Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Violets and bird books

Watching the edges of pathways around about, I realise its violet season...little bursts of purple (mostly) when you least expect it in the garden. I think they might nearly be my favourite flower...shades from the deepest purple to a medium, granny sort of shade of mauve, then through to pink and even white. We have a few nice patches here in the backyard and some at work and also on my regular walk to the local shops. This is the only time of year when I shove my hands into patches of low greenery without reserve hoping for a big healthy stash of violet blooms hiding's way too cold for the red back spiders here now isn' it?

Anyway, the beauty of violets is that the more you pick them, the more they bloom. Also, they transplant well and spread out to make a great ground cover. Then there's that thick, sweet and heady scent. I recently read that there is a Jo Malone fragrance based on violets...has anyone tried it?

I have a lovely friend who once set about to collect the many different varieties of violets...she has one of those whimsical old-fashioned style gardens, full of unusual plants and trees and disected by meandering pathways - a really discerning gardener, who has incredible attention to detail and is a very inspiring lady. I haven't been back to visit the garden for many years since moving from the Blue Mountians, but I must try to make the effort.

So, inspired by my foraging efforts in the garden I put together a little posy...all wintery things like camelias, jonquils, snowdrops, paperwhites and the lovely native hardenbergia.

Aside from picking violets, this week I have been trying to meet a deadline to complete an edition of flip books, part of a project initiated by another really inspiring friend. You can read more about her here -

 The idea was to produce a set of handmade flip books - you know the type which give a moving image when you hold them in one hand and flip with the other! Having very little experience in book making, I stuck to the basic template provided by Caren and despite many jibes from her about the overuse of bird imagery in contemporary art and craft (see Etsy!) I worked with some stencils of wrens - I thought the way they hop and jitter about would suit the fast flipping book really well! To my great surprise a few of them sold in the first showing of the Flipping Books project at Megalo, so I found my self having to make a few more for its next incarnation at the Left Hand Gallery in Braidwood. 

Here's the process - 

trimming pages to size, 50 for each book. Yes, whilst watching offspring at tennis coaching.

 screen printing ink stencilled on scanned, found music sheet pages...taking over the dining table.

Binding stitches, flipping for quality control. Now they just need to have their covers and be delivered!

Its nice to be making something!


  1. Oh noes! I forgot to show you the original cover... yes, they had stitching on them, but it can be a varied edition :)

  2. PS love the multi-tasking at the tennis, very inspiring!

  3. yeah, but I get severely berated for not watching PROPERLY! Last week at soccer I apparently missed an epic face plant by Bryn cos I was talking too much. Thnx for reading btw.X