Friday, 25 September 2009

Little and Large fabric trees

Little and Large fabric trees...... the larger one is about 15" diameter and the smallest is about 5". Ive attached the letters LOVE on the larger one. I have made afew more featuring words on them, will take some pics of them too. These have become an out and out obsession, my ambition is to flood the world with fantasy trees, they can hang alongsode all those Dream catchers out there! (Well, it keeps me off street corners lets face it...)
The green one was a trial one really. I found this unusually tactile velvet on heavyweight voile, old fashioned long skirt and wondered if it might work as foliage. Not sure it has really, it seems very Gothic but I dont dislike it exactly... think the fabric would work better as foliage on the ground, ruched up and manipulated, theres plenty left so will play with it later!
Short and sweet this evening, Creative Gene is tapping away in my am off in search of the right length of driftwood, amongst my stash of wierdy shaped pieces.......going to try and dye it a daft colour.............well why not!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

A bonus visit - but for sad reasons

It was sad that my very good friend Mary had to come over from Oz, for her sisters funeral but the up side was that we
had chance to spend time together after
the emotions of the family event.
Mary came and spent a couple of days with me and we trolled off to Scarborough for a day, so she could chill and paddle on a beach, that she had often chilled and paddled on, as a child. So it was a therapeutic trip down memory lane and the weather was belovedly kind to us.
She stood before the very beach hut that she had used, when her own daughter was still in a pram. So where her Mum had taken her as a child, so did she take her own children when they were young and theyd all still lived in England .............kind of full circle and warming don't you think?
Especially when Mary is tracing her ancestors now and each step taken looking backwards, is all the more special when you retread your own steps from years ago... (not that she's that OLD yet..............and she is younger than me lolol).
We were she told me, making new memories by treading that sand this time, and I was thrilled to have shared them with her.
The piccy above left is not taken at Scarborough though but at Holmpton, a village not far from Withernsea and at sunset on our way home to Hull that same day.
Mary is stood beside a memorial that has been recently situated along side the church there, to commemorate the crew of Flight L7523, who died whilst trying to land with much damage to their aircraft, in war time.
The 207 Sqn Bomber Command crew all died and Mary only unearthed this fact as she traced her family history, her own Uncle had been an Air Gunner on board and died, 'nowt but a lad' as my Granma would have said.
Obviously it was important to her because he was so young at 19 to have lost his life, having made it back to the Yorkshire coastline. all the more sad that the landing, in bad weather, brought an end to their hopes for a safe return.
However as ex RAF Aircrew ourselves, (post war of course,) naturally Mary would feel doubly for the loss of lives involved in this crash.
On a previous trip to the UK, we had braved a windy afternoon and trod on the none too high cliffs at Holmpton, looking for the crash site. We managed to find the place, using old photos we found online, noting where hedges were and still are, and by finding the site of the farm house that once stood some way then, off from the cliff edge. Though now it is nothing but overgrown foundations and perilously close to the cliff edge, the sea has encroached closer inland and steadily chews away at the sandy cliffs at that point. Well, all along that stretch of coast infact. The passage of time and the sea stopping for no one.
Though Mary will be back in Oz, in November the dedication of the memorial to the lads of this fated crew will take place and I hope to join Mary's sister and brother in law, and pay my respects, on her behalf. But it was simply lovely for her to see the memorial whilst she was over here..... more memories...
Its the first day of Autumn today and the evenings are turning chillier it is true, so no doubt the swallows will be leaving soon, though we saw afew on friday on our trip down the coast from Scarborough to Holmpton.
Some bright spark told me how many weeks it was till Christmas last week....could I ever have slapped him with wet fish!
Shortly, Mary will be checking in for her long flight back to Perth, leaving 'home' to go home, to her family and the prospect of a new grandchild, who is due any day now. And such is the story of life and that family tree that Mary is cultivating.
Wishing you winds at your back Mary! :) x

Monday, 14 September 2009

More creative therapy ..

Okay, the piece here on the left is another one of my


interpretations of Shelagh Folgate's fabulous challenges. You get part by part instructions but don't know what your really making till youve finished! I confess to diverting from the brief abit on this one.......and added a stumpwork ladybird..

but they are great fun to do and I can highly recommend her blog and work. One clever lady that.

Now the piece on the right is under construction and came about after a conversation with a lovely lady called Sue, whom I know online, though we havent yet met. She asked if I had any ideas about what her stitching group might do, to use up binka and crewel/tapestry wools, both of which they have an abundance of, but which didnt really fill them with any enthusiasm.

Well binka has that - yawning - effect on me normally, but for some reason, that day, Creative Gene was buzzing lol

So I passed on to Sue what I would opt to do, given binka and wools, then kept thinking about the idea and finally HAD to have a go myself lol

Stop smiling Sue!

So there was I at a workshop on sunday, run by Isobel Hall, who lives in Spain but is over in the UK for 3 months. On the saturday she gave a talk at our East Yorkshire Embroiderers Society (EYES) then she did the workshop the following day. Isobel is known for her stunning handbags made out of paper, which look more like leather in many cases. ( her books include, Bags with Paper and Stitch and also Embroidered Books)

And in amongst making background fabrics out of a variety of things, brown paper, silk cocoon strippings, textured wallpaper etc I also came up with the above piece to use as a background, using binka and the silk cocoons that Isobel was teaching us to make use of.

I dyed the cream binka with coffee the night before, spattering clumps of coffee here and there whilst the fabric was wet so it would be darker in places.

I also dyed some offcuts of lace, taken from an old lacey doiley, the circles.

Then using the binka as a base, I added wisps of silk cocoon strippings and strands of hemp and also one or two pieces of distorted scrim and sprayed the whole thing with cold coffee. This I pressed between baking parchment so that the cocoon strippings all melded everthing together nicely, to form a base for stitching into.
The top picture, which was supposed to be here.................> but isn't, as you can see - sighhhhh
is of this melded piece and others I made up that day too. I made up alot, several more, that's part of the fun of workshops like that, the chance to make a batch of backgrounds that you build up on later, at home.
I will post pics of this piece as it progresses, it speaks to me of lichens in shades of golden, brown and creams so I will do abit of googling and maybe abit of graveyard wandering to spot some likely lichens!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

More trees but still not Autumnal

So here's the latest trees and both made using more unusual 'up cycled' bases.
The one on the right is made on a rusty, squished wire band that I found on a village road. Presumably it had once bound something firmly, but there it lay, abandoned at the side of the road, all warmly rusty.
It caught my eye and I could 'see' the tree it should sad is that!
The one above on the left, was what? Any ideas?
OK before you lose the will to live, it was a lampshade ring again, but someone had turfed it out and presumably bent it together, maybe so it would fit in the rubbish skip.... where I saw it. Its an elliptical shape now and both ends curve forwards slightly, which I quite like the effect of. I fabric wrapped that ring but chose to leave the rusty binding as it was. I particularly liked the flattened out knot, at the bottom left of it.
I like rusty things anyway and when I go beach combing, always come back with interesting rusty odd n ends .........that mostly are sat sitting, out in the garden.
Its my very own 'rusty still life' lol
I may well do a Martin Waters and box frame them in an interesting assemblage yet. Though one circular-ish shaped rusty thing is so heavy...........yet fab the way its disguised itself, it may be too heavy to use in a frame. Infact I do wonder if it could be a heavily encrusted hand best leave it where it lays, just in case!
I have made a few stump work Ladybirds to place beneath some of the trees, after seeing hundreds of them the other morning on the Humber river foreshore, when I was looking for blue sea glass shards. They were everywhichplace! The Ladybirds that is, not blue sea glass shards..........I found very few of those..
But I have now found a haven for sea glass on a stretch of foreshore I don't normally beach comb on, but will in future! The Humber is tidal of course and at this point, I suspect there may have been an old Victorian dump site nearby way back when, because an awful lot of what I picked up was old glass pieces. Like the necks of old poison bottles that kind of glass?
So not much blue to show for the hour or so combing but a big bag of all shades of aquamarine, turquoise and green, so a great haul! And though the wind there was almost gale force, I came home thoroughly wind blown and freckly but feeling healthy!
I'm reading an interesting little book at the moment by Mitch Absalom, For One More Day. The central character gets to spend a day with his mom, who is dead.
Like, hes been gifted an additional day to spend with her, though shes long gone?
Its really made me think.
What would I want to say to my Mum, my Dad or my ex husband Paul, who have passed away, if I had the chance to spend a day with them? What would I hope they might say to me even?
Its an intriguing thought isn't it.....
He wrote The Five People You Meet in Heaven which was also a thought provoking little book. These are not religeous tales by any means, but he somehow manages to enable you confront death in a different way.
I noticed yesterday that the housemartins are still here but think the swallows have gone already, locally at least. Im not at all surprised though. The nights are pulling in, now noticeably darker by 7.30/8pm and nights are chillier. Even the spiders are coming 'in house' at night, a sure sign that Autumns fast approaching.
The leaves on trees are turning amber and yellow and the high winds we've had this past week have thinned many off the branches already.
Oxfam have Christmas cards in now too...............sheesh!