Science and yarn, two of my favourite things.  Geekiness and creativity, I’m a happy lady!

MAD Science hat

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Hyperbolic Plane

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Amigurumi Test Tubes

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Arriba Amoeba Mitts

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Brain hat

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Neuron softie

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Do you know of any awesome science crafting?  Let us know in the comments so we can all love them too.

All of these patterns are found on Ravelry.

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Reviewed by Megan: Megan is a wife and a mother to four children who spends some of her days in a hospital looking after sick people and some of her days at home hanging out with her gorgeous family. When she finds some spare moments she heads to her work table in a corner of the house to knit, embroider or sew. Megan can also be found in the kitchen cooking far too many cakes and biscuits. She will always choose reading a craft book over sweeping the floors!

Today Megan reviews Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond: Crewel, Cross Stitch, Sashiko & More by Aimee Ray

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Embroidery has come a long way in the last few years. Traditional embroidery techniques have been reinvented and given new life. As a long term embroiderer I have sat on the sidelines and watched in wonder as stitching designs have become brighter, bolder and just a lot more fun. Aimee Ray has been in the forefront of this embroidery revival and her series of Doodle Stitching books is a treasure trove of fun and funky embroidery designs and ideas. Aimee’s blog, Little Dear Tracks, is a great adjunct to her books with inspirational images and tutorials.

Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond is the latest book to come from Aimee and her approach is a little different this time round.  The book chapters are divided into descriptions of different embroidery techniques including crewel, redwork, sashiko, cutwork and stumpwork. Each chapter has very clear instructions on how to construct the stitches and there are several projects outlined in each chapter for the reader to complete or to simply use as a springboard for their own design. Some projects are quick and straight forward, for example, the Snow White, Rose Red Fleece Scarf. A cute and cosy idea that I think would look quite stylish around my neck as the cold wind blows. Other projects like the stumpwork Mushroom Pincushion are a little more involved but still provide a great way to practice a relatively little known embroidery method.

At the beginning of the book Aimee outlines the way to achieve basic stitches but the emphasis in this book is just to get in and give it a go. Aimee sees ‘Embroidery and Beyond’ as the next step on for the beginner embroiderer and at all times her ideas are accessible yet inspiring. I decided to give cutwork a try and completed my own version of Aimee’s cutwork book mark. It was ‘quick fix’ craft project that has become quite useful for my daughter to ‘mark her place’ as she reads.

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I loved Aimee Ray’s new book and I would highly recommend it for fledgling and experienced embroiderers alike. It’s a book that inspires any crafter to take up the needle and thread and create something beautiful.

[Thanks to publishers and distributors for sending books to review, we don't get paid to post reviews but do get to keep a copy]

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DO get in touch if you are interested in writing a guest post for whipup this year! Send Kate a short email with your idea to vagusvenus[at]gmail.com

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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. Today it is my great pleasure to introduce Heather Jones of Olive and Ollie who I had the great pleasure of meeting while at QuiltCon earlier this year. 

Heather is a designer, seamstress, and modern quilter who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two children. She is the founder and former president of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild and has designed a line of modern quilting patterns. She is incredibly creative, talented and inspiring and I’m so pleased she was able to join us here today. 

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Many of my quilt designs are inspired by things that I see in my everyday life, such as this sketch for my Silo quilt. And I never quite know when that inspiration may strike, so I always try to keep a sketchbook on hand, along with a pencil to draw with. I also take a lot of photos with my camera phone and use them as I develop my sketches further, once I get back to my studio.

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I use graph paper sketchbooks to draw my designs in, and I especially love these spiral bound books because I can lay them flat as I’m working.

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I use the grid pattern of the graph paper to calculate the sizes of all of the components of my design, as well as the fabric yardage needed to complete the pattern.

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I start all of my sketches in pencil and once I have the layout of the pattern complete, I bring in color with some india ink markers. I really love these markers because they provide a nice sheer layer of color, so I can see still the grid of the graph paper behind them. They also don’t bleed through the pages, which allows me to use both the front and back of every page in the book.

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I really love to work this way. It’s probably more time consuming to draw out my designs with pencil and paper than it would be to design on the computer, but I love this type of slowed creativity. It’s also fun to see my drawings come to life as I’m working on my quilts, and I love going through my sketchbooks and revisiting the finished drawings of my designs.

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buttonheartsmlSince the accident in May, we haven’t been able to access the computer that held all of the WhipUp data.  We still can’t access the WhipUp net email accounts.

If you have been trying to contact us, please accept our apologies for the lack of response.

We know that some of you have submitted ideas for posts, or agreed to be part of the  WhipUp Guest Blogger series for 2013. We wish we knew who you were!

We would love to hear from you.  If you have an idea for a post, or if you have agreed to write for WhipUp, please email us.  Part of what makes WhipUp so rich is the vast range of skills, experiences and creativity of our contributors.

For now, all email enquiries can be sent to

vagusvenus[at]gmail.com

Thanks for helping us to keep WhipUp a vibrant, creative, sharing community.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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