Sunday, April 30, 2006

My dream Body- embellished !

The effect of the machine embellisher is something that I am becoming very fond of, I just love the way the fabrics (metallics, chiffons, loose woven ribbon and threads) just melt into the background fabric (manufactured felt). Here is a close up photo, and I think my camera has worked quite well using the macro setting.

As you can see the vertical strips of fabric have become stranded fibres with the embellisher - fantastic. Here is the full view of my dream body so far. I have now added an outline of quilting wool ( it is usually used for Italian quilting). There is more to come, I have decided to embellish this even more as I want the fabric to be like one.

Next I want to do a lot of hand stitching, just running stitch, trying to keep the soft handle of the fabric. I am not going to do any machine stitching..... Sally may like to later, when she gets her hands onto my "dream body" fabric.

Now need to start thinking about Sally's faces, I would like to do some stitching into them, am off to work on them now. So will probably blog the results later today, or maybe as I go. It is easier to blog in sections, before I get carried away with what I am doing. See you later.

Distress or not to distess? That is the question.

We have been deliberating/thinking/mulling over this question, and would welcome your thoughts. We are working on this challenge and have not set any real rules. So the question arose ( from Sally), should we put the work into the washing machine and see what happens. Obviously once done there is no going back.

We have not been able to make up our minds. So we would like your help please.
Do you think;-

1. We should wash all the pieces in the washing machine.
2. Only wash the "faces" section in the washing machine.
3. Only wash the "feet" in the washing machine.
4. Only wash the "body" in the washing machine.
5. Forget the washing machine idea.

Please could you leave your views in the comments box.
I will check the box tomorrow at this time, and take the consensus view.

Thanks for your help.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Back to the Feet

Have sorted out most of the colours I would like to use, am staying fairly close to my previous choice. Have decided to use felt as the base. So now need to study and think about Sallys work a little more, not too long though, just going to allow myself half and hour. Which is just enough time to get some music playing....Enya I think feeling quite relaxed.

I really like the inside of this CD...I digress as usual..... then of course it is time for tea.

No tea - no thinking that's my motto. There's that Twix bar again Sally. Enya is singing .."sail away, sail away" and I immediately start thinking about Sally sailing in Scotland. She told us all about it recently on her blog. Ok, time for design decisions - Sallys used horizontal lines, so I will try using vertical lines. Also have this strong desire to connect my feet to Sally head's, music and tea are working well......I am on a roll...... am going to create the "dream body", that is my dream body, whereby I can eat as I wish and the resulting shape of my body is irrelevant.

That is a really powerful statement/dream, we are so fashioned by everyone elses expectations concerning what we are allowed ( medically) to eat, what size and shape we should be ( fashion mags) and other people's expectations of us. So my dream body will not be "ideal" in the accepted sense, but comfortable for me!

So folks, would you like a dream body like mine in the above photo? What shape is your dream body?

Now the camera is telling a lie in this photo, its the colours -that is not purple - but a dark brown - cannot explain at all. The pins are just to stop the bits from moving, as I have decided to use the embellisher again. ( I have not put it away since the last session).

Next instalment tomorrow morning (BST time) as I want to get on and embellish it now. See you soon with the next instalment.

Burnt dinner and dogs life

Before I carry on with telling you about the "Dream Walking", which I will in a moment, just wanted to reassure you the dinner wasn't too bad, just singed, smelt worse than it looked, two glasses of wine helped the eating process too. Also wanted to share a funny moment this evening. Take a look at these photos, certainly "girl power" and "dogs life" rules in this house!

Lady cat on settee. Girl Power.

Puppy Boy on chair. Dogs Life.

Both are spoilt rotten, being allowed on the furniture!

Dream Walking Excitement

The "Dream Walking" has returned from Scotland by snail mail. I was so excited to see the envelope arrive, but restrained myself from opening it straight away as I had so much paid work to do. This morning, after the gardening and quick blogging....... I opened the envelope.......Sally has done some lovely faces into the fabric that she dyed. The colours of the silk are just right and lift the whole work. This is a photo of my favourite part, can you see the face? Look at those wonderful colours.

So what am I going to do? need to look at the pieces of work first.

This is how they looked, when I took them out of the envelope.....exciting.......

I am going to think about colours first and look in my stash to see what there is. Cannot compete with Sally's wonderful silk.....but lets see.........

Will carry on blogging later, I can smell the dinner burning , oh dear!

Time to catch up

Can take a bit of a breather today from the paid work as it is Saturday. I have had a busy morning trying to do some gardening before it all turns into a jungle. I know summer is on its way when we get the fountain out of store. I adore this fountain, it belonged to my Father, so it is very special. It recycles the water, and is wonderful on a warm summers evening, when you can sit out on the terrace, with a cooling drink and the sound of the water from the fountain is so relaxing. Roll on the warmer weather.

Also found some flowers lurking around, some tulips which are just for Gill, I know you like them, but they are the only two in my garden! Gill is off to New York soon, hope you have a great time and look forward to reading all about your trip on your blog when you return to the UK. (The hairy nose you can see in the tulip picture is adolescent puppy trying to work out what I was doing to his garden)

The daffs are a bit late flowering, I have been known before now,to find the bulbs unplanted, plant them in May and enjoy splendid daffodils in June and July. I know it takes all sorts and a gardener I aint, but I do my best.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Long Day

Almost wish I was one of these dragonflies , that I saw at Bristol Zoo recently, I could then fly away without a care in the world.
Really tired today, have had a very heavy workload at the paid job, and really no time for me, let alone my own work. That often puts me out of sorts and a bit morose. Even cross-questioned myself whether I should be blogging at this time of night, or would I be better getting an early night as I have another heavy day tomorrow. On a happier note my students did well throughout their 5 hour exam today, and certainly the pressure was on full blast for them. I am very pleased with the way they handled the stress.

So its time for hot chocolate, and time to go up the wooden hill ( stairs) as my dad used to say.

I will leave you with this restful picture of spring erupting in my neck of the woods.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tuesday already!

Cannot believe it is Tuesay night already, so busy being back at work. Then of course time flies, and at the moment I feel very tired. However I promised some more of the BECTa pictures for you. So before I post the next lot of pictures, the other news I have is that Sally has finished working on the dream walking feet and they should be back with me soon.

If you look closely you will see that we developed the images into stencils, string prints and onto pressprint. It then became very easy to do repeat prints. The students had great fun.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Studying English Embroidery (and some Scottish! )

If you have travelled over from Sally's blog because you would like to see the start of the joint blogging - this will link you through to all the previous pages.

Otherwise you are welcome to browse through my work and my students work:-

Thought I would share just a few pictures that I have, from my students studying the formal elements associated with Medieval English Church embroidery. Once the students had overcome their prejudices about it being "uncool". They did whisper to me that they thoroughly enjoyed the study. I think you can probably tell.

I think the pictures tell the story, far better than I could. Here is a very small selection.

I will post some more images for you tomorrow, as some of the links from within the BECTa site do not work anymore due to some updating. So I hope these close ups give you some ideas, maybe for you to research and use in your textile endevours. If these works have sparked an interest for you , please give me some feedback, I would love to know how you might use your research.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

My feet are in Scotland, they arrived today. Sally is looking after them now, so have a look at her blog to see what she is doing with them.....

If you have come over from Sallys' blog and want to see how this all started. I have put the links below to help you navigate the full story.

1. The Story

2. The Inspiration

3. Colour choices

4. Getting started

5. Enjoyable

6. Nearly there

7. There at last

8. Over to Sally

Have fun......

Artistic Withdrawal Symptoms

Am missing my "dream walking" - feet, or at least blogging about it. They (the feet that is) are in the care of the Royal Mail. I was dithering over whether to put an Air Mail sticker on the parcel as it has to go to Scotland, decided not too, now wish I had as they have not arrived yet. As I do not use snail mail very much, I have forgotten how slow it is! Sally will let us know when they arrive, safely.

So to fill the gap, I must share these photos and work with you.

The photo is of Wells Cathedral, the work is by the Sarum group and is Designed by Jane Lemon. Jane is a wonderful and gifted person, and I have been so fortunate to have worked with her on a number of occasions. She is a real inspiration. Jane and the Sarum group were commissioned to produce a number of embroideries by Wells to celebrate the millennium. The embroideries are wonderful, and many of them are on show, but obviously behind glass so difficult to photogragh.

The modern church embroideries of the Sarum Group compare favourably with those held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London - under Opus Anglicanum. this photo is part of the Butler Bowden cope held by the Museum. Unfortunately not visible at the moment. You can see some of the work I have done with students in the past if you click on this link. - Students work

Friday, April 21, 2006

An Artistic Challenge - There at last

Here is the final instalment of the Challenge, just had the second piece of work to make.

This part was fairly easy, in fact I think the second one is better than the first.

Did realise ( finally) that the legs needed to carry on beyond the feet, so added a little more of the Norwegan fleece at the top. Thought if Sally then wants to do something different with them, gives her a bit more to play with.

The image below is the first attempt again the difference?

So before you get the final images of the work, here is a photo of the equipment and materials and colours that I used to create this mini project.

So here are the pairs of feet, that are now travelling by snail mail to Sally to play with. Will now all have to watch Sally's blog for the growing process.

Really hoped you have enjoyed this creative journey with me, would love to hear your comments. So over to you now, Sally and all bloggers who have been following the thread of this challenge.

PS - The making and designing was 4 hours work in total ....the photographing and writing and blogging about 5 days. There is a moral in this tale somewhere....something like work more blog less! Not half so much fun though.....hope you agree.

Day in London

Spent the day in London yesterday, visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, and then the British Museum. The tubes(underground had a problem, so instead of going to Tate Modern which I was really looking forward to, to see the Albers exhibition, I walked to Covent Garden looking at the shops and seeing the street entertainers, from there to Leicester Square, where the tube was working. Ended back at Victoria to catch our coach with rather sore feet! Hardly surprising really.

Some of you will recognise these photos. They are the Tile staircase at the V & A. What a museum. We are lucky. the Costume / Fashion section is definitely work looking at this year.

Next episode of the Art Challenge will be following shortly. Sorry to keep you waiting, folks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

An Artistic Challenge - Nearly There

So how to make the feet dreaming, that's the challenge now.

I have a small stash of merino wool left over from felt making, and the colours are just right for these feet.

This is more like it, just the effect I am looking for. I have teased the pieces of the fleece and laid them onto the calico background. However one puff of wind and it all moves and disappears.

Those amongst you who have peeked at this blog before, may have guessed how I have decided to keep the wisps of fleece in place. The picture above is not quite clear enough, but yes, I use my other fairly new toy the Embellisher machine. Does a great job. Initially only intended to use it on the background, but the problem arises that the feet do not look dreamy enough. I was given some white Norwgian fleece by my friend Janet a few weeks ago, and the texture is quite different to the Merino wool, but just right for the effect I am trying to create.

Much happier with this now, I feel I am achieving the dream walking effect I want. Then I break one of the needles on the Embellisher, as I am trying to use the machine to hold down the white Norwegian fleece onto all those layers of calico. Annoyed with myself.........but now proceed with caution and works........ phew .......what a relief.

This piece of work would not be complete without some stitching, so looking at my stash of threads, decide that the hand stitching threads are my favourite for this task. They are a mixture of perle threads, some of them being randon dyed, but again the colours are just right. So can go and sit in front of theTV and do some stitching whilst watching my "soaps". The highly twisted, slightly shimmering threads, in a course running stitch, add just the right amount of texture to this textile piece.

So this is the first pair of "dream walking" ........the second one......its twin....

Thats the next instalment.