Saturday, 30 October 2010

Traveling to Jordan

Its been a bit quiet here as I have been away on a trip of a lifetime to Jordan. We managed to squeeze in swimming in the Dead Sea, 4 wheel drive safari in Wadi Rum, putting our toes into the Red Sea and 2 fabulous days in Petra. Nothing quite prepares one for the extent of the desert or the brightness of the sun reflected off the barren landscape. The action of wind and water has sculpted this country into deep ravines, rocky outcrops and acres of wild untouched land that will grow nothing.
The desert is beguiling - the quality of the light, the huge open expanse, the colours and the ever changing scene before one - images I will never forget.
Petra was fascinating - it doesn't matter that one of the most iconic photos, the Treasury, is so well known - the moment it comes into view after the long walk down the Siq is magical and then the exploration of this huge site in the heat and dust is just such an exotic experience. I loved every moment of it, and had I been fitter, I'd have loved another day or two just to explore.

A Reunion!

On the 16th October a group of ex-Leeds Poly/Uni students from the class of 1968 met up for a reunion in the year we are all 60! We had a fabulous time in London - we went to see "Jersey Boys" and of course we all knew all the words and it brought back alot of memories. Then we spent the evening chatting, eating and drinking as the years just fell away. Two of us came over from Australia and two from Isreal while the rest of gathered from all corners of the UK. Friends made at that time of life just seem to be able to drop back in place even though its years since we all last met up. We has such fun we plan to do another for our 65th birthday year!

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron

I do my serious reading before I get up, comfortably propped up with a cup of tea! In preparation for my day a month course next year I am reading outside my comfort zone. This book sets out to help the reader discover and recover their creative selves. It forces the reader to recognise the blocks they use to circumvent their art work but at times uses language that I find difficult to take. Its shown me that I use my "Enemy within" to justify not making what I'd like to make rather than what I know I can make! This I think needs to be the focus of my work with Brenda Boardman next year.
The book has also shown me that I do some of the right things - I do take myself, and friends, on Artists Dates, I do have supportive friends and most of all I do allow myself time and space to do what I love to do - Stitch! So.... thanks Bren for making me take a step outside the usual.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Experimental pieces for Angie's class - 3

Using the same spray dyed background I have tried appliqueing the basic shapes and then adding voile, machine embroidery and foils in a different colourway. Quite pleased with the results. Perhaps the end product will be a small series of works rather then a major piece.
This is taking up a lot of my time and I'm itching to get started on quilting Jan's piece which is sandwiched up ready and waiting - will make time to get started this week.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Experimental pieces for Angie's class - 2

I used the applique sample to try out ways of adding the detail to each section.
Right - free machine stitches made to cross the fabric - 3 strand embroidery thread as stem stitch and as long stitch. I like the effect that this stitch creates but will need to applique the shape in place first.
Middle - Ordinary machine stitch across the fabric - glass beads and single strand embroidery thread detail. I want to try this again replacing the beads with the free machine zig-zag used in the right sample which is more effective than the beads.
Left - Couched textured threads. Too heavy, need to try with a narrower thread.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

New page layout

What do you think? Its a bit less stark and the neutral ground sets off pictures well, or does it?
Feedback please!

Experimental pieces for Angie's class

As I will miss the October session, I need to try and get well ahead of the game. I need to produce a piece (some pieces) for the end of the course and I want to use the design work I did last month. Initial design is shown in an earlier post.
So..... I have spent today trying out different techniques for creating the pattern I want. I have spray dyed some backgrounds, with varying degrees of success, cut stencils from Freezer Paper and applied fabric shapes to a background, then I have experimented with discharging areas. Once all these are dry, I'll then try different styles of stitching on them.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Simple stitched book covers

The CQ coffee morning at Festival of Quilts was a wonderful collection of demonstrations for visitors to watch. I was lucky to be a helper to Sue Turner and her "Cheats Quilting" presentation. Having watched her demo 6 times that morning I felt able to have a go at the technique myself!
She used the technique to make a number of different artifacts, but I have concentrated on making book covers.
You can use fabric that you are now unsure why you bought in a sandwich, Lining, pelmet vilene or wadding, then the fabric - plus an artificial silk flower that is pulled into its constituent parts and a piece of voile over it all.
Stitch round the flowers and then machine embroider over the rest of the fabric. Cut to size, neaten edges and then make braids to act as fastenings. Easy and really effective. I have to produce some items for a charity stall at Christmas so have now made 4 of these which I think should sell quite well.
Great fun to do and I have used up some of the real howler fabrics I have in the stash!