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.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wearable art and Coaster dreaming

I think my crochet mojo has come back.  I taught myself how to spin at 30, and then spent the next 10 years trying to turn it into a career.  (As well as having 7 babies ).  I did exhibitions, and festivals, and markets, and wrote stuff, and tried just about every thing I could think of to 'make it' and 'get it out there'.  And about 2 years ago, around the birth of my twins, and the onset of a whole bunch of things that were really heavy and hard to deal with, I kinda just let it all slip.......  It was easier not to try and sell my stuff and get acknowledgement for what I was doing.  It was easier to not have the rush of creating something I loved, and then not being able to sell it.  So I just kinda let it all go.  There was a bit of a 'well if you're not going to play the game the way I like it, I'm just taking my ball and going home' going on, but no matter how much I thought I'd stuffed it all deep down in a cupboard, I suspect it will never go away.

Cause I LOVE IT!  And I think I'm good at it.  And there's so many things I want to say about spinning and wool dying and crochet and how important it is to find a practical craft in these post industrial days.  And spinning as therapy, and how many ways you can find to do it your own way, and how everything is energy and remembers where it's been - and it's INCREDIBLE to be part of making a beautiful thing from fibre where you know the shepherd and the sheep and how happy they are, and then the making process and the creating process and then send a literal and metaphysical yarn out into the world carrying all sorts of beautiful memories and energies with it.  

And this whole van dying thing has really kinda pushed me into doing a stack of things that were in my 'to do' list, that probably would have taken months for me to get to, if my hand hadn't been pushed.  Cause we need to get ourselves a Coaster, to take our flowmadic show on the road.  So all monies raised from the clothes I sell, or folk who buy my book, or send me a donation, is going towards the Coaster Fund.

All around, I've got to say that I'm starting to think that our beloved van dying was a great thing.  If it hadn't died, we would have kept dribbling away for years, fixing a growingly unfixable van, not doing what we really wanted to because we loved it so much.  But we both really knew that we had to move up to a bigger bus, and I never would have DREAMED of asking people to donate money or buy my things to help us get it, but in the way it all happened, with both of them dying and the whole shock of the affair, all this amazing stuff is coming out of it.  

The biggest of which (at the moment) is my reunion with Crochet!  This number above came and swept me up in a brief and sudden affair.....and most of the skeins in this work were on their way to becoming other things.  The pink in the middle was a panel of crochet I was gonna turn into a belty flappy thing, after I'd pulled it apart from trying to be a hat, and there was another incarnation before that too.  None of it worked.  So I pulled it apart, and started this web, and loved how the colours worked.  And the skein of red with green glints kept on flashing me up on its shelf, so I balled it up and put on the three panels that I'd seen in my head.  And then there was the beautiful orange that I was making an attempt at turning into a skirt, but there wasn't too much of it, and it kept winking at me from the wool stash.  I realised the orange was the next layer of colour that needed to be added as a border.  It was like I kept seeing the next stage ahead of me, and just had to find the colour or skein that fit.  Then there was this lovely deep turquoise that I had picked for the top of a kids jumper I was making, but it just begged to go on as a fringe.  And voila, there it was.  The first crochet frenzy that's hit me in years.  Where I just had to sit and crochet to see how the next bit looked, and if it looked the same as I saw it in my head.  

And I was making it when our home van died.  While Currawong was out doing mechanicky things, I was sitting with the kids and crocheting.  Even when the other van died as well, I still kept going.  Feeling amazing about crocheting again, but freaked out at circumstances.  Instead of sitting in freak out, I just focused on what I could do to raise money for a vehicle, so I finished it, and then got my beautiful friend to come around, and felt all Hugh Heffner as I asked her to move this way and that, telling her how gorgeous she was.

The photos turned out great.

I love this spider skirt.  I made it for the last Tribal Fibres, outta undyed, beautiful, lustrous, yummy sheep smelling fleece, from my very good friend Catherine the shepherd.  And made it in a bit of a frenzy of spider webs.  It was just after I'd finished my massive spiderweb that fits inside our soul pad, and I was on a roll.  So I made two skirts, one going from light to dark, the other from dark to light, and they were belly danced in by gorgeous belly dancers.  

And check out the stage back drop I created!  Massive spider web, and drapey hangy things with the wool womb or earth star cave at the back that a belly dancer erupted from, and there's me and Catherine sitting with our spinning wheels at the edges of the picture.  

And the best thing about this skirt, is that when you're not wearing it as a skirt or poncho, you can draw the drawstring together in the middle, and then put it on your wall as an artwork....

Like I did here.....  And that was a nice excuse to see the gorgeous faces of Alison and Russel again too.  And then there's the Ritual Pheramonial Hat that I made ages ago, and has been on many a head, and that can also be used as a bag.....  Love this hat.  And never wanted to sell it.  But I also want to raise money for a Coaster, so.... 

Doesn't she look gorgeous in it?!  She's taken a hat/bag that looked quite comical on me and lots of other people I know, and turned it into a regal head dress.  

I reckon it looks quite 1920's flapperesque.  And totally stunning.

Here it is from the back....

And this hat is a total treasure.  Made it a few years ago for Lilly, but like most of my kids, she's not really into wearing my art!  As you can see it can be worn two different ways, and the other photo that I really love is right at the top.  She made this one look like a Priestesses head gear too.  This one is knitted in the main body, and crocheted together and then the ear flaps at the back are crocheted too.  I love how crochet and knitting are completely interchangeable when you use the same size hook as needles.

Then there's this beautiful belly dancing outfit with arm bands that can also be leg bands.  Cutest thing that's had lots of people wearing it too, but this model does it the most justice I've seen.  She again makes it look really stylish!  And I suspect I might have to hang onto it to for her, cause she kinda fell in love.....

And this beautiful Mantle that can be a cowly poncho, or a dress, or a skirt, has already found it's new home.  In between our van dying and taking these photos, a friend from Adelaide stopped in with her mother for dinner, and that's when I really knew my crochet mojo was back.  I burbled away to her merrily all night about my crochet, and where it's been, and the market we used to run, and showed her these pictures, and had so many stories and experiences and joyful learnings that I wanted to tell her, that I almost tripped over my tongue.  Right at the end of the night she asked me to show her the things I'd been bubbling bout, and she grabbed this one straight away.....more money towards the Coaster fund!

And this hat is the cutest little top hat I've made, black handspun coming from Catherine as a sultry fleece that I used for a display at the Fringe in Macclesfield, and the purple roving that the black is crocheted around at the top and brim, was the roving that Catherine and I used to spin and unspin belly dancers in for Tribal Fibres.  Beautifully dyed by Catherine.

And I love this one too.  Meant to be a belly dancing hip belt, it's a touch long to be worn round the waist, but can either be knotted up to make it shorter, or tucked into the belt.  And it looks gorgeous when worn on the top.  This is also spun and crocheted from Catherine's roving that I used as is in the thick belt bit.  And I got this roving as a prize in the Melbourne Scarf Festival.  How bizarre is that?  Go all the way to Melbourne for a Scarf Festival, and get a prize of some beautifully dyed roving from my fleece supplier back in SA.  

And I simply adore my bird cape.  Another piece I never wanted to sell.  Undyed handspun fleece from Catherine, with a bustle of raw fleece needle felted on at the bottom.  Can be worn all sorts of ways.  And when you drape the sides down your arms, you can tie the fringe together, so it forms itself into a pair of sleeves.  I wore this when I was birthing Zarrathustra.  For all the bits when I was wearing clothes that is.  Made me feel very powerful.

So I guess I've rambled on enough now...suffice to say....my mojo is back!  And I'm glad.  

And I could almost say thank you to our dearly departed van, for giving me the gift of a kick up the bum.


  1. So very happy to see you creating again, but so sorry for the circumstances. We're auto-less now, too, so I can relate! But, as a proud owner of one of your lovely mantles, I can say that there's no more fabulous way to pay for new wheels! I so wish I could purchase a new Hellena Post one-of-a-kind that would fit my new, more voluptuous self. Alas, we're saving for wheels, too. Wishing you and your beautiful family much success!! Sherie (Macclesfield '06).

    1. Mantle owners are very special. One of a very exclusive club :) And good on you for being more voluptuous! Can't be too much of that.... Thank you very much for your wishes, and great to hear from someone from Maccy! Long ago and still close to my heart days..... I'm trying to place which Sherie you are now......and which mantle!

  2. I love your wonderful works of FibreArt and so glad you are back into crochet creations once again and wish you many sales towards your new travellin home..... Love Light and Rainbows..... Megg

    1. Thank you beautiful Megg who helped to show us how to travel with style! And it's great to be crocheting again. And it worked! Universe collaborated to send us a gorgeous Coaster, and a camper van on loan to boot. Starting to dream of exotic places....a bit like where we met you :)


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