Monday, 31 January 2011

Fab faces, beach coal as a medium and found an old bag!

Took a friend (who is managing life very well, despite cancer) to The Ropewalk in Barton on Humber yesterday and we had a lovely lunch there and popped into the gallery to see the exhibition. The Ropewalk is an old rope factory that's been rejuvenated into a thriving cafe, gallery, shop, cinema, music venue and also has small art businesses under its roof. It is right beside the south bank of the Humber river so you can have a  healthy amble along the shoreline too if you want to.
We didnt, since Sue has to use a crutch now and besides it was bright but chilly!
 I really liked these works by Linda Ingham.
The faces called 'Pore - A work in progress' was really striking.
Enlarge the pic and see how she has torn areas in the fabric, its not canvas she has painted on.
But the 'Open' series took my eye right away. 
The label said she had used silverpoint, beach coal and graphite on the figure one. Had it not been priced at £1017........I might have considered living with that on my wall....

This natty seating is in the garden area they have there, I could have lived with one of those too...

then later at home, was looking for something, which of course is still AWOL ..............but did find this bag that I made 12 years or more ago, which was a nice surprise, since I was sure it had been inadvertantly thrown out long since!
More proof that I have a wealth of surprises hidden in my home............ now do I deconstruct it and reuse the buttons and materials, or simply allow it to remain a finished piece, amongst the many WIP.........hmm, will give it some thought..

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Pins........broaches...hard to know what to call them these days..

I challenge myself, silly really, but rather than go ( to the workroom) in search of things, I make pins out of what's in my basket next to the chair in the lounge.... well, the basket, the shopping bag and the wicker box-y thing.....fabrics sort of overspill in them you know?
I wasn't too sure about the silk scarf (bottom left pin here) its a classic ugly design 100% silk scarf but it has  a snazzier look to it as a pin now.
I dont much like what Ive done to the bottom right pin, made from black fulled sweater fabric. I may take that apart and remove the blanket stitch edging and transfoil the felt edges instead.

I got some of the recycled sari yarn that you can knit or crochet with, from an Indian supplier on Ebay...worked out at £3.49 a 100gm ball, inc postage costs. I think thats cheaper than I saw them at the Harrogate show, but am pleased with them whatever the price.
There is bound to be some place here in UK thats cheaper lol
Anyway thats tucked into the top left pin, nestled amongst the folds and ruching, hard to see I know, so just try and imagine it!

I got up this morning and did my usual trick of glancing in the bathroom mirror, rubbing my chin to feel where the next 'quill' had started to grow and realised the humour of my doing this.
When I was a young, not bad looking lass, my first trick of the day was to tweeze the odd eyebrow hair from above my now?

 Im tweezing out blummin mini quills from my chin with as much ferver!
The eyebrows have faded to silvery so you cant see those lol
Why has Mother Nature chosen to grow quills in my chin?
Okay so she's got a sense of humour, but she could have left the stubble on the blokes, don't we have enough to cope with as we age, we women?
The bonus is that I dont need to actually shave ........yet!

Friday, 28 January 2011

' here comes the promise of spring'

And to prove it here are afew snowdrops, brave enough it seems to raise their heads towards the skies, all be it, tucked in shady spots out back. Though not long since they were buried beneath alot of snow!
And before Id spotted them, I'd made the tea cup into a nesty thing, with the printed comment ' here comes the promise of spring' lol
I got fed up making the tea cups into pin cushions, so am onto using them in other ways. Mind you this needs to hang with the nest this way round, so have just used simple jute string for this one.
You can hardly see the egg in it, a painted compressed cotton ball and the nest is made from curled round, bamboo leaves and fronds.
They had to be tied to hold their shape but you cant see that as it is, glued into position.
I may have to make more!

Monday, 24 January 2011

A finished piece I think and that ugly pedlar woman

 Just got this piece finished today. Layered in strips of fabric, with some flowers cut out from a japanese silk kimono offcut I bought off Ebay. Not too much hand stitching, but did use that split back stitch that Jude Hill likes to use and I too like the effect of it.
Will sit and look at it for a day or two to be sure it doesnt need anything else.
Do you folks do that too I wonder?

Oh and here's the pedlar woman, too ugly to be in Larkrise or Candleford mind you! Maybe I should redo her face but I figured she'd had a hard life lol

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Gas mask done at last and Kiro Ali's Bazar

 It's finished, got my act together at last and it can now go in the WW1 Topic Box for work.......a try on-able gas mask.
It will give the kids the feel of wearing one am sure though its got no protection from anything what so ever smelly or toxic!

Oh and started clearing out some junk in my craft store at work and unearthed my miniature scene in a cardboard box from years ago.

We all had the same sized box at miniatures club and the challenge was to make a mini scene in it. My skit on a theme, was a bazar and it did have a Kiro himself stood in there wearing long flowing robes, but all thats left of him is his right foot!

I used egg boxes to decorate the back and side walls as I recall and it was abit of fun to make this one must admit.
Its worn surprisingly well, apart from Kiro's absence that is.........I ought to post pics of my other mini scenes, before they get trashed and are no more.
I made what must be the ugliest pedlar woman ever and a gruesome Harry Potter, but his trunk is pretty good !

Monday, 17 January 2011

The before and after woven hanging

 I posted this already but it kept niggling away at me. Somehow it wasn't right.
It's one of my sample pieces, based on Jude Hills instructions from her Cloth to Cloth online video course.  So knowing it wasn't right, I finally unpicked the lack lustre climbing garland and am now far more pleased with the small hanging.

I'm going great guns with the woven colour catchers, I just love their space dyed effect.
Ive just bought a piece of indigo dyed fabric, that came from Africa originally and am going to wash that to be sure all the colour is fast..........but I rather hope it isn't lol so I can put colour catchers in with it! Yes.....I know, sad or what!

Monday, 10 January 2011

dye results, more woven fabrics and an exhibitors work

Well those veggie bundles I steamed were a mixed result. This above was the swede slices, brown onions skins and rusty nails, quite liked this one. The other one had little effect on it but is hung on the line to rain soak through, before it goes back into another stew pot.
Here are more colour catcher weavings, I love the way the shadings come out! Ive found its easier to lay them onto a piece of interfacing, smaller than the 'squares' size. so threy don't skittle all over your lap when your stitching them down.
This denim hanging needs a piece of driftwood through the top to finish it off. Ive backed it with another piece of denim to give it some weight, so it hangs nicely. I havent done much stitching on it, just doodling really.

 I'd like you to think I knocked this sea urchin up last night.......... too...... but truth is I didn't...
We had our East Yorkshire Embroiderers Society meet(EYES) on saturday and the lady that came to talk and display her work was Niki Brown.

She had imagined this adventurer chap, from way back when, 'Sir somebody-or-other Fortesque- Smythe',
who was lost in the Amazon whilst on expedition in 1800+.
Much later when he was found, he'd gone native, dancing off into the jungle with his 'woman' friend, turning his back on all the Dickensian h'educations.
But the folks that had gone in search of him, who had funded his expedition, were able to bring back his diary and many of his samples that he'd collected.... and there was a collectors case of beautifully (embroidered) shells and trinkets, (stump worked) beetles etc.

The sea urchin took my eye and I might have whisked it away, but for the fact that so many folk were -oohing and -ahhing over what was tucked in the case and small boxes on the table, I couldn't do the cat burglar thing I remained honest, as usual.
The talk was called 'Small but Beautifully Formed', which Niki admits, she isn't, but her work certainly is. She also had some delightful little renditions of nursery rhymes too, with foldy out this, that and the other bits.
Embroidery things I am totally without the discipline to do, but I do so much admire!

Friday, 7 January 2011

a wow find and veggie (dye) steaming

At our scrapstore yesterday and found this painted I think bird on super fine cotton and it was the cotton I yearned for then saw the bird! There are delicate ties at the top so maybe its an apron or something.......not at all sure frankly.
Then there was this other stuff which is almsot elastocaqted in that it has lots of spots on one side as it if it might be a fusible, but as you pull it ~ it kind of pulls apart.
Anyone have any idea what it is please?
Of course I havent tried ironing yet tos e eif its fusible, not sure that it is by its feel, but thats too fascinated me! 

 Last night I made a veggie soup with the left over new year veggies, delish I have to tell you. Then thought Id use up the last few on some fabrics and steam them.
So laid out here ate strips of parsnips, brown n red onion skins and broccolli stalks sliced up, with rusty nails.
Thats been steamed for an hour or so and left to cool, may put it in compost bin for a short while next.
This ones also been steamed, has sprouts and slices of swede, brown onions skins and more nails. This now hangs out back for some weathering.

I have some mushrooms and can't decide how to use them as a or cold dye bath? slices on fabric and steamed?
May have to try all he ways! 
Okay short n sweet this post, off to stitch colour catchers :)

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Topic Boxes coming along

 WW1 here with Tommys helmet ( plastic salad dish that was) pull on trench gas mask, mini wreath and christian, star of david and muslim crosses, tin mug and a tactile paper plan of a trench system, brailled word/flashcards....oh and some 1915-19 old penny coins in the bag.
 The trench model and .303 (Sopwith camel thru to the Spitfire)and .50 ( no idea but told WW1 aircraft ) calibre replica weapons plus loads of printed, laminated and brailled information sheets.

A pinny, old tie and a headscarf with instructions how to tie it so you look like that lass did in 'An Officer and a Gentleman', plus a pretend gas mask in the box!

This is the Roman Box with dressed figures, a tactile plan of Housesteads Fort, a sword, a little oil lamp, a tactile plan of the Roman Empire, some replica chain mail and laminar mail, an amphora jar in bubble wrap, a mosaic tree shape, a batch of oils to sniff at and some mock armour. Plus lots of printed, laminated and brailled info sheets.

The Vikings box has a brailled version of an old Discovery series magazine, brailled word/flash cards, 2 cloth figures, a helmet ( a veg strainer), chain mail, foam reinforced axe,

a foam reinforced sword, a Viking longship, roman replica coins, runes and a fabric tabbard ( in the zippy bag), tactile picture of a long ship and printed, laminated,brailled info sheets.
Ive yet to photograph the Pirates box lol but its here, above! And the skull n crossbones on the flag is tactile so it can be felt with the fingers.
They are taking shape at last! And I call this

rusty nails, a dyed miracle and stitchery

Im still in weaving mode and have finally worked out what I want to do with all the fantastic-ly dyed 'colour catchers', that Ive been throwing in my washing machine to prevent me accidentally dyeing my clothes! They collect stray fabric dye in the most amazing ways so I began to keep them and the top pic is one that has been cut and then woven together, then has small running stitches working round all the edges into the centre. So I intend to do lots of these small blocks now and then will arrange them together on a backing of some kind. I stitched with fine rayon threads and it was so relaxing doing it.
Ive tinted the lace on my moon too you'll notice and I like that effect, so will inlay that on a woven block at some point.

Ive bought shed loads of kimono silk offcuts on Ebay, from Japan.... am sure there MUST be somewhere in the Uk that sells offcuts like these lol but trust me to find them in Japan! So now I have to wait about a month to get them! But they would make a lovely woven sky I thought.........

Now the fabrics here were a wonder indeed.
I had a  jar of dull pink sloe berry dye bath moulding away nicely by the cooker and kept thinking I should use that for another dye bath, so threw it in a big steel pot, added afew broken stems off greenery  from a xmas bunch of flowers. No idea what plant leaves but waxy and dark green. actually I dont think they did single thing to the pot lol
Then I wrapped white and cream fabrics round already rusty 4" nails and misshaped rusty bits, with afew of the same leaves in the wrap too. Tied it with elastic bands and shoved it in the dye pot for an hour or so's brewing. 
Amazing! The vibrant pink dye bath turned rich purpley black and this grey mauve is what came out! The upper pic was cream fabric, the lower one is a white cotton sleeve, the cuff on the right end.

These next two pics are a white blouse that was wrapped round rusty nails and other bits, with afew more of those leaves amongst the fabric folds. It was steamed for a couple of hours on a low heat. No sign of the leaves on the fabric but the rusty marks are just great! Top one has little cave men with raised arms on it lol And this is the reverse of the fabric, hard to know which sides best! All fabrics were allowed to go cold in the pots and left for a day or so before washing the rust n bits out.

And after reading how Dale Rollerson had stood and ironed her sari silk strips for 2 hours, then
seen how she laid them down and stitched them with a machine, cut them up and restitched them together again...........I thought Id like to try that too.......... well my strips were thinner than Dales and after 45 mins...I gave up ironing them lol It drove me nuts!
At which point I should have trailed upstairs and machined them down on to a backing............but I tacked them into position then sliced the block into 3 pieces...........
By which time I should have been in bed so left it, but have since stitched afew beads in place to hold the fragments down for now. So may go down that route with them .... see? My Creative Gene springs from one thing to another lol theres no hope for her!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2011 here we go.......

So having kept the birthday book until January 1st, from my pal Mary, 'Simple Abundance', Im now reading the daily sections, so I can take advantage of its wisdom........let me know if you notice any improvement in me will you? lol But don't hold your breath!!
I was struck with a quote at its start, so Im afraid Im going to pass the quotes onto you when they stir my brain, be

" a time lacking in truth and certainty and filled with anguish and despair, no woman should be shame faced in attempting to give back to the world, through her work, a portion of its lost heart."
Louise Bogan
I says much doesnt it, in so few words, be it motherhood, home making or creativity?

Okay have been stitching, after reading through Jude Hills fab online 'Cloth to Cloth' workshop, well worth buying into. So here are afew of my forays so far into her style.
The top pic is a large 14" ish block but the shirting fabric didnt really inspire me at first, so I was simply doodling with threads on it to give it more body. Ive been given the fabrics and was intending on using them Janet Bolton style with my own designs, rather than copying hers.
Then as I folded the block, it had more to say to me in its smaller sections, odd that! So it will be reworked into something else now its called to me!

 Next I faffed with an upholstery sample and wove afew offcuts into it then again doodled across it.

Then the weaving bug hit me full on, so I sought out my cyanotype fabrics from a  workshop in the summer and tore them into strips and this is far as I got last night. But I think the moon will need some hand tinting on the lace craters to make it more moon like........... but am now looking forward to 'sat, sitting' ( as my Grannie used to say) this evening with this work on my lap! See how easily I am pleased! 

Oh and the second workshop is here from Shelagh Folgate! So well worth buying into the Smashees course! Will have to make sure i get sruck into that too! It will be busy fingers this year...... all good fun! :)