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 & dil....one 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 ;)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

A sprinkling of snowdrops

I've been working on some textile pieces around the theme of snowdrops. I am enthralled by them & I was trying desperately to finish them before the snowdrops disappeared!

Above is a narrow sketchbook given to me by a friend - I gessoed the brown pages & will use it as a flower book, as they come out in my garden, helped hopefully by the inspiring DMTVvideos by Linda & Laura Kemshall that I subscribe to, small bite size clips that I plan to work thru.....

All the rest of the photos are looking decidedly sepia - I guess they are that color & I don't always have access to good daylight ;) Above I layed out & loosely stitched down some varying textures of white, gold & lacy recycled fabrics - I didn't use bondaweb as it's getting hard for me to stitch into.

 I'd been round the shops in Edinburgh when we had a stop over picking up the Youngest for our journey to Wales for Christmas & found this wonderful collection of lace for a very reasonable price

Above is a 'small hanging', about 5" x 13" In the middle, not desperately clear, is a sprig of Pussy Willow using scrim & bits of tea dyed silky fabric for the 'whisps'. I may need to define it somehow & also add a couple of stems to make the snowdrops 'nod'

Above is an abstract version, needs more hand stitching, (about 5 x 5" as are the next 2)

 I made a total of 15 little drop petals, using the miss shapen ones for my sample piece. I learned to use a stablising fabric for the 'silky' ones as they obviously just curve in - I did stuff the one in my sample piece, a little bit of stmpwork! I've used lacey bits too in the willow above.

 I left the middle petal half free & knowing someone might take a peek used a textured fabric for the underside.

 There's gold organza for the top or crown  of the flower.

 A couple of small brooch sized patches & all the bits I cut the petals from I turned into a flower

Here it is in my 'main' sketchbook page - a drawn & gold painted layout - oh how I love that gold acrylic! a ref pic from a mag - I'm trying to sort my piles of gardening mags useful for reference but I reaslise you just don't need to keep them ALL ;) & my sample piece about 4 x 4 so good to be able to touch what you've made in your sketchbook when the 'real' pieces are either covered up or sold, what a favour I did myself when I started to make samples!

I'm off the the Creative Stitches Show this week at the Glasgow SECC, which they've changed to the Quilting, Stitching & Sewing show or something  like that, can't wait, books to buy, stitchers to see, it'll be fun!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Winter Snows

I had my first 'snow day' of the winter off work & got such a lot done! I looked out for the gritter but for a very small road down to my house on a Sunday it wasn't very likely. ;)

I've been playing with a lovely book lent to me by a friend - Stitched Textiles: Flowers by Bobby Britnell  The 2 pics above were made based on her samples, not actually an 'exercise' like the drawings below - I think I just jumped right in there! I've also been involved in artchain & used these images for my first day.

BB has you draw a flower/seed head (or both, of course)  observing everything you can about  it - she used honesty & as it's one of my favorites I drew the dried sprig from my studio.

Here I've used my non dominant hand, must press harder! Scuse the bleed from the next page, they are very absorbent pages in the sample sketch book I'm using. I'll come back later & do an ink wash & a charcoal as suggested.

These 2 pages are changing the white ground in various ways. I've done most of them before but hadn't used my gold acrylic (top) or ink (bottom) till now, just delicious on top of wrinkled tissue paper & getting a sketch book together based on a borrowed book makes you actually do these things.

I had a great time during a power cut early this year making a lovely mess with acrylic, stamps pastels & spent dyes a la Hillary Beattie  (why do I have to wait till the lights go off?) - I'm enjoying her book The Gentle Art of Gelliping on mono printing but I haven't succumbed to a 'Gelliplate' yet - my gelatin plate lives in the deep freeze!

Here's in finished form one of the many cards I enjoyably scraped together - I do batches for my family & friends birthdays, so quick & accessible & you can't see it very well but there are a couple of stitches in there. Some even end up on the studio shelves.....

I also got a small hearts order finished, must make some more for my Etsy shop for 2 weeks time!

Sunshine above this morning

followed by a mini blizzard a few minutes later & on & off all day.

Snow drops in the snow where they should be

& even a little deer at the bottom of the garden searching for something to eat earlier in the week, hmmmmm...