Sunday, 30 January 2011

Day out in London

Hello all.
Apologies - but no photos today. But I can tell you about the exhibition I saw yesterday in London at the V&A - Imperial Chinese Robes from the Forbidden City. It's very reasonably prices at £5 and well worth a visit. The detail on the gowns and their quality was really superb. I can only imagine how many hours work it took to produce the gowns - couching on gold thread.
I had a great day and managed to limit myself to only buying one book - it details the work of Charles Harper. He specialised in drawing birds and although they're stylised they're really amazing to look at - great movement and texture. If you look you this book via this link it shows you a number of his pictures. The book, Charley Harper's Birds and Words, is a real work of art and has so much to look at.

I'm also trying to make progress with my altered books - still very much out of my comfort zone. I'll let you know how I get on.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Busy busy

 So - hello.
Aplologies for not having posted at the weekend. So to compensate it's a bumper blog today. Lots of photos.
So first is the progress I made with Thermogauze - I concentrated this time and managed not to burn it. Still quite a bit of work to do - but at least this first part is ready to go.

Last Thursdya DH and I both went to The Beetroot Tree for an open evening and managed to decorate a spoon each using alcohol inks and beads. For those of you who know DH and me I think you can guess which of us made each one.
 And as I'd booked Monday off too I went back for a 2 hour session in the morning and tried my hand at mixed media on a canvas. It's getting there but I still have a little bit of work to do. It was a great morning and a great way to try new techniques.

 And here is a cushion I made for a friends birthday - it was a little bit late - but she was really pleased with it.
And below is a little bit more progress with my altered book. I've just painted it with gesso and will be adding a coat of red acrylic with some gold added. I've no idea how this is going to turn out - but that's the whole point of trying new things.
And for the very cheeky ones who look at this blog - you can all me maam in future as I'm now the Queen of Comedy. Yes Miranda Hart won 3 Comedy awards.
Take care all and let me know what you've been up to.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Another mid-week post

 Thought you might like to see what I've been up to.
Here is how I've got on with my work toward my Cuban postcard. I thought I'd try vanishing muslin. I was very pleased with the result. But I over did the ironing part (got distracted) so it's not quite as I intended - but I do now have a piece for my sketchbook.
 I've also realised that there isn't enough contrast with the background - so I'll rethink that.
See you soon.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Lost more done

 Hello all. Hope you're all well - I'm enjoying the weather - bit blowy today but warm.
So as you can see above I've been busy with sewing. It's been very nice to sit and sew something smaller. I thought I needed to add another colour to lift it. Lets see how it goes.
 Now - although it's much warmer than it has been - it has been absolutely freezing here. And having cold feet for days on end is no fun - so I thought I'd ditch the cheap slippers and get some nice new warm ones - with a proper sole. These ones from Moshulu weren't cheap - but having warm feet us fantastic. I don't care if I sound like I'm 100 - warm feet is bliss.
What do you think?

I think I've already mentioned that I've been brave and joined an altered book group. And here is the book I've got for the first month - the topic is weather. Ohh - a bit nervous but excited too. I've never done anything like this before but that was the idea for this year - to find challenges and meet new people. One of the ladies has been very kind and has offered to show me the basics of altered books - that's booked for next Friday. I'm really keen to give this a go.

Here's the progress I've made with my fabric paper. I've certainly learnt some things with this first attempt. Firstly I added too much gesso - and I should have added some colour whilst it was still wet. Also the ink pads I use are pigment and these take a long time to dry. However it's not a complete disaster.
So as you can see lots done again this week - little and often is the way to go. I hope you've all been able to do lots too.
Take care and hope to hear from you soon.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

More stuff...

 Hello all. Hope you're well and enjoying 2011.
So here are some more things I've started on and progress I've made with others.
So the first photo of a project measures approximately 9" x 11". I've used my potassium permanganate dyed fabric and I'll be stitching on them - hopefully later today.
 Here's the progress I've made with my fabric paper. I've started stitching and will be doing a little bit at a time. Not too sure how I'm going to use these - but it means I can keep my and in with free machine embroidery.
 Yesterday I went to the Leamington & District Embroiderers Guild Members Day. It was really good - a really good group of people. For those of you who saw the broach I made for my friend for her birthday (see photo below) I had the pleasure to meet the lady who wrote the article in Stitch. She very kindly told me about her blog - well worth a look.

You may well be wondering what the photo of a book is doing. 
Well - altered books here I come. 
The Leamington & District Embroiderers Guild have a small group who will each be selecting a topic and then the book will be passed around the group - with each interpreting the topic. I'm a little bit nervous - but am looking forward to the challenge. Again I'll share my progress with you.
And just a quick update on the cake I baked and froze. Well it was defrosted and warmed and we had it with ice cream and cream. Hmmmmm it was very good. So I'd certainly recommend the Sticky Pear and Ginger Cake.
So - hope you all have a good day and hope to hear from you all soon. 
Thank you so very much for the comments it's great to know you're all out there.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

What I've been up to...

 So - here's a bit of a surprise for you - a mid-week post - just to prove I do eventually get around to some stuff.
Here are 4 cards I've made. I thought it would be a good use of some fabric I'd made rather than it just sitting in a box. So I'll be signing, dating a numbering them.
 One of the things I'm going to try this year (note I'm NOT calling them New Year's Resolutions) is to pick a book each month to focus on and try out some ideas from. So this month it's a relatively new book called 'Drawn to Stitch' by Gwen Hedley. A great Christmas present from my mother and father in law.
So I've started in my sketchbook - the idea is that I'll use the one sketchbook for the year of the 12 books. Lets see how it goes.

 Above and below are my attempts at making 'fabric paper'. I met a very nice lady on the course at Bramble Patch last year, she's much more a mixed media artist. She very generously provided instructions of how to make fabric paper and she provided a sample too. I'm not sure how successful my attempt will be. I'm going to persevere. 
So I've started with a muslin base - pasted with PVA watered down, the next layer is paper (or chocolate wrappers from Christmas) again with a coat of watered down PVA finally covered with a final layer of white tissue paper - with - yes you guessed it another layer of watered down PVA. Once it was dry I applied a thin coat of gesso. The idea now is to stitch it and add stamping or more watered down acrylic paint. I promise to show the results - whether good or bad.
So now I'm going to get the sewing machine out and see what I can do.
Hope you're all enjoying the New Year.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all.
I hope 2011 will bring you all happiness and lots of creativity.
I'll be sharing my ideas for what I want to do in 2011 very soon - but would love to hear from you in the meantime.