Monday, 27 April 2009

Fed up with this

Been a bit quiet on the blogging front as I've been frantically trying to finish my NCFE Creative Textiles coursework - a 1m x 1.2m wall hanging of the Great Barrier Reef. I only have nine weeks to get it finished. If I never sew on another bead, it'll be too soon. The pics below speak for themselves (apols for the poor photo quality - taken on my mobile as I still haven't mastered the new camera).

This is a photo of one of the pieces of coral that I'm trying to recreate:-

And this is what my attempt currently looks like - half finished:-

and in detail:-

And this is my recreation of a giant clam:-

And detail:-

Only about another 4000 beads to go ......

Monday, 20 April 2009

Tragic weekend

My laptop died. Ceased to be. Defunct. It is no more - that is unless John can somehow revive it from the blue screen of death. So yesterday was spent dashing around to buy a new desktop PC and configuring it so I could actually work this morning.

The rest of the weekend was spent putting together all the stuff I'm taking to the Mid Norfolk Guild meeting tonight so no time for blogging. Hopefully once I've got this talk/demonstration out of the way, I'll be able to get back to creating.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter holiday comes to an end

But what a busy weekend it has been. Grace and Sam (her mum) came to lunch today and I cooked roast beef and all the trimmings. The Easter Bunny brought Grace, amongst other things, (but no chocolate) her first paints. She ended up with red hands, red face and red teeth - had to keep checking if it tasted nice or not - but seemed to enjoy it. A girl after her Nana's heart.

I really should have been getting on with my NCFE Creative Textiles coursework but the bits of lutradur that Marion sent just wouldn't stay in my SABLE (new acronym that I came across recently - Stash Accumulated Beyond Lifetime Expectancy) so out came the transfer dyes and several papers completed and left to dry.

While the workroom was in "wet" mode, I couldn't resist having another go at painting on kitchen foil and completed a 12" x 15" box canvas. Always with one eye on the cheaper alternative, I used pva to stick the foil to the canvas. This proved to be a big mistake as it didn't stick properly all over which resulted in lots of air bubbles and some unsightly ridges/folds that just wouldn't stay down. I painted it anyway but I'm not nearly as happy with this as with the canvas book cover (see blog 9th April).

Yesterday was spent trying out the transfer dye papers on the lutradur. I'd made the dyes quite concentrated as I wasn't certain how well they'd transfer. I needn't have worried as the colours came out really strongly. In fact, next time I'll definitely dilute them more to try and get something a little more subtle. I'll live with the lutradur samples pinned to my wallboard for a week or so before I decide how I'll use them.

I've also been working on some needle felted samples (including the A5 felted notebook cover - see blog 9th April) to take along to the Mid Norfolk Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers meeting on 20th as they've asked me to give a demonstration. I want to show them felting isn't just twee embellished felt flowers and the like so I've worked up a triptych design, using the embellisher, based on the changing colours of Uluru throughout the day, hence the title, "Uluru Dawn, Day, Dusk"‏.

And here's some detail - Dawn,


and Dusk.

Apart from the box canvas mounts, the triptych was made entirely from old/worn/discarded items from the Sheridans' wardrobes. John's close scrutiny while taking the photographs resulted in a plaintive, "But I liked that old jumper" .............

Friday, 10 April 2009

Wipeout day art-wise

Really had to go supermarket shopping this morning as no food left in the house and with an ever "peckish" husband around all weekend that would never do. Of course, everyone and his mother were there buying enough food to last till the next ice age. Why do people do that every bank holiday? It's a mystery to me.

Decided that I really must do something about the front garden when I got home and take advantage of the glorious spring weather - especially as rain is forecast for the rest of the Easter weekend. I don't know whether it's because our house is at the foot of a small hill, or because it's at a junction but it seems like everybody else's litter ends up in our garden - which isn't always a bad thing as it hides the weeds (as you may have guessed, I'm not much of a gardener). Anyway, filled one bin bag with crisp packets, sweet wrappers, a pizza box, miscellanous bits of paper, dead leaves and even two empty beer cans and two bin bags with weeds. It looks slightly better but it could do with another half day out there to get it respectable. For once, I'm hoping the weather forecasters are right and it does rain so I'll have an excuse not to finish the gardening and do some creating instead!

Anyway, John's just made me a coffee and I'm sitting on the sofa with my feet up, laptop in place and I'm about to take my first look at my new "Lovely Lutradur" book on a CD that Marion Barnett (co-author and aka artmixter) very kindly hand delivered to my door this morning while I was at the supermarket. Mind you, I don't know what she thought of John going to the door still in his dressing gown at nearly lunchtime! In his defence, he does usually get up at 4.30am for work and it is a holiday after all.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Last few days

Just time to post a couple of photos of stuff I've been working on this week before putting the dinner on. The picture quality isn't great as they were taken with my iphone camera - will get John to take some better ones over the weekend with his all singing, all dancing digital camera.

The first one is a bought artist's sketchpad with a canvas covered board front and back. I first covered it with ordinary kitchen foil stuck down with heavy gloss gel medium. I then painted it with various colours of Golden Fluid Acylics mixed with Golden GAC 200 medium (assists adhesion to non-porous surfaces and promotes surface hardness). I'm quite pleased with it - the colours really glow.

This is a cheap and cheerful A5 notebook bought at the local supermarket for less than £2.00. I used my Pfaff embellisher on some cheap black stretchy velvet over craft vilene. I then embellished some multi coloured yarn and copper coloured crochet cotton from my stash over the top. It was a bit too much "in your face" so I embellished a tan coloured chiffon scarf over the top to knock back the bling. Finally added some machine stitching. The photo really doesn't do it justice.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Recent work

Thought I'd quickly upload something I did recently. This was handstitching on muslin which was stuck to a small canvas and painted - part of the work I did during an online course. More to follow when I've had time to take some pics.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Grace and John

Having referred to them both in my profile, thought I should include a picture taken last weekend of Grandad John and Grace reviewing the results of the latest photoshoot of his favourite model.

In the beginning ....

After being converted to "tweeting" by my dear husband, thought I might also have a go at blogging. Not certain how much or how often I'll have time to fit it in - and it will certainly take at least third place in my list of priorities (numbers 1 and 2 being creating, and thinking about creating) but we'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!