Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dying ....24 hours later

Very impressed with myself, have left the dye bags for 24 hours, did not know I could be that patient!

So today, not quite so early as I overslept, started on the rinsing and washing. Was a little worried how the fingers would cope, but they are Ok. The tetanus injection has made my arm very sore though, and I seem to have a slight rash. I will survive am sure. Results of the dyeing are Ok, except for the yellow going into orange ...its too dark for my liking. I used Magenta for the red and think it overpowered the lemon yellow too much. Anyone else had experience of this?

Someone had to sit down on the job again today, too much hard work, but able to supervise the hanging out!

Overall though I am pleased with the results. These pieces (above) have a small amount of black added....quite exciting.

Just finished the ironing of the last few pieces of fabric before the family arrived for the BBQ. Fortunately the rain held off, and then it was only a light shower, temperature is still in the 20's C, but there is a hefty breeze which is most welcome.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Dying time...........

Oooooopps did I forget the "e" in the title??

Up early this morning, 7.00am. It was very cool only 22C so a quick breakfast, and get out the stuff for a dying session on the terrace before the sun comes round. Of course had woken someone else out of their slumber, so had plenty of willing paws!

Had already made the soda and salt solutions, but still needed to prepare the dye solutions, so that took a little while. Finally sorted.

Still getting lots of help, the four pawed variety. Had cut the fabric yesterday, so donned the rubber gloves and set to - dying in the bag. You may recall from a previous post I have promised myself to make a colour wheel quilt for my new room in the new school. As it's impossible to do housework with bandaged fingers, all I have left to do is my dying!!! Yeah right!!!!

So here is my work - this is about half way, and I am feeling pretty good about how it is going.

Someone else though (with four paws) is in desperate need of a rest, all this work so early in the morning.

Time for a quick cup of coffee, then its back to work, got a lot of colour mixing to get the full colour starting to hope it works OK!

Am running out of space in the cat litter trays, need to improvise as I still have 10 bags to go.

Finally finished and the finger bandages are still clean. I cheated and put the surgical glove underneath my yellow marigolds. That way double protection, but very sweaty fingers. So eight fingers and four paws managed to stay dye free!!! How clever is that? Dyeing finished before the sun came round at 11.00am as well. Very pleased with myself. Tidied up and now have to wait 24 hours to see if the results are OK.

Someone cannot cope with the pace......had to have a rest!!! I'm not naming names of course, but a picture is worth a thousand words!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Packing Injury

Have finished the great pack at school.......finally. Not without injury unfortunately. With still about 2 hours of work to do, I cut 2 of my fingers very deeply, still don't know with what, as it happened whilst putting some paper into the cages the removal company gave us. When the bleeding finally stopped, I bound the fingers very tightly with plasters, so that I could finish the job. Have refrained from posting a picture of the wounded fingers, in case you are of a delicate disposition!

I had been advised by my work to go the the hospital and have them stitched. I was so dirty,dusty,sweaty and tired when I finished after the hottest day of the year. I just could not think about a long wait of 4 hours or more at A & E with lots of ill people.

Lunchtime today I took the tight plasters off to give the wounds some air, and was not happy about the wounds, so went to the nurse at the doc's to have it checked. She was lovely, as by time I got to the surgery there was a lot of blood. This was one time I wish I had an automatic car, each time I changed gear, it got very messy. She sorted me out, and gave me a tetanus injection. This is now combined with Polio and diphtheria boosters, so that was interesting. Just to prove to some of my Artful dodger friends that I am well and truly sorted - some pictures of the bandages. Didn't the nurse do a great job?

Explained to the nurse I needed to do some dying and so kindly gave me some rubber surgical gloves, as I need to keep it all dry. When I got home I cut up the calico fabric ready for the dying, might do that tomorrow, as I have a headache at the moment.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Stitching last!

Great day today, received some ATC's (thanks to Dale) from Australia yesterday and felt inspired by them to go to my workroom and play this morning. The weather was still cool, so bearable to do some work. I decided to get the embellisher out and used an assortment of fabrics I had dyed, as well as some merino wool fibres I had dyed previously.

I also had some puff paints in my collection.

They had been in my cupboard for some years, unused and so I decided to give them a go.

The colours are a bit bright, the black is useful though. Just need to finish these pictures now. Any ideas what I can do with the blue ones I made?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Thunder and Packing

Over the past few days it has been really hot here in the UK. Clear skies and temperatures in the 30's C.

Great today as we had a wonderful thunderstorm that has cooled everything down. Starting to feel human again! I slept through the thunderstorms this afternoon, totally unaware that much of the town is under water as a result of flash floods. One of the advantages of living on top of a hill, is hopefully we will not experience floods. The garden enjoyed the deluge of rain and the Buddlia drooped under the weight of the rain.

Why I was sleeping in the middle of the afternoon is a tale of exhaustion.

In all this heat my colleagues and I have been packing. Apparently packing and moving family house is high up on the stress list. Wonder where packing and moving a whole school of 1300 children appears on the stress list........ and doing that in a heatwave......hearing constant health warnings about heatwaves!

So by Friday (yesterday ) all the subject departments in the school, except science and my department went off on holiday, all their packing complete. I have to go into school next week to finish the packing due to an error on the part of the removal company, as they forgot to order the cages for the Art deparment. I was not best pleased to say the least! I am supposed to be on holiday next week! It will be all worth it when we finally start teaching in a brand new building in September.

There has not been much time for blogging this past week.......sorry........will try and do better next week.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

You know me well then??

Who Should Paint You: Andy Warhol

You've got an interested edge that would be reflected in any portrait
You don't need any fancy paint techniques to stand out from the crowd!

Red Arrows

Gill,s comment on my last post from this morning has reminded me about the Red Arrows acrobatic team. We always look forward to their display and living where we do, we almost get a free show. Very special. See from their website news, their last show was with the Netherlands Air Force.
Thanks for reminding me about them, Gill. My eyes and ears are waiting for the familiar sight and sound of these brilliant flying machines, travelling in formation. If you go to the Air Tattoo website, the Red Arrows are on the video highlights which you can view online, the patriotic red, white and blue trails and red aircraft are a giveaway!

Trapped at home

That's because......

Its the weekend of the International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, which is just a few miles up the road. Unfortunately Concorde no longer flies, we used to enjoy watching her fly over us every evening at 7.15pm on her flight to New York. Wonderful sight.

As you can imagine the road congestion, around here this weekend with all the extra visitors to the area, means we cannot get out or in to go anywhere by car or bus. The upside of this is we have some fantastic views of the air display for free!

I had hoped I would be able to go to the other big event taking place just over the county border in Oxfordshire, which is Art in Action a truly wonderful event, saw these sculptures there last year. Might see what the traffic is like very early tomorrow morning.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Gallery Preview

Sandra Blow

Just returned from a preview at a local Gallery, its called Wetpaint and is in Cirencester. The Exhibiton featured work by Bridget Riley,
I found the exhibtion very inspirational, it was all Absact Art and many of my fellow bloggers know that I have been working a great deal with my local Art gallery and my students on this theme.
My internet friend,Paulene, introduced me to the work of Sandra Blow, so I was particularly pleased to be abe to see her work the "flesh". I am very familiar with Bridget Rileys work, having first seen her work in Bradford on a visit as a young girl. I was waiting for the ice rink to open and sauntered i to get out of the rain. The work made an instant impression on me, at first made me feel quite dizzy, but also a great inspiraton to my later work. I had only seen Terry Frost's work as prints in books. Think I will be going for another look before the exhibition ends on 12th August.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sweet peas and Kids clay

These sweet peas are looking good, they are the everlasting variety, and all the same colour. They do not seem to attract green fly or black fly and I particularly like them because they came from my late fathers' garden, so just a bit special. They do not really have that heavy fragrence of sweet peas, but the bees love them just same. So having surveyed the garden over the weekend.......went on to...........................

Some clay work. Knew we were having some of the kids over, so I bought a bit of clay home for them to work into. Its terracotta and gives a lovely colour when fired. Intoduced them to rolling pins and tiles, adding "worms", incising into the clay and general mark making. We also made thumb pots, seven year olds have incredibly small thumbs!!!! And a coil pot. Will fire them this week, and then probably give them a transparent glaze which makes them lovely and shiny but retains the warm tones of the terracotta. Lots of fun and mess. Parents were glad it all took place at our house, until I sent them home with the leftover clay, which I will collect from them later this week to put in the kiln. The parents should know me better by now.......I like to share the mess!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sketch 'n' Stitch

Feeling a bit deprived of doing my own thing in terms of my work at the moment, as I'm bogged down in timetables/staffing/course outlines/etc. etc. So now that my moan is over, I have decided to do a bit of something stitchy and sketchy.

So this is not new work, but just me re-visiting comfortable painting/drawing and machine stitching and doing something for my own sanity.

So important sometimes just to do, nothing ground breaking, its almost like doodling, no decisions, just do it.

I have to prepare for some exhibitions at the end of this year, but I don't think this work is exhibition standard that I could sell.

However, this type of work is very rewarding for me. How often do you give yourself permission to just doodle and do it?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Nana and Year 9

Great fun today, finished the Nana's that year 9 have been making for the past few weeks.

Great artist and I know there are many of her sculptures in Atlanta.

Wish I could take the students to see the real sculptures.

Students worked in groups and after they had created some intial drawings in colour influenced by the artist Nikki Saint-Phalle , they started the making.

Chicken wire and papier mache, and then the final painting today.

They were great fun to make. There is a whole museum dedicated to Nikki's work in Japan, another place I would love to take the students.

I promised my trainee teacher that we would take photos of the finished Nanas, as unfortunately she had to leave us before the Nanas were complete. Hope you like them Becky and visitors to my blog.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Swindon Stone

Just like to share this photo of one of the stones at Avebury. Its the Swindon Stone, it towers over the road.....just hope it never falls over. Aptly named the Swindon Stone. Blogger would not let me upload this picture last night, must be something to do with the weather, still melting hot here, but I can smell rain from a thunderstorm somewhere, but not here........yet!

Still 24C at 9.30pm in the evening. Some of you out there in other parts of the world are used to these temperatures, we are not in this country and so we find it quite uncomfortable.

Monday, July 03, 2006

What a day .....the pictures!

At last blogger is allowing me some pictures:- so to continue from yesterday........

Picture 1. -----at last .....the pictures.......this is the Jane lemon bag I was talking about yesterday (click here to see the report)

Picture 2 ----- Maggie Grey's wall hanging. As you can see for yourselves, under Val's expert guidance , these two very talented ladies pushed the boundaries of this new City and Guilds Syllabus to the extremes. Moral of this tale is do not go by the title - look at the content and then a bit of lateral thinking, that's creativitiy.

This was taken on the journey home , as you can see Avebury was quite busy with tourists, but then it was sunday afternoon, the heat was blistering though. Mad dogs and Englishmen comes to mind.

As the bikers (motor variety) will tell you, the famous Red Lion quenches the thirst.

Some welcome shade.