You may wonder why my friend and I decided to make a multicoloured lifesize sheep... well, it's Woolly West Fest down my neck of the woods, and we had to do our bit!
The Festival, spanning 28th July-10th August, 'wraps around' Hamilton's annual Sheepvention- Western Victoria's biggest farming event. I will be attending the Wool Fashion Show and hopefully Sheepvention itself, as I hear there are craft stalls aplenty.
Woolly West Fest was dreamt up by wool craft fan Jacinta Wearham and author Naomi Turner. I had the pleasure of meeting the duo at a 'Creative Types' meeting in Hamilton held by charming chap Jarrod Pickford, where guests listened to interesting talks by all sorts of creative people about their projects and ideas over some scrummy scones and wine. Curious readers can find out more on that meeting right HERE.
Jacinta and Naomi wanted to combine the region's past as the wool capital of Victoria, with children's literature, theming the festival around children's book 'Where is the Green Sheep?'. Author Mem Fox gave talks and readings at the Library recently, and illustrator Judy Horacek will be doing illustrations and readings at Sheepvention next week.
As part of the festival, eight surrounding towns each organised a sheep to be decorated with wool in a different way- from pom poms to crochet to sweaters, now being exhibited in Hamilton's Library foyer until the snazziest sheep is announced Winner at Sheepvention.
There's a tea-cosy exhibition in Tarrington's Cafe Catalpa and busy bees have yarn-bombed Hamilton with 96 parking meters and 21 trees decorated in different fibres and stitches- crafty and educational- we like! Folk are encourage to take the 'Wool Walk' to try and find the elusive Green Sheep, though I think I've already spotted him!
Most Hamilton CBD shops have made a sheepy window-display, and it was for the Southern Grampians Adult Education building that we made our colourful ewe. The Internet is full of amazingly simple and simply amazing crayon art, so we thought HEY why not decorate a sheep this way!
Here's how to have a Melted Crayon Crafternoon:
Assemble your materials:
Hairdryer - one with a directional nozzle works best!
Crayons - any brand, or birthday candles apparently drip faster if you're impatient)
Hot Glue Gun - and a few glue sticks
Newspaper or old sheet to protect surfaces - fairly futile as this project is MESSY- go outside if you're worried about wax flecks getting everywhere!
Canvas/Sheep - or whatever you're melting onto
1) PREPARE: Arrange your crayons in the order you wish to melt, this will make your glue-and-stick process much smoother, and will satisfy any OCD tendancies.
2) GLUE: Squeeze a line of glue onto your surface and squish the crayon onto it where you wish. Note: trying to do many at once is less secure, and if you're removing the crayon afterwards then hand it over the edge of the canvas/board so you don't have a huge gap at the top. Continue glueing and sticking until the entire top of your surface is covered.
3) LIFT: Prop your surface against a covered wall e.t.c so it's almost vertical.
4) MELT: Blow hot air on the bottom half of the crayon with the hairdryer until it melts, then push the wax downwards to cover the white space. NOTE: If you want vertical drips then let it drip naturally, if you want a more 'dynamic'/splatered look, see how far you can make the wax run!
5) DRY: Leave to dry, finish off your design (in this case we added wool, googly eyes and baby socks, obviously) and admire your handiwork!
Festivals, Creative Meets, Yarn-bombing, multi-coloured sheep... all this creativity floating around in Hamilton at the moment is indicative of a change in the winds- I feel we may be moving into an artier, craftier more cultural future for Hamilton- HURRAH! Hopefully My Crafternoons can add to the whirlwind in a small way too!
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