Monday, 31 March 2008

April PC finished

I've now finished the April PC for the CG challenge. I've interpreted the design work as seen in my previous post by printing the original BG layer onto, what is rapidly becoming my favorite medium, print ready canvas.

I then printed the under layer of the flower onto heavy weight Lutrador. The inks bled a bit on this as Lynda discovered with Dianne's PC. I tried printing it again onto Lutrador that had previously been coated with InkAid Iridescent gold, and this stopped the bleed considerably.

Having got this print off ( the first uncoated one) I decided it would be much better just as the daisy itself and so cut out the flower with the soldering iron. It was then bonded to the canvas with Photomount spray.

The next step was to print the top layer of the flower, stars and the children onto silk organza that had been coated with Bubblejet 2000. I still find this the best solution for coating fabrics ready for printing, but of course it will only work really well with natural fabrics.
Before I printed the image I pushed up the saturation so that I had a really contrasty image, which would counteract the loss of pigment in the printing process, as half of the ink gets left behind on the backing paper.
Before I bonded this layer to the canvas/Lutrador layer I stuck some silver stars to the BG, just for a bit of fun.
Finally the organza layer was bonded to the BG with Bondaweb, slightly offset to the Lutrador BG to give a shaddow effect. I picked out a few stars, that had been almost lost in the printing, and stitched them in with gold thread. I topped it off with some seed beads and one more gold star.
This is a bit of a departure from my usual line of experimenting, but it was fun to do something just for the 'hell of it' for a change!!

Friday, 28 March 2008

Post bag and stuff

I've received some wonderful post lately and thought I would share it with you.

When I offered up some books for exchange/giveaway recently I was delighted to receive these wonderful dyed fabrics from Francoise.

There were all sorts of wonderful pieces in my parcel even some dyed florist's paper, I can't wait to use these for something really special.

I exchanged with Becky too and she sent me a fabulous book on abstract painting, which has marvelous ideas and things to try if we ever get enough good weather to take the paints outside and get messy.

Lastly on my goodie list was Debbi's wonderful little inchies, that arrived yesterday. I can't tell you how gorgeous they are in the flesh, each one a tiny piece of art, I'm so in awe of people who can work this small, I don't have the patience.

The 'stuff' bit of this post is about our next exhibition venue. It's just up the road from where we live and it's the Rural Life Centre, Frensham . There is so much to see there, artifacts from times past all beautifully preserved in buildings that have been saved and brought to the site where they have been lovingly reassembled. The place has a lovely laid back friendly feel to it and we are delighted to have been asked to take part in the Countryside and Wildlife day on May 25th.

We are exhibiting in the village hall which you can see below:

My friend and I were there yesterday to get some inspiration for themed pieces as we've been asked to show work that is in-keeping with the atmosphere of the day and also the site itself.

Amongst many other things I found was this wonderful sewing machine, with fantastic artwork on it, I'll have to find a way of interpreting this I think.

And how about this contraption, I have no idea what it is but I love those circular handles.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

April PC design for CG

I decided to spend the afternoon working on the design for the April PC for the Calendar Girl challenge, as it involves daisies and I was rather taken with these that I photographed at the RHS Wisley Gardens at the weekend.

Needless to say , as the weather is still too cold to use my outside 'wet' studio/shed, I stayed indoors and played with PS and Corel Painter instead.

As this is just a quick post I won't bore you with the details of how I got the result of the design pic, but suffice to say I isolated just the heads of the flowers and took it from there.

I'd had in my mind this time to try and come as far away from the original image source (see below) as possible, so changing the colour and using a photo was a start.

I also decided that I didn't want to use text this time so I found the image of the two children by Googling friends/clip art.

The next step of course is to turn it into a textile PC....Hmmmm?

Friday, 21 March 2008

Snowdrops PC

After the helpful advise I was given by those kind enough to comment on my previous post I decided to have another go at the snowdrops.
This time I worked on a PC format and used the print-off from the original computer print onto tissue paper.(ie the residue of ink that's left when you peel off the tissue from the backing paper)

I scanned this back into the computer and played around with it in PS and decided to put a Fresco filter on it,(filter-artistic-fresco)

I wanted to use a trial download of Corel Painter 1x so I opened the original image in the software and used the following filter, effects-KPT Collection- KTP Pyramid paint.
I then painted in blue shaddows with the WC brush on the flower petals.

I pasted this second interpretation over the first a dropped the opacity till it just gave the piece a little more colour and depth.

I wanted to get a little more texture out of this piece so decided to overlay it with another print-off, this time of the lace tissue.

I pasted this onto the image and again dropped the opacity till I was happy with it.

I now had a basic design to work from.

I printed the first layer of the design, the fresco image, onto print ready canvas. I sprayed this with Photo Mount and sprinkled small pieces of waste metalic thread over the surface. I printed the second layer, the CP 1x version, onto Gampi tissue and stuck this to the canvas BG. This was sprayed again with PM and I then bonded the last lace tissue layer in place, after printing it on Gampi.

I decided to secure the whole piece with metalic thread seed stitches and glass beads.

After looking at it for a couple of days I decided that the tissue paper was looking a bit heavy so set about tearing holes in it to reveal the underneath. I think I was heavily influenced here by my many visits to Jacqueline's wonderfully insprational blog.

Finally I coated the whole piece with PVA and satin stitched the edges with white non glossy embroidery cotton to keep the photographic look.

This PC is for an 'inchie' swap with Debbi, so I hope she won't be disappointed as it's a bit experimental.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Experimenting with snowdrops

Prompted by a photographic/art competition at my OH’s place of work I decided to do some more experiments with multiple print-offs and use up a piece of left over Sanwa tissue from my InkAid experiments.

On a recent visit to the Focus on Imaging show at the NEC, Birmingham, I bought a pack of computer pintable canvas, so I was quite eager to try this out.

I started with an image of snowdrops taken recently and printed it straight using the settings suggested by the manufacturer.

As this was a very strong image I wanted to knock it back a bit so put a ‘rough pastel’ filter on it in PS.

I printed this onto the Sanwa tissue, which has gold and silver flecks in it.

I fused this over the original caves image using the wonderful misty fuse that Debbi so kindly sent me.

I still felt that there was more I could do to enhance the textural feel of this image so I printed some lacey tissue with the original image to put some definition back into the piece. I then fused this to the Sanwa layer.

It was my intension to stitch into this piece, but after having tried endless different ideas on a PC size piece I gave up and decided it wasn’t suitable for stitch.

See what you think.

The quality of the pics is nowhere near as good as I would like, but it was a very difficult subject to photograph and I had to do it with the aid of an angle poise lamp, not the best of solutions to a cold wet day!!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Relaxing in the park

In an effort to unwind after a very busy Saturday we decided to go to a local country house park in Sussex. For those of you who know this area it’s Petworth Park. Our prime objective was to see the deer herd that lives in the park and see if we could get some shots of them.

I also hoped that I might be able to get the sketchbook out at last and do a few doodles!

As luck would have it the sun came out after we’d had our lunch in our roving restaurant, cunningly disguised as a VW camper and we trudged off down the hill. I had my oversized tripod and emergency fishing bag housing the new camera and 2 lenses, couldn’t afford a bag and a new lens!

We found the deer enjoying this fleeting appearance of the sun and I watched transfixed, as this beautiful little pair looked for all world as if they were having a kiss. Unfortunately I managed to have the camera on the wrong focusing setting from the day before, will I never learn to check? And I was so excited I managed to focus on an area behind the deer, but who cares? I’ll remember this shot for the special moment it was.

I did manage to get my sketch book out and was just trying to find my way round the view in front of me and the shapes of the deer when this dirty great black cloud rolled in and brought with it an enormous hail storm, so bad it stung our faces on the way back to the van.

Still the day’s pics and some doodles gave me enough information to work this little sketch at home yesterday. I still need to work on the shapes of the deer, but was quite pleased with how the landscape came out, as I had to learn some new texture techniques with the WC, so all round it was a useful and relaxing day.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Book swap/ Give away

One of my very dear friends has just had a major clear out of her work room and arrived for lunch last week with 2 baskets full of textile books and a smaller one with silk paints and related paraphernalia, so I was mega excited!! It was like having Christmas all over again.

I have sorted through them and weeded out the duplicates plus the ones I will probably never use and have been left with this pile, plus the two Jan Messet ones, which are wonderfully useful.

I would like to swap any of these for books on art journaling, stamping and general paper crafts if anyone has a surplus in that area. Failing that I’m happy to give them away to anyone who wants to email me, first come, first served.

I hope they will be useful to someone as there are some great books here.

I ought to mention that the weather here is awful and so the internet connection is flakey, so please be patient if I don't get back to you right away.

I will post up a comment to let you know which books, (if any), have been rehomed.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

A day out with the ducks

Due to a combination of bad weather affecting my internet connecttion and a serious sotware conflict on my beloved Mac, that required a complete reinstall of the OS sytem, Ouch!! I haven't been able to blog much in the last week. But I'm now nearly back to normal, so I thought I'd share some of the pics I took out and about this weekend.

We took advantage of a window in the weather on Saturday and went to a local Wildfowl Trust near the South Coast. It's the Arundel Wetland Centre.
My OH went there the other day with his brother to do some bird photography and thought I might like a look.
It's a beautiful place with a lovely coffee shop/restaurant that had massive picture windows for you to enjoy the wild life in comfort.

As I'm not a wild life photographer and don't do moving targets too well, I'm afaid you'll have to excuse the poor quality of the duck shots but the patterns and the colours were too good not to have ago.

This one is a Mandarin duck

This one is a Ruddyshelduck

Part of the wetland area is a reed bed that has boardwalks all through it, so when they're fully grown later in the year it will be like walking through the middle of the wildlife natural habitat. I shall look forward to visiting then. We were lucky enough to spot a warer vole in the remaining reeds, which was a great treat as it's Britain's most endangered mammmal.

While walking around we discovered a little area that was devoted to dried herbs and rushes, with full explanations for the uses for all these plants, it was very inviting as you were encouraged to touch and smell these exhibits.

If you live anywhere near Arundel I would thoroughly recommend the centre as a great day out, it's very theraputic just being in such lovely surroundings watching the wild life.