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The hunt for fabric

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know how disappointed I was after visiting Spotlight (the equivalent of JoAnn Fabrics in the US) the other day.

When we lived in Queensland 18 years ago Spotlight was my go to place for anything that had to do with sewing. Now I couldn’t find anything. The store was filled with everything but what I was looking for!

My only comfort when I walked out empty handed was that I had gotten some good experience using the PTV app on my phone to figure out how to get there on public transportation.

Back in CBD, short for Central Business District, and more or less on my way home I stumbled on a Lincraft store, which is another JoAnn Fabric like store. Here I found the tracing paper I needed and also some linen fabric. Didn’t look like fantastic quality, but the price was ok so I got enough to make me a dress.

When I got home I realized my hands were all black. It was from the fabric!! Later that night I discovered my top had changed color after carrying the roll around in the store. 😱

After washing the fabric three times it finally stopped dry bleeding. I really should return it…

I know, I should live as I preach and support local, independent shops. That is what I did the following day.

And there is hope for Melbourne! I did find some really nice shops. Some to look in and some to shop in. All located conveniently close to trams, buses and trains.

Kimono House specializes in Japanese fabrics, patterns and accessories.

In the same building, on the same floor I also found L’Uccello Vintage Haberdashery&Fancy Goods. The building where these two shops are located is worth a visit by itself. Several nice shops of different kinds.

Just a fes blocks away is Tessuti Fabrics. Lots of nice fabrics here. They also sell their own patterns and have samples of the garments in the store to look at.

After a lunch date with Johan I went on my last expedition for the day: The Fabric Store. This isn’t a local shop ( even has a branch in Los Angeles!), but I’ll make an exception. This is a wonderful store! Lots of wonderful silks, linens and cottons. And they are having a sale now. All fabrics are 20% off or more!

Do I need to say I bought some. My pretty little stash of, mostly, silk is in the photo below!

Staying cool in Melbourne

Just a few days after we arrived it got hot, and I mean really hot: +43C. The house we’re renting doesn’t have air conditioning. It holds up pretty well with its double brick walls, but even if +28C is cool in comparison with outside it’s nice to cool off somewhere. What better then to hit some of the nice museums here! Over the weekend we’ve been to two really excellent exhibitions.

The first one is “Wallace&Gromit And Friends. The Magic Of Aardman” at acmi, Australian Center for the Moving Image. I love claymation and Wallace&Gromit, Shaun the Sheep are favorites! But Aardman Animations are so much more than that. Did you know they made the video for Sledgehammer with Peter Gabriel?

And finally, I have to share with you my own attempt making a claymation movie clip. I call it Starfish On A Roll.

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The second exhibition we went to was Triennal at NGV, National Gallery of Victoria. It features contemporary art of over 100 artists and designers from more than 32 countries. An excellent exhibition! I’ll revisit again before it closes in mid April.

Below are art by Yayoi Kusama, Pascale Martine Tayou, Nick Cave, Camille Henrot and Paulina  Olowska.

Visits like these really feeds my own creativity and is an essential part of how new ideas start brewing in my head. I enjoyed these two visits very much and hope do much more of it in the next few months!

What better time to get this blog off the runway!?

Ready to head out from Syracuse, NY, USAJohan and luggage arrived in Camberwell, VIC, Australia!

On January 13 Johan and I set off for an extended stay in Australia. Leaving a -20C, snowy, Syracuse, for a +40C, balmy, Melbourne.

This opportunity has come up thanks to Johan getting a Fulbright scholarship to spend six months doing research at RMIT in Melbourne. This is actually our second time living here for an extended period of time. Last time was back in 1999-2000 when we spent about a year on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Between now and then we’ve been back to visit several times.

Things I brought along for my fiber art

I’m not one of those people who travel light, so of course I brought some essentials for my fiber art. The plan is to keep working with my felting and other fiber art related things. Really looking forward to tapping in to the feltmaking community here!