Friday, November 23, 2012

Shaky Bill the Alcoholic Tattooist

This image reminded me about a funny story I was told by a fellow shed dweller.
It was about a tattoo. And how it ended up being inked. The reason why it was inked was a little sketchy, but the story of how it was done was hilarious. But not sure I should divulge that on here..all names have been changed to protect the identity of the innocent...
But to cut a long story short, back in the day there was a guy and his name was Bill. Everyone else knew him as Shaky Bill. He was the only tattooist in town and he liked a drink.
People travelled a really long distance to not get inked by him, so off the lads went to other places and thats where adventures began.
Perhaps you had to be there, I had a good old laugh.

Obviously this was not inked by Shaky Bill, via Thank you Pinterest.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Work and Working

Part of me has shifted into a different mode of working. I have all this space now to unpack ideas into...and a huge 2.2mt square table that I can walk around on all 4 sides certainly helps too. My old studio was so small and I annoyed my partner as my work spilled into every other room in the house.

I know I don't talk much about my 'work'...for some of us, its just what we do, putting it into words is another thing all together. For me it is about process. There often isn't much ruled order to the process but its a process none the less. Being a graphic designer I have a methodical way of working but it is different every time. A client asked me the other day how I got so ordered and I had to have a laugh to myself...if only they knew how much chaos there really was getting to the solution of the brief. 

A quilt will often come to me in pretty bad shape. I love to pick up the ones that others leave behind. I love the not perfect and un-pretty ones. Because somewhere in there will be a little bit of gold that will stand out and thats all I need. I spend a lot of time unpicking. I find it relaxing. Others find it maddening. But pulling something apart knowing how great it will become is kind of exciting. I like knowing i'm saving it as each little scrap can be great if its given the right setting to be in. I like to sit out the front of the studio on the old chairs in the sun. A cup of coffee and a bit of a break to unpick a block or two.

This weeks unpicker

Nearly there...1880s blocks with god awful sashing

Here is a page from my working 'diary' part scribble and part scrawled notes. I love the Moleskeine graph exercise books, i'm fussy, I don't like the hard cover fancy ones, always too nice to scrawl into. A dear friend gives me some every year for my birthday/xmas present, I give her Vera scarves I find on my travels to the USA. It's becoming a nice tradition as we grow older.

Some ideas
I love simple shapes, give me a one patch postage stamp quilt and i'm in awe, often a nine patch is all you need. Add a triangle to the square and you are in business. I don't like to get too complicated. I like the scraps to do the talking.

Playing, planning, a work in progress of 1920s cottons

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Shed Crasher

I love the old place where my studio is. Over the last however many years its been a light industrial area. There are lots of tradies in sheds - this is a real blokes with sheds kinda place.
I feel like i'm a bit of a shed crasher. That I have interrupted some secret mens business. Don't get me wrong, i've been made to feel very welcome, even been given a beer. I have earned my 'shed stripes'.
When I first got my warehouse it was, shall we say 'a tad on the rough side'...the blokes would tell me to 'toughen up' that this was Fyansford and they would have a bit of a laugh. But over time we have turned a rough gem into a bit of a diamond. We could see the potential.

Shed Cleanup and paint of many...

We had to clean it up, from being the original sites boiler room to what it was last as a joinery. There were decades of neglect to sort out. Then fixing windows and all sorts of other things. Keeping in mind this is a heritage listed building and there are somethings you just can't do and some things you have to do a certain way....then install things. You name it we had a TONNE of work to do. And without the help of my friends and my family you wouldn't have what we have today....shall we say a warehouse that transformed into a studio...but I still call it my shed. I have always wanted a kick ass shed.

Shed fixing day with Elfi from Molle Interiors, me and Rach from Textile Treasure, photo from Michaela
Our front doorway today and some landscaping
A huge shout out goes to..
My beloved Paul from The Odyssey Tavern
The amazing Elif and Tim from Molle Interiors
Ben from Preston Street Media and Shane
The awesome Michaela for all her hard work
Fi from FWD design you are truly brilliant
Lena from Ideas by Tuesday - legend
Fiona from The Stitching Project 
My Dad for all his help fixing stuff and my mum for all her thoughts as she recovers from Chemo.
To the 'blokes' on site for their kind words, jokes, beer and help.