Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Permission to write

I've been thinking about this for a long time but I've finally given myself permission to actually write! I'm having a wonderful week with my parents visiting - no mean feat while struggling with AMD (age related macular degeneration) & continuing (3m) neuralgic pain caused by shingles on the scalp & that's just my poor Mum! We're celebrating them being here, their 59th wedding anniversary last week, being unusually together for Father's Day, our 2 birthdays, the Youngest returning from tracking deer on the Isle of Rum for a month & tomorrow the Middlest will be back from his Induction into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) - it's all initials! where he will support the Royal Navy as a marine engineer, 3rd Officer of the Watch (3OE for short!) I had a lovely chat to the Eldest & would love to have seen him & Em but I can't be greedy. I'm a proud & very lucky person, can you tell?

 I've been studying the seaweed 'shrouds' , films of thin seaweed left behind as the tide goes out. I find them fascinating but haven't yet worked out how to translate them into a mixed media textile piece.

 I'm enjoying playing with Gwen Hedley's ideas using cling film as some bits look like plastic when dried hard & some look like soggy holy 'felt' samples.

 I enjoyed a workshop with Aileen Grant where we spent a lovely afternoon mono printing using gelatine plates - I wanted to frame the actual plate below with dried on paint! Using the netting in the top left corner as very effective.

 netting, lace doily of mine & other shapes & layers

 prussian blue ink applied with a brush that I hadn't done before, cupcake papers & dried leaves.

an attempt at printing on cloth, but the colors got a little muddy

& above, my first attempt at a landscape, & below, the w/s was held near Eilean Donan castle

I've been sketching, enjoying the trying, anyway. it's an fb group, delighted to be asked & we're given a prompt every couple of weeks. I like a challenge. This week it's Flora! 

I was asked again to make another Ulna Bone protecting gauntlet, this time for over the clothes, therefore decorative & colorful. She was delighted & again, I was relived that it worked!
I must try to source some gold velcro, or something more neutral than black at least.

 I also made a 'pretty purse' for a special girl - quite like my new 'squared' corners

 some cards for a couple of local outlets & I'm delighted to have work in a lovely new place in Broadford, just down the road from me The Old Pier Gallery, a sister of Skyeworks Gallery all the way up in Portree.

& last but by no means least I won a giveaway by Linda Stokes of the Thermofax DV by Lyric Kinard. It's wonderful, so informative. Linda kindly send me a card of her work, & an actual screen made by her good self. Oh to own my own screen maker....but there are people you can go to to order their screens & ones of your own designs, too. Decisions, decisions - I see screens every where, even in a cut on my arm as a cracked bucket full of earth scraped across my forearm I thought about drawing it & printing with it, there's passion, eh?!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Swallows, cuckoos & snow & a lovely ''new home'

I've been trying to get here for over a week now, that 'life' thing just gets in the way sometimes.

I started this daisy collage a while ago & don't seem to have added much to it recently.

the sample at the bottom of the sketchbook page along with doodles & cutouts for some mono printing.

I realize I need to get a shift on as the beautiful honesty ( a pic from a couple of years ago above) & dicentra & even geranium phaeum is out already - it is my intention to capture my garden in stitch as it emerges but not at one stitch a week!

 So I made a delicious gelatine plate - I knew playing with those lovely agar plates at school in Science class would come in useful!

 As you can probably see from thse first 2 pics I must have let the plate get too warm in the room before printing as when I pulled the first print - dicentra leaves - a layer of gelatine came off with it! Over night the thin layer of gelatine dried beautifully (not sure whether it might start degrading even tho it's dry!) but I look forward to flooding the print with some color.

 Peeled off the leave & got such a crisp print!

The plate now looks like a map of the world & as I was in daisy mode I used some card cutouts for more mono printing. Lots of pics, feel free to scroll thru quickly!

 used this as a first anniversary card for the eldest & year already!! I did add color but posted it off before I took a (nother) pic ;)

paraphernalia above & cards & cloth below

Well, & would you believe this is what I was lucky enough to win in a give away from Janice MacDougall (The Craft Magpie) This is where I can 'move in' to any time I feel like a change

 A beautiful house box & a pretty brooch, too

 beautifully stitched  flowers

A cat & the key to each door

& the smell of roses. I love it Janice, thank you!

Can you guess what these are, what made them? I seem obsessed with them, tried to 'take a print' but couldn't - if you guess you can help me work out how to...please  ;)

 Ages ago I would sit with my coffee on my favorite bench & watch a robin eat last year's Gunnera seeds. Never had my camera while he was posing so I just grabbed this thru the study window. Marveled at how the color of the seeds & the robins breast were an exact match. Sadly, I've had to cut all 5 plants (!) back as the sleet, snow & wind over the last couple of weeks totally dried them out. They'll grow more!

 Very atmospheric weather we've been having, what next?!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

A worthy creation

I love expressing myself ( or trying to) by slapping paint, fabric & stitches about but I sometimes feel a little guilty that it might be considered occasionally to be a frivolous pursuit.

So I was delighted to be asked by one of my customers to make her a functional, useful & well, worthy, padded gauntlet to protect her Ulna bone when playing the guitar .

You'd have been proud of my measurements & trying to think in 3D - the main padding is in the middle panel, above; 2 layers of soft batting & thin foam in the middle. One side has just 2 layers of batting & the other I thought of thinning the whole thing a little & cut one layer of batting out before I sewed up that side. I'll just have one layer each side next time.

Of course, it never occurred to me, this being my first heavily padded item, that the padding would add over an inch to the measurements so I added a panel, above on the right to which I stitched the 3 strips of Velcro (easier to manage than buttons & loops & not noticeable if worn under the sleeve). Amazingly I thought of the solution to this problem  (I know, obvious to some) while laying in bed the morning my customer was to arrive for a fitting - I don't usually think in the morning - & true to form (I did have B&B prep) I was putting the last few stitches in as she arrived. She was delighted & I really felt I had made something very useful.

A warm welcome to new followers, it's been a while so I'm delighted! Do leave me a comment so I can visit you at yours.

I've been making cards, too.

 Above turned into these, below, ready to mount (the colorful background papers needs stitching)

 I thought I'd photographed the flower stamp I made but I did take a pic of the dried seaweed, below that inspired the stamp I cut out of foam. Fiddly tho. 

 I've been watching the wildlife on the shore in front of the house, geese & deer, while getting the place ready for the start of the season.

 I even managed a trip up the Island to Skyeworks Gallery last week with a top up order

 Isle Ornsay lighthouse

& had to get my camera out to take these pics on a bright clear day with fresh snow on the hill. 

Cuillin Hills

then a delicious lunch in the Isle of Skye Baking Co below the Gallery  (& cake ;)