Monday, March 30, 2009


I've not posted about this lovely new book yet, I wanted to wait till it was out. I'm really excited to be involved in Pip's Meet Me At Mikes book, it is really beautiful and full of all sorts of fun projects, including a recipe for pink lamingtons! I have a project in there, but you'll have to go and have a look at the book to find out what it is. It does involve making something that could look like a cat or my Dad.

In other exciting news, Able and Game are in May's Real Living Magazine. I just went and got a copy then and was so excited to see our hipster mixtape boy looking all moody and cool in print!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bridget Farmer Prints

Yesterday I spent the day with Bridget helping with the redesign of her new website for her lovely prints like the Red Wattlebird above. Although I know a little tiny bit about making websites I always feel like a total fool when compared to Gareth, who seems to know everything (although I discovered last night he doesn't know about php).

After spending hours on the computers side by side in my studio we had a lovely
take away curry, some red wine (from the goonbox!) and watched Farmer Wants a Wife. It was nice to have someone to watch it with and discuss it in real time, although I missed the first season I'm a sucker for that show. If you watch it please feel free to email me or comment to discuss your thoughts. Do you think Riley and Tim will last? Can you tell Rachael and Stacey apart? Do you wish you could date Jenny just so you can say you live in a place called Tumbarumba?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Butterflies are up

I've just put one of the butterfly artworks up in my Anna Laura Etsy shop, this is one with the green/blue and yellow fabric, the blue ink and the yellow polkadots on the side.

Anyone up for a road trip?

To Mornington? Not really a road trip as such as Mornington isn't that far away so a mini road adventure of sorts. The lovely Marcus from TLC sent this along and all the details are above in the flyer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Butterflies and Kittens

Here are some more of my new screenprinted artworks. These ones have used a cut out shape to create a shape, with the rest of the fabric blocked out by the ink. The top one is stretched onto the frame, the bottom two have been stitched onto another piece of fabric and then stretched with the zigzag stitching part of the design. The fabric below is from Amitie and really very lovely, I might have to pop down and get some more, which isn't really a hassle because it is about 800 meters from my house and I walk down to Centre Road almost daily to do shopping. This is something I enjoy because I've seen up to 11 cats on the trip including fat cats, kittens and a couple of kitlers. Back to the butterflies, I designed these as artworks one might put up in a girls room. I'm hoping to do some art for a boys room as well, but with different fabric of course!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ideas, starting out and teaching

Over the last three years that I have been screenprinting I've had a lot of people ask me how I go about it. I think if people saw my set up they would be quite surprised because you don't need much room to do it and it isn't that expensive to set up.

I've started thinking about running lessons for people who are interested in learning more about screenprinting and setting themselves up to screenprint at home. The type of screenprinting would be handcut paper stencils and printing with drawing fluid and screenfiller (which creates a permanent screen). It wouldn't be creating a screenprint using the emulsion technique.

Some things I would like to do with the class is:
  • Have it really small, with a maximum of 6 people
  • Set it up so you leave the class with two screens, a permanent one using the screen filler technique and another blank screen you can reuse with paper stencils.
  • Have different items to print on such as fabric, calico tote bags and canvas frames for stretching screenprinted artwork onto.
  • Some kind of tech support after the course is finished if you're having issues with printing.
  • The option to purchase a kit with inks/squeegee ect to take home after the course.
I would also like to offer a similar holiday course for teenagers (13-16 year olds) with a focus on printing onto clothing and bags to create a little brand name for themselves. Having taught teenagers, I know a few would be interested in taking some ownership over the clothes they wear and having the chance to wear their own designs or give printed shirts to friends as gifts.

So what I want to know is there people in Melbourne who would be interested in doing this kind of course? Any feedback would be really helpful as I've got super excited about the idea, but realise that maybe people might not be interested.

Sweet Olive Press

The lovely Helen from Pepperina Press has started a new blog, Sweet Olive Press with her beautiful letterpress stationery like the birth announcement above. I told Helen she will be doing my wedding stationery, but by the time that comes around her children will be in college, so she has plenty of time to prepare.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Can I help you?

This morning I was up early to drop my Mum off at a conference and pick up some staples for my gun, which is currently running on empty. Whenever I go to this shop there never seems to be anyone around to help and when you finally corner someone they have no clue about any of the products. This time I went I found a very helpful man who offered to help, but just as he started talking to me had to leave as he was working two departments and someone called him over the loud speaker. Turns out he knew less than I did anyway, but he did look the part with a tool belt on. Apparently I also looked the part due to my shirt colour and was asked by an employee where something was. Not a customer, an employee!

I'm now loaded back up with staples for the staple gun and printed up some new birds for stretching up on frames. This bird has been kicking around for a while but I cut out the basic shape to do a white background so I could print it on some floral fabric. I wasn't going to do white and red as a colour combo, but as I was looking at the white on the floral I realised red would work really well and I'm happy I went with that colourway. Below is my inspiration board, something that took a good year of working in this studio to finally organise and put up. I think I have finally got the studio into a good layout that I am happy with and doesn't get insanly messy. Although if you look at this photo on flickr I think most people would think it is insanly messy, but for me this is pretty neat.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beautiful Birds A5 Prints

These designs were made for a range of cards for Able and Game. I liked the designs so much I thought they would work as artworks so printed them on some A5 card. I think they would look lovely mounted in a white frame and would be perfect as a gift for a newborn baby. You can purchase them via our Able and Game Etsy shop for $12US, which works out to be about $18AUD plus postage.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pigeon Polka Dot

Here is another of the new screenprinted artworks available on Etsy. Although I've been screenprinting quite a bit over the last 3 years I don't usually screenprint onto patterned fabric. Plain cotton or linen cotton blends in pretty colours is more my cup of tea. I always looked at printing onto anything other than plain fabric as something that would detract from the print. And when you're cutting those stencils out yourself you really want the print to stand out.

I think I was maybe a bit closed minded because I did some prints onto some different patterns and was rather pleased with the results, particularly with the white prints. This one above is on a lovely bright blue polka dot cotton with a pigeon from the
drawings at Melbourne Museum I did with Bridget last year. I think I'm going to enjoy creating these new screenprinted artworks and seeing how much I can experiment with the medium.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Like the ocean

I've just listed this clutch on Etsy and the blue in the chiffon and lining reminds me of the ocean. I managed to go on a few swims this year, the best being the first for the summer. The water was the colour of this chiffon and it was a lovely sunny Sunday with the beach packed with people. The worst swim was at the same beach but after the sun had gone down so it was dark and scary. Bits of seaweed would touch my skin and frighten me because all I had on my mind was sharks and Jaws, courtesy of Meringue and Andy. Hopefully I get a few more swims this year, but I think they might be in a heated pool and not at Sandringham beach. At least I can look at the chiffon and remember them.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Birch Bird

Here is the second artwork I've listed on Etsy. It is the same size as the one from yesterday but this one is a screenprint of a bird. The stencil was handcut from paper and I added some applique detail with some of Lara's Birch Fabric and another floral fabric for the leaves. I've listed this one on Etsy as well, and have some more I finished yesterday to list online. If you're in Melbourne I will be taking them to the markets with me. On Saturday I will be at Rose Street and Sunday at the Maker's Market at Abbottsford Convent.

I found the design process with making these really a bit difficult. The 7 by 5 inch size of the frames isn't huge, so you don't have a lot to work with. I had an idea in my head of what they would look like but as I started to design them these ideas didn't seem to be appearing. I think I have a love hate relationship with my design process, something I discovered again while drawing all the Able and Game cards. I seem to only focus on what I cannot do rather than what I can and don't play to my strengths, instead trying to achieve something I find very difficult to create. I am sure everyone feels like this, I know I have long chats with my friend in London who is writing scripts and she feels the same. It is hard work and when people say how great it must be to be creative all day I usually say it is really good, but it is also hard work.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blue Shoes

I've been making some more artworks on stetched canvas. This one is my little shoes design, but this time in a blue and red colour combination. I used these cute little buttons I got from Camberwell Market with some red stitching on the blue felt. I've listed this in my Etsy shop, after spending a few days working out the best way to package them so they are safe and sound. Lots of bubble wrap and tissue paper and a sturdy box from Australia Post seemed like the best option for safe art travel.

Friday, March 06, 2009


When I was in high school I had a slight obsession with Brett Whiteley. In Year 11 and 12 I had his ultramarine blue book out on loan for the whole two years during my VCE. My Mum ended up buying me a copy, I think out of embarrassment as she worked at the school and was worried the librarians might growl at her. Mum and I went down to the big exhibition he had in 1996 or 1997 at the NGV with Turner on at the same time. I spent the whole 3 hour train trip looking at the book, excited to see them for real. I pulled the book out today and did this drawing from one of his still life's from the 70s. I'm a sucker for linework and he is the king of the line. I'm wondering if I should make a little range of cards for Able and Game with some still life drawings like the one above?