Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Lesson three begins

I had not intended to do any embellishing today as I wanted to get on with my OU, however, even receiving the previous assignment back this morning did not stop me procrastinating. I only have tomorrow left before work begins again so really I should be more disciplined, particularly as this is the final one before the exam and so there are no extensions allowed.  

I should have gone with what I intended as the embellishing was not a success anyway. I put the woven piece onto pelmet vilene because I wanted to machine stitch, intending to use the soldering iron to cut away any excess for a distressed look and lo and behold it didn't work - I only bought this one at the FOQ as well and have only used it briefly once to try it out. Changed the fuse, checked it all out but nothing so had to resort to cutting away the area which wasn't what I had intended. Added to the fact that I did not like the colourway, pretty much a wasted day I guess. That'll teach me!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Quilty interlude

I decided to take a break from embellishing and do some quilting which I have to admit is my first love. I had tried out a rose image on Photoshop and then decided to print it onto three different fabrics, organza, cotton and linen. I liked the effect but didn't just want them to sit around as 'try-outs' so, having been watching The Quilt Show I decided to use Jean Wells method of making them into mini quilts and then attaching them to a larger quilt. The whole thing is only 20.5" x 9.5" but it has at least made something out of them. And I like the colours although they are not what I usually use. The background quilt was made from a piece of Laura Wasilowski's hand dyed fabric that I had left over from doing a workshop with her in 2000/2001 and was just the right colour for this. It is now hanging in my studio which is incidentally a fancy name for a spare bedroom, although it has long since relinquished that use!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

I have even finished the second challenge piece for the second lesson. I decided to turn it into a little hanging that will go on to my notice board to remind me that I should be sewing and not surfing. I don't think I am allowed to show the original that the inspiration came from. Suffice it to say that it was Sonnenbrandung by Ton Schulten. The piece here is very loosely in the style of Ton Schulten. I had been wanting to try out his style for a long time but as I am very much a quilter I have been reluctant to try what Ineke Berlyn does so exceedingly well. This challenge gave me the chance to try it at last, albeit in a different medium. The beads are made from a print out of the original painting.

Hopefully a good win

It seems that I must now wait in suspense for the outcome of the stewards enquiry at the Grand Prix - don't know why they couldn't have imposed the penalty (or not) there and then. I did do the painting on the challenge piece that I had threatened to and I think I prefer it like this.
I painted it with a neutral emulsion then when dry added black Parker ink and finally some Treasure Gold. Could do far more with this than how it was before.

More embellishing

Managed to get the first challenge piece finished. Its inspiration was an aerial photo of desolation Canyon in America. Distorted it in Photoshop using polar co-ordinates and then changed the colours. Created a felt base then added some painted tissue, tyvek and lutrador. A bit of heat and also soldering, and stitching and then finished. I'm not entirely happy with it and might go and do some painting on it once the Grand Prix has finished.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Tree Hugger is routed

'Tree Hugger' Drew came round this morning to cut my very large hedge - too high for me to do. It all started very well with coffee and chocolate biscuits but a few minutes after he and the boys went round the side to do the beech hedge there was a shout of panic. Thinking he might have fallen off the scaffolding I went out to see all three of them looking horrified at a very  large wasps' nest that he had almost cut into. The wasps were not impressed. After a while they had calmed down enough for him to finish, albeit keeping one eye on where the nest was in case they launched another attack on him!

I spent some time Googling wasps nests this afternoon and it appears that during the winter all of them die except the queen who will then go off an build a new nest in the spring. They do not use the old one again although hover flies have been known to use the abandoned ones. They are not causing me a problem so I have decided to leave them be as it is such a beautiful structure.

After all that activity I have not had much chance to sew or embellish today - just a bit of playing with crystal organza, velvet, the embellisher and my sewing machine. 

Tomorrow has to be my final OU assignment.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Too much time on the computer

I have spent far too much time playing around with. Photoshop Elements and also a trial demo of Photoshop CS3. It's all Maggie Grey's fault as she has been discussing Displacement Maps on her blog and was also showing what Inkaid could do at the FOQ.
I even ended up finding my way onto someone's website to find out what Kind of flower I am - how sad is that!

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

Anyway, back to displacement maps - can't even show any results here as I didn't save them as jpeg files. I can however show the next sample I have done on the embellisher course together with the postcard of Brittany which was its inspiration..

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Lesson 2 has started

Have been beavering away at my Open University but have still managed to fit in time to do the first sample in Lesson 2 of Dale's course. Embellishing was really quick but the hand embroidery has taken quite a long time - at least it is a relaxing exercise.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Lesson One finished also

Having completed the anniversary present I just had to get on with Dale's first lesson as the second one is due any day now. Did most of the samples and then the 'challenge' which I was quite pleased with. Only trouble is that I now have to make a big push with my Open University course as my last assignment is due on Sept. 9th  and my exam on Oct. 7th and I still have the last block to finish - where does the time go?

Strip pieced sample

Embellished felt shapes from the front and the back

Wool, silk and bamboo fibres on scrim

Wool, silk and bamboo fibres on muslin

The finished challenge - background is embellished silk carrier rods (a cheap bag of seconds from Stef Francis) with flowers from a previous sample, beaded centres and I then found some Tyvek bits from a past project which made ideal leaves.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

The present is finally finished...

At last I have managed to finish the 40th wedding anniversary present for my cousin. Its a book made of silk paper with photographs of the family (printed on fabric) over the past years and up to the present. The silk paper is hand made and hand dyed. I also made a box for it. It is silk dupion, embellished with roving and hand dyed silk tops and lined with silk paper. I have been getting behind with the embellisher class but as this is made with the embellisher I don't feel too guilty. I even have two days to spare to catch up with the class now.

This is the box,complete with label. It does appear to be darker in real life!

and with the book...

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Festival of Quilts

Had a fantastic night at Ricky Tims' concert last night. I took my cousin who is not a quilter and who had never heard of him and she agreed that it was a really enjoyable night out. Today went to hit the trade stands and also Ricky's Rhapsody seminar. Came away exhausted but inspired. Very busy so the only photo I took was the winner of the Large Traditional Quilt category 'Cwlwm Lafant' by Gwenfai Rees Griffiths

This is so beautifully done and is hand appliqued. Hope it is OK to put this in my blog - we were allowed to take photos so I guess it is. There was also a beautiful quilt by Ferret called `Herd Mentality' which was a close up of a herd of cows - could not get a photo as there was always someone in front of it being mesmerised.

Anyway, back home now and feeling exhausted. I think it will be an evening in with the cat. He won't want to go out as it has started to rain. As you can see he likes his creature comforts

Well at least I found out how to get the photos on properly at last

Friday, 15 August 2008

Embellish, Stitch and Enrich

The on line course for the embellisher with Dale Rollerson started on Tuesday. Excellent lesson one. Well worth having a go at her next one if you have bought an embellisher and have not yet realised its potential. Have not got much done on the lesson yet but it has been fun playing with some interesting results.

Bakewell Show

Did manage to get to Bakewell Show last week which was as good as ever. The forecast was not good but it was a lovely day in the end. Parking in Bakewell for the show can be horrendous but that is one advantage of age - free bus pass and leave the car at home!

A taste of the show

My cousin's daughter has a silk flower business and had a stand in the craft marquee. She does have a website -  - although it is not showing the stuff to its  best yet. It does show the shows she is going to be at though and she also does commissions and weddings. Amazing how many people are going for silks for their weddings these days.

Penny Lane Flowers

Monday, 4 August 2008

My first attempt

I'm not even sure how blogging actually works. Sure I can write things but how does anyone else actually get to see them? And how do I get photos onto the blog. No doubt I will find my way around eventually - after all I got this far. Does anyone else out there worry about spending too much time on activities like this and not enough on actually being creative?