Sunday, March 30, 2008

Busy weekend

I've had a big weekend. Yesterday I did my second screen printing class which was all about how to create photographic screens. The short story is ... buy a Gocco people. It is a bit of a PITA to create a photographic screen. You have to:

- degrease the screen (apply degreaser, leave a few mins, wash off)
- dry the screen
- apply emulsion to screen (kinda messy)
- dry the screen
- prepare the image (eg photocopy on to transparent paper)
- tape image to screen
- expose screen to UV light for 6 mins (using fancy rack to vacuum seal screen to glass and fancy big UV light)
- wash screen (very carefully, some of the screens we prepared didn't work, the emulsion all just washed off)
- dry the screen
- finally you can use the screen to print your images
- wash screen and squeegee

Phew! It was quite a process and frankly seems a bit too much bother for me to be interested. It seems to me that for a home hobbyist that a Gocco is really the way to go.

And secondly, today MD and I went on an architecture tour run by Stephen Crafti. It was great. We went on one last year at about the same time of year. The deal was that we met at 9:45am in the city and got on a bus and were driven to Toorak where we looked at two houses which were next door to each other. The first was a brand new house by Carr Design which looked pretty fabulous, it had a big courtyard in the middle and the main bedroom upstairs. The main feature was the amazing front door, it was probably 4 metres across and it pivoted on a hinge in the middle. It was cool but probably a bit OTT. The house next door was a much more modest 50's (I think) Robin Boyd house which was quite lovely. It was very modest but the owners had a great art collection and the living area had beautiful views of the garden. After lunch we we went to a fairly new house on Beaconsfield Parade by Buro Architects (the Middle Park House on their web site). It was VERY glamorous and very big. You can see their kitchen on the architect's web site but they also had a scullery kitchen behind it with another fridge, sink and oven. You can also just see in the photo their artwork on the left, there were about 10 Sidney Nolan "Ned Kelly" paintings. Not the kind of thing you see every day! And the last house we visited was the one featured on the cover of Stephen's book Making the Most of Small Spaces. From the street it looks like all the other terrace houses in the street but when you open the front door you see the view on the book cover. The whole downstairs is one open floor, it looks amazing. The kitchen is sunken by about a foot and all the storage, fridge etc is hidden under the counter top.

It was fantastic to see in person the kinds of houses that you usually only see in magazines, you can get a sense of what the house might be like to live in. I highly recommend going on the next tour if you're interested, Stephen can be contacted via his web site (and ignore the bit about the April tour being booked out, that's from April several years ago :). He said he might be running the next one in June.

(BTW we didn't take any pictures today, we didn't take the camera because we thought it wouldn't really be allowed but some people were taking pictures of every little bathroom, bedroom and kitchen detail, right in front of the owners even, seemed kinda rude to me).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Crafty people are ace!

I had such a good time today. The Living Creatively ladies were lovely and I met Hiromi, Angela, Bianca and Amelia and saw Fi and Jenny again.

I was sitting on my lonesome on the other side of the room in the morning which was a bit crappy, most people who went past thought I was just having a quiet stitch on my own! :)

But after lunch Jenny and Angela very kindly made some room for me between them and we chatted and demo-ed the afternoon away.

I'm continually amazed at how nice all the crafters I've me are. Working in the IT industry just wasn't the same - not that I didn't work with nice people, just that we didn't seem to have many things in common apart from work, and I suppose partly because most of my colleagues were male. I've just been having the time of my life over the past four months coz - a) I've met so many new people, b) they've been female, c) they love craft, d) they've been lovely people!

And to top off my great day Amelia gave me a (big) ball of orange cotton that she'd recycled and I'd been admiring - how generous is that! Thanks Amelia, I smiled all the way home (even in the 40 degree heat).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stitches & Craft show

I answered Pip's call for sublime stitchers to help demonstrate a the
Stitches & Craft show. It was a hoot! I didn't get much time to look at the other stalls but I did see some women making lace - freakin amazing!

Sorry I forgot to take pictures!! I will be back there on Friday so I'll take my camera then.