Saturday, 31 March 2012

A snotty week

It's my turn to complain about a cold/bug this week. I sometimes think I'm allergic to ripping fabrics & I spend  time stitching away trying to stop a runny nose ;( But this week it turned into feeling grotty altho I only had a gravelly voice for a couple of days ;) Extra tired & extra lethargic but I feel better now. Bit behind on things but with an excuse! Before I didn't feel like it we had our first kayak of the season. It looked a little like this

 I confess I took this last year, sunny but misty at the same time & totally calm.  I didn't take my camera this time,  it was 8.50 in the am for heavens sake! Glad I seized the opportunity, tho, well, the DH made me! (I'm grateful!)

Got my books to the art group 'Aos' meeting & I am on the committee it seems!  I've volenteered to be one of the studios to visit over the summer......a little bit of tidying to do! Made sure I wasn't the first, tho. What shall we do for the visit, to keep people interested in the studio, I wonder? Hmmm. We're also looking out for a place to have a 'pop up' exhibition, a new phrase to me. There was an idea to use an Estate Agents window, the 'shop' is bing sold, so sadly they didn't want any art cluttering it up . Good idea to try to find an end of lease place, or something.

There are 5 on the committee so far, me & these others, just for your interest!  - Caroline Dear, photographer. Emma Noble, printmaker  Margaret Fergusson mixed media. Couldn't find many images for Margaret but I did a Cyanotype w/s with her a few years ago. & Lesley Linley, watercolorist. Quite a diverse group, we'll see what opportunities we can make happen.

As I said, didn't feel like doing anything this week but as I've got a table with my arty buddy Jo at a 'Fayre & Square' next week on Good Friday I thought I'd better russtle something up. It's being run by NTS & Rag Tag n Textile in Balmacara Square. It'll be an eclectic mix of things, I think. I'll be doing an hour demo of textile bits & pieces which will hopefully encourage people to do the future w/s with me there.

So I decided I felt like cushions, covers for the blanks I bought a couple of weeks ago.
 The youngest said it was very neat for me & I think it's a little pale, well, I still feel a bit pale!

 I didn't want anything too strenuous so rummaged around in various drawers & found some silk painted fabric, added a bit more color & stamped using my wonderful Indian block. This is about 4" square., the cushion 14", or it will be ;) It's got gentle gold stitching & the evening sun shows up the stitching ruching but it looks pretty even! I bondawebbed it in place before I stitched. I've learnt my lesson. I may do some hand stitching during earth hour (as long as it doesn't interupt Casualty....I know I'm a sucker for a hospital drama!) Oh, it is earth hour here, I'd better finish up!

The above is something I used to make cards from a while ago, strips stiched, cut, turned & stitched cut & turned again a couple more times. I meandered about with my faithful gold metallic adding bits & pieces from a bits bowl - organza, velvet & silky pieces. Again I may add some hand stitchng & possibly beads if I can see ok. I'm no good with piping round the outside, oh what can I add to stop the denim looking too, well, denimey?!

I'll try to get more made in the week but the boys are home for the holidays which is lovely & B&B is hotting up too - we have our first 2 room booking in the week. I will get round to making a bed quilt for the 2nd day ;)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Another week flown by

I've spent most of it finishing off my samples for the various workshops I'm writing/giving - I'll put a sneak peak up next time ;) Then I've been dithering, then I made or started to make a couple more books.

 Actually I've also wasted time (but greatly enjpyed) oohing & ahhing over artists books all over the net. An art group called Aos, pronounced 'eusse' which is Gaelic for a 'collective' of arty or poeticy people, is re starting up & at the AGM it's been suggested to bring along a couple of 'Artists Books' & I think that's what i'm making....ish, so it gets you thinking & distracted.

I spent this morning helping to dig holes for 6 apple trees, 2 1/2 hrs, nearly killed me! I left them planting some currants & raspberries, in the Community Croft Garden.

It's crooked, very disapointing, that's the pic & the middle bit...oh well.

To cap it all I'm doing a fundraising drive tonight getting people to their meals, so this is an ultra speedy visit!

Back soon to read up on you guys ;)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

My first Coptic bound book

I'm so excited to have finally got my stitches together to try Coptic binding, inspired in no uncertain terms, by Iz of
Threadnoodle  making a couple of little books & making me say to myself RIGHT! , also helped by the wonderful embroidered book I bought last week (see last weeks post for links). Iz makes a wonderful variety of things, have a look around & she's had me rolling on the floor with her hysterical sense of humour (maybe not this week tho, some awful people might be building in front of them, one of my biggest nightmares - we could try making her laugh instead.... ;(

This is made from the covers I showed a couple of weeks ago, it was going to be a concertina book ;)

I admit to being pretty slow on the uptake of written instructions & even tho my arty buddy Janet-her new website promised to show me how to do the coptic stitch, I did venture round utube where these kind people have spent hours videoing themselves stitching books & I had a delightful time binding with my thread, pausing the videos willy nilly. I'll take my little books for constructive critisism to Janet next week...

When I came to write this post I was momentarily taken aback as I saw a pile of stunning books on my blogroll & was a tiny bit dishearteded. I'm sure Carol wouldn't want me to be, tho.  Look at these here ! I will get there, how I'd love to take that workshop tho!

I'm delighted with my efforts, the DH was worried he'd be insulting me if he told me they were actually quite classy. I don't mind being classy occaisonally! If Janet passes the second one, it will go into my Etsy shop.

I was wanting to make a mothers day card & 'just grabbed a selection of fabric & paper'  clearing up my desk, as you do, Linda is right! I made a couple of cards extra & thought the piece above would suit a book. Hope she likes the one I sent her ;)

I had a go at making some tomato & bean soup & decided to put the red onion skins in with some of the shopping list paper & a paper towel. Quite surprised at the yellow color, but it was certainly a better effort that the tiny pink mark on the cloth below - looked a lovely pink in the bowl. Now I'm no day, but why different for paper & fabric? Interesting!

I also found time to repair some trendily ripped jeans the Youngest bought. Of course the whole leg nearly came thru so I added some cloth behind with bondaweb & struggled with some machine stitching. The smaller piece had to be by hand as I didn't have access with the machine.  Altho I don't like fake wearing of denim I was reminded of all the lovely Boro out there, do google it.

I don't know where the time has gone, I'd planned to make a few more books this week, I will when the fingers have recovered & I've had time to learn some different swear words ;) Can't believe it's Easter in a few weeks & the season starts propper, , I'm terrified!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A day out at the Creative Stitches show

 I haven't done much making this week, but lots of writing, stitching samples & more writing.

I think this will be my first post with only one photo - the slr camera is just too heavy for a show so this will be full of delicious links ;) A light camera for the handbag is on the long list!)

So, I went on a little trip out to Glasgow to visit the Creative Stitches show at the SECC. The DH decided to come as we had a few things to get from Ikea for the new B&B room. It was also an opportunity to see the Middlest with his GF & the Elest & my DIL  to be, who are only an hour on the train away from Glasgow so we met for a cheap & cheerful meal in a place chosen by the Middlest. There was someone thrown out of a 2nd floor window recently but that didn't phase him - we had an uneventful evening on that score, luckily! Stayed in a perfectly fine Travelodge where there seemed to be a loud meeting in the hallway till 3am, but never mind!

I got a  couple of hours on the first day of the show to do some of the shopping on my list & sound out things to do the next day. I'd have had a longer day but we got a late B&B booking  for the 2 nights previous which I'm very glad about as it financed the shopping ;)

This is what I got -

 The first afternoon I went to a talk by Isobel Hall, very interesting, talking mainly about her new book 'Textile Adventures' & the techniques in it, using membrane from the garden for one & moulding paste. So I got some of that but as I am in a book phase I got her Embroidered Books, so difficult to choose! Can't see her own website.

Another good talk was by Kim Thittichai, very funny, she describes herself as a techniques teacher, not a product teacher, otherwise we get stuck on one thing & don't grow. Newspaper chenille is her thing at the moment, sounds fabulous! She's teaching in Australia in April I think - her w/s & shows schedule would have you in a spin, I'm telling you! I got some of her solufleece...

Wendy Cotterill gave a wonderful talk with demonstration, bravely printing text on white cotton using a stand alone printer. The best tip was to cut a little bit off of the leading corners of the paper/fabric. Her thing is transparent fabric & she'd dyed & ironed on bondaweb - paint is obviously opaque, a bit of glitter, printed with a painted stamp, added accent beads & dyed net over a bit of that. A lovely layered collage effect.

I was late for a 15 min taster w/s with Rachel Powell on using a drop spindle, but she very kindly showed me anyway. I've felted wool found on barbed wire that'sbeen torn off sheep before & now I can give it a go to spin it & couch it down. Somewhere I read you can spin paper.... So I got the drop spindle on the left of the pic & the Jan Beany & Jean Littlejohn book on the right on couching. I'll have a little squiz first, but I might give it away as a special thank you...

Saw Helen McKenna's stand, new to me, with fabulously embelleshed bits & pieces, especially shoes! Didn't know coz I didn't look at the program properly but I could have asked for a demo. I think she was the only one who had a sketchbook with lots of frilly bits in it on her table. I love a good flick thru those ;)

Wendy Dolan was there, but I'd seen her last year & there wasn't time (or energy!) for everything, sadly.

Went into the Hobbycraft Hall, boy! A little daunting & all very white. I went round very methodically & got those dry glue things - in the middle of pic; I find pritt stick a little gloopy these days. & the 3 permanent ink stamp pads I've been after for ages. Back in the Stitches bit I found a huge roll of gold foil & a special glue pen, no ironing & bondaweb needed, just rubbing. I had to walk past a chocolate stall - why is there a chocolate stall in a stitch show? to get a bigger pot of special tacky glue, an oil stick, cheap brush & a big metallic reel of gold thread :)

Saw some beautiful lace & someone demonstrating tatting, facinating! See the blue corners in the pic? 3 little cushion blanks from Ikea to encourage me to make some covers. We'll see ;)

My real luxury book is From Print to Stitch by Janet Edmonds of Embroidered boxes fame. Looks great & again, so many to choose from for my collecton! I had to have a coffe cup wrap (off the floor!) for my favorite kind of printing & stirrers, so useful. I forgot to pic the straw from I won't tell you where ;)

Hope you enjoy some of these links!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Workshop on the Web & an honour

First, I've got to say a belated thank you to Jackie at Stitchworks for giving me the Leibster award absolutely ages ago, how rude of me not to do it earlier! I was kucky enough to get another one the following month, the Vesatile Blogger Award,  from Suzy at Rustic Vintage Country  & the same one again from Kim at Numinosity Beads last month! Now don't get me wrong, I'm really pleased, but I couldn't POSSibly choose who to give the award on to & there'd be at least 35 I'd have to choose! So, I choose you all, you're all wonderful! ;)

As promised I made some painted papers using those rather loud curtains as inspiration. I made a notebook but I'll be honest, there's nothing in it yet ;) When there is I'll put it in my Etsy shop. Talking of that, remember I said I couldn't 'put' my Etsy mini gallery onto my blog? Well, once, while pootling around, it was there, hiding under open comments. Needles to say it wasn't there the next time I looked!

 Forgot to take a pic of the whole ground but you get the idea (look at my last post, first pic!)

 I made these stamps from cut up mount board & pva glue.

& some handmade art cards, blank inside. Can I call them art cards? I know people do; better than 'greeting cards' I think.

So I think I've finally finished making samples from Maggie Grey's book  Stitches Straps & Layers. It's been great fun & I'm so grateful to Lesley for lending it to me!

I got out some painted papers altho I did stamp with 3D paint on the first one & highlighted with gold. It's basically about putting a selection of things together in a variety of ways...isn't life, really! You can use watercolor paper, gold ink, stitched ribbon, stencilled tissue paper, & carrier rods.  I added a sort of hard scrim that lives on a roll on the left & the right side of the handmade paper I added a gaudy ricrac (but I cut the curves off coz I hated them!) & zigzaged up & down. I made some matching paper beads as instructed using similar paper wrapped round a wire wrapped satay stick but i forgot to pic those. Then I stitched ribbon to painted paper, then stuck strips of overly highlighted with a gold leaf pen ( don't you get pissed when your precious & expensive pen blocks then blobs out everywhere?!) tissue paper, then glued strips of gently gold waxed tussue paper along a sot of monoprint. Just having them there in front of me in my own sample book will give me such inspiration & I'm so glad Maggie has made learning new techniques such a pleasure thru her book. Thank you!

Speaking of Maggie, I feel the need to tell you a little about the quarterly online publication Workshop on the Web  (button up there, top right). I'm sure you all know about it, but it's the mixture of this 'magazine',  Cloth Paper  Scissors & going to quite a few workshops that have enabled me to drag what's inside me, out. Which has been a long, some times tortuous but entirely pleasurable experience! When I first joined WoW, about 6 yrs ago, I barely understood this new to me language but over the years I've learnt it & still am of course! For just £15.50 a year you get,  4 times a year,  7-9 articles/workshops beautifully illustrated by a huge variety of artists - Angie Hughes, Jan Beany, Kim Thittichai, Gina Ferrari, Beryl Taylor, Isobel Hall, Jan Messent, to name but a few &  of course, Maggie Grey herself.  Mixed media, textiles,  bookmaking, 3D vessels, printing & lots of stitch. It's where I enjoyed going when I started this artistic life of mine, where I found such a fabulous variety of things that stimulated my grasshopper mind, accessible projects to keep me happy, a sort of bible, really. So you can imagine my absolute delight when Maggie asked me to write an article for the June publication. It is such an honour & I hope I don't let her down.