Fresh Meat: Dragbots

It is well and truly time that I developed some new pieces to add to my suite of creepies who haunt my cube space. After making the Jinkx and Trixie dolls, an idea began to bubble in my head. It should have been obvious. It wasn’t. It has become a real-life thing and you can now find zombie dragbots aka drag queen dolls at in.cube8r gallery in Fitzroy.

The zombie queens developed after making several humanesque drag queen dolls. They have also made the journey south – hopefully with brains intact – and are also available to purchase. I’ll see how they are received, but really hope that it’s positive as I really enjoy making them.

*** As I was adding the product information to my online stock list, I note that the middle queen in pink (above) has been purchased. A good sign that I will get to make more!

Dragbots to the cube

Ding! That epiphany moment. I've dabbled in making some Drag Race inspired pieces for my cube space at in.cube8r gallery in Fitzroy previously. But last weekend I went to the Comedy Queens show at Fluffy in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley. A few of my favourites from RuPaul's Drag Race were on the bill: namely Ginger Minj, Trixie Mattel and Jinkx Monsoon*. I didn't secure myself a meet & greet ticket. Just General Admission, at early bird pricing I might add ;^)

In the days leading up to the show, I found myself twitching with an idea. I wanted to make a Jinkx and a Trixie...to GIVE to their namesake! I've previously gone all fangirl over and gifted the very first Drag Reversi-ball I developed to Manila at The Heathers meet & greet.

The day before the show I could ignore the creative niggle twitching away inside me no more! I sat down, came up with a pattern and began to make crochet versions of Jinkx and Trixie. It was body-oddy-oddy day on Saturday. Then hair and face-face-face on Sunday. I spent the entire day on them. When I left to go to the show, I decided not to take them. I could not foresee any way that I could deliver them successfully. I was swept away by my nerves. No regrets. Actually, small regrets. I could've pushed to the front of the stage during the show and handed them over. I could've. But twice?! Nah, I'm cool. I just need to decide if I keep them or if I send them on down to in.cube8r...

The process has inspired a brand new range of Dragbots. I am busy developing a suite of new drag queen amigurumi crochet dolls. I plan to ship to in.cube8r as soon as I can finish them.

 

*For the record, Ginger and Sherry Vine were the absolute standouts on the night #gagging

Cube Top Up Time

It’s true. I am a naughty Cuber. I have been very slack with replenishing my cube space at in.cube8r in 2018. My creative quest has reached its conclusion, and I am back 100% on my favourite game. I am taking a parcel full to the brim with beer cosies to the mail shop this morning. This will be the first of many packages over the next few weeks. New dolls of all types are under construction. I’ll put together a group and ship them ASAP!

And now for some in.cube8ring

I am very sorry. I have have been a naughty member of the in.cube8r gallery community in 2018. As I have spent the first seven months of this year completely engrossed in my major project pieces, I have entirely neglected my cube space. I'm lucky that I had replenished it mightly and that there has been a reasonable supply to make a display. Big thank you to Elle-May and Clairebear for helping to make my cube look its best and for being so understanding with my distraction. I have time to get back into my favourite mode: making my little creepies. The first mission: beer cosys!! I'm a tad rusty and needed to refer to my pattern notes to get the ball rolling again. I will get a bunch together and ship them pronto. I'm concerned about the shipping process though. I have had such terrible luck with packages being delayed en route to Fitzroy. I'll have to pay attention to which method to use this time. Best I cease this typing business for now though. I have hooking to do!

Squink has left the building

My bestie Helen has been in charge of removing me tree jumpers on my behalf for all of the past few years. But this year I was able to be in town to take down Squink myself. Fun FAct: Installing a tree jumper may take two or three hours, but it takes about 20 minutes to uninstall.

The bestest thing about Jumpers and Jazz in July for 2018 was being tagged in photos of people with Squink. So, so, so cool. The tree jumper exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to get interactive - without damaging - the jumper. Please take note for next year patrons! I want to see all your photos!

Another first for me this year, I took Squink into my work to show my colleagues a 'live' tree jumper. They have seen and heard all about it from me for months. I'd like to think that their minds were suitably blown.

Here are few of the posts of punters with Squink and one very positive review that Someone shared with me.

Zombie Yarn: Crochet raised from the dead

Even though I get very very nervous presenting to a group of people, this workshop proved to be a tonne of fun. Karina from the Warwick Art Gallery asked if I would conduct a class as part of the Jumpers and Jazz in July event programme. I said yes straight away. As the days grew closer to D-Day, I was surprised at how low my panic meter was registering. The calm feeling remained in me even on the day of the class. 30 minutes to go the bubbles fizzed, but I still felt excellent and relaxed.

I'm fortunate to have eight of the loveliest women attend. There were even celebrities of sorts in the room. Warwick personality and prolific wearable art practitioner Helen Newton was the first to arrive. Helen has an exhibition of her wearable art in Jacqui's Cafe. Then Narelle Mercer, the back-to-back winner of the festival theme section, walked in. I experienced a significant fangirl moment and felt thrilled to meet the woman responsible for two of my all-time favourite tree jumpers.

We had a great time, and everything went fabulously well. Perhaps the focus of the class was not solely all about crochet this time. I had chosen to work through the methods that I had used to produce my work. The crochet project was a small, fun activity that introduced the possibilities of making different items from t-shirt yarn. Every attendee completed a piece; most started on a second. I call that a result!

Running workshops is something that I would really like to be involved in with greater regularity. My nerves are the only thing holding me back. This positive experience has given me the courage and zest to look to work on something in the future.

Thank you, ladies.

Squink and all that Jazz

The concept for my tree jumper in 2018 was primarily an excuse to make tentacles. An octopus was the obvious choice, so I went with a squid. The body shape suited the jumper shape, and you know what? I think that a squid has a bit more personality about it. Making the tentacles was a lot of fun...for the first two or three limbs. Perseverance paid off though. I am super happy with how they finished up looking. The most fun part of the project was the ink element. It is crochet garbage bags adorned with shiny black sequins. I have found myself a deep love sewing sequins on to crochet. There's something meditative about the process. I have probably said that on here before, but it bears repeating. While Squinky didn't place in the awards list, I have received beautiful words of praise and admiration for the little fellow.

Thank you Jumpers and Jazz for providing this fantastic space to display my craft on such a grand scale. I have such fondness for my tree which lives outside the NAB bank on Palmerin Street (opposite the Criterion Hotel). The plans have already commenced for my 2019 tree jumper. I kid you not. Stay tuned

The Jumpers and Jazz in July festival in 2018 has been splendid. I enjoyed my four days absorbing the atmosphere and buzz that exudes through the streets of Warwick. I was involved in many exciting activities which included a nice big ol' chunk of media duties. My mentor, the expert bistitchual (knit and crochet) herself Helen Gross and I have been involved with the festival from its inception in 2014. 2018 is the 15th anniversary year. We were up super early for a photo shoot with our jumpers one chilly morning. I also spoke with David Iliffe at the ABC Breakfast live broadcast from the Warwick Town Hall about my Jumperhead exhibition and tree jumpering.

The quality of tree jumpers in the open air exhibition is mind-blowingly good. I had a bunch of favourites this year. Here are just a few of my highlights:

Jumperhead Unleashed

I was incredibly nervous about the time when it came when people outside of my immediate circle get to see the pieces I have been working on for the past few months. The time came on Thursday 12th July. It was installation day. 'Jumperhead' is my second solo exhibition. This time around I was a little more organised and focussed on what I wanted to do. 'Monsters Under the Bed' in 2013 saw me with absolutely no clue as to what I was doing. I am slightly more aware of myself, my work and my artistic expression. Now that Jumperhead is open and people are seeing and reacting to it, I feel sheer relief. I can also see what a weird little world there is tucked away in my head. When I learnt to crochet, I didn't expect that I had found my calling. That it would be my creative voice. That this voice would be quirky, weird and whimsical. Perhaps I hadn't really appreciated that these are words that describe me. I wear it as a badge of honour. Weird is cool, right? While I was waiting to commence my Zombie Yarn workshop at the Warwick Art Gallery, I was among the throngs of people attending Markets at the Gallery. The joint was jumping! The vibe was buzzing, and the sun was shining. I was stationed in behind the counter of the gallery volunteer's stall. I had an excellent view of the spectacle. There was a moment where I looked through the gallery windows to see the room completely full of patrons. There were a couple of groups of people taking photos with the pieces, and there was no room to move through the exhibit. I'd be lying if I said that I was not puffed with pride or that tears of joy were welling in my eyes. It was quite a particular moment which I will think fondly on.

Oh WoW Oh WoW Oh WoW

It is with great joy that I shout out the news that I am a finalist in the 2018 World of Wearableart Awards! I was thrilled to be pre-selected for the judging round in April. The wait is long. The judging weekend took place at the start of July. To see the word 'congratulations' at the beginning of the email brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy!

After suffering the gutting news that my entry last year was not selected, this notification has been received with utter delight and relief. While I cannot share any details about my entry just yet, as soon that 1st show kicks off on Thursday 27th September, there will be images and details galore!

Jumperhead is coming

In 2017 I was named the Inaugural entrant into the Jumpers and Jazz Hall of Fame. For the 2018 festival, I have been invited to exhibit a brand spanking new installation in the Warwick Art Gallery. A recent feature in the Warwick Daily News revealed the details.

The exhibition features new pieces created from yarn which I have repurposed from garments I have sourced from op shops and my own closet.

The process has been exhausting and rewarding in equal parts. I'm excited to install each of the pieces and to see how they interact with each other. Some old friends will also make an appearance. I have selected pieces from a collection of my entries into the World of Wearableart.

I will also be hosting a workshop at the gallery on July 21. Zombie Yarn: Raised from the Dead will demonstrate some of the techniques that I have used in creating Junperhead.

Visit the Orange Wall Gallery July 12 - August 11 in the Warwick Art Gallery to see how these old clothes were Jumperheaded.