Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to everyone in Blogland. I can't believe it's been nearly a month since my last post.
I've been very preoccupied, as you know, with finishing my C&G so don't even have anything creative to show at this time as this last module involved a lot of white on white sampling, which all looks pretty boring at this stage.
I have to finish a couple of final pieces before mid January so I hope there'll be something interesting to post about then.

The Christmas card I've uploaded is one of my OH's and is one of the photos that he took at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire, which is where the Grey Seals have been giving birth from October through November. If you'd like to see more of this shoot you can see them here.

The other piece I wanted to show you was this gorgeous advent calendar that my DD3 made while she was staying with us recently. She wanted to make something different to the usual ones with a slightly retro feel, I think she achieved it admirably.

Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year.

And thanks to everyone who's taken the trouble to come by my blog and leave your lovely comments.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

2 exhibitions and a Christmas card

Just to confirm I'm still in Blogland, but have been soooo...... busy for the last few weeks that I just haven't had any time to post and barely any time to read anyone else's.

The Allen Gallery, Alton, Hants

The Forestry Commission, Hants

I've been involved in staging 2 exhibitions, one with a friend and the other with my OH and another friend.

Plus my DD2 saw a couple of PC's that I'd made with some of her left over fabric from the baby slings, one of which you can see the method of contstruction for on the CG blog here, and promptly commissioned me to make her business Christmas cards for Connecta, so as you can imagine my feet haven't touched the ground.

We also had DD3 and her baby son to stay this week as she's having her bathroom and kitchen gutted at home, so I'm afriad our latest GS who is now 9 months old was rather a delightful distraction.

We're off to see DS1 and his DF this w\e so after a lovely chill out I hope to be back to normal next week :-)

Monday, 10 November 2008

A sunshine walk in the woods

Because the weather has been so awful for the past couple of weeks I thought I'd post up a lovely walk we had a few weeks ago at
our local Arboretum where we were greeted with this wonderful array of Autumn colours, in the sunshine!!!!!

Everywhere we looked there were these lovely reds that turned into golden oranges.

And just by way of a change orange into green.

And this collection almost had it all.

On our way in we saw these great sculptures

We did venture out to look for more Autumn colour on Sunday but although the colour was there the light wasn't, but I did manage to get this moody shot by boosting my camera to shoot in vivid colour.

So I had to content myself with collecting leaves for my next silk papers.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Final piece 2

Many thanks to everyone who gave me their input on the previous post. With yours, my tutor's and of course my OH's help I have finally managed to start getting somewhere with the piece.

As I knew I would I chose a comlpetely different design, but it was similar to the last one that I posted on the previous post.

This was largely due to my OH's input as he suggested that if I duplicated the image and flipped it, it would look like a cave, with a waterfall running down. The RH portion of this image has been stretched to fit the left and that's what gave me the waterfall look. I tried all sots of connotaions with this idea and finally came up with a rather 'heavy' result.

While I was thinking about what to do next I decided to get on with the part I did like, the cave, so I printed this directly onto PFD cotton, having first increased the saturation on the image to +10. I'd run out of Bubblejet 2000, so I thought I'd see what I got with no coating and was quite pleased with the slightly muted effect.

I now decided I would FME and quilt the main features, so I made the usual sandwich with wadding and calico. I have to confess that part of the reason for doing this was that I wanted to try out my new Bernina Artista 630 with the BSR (Bernina stitch regulator ) and I can now report that it's fabulous!!!

Partly because I needed to incorporate some fabric manipulation into this piece and partly because I thought it would add something to the textural quality, I bonded some sheer to the 1st and 3rd hanging areas of the design, FME'd it and then put the heat gun on it.

My Oh suggested that I needed more texture and said perhaps I should do some embelishing with wool tops to make it look like rock, impressed eh!! I was!

Anyway, great idea though it was, I decided to go for my favourite French knots and some beads over the LH hanging part, as this already looked a bit volcanic. The third area I worked in running stitch to keep it inkeeping with the original texture, and finfinally I stitched the waterfall area with some fine siver thread, by hand, so as not to loose the depth created by the original machine quilting.

At this stage I was now wondering how to put this into a final hanging and as a last resort I just had a bit of a doodle over the original design in PS and came up with this:

At least this one covers all the critria for the module, I hope. All I have to do now is work out how to do it in fabric.

I think the outside will be dyed silk organza and the hanging pieces could be organza bonded to acrylic felt and the zapped with the soldering iron.

PS sorry about the poor quality pics , but seeing as it hasn't stopped raining for a week they had to be done indoors.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Pumpkins and pressies

It's that time of year again!
I had my GS Ben over for the day today after quite a long break and we had a great day playing around in the kitchen and the studio.

First job was to make the rice crispy cakes for the "trick or treaters' visits tonight. We just about had enough chocolate after Ben had eaten his share of it! Oh, and the mixture of course as he was making them.

Then we had to set to carving the pumpkin which good old Granddad had managed to find at the local farm shop after all the supermarkets had sold out. Don't you just love the quirky smile Ben carved on his face!! I thought they were meant to look scary.

After all that hard work we decided to retreat to the garden studio so that Ben could at last make a start on the graffiti wall I promised him in a moment of weakness, after he had enjoyed using my airbrush in the summer holidays.

He made a great start with this very graphic design, I think I'm going to enjoy having a wall dedicated to his very individual style. You may have notice something red lurking amongst the teasels. Well this is Ben's first attempt at using tyvek, I think it's rather inventive.

We had a great day together and I was pleased that he'd encouraged me to get back into the garden studio and make some mess, it felt really good.

And now to my pressies that I received in the post last week. I'm a bit belated in posting them but life has been somewhat hectic as usual.

A while ago I sent Jacqueline a tub of PVA glue as she couldn't find it for sale in Holland. Despite my remonstrations Jacqueline was determined to send me something in return and this delightful hand made book, featuring images of some of her work is what she sent me. The hand made paper is wonderful and it's so nice to have a pictorial reference of some of her work to drool over.

In the same post was this lovely little ATC, my first in fact, so I will have to get my head round making one in return, my experiece to date only extends to PC's.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Sad news

It was with great sadness that I read an email from my tutor last night informing me that Julia Caprara had died on Friday morning.
As some of you will know I am studying my embroidery C&G with the Opus School of Textile Arts and had met Julia on various occasions. I found her to be an amazingly intuitive and encouraging person who was dedicated to bringing out the 'creative voice' present within her students.
She will be greatly missed by so many people whom she inspired in her gently encouraging way and of of course our thoughts go out to her family at this difficult time.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Final piece

I've now begun my final piece for module 5:
The starting point for this was to make a continuous line drawing of the three corners of one of the rooms in your house. I chose our studio, surprise, surprise!! And the final drawing was taken from my OH's corner as he has so much more stuff than me, so it made quite a good study.

Because the original idea was to make a long thin wrapping cloth I elongated the design in the computer to fit a rectangular shape.

We then had to trace all the individual shapes, number them and then cut them out. This was so we could trace them onto pieces of textured or painted paper that would reflect the colours used in Aftican art and textiles.

My final composition turned out quite well but I was a bit worried that it was too busy. At this point I had decided to make a protective runner for my sewing table, so I set about working a design, on the computer, to fit the shape, using the dark BG of the table I photographed the design on as a foil.

Having decided that this was a bit heavy I looked into ways of manipulating the image in PS and came up with this idea using the stamp filter.

After having a tutorial with my tutor today we decided that in the interest of what was required for the course that it would be better to make this piece the wall hanging with the integrated hanging divise, so here are some variations on the original design idea, I'd be very interested to know which one you think works the best.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

On to appliqué

The second part of the of my C&G module 5 stitch sample collection is concerned with appliqué.
In the first part we had to look at constructing samples using traditional techniques in both 'hard' and 'soft' edges. In other words neatening edges or leaving them frayed.

In these first 2 I've used both hand and machine finishes and continued to use the African colour pallet.

This next sample is one of the 'soft edge' attempts, I won't put up the first one I tried as it's not very pleasing. I did find this part of the exercise much harder than the hard edge.

The next couple of samples were inspired by the architectural grid work on the top of Brighton Pavilion.

This one has a computer printed cotton BG with FME'd pieces of a silk scarf I found impaled on a bush one day when out for a country walk.

In this one I used some lovely fine Indian cottons that I just bonded to the BG with Misty Fuse as in the previous sample.

This last sample is an example of reverse appliqué. I wasn't looking forward to doing this at all, but once I'd discoverd the method wasn't as frightening as I thought I found it quite exciting to see what was revealed. Next time though I think I will pay more attention to the design before I start cutting!

Blogger is playing all sorts of jokes on me tonight so sorry for the scrappy uploading!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

African art experiments

Well we've achieved the change over to BT extremely successfully and all is well in cyberspace. It appears I still have my AOL email address but I don't know it that's permanent so best to stick with the Yahoo one for now.

Anyway enough of the boring stuff and onto some creative stuff. At last!!!

I've been beavering away on module 5 of the C&G and am now almost done on the stitch samples. Yippee!!!!

I've found the new deadline quite galvanising and it's been really good not to have the time to agonise over every little decision. This module is about form and concentrates on the use of architectural grids as a starting point for developing a project. At the same time as part of our cutural studdies we are asked to look at African textiles, particularly Kuba Cloths.

The stitch exercises have been divided into patchwork and appliqué and the last of the patchwork was to design a small sample using the Kuba Cloth as inspiration and here is my sample.

Prior to this we had been asked to work 2 samples of log cabin patchwork, one conventional and the other extending ourselves a little, this is the extended version, still keeping within the African theme.
I've never done proper patchwork before so it was a bit of a steep learning curve, but I got the hang of it eventually.

The next sample was made from some sun printed fabric (the darker one) and a piece of silk that I printed with a manipulated image for another project. It's my experimental sample for English patchwork, I hope, I was getting a bit confused by this time.

And just because I was so pleased with myself that I had managed to complete a sample of traditional English patchwork and made all the sides meet, I thought I'd put up the pic :-) even though it's a bit ordinary.

The final 2 samples are of strip patchwork, the first was only the second attempt and by the third I had got a little bit more adventurous.

I'm really enjoying this module now despite misgivings in the first place. I wonder if it has anything to do with the connection to patchwork and of course the African art theme, which I love.