Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Sweet Sisters - Round Robin

Here are some pictures of the fabric book I have created for the Sweet Sisters Round Robin. I have chosen the theme Flowers.

The cover is made from Sinemay and I used strips of fabric to embroider the flower. (I have no idea how to turn this photo round in Blogger - sorry!). I backed it with some old shirt fabric, used

Fast2Fuse Interfacing and chose a pink dyed cotton fabric for the inside.

I also added a couple of pockets back and front.

The cord is made from a strip of the pink cotton fabric rolled and free machined with a zigzag stitch. I didn't want the cord to show on the back cover and interrupt the flower so I have just fixed it in place with a couple of zigzag stitches.

The pages are made from calico and wadding, and the edges are zigzagged. I have punched two eyelets in each page but I still have to get the hang of doing this technique properly as the eyelets often fall out.

I have used a magnetic clasp for the fastening because I wanted to practise this technique in advance of using it on a bag and then hid it behind a Suffolk Puff, although I know this doesn't work from the design point of view. I forgot to consider the thickness of any additions to the pages too so the fastening might end up not doing up properly by the time the book gets back to me, but never mind, because I have a Plan B.

I decided I wanted to start the book of with a tulip and I used my embellisher and free machining to create the first page.

I know only two of the people in the Round Robin but I am really looking forward to not only stitching pages on the themes others have chosen, but also getting my completed book back and seeing how others have interpreted my theme.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

A day out at Kew Gardens

Not having planned on blogging for a while, I had such a great day on Saturday, visiting the largest ever exhibition of Henry Moore sculptures at Kew Gardens
http://www.kew.org/henry-moore/ that I thought I would share some photos.

The different textures are fascinating. Some are so smooth from being stroked over the years. Each time they are exhibited they are cleaned and given a new coat of beeswax.

As you walk round the sculptures and look through the holes or gaps in them, the sculpture becomes a frame and your view of the surroundings change. I can't remember what these are made out but the colour is gorgeous.

The pieces are so huge that they had to be lifted over the gates of Kew by crane.

Mother and child was one of his favourite themes.

These lines are so simple with the spine protruding, and just calling out to be stroked.

Whilst the exhibition is only on for about another ten days, you can also see his sculptures at his home at Perry Green in Hertfordshire.


Saturday, 8 March 2008

No stitching!

Its a month since I last posted anything on this blog, and felt I ought to give some sort of exlanation. Its also a month since I did any stitching. The time spent stitching is now time I spend on my course, which I am thoroughly loving. My creativity hasn't disappeared completely, however, as I am keeping a personal blog of my reflections as a new/mature learner and including lots of my own sketches and images on that. Its very personal though and definitely not for sharing!

Hubs and I have booked ourselves onto a weekend printmaking course in Suffolk in April, which includes collagraphs, so will post some pics of that in due course. This should be quite a relaxing weekend too as we don't have to take anything with us as everything is provided.

Additionally, I have booked a week's summer school at Missenden with Heather Power on bookmaking. I love her work and still use the notes I made on a day class I did with her at Art Van Go many years ago. It was definitely Heather Power that got me into bookmaking. She has a lot to answer for!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Little pink book

At our last ZigZag meeting Gina showed us how to do cutwork using free machine embroidery. I loved the technique and couldn't wait to develop this further. So using one of my gravestones as inspiration, I took a small section from this photo

and created this little pink book which stands up on its spine. Its quite tiny, 4 inches tall by 3 inches wide.

To open, the front flaps down, and it can then be used as a normal book.

I wonder how small a book I can make? That might be my next challenge.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Bags and terracotta soldiers

I bought myself this bag last week from Paperchase

but in order to stop my daughter pinching it, I had to make her this! Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed making it as it was a great diversion from an exhausting day starting my new course.

Last week Hubs and I had tickets to see the Terracotta Army exhibition at the British Museum .

About 30 years ago a farmer digging in NW china found a terracotta head, which led to not only the discovery of the terracotta army guarding the tomb of China's first emperor, but also entertainers, civil officials, chairots, birds, horses - in fact a whole underground kingdom guarded by the terracotta army.

Every soldier is individual. The detail is fantastic. Each one is approximately 6 ft tall.
The soldiers would have originally been fully painted. One has been found with his face painted green.This armour is made from stone. Not for normal battle but to protect the emperor in the after life.

These horses were excavated from the first pit in 1977.

If you can still get tickets I would thoroughly recommend a visit.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Sugar and vinegar mixture

In the C&G Yahoo group we have been discussing ideas how to create textures, and I happened to mention something we did on our C&G course which was to mix sugar with vinegar to make a really thick paste. I then made marks in it with a fork - bit like the mashed potato on the top of shepherds pie - and left it to dry until it hardened.

Here is a picture of my completed texture board from two years ago and the sugar/vinegar paste is the last of the smaller images on the right handside, above the bark rubbing. It has a wonderful translucent look to it.

I have just come across my old notes two which says two parts of sugar and one of vinegar but I recall that was a bit runny.

Other textures on the board were created from:
Acrylic paint
Bark rubbing
Tissue paper scrunched up
Egg shells
Angel hair wrapping paper

I can't believe this was two years ago now. This time next year I will have completed my training course as a Study Skills Tutor and be remembering how nervous I am feeling this week, and wondering why on earth I have signed up to do it! We have our first contact day on Saturday, and having seen the course assignments now I am panic stricken! Perhaps I will get more stitching done as a diversionary tactic from writing essays.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Books, gravestones, and morning tea

Following on with my gravestone shapes, here is my first little book.

I have been having a go with transferring images using Bondaweb following the directions Maggie Gray has given on her blog. It's so easy. I was really impressed. Using Photoshop, I took a picture of a head that I drew ages ago, and put it against a photo of rust. I changed the colours of the rust to make it look more like lichen as seen on gravestones. I ironed it onto cotton and then washed the print away. I like its ethereal quality.

What I particularly like about this method is that it is using materials most of us have anyway. There is no buying any specialised paper or liquid.

A little while ago Gina nominated my blog for a You Make my Day Award. (Despite several attempts blogger won't let me add the picture of the award).

The rules are that I have to

Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

I started trying to come up with 10 blogs but decided to stick with my absolute favourites and the ones that I check really regularly for up-dates. They are:

Zoe at http://witchypoos.blogspot.com/
Joyce at http://sewartjourney.blogspot.com/
Sheila at http://stitchingtrail.blogspot.com/
Margaret (Digital Gran) http://digitalgran.blogspot.com/
and of course Gina’s Fan my Flame

The person, however, who for me deserves the You Make my Day Award above everyone else and nothing to do with blogs is…. Drum roll … My Husband! For bringing me a cup of tea in bed every morning. I am fairly lousy at waking or getting up and this cup of tea works miracles!

Who would others nominate for this award, outside of blogland?