Sunday, 28 February 2010


Time is such a slippery thing! It seems like only a moment since we celebrated New Year and in a moment we'll be in March. How did that happen? Of course, I know how that happened. January was full of birthdays and lazy summer days, and February has been Suitcase Month. No, it's not my own travels I've been organising; it's the travels of Saffron and Jasmine, sister suitcases of The Maharajah's Garden travelling suitcase exhibition. About sixty member of ATASDA have made works for the exhibition, and a further 45 have made bunting pieces, to be tied together to dress up the show, or treated as individual works. The exhibition begins to travel in March, first to our Branch meetings in Sydney and Brisbane, and then all around Australia for at least two years. The range of work is amazing. Each work is accompanied by a techniques board, explaining the inspiration of the work and one technique used by the artist. Such a diversity of techniques! We on the organising committee have all found new things to try. Images of the works should be on the ATASDA website sometime in March, if all goes well.

Now the suitcases are just about ready, I feel like a mole, emerging blinking into the light and wondering what to do next! I have managed to find a little time to do creative things this month. I made my graffiti fabric into a bag, using some suede leather scraps that were the perfect colour, given to me by a friend from her stash. She in turn acquired it from someone else's stash a few years ago. The bag looks fantastic...

..but there's a tiny problem. Although I checked the leather closely for faults, it isn't quite the same leather it once was, I fear. As I sewed, I began to notice myself turning a delicate shade of pink. No, not an allergy, just the leather colour, coming off all over me. Like the fool I am, I pressed on, instead of pausing to take stock. Yes, the bag looks brilliant, but it's completely unusable, because it crocks colour onto everything it touches. Not only that, but, despite using the appropriate leather needle, stitch length and thread, the leather is simply pulling apart along the stitch lines. I suspect that leather might be older than I am, and it's decided that it's had enough.

So, I did finish my graffiti bag by the February deadline, but it's going to have to come apart again, once I acquire some new red leather. I am so in love with the look of the bag that nothing else will do!

So the moral of this sad tale is : if things start looking a bit odd when you are in the midst of a creative flow, STOP!! Do not go on mindlessly ignoring the problem. Who'd have thought, eh?


Erica Spinks said...

I so hope you can track down some more red leather because the bag looks FABULOUS.

MargaretR said...

It's a beautiful bag Nola. What a pity about the leather. Why do we do these things? I'm exactly the same and continue with something I know isn't right and spoiling it. If you can find matching leather it will be worth altering, but what a pity, all that lovely work having to be undone.
I would love to see that exhibition. I will never forget the EG exhibition in Sydney in 2000, the work was fantastic and so colourful.