Outside In and the prototype deck chair.

Just made this prototype deck chair with Spotcheck navy woven in my new  waterproof uv protected outdoor fabric range. What do you reckon? Think I might start taking orders.

Ive been wanting to make something with our new outdoor fabric range, Outside In, for a little while now. And here it is in prototype form – the Cloth Deckchair in Spotcheck navy/white. The fabric is completely reversible ( I love this idea), waterproof and UV proof. And it’s woven rather than printed, using an acrylic yarn rather than a natural fibre.  Ive wanted to do an outdoor range for years and the only way to do it was to work with synthetic fibres. And the really great thing is that it is woven locally. In Sydney. Yes there is a weaving mill in Sydney. Amazing. This means there are no freight costs to rack up ( many many outdoor fabric comes from overseas )


The whole deckchair idea was sparked other day when I found some of these deckchairs  in Ikea (they’re called mysingo in store) that have 2 removable pieces of dowel that slide into the top and bottom hem of the fabric (the deckchairs I remember always had the fabric stapled onto the frame) These dowels mean that you can easily change the seat fabric –  the sling, as it’s called. And that’s what got me thinking about making these slings out of my new outdoor fabric and selling them as a product. Very good, very good.

So go to Ikea and get yourself a mysingo ($39) and then buy the new sling from me. ( They will probably cost $80 – I’ll put them on line when I get the finished samples done next week)  These slings are very easy to put on the chair by the way. Ive got a choice of patterns and colours and when Im sorted Ill put the whole lot on my shop and you can choose from there and I’ll be able to easily mail in the post.

Love it!


My first LookDrawPrint mini workshop for high school students.


BMEE careers expo

My first #lookdrawprint mini workshop for high school students happened today at Springwood as part of the #bmee creative industries career expo. I managed to distill the creative experience down to approx 10 minutes sitting per student  over a very busy 2.5 hrs this morning  giving students a taste of what it's like choosing textiles as a career choice.  The work they created was really cool. They got it and that feels fab.

It was all happening in Springwood this morning. For 3 rather intense hours, as part of the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise Creative Industries Career expo. I managed to distill my still-developing workshop down to an approx 10 minutes sitting per student, giving them a taste of what it could be like choosing textile design as a career choice. It was a popular option – the kids were all enthusiastic to have a go and the work they created was really cool. They got what it was I was attempting to show them and that feels really good to me.

Then the kids went round to the other local creatives in the room such as illustrator Tohby Riddle and animator Tom Taylor, jeweller  Mrs Peterson pottery to get their take on a creative life and finally after morning tea we all settled into the theatre for an hour to hear the fab main attraction,  Judith Lucy talk about her career experience as a stand up comedian.

A very good morning all round I say.

And well done Kelly Blainey and BMEE for coordinating this great day and for getting us creative Mountain folk out of our studios and in the world.


Sundays jobs.

Sundays jobs. This Miles Dunphy style map of the mountains is finished. Next job - hemming curtains.

This Miles Dunphy style map of the mountains is finished. I love the Miles Dunphy maps and so does Manda and soon this local map will form the backdrop to her new website. Just wait and see.

LookDrawPrint – is my new workshop. And it’s happening again in November.



It’s a workshop that really has come out of writing my book ClothBound. I love being creative and I also love to help facilitate the creativity of others. Soooo many people have said to me over the years that they wish they were more creative.

Well I’m here to prove to you that we all are creative – we were born that way and all we need is a bit of time to play in a supportive inspirational environment. And thats what this new workshop is all about.

I’ve already done my first one at the State library which set the ball rolling and now comes my second one at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery. It’ll be next month as part of my touring exhibition ‘ From Seeds To Bloom’  that I’ve got on there at the moment.

Sunday 22 November. $95 with all materials provided. Just bring your own lunch. You get a glass of wine at the end too. It’ll be heaps of fun and you will get unexpected results and will walk away feeling like you’ve really achieved something. Me too. I love it.

To book a spot ( there are limited places) you need to email Adrienne.Richards@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or ring on 02 45604441 or email me if you prefer.

And just today I got an email from Anna who did the very first workshop in September at the State Library.

Hi Julie,
I did your inaugural Lookdrawprint workshop the other month and as a result of what I learned there, I created this fabric print!  It’s for an assignment I am working on for my surface design diploma in which we have to create a design on fabric and present in the form of a lampshade.  I just wanted to thank you as I would not have had the skills or confidence to go for it and create this.  It was so much fun printing it, I think I am hooked now!
Best wishes,

emmas work

How good is that!


If you’re in the area…

If you're in the area drop in and hang out with me, do some drawing, have a chat.  Hawkesbury regional gallery is in Windsor about half way between the city and the mountains. Its upstairs from the library and it's a really lovely space.

Drop in and hang out with me, do some drawing, have a chat.  Hawkesbury regional gallery is in Windsor about half way between the city and the mountains. Its upstairs from the library and it’s a really lovely space.

Making new work

prototype3 prototype2I’m working with a new client. An interior designer based in Melbourne. The job is potential a big one – a new hotel build and we are at the very early stages of developing the artworks for the rooms. At this stage it  feels a bit like a gentle dance  as we work out how we work together.

I create  some initial trials and she gives me feed back, we review and develop some more, working it out as we go. This is as far as Ive got this week. I really like what Ive made. It may or may not work and there will be many changes from this stage to the finished stage. Im waiting to hear back.  Stay tuned.

Been working on a sweet little collaboration. We’re calling it the Pig’s Arse.

Those Feather and Bone people are good people. Two people who decided to do something about the food they eat and the way it gets produced. Not sure where I first met Laura Dalrymple and Grant Hilliard but it could have been down the South Coast one New Year’s Eve a few years ago. I bumped into Laura again when she did an excellent talk at the Food and Words event last year.

We chatted about doing some kind of collaboration at some point in the future. I’m always on the look out for this kind of project. It’s good to collaborate, teaming up with people and companies who think like you do. It makes sense. There is trust. It feels right.

Anyway a year past then I get a text from Laura. It just asked ‘Ham Bags?’ That’s all. Ham bags. What was a ham bag? I thought she’d written a typo.

Ham bags are those simple old-fashioned draw-string calico bags made to store your Christmas ham in. Of course. People keep them year after year apparently and hand them down the generations. We didn’t at ours – we just used an old ( clean) tea towel. Not so pretty really. People love their ham at Christmas time. Ham in the Hand as HandyPat  from Home Industry calls it. Nice idea then, this ham bag.

Laura thought I might do an illustration on the bag – to tell the story of the pigs. To spread the word about ethical farming. Because it’s best if you know where that ham comes from and how the ham has been treated and what that ham has eaten. Laura likes to say, ‘You are what your food ate.’ This is so true.

pigsSo I went over to her work place in Marrickville and looked at all her pink pigs’ bums hung up in the cool room. Quite confronting really, being at such close quarters with all those carcasses hanging around your head. But that’s the reality of it – you gotta kill the pigs to get the ham. And then she showed me photos of the happy pigs running around on the farms that supply her.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHappy pigs living free on farms such as Mayfield Farm and Carrawatha Farm make me feel better about eating the ham.

And then I started drawing and cutting  paper stencils and screen printed bums and it went from there.

pigs arsedrawing





pigs arse

I did the ham bag illustration but felt there was more to say. I asked Laura to list the things that free range pigs got to do that their caged brothers and sisters couldn’t.  I cut the words out and stuck them under my silk screen. They made a good sounding rhythm, a strong visual. I liked this rough cut style. Nothing fancy, showing it as it is. Seemed appropriate to the subject matter.

We got the first run of bags and tea towels printed locally – literally using her screen printing friends across the road from Feather and Bone HQ and now, voila, we have the finished products ready to go.

You can buy them from either of us. We are thinking we might do aprons and teeshirts next. What do you think?

Organic cotton/hemp teatowel $30.

Calico ham bag $20.

Tasty stuff.