Everlasting Love?

Everlasting Love? asks “If we continue to throw away our once loved technology for the latest bright shiny new thing, will we have room to plant flowers? Or will the only flowers be made from landfill contents?”


The 1000+ flowers in this garment are made from over 500m of UTP computer cable. The enclosed eight strands of wire were untwisted, stretched, dyed, wrapped, spray painted and assembled.

These images of the gorgeous Amy on judging day are by photographer Elle Norgard and courtesy of the City of Mandurah.


I am delighted that Everlasting Love? will be in the Wearable Art Mandurah showcase Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June. Along with La Mariposa and her cocoon.

I’ve just seen the images of all the other finalists and I know the showcase is going to be amazing.
Here is a short video of 2016 showcase:-

To purchase tickets for 2017 showcase  click here

Dates and Times:

Saturday 10th June 6.30pm
Sunday 11th June 2.30pm
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre



Last week when I dropped my son Callum to work at Para Quad waiting to speak to his Supervisor, I had a chat with the chap who sorts the buttons…Para Quad ButtonsEvery garment that is unsuitable for sale has its buttons removed and the fabric is cut up for industrial rags in another section at Para Quad. The buttons are sorted into colours and jars for sale through the shop and the Scroungers Sale (next one is 27th November – get there early!) There is a huge plastic storage box under this table full of buttons to be sorted.Para Quad Buttons 2I started making button necklaces about five years when I acquired my Mother-in-Law’s button collection, working with the colours and combinations available until I ran out of buttons…I purchased a jar of white buttons from Para Quad last year.White ButtonsStepping forward to a few weeks ago and my Wearable Art Mandurah garment for 2017 needed yellow buttons, lots of yellow buttons…I had recently discovered through a Google search that RIT DyeMore Synthetic dye gives good permanent colour to plastics.RIT Dye I was delighted to see my white buttons become bright yellow after only a few minutes in the dye bath. Dyeing Buttons

Dyeing Buttons 2I love the shades of yellows, how the dye is picked up by the different plastics.Yellow Buttons 5

Yellow Buttons


Colour Project – Yellow, Part 6

A simple Running Stitch on strips of silk.

Slight lack of ideas for the end of Yellow, so I tried sprinkling some saffron power from the spice rack on damp fabric…no idea if it is colourfast. Yellow is not one of my favorite colours. It has been a challenge for me to only work in yellow this month. In contrast I have made a piece for a juried exhibition predominantly in denim/indigo blues.


Colour Project – Yellow, Part 5

The “new” Bernina sewing machine I bought a couple of years ago (which I do love) is a bit fussy with some machine threads. It especially dislikes one brand of machine embroidery thread of which I bought 3 packs (36) reels…the old basic Bernina  that I’ve has for nearly 30 years has chugged it’s way through everything including caravan annexe canvas… So what to do with all that embroidery thread? I’ve been crocheting it 2 & 4 ply in chain stitch and then French knitted it. It looks great – although it’s on the back burner while I think of it’s future.

Above is some more of that machine embroidery thread 2 ply crocheted and stitched onto a “yellow” stamp print.

I know these next samples don’t look very exciting, but they are stitched on my Singer Treadle. It took a couple of days,  a can of WD-40 lubricant spray and a lot of leg muscle to get it moving…I don’t think it had been used for many, many years. The treadle came with all sorts of attachments to make ruffles, pleats, tucks, blind hems, quilting, braiding and shirring. I had great plans to use them…I think it would take daily/weekly use though to get it to the point of running consistently well.

A happy coincidence at this time was an email from a friend who had just bought a singer treadle and mentioned that if you knew the serial number you could find out where and when it was manufactured.  Mine was born on December 2 1935 in Clydebank, Scotland. If this thrills you too, see –  Singer Serial Numbers

By the way, I still have the “old Bernina”.




Colour Project – Yellow, Part 4

The printing stamps used on these 3 pieces are based on the Maya glyph for “Yellow”. I found this whilst googling about yellow. Not sure how accurate the info is… when later googling “Maya scripts”, there doesn’t appear to be any single symbol for yellow, it’s more likely to be a combination of  several symbols. Anyway, it’s an interesting design to use.

I cut the stamp in 2 sizes from compressed foam sheeting, then attached it to a piece of polystyrene with double sided tape. This type of stamp is quick simple  to make and can be washed and re-used many times. The fabrics used are silk (top left) poly cotton (top right) lawn (above).


The next 3 combine purchased wooden stamps and my “yellow” stamp.




Colour Project – Yellow, Part 3

Highlights. I think is the answer the dilemma of “Can I introduce other colours?”

Threadwork by Effie Mitrofanis is a book that has inspired these samples. She uses beautiful bright silks with interesting embroidery stitch combinations, beads and cords. (Above) fly stitch, herringbone stitch and blanket stitch on shot silk.


(above) Running stitch on sari silk strips on shot silk.

(left) Simple running stitch, two overlapping shapes. Cotton.




Folded silk fabric with stitch detail



Bead samples on cotton





Stitch samples – Blanket stitch, Fly stitch, Button Hole stitch, Chain stitch detached, sides wrapped together all on yellow/hot pink shot silk.

Hand Stitching

Colour Project – Yellow, Part 2


After machine stitching so much of black, it is a nice change to do some hand stitching.




These simple running stitch pieces help me get an idea of how the fabrics and threads work together.





A strip of sari silk with french knots.

Below french knots and random running stitch in variegated embroidery threads.



These pieces start me pondering the dilemma – What are my rules for this colour project? Does yellow month mean I can only use yellow? Can I introduce other colours? And the most challenging – where does yellow begin and end…when is it orange…or cream?


March – Yellow

Colour ProjectYellow, Part 1

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and intelligence, transfer a yellow spot into the sun” – Pablo Picasso

Sunny, Bright, Happiness, Egg-Yolk, Warning, Caution, Slow, Fun, Freshness, Lemon, Amber, Saffron, Canary, Warmth, Indian Yellow, Sunshine, Daffodils, Yellow Cabs, Sulfur, Cowardice, Yellow Ochre, Warm, Urine, Sun, Golden, Process Yellow, Yellow Jersey, Lemon Curd, Butter, Honey, Intelligence, Buttercup, Custard, Honey, Turmeric, Banana…

Yellow is a bright, happy and warm, but also a colour of warning and danger, in nature especially when with black. It can lift our spirits, it’s the colour of confidence and optimism, but too much of it can cause our self esteem to drop causing fear and anxiety. In Hinduism Yellow is the 3rd Chakra – Solar Plexus, stomach and related organs. Carotenoids are the organic pigments that give colour to egg yolks, autumn leaves and yellow flowers. Some of the yellows in the history of the artists palette are Indian Yellow (mistakenly thought to be from cows urine after they had eaten Mango leaves) Orpiment (arsenic based, brightens the dullest of yellows, although very poisonous), Gamboge Yellow (from a resin, almost fluorescent  when drops of water applied), Chrome Yellow (toxicity of lead).  (Colour by Victoria Finlay and Sensational Colour)

“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun” – Vincent Van Gogh

“What a horrible thing yellow is”  – Edgar Degas