Thursday, 30 April 2009
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
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
But what if you were the craftsmen and came back to see it?
Monday, 27 April 2009
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
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.
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.
Saturday, 25 April 2009
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
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
Saturday, 18 April 2009
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
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. so...watch this space.
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.
Thursday, 16 April 2009
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
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
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?...it 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
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.
Sunday, 12 April 2009
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
Friday, 10 April 2009
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
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 know...it 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
Step into Spring Event at New Directions.
Love the colour choices by the children...
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
Love this delicate design in the stone.
Monday, 6 April 2009
Should be fun!
Sunday, 5 April 2009
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.