Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Stamps and stenciling....

Stenciled images. Positive and negative.

Foam stamps glued to thick card.

A few weeks ago I subscribed to Design Matters TV, presented by Linda and Laura Kemshall. I appreciate that their style of work does not appeal to everyone but for me I find a lot of their work very inspirational.  Have you ever been to a quilt show, seen an art quilt and wondered how on earth the maker has achieved such a piece of work? Well I have, on many occasion.   In Design Matters TV Linda and Laura present many tutorials showing a wide range of techniques. Including how to dye fabric, make stamps, stencils, what paints to use, what mediums they use, so on and so on. In fact the list is endless.  I am truly hooked on these tutorials and decided to try out some of the techniques, in my sketch book. I really liked the images I created a few weeks ago using keys as a subject matter.  Today I bought some foam sheets from the £ shop and here is my first attempt at making stamps.   

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Art of relaxation ...........

Painted and stamped tags.

Notice my tiny set of paints in the background these are what I used to paint my tags.
Yesterday I came a cross a bag of white price tags I had purchased sometime ago.  I love the shape of these little tags and the little bits of string they hang from.  When I bought them I knew I was going to use them in association with my sketch books.  I looked at there clean crisp whiteness yesterday and decided they need to be transformed into a rainbow of colourful tags. I painted the first few on just a piece of white photo copy paper to protect my table. When I took the tags off the paper I liked the over lay of the colours and the stencil shapes of the tags. I then swapped the paper and opened my sketch book at two blank pages.  I whiled away the most amazing relaxing afternoon, engrossed in the freedom of creativity and just for those few hours I truly did not have a care in the world.  Once several of the tags had dried I felt something was still missing? I remembered I had also bought tiny little flower stamps that where just the right size to stamp on these tags. Out came my stamps and ink pad. However I did not stop with just the little flowers I had a go with other stamps I have and what you see is the end result of my afternoon art work. I will use these tags as embellishment but I intend to buy a slightly large tag which I will also paint, then use to jot down ideas, inspiration and quotes on during my time in college.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The key to waiting.......

I sketched a mocking bird then added some interesting fabric to the background.

Printed image of a mocking birds head, water colour paint wash on the paper and I sketched my version of the image.

Collarge of images and drawings in my to kill a mocking bird sketch book.

Collarge of Buicks also in to kill a mocking bird sketch book.

Elaborate lettering.

Paint washed background, photo copy of a bunch of keys and rubber stamp lettering.

Enchanted key with colourful swirls and curls.

Lately I feel like I am constantly playing the waiting game.  At the moment I am waiting for Thursday to come so I can enrol in Art college. Then a new chapter of my life will begin and I will hopefully have something to focus on. Whilst playing the waiting game I have been scribbling away in my sketch books.  I have been experimenting with some new techniques, like colouring the background using water colour paint washes or a nice batik fabric embellished with stitch. I have thoroughly enjoyed passing the hours by scribbling. I have looked at hundreds of sketch books on the Internet and each one is personal to its owner.  The great thing about keeping a sketch book is there is no right or wrong. I now have over a dozen or so sketch books, dating back from 2005 when I was introduced to the idea of keeping one for my City & guild Course.  I love looking back through them seeing how my work has grown and how my style has changed.  Yesterday I was thinking of what I am going to do for the name tags at our November area day. At the moment I am very drawn to elaborately decorative lettering. So out came the sketch book but i soon found myself travelling down a altogether differnet path and suddenly I was sketching and cutting out images of keys. I thought I would share some of the pages from yesterdays sketch book journey.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Friendly plastic is fantastic......

Friendly plastic starter kit.

On the last day of the Festival of quilts something very strange happens to my friend Sue. She develops this tremendous urge to buy a soldering iron. She then gets home and discovers she has several of these already, still neatly wrapped in their packaging never to be used.  However, this year I kept a close eye on her and when she took me to the Molten Design stand and suggested she was tempted to buy friendly plastic. I politely reminded Sue about her soldering iron purchases and did she really see herself playing with the friendly plastic once she got home.  The answer was no and Sue did not buy the friendly plastic. A couple of hours later I found myself back at the Molten Design stand and the lady was demonstrating how to use it and what to do with the friendly plastic. I was hypnotised and I found myself handing over my money and purchasing a starter kit. Later I met Sue and Janet for coffee and confessed to my purchase. We all laughed and wondered what on earth I was going to do with it.  When I got home I was determined to make this mad impulsive buy into something good and here is what I came up with.  The two black and gold framed friendly plastic will hang very nicely in my new kitchen (when I move back home) as the colour scheme is cream and black.         

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Journal Cover class:

Left to right some of the lovely ladies who attended the work shop I did on Saturday. Mary, Gill, Sue and Val.

The two ladies on the oposite side are Helen and Josie, I missed a photo of Linda she must have been at the ironing board when I took this shot.

Linda's Journal cover

Helens Journal cover

Josie's journal cover

Val's journal cover

Sue's Journal cover.

Gills journal cover

Mary's journal cover.
I thought I would share the lovely journal covers made by the ladies who attended my workshop on Saturday at the Sewing and Knitting centre in Southport. The day was a very successful and I was delighted that everybody enjoyed themselves.  Everyone completed their journal covers which was great. Sue, the proprietor of the shop has invited to do another class in February, but I am not sure yet what it will be so more about that in the future.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A busy morning:

Felt flower for Judith:
Journal cover.
I decided last night that today I was going to make the effort and spend sometime in my sewing room and do some work. Its been a little while now since I have been in there and after my wonderful weekend at the FOQ I wanted to get back on the quilt band wagon. I had a little bit of a tidy up, then I made a felt flower broach for my lovely friend Judith. I finished the garden shed journal cover that was suppose to go with the bag I made for my sister-in law Karen back in July.  I have just sat down with a nice cuppa teas after which I will put the sleeve on the Twelve days of Christmas wall hanging as I must take this to Janet by the end of this month. This afternoon I hope to get a chance to play with the friendly plastic I bought at the show.

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Festival of quilts

The tent makers of Cairo had an exhibition it was amazing to see them at work.
The winning quilt of the pictorial section.
The Meercat quilt winner of the group section. The group where none other than 8 members of Chester P and Q's.
Winner of the Contemporary quilt section and best in show.
I had an amazing two days at the festival of quilts despite the horrible cold. Here are just a few photos of  some of my favorite pieces in the show. I thought I took lots of photos but in reality I hardly took any, to busy being in awe. I met up with lots of friends I even bumped into my friend Janet (Jan's musings) who lives in Northampton and it was so lovely to see her. The whole weekend was such a tonic and whilst I am still not feeling 100% health wise, it certainly gave my mojo a nudge in the right direction.

Friday, 12 August 2011

What goes around:

 Block 61 Northern Lights
Block 68 Postage Stamp
A couple of weeks ago my niece got a second bout of chicken pox followed by a dreadful cold, then my daughter got the cold, then my grandson and then my husband. Yes you guessed it, now I have the cold but the thing is I don't want the cold because I am going to the FOQ tomorrow.  I have been looking forward to this trip for months as I did not go last year so you can imagine my frustration when  I awoke yesterday feeling like I had been hit by a truck in the night.  I am still looking forward to going, even with the cold because the FOQ is an amazing event.  I am also looking forward to sharing all the wonderful photos and purchases with you when I get home.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Its slowly coming down....

Scafolding being taken down on Cygnet House
Block 34 Flock
I have been decamped for 30 months now and to say I can not wait to go home is a under statement. The new return date is October 2011 but I am not holding my breath because this is the 5th return date i have been given over the last 30 months. I am sorry I have not posted for a little while it is because I am still taking time out. However, Janet and I re-laid my spring flowers quilt and I am currently in the process of hand quilting around the applique flowers. I will then switch to machine quilting in the ditch. In the meantime a few days ago I made a FW block 34 Flock but I sewed one of the corners wrong and now my flocks are flying towards each other. Never mind, I'm sure I will get away with it.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Slowly slowy does it....

Block 1 Attic Windows
Block 21 Contrary Wife
Here are today's two FWQ blocks. Attic windows took me a little while to figure out but I did not give and after about the third attempt it fell into place. I then picked a more simple block for my second choice. Contrary Wife consist of 2 1/2 inch squares and triangles.  Toady's fabric mood was red even though this was my choice I then decided follow the contrasting colours used in the blocks in the book.  I am debating if I should have done this from the off ? Think I will ask Janet on Wednesday its always good to get a second opinion.

Monday, 1 August 2011

A tiny bit of sewing:

Block 31 Evening Star
Block 10 Bowtie
In between washing yesterday I decided to just make two FW blocks to see if I felt any differently after being away from Bernie for over a week. I can't say I enjoyed making them but I did feel it was a starting point. I think the way to go at the moment is baby steps and just take it one step at a time.