Friday, August 7, 2015

More on Beaniefest 2015

Main Gallery One, at Araluen Cultural Precinct, with a stunning Adi Dunlop needle-felted blanket banner. Plus hats on the tree, by local primary schools.

I am very grateful that I could afford to make it out to Alice Springs again, for the 19th Beanie
Festival, at The Araluen Cultural Precinct.
I took the night train down to Sydney, to be able to catch a plane at a reasonable time. There are no flights, directly from the Gold Coast Airport, closest to where I live. There were some flights from Brisbane, which is about 3 hours away, but they leave at 6am, so I'd need to stay somewhere overnight, or leave home at 2am or so.

I thought the train trip would be fine, I'd get to sleep and arrive fresh to get out to the airport on suburban train, but thanks to a squeaky grinding noise beside/below me in the carriage, kept me awake all night !
It was a wet and cloudy morning, and due to an ill passenger, we sat on the tarmac for over an hour, while they ascertained if they were able to fly or not, and then to locate their luggage, so then our plane, had to wait for a new runway vacancy. It did mean the cloud cover had a chance to lift a bit so take-off was more visible.  I missed seein the Blue Mountains due to cloud but did see the Simpson Desert areas beneath a dot painting of clouds.
 This put me late arriving into Alice, and just missing the office hours of the backpackers I was staying at. I just felt like lying down and sleeping, lucky there was a sun lounger by the pool.  Still no sleep 'tho.

Above are some close ups of one of my exhibition hats for this year 
Spirit Sisters Dancing Free

Morning walks from outside Alice's Secret Backpackers was prolly the best thing about it.

Beanie Central had some awesome work in it yet again, some of it still there at the end, due to some of the volunteers, apparently showcasing their plainer beanies in prominent hat stands, instead of uncovering the treasures buried beneath 'boring' ribbed beanies of one colour. 
I'm glad my first job, was to 'fine dress' the display, and correct the appalling first 'lay out' of beanies.

 After I'd worked my way down the first wall of tables, I happened to hear two volunteers looking for their hats, " I can't find it, I put it on one of these stands, someone has moved it !! " ..... Yeah Me ! ..... I think to myself, it must have been too insignificant, to warrant being on high display ! 
 I didn't get to spend as much time in BeanieCentral, as I once did. I used to spend nearly all my time in there, constantly dressing the display with the really outstanding beanies, after people trying them on, leave them in big piles in front of mirrors etc, and searching for SwingTagLess Beanies, in the hope they are still in the room. 
These days, with my fatigue, I just couldn't manage it, but I wish I had. Instead I did what I thought was the right thing and responded to a plea from Jo, for more volunteers in both the cake stall and the soup kitchen. 
Being a Chai Wallah, I thought, easy, I can do that. But both those shifts ended up being my worst ever Beaniefest experiences. I guess it didn't help that I ended up arriving late, to the first shift, in the cake stall on Saturday morning, due to an unfortunate mix up of 'Meg's', wanting to be picked up by Kris in the courtesy bus, at the very same time!  lol ... (you wouldn't believe that it happened a second time with the same other Meg, on another day, nearly making me late again, but thanks to long time Beaniefest Goer Joan Stanley, I got there with a lift from her).

I had planned to spend time out on the forecourt adding colour and creation and connecting with some local women, which for the second time, I actually did manage to do. Meeting Julie Kitson, in the green shirt, the first morning, albeit briefly, we'd  said hello in a quiet Beanie Central back on Thursday, later to meet properly on the Saturday night evening Beaniefest entertainment at a venue in Todd Mall. We sat beside each other, after I'd calmed myself in the hot spa tub in the hotel up the road, where I'd been fortunate enough to be put up in by the festival 2 years ago. I'd just had my third emotional meltdown in Beanie Central. due to my extreme fatigue, which was accumulated tiredness of 4 nights of no sleep or hardly any sleep ! Train, backpacker roomates turning heater on high, in a tiny caravan, sleeping on a couch in TV room after the late night TV watchers vacated !

Meeting Julie, was one of the highlights, as it turns out that I had met her younger sister there in 2013, and I had been very impressed with 'A'Kitson's deadly needle-felted hats  6 in the Main Gallery, where I'd met her late on opening night, as she and her friend Julie, shyly watched the slideshow of photos from the workshops held out on country.
I asked them where they were from, they shyly pointed to their community, the letters written in needle-felted bunting, Willowra or as the call it Wirliyajarryi, then I asked did they have any work in the exhibition, and we ended up over where they were hanging. A's work was extraordinary, very detailed, well finished neeedle-felting, she had 6 pieces in, which in itself is testament to her calibre, as only 2 hats are generally allowed these days due to the high number of beaniologists entering.

Over the four days of the 2013 festival she completed 4 or 5 more, sitting out at the needle-felting work tables, all outstanding ! She was highly motivated at this new medium, for painting her stories.

Earlier this year down at The Canberra Tent Embassy, on the anniversary of the apology, there was a gathering of GMAR, the National movement of GrandMothers Against forced Removals of kids, still going on today, worse than it ever was. I met  3 elder aunties, who'd made the trip from Willowra, which I found out, as I welcomed them into the Chai Tent. They told me that A was very sick in Katherine Hospital.

Doreen, Audrey Martin, Barbara with Chris Tomlins behind

The reason I have only been using A instead of her name, is because I learnt from Jason Quin the new Chief Beanieolgist, that she has passed away, which became a slight problem for me when talking to Julie Kitson this year, at dinner, When I learnt she comes from Willowra, I told her about meeting A in 2013, but having just learnt of her passing. I didn't want to offend Julie by saying her name. I was telling her about meeting the 3 Aunties down at Embassy etc, and in the end she told me it was OK to say her name. .... Turns out Audrey was her youngest sister,  terribly sad loss. Cancer.

Julie had a broken arm, bandaged with just a back strap at first. It was broken as she defended herself from being hit over the head with a Nulla Nulla, by the senior elder at her community, because as the strong woman that she is, she stood up to his mis-management of their community !

It was good meeting Julie, roughly the same age as me, and easier to form a connection with than the elder aunties sitting weaving. Also quite interesting to meet all these people from the same community

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy Birthday to my Dad ..... Thanks for my Genes

Happy Birthday to my dad Ian who would have been 87 today, he would love that I have continued onto to be the family photographer, and would enjoy these photos. He would have also enjoyed the wondrous world of digital photography, that we are blessed with today. He would be amazed that we can shoot straight into the sun like this, and thanks to the high ice crystal cloud, capture a glorious Carona around the sun.....

I have always heard about Glory Bows, but I had never been fortunate enough to see on. Last month, I found myself in one, on my morning walk up the ridge above us .... truly magical to dance in one, utterly Glorious !

Ian was a phenomenal scientist, a Bacteriologist, a Virologist and a Micro-Biologist .... a real mouthful for me to say in Grade One, when asked "What does your dad do ?) I wish I'd known I could just say Scientist ! 
Aaaaaah  ........    finally ....I have been able to work out how to gain access back into my original blog.... it has been over a year..... ( I made a new blog with a new email, then couldn't sign in to this one.... mustta been too fatigued to work it out... which I have now finally and easily worked out ....)

So before I make a huge long interesting post..... this is a test page
 The new Rainbow Chai Tent at The Canberra Tent Embassy Canberra Feb 2015

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Custom Orders

 In my endeavours to focus more energy this year into my online shop, (as I get help with my health/energy/detoxing mercury) , I am making listings showcasing some of the many unique hats that I have made during my 25 year herstory of hat making, and suggesting people consider a Custom Order.
The hat shown above was bought in person, by West Australian Pam, after she'd spotted the hat I was wearing, at the Alice Springs Beaniefest, the first of my new style 'Jacaranda Crown'.

Pam, sent a message with a friend, the following year, requesting a Custom Order, in Reds and Purples. (see photos below). Pam said she wanted another as wearing the first one, had "opened doors for her, and started important conversations", during her travels.

Being able to call myself a Beanieologist, a customer recently suggested I could add in a Doctor of Beanieology ! LOL

My online selling mentors, have often said it may be harder to sell One Of A Kind works, being much easier to sell and re-list items that are the same. I concurr.

How many times have I listed a hat, only to then sell it offline?  I struggle to get product photos that 'pop out' at future customers,  spend time editing the photos, writing out individual listings etc etc.  ...... So now with the added Custom Order button in our Etsy Shops, it is even easier to 'advertise' custom order possibilities.
 Custom Orders are always wonderful as sometimes the requests are for using specified colours that I may not have thought to use, (without adding in others).

Taking your artworks to markets is often purely just promoting yourself and work, especially in this region I live in, as the craft markets are so large and very full of many diverse and colourful work, it can be very hard to be seen as it can take a long time to get a permanent site, that stallholders can begin to form a regular clientèle. ( I began my selling hats at a regular weekly market, and found that it could take a quite some time for some people to have need, or really appreciate the quality of my work, and value the time and creativity involved in each individual hat.

Some hats have sat on my stall or in my display stock for years, until the right person, comes along and is smitten by it. Often it can be a hat that I personally may not like anymore, (or at all), and I have to be careful to not 'knock off' the price just to 'get rid of' the old hats! lol

So to use my Etsy Shop, as Publicity, for my FreeForm Crochet work, is what I am going to focus on, and get my listings up !
Yesterday, I edited a heap of photos, taken back in October,
(nearly finished!)..... and I can begin to make them into listings, continuing my 'run' of new listings I managed in January !

Also I am going to make more posts in here ! (There it is written ! It shall Be !) fingers crossed. ( I now have a mobile 'dongle' and am online, down in our Artist's Co-op gallery 'Viridian', so it should be easier than at home, where I have a very dodgy connection across the main house, where the modem/router is based. ie faster uploads) 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Spirits in the Todd River Part Two

Early one morning standing in the dry sands of the Todd River in Alice Springs, I took a photo of my favourite tree just near the hotel. The autoflash was on, the digital image appeared on the screen,  !!! half covered in white ! two more taken, the whole screen whited out !  What's going on ? Took 3 shots without the flash, holding still for the low light available,  then,  3 more with the auto flash back on .... normal now ??
Back inside, download to laptop.... Gay from next door, is in for brekky,  and when the 1st pic comes up she instantly spots a figure running across ! (Gay tells me she could do those 'Magic Eye' puzzles easily, and   media facial obscurations don't 'hide' anyone's face from her !)

That night when I got back after a big day at Beaniefest, and totally exhausted physically and emotionally(?), I noticed a sore throat, as I went to sleep. By morning I had a raging phlegmy cough !  Now I don't get sick often. Only had a Flu twice. Usually 'catch' anything before it starts. (It has taken me until today, 12 days to feel nearly better, 'tho still phlegmy!)
Anyway back to Alice,  that morning I had to drive Gay to ABC for an interview, then Penny out to her workshop at Territory Craft, after which I was free to go back to hotel and finish getting ready, shower etc. But now being daytime, I decided to hop into the hotel spa, which I checked out the first day, by dipping fingers in. It had only felt warm, and with cold nights, maybe too cold to actually hop into, but a daytime spa, might undo my tight neck muscles, the most 'likely' cause of picking up a sore throat, me thinks.
It was HOT ! and so relaxing I hopped in every night and every morning thereafter ..... Thanks to that spa, I was able to hold off the debilitating-ness of this 'Back To Front' illness I've suffered since.
One morning after 'burping out' all the knots and discovering 'Spa-flexology' up thru my feet ! Aaaaah ! .... I began work on the unfinished healing in my abdomen...trying to encourage the 'attached spirits' to  dis-engage, to flow free, out  into the spring waters, out into the ether thru the bubbles, down the Todd River ..... Back To Country ....back to Family. ........ from a very central spot  on the banks of the Todd.

Then we all went out for a short stroll into the Sunday Todd Mall market, before Beaniefest,  and just before I had to leave for my shift as Gallery attendant, I come across old friend Jabo !

Here's Jabo, a Hungarian who has been living out here in Central for decades, with his wife Naomi Kantjuriny, with a stall of some painted wooden artworks. I tell Jabo about  my Spirit Photo, then about my latest session in the spa, ..... and he then tells me I need to see a Ngangkari, a spirit healer, and I write down names and details about a book. But as I leave in two days, it's unlikely I can do anything about it this trip. On Tuesday morning I check out Dymocks bookshop, and have a quick peruse of the book, but with few dollars, and an uncertain baggage weight,I leave the purchase til later, grabbing the ISBN.

Today I begin an online search for the book, and anything else I can read online about the Ngangkari .......and found this in part from words by Naomi
 " We say wirunymankula waninyi - which means, to declare someone well and to banish the illness. The illness, or pain, can take the form of phlegm, or back pain, and this is what I specialise in.

Ahhhhh phlegm ! back pain !  how about  aching jaw ? ......  I think I now  'SEE', the cause of my 'sickness/healing'   ...... Amazing ! me thinks..... Maybe I can be my own ngangkari, as I had thoughts already..... wanting to read the book to 'refresh' my 'memories' ......Yay !..... OR a  a Ngangkari ran past me in the river ???

wirunymankula waninyi   wirunymankula waninyi   wirunymankula waninyi  begone begone begone hehe

The series of pics as taken, followed by White Balance adjustment,or in some Auto Colour adjust then Brightness/Contrast  adjusted, to'see'what we can see. Somethings I find it easier to 'see' stufff in smaller thumbnails


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spirits in the Todd

 It was wonderful to stay in the very centre of Alice Springs, during my trip to the 17th Beaniefest. It meant that I could visit the Todd River as the sun rose. The first two mornings were cloudy, after some overnight drizzle. I just love the trees and the Eastern Macdonel Range catching the light.
 The first morning, after walking down toward the bridge, I returned to just adjacent to the hotel, and found this very ancient tree, that caught my interest, purely because of the size of the original trunk, curving out over the dry riverbed.
 The second morning, after another morning walk, I met Jo Nixon down at a local car hire, to become a 'signed in' driver for this little car.
 Thursday morning and after an early morning phone call, I was back out at the Araluen Cultural Centre, to be interviewed by the ABC, after Jo.(seen here glowing about one of her favourites in the exhibition. 'Friends Meet in the Lily Pond'
 This is one of my competition/exhibition beanies 'The Spirit Within - Narradjinii' or as I heard many people referring to it 'Piccininni'..... when she comes home to me, I feel I have more detail to add around the back.
 This is my second entry, 'Family EterniTea' a Tea Cosy created out of my very first ever wet-felted hat, with needle-felting. Many people feel I have channelled my Elders, seeing my mother's face in the woman. It can still be worn as a hat.

 After the cloudy and therefore, warmer weather, Beaniefest Friday dawned clear and blue. The night before had the temperatures dropping, as the cloud dissipated away. I attended the Sustainable Couture fashion parade in the Aviation Museum, and due to my early start, while it was still cloudy, I thought not to over dress again. Luckily I had just enough with me, 'tho I was starting to get a bit chilled, using my wrap to sit on the cold metal chair. The fashions made from re-claimed fabrics were modelled by a bunch of fun and expressive people, and I felt completely at home wearing my turquoise blanket coat, made by Corinabel, here in the northern rivers.

With the clear skies, I headed out to the Todd River again when it got light, and after taking some more photos of the ancient tree, I walked out across the sand of the dry river, taking photos up and downstream.
When I turned back, I saw the old tree from a new vantage spot, and when I got closer, took another photo. The automatic flash activated, and when the captured image showed on the screen, I thought something was wrong with the camera, half the screen showing white. I took two more with the automatic flash on, and the whole screen turned white, then 3 without the flash, trying to hold the camera still for the low light, then 3 more with the flash. The last three, were normal 'darkish' due to flash and low light.
 Back in my room, downloading on to laptop, Gay from next door, in for breakfast, spotted the figure running thru the first pic.
Above is totally as captured, below has had the White Balance auto adjusted.