Saturday, 25 May 2013

Just a quick one!

The best thing about today was a delicious cup of coffee

If I remember to to take my camera round with me tomorrow I might add some pics here of the craft fair & it's lovely setting. The other best thing about today was the company in my marquee, oh & the amazing cheesecake that went so well with the above coffee.

the best thing of the whole year was the return of the Youngest from 6m in Australia - he's the same, just better, we're delighted. Let's see what tomorrow brings........

Saturday, 18 May 2013

I've found some zigzag stitch!

Thanks to the kindness of my mixed media watercolorist arty buddy who isn't that keen on sewing I have a temporary loan of a lovely machine that's enabled me to finish lots of work with some lovely zigzag stitch. Thank goodness! thank you Janet!

 a box of very nearly finished work

 the other side of purse, a little bit of reverse applique under organza

 new fabric

 I'm panicking about whether I have enough 'smalls' for the craft fair next w/e, so I made yet more fabric. It's 2 days & pretty big so hopefully lots of shoppers but I know from when I did the fair before about 5 yrs ago but with driftwood mirrors, that people come for a day out in the lovely gardens, to meet people for coffee & cake & to buy their first of the season plants. That's what I do, too, but I have faith in  my potential customers...positive vibes all round!

 work to be - book, purse, cuffs & some left over for cards & brooches

Will I have enough for the exhibition the following week? Who can tell? Whose idea was it to do both events one week apart!!

Look at these lovely cards that Suz  Suztats sent me, I'm so lucky - I admired the flowers on her post & I got 2 sent to me, thanks so much!

The Youngest is home tomorrow having spent a couple of days in Edinbro with his patient gf. I shall fly thru the day at work, meet the DH & the dog half way down the peninsula then carry on to collect him off the last ferry, oh joys! I hope it's still running in the slight breeze we're having....

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Lino printing on a rusted ground

I thought some time ago of printing with my fish lino block onto the fabric I rusted here 

Finally I managed it but as usual a work in progress. It's about a foot wide by about 3 or so feet long. I've got some work to do with the stitching to 'blend in, shall we say, where the block moved when I flipped the piece over so that I could roller over the cloth onto the block but I was too impatient to lay the cloth down over the block in the first place - how do you work out where you are going? can't use a registration sheet here & cloth is a little more floppy than paper ;)

  I've been drooling over some wonderful pics here on Pinterest   & came across the lovely piece I own by underatopazsky!

I wanted to add some mono printed fabric in smokey blues so I got out my favorite Indanthrene blue & mixed it with a little white or a little black. Hmmm, a bit pale on the cloth laid out over my sketchbook above & the pieces below are a little pale too. The dark print left is using the clean up cloth from the water based lino ink

 Worked well on paper tho. The tree like feature is from the cling film that I put at the bottom of the pan before I poured my gelatin - helps you to get the 'plate' out of the pan, lovely but fragile, hence the hole - I'll never make perfect prints!

Even tho I already had delicious texture marks I made a couple of stamps to use with the printing. In Gwen Hedley's book Drawn to Stitch she uses glass in her section on printing but I do love the give of a gelatin plate. She uses string as a resist, makes marks on the plate using fingers & a stick or draws from the back of the paper. Then she gives suggestions for printing line using card adding string or softsculpt shapes or card ends, including corrugated card also carving into a rubber eraser. One day i will make samples of these ;) I made my little blocks, above left, using cut card. The first one is loosely taken fro my drawing of a rock fissure a couple of weeks ago & the 3 circles, (cut from card - could I find any washers?) inspired by the 3 circles in the fish print. the blocks look better than the prints!

 So, above the hanging has some small chopped up pieces of the printed cloth added, well, they're just clinging on but it doesn't really 'speak' to me, looks too contrasty, like I've just 'plonked' them on....which I have, for now, but still...It doesn't seem to tie in. I'll take them off & do a bit more machine stitch & lots more hand stitch, well, whatever I can manage over the next 3 weeks!

 I put this smaller 'hanging' together seeing if that would work & it seems simpler to me, works better - maybe the fish are the problem! I'll add hand stitch here too. I'll have to go back here to Jennifer C Q for some more wonderful inspiration

 OK, a silly question. How do you store your spools of cotton? Clearly the basket above is getting ridiculous, the tray below too small (very kindly donated to me by a neighbor) maybe one has lots of trays? I know, I've come to the 'sorting' lark rather late in the day, too many spools to throw into one basket now.

 I leave you with Willow doing her Yoga on my chair, I think I'll join her.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

A successful workshop & a couple of finished pieces, oh my

I gave a workshop in my home for the very first time last week, called 'Functional Frivolity', making a notebook cover & one or 2 other things from  one piece of reconstructed fabric. I've given this w/s once before but not for 2 years so it was good to see an 'old friend'

My contribution  to my students - a notebook (that's my notebook in there, I meant to put a new one in!) a few pretties in a bag including a brooch back, ribbon loop &  button, a choice of organza, some Bondaweb & a handout with instructions.

 This was Kate's, above, before the organza & below, her book cover & spare pieces having used the burgundy organza & lots of delicious embellishments. She's enough to make a cuff & a brooch there.

 Here is Justine's before the organza

 & below with burgundy organza but don't the 2 look different. She had gridlike stitching one way & then wavy in the other direction to great effect. She'll make her book cover & some cards at home - she's a busy lady ;)
 Last but not least (oh, they were meant to be alphabetical order, I seem to have forgotten my alphabet!) are Tricia's, below before organza

 & here after covering her jewel colored strips with a bold purple organza, just lovely. Next to her book cover is a strip for a cuff. I was sent 3 lovely appreciative thank you emails so I think it went down well ;)

 I showed them ideas of what to make from the extra piece/s from my sketchbook - I've added in the book with the square of shiny fabric the purse & all the snippets that I can't throw away in my 'recycling jar' which end up neatly tucked under the organza.

 I have Jan Beany & Jean Littlejohn (Bonding & Beyond) & Fibrefusion (Beyond Boundaries) to thank for starting me on a journey of snippet collecting & fusing!

 Above is my piece which will be a couple of purses. I'm looking forward to making the Studio more workshop friendly because,  altho a nice number,  I can only fit 3 or 4 round my dining room table. We're working on improving the lighting for workshops during those dark winter days, & designing a table that will live on top of the permanent table but 'lift off' to use elsewhere when needed. But what we can do about the cold I don't know, short of insulating all over & installing under floor heating...but that's not in this year's budget ;)

 And finally above is my finished heron hanging, (well, bar the backing) about 6 1/2" x 14". I wrapped/couched down  machine cords with black embroidery thread - the mix of wool I made the cords out of reminded me of silver birch, perfect. I sweated over how to do the heron for months until I remembered Stephanie Redfern's Workshop on the Web artice a while ago on 'Slips'. What a revelation, it took me an hour or so, really,  to finalise a drawing (from my sketchbook) on the back of the pelmet vilene to which I fused a sort of black damask fabric, which I've truthfully only just found while sorting my cloth bins  - can you see the slight pattern follows the shape of the heron's underside.....  then I cut...carefully,  I used textile paint on the white 'sides' of the vilene, dried it over the Aga, initially  held it in place with 3 stitches &  traveled round the whole heron adding a few sparkly long stitches. Oh joy to have got him on there, finally. The same with the moon, two layers of different organza but it's blown out on the pic, sorry. What a relief to have done this, especially as it's one month till the exhibition.

This one, same size as above I just played with stitching & couching & had a lovely time over a few evenings - I could do more, we'll see. It does look vaguely nautical...... What shall I call it?