Wednesday, October 06, 2010

New watch strap

Hia am trying to get back into blogging small things routinely. I made this tonight, my watch got pinched on holidays and the one I have been using has a really uncomfortable strap, so much so I have not had it on for abut 2 weeks. I cut the strap off and used old denim. I added strips to hold the face down and zig zaged with the reverse for a bit of a pattern. I added vecro and binding to the ends. I am so chuffed with how soft it is to wear and how proffessional it looks :)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

hia long time no see

Term has been taking over my life again, but I am enjoying teaching so much at the mo. Loads on but really positive.
Been making a rather large A3 collage mixed media thing as a gift for an angel in my life ( more on who later as she may read) so here are the starting points
Not entirely sure how it will pan out but hoping it is nice for her :)
Hope your all well, drop me a line as I am missing my internet mates.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back from Hols

Hia all I am back from the holibobs. Was fab and HOT!!! Here's a few pics. Elle and I on the boat trip, went swimming off the boat was superb.
All the family :)
My scuba babe!
and a bit of stitching got done. I will be finished soon, was a sample of the bigger piece in the last post. I decided not to stitch that piece (yet anyway) and had a go at this one. I have stitched more but will show you once I have calmed down the seeding. I am giving this piece away (I will likely mount it on a canvas) To get the finished piece all you have to do is give me some feedback on the work I have been doing lately - not back slapping - like you would do at college etc to critique? Is my work a bit boring, safe? What do you think?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

To stitch or not to stitch????

What do you think? Stitch it or not?

Translating it to fabric

Wasn't a huge leap I guess :) I got the bondaweb out and ironed down 1ply of a kitchen towel mop up first to felt.... Then stencilled it
Doesn't look much now but plan to stitch it while I am away. The next one I used bondaweb again and added some foil, then Ironed down a nappy liner mop up I have been harbouring for ages. Mono printed this with the stencil and a roller. Looks like it is crying out for stitches :)
Finally I did the bondaweb and foil thing and then added a 1 ply paper and mono printed. I wanted to achieve the effect of the piece I did in my sketchbook. I lost the foil a bit under the paper, it's not as transparent as the nappy liner, so may not bother with that next time. I started adding tone with a biro as I had in my sketchbook, looks good no????? Top is after and bottom is before. Thin I wil stitch it also though as this is very flat.
So was in a bit of self doubt last night, still am and if you want to comment I will be doing a giveaway on my return from holibobs, dunno what yet but will do something nice. Think I might be being a bit safe, always go for these colours, this sort of patternation has been done before, you know what I mean? so I thought right go to what you know... I do this often when I am stuck I write a ist of "what I know" about the topic in the hope it will kick start a chain of though. so this is what I wrote in my notebook (I told you before about the companion notebook ye?, I wrote 5 sides but will condense :))

What do I now about markings in stone-
  • They recorded relationships, e.g. X son of Y (medieval graffiti) (grave markers)
  • they were used to mark boundaries - Brecheiniog was marked out along the river Usk
  • They were in old Irish or Brythonic language
  • Vast majority were names (ironically i wrote my name on a stitched piece the other day)
  • Ogham - Irish for "Point seam" - cause the markings were on a corner edge of wood or stone - at the point of a seam - surely scope here
  • Links to Latin and Germanic runes - maybe a development stage here
  • was a encrypted language - so that the Romans would not know the political, religious or military messages of the druids.
  • Has relationship with druidic hand signals - people think it is based on hand sygnals as the marks are in groups of no more than 5 - e.g. digits
  • Links to tally marks
  • Is called the "celtic tree alphabet" as each letter is linked with a tree or land based item e.g oak, gold, etc
  • Messages were sent on little rounds, denote ownership, or be magical, like the idea of little transportable things, 3D??????
  • As I was reading more I found another marking system off a childrens welsh alphabet poster, it had Ogham and "Coelbren y beirdd" - meaning The poets memory wood. This lead me to think about what I want to say in these marking, do I want to look at modern memorials, names, what???? and I got to thinking about welsh poetry. Welsh poetry is hard - I did welsh lit at GCSE and I found the whole thing a mystery - how I got a C I'll never know but I did remember the "englyn" a kind of welsh Haiku, short snappy meaningful words. I am going to research, maybe even try to write a few??? we'll see how it goes :)
So there we are going to what I know always helps ("going to the mattresses" - used on many a tv mob show - preparing for battle and this is what I think of going to what I know as ), has set me on my way again. I have much to think about - lucky I have 2 weeks of sun to do it in :)

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Am I on the right track?

I am in a weird place today, churned out more stuff than for a while - got on a roll :) and quite pleased with it, like the last few pieces in my last post. BUT am I on the right track? Is this stuff samey, repetative, not very inspiring, safe? Self doubt is creeping up. I don't want back slapping but open real critique would be most welcome? Any takers? I may have something to give away to a random commenter when I return from holibobs

New pages

Some more new pages, are you getting bored yet????
This one is a mop up paper again and I have used oil pastel to draw the shapes, I am trying not to over think these pages, and just do what comes to me.
This one is using a stencil The background is a mop up kitchen towl I used to clean my brushes on and I worked into it with biro. Love the top right. That was a mono print off the stencil.

This one was gluing in the stencil and closing the book to get another mono print, I love this technique, must have a go on fabric. Think I will do to take to stitch on holibobs. I leave tomorrow so better get a wriggle on :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

another sketchbook page

This was a red mop up sheet that i over painted with turquoise to clean my brush to be honest :) Was har to photograph as the acrylic had irridecence in it and so was bouncing the light around

Sketchbook backgrounds

Here are some of the sketchbook backgrounds I have layed up this week, in between taking in loads of summer clothes ready for Hols on monday :)

Just have to do something on them now :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

How they ended up.....

So pleased with how these have turned out :) I have adhered the cover tonight and have glued the top piece inside, I will likely work over the top of this. I am going to seal the cover too with gloss medium. Things I did to help the durability of this are, I kinda bevelled the edges of the polyfiller, I also made this quite a thin layer on top of gesso, to help it have a key.
Really pleased with how these turned out, so have the vibe I am looking for, can't wait to do this on fabric :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Polyfiller pages cont.....

So I am keeping a side book which is far less formal along side the sketchbook. This way I am not without anything after it goes. I have been trying to gather like a visual alphabet on stone inscription and rock art. There were some sketches I did last night.
The poly filler pages are now getting painted, for those who have worried I painted the card with gesso first so it had soething to lock onto. It is very durable so far - I am hardly delicate :)
Painted with yellow and gold mixed
Painted with copper mixed with a brick red emulsion tester pot, and rubbed back with a damp piece of kitchen paper.

More layers of colour to come

Friday, July 30, 2010

What I've been up to

Not the most interesting pieces of work at this stage but here are the grounds of a spread and a cover from my sketchbook. I used polyfiller and a water bottle lid, credit card and a piece of card with "teeth" cut into it. I used this to score lines in the polyfiller (spackle for our american friends) I am going to paint these up now and se how they look, so far I am pleased.

Have been doing some observational drawings in my notebook too, which I will photocopy to use in my sketchbook. These will follow

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sketchbook pages 3 and 4 - ink and found tools ala Gina

I was chatting away with Gina the other day as she has been working on a sketchbook. She was drawing with found tools, particularly spaghetti. So I thought I would give it a go. The first page I did was with a feather, gosh it was harder than I thought. Here's what I did.
I then tried spaghetti, not quite as bad as the feather but I like how they have turned out. I added some metallic green pen and copper metallic pen to the page too.
I am going to revisit these pages with some ink as Gina has done in her post today.

Now or my dilemma - this sketchbook paper is pants!!!!! to say the least. I have to decide what to do - do I take the book apart and change the paper? or continue to glue into the book and save the hassle of rebinding???????????????????


Monday, July 26, 2010

new layout

had to add a new background as my old one was deleted. Never mind like this one too :)

Strip ease part 2

Here is the stitched piece i did for strip ease crusade. A lady I really like and admire retired from school at the end of this year and another colleague made her a memory book and o i thought this would be the perfect thing to put in there for her. I did it in our national colours "white" (ish), green and red. I hand dyed with tea and coffee some fabrics and tore them into strips. I then hand stitched in tea dyed crochet cotton and bleached back the red cotton velvet for the heart so it didn't look so stark. Here's a detail.....
I then added some free machining, I wanted welsh words - she was the Head of Welsh you see. I wrote -"Curiad calon ein cymuned"which means Heart beat of our community.Here's the finished piece I think she liked it
notice the circular stitching, based on the cup and ring markings in my sketchbook

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sketchbook project and Big thanks to those who sponsored me

Well I dirtied my sketchbook :) I did a big smudgy blob of black on the inside front cover and shut the book :) Had to get over the newness some how. I have chosen below the surface for my theme and have decided to look at stone inscriptions. So after a mega net trawl this is what I have started with. I intend to visit the Margam stones (local display of inscribed stones) but haven't done that yet. I used Michelle's "Strip ease" challenge as the basis of these 2 pages. So I set forth to make some stoney backgrounds, I used acrylics and a piece of clear film packaging from a toy to do some mono printing, fast and loose as I think I needed freeing up. I tore this and added it to my splodgy page. I used an old cotton reel to print in copper the border. I then set forth with the biro - LOVES A BIRO :)
Oh and I deliberately left the inside front cover quite sparse as they intend to stick a pocket on there so was futile to do more.
Next page, I layered my torn pages, taking care to follow Michelle's advice on tearing with and against the grain. I added some old dictionary page - with the word permanent on one bit - and then as a lucky find in the dictionary colour plates I found a picture of radar, well I thought it looked like my cup and ring markings so commandeered it for this page.
This was how the page stood, but knew the black square was too "stuck" on so I set out with the trusty biro and colour pencils to tie things together. I love how this turned out, has the subtlety and wearing of the rings just like in some pics I have found and the mono prints have been given their rightful centre stage.
Love the way this is going but craving colour now, so have to work away from the literal soon and start playing.

Now then a HUGE thanks to those who have sponsored me, a great cause Cancer research. I did my 5 K in 46 min which is a mega achievement for the 20 stone girl of a year ago, here's me my work colleagues, the stunning Bindy and Kay( Far right - mother and daughter magic) they have got me through the last few months, and the gorgeous girls from my gym. Nicky in the centre came 5th the little demon :) and of course my little Ellie who plans to run next year. I really enjoyed it, was not easy but feel so empowered :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Prom and other things

I had a fab time at the prom this year, ots fitter so danced till my sides ache like mad today. Anyway other things first, Here is this years crop of my daughters dahlia, "ELLIE TAYLOR"
So I did some tea and coffee dyeing for my sacred stones work, going to do some sampling for the sketchbook as I think this is important for me right now to have cloth in hand (keep me sane)

So here are the girlies, don't they look stunning. I have taught all of these and most were in my upper school classes. Just gorgeous
Here are our Prom King and Queen - However, there were 2 sets as one of our total delights won too. Mair - the stunner is my TOP star of this year and made this dress herself :) Clever cloggs. So bright and talented and will go very far. Cameron (they did not come together but are both wearing Welsh tartan as it happens) is the biggest gentleman you could come accross, He looked after the other young man who won the joint Prom king prize with a grace and maturity way beyond his years.
Here's me in my il- fitting dress, unfortunatley I have lost loads off the chest area and so this didn't fit well. I am very disappointed and will be ripping the top off soon and making a strapless top for it I will say.

a cracking prom and a lovely night.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Prom is upon us again

and as per I have left it late and have nothing to wear. So I "found" some fabric that was at the back of a cupboard and it was bright burnt orange. Wasn't sure if I could carry it but in the end I thought sod it go for it. None of my previous outfits FIT so needs must. (Have a back up dress from the charity shop at £4 - which will appear soon as it is missing something and I might ask advice :)

So this was my inspiration...

It is caled the Slinky dress by Jansmin Di Milo. So I couldn't handle how deep the V was so took that up, didn't think the frill on the midrif was a good plan as much as I loved it as it would draw the eye to a "problem zone" :) so set to work on this......

I changed the "straps" as they looked very broad and old womany, so gathered them up and made a band from a scrap and now it looks very Grecian :)
It is very long at the mo, but will be shortened to heel length, managed to squeek out a little train/fish tail thingy :) Just the zip to go in and I have a dress. Photo's on Saturdayafter the prom :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Here it is!!

My sketchbook arrived today and what a dinky little thing it is :) Less frightening than I expected.
My feet are for size reference, plus elevating due to tendonitis :(

I wanted to write down as much as I can abut my process and thinking for this project. So here I go, if I bore you shout up!!!

Q.What do I want out of doing this project?
A. I want to try to sort out in my head what my work is a about? I want to find my voice/my subject/my style and know what I am about. I want to be like all those people who have found something they adore, so much so no matter your feeling on the subject you can't help but admire their passion for it,when I grow up (Ps running out of time at 34)

Q. what are my thoughts on the subject - Below the surface
A. Initially I wanted to do something on self esteem, self image - thinking of how we all hide behind a mask, wanted to look at insecurity and make up to camouflage what's beneath. However is this the way I want my work to go? Is this something that will be my body of work? Simple answer - NO. I hate drawing people and am not good at it. I am not a conceptual artist is something I have to realise.
So then I had to think about what i am about, well I think I am about Pattern and I think I am about colour. So now I have to re think. I want something I can study as a starting point, I want something to be below what ever that is and so I started to think about what was in my local museums and area. I thought about Welshness and thought of love spoons and their hidden messages. and thought that this is far too commercialised and sappy a theme but liked the idea of the messages - messages from the past, that some of us understand but mainly walk past and don't get - now I am on to something. So off I virtually toddled to the Welsh national museum site to check out this sort of archaeological thing, thinking abut cup and ring marks to start, but got side tracked by standing stones and medieval inscribed stones and stone sculptures (ps I will do the for real visit to the museum when holidays commence). So I am there I have patternation and a blank canvas for colour and find out that we have a collection of standing stones in Margam which is very near by, so a family outing will ensue as there is a great park next to it :) pray for the rain to clear up for the weekend :)

Now did I ramble too much? Do I make sense? Is it worth writing this nonsense down? Sorry for poor grammar and punctuation :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New and improved phone case

I worked on my design for the case for my phone. I used denim again, as I really liked the chenilling I did. I cleaned up the sewing keeping it to a zig zag. I used the seam again too. This time I took Jackie's advice and tried stiffening it, I used pelmet vilene.
I used the bleach out on the back.

Much more happy with the zig zagging this time and the whole thing is a major improvement. I am hoping to make a few more of these now as I have masses of small off cuts of denim from school :)