Friday, 3 April 2009

Tempus Fugit

Hello everyone this is my return to blog land after a very long and unintentional sabbatical.... sorry but life seemed to just get in the way, you know how it is sometimes?.Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things slowly ( if i can remember how to do all of this!) I have tried to keep the old arthriticky fingers busy throughout the past few months and will bring you up to speed with some of the lovely work I've received with the Textile challenge group, my efforts in response to the challenges and most recently the work exhibited by Meniscus at the NEC last month.

The exhibition was a great success, judging by some the of the lovely comments passed and as work was sold, so a great weekend all round.It's the first time since joining this group that I've been involved in the setting up procedure, a daunting task but made so easy with the help and expertise of the other girls involved.The following pieces are just some of the work ; Above is Fran's tiny dancer (my title not hers) a gorgeous piece made from silk paper complete with ballet slippers ... just beautiful.

Helen's creation: a waterfall of dyed silks and scrim with the inclusion of delicate pieces of ceramic hidden within the folds.

Sue is an accomplished master of felt, in particular carving of the industrial sort! and as this is only a snippet of the actual huge piece i feel it doesn't fully give justice to her work, but hopefully you can appreciate the intricacy of the Celtic design.

Another piece from Helen showing her designs on fibre and ceramic.

These next two pieces are my contribution, a collar/shawl made up from transparent sheers, , free machined with metallic threads in a design taken from my theme of of shells and ammonites.

This is a little bag I made from knitting wire and beaded fishing line together, it's lined with silk and the handle is clear tubing which I've also beaded. A truly functional piece but i wouldn't like to make another as it was a definite labour of love.

Two super pieces of mixed media work from Anne and inspired from her garden theme. As Anne is a relative newcomer to Meniscus I really don't know a lot about her work other than she's terrifically talented and exhibited many times before.

For me this was a show stopper. A quirky but beautifully constructed corset by Joy called; 'He loves fishing more than me'! A vibrancy of colour with so many textures and stitch techniques. I'll post a full piccie later - i know i have another lurking somewhere. Found it - a little disjointed maybe but please see beginning of posting.
Our next group meeting is looming, the beginning of May and I'm way behind with my design and samples ... teacher wont be pleased! so will have to0 pull out all the stops in the next couple of weeks. I have some plans - don't we all! and a few rough ideas all based around a wrought iron theme, my fabric samples are in a rough form too so it all needs pulling together ... must press on.

OOPS Shame on me but I can't remember who produced this lovely piece, think perhaps it was Julie? sorry in advance.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

from the wish list

I forgot to mention yesterday this fantastic post card sent to me by my very talented lottery partner Alis, the photograph really doesn't do it justice as the textures are just so scrummy, the colours white and copper are beautiful together - right up my street. Thanks Alis

These two little beauties are an early birthday pressie, naughty really because i couldn't resist opening them and already they are looking 'well thumbed'!

The new Maggie Grey book from Image to Stitch, as mentioned earlier, is just wonderful so jam packed with inspirational ideas. one of those books that makes you want to return to some old design work and re create the images.

The other is 'the art of embroidery' by Francoise Tellier- Loumagne I've coveted this one for ages and it doesn't disappoint. The illustrations taken from the natural world are a delight, the design techniques are new ways for old favourites but what strikes you is that the book oozes quality - definitely a must have.

Cretan Stitch and June Arch Swap

I haven't been doing a lot of stitch lately but continue to be involved with the groups monthly arch swaps and a little fun postcard swap.

June's arch was for my partner Annette and because she left it up to me re: colour and theme I was stumped trying to come up with something different (thinking everyone will be bored to death with the twin needling stuff!) so instead I've taken some painted up crumpled paper (recycled of course), overlaid this with sheer fabrics and free machined with a glitzy thread. The mish - mash design was something from an earlier pen and ink doodling exercise for textile challenges, great fun but i didn't do anything with it then.

It was easy to print it directly to a fine fabric via the printer then stitch following the lines on the back (see Maggie Grey's new book Image to Stitch for in depth instructions- a definite must have).

The whole thing was then blasted with the heat gun before being finished with a little surface embellishment of hand stitches and a few beads here and there.

Since I'd made a fairly decent sized 'sheet of fabric' felt i couldn't waste a scrap of it so made some post cards and a couple of atc's. One of the postcards went to my lovely graphic designer daughter, she'll love the fact it was sent through the post nude. She's watched me making oodles of these over the years but I'm yet to actually send one to her - what a rotten mum.

The second challenge was a hand stitch lottery, the stitch given to me was Cretan and i must admit to having to root through some books as it's so long since I'd tackled this one - shame on me!

There's quite a few variations with this stitch so once i got into the swing i was hooked, so much so i went back to my arch pieces and included the stitch there too. So relaxing was it that I wish now that i had joined in with the 'take a stitch Tuesday' that was so popular last year on a site which i should know but escapes me now! Anyway it has me thinking that i might do my own alphabet of stitches , take it on holiday perhaps. i-pod and hand stitching the perfect duo.

This was the finished little atc. Cretan stitch ( Jan style) on open weave hessian and as I had some lovely dried seed pods which were crying out to be recycled, i thought couching them down would just continue the natural theme. Hope you like it Carol?

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Out and about and a little creativity

On Friday I went up to Birmingham, accompanied by my long suffering husband David who trawls around with me to every gallery and textile exhibition known to man, His mantra to friends: " is that he's off to see some more fog plaiting"! actually he secretly enjoys all of this and feels he's become an accomplished critic over the years - although the jury's still out on that one.
The point of the visit, to see the highly acclaimed open exhibition, Art of the Stitch just before it toured the rest of Europe (it closed yesterday) and I wasn't disappointed - WOW.
There were 54 exhibits and obviously not every one appealed but those that did were the most provocative and innovative that i had seen in a long time.
Photographs were not allowed but David did manage a couple of sneaky one's with his mobile phone, providing me with just an essence for future drooling.
There is an exhibition programme to accompany this eye candy fest but it was sold out, however I was told it can be obtained from:

This isn't one of them, I hasten to add! it's the piece of old battered fencepost that i found when walking the dog in the local park and dragged it home------ just the job for some good old rust dying since the weather has momentarily improved. I've been banned from putting stinky, vinegar clad 'rags' in the airing cupboard --- can't think why?

These were just some experimental pieces using various types of fabric, the silk and linen gave the best results. I did do a couple more incorporating some old keys and nails but the markings weren't so good.

I love the marks left on this linen piece and as it's quite a large piece maybe could do something with it .... a bag maybe? (just scroll down for possible prototype)

Anna Nowicki, announced on her blog some time ago that she was producing a little book of recipes from her previous teaching notes and having been a long time admirer of Anna's work I eagerly sent for it it. I can honestly say for £9 (GBH) + p+p it's worth every penny. A lovely pamphlet - type book to just dip into now and again to spark off some ideas using your own management and style. Great when you're just plain stuck for something a little more innovative.
Imagine how thrilled I felt when it arrived and attached was one of her recent ATC's.
THANK YOU SO MUCH ANNA. Can't wait for recipe book 2!

This is me interfering with 'proper stitching', A pattern I had to follow!, enforced acurate measuring and cutting! Instructions! and the scariest thing - feed dogs UP!!!! Amazingly it turned out very well (if you dont look too close at the wonky stitchess) and the process wasn't as bad as i'd anticipated, actually relatively easy.
What I really wanted (needed) was a little summery bag and couldn't find anything in the shops, so while i was at the Bramble Patch, a lovely little quilters paradise sort of place, buried in the heart of Northamptonshire, I spotted ('scuse the pun) this ready prepared pack (KIT) well only prepared inasmuch as the pack contained 2 fat quarters and equal amounts of interfacing etc - the rest was down to a certain amount of skill and patience (both of which i have in short measure!)
However, the experience was a relaxing one and perhaps i gained enough confidence to tackle the pattern again but this time incorporating some creativity to the finished piece. I may even use the rusted fabric after all - now there's a challenge!

May's textilechallenge Arch.
' Deep blue Sea' all the way from beautiful New Zealand from kiwicarole

thanks Carole, it's lovely and i love the tiny sails peeking out from the horizon.

Last Month one of the tasks set for our group on textilechallenges by our multi talented Artist, Designer, Teacher, Friend and Mentor Carol Taylor was 'monoprinting and taking it further'. We were randomly allotted a partner and a colour combination to work with (mine being turquoise and mustard - believe it or not!) resulting in a postcard sent to said partner. It was great fun giving myself 'permission' that day to just play around sloshing paint and ink over glass and plastic.
Because i'm also involved in the year long Arch swap and continuing to experiment with twin needling i felt it made sense to incorporate everything from this one design brief

The colours look rather 'wishy-washy' but they were strong on the paper before i began transferring it to a polyester fabric via the ink-jet method (again)

I appliqued pieces of the original paper to the finished fabric for a little surface embellishment and to hopefully link the whole thing together. I used various sized twin needles (broken many in the process) incorporating some set decorative stitches, and a little 'Italian quilting' for a raised and padded effect. Do hope you liked it Alison, that's pressuming it did arrive?

the completed trio, Arch and atc for kiwicarole
and aformentioned postcard.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Tickled Pink

Not a lot to report on the creative front other than finishing off the beetroot dyed/recycled piece that I began a while ago. I added some little found feathers which were hellish to colour up because of their resistance to liquids (obviously!) so ended up using markal sticks and just brushed the colour on with very light strokes. I quite like the results.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

in answer

Carol, in answer to your question about the recipe for 'Fossiled evidence'; this was a real cocktail of handmade silk fibres, embedded into scrim and muslin. The stars of the show were recycled physalis leaves, my natural ephemera, and because of the natural sugar it wasn't too difficult to work them into this background. The amazing fact is; that they have survived intact for so long- no cracks or crumbling!
Can I just add, that during the making of this quilt my darling husband was diagnosed with cancer and endured a lengthy touch and go operation, fortunately all went well. Meanwhile, my wonderful artistic Father who was my greastest friend and critic had but only three more months to live. I rather suspect that it's the tears within the stitch that have held this piece together.
This is a small sample piece that was given as a postcard swap a little while ago.

Kates ATC to me

Most importantly this is what Kate sent to me, her shape being diamonds.
Thanks Kate it's wonderful.