Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lacy Legs

After my last print of the legs and mary jane shoes I thought I might try something a little different. I unearthed my bag of lace out the other day that I purchased last year for a Howard Arkley project we did at school with the lace used on the paintings to create patterns. My plan was to use it in a similar way as a stencil with the silkscreen and create pretty patterned tights. You can see my stencil above, waiting to be messed up with red ink.

It didn't work out the way I wanted and too much ink came through the lace and I discovered that it seemed to work better when I used the inked up lace directly onto the fabric. Although I didn't end up with the result I was after, I discovered some different techniques and have already started an artwork using the inked up lace. I think if I use a thicker lace, maybe even the plastic stuff, I can still end up with the results I was looking for in the first place. More pictures of the process are on
Flickr and I will post more photos of the discoveries tomorrow.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bigger and Softer

I've had the idea of making a large felt lady softie thing for a while now and decided now was the time to put it into action. I got some floss from Darn Cheap Fabric (they have run out of denim!) and I had some larger bits of red and beige felt from when I first started making the big red beehives.

It was strange to stitch it so large and I find the stuffing process hard because I never know if there is too little or too much inside. I think she looks a little intimidating but you can hug her, although when you finish she still stares at you like you're a fool.

Rose Street is tomorrow, if you're in Fitzroy come and say hello. I have some of the new red mary jane bags and a cushion cover with the same print. For once it isn't going to be stinking hot and I'm hoping I get to be next to Bridget again.

I give you my heart and a mix tape.

Via Art4friends via Magic Jelly.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Little Red Shoes

I spent some time yesterday working out what to print on some new oversized totes. I wanted to use some more of the purple fabric and decided I wanted to print in red. After filling a few pages in my sketchbook I decided to do some little mary-jane shoes.

This is the stencil I used made from cartridge paper. I had to number and letter the sections otherwise I would have to play jigsaw when I put it together again. This has some fabric underneath and I lay it all out, put the screen on top, printed it once, then stuck the paper to the screen. Often when the print area isn't big you don't even need to stick the stencil down as the ink does the job for you.

This is how the print ended up looking. It worked really well with the off white unbleached calico on the shopping bags. I also did some on bright blue and the red ink works great with it. I thought it would be too much but it isn't at all. There is only two shopping bags and this one is on Etsy.

Red Shoes

Wednesday, March 26, 2008



Retro Orange + Denim Pouch at Dawanda
When I was home cleaning my bedroom last week, ridding it of letters from high school and lists of boys I found attractive at 15 years of age I found the tiniest scrap of fabric that looked like it from from a curtain in the 70s. I would have normally put it in the bin, but I decided to keep it to turn it into a pouch.


Blue Peacock Pouch at Etsy
I turned one of the prints into a pouch, I had to crop it because I didn't think the bottom of the bird, upside down on the reverse would work. The back is dark denim.


Red and Purple Pouch at Madeit
I've had the purple fabric and red cordouroy for a while now and decided to team them up in this pouch. The purple has the lighter purple print on it, but I realise next to the darker purple it looks more like grey.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stitching Stitching

I got some more thread so I could finish my little owl from Brown Owls last week. I'm not sure if I went overboard with the stitching but I decided to fill the whole thing in. I like how it turned out, but Gareth keeps laughing at how sad the owl looks. I had to select the colours in a hurry and I didn't have what I had already done with me, but I think the colours are well suited and I like the combination I've used.

I've had a relaxing Easter Break, but no chocolate. I think Gareth and I forgot all about buying eggs, but today I went shopping and they were all 1/2 price - even the good stuff so he will be happy with his post Easter treat.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A safe journey and a lovely new home

I got a lovely email from Mia to let me know the little badge from my birthday giveaway arrived safe and sound in South Africa. She also sent me some pictures and gave me permission to use them. The poster is really lovely and I'm glad the little lady is being well looked after.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Need A Hero

We are currently borrowing Guitar Hero II courtesy of my sister's boyfriend. I've always had a thing for simple games such as Minesweeper, so I knew this game would appeal to me. Whenever I played it at their place I was usually drinking so I never did very well, but now that it is in the house I can play it over and over. I'm not that good at it yet, I have not hit expert and the orange button is messing with my head at the moment, but I am enjoying it. Plus it is a good reason not to drink at night because once you have one drink it is all downhill. I also have grown a very small appreciation for Megadeth, only because Hanger 18 is a great song to play.

And Happy Birthday to Pip for Yesterday, I'm glad to hear you had a great day, and yes, the three legged goat is still at the farm, apparently she was born that way.

I'm going to visit Kara Smith tomorrow at Rose Street as she is travelling all the way down from Katoomba with her very beautiful and extra special bags. If you see her say hello.

I have also put some more of my Collingwood Children's Farm pictures up on Flickr, it was great to see the work Bridget did on our little outing on her blog, have a look at her drawings.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Diversity Is Matched Only By My Insanity*

I had a great day with Bridget at the Collingwood Children's Farm. The animals were very funny and I got some little sketches done after a lovely lunch by the Yarra We managed to find a spot away from the herbicide spraying and the weather was perfect. I realised after I went home I didn't get a chance to look at Bridget’s drawings, so hopefully they appear on her blog. (hint hint)

This drawing above was of the cow milking and there was about 4 little kids helping. Most of it ended up on the floor, but I was quite impressed with a young boys milking skills, I always thought milking a cow was hard but he seemed to know what he was doing and he only looked like he was 3.

*The quote is courtesy of Gareth.

Brown Owls

Last night I went to my first Brown Owls meeting. It was great fun and I was lucky and got to sit next to Pei Pei and Jhoanna. This is the little owl I started stitching . I have not finished him yet and will need to get some more floss as I am flossless. I did have some from when Gareth and I went cross stitch crazy (We did one cross stitch each for his Mum and had a race to see who would finish first) but I think I chucked it out when we moved.

Today I'm off to visit Bridget to do some drawings at the Collingwood Childrens Farm so hopefully I will have some new drawings to post tonight.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shop Till You Drop

fine art shopping bag

This is a bag I screenprinted yesterday. I still had some shopping bags I had not used and wanted to make a print for them. I decided to go with the idea of what would be inside the bag and it includes onions, keys, a newspaper, butter, spaghetti, basil, celery, asparagus, carrots and tomato. I was going to do it in black, but I have a tiny bit left, not enough for this print.

I was really wanting to keep the stencil on this one, so didn't do as many prints. The longer you use the stencil, the harder it is to keep because the paper sticks to the screen. In the end it was too hard to get off because most of the paper was too thin and ended up sticking, so I only got 7 prints in the end. I have listed this one on Etsy and will list some others on Made it.

fine art shopping bag

This is one of the fine art shopping bags I made a few weeks ago. I had just got some fusible webbing and decided to do some abstract fabric collage with it, inspired by Magic Jelly's A Collage A Day flickr group. This one is available on Etsy, and I have five more I will be listing later in the week.

Monday, March 17, 2008

New Pouches

Dual Pouch

This is a new pouch available on Made It. I've been looking through the website and there is so many new sellers I have not seen before making beautiful and amazing things. Made It also has a great forum so if you are interested in Independent Design in Australia is a great place for discussion.

Green Pouch

This green pouch is available on Etsy. The design is a simple floral design, handcut from paper. I made the image wrap around this pouch so part of the design is on the back. It isn't something I normally do unless I specifically design it that way. The back part is the stems of the flowers, so looks quite abstract.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm a Fool

No I'm not a fool for love. Just a plain fool.

It is 40 degrees outside (104 F) and I cook a Beery Beef Casserole for dinner. I turned it into a pie, so it looked more like a pub meal rather than a middle of winter doona-over-you-on-the-couch meal. The beer in the beef was my brothers home brew. Local, fresh and simple. I've put the recipe up on my website if you want to cook it. I just made it up, but it is good and I find casseroles are pretty straight forward. Also, our house is like a cave, so cooking in it isn't too bad even when it is hot outside. I would not have even thought about going into the kitchen on a 40 degree day in the old house for more than 5 minutes so it is a nice change. Although I'm worried that we will freeze in winter.

Here is one of the bags I made with my new printed fabric. I made the bird design for a print on paper, but thought I should do some on fabric and take advantage of the stencil. I'm glad I did, because it looks great on the blue fabric. I will be taking them to Rose Street tomorrow along with some fetching new lassy badges. I'm going to be next to Bridget, so I'm rather happy about that! And on Sunday we are having a little Melbourne meet up, so I'm going to have a busy time over the weekend.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

City Time

I'm back in Melbourne after an interesting train ride involving a broken down train. You know you're in the country when the announcement says:
"Look, I need everyone to listen, I don't want to repeat this four or five times, I know ya all pissed off but the train ain't working and I can't say sorry enough."

I spent yesterday sorting through the stockpile of junk in my old bedroom room and found a few interesting things. I still had most of the inane letters from highschool, just to give an idea of the type of sorting I had to do.

This was one of my school books from Grade Two and it includes a story on The NeverEnding Story (I got to the part just after the horse dies, but I have referred to it as a hoes) and a story about our dog Sam and the day he died. Apparently I didn't cry because I didn't want to be a sook and Nick didn't understand. I'm guessing by the state of the artwork on the front cover, the 5th of February 1987 was a hot day and drawing wasn't something I was keen on concentrating on for very long.

PS: Happy Birthday Nicky!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Winner Winner

I used the random number page and found a winner. Congratulation to Mia, you have won the little lady! If you want to email me (anna (at) annalaura (dot) com (dot) au) to let me know your address. Don't worry if you didn't win, I will have more competitions coming up in the future.

Country Time

I'm going back to the country for a few days, so who knows what the internet connection will be like for blog posting. I will be selecting the winner of the badge competition tonight, so people can still post comments on the post below. Thanks for all the lovely birthday wished, Gareth is quite proud that so many people looked at his card on Flickr. Maybe he can make them to sell on Etsy. He can call his shop, I'm sure Gordon will not mind.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Happy Birthday Giveaway

So today is my birthday and I'm having a lttle blog giveaway. You will get the little lady above with the big pink bun and the eyes that make you go all ga ga.

All you need to do is leave a comment. I will work out the winner next week on Monday so comments are open until then. I'm going to use one of those
random number generators to work it out. If you're not in Australia that is okay I will send it anywhere that Australia Post allows.

Fresh and Local

This is the birthday card given to me by Gareth just after midnight last night bearing our favourite Gordon Ramsay phrase. The "fresh and local" ingredient is paper from my Kristen Doran notepad I got at Meet Me At Mikes.

Speaking of Meet Me At Mikes, tomorrow all the hearts go on sale for the Mirabel Foundation, so if you're near the corner of Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street pop in and buy one. They are only $10 and you can give one to your sweetheart and know it is supporting a great cause!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Remember Men?

This is an artwork I created this afternoon from one of the prints I did yesterday of the mans face. I worked over it with pencil, then acrylic paint. Although I like the prints, I feel they need more work and I'm happy with this one turned out.

I went to Borders today to spend a $20 voucher I got from WOMOW, a website I joined recently and some birthday money that came in the mail from Joey and Pa. I took ages to decide what to get and in the end got a sketchbook, a copy of Dumbo Feather and a BBQ cookbook. I nearly missed my bus home as I was so pathetic at working out what to get. I was disappointed in the lack of books on textile design as I would have loved something like that.

I'm looking forward to watching the Project Runway finale. I'm not going to mention anything about it as it might not have aired in Australia and I love watching it not knowing the results. I have just started watching the UK version of the show, Project Catwalk, and the difference between the two is remarkable. I think if any of the outfits on the UK version were on the US version, Nina Garcia would just spit out "unacceptable" and walk off in disgust. I was expecting big things, Project Runway Canada was fantastic and lived up to the US standards, but this has nothing on either shows. The designers skill level seems a lot lower and the production doesn't razzle dazzle. Even Julian McDonald's bitchy comments seem of a low standard. Sure he is bitchy, but it isn't smart or sharp, just predictable and rude. I'm only 4 episodes in and I'm hoping for improvements. I just hope the Australian Project Runway does a better job.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New Techniques

I decided to do a new print last night on paper rather than on fabric. I had tried it previously and the prints didn't turn out how I wanted, although I was still happy with the results after working over them with ink and fineliner.

The problem with printing onto paper is my screens are designed for fabric, which means more ink comes out of them as the fabric is more absorbent than paper. Because of this, when you print onto paper the excess ink has nowhere to go but sideways, making blotchy prints that leak. Sometimes the leaking is good and I find it is errors like this which make things more exciting, but sometimes you just want perfect prints with no side effects.

To overcome this I decided to put a layer of thin fabric between the screen and the paper as I had discovered some lovely prints on newspaper when printing onto fabric and thought it was a waste. I had some thin muslin type fabric and decided to use this.

This is my set up shot. I have the stencil, squeegee, knife, ink (Permaset black ink) and the screen. My table is just a board on a filing cabinet, nothing too fancy and not much room.

Once I did my first print I realised I could use the inked up fabric for another print. I placed it on a clean sheet of paper and put more paper on top, then used the bamboo baton to rub the paper quite hard. The ink comes off onto both sheets of paper so there is another two prints that can be gained from the printing process.

This is the part where I peel the top layer of fabric off. It can stick a bit to the paper, so it good to do it slowly so it comes off evenly.

Here is a close up shot of another print I did today, you can see the texture created from the fabric, and it has a lovely raised surface. The Tea and Treats print is available on my etsy shop. It is not one of the originals, but an artwork I worked over with fineliner, scanned and digitally coloured in. It has more detail than the original and the teacup is blue. The artwork I did today is of a man and you can see some more of the process from today at my Flickr account.

Rock On!


This is Maria and she is currently over at DaWanda. She is another new favourite and I love the little roll in her hair. Again, I wish I could do it with mine, but I think it would be almost impossible even with professional help.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Big Hair Beauty

I would like to introduce three pretty little ladies called Cheryl, Bev and Heather. They are part of the new batch of 61 that I finished off today and I think these are some of my favourites. I think I love Bev the best because of her lovely hairdo and the little band in her hair. The big fringes are a new favourite so I am sure I will be doing it a fair bit now. I also have some new rockabilly/50s style hairstyles which I will feature late on in the week.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Birthday Week

This is the other print I made last week which I turned into some tote bags. Some have gone up to Betty Mim and I have some left over prints which I will turn into smaller pouches and coin purses. I'm planning on another day of printing, but I think I might have run out of cartridge paper. I do have some recycled artworks I took from school, but if they have much art on them it often come off in the printing process. I think a trip to an art supply store is going to be happening very soon and that always means a big spend up.

This week is birthday week, so I might have to do something to celebrate, so keep a look out for a give away post in the next few days. It will most likely involve badges as I have been stitching up a storm and have around 60 new ladies almost ready to go. I have some new hairstyles which are rather fantastic and I wish I could do the same with my hair, however just keeping it knot free seems a hard task at the moment. The new do's are a little bit retro and a little bit Hairspray and they are looking 110% glamorous.

I'm also trying to come up with ideas on how I should spend the big B day, so if anyone has some ideas, let me know. I'm thinking Mexican for dinner as I like the idea of drinking jugs of Margaritas. Something different to Star Trek and stitching badges for a change!