Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ruth Issett Workshop 'Surfaces to Dye For'

Been so busy recently with three exhibitions and family gatherings but still managed to fit in a two day workshop at Alston Hall, Lancshire with Ruth Issett entitled 'Surfaces to Dye For'. The aim was to see how different fabrics and fibres reacted differently to Procion MX dyes. Ruth is such a special lady she is so experienced in dyeing and an accompolised embroidery women. Having been in education for 30 years myself I can always spot a talented teacher and facilitator and she certainly is that. I personnally can't understand a 'teacher' who won't share their expertise and Ruth did so much sharing of tips and hints that all who attended went away with so much wealth of knowledge, it just wasn't long enough.

This is the sample experimental piece that we completed the first night so that we could assess the suitability of our stash of fabics.

We then spent a day and a half completing, in my case, two embroideries that utilised cotton, linen, viscose and silk plus a range of the 'newer' fabrics and fibres now readily available eg banana, hemp, sisal.

This was the cotton, linen and viscose piece. The fabrics tended to be heavier in weight and included muslin, builders scrim, tailors canvas, lace, binca and tapestry fabrics,

After dyeing the range of colours was amazing it wasn't until it dried completely that the subtlety of how the different fabrics took up the dye emerged.

This closeup shows the surface decoration in more detail. French knots, cretan stitch, whipping stitch, tassels, bullion stitch and some machine embroidery stitches in different thread to the couched thread.

This second piece below utilised silk fabrics in many weights, such as muslin, pongee, noile, organza and velvet. This closeup illustrates the vertical lines I achieved by laying down many threads some of which were couched, some left to dangle freely.

I choose to dye this piece with turquoise, lemon yellow and golden yellow, although it was relatively successful I now can see that some scarlet would have given some subtle burnt oranges and browns. All in all a very enjoyable two days and I learnt so much about how to utilise fabrics when dyeing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Todays offerings

Just spent a couple of hours playing with Gesso and pelmet Vilene in preparation for Maggie Grey's Textile Translations on line course that starts tomorrow. You have to buy the book to be eligible to take the course but it will be well worth it.

The first two show closeups of the painted Vilene with Gesso and a very open muslin that I distressed before pushing into the Gesso.

The relief effect is achieved by using a palette and pretending you are icing a Christmas cake to achieve a snowy ridge effect .
This sample has been painted with three Brusho watercolours, you can just make out the salt that I sprinkled on the piece whilst it was still damp. It reacts with the water in the watercolour paint.
This final sample below is the effect you get when you use Quink black ink. The darl areas are where the tissue paper I applied was not covered with gesso. After sealing with PVA I intend dry painting this with some Stewart Gill paints from the Galactica and Metallica range.

And finally.............

Below are two batik pictures that I completed before I went into hospital. They are currently part of an exhibition at Marple Library with the Cheshire Guild of Silk Painters. It runs until Saturday 15th November. The colours in the pics are not as vibrant as in real life, should have edited I suppose but too lazy at present.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Take it Further September 'Lists'

Finished this a few weeks ago but remiss of me not to post until now.

Sharon Boggin's TIF challenge for September was 'LISTS'. I am glad that I chose to complete these challenges in post card format as they are easy to fit into small time slots and places! This was completed whilst in hospital last month and so is mainly finished by hand.
The 10 point list is all the things I choose to make lists of, in roughly chronological order. The colour scheme once again challenged me as it was outside of my comfort zone.
I embellished the base on my Janome in vertical lines and then hand embroidered in the opposite direction the 10 usual things I have found myself making lists of over the years. It was fun to remember some of them eg the most desireable attributes of boys I would most like to go out with!!!!! and those dreaded homework lists in ones homework diary!!!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Todays Mail

The postman delivered a lovely selection of goodies this morning. I was having a lie in, feeling very fibro today (Fibromyalgia can strike with no warning) when 1 book, 1magazine and some knitting wool arrived. The book is the new one from Maggie Grey 'textile translations'. can't wait to be able to get going on some of the activities in this truely inspiring book. Anyone who buys it can get involved in free web workshops starting in November. The mag was the new 'Quilting Arts' and Maggie appears in this as well with an article on 'Print Magic' there is a very good piece on batik using soy wax, must try that one. The wool is some baby double knit for a jacket I am knitting for my daughters sister-in-law who is expecting later this month.

These are a group of mushrooms that have appeared on our front lawn this week. We have been taking a picture a day to monitor their progress. Some of the pics are going to be ideal for either a textile interpretation by moi or a watercolour by David.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm Back.... with new pieces of metal

Well I'm now able to sit in front of the computer and have enough energy and enthusiasm to complete a new post. Thanks to all those of you who have sent me kind messages over the last few weeks. The operation went relatively well, I now have metal pieces that I didn't have before but my surgeon promises me that I won't set off the alarms at the airport!! Unfortunately there is a small fractute at the top of the femur which is preventing me from weight bearing on that leg for 6 weeks, only 3 and a bit to go. Crutches are the worst invention going the damage they do to ones shoulders is awful. Frustration is well and truely set in, all the things I want to do and and all the jobs I can see need doing but I am now resigned to the fact that they will all be waiting for me when I am fit. David has been a star, I am getting great meals and personal service. He is planning on designing some new cartoons in the 'Love Is' series, such as 'Love is emptying her commode' and 'Love is drying between her toes', won't publish the others...........

Lots of visitors and cards and flowers. Isn't it interesting how the flowers that people choose reflect their personalities. These were from a friend who knows that I like fushia colours and the fact that this can be put out into the garden after admiring it indoors, always the practical one is Annette.

This is from Rita my arty friend and she expects some form of representation of these great calas. Hopefully I will be able to look after them and have the same next year, managed it this year with some burgundy coloured ones

Isn't the shape and form of these plants so inspiring, reminds me of my daughters wedding last year, she had them everywhere.

Starting to get back to creating but is a bit complicated when despite the best laid plans the thread or beads you want are upstairs and you are on your own and not really supposed to go up and down stairs without someone behind you.

This bouquet is from my husbands work collegues a typical corporate gesture but what a magnificant display, however the downside is that the red ornamental cabbages have had to be removed as their smell was too over powering in the lounge especially when the door was opened in the morning.

Planning next week and what I intend to do, some designing for the next Textile 21 Exhibition 'Recollections', some knitting of my latest arty scarves for the Christmas shows and some more of my seed head cards.

I have just ordered the latest Sarah Lawrence book due out in October, her Crafty Notions website is worth a look. For those of you who saw her article in STITCH earlier this year on Wild Women you can purchsae the doll faces from her website.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

New Hip Here I Come

It's all last minute but I am going in hospital on Monday the 8th September for my long awaited hip replacement. There was a cancellation and I received a phone call Thursday 4pm, so much to do before then. I will have to organise some pieces to take in with me so that my hands are not idle.
Meanwhile the latest additions to the family are these two delightful ginger kittens belonging to my youngest daughter and her partner, they've called them Arthur and Charlie! What is it with the younger generation and the names they choose; no inventive cuddly names, their last cat was called Alan!

Here I am with the two brothers, one just about to go to sleep and the other off to investigate.Will sign off now and speak again when fit, could be a couple of weeks before I can get to the PC, will have to 'borrow' David's laptop maybe.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

latest pieces

Can never think of a catchy title for my posts but this one is just what it is my latest pieces!

Bought some Mistyfuse on line earlier this week after spotting it on lots of blogs and websites, mainly from the States. As soon as I received it I had to have a play. After experimenting with it on various fabrics I realised two main things. One it does give such a soft result to the finished piece, especially the softer fabrics such as silk, which I use alot of. Secondly it did not leave an opaque effect so ideal for trapping . The picture blow shows a quiltie (5x5inch) using threads from my bit bag.

Below is a closeup that shows how there is no obvious top surface covering the trapped threads as there would have been with bondaweb so I am definitely a convert when I want to utilise this technique. The off white top stitching was FME with cotton perle in the bottom spool.

Do still like Bondaweb where some firmness is needed though and this piece below utilised it perfectly. I made a sandwich from silk hankies which I had previously dyed. I like the ability to handle and control the colour placement instead of making silk paper. As embroideries do not need the stability that silk paper gives my technique is favourite in this case. I choose four thin sheets of silk hanklie and sandwich them with one piece of Bondaweb. Because they are so thin one piece is adequate. This is how fine they can be.The finished patterns achieved are I think better than silk paper. Using a rotary cutter I cut out a 4 inch square which I then FME and finished off with a red heart button. This will be in a black frame and is one of my collection I am preparing for the Christmas exhibition.

This closeup shows the Free machine embroidery detail.
This inchie also uses a silk sandwich which is cut into 9 one inch squares and then embroidered. I am completing a series of these inchie pictures for the exhibition.A closeup of two of the squares.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

ATC swop - Unlimited Textiles

The theme for July's Unlimited Textile swop was 'Slash and Burn'. I opted for an ATC and this is the finished result. The sandwich consists of a base which is black felt with a middle layer of gold fabric and the top layer is a piece of polyester that I treated with a heat gun to create this bubble and hole effect. It was then loosely painted with oil sticks of gold and peacock blue. I then used my soldering iron to make further holes some going through one layer some through two so the black felt showed.
Margaret Roberts (Digital gran) will be receiving this ATC.

This closeup shows the layers in more detail.
Below is a postcard that I completed as I did make a large piece so I could add to my design/ideas book

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tif July Challenge

The colour scheme for July as part of Sharon B's Take it Further Challenge reminds me of heather and the colours of Fair Isle jumpers so popular in the 1980s and 1990s. The theme 'Half Way Mark' got me thinking not of time but of other spects of half way. Half Full or Half Empty situations. I know so many people who swing from approaching a situation/trauma in a positive and then negative way. So I doodled postcard shapes and divided them into half, vertically, horizontally and diagonally, shading them in in a variety of ways and formats.
I chose my materials, a selection of wool and silk tops that fell into the colour scheme and embellished them onto a piece of white felt. The wool gave me the background I wanted horizontal stripes and the silk was them embellished on top in diagonal sections. I love the way some of the silk sits on the top in clumps giving the effect of heather/earthy relief.

The finished result is so reminiscent of hand knitted woollen jumpers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Holmfirth Art Week

David and I went to Holmfirth Art Week twice this past week. Once on our own on Wednesday so that we could have a good look around not once but at least three times, all at varying speeds to fully appreciate the art work on show. Some of the ceramics were outstanding and Jackie Walton was the featured potter and she had some stunning exhibits, I think by Saturday she had sold all her pieces. I would have given house room to any of her pots but by the time I got there they were nearly all sold!

The second time we went was with our eldest daughter and husband who turned up as a surprise on Friday. They live in Poole on the south coast of England, a 5 hour car journey. Joanne wanted to see me before I go into Hospital for my NEW hip next month. We had a great weekend and they are such a happy newly married couple.................!

As for sales we both sold a painting. 'David's Cow' or Contentment and my Autumn leaves.

This was taken before I had it mounted and framed. The camera has created indentations where in actual fact the natural cord swirls were in relief. The leaves are Tissutex painted with silk paint before cutting out.

I had put some items in the Craft Market, unframed textile pieces, embroidered cards, knitted jewellery, bucket bags and silk scarves.

This bucket bag is my own design and is a crazy patchwork of fabric, it is lined with silk. So glad someone will be enjoying it.It is so gratifying when people choose to purchase your designs and art work but then Holmfirth does get a very diverse group of people through its doors. I also sold three pics that I posted last month, 'Pink confusion', 'Tall and Proud', the foxgloves and 'Russets' the green felted piece. I didn't bring much home so my stock will have to be replenished which means lots of creating!!!!!!!!! good oh!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

TIF catch up

Very late May TIF contribution. I liked the pastel colour scheme

which was a change and the theme of 'What do you call yourself?' prompted me to make a list of all the labels I currently attach to myself and the one that kept coming to the surface was that of an experimenter of mixed textile media. At present I am working on creating new surfaces on which to surface embellish by hand or FME. So what better way to interpret May's theme than utilising the colour way and the theme. I cut a piece of white felt Post Card size to fit in with all my other monthly challenges and then cut strips of organza and fabric in the given colour way. I embellished them on my Janome embellisher and then hand embroidered the surface design. I chose cretan stitch as I was very pleased with the effect gained last year on Sharon's take a Stitch Tuesday. This I did whilst on holiday in Menorca last week.

It's coming along nicely.

Even later is April's challenge, this is the base for my interpretation of 'How I see change'.

Change creates a swirl effect whether its positive or negative. So this piece will be based on swirls and curves that life throws us. Very pertinent at present for us as a family as we have lots of trauma and long term chronic illness affecting family and close friends. I can see this dynamic movement of life and family situations and how it is constantly changing individuals. The best we can do is try to learn from all the experiences and move forwards...............

This is the view from the villa we rent on a regular basis from friends. What a back yard!!!This chap came regularly to soak up the sun on the rocks at the end of the garden!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Holmfirth Exhibition and latest work

I've been very busy over the last few weeks finishing off pieces for the Holmfirth Art Week, 6-12th July. This is 'Pink Confusion', an embellished piece of wool and silk with FME and hand embroidery. The colour representation is so good and the relief effect achieved actually looks recessed.
This detail shows the use of beads to complete the surface embellishment of Pink Confusion.I did this piece using a single felting needle and silk tops, french knots complete the foxglove embellishment. Very pleased with this one.

Another dry felted piece. Silk net gives it a further dimension. Surface embellishment is achieved by FME and bead work.
The next two are in the Seed head series that I started for the Norton Priory exhibition

Seed Head IV

Seed Head V

The next four pics are cards in my Seed Head series they are approx 5-6 cms square. The base is embellished organza or curtaining voile and the seed head is FME. The last one has hand embroidery to finish as in the larger pieces.

These are three of the ten silk scarves I have dyed today. I call this series the Silk Crinklies as they are short and crinklie!!! They are quick and easy to do in the microwave with silk dyes. Ideal small items for sale.

I need now to play catch up on my TIF and Unlimited Textiles pieces. As I am off to Menorca on Monday I think that they will be coming away with me!!! I am in great need of some sun and warmth as I am scheduled to have a hip replacement in a couple of months and want my batteries recharged, I'm on the cancellation list so might get the call any time. Hubby thinks I should have a season ticket at the local hospital after my January gall bladder episode.