Friday, February 27, 2009

Not gone.... just busy

I have a mega busy fortnight in school, and have committed to teach an online course to my local group of ladies on journaling, so I am very quiet at the mo here. Here's a sneak peek at what I am doing. Just a sliver as I don't want to spoil this for the students.
I may go on to offer this course as an online paid class if all goes well, we shall see. So don't think I have run off, I am here, still reading blogs and checking in on facebook but don't have as much to show as I can't show it yet!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

My weekend with Susan!

I met up with Susan Lenz on saturday. What a day we had! and before you ask I don't have a picture of us both, we were far too busy talking, and afteri pulled away I thought, you silly girl you forgot! Dur!!!!!
We went here: Crafts in the bay, and we spent a good long time there looking at the Makers guild in Wales work in the gallery. There were some lovely pieces.
Ruth Harries pieces kept us looking and staring for a long while, they are even more beautiful in smaller scale.

I spent ages looking at Claire Cawte's lovely blend of felting and natural fabrics like linen and muslin. Her scarfs and wraps were a delight. I have always been told not to add synthetics to felt but she had with the most wrinkly textured loveliness ever. I loved her pieces, so simple, so strong, delightful!

We went here: The Museum of Welsh life - St. Fagan's. Which is awesome. We had a great time looking through all the historic buildings, and looking at the artifacts. We did get smoked out in a few of them, as the real fires were only just ebing lit as we got there.

Got some nice bits of domestic life... the sewing box...

So the day was really fun, we chatted and chatted and both talked the hind leg off a donkey. The poor waiter in the restaurant kept apologising for desturbing us to serve drink and food, that's how deep in conversation we were! We talked about both our curent pieces of work and I ound a true soul mate in Susan. She is a total inspiration and we found we had such similar views on lots of things.
Here are the gifts I gave Susan, a piece based on the work I have started now for her to hang in her studio, it is plastic and crayon fillings trapped and melted, and then free machined.
I also gave her this small canvas based on my last lot of work. It has painted wallaper, gesso and salt, embellished felt with foil and organza, FME and washers. The strip is painted silver foil fabric paper, couched.
I let her in Cardif to wait for her train and sketch in Cardiff St. Mary's ST. I hope she got on ok. It was a fab day and I am only sorry i didn't get a pic of us - fool!
Finally my foray into crochet has led to this scarf, one of the girls in my workshop group gave the pattern and it was easy to do. Thanks Pauline. I am making a very pink version for Ellie may!

Friday, February 20, 2009

New work and a new me!

I have been a bit quiet lately I have been working!!! I have lots of ideas for my window project, i just need the time to execute them now. Although it is the half term holidays I have been in school 2 days this week, although with hardly any kids, but they made some dent in their work, those that came in.Anyway what am I playing with, transparency, in short. I have been sewing into this.....
Anyone guess what the ground fabric is???
I have been playing with sewing through those cheap plastic folders (I got 25 for 99p in poundstretchers) . This next iece shows it sanded and with a hole in it and stitch across the hole. I have trapped crayon shavings between two layers to bet that purple patch, which I quite like, I think it looks like tarnish.

I have also been looking at scale armour and how to produce something inspired by it. I was heading towards metal but have taken a happy detour into plastic using old plastic pop and water bottles.

It is really hard to show so I have photographed it on the rug and on white. I am not hapy with the stitching to join yet, but am thinking on about it!

I have also this week been teaching myself to crochet, my sister is a dab hand, has her own site selling hats and jewellery that are just amazing and so treandy, and so I am trying my hand. I have made a neck warmer scarf complete with flower and am half way through a spirally one now too. So here is the neck warmer, and the new me complete with new do! I was bored with the bob, and so Penny my wonderful hairdresser did this, which is much younger and trenddier I think! What do you think???? Shall I change my profile pic?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Go see

Go see Deb's post on her most stunning quilt ever. I have had the good fortune to see this quilt in person and it is a gem of a piece. Deb makes stunning pieces based on the most stunning welsh coast line she lives on in Ogmore by sea. Bookmark her girls, add her to your blog readers because she is just warming up to this bogging marlarky and her work is definatly some you want to see. Love carol t

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Face lift

Doing a quick facelift job on the blog, there are some cool things out there. Thanks to Sue or the pointer in the right direction!

Check this out

Check out this gorgeous piece of work made by a lovely lady called Jan. She doesn't have a blog yet, (No presure jan!!!) but was inspired by the house I made for Deb and went on to make her own version for a friend who is returning to live near her after a long time apart. Isn't it beautiful? I love the textures.

I love how she turned it into an envelope, so clever. I love the idea it could be hung by the button, definately a good idea here.

and look at these lovely details.

Thanks for sharing this Jan and for such high praise as to take my idea and run with it, I love what you have done.

Don't forget all about the 21st of Feb, Next saturday, in Cardiff, Susan Lenz is coming all the way from the US, anybody else want to come and play????? We are going to go to crafts in the bay to drool over the work, and for coffee in the bay somewhere.

Friday, February 13, 2009

News, big news and a mega lecture by a true great

I have some really big news. An artist I truly admire is coming to the UK and is gracing me with a day in her company!!!!! Susan Lenz is coming over to the UK and was planning some time in Bath. I managed to entice her into coming on down to Cardiff to meet me with the promise of Cardiff bay, Crafts in the Bay and a trip to the Museum of Welsh life in St.Fagan. You must be able to picture me typing this while bouncing up and down in my seat at the prospect of this! I hope we live up to her expectations now! So why am I telling you this well if you are in spitting distance of Cardiff on Saturday the 21st of Feb then you can meet Susan and I at Crafts in the bay. I will confirm times a bit nearer to the time, depending on interest. So anyone close enough to be up for it?????????? Leave me a comment and I will get us all together!
It could be a great chance to meet up with all the people we now regard as friends! Hoping there are a few others who can make the day even more special.

Now the other half of the heading was a lecture by a true great, well tonight I went to a lecture about her life's work by Audrey Walker. She is one of Britain's pre-eminent stitchers and has a fine art painting background for any who have not come across her work before. She talked about her background in painting and the story o finding her way into stitch.
Her work is amazing considering these images can be totally hand stitched and HUGE. They are sometimes machined, sometimes hand stitched, sometimes both. I loved the purity of her work, and her thought process, what I loved was how she talked about choosing a whole wedge of different stitches, she mainly chooses straight stitch, she makes the mark that she wants, by building up layers she achieves such tonal excellence. It is just fab, it is like mixing paint but instead it is mixing stitches straight on the canvas.
She talked about this continuing desire to show that elusive look on someones face, the top picture is capturing that look that passes between two people who are just getting their relationship together, that furtive look, isn't it just delightful.
Towards the end of the talk she talked about finding her voice and advocated to the clutch of students at the back, not to worry it can take years to find your voice. This felt like she had whispered directly into my ear, that comment was for me, just like all your comments have been! So that's what I am doing, finding my voice. Wat have I learned, it is ok to use the thing that makes the mark for you, it doesn't have to be wedged full of technique, it can be simple, if it does what is in your brain. A very interesting night and a timely as it really has made me think about my path.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Where I have been

Hia all, haven't been hiding! Just busy busy! This little lot have kept me busy. Remember I decided to make smaller hearts to sell in school to the kids, well i have made over 80 in the last week. Here are some of the custom made orders I have done in the box, and generic out of the box. I have made about £70 so far and have about another £30-40's worth of orders left to fill by the end of the week! That is way more than I expected, it means I wil be able to get a significant amount of replacement bobbin cases and feet, and the rest can go for needles and scissors!
Don't forget my bigger ones are for sale in my folksy shop - link is in the side bar to the right.
On Sunday my Mum, Ellie and I set off through the snow to here....
The National Botanic gardens. It is a fab place with the singe span greenhouse and a great hot house, not to menton fab food, and only a £5 in in the winter time, free for children, good ha! Well although the plants were lovely I went for a more purposeful reason. I had heard that Val Hunts work was on show. So I HAD to go! Seeing her work up close was a revelation. They are beautiful in books but the skill of making is just amazing. Here are some examples, I hope Val doesn't mind, no copy right infringment is meant.
I love this don't you, such an amazing shape, and all from drink cans and foil take away containers.
It is only when you try to work with this metal that you totally get how amazing her work is. i tried a simple bit of weaving and man that was hard enough. I embossed and sanded the metal, which gave a great texture.
The next thing here is for the week 2 challenge over on my group Textile challenges. Marie is leading us in some fun and self exploritory challenges. In this weeks we had 20 minutes to find somehing not from your usual stash and make an ATC from it. I used and embossed can off cut and used it text side up. I stitched into velvet and beaded too. It was fun and I did complete it in the 20 minutes allotted.
Sunday turned into one of these days.......
We had a lovely weekend and I am going to hold on to this sort of positive when I am feeling poo! My hormones are getting the grip of me of late and that coupled with finding the work hard going isn't helping. But Val Hunt helped, even if it was by inspiring me to know I can do it, if she can produce exquisit work, so can I with time, with patience. Thanks for al your comments of late and I haven't forgetten about the postcards I am going to gift to 2 of the people who were so kind when I was LOST! So there were 18 comment on that post and I am going to pick 5 as this is how old my daughter is, and 8 as I am born in august...... right to see who the winners are.......
Gennie and Susan D
Send me your snail mail girls, my email should be in my profile.
Thanks again to everyone who commented. I do REALLY appreciate it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Worked myself into a right lather - not in a good way

Last thing before the course broke up we were given a brief to design a collaborative "screening" for the 4 windows in the textile room of the new building. We were all excited about doing it so we are carrying on with it. We have a colour scheme we are all sticking to, and the themes are seed heads, waterfalls, I forget Sandra's and my armour. I want to work on 3D pieces, not flat, based on the plates in armour and how they curve and join. So I started sketching.

So under the kick up the bum scheme, and under the word of my Aussie Mum, I got on and did something......
Working on scales with the needle and no thread for a lacey effect.

Working on some of the shapes from my doodling of late. Well i am not happy with any of it! But I have cleared my head and realised that I am going about this the wrong way. I am working in the wrong materials. I need to have something more transparent, not so heavy. So thanks Doreen, and Jan or talking it through with me. At east I know what I don't want.

I did some FME as well, to see how it would go, if I do it again I would quilt it as the furrows in the Velvet are not big enough for me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Snow go!

Snow go in our house again today. After 2 days off I will be glad to get back, love the routine me! Had to share this pic, this is hubby and Ellie may building a snowman and me throwing a snowball at them and managing to catch the moment of terror as it approaches hubby! Don't worry it didn't hit him in the chops! Wouldn't be fair to throw snowballs at a blind guy you say, I say rugby tackling is not fair - even if you get a soft landing!
Anyway I have been thinking tonight, I went into college today and seeing everyone working got to me, as I am NOT! Then i went blog surfing and saw a mostamazing bit of work. Arlee does such amazing things, and all the while I am reading her post I am thinking, why, oh why am i not working in the same way as she. Why am I still fiddling about with piffling bits of nonsense instead of working through inspiration properly. It isn't as though I don't have ideas, I have loads perculating, but so far I don't seem to be able to get it out. I wonder if it is fear, I seem to be able to sit at the machine for hours and produce piffle, hearts, swaps, etc, not that I don't love all that but if i want to be taken seriously, and I think I do I need to go back to where I was, sampling, playing, working though stuff. So what do I do...........
Well I made a list. I have a project to work on. Just before my college course dissolved we were set a brief to work on making window screens for want of a better description, so I am taking my armour project into that, but why can't I get started?
I want this to be a positive year so i am going to beat this. I have been really thinking about what I want, I want to be producing amazing things. i have been reading a lot of Susan Lenz blog too and how her work is impacting my want to be a real artist, ironic I feel I want to be more like her and she wants my piece of paper ( I have a BA in Ceramic design you see) but I worked out that after uni I made a series of decisions that meant i wouldn't have to find out if I was a real artist or not. Teaching was a big part of dodging the reality of being an artist. Not that i don't love it, or even that i want to quit, but I want to exhibit, I want a body of work, that is respected. So really I know what I have to do, I have to get in front of the machine and I have to make myself work through the process. Thanks for letting me ramble and get it off my chest. Love carol t

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

More hearts for sale

I have some more hearts for sale, some small ones about 7cm square and some larger. See my shop here.

Hope you like them!!!!
I have a snow day today - very cool to get a free day off! More later.....