Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Visit to Uni with my kids

I had to share this with you. I visited College sir Gar today, teking my GCSE kids to see the BA hons course, of which I have a past pupil on the first year. Well the tutors were not going to let me off the hook and so after 10 years out of practice i did some 5 minute studys from life today. I didn't even think I could draw like this anymore. For some reason blogger has loaded them out of order but starting with the bottom was a 5 min using my right hand. The third one is using my left hand, the top without looking at the paper and the second one using continuous line over block colour. I had a blast! PS the kids enjoyed too and produced fab work.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

FAF- Padfolio

Here is something I have put together tonight. I am off to an open day with my year 11 kids tomorrow to see the fashion and textiles degree course at Camarthenshire college. I wanted to have something nice to store my paper and pens and Sue had done this on her blog and now has set up a trade on Fiber art friends. I will be making a new one for the trade. i was most impressed that I could get this done between 8.30pm and 10pm! amazing for me as i am usually very slow! I have included, if you look carefully, my lino cut print of eyes, which I have done lately and am pleased with. I have included the two photos because the top one is the real colour and the second one shows the detail best.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Red and gold art squares

These are my red and gold art squares for Nina in a 1" squares swap I am in. I used my felt melt piece from my group Textile challenges, the January challenge is felt melt. So I am rivalling Helen of Quilts and ATC's blog for combining my challenges and trades! I started out with a piece of cheap(I got it at Hypervalue before they went bust at christmas for 32p) acrylic felt. I stamped it with a fossil stamp with expanding medium, and while still wet I sprinkled it with gold embossing powder. I then blasted it with the heat gun. This melted the embossing powder, expanded the expanding medium and also melted back the felt so it was all crunchy and lacey.
Please be careful if you have a go at this as the fumes are vicious, well ventilated room or respirator, health and safty and all that.
I then integrated it on to a gold background so that the gold peeped through the lacey bits. At this point I snapped my needle!!! I cut this into one ATC for the swap on textile challenges and 9 1" squares for the art squares swap. I then embellished with beads, brads, stitching, wire, buttons, sequins and a charm. I love them. the scan is poor as I slightly over embellished, especially the middle one as i used a big bead and held it on with another bead. Looks lush though!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Finished Journal quilt

I have posted the picture of my January journal quilt in it's finished state. This is for the FAT JQ projectand I have been working on the theme of the deadly sins and eac iece on the JQ has signifigance.I researched and found that colours are linked to each sin and so i have incorperated this. I have raging animal teeth for anger, and the gums are red for the colour. Pennies for greed held down in yellow. Shisha mirrors for pride (vanity)held down in lilac. Hearts for lust outlined in dark blue, a clock with the face sliding off it (this was a hard one until I found out sloth is the wasting of spiritual time) in light blue, a mouth for gluttony highlighted in orange and lastly the envious green eye! i am now turning this into a series of work for my C+G project. I have to back it and bind it now but the hard part is done. please tell me what you think as I was a bit concerned the images were not integrated into the flames enough? Would love your opinion.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tast- Week 4 Cretan stitch

Here is my latest offering for TAST. This weeks stitch is Cretan stitch. I wasn't really looking forward to this one as I couldn't see that I could do many variations. However I am quite pleased with my sample. I tried varying the size of the "legs" to each side and the gap between each stitch. I also worked around a curve. I tried a knotted version, and whipped and laced.I also did some filled blocks as I had seen them in "Stitch Magic" again. I also worked further on varying the thickness of my thread as one of the comments I had had on previous TAST pieces was that I had used a variety of thicknesses well. I thought a lot about this as it hadn't been a concious thing, and so this time I did try to pay consideration to this, and as a result I undid my first stitches of the task this week. I had used far too heavy a thread to whip one section and so too it out. I am pleased with this sample and glad I could get much more than I expected from this stitch.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My "Studio"

I was looking at my lovely friend Sara, from Kuwait, blog and she was showing her lovely new work space, light and airy and spacious. I have also seen quite a few others talking about theirs, so i thought I would share!and go for the symathy vote. This is my work space! It is what I call the lounge! I am allocated three shelves for as my dear hubby calls it my "crap". As usual it is a bloody tip, but creative chaos!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Missing source photo and JQ

Herre is the picture of my original source for my C+G hanging. I was having problems uploading it so have put it in a separate post.

I have also been working on my journal quilt for FAT, the title is the devil is in the detail. I have posted about this already when it was just a background and free machining. I have now done more hand stitching to add the clock for sloth, I read somewhere that sloth is the wasting of spiritual time, so the clock face, the numerals are falling off. I have also used hand stitching to tone down the mouth for gluttony as it stands out a bit much for a detail! The colours I have chosen are significant as each of the sins is related to a colour, sloth light blue, lust dark blue, anger red, envy green, gluttony orange, greed yellow, pride lilac. I have shisha mirrors kindly sent to me by Jan to add and pennies to add for greed. I also want to add a devils tail to go with the horns and pitch fork - look carefully! I am going to turn this into a series for C+G term 2, based on limits and boundaries, and look at the virtues too.

Hanging model

I have sorted out my hanging for C+G term one at last. If you remember it was based on the these of water over the sand. I wanted to make it interactive and highly textural, but represent the smoothness and slick nature of the sparkling water. In the pictures you will see my final sketch at last! and my model, with close ups on detail.
I have also included the photo of my original source so that it makes a little more sense!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pink 1x1 art squares

These are my pink 1"x1" art squares. They are the colour choice of Susan (who I don't know so if your reading this give me a buzz and say hello!). I am not by nature a pink girl but I have enjoyed doing these, not least because Ellie has enjoyed picking out the buttons and bits to go on. She made a happy sun and a sad cloud yesterday like at her nursery so we can keep track of her behaviour ( her being a bit of a madam!) and the sequin waste is left over from making the thunder on the cloud. I have managed to link a bit of Fiber art friends challenge by adding the paper to some (the challenge being to combine paper and fabric) this will not be my only offering as I feel this would be a cop out. I had the paper bits from a raffle I won a while back. I also tried to use what I had learned by doing the detatched chain sample in this piece. The background was cling film fabric, a la, Dianne of Faerydi blog, and i am very pleased to say that this technique is so fab and fun and fast. i will use it for many a thing to come I know, so thank you Dianne. Check out her blog I heartily recommend it.
I also tried to scan my felt melt for Textile challenges today but as my needle snapped and can't get more till tomorrow it did not scan well at all. i will post it when I have flattened it down and integrated it enough.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tast 3 - Detatched chain

Here is my offering for Tast week 3 - Detatched chain. I took my inspiration from Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn's book Stitch Magic. So from the top left I have
  • Random detatched in 3 threads
  • Long stitches pulled tight.
  • Lazy daisy (well it had to be done!)
  • Long chain with shorter rounder over the top at 45 degrees.
  • Worked on the diagonal and then a bead in the centre.
  • Randon in two thicknesses with a long tail.
  • Long randon in thin perle.
  • Smal rounded in regular lines.
  • Thick cotton thread with very long tails
  • Rounded in thich thread wrapped and buttonholed.
  • Small gold thread used to couch thich thread. Bead added when making the anchoring stitch.
  • Overlayed in 3 threads
  • 3 long stitches woven with a contrasting colour.
  • 2 large stitches with a loose tension.
  • 3 long stitches in thick thread with mid sized anchoring stitch, worked in opposites.

I think this was quite a comprehensive working of the stitch, but I am sure I could have done even more if i had put my mind to it. This was a lovely stitch to work, very versatile. I am really enjoying this task and seems to be my friday after work job!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cards swapped

I can show you these cards I made to swap lately. The top one is on a blog swap with Anna Nowicki, of Serendipity blog and the bottom one is for an open swap with Cathie on FAI. They were done using the method from a previous post of stitching a fabric to acrylic (kunin) felt and then blasting the felt with the hot tool. They have really helped inform me about my hanging. I will show you the model soon as I am going to model it first so I can make decisions about scale and proportion.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Journal quilt

At last after a lot of thinking I made a start in my January journal quilt for FAT. I had made the background some weeks ago as a challenge leading from my group, when carol challenged us to use our xmas letovers for something nice, so i tried a background using the leftover paper hats, using a technique from "Celebrate your creative self". It was a thin layer of watered down PVA onto paper and then dropping the tissue on to get good texture. To integrate it all i put a wash of dark red acrylic paint over. I have now added flames over that using the clingfilm technique I have seen on Dianne's (Faerydi) blog. I layered up diamonds of organza onto a layer of cling film in reds and dark pinks, and then added some gold and yellow net at the bottom on the last layer. I must have done 4/5 layers. I have now integrated the pieces with free machining. Now I forgot to say the theme I am doing is "The devil's in the details". NJ came up with the lovely idea of using QA's challenge of "What's in a name" to do for our January JQ's. This means that if we send them off there is a chance they may be published in QA, and that's my aim. I have never done anything that says that I am a ligit textile artist, not just a teacher. I avaoid the term like the plague as I used it once amongst family and friends and they roared laughing! So here we go i am trying hard to prove them wrong.

I choose to look at the 7 deadly sins as my details, which is a bit obvious I suppose. I thought of doing it as a cross, and having the detail in the cross, e.g. sins lurking amongst virtue, but I decided as this was to be published in America and not here, american's have a stronger collective faith, and i wouldn't want to upset anyone, still think it would be a nice idea to follow up for my own personal work. So amongst the flames they now are and as you can see i have added a green eye for Envy, a mouth for Gluttony, which I intend to go back to and work on further as I found a site on the sins this morning, and it equated sins to colour, and gluttony is Orange. I have added 3 pink hearts for Lust, which are hard to see and wil need more work including adding blue ( again colour of the sin). I am going to put on pennies for Greed and then I am out of ideas, i am mulling over the next step and will let you know what i am going to add wheni think of it!!! Watch this space.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tast - and stitch book

Here is my new TAST sample! I really liked doing this one and tried to push it a bit harder than the last. I had a great time doing circles and beading. Below the sample is the lovely book that Eve gave me that I am making into a stitch sample book with my TAST samples, for use in school. The next image is how I have presented the pages. Hopefully when complete this will be of major benifit to my kids, but also be fun on the way. I love the meeting of people this challenge has caused! Well done Sharon B.

Friday, January 12, 2007

1"x1" art squares

I have joined a new swap, yes I know what you thinking, she said no more! It is a 1"x1" art squares swap and it is well set up by Sara. You have to choose a colour and you are grouped up with 7 others who each choose a colour each. So here's my first effort, oh I forgot to say you make 9 of each colour. I chose gold, and decided to do my own colour first as I had made a background for a postcard for Anna of Serendipity blog. The embellishment was fun, and this is something you can do in a night once you have made a background. Really enjoyable.

On another note I had an epiphany last night and finally worked out my mentl block, I now what I want to do now and i need to model, so watch this space as i am going to get cracking this week.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Felt and tyvek experiments

I have been messing about with felt and tyvek this weekend to try to get more control over the ripples. I also wanted to get round the problems i had been having with couching over the heat setting, as the couching made the heat setting too flat if done after. I started by free machining into taffeta over tyvek ( which is ironically the 3rd picture) but this seemsed to drag everything into a shrunken circle, and it felt crispy! So I tried using cheap acrylic felt and free machining. I then zapped the back with the hot tool. This worked out well so then i treid a small couched sample, and this has turned out delicious. Lots of control. However i have been making a card in the same way to swap with Anna Nowicki and had over stitched as the stitching acts as a resist to the shrinking. AH well you live and learn! Think this will get a look in on my C+G piece. I also used this piece as a staring point for a new swap group I have joined. it is a 1x1 art sqaures swap, where you make 1 inch sqaure mini pieces of art. I am swapping with 7 ladies and i choose the colour gold, so I will get all the gold squares back at the end to mount up as I want. Can't wait. Check out their blog it is fab.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Piece for Textile Challenges

I have been working on heat seting now for weeks now, as you wil know if you read this blog, trying to resolve my hanging for C+G. I started out looking at water over the sand and have been struggling with it of late. I have decided to make a hangning that can be viewed sighted or unsighted, and that is meant to be touched and manipulated by the viewer to capture some of the elusive qualities of water. That it can be changed. So I set out to do some work for college and thought it could double as my altering the surface for my group textile challenges. I gathered up the taffeta by hand and then heat set it and below you will see how I integrated it on to the background of felt. i think it has worked out well. i treied to work in a similar way to the piece for flicsha's card a few posts ago. I brought in the diamond shapes i have been working with but found it hard to bring in the ripples. When I did couch a piece of yarn down it crushed the heat set fold and ripples.

This (above) is an offcut made into an ATC for the one on one swap. I have added glue gun pieces embossed with embossing powder.I just stitched these on and added some bugle beads and seed beads in copper for extra sparkle.
I also tried couching straight onto the taffeta with yarns. I think this has turned out nicley, but I don't think at the mo this will end up in the final piece. I now need to work on how I am going to do the pieces that will be able to be manipulated. I think I am getting somewhere now.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Faux batik on taffeta

Here are the sampes I have done of the faux batik, with the children's glue, as posted previously. I decided to do it on taffets to see if i could gather it and heat set it. I used acrylic paint to do the brown. The technique worked a treat but it made the fabric stiff, the acrylic paint did it, ironically where the glue was, was not at all stiff once washed out. As a result I decided not to gather and heat set but instead I free machined on to acrylic felt and then zapped the felt with the heat gun, causing the taffeta to wrinkle up. I think it turned out well. I got the idea for the felt and zapping from C June Barnes, as she shrinks wool on the backing to get a similar effect. She has a book coming out soon and I can't wait to get it.

Take a stitch tuesday

I have sgned up for a ew chalenge this week, to allow me to do more hand stitching and to produce a teaching aid for school. This is on Sharon B's in a minute ago blog. The first stitch of the challenge is herringbone, and this is my sample. It is really good to be able to use only one stitch, and focus on what it can do. I was given a book by my lovely student teacher, Eve for christmas, and it is the colours I have been doing for my heat set work, so I am going to use it to hose my take a stitch tuesday samples, and this wil be a book of stitches for my classes to use as reference. I really enjoyed this. When I mount it in the book I will photograph it and post it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Lots done, not sure how!

I have been playing with a few techniques over the past few days and finished up with Ellie painting today and i got a few things finished off. Firstly, above, I used the faux batik that Michelle had been advokating on Textile Challenges. I used the most cheap kids washable glue neat onto cotton, dribbled straight out of the bottle, on to cotton. I then let it dry thoroughly. I then painted it with acrylic paint and copper metallic fabric paint. I think it worked ot well, but I wished i had tea dyed the fabric first so that it was not as stark.

The next thing I did was to play around with the glue gun. I spirinkled embossing powder over the molten glue and then heated it with a heat tool. They have come out shiny and metallic, I love them, and so easy. I layed them on the scanner with two backgrounds I have made this week by laying the left over tissue paper from Ellie's doll packaging, over watered down PVA. I am going to use them on my C+G sketchbook. I added this photo of them below on felt so you could see the metallic effect properly.
The last thing I did was to try melting some acrylic felt. I zapped the white felt withthe tool and then added some embossing powder while still hot. I felt it wasn't sticking very well, so I painted the felt with acrylic. this resisted te melting process some, and then the embossing powder resisted it too. I like the way they have turned out thogh. Lots to think about, lots to fiddle further with. Ellie is off to nursery tommorrow so I can have a play day!