Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Fecund

My creativity at the moment is totally off the wall.  Out of this world.  Enthralling.  Prolific.  Fertile and abundant.  Unbelievably so.  I'm tripping MYSELF out in fact.  

It's a combination of, for the first time in 14 years I'm not pregnant or breastfeeding, I'm going through some counselling and bringing parts I'd left behind back to me, and maybe most of all.......being totally picked up and taken for a whirl and a spin and a dizzying plunge into the lust and passion of creation, as led by my resident muse, visiting genius and collaborator.......fibre and Currawong.  I also strongly believe there's an element of the reality of living the paradox which is the nature of the universe going on.  Which is order and harmony coming from chaos.  I don't know about you, but when I had all the time in the world to make and create and explore, I mostly did nothing.  But now I got this pack of rowdies, and the utter chaos of detritus and food and noise that follows in their wake, that from such mind bending chaos comes this meditation and therapy and order, as an equal and opposite creation.  

All sorts of yarns are coming together, and being unravelled and repurposed, unmade and remade into something that fits better, both literally and metaphorically.

I've finally discovered weaving on a loom, and it's discovered me.  And I realise now, that after all these years of mumbling how I wasn't a weaver, every time someone mentioned it, that I could have owned that title after all.  I made from scratch a Navaho loom and frame, and wove a little bit right at the beginning of my yarn stories.  And did my initiation then I realise, to help me slip right into the stream of weaving, and enjoying the ancient ritual of the warp and the weft.

On the 28th of August, I unpacked the beautiful Ashford Knitters Loom I bought from Crafty Alley.  And today is exactly 4 weeks since that day, and this is what I've been doing.....







I found myself spending a lot of time doing this while weaving.  Just sitting for a moment and feeling it with my hands, rubbing them over the tension and feel of it, enjoying the texture.....




Such a new yet ancient process!  Griff was actually quite proud of me, helping me by holding the warp as I wound it, watching me during the whole time I was making, and he really wanted to be part of this shot.  Everyone was enjoying my reactions to weaving, and I went on about it quite a bit, the peaceful and quiet meditation, of the shuttle lacing weft through the warp.  This is my first piece :)

Two days after discovering it, Nimbin Markets was on, and I took my new loom warped up with a new idea along, and in the middle of setting up a stall, kid wrangling, managing to weave a fair bit, talking with some inspired and enthusiastic fibre feelers, and chatting a lot more to other stallholders than I have in a long time......we collectively managed to have this brief and gorgeous little Spontaneous Kaftan Flash Mob.  One of the stallholders turned up with a bag full of Kaftans, and what else were we meant to do?




And now that we're talking markets, there's an incredibly inspiring series on the ABC about the Makers Movement, called Bespoke, and I loved so much how we're part of that movement!!!  From makers to markets to how it creates community, I so totally recommend watching it....




A very amazing friend of mine from Northern Rivers Dreaming took some photos of me weaving at that market that I loved, showing me desperately balling up some orange yarn to use, so I could continue weaving the rainbow I was creating.  How lovely is that past sentence, for the literal and metaphorical meanings :)



As well as market, there was also the usual cleaning and sorting and tidying up after the chaos of 7 children going on, and I kept up with that end of it, while also at the same time ( and I'm sure that time gets bent by extreme obsession, therapy and meditation ) making all this......






Here's that rainbow I was weaving at the market, along with my first piece beautifully modelled by Mr B, looking exceptionally gorgeous, bright eyed and bushy tailed.



I also wove another rainbow exactly the same, but on a dark warp instead of a white one,


Spun a whole heap of undyed fleece for warp that would be extra gorgeous and strong,


Spun some extra sensuous dyed tops from my friend at Ixchel Angora Bunny & Funky Fibre Art,


Loved up my rainbows....



Wove those sensuous tops into a seriously gorgeous woven piece,


Carded up a whole bunch of fleece to experiment with making dreads, after an inspiring session of hanging out with a mate who is seriously into costumery and head pieces.....


Wove another piece with some natural grey, that I used for both warp and weft for the beginning, and then added a gorgeous rainbow dyed green to, which was an experiment I loved :)


Made those dreads as well as starting to make one of a pair of Sextapusses, to add to my Puss collection.  Here's my work space, with unspun dyed fleeces, as well as the alpaca I'm using to make Lilly a fibre Pixel, (our darling Pixel died from a snake bite).....


Here's my little workspace, near the windows in the kitchen, where all the magic occurs,


And here's a close up of the dreads I made, and my Sextapuss coming into creation,


I love the dreads :)



Here's the Pixel I made, before he got his fur, with the alpaca he's made from, and now that he's  covered in a naturally dyed walnut handspun bunny yarn from Ixchel.   He's brought some comfort to Lilly, as she's got a Pixel to sleep with again.....


I also rewashed the ripped cotton sheeting that was once upon a time, the crocheted seat covers and rugs from our van long ago.  These actual skeins used to be the rugs in these photos....


Here's my spinning wheel and carder sitting on the music table, taking a brief moment for a rest....




And I turned my first piece into a hood that can be worn with crocheted bits.  Beautifully modelled by the stunning Lilly.....


So these were all knocked out in two weeks :)




Put a sexy bum and tail on my Sextapuss, cause she has to have six tentacles, and there's five on the head, and her extra one was a tail, while his......




Made some drum hats for Currawong's new drums,


Wove those ripped sheets that were skeins up above, into this beautiful piece that I've layed on our table, and like everything else that's handmade, in my experience anyway, the cats and animals instantly want to sit on it :)  So love this piece, and all the memories contained within it, and how it's been so beautifully repurposed....



I finished off the cow skull that I started to make back at our old place, and I'm so please with how it turned out!  All two ply undyed handspun, and it's stuffed with the same fleece that I spun it from.  I'm getting really good at making shapes from memory, and I had skulls on all of my stalls for years.


Here's the skull and woven piece, ( I think it's gonna be a curtain or roof cover in our Flo bus) with the cats ALL laying on it, Alaska posing rather nicely, and the skull in the background...



I also finished off my Septapuss, with her inner face that looks like Upsy Daisy, and an outer one that looks like a cuttlefish...


Cat mandala :)



And working on the sixth tentacle of my male Sextapuss.  Gonna have to also make him a codpiece.  In these photos he's getting a knitted foreskin, cause I think that's an important conversation to be had.  And I'd like to make beautiful penises, cause lordy knows there's enough vagina and yoni art in the world :)  I love how my concept of Sextapusses is a pregnant woman and creatures with genitalia intact....

And while I've been erupting creatively with fibre, my Currawong has been working his utmost on our Flo bus.  She sprung a leak and the electricals got flooded about a year ago, and she hasn't been right since then.  We spent some time without headlights.  Had some major issues to sort out.  And the steel work and rust was incomplete, but on it's way to being fixed.  It's been a long and arduous journey, and he's put in an extra stellar effort in the last couple of weeks, with our mate who's a redneck farmer on the outside, but hippy genius on the inside (a bit like superman), and together they've pulled it off.  Fixed the electrics, lights, all the issues, leaks, and finished off the paintwork.  





Here's that cow skull on Flo!



And yesterday was our maiden voyage with the cow skull on the front to Nimbin.  At first it started off as a joke, and I was talking about how we were hippy camouflaged with our Flo's paint job, but I've realised we ARE actually Nimbin camouflaged, and almost invisible in this colourful town.  The other day Currawong dropped me off at the bottom of the street, and then drove slowly the length of town, and I walked uptown to get a coffee, stopping to chat to some loved friends on the way.  

"Didja see the paint job?!" I asked them.  (Keep in mind this is a MASSIVE Coaster bus, painted pink and purple and red, looking like a huge colourful brick cruising down the road)

"Nah..." they said.  And this happened not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES!!  I walked up behind, and I knew that they'd all been on the street, but not one of them saw it.  

Gotta love Nimbin.  Where everything is so colourful, the buildings, the people, the vans, the mobile homes, the artworks, the tourist buses.......that our beautifully newly painted bus just blends in, like the ghost who walks, tiptoeing through town without being noticed.






Love how my Currawong blends with her too......funny little story.  The colours are based on two singlet tops of Currawong's (pink and purple), and one of mine, a red one.  We took them into the paint shop for him to match, and while he was working, Currawong was trying to make conversation, and asked him what the weirdest things were that he'd been asked to match colours to.  The paint dude looked up and drolly replied......"Clothes".

So back to my insanely abundant creativity at the moment......I've got this suitcase full of eyed things, that I'm planning on taking to festivals, schools, and busking, where I'll tell a few stories about how everything is connected, and remembers where it's been, and the history of spinning, and how everything's alive, and then I'm gonna invite people to wear my Pusses, (don't worry, the Sextapusses with be chastely clothed), and dance, and play, and involved themselves in some improvised culture creation!  Cause we don't have a culture really do we, as westerners.  Tooth fairy, Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, singing songs about people dying from black death (Ring-a-ring-a-rosy), talking about reindeers and snow in the Australian summer..........

I'd really love to be part of helping to create a culture that's relevant to us, and bring out my massive spider web with 14 spokes and a  5 meter diameter, and ask people to grab a spoke and let all other cultures, and languages, and ideas of spirituality from that past GO COMPLETELY, and think about what we could do, us, now, here, with what's important to us, to celebrate together, or dance or sing or anything really.  If we had a culture, what would it look like?  Feel like?  Sound like??



So here's my suitcase of Eyed Things, going from not many eyes to a few more....

And there's another very exciting event on the horizon.  I'm thrilled to be involved with the Weave and Mend Basketry Festival in a real way finally.  When Lilly was about one, about 11 years ago, we were travelling through this area from the Adelaide Hills where we lived, and checking out all the markets as we went.  Had a great day at Nimbin Markets by the way.  And when we were at The Channon, the most beautiful older woman, with striking grey dreadlocks, who looked like someone I'd really love to get to know, approached me.  She told me that her and her fellow weavers were going to hold their first ever Weave and Mend Festival, and asked me if I'd like to come along with my spinning and crochet and join in the creation.  I was instantly entranced, delighted with the title of the festival, and WISHED SO HARD that I could go, but we had a promise that we'd made, and we had to head home.

I never ever forgot about that festival.  During shitty moments, when our relationships were a trial, or it was cold and wet and miserable, or when I was wishing really hard that I could be someplace else, I thought of that Weave and Mend festival, with those amazing people up in the sub tropics, and true crones who knew their worth, amazing baskets being woven, and I vowed to myself that one day I'd make it.

So when we finally got back here, all those years later, having driven in from Tenterfield after weeks on the road, can you imagine how amazing it was, when we happened to drive into Nimbin on the very last day of the 9th Weave and Mend Festival?  Held in the school grounds, with a colourfully painted food caravan, and kids and swings and textiles and fibres and friendly faces waiting to show us stuff.  Lots of tourists and locals and weavers and menders sitting harmoniously and crafting.  I blogged about it here.....

And beautiful Raine and Granny Breath Weaver were there, and they watched us for a while, and then came up to us after a bit and said...

"About time you got here, we've been calling you in for a while"

What a welcome and entry to this amazing place :)  You can see photos of previous Weave and Mend Festival photos here.  This year the Festival will be going from the 2nd to the 4th of October, camping in the grounds of the Community Centre where the market gets held, and I'm looking forward to testing out some of those ideas I was mentioning just before.....



I so loved what Granny Breath Weaver wrote!!


So there you go.  That's the incredible amount of creativity and creation and inspiration that's just buzzing all around and out of me at the moment.  Stay tuned :)