Painting & Cutting & Gluing

Posted Friday 29 August 2008 and filed under: Craft: Collages,Shows: My Solo Shows

. . . & hoping for the best!

This is what I’ve been up to the last few nights and will most likely be doing over the weekend. I am loving making collages again after a looooong break from them. Still a little bit of sewing to be done for the show but it looks like that will have to wait for just a little bit longer :-)

Some of my favourite blog posts from this past week:
>> Angry Chicken’s Homemade Banh Mi (love these sandwiches – thankfully we can pick these up fresh nearby but making them ourselves is a good idea too!)
>> True-Up’s week of Ogee Fabric
>> Flora’s week of doodles, acrylic & ink
>> Pillow Round-Up by Orange You Lucky (adore the ones from Urban Outfitters!)
>> Open House with Le Train Fantome
>> Heidi’s latest (amazing) softies

Also, love, love, love the work (softies, illustrations) of Yuriko Sera. Here’s a sample (credit: Yuriko Sera website):

Wishing you a fun and happy weekend!

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Posted Wednesday 18 April 2007 and filed under: Craft: Collages,Good Finds,Just Sharing

Thank you to all who have left comments! I truly appreciate and am continually motivated by your words of encouragement and your thoughts :-)

I just wanted to share some sweet finds today but before I do, here are some collages that are now available over at The Great Green Room.

I have posted about the first 2 previously. The third one is called “A Place to Dream” and is a mixed media collage incorporating: found & vintage ephemera, found & vintage buttons, acrylic paints, brass charm, black ink and sequins. The collage comes in a black square frame.

Also I wanted to say that after some serious consideration as to how to make One Red Robin fit around my family (rather than the other way around), I’ve made a few changes as to where my toys & dolls will be available for sale. Basically, my etsy shop will now only sell artwork and will be the place to order custom-made Shmerpi and Baby Chibi dolls. This means that the 10 softies I’ve completed and all future ready-made toys and dolls will only be available via The Great Green Room, Meet Me At Mikes, and in the very near future, Modamuse.

Ah, now onto some sweet finds!

My first find is sweet indeed. I popped into an Asian Grocery store located in Melbourne Central just for a quick browse and was delighted to find that they stocked many of the Japanese candies I’ve been searching for but couldn’t find elsewhere.

My family (particularly Ava) are BIG fans of Pocky. So I grabbed the standard Chocolate-flavoured Pocky, but also got the Mixed Fruit-flavoured Pocky, and a box of Cinnamon Pretz. Then I found some Strawberry Mouse Chocolate candy, which went straight into my basket. And finally, I couldn’t walk out of the store without a packet of Melon and Cream Dai-Fuku (rice cakes). I must admit that as I type this, half of the loot has already gone :-)

The highlight of my day was a quick trip to Meet Me At Mikes to drop off some new soft toys/dolls (which I’ll blog about tomorrow). It’s such a sweet treat to walk through those doors! My plan was to pick up one dress for Ava that I had seen during a previous visit. Instead, this is what came home with me:

I adore, adore, adore the 2 dresses – I love the fabric used on both (how could I resist apple-green polkadot?) and love their style/shape. Ava is going to look so adorable in them!

I was also influenced (quite easily I must add) to purchase a wonderful book by Valerie Janitch simply called “Collages: A Step-by-Step Guide“. It is truly a treasure-trove of ideas, techniques and templates – so happy to have it in my little book collection! And finally, I (again, quite easily) convinced myself to pick-up a Vintage Paper & Things package that included a vintage dress pattern, buttons and sweet odds-and-ends that will find their way into future collages.

Hope you’re having a sweet Wednesday/night too!

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A Bird & A Boy

Posted Sunday 28 January 2007 and filed under: Craft: Collages

I can’t believe that tomorrow kicks off a new week once again. This year seems to be passing me by so quickly already! I’m so behind on replying to emails (will reply soon I promise) and checking out my Bloglines. I’m finding that whatever spare moment I have is consumed with trying to get through my crafting To-Do list before my maternity leave ends, and I re-join the workforce in a week’s time.

Here are two more collages.

Red Bird, Blue Apple: Mixed Media, 25cm x 25cm, found & vintage ephemera, found & vintage buttons, acrylic paints, black ink, sequins, black frame.

The bird is hand-drawn and is based on a particular bird motif found in this book. Not sure why the colour looks so washed out in the images but the non-red buttons are actually aqua and baby-blue in colour.

Never Letting Go: Mixed Media, 25cm x 25cm, new paper, found & vintage ephemera, found & vintage buttons, acrylic paints, black ink, cotton string, black frame.

These collages (and another I am currently working on) will be available in The Great Green Room in the near future. Shiloh and Shazaam the Pirate Shmerpi are now also available at The Great Green Room.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

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WIP: Bird-in-Box Collage Series

Posted Saturday 6 January 2007 and filed under: Craft: Collages

I can’t believe how fast the week has gone! Thanks so much for your comments on Sabrine the Shmerpi - she’s on the flight to her new home as I write :-)

I’ve had my head buried in memory boxes recently. I’ve found a renewed passion for mixed-media collages this new year. I continue to adore the collages Lisa creates and have been inspired by Shell’s new collage project. Then there’s the wonderful Dawbis, Michelle Caplan, Chelsea Groves, Angela Petsis, and the list goes on – so much creativity and inspiration, and such different approaches to collage!

It also helped that I won a bunch of vintage miniature feathered birds and a small box of vintage photos from eBay :-) I love the miniature birds so much that I decided to embark on a Bird-in-box collage series. Not sure how many I’ll end up making but at this point in time, I have enough materials to at least make 20 (!). We’ll see how we go.

I have to admit that I’m really enjoying the freedom of collage – using different materials and textures; ripping and cutting; gluing and painting. Unbelieveable fun!

So here are 3 from the series that are in progress. All are untitled at this time. (Apologies for the shonky images – it sure is hard to photograph these boxes!)

#1: Vintage ephemera, vintage Japanese image, acrylic paints, black ink, brass charm, vintage miniature feathered bird in feathered ring.

#2: Patterned paper, vintage ephemera, vintage Japanese image, lace, acrylic paints, brass charm, vintage miniature feathered bird.

#3: Handmade textured paper, printed vellum, vintage ephemera, acrylic paints, metal charm, vintage miniature feathered birds

The memory boxes are yet to be sanded, stained and varnished. If you would like to know when they will be available for sale, please subscribe to the mailing list. New elephant pillows will also be added to the shop in the coming week.

I will be on a blogging break for the next week – my best friend (since Year 7!) and her hubby and daughter will be staying with us for a few days and we’ve all got a lot of catching up to do. See you in a week’s time!

P.S. A shout out to my brother Josh and his band, Carnation, who are charting well on the Brit Pop charts on :-)

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It’s An Owl Thing

Posted Friday 19 May 2006 and filed under: Craft: Collages,Craft: Softies & Dolls,Good Finds

Not sure how it’s happened but over the last few weeks, I’ve developed a little thing for owls.

It all started with this fabric collage that I actually completed on my birthday, which happened at the end of April. I almost forgot all about it! It’s made of cotton damask, courduroy, oriental brocade, Japanese silk, wool felt, and sequins. I used a little bit of stitching and also attached a chinese friendship note.

It’s called “Thinking of You“, and is yet to be matted and framed.

After completing this, I did some sketching of owl patterns for softies, which ended up in an experimental print merging fabric and the sketch.

Over the last few days I started putting some owl softie/cushions together – here’s a sneak peek:

And this afternoon, I received this gorgeous linocut framed print that I ordered from the very talented Littlest Flower of – you guessed it – an owl!

Wonder how long this “Owl Thing” is going to last? :-)

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Week 3: Whiplash Comp Entry – “Love’s Release”

Posted Sunday 30 April 2006 and filed under: Craft: Collages


All this week, I’ve had an image in my mind of another Asian/Autumn-themed collage. There’s a lady in a kimono in it with arms outstretched, kimono and hair blowing in the wind, and autmumn leaves swirling above her head. I kept asking myself, “But why is she there – what’s lead to that point?” I couldn.’t come to satifying conclusion in my head.

Then I headed over to Whip Up to check out the latest articles and lo and behold there was the Week 3 Whiplash Competition theme: No Fear. Bingo! The verse from 1 John 4:18 immediately came to mind: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” And so it all fell into place – love’s release from fear. It’s funny how and when inspiration hits!

So here is my newest fabric collage and my entry into Whiplash Week 3, titled “Love’s Release“:

Materials used were cotton, silk, felt, and sequins. I finally got to make use of some stretchy 1970′s fabric (top right corner) that I won off eBay. The lady’s kimono is a very delicate cotton – a panel taken from an actual used-kimono. In the bottom right corner are three red circles (I don’t know why but most of my collages have 3 circles in them somewhere!) and in the middle circle I’ve drawn the Japanese (Kanji) character for love.

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Junk Boat Fabric Art/Collage & Inspirations

Posted Thursday 27 April 2006 and filed under: Craft: Collages,Inspired By

This collage has been brewing in my mind for some time now. I love the look of the oriental junk boats that you find in Asia – they made a special impression upon me when I visited Hong Kong 2 years ago. I wanted to keep this collage simple and uncluttered and let the fabric do the talking, so to speak.

Again, I did more hand and machine stitching with this collage (rather than adhesives) and incorporated some chinese silk, repro vintage cotton, a few sequins, and both metallic and cotton thread. It measures approximately 28cm x 19cm. I’m going to do some further tweaking, then will mat and frame it, and put it up on Etsy at the end of this week.

I’ve recently mentioned some inspirational and brilliant fabric art/collage crafters in previous posts like Croque-Choux, A Bookish Life, and Dacia Ray. Please do check-out their blogs – you will certainly be inspired by their creativity with fabric, form, and stitches!

I just had to share this latest discovery – one I stumbled across while visiting Colorfool Creates. The website is Kino Textile Works and it’s not in English so unfortunately, I can’t provide more information on the artist/s. A sample of their work is below and you’ll find many more in their Gallery. I love their use of simple shapes, lots of colour, cute motifs, and reflection of the everyday life.

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The Afternoon Stroll Collage

Posted Monday 17 April 2006 and filed under: Craft: Collages

I’ve had this latest piece on my mind for about 2 months now and finally had the chance to put it all together. Again, it’s influenced by the current season (Autumn) and Asian themes.

On a 10″ x 12″ canvas board, I incorporated some straight stitching on the background fabric (which is embroidered with flowers/fauna) and used wool felt, various cotton fabrics, some toothpicks, and a friendship-themed note in Chinese that I picked up from Chinatown. You could read whatever you’d like into it but my intention was simply to portray a woman taking an afternoon stroll on a cool Autumn day, reflecting on a special friendship that has withered away with the passing of Summer.

I intend to make a few more of these, playing around with different background fabrics and fabric pattens for the woman’s kimono.

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An Autumn Collage

Posted Friday 14 April 2006 and filed under: Craft: Collages

Here in Melbourne we’ve dived right into Autumn – the much needed rain has arrived, the winds have picked up, and the leaves are a fallin’. Autumn is my favourite season as I a much prefer the colder (but not wintry) weather and I enjoy the changing hue of the trees.

I decided to try an Autumn theme with a collage (while I take a breather from making softies!). I wanted to use a colourful backdrop and picked some of my favourite vintage-repro floral fabrics from my stash. I also wanted to use the opportunity to practice my sewing skills so I machine stitched in some basic patterns (straights lines and free-form lines, which can barely be seen in the picture). I then added the felt tree – a silhouette of many of the trees I see around my area – with the leaves just about to fall.

This was a very relaxing piece to make as I started off with a vague idea of what I wanted but didn’t have a firm picture in my head of the end result. I just let it all fall into place as I went along.

Some of the stitching did turn out to be a little bit wonky – especially the strand of ribbon I stitched in while paying too much attention to the TV! Oh well, just need to practice, practice, practice (and switch off the TV)!

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A New Collage Range on Pansies

Posted Thursday 6 April 2006 and filed under: Craft: Collages

With the hot Australian summer over, my husband decided to brighten up our little garden with some gorgeous purple and yellow pansies. I walk past this patch twice everyday and was inspired by their delicate beauty for my next range of collages. So here are my first two (out of five) completed collages in this range.

#005 “Pansy in Blue” and #006 “Pansy in Red”

Both collages are made from vintage reprduction fabric, decorative paper, ribbon, sequins and coloured glass jewels. I was tempted to play around with some ephemera but decided that a “less busy” look was probably more effective and suitable for the pansies. Putting these together was surprisingly very soothing after a busy day – the only thing that did bug me were cobbling the frames together . . . I’m thinking of replacing them if I can find a better option.

These collages are quite small and measure 6″ x 6″.

Hopefully I can complete the remainder (3 more collages) by the end of the next week and then I’ll put them up on Etsy as well.

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The work of One Red Robin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.