A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Now you see them, now you don't!

As I mentioned in my last post, it was our anniversary a couple of weeks ago, and above is a little gift I made for my hubby of 45 years! I thought the heart fabric, (something I've had in my stash for years!), would be appropriate, so printed the leaf shape after giving the white background a wash of blue paint.

Seeing as I had rather a lot of the said, heart fabric, I decided to use it for my dyeing session, (also in my last post). Most of it in pinks and purples, with the odd splash of golden yellow showing through.

I've also been making some printing blocks out of sheets of kiddies play foam, above and below, and decided to use them for overprinting the dyed heart cloth.

The more elaborate blocks, like the fish and tree printed well, but didn't seem appropriate for what I wanted to achieve, so I stuck the more simple ovals, spirals and dashes.

Below is a close-up photo of how I used the dashes in blue acrylic paint to print over the purple hearts!! (crikey, that sounds a bit 60's!!)

I think I've almost obliterated the original dyed cloth, it was fun to experiment with my over printing, and to then embellish with stitch.

I did add an appliqued heart to one piece, as a gesture to acknowledge the design on the original fabric!

And this final photo shows my leaf block printed over a gelli print of a larger leaf.

Have a lovely weekend, wherever in the world you happen to be, and thanks for reading.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Dying and Inspiration in the Garden.

Inspired by Maggi Birchenough's blog posts here, I decided to dig out my dyes and other dying paraphernalia and have a go with the soy wax technique. It was a warm dry day here on Saturday, so an ideal day to play around in the garden with it all. Above you can see my tubs of thickened dye. with the sample colours, (they all look so dark in the pots I couldn't tell which was which!) Below, are the three screens I made with the soy wax as a resist, and you can see that I'd used one already when I took this photo.

Now I haven't done any dying for at least two or maybe three years, so it was all very experimental, but I scraped colour onto my samples of  soda soaked cloth, and played around with my screens. There are a couple where I didn't use the screens, and the leafy piece was one of those, but I quite liked the way the leaves printed.

The colours are rather garish in some of them, I'd forgotten just how lurid the yellow can be but hey, it was good fun, and I have some dye paste left over, so hopefully another day of fun to look forward to later this week.

Still on the map theme, I've been exploring ideas in my sketch book, and decided to focus on a couple of the squares from my July jq, (see my last post by scrolling down the page.) 

On the left page above, I have actually stitched a small sample, and I like the effect of the heavy stitching in white on the fabric surface. I have, however, decided to do away with the wave shapes at the bottom, and I will probably base my August jq on this design.

A couple of years ago I went to the exhibition above at The British Museum, and as you can see I bought the book. There are some wonderful examples of Aboriginal art in this book, and I've been studying them again today for inspiration. The examples below I feel would translate into stitch so beautifully, but of course there has to be some personal relevance to anything I produce.

Again, thinking about maps, and my fascination with ' a bird's eye view' aspect, I had the idea of looking down on our garden, simplifying the shapes, but using line, texture and a monochromatic palette. I stitched black on black, with the idea of giving it all a thin wash of white gesso afterwards, but I'd hoped that the black polyester thread would repel the paint! This didn't happen, so I used a cream paint for the dots, and then re-stitched over certain areas in black. I need to rethink this technique/idea, but I'll leave you with my results, and many thanks to you if you've managed to stick with me to the end of this rambling post!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Lavender, Maps and Anniversaries.

Bird's eye view of Lavender Fields. I've gone full circle with my map theme, and seem to have come back to this!

I had lots of trial pieces for my Lavender Fields triptych, (scroll down), so I've chopped them up and made a selection of cards.


Finally, above is another experimental map piece, but it wasn't working so I put it aside.

Then today, I decided to paint it over with white gesso. The stitching was still visible, so I used a selection of paints, inktense pencils and permanent coloured felt pens to colour between the stitching. I added more stitch, and then as it was our 45th anniversary yesterday (sapphire), I couched a grid in blue knitting wool to create 45 equal squares, symbolising our 45 very colourful and happy years together for my July journal quilt.

On that 'cheesy' note I'll thank you for reading once again!