About textileshedcollective

I used to be a theatrical costumier in London (many moons ago) before I started a new life in Sydney and had a family. Now I am living a busy life with 3 teenage children, a genius of a husband, 2 dogs and many bees… During semester I work in the local university in the Philosophy Department as research assistant and event manager… Every free moment I use to design, knit, sample, alter, discover, quilt, sew, adapt old to new… anything to do with textiles I find exiting and relaxing at the same time.

Bag and Tub Lady

Over the last few weeks, my signature “handbag” has been a blue IKEA bag, alternatively, two small green laundry tubs.

Initially I tried to keep things very tidy for this job, one project here, the other one ther – I have given up since there is a lot of paralellsimoultaneousatthesmaetime knitting going on – as well as perfectly finished (x3) projects being either scrapped or significantly altered. Best to keep everything at hand in the big blue magic bag.

It is great to see ideas being realised, two dimensional characters stepping out of the design folder and standing real-time in front of me.

Whilst some of the costumes are still radically changed, I have started knitting for the prop department and my hands have been photographed – they might being used in knitting action for one of the characters.

I am not being able to enjoy our spectacular sunsets, since I am not here…8091144E-A366-4937-B55D-B6719FF194F1

But I have been able to spend some time with our new house guest, Charlie, who loves dogs, good food, beer and a yarn.

 

 

 

Advertisements

A non- post

A definition of a non- post: a post in which all I can talk about is that what isn’t happening…

I really wish I was proudly presenting a tailored jacket that I have been working on (for myself) for a fairly long time. *SIGH* I came across a number of complications and challenges… but before I got really fed up with it, Karen witnessed my enthusiasm and kindly alerted me to the fact that Spotlight had a massive sale on Vogue patterns.

(I put the amazing jacket on hold and will definitely return to it…)

Then all of a sudden “this” happened, and I cannot speak about it, but it will keep me very busy.

Then this arrived yesterday, and I am not allowed to touch it, until “this” is over. 

And what good news can I blog about? I think I never posted a photo of the suits I made last year for Friday on my Mind, the EASYBEAT’s story… so there, have a great weekend!

Easter Thoughts

For a very long time I have not practiced any kind of special religious traditions at Easter time and with the kids being older now, we have started dropping the Easter egg hunt. Now Easter is pretty much just a long weekend… but this year it was a bit different.

On Good Friday I just sat on the sofa, I had to finish reading my book.

One sentence just stuck with me, at the very end “… but I suspect that God is what you do, not what or who you believe in.”

”… when you make good – well, then you are an instrument of God. Then you are joined to the divine, to the life force, to life itself.”

Saturday we went to Cockatoo Island to see the Sydney Biennale exhibition. I had attended Ai Weiwei’s keynote at the Operahouse a few weeks ago and got very fired up about his work, which attempts to advocate for the plight of refugees. I had seen already his Chrystal Ball at the Arthouse. This huge Chrystal Ball sits on life vests he found on the beach in Lesbos, Greece, after many thousands of refugees landed there.

Anyway, apart from Ai Weiwei’s giant lifeboat and the old industrial machinery that are permanent fixtures on the island, we found nothing much of interest.

I was very taken by the lifeboat and by many of the quotes surrounding it’s base. All religions and heaps of wonderful authors say the same about hospitality, the treatment of strangers, right? And it’s all a bit of a no-brainer, but I was very moved how many quotes expressed this very poetically.

Here some shots of the island before I reveal the highlight of the Easter weekend…

Sunday and Monday I spent with my husband in the wilderness, at the Colo River. It was a very physically and mentally challenging trip, not exactly a walk in the park. When we hit the river, we just ripped out clothes off and plunged into the river, drinking and drinking and cooling our sore bodies.

We camped on the little beach in the light of the full moon.

The hike out of the wilderness went mainly through the river, so we swam most of it.

I am left feeling very refreshed and spiritually charged after this weekend. Whether there is a God or not, it is important to be the best person you can be, look after as many people as you can carry – and take time out for yourself and your nearest and dearest. And if there is a God, think we found where he lives…

 

 

 

 

Proudly Presenting: Katherine the Great

I have just finished a wonderful scarf! I decided to call it Katherine the Great, since I completed the final stitches of this project at a lovely friend’s house and her name happens to be Katherine and yes, she is GREAT.

But something else occurred to me, whilst christening this wonderful new item in my wardrobe – this scarf is not just great, but also large… larger than it’s original, which I made a few months ago for my niece Rebecca. Moreover, I realised that I never posted a picture of the wonderful scarf that Rebecca took home to New York, duh!

First things first… the inspiration came from a pattern called Rusty Pearls. The yarn (2 ply baby alpaca) came from my knitting buddy, soul mate, chief adviser for all things important and trivial, Sue. And funnily enough, the silk used in the crotchet edges came from yarn I bought with Sue at the craft fair in Darling Harbour many years ago, at the very beginning of our friendship. Here we are, still loving each others’ company (and in this case, celebrating Sue’s birthday).

I loved the little scarf so much, I had to have my own, but a larger version. The playful edging is giving this scarf such a gorgeous finish, especially in a contrast color and texture. 

I have to admit, I never managed to uncurl the top edge of the scarf 😫, I tried and tried… I finished it with an I-cord and various hand and crotches stitches that according to various online resources promised to stabilise stockfinstre stitch fabric, but alas… nothing worked… and fortunately it did not worry Rebecca.

For Katherine the Great, I just kept adding stitches, and when I nearly ran out of the 100gr skein, I started introducing another one, stripe by stripe, to blend the slightly different shades of off white.

When I thought I had surely done enough knitting I loved working on the crotchet edge with my final bits of silk… but I thought the scarf was actually not big enough to snuggle up in. No problem – I just picked up more stitches and carried on knitting until I truly ran out of yarn and worked another silk edge, until I ran out of that, too.

I just LOVE this…

La Boheme

La Boheme holds a very special place in my heart, of ALL the fabulous operas out there!

In 1991 I spent my first ever date with my (now) husband sitting next to him during the last act of La Boheme at the English National Opera. Wow, that was really special…

During my time at the English National Opera i did work on a production of L B sometime between 1992 and 1994. It was a beautiful show designed by a very nice German designer, who I work with later in Hamburg on Macbeth. 

More importantly – I saw L B during the Sydney Festival in 2015 with my brother in law, Matthew and it was such a moving performance, during which both of us cried through the entire show, that I decided to quit academia and return to costume work!

Thursday night Patrick and I attended the dress rehearsal for L B on Sydney Harbour. It was raining cats and dogs… but the show just went on. My costumes were in Act I… so we admired the acrobat that was flown in on a hot air balloon and the accordion player… and went home to enjoy a cup of tea in a hot bubble bath… brrrr.

 

 

In the City

I have had such a long summer, surrounded by bird sounds, sun, fresh air, beautiful light AND solitude… it is a bit of a shock to the system to catch the train every morning in the dark and being surrounded by people at close proximity all day.

But hey, it’s all worth it and I managed the transition just fine. One person who is very nice to have around me is Beryl, a lady I worked with at the English National Opera 26 years ago, oh what a puny world we live in… to find ourselves here in Sydney in the wardrobe department -after so many years – is a bit of a hoot!

I have been making stuff for Opera on the Harbour, a production of La Boheme, which I just love! There is this coat for an accordion player.

 

There also have been a vast amount of alterations to existing jackets and finally, I am making the Toyseller Parpigol, who always gets a wacky costume and this production makes no exeption! The role is played by a lady acrobat, just saying… it is fairly wacky, here is just a tiny sneaky preview…

It is nice to catch up with the tribe over lunch, all the other freelancers who are floating from show to show, finding out who works currently where and where the next gig might be.

It feels like most nights I have stayed in town after work for various events, making the days rather  long. I continue with my life drawing at the Django Bar on Wednesday nights (and will treat myself to some decent art supplies today).  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is beautiful light here in the city, too! 

And moments of reflection, if one walks around with open eyes…

It was fun to visit the opening night of Charlie and Issy’s exhibition – a great way for people to come together…