Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Can someone please explain.....

just where did January go?

At the beginning of January I put the Creative Everyday logo on my sidebar and I realise I have not mentioned it so far. But I think I can put hand on heart and say that I have done something creative everyday in January(I did start the month by writing them down but I am useless at keeping things like that going) There have been the obvious things like work for the TIF challenge and the Calendar Girls but I have also tried to be a bit more creative in the kitchen and have been trying out new recipes and resurrecting old favourites like Eve's Pudding.

I also finished off the TAST challenge by making a cover for the folder of my stitches, I mounted them on black card and put them in a lever arch file, I started the cover about half way through the year and then added stitches as I went along. I didn't dare mention it unless I fell by the wayside and it became a UFO.

I have also been playing with the transfer paints I had for Christmas, here's todays experiment.

And just to finish, look what now has a frame, there was a half price sale in Hobbycraft and I just couldn't resist,

So here we go into February, I am looking forward to what Sharon has in store for us and of course continuing the Calendar Girls challenge.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What a different world...............

<............ It's funny how things come together sometimes. Yesterday we had a good talk by and Judith Songhurst. Titled "Life after City and Guild " they told us how they met on a City and Guild Machine Embroidery course at Missenden Abbey and showed the work they have done since then. About half way through my brain kicked in and I realiesed that Gina was Fan My Flame who has been in my bloglines for a while. We even saw they fan which is on her blog. Beautiful delicate machine embroidery. Judith quoted a piece from a 1949 book on machine embroidery which has us all falling about.

'Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do... never approach sewing with a sigh or lacksadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates. Never try to sew with a sink full of dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent household chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing. When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag of french chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on with care. If you are constantly fearful that a visitor would drop in or your husband come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should.'

What a different world!!!!

We were reminded of the song "Wives and Lovers " by Burt Bacarach sung by Jack Jones

Hey, little girl,
Comb your hair, fix your make-up.
Soon he will open the door.
Don't think because
There's a ring on your finger,
You needn't try any more

For wives should always be lovers, too.
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you.
I'm warning you.

Day after day,
There are girls at the office,
And men will always be men.
Don't send him off
With your hair still in curlers.
You may not see him again.

For wives should always be lovers, too.
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you.
He's almost here.

Hey, little girl
Better wear something pretty,
something you'd wear to go to the city.
And dim all the lights,
Pour the wine, start the music.
Time to get ready for love.

Dim all the lights,
Pour the wine,start the music.
Time to get ready for love.
Time to get ready,time to get ready for love.
Time to get ready,time to get ready for love.

I can remember when my mother was staying with m after my daughter was born and my mother would send me to "tidy youself up" before DH came home!!!!

What a different world!!!!!

Today Joanna of posted about an article she had written for the Ragged Cafe on Matt Baker and the work he has inspired.
Joanna pointed out how the illustrations promised more than they revealed! I remembered similar romantic comics from my teenage years, which my parents frowned and the occasion when, at about 16 years old, I was about to go out with the shoulders of my sweater pulled down revealing my shoulders. My father sent me back upstairs to change before I was allowed out.

My mother used to say that "sex appeal was not what you could see, but what you thought you could see!!"

What a different world!!!! ............or is it???????????

Thursday, January 24, 2008

North East memory

Sharon has been reminiscing about a holiday in Whitby in the north east of England. Being a mixed media artist she has some good pictures. She has a beautiful photgraph of Rievaulx Abbey
This is a photograph I took when we visited some years ago, someone from English Heritage, with great imagination, had placed this figure of a monk in the grounds, it had no face it was just the shape of a figure draped in a monks habit, it stood under the trees just "watching". Very effective and spine tingly!

This is a page I did in an altered book, the background of the "chapel" is a digitally altered photograph of some of the wonderful arches of the ruins.

Thanks for the memory jog Sharon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I like these.....

very different ideas.
The first one is a link to a tutorial for makover of the kind of canvas bags they are encouraging us to use thses days. I thought was a good way to reduce stash and cheer up shopping day! Corry of Dutch Blue gave me permission to use her photograph.

I guess everyone reads Maggie Grey's blog but just in case you missed it back in January, ever inventive she wrote about swoopy photographs and now she has a novel use for the scanner. swoopy scans

This is a piture of the V&A by night when I went to the Couture Exhibition
and this is same swooped!

This is swooped photo with snake skin displacement map in Paint Shop Pro

This is my TIF piece swooped over the scanner

This takes skill I might tell you!!
This is it cropped and using the reflective mirror in PSP.

Can you see a jungle idol, or is that just me.
Great fun on a dull afternoon. She knows a thing or two that Maggie!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Do you think .....

that the Queen saw my TIF piece.

This wonderful portrait by Chris Levine was on the cover of the Telegraph Magazine this weekend. The timing of it amused me.Chris describes himself as a light artist and there are some wonderful examples of his work on his site. He is to have an exhibition at the StolenSpace Gallery March 14-23rd.
If anyone has a copyright issue with this post please contact me and I will delete it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Trouble with Lace.......

is that it is bumpy!!!! Well the one I used was. This is a continuation of my TIF piece. Leave now if you can't stand to see a woman in pain.

I had decided that the way I wanted to represent the Queen and her endless round of handshakes was by a string of pearls. Pearls for her favourite jewellery and also to represent the white gloves she often wears. When I came to add the pearls they wouldn't lie flat on the lace (surprise!)and after several aborted attempts I came to the conclusion that ever pearl had to be put on separately and then threaded back through the others to make it stay in place and the lace was stiff because of the painting.(Forgot to mention the layer of foil that I put there in an effort to keep in with the colour challenge.) Well all I can say is, if the Queen has suffered, as she must have done on occasion, from over firm hadshakes, as much as I did putting on these beads it is a true representation of her dedication that I was trying to express!!!

Life then became a little easier, to represent the never ending line of people I wanted to represent every race, colour of politics and creed that the Queen has met.
So I made some bead soup!!
and from this I made a LONG string of beads which I couched down against the line of pearls.

Wasn't quite happy so scattered pearls inside of the unbroken line to represent the press,police, ladies in waiting, organisers...all the support staff.

When I looked at it the colours weren't working, (during the next bit I became so engrossed with the problem I forgot to photograph all the steps) not giving me what I wanted so I decided I needed at frame. I chose some purple material, obviously to represent royalty and also to tie it back into the TIF colour challenge. The beads round the edge were representative of the honour guards, Trooping of the Colour etc.
With the border round it, it still wasn't quite right so I reached for my beloved Treasure Gold and rubbed it into the areas outside the unbroken line. This served to highlight the line and I felt I had brought the piece to a point where I could do no more.

What would be lovely is to put it into one of those very deep, very ornate gold frame---but part of this challenge is supposed to be about stash reduction and I don't have one to hand so ........
this is Paint Shop Pro cheat.

I can't say I am in love with the piece but it the first time I have taken an abstract idea and turned it into a piece of work so in that respect I am pleased.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Textile Conservation Centre....

Thank you Susan, yes this was the link I had lost. Anna Nowicki was where I read about the intended closure of the Textile Conservation Centre. This is the link to the Petition

Monday, January 14, 2008

From Faraway.....

Following the post below Frederique's has led me to the blog of her travels on board the Croque Pomme there are some wonderful photographs of the islands she has visited. One of the miracles of blogging for me is the ability to share the lives and thoughts of people whose lifestyle is completely different from your own. I look forward to following Frederique to places I will never be able to visit.

On Tif it is really good to see other peoples thought process as Ruth in Permutations in Fiber like her one of my original thoughts was to use a celtic design for the unbroken line, the thing I had in mind was the stone we saw in the woods near Tintagel but on closer inspection the line was broken so I discarded it for the moment.

I am not a great one for soft toys but Ullanbenulla posted this picture

and link to Veronique La Font the artist. There is a lot to drool over on this site.

Yesterday I came across a piece about the closure of the Textile Conservation Centre, there was a plea to write to No 10 Downing Street or sign the petition I thought I had marked it but if anyone knows further details can they leave a comment National Conservation Centre. I would be a tragedy if we lost such a resource.This article from The Times

Visitor from faraway...

Frederique left a comment on the piece about Sandy's card and I went to visit her blog to say thank you. I was amazed to find that she is, at the moment, sailing round the world and is at the moment somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is her blog Quilting, Patchwork and Applique, I left a message and I hope to find out how she came across me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Taking It Further.....

is turning out to be a real challenge. It started out all right. 1st page of a new notebook. (Don't you just love first pages?)
At first the colour scheme didn't immediately appeal to me. It took Vero in
Au Fil du Jardin and she translated it into things like lavender and olive trees. That made me look at the colours very differently. By then I had decided to go with the concept. Admiration! There are lots of people I like, a few precious ones I love and there are many artists in all spheres who give me pleasure. My choice of Queen Elizabeth may suprise some people and may be ridiculed by others but the Queen has been a constant in a changing world. Now in her eighties, her sense of duty and dedication to the job she inherited is unfailing.

I wondered how best to represent these duties and then I thought of the handshake. Goodness knows how many times the Queen must have exchanged this greeting. An endless line of people!!! I wanted the line to be never ending, swathes of people at the garden parties at Buckingham Palace, people lining the streets and reception lines all over the world.
These are some try outs.

Then note to self: Give more thought to your background!!!!I had an idea for the background of a map of the world which I wish I had developed.

You can see here that I was now trying to incorporate the colours. Suddenly I found myself painting lace and this is when life started to get difficult.

I will post further on my learning curve, when hopefully I will have resolved some of the problems.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My first postcard......

A lovely surprise when I arrived home to find this package, I somehow in my excitement of making cards for Postcard Girls 2008 forgot that I would actucally be receiving cards as well. Here is the lovely card I received from Sandy backed by the super piece of material she had used as a wrapping.

When Sandy first posted this picture I was taken with the transparent petal what I didn't appreciate was the different textures of all the other petals and the stalk and the leaf feel like suede.

Here is one more take from me on the January picture. It is not really a serious contender but I received some transfer paints for Christmas and wanted to try them out. I must say I was really pleased with the result. I first painted the green and transferred it to some cheap stretchy white velvet, it "took" in the most satifying way, a couple of days later I wondered if I could transfer onto the already coloured material and hurrah! yes I could, so this is the result. It was a beast to sew, I really must educate myself on stabilizers which might have helped.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The other exhibition...

we visited at the V&A was called "Out of The Ordinary: Spectacular Craft" this one does not finish until 17th February 2008 and is well worth a visit.
This was part of one of my favourite installations
made of fragements of lace and net
more here, Anne Wilson look at her Portable Cities,
When I was a child I used to love to make house with playing cards, with holes in the roof so you could see into the "rooms", these pins and lace and threads had a similar effect on me you could get down on a level with them and see whole town and land scapes.

This may look like a cloth put down to protect the furniture from paint splashes, but those paint "splashes" are stitched!!! More on the artist here.Susan Collis gives links to her works showing "paint stain"

These are more pictures of the other installations on the V&A site, it was an added bonus to the Couture exhibition.

Well I never.....

No copyright breach intended.
I didn't think there was a musical film of the forties and fifties that I hadn't seen but the other evening I watched "The Harvey Girls with Judy Garland and a very young Angela Lansbury. Now as a movie it wasn't one of the greats except for the romantic costumes and the famous "Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe" sequence but it was based on and dedicated to the real Harvey Girls. I knew nothing about them so trusty Google found me these links. The brain child of a man called Fred Harvey to provide food for travellers on trains in the newly expanding country Harvey Girls Railroad Museum
Apparently they tamed the Wild West. Fascinating stuff.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Day of the Queues

On Thursday my friend and I headed for the V&A to catch the Golden Age of Couture exhibition which ends on Sunday. Unfortunately, it would seem that the whole of South East England had decided to do the same thing!!! Had I thought I could have booked tickets but no, do it the hard way Pat. We joined the queue just before mid day and about twenty minutes later we purchased tickets, (half price thanks to our Art Fund Cards )for 3.45pm. Fortuately the V&A has enough treasures to fill weeks of investigation so what to do with our time was not a problem until we fancied a little lunch. Yes the queue was enormous, now we didn't really feel like popping up the road to Harrods for lunch so we waited patiently. I have to say it was worth waiting for. After lunch we took in the costume court and then thought we might just be able to sneak in a little early. So we queued, in vain, "No you must wait " said the young lady "Please step over there and start a queue!!!!!

So that is my Create Something Everyday for Thursday. I created a queue at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The exhibition was amazing and as always with these big exhibitions too much to take in, in one visit. I particularly liked the area which showed the all the parts which went into these creations,details of the tailoring, the beading and the less than glamourous working conditions of the seamstresses. This is a picture of my mother in a non-couture version of the New Look.

Best of all were the ball gowns, beautiful fabrics and incredible beading and embroidery.

When I first came down to London to work I can remember how we discussed what length hemlines would be this year and what was Vogues' colour for the season, African Violet was the one I always remember. I bought a sweater which cost 29/11d (£1.50 in todays money) and nearly a quater of my wages. On day's up to town I would look out for sylishly dressed women,envying their elegance as the stolled carrying a long rolled umbrella.

Heigh Ho!!

There was another exhibition but I'll save that for another day.

More sunflowers........

Can you tell that I am really enjoying the Calendar Girls 2008 challenge. I don't expect to do this much every month but the sunflower theme just seemed to get me going.

For this one I manipulated part of the original picture in Paint Shop Pro printed it onto cotton and then added some free machining.

This one is done completely freehand on my embellisher and I was thrilled to find I could "paint" with my embellisher in this way. The scan doesn't do it justice because the centre of the flower is very raised.
I have two more that I may or may not finish depending on how they behave.

If you love colour I found this this morning. The text of this site is in french but the pictures speak for them selves Sophie Gelfi, I found this link from Solange who has some beautiful work herself.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Getting started......

Good things go in threes they say so I have just signed up for a third challenge. This one which I found via The Lavender Loft. The challenge by Leah of Creative Everyday. I was attracted to this because the goals are small, creativity is not just a piece of creative work but can be as small as tidying a shelf, (actually that's huge for me but that's another story(, I just felt that in conjunction with Calendar Girls 2008 and TIF this could keep me on track this year.

Sharon's TIF challenge cetainly made me sit up and take notice and THINK. My goodness. I think I am going to go with the "Who do you admire and why" but just how I am going to do that, at this moment I don't have a clue. But I have started a note book for it, so that's creative!!!.

Cyndi of Layer upon Layers has posted a link to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Artist's Toolkit, a fun interactive site for design which may help out with any of the above.

The decorations came down today so here is the end of Christmas 2007.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Good madness......

I have just read this on Neil Gaiman's Journal and I hope it is allowable to quote it here.

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't to forget make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."

He missed out "sew" but otherwise I think it is the perfect wish.