About this blog

A blog about the meanderings of a craft designer and hand maker living in a beautiful island at the end of the earth....I'm a weaver addicted to her little Ashford Knitters Loom, a crocheter, knitter, painter, gardener and grandma. Rowena lives in Tasmania - a world apart, not a world away!

Craft is a social activity, shaped by communal resources and motivations. Leonardo Bonanni and Amanda Parkes Virtual guilds : collective intelligence and the future of craft JMC vol 3, no 2 July 2010 pp. 179-190

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I have managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Victoria to catch up on domestic duties and make sure SigOther is behaving himself!  So three days of wet weather coming up I fear.  It was pouring at Tullamarine this morning as I dashed for the little Bendigo Airport Bus but thank heavens it had stopped by the time I hopped out at the top of the hill at Malmsbury.

Home Sunday nite then next week will be full of last minute things to do before the "big move" and also catching up with the wonderful artisan crafts people who have decided to support Oatlands handmade.  There is lots of stock to pick up and get organised.   The MOO Robot emailed me to say my lovely new business cards and other printed stuff is on it's way and the shop counter has arrived in the garage - now so full I can't find the little looms!!  (Still got orders to complete b4 Thursday and another trip to Hobart to fit in.  Whew!!)

Looking forward also to a trip to Eastside Makers on Sunday 5th to say hello and to collect more stock.  Some visitors from the Coast will be there - hope they have a great market! Oh, and a big big thanks to Extras Direct (I won a Gift Voucher from them at the September Eastside) I went shopping when in Hobart on Wednesday.  Bought a beautiful handmade jacket. Absolutely gorgeous little shop at Shoreline Shopping Centre full of accessories, jewellery, unique clothing and shoes.  Thanks thanks thanks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Well Launceston, congratulations for coming out in droves!  Two at once - success!!

Lyn met me for drinks first at Mud - how civilised - then we perused the offerings at the inaugural Apron Design Market .  Lots of others were looking too and the weather was fine...a bit windy but the shelter created by those white marquees ensured that stall holders and visitors alike were comfortable. The atmosphere was great. I was pleased to chat to Loz with her beautiful Grandeliers and enthused over the stunning 9 Fruits - flat pack fruit bowl from young designer Adam Aberle - a finalist in the 2009 Design Awards. Impressed also with Bek's lovely cards and linen aprons.  But they were all fantastic. All of them.  Look at the website for stall holders.

So then we jumped in the cars and tootled down to the Tramsheds to the third Niche for 2010 and oh boy!  The crowds were stupendous.  Loved the venue Liz - best yet - and think yes, the second room is a  must for next time!

I spent a happy time shopping for THE NEW SHOP and talking to the host of wonderful makers - old and new!  Was really liking Margaret's lamps as well as AdoreU Design's security card holders  - great to see some design going into these mundane accessories we are forced to wear.  Lovely!!  Who else ? Well just look at the Niche blogspot and you'll see who.  All great, all being patronised and the venue chokkas with people shopping!  St Giles will benefit, Liz will be stoked.

So then we went off to Blue Cafe .  I had the prawn and avocado salad and my assistant had a yummy wood fired pizza, but the desert was to die for : dark chocolate bouchon pudding with caramel dirt & vanilla bean
icecream. OMG !!! I took a photo of it for here but the wine had made my hand shake and it's not quite suitable for publication LOL. We staggered off into the sunset, shopped out and replete.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Here are my new cards from yesterday, all labeled, packaged up and ready to go to the new shop!

Also, here are some new superfine Tasmanian merino scarves wot I have just finsihed for an order.  One more to go so I had better start warping !!!

Three Superfine Merino handwoven Scarves

Closeup of one on right

These scarves were all woven on my little Ashford Knitters Loom with a 12.5 dpi heddle and the gorgeous 19.5 micron superfine merino fibre.

The left one is using our own handspun in an open weave which was then fulled in the washing machine to a firm fabric.

The middle one is mill-spun superfine warp with the weaving a window pane pattern variation using alternating millspun and handspun.

The right hand one is all mill-spun and there's a closeup of the balanced weave at right.  The one that I have still to do will be a leno using the superfine handspun.


My new (secondhand) 80 cm Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom !!!!!

Thanks to Belinda in the ACT for packing it up so beautifully and sending over for me!!

PS Thanks for the kind wishes y'all - I'm still sick  :(

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Master 2 has passed on his lurgy to his Ga Ga and she is MISERABLE!  Hacking cough like croup, runny dose, sore, itchy and weepy eyes - my germs are innumerable!!  It's dreadful being sick when you have to look after yourself.  And I need to stay away from Mum as she doen not need this cold.

SigOther keeps ringing up from the wilds of Vic and asking "are you dead yet ?"  well...lovely eh?  But at least he rings up and asks.  Men sometimes have funny ways of expressing care don't they LOL

So, plenty of paracetamol, lemon and honey and tissues  :(

I've been printing cards all day (thank you Isis) and at least that's kept me busy and now they are dry, I will label and pack them.......getting ready for next month

I did this one on lovely heavy recycled card stock
from Regal Crafts.  He looks beautiful on brown!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Killiecrankie Farm's beautiful, and specially-grown for you, fresh-cut Christmas Trees are available for order now at The Mill Providore and the Atrium Cafe in Launceston.

Tended by Lee and Chris in the tantalisingly beautiful Tamar Valley close to Launceston, your family needs to experience the scent and ambience these ecologically sustainable Christmas Trees will bring to your festive season this year!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

To Market, To Market.....Latrobe Truly Tasmanian

Well I braved the wind, the rain, the thunder and lightning and piloted Ronnie Rav down to Latrobe on the Sunday of the longweekend of craft to check out the Truly Tasmanian Craft Exhibition and Fair!  Never having been before, I was anxious to see what these rebelious lot were up to. Fonz (aka Fonz's Woodcraft 354 Main Road, Spreyton) started the Truly Tas Exhibition several years ago as a reaction to not being accepted at Deloraine.  A small group started off and this year there were almost 40 stalls offering a wide range of handmade Tasmanian art and craft exhibiting at the Latrobe Memorial Hall.

Despite the apalling weather, a steady crowd patronised the event and by just after lunch, the rain had gone!   I bought some beaut soap from Natures Force from Kimberley, some lovely silver grey fleece, a paca batt with bling, some bunny and some hoppy fur from Cheryl of Fibres & Threads, a beaut brooch from Rita and a pair of stunning maille earings from Lyn's Maille

I had a great time hanging out with the girls and enjoyed looking at a wonderful new range of Tas handmades.

Standouts : Rino and Howard up from Geeveston in the deep south of Tasmania with their stunning sterling silver and glass bead serving wear and jewellery!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

To Market to Market - Deloraine

Well, what can I say about the 2010  Deloraine Craft Fair ?   It was great to go after a rest of a couple of years and see the veritable host of Tasmanian designers and makers once again showcasing their talents and wonderful wares.  Yes, there were a few from the big island, but that's OK - it pays to keep up with what they are doing "overseas" - but the percentage of Tas exhibitors who were also demonstrating heartens me. 

The intention of the organisers to return to a "working" craft fair (see website and 2010 entry criteria) is commendable and appreciated by the patrons : crowds gathered everywhere an artisan was demonstrating which goes to prove the point.  "....exhibitors will display their finest wares and share their techniques"  

The providore lines were great too, but don't take it too far and turn the occasion into a food and wine show !   The mission and vision of this magnificent event - The Tasmanian Craft Fair is the largest working display of arts and crafts in Australia.- must be the guide !!

My purchases from 2010
I spent two solid days tramping the aisles and talking to some stunningly interesting people!  Hello to all of you that took the time to chat to me.  Thanks to all of you whose wonderful craft I brought home! And to those who missed out when I ran out of $$$s - next year !!!

The Ashford rigid heddle looms (yes there are TWO now) are eagerly awaiting these gorgeous materials :

Wonderful hand-dyed merino wool and silks from the vats of Mahdi and Wendy, those terrific Text-isle-Tarts

Paca Bling Batt from Sue at Tasmanian House of Fibre

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Print Making with Isis

The lovely and talented Isis ran a print making workshop at The Mill Providore And Gallery in Launceston.

What a fantastic time we had !

                                 Day One - Screen Printing on Monday 25th October
Day Two - Block printing with lino cuts on Tuesday 2nd Nov

There were just three of us in the class !   (Our teacher believes in small classes and individual attention.)
Louise and her lovely daughter Asher came and me.

We made lots of mess but Isis didn't mind.

......we learned how to cut stencils and remembered everything we'd forgotten about lino blocks
.....and then we made some beautiful prints. 

These pics are from Day 2 with the lino blocks.....

It was great!   

And then Isis got her Hillbarn Box delivered to The Mill and we ooohed and aaahed over the wonderful fresh produce...and she got ROSES TOO !

I had a terrific time, learned heaps and made some beaut cards I was really pleased with. 

Waiting for the NEXT workshop.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thank you Disney!!

I'm so excited, I won a prize !!!! The guys at Felt Convergence 2010 have drawn me out and I won some beautiful alpaca roving courtesy of Disney - he of the gorgeous eyes!.   Thanks thanks thanks!!!!