Tuesday, November 28, 2017

In passing ...

.. breakfast coffee and a quiet moment to have a mini brag about progress with a couple of projects!

the shadow for the brick quilt is freezer paper ready .... just need to make decisions about the quilt backing fabric, and tack the sandwich and then quilt it ... and play with ways to include the shadows. Ideas welcome.

And below, presently decorating the floor, you can see some small progress on my 4th plinth project. Fabric pavements are printed, the donated old blanket is cut to size for the wadding.
Now what to do next?

Finally, on the wall, where lots of ideas begin, (where else), two pieces of fabric from my 2017 dyeing efforts. They seem to be saying 'put us together' .... but how and why and ????

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Step by step ...

and slowly! At the moment my so called brick quilt, or maybe its the shadow quilt, is occupying some of my bedroom floor,

and the rest of the room is full of stuff usually in the linen cupboard. Hopefully the small changes to the laundry room will soon be complete -maybe some pics this week - and I'll be able to move more easily around the bedroom.

The quilt in progress might also be there for a few more days  ... I'm still undecided about the the size of the shadow that I'll add after the quilting, and even more undecided about the border. Still, its great to be working with my own dyed fabrics and a photo taken of Crumble and I out for a walk last winter .... maybe by next winter the finished quilt will be on my lap.

To close a couple of recommendations. If you're a stitcher then do take look at Michelle Carragher http://www.michelecarragherembroidery.com/Game-of-Thrones-Gallery(2829575).htm for some inspirational hand embroidery. I heard her speaking on Saturday ... such skill and dedication, and a great speaker.

If you like the movies then I and a few friends all really enjoyed Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool with Annette Bening and Jamie Bell. Here's one of the reviews https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/nov/19/film-stars-dont-die-in-liverpool-review-annette-bening-jamie-bell.  Lots of very good performances by the major and minor actors and, for me, a clever and powerful accompanying score and authentic set.

Have a good week. I'm going back to the last few games of the tennis final.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pages updated ...and other stuff

Only 11 months have gone by without an update to the stitching and poetry pages on this blog!!!   There is some new stuff there now. Do take a look by clicking on the links above the blog post.

I'll leave you here to admire how much the toe-up sock has grown ... not much I hear you say and I agree.

Probably because there's so much else to distract me  - books and poetry for sure.

I'm enjoying Undertaking by the the wonderful American poet Thomas Lynch, more info on him can be found here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/thomas-p-lynch

I've almost given up on Solar Bones!!!  It will be interesting to hear what others in my book gourd think of this stream of consciousness novel.  The story is fine ... i'm just tiring of the style.

And I regularly dip into this very clever book which is very well described by its title.

Then there is poetry, as always. In small doses, usually at breakfast, occasionally while I wait for the kettle to boil.

Sorry for the orientation  ... its the Oxford Poetry Review but I think you got that anyway 

Finally, two stitching projects are progressing very slowly. The entry deadlines are in my diary and I'm learning lots about printing on fabric via photos. And the very best news is that I've been offered an old blanket to use as backing for the piece that relates to homelessness. That piece is in response to the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles Group's call for work for their next exhibition.

You can read more about the TVCT Group here and if you click on the news tab, there's more about how my piece came into being and elsewhere on the site lots more from some highly skilled textile artists. Here's the direct link to the news item http://www.tvctextiles.co.uk/news.

 One day soon I shall have to progress from paper copies of stuff on the wall to the reality of sewing my precious eco printed tissue and some pricey silk ... scary!

More on that later. Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Parallel projects aka confusion

Well confusion is a risk if, like me, you have several (or more) works in progress! I'm learning how best to keep safe my ideas and progress on each one and, wonderfully, how work for one thing leads to trying something similar with another.

Enough chat, here are some photos ... probably like you I find it can all look very different through a camera lens so I tend to take pictures regularly.

The photo above is of eucalyptus bark printed onto the paper that carried some dress pattern paper. I just love the shapes! The aim is to collage these onto a length of canvas. I've printed the shapes on to a section of old map, a piece of sheet music and some closely woven linen. 

The photo to the right shows my first attempt at arranging these for stitching. I've tried for a neatish torn way of separating out the different shapes ... what do you think?

Next step is to appliqué each piece in place and stitch with the aim of connecting and adding by my choice of stitch.

Watch this space!!!

Alongside that piece I'm putting together my ides for a stitched piece inspired by one of past 'occupants' of the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square. The Textile Group I belong to has put out a call based on this for their next exhibition. If you're interested the full details are on their website http://www.tvctextiles.co.uk.

So far, I've chosen my inspiration, see https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2007/nov/08/art  and somehow meandered into thoughts about a fabric book that focuses on being homeless in a big city. Quite a journey (for me).

One huge consideration was how to make something that would fit into the box (size 39x29x15cm) that'll be used by the Group for transport purposes between exhibitor venues and will also be easily hung by someone other than me.  Add that to the time issue, and how very novice I am at all this and it feels a bit scary.

But, I've made progress with more printing on fabric and some research on homelessness which has led to some draft poems that might possibly fit to a tea bag. 

It seems there are many ways of printing on fabric from photos ... the most important thing is not to have any loose threads to catch on the print heads in your printer. So far, I've seem to have avoided that  but I have realised that its not a good idea to put Bondaweb though the printer, even when you think its firmly attached to the freezer paper meant to provide a firm base. 

No photos of that piece just yet but here's one of the quilt I'm making from many of the fabrics I've dyed, rusted and generally messed about with this year.

Not sure what to with this next ... maybe some writing on each 'brick' or maybe just some plain quilting. One more to watch for. 

And below is my favourite leaf from the Inspiration to Stitch autumn sketchbook of 2016.  I have plans for it to make an appearance alongside some beautiful eco printed tissue paper ... just plans at present. I need to photoshop out the writing and then see if the colours will reproduce on silk. 

Back soon. Thanks for reading this. Remember your comments are welcome. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Poems, toast and a firework finale.

All those things make for the very best poetry festival there is ...  it happens in Swindon (http://www.poetryswindon.org) and it get better and better each year.

Here are this year's three wonderful Poets-in-Residence reading more of their fine (and often funny)  poems at this morning's breakfast final event ...

Dalgit Nagra http://www.daljitnagra.com, (above ) Tania Hershman http://www.taniahershman.com (right) and Jacqueline Saphra http://www.saphra.net  (below) are great poets and very busy people.

All three of them well and truly took up residency in the Tent Palace of the Delicous Air  and all the other places in and around the Richard Jefferies Museum  http://richardjefferies.org where words were read, written and heard during the Festival
 And  there was also late night toast, poems on the wall  and wonderful music from Keith James http://www.keith-james.com/concerts.php  and George Fell who can be heard here https://soundcloud.com/george-fell.

Many thanks to Hilda Sheehan, http://hildasheehanpoetry.blogspot.co.uk,  and her team for one more magical festival.

 2018's is already in my diary.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

when the travelling ends .... and I've discovered another Pool

... there is so much to do!!!  But in between busy times there's lots of fun. I'm beginning the catch up with a few photos from a wonderful three weeks with family in San Diego

and that Pool, its here - https://www.the-pool.com - and is providing me with some quick early morning reads ... faffree fashion is my sort of fashion!!!

I'll be back, not sure when. Tomorrow I start the Designing for Stitch course at the InStitches studio, see http://www.institchestextilecourses.co.uk  ... its going to be rather intensive for three months and I'll probably have to do some drawing (ugh).  Give me a few leaves, hot water and fancy paper anytime ...

Meanwhile, having cracked the art (!) of magic circle cast on the toe up socks on my needles are growing.

If that last sentence means nothing to you, no worries, it would have been double dutch to me before the weekend.  Bye for now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Around and about our house ...

... things happen ...

fruit and vegetables ripen


and Paul has been blanching  & packing corn on the cob for the freezer  ... we're eating them every day  ... so sweet and juicy 

meanwhile just by the front door the newly hatched sparrow chicks can be heard asking for food and a parent prepares to deliver  

out of sight, the chicks are deep inside our wall 

 and I'm going very slow with some more eco dyeing  and rusting. This time with dyed fabric and old lace ...  presently its air drying, tomorrow a wash, more drying and I suspect it will have faded!

Thank you for reading this, comments welcome  -that way I know you  are there!!!!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer 2017 books & review of The Memory Stones

I've just finished reading The Memory Stones by Caroline Brothers, see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memory-Stones-Caroline-Brothers/dp/1408844494/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502122304&sr=1-1&keywords=the+memory+stones

Product Details

Really enjoyed this novel. Clearly based on sound research but written very allowing the evidence stayed in the background while the plot, characters and powerful emotions took centre stage. The web link above gives the outline of the story. For me the book's strength is in the way the story embraces all those affected by Military Rule and stretches this effectively into future generations.  In places the scenery was in danger of taking over but these passages helped to set the pace of what happened to match that of the characters experience. A very good read. 4.5 stars.

Finishing one book set me thinking about all the books around me this summer ... here's a few pics.

 I went to a workshop run by Robert Vas Dias last year ... good to have time to read his Still Life collection.

I'm learning a lot from this book but need more practice at image transfer with Gel medium 

I heard this author interviewed on BBC World service  .. looking forward to starting this tonight 

Another purchase after an author interview but I'm struggling with this even though its set in New Zealand and I recognise much of the geography 

A bit tedious! I'm trying to read two pages a day to improve my French!!!

My breakfast book with lots of helpful examples of how using a sketchbook leads to original textile work 

And if I'm to progress my knitting I'll need to find something to follow Middlemarch on Audible ... another classic comes to mind. The convenience of bluetooth headphones and George Eliot's wonderful writing had me hooked. I struggled to read the book in print but it was a great listen. I'm now watching the BBC series. I'll let you know what my next choice is. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Practice without a purpose ...

... is a phrase I came a

... is a phrase I came across in Pencil Dancing (see https://www.amazon.com/Pencil-Dancing-Ways-Creative-Spirit/dp/158297005X). My copy was 50p second hand and is useful to dip into for a few minutes with my early morning tea, just a glance, a few rows of knitting and some birdwatching.  Sparrows are still feeding young in a nest in the gaps between the stones in the front house wall and I'm told a Hoopoe visits occasionally.

The phrase 'practice without a purpose' is a good label for what I've been doing for the the past couple of days with three lengths of white silk and some left over scraps of coloured silk.

rusty nails from a falling apart pallet - I love the sort of regularity 

odds of silk wrapped in an old chain and drill bit 

and below a melange of Procion dyed cotton marked with a Markal paint stick using our walls of lime plaster, hemp bricks and wood.

Most of marks were similar!!

Doing this has  given me some ideas for the 'brick quilt' that's slowly happening.   Watch this space.

Meanwhile ... as the pics below show my line a day project continues and also a hand embroidered and charcoal marked piece I started at the Textile Study Group's summer school two weeks ago. For more detail of this inspiring group see https://textilestudygroup.co.uk

one little basket of beautiful thread 

The heatwave here in France continues. A good time to have some slow days!  A good time for listening to Test Match Special reporting  the England v South Africa at Old Trafford.

I may be back here more regularly than usual ....

adding stitches to the marks, 

a line a day.   noting more 

summer school sampler now folded and stitched into a sketchbook