Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and New Years!

This year has been a crazy adventure with a lot to be thankful for, luckily the downs were brief and the highs were high! We hope this year has been amazing for you as well and that 2012 is bigger and better! Thanks so much for reading our blog!!

Be Excellent To Each Other + new Sweater Letters (Family Set)

These are some pics of 2 private commissions we recently completed. One a quote from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (we love Keanu so this was a fun one!) and the last a family set of Sweater Letters. As always we love to hear from anyone interested in a personalised embroidery. Email us your quote/initials/favourite colours or even an epic battle you'd like to see illustrated and let's have some fun!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WIRED Magazine 12 11

Hello, we're back! We touched down in Sydney a couple of weeks ago and have since then gorged ourselves on summer fruits and catch ups with friends and family. We're in between studio spaces and rentals but have managed to set up desk spaces at least. It's funny how having even a bit of space to yourself helps you feel settled.

It's been a while since we posted regularly so we have a few projects to share that we'll post about steadily. Firstly we can finally share an embroidery we created for WIRED magazine's December issue which we completed around June. It's for the features introduction page and includes the numbers 12 and 11. For iPad users this embroidery is animated too as a nice little bonus. The piece took about 185 hours to complete. A huge task as the whole surface was covered with needlework and while we were embroidering we were also capturing photographic stills to build the animation.

There were a few changes to the final embroidered piece, colours were changed and tweaked. Once it was completed we realised that the 12 and 11 got a bit too lost in the pattern so we swapped in a few more red tiles into the mix. Normally we would have unpicked the tiles and sewn in the new colour but as we had animated the piece as it progressed this option wasn't feasible. Instead we digitally tweaked the colours frame by frame.

We were lucky our apartment was high up or else neighbours might well have wondered why our windows were boarded up. The makeshift studio we set up at one end of my bedroom needed to be completely blacked out for the photography. A bit of a shame we worked on the piece right in the middle of the London summer, we hardly got a chance to enjoy the sunshine.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me - a Jim Henson tribute show at Gallery Nucleus

Here's a peek at a couple new embroidered pieces we've created for a Jim Henson tribute show at Gallery Nucleus titled The Lovers, the Dreamers, and me. The Cookie Monster makes an appearance for the show which opens on the 10th of December and any guesses for which Sesame St characters inspired these special edition Sweater Letters? More details here and on the Gallery blog there's a little write up on our artworks as well as some of the other wonderful artists who are taking part in the show.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Back to Oz

We're counting down until we bid London farewell and head back to sunny Sydney. I'll miss this wonderful city and I hope it won't be too long before I can come back again. An endless summer sounds pretty awesome, 6 months in Sydney and 6 months this side of the globe sounds like an ideal arrangement. If only!

Before we fly out we're holding a special clearance in our BigCartel and Etsy stores. 30% of our handsewn embroideries and a 3 for 1 special on our risograph prints (BigCartel). For the 30% discount on Etsy please use this code BACK2OZ.

Makers, Dreamers: We also have a brand new poster available of our Makers, Dreamers embroidery. "We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" is a quote taken from Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy via the film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

The original embroidered artwork was on display at AMV BBDO and now a limited edition of 100 A2 sized giclee printed posters are available. (please note that the posters are smaller than the original A1 sized hand embroidered poster)

A2 posters (including 12mm border) hand numbered and signed. Printed on Hahnemueller Photorag paper using archival inks

Posters will be mailed rolled.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

From WIlton Way to the World's End (and a little bit beyond)

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. We've had a crazy few weeks that have included a local street party and Dog show a road trip round Scotland (from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye, Isle of Harris & Lewis, Inverness and back) to meeting the Queen. I won't make this a wordy post since the photos will probably be more interesting. Just an explanation on the post title, i've always loved Neil Gaiman's reference to the World's End pub in his Sandman comics and was very excited to see we were staying just down the road from an identically named pub in Endigburgh. We were staying just off the Royal Mile on the Canongate and the story goes that,

"Gates along with the old city wall enclosed the city and citizens from the Canongate and beyond would have to pay to gain entry. Poorer residents within the city couldn't leave as they couldn't afford to pay to re-enter and so stayed within the walled city their whole lives. The area inside the Netherbow gate became known as the World's end because for many residents this was where their world ended" (from

1, 2: Victoria Bark dog show at Wilton Way.
3: Glencoe, looking over Rannoch Moor
4: Isle of Skye, on the way to the 'Fairies' Glen'
5: Isle of Skye
6: Isle of Lewis
7: Isle of Lewis: we took a road by accident through some pretty isolated countryside. This house with its red door was a welcome sight.
8: Highland cows at Culloden.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tea with the Queen

This thursday Maricor and I will be on our way to Buckingham Palace for an evening reception with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. We're honoured by the invitation, excited and more than a little nervous! We're notoriously shy so we'll have to make sure we don't retreat to a safety corner and properly enjoy the night and meet the other guests.

We've also had the usual wardrobe dilemma, which has been compounded by the fact we didn't bring any formal wear for our visit to the UK. Eeek.. oh well it's given us a good excuse for a bit of shopping!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mr Postman

We've just arrived back to a surprisingly sunny London after a week road-tripping around Scotland. A proper roundup of what we got up to will come soon but in the meantime here is a belated post about a few special deliveries that arrived in the mail recently.

The letterpressed wedding invitations I designed for our big sis and her fiancé arrived all the way from Sydney safe and sound. The tactile and warm touch of letterpress printing fit in beautifully with the vintage theme they've chosen for their wedding. They went with Crane Lettra 300 GSM in Pearl White and Kraft brown envelopes with their own custom envelope liners.

We were also gobsmacked to receive another invitation... for a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh! The reception will be in October to celebrate The Queen's upcoming tour of Australia. We have British Council Australia and Realise Your Dream to thank for this incredible invitation. 

It's pretty random, I didn't think we'd be attending any formal event while we were in London, let alone a reception at Buckingham palace, so I didn't pack anything appropriate in my suitcase. Been busy hunting for formal "Day Dress" wear but we're having trouble finding anything that fits. And ideally we'd love to wear an Australian design in keeping with the theme of the event but that's proving a little difficult. Unfortunately we can't take a camera in with us but we'll try to soak it all in and report back.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Defeat Deflector & Makers, Dreamers

Just a quick post about a couple of works we have out and about in London. We've donated "Defeat Deflector" (a piece from the "Turns of Speech and Figures of Phrase" show that we held in March) to Artarama where it will be auctioned off to raise funds for Age UK and the White Ribbon Alliance. Artarama is organised by Karmarama London and the show/auction is on the 7th of October. There'll be exclusive work by Rankin, Rob Ryan, Al Murphy and many more.

We have also completed a new embroidery called "Makers, Dreamers" which is on display at AMV BBDO as part of a typographic group show. "We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" is a quote taken from Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy via the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

This is our largest to date, 841 x 594 mm. I'm not sure exactly how much thread that amounts to, but I bet it's something crazy. The original A1 sized artwork is available for sale, please email us if you're interested.  A limited edition of 100 giclee printed posters are also available for £45, A2 in size, hand numbered and signed and printed on Hahnemueller Photorag paper using archival inks (please note that the posters are smaller than the original A1 sized hand embroidered poster). Please email us if you would like more info. The posters will be available from our Big Cartel store soon.

We have another group show that we'll be taking part in later in the year. It's a tribute show for Jim Henson at Gallery Nucleus in the States. Look out for some Sesame St flavoured "Sweater Letters" and a Choc Chip C. Other artists include Cat Rabbit, Isobel Knowles and a fellow Handsome Frank artist Helen Musselwhite. Can't wait to see what these talented ladies create!

And I almost forgot, we have a new Sweater Letter. We're slowly going through the alphabet and filling in the gaps. For "B" I've been influenced by the clashing colours of 80's knitwear. This is also available from our Big Cartel store. We're making our new Sweater Letters available as limited editions of 3, each one will still be hand embroidered so there may be slight differences.

** Update: I've signed and numbered (handstitched) the B Sweater Letter piece **

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Denim and Weave

Denim is tough! As part of the Denim group show we were invited to take part in curated by Dell Stewart, we came across a few road bumps. Finding the right cloth and technique that would work well with the fabric was a matter of trial and error and was just as frustrating as searching for the perfect pair of jeans. The Cloth House on Berwick St have a great selection of denim cloth but we were still umming and ahhing about the amount of fade we wanted and the texture of the fabric. We wanted something that looked a bit lived in (we even contemplated looking for a second hand denim jacket but couldn't find one with a large enough clear piece of denim), the right shade of blue and we needed it supple enough that we could sew onto it.

Below are some photos of the final piece called Echo. In this piece, threads harvested from the denim are embroidered back onto the cloth and re-combine with denim. The aspect of denim that we were intrigued by is its specific tactility, the way it embodies the history of its use. We wanted our marks although recent to be absorbed into the fabric through the use of denim on/within denim.

203mm x 203mm
Denim, cotton thread

We also recently took part in a group show in Sydney called Alphabet Soup. Presented by Art on the Wall and Weave it was a celebration of letters and literacy. All the works have been donated by the artists involved and proceeds go towards the charitable programs organised by Weave. They provide support for disadvantaged groups in the community and the funds raised will go towards the mentoring and tutoring programs they offer.

Each artist created a collection of 3 letters for the show. We really wanted to do a new piece with paper so for our K, M and R we experimented with patterns and layering.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Summer/Autumn and "Back to the Start"

There's now a chill in the air and the blazing sunsets we've come to expect have faded away to ones
that are grey, white and pale. Brrrr, luckily we're going to skip the northern winter and will be home in time for summer in Sydney. We realised we have less than 3 months though before we head back so we're cramming in all the things we kept putting off: galleries, museums, cafes and curiosities. We jotted them all down and each week we have a lucky dip. Our fist pick was the flower markets at Columbia Road where we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday of people watching and flower hawking and came away with a chili plant and some thyme. But not as successful, was our trip to the Natural History Museum. We got diverted by heavy rain and a sea of children to the bedlam that is Harrods on a wet weekend in London. Some things I learnt that day – avoid museums during the summer holidays especially on a weekend, Harrods is crazy and somewhere I need not visit again and I'm very picky about my almond croissants. Since then we've had trips to St Bride's Printing Library, Victoria Park, Brick Lane Sunday Markets, Rough Trade and No Brow which have all been a lot more exciting.

Below are some of the goodies we picked up from the No Brow store. Everything We Miss by Luke Pearson, Flesh and Bones: A Colouring Concertina by John Sibbick and Rise & Fall by Micah Lidberg. A place you must visit if you're in London, No Brow are independent publishers that work with graphic artists and illustrators to produce exquisitely tactile printed works. They have a show coming up in September that looks like it will be pretty awesome. Masks is an exhibition of works from Ben Newman and it opens on the 15th of September.

And lastly here are some stop motion animations that have blown our minds lately. Johnny Kelly from Nexus Productions beautifully crafted stop motion animation "Back to the Start" has just gone live. There's a behind the scenes here and some production stills from the shoot.

And a classic animation that we were introduced to at LIAF, "Hedgehog in the Fog". Stunning, mesmerising and so technically brilliant.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Looming + Odd & The Nimble

Hello, just a quick post about my first weaving - Co keeps mixing it up and calls it looming, hehe - project on the rigid heddle loom I received for my birthday (thanks M!). I love puzzles so had a fun night assembling it. I was a little impatient and didn't follow the instructions properly and bought knitting yarn (which I was told expressly not to use) as I could easily buy some nearby. The end result is a scarf that looks and feels a bit like a hessian sack! Luckily after a wash it has softened a bit but I'll be sure to source proper weaving yarn for the next project.

Our good friends Sam and Esther have also just launched their new online store, Odd and the Nimble, selling lovely handmade jewellery and home wares as well as prints. Please do check it out!