Book Binding and Zines

As I begin my project for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery I have been experimenting with many projects to use with the young people involved.

As any artist knows, it is important to record, experiment and learn when developing a project. I guess thats why I always place so much importance on a visual diary when teaching.

I have been a little obsessed with hand made books for a while and it has been re-triggered by the recent involvement in making a Zine for another project

I love the many ways of binding a book, the way you can make so many little books from one A4 sheet of paper, the recycling of magazines and other thown away items to make something really individual. The binding, the folding and the stitching is so soothing.

I have made so many little books as experiments and I will use them as examples of end results for future projects.

I feel like I wont invest in commercial visual diaries anymore. I feel like the attachment to arts work begins with an individual record of results. I hope my TMAG young people agree.

Badges - Old School

I told my little girl about how I was once cool. In primary school I had an acid wash denim jacket in which I sewed and clipped on any badge I could lay my hands on, which was roughly around five pieces of bling. Yeah ... I was that cool.

For her birthday I bought her (ME!) an old school badge maker and enough supplies to make 100 badges. She opened her large and heavy present and was suitably unimpressed by the machine and the endless badge making possibilities.

A couple of days later I got out some paper supplies and proceeded to induce excitement.... and it worked. Badge making took over the dining table for well over a fortnight and we made badges for ourselves and our friends. I had to google instructions for my Badge-a-minnit machine and there were defiantly some hits and misses in their construction.

After we had made a few badges I told her my acid wash story and got her (ME!) excited about recreating my moment. We raided the house for anything else to pin on  the vest and grows in its personality.

Isn't it funny how something like a badge can induce such memories. I bet you did one at your school fair. Can you remember how cool it was to draw something then have it turned into a badge? That was pretty cool.

Zine - We Mind, Be Kind

Recently I have been working for The Smith Family and the Wynyard School Community Partnerships program on an anti bullying campaign We Mind - Be Kind.

My role was to bring together a Zine from the young peoples work. I love Zines. I feel like I am introducing an entirely new concept to their eager minds. An act of revolutionary self publishing. I have also been making loads of little handmade books, but more on that later.

My personal program consisted of 5 after school sessions, one full day forum in house at a local school, an exhibition to organise at ArtsCape and the final Zine to put together over many days and nights. It was quite a job.

I taught the youngsters how to make the basic A4 folded zine and then we used the same fold on a huge sheet of paper. These became the main working Zines and scanned images from these contributed to the final copy. On the forum day I had the kids writing words on sticky notes and a secret box for bullying confessions or stories. The following are some of the inside pages made from the forum and the after school program:

Currently I have taken on the role of secretary at ArtsCape and so I also contributed a lot of behind the scene work to the final exhibition. There were many other workshops that happened on the forum day and through after schools programs that lead to the greater end result. These objects created as a whole will be come part of a larger package to take to other schools in the future.
 It was a great opening supported by many of the community and schools. Unfortunately time got away from me and I did not get a chance to post on this while the exhibition was still showing. 

I forgot to take my big camera so an instagram impression of the final outcomes will have to do.

 Pledge banners for the students to sign.

Picasso Inspired Paintings Workshop lead by Jan Suter

Paper cranes workshop lead by Jenny Turner
My final Zines

Where The Wild Things Are - Cake - Tutorial

I'm not much of a fan of making fancy cakes. I get that it a very creative business but it doesn't appeal to me becasue of the time it take to make the damn things.

However - never fear - this tutorial for making a Where The Wild Things Are cake is super easy... I promise. 

Firstly, you must make the base cakes the day before you want to ice them. To me, this means three days before the party as I don't want to ice it on the day of the party. I use a small shallow tin, sorry I have no idea of the size, all I know is one batch fills two tins.

I made two chocolate cakes (one batch) and one (1/2 a batch) vanilla. I layered them chocolate, vanilla, chocolate and used vanilla icing in between the layers. Obviously you could cut them in half and create more layers if you choose and add whipped cream instead of the icing layer filling. My kid hates cream so icing it was.

With the vanilla icing I made a round (but organic shaped) circle on the top. I then coated the rest of the cake in chocolate icing, putting a lip over the top to create the illusion of a bark edge. I dipped a skewer into the chocolate icing and drew on some age rings to make the top of the cake look more log like.

For the outside chocolate bark I found this pin:

The chocolate bark on the outside of my cake I used this baking paper and melted chocolate rolled up idea. It gave the melted chocolate a lovely curl. However I did exclude the re-coating of the bark in more chocolate, or icing, whatever they used here.  Lastly I found some little lady bugs and added them as details upon the birthdays girls request.

See ...not too hard - right?

Table extras : I used hessian for the tablecloth, wooden forks and spoons for cutlery, a lovely wooden copping board made by a local man for under the cake and other foodie bits. For the rest of the bowls/serving dishes I used blue and white vintage enamel wear.

If you follow the pin link above you will find loads more ideas for creating your very own Where the Wild Things Are party. Some of my favorites are the masks and the Pin the Tail on Max game. None of which we needed.

For some free Where the Wild Things Are invitation printables I made you can follow this link.

Enjoy x

Where The Wild Things Are - Free party invitation - Download - Printable

The birthday is over for another year. I have vowed there will be no party next year. Where The Wild Things Are party theme was a great success. It was a true rumpus especially as the party was at our Gymnastics group, it seemed fitting. I loved how unisex the party was, I also loved how natural and un-plastic it allowed for party favors and decorations.

In future posts I will share with you a wrap up of the actual party and also one on the making of the cake. 
In this post I wanted to give you some free printables for your very own Wild Things party.
I have removed all names/dates/personal info and you are welcome to use the file to print. Please do not sell them and if you use them on your site it would be nice to back link here.

To fill in your own invitations you can match up the font by downloading the free version of Skinny from DaFont Here.

You can save the following images onto your computer and print them out as you need.

I bought some blank cards and after printing out the following pictures let the party girl glue them on. Also, not featured in the photo, we glued a feather on the front cover below the main image.This was a spare card and I completely forgot to pop one on to show you.

The front cover of the invitation:

Here is the inside of the invitation:
Use the orange ribbon to write the child's name in.

Inside the card we accordian folded a strip of paper and glued it to the following Max picture so that it would  'pop' out as you opened the card. I laid a few on one page to print and then just cut them out individually.

For the party bags I made this print out. Once again you can use the Skinny font to add your child's name to the space provided. We painted on a gold crown and used a black marker to outline it.

Enjoy x

Where The Wild Things Are - Wild Rumpus Party

It was decided that there would be a birthday party for the nearly 7 year old this year. It was decided that the party would be gender neutral as she wanted to invite her boy friends (not boyfriends) and thought that princess dress ups aren't probably everyone's thing.

Where The Wild Things Are is one of our most favourite books and seemed appropriate for my little untamed monster.

There was lots of Pinteresting on the subject.

I made up some printables to go in some cards (above). The little girl wanted to make them herself but the control freak in me made these up and then let her paste them into some blank cards with a little Max that popped out when you opened it. I also generously let her write each kids name on the cards and envelopes.

There were party bags filled with handmade things and no plastic. I would have loved to add one of those beautiful (yet often just for looks) Twig pencils however the cost to get them to Tasmania was enormous. We also made some gold crown party hats to wear on the day.

Today the cake was started. I plan to make it look like a log with chocolate bark.

....and it's not your birthday week if you don't get to lick the beaters....

How did she get so big? 

I'll post on the party after the event for a final look at our theme.

Temple of Re-Dress

At ArtsCape I have fallen into the role of secretary, digital and social media, website and publicity. I have had a busy time of it of late. We were fortunate to have attracted this beautiful exhibition The Temple of Re-Dress by Anzara Clark.

A wearable art exhibition created from new, recycled and place specific pieces. The exhibition is open for until Thursday if you are around to get a look at it for yourself.
Anzara is also offering a workshop alongside her exhibition. Check out our Website for more information.
The opening of this exhibition was lovely and we had many people attending. Not bad for a winters night in Tasmania

On Thursday we have a new exhibition opening for the Smith Family and its anti bullying campaign. I have been working with some students to create some zines for the project.

At ArtsCape we are really hitting our stride which is wonderful because next year will be ten years that we have been alive and a group. Somethings just take some time but I do see the town changing for the arty better.

Isn't it nice how arts can uplift a little town in a corner of Tasmania, bring people together on a cold night and inspire thoughts and moods.

Country Land For Sale

What is a blog for if you can't over share and self promote?

So on that note I would love to tell you all about our property for sale. It has just gone live on Domain and It all seems really real now. The hardest part will be deciding on how to invest in our lives once it sells. It's a pretty exciting time for us.

The property is set up for building on and is located only 5 minutes from the sea side town of Wynyard, Tasmania. Land for building on in our area is pretty rare. Imagine making your own little piece of country paradise amongst the gum trees.

Extra specially is that you get to be my neighbor! That is priceless stuff right there.

Feel free to share this country dream with anyone that may be interested.

You can find the Domain link here.

Simplicity Dress Edit 1796

Phew last week was a busy one.

I went back to work for a day. I have been doing an after school program for The Smith Family making Zines with some young people at ArtsCape. Last week we had an all day workshop with many schools from along the coast. That morning (breakfast meeting!!) I had my first meeting with Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery to suss out all the details for the digital media project I am doing with them.
I had book club with Seedsmiths one night, I had a 7th birthday party to attend and we spent the whole weekend renovation my new study nook.

Amongst all that I did get to pop into the Woman Cave to finish off this amazing dress (which I wore to my meeting with TMAG and my day session with The Smith Family.
This fabric is from Spotlight and is a Japanese Linen. The pattern was Simplicity 1796 again but I made the change of a full wrap around dress rather than just in the bust. Much better for feeding a bubba. 
I have some navy fabric I would like to try this pattern on again but with a few more changes to the tying system. It's in my head so fingers crossed that translates to fabric. I am also on the hunt for some denim that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (this is what happens when you are use to buying discounted or thrifted fabric = tight arse).
I also have a huge pile of vintage fabrics to list for sale soon. The time has come for me to move on and stop hoarding them. I have some favorite facey pages to unload them but let me know if you know of any others.

All this busy-ness makes me long to be 'doing' even though I am obviously 'doing'. It really messes with my head when I get a taste of 'doing' and then I'm back to the laundry. The baby has started to pull himself up on things this week (eeekkkk!!!- I'm not ready) and I am fully aware that life is about to get extremely busy at home. So it was welcome when someone told me of this beautiful quote from our former Governor General Quentin Bryce:

She is totes right - right? As a Mum and a creative person it's so hard to find the balance between slowing down and speeding up.

Wise words.

Runcible Ensemble

In a cafe close to the hearts of locals there was a night of words, art and performance. The Rencible Ensemble was once again formed for the evening.

Performers of songs, poems, stories and spoken word. Artists painting, instagramers recording moments and light projecting on to the wall next to where my art work still hangs. 

Pizza and wine were consumed.

I was out of the house and treated to a night that will never or could never be repeated. We felt the art with our laughs and our hearts. Everyone was interacting whether on stage or watching. The community that the cafe brings with it cannot be replicated. The soul of a small community shone as bright at as the lighthouse on the hill from the other end of the bay.

It feeds me yet makes me sad. I was asked if I was performing. Performing hasn't been my thing for a long time. I don't consider myself a writer with a voice or even a writer of any variety. It was a blessing to hang with friends and like minded folk. It was heart warming to see the peace everyone sat with each other.

Where this gathering happens next time will be interesting considering the force behind it is selling the roof over its own head.  I am sure whereever the next one occurs this community will follow and I suggest you treat yourself to spend the night with them as well.

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