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Stars_Inverted

Star theme

Last year I started working with a star theme. I developed a base design to form a consistent centre for all the stars.

Dark centred stars

In the first pieces (one is the post ‘What do you look at first?’),  I was working on a premise that the base design colour was the darkest and then progressively worked to lighter shades of the same colour. Each star is designed in a unique way after the base pattern.

The stars were not placed to a structure, I was just making sure the base design would fit before starting a new star – creating an explosion of stars.

Not intending it at the time, it represented my thinking and headspace while I was doing the work – a little dark and crazy. Then my thinking and headspace changed. I started a new work.Inverted Golden Star

Inverted stars

This time I started with the lightest shade of the colour and worked outwards to darker shades. Each star was still unique after the base pattern. I created a structure for the stars.

I was about half way through this work when I realised that in general I was brighter and feeling more organised (something I like to have in my life).

I placed the two works next to each other. Smiled. It was an interesting comparison.

I hope you like inverted stars.

I found three old cross stitch patterns for small sets of flowers. They were too small to do on their own and something I wanted to avoid as they aren’t as interesting, plus I had enough small works that I didn’t know what to do with, so I decided to combine the patterns in a larger work.

Firstly, I worked on red aida cloth. Some people liked the Asian feel created by the red base, so I thought it would be interesting to see how much of an impact the red aida cloth has.

I used the same three flower cross stitch patterns but stitched them differently onto white aida cloth. Now they look more like a cottage style.

It has inspired me to work on other colours of aida cloth more. The red cloth had been originally for some Christmas works, but now they have a completely new possibility.

Stars2_833

I’ve been experimenting with a star design and will share more about that later. This is the second work using the star design.

I’m interested to know – What do you look at first? Then where do your eyes travel afterwards?

70sFlowers

I found The best of New Idea Tapestry and needlework from the 1970′s in a collection of old needlework books. It had a cross stitch pattern for this table runner to the right. I didn’t want to make a runner, but I did want to experiment with colour and the main flower type design was perfect for a colour experimentation. It is simple and geometric.

Each flower design needed to be a set of colours that didn’t clash and a few flowers next to each other needed to also not clash, otherwise the set wouldn’t look good together on a piece of aida cloth. It needed to look like a set as well as four individual flowers.

I needed to work so that every colour was different and worked together. When I started each one, I didn’t have a plan for all of them. I just started. I knew I would try to make it perfect if I tried to work out all the colours from the start. When I started the second one, I put a group of colours together and then checked that they also worked with the first flower. I did the same when I selected the colours for the third and fourth.

It wouldn’t have worked if I’d started with all the colours together because when I finished and looked at it the colours, the first and third ones clash, but overall, that isn’t the case.

I think it will look good on the quilt I’m working towards. I’d love to see how you’ve worked with colours.

T with Dancers

My journey with cross stitch started like most things, very simply. It has grown to be a form of artistic expression.

After some brunches with friends, discussing our various crafty passions and their encouragement, I’m sharing that journey here.

I’ve been cross stitching since I was very young. Starting with simple kits, I had a pile of little completed cross stitches. I’ve given some away but over time developed a pile of them. Too small to do anything useful with.

T with birdK with bird

I hadn’t thought much about what I enjoyed by spending hours doing little x’s on cloth in various colours. It was something I did when the rest of my family read. I worked in a craft store in high school and my mum joked about how I must be a favourite employee because I would spend most of my pay in the store.

Interest waned as I didn’t know what to do with them.

An inherited pile of threaded cotton was wound onto cards and filled a box.
Swimmers
I started to cross stitch from patterns in books, picking colours from the box. It was a good challenge to work out what colours to use as I hadn’t bought the ones specified for the pattern.

After a break I thought, what am I going to do with these?

The decision was to make them into a quilt, but I had no where near the number of completed cross stitches yet.

This is when the real journey began. It had moved from doing kits to creating a work of art, both individually and when possible, in combination. I now could work freely not wondering what to do with them. I could just enjoy it. Mistakes were not because I’d deviated from a pattern; it was when I looked at a completed work and thought I could have done a part of it differently.

This started by looking through old patterns and then altering them.

First by playing with colours…

70's Flowers

Then by playing with designs…

Roses on Red Aida

Then I started studies, developing the design while I worked. They started as a piece of Aida cloth and no plan. After each session it grew more and more to a finished work. Similar to having a blank canvas and a paintbrush and set of paint – There is the materials and an idea for an artwork that forms over time. I’m looking forward to sharing the ideas behind them and hearing about your cross stitch stories.

MrsCareysConcert

When I was asked to a preview of Mrs Carey’s Concert and blog about it, I was intrigued about what the movie would be like.

I was surprised at how wonderful a documentary about the MLC concert could be.

As an MLC old girl, I could relate to the student’s side. Mrs Carey started at MLC when I was in Year 10. Her passion about music and how it would change our lives if only we rehearsed for hours and made it our life (regardless of whether we’d elected to do music or not) was overwhelming for a teenager. As one student in the movie says ‘The process is a bit tedious’. Although Mrs Carey does seem to have improved her process in the last 2 decades since I was at MLC, there was still that awareness that it was many hours of rehearsing (as is required for a concert), often with students that weren’t enthusiastic about it.

Now having to encourage a team of my own, I can also relate to the teachers side. That difficulty in communicating: If only you could see how involving yourself in this, you will see the world differently, grow and understand why I’m trying to get you to do this.

What the movie communicates so well is the journey that the staff and students go on to create the concert. You will laugh, feel their pain, and their joy. As the staff try to get the students to understand team values and leadership in the lead up to the concert the students are resistant, but all that really matters is that they get the feeling on the night of the concert.

There are some great aspects about what the teachers were doing that could be implemented in a business situation. Communicating in large groups, small groups, and one on one, are all important. Identifying students with specific talents and fostering that shows their leadership and facilitated the students learning to be leaders themselves. That sometimes you just need to walk away from the difficult students resistant to your various approaches to getting them to understand what they are a part of, so that your energy can be focused in the right places.

I won’t spoil the ending of the movie, but can say that when we did the concert while I was a student, I think most of us did get it on the night – the value and power of the team. I remember not singing at one point, listening to it all and thinking, this does kind of rock what we’re creating. In the movie Mrs Carey says ‘they take it for granted until they get out of here’ and I think there is truth in that. At the time the lasting memory is the tedious nature of the rehearsals, and looking back you remember that quite clearly as well, but you also remember it was a special thing to be a part of. I also clearly remember thinking that I shouldn’t have a career as a singer.

Flinders Quartet

Formed over a decade ago in Melbourne  the Flinders Quartet have two subscription seasons in Melbourne and one in Sydney, as well as performing at festivals and other projects.

I’m interested in the business of a quartet as they have similarities and differences to other SMEs. I think we can learn from each other, if we learn more about how each other operate.

Podcast series explores the business of the Flinders Quartet.

In this podcast Zoe Knighton talks about the business of the Flinders Quartet – how they formed a group of advisors to assist them strategically, income generation, how they are growing their tribe.

Key insights

  • The main pressure is time to rehearse, and develop as musicians and artists.
  • It is easy to think that what your doing doesn’t matter and an advisory group is invaluable for changing that.
  • Advisory groups provide different perspectives, even in off the cuff remarks.
  • Growing the pie for everyone – is competition or industry wide growth more important?
  • Sharing, educating and providing additional insights engage the audience more increasing their appreciation.
  • Manage decisions through diplomacy when you have four owners. Key rule is that if one really doesn’t want to play a piece they don’t.

Listen to the podcast

Podcast length: 17:23 minutes

Listen to other podcasts in the series

Find out more about the Flinders Quartet: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Buy tickets to their concerts: Utzon Room, Sydney Opera HouseMontsalvat, Eltham VictoriaIwaki Auditorium, Melbourne Recital Centre

There were so many communication themes that came through in this podcast. Do you communicate back to those that have given you ideas? It is an essential aspect to the feedback cycle. Find out more about giving your tribe a voice.


Helen Ireland 620

Helen IrelendFormed over a decade ago in Melbourne  the Flinders Quartet have two subscription seasons in Melbourne and one in Sydney, as well as performing at festivals and other projects.

I’m interested in the business of a quartet as they have similarities and differences to other SMEs. I think we can learn from each other, if we learn more about how each other operate.

Podcast series explores the business of the Flinders Quartet.

In this podcast Helen Ireland talks about Feldenkrais and how it complements being a musician, collaborations that the Flinders Quartet have undertaken, and an innovative CD recording.

Key insights

  • Feldenkrais method helps performance through physically and mentally relaxing you
  • Collaborations provide a different perspective from other experts that add to your own knowledge and experience
  • Innovative ideas, such as recording a CD of short pieces, are not only an interesting journey to create but offer greater exposure to music than what is currently available.

Listen to the podcast

Podcast length: 9:32 minutes

Listen to other podcasts in the series

Find out more about the Flinders Quartet: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Buy tickets to their concerts: Utzon Room, Sydney Opera HouseMontsalvat, Eltham VictoriaIwaki Auditorium, Melbourne Recital Centre

One of Tribe Research’s collaborations, is with Dr Ken Hudson from the Speed Thinking Zone. We host and analyse The Innovation Benchmark 3 Factor, Speed Thinking Benchmark and Meeting Benchmark. The benchmark results on their own are insightful and Ken can work with you to establish ways to overcome the gaps identified in the benchmark. Find out more about how you can benchmark innovation and thinking in your organisation.

ZoeKnighton620

Zoe KnightonFormed over a decade ago in Melbourne  the Flinders Quartet have two subscription seasons in Melbourne and one in Sydney, as well as performing at festivals and other projects.

I’m interested in the business of a quartet as they have similarities and differences to other SMEs. I think we can learn from each other, if we learn more about how each other operate.

Podcast series explores the business of the Flinders Quartet.

In this podcast Zoe Knighton introduces her son and talks about fitting motherhood into a musical career and how it changed her perspective of being a musician (in a good way!).

Key insights

  • Requirement to focus career with roles that allow for flexibility.
  • Rehearsing less but more productively because of new time demands.
  • Renewed joy for playing because a new appreciation that it is about enjoyment  not achievement.
  • Keeping things in balance is a constant challenge.

Listen to the podcast

Podcast length: 8:29 minutes

Listen to other podcasts in the series

Find out more about the Flinders Quartet: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Buy tickets to their concerts: Utzon Room, Sydney Opera HouseMontsalvat, Eltham VictoriaIwaki Auditorium, Melbourne Recital Centre

Are you starting a business and need help visualising yourself in the business? Find out more about Kate’s Starting Your Tribe Coaching.

Matthew TomkinsFormed over a decade ago in Melbourne  the Flinders Quartet have two subscription seasons in Melbourne and one in Sydney, as well as performing at festivals and other projects.

I’m interested in the business of a quartet as they have similarities and differences to other SMEs. I think we can learn from each other, if we learn more about how each other operate.

Podcast series explores the business of the Flinders Quartet.

In this podcast Matthew Tomkins talks about how the quartet manage their time – coordinate time constraints of other members of the quartet and other musical commitments.

We also discuss a philosophical relationship between cricket, research and music.

Key insights

  • Coordinating multiple musician diaries requires developing a schedule a year in advance.
  • When a quartet or team have been together for over a decade they understand each other and this improves management of being time poor.
  • Test cricket is an evolving story in a similar way to research and a symphony.

Listen to the podcast

Podcast length: 10:27 minutes

Listen to other podcasts in the series

Find out more about the Flinders Quartet: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Buy tickets to their concerts: Utzon Room, Sydney Opera HouseMontsalvat, Eltham VictoriaIwaki Auditorium, Melbourne Recital Centre

Do you get offsite to communicate and plan with your team? Tribe Research can help you get a clear head so you can drive change.