Sunday, April 20, 2014


One for all those would be" newby crochet" people.
Forget about trying to perfect your tension.
I know a lot of you are concentrating and trying to get the perfect tension in your crochet.
Its much more important to learn the crochet stitches than the tension.
I have been teaching for almost 50 years now (how scary) and believe me the tension just happens, it just comes itself. The more you crochet the more even your tension will get.
Crochet is not all about the "tension "its all about the formation of the stitches.
I get angry when I hear teachers saying someone has "the tension wrong" no you don't.
Just forget the word "tension "totally and your work will be better more even, because you are more relaxed about it all. Now you are concentrating on the pattern and the formation of the stitches.
Need help, advice, email me, that's what I do.

Crochet bag

Another school break is almost over and tomorrow its back to U3A. I'm tutoring 2 classes side by side for the next 4weeks. My normal folk art class will run side by side with my new 4 week course in "journaling". Sounds a lot to handle but I'm sure everything will be fine. It will be fun and exciting.
For the last couple of weeks I've been on a "rest and take it easy" routine as I haven't been very well.
  This has given me the opportunity to do other things that come under the  "resting" banner.
I've been crocheting, made 2 scarves and a bag. Normally I wouldn't use someone else's patterns, and why should I? that's what I do, have been doing for almost 50 years now, designing patterns.
however last year while on holiday in the UK I bought a pile of magazines, I love their magazines, a lot come with freebies and giveaways, I cant resist.
One called "simply homemade" had the scarf pattern and the gorgeous crochet bag pattern, so I made both. The problem here in Australia is getting yarn similar to the one used originally in the pattern.
How lucky was I, Spotlight are having a sale and I found a thick cotton type yarn called "riverdale"by Panda yarns of Melbourne. The pattern said 200grams of yarn and wonders of wonders it used very slightly more, I had to use the 5th ball for the handles.
The bag is made in motifs joined together, the directions were a bit vague so a beginner would have a bit of a problem I think understanding how it all goes together, it does, however make up very quickly. I lined mine with a pink multi coloured spot fabric, with an internal pocket.
If you would like to check the pattern out go to 'simply homemade" issue 30.
Just a note about the yarn I used "Riverdale" I have never seen this yarn at Spotlight before so my guess is it was a "special" for their sale, it wasn't a good yarn to work with lots of knots, joined pieces, one ball had 4/5 ends to start, another one had a pile of unwoven yarn shoved in the centre, so if purchasing any check it out first. Only good thing, it was the right thickness for the pattern.
Have fun, give it a go.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Posting hassle solved, I think

I've been talking to my daughter, about the problem of posting blogs with more than one part, or if you like chapter. Have you ever noticed that they really read bottom to top, or 1st post goes to the bottom of page, 2nd post sits on top. This makes for a difficult situation if writing a post in "parts" or chapters. I think I may have solved the problem, after writing the post, rather than publishing immediately, write the 2nd or next part, then hit publish for the 2nd post before publishing the 1st post. Does that make sense to any of you? Next time I write a post in parts I am going to try it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Continued Creative Police part 2.

Read part 1 the next blog down first, dopey me forgot that part 2 would come first.

That lady who nominated herself as the police for all art and painting has no idea who I am, what I've done, what I've achieved. Where does this attitude come from?
I learnt very early on in my arty and creative career that what works for me is always right for me. There are no rights or wrongs in art. If it works for you than do it, don't listen to those down sayers who always say, you cant do that", Why cant you.
My rules, Be confident in what you do.
Be proud of what you do.
Own what you do.
Accept that you created it.
Don't let the "police" hinder your creativity.
Keep away from those negative people.
Everyday be grateful that you can think for yourself and be creative.
Creativity is to be nurtured , not denied. As long as you are happy with what you have achieved, you are happy with what you have made what does it matter if you broke "rules" on the way. As long as the end is what you had visualised, isn't that the most important, "rule" of all.

Creative "POLICE" the ones who say you cant do that

Have you ever met any of those people who constantly say, "You cant do that ". Have you ever asked the question "why". Generally they will reply with " aaaaaaaa because, because you cant "or something similar.
Today I would like to tell you a story about the craft or creative police that lurk around me.
In the 1970's I started china painting, learning from an elderly lady, (whoooo someone older than me). A new lady came along to class one day and started painting a plate. Our teacher insisted we trace the design on to the item we were working on and apply the paint a certain way. The new lady said ok, and painted her plate. Well, what an upset, new lady had used the brightest oranges and purples on her plate, hadn't gone softly, softly blending colours. The plate was beautiful, for a beginner the work was amazing. Sadly new lady was kicked out of class, because apparently she broke the rules. How sad, new lady had upset the teacher by choosing her own favourite colours and applied the paint her own way. New lady is probably a well known artist now.
After that I started attending classes to learn all about porcelain doll making. We used pre-mixed china paints to paint the faces with. Well, one day I asked a question, "why cant we use the powdered china paints so that we have a better colour range. "Because we cant, they wont work". To me that made no sense at all, porcelain was porcelain and china was china. So me being me, decided to break away from the limiting colours in pre-mixed paint and mix my own colours. I never said a word to anyone, had the doll head fired. Then the questions started, "how did you get that colour?' Must have been where it was placed in the kiln, closer to elements probably, hasn't fired properly".
My reply "  I mixed the powdered paint myself and used a different colour to the pre-mix one".
Guess what, it didn't take long for everyone, including my teacher to learn how to mix powdered paints. Which they still use today.
Where do these people come from, why do they think there way is the only way a thing can be done.
One day, while I was teaching ceramics a lady came in and invited us next door to the studio to try out some new paint products they had. So off we went. We were handed paint brushes, picture, paper and paints to try and told "paint that. Thinking back it was quite funny. We both started to paint, when quite a large lady, the one in charge I think, came over, took my paint brush of me and 'said, you wont be able to paint unless you hold the brush properly", My reply, "ok". and returned to painting. A few minutes later back she came grabbed my paint brush and said loudly, "not like that, like this, you don't even know how to hold a paint brush ". My friend sitting next to me was getting a bit irate, and said "tell her who you are ". "no, its okay". Well, look out here comes the paint warden again, looking angry now. "stop, you are never going to make a painter, you don't even hold the brush correctly".
It was okay I had finished my picture, I never did tell her who I was or why I held the paint brush as I did. How dare this person tell me that I couldn't do something simply because I did not hold my paint brush how she thought I should. Reason is I have no right elbow so my arm will not straighten. I will continue this in post 2.