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.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Portrait, and the Narrative in my Head!

My journal quilt for August. Having made a self portrait in red for April, I just had to make this one of my hubby in mellow yellow for August! I used silk/acrylic paint for the cotton, free motion stitch and black knitting wool couched down with a zig zag stitch for the outline. It was all highlighted with watercolour crayons.

Low Tide

These two pieces are hand stitched on rusted cotton fabric. I soaked them in a mixture of white vinegar and water before sprinkling them with some rusty nails and tacks, rolling them up, and leaving them for 48 hours in the garden under a bush! This is where the narrative in my head then took over. I didn't have any plans of where I was going to stitch, or what colours I was going to use, but straight away, I found myself imagining the beach and the sea. I allowed the rusty marks to dictate where I should start to make further marks with my needle and thread, so it was more of an instinctive thing really, and I was visualising sand, shingle, pools, sea water, groins and everything seaside! These two small squares are the result of a few hours of extremely enjoyable creative stitching, made mainly while watching the first few days of the Olympics. I'm not a sports fan at all really, but my mellow yellow hubby is on holiday this fortnight, because he just loves all sport, so I've been trying to at least keep him company for a few hours each day, but with a needle and thread to keep me from going completely insane!!

Incoming Tide

I have actually been quite busy for the last couple of months on a project that I can't show on here as yet. It's my daughter and son in laws 30th birthdays this autumn, and my daughter has asked for an 8 place setting of table mats, (all different!), and her partner has a large picture frame just waiting for a piece of textile art that he has designed, consisiting of some celtic knot designs.  Once they have been safely delivered, (half way around the world to New Zealand,)  opened, and hopefully approved, I will show them on here. 

If you are watching the Olympics, enjoy, and if you are stitching at the same time, even better!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Printing, chopping, stitching, and lots of fun!

After assembling the image below, stitching into it by hand and machine, I felt it was just too dense, it couldn't breathe, so I chopped it up into lots and lots of 3" squares! (Above)

Nine squares, covered in a fine voile to knock back some of the colour, but then cut away in places for contrast. Machine stitched onto the background, with further machine quilting, emphasising some of the lines and shapes.

Same again, but I decided to cut up one of the 3" squares into 9 smaller pieces. Some text was also free machined in a couple of places. All experimental stuff, and I'm enjoying playing with ideas.

Still about 11 or 12 squares left over, so I stuck them onto a very long strip of paper, concertina style, and then added some marks/drawing with a black pen wherever the fancy took me. This is now stuck into my 'developing ideas' book.

More experimenting with leaf prints onto fabric and paper. I've always liked dandelions, their colour is such a glorious yellow, and reminds me of the sunshine. I also love the interesting tooth shaped leaves, and then of course the dandelion clock! Lovely seedheads to blow and have fun with. After printing with the leaves, I stuck other pieces of fabric and paper around them, stitched into some of these pieces by hand and machine, and then decided to assemble them into a simple book form. See below. Again, it's been a lot of fun doing this, and it's definitely something I will be doing more of. Hopefully I'll be getting better results as I go along!

Finally, I live in Carshalton, which is becoming quite famous for it's lavender fields. I went along today, and was surprised by the amount of people who were also visiting. In fact it was difficult to get a photo without too many bodies in the way! The first photo shows a field that is a week or two behind  the field in the second photo. I really like the contrast of the yellow flowers sprouting between the rows of lavender. These lavender fields must also be on the itinerary of our Japanese visitors, there were many of them here today, taking photos as a reminder of their visit.

Across the road from the lavender fields is our beautiful local Oaks Park. This weekend, the artists who work in the artists studios there, had their doors open to the public. It must be a very inspiring environment to work in, and I'm quite envious. I met some lovely, and very talented artists who were all very welcoming. I was particularly impressed by the work of sculpture artist Kendra Haste, and have decided that I must make a visit to The Tower of London, to see her wonderful animal sculptures in situ.

Until next time, thank you for your time, and enjoy your creativity, whatever it is!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Playing and having fun.

Layered and collaged cover for my new ideas/sketch book/journal. It was started a few weeks ago with my Kairos friends, and I finished it off yesterday to cover my new book.

Above is the experimental piece I made on my return home on Saturday, (see previous post). Today I decided to chop it up a bit, and stitch into it. I had no ideas or plans as to what I was going to do, I just started stitching, and a garden theme seemed to take over. Below are three photos showing the end results which I have stuck into my new journal.

I also played around with another collaged experiment, and divided it up into smaller areas that I thought had potential for another day. See below.

The last two images are the results of some fruit and veg prints I made onto scrap cloth, ready to use on other projects.

I'm enjoying a break from my more considered and careful work, but hopefully this playful experimentation may spark off some fresh ideas, and a new path to explore on my creative journey. Fingers crossed anyway!