makes my brain work very hard. I'm not a brilliant sight reader, never learnt music as a young child, took it up as an adult and never seriously worked to get beyond the beginner's sight reading ability, too many other things in life to be creative in and my voice is standard, nothing to write home about, but choral singing allows it to become part of a whole and that whole is fabulous!
I have sung in choirs for many years - concert in small chapels, in the Sydney Opera House, with small no-name conductors and big name giants, old works, new works written for the choir, I love the challenge of late 20th and 21st century music, it is really good for the brain! My current choir has had a change of musicical director and the process of voicing and auditions begins anew. This makes me ponder, do I want to put myself through this process again, it is very hard and I may fail - I always fear that I may fail (and I have at auditions before now). Musical director are usually professional muscians and don't really understand the amateur choristor, we are a weird mob, we aren't making a living from making music, we do it for love or fun or some other motive and pay for the priviledge as well! Choristors are strange beasties.

Yesterday I spent the day with members of my online quilting group - Southern Cross Quilters - we are planning the annual GTG in real space and Sydney is hosting it this year.
The mermaid mask is for this event BTW. I am constantly inspired by the creative abilities of this group of quilters! For instance, Jenny Bowker, she has moved to the middle east and is a SCQuilter and a famous quilter, it was her blog that finally pushed me to create one.

Friday, February 04, 2005


Its taken me ages to take up a blog, weird becuase I love email and the web and have been using the internet before the web existed! I think I have resisted because a blog is like a diary and I have never been good at diaries, I loose interest after about the first month, but maybe an electronic one will be different! I intend to mull over the creative processes that give me pleasure, grief and frustration as I make quilts, dye and print fabric.

I started quilting 4 years ago
, though I've been working with fabric for many years, mostly making clothes, not well though, way too impatient! I studied textile design in the early '90s and while I wasn't interested in the rag trade I did enjoy creating large pieces of printed fabric. I never wanted to cut them up so I turned them into duve covers. After college, the lack of a proper studio to print large slabs of fabric meant that it was hard to organise and full time work also made things difficult. When I discovered quilting I realised I could do things on a smaller scale, using the skills I already had, so started dyeing fabric and creating small prints to enhance the design of the quilt I was making.

Quilting is such an addictive creative past-time, it uses fabric which I love, I can create fabric as well, it uses design and age old traditions. Its technical and simple at the same time, I can use a computerised sewing machine or just a needle and thread. It envolves me completely and for someone who considers themselves innumerate I am suprised that all the maths involved doesn't phase me - shame my teachers didn't use it as a teaching resource back in school! It also links you to quilters with so many different creative skills and expertise, I never cease to be amazed at the talent and creativity and the willingness to share it with others. I really enjoy the online quilting community, if I have a problem I can just ask a question and also help another in their creative process.

That's it for my first blog entry.