Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Now, where Was I?

Still managing to plod on with the coursework, life and a few other bits! 

I cooked another batch of Khadi papers. 

This time I soaked half in iron water.  Well I crushed up a load of my iron tablets and let them steep for a while before putting the papers in, but it worked! 

The other half I soaked in vinegar water.  Much paler which is lovely as they could still be written on.  

I have been pre cutting the pages to size using my decal ruler as I like the deeper staining on the edges.  If I make up whole sheets there is often a white line if I cut them post dyeing.  Can't be avoided sometimes though!! They will be make up into more books soon.

I have also been experimenting with some doggy portraits.  

Normally I run a mile from backgrounds and I spend an absolute age making sure every single hair is represented. I've taken a turn to trying much softer approach with backgrounds my old pastel tutor would cringe at!  All rubbed in and smeared, but I'm loving them!! 

It started with the Shona portrait I did back in March but don't seem to have shown you on here!!  This beautiful old lady was a much loved member of a group of Pointer owners we are in and she sadly went over the Rainbow Bridge.  I just had the urge to capture her for her mum.  I really liked the faded look I'd given her. 

This is of Willow looking out of my bedroom window.  

And this is a friends dog Hobbes.

They are on 9 x 12 inch paper but I've, again, done them very softly and loosely. I also want to almost make them generic. The thought is to see how they reduce into card size and, so far, they seem to do so very well.  Apart from really liking the effect the time taken is also a lot less!  As long as I have perfection in the eyes the rest can hang from them and I'm happy with that. 

On Monday I had a fabulous trip to London with my friend Karren to the Tate Modern to see the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition.  It was wonderful!! I really enjoyed it.  And there were plenty of her paintings covering all her styles over the years.  I had gone wanting to see her grading of colour and tone up close and it was everything I had hoped it would be.  Devine! I'm glad I bought the book to continue perusing at my leisure.  

This week also saw my interview on the new Workshop on the Web Tumblr site HERE.  Excuse the huge photo of me at the beginning, I think Fiona was a little carried away!! It coincides with the article I wrote for them on making the Forest Floor pieces in my last post. 

I've taken to writing a Todo list and carrying it with me.  It started quite long but I've managed to strike off a few things.  Unfortunately I keep adding so I think I will now go and peruse the list to see what I can get rid of! 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Pleasing Outcome

Last Sunday I actually had a go at some Eco-Printing paper.  I was so pleased with the results!  I didn't want them overly coloured as I thought they would still be nice to write on or add things to the prints.  

As you can see I printed them as precut page sizes so then went ahead and stitched them.

They made the pages for the brown book.  The other has heavy cartridge paper inside. 

The centre panels were the results of the video I made and then showed for Workshop on the Web

I've had the handmade felt for ages and it was so nice to have a resaon to use it at last! 

The insides and backs are matching silk and I used a wonderful vintage heavy twist silk for the stitching from the spool in the photos. 

I've had a few enquiries about them already but I'm not ready to sell them just yet.  I'm in two minds about including them for the exhibition in March.  They are my art too after all! 

I had a quote for frames for the Rockpool pieces and a) it was astronomical for such small pieces and would add too much to the price once the gallery commision was added and b) the size of the frames were totally disproportionate. John and I went to our local timber merchant and picked up some finished battens and made some ourselves.  I think they do actually finish the little canvases quite nicely. 

The thin slither of wood is much kinder to the size of the canvases too. 

I personally don't even think the wood needs painting or liming either.  I may give them a clear wax for protection though. Apologies for the colour of the photos, it's tipping it down outside and the lights just do horrid things to the shadows. 

Willow is again 100% and up to her usual mischief! 

And I had a lovely visit from my beautiful Birthday Boy this week whilst his mum raided the garden for bits! 

Back in the studio today to carry on with the coursework.  Nearly there!! 

Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016


Several years ago I did a class with Lisa Walton on some beading techniques.  I had several samples made up and I found one a few weeks ago and decided to take it a bit further and make these pieces. 

They're not that big at 20 x 20 cm and 10 x 15 cm but quite dense. 

Though they are all similar each has a few differences. 

I've even managed to use some of those beads that I bought and didn't know quite what to do with! 

All I'm working on now for them is to frame or not to frame.  I have a couple of thoughts and will work on that soon.  I hope they look like the rich diversity you find in rockpools and I think I will be putting them aside to show in Shaftesbury next year.

I also still had a bit of bead embroidery left in me after the bag and made a brooch up.  The centre cabochon is Peridot and bronze.  

I have collected lots and lots of beautiful stones over the years and I think I will be making up some more brooches. Nice to make and very wearable.  

Today is the launch day of this quarter's Workshop on the Web magazine.  If you don't know it, it's a quarterly online publication headed up by Maggie Grey.  This month I have an article in. I have also made a two part video to accompany the article which I found great fun to do.  Unfortunately you have to be a member to read and view but I must say it is a very good read and very much worth the £22.50 yearly subscription. 

Willow had a little incident last week seeing if she liked barbed wire earrings. Unfortunately they didn't agree with her! Here she is looking very sorry for herself as well as quite daft. 

She has now recovered and the plastic skin on the cut is holding together quite nicely thank goodness.  Ears bleed profusely and add to that a few head shakes and it soon looks like a massacre! 

We are now back to romps over the fields which are so much more fun now the crops are off. 

I am now finally attacking the last three sections of my Machine Embroidery course.  I won't be sad to see the back of it I can tell you!! If you remember it was a huge struggle to get any sense from my first tutor and I was in a constant battle with her.  I really feel the whole thing was tainted from that point on.  Remind me not to do any more long term courses again wont you, especially if a certain tutor from Norfolk is involved!!!