Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Just Time for One More Post

Where has the year gone!! Well I've certainly been busy in November and December with Etsy sales. I felt like a production line at one stage. Now catching my breath and printing more stock in time for my return after a January and part February break.

Just time to think about a new design. It's funny how the process starts - very serendipitous. I was thinking what Australian icon I could do next and suddenly I thought of the lillypilly. By chance a couple of bushes are now fruiting in the garden.


And this is the flower of this particular species

So I've got as far as a few sketches - I am just going to focus on the berries


A bit more tweeking to do and then I am ready to cut the stencil.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Official Invitation



 
And I'm featured in Weekend Notes for Brisbane - hooray. I've done a cut and paste of the article below.

Botanique Christmas Art Bazaar, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

by Sandy Ludinski (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and Diversional Therapist, living in Brisbane's North West. I write for Weekend Notes, Starts at Sixty and Hub Garden. Visit my blog at babybloomin.wordpress.com to see other articles I've written.
Event: -
Botanical beauty showcased through art
Botanique, Art, Christmas, Bazaar, artists, print, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, fine art, Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Nancy Brown, Helen King, Montse Molina
Artwork by Montse Molina


A small community of both established and emerging artists has been busy creating unique works for the upcoming Botanique Christmas Art Bazaar, being held at the Richhard Randall Studio - just in time for the Christmas season! What's so unique about this exhibit? These artists focus on a botanical theme with an acute awareness of the natural environment and a conscience of organic production methods.

Botanique, Art, Christmas, Bazaar, artists, print, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, fine art, Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Nancy Brown, Helen King, Montse Molina
Linen wine totes by Paluma Prints
Utilizing recycled paper and re-purposed fabrics and producing botanical images on textiles, print and canvas, these artists have collaborated to create an exhibition that showcases the diversity of nature's bounty. 

On the evening of Thursday, 23rd November the exhibit will be featuring "Fashions on Parade" at 7pm. Come along and be amazed by the combination of artistic talent and the beauty of nature.

Here's a sneak peak at three of the artists who will be exhibiting at the Bazaar:

Nancy Brown is a printmaker and painter living in Brisbane. She has facilitated artist residencies in some of the more remote parts of Australia, including Weipa, Birdsville, Normanton and the Pilbara. She prints on textiles, paper and other surfaces making banners, flags and textiles for festivals and performances. She has created mosaics for seating and painted murals for and with communities. She has also created artworks with ceramics and laser cut metal. Nancy has her own blog.

Botanique, Art, Christmas, Bazaar, artists, print, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, fine art, Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Paisley print by Nancy Brown


Helen King - Paluma Print is a small hand screen printed textiles studio situated on the shores of beautiful Moreton Bay in south-east Queensland. "My designs are inspired by the natural environment and the flora around me. Each print is produced using a reusable handcut paper stencil. This in addition to the use of water based inks means there is minimal impact on the environment. Using stencils also gives the prints a distinctive clean style." You can see more of Helen's work on her blog.

Botanique, Art, Christmas, Bazaar, artists, print, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, fine art, Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Paluma Print - textile printing

Montse Molina is the artist behind Mon Manabu. Mon comes from Montserrat, a beautiful and enigmatic mountain in Catalunya, north Spain. Manabu means "to learn" in Japanese. "I enjoy creating images mixing my own handmade drawings, acrylic paintings and photographs. To transfer these images to a canvas or wooden surface I use a manual and old Japanese technique." Learn more about Montse here.

Botanique, Art, Christmas, Bazaar, artists, print, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, fine art, Richard Randall Studio, Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Artwork by Montse Molina

Featuring fine art, sculpture, ceramics, glassware, fiber and textile art, jewellery and woodwork, the Botanique Christmas Art Bazaar is an event you won't want to miss.

Friday, November 7, 2014

All Set to Go for the Botanique Christmas Bazaar

My table at the Botanique Christmas Bazaar will be jam packed with screen printed goodies. Doing a practice run here to see what will fit.

I'm hoping to include as many examples of what I produce as I can - so there are only a few of each

Coin purses and glasses cases

Loop bags
Wine totes

 As well as a couple of shoulder bags, clutch purses and aprons plus tea towels, placemats and table runners. Something for everyone but be quick!

The Bazaar runs from Tuesday Nov 18 from 10am to Sun Nov 23 (closing 1pm) in the Richard Randall Studio, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Cootha.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wine Totes

I have made a couple of these for Botanique Bazaar at the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens - on again from 18th November. Little printed linen handbags for wine - well why not?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Screenprinting Silk Scarves

From time to time I revisit screenprinting scarves - I've tried only silk to date (which I'm sure I've mentioned in previous posts) and it is quite tricky because the fabric is so fine, but I guess it is only a matter of practice to perfect the technique (as it has been with my current printing on linen).

I keeping thinking scarves should be coloured and that lead to experimenting with dying the silk - using Procion dyes (but I hate these chemicals, and then I would have to try and match with screen printing inks). Then I tried painting the silk with watered down screen printing ink - a blotchy mess.

And then I had a light bulb moment - just today - why not just leave as white. And print using white inks. White on white - very cool.



A bit of a way to go before I am completely happy - in the mean time I'll road test this one. And also try printing on white cotton scarves.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Madeit Shop Closed

For various reasons (mostly the dramatic decline in activity and sales this year and last) I have decided to close my MadeIt shop and concentrate on Etsy as my online selling space (which conversely has seen a dramatic increase in activity).  It has brought home to me how very quickly the online shopping world can change - though I am not sure why. Perhaps shopping is now perceived as a global activity. And many shoppers no longer want to be constrained by physical and geographic considerations and are looking for a single global portal with sophisticated search and refinement options, rather than the time consuming activity of sifting through the multitude of local handmade shopping sites that have sprung up recently - at least here in Australia. Who knows - but it is a fascinating business to keep abreast of. Too bad about my hard copy business cards!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Colourways

Tea towels and placemats in new colours - a selection in my Etsy shop now


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lino Printing on Paper - A Bit of a Disaster

I have been interested in trying some block printing on fabric so when the opportunity came up to attend a two day lino printing workshop I grabbed it. However it was lino printing on paper and the course focussed on reduction lino printing - where the lino block is gradually cut away as each layer of colour is applied. In the end nothing is left of the block, so totally impractical for multiple printing on fabric. Really a course for serious artists I think. Nevertheless I persevered - it is an interesting technique and taken to great heights by some printmakers, of whom I now have the greatest admiration. See the websites of Anna Curtis and Vida Pearson for example.

My original idea was to try one of my screenprint designs and see how it worked as a linoprint. I chose this one


I spent hours carving the lino - very hard on the wrists, and applying three different colours as is required for a reduction linoprint. Blue (background), green (foliage and flowers) and black (nuts and branches) - more carving in between each colour application. The block print inks are very sticky and so it seemed to get everywhere and even though water soluble it was quite hard to wash off. And I thought screen printing inks were messy!






I'm loath to show any closeups - they were all a bit too awful. Anyway I don't think I'll pursue a lino printmaking career any further, but am not giving up on simple block printing on fabric.

My next post will be showing some of some block print fabric designers I admire.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Table Runner and Napkin Sets

I've done a few of these lately. Most require a separate stencil for the napkin so progress has been a bit slow. Here is what I have produced to date..


There are a couple of sets in my Etsy shop now.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Few More from The Printing and Sewing Table


And this is what I'm reading for inspiration

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fresh Is Best

I only sell my bags at retail outlets and the twice yearly Botanique Bazaar, primarily because I think potential buyers like to touch and feel such a personal item and that's very hard to achieve in an online environment (for me anyway). And besides there are so many such items for sale on a site such as Etsy (a "bag" search retrieved 620,000+ items!!). It's very easy to get lost in the maze'.

Even so I discovered it's very important to keep coming up with fresh new designs and variations and not fall into the trap of just keeping to the same old pattern, even if initially very popular, if the sales are to keep coming.

The bags in my previous post have sold already so I need a couple more for my "space" at the Samford Slab Hut.
This variation on this linen and denim tote (a bit larger than my usual pattern) features a front printed panel (kangaroo paw) and ring closure, an interesting finish to the handles and a printed fabric topped pocket (I didn't have enough printed fabric for the complete pocket).

And this take on the linen and denim folded clutch (tea tree). Straps are detachable so the bag can also be used as a tote and a hand held clutch as well as a shoulder purse making it quite versatile.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Bags

Well not really new. I have re-tweaked some of my existing patterns to get some fresh new looks. It's also very satisfying creatively to have the time to muck about and see what happens.

Meet the tote - linen and denim with denim straps. Inside is also printed with the native violet design, with a pocket and key ring holder.

And the "reversible" fold over shoulder purse/clutch with zipper closure.
This one has a removable shoulder strap and can be worn two ways - the fold over part featuring either the navy denim or the blue gumnut print. I've boxed the corners with this one. Next time I will leave them flat. Maybe close with a magnetic clip and perhaps try leather, and an adjustable removable shoulder strap with two positions - one for a clutch and one for a tote making it even more versatile. The possibilities.....

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pinteresting

I haven't spent much time on Pinterest to date but am starting to add to two boards in particular - Favourite Aussie (and some NZ) Fabric Screenprinters and Botanically Inspired (Australian Flora of course). You might like to take a look for inspiration here.

I think I'll also start a board on fabric screenprinters from other parts of the world

Actually this post is just an excuse to show some photos of a beee...autiful eucalpt now flowering in the garden. It is Eucalyptus phoenicea - from northern Australia - the Kimberleys and north Northern Territory so a bit of an oddity in this south east Queensland garden.


  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Change From White and Red

The most popular colour for my prints is white, closely followed by red so that's what I mainly do. But every so often - like now - I feel like I need some more colour around me and here's the result of my latest printing sessions.
I love the green.
These tea towels are heading for the Botanique Bazaar at the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens which is coming up again in July (16 - 20), along with lots of white and red towels as well.




Friday, May 9, 2014

After A Bit of Tweeking....

A bit more design improvement and I tried the print on unbleached linen

Saturday, April 26, 2014

One For Casuarina Lovers - Like Me!

I played around with a casuarina (she-oak) inspired stencil and print about 4 years ago and for various reasons put it on the back burner. So this weekend I decided to revisit the idea and redrew and recut the design. This afternoon I did a test print on white linen.
This is the original which I still like but the stencil is much too big for my small printing set up.
 

And this is the inspiration -photographed where I used to live. None close at hand in my new environment sadly.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Linen 'n Denim 'n Leather

I'm always on the lookout for new bag styles to try and I've had this one in the back of my mind for ages. Comparatively quick and easy to make.

It's slightly larger than A4 size and made from linen and black denim, with a medium weight interfacing. So quite practical and rather stylish I think. The bag is lined with cream cotton printed with the same design (fan palm) in red and closes with a magnetic clasp.
Next I'm going to have a go at making one from linen and black leather.
 
I've done a little bit of sewing with leather to date as I have been making these little guys for ages - screenprinted fronts and leather backs (great for specs)
 
 
And recently I tried something a little bit bigger, with this wristlet purse, so I'm looking forward to tackling a larger leather project.
 


And here it is!




Monday, March 17, 2014

My 200th Etsy sale

I have just passed this milestone and decided I needed to tart up my Etsy shop presentation and blog banner. There are lots of tutorials to help, thanks to all those wonderful people who take the time to document their experiences for others. I use Picasa so concentrated on the tutorials which used this software - this one for the Etsy banner and this one for the blog banner.  Both use collages easily produced via Picasa. I also updated my Etsy and blog avatar to match my label logo. Trial and error here rather than following instructions. Oh - and I also designed a business card and had them produced - at long last.

Next task will be to update the layout of my blog (and perhaps post a bit more frequently). I have ventured down the Pinterest track but don't find it as addictive as many seem to, and I'm still weighing up the value (effort versus return) in having a PalumaPrint Facebook presence.

Google Analytics provides some fascinating statistical information on visitors to my Etsy and MadeIt shops and also my blog. I have just started to look at these even though I set it up ages ago. Certainly a great way to while away the hours. There has been a huge decrease in visitor numbers to my MadeIt shop in the last 6 months (and hardly any sales this year). I wonder why? Have handmade buyers just decided to go global because of the greater choice at their fingertips? My Etsy visitor numbers and sales have certainly increased rapidly in the last year.

And finally what's a blog post without a picture or two

A recent morning rainbow

Sunset from the deck

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Most Gorgeous Tree - The Swamp Bloodwood

The native swamp bloodwood in my front yard (Corymbia ptychocarpa - previously Eucalyptus ptychocarpa) is just starting to flower.
No other words do justice to this - simply stunning.

How could it not result in influencing one of my new designs 

now in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Next Stop - Cushion Covers

I'm trying to perfect my cushion sewing techniques - eventually I hope to stock some in my online shops. So first - the prototypes in heavy calico. I have used invisible zips to close the covers following the tutorial by Lara Cameron here and some overlocking stitches on my Elna sewing machine that I haven't tried before. Not quite perfect yet.