Thursday, 30 April 2009

EquilARTeral - Connect-Disconnect - 2

Here is a start on the A4 size piece for "Connect-Disconnect". It is pattern tissue with crayon rubbings of a celtic design stamp I have. Then it was pressed between baking parchment so the wax melts into the rest of the paper. This time I painted the back with the acrylic wax before I start trying to sew through it. We will see if it holds up better.

I think this one will get some of the mystery fabric, but I haven't decided on the 3rd fabric and what it will be connected with.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

EquilARTeral - Connect-Disconnect

Our new challenge for EquilARTeral is "Connect-Disconnect". Last time we had A5, A3, A1. This time it is A6, A4, A2. I have had some ideas hanging round in my head. But when I actually started to think of doing it, several other ideas came together and I am going with them.


In a way it is an extension of some ideas from Endless Possibilities. I am using transparent, translucent materials. This time I have pattern tissue with crayon rubbings over stamps, some of the rust dyed habotai, and some silk organza with more crayon rubbing.
The connection of the layers is beads. This is also what makes it disconnected. This is the A6 piece and was rather fiddly to do. I have never got into the fabric postcard craze, and this is around the size of the postcards.

detail from side

Because all the layers are separated like that, it was a bit floppy. So, it decided it wanted to hang from a coffee stirrer stained with walnut ink and with holes made to attach the piece using beads. The tissue was starting to get frazzled at this point, even though I had ironed the wax from the crayons and it had a firm waxy texture. So, I have painted the surface with acrylic wax.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Inspiration Tuesday

One thing that intrigues me when out and about here in England is the wide range of inspiration you can get from the architecture. The above is part of the wall by the V+A museum. When you think of all the work the original craftsman put into it, you have a sense of awe. Damage from the Blitz and from automobile exhaust have given added interest. We call it patina and as artists are attracted to it almost more than if pristine.

But what if you were the craftsmen and came back to see it?

Monday, 27 April 2009

A bit of a tease...

So, what might you do with this...aside from what it says on the blurb? I am in the process of developing a project for Crafts @the Library. I started with one idea, but a sort of challenge comment from one of the librarians has sparked a development to the original idea.

Watch this space! We will see if it works. I will take photos though of the process, even if I don't end up using it.

Besides that I have been working on college assignments today, since the second Suncatcher workshop is tomorrow at Birch Hill Library.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Cheerful blouse - fix

As you recall, the white linen blouse started off like this. It was cut out nearly 2 years ago.
I worked on it this past week or so to match the "Cheerful Skirt". However, 2 things. I have lost some weight and I cut the jewel neckline to a v, plus added the button stand. (in real life you aren't meant to change the plan for the shape of a blouse as you go along!) So, although the result looked okay, it gaped badly at the neck.
So, I put a bit of ruffle round the neck, which helped with the gaping. It didn't fix it, just helped.
Part of that was it was too big, as well. So, being linen, it sort of stood out to attention, so to speak. I wore it today and realise that this was because I needed to take it in. I realised I could get the neckline to lay closer to my chest if I took it in at the top too. I didn't want to unpick anything, but I realised I had enough extra ease to actually turn the waist dart into an armscye princess line. So, I took it in from the waist right up past the bust and curved over into the armseam.
IT Worked!
Then I also took it in at the back waist darts and the side seam from the waist down. And it is great! Phew. I think I better make up another blouse soon so I can be sure I get it right this time. I will never remember all the changes otherwise.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Featured Blog

Today's Featured Blog is called "Not all those who wander are lost" written by India Flint, who calls herself a "prophet of bloom". India is very experienced in the art of using plant dyes. She also teaches ecologically sustainable dye techniques along with stitch surface embellishment and garment construction. As a recent blurb for a workshop says, her signature mark on the fabric is the eucalyptus ecoprint.

A wander through the blog gives a fascinating glimpse into the textures and colours that can be produced through plant dyeing. At present India is in the UK, but normally resides in Australia.

I think this type of work is fascinating. If I knew my husband would put up with smelly vats of plant matter, I might get into it as well. The weather is nice enough to get back to doing some rust dyeing. Last summer I heard about another type of metal dyeing I'd like to try. Maybe this is the time.

I just want to show you a photo of one attempt at dyeing with berries. Raspberries were boiled and strained through the cloth. You can make jam with the liquid...but not if you have put any sort of mordant on the cloth first. I know berry dyes are fugative, so I have not washed it. One day I will think of something to make with it! Maybe see how I can overdye the white areas with some other berry liquid.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Cheerful blouse

Today I was "on a sew" as I have heard someone call it. I altered 3 things making them small enough to fit my current size (and I got down to a new number on the scale today after hovering in one spot for a few weeks!)

I also finished the white linen blouse that is to go with the "cheerful skirt". I wanted it to be a bit sedate, so that when I wear it with the cheerful skirt it doesn't turn into the "Hilarity Outfit".
However, because I had decided to chop it into a v neck and it was drafted as a jewel neckline, it really gapes. So, I think it is wanting a small ruffle inside the neckline a bit like I did on this t-shirt. It will still work with the skirt, because of the ruffle at the skirt hem, but won't be overdoing it

....and won't mean I have to take it in at the shoulder, which is the real reason. As you may recall, the linen blouse was a fitting toile which I hoped would be close enough in fit to wear. I have taken note of the changes I need and will use them on blouses I cut from this pattern in the future. In the meanwhile, the blouse fits better than any I could purchase, so is indeed a wearable toile...

or will be after the addition of the small ruffle.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

a few doodles

Just a few more doodles I have done in the past week or so. Both of these were from prompts on the Doodle Day blog.

The first prompt was Owl. I had a few ideas of what I might do for Owl but they all went out the window when I heard Paul Simon's song on the radio. The computer in the sketch says "Sorry, Paul" in the Instant Messaging corner.

Call Me Owl

The next prompt was Kitchen Chaos. I started thinking about making a stew and I probably had a bit of Micky and the Fantasia Kitchen in mind as well! The top thingy is meant to be a chef's hat, even though it looks like a muffin. or maybe it is a muffin and the chaos has gone a bit too far!

In a Stew

I am enjoying these quick sketches and doodles. They sort of work to prime the pump so to speak.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


The Crafts@the Library workshops at Great Hollands still struggles to get going. Today my friend Yvonne came with me. She and Simon - the library manager were the only ones, but enjoyed making Suncatchers. We did have one lady express interest in the next month's workshop. She came in when we were nearly finished.

And as we had to walk home (my husband had the car today) we met the lady who came last month. Hopefully we can see if more will come next time. Otherwise, I think we need to try a different day. The Birch Hill Workshops are always well attended, so no worries there for next Tuesday.

Anyway, Simon did some great patterns, and Yvonne did some flowers and umbrellas for her little granddaughter's room.
Hard to see the yellow petals round the flower. We had to take the photos laying down because they just blended into the background of the bookshelves.

I think this project was almost a bit too easy. But perhaps with more students it will be different. There was plenty of time to do another one which I will encourage next time. Or, if I get my thinking head on, I may add some other sort of options to the process.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Inspiration Tuesday

I discovered this plant who made itself at home on the wall at college. I find it very inspirational in more ways than one!

Any thoughts for a title? I thought of Tenacity... and then I started thinking of more.

Please leave a comment and we'll see if we are on the same wavelength!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Beaded Suncatchers

This month for the Crafts@the Library sessions, we will be making Beaded Suncatchers from recycled CDs. Now you know what to do with all those unsolicited CDs you get in the post! Besides getting people meeting up in the community and learning a few crafts, I really like the idea of introducing ways to make art with recycled materials.

Here is a photo of some samples I made up. Too difficult to photograph in the window or outside, but you can see the light catching on them even in my studio!
fruit and veg/geometric patterns

The cool thing about these is that they are very easy and also use up things that would be thrown away. They can be used to brighten up the window or around the patio area. You can also hang them in the garden to keep the birds away from your newly planted seeds.

Watch this space for photos of what the students make! I am interested to see what type of decoration they will do. I am quite chuffed with the thought of doing veg. We do get some men participating and they may not want a flower design. Well, some ladies may not want flowers either!

Crafts@the Library dates for this month are: 22nd April at Great Hollands Library and 28th April at Birch Hill Library. The time for both sessions is 2-4pm. If you are in the area, you are welcome to stop in and join us! Cost is £2 per session.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Surprises in the post

The other day, Sue left a message when I showed my painted skirt. There was a link to her blog where she had done a very interesting jeans jacket with "graffiti". You can see Sue's blog here. Scroll down to the post on the 12 April for the jeans jacket.

Sue used a craft syringe to write the thin lines with. I had been wishing I had a black paint with an applicator tip. She offered to send me a couple of the syringes to try out. Well, the post came yesterday and there was a stuffed to the gills parcel in there. Not only had Sue sent the craft syringes, but she had also sent me one of her special handmade journals. Wow. It is amazing and in colours I really love! All of it was wrapped beautifully with a gorgeous blue ribbon and a card which had an ATC made using the technique she used for the jacket. Cool.
Oh dear, now the question is what shall use the journal for? For now, I will enjoy the preciousness of it. I love notebooks, blank pages and all sorts like that. One day it will be ready for the perfect thing.

Thanks Sue!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Featured Blog

I love fantasy and adventure stories like Lord of the Rings. If they have a dragon in them all the better!

Anyway, when I came across today's featured blog, it made my heart sing. I hope you like it, too. The posts are not very frequent, but there is a very good reason for that. Besides, there is enough artwork decorating the pages that you can just enjoy going to look at that inbetween posts.

The blog is called The Hermitage and is written by Rima. Rima does the most fantastical artwork. You just feel like you have fallen into a story when you look at her work.

And, besides the stories in her art, Rima lives a story as well. She and her partner are travelling artists. They find inspiration in the various places they stop around Britain. If you go back in the blog posts, you can discover the beginnings of setting out on their travels. And so, you see why the posts are infrequent. I think it is amazing to be able to live that sort of lifestyle and yet be connected with the global community through modern technology.

If you love Rima's work like I do, you may have a chance to see some in person if you meet them on their travels. Sometimes they have impromptu exhibitions to sell a bit of work (like for finances for fixing parts on their home!) In fact, in a few weeks they will be in Long Melford, Suffolk. The Imagine Gallery will be having and exhibition of other artist's work along with Rima's. It runs from 26th April until 10th May. I do hope they travel to the west of London in the near future!

Rima has a website as well. It has an amazing interactive way to enter the site. Go and have a look!

And a tenuous link perhaps, but here is a photo of some of the fantasy adventure books I have waiting for me to stop and read. About half of them came away with me from Oxfam yesterday. Oxfam do books for something like 5 books for £1.49 or something equally tempting. The good thing is that when you are finished reading them, you can give them back again, and the charity benefits twice. Recycled reading.

I already have Magic Kingdom, but I think it is about my most favourite book...well along with Lord of the Rings and several others. So, I needed another copy so I have one to loan out.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Doodle 5

Well, it's not really no. 5. But I think it is the fifth one I put up here. I thought you might like to know what I mean about using the doodles to explore a design idea. On this one, I was trying a different shape for the centre of a flower. It is okay, but not quite what I wanted. I may revisit the idea sometime.

See the bit at the top? Sometimes I just start off with patterns and then there is even less page to worry about for trying a concept!

But today, I had success for another design for painting on fabric. AND, when I went to town for a bulb for the overlocker, I also popped into Oxfam and picked up a couple jeans type things which looked like candidates for refashioning or painting. this space.
freshly washed and in need of ironing

I have also been asked to teach a workshop in Nov. with a Christmassy theme. So, while that thought was in my mind, I played about with an idea that came to me that would be an original Christmas design. After all these years, you wouldn't think you could get any of those! but I think I came up with something that will work! And it is also something that could be translated to a stencil for part of it, so I may end up using it as a decorative pattern for the workshop.

Oh yeah, nearly forgot...I also painted one side of some papers this morning. I don't normally do much with papers. But I thought if I had some, I could play with some other painting ideas for a workshop I am to teach. As my C+G design principles teacher told us, it is easier to work with papers as it isn't so precious.
I have only done a sort of background effect at present, so I will show you more when I get more done.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Cheerful skirt

Remember the blue skirt that needed cheering up? I showed it hanging up on Monday and gave you a glimpse of the cheering yesterday. Well, here is the finished product!

I used a fabric I really liked from the box of quilting cottons my friend Gabrielle gave me last year. The print has a cheerful elegance to it. So, even though the skirt fabric is more of a lightweight summer suit type fabric, the print still works with it.

Here is what I did to decorate the skirt.
I chopped the skirt shorter (Why did I cut it longer than normal in the first place? This is why you shouldn't wait more than a year to make things up. You forget the plan!) Then I made up and added the ruffle. I decided to gather it about 2 cm from the top edge, and attach it straight to the front of the skirt fabric. Then I covered the stitching with a narrow blue ribbon.
You might recognise that the doodle flower has been taken a step further. Or has been given the What if? treatment. What if the petals were cut from the print I used for the ruffle. What if the centre were made of buttons (like seeds?). I have one at the back as well. I always think people forget to give the back interest, So I like to put a little something.The next thing I will do is put a bit of decoration on the white linen blouse that you could see partially in the original photo on Monday. I don't think I am doing ruffles. Just enough of the print to go with the skirt, but not so much that I can't wear it with other things.

Perhaps tomorrow, but I have to go buy a new light for my overlocker. So, we will see.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Sneak Peak

The skirt is getting the cheerful treatment. I found something that will help it be cheerful but not "in your face". It is also a fabric which works with the blouse. I haven't started playing with that yet, so I am not quite sure what it wants to be.

You may recognise the shapes. This is a further development from the doodle flower on the jeans skirt. I haven't shown the doodle yet because it is my design source and I am not tired of it yet!!

So, for today, while I am satin stitching, you can get a glimpse of what is going on.

Apparently Blogger has an outage tomorrow sometime, so if you don't hear from me tomorrow, don't fret.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Inspiration Tuesday

I love the intense patterning in this purple cabbage. If it wasn't meant for dinner, I would have taken it straight away to print with it!

and besides that... I love the blue colour that stains the sink if a piece is left with a bit of water. Well, not the stained sink part (who in their right mind thought having a white sink was a Good Idea? is an "inherited-from-the-previous-owners" sink.) but the blue colour is cool and unexpected when you see the cabbage.

I think in a way, the tight patterning is sort of the effect you get with intensely filled doodles.

Have you done anything artistic with a purple cabbage?

Monday, 13 April 2009


Today was a productive day. First I started off by adding a couple flowers to the back of the makeover skirt. When I had got to that point yesterday, I started getting other ideas, and so the different flower developed. However, as I looked at it, I realised it needed some more that were like it. The dots are pollen, so they are alright, as the flower with the pollen is just slightly different.
Next, I sewed up a skirt I had cut out over a year ago! It is more of a spring weight fabric. I had meant for it to be plain and all it needs is the hem. But, I am on a decorated phase at present, and it would be more cheerful decorated. So, I found some fabric in the stash which will cheer it up a bit. I also have a white linen blouse I had made up to the fitting stage. It was a toile for my block (A toile is a trial garment.) This blouse didn't need any adjustments, but I never got round to finishing anything. It wants facings, etc. I decided if I do the cheering up to it as well, then I will actually have something that goes together! So, that is on for another day...perhaps tomorrow.
After that, I finished stitching down the decoration on the dragon jeans I started in Tracy Bautista's class at Houston in the Autumn. Part of the delay was that I wanted them stitched with a heavy black line. But when I was using thick black thread, it kept fraying and breaking. Today I had a lightbulb moment and decided to use 2 strands of normal black thread. Yes, it got the result and no problems with the stitching. All my other trousers have become too big, due to at last being able to lose a few more pounds. So, now I have a pair that fit and will suit teaching classes on decorating clothes! However, for this I do need to come up with a top to go. I am thinking red...which I don't have at present. But maybe some red linen in my cupboard will do.
So, I am a happy bunny today. Some of the reason I had more time to do this at last is that the C+G external verifier said we don't need to do as many assignments as they had set. That suits me! So, I will get back to studying another day, but as it is the Easter holiday, I may as well take a break and do something different!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Jeans skirt Makeover - Part 2+3

Well, Yesterday could have been part 2 on it's own, but it was Featured Blog and I was busy with Part 3.
Remember the jeans skirt my sister gave me? Too long and a bit boring. (She didn't like it either.)

Part 2 - First, I chopped off the excess, plus about 3 inches. Then, I cut a 6 inch band from the chopped off part. Flipped it over to show the "inside" and stitched it back on to the skirt. The edge was overlocked. Then, I turned up the band to the inside, which made a double layer, and then caught it down with stitch in the ditch through the seam I had made.

Already it looks better!Part 3 - Next I got out my textile paints and started painting some abstract flowers. These flowers were developed during some recent doodling and trying out the "What if?" questions. What if flowers had geometric petals, rather than petal shaped. What if the "stamens" stuck out like antennae?


I love the result! Now I have to look for some more things to draw and paint onto!


Saturday, 11 April 2009

Featured Blog

I recently came across the blog called "What if?...exploring a relationship with cloth" by Jude Hill. Currently she is exploring the mirade different design opportunities one can discover with a nine patch. If you want to follow her whole experimental journey, you can start with the first post over a year ago.

Jude has 2 other blogs Threadcrumbs and Spirit Cloth. Both are equally interesting.

The "What if?" concept really struck a cord with me as I use that all the time to get to the next point in my work, my ideas, my dicoveries. I also try to get my students to think "What if?" so as to develop their designs further.

Here is some of what I said in a recent handout of idea prompts for the students...

"Because you aren’t copying an idea, whether it be from nature or someone else, you are using the idea as inspiration; you are faced with the concept of “making it your own”…coming up with original ideas. If it still looks like the original, then it is still derivative and not your original design."...

"One of the biggest things that will help you with developing ideas is to ask, “What if?” The more you ask “What if?”, the more the design becomes informed by your thought processes and so is unique. It may seem similar to other work, as in made up using similar techniques, but the design is yours."

It's what makes me look inside fallen logs like this to discover interesting mosses and things and think "What if?" and even "Why?"

Friday, 10 April 2009

Small One - The Magical Elephant

Here is a story for you. Hope you like it. It came about when I was doing the latest dragon for Fast Friday Challenge. The challenge was: Planes & Masses combining saturated and muted colours.

Small One, the Magical Elephant

“Auntie” was an African elephant. She was called Auntie because she hadn’t had any babies of her own, but she loved to help the other mothers with their babies.

One day as the elephant herd moved to the river for water, she heard mewing sounds that sounded like a baby elephant in trouble. When she investigated, she found the smallest, funniest-looking elephant she had ever seen. (Auntie was a bit short-sighted.)

What Auntie actually had found was a newly hatched dragon. Auntie had mistaken the feebly flapping wings as ears, and the not-yet-elegant tail as a trunk. Well, from her point of view, the dragon was quite far down on the ground. Had she been able to see him closely she might have thought differently. But then, maybe she was meant to think about the baby dragon so she could help him and he could help her.

The baby dragon was one of the kind of dragons who start off sort of elephant coloured. As they grew and did good things, their magic began to grow and their skin would gleam. Of course, this newly hatched baby hadn’t started gleaming yet.

Auntie decided that perhaps the baby “elephant” was thirsty, so she scooped him up with her trunk and placed him on a spot behind her neck that was just right for small ones like him. When she lifted him, she thought, “My, he is very warm. I hope he isn’t getting fever. It is a good thing we will be at the river soon.” And she made comforting noises to him. It wasn’t long before he was fast asleep, rocked by the rhythm of her rocking walk. She didn’t mention him to the other elephants, as they were tending their own babies, coaxing them to walk just that bit further when they complained “Are we there yet?”

After a time, the herd arrived at the place where the river ran in a quiet spot. Auntie, lifted the baby dragon down, scooped some water and began to blow it over him gently, like she would do for other baby elephants with fever. The baby dragon woke, flapping his wings and crowing a bit. (It was almost like the trumpeting sound elephants make, so she was still unaware he was a dragon.) He LOVED the water! Soon he was splashing around in the stream she made for him.

So, Auntie gently pushed the baby dragon towards the river pool with her trunk. She had never seen such a small elephant, so she didn’t want him to go too near the deep bit. Before she knew it he put his head right down in the water. “Oh, Small One”, she cried! (Dragons can understand any language, so he understood her.) He popped back up and cried. “Fun, Fun!”, and kept splashing about. So, she stopped worrying and started to get her own drink and have her own wash.

But dragons are very quick and suddenly the baby dragon jumped up and dived into the water. She couldn’t see where he was at all. She began to panic. “Small One! Small One!”

Up popped the baby dragon…with a fish in his mouth! “Mumgry!” He mumbled, with his mouth full. Now, she knew this was NOT a baby elephant, strange or not! But she already loved him. She lifted him up with her trunk and brought him close to her face to have a look as he gulped the fish down. “Awww! Why it’s a Small One alright, a Small One dragon!”

And so Small One travelled with the elephants. Auntie introduced him to her friends, and after having a bit of a laugh with her about mistaking him for a baby elephant, they all fell in love with him, too, and were glad the Auntie at last had a little one to care for.

At first, no one in the herd realised that for some reason, grazing was easier to find, waterholes weren't covered with mucky stuff, journeys didn’t seem so far, and baby elephants didn’t wander off and get lost. (I think it was the magic from Small One, don’t you?)

One day, the baby dragon, who wasn’t quite as small as he had been, was playing with the other baby elephants. Small One was so light compared to them, that they had found it was a great game to toss him back and forth with their trunks. He loved it, flapping his wings and sometimes tricking them by drifting to stand on top their heads. (Auntie, of course, being near-sighted, had not realised they played this game at first. And by the time she discovered it, she knew he would be alright because sometimes when she placed him on her neck, he would flutter down when he was done with his sleep.)

One of the bigger baby elephants decided to make up a game to see how high they could throw the baby dragon. And of course, since he was the strongest, he knew he could win the game. Small One was thrown higher and higher. Suddenly, he opened his wings wide and started to fly. They all looked up astonished! “Look, Small One is flying!” They cried.

Small One flew around and around. Then he noticed something. Just in the next clearing there were some 2 leg creatures around a fire. Auntie had told him this kind of 2 leg creatures were “humans”. She had warned him that some humans were nice, but that if he ever saw humans with sticks they pointed at things, he should hide. These humans had sticks like that. Quickly he folded his wings and dived for cover. He was some distance from the elephants.

Remember I said dragons can understand any language? Well, these “humans” were talking. Small One could understand them. And being a dragon, what they said made him, not afraid, but ANGRY! They were talking about pointing the sticks at the elephants and hurting them! This made him feel all hot inside. In fact, he didn’t know it, but he started to have steam coming out of his nose!!

He crept closer to the fire the humans had. Because he was a dragon, he could walk very quietly and not be heard. The next thing the humans knew there was a strange creature in front of them! And the next thing after that, he was blowing steam towards them! This made their sticks so hot that they dropped them!

They decided to run! Small One blew a big burst of angry steam in their direction. They clutched at their backsides and yelled! And then, RAN very far from there.

Auntie and the others had heard the humans yelling. They soon found out from the baby elephants that Small One had disappeared. So, they headed towards where they heard the shouting sound. When they came into the clearing, they couldn’t believe their eyes.

There, by the fire…IN the fire…was Small One dancing around and around…AND GLOWING!

When they heard what had happened, all the big daddy elephants stomped all over the sticks. And all the mummy elephants came over to touch Small One’s glowing skin…well, after they told him to get out of the fire before he started the forest alight.

And Auntie just beamed and gave Small One a big squeeze with her trunk. All she said was “Well, I guess I will be able to see you better now!” And every one laughed.

And here is a picture of Auntie looking after Small One while he has a little sleep. I just managed to get close enough to peep through the bushes.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Mrs. Primrose and Mrs. Periwinkle's house

The prompt on Doodle Day this week was Tree House. Helen S who sets the prompts referred to the Brambley Hedge books. I love those books. The drawings were far more important than the stories.

Disclaimer: The following post has become rather philosophical/long.

Before Brambley Hedge came out and my son was rather small, I wrote some children's stories (which, I hasten to add, are still only on notepaper in a drawer.) They were about Mrs. Primrose and Mrs. Periwinkle, 2 elderly rabbit sisters who "did things" with the children in their village. They got up to some interesting adventures.

I never thought I could draw their house. If I did, it would begin to look a bit like Wind in the Willows or The Hobbit. However, as I have started doodling, I have discovered I can draw...a bit.

One of the websites I found about doodling said something about it being easy as it is only one line at a time. And you is! And, too, since I have been using a drawing pen, rather than a pencil, for some reason there is a bit more freedom about it. If I use a pencil, straight away I am rubbing out, correcting things. With a pen, you have to go with the last mark "good" or "bad" and make it work. Suddenly it is like making art. (Well it is isn't it?) It tells you what it wants to be... this line becomes this and that line becomes that. That is the way I work in other mediums (media?).

This for me is an exhilarating feeling. I have so many pictures in my head and things I would like to depict in one way or another. But often there is a bit of disappointment because I can't find existing things that really work to show what I have in my head. There is always some sort of compromise. Sometimes with fabrics and stitch I can get it rather near and I am content. But wouldn't it be better if you could really do it like the vision?

And, too, because I am working in a small book there is actually more freedom, since I don't have to fight the spaces. (I don't have to conquer the world, just a small part of it.) I am also only working one side of the page, because the number 5 drawing pen I started working with goes through the paper a bit if you are doing a darker spot. I have a number 1 pen, but it was too much different to the number 5, so they didn't really work together. I probably will leave things as they are for now and then find a book with paper that doesn't let the mark through. I have found my number 2 pen though, and I used it alot for this sketch.

It is also a bit freer not to use colour. Having to depict what it is with black and white makes your really think about what things look like. To use your observational skills. There will be a time for colour one day, but for now can I make it look like it with pen alone?

What I loved about doing this was the way I could start imagining the story as you drew. To start thinking of the characters and how they live. Where they would put things? What kind of bits and pieces they'd have round the house? And so on.

So, here is a start at realising a picture in my head, but the fact that I can draw something that can be recognised as something else without making a lot of allowances brings joy. One of the most joyful bits of this sketch was getting the flagstones right!! small pleasures, right?

What have you discovered lately that brings you joy?

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Fabulous Felt Brooches

Here are some photos of the work done by the families who came to the
Step into Spring Event at New Directions.

Love the colour choices by the children...
and the hidden talent of the frantic sewing of the Mums and one Dad!
Well done.
Fun for all the family!
Good thing I had something for boys!

These girls very independantly did nearly everything themselves!

Next time?...longer time slots or simpler brooches!
It was a good thing it was the start of the holiday and the classes weren't full!

I think this could be something my Crafts@ the Library members would enjoy.
It would fit a May theme, I think. And besides, I have all the prep done!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Inspiration Tuesday

Remember the circular tool pieces?
Here are more circular inspirational features from Radley college.

Love this delicate design in the stone.

Something a bit more simple.

These 2 on the same building as the pattern I showed a few weeks ago.
I like how the one further away looks slightly different due to perspective.

The circular theme must have been noticed by students, too. This was in a different part of the student sculpture garden. I am not sure if it was meant to be a citrus slice, but that's what it reminds me of.
Out of all of them, though, I think this is the one that seems to mean more. not everyone would do a citrus slice sculpture for a garden.
What round things inspire you?

Monday, 6 April 2009

Fabulous Felt Friends

I decided that if I had any boys in tomorrow's class, they would be very disappointed. So, I developed 2 "friends". At present they are not sewn/glued together, as I will use them for demo. But you can get an idea of what they look like.

Should be fun!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Step into Spring

More Fabulous Felt Flowers
The flower I made the other day, was alright, but I needed to do templates for the children to use for the main parts. So, I will show them ways of making some of these more exciting if they want, but these will be work better for them to make them on their own.

Now for writing up the instructions.