Sunday, 28 August 2011

Only 2 weeks to go, oh my!

I can't believe I've been talking about this show for nearly a year & here we are, 2 weeks to go. We'll send the flier/invite we designed to the printers tomorrow, I'll order my Moo cards from...Moo & I'm trying to arrange a bit of a write up in the local paper - the woman who usually does these things is due for an imminent op, she said give it a go myself or cobble something together at the paper....! We'll see. We'll make a poster ourelves for around here abouts & I'm borrowing A - boards & possibly dying a sheet to flap about by the actual hall, anything to attract the attention of passers by! I loved the idea of Jill's mixed media bunting & Ro et alls painted pillars but I've left it a bit late for that something spectacular...!

I've been panicking a bit about quantity so I threw together a collage similar to one before, fabric paper printing stitch glued together. heres the tiny sample

the collage, about 16 x 7 inches

and the hanging, my first this large (I just had to get it in before the last few seconds ran out before the show!) at 44", thats 4 " off 4 feet! by about 14"

I girded my loins & counted what I actually had made, if not framed or backed & it came to exactly 50, which was my initial aim. That includes 5 I got back from the Inverness gallery but not the 6 I've sold this season so I've made 51 for the show over 8 months, pat on the back for me ;) (No wonder I'm a little tired!)

These have got a LOT of work to do still, but I loved making them, glueing a mix of recycled fabrics & some recent sunprinting, printing with a new woodblock I saw when I was at the East sales a couple of months ago - amazing to by a couple of items of clothing & a beautiful woodblock for your artwork in the same place ;) & machine stitching up & down the piece - this might be where less is more comes in?This looks quite faint on such a big piece & sewing thru glue hardened fabric & pretending to be a quilter rolling the 'quilt' up as you go was no mean feat. But I gave it a go. I plan some handstitching with the 6 strand stuff that shows up to much, usually, while watching Eastenders (yes, I watch & enjoy Eastenders!) The flamingo feather came from a playgroup trip, well, 14 or so yrs ago, when I picked up my toddler, put him over the flamingo enclosure fence & told him to give mummy the pretty feather. What would I have done if he'd run away?!!! Anyway, I thought it was about time to use it ;) That little toddler has just become Head Boy, there will never be a prouder stitcher!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Goodbye (for a term) to my Middlest

I didn't think it would be as traumatic the second time round, saying goodbye as the Middlest went off to college. He's studying Marine Engineering at the Glasgow School of Nautical Studies, part of City of Glasgow college, with the Merchant Navy as sponsors & the HNC/D will take 3 yrs as he gets to go to sea twice, which he'll love. The trip took longer than we thought, left after B&B at 11am & got back 11.30pm with a v quick visit to Ikea for frames - So, altho I'm emotionally & physically exhausted right now I'm sure I'll recover from 'almost empty nest syndrome'...soon .

Here's the card I made - I used the line, (changing it from a she to a he) ' he's leaving home, bye, bye' for the Eldest's card & I'll use it for the Youngest's, too!

I found a second hand nautical almanac, a chart from which I used for the ground
& then almost obliterated it with the blue acrylic! I do love the pearls of wisdom caught up in the net, if I say so myself ;) He didn't say 'thanks, bin it' he said put it on his wall - wish we'd taken it down with us for his 'cell' of a room - his word ;( He'll cheer it up ;)

A proud parental moment, my eyes are moist!
Couldn't resist having at least 3 boats in the first pic, (click to enlarge)
His college wasn't anything to write home about nor was the well organised residence just next door but you get wonderful architecture that side of the river, a facade in amongst crumbling decay.

A facinating disused railway full of trees coming from over  over the Clyde which flows along the back of the college

Wonderful bridges I'll explore next time.

This weeks collage. For my DH's 50th, I  made my first landscape collage & decided to repeat it (!) sharp intake of breath! Well, the first one is mine I mean his & I'm happy to share it by doing another one!

Ben Sgritheal (that hill we climbed, said 'Screel') with the Isle Ornsay lighthouse & the boat that WAS there many yrs ago. I'm proud of the origonal (Feb '10, see link above) & this one but it's difficult to 'do' it again! But I did it anyway, 2 more scenes

House on the shore


I didn't know much about linking then, so didn't give credit where due. I know the technique was in CPS mag & if I find it again I'll let you know. A simple drawing, painted over with white acrylic, then drawn again into the paint (I do a bit at a time so I don't loose the drawing - painting up to evey line takes too long) When dry slather with black ink. When that's dry, 15 mins to 1/2 hr, gently 'wash' under a running tap. The idea is the ink goes into the pencil lines but is resisted by the paint. I left quite a lot of ink on the paint surface for definition & I guess I should seal it or it could rub or flake off. One day I'll try this in color.

I also made 2 1/2 pieces similar to the creamy lacy stitched ones to replace the 3 I sold this season. So that's 5 nearly 6 this week! What will this pressure I'm feeling bring out of the depths this wek???!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A magenta week

After a white week I felt the need for some stronger color. I missed taking a pic of a lovely rose, no idea of the name as it was a cutting from one of the gardens I worked in before the joints protested too much ;) So I thought Fuchsia instead & found a total of 9 magenta red flowers but I'll leave the scabious, lillie & new honeysuckle blooms till another time. As well as fuchia, I was inspired by astrantia & the perennial sweet pea.

Here's a sample

A mix of rich magenta smokey pink & burgundy recycled fabrics

The first hanging, dark fabric for the astrantia at the top, smokey pink for the sweet pea (I can't help that they look, well, just a little rude....) & a fuchsia tucked in at the bottom there. Not sure how well the pink metallic stitching works. Some burgundy/red french knots & running stitch & sari silk couched down. 

The next hanging was inspired by achillea, leycesteria & rosa rugosa.

The beads aren't attached yet, todays job along with just a few other things. I wondered a hanging or 2 back how I could 'name' these & decided on a label hidden in a bead

but it does make the bead a little large compared to the others, hmmm. When I saw fm stiched writing, I couldn't beLIEVE it could be done so I'm quite proud of this.  But is this Naive Art, a joyful exploration of different techniques or just a little slapdash?

You can tell the nerves are fraying - it's 4 weeks today & I'm not ready....yet & it's getting a little more difficult to quell the rising panic, but at least it gets me running around like a headless chicken finishing things off! Good, I guess. There's so much I wanted to do, to prove I could & I suddenly realised I could have another exhibition one day, it doesn't all have to come out of my head into this one .......did I really say that?!

Right, I'll come back later & catch up on some lovely blogs when I've finished, mounted & framed a few things!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

It's been a much better week

Thanks to you all for such kind & sympathetic words last week, much appreciated.I've had a productive week, not least being the fact that I went swimming for the first time in years, walking out of my front door, down onto the shore & into the extremely baltic water ;) I had an audience of my disbelieving but impressed DH & the Youngest - I just knew he was thinking 'go Mum!' So I did. Actual gasping spluttering breaststroke until I was distracted (as if having my buns frozen off wasn't enough) by the purple flowers in the grass under the water. (not sure what they're called)

The tide was right up so I walked in over grass

& didn't even mind the feel of thas plantain tickling my legs (as a child I had a fear of swimming over reeds - didn't mind the leeches!)

You can hardly tell I'm shooting thru water but for the rippling mosaic effect here. Another lovely purple plant I don't know the name of. I've got to say I felt exhilarated, freezing & exhausted, after at least, oh, 10 mins of photos & breastroke (not at the same time ! ;) The youngest said the cold does that to you. Can't believe I've wasted such a resourse on my doorstep for so long - when I tried it before it was like a thousand knife points digging into my legs. Well, it still is but I felt the knives & did it anyway - inspired by our B&B guest, thank you Eva!

So this weeks hanging

Photographed in low daylight the terracotta looks a little intense (but you get the idea ;) My interpretation of Yarrow at the top, then Astrantia & a rambling rector rose at the bottom which is frighteningly realistic! See last weeks photo.

I haven't mounted or twigged it yet, instead I worked on another white flower hanging

The 'lighting' has gone a little haywire here, too - the top flowers are meant to be a lacecap hydrangea, I used undyed silk & they've come out half grey & half burnt out - they're somewhere in between those 2 colors.

 Then comes  little spikes of heuchera, dotted here & there, (ok, that's a white background)

then an umbellifer (or is it compositacea now (sp)?! It's like queen ann's lace but it chunkier than that, in the hedgerow, with purple pink stems - I should really look it up but my ice cream's melting & all those French knots have done me in!

 Hmm, this might not be the pink stemmed one, oh well. Anyway, not too happy with the fact it looks a little like a blown over stylised tree...At the bottom are some hebe, little white bottle brushes!

The 3 'white' hangings  look good together but I may go back to some color next week & I'll get on with the beads & twiggy bits. And another orange pink & purple one - today I sold the first one I did ;)

Welcome to my new followers, please add a link so I can visit & I'll come by after work tomorrow, hopefully, to those who have a link.

I nearly forgot to say I had a lovely surprise visit from Aileen at Aileen Clarke Crafts on Friday, on her & her family's way to Harris. She was very encouraging about my new work, seeing it in person & showed me her new Moo business cards & greetings cards, saying how well  some of my pieces would make good cards. It's on my very long list of things to do for the show, less than 5 weeks, so it was great to have her gently nudging me along.