To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury; and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden, and unconscious to grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.
William Henry Channing 1810-1884
I came across this quote the other day, and felt immediately that it captures something of my personal philosophy, and what I admire in others. Of course I bear some things grumpily, and talk loudly often! but I like the idea of appreciating the small parts of life and doing things elegantly with limited resources, learning from wiser people and those of pure heart. And I love the bit about being worthy, not respectable :-)
I am without camera still while I dither over buying a new one, so this is a photo from my flickr, taken on my sister in law's bush block where the wildflowers are often exquisite, but tiny, so you have to slow down and look out for them.
I was missing my camera even more today as I tried to get a good pic of my new Gocco print. Here it is, my new design - dandelion. I'm really happy with the way it came out, I love the graphic simplicity, the limey green of the leaves and the way the dandelion seems to be waving goodbye to the little seed as it floats away. You may recognise it as this design is based on one I drew originally for Illustration Friday. The print is in the shop now.
It has been so long since I dusted off the Gocco printer and made some art, I kinda forgot how to do it! Luckily I soon got back in the rhythm and today managed to print an edition of a very simple design that I've been thinking about for a while. Frustratingly I can't show you yet. My camera is at the camera doctor. After five years and 42,000+ photos (and that's just the ones that I still have!) the exposure unit has given up the fight. I'm thinking seriously about buying a new one... in fact if the one I wanted wasn't soo expensive I would have done it already. Without a camera I feel a bit like I'm missing a limb, especially with the spring garden starting to bloom. If I can get some good pictures out of our point and shoot I'll post some pics soon. In the meantime, the photo is a hint. The print is two colour and I hope to have it in the shop next week along with the new stock of tea towels, I can't wait to see what you think of the new colours - might be a giveaway ahead, It was August last year I started selling tea towels, and that's as good an excuse as any!
The other afternoon on the Sunday Arts program they showed the Melbourne Craft Cartel who are, as they say on their website, 'Saving the world with Crocheted Explosives'. Their current project involves French Knitting sticks of dynamite to protest the Gunns Pulp Mill development proposed for Tasmania's Tamar Valley. As someone who is in strong opposition to this development, and its effects on the local environment, and with a house full of small people who love a craft project, this was a natural fit. And I had all the necessary ingredients - red wool, toilet roll and ice cream sticks already. We now have two of these running and are well on our way to our first two sticks of dynamite. And how cute are they!
Follow the link to make your own, and if you want to join the cause they will be collecting until October. For the cleverer crocheters there is a great grenade pattern and instructions on making a full bundle of TNT. I'm afraid my poor camera is a bit sick at the moment, as you can see, its off to the doctor soon, or maybe time for a new one... I'm a bit sad about that. p.s. For more information about the Gunns Mill and why people are opposed to it, see the Wilderness Society's campaign or go to community activist site GetUp.
For quite a while I've been loving simple graphic embroidery in original designs, here are some of my favourites.
tiny happy (above) Melissa's simple embroideries are tiny works of art. Her colour sense is always perfect too, muted calm and natural. See her Flickr set for more of these exquisite pieces. Most of them are made on linen too, which I love.
kristen doran Textile designer Kristen has recently made some wonderful embroidery patterns based on her designs. I love these simple one colour embroideries with their lovely graphic feel. Buy the peacock design, and her great fabrics, from her shop.
polka and bloom carina's eye for colour is what always stands out for me. I love the colourful embroideries she's been making recently. And she also sells patterns of her embroidery designs. See her site for details.
states of nature Local printmaker Simone Madigan (I love her doily brooches!) posted this vintage embroidery piece recently under the heading 'Op Shop Heaven'. When I saw it I was as green as the fabric it's sewn on. Visit her blog to see more.
p.s. My two sold out designs are the White Filigree design on unbleached linen, and the Aqua Blue Chrysanthemums design on white linen. These two are my favourites so I love that they've been so popular. I have just one Orange Chrysanthemums and one Blue Filigree on unbleached towel left too.
A couple of my most popular tea towel designs are sold out at the moment (can you guess which ones? I'll tell you tomorrow!) The good news is that I will have new stock in next week, including some new colours! I love experimenting and I've had a few requests that I haven't had a chance to fill before. I can't wait to see how they look. Hopefully this will be the start of some new things at Flower Press. I'm coming up on my second anniversary and I'd love to make 350 sales by then (early November). As of today I'm up to 335 :-) Here's a pic of my contribution yesterday to lunch with the girls. I'd made these rolls based on the Artisan Bread in five method I've cooked before, and they were a special request to have with our delicious entree of pea and ham soup. My friend has just moved across Sydney and the seven of us had lunch on her back deck with a view of the Harbour Bridge. That's the life! p.s. These buns are so simple. Make up the master recipe the night before then shape each roll and leave them to rise 20 minutes, then cook 20 minutes and you're ready to go, I put a tea towel in my favourite red Vietnamese bamboo bowl and tied it over the top and they were still hot when we got there.
A lot of you have probably seen this already, but for those of you who haven't, this is a video of the ushers, groomsmen, bridesmaids, bride and groom at Jill and Kevin Peterson's wedding. It makes me teary every time I see it. It will make you smile!
I think I've said it before, but there is something wonderful to me about weeds and grasses, the type that spring up quickly between the pavement cracks. Their miniature flowers and muted colours are somehow more elegant than a gaudy bloom. I've been having fun with my macro lens capturing their lillipution beauty. I feel like I haven't been posting much of late, and my Mum arrives to stay for a few days today, so I'll be missing a bit longer. However, I should be back next week with some more WIPs. Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement on the last one :-)