Thursday, 31 October 2013

ALAW - presentation

Remember the flags with the barbed wire letters? I had stitched them for A Letter A Week challenge. It was the first set of letters and it had to do with peace. Well today I stitched them to a thin black ribbon.
This coming Sunday our church is going to have a special time to remember and pray for Christians who are attacked or put in prison because of what they believe. So, this is the perfect time to get the presentation sorted for the flags. I am also in the middle of adding words so the banner can be seen from a distance. Then when people go up to it, they can see the flags of the countries and be prompted to remember the people who live there.

I will try to get a photo to show you afterwards. I think we will probably put it as a visual reminder beyond just the one day.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

sneak peek this week's blouse

I started sewing this on Saturday, but haven't got very far. Today I parcelled up my piece for the Water, Water exhibition and drove to Henley to deliver it...taking a detour because I didn't know Sonning bridge was closed. But it is safely there.

Anyway, here is a peek at the blouse in progress.
It is actually a bit more bluey turquoise than the sea green colour here.

I bought the fabric when the Offcuts sewing group had an outing to Goldhawk Road shops earlier in the year. It is gorgeous! Just the thing I would have loved to dye myself if I could. and the hand is so very soft. I wouldn't be surprised if it had some rayon, but then again it might just be a similar thin cotton to that which was in the skirt I recently refashioned into a blouse.

I hope to make quite a bit more progress with it tomorrow.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

skirt finishes

I finally got the finishing steps done on the two skirts I started a few weeks ago.

One needed a zip and I didn't have any darker zips. But when I did buy some, then I was on to another project.

So here is the blue skirt finished. It replaces a straight skirt from the same fabric that I was overzealous with overlocking took in too much when I lost weight a few months ago. I still had enough fabric to make another.
I decided I would prefer an A-line skirt instead of a straight one this time.
Here is a glimpse of the lining. I used up a bit of this and a bit of that because I hadn't got enough of either. So, it is a bit of a secret with the posh shot taffeta!
I did a free hanging lining and stitched French tacks to keep the layers together.

The other finish is the skirt I made from a duvet cover a friend gave me. I need some basic summer skirts, so this will be a 'beige' version, even though the fabric is a quiet tan stripe.

To be honest, it was a bit too plain, so I have stitched a line of little shell sequins here and there. Three spaced lines in the front and one at centre back.
The detail shows the centre back. If you click on the photo, it should enlarge enough to show how the beads are secured with a metallic bead.

It will keep the skirt interesting, but still allow me to wear it with blouses that make their own statement. A bit like tone on tone embroidery.

Monday, 28 October 2013

SAQA Auction

I mentioned before that my piece Ramshackle was donated for the SAQA auction. The main auction has already taken place, but some of the pieces were reserved for this week, including mine, because it is the week of the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

The auction is a reverse auction and works in such a way that the starting price goes down each day, stopping at $75 if it doesn't sell. Then it is moved into the SAQA shop. However, if there is one you like, you take a risk waiting to purchase at a lower price because someone else might snap it up.

Anyway, the first 2 days the auction will be online and then there are opportunities for visitors to the Quilt show to see the works and purchase in person.

A link to the first page of quilts at Houston.

and the second page where mine is listed.

I am looking forward to seeing if there is interest in it and at what stage it might be purchased!

All of the SAQA auction pieces are worth having a look at - even if they are already sold - just to see the variety of themes and techniques different artists use.
This link will take you to the first page of the main auction pieces and from there you can reach the other pages 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

"And the Bead Goes On..." 21-27 Oct

2013 - Week 43 Daily Beads








Amazing - 300 official daily beaded bits! Plus all the 'just a few extra for good measure.'

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Something on Saturday

This year the Thoughtful Man grew pumpkins in his allotment. They did very well. We had 8 of varying sizes.

So this week I cooked some of them down.
I cut them in half, get the seeds out, place them cut side down in a baking tray with water and bake them for 30 min on about 160C for 30min. Turn it over and do another 30 min, and then turn again and do another 30.
Then let them cool and you can peel the skin off easily.

then I puree the pulp and divide it up into approx. 2 cup amounts (2 American cups... this time I settled on about 1lb5oz each)
Because that is the amount most of my pumpkin recipes call for - Pumpkin pie, Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin chip cookies.

These go into the freezer. It is easier to set the freezer bag into a container and freeze it. then you can take the bag out, remove the container and you have blocks of frozen pumpkin which stack easily into a larger plastic container in your freezer.

And I still have 5 left to do! I am going to invite some of my British friends around to have a Pumpkin day because they said they have never baked with pumpkin.

I will defrost some of the frozen bags so we have some already cooked and can be getting on with a recipe while the pumpkin they have put in the oven is baking.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Map no.10 - suddenly developed and here it is

Last night when I hadn't enough brain to actually tackle a waistband, I thought I would see what happened with the map which has been peeking out at me amidst the blouses and other scraps on my table.

I did my City and Guilds Qualification in Hemel Hempstead. Nearly every week for 4 years. Through the traffic on the M25 at whatever o'clock in the morning. If you left at 10 past 7, you got there at 8:00 or so. If you left at 7:30, you got there after the class started at 9:00. So, I often took a nap in the carpark of the college. OR finished stitching whatever it was that was the current projects.

Apart from fighting the traffic on the various motorways on the way there. There was the daunting run the gauntlet experience of getting across the Magic Roundabout. So, I decided I would use the diagram of it in developing the map. I used the printer/photocopier to enlarge it.

when I went looking for what fabric, I decided to use this piece which was a mop it up blotter fabric from a Masterclass I did with Rayna Gillman at FOQ a few years ago. It was about printing your own fabrics.

So I fused the back and began to cut out the shape. I decided to use the roundabout as a design motif, rather than using the map of it as I have mostly been doing.

I found a background that was quite a bit more subtle than the surface designed piece. I liked the contrast of the grunge looking piece with one that seemed more elegant. In a small way, it represented the wide areas of interest in textiles I have developed as a result of the C+G (not that the course itself was particularly encouraging to someone who wanted to think outside the box! but we had a very good teacher for design who opened up worlds for me by showing anything was possible in design.)

Once I laid out the cut roundabout motifs, I fused them into place.

You can see that I chose to create more interest on the background. I decided to use other parts of the road system around the college. I used a map I had printed from the college way back on the first week so I could figure out how to get there. I cut away sections leaving the roads around the college. Then I used it like a stencil inside the open space of the roundabout motif using a silver gel pen.

I thought some of the outside spaces could do with more, so I used the section of the road system which included the roundabout and some of the roads I took to get there. I traced them with both metallic and opaque gel pen colours.
and then for just a bit more, I used a very small version of the roundabout to create star-like motifs in other gel pen colours.

And then stitched it. and found a similar colour fabric to the background for a binding. and it was already done by 10:00pm tonight! I usually hand stitch the binding at the back, but I thought I would just experiment with machine stitching from the front. Okay, it works and is quicker, but I prefer the hand stitching as it is tidier.

So there we are! October's map before the end of October! are you in shock?

I am linking this to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Purple coral pattern blouse finished

I finished the blouse I gave a peek of the other day.

When I was looking for buttons, I was tempted to use these larger reddish purple ones thinking it would add to the unique look.

but in the end, I used blue as it really worked better.

Here it is buttoned up
I do think the contrast has made this a better blouse than it would have been if it was overall patterned.

and open at the neck.

Okay, I think I am ready for a different collar. I shall see what I can do with the others waiting to be stitched up.

But first, I think I will finish the half done skirts hanging on the cupboard doors.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Chinese Whispers Exhibition at South Hill Park - a review (lengthy!)

Yesterday I went over to South Hill Park to see the textile exhibition in the Bracknell Gallery by the group Studio 21. It is on until this coming Sunday the 27th if you haven't had a chance to go. You can see further photos of the work in a slideshow here.

At first I didn't really understand the concept, even though the Exhibition was called 'Chinese Whispers'. I realised that implied receiving something to which you then responded to in someway. However, I thought it was that a work was passed on and someone else added to it or changed it. Or that you made work inspired by it. It wasn't until I had one of the artists, Jacky Russell explain her journey that I began to understand.*

At first there was a mark making session.
Here is a small selection of the 'marks' made. Individuals in the group chose one of these to respond to. At this point it was still an exercise.

The remit was to create a work that would fit into a teacup...a fascinating selection of these also were on display. I think these were meant to be 3D - or could be made to be 3D? I am a bit fuzzy on that.

Here are a few of the small 3D pieces I photographed.

And some which were displayed on the wall, but I think were still not resolved pieces. Not sure if these were the same step, or a further one.

Jacky Russell

The key point about each of these steps was that you could respond to any of the work any other artist had done in the previous step.

So, the work you made in your journey was not in a straight line, so to speak. You were exploring different ideas and techniques at each stage of the process. You may respond to one person's work at this step and another person's work in the next step.(who had responded to someone different - or even yours - in a previous step, etc)

And then more work was made. There were 3D pieces.
 Liz Heywood

Susan Chapman

Debbie Lyddon

It seems, however, there was another step where 2D work was made in response to other's 3D work.
 Amarjeet Nandhra
You can see the drawing was a response to the above 3D piece.

Here are several of the pieces which I really liked.

 Debbie LyddonDetail

This companion piece was black.
My camera couldn't read it well and decided to lighten it! I have tried to darken it so you can see how the little white ends of the strings really bring interest to the work. Compare that to the little dark ends on stings in the white piece.

 Liz Heywood
Again a response to the hanging loops.

 Annette Collinges

Jacky Russell
This work was large. It looked very fossil like, but it was rope with string embedded onto the surface. A response to a few small stuff tied snake-like pieces. The ties around the forms had the strings hanging. Jacky wanted to follow up that idea in a different way.

*Further Thoughts:
To be honest, I still am a bit confused about the whole process which brought about the exhibition! I really wish there were names on more of the pieces. Some of the 'resolved' work had names and some didn't. Apparently I was supposed to be able to tell which work informed work by others. Or perhaps it was the work by the Whole throughout the gallery that was supposed to be the completed work? At any rate, I got some of the names from Jacky who answered my questions, and some by finding the blog of another artist who has put names against photos of work on her blog.

It wasn't that the work done wasn't fascinating. Several pieces really drew me in and I wanted to know more. But I was stymied by no name! or if there was a name, I couldn't go and see what else they had done to compare how their journey through the process had changed/developed.
I am sure the group enjoyed this whole process, but I can't help but think that displaying work with no name rather flies in the face of current hue and cry about making sure your name remains linked to your work as your own intellectual property.

I also would have liked to know (without having to ask to be led around) what the steps were that the group had taken. I have a general idea, after asking a lot of questions. But for me this was a whole new way of doing things.
Rather than a general statement - "The starting point for Chinese Whispers was a Seeing Sound and a Practice Development workshop. The original work was passed between members of the group, responded to and passed on again. The resulting small pieces of work were circulated again – with unexpected and exciting outcomes." - I would have liked to know what that actually meant!

I understand, from the artist I spoke to, that it has helped her to look at other methods of working and not to fall back on her comfortable techniques. I think she feels it has opened up directions that she would like to continue to explore.
Perhaps it would help if you needed to freshen your outlook, but I am not convinced it would be useful if you were at the point where you need to focus and develop your own voice. It will be interesting to see how each artist's journey develops from here. Will they continue from this point? Will it be a development to their artistic journey...or an intriguing side trail?

I think it is very worth going to see the work. Much of it I would like to see again. Perhaps it is better to try to look at it without knowing what I think I would like to know?

Or maybe it was that yesterday was a difficult day for me with changed medications and I was already too confused before I arrived?

If you have seen it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Sneak peek blouse for this week

This was the blouse that took me ages to get the layout because I was trying to cut a princess line blouse from around 1 yard of fabric. It meant I couldn't add as much length as I have realised I prefer. But at the end of the day, that has made me think of outside the box ways to make it work.

A hard to match colour, but I found some purple in the market a couple months ago that would tone with both the dark and light shade of the print.

I just need to attach the sleeves and stitch buttonholes and buttons and it will be done. I don't usually leave sleeves to last, but I wanted to see how they would look with the rest of the blouse and the addition of the purple contrast. Would they need some, too? and how would I introduce it if I did.

I should have it done tomorrow, but will probably post it on Thursday.
I have always liked unique print for blouse fabric, so now I can start getting some into the wardrobe! I bought this somewhere like 4 or 5 years ago! I have some fabric similar but another colour way, so as soon as I have caught up on some of these other cut out and half made things, I can start it. I bought more of it, so there won't be so much problems with thinking how to make it work.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Bright blouse gets an outing

Although it was rainy on Sunday, it was still pretty warm, so I wore my Bright Blouse to church.

Toned down a bit!
with the refashioned cardigan and the summer blue skirt.

Bit by bit it is paying off to be making things that actually go together in my wardrobe!

And the Winners are....

Names in a basket...

The Thoughtful Man drew out the names for the fabric bead give away.
And Here are the winners. Ladies could you send me your email addresses?

Judith - I sent you an email to the address in your profile.

LA Paylor - LeeAnna, I used your email you gave here.

Shelly - can you send me your email address? If you click on the link to view my profile near my photo on the side bar, you will find it there.

I will redraw again on Wednesday if I don't get an address.

Oh, I wish I had made enough for everyone!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

"And the Bead Goes On..." 14-20 Oct

Beads made - tick
photos taken - tick
Photos resized for blog - tick
photos uploaded to blog and set for Sunday...oh.

Apologies for the delay.

2013 - Week 42 Daily Beads








Tonight I will be drawing the name from the comments for Wednesday's give away post. Make sure you leave a comment there if you want a chance to get a set of embellished fabric beads.

I will announce the winner tomorrow.