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.

Monday, 6 October 2008

New email address........again

With all the problems we had not long ago with AOL we are now changing back to BT, so unfortunately this means yet another change of email address. I've listed the new one in my profile.
The change over is due to happen some time tomorrow, so fingers crossed it all goes smoothly and we don't loose connection again.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Being a tourist

Last weekend we had the pleasure of playing host to a lovely internet friend who came over to the UK all the way from Portland, in Oregon USA.

As she is a member of the Photo Café frequented by my OH, he set up a meeting in the South for those members who live within the area. I'm not a member of the Café but got to go along for the fun of it.

We started our tour on Saturday at the Abbotsburry Swannerery. This is not a hospital for sick swans, as I thought, but an ancient breeding farm set up in the 1040's by Benedictine monks as a source of food for lavish banquets.

I don't suppose anyone still eats them today , but that doesn't stop them thinking they need to eat as much as possible in as short a time as they can.

I liked this shot as a pattern inspiration with their lovely neck shapes, you don't often see so many together.

I was amazed to see this information sign explaining how Anna Pavlova and her troup rehearsed with the swans for Swan Lake. Maybe it was more of a publicity stunt at the time. I prefer to think she really did want to study how they behaved and moved.

Of course I couldn't let the opportunity slip by for some pattern/texture shots.

This wonderful fungus was just begging to be photographed.

On Sunday we took a trip to Arundlel to see the castle. It's a beautifully preserved castle with an amazing history that the guides are only too happy to explain if you're interested.

I was a bit surprised to be confronted with these beasties on our way in.

But later in the day I was rewarded with this beautiful piece of sheer inspirational magic.

And this one was just one of those lucky shots, doesn't often happen.

On Monday we went London and as our guest had done the usual sights on a previous visit we went to Camden Lock. As part of my present C&G module I need to look at architectural grids and rooftops, and so I was delighted to find these pics.

I also noticed these amazing fashion designs outside one of the little Camden boutiques.

And finally I couldn't resist snapping this brilliant reflection as we drove past.