Community + Creativity

Fete 2014 - collage

It’s all pretty crazy over here at Whipup blog HQ and I’ve been neglecting my post(ing)!

It’s the Fetes.

In ancient Greek mythology, the Fates were the daughters of Ananke, Goddess of Necessity – these days it’s the school Fetes which spring forth from need.

In Australia, the school fete is an annual fair organized by parents (with lots of help from the teachers) to raise money for the school. Most schools would have a fete – and if not would certainly be raising funds in other ways. Raising money for the school is a necessity. Schools get government funding, but not enough to meet all the costs of running a school. If you want decent facilities and resources you have to raise money. A great deal of money.

So it’s crazy busy here and here and here and elsewhere as we gather our offerings for the Fetes: sorting through wardrobes for the clothing stall; ruthlessly ransacking toy boxes for the toy stall (the kids will never know – just hope they don’t buy them back); loading boxes with once-read, never-touched or double copies of books; hunting throughout the house for ill-considered purchases or miss-matched well-intentioned gifts; running amok with secateurs and trowels in the garden for the plant stall. I don’t bake but I know there’ll be a paper plate coming home from school with instructions to please fill with clearly labelled baked goods and return for fete day.

Every week there’s a new item to add to the weekly grocery shopping list. Last week it was Jaffas for the Jaffa smash (Jaffas are small round chocolate sweets with an orange-flavoured red sugar coating). This week it’s lollies (UK English = sweets, US English = candy) for the lolly bags. Next week it will be bottles of… anything really, for the Mystery Bottle lucky dip. Last year we bought three tickets in Mystery Bottles and won a bottle of blue nail polish, a bottle of salad dressing and a bottle of raspberry syrup. I was hoping for champagne, or maybe some craft brew beer…

For the last four fetes I’ve been working on the Environment Stall. There’s a core group of about six parents and teachers, with extra hands joining in for working bees and fete day staffing roster. We talk about ideas all year around but the serious pinning to our Enviro Stall board happens about four months out from Fete Date. I think there are about 2000 pins there now, and counting… But it’s time to stop pinning and start upcycling.

We’ll be bringing back the big hits from last year (juice/milk carton wallets; t-shirt bags; melted vinyl LP planters; recycled felted sweater garlands; scrabble tile magnets and brooches; plastic soy sauce sushi fish earrings) but we have lots more to add this year…

I’m making containers.

Containers out of plastic milk bottles, olive oil tin lids, ice-cream sticks, plastic lid rings and googly eyes…

Put your snack in here…  and your Easter eggs in here…

Little lunch boxes - smallMilk bottle box critters - small

Containers out of texta markers…

put your secret message in here, or your earring studs, or a couple of Jaffas for when you need a sugar hit…

texta lid secrets - smallbest buddies texta messages

Containers (bags) out of t-shirts

put your towel and swimsuit and sunglasses in here…

T-shirt bag complete - small

Containers out of plastic yarn (plarn) and tarn (t-shirt yarn)

carry your groceries in here…

Market bag small handles - fringe - top view - small Market bag small handles - fringe - side view - small

and put your fruit in here….

Plarn and tarn bowl - small

And that’s not all!

The other crafty folk are making all sorts of gorgeous things – I’ll take a few pics and put them up here too.

Back to work for me now!

What are you up to?

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Nine things Whipup sampler

Can you believe it – Whipup is NINE years old! Hiphiphooraybirthday!!

So for the month of February 2015, if you pop into the shop here at Whipup.net or at Action-Pack you can get 25% off on Action Pack purchases by entering the coupon code:

NINE2015

I had a little stroll down memory lane this morning, visiting the first posts back in 2006 – Wednesday 1 February 2006. There were twelve posts on that date and a community of contributing Whipsters. Why don’t you settle down with a cuppa and some cake if you have some handy and pop back in time for a lovely crafty reunion.

I got a bit wistful and teary, but also inspired to go and make something straight away – well, almost straight away. I decided we needed to bake a birthday cake first.

Now, I’m not a baker – I’m not handy in the kitchen at all really. But I do love to decorate cakes. Last year, (or possibly the year before…) I went through a (very short) phase of making fondant icing and sculpting little critters to put on top of cakes. I had bowls full of rainbow coloured sugar in the fridge for ages. OK, maybe a week. It was FUN.

I had a lot of help from the intertubes in particular from Ann Reardon’s How to Cook That on YouTube.  I decided to watch Ann’s tutorials because I live in Australia and since she does too I could be pretty confident that I’d be able to source all the ingredients she used. There’s nothing so frustrating as following a recipe and then finding you have no idea if cornstarch is the same as cornflour or if the recipe means flour made from wheat or flour made from corn… or something. You think you speak English and then you find you actually speak Australian – or Canadian, or American, or South African, or Northern Irish or… English? Yikes.

So anyway, (back to that birthday cake) I went off to look at what Ann Reardon had in the birthday cake line, and then checked to see what the Domestic Goddess and others in my husband’s cookbook collection had to say (he is the cook in our family – and thank the Domestic Gods for that…). And then it was all too much for me because I read too many yummy recipes and was frustrated that not one of them was possible without a trip to the supermarket.

I ate a biscuit and had a cup of tea to revive.

Then I created a Happy Ninth Birthday Discount coupon for purchases of Action Pack instead of baking a cake.

Happy Whipping Up everyone!

Nine Grannies

 

 

 

 

 

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yarnbombedtractor02

Have you ever seen a tractor so glorious?

yarnbombedtractor01

I saw these pictures of a Yarnbombed Tractor named Alice, part of Kingaroy’s Tractor Tattoo, on Sparkling Adventures.

I’d love to share some more yarn bombing.  If you have yarn bombed, or know of any yarn bombing, let me know all about it in the comments, or send me some info and pics to vagusvenus (at) gmail (dot) com

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Recently I’ve been spending a bit of time browsing tumblr and pinterest (ok, more than a bit of time) and while I think these modern pin-boards and journals are a valuable tool, it’s led me to questioning how to keep track of my ideas, the inspiration that comes from the everyday, that which I don’t find online? How do artists keep records of their thoughts and do they really reference their records when creating works? This month at Whipup we will be hearing from artists and crafters and finding out a bit more about how they keep records of their ideas and where those ideas come from.

First up, is Dan Stewart-Moore. Dan is a sculptor who trained at the ANU School of Art where he is now a lecturer and research student. He has previously been known as a “metal-head” (a sculptor who works with steel) but more recently he has been experimenting with stone and timber.

Dan has exhibited works nationally and internationally with pieces in private collections in the USA, UK and Australia and is currently working on a solo exhibition “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” which opens on August 22.

Today, Dan shares with us how he records his ideas and develops those into pieces of art.

cloud_concerns-1

Can you tell us how you document your ideas? Do you use a journal, sketchbook or random pieces of paper like the back of beer coasters or napkins?

Well I hope none of my students read this but in truth even though I draw every day I don’t use my journals as a place where I plot out my work. They are more like a dream space, a place where anything could happen. I create worlds, or at least fragments of worlds in my diaries. Although to look at them you’d just see lots of scratchy sketches.

When I’m planning a work I use plasticene. It means I can work with it quickly and cleanly – which is unusual for a sculptor, then I document it photographically.

Do you have a notebook always on hand or do you schedule time for creative thinking and doodling? Perhaps you do both?

There’s always a visual diary next to the loo. I do my best thinking in there.

eco_sapien

I imagine you would have many sources of inspiration, can you tell us what or who most inspires you?  

That’s a big question so I’ll try to break it down a little.

Conceptually I guess my biggest inspiration is psychology in particular I find that psychology offers a fantastic insight into climate change. We tend to assume that sane people are rational, yet any psychologist will tell you this is not the case. Our irrational behavior regarding climate change has been a source of frustration and anxiety for me, understanding why we do the things we do has been a trully insightful journey.

Aesthetically I’m a sucker for all kinds of things. Natural patterns like Fibonacci spirals in plants, the surface of water, contemporary architecture, modernist design, the list goes on.

The people who have inspired me the most are artists like David Jensz, Anthony Gormley, Kensuke Todo, Michael Le Grand, John Lennon, Salvador Dali, Simon Shuerele, Geoffrey Bartlett, Daft Punk, Masahiro Asaka, Studio Job, Sol Lewitt, Jan Svankmejer and many, many more.

We would love to know more about your creative process, how you develop ideas, what makes something become an artwork rather than remaining an idea on a page? 

Short of giving you an exegesis on how I make an artwork it really is a matter of trial and error with a Marquette (small version) then if I think it can work I experiment with the construction method and materials. Sometimes I’ll just know that it will work. Other times I need to do a lot of testing before I’m happy to proceed to undertaking a major piece.

IMG_3606

Anything else you would like to share with us?

I’ve got an exhibition on soon – “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” and generally I think most people think exhibitions are a bit intimidating. The truth is that they are – but only for the artist. The snob factor that people get so anxious about is non-existent at M16 artspace openings. People in suits mix with skinny dreadlocked men, the young confer with the old, in short no one is judged. So I would dare you to come but there isn’t any daring required.

**All images in this post are the property of Dan Stewart-Moore

 

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"Breeze Sunflower Spindle" by Lab Cat “Breeze Sunflower Spindle” by Lab Cat

July is one of my favourite times of the year, and that is because thousands of spinners around the world dedicate a couple of weeks to spinning in the Tour de Fleece. The idea is clear – challenge yourself, spin, and have fun.

This event, started in 2006 by Star Athena on her blog Keep on Knitting In The Free World, is a spin-along that happens for the duration of le Tour de France. Spinners spin on racing days, and rest on rest days. On days when the cyclists are climbing mountains, lots of spinners challenge themselves, by using a difficult technique, or by treadling out amazing lengths of yarn. Over 7000 spinners are registered on the Tour de Fleece Ravelry group, where they encourage one another, chat about their spins and post photos of their fibres and yarns.

9287046915_8a2b3fb53a_b “Why are there so many songs about rainbows?” by Fluid Pudding

Like the cyclists on le Tour, spinners can join teams like the Peloton (main group), Rookies (first years), Sprinters (fast, or high mileage of yarn), Climbers (personal challenge), Breakaway (art yarns), and countless Wildcard teams which may be sponsored, friendship groups, local spinners, spinners who use the same equipment or brand of fibre, or based on just about any interest you can imagine.

Even though I spin all year round, I really love having a dedicated annual spinning event, which reminds me to clear some crafting time and devote it to spinning, and gives me an opportunity to form some spinning goals. This year my own goals are to finish off some yarns that have been works in progress for some time, and to work towards turning fibre stash into usable yarn. I’m not achieving as much as I had hoped, but I’m still glad to be a small part of a worldwide community of spinners, taking some time out to make yarn together.

9270753740_3f7c799b5c_b “Tour de what?” by knitting iris

These images are all from the Tour de Fleece Flickr group. Pop by and have a look at all the gorgeous yarns, wheels, spindles, fibres and finished objects from this year’s Tour.

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