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, 21 February 2014

Colour, but without stitch or cloth!

Armed with my new camera, and in the company of a good friend, we made the most of this beautiful sunny day by going for a walk in Coombe Wood, just south of Croydon in Surrey.

My friend, who is an extremely competent and artistically clever photographer, generously shared lots of her tips for creating successful photographic images.

I just love the colour of these beautiful deep pink and lime green flowers. I'm not sure of their correct name, but I've always called them Christmas roses!

With my camera held underneath the blooms, the light shining through the petals really helped to reveal some gorgeous detail.

Such a wonderful shade of blue with the splash of yellow, beautiful miniature Iris.

And of course, one of the first flowers to herald in the promise of spring, the dainty, nodding heads of the snowdrops.

Finally, and one of the reasons why I don't have much stitch to show at the moment, is because of the many preparations I am involved in for our daughters wedding in May. Above is the painting I made for the invitations. Her fiance is a New Zealander, and although they both live there now, will be coming back to the UK for the marriage celebrations. I decided to incorporate the New Zealand fern with an English rose, and it had to be a lavender coloured rose as their colour scheme is lilac/lavender and green. I am also busy stitching the ring cushion, and will shortly be starting on the bridesmaid dress for our granddaughter. A very busy time, but one that I am thoroughly enjoying.

Thanks for looking in, and I hope you are enjoying whatever your creative life is presenting you with at the moment too!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A work in a very loooooong progress!

This piece of work is something that I started quite some time ago. I made an A3 black and white photocopy from a colour photograph that I took on holiday about 8 years ago. It was a photo of a prickly pear cactus, a rather large specimen, and I just loved the shapes of the fleshy leaves with the pear shaped fruits growing from around the edges. I may be wrong in calling the different parts 'leaves' and 'fruits', but that is what they looked like to me.

I laminated the photocopy to some voile, and rubbed off the excess paper after fixing, and soaking in water. This left just the image on the voile, which when backed with some cotton fabric, (I chose part of an old cotton curtain with a green print) gives a lovely soft, light handle to the piece for further embellishment. I started by adding colour with some silk and watered down acrylic paint. The very fine film of paper left on the voile takes up just enough colour for interest, and then I have used a combination of hand and machine embroidery in the different areas, together with further, slightly thicker acrylic paint applied in dots and spots. I've allowed myself to really go to town with the decoration, which gives this cactus a completely unreal appearance, and there may still be some further additional work added!

I have been asked to run a two day workshop this coming August, and this technique may well be one that I will offer to the participants. It's another interesting way of using some of the many photographs that we all seem to take these days, and then don't know what to do with!

If nothing else, it's lots of fun, and something colourful to work on during these cold, wet, grey winter days.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

February JQ

I can't believe it's a month since my last post. I've not had the time to indulge myself with my art for the last few weeks, but I have a very happy reason for this. Our daughter is coming back from New Zealand in April with her partner and son, and they are getting married at the beginning of May! This was only decided very recently, so it's been 'all go', trying to organise and co-ordinate dates for the ceremony and reception venue. I have also been designing and making the invites, bunting is also now on the agenda, and I think I may be making one of the bridesmaids dresses too, just for good measure!! Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention that we've also been busy decorating our front room, which is still ongoing. In fact, the more I think about it, it's a miracle that I've actually managed to get my February JQ finished at the beginning of the month! Maybe I need to get the March and April ones made sooner rather than later. This month I decided to use of one of the photographs I took of the two bikes parked in the kitchen where my grandson's Mum and Dad live. They are constantly in training for Triathalon, and every week, they catch my eye with their many different shapes created by the frames, wheels, spokes etc. I cropped one of them, manipulated it in photoshop, printed it onto canvas, free machine quilted most of it, added some acrylic paint, and finally free machine couched some red cotton knitting wool to outline the frame.

I hope you are keeping dry and safe during this relentlessly wet weather here in the UK, and wherever in the world you are, I hope you are enjoying your creativity.