Thursday, 22 January 2015

Drawing the simplest shapes seems to be the hardest thing

I have a very simple, favourite cuff bracelet.  As I am trying to draw more often, that cuff was a subject earlier this week.  Very difficult, but the attempt at lower left does seem to be getting towards the shape ( drawn on top of an upturned plate to ry to get some sense of scale in to the drawing).  Tartan covers out for Burns night this weekend.

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I used the "skew correction " function on my camera to try to straighten out this image, and it really distorted the cuff.  Interesting.

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Art, doing and viewing

As my work schedule has changed, I have had to move from Morley to a different art course.  If anyone is looking for a business idea, may I suggest day time classes in drawing for beginners in the London area.  Every course I have tried to get on to has been full.  I have therefore compromised and joined a course in drawing and painting at the Mary Ward Centre, taught by Sophie Charalambous.   Like Morley, the Mary Ward Centre has a great feeling when you go in, and the studio where the course is taught is at the top of the building, so is large and light.  Sophie concentrated on drawing last term, so is focussed on painting with acrylic paint,  for beginners,  this term.  It isn't quite what I wanted, but I am going with it.  Last week's theme was developing colour wheels, and this week the focus was on creating transparency, tints and shades.

Mine is the one with the big orange drip, as I tried using a desk easel - not the right tool for an exercise involving a lot of watery paint!

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I've never really  understood about using complementary colours to darken a primary colour, but after Sophie's very clear explanations, I really got this yesterday.  Interesting to see the black and white copy of the tints and shades side by side.

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The morning had been a return visit to Peckham to see the continued presence of my friend's art work, "People of Peckham".  This has survived well, and is still relatively free of graffiti.

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A walk past a local mosque, where the minaret was in startling contrast to the winter sky.

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Then off to the Horniman Museum, to see the exhibition "River", by Kurt Jackson.  I cannot get over how much I love  these paintings.  The way he uses paint to show light on water is inspired.  This exhibition finishes on Sunday 25th January, I wish I had gone earlier so that I could see it again.  Also fantastic to see his sketchbooks, ceramics and zoological sketches.

I am trying to continue to draw during this term, before Sophie returns to drawing next term.  Last night's attempts - better than 6 months ago.

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Dyeing results and bag distractions

The dyeing from last week went well, although the graduated pieces done in the microwave all seemed to come out very similar.  The gradations below all came from leaving the fabric overnight at room temperature.  Original white shown at the side for contrast.

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Patience may be a virtue here it seems.

My large project is giving m some headaches, so I had a bit of a diversion in to some bag making for The Quilter's Guild bag tombola at this year's Festival of Quilts.  The first two are made with the Morsbag method but with longer handles, a square base,  and a bit of stitching along the edges of the base to give them more definition.  The startling ( or could be " jaunty", depending on your point of view?) pink webbing has been lurking in the "bag of interesting bits" for some time.

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The next two were made using this method for the base, which gives a good finish without having to join up fiddly edges.  I also added some key fobs to these ones, again using some clips from the other bag of " useful bits that might come in handy".

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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Graduated dyeing and vintage sewing machine

The sun was out this morning, but disappeared this afternoon, so I stayed in and attempted to expand the selection of blues in my stash - the dyes came out.

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I'm trying a combination of methods here - low-water immersion and microwave dyeing to get six different shades and to see what the different results are with each method.

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Results later.

A very elderly  ( 101) resident in our road died recently, and her family are clearing her house.  She had this Frister and Rossman machine, which I think dates from the early sixties.  It looks in very good condition, but had no plug , so  could not test if it is working. I'll offer this to our quilt group and then on Freecycle if no-one wants it.

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Saturday, 10 January 2015

No, I haven't been cross all of that time……

…..just busy with family, getting back to work, and having some thinking time about a major project.  Little bits of stitching ( mostly by hand)  from these past three weeks

Inspired by Art now bound with 1/4 inch binding - not curved, just photographed on a curved bench between showers and gusts of wind. A3 size.

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back, with an embroidered label as an entry to one of the competitions that our quilt group is currently running.

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Dr Who embroidery to become another label for entry in to said competition.  I am learning to be very wary of using hand-dyed threads on anything that is to be washed.  The dark blue here ran terribly, but it isn't critical for this.  Approximately 8 inches square.  Pattern came from one of the artists on the Dr Who quilt along, but I can't remember who.

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Globe embroidery, bought as a batch from Urban Threads, in case they also decide to withdraw their designs from sale in the EU due to the pdf pattern download  /multi-country VAT debacle.  About 6 inches square.

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Postcard for stocks made from the trimmings of the "Inspired by Art" piece.

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A lovely walk in the countryside yesterday

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and then coming across this fine bird in a pub car park.

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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Quilting as an outlet for crossness

Being a parent to male teenagers has seemed more straightforward to me than being a parent of  male toddlers, except when it comes to school reports.  Discussions seem to be on an annual loop, with major dips in December, followed by a steady climb through the rest of the year to good results at the end of the summer.  I should be used to this by now, but each December, I allow myself to become cross at seeing the same words again: careless, sloppy, no attention to detail, etc, etc, etc.  With some self discipline, I managed to channel this crossness into some machine quilting, rather than immediately entering the verbal jousting match.

I have bought a straight stitch foot plate as recommended by Philippa Naylor, and this does seem to make these intricate curls much easier to quilt repeatedly, although I did manage to break a needle when forgetting that the plate is not compatible with zig zag stitches.

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I was evidently not completely  focussed though, as I managed to stitch the Supreme Slider mat directly to the back of the quilt sandwich.

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Thankfully I could cut it free and it still seems to work.  Glass of something Christmassy needed now.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Glad to be outside

Horrendous chest infection recently left me panting for breath at the slightest exertion, ( this was really the week to buy my own set of yoga blocks!)  so I missed some glorious sunrises on frosty mornings.  I did however manage to get to see some of these.

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