Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Back to the drawing board, or should I say sewing machine:

My attempt to recreate a vessel inspired by Janet Edmunds book Three Dimensional Embroidery has failed miserably.

It was so much harder than I imagined. It wasn’t helped by the fact that by the time I had stitched pieces of fabric onto a calico backing, the resultant cloth was incredibly difficult to gather up and stitch through. Also, I realised that I needed a much bigger piece of fabric than I had started with.

Having taken out all the gathering stitches, there are some nice ripples in the fabric still,
which I might do something with, but not sure what yet. It is probably one of those pieces that will stay hanging around for a while until inspiration strikes again.

Didn't do any stitching over the Bank Holiday weekend. Quite a relaxing weekend with a few walks across the fields. We were delighted to see a new addition in the field around the corner.

He is absolutely gorgeous and although he went and hid behind his mum first, he then decided we were Okay and came up to the fence and allowed us to stroke his nose.

Discovered too, reading Gina Ferrari’s blog (http://ginaferrari.blogspot.com/), that the fruit I had been picking in the hedgerows thinking they were very large sloes, are very likely damsons. Thanks Gina, but apologies to P – that sloe gin you made…. you need to rename it!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Walking and felting

Had a great day to day. It started off with an early, long walk around the country lanes. I was quite shocked to see that some of the ferns in the hedgerows were already turning gold and russet, a sure sign autumn is on its way, even though it is only August. I have only been living in the country for about 18 months, and I still marvel everyday at the beauty of my surroundings.

I collected my first horse chestnut of the year, and picked a load of sloes too just because they looked such a wonderful colour. I also picked lots of blackberries in the field at the back of our house. Some unfortunately are going mouldy from the recent rain but I still managed to collect enough to take to a friend this afternoon. They made a stunning display in the kitchen.

The elderberries look stunning at the moment too in the hedgerows. My mum used to make wonderful elderberry wine, and I wish I could find a recipe for them other than jam or wine – a pie would be nice.

This afternoon I spent with a friend making felt. In Liverpool recently, I saw a felt bag that I thought was gorgeous, and “A” said she would teach me/help me to make the felt for it. When I got to her house she had already done lots of preparation including laying out the first few layers of wool. Prior to that she had also researched different types of wool which would be suitable and had even carded some so that it was really, really soft.

I was so grateful to her for all of that preparation; I hadn’t realised just how much physical energy felt making takes. The final piece was 28 x 17 inches. The edges are crinkly and absolutely gorgeous.

The photo doesn't really show the gorgeous texture of the felt.
Now, home again, I have changed my original design so that I can use these wonderful edges, and have managed to get two bags out of it. Can't wait to make them up, and to use them.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Plodding on!

I am still on the learning curve with blogging. Only realised as I published my last post that you don't put the date in the title box as the date shows anyhow. Also I have no idea how to include links in to other people's blogs and why, when I incorporate photos, do they always zap to the top of the document?

Its been a busy few days as we have been entertaining the last three days - different people on each day. Great fun and great to see everyone, although it takes a bit of organising and preparation to think of three different meals and the right quantities so as not to end up with lots of left overs each day. Just have a smidgens of Summer Pudding lurking in the fridge, and hubs and I will no doubt argue as to who gets to eat that. Also some left over cold chicken and ham which daughter has offered to turn into a chicken and ham pie with puff pastry for tonight's dinner. Yum!!

All this means I haven't had much time for stitching.

I did, however, manage to glue the cover boards onto a sketch book I have been making.

I used some handmade paper I bought in a shop in Gabriel's Wharf on the Embankment. for the covers. The book is about 6 inches square.

I also used a new little gadget a friend gave me.

Its a mini bradawl and just the right size for making tiny holes in the pages for stitching them all together. Thanks P.

I have just been set a challenge to find something in my workroom that I have bought and never used, and create a small sample. At first, I couldn't think of anything. I am pretty good at using what I buy, or so I thought. Then I started looking in the cupboards! It only took me a few moments to come across the following:

Kozo fibres, silk carrier rods, silk cocoons, Pin tuck foot, Transfer dyes, Lithocoal, Softsculpt, Glitterglue. I also came across some motifs which I created on water soluble paper quite recently but haven't ... yet ... done anything with them. So spoilt for choice. Now just need to decide which to use

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Thursday, 16th August

I have been reading Janet Edmonds' book Three Dimensional Embroidery, and have been inspired to create a vessel. I want to use the fabrics I dyed and "collage" pieces together to make a base fabric with an autumnal feel, before making it 3D.

One of the many things I learnt on the C&G course was to make samples.
So using calico, I stitched pleats all round and then stitched piping cord in for support.
I am really quite pleased with the outcome.
I won't get round to doing the autumn one yet as I want to make a book, as another entry for the Village Show.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

12th August 2007

This weekend I managed to get some dyeing done using the Kemshall method on the Thr3fold CD using Procion Dyes from Art van Go.. Decided that the best effects/marks were achieved by using two dyes - first a light dye, and then over dyeing with a second darker colour.

I did 9 separate pieces:

1. Bottle green on its own. (Fabric ironed before dyeing).

2. Chestnut brown on its own. (Fabric ironed before dyeing).

3. Piece taken from 1. Left to dry and then and redyed with Olive.

4. Piece taken from 2. Left to dry and then redyed with Dark Brown.

5. Dark brown on its own. This turned out very grey in places.

6. Olive on its own.

7. Rust orange on its own.

8. Piece from no.7 rinsed out and whilst still wet, redyed with Chestnut Brown.

9. Piece from no. 5, left to dry and then redyed with Wine.

I also managed to finish stitching my ATCs into a wallhanging for the Village Show. I have been making one a week since the beginning of the year and these are the ones I like best.

I was going to take them off the hanging after the Village Show and make a book of them all at the end of the year, but Hubs liked them so much as a hanging and asked if they could stay that way.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Tuesday, 7th August 2007

My first posting is a photo of a bag I have just made for the Village Show . The Class is "any home made garment or fabric article". The inspiration came from a playday with my friend P, who set us the task of making squares and using them to embellish a bag. I dyed the fabric using the Kemshall's method on the CD enclosed with the new Thr3fold publication. It was so easy to do and just to prove it was so easy to do, I repeated the same method and created more of the same colour fabric for the lining. The buttons I created from air dried clay and painted them.

The other side is a different colourway.

This is a close up of one of the sides although the colours aren't really right.

I also intend to enter three other classes:
Any item of embroidery - not counted thread.
Any other handicraft
A sketch, drawing or painting in any medium.

More photos as the items are made.

Just been out with hubs and dog for a walk across the fields. The sky was quite stunning.

Well, its taken me half an hour to set this blog up and write today's postings. Not too many difficulties so I am pleased with my efforts.