PATTERN PLAY

I took an introductory textile class earlier this year and absolutely loved it! The only disappointment was that I didn’t discover it sooner as I would love to have explored surface and textile design further during my studies. As well as pattern and surface design I got to experiment with various dyeing techniques, thermoplastics, felting and embroidery. One of the assignments involved using an urban environment as inspiration for a series of patterns. I chose the Sydney Opera House for my urban environment, you might recall some of the photos I posted a while back from a tour I took of this iconic building. These photos were the basis of my design.

The shape of the Opera House  is easily recognisable, but I wanted my design to be contemporary and evoke a sense of the opera house without being a cliché. By looking closely and from different angles I noticed the patterns in the tiles,  so I combined these triangular, diamond and chevron shapes with arcs. The colours are inspired by dusk over the harbour and the  silhouettes created as the sun sets. I’m quite happy with the results and might try printing them digitally on to fabric.

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WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

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I have long been a fan of pattern and textile design, recently I was inspired to begin experimenting with illustrated patterns of my own. I even entered one of my designs into a competition. The lovely ladies from Frankie and Swiss Boutique Textile Company are holding a design competition as part of Craft Cubed. And this is where I need your help, one of the categories is decided by the public, so if you like my design and have a few seconds to spare you can cast your vote here by clicking the like button. The winner will be announced at The Frankie and Swiss Open Studio on the 23rd of August, that’s this weekend! There are some truly beautiful designs in the running so it is well worth checking out the rest of the entries.

Thanks for reading (and voting ;-) )

NEW ZEALAND flashback!

Hooley dooley! Has it really been six months since my last post? Actually, I can believe that, life of late has been of blur of study and home renovation with a few other adventures thrown in. Anyway, it’s good to be back!

Looking back over my blog I realise that I never got around to posting all of my New Zealand photos (even though that trip was almost twelve months ago!).  Being winter in Australia at the moment its seems appropriate to share the final leg of this journey now. The last part of our trip took in the stunning blue waters of Lake Ruataniwha and Lake Tekapo (the water really is this colour!); a relaxing dip in the warm waters of Tekapo Springs while enjoying the spectacular view over Lake Tekapo; a visit to Mt John Observatory, which felt like being on another planet! And finally, a couple of nights at Terrace Downs Resort, not to play golf but for a day trip to the snow at Mt Hutt.

We visited in between seasons and were lucky that the snow season had been extended so the roads, accommodation and snow fields weren’t too busy, but New Zealand seems to be beautiful at any time of year.

Needless to say, by the end of this holiday I was ready to move to New Zealand’s South Island!

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ON THE HOUSE!

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Do you remember my post, roughly 12 months ago, about the Sydney Opera House? Well last year was a big year for this beautiful building, which also celebrated it’s 40th birthday. Last month, I too celebrated a birthday. If you follow me on twitter you may have noticed that one of the gifts I received was a tile on one of the largest sails of the Sydney Opera House! I didn’t receive an actual tile but in purchasing a virtual tile, my husband and became Housemates. The funds raised via this project will go towards maintaining and renewing this iconic building for the next 40 years. If you too would like to support the Sydney Opera House, or see who else is a housemate, you can visit the Own Our House website or see frequently asked questions here. We could be housemates together!

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY

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In preparation for Australia Day, I made an Aussie icon—the humble lamington. If you have never encountered a lamington before they consist of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate, then rolled in coconut. Upon searching for a recipe, I discovered that there are various methods, which left me wondering which version to make. Should I use ganache or icing? Should I spread jam in the middle of the lamington? Should I use dessicated or shredded coconut? The consensus amongst my friends was that you should only use jam if you are adding cream, so to kept it simple I went with icing, no jam and toasted shredded coconut (I think toasting the coconut was the best decision I made!). I didn’t use one recipe in particular but if you would like to make your own lamingtons the links below may be of some use, I particularly like the idea of mini lamingtons that can be eaten in one bite!

Happy Australia Day!

Little Lamingtons
Chocolate Lamingtons with Toasted Coconut
Joyce Pascoe’s CWA Lamington Recipe
Tips for making Lamingtons

ENTER EXXOPOLIS

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Attention Sydneysiders! You only have a few days left to experience Exxopolis, the giant inflatable sculpture that has been occupying the Sydney Opera House forecourt for the last few weeks. The Architects of Air have created another fantasy world of light and wonder that you can explore. Having seen one of their luminariums a couple of years ago, I knew it would be worth another visit. So if you haven’t seen Exxopolis yet January 27th is the last day, don’t miss out! And if you want to save a few bucks, book your tickets the day before.