sparklers; reflecting, mark making and illuminating the new year

Hello and welcome 2012!

I loves me a new year. So much room for reflection and regeneration. So much give.  So many sparklers. This holiday period I gave myself permission to have a few late night parties, to stay in my pyjamas all day, eat crackers in bed with the kids (everyone else is at the beach right?) and to have a break from my  basketry studio. These are the days before the launch. Cleaning out the cobwebs and opening virgin pages of a diary with no scribbles or coffee stains. Time to look back, breathe and lunge forward again.

Reflection was thrust upon me when I was asked  by Natalie Walton to be interviewed for her blog, daily imprint. It was really challenging to be candid and realistic in my answers but a great exercise in self-analysis (and great amunition for the family to have fun at my expense).  Procrastination warning… daily imprint is a vortex of interesting reading, make sure you have something to drink.

We have been somewhat reluctantly rebirthed this year with a smart phone and a flat television (a little overdue afer 12 years of reading out the subtitles to the person on the other sofa!). Our 18-month-old daughter now makes a beeping noise any time she sees something resembling a remote control. Yeesh.  On the more familiar, organic front, Mat has harvested and part-way sold his first garlic crop under the moniker Green Heart Garlic (yay) and I have experimented with my first ever vegetable dying a la the queen of the eco-print,  India Flint. For those of you who haven’t discovered her mark-making magic I recommend a visit to her website. One of my workshop participants from Queensland, Linda Parmenter stayed over recently to teach my beautiful sister-in-love (the name we prefer to the legal speak) Caroline  and I. Here are some pics from our first efforts.

Caroline placing leaves, onion, cabbage & flowers on silk dupion
leaves on organza
the stuff – heavy duty equipment

bracken, rose leaves, onion skins, japanese maple ready to roll
bundles in eucalyptus dye
unrolling
leaves under wet silk in the sun
freshly unfurled tea base w/ leaf matter still on
leaf prints on silk noil

Cool hey? It’s actually super easy and addictive. Such an extraordinary range of colours and patterns from a bunch of leaves in a pot! I have a very special personal project I am working on it for (oo-ooo) which will be revealed in a few months.

So now the year is  underway, new basketry workshop dates have just gone up on my workshops page and places are going quickly. I sent out a little preview email to my waiting list naturally, so there are only two spots left on the Saturday workshop. Just so you know!

After quite a few requests I am holding a 2-day ILLUMINATE workshop towards the end of February so if you have a bare lightbulb in your house that’s screaming for a nesty pendant, come along and I will help you make your own. I can help you find accomodation and it’s a lovely area to explore if you haven’t been here before.

The new year is a little bit like making an eco-print I suppose; starting with a blank sheet, laying down the patterns, cooking it all up and at the end of the year you shake off the spent leaf matter and marks are left on the fabric for you to make something with.

I wonder what the colours and marks of this year will be?

I hope yours are beautiful. x