Happy To Be Here Project video – one minute trailer

How exciting! I got this neat software called Filmora, and made the Happy To Be Here Project video!

The full 6-minute video will screen in person, for the first time, throughout my September Happy To Be Here exhibition. In the meantime, here’s a 1-minute trailer. I look forward to sharing the full 6-minute video early in October :)

Thank you if you sent a photo or encouragement. It was all helpful!

Love Meg x o

Bold Interview 14: Cheryl Sanders from Wrappa Bees

I hope you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I do, dear bold soul! Read on and learn from the eco-conscious advice of fabulous Cheryl Sanders from Wrappa Bees – makers of reusable waxed food wraps. I’ll bet it’ll make you smile and get more eco-aware at the same time! M x o

pink and grey textures and light effects background, overlaid with type saying "Bold Interview Cheryl Sanders"

 

What a fantastic business, Cheryl! I can’t tell you how I worry about all the cling wrap I use!

I am so glad you love our little business Meg. The feedback from customers has been amazing! Thank you for choosing me as part of your gorgeous series on your blog!

A cup of milk, an apple, a banana and a snack wrapped in a yellow apple patterned food wrap, on a wooden surface.
How did you get to the idea to run a business making wax re-usable food wraps, and why did you change from what you were doing previously?

Edited from a contribution to the #communityquestionbank. Those bold souls loved your previous business. A lot.

I often get asked this question. It was literally a light bulb moment. Without sounding too “Oprah”, that is how it happened. I was very unhappy in my previous business, which I know will surprise so many people. But, it just wasn’t ‘speaking’ to me anymore. I didn’t feel that I was in the place that was right for me and my family.

I have always loved bees and been fascinated by the way that they essentially run our world. Without bees, life would be a very different place.

One night when I was going over and over again what it was I wanted, where I wanted to be, what would make me feel grounded and whole, bees wax wraps hit me. We had looked at stocking them previously in our other business, but I had never found any that were appealing to the general market, nor that I was 100% happy with. My inner voice told me I could do this! I could do something that made a difference, albeit on a very tiny scale!! But it is all the small changes that end up making a huge difference for our planet and what we leave behind to our children.

So I started experimenting with bees wax and tree resin. I very quickly found out that it was all not as easy as it looks, but my heart was in this and so I persevered until I had perfected the ratio and here we are now!!

hand with a tattoo on the inner wrist holding chunks of yellow bees wax

 

How can gorgeous re-usable food wraps help improve on what humans are doing to the environment?

They can help sooo much Meg!!! If everyone were to tally up each little piece of plastic wrap, or zip lock bags etc, and see how much they used in one month, they would be horrified.

Because it is small and disposable, we don’t immediately see the impact, nor do we realise how it accumulates. We may as well go and empty that plastic straight into the water at the beach, because that is where it is ending up. But no one would do that because they can see the plastic on the water.

We can’t see the plastic once we have thrown it out. It goes from our rubbish bins and then it is out of our thoughts. But the truth is there is no ‘out’…. if it is not recycled then there is nowhere for it to go. It can get buried deep down in the ground and act as landfill, leaching out the chemicals into our waterways, or it ends up in the oceans… in the bellies of turtles, whales and fish.

By simply replacing one item, such as plastic wrap, with our reusable food wraps, your family will be saying that no, it is not ok for us to dispose of plastic with no consideration for where it goes. We can all make small changes in our lives that have huge impacts on the environment. If one person uses our wraps, they will then tell a friend, who will tell a friend etc etc….

Suddenly we have a hundred people no longer using plastic wrap! Now that creates a fabulous visual!

Reusable food wraps displayed on Recycled bee boxes

When we met at the Cat Show about a month ago, you were the person who stepped up and orchestrated the recycling of large volumes of paper (later: oops I was confused, I mean plastic) that covered the tables. What can we do in our homes to reduce waste?

Didn’t we have a great weekend then Meg?! So many laughs!!

At the cat show there was thick black plastic, like people use in their garden, around the front and the back of every table that had these gorgeous cats on them. There must have been over 200 cats there.. maybe more. That is a lot of tables. That was a lot of black plastic.

I asked the organisers what they planned on doing with the plastic, and was told that unfortunately it was going to get put in the bin, as the small recycling bin that was at the centre was full. I felt physically ill. This was not an option. So I made lots and lots of phone calls to find recycling centres who could help, but being a weekend, there was not much help available. So at the end of the show we packed it all up and took it home in my little car… That was a sight.

Our rescue was using the soft plastic recycling system at our local Coles (M: An Australian supermarket chain). We went in with trolley loads of this black plastic and they took it and gave it to REDcycle who are amazing! They recycle all the little bits of soft plastics that we have previously been told can not be used…. Think of your biscuit packs, muesli bar wrappers, the plastic that goes around your toilet paper packs, the insides of cereal boxes…. all of that thin and soft plastic CAN BE RECYCLED!!

This is such great news for the average home, because if you live in an urban area that has these supermarkets, you can start making a difference. Watch how quickly that bag of soft plastic builds up!!! Take it into the supermarket and pop in one of the green bins. This then gets made into all sorts of funky stuff including park benches!

Once you see how quickly you are filling the bag, then perhaps try to make the next step by trying to cut out one of those items from your shopping list and substituting it with something that doesn’t have plastic wrapping….

One small step at a time. It is so important not to be daunted and try to do too many things at once. Get the kids involved. Explain about our oceans and how they can help. They are already being taught at school about our environment, so lets build on that!

fresh avocado cut in half resting on star patterned food wrap on a wooden surface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the patterns on your wraps. How do you select your fabric designs?

I’m so glad that you love the patterns! Stay tuned for some very exciting news in regards to those!

I choose designs that I think are fun and funky and that will appeal to the average person. Bright and fun colours are great for some, but others like a more natural look. We even do Star Wars and Minions wraps! Hey, if it means that little Johnny will use his wraps and bring them home from school… then I will happily do Star Wars. Or Pokemon. Or Frozen even. Did I just say that??

Ploughman's Lunch with bread, cheese, celery, strawberries and popcorn, arranged with patterned food wraps.

The world would be way better for an @AskCheryl column, for more of your thoughts about activities and environmental choices. In the meantime: Tell us some lesser known uses for Wrappa Bees re-usable food wraps… 

Ha ha… that’s funny… I would love to have an @AskCheryl column!! Some food for thought hey Meg??!

Our wraps can be used for so many different things!

  • There are obvious ones like wrapping sandwiches and rolls for lunches, covering your salad bowls and leftovers.
  • You can wrap up lettuces, cauliflower or broccolini.
  • Any fruit and veg will love to be wrapped in our wraps in your fridge.
  • Be creative and seal the sides and make your own zip lock bag equivalent!
  • Keep one in your handbag for that Friday afternoon bakery treat! Simply hand the shop keeper your wraps and say ‘no bag please’.
  • I use a folded wrap in my handbag to carry around a pen and some paper etc, so that I can always find it.

Are we still going??

  • Pop a wrap under your cutting board so it won’t move as you cut veggies etc.
  • Lay a wrap flat and grate your cheese directly on it, then fold up and put leftovers in fridge.
  • Wrap pastry and dough leftovers.
  • Cover your block of cheese once you have opened it.
  • Wrap up some crusty bread!

How does that sound? I mean, I could go on and on and on….

Cheryl_headshot_WrappaBees

 

Find Cheryl Sanders and Wrappa Bees online

Wrappa Bees web site

Wrappa Bees Facebook

Wrappa Bees Instagram

Thanks for being here Cheryl – great interview! Thank you for reading dear bold soul! Isn’t Cheryl doing great work? Share in the comments your next step to keeping more plastic from getting into the environment. Mine is be more conscious of recycling soft plastics. Talk soon, Meg x o

 

PS Click this to find out more about my Happy To Be Here exhibition – it’s on from September 1 – 27, at Goolwa, South Australia.

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Happy to Be Here: Out & About at the Exhibition Venue

Half a woman's face in front of a neat pelican mosaic with chunky type overthe top announcing "Happy to Be Here: Out and About at the Exhibition venue"

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Spring art exhibition is drawing closer. <<< Heh, see what I did there?

Just the final things are left to organise, now that paintings and prints are finished and in the capable hands of my wonderful framer, Nick Heysen (for those of you playing at home).

Last week saw time-consuming wrangling with the computer mail merge. Maybe it ended up wrangling me? Either way, in the end, the addresses were on the sticky labels! Hoorah! When you receive yours it will be in an Alexandrina Council envelope. Keep an eye on your letterbox if I have your mailing address!

I’m also making final plans with Leah and volunteers at Alexandrina Council (Just Add Water Arts) and our sparkling launch speaker Rene Strohmeyer who invented the wonderful Sunshine Van.

While organising this I’ve had a few nice little walks around Goolwa. Here are a few of my favourite phone photos – including plenty of feet/shoe pics in the spirit of the Happy to Be Here Project! Which I’ll be finalising this next week, too.

Check out this lovely pelican mosaic by Michael Tye I ‘found’ while out walking in Goolwa near the exhibition venue!

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Love these graphic ripples at the local wharf, on an otherwise almost glassily calm day.

view from wharf to jetty, across rippled pale blue water

 

And these textures.

looking downwards at blue jeans and shoes standing on wooden wharf with white painted tyres attached to the edge and green water below

 

I think of green water as grimy, but isn’t this gradation pretty?

blue shoes on dark wood floor with artwork propped against white wall

 

Here we were laying out the pictures to see how many would fit and where, at the Old Police Station gallery. The lovely old floor boards would have many a story embedded within them!me_Feet and art at Gallery_630

Do you like behind the scenes peeks like this? Get more by joining up for my eNewsletter. (Plus you get bundled blog posts, birthday stuff and 10% off calendars!)

Have a great week!
Love Meg x o

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Bold Interview 13: Peter Drew

Hey Bold Soul! You probably recognise Peter Drew’s “Real Aussie Say Welcome” posters – photos of them have been widely shared around social media. Peter agreed to be interviewed here, and I asked him about how that and subsequent “Aussie” poster projects came about. Enjoy! M x o

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Why did you decide to start your “Real Aussies Say Welcome” and “Aussie” poster projects? Why are you so passionate about the Australian Governments policies to help/harm refugees and immigrants?

Before 2013 my art was apolitical, but something changed during the election. Both major parties were falling over one another with promises to ‘stop the boats’ and that phrase struck me as absurd coming from a nation of immigrants. I was living in Glasgow at the time and I suddenly felt quite confronted by Australia’s identity. Ever since then my art has been concerned with national identity, especially to notion of ‘welcome’.

Happy women holding 'Real Australians Say Welcome' in a city street

Why posters? What makes you think your poster art can make a difference?

I’m an artist first and foremost, so I focus on the task of expanding the human imagination. That’s my job. I try not to think about making a difference beyond that because the weight of responsibility can often feel too great.

Peter Drew Arts posters and helpers

Tell us some stories about meeting people on your ‘poster posting’ travels. What range of responses do you get when you tell or show people what you’re doing? Anything unexpected?

I visited a Sikh Gurdwara in Perth where they gave me an opportunity to speak about the project. Afterwards I installed posters of Bhagwan Singh and Monga Khan. My mate Harjit from Turbans and Trust explained to me that Sikhism is all for respecting other religions, so it makes sense that they would welcome Monga Khan as a Muslim.

2_Muslim_2_Sikhs_4_Aussies_Perth_Harjit_and_Affy_Aussie_Posters_Peter_Drew

What is your creative process like? Is this different when it’s something personal vs. a movie etc commissioned by a client?

I find it very satisfying to work for clients because it’s an escape. I can forget about my own concerns and enter into the mind of someone else and tell their story. Each time I work for a client it renews my enthusiasm for my own work.

full set of 7 AUSSIE posters by Peter Drew Arts, pasted on a white wall with the road showing in the foreground, with yellow dashed painted markings

Photo portrait of Peter Drew by Rebecca Mansell

Photograph of Peter Drew by Rebecca Mansell (Perth 2105)

Peter Drew was born in 1983 in Adelaide. He holds a Masters Degree from the Glasgow School of Art. His artworks have been exhibited at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Gallery of Australia, though his most prominent work is installed on city streets.
“I like to exhibit my art on the street because public space is a great equaliser, and it’s also an ancient forum. When you address the public through the street you’re entering into a tradition that emphasises our fundamental freedom of expression, over the value of property… I enjoy examining our collective identities and my aim is always to emphasize the connections that bind up, rather than the fractures that divide us.
Peter produces videos for people in creative industries. He especially enjoys working with smaller companies, independent makers or anyone who loves their work. He’s based in Adelaide but can work anywhere in Australia. Click this to email Peter about your project. Or click this to see Peter’s website.
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Peter: Thanks for visiting to tell us about your art & message of identity and connection!
(Hey, random thought: Install posters at Pokemon stops!)

Bold Soul: I hope you enjoyed meeting Peter Drew. It’s inspiring when people of all walks speak up in ways that they can!

Talk soon!
Meg x o

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PS 2017 Bold Art Calendars have already started going to good homes! Get yours early – particularly if you’ve already started stapling your January 2017 appointments onto the back of your December 2016 page! Click this to check out the new cover art.

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Bold Living 52: Ray Bradbury on Being Yourself

RayBradbury_dinosaurquote_630

Since putting together the 2017 Bold Art Calendars, I have a marvellous new resource… a collection of quotes that I absolutely love, which for one reason or another didn’t make it into the calendars. Here’s one of them, overlaid onto a double exposure put together with joy on my phone!

Talk soon! Love Meg x o

 

 

PS To get a real postcard invitation to my upcoming Happy To Be Here exhibition at Goolwa, South Australia, send me your mailing address in whichever way is easiest for you … You could: join my eNews list, and add your address to your details on there. Or, use the Contact page and email me that way. Or, message me on Facebook with your postal address.

PS2 Another wonderful Bold Interview coming up this week. Stay tuned!

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Bold Interview 12: Anna Small

Dear Kindred Spirit, I have been fangirling over admiring Anna Small’s work for years. Sturdy metal-ly, twirly artistic beauty – and up-close-in-person, the textures are luscious! I’m delighted that Anna has agreed to share some of her backstory in this Bold Interview. Enjoy! M x o

watery colourful background with chunky type announcing a Bold Interview with Anna Small

Regarding your training as a jeweller … How did your education in a relatively tiny art from evolve into your present architectural-scaled decorative pieces?

The art school I went was very focused on conceptual development. So we were given a concept to explore and then taught a technique to utilize to express or explore that concept. We then learnt the technique while processing a thought really.

I from the start made more small sculptural pieces or hand cut little scenes out of the metal. Kind of a drawing in metal.

I was part of the Rundle St Markets when they used to shut the street on a Sunday and sell my little metal pictures with rustic frames. People kept requesting that i make really big ones to go on their walls so that was how getting bigger started. I couldn’t hand cut the bigger ones so explored how I could get my designs cut bigger which led to the laser cutting.

Sunflower by Anna Small A Small Art Factory

Your sculptures are an intriguing mix of nature-inspired feminine swirls and hard, laser cut, weather-proof metal forms. How did you think to put those 2 elements together? Do you think this is paralleled in the fact that you create with your husband as “A Small Art Factory”?

I am not sure how I have ended up here. Maybe because drawing was my initial art form so I am converting drawings into sculptures.

Sometimes I look back and I can see the incremental steps that have evolved my art practice. I didn’t ever think intentionally this is where i was heading.

Definitely there is more I do because I have Warren’s building skills to apply to ideas. It is a bonus that we have each other to brainstorm ideas and get immediate feedback. We both think differently design wise so can open each other’s mind to an alternate idea or way of approaching an idea.

Cultural Cargo by Anna Small_copy

Have you done commissioned works for people with their chosen motifs, or on specific topics for exhibitions? What have been some of your favourites, ‘specially ones that you wouldn’t have tried if you hadn’t had the request?

Yes I have. I definitely prefer it if they are happy for me to design in my style. There was one that someone commissioned to go on their cafe wall in Robe. When he didn’t go ahead with the cafe I still went ahead and made the design. It has been one of my best selling big sculptures, the ‘Sprout’ Tree.

Another person asked me to make a security screen for her window in my style. I have made variations on this design and it’s also a popular one, ‘The Flower Landscape’.

cut metal flower landscape by Anna Small

What is your creative process like? How does a piece develop from sketch to final metal sculpture?

Warren and I do our own sketches, I scan the picture into my computer then work on the sketch a bit more in Photoshop to get the lines clear. Then I use Illustrator (computer software) to trace over the design to get a CAD drawing that is linear and made up of lines and arcs joined how as laser machine would like to read it.

I email the CAD file to a local company with an industrial size laser cutting machine. They call me when it is cut and I pick it up. The format is a flat cut out in raw metal.

Then I take it to our shed where we both bend and shape with locking pliers, hammer and and old chisel to bang out. Warren does all of the welding and building of any sculpture bases from wood. I do any hand cut copper pieces on a jewellery desk (with a jewellery saw) that we rivet on to the bigger sculpture.

We use a mild acid that i make up that is water based to get a rust patina on the metal or a blue green patina on copper.

Fleur de la Mar by Anna Small A Small Art Factory

 

What has been the best experience you’ve ever had involving your artwork?

I really enjoyed winning the SALA OZ Minerals Copper Sculpture Prize and being given the opportunity to work on a larger copper sculpture.

Mostly I love the whole experience as an ongoing thing. I love being able to be creative and make a living from it. I was in hospitality for many years while studying and this kind of became my career by default. I always still dabbled in art having one exhibition every year.

My confidence as an artist has grown over the the last ten years. I had a bit of a crisis in my life about 10 years ago and this was the catalyst for me to stop wasting my life and start believing in myself or just doing what I wanted.

Anna Small,'Sprout' , 175 x 120cm $1650

Bonus Question: How do you feel about art classes/degrees in general?

I can only really answer this in reference to myself personally. It is different for each of us and some people maybe don’t need art school.

I wouldn’t be who or where I am now if I hadn’t gone to art school. The skills I have are techniques that I have learnt there or have built on from my grounding and art training.  My greatest teacher was Don Ellis who taught me not only jewellery techniques but also design and conceptual thinking. I am so grateful for my time at art school it shaped a lot of who I am now.

Anna Small in studio_315

A Small Art Factory – Metal art to warm the heart of your garden and home. 

Made with love, grunt and sweat by the partnership of Anna Small & Warren Pickering.

Find them online here:

website | instagram | facebook

 

 

 

If you’ve enjoyed this story of creativity with Anna and Warren & their gorgeous metal sculptures, click through and visit them online – say Tangerine Meg sent you!
Love Meg x o

PS You can check out all the Bold Interviews here :)

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Happy to Be Here Project: Progress Report 3

a photo of a person in blue jeans walking across ashphalt, overlaid with a graphic of a black-outlined orange cat, overlaid with chunky type saying "Happy To Be Here Project: Progress Report 3"

I’m close to finishing my artwork ready for my art exhibition in September! Along with 3 rooms and a couple of lobbies lined with my art, in the installation room at the venue we’ll be screening a movie/slide show with photos from readers around the world. I’m calling it the Happy To Be Here Project. Bold souls from near and far have gotten involved, and bold souls who visit the exhibition can see what other kindred spirits are seeing and doing.

Project submissions are now closed!

And this happened:

In other news, that affects everything: if you follow me on instagram or facebook, you might have seen that dear OrangeCat made his rainbow journey last week leaving a big fluffy gap. And I also made a short blog post here. Playing with iPhone double exposures helped as I worked through the grief.

Here are the last batch of entries into the Happy To Be Here Project

A Summer sandals wearing photo at some mulched ground from Tricia O’Donovan. Nice fabric! Click the picture to read about Tricia’s eco housing business: Living Not Beige.

Person wearing a pink spotty dress and blue sandals standing on a paving stove near some brown mulched earth

The definition of relaxed and serene: fishing off a boat with the sun and white fluffy clouds behind you. Thanks Gill and Stephan.

silhouetted fisherman on boat with cloudy sky behind

My kind of pass time! Love the feet, the fab poultry and the pretty pansies. Thanks Carroll from Vermont!

propped up feet keeping company with ducks geese chickens

Maddie and Josephine. Mamma, baby and wonderful quilt…

Maddie and Josephine_630

Claire Byrt’s photo of trees at sunrise… “Happy To Be Here”
Click the pic to learn more about Claire’s heart centred business, Project Work Life.

Trees at Sunrise, Fleurieu PeninsulaClaire Byrt also sent in this ‘everyday delightful moments’ pic of her boys.

boys by a blackboard

Love this! Claire Smith from Salt Yoga #fearless #happytobehereproject #tangerinemeg #innerfirelumimaries #myinnerfire Click the pic to learn more about Salt Yoga.

ClaireSmith_SaltYoga_630Philippa and Alastair … lovely and cosy. Click the pic to check out my second Bold Interview which was with Philippa. Thanks for playing – the interview and this project – Philippa!

Philippa and Alastair_630Thanks, Adrian and Robert, for cleaning out the septic! Someone’s gotta do it!

Adrain and Robert_septic_630

Naomi Benoist captured this amazing spot in Canada with a turtle shell like rock marking – while wearing pink shoelaces! Thanks, Naomi!

Naomi_Benoist_Canada_630

Kelly Wilk Ricard recorded this moment with her juicy reading material and colours!

Kelly Wilk Ricard_630

Tom Pilarski has snuck his feet into his shot of this orange rind happy dude.

Orange peel Dude

Luciana made her own HappyToBeHere lettering and Nya lay upon it. They’re from Rosario, Argentina. Loving the stripes and sweet cat.

Luciana and Nya, in Rosari, Argentina

Making a grey day so colourful and happy in France! Thanks, Helen!

bright slippers on bright fabrics with poem overlaid

Syd keeping things colourful during a short hospital stay!

blue pants and orange socks make a hospital stay more colourful

And that’s it!

I’m loving this not-so-little collection! Are you, like me, enjoying the sense both of the participants places, and our connectedness around the world! It’s good.
Click this to see the first batch. Second batch here. You’re reading the 3rd and final installment!

Entries are now closed!

Feel free to share this blog post along via social media or what have you … the more the merrier! If you’re on my mailing list (get on it here) and want a postcard invitation to my “Happy To Be Here Exhibition” in the Real Mail, add your postal address and I’ll send one your way when they’re printed :)

Leave a comment below or email me via this page if you’ve other questions!

Have a great week!
Love Meg x o

 

PS The 2017 Bold Art Calendars are now back from the printers. They are delightful: colourful, shiny, happy! Click this to check out the covers and order yours!

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Bold Interview 11: Juanita Tortilla

Enjoy this interview with the fabulous, Juanita Tortilla, maker of art to accessorise the eco-conscious – and cat lover! Being eco-conscious does make us more self-and-surroundings aware, and happier too, I think! Click through with the links at the end to learn more of Juanita online. Good is being done in the world. M x o

Washy colourful background with pinks, morones, greys and chunky type saying "Bold Interview"

Q. Why did you first decide to make useful things from discarded fabrics? Tell us how living in alignment with your values relates to living a happy/satisfying life?

A. Since young, I have always enjoyed tinkering with hand-me-downs, and with very little pocket money as a kid, one is forced to be creative and try to reuse and revamp old things.

This up-cycling / re-purposing hobby was at its peak when my husband and I moved to the United States — I wanted to make gifts for friends and nice things for myself, but it was tricky when living on a student’s stipend, scrimping from pay cheque to pay cheque.

I also try to be conscious of my footprint with whatever I create or buy. The greatest satisfaction comes from extending the life of something that most would not have given a second thought, transforming it into something pretty and/or useful, and eventually bringing happiness to someone else!

eco conscious purses by Juantia Tortilla

Q. What is your creative process like? What do you do when you feel stuck creatively?

A. I avoid looking at trends and would like to think that I rely on my own random ideas. These ideas come to me either right before falling asleep or when I’ve had my morning caffeine kick. (That first good cup of morning coffee is very important to me!) I then decide in the morning if it was going to be a Sewing Day, Printing Day, Paperwork Day, or Do Nothing Day. The creative process involves hitting the workroom by 9AM, cranking up the radio and be undisturbed until I re-emerge again at 3PM to don on the other apron of being a cook / housekeeper.

I love playing with colours and textures, letting material speak and decide what they deem themselves to be fit for: a featured piece on a bag? Collage? To be jazzed-up with Pickle prints, etc. It is all unplanned, adhoc and mood-dependent, which makes each piece eclectic and unique.

When stuck creatively, I declutter the workspace. In doing so, it lets me revisit forgotten material, bringing it out and making it useful in a whole different manner I had originally intended for it. Alternatively, I declutter my mind in a Do Nothing Day by visiting somewhere new or catch up with a friend to vent / brainstorm.

eco conscious bags by Juanita Tortilla

Q. Do you make your living – help pay the bills – from your creative business?

A. No, sad to say. On a positive note, it is becoming self-sustaining; monies slowly collected are starting to pay for fees associated with it. I would LOVE to contribute to the household, eventually, and have been fortunate to have a very supportive partner over these years.

Q. Do you feel as though you could live anywhere, or is it important that you are located in South Australia?

A. My husband and I, along with our cat(s), have adapted ourselves to being able to live anywhere. I personally find it important to be surrounded by like-minded and/or creative folks to learn from and exchange ideas with. South Australia, as I have discovered, has a lovely artistic community and I am grateful for that!

Tote bags with Pickle prints by Juantia Tortilla

Tell us 5 key lessons of adulthood that you’ve come to live by.

1. Do what you love, love what you do.
2. It’s alright to be a misfit and dance to your own beat.
3. Recognise good opportunities and seize them but it is also perfectly fine to say ‘no’.
4. Sometimes, you need to treat yourself.
5. Let things go.

Pickle the cat, and items printed with her likeness by Juanita Tortilla

Bonus Question: Tell us a story about your wonderful cat Pickle and how/why she appears printed on your items.

THE STORY
Pickle entered our lives in 2010 at the age of 7. Our paths crossed when we were living in Switzerland — her former mummy was a British expat living in Switzerland and had to give Pickle up. Pickle took to us really quickly and has been the sweetheart in our lives! We love Ragdoll and Birman cats, Pickle is the PERFECT combination of both. Pickle travelled with us from Switzerland to the United States and now South Australia. She is now a senior cat enjoying the life in Adelaide Hills.

Pickle the cat, and items printed with her likeness by Juanita Tortilla

THE HOW/WHY
One day, in January 2015, I enjoyed a stenciling workshop with Simone Tippett of the Union St Printmakers. Pickle is always on my mind, naturally my stencil is that of Pickle’s face. I stencilled the Pickle image on fabric I had intended to make a dress with. Also, as a personal preference, I usually add pockets to dresses I make… A simple equation to a new creative idea evolved: Pickle + Pockets = Pickled Pockets. (I also like the play of “pickled pockets” to mean having little or no money like a starving artist!)

Pickled Pockets became an entity on its own when I also went on to do a screen printing workshop at Tooth And Nail and therefore started screen-printing totes (an idea suggested by an online friend!) and repurposed fabric as tea towels. Meanwhile, I took to stamping and carved out Pickle stamps. I have since started merging my interests in upcycling and printmaking — inking vintage fabrics by literally putting a Pickle on it and spreading the crazy cat lady love!

Juanita Tortilla smiling, looking at camera, wearing a purple topJuanita Tortilla – “Art to accessorise the eco-conscious”

Now based in the lovely Adelaide Hills in South Australia, I create by hand unique, bold and practical objects from otherwise unloved material, sourcing responsibly from my surroundings.

My ethos is to reduce, re-use and re-create. Everything old is new again, each product is an individual piece of heart.

Merging my interests in printmaking and upcycling, I also hand-print images of Pickle, our world-travelling Ragdoll-Birman cat.
‘Pickled Pockets’ is my cat-inspired collection that occasionally includes hand-sewn dresses with pockets.
As an independent maker each creation is hand made by myself — alongside several cups of tea — journeying from my home to yours.
Born and raised in Singapore I have gathered experiences from Europe, America, and now Australia, since 2004. I am on most social media sites and would enjoy having a chat with you!

Juanita Tortilla website | Juanita Tortilla Facebook | Juanita Tortilla Instagram

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this, bold soul, and are inspired to live a little more creatively and eco-consciously! Love Meg x o

PS Juanita and I will both have our art stalls at the National Cat Show at St Clair Recreation Centre, Woodville, this very next weekend. Maybe see you there … it’s a good family day out!

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Losing Orange Cat

cat photo with double exposure and rainbow colours and header "Losing Orange Cat" in chunky type face

Owch! My heart hurts.

We thought Orange Cat was injured, not so gravely ill. (Cats hide their pain so well).

He was purring. And then he was gone.

Surrounded by rainbows. For always now.

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What will we do without his orange fur looking spectacular against blues and greens and patterns?

bold lino print with black outlines, and handcoloured bright areas. Image is orange cat on harlequin blanket

Then wave after wave of human-against-human heinousness.

Owch. Our connected hearts.

In other news, my art exhibition is coming inexorably closer … If you’d like a (real) postcard invitation, join my mailing list and send me your postal address. Anywhere in the world is fine. If you can’t come, put the postcard on your fridge and join the #HappyToBeHereProject (soon though, I’m closing it in about a week, so I can build the slide show in time.)

*Hugs*
Find an action you can take to help make things fair.
Take care of your heart,
Meg x o

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Bold Interview 10: Textile Warrior

Hey Bold Soul! Welcome to this fresh interview with the wonderful Kathleen from Textile Warrior, a political collage artist from Adelaide, South Australia. I happily met Kathleen when she was giving a talk about her artwork and motivation at the etsy / Heartsy Market day at Flinders Street Market, and am honoured she agreed to join us for this interview. ~ M

Washy colourful background with pinks, morones, greys and chunky type saying "Bold Interview"

How & why did you start doing craftivism, making political art? How do you use your art to express yourself?

One reason. Tony Abbott. It was the fact that everything that came out of his mouth horrified me and the anger that I felt in defense of the world my babies will have to live in that started me down this road of gentle protest.
I feel deeply about issues affecting their future, but the process of researching the subject and developing an admiration for those individuals and groups contributing positively to their future produces positive and hopeful statements rather than an interpretation of the often violent emotional responses I first experienced. There is a positivity, quiet absurdity and occasional levity to my images that barely even hints at the moral outrage that has inspired them.

Ministerforsheilas_630

My first political protest piece call(ed) “Minister for Sheilas” wasn’t really very clever, in fact it was bit mean and the only positive thing about it was that there was a bit of humour to it. It was negative and antagonistic and it was only a public vent of my feelings and I didn’t feel better after making it. Not long after, Tony and Joe tapped into the demographic that believe that wind farms are a blight on the Australian landscape, even when compared to an open cut coal mine. So I made another collage, a sunny Australian coastal landscape with a windfarm in it and rather than what Tony thinks, I just showed everyone what I think. The idea is that people see it and think ‘oh, that’s lovely – maybe they’re not so ugly after all. Hopefully people will see the beauty in it.

This is the person I want to be.

Textile Warrior_Windfarm-collage

Can you tell us about how making your artwork relates to living in alignment with your values and priorities?

Its actually my work history which reflects the development of my personal value system. I formerly worked in corporate environments and later sought out not-for-profits and charitable organisations.  Now, I care full-time for two young children.

TextileWarrior_GlassCeiling_630

“Glass Ceiling” one from the series of feminist pieces called – The Cult of True Womanhood.

The latter half of my career exposed me to the vastly different lives people lead and the inequality in the world. The experience has fueled my admiration for my heroes; those who work to save the world in whatever way they can, and those who reach out to protect and fight for those closest to them or on the opposite side of the planet. This is the motivation for the most personally expressive of my works.

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“Fight like a Girl” one from the series of feminist pieces called – The Cult of True Womanhood.

Manually intensive methods have been a theme throughout my life and this process is vital to my connection to the work, whether it’s digging out tons of soil by hand to complete a renovation vision or working with tweezers and an exacto knife while creating micro-collage. I work with a range of media and often blend textiles, paint, print and paper while preferring to re-use materials, and hand paint my own papers. The techniques and materials I use, as well as my creative experience, have their basis in craft. The supportive and inclusive nature of the crafting community appeals to the ideals I hold for my life in general and for society at large.

How does making artwork help you process your anger and other emotions? Do you feel once you are less angry, that you are less of an activist, or, how do you combine the 2 aspects?

The journey from concept to completion is largely personal, and my own knowledge and understanding of the subject, as well as my feelings and opinions about the issues surrounding it develop and mature before I’m ready to begin working on the piece. The piece is a visual representation of what I have found hopeful and inspirational about the subject, and the making of it is a creative exercise in matching it to the conclusions of my own personal journey. If I made art that was simply a statement of my anger, despair or internal conflict I would feel unresolved and resentful. Creating is a way of getting these negative emotions out of me in a way that may inspire rather than challenge others’ thinking.

TextileWarrior_Year-Of-Living-Minimally_630

“The Year of Living Minimally” – My attachment to the quality and history of vintage pieces conflicts pretty strongly with my desire to embrace the minimalist lifestyle and detach myself from my possessions. This is my husband Paul and I having our gap year after the kids have moved out and me not able to part with my mid-century Douglas Snelling dining chairs. They don’t even fit in the caravan.

Do you feel as though you could live anywhere, or is it important to your artwork that you are located in South Australia?

I’m open to living anywhere but I have never felt demographically challenged by living in Adelaide so I don’t see any reason to move. I like the culture and its size and I think the future will have a lot to offer my children here. Adelaide offers me a lot of freedom I otherwise wouldn’t have if I lived cities with a higher cost of living and smaller spaces. Its home, its easy and it gives me the headspace I need to be creative.

This is just a big arse wall of flowers I made for the Little Rundle Street Art Project during Fringe this year, drawing attention to the fact that bees need flowers. It was hand made from woven and crocheted plastic bags and was the mother of all works to date.

This is just a big arse wall of flowers I made for the Little Rundle Street Art Project during Fringe this year, drawing attention to the fact that bees need flowers. It was hand made from woven and crocheted plastic bags and was the mother of all works to date.

How do you care for your creative self?

This is an area where I definitely need to improve, I could be doing a lot more self care than I do! Things I enjoy doing and regularly squeeze into life with two young children are pilates, gardening and spending time alone with my thoughts. Healthy eating and time with family and friends is also vital for me feeling balanced.

Vintage photos with coloured embroidery shapes - art by Textile Warrior

I’m still grieving our loss of David Bowie. I started this series of paper embroideries on the day of his death and it continues to be part of a grieving process for me. It was inspired by the notion that he influenced millions of people of all ages, from all walks of life, the world over in highly personal ways and that there is a little bit of Bowie in all of us. These vintage fan photos and postcards of silent movie stars are all class.

Where to find Kathleen from Textile Warrior

Reconstructed – 2016 SALA group exhibition with the Adelaide Collage Collective held for the month of August at Gingers Coffee Studio, 109 Goodwood Road, Goodwood, South Australia.

Online: Textile Warrior Website | Follow Textile Warrior on Instagram

Thanks for coming by and sharing your passion, Kathleen! I love to learn more about people with political views, creativity and self awareness! Meg x o

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