Saturday, March 18, 2017

Something to play with.......

.... I have a lot of toys and some I haven't played with for a while.  With last weeks Sunday papers there  was a supplement which had great fashion pictures on a rather nice paper and I suddenly wondered if Citra-solve would work. Haven't even thought about it since this post  in 2011. To my delight it worked
Then I wondered what would happen if I put it through a stencil?
That worked too.  I thought they would make good backgrounds so I scanned them in and then I played a bit more. I combined them digitally in  Paintshop Pro..

this one used one of Seth Apter's stencils.
Here are the stencil masks I used. Please feel free to use.

Now I want to incorporate them into some kind of book pages. We'll see.

Week 11 in 1 Year of Stitches and my little clump of trees looks like this.

I have prepared things for the exhibition, a bit of a chore,  I love making, not too keen on finishing off.
Some time ago I made these art prompts
Wanting to play with paint I drew out three, funnily enough they turned out to be March,Rain and Peeling Paint

Here it is tidied.  The tree is made from a technique I learned from the late Renate Keeping, on memorable visit to ~The Keeping Gallery.

This has gone in my "Because I Felt Like It" book..

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Variety is the spice........

.... so they say, so this week has been quite spicy. Visit to the Library, followed by a visit to the electrician to repair my beloved Dyson handheld which I had wounded by putting in the cleaned filter before it was completely dry. I thought it was dry but it wasn't. Expensive mistake.

Realisation that our long awaited exhibition is now coming up SOON, sent me into a bit of a panic for I have framed my pieces but am still working on the piece which I am submitting as part of the 1 Year of Stitches challenge. I think there will be leaves on the trees before I am finished.
I need to frame this too so when they said it was going to be a very mild day yesterday I put myself on a train and went up to London for the first time this year.  Bliss.  I met my daughter for a quick coffee and then had a lovely wander. Bought my frame in Muji and just took my well trodden route around Seven Dials and Covent Garden, didn't have time to do more but I was very envious of the people who were wandering along the south Embankment of the river as I left.
But I took pictures, another first this year.
Covent Garden was very boisterous with Lincoln football supporters hoping for glory.Alas their hopes were dashed but I am sure they enjoyed the anticipation at least.  Be proud Lincoln first non league side to reach quarter finals since 1914.
There was a mixture of winter and summer treats on offer.

there was more colour with these flowers.

There were four decorated benches which were delighting tourists being photographed on them.
A more subdued arrangement was also being used as a back drop.
The market halls are undergoing some restoration and one end is clad in what looks like tin giving marvellous reflections, so I decided to have my own souvenir photo.
This fine fellow must have seen missing the tourists who usually surround him as he is rather hidden at the moment.
From the train on the way home, the London skyline is ever changing the building in the middle of these three was only the lift core the  last time I went up.
and I love this mix of old and new,

I said I was enjoying the Great Pottery Throwdown so I fell in love with these  teapots which were on Seth Apter's Sunday Papers last week.  The artist's name is Andrew Massey.   My son has a big birthday this year and I would love to get him a piece but I think shipping may be an issue.

Andrew Massey Smokestack Teapot 2.1.jpg

hoping to see The Viceroy's House this week, I was introduced to Lord Mountbatten many years ago, he was totally charming.


Sunday, March 05, 2017

Time is agin me......

....Week 9 of this year already and not many of those plans I have been planning have been acheived yet.
The trees are slowly beginning to emege.

On the sewing front this week it was Mayland Textile Group.  We are getting ready for our exhibition next month and yesterday I dashed to Otford to catch the frame man who comes on the first Saturday of the month.  Piles of mounts and frames to choose from and of course, they will custom frame if you wish. I hope I have chosen wisely, trouble is you never know if it is right until you hang it.
My little world is also being framed. I took it to Craft Frames in Dartford because they are expert at mounting and framing embroidery and my piece, having evolved the way it did , was not exactly a standard fit.

I have been following Carolyn Saxby's beautiful blog and was wondering where she was taking the Surface Treatment Workshop that she references,  Doh! I realised it is a book I have had for some time and she is working through each tutorial.
Surface Treatment Workshop: Explore 45 Mixed Media Techniques (Paperback) 
 I started a similar exercise back in 2014 with another book Mixed Media Master ClassImage result for mixed media masterclass 
Two of my favourite pages, 
wax crayon resist through Seth Apter stencil
 grunge paste and rubber stamps.
I also found FIVE unfinished art journals
Favourite TV this week has been the Sky Arts Portait Artist of the Year competition.  My goodness those people are amazing and my absolute favourite at the moment The Great Pottery Throw Down
Both of these knockout competions with interesting contestants  and without soul destroying judges. Now please BBC can we have the Great British Sewing Bee back?

I complained. Bluewater shopping centre  has several shops where the in-store music is so loud it spill out into the aisles.  Now Bluewater management  "in response to guest feedback" has started playing music in the aisles as well.  .I know I am not the only one to complain and their solution and standard reply to this is"the volume of music will slowly increase from the low level 1 before opening time, level 2 at opening time and the level 3 at our busy times".  Why would you need lound music when it is busy and there is so much noise from the "guests". Why would you need music at all.
 Hurrah for John Lewis, M&S, WH Smith ,Lakeland who do not play music.  I am not a guest, I have been shopping at Bluewater since it opened and I have never been given jelly or cake.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Something completely different.......

 For my 1 Year of Stitches this week I have started a picture of trees, for myself this time.  I made one each for my son and daughter for Christmas, they were pleased and I thought "I want one". I am using some wonderful material  from The Cloth House. At £38 a metre it is the most expensive material I have even bought but it is perfect for this job. It is slow progress as it will be seen from both side I need the back to look neater than I normally do,.
If you are wondering about my little world, I have decided to have if framed professionally so I need to ask there advice before putting in the final stitches.

A good week n the whole. It started with a visit to Hidden Figures . I really enjoyed this film and think it derserves far more accolades than La La Land. Learned a lot, laughed and cried, what more can you want from a film.

I finished my Cronwall book, moderately pleased with it. It was difficult to photograph because of the size and shape. It is made from the black cards which come with DH's Royal Mail stamps. they are approx 9x5inches. I covered them with old Gelli print papers and then a mixture of paints and  collaged photographs from our holiday back in 2012.

I like the way it will stand up as well though I couldn't get a good angle to photograph.

The other highlight of the week was a meeting with 'the Girls'.  Always a joy we tried our hands at needle felting.  Our animals may not win prizes but we had the best fun.
Blue bunny.
 Bad angle on this, he has a wonderful beak.
  Mine was supposed to be a sheep but ended up as a sheep dog..... possibly.

I came across this, forgot to keep link.

Crafting is a major growth activity internationally – it generates a retail economy of over £3.5bn in the UK alone. Almost 70% of British women have crafted in the last year – that’s over 18 million people. Craft Intelligence is our influential, biennial study of the crafting habits of UK females, conducted by Kantar. And the number of young crafters is growing rapidly – in the UK, crafting among 16-34 year olds is up 9% in the last year. And 23% of UK women have tried a new craft in the last year.
Bluewater   and others please take note.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mobile again......

... thank goodness.  Coffee with a friend, cat sitting for my son and a few doc's visits for DH, a printer which died just after I had replaced the cartridges (why does that happen) and the week flew by.  I have. though brought my 1 year of stitches piece nearly to an end.    So easy to completely ruin a piece by bad framing so it is probably going to take a while. Here is the piece as is.
This week I added the sun, much needed around here.  I learned how to make suns (and moons) from Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth . I started to make a little bit of the border. I can't do much more until I have decided on the mounting and framing.  So easy to completely ruin a piece with the wrong frame. I have done a little digital auditioning, what do you think?
I have spent a lot of time this week trying to make a book.   I was going to make a scrap journal with some old gelli prints but somewhere along the line  it turned into a book on a holiday we spent in St Ives a few years back.
One of the first things I did was make a cottage.
and the this piece of paper reminded me of the harbour so I added a couple of boats.
Loving the process.
Tomorrow we are off to do the laundry, in other words we are going to the cinema. I may be repeating myself here but to clarify, when we found that OAP's can have reduced rates at our local cinema on a Monday morning  it seemed like a good idea and we agreed that we were so much more fortunate than our grandmothers who spent their Mondays standing over a copper or a dolly tub doing the washing . Tomorrow's laundry is "Hidden Figures".
I think I have mentioned this before but Seth Apter has a new feature on his blog called  The Sunday Papers
Well worth following, it has links to some very interesting sites. Last week this had me wanting one of these, even if it was just a little piece.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Grey days.......

.....I have long said that February may have the least number of days but is the longest months.  This tear with enforced idleness and the heaviest grey days  you can imagine it is certainly living up to expectations.

1Year of  Stitiches continues and is keeping me sane.
Something occurred to me toda, it wasn't just that the piece had taken an autobiographical turn.  I was reading a piece on Terry Pratchett   and I realised that the mountains in the middle, which are definitely not the shape of my Lakeland hills, could very well be the Ramtops   and this little world might just resemble the Discworld.  Food for thought for the future.
 The train is now crossing Morecambe Bay on the Levens Viaduct. There is a tug in the harbour.  Memories of  the excitment of being taken to see the launch Oronsay  cruise liner by my grandfather.  Some of the tugs had come down from Glasgow and the only way you can describe them is as bustling about, full of self importance. Important is what there were because the Walney Channel is narrow and at one heart stopping moment it looked as though the ship would carry on and hit the island but the tugs held her. The cruise ship, coming into the harbour, could be the Oronsay but it could also record the wonderful holidays on the two Seabourn cruises we took
I have obscured the bottom middle because I am not quite sure about that section . I just have to fix that, put in a few doors and windows and then the prosect of the border which won't be half so exciting.
I also had time to play with paint, stamps and dies.  Result, this which is a fairly conventional "art journal" page

and then this, which was just getting a few things off my chest

I enjoyed that, never done anything like it before.

Two weeks and apart from bananas, which I came out of hospital craving and a few eggs my household stores have done us proud.  I always stock up for winter as though I still lived at  Ulpha Looking forward to getting behind the wheel this week so that life can resume a bit or normal. Also hoping for a little more warmth and light.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Bed rest..................

....well not really. Just a glorious excuse to sit with my feet up and sew. Op went  OK and I now just have to get myself in working order again.

Week 5 of 1 Year of Stitches.

My little world has aquired a few more houses,  a train, a lighthouse and I think that is meant to be Piel Castle. 

This piece is becoming even more auto-
biographical by the minute.
When I go north there is a pont where the M6 motorway crosses the Manchester Ship Canal that is when the light seems to change and I take a deep breath of contentment.  If you go to Barrow in Furness by train there is a bit where you cross the viaduct over Morecambe Bay and you can see what apprears to be a lighthouse  on the top of the hill.  This gives me the came feeling,  of "coming home" (Cross now, I had a super photo i took from the train and I can't find it.)
 Silly isn't it, I have been away from "home" for 58 years but each time I visit I have these emotions.

When I first came to London in 1960 travel by train was the only option for me.  If you were making the journey on a Sunday it could take eight hours to get to Euston.  When were married we would have like to spend our honeymoon in Cornwall but it would have taken 3 days to get there from Barrow as we only had a weeks leave it wasn't an option so we spent it in the Lakes. (Not a bad trade off.)

The "lighthouse" is  called The Hoad  locally and is a monument to Sir John Barrow who was born in Ulverston and became naval explorer. I do have a real lighhouse connection  though. One of my greatx3 grandfathers was the Lighthouse keeper on Walney island which was up for sale recently.  That would have been fun but the lighthouse tower was not included.