A few days ago I told you I had bought a couple of books off ebay. One was the crochet book and the other is “The Art of Annemieke Mein, Wildlife Artist in Textiles”. If you have not heard of Annemieke Mein, you need to google her NOW!
Annemieke was born in Holland and came to Australia when she was 7. From a young child she has always had a fascination with wildlife. I was both amazed, yet unsurprised, to learn that Annemieke collects and breeds her ‘specimens’. It is no wonder that she has such an understanding of her subject. She came from a creative family, her first sewing machine came at about the age of 8 and she has never looked back. To quote from the book, Annemieke’s techniques include: ” machine embroidery, painting, dyeing, applique, trapunto, quilting, pleating, moulding, sculpting, felting, hand embroidery, beading, spinning, weaving, plying, stiffening and wiring .”
I have been in awe of her work since I first saw it, perhaps in the early ’80s. One thing I did not realise until I received this book was the scale on which she works. I had naively assumed that since her works were so intricate, so lifelike, that they must also be life scale. Then I saw this:
The blog link for today is http://knittinggnomeswap.blogspot.com/
This swap has the concept of 2 knitted gnomes, called Gnorm and Gnuman, travelling around the US (if not internationally). As each gnome arrives at its destination, it comes with a box of goodies for the recipient. During its stay each gnome spends some time with its host family and takes photos of the host familys local area and day to day activities. Updates are posted on the blog for all to read. When it’s time to go onto the next destination, the gnome is packaged along with some local goodies to give to its next host and a postcard.
What I originally thought was just a fun idea is actually very interesting. I think each of us has an interest in how others live, especially if they’re in another part of the world. What does their town look like, their house, how do they spend their day, what sort of work do they do…? I have not signed up for the gnome swap but am following their daily adventures and gaining some insight into how others live (& the gnomes are really cute!).