Saturday, 29 October 2011

12x12 CD pieces

The week has flown by & I've finished 3 of the 6 pieces I'm putting into Inchmore Gallery for selection. It's a very accessible size so there might be some fierce competition!

This is the same ground as last weeks cuffs with turquoise foil added, that is, sweet wrapper foil - chewy mints if I remember rightly. Makes the 'bought' iron  foil go further. 4 little tiles of the same fabric stitched down on top.

I've gone back briefly to the weaving part of my life tho I couldn't for the life of me find the 'official' frame I used before so I wrapped an empty frame. Tied a few bits & pieces then stitched on a couple of beads from an old neclace. I'll have to weave in all the 'hairy' ends so it fits into the CD case.

You'll have seen this before in the form of a book cover or 2 & a collage - I found the heart already stitched to the velvet & added it to some leftover ground. A few beads & stitched painted paper  & I'm pleased so far. Price for a 12x12 CD case full of art? Tricky. I thought they were all ging to be priced the same but I'm not sure.

Just caught some daylight with the first 3 pics but here's some out of focus flash work. Just to prove I've made the cuff, along with another earing & brooch. I need to get on, the fairs aren't that far away!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

New books to look at!

 My arty buddy Lesley & I swapped books & I thought it a good idea to work thru them & make samples as I go. I don't think I'll be infringing copyright by showing you my samples (well, I hope not  anyway!) Most of you may have Stitches, Straps & Layers by Maggie Grey (see my blogroll for both - I see a new improvement is that we can't grab links anymore, am I missing something? also, we now have a neat 'filmstrip' display for pics but can't over enlarge them to see detail! ;( ) but since it came out I've only managed a quick sweaty glance thru while at a crowded stitches show & I'm so glad to read it now. Every page has mouth watering images & techniques to try.

There's been  no light today & the flash has turned the stretchy burgundy 'velvet' very dark. The first few excercises are to foil backgrounds & work into them, layering so the foil just peeps thru.  I only have/had some small samples of foil & Icertainly want some more gold, lovely stuff! The top one is my attempt at a landscape like Angie Hughes' sample in the book, no top layer , left, gold organza on top with 'stretched' satin stitch,  & the right is trapped threads under chiffon with stitching. Pretty heavy handed with the foil, need more practice ;) (or a cooler iron!)

These 3 are skelatised leaves (bought) top, leaf under foil, then black lace, with pink organza on top
with a little hand stitching. left, machine stitching veins on a blue leaf & the foil negative of another leaf with outline stitching. Right, leaf, foil, small piece of chiffon.

The above is foil, sprinkled sequins (I knew I'd find a use for the sequins one day!) with black organza then black & gold stitching. I heat gunned some holes in the bottom one - it'll need more stitching & I'll make them into cuffs.

A pink  (very pink!) & version of the above, not burnt, with beads made out of the same fabric. With ribbon or without? I quite like a bit of variety.

A brooch & samples

 and some earings out of the same all about an inch, plus. It's difficult working out the left or the right. I made these as I'd made one at my exhibition when I lost my lovely silver seahorse one morning - I'm sure it's under the bed somewhere!

I grabbed the finding from deep in the studio & the 2 bits of turquoise from an old neclace & the tiny cube with an 'M' on it from my jewellery box. At 'work' I got the copper wire into a twist & made a bead from little bits of fabric & paper from my week old bits box  & shoved it up!  It's about an inch & a half & altho I can't sleep in it I love it!

 Welcome to my new followers! one or 2 of you don't have a link so I can't visit - comment, if you can, & I'll come over ;)

Saturday, 15 October 2011

It's amazing what a bit of retail therapy will do for you!

Had a lovely day in Inverness in the week getting a few essentials & I decided a new lippy & some pretty underwear would do the trick; they did! No, no photos! ;)

During my show I sat importantly behind a big table :) looking out over the room, with my work & stuff strewn all over it. For a change when I had something to eat, I sat on the other side, looking at a beautiful view of a small hill above a slip of water by a lovely overgrown garden. So tranquil. (at that moment, anyway!) Just in the water was an old boat that had been there since time began according to my Plockton gardening buddy Jill, who kindly took the photo for me when I kept leaving behind my camera.

There was another one nearby which wasn't as unique but I was drawn to the windmilly type thing on the right.

So, having thought I'd make a printing plate of this boat out of the village sandwich boxes I was deliciously collecting- well, I didn't have as much time as I thought -this week I finally made a little stitched textile piece instead.

Here's the sketch - I took it along to my arty buddy Janet & made the stamp of the windmill/fan thing.

I'd started machine stitching before I went & carried on by hand at her house - I can chat & stitch! Then I stamped a few times & as the ink didn't take on the organza, I stitched the shape in. Carried on at home - I was trying for the effect of 'distorted stitches' as mentioned in 'Stitch Dissolve Distort' by Val Campbell-Harding & Maggie Grey (pg 40/41 for those of you lucky enough to have this wonderful book that I'm revisiting slowly) The idea is to drag stitches about a bit, a case of experimenting. I don't have a program thing on my machine so can't 'invent' a stitch & keep it. Anyway, I'm just playing, enjoying coloring with oil pastel, & burning away some of the organza & a little bit of thread sketching! It may turn into a 'real' piece one day - my first boat.

The stamp of the fan looks like an arrow but I quite like that ;)

Had a great afternoon at Janet's - we started the Printmaking class together back in January which was postponed. She encouraged me to enter work into an exhibition at Strathpeffer Pavillion end of November & they accepted my work ;) & to put some CD case sized work into Inchmore gallery for early November so a bit of a focus going on! Thanks Janet!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The fog is starting to lift!

"I can see blue sky throught the tears in my eyes & I know, I'm going home" Probably miss quoted but does anybody recognise that? I know I'm home already but sometimes you can't see what's in front of your nose & need reminding. I'm feeling like the fog is starting to lift but it may be a while till I stop grumbling at everything! I've had some wonderfully supportive comments (when blogger allows - so frustrating!!!) & emails for which I'm truly grateful. I know I'm not alone but I guess there comes a point where you've just got to get on & deal with things, whether you feel like it or not. The DH has been great....just getting on with things, it's his way. Me, I yell & moan a bit....then eventually get on with it. Huh.

So all I was able to do last week was make backgrounds knowing I was going to cut them up for cards (I'd kind of let slip from my mind a couple of small card orders...) I waited till this morning for some pics as I keep running out of light in the day (oh for a daylight studio!) & now it's black sky or blinding sunshine!! so excuse the lack of quality in these photos ;)

Gesso on an old calendar page 'drawn' into, scrbbled on with watersoluable crayons when dry, dissolved  a bit, cut up & edged with gold leaf pen

Oh, crooked, too - no time for photoshop!

Strips, stitched down, cut into strips across the top, stitched down, random stitching all about,  cut into 1/4's stitched together (you don't want too much bulk) cut to about 2" x 1" 1/2, edged with  zigzag.

Painted ground, stamped & paper from the bits & pieces box stuck down, a bit of crayon & gold wax

Same as above. These do well at Christmas craft fairs as they aren't Christmassy I guess, altho I will make some trees & icicle types, too...

Off to my day job I go, you've just got to be grateful, really, being able to do lots of different jobs, haven't you?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

post exhibition blues

I've been in a bit of a funk this week which is to be expected I guess after 9 months of intense activity , the last 3 being extremely intense, barely lifting my head for air, looking at my children or saying hello to my DH. Obviously I did do those things & much more, just in rather a blur. I naively thought that being in one place for 2 weeks ( well, plus travelling to & from) would be a little holiday but it was even more pleasurably intense than before! (ok, I've used that word 3 times now - enough!) So I've gone rather quiet, nobody recognises me! I'm quiet because I've been struggling with that most detested phrase "I can't be bothered" . I hear it all the time at work, it's all around me, being surrounded as I am by people from all walks of life, all ages, friendly & unfriendly, visitor or local, & heavens, that's only part time!

original honesty sample

I've had to turn, over many years, from being a pretty negative type of person, frustrated & inarticulate really, to a more positive, tolerant sort. A less frustrated & more gobby, opinionated type! I've learnt to eventually see the 'other' side of the story & to stop throwing around my poor half empty cup & to enjoy a calmer sip from the half full one, provided by my DH. But just sometimes these positive people really get my goat, you get to thinking "these people haven't really lived, haven't gone thru what I'm going thru" etc, etc & just want to tell 'em to shut up! Then I think, well, is that how I appear to people, once I've 'put my face on' trying to be positive, always upbeat, seeing the best in everything & stopping just short of having your martyred hand permanently stuck to your forehead? This is why I hate the phrase 'I can't be bothered' or 'I can't be arsed' along with the greeting between two mates & not just the 'youth' "Hi what ya doing, nothing?" "yeah, nothing, you, nothing?" "Yeah, nothing" Where the heck do you go from there? I feel it may drag me in to deep negativity, I fear the downward spiral to the what is the point question we must all avoid in order to just carry on at survival level. Some are lucky enough not to ever ask themselves that question, of course, the answer may be far too frightening to contemplate. So while being down here I'll be working it thru, thinking of all those wonderful things that make up my life, I'll be looking for that open kind smile & stepping back from the fearful soul's despair, just while I'm in repair, mind, because then I must look for that soul that I could possibly give something back to, as I know which side of the story I want & I will find it.

Well, after all that did you think I'd leave you without a collage?!

Ever so slightly blue this is this, I mean last weeks collage from the sample i made earlier this year, about a ruler by a half ruler. Visitors to the exhibition loved my samples book & this is the collage i said I'd be making next so i thought I'd better.  Always worried about scaling up but i think it works. Used rusted fabric instead of the paper in the sample, blue potato sacking, honesty seedheads & seeds, of course, the mixed paper with wash background & an exotic chicken feather from my collection & lots of gold machine stitching.

Thanks for listening ;)