a woven life

[all images The Daily Purl]

Handwoven fabric has always held a particular fascination for me. The way that the texture of the fiber dances over + under, warp + weft...slub + silk...the hands that select and then weave back and forth until a beautiful pattern emerges...a slow work.

As I've gotten a little older, I have come to see my life a bit like a woven piece of fabric...threads carefully selected and interwoven into a beautiful cloth. Unless the threads are woven, they stand singular and insignificant, but pair them with others and they sing.

I have the tendancy to compartmentalize my life for ease - a single ball of thread - if I just manage this 'ball' today, I can keep all the other 'balls in the air'. Drop one and they all fall. But if I unravel all of the balls of thread a little - risking chaos and tangles - and work them together...a little of this and a little of that, I am fully aware of the impact one thread has on another. I think we were made to 'work all things together for good' rather than work too hard on any one thing. Certainly my family/work balance is much improved if I take this approach.

A beautiful woven work is one that engages all threads in a dance of texture and grace, risks the unravel but is honoring to all threads.

All images are from a new-to-me blog, The Daily Purl. I absolutely adore her work and images - the artistic snapshot of her daily living I find inspirational. and the beauty is endless. Do pop in and take a look.

SPRING school holiday workshops!

We are very excited to announce our spring school holiday art+craft+books workshops! We have a new addition these holidays too - an afternoon fashion series for those that were interested in the term-time classes but couldnt make it or get in!

partnered with
193 Oxford St Bulimba Ph. 3899 8555 e: info@riverbendbooks.com.au

'what's sprouting in spring!'
Inspired by the exhilaration of new life in nature, the promise of colour and sunshine!

Our mixed media art+craft classes will explore mono printing scarves + plywood mixed media collage + working with wire sculpture 

for 6-12 yr olds
$20* per class OR $30 including breakfast!

Monday 24th September - plywood mixed media spring collage
Tuesday 25th September - working with wire sculpture
Wednesday 26th September - mono-printing your own scarf! [* this class is $25 including handmade scarf]

9.00-10.00am and [11.00-12.00noon according to demand]
[from 8.00am for breakfast – banana, macadamia + butterscotch pancakes – only $10!]

Limited Places Available
These classes are extremely popular so book now to secure your place!
To book, contact Melissa Guyatt mob. 0407 778 907 email. melissa@guyatt.net

[photo: current after school inspiration series for 10-16yr olds]

by Melanie Finger

Due to the wonderful response we received for our Fashion Design inspiration series run on a Tuesday afternoon at Riverbend Books + Teahouse we are pleased to offer a 3 afternoon holiday workshop covering a condensed version of the course!
The term-time inspiration series has been incredibly successful with fashion designer Melanie Finger providing a wealth of information that was particularly pertinent to those children considering Fashion Design as a career! With wonderful inspiration on mood boards, designing your own label and of course drawing your own range of fashion, Melanie encouraged each child to pursue their own creativity and passion!
For those who were interested but unable to attend, we will run these workshops again during the holidays!

When: Monday 24Th, Tuesday 25Th, Wednesday 26Th September
Time: afternoon session 2.00-3.30pm
Cost: $80 for three 1.5hr sessions
Age: we are taking all expressions of interest for this class until Thurs 6th September.
[opening up from younger through older children to see where the interest lies in order to set a preferred age for these sessions. Melanie will then tailor the course accordingly.]

Please email melissa@guyatt.net with expressions of interest and bookings - book early as places fill quickly!

fashion inspiration series - final week!

Such a wonderful end to an intense but highly creative four week course in Fashion Design, run by the very tallented Melanie Finger. I will let her sum up their last Tuesday afternoon together....

It was almost a shame to stop the creativity today in the final class of the “so you want to be a Fashion Designer” series.
We touched briefly on ‘branding’ and how this can make or break a designer, then there was a short brainstorm about what their brand might look like.
Some had never considered this before, and this opened up many ideas about who they might like to design for and what their company name would be.
(I apologise if anyone came home and begged mum and dad to register a domain name for them right now!!)

The students were then very engrossed in choosing their favourite design for their final fashion presentation. Sketching and tracing were completed, the light box was a hive of activity, then watercolours, pencils, oil pastels and paint were used. Some experimented with oil pastels and then painting over with gum turps, others watercolour pencils and then paint, whilst others loved the familiarity of lead pencils and colouring pencils. Check out the results – I was most impressed!

I was also really inspired by those who went home and completed extra homework, or who bought in things to show me – including fabrics and photos of garments that they had made.

I have loved teaching your kids, I really hope I have inspired them to continue their journey into fashion design.

Hints of spring!

My wine gum bush buds fragrant at the very end of winter. When the August winds rush in to whip up sickness + hurry it on - a cleansing for spring!
I know the scent is rich + strong because it breaks through my congestion as I pass by, with a sweet lolly-like aroma.
Somehow this scent, and the August wind it is carried upon, whisper to me of spring. And so, together with an always-inquisitive 3yr old, we go searching for signs...not many yet in these particularly dry warm days, but if you look carefully they are there....

With these hints of spring, at WEAVE+WONDER, we've begun planning for our holiday workshops! Springtime fun will be awash with colour + creativity and so look out for our newsletter in the coming week advertising what+where we will be running our holiday classes!

Also these holidays, we have received such a positive response to our term-time fashion design series for the older age group, we hope to run another over a few days in the holidays, for those who were unable to make the term time series. We will keep you posted about dates + details!

Oh, and I almost forgot, the Oxford st festival on Sunday was magic for the foodies & ekka enthusiasts among us! There wasn't much purchasing of handmade goodies going on and so I'll advertise a few remaining pieces that haven't already been claimed in orders on the Facebook page later in the week.

A few finger knitters came to rest sun-weary bodies in the quiet cool bookshop and chat about weave+wonder classes & general creativity in the afternoon, a relaxing way to end a busy day teaming with people out enjoying the delicious sunshine!

making + sickness mash!

Oh my poor neglected blog, this last week has been a blur of family sickness + stresses and somehow I just couldn't find the words to write in the midst. So instead of summarizing, I will just begin this week with a few snapshots of the sweet, amid a bit of sour....

weekday weave

This week and last, I have filled the 'sickness-pauses' with pops of colour to brighten our days! I am working on 'Do it together art tote kits'. Beautifully designed using natural fabrics + leather, children will be able to customise their tote or clutch with fabric collage/stitching.
I am hoping they will be ready in time to have a few for sale at the Oxford Street Festival in a few weeks. WEAVE+WONDER will be having a FREE FINGERKNITTING TABLE at Riverbend during the day and I hope to have some items for sale as well!
The felt storage cubes I make will come in handy - updated with a pop of colour - to store our postcards and fingerknit supplies!
I am enjoying coming up with a small pop-up stall for the day!

fashion inspiration class II

What a wonderful taste of the world of fashion those that are attending Melanie's classes are receiving - there is a flurry of creativity in the inspiration-packed hour - worth running the class longer I think! It is so wonderful to provide an opportunity for students to glimpse a creative career like fashion design through the eyes of a wonderful teacher and designer! Here are some of Mel's words from this week...

The time flew by quickly on Tuesday as we explored Fashion Illustration – some students for the first time!
I was really impressed with how much gusto they attacked the task.

Drawing to some rather interesting fashion mannequins, we looked at proportion and shape and tried to sketch quickly.
It was hard to pry the erasers off those who like to get it perfect!

After a few attempts we picked our favourite and transferred it to watercolour paper to begin the final presentation.
Then it was a flurry of tracing and outlining, watercolours/oil pastels/black outlines and finally a signature on our finished work!

Don’t forget to bring both your folders back in next week when we look at Colour/Fabric and start designing our own range…