Monday, June 28, 2010

In the pink........

Well who would have thought it.  I read about it on  Gerdiary an of course I had to try it for myself.  What happens when you dye with avocado skins?  A beautiful lime most notstaligic looking dusky pinks.

I peeled two avocado pears and waited until they were boiling,and added my bits and pieces, like I did with the blackcurrants. nothing seemed to happen for a while and then the materials slowly began to take the colour.  As with the blackcurrants and the snow the silk pieces gave the strongest results. Isn't nature amazing?

Some time in the winter  I read about crushing rose petals between fabric with a hammer and tucked it away as something to try. It has a proper name, "flower pounding". As our first flush of roses are just beginning to drop and I had all these lovely pink pieces to work with.I thought I would try it. I am sorry I can't remember the origianl reference but this seems to be quite a comprehensive "how to".  This is my result using rose petals, geraniums and petunias , I haven't done all the things you are supposed to do to the cloth to fix the dye so it will inevitably fade but it was fun to do.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Spirit Cloth......

...the journey continues and I am having so much fun...after making my first two bases I turned to making same elements that could be added to a cloth.  Because of my new way of thinking I call these "little harmonies" because  they were little scraps of material that came together, almost by themselves.  

I could go on making these little pieces forever, it is wonderful to put your hand in a little bag of scraps and then find little pieces that just want to be together. But the object of the course is to start to make a "spirit cloth" so here is a first thought on a new base (I could go on making these forever too)

These was a thought here but the cloth had other ideas.  I will explain later.

Now for something completely different, take a look at the wonderful  work of  mixed media artist Lisa Kokin.

 and thanks to Janne Robberstad for this link

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dreary Sunday.......

that is just the weather, I am thinking of switching on my SAD light I am so sick of grey skies. Enough! Every cloud..... as they say.  Today I have started on mt Spirit Cloth workshop in earnest.  I could almost hear the noise in the boxes as the pieces jostled for attention. These are the ones that I chose/they decided. 

apologies for wonky scan.

What will they become, I wonder.  Already "stories" are lurking around in my head.  I am loving this new way of thinking/not thinking, just waiting to see what will happen and learning to say what if.....
I made this piece after reading Jude's introduction and thinking about the picture of a feather she had posted here.  The shape of the feather resembled a knife and that brought the thought what if the knife was used to change the feather into a quill....perhaps the one Shakespeare used......books to bring colour to the world.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The silly season.......

My life seems just a tad overloaded at the moment, The Matchgirls coming up quickly, cat sitting for two sets of neighnbours, plant sitting for another, and so on and so forth.  Two escapes to hold on to though,  one is that I am excidedly waiting for the Spirit Cloth workshop to begin and when I want to shut of all together I dive into the "Celtic, Viking and Anglo Saxon Embroidery" by Jan Messent, I mentioned a short while ago.

This photograph is copyrighted and shown by kind permission of Search Press. please do not copy.
This book please on so many levels, as an inspiration and as pleasure to browse. Lavishly illustrated Jan  t decribes how she made six books  based on sources from these ancient times. She gives a brief summary of the history but the point that makes the book special for me is she emphasises the bond between stitchers now and then.  Our basic tools are the same, as are our basic stitches.In one of her books she has a page based on a Bronze Age sleeve of a garment found in Denmark, it looks very like kantha stich, so popular at the moment. 
Jan decribes the materials and techniques she has used on each page there are  beautiful illustrations.   Scattered through the book are fascinating snippets  from achives of all kinds relating to embroiderers and their work.  It makes my fingers itch and It will be a long time before I tire of delving into this book.

This photograph is copyrighted and shown by kind permission of Search Press. please do not copy.
Do click on the photos and then click again for a real close up.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Day with Maggie Grey......

A beautiful summers day, a drive through the English countryside, a meeting with friends for a day organised by the Tunbridge Wells branch of the EG.  Congratulations to everyone involved, who must have worked so hard to organise all the bits and pieces, prepare the delicious lunch and the mountains of homemade cakes. Maggie was in fine form, always inspiring,  informative and generous, she gave two demonstrations in the morning and then in the afternoon gave a talk called "Visible to Invisible" with Clive, her husband,  working his technical wizardry to provide the stunning images. I couldn't take notes fast enough.

Unfortunately for my bank balance, Fay Maxwell and Myfanwy Hart had brought their wonderful displays of threads, materials and fun stuff.  I gave in to temptation, well , sometimes you have to don't you?  A good day.

With my cotton I bought last week I have nearly finished scarf number two but I sidetracked to make something I have been meaning to try for ages. I follow a blog called heegeldab, I can't understand the words because Marianne lives in Estonia but the pictures are wonderful. I saw a daisy necklace sometime ago loved it.  So here is mine, made from the varigated cotton.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Day out.....

I went up to see the Prism exhibition at the Mall Galleries, always a pleasure and  yesterday didn't disappoint, though I wasn't quite so bowled over as in previous years but then it is all a matter of what speaks to you. I bought a photographic permit but it is for personal use so I can't share them I'm afraid.

It was a glorious day, real flaming June and the Mall was sparkling, decked out with flags for this Saturday's Trooping  the Colour, unfortunately I am elsewhere on Saturday otherwise I would have been tempted to go and watch, I do love a military band.

The stands were ready and I found the Horse Guards Arch had a very modern halo

and St James' Park was so inviting

and in Trafalgar Square I found more elephants and this one was taking a rest in the shade.

I love these little statues which pop up all over, I would love to see them all (258!) one of the main problems is they seem to be a very popular place to eat your sandwiches!

  I popped into John Lewis and found this

No prizes for guessing what I am going to make with it.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It worked.....

Thanks to a cold, dull Bank Holiday and tennis on the TV, I finished the Meobius scarf.

This is just long enought to make a cosy neck warmer, so next time more wool, more stitches.