Sunday, February 28, 2010

February ATC's

Just a quick post this Sunday morning! Washing, baking and helping with homework beckons……………. also Mack is having a friend over for the day.

These ATC’s are made from some old watercolour paintings that weren't good enough to frame…. but are perfect for cutting into 2 ½ x 3 ½ inch cards!

300gm watercolour paper with old watercolour painting (c1995),
stamped text and embellishments,
text cut from old book, felt-tip ink pen outlines and border

I 'm going to give these to my new arty friends here in Tamworth who I will be meeting up with this week after an extended Christmas break. We've kept in touch but it will be nice to see what everyone has been up to! Again, my photo proportions are playing up - and I have no idea how to fix it; but if you click on the photos to enlarge; they'll be correctly proportioned.

An incomplete 5th ATC- just need to add text

I really enjoy creating these small artworks- I have Lenna Young Andrews to thank over at Creative Lenna and her other blog Creative Swaps. Her ATC's, altered books and collage work is inspirational. I entered her last ATC swap -my first! My return swaps are winging there way to me now!I follow her blog and thoroughly enjoy learning new techniques through her blog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

of a whole studio day!

I found this small embroidery on linen at an op shop some time ago and just had to save it!
Today I threw it in the dye bath and after it was washed and dried I discharge dyed the original stitching... I love the effect!

Yay! My work hours are going to be consolidated a bit and it seems I am going to have at least a couple of days a week with no work… which means of course I can get more done at home and in the studio! Also, the total hours will be approximately the same as I have been doing but I won’t need to spend as much on petrol to get there (an 80km – 50 mile round trip) which is a bonus! Instead of 5 days part time it is going to be more like 2-3 full days.

It will definitely make me appreciate the time I do have here. So, it was down to busy-ness in here this morning and I dyed a batch of fabric with a particularly prevalent weed we have here. Again, the silk took the colour the best and adding salt at the end changed the end product from a fairly non-descript green to a mushroom pink on most fabrics. An interesting result on the linen….

I love the softness of natural dyes… I also found a piece of printed cotton that I had left in the bottom of my last onion skin dye bath. Beautiful colour! Nice effect! All rinsed and dried now.

Natural 'weed' dyeing!
 The darker pieces are silks and the others, cottons and cotton blends.

I had the dyeing bug after that and I can always find plenty of scraps to throw in around here! So, I used a commercial jeans blue dye and did some low immersion dyeing. I love the effects that I have. Again a mix of cotton, linen, silk, & cotton blends. This was my favourite piece of the day! A gorgeous piece of linen which was scrunched and retained some whites!

Low immmersion -commercial denim blue dye on linen

Various pieces of cotton, linen and blends with denim blue commercial dye- low immersion

Fire Breathing Green Eyed Dragon!
WIP - Nearing completion!

Last night saw me stitching more on my Fire Breathing Green Eyed Dragon! He is nearing completion and I was just starting to think about a backing fabric and work out how or if I’m going to bind it; when inspiration hit from a piece of blue linen I’d just dyed!

I have an old thrift store pashima shawl I dyed a few months ago that has some nice tassels so I think I’ll use that on the bottom edge…. mmmm... might need something blue along that bottom edge too...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

of Slow February Progress............

So, here I am at the end of my second working week… feeling as if I’ve achieved, well, not a whole lot! I miss stitching, I miss blogging, I miss being able to do just what I want, when I want to! I don’t know how so many of you juggle a day job with creativity! I do enjoy my job though...... just need to learn to balance it all.

I’ve speedily read the blogs I keep up with (sorry, I haven’t left comments!), and tried to do at least a little hand stitching each evening….. Once I’ve caught up with the dreaded housework this weekend I intend to work on some things here in the studio…. I can't wait!

Hand dyed muslin, silk and linen...

This little piece is from my last dye batch. I'm not planning at all, just using scraps and small pieces and stitching to keep me sane...

Hand dyed vintage lace on rust dyed silks and muslin

This piece started life as part of a challenge but I didn't end up using it. I have more stitching to add; I'll out line the Rose with split stitch and possibly the leaves too. The background is machine pieced.

Hand pieced and quilted commercial printed cotton

This little block is all hand pieced from my scrap bag. I haven't done any hand piecing since the Really Ancient Cloth in my last post! (About 100 years ago!)

Thanks Marie at Ancient Cloth for the link to my Green Eyed Dragon! and to Catherine at Emergence for her link too. They are both doing some amazing work and experimentation!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Really Ancient Cloth!

Marie over at Ancient Cloth has started a quilt from recycled clothing from her family! It’s a wonderful idea and I’m sure it will give her a lot of joy as she puts it together and one day will give her the joy of memories when all the kiddies have flown the nest! I shared a story with her about a little quilt and she suggested I share it here:

I made this small hexagon quilt; all handstitched when I was in my early teens, maybe a bit younger. Mid to late 70’s (I think it was ‘finished off’ maybe in the very early 80’s!)

My Mum was a dressmaker and I used scraps from her sewing room floor! There is everything from exotic silks to pieces of wool and felt! I put a backing on it later; and eventually it became a doll’s blanket for my girls… I remember which fabrics were from clothing my Mum made for me or herself. When she saw it when visiting once, she could remember almost all of the clients and the dresses she made from each piece!

One of the silks has disintegrated completely and the backing shows through (Ummm… I obviously didn’t know about wadding! – Actually as a larger quilt it would have a nice weight. Although technically it’s not a quilt unless it has 3 layers. Is that right? ) There are cottons and jerseys in the mix too- all sewn in together! From memory it was paper pieced! The distortion of the felts etc is probably due to a necessary wash when the girls were using it! Even now it has a generous dose of cat fur- funny where those feline girls hang out! And even funnier, I don’t know why I’ve hung onto it; I’ve certainly never thought of it as special! So, thank you Marie for making me look at it in a different light!

Now, I'd better hurry up; it's off to work I go!

Have a good look around Marie's blog while you're there... She's very talented and her posts are interesting reading!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

of Nature, WIPs and Work

This new part time job is taking it's toll... : )  I'm loving it; but I'm exhausted! I think I'm still trying to get as much done (house, garden, studio) as I usually do and it's just not happening. I don't want anything to come between me and my creative time and I'm frustated with myself that I'm tired! I guess it's just all new and will be a matter of settling in. I started a little later this morning as I attended a little ceremony at my son's school........ It's great that my new work place is flexible; they're lovely people and I feel like I'm learning lots; it's hands on, which I love.

So, I haven't really done much needlework.... I started a little on the Blue Moon ATC last night... I'll see where that goes...

Blue Moon ATC

Yellow Clouds yesterday evening....
they really looked ominous and were strangely coloured.. 
but we didn't get a storm....

My very favourite rose: Mary Rose
see, I can do Shabby Chic!

Young Chinese Elm

My Silver Birch trunks are turning silver!

Having a bit of trouble with photo formatting of late. My pics are tending to get squashed up. I tried resizing a couple of them but now they won't centre.. so apologies for the mish mash array!


I have to make another 80km round trip into town tonight as Rose has a twilight school swimming carnival this evening...

The Hand Embroidery Networks (HEN) Winter Wonderland Exhibition is online here. There is some absolutely fabulous, clever and detailed work!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

here comes the rain..........!

but first...., I wanted to show you the starting point for an ATC swap with Jane Clark at Quilters Cottage Norfolk. Here is a link to her blog post showing her gorgeous Blue Moon ATCs. Please check out the rest of her blog; she has some really lovely and varied work... and updates at least once a day!

Blue Denim Moon
Discharged Denim - ATC WIP

Inspiration for this comes from Jude Hill's divine blog : Spirit Cloth. I read Jude's blog every day (I think I'm addicted to her slow cloth methods, her colour and texture combinations, her musing, her photos, her stitches and her beautiful story cloths) If you're not already following Jude I guarantee you will once you see her work!

Blue Denim Moons
Discharged Denim - ATC WIP

If you follow the links on Jude's blog you will find Shibori Girl (Glennis Dolce) who's amazing indigo moons Jude features. Again, check out her whole blog!

Rain Approaching

Sun Shower
(actually a little more than a shower but don't you love when it rains and the sun is still shining?)

We're thankful for the rain as everything was starting to dry out again!

...did I mention where I started work sells art materials? tee hee (musn't tell hubby!)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

of Sunday Morning Variegations.....

I’m loving some of the soft colours in my most recent dye play. Soft colours have never really been my thing! I’ve been pretty much into strong saturated colour. I love how colours sing off of each other! ..... and here I am playing around with such subtle variations....... I guess they are singing too.

Hand dyed poly cotton?
hand sewn raw edge applique

I don’t think this piece is 100% cotton. It is finely woven, frays easily and has taken the dye softly. I love the depth created by placing the variegated fabrics together



 I have no idea what this is- maybe just a little sampler? I started doing some kantha across the square shapes but unpicked it…. Maybe I’ll add more embellishment or maybe I like it’s simplicity. I'll let it sit/hang now.....


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fire Breathing Dragon

The Green Eyed Dragon is officially breathing fire...

 WIP - Green Eyed Dragon
Vintage Tie, Denim, Hand-dyed silk, Czech linen/cotton cloth,
Couched threads and fibres- silk and cotton,
Variegated embroidery thread, Perle thread

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dyeing addict...!

It really is no wonder so many people are addicted to dyeing…

An old linen teacloth and a little cotton top that my daughter Rose has outgrown..

I had a bit of a play with some orange and black dyes in the studio late yesterday afternoon (after a pretty full day in the garden-phew!)  I love not knowing exactly how it's going to turn out…! At first I was a bit disappointed with the spotting that comes from experimenting and not dissolving the dye first but it’s growing on me now... there is some nice shading and variegations.

An old embroidered traycloth - I think linen..

from the top: silk, muslin, cotton(or possibly cotton polyester),
silk, commercially dyed cotton, silk

I threw in scraps and household linens.... linen, flannel, muslin, cotton and silk. I love how they take the dye on differently. I didn't do any shibori or tying of any type this time- just left the pieces scrunched in a tray...


I don’t think any of them will be used as whole pieces... although I do like this little piece of flannel above. 

I must do that again soon...! I had so much fun.......... 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Green Eyed Dragon

I've been collecting neckties for about a year now; and have just 1 finished project incorporating them! (a bag that I use frequently!) I have 3-4 other pieces in various states of completedness some of which I have blogged about. I love the crazy patterns, designs and colours and I especially love how the colours look together -as they hang off the old wooden ladder suspended from the beams in my studio....

Here is a little something that I'm just letting happen with my most recent purchase...

Green Eyed Dragon - WIP

I'm not trying too hard on this and there's not a lot of forethought - not even a sketch...which is unusual for me... I'm enjoying the process.

 including vintage shadow work and label from back of dragon tie

 Gold Lined Cloud Detail
 - metallic fabric scraps, and worn denim

Off to do some gardening before it gets too hot.........


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