Friday, August 31, 2007

The Big Holiday

Thanks for stopping by Lilli&Tom's blog. They hope you'll enjoy reading of their past adventures around Brisbane, Australia.

Florence Forrest, the creator of Lilli&Tom, has been busy setting up her designer toy business Flying Star Toys and so has had to give Lilli&Tom a holiday. However, next year Lilli&Tom are off on a new series of adventures. Lilli&Tom hope that you will stop by again and catch up with their new stories.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lilli&Tom at the Hairdressers

Lilli: After a couple of weeks delay, Florence finally made an appointment at Fifth Avenue Hair Studio in Sandgate for both myself and Tom. We'd been waiting for our promised treat for an entire month! I've been desperate for a freshen up at the hairdressers for ages. These long tresses don't take care of themselves you know. As to Tom, I haven't seen his baby blue eyes since we were setting up for our modeling stay at the Central City Library. He really needed a trim - as you can see in the photo above!! I always start wearing scarves when my hair needs doing, don't you?:)

Tom: I like your scarves Lilli you should wear them more often.

Lilli: Thanks Tom, that's so nice of you to say.

Tom: I was starting to have trouble reading myself, so you were right about me needing a trim. I wish they had some music mags at the hair dresser though, I could only find women's magazines to read while we were waiting.

Lilli: Florence usually brings her own science mags, maybe you should do the same.

Tom: I'll try to remember that for next time Lilli, that's if Florence ever takes us out for a hair cut again. Geesh! How many times did you have to reminder her.

Lilli: She kept saying, "Next week Lilli, I'm just a bit busy now." or "I have to get these toys done for the Sate Library can you wait a bit longer." I mean really I was beginning to feel like we didn't even exist!

Tom: I love coming to the hairdressers! Tracey takes such good care of me.

Lilli: I can see that. But I have my coffee and a fabulous article about Johnny Depp. Hmm pirates...

Lilli: (thinks) It is nice to have some ME time.

Tom: Just a trim thanks Tracey. I don't wont to mess too much with the fro.

Lilli: What just a centimeter off! That's going to grow back sooo fast.

Tom: I'll just have to come back again then won't I.

Lilli: That's if you can con Florence into it.

Tom: Doh!

Lilli: That looks great Trac. Very nice.

Tom: Looking good Lil!

Tom: Tracey you're a genius.

Lilli: Florence, thanks for taking us. I think you can expect Tom will be the one hassling you from now on about coming back.

Tom: aw, come on....well, maybe:)

Florence: No doubt he will Lilli. And now that you've both taken over the reigns of the blog, I suppose I wont be able to get a word in edgewise. I hope you'll let me write from time to time though.

Tom: Oh, sure Flo.

Lilli: Occasionally mind you, after all you're the one saying you're always sooo busy.

Florence: Thanks Tom. Thanks Lilli, I'll try to keep it to a minimum then. I would like thank Tracey and Cheryl from Fifth Avenue Hair Studio in Sandgate Brisbane (07 3269 3625) for being great sports. I've been having my hair done with them for over two years and they've been the best hairdressers I've ever been to. We recommend them.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lilli&Tom Come Home

Lilli&Tom are happy to be back home again after an exhausting month at the Central City Library. They've had a great time meeting everyone and the staff where sorry to see their favourite customers go home.

Tom was particular tired after his month away. He's told me that it can be difficult to be on display all of the time. Lilli seemed to take it all in her stride. Whatsie and Gizmo were looking forward to big sleeps and running around the house.

After a bit of a rest I have promised them a special treat later in the month so stay tuned for their next outing picts then.

Lilli&Tom miniature ningyo are now on display at the Everton Park Library in Brisbane. If you're in the neighbourhood during July stop in and check them out.

As Lilli&Tom would say, "Wish you were here!"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Grade 5 make Lilli&Tom style dolls

Recently, you may remember, I gave a talk on cloth doll making at Sandgate library (if not see my previous post Lilli&Tom at Sandgate Library). The Grade 5 class have since been working on making their own Lilli&Tom style cloth dolls. Last Friday I went to visit them and spent a lively two hours taking photos of their work to-date and helping out.
Here are some of their creations...

This is James. I've been told he lives in a brick house of medium size. He likes to go to the gym and has a black belt in karate.

Jack the Wrestle on the left is waving to his friends. He hasn't seen them in a while because he's been away on holidays to Melbourne.

Jim, the star-eyed one, is a fisherman who catches fish from the sea during the week but catches fish from the river on the weekend just for fun.

I was pleased to meet Hula, a Fijian girl. Her favourite food is mild curry. She's learning traditional dancing.

Then there was the delightful Miss Sarah J.H. with the pink lips. She loves hanging out with her friends eating doughnuts. She has a pet dog called Misty.

These two Irishmen are Adam O'Drescil (right) and Mike O'Gara (left). Adam loves rollerskating and Mike plays Rugby.

This is Jacqui from France. She loves rockin' to Green Day.

From right to left we have JD from NSW he goes to the gym and surfs; then there's Sarah McIvor (another Sarah!) from Holland(!) who likes dance, gymnastics and trampoline; lastly is a mystery man who wasn't willing to reveal himself just yet.

Mutant always wanted to be a soccer player for Germany but as he's a vampire he wasn't allowed to play:(

Melissa from England enjoys taking long strolls in the park accompanied by her precious little chihuahua, Mary.

Last but not least is Michael he plays both rugby and soccer. He's a happy-go-lucky kind of guy who just loves weekend BBQs with heaps of his friends around.

I think Grade 5 have been doing a great job on their first ever sewing efforts. It reminds me of my first sewing attempts, a small teddy bear which I called Rags because of its messy stitiches on the outside. Rags had the best personality, he became a special treasure of mine. I often think of him now he's gone, lost on one of my turbulent adventures from my younger days.

After the photos we all spent time working on the dolls, I gave them a few tips which I hope will help. Sewing really is a wonderful pursuit - if you can sew well, it gives you the confidence to tackle anything, I guess sport must likewise hold the same feeling. For me the needle and thread - a small silver wand to command.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Lilli&Tom at Central City Library

In the EH Holden and away on our next adventure! Its been a while since their last journey, they were so excited.

Lilli&Tom love to ride in the car and watch all the houses go by.

Lilli - "I prefer the city drive, I see were all the shops are, what's new, and think about all the different lives people are living."

Tom - "Sure, the Gateway is fast but its boring, sometimes even crazier than the city drivers."

Lilli - "Can we stop for icecream?"

Tom - "haha, yeah what about some gelati in West End?"

No time for icecream guys, its straight to the Central City Library in the heart of Brisbane.

Lilli&Tom are staying at the Central City Library for the entire month of June. Why not pop in and say hi!

Lilli&Tom - "Don't forget Whatsie and Gizmo."

Yes and Whatsie and Gizmo, Lilli&Tom's Novas Infinite, will be there as well.

Here we are just arrived and settling in. Lilli&Tom found themselves a comfy nook and some good books.

The Brisbane City Council Library has a great range of books. I love the Arts books particularly, so does Lilli. Tom found some Tech books and some Sci-fi stuff. Later they will be using the internet for free to catch up on some of their favourite Feeds.

Tom - "All you need is a library card and you can just walk on out with pretty much anything you like."

Lilli - "I love selecting books via the e-catalogue. It means I can have books, videos, DVDs and CDs delivered from anywhere in the library network to my nearest library for just 55 cent each. They even phone me to let me know they have arrived!"

I like the libraries too, often I'll find books on things I never thought existed, it really cheers me up. I even found some books to take home with me before saying farewell to Lilli&Tom.

There is also a little display of my lilli&tom miniatures there as well. If you can't get to the city but live on the southside then Carina Library is also currently displaying lilli&tom miniatures.

Do stop by the Library and see Lilli&Tom and Whatsie and Gizmo, its just up from City Hall and is open 7 days a week.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

CutnColour Lilli&Tom

Lilli&Tom at Sandgate Library was great fun. The Grade 5 class received a set of Lilli&Tom CutnColour craft pictures. They selected Lilli&Tom's hair, clothes and accessories and customised them by colouring, sticking fabrics or colour paper on top. After some careful cutting, they pasted the ensemble onto the main page, drawing on the faces of Lilli&Tom and could colour in the background too.

Lilli&Tom are seen here in King George Square in the heart of Brisbane's CBD (Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland, Australia)

I was delighted with their efforts and have selected a few of them to publish(I found it so hard to choose). Well done :D to all the students!! I was super impressed with the very neat paper cutting and I just loved all the funny characters and faces - what groovy guys and gals!

(NB. reproduced with permission, names of the childern withheld)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Lilli&Tom at Sandgate Library

Lilli&Tom miniature are on display this March at Sandgate Library. Lilli&Tom (life-size) took the opportunity to wander down to check them out. After admiring their tiny fellows in the cabinet, Tom happened on a Star Trek: DS9 book and settled into a comfy chair. Lilli remembered a CD she was fond of and thought she would check the library catalogue on-line.

Little did they know what was in store for them this quiet Friday morning....

Opening New worlds with Toys

Lilli&Tom came to Sandgate Library to visit their miniature namesakes and catch a little quiet time, but my friend Sue the Librarian and I, had planned something a little more energetic ;D

Grade 5 pupils from a Northside School flew through the Library doors, their faces freshly sparkling from a recent cloud burst and full of chatty good spirits. The class came to learn about creativity in their community and see the 'famous' Lilli&Tom! They asked lots of interesting questions, keeping me on my toes.

They listen to my talk about toy making and heard how stories might be imagined. They explored Lilli&Tom and Novas Infinite - Whatsie and Gizmo. They even found out about blogs! Indeed, revealing the possiblities of the Library - opening new worlds.

Novas Infinite Discovered!

I knew Lilli&Tom life-size would cause a stir but was completely unprepared for the flocks of admiration for Novas Infinite! Gizmo and Whatsie were definitely stars!!

Going everywhere that Lilli&Tom go, Gizmo and Whatsie enjoy the Library just as much. They found Lego in the story area and some nifty books too. Whatsie imagined floating in space with Astronauts and Gizmo was fascinated following silvery lines of circuitry. When grade 5 found them they wanted to join the fun with their new friends. What great memories:)

Lessons in Toy Making

The opportunity to speak about the development of Lilli&Tom and their construction to grade 5 was very rewarding. They spoke of learning that they could make things at home.

I brought along examples of the materials and tools I use for them to see and touch; then explained the process of construction; answered questions and asked them what they thought I did next at each stage.

I've made up some colouring pages of Lilli&Tom outlined on a photo of King George Square in Brisbane's CBD, together with a few line drawings of clothes and accessories and hair styles. Everyone got to take a set back to school with them. They'll be hung up in class and at the Library. I'll be posting a couple of their master pieces here on the blog so stay tuned!

(Please note: the photos in the story "Lilli&Tom at Sandgate Library" have been taken and posted with individual parental consent.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lilli&Tom: Where it All Began

Lilli&Tom life-size dolls, whom are the main focus of this blog, had their beginnings in more modest dimensions. Lilli&Tom was the name I gave to two series of artist miniature cloth dolls representing the creative community in Brisbane. Twenty dolls in each series, each doll with its own story and collector's set.

The name Lilli&Tom was derived from Lilliputian, a race of very tiny humans in the book Gulliver's Travels; Tom refers to Tom Thumb ,the tale of a small boy who stood as big as your thumb - so in essence Lilli&Tom were little people.

Later I thought of photographing the dolls in the places mentioned in their stories, but their size would have made it very difficult. So life-size Lilli&Tom was created!! I had not called any of the previous dolls Lilli or Tom and so I decided to make The Lilli and The Tom. Now I take them places all over Brisbane and photograph their lives out and about. It's really fun getting the community involved and the feedback is always so positive. They are not so easy to take around, I need an assistant with me, but its worth the effort and I enjoy having them as a part of my life.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lilli&Tom ningyo installation 2004

This is the lower section of the very first Lilli&Tom window installation. It was in the Ivory Street Window of Craft Queensland during November 2004. There were 20 dolls (Series 1) on 20 papier mache houses with their individual story on each one. It was a delight to see the passers-by read the stories of these little Brisbane people. When I encounter people who remember the exhibit they often remark that they know someone just like one of the dolls. Then they would ask if I knew that person too. "No," I'd say and smile at the coincidence, perhaps I'll met them one day.

If you're wondering, the word ningyo is a Japanese word that roughly translates to human form or doll. I borrowed this word to use instead of doll because I was interested in using the dolls to represent ourselves and our culture rather that as childerns' playthings. Not that I mind playthings:)

Lilli&Tom miniature collector's set

Each Lilli&Tom miniature cloth doll comes with a hand cut and stenciled box, a hand bound book, a shashiko stitched bag, story display card (not shown) and wire stand (not shown).

Each Lilli&Tom doll is very special and so I chose to express this special caring by designing and hand making a collector's storage set. The Box is a place to keep all the pieces of the set together. The Bag has the Lilli&Tom house logo and the dolls name embroidered on it - the doll can be kept warm and snug in its own bag when traveling or when put away for safe keeping. The Book records the story of the doll, the meaning of Lilli&Tom as an art project and also is signed, dated and numbered by me, Florence Forrest:) as a document of providence.

Unfortunately the doll in this picture has been put together with the wrong set. This doll's name is Lisa; she a fashion designer who studies Chinese caligraphy. Ingrid, whose bag is shown in the photo, is a former performance artist now book publisher.

Lilli&Tom miniatures wear vintage kimono fabrics

Who are these two Brisbane dudes? On the left is Alex: he presents a music program on 4zzz (the coolest independent radio station in Brisbane). He collects Japanese manga and enjoys taking his little brother for family picnics to New Farm Park and Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens.
On the right in the jeans is Lee: he works in the city, the usual office job but that's ok, there's always Perisher Ski Resort come winter.

The stories are completely fictional, the dolls are not actual brisbane people rather they are an expression of the creative type of people that live in Brisbane. Creative doesn't just mean the Arts, creativity begins with enthusiasm and curiosity.

Look closely at the fabrics I've used in the miniatures clothes; they are mainly vintage kimono fabrics. These fine and varied fabrics from Japan often have very small patterns which suit the miniature scale. I chose the fabrics for the clothes and then arrange the fabric on the body of the doll to develop the style of the shirt and pants. Letting the nature of the fabric speak creates unique styles.

Lilli&Tom miniatures poster for MoBstore

Following the lilli&tom ningyo installation the lilli&tom collector's set Series 2 were available at the Museum of Brisbane store in City Hall. This colourful poster hung in the Queen Street Mall light box in the Brisbane CBD for about a month.

Lilli&Tom miniatures tour BCC Libraries 2006

Lilli&Tom miniature cloth dolls are touring Brisbane City Council Libraries all this year.
See them on display; each has their own story.

January - Chermside
February - Toowong
March - Sandgate
April - Bracken Ridge
May - Nundah
June - Carina and Central
July - Everton Park
August - Indooroopilly
September - Carindale
October - Mitchelton
November - Banyo
December - Mount Ommaney

Monday, January 23, 2006

Lilli&Tom: Valley Christmas

This is the Installation window, Lilli&Tom: Valley Christmas, as it looked from December 12th 2005 to January 8th 2006 at Fox Galleries, 610 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia. Lilli&Tom are opening presents in a typical Australian Christmas scene.

Lilli&Tom had a wonderful time having Christmas in view of the whole city. People travelling in buses and cars and taxis and walking, heading into the CBD, would give Lilli&Tom a wave. Lilli&Tom would like to say hello to all their new friends. They can't wait to be out and about again meeting both old and new friends a-like. Posted by Picasa