28 Dec 2011

NEW YEAR'S JITTERS

After seeing pictures of several of my blog friends' studios I decided the time had come to 'fess up to the mess I work in and post some photos. Here is my desk/work table:


It shows my tapestry sampler in progress which restricts the amount of space I have left to work on as it attaches to the table on clamps for comfortable working. The monitor belongs to my old PC which I rarely use now as I have a Mac notebook which I love. But I still need it for a few things so I keep it.

This view is the wall behind my worktable:


I've been careful not to include the floor area in the photograph because there's a lot of stuff down there that REALLY needs to be tidied up! The two collages are by a favourite artist of mine, Nagib.


This wall has my project/inspiration board and containers below for art materials and yarns.  My studio also houses our wine rack which can be seen bottom right! How's that for good planning :-)

This was a great opportunity to use my 20mm wide angle lens which I don't use that often. It also reminded me that I need to tidy my camera equipment away somewhere in this room.

I found taking these photos and writing about them quite emotional. It confirmed my worries about the fact that I'm such a butterfly, moving so rapidly from painting to embroidering to drawing to photography to weaving and on and on without really settling on one thing, making it my own and developing it properly. This actually worries me a lot - it seems to me that it's a big flaw in my character and something that I need to do something about. With another New Year nearly upon us I find myself thinking a lot about these things and wondering what I can do to change. I'm not a fan of new year's resolutions, but I do certainly get that feeling at this time of year that if I need to make changes now's the time.

But how to make them is the problem...

16 Dec 2011

TAPESTRY WEAVING SAMPLER


Tapestry weaving is a new thing for me. I'm learning from a book and this is a sampler I've started. It's very therapeutic and I can't wait to have a go at designing something of my own and mixing colours on the bobbins. But I need to learn the basics first!

4 Dec 2011

OLD DOOR


Wonderful textures surround this old door. I put the red effect on for fun.

26 Nov 2011

JAPONICA FLOWER


This is the flower of a large plant I have in my garden which I believe is some sort of a Japonica. The flower is huge and in all the years I've had it I've only seen it flower a couple of times. This time I had my camera ready!

21 Nov 2011

CHRISTMAS GIFT TAGS


I made some Christmas gift tags from strips of fabric, beads, machine and hand stitching. I only made five for my favourite people! They make me think of stained glass windows.

15 Nov 2011

ROSE HIP


Such a lovely, healthy looking rose hip. Won't be long though before it becomes one of my beautiful dead things!

8 Nov 2011

QUILTING EXPERIMENT


Playing around at quilting. I printed my finger painting exercise onto silk fabric, backed it with batting and got stitching. And a little beading. I didn't plan on it being a 'proper piece' so hadn't figured how to finish it off. So I just stitched all around the edge with blanket stitch in different coloured threads.

6 Nov 2011

MUSHROOMS


Mushrooms marching across my front lawn. So cute all cuddled together :-)

2 Nov 2011

DILL


This is a dill plant which has grown and grown and at the moment I can't bear to cut it down or whatever you're meant to do with them. It looked so beautiful the other day against the sunlit beech hedge that I rushed out with my camera and took some shots. Wonderfully ethereal isn't it?

31 Oct 2011

PLAYING WITH FELT


Just playing around with needle felting! A lesson in how not to approach a piece - no plan, no design, just wanted to play with a felting needle. Put a bit of everything in and then free machined over the top. Learnt a little more about how my sewing machine behaves with different types of fabric though. I think it might be a whale :-)

25 Oct 2011

LOST AT SEA



This monument, depicting women and children watching and waiting for their fishermen husbands, brothers and sons to return to harbour, commemorates the loss of 189 lives to a huge and violent storm off the eastern Scottish coast in 1881. There are three identical statues located in the three villages which lost sailors. This one stands above Cove harbour, a tiny harbour tucked beneath the cliffs.  It's a very moving statue. The storm claimed four of Cove's five boats and 11 of its 21 fisherman.




23 Oct 2011

TEASELS


Beautiful dead things. Look at all the wonderful textures. I wish I had a macro lens!!

21 Oct 2011

EXPERIMENTING AGAIN


I've been playing around with my heating tools again!

Recipe:
Take a layer of acrylic felt
Cover with a layer of nylon organza
Follow with a layer snipped up bits of nylon organza in different colours
Cover with a top layer of a different coloured organza
Heat together round the edge with a soldering iron
Attack liberally with heat tool

And, hey presto, it all melts together prettily (or you may think messily!)

The focus on the photo is rubbish because it's so dull today that I had to open the aperture right up to get enough light in.

20 Oct 2011

DRY STONE WALLS


I took these photographs of dry stone walls during my holiday and then pasted them into my sketchbook and extended them using Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels.

19 Oct 2011

FISHING BOATS 1


More from Dunbar in Scotland. This was the inner harbour. I love the colours on this boat - true complementaries. Reminds me of the days when Gulf used to sponsor cars at Le Mans and the Porsches were painted in their corporate colours of orange and blue.

18 Oct 2011

16 Oct 2011

DIVING GANNET

This gannet was diving in the harbour at Dunbar in Scotland. I spent a long time just missing him but finally got him as he went in. The gull watching him was a bonus!

30 Sep 2011

ON MY HOLIDAYS

I'm off on my holidays tomorrow to the border country of Scotland. Today the temperature is 28F in the south of England - a real indian summer. I wonder what it will be in Scotland...

23 Sep 2011

TEXTURE STUDIES - BARK


I saw this incredible birch bark one day while out with my dogs but didn't have my camera. The next time I went on that walk I took my point-and-shoot camera and took these two photos. That was a mistake. The picture is nowhere near crisp enough and doesn't show the wonderful red colours running deep in the bark grooves. Still, the tree's going nowhere so next time I'll take my beloved Canon.


22 Sep 2011

LAKE 1 APPLIQUE

This is what I did with the materials I collected together the other day. It's my first go at applique and the inspiration was the lake that I walk around each day with my dogs.

At this time of year it's crammed full of Canada Geese and I love their constant chatter and the sound of their wings as they fly overhead.

I think I have a colour balance problem here though I'm not quite sure how to improve it so at the moment I'm going to leave it alone and maybe come back to it when I've sat and looked at it for a bit.

16 Sep 2011

NEXT TEXTILE PROJECT

These are the fabrics I've chosen for my new stitching project. The silk strips are really difficult to work with because my fingers are so dry I keep getting stuck to the fabric! If anyone has any really good ideas of what to use as a deep moisturiser for hands I'd be grateful to hear.

This project is going to be an applique piece - another first for me!

13 Sep 2011

EXPERIMENT IN FREE MACHINE EMBROIDERY

In my defense, I've only recently bought a sewing machine and am still getting to grips with it. It took me at least an hour to thread it up and another half hour to get the tension on the bottom bobbin right. In the end I took a photo of the bobbin and pasted it into my sketchbook so I have a visual record of which way the screw head points for this type of machining!

After all that, as you can see, I had trouble getting control of where the needle went. The idea was to sew a couple of circles just inside each fabric patch and then join them all with circular stitching outside of the circles. I think this is going to take as long to master as driving a car! I was a little more happy with the line of circular stitching on the left but I need to think more about stitch length and also buy some more threads so I have something that will show up better. The lines of hand stitching at the top were a breeze in comparison and I used some gorgeous hand-dyed linen thread from Stef Francis again. It varies between purple and orange. Unfortunately the scan (it's easier sometimes than photographing) doesn't pick up the subtle sheen on the thread.

I have so far to go, but I'm so enjoying playing!

9 Sep 2011

AUTUMN CONTINUES

These are so pretty and delicate. Caught on the spikes of the dead teasels before they fly away into the wind to take seed ready for next year.

8 Sep 2011

THE DEAD THINGS COMETH !

I have no idea why I'm so drawn to photographing nature in decay but I just am. And I honestly think it's beautiful.

Summer's definitely over - the nights are longer, the temperature's lower and my beautiful dead things are slowly re-appearing.

6 Sep 2011

BOLLARDS AND ROPES

This is my stitched response to Kat's lovely photograph. I hope she likes it!  Fabrics are a hand-dyed openweave fabric from Stef Francis with a background of dupion silk. Applique felt and onion bag. Yarns and threads used are Stef Francis's hand-dyed 6-ply cotton, coton a broder and couched hand-dyed cotton texture yarn.

I used Kat's photo as an inspiration so this isn't representational!

2 Sep 2011

LATE BLACKBERRIES

There are still lots of blackberries on the bushes but most of them are past their best. I need to pick loads to use for fabric dying experiments before they're completely over. Also elderberries although these are only just starting so I have some time.

I wonder how similar/different the colour from the two types of berry will be.  And I wonder how simple I can make the process. I believe salt can be used as a fixative for berry dyes so that's where I'll start.

25 Aug 2011

MAGIC FEATHER 2

Magic Feather 3Here's my second magic feather. Now I have two to send to Jude for her Magic Feather project. They'll be floating across the Atlantic shortly to join all their feathery friends!

18 Aug 2011

Magic Feather 1 finished

And here's the finished Feather and Spiral. I'm going to do another one before I send it to Jude - I think it may include a quotation.

15 Aug 2011

Magic Feather 1

I'm stitching magic feathers for Jude's Magic Feather Project. This is the image drawn onto the fabric - I'm just about to start stitching it. It's going to be Feather and Spiral.

26 Jul 2011

DESIGN STUDY_TEXTURE 7

I'm sorry my posting has become so sporadic. I've just started a City & Guilds course in embroidery and it's going to take up a lot of my time - it's no doddle, believe me! It's an online course and my interface with my tutor will by blog so I've set up a separate one called AngieStitches. There's nothing on it yet because I've barely started but it will get going in time.

11 Jul 2011

FINGER PAINTING FUN

This week's first assignment for the Experimental Art e-course I'm doing is finger painting. Using acrylics the only instrument you're allowed is your hand. I never had so much fun in my life. The mug may look a bit wobbly but I think it's recognisable - just!

This one is more abstract - I just love the colours and I even used my nails in this one. I think it's going to take me the rest of the week to clean myself up. A wonderful back-to-childhood exercise!

10 Jul 2011

7 Jul 2011

DESIGN EXPERIMENTS_TEXTURE 3

This is the roof of my bird feeder - copper, verdigris and a splatter of bird poo :-)

5 Jul 2011

FIRST ATTEMPT!

This is my first attempt at making a heart. The fabric is calico painted with acrylic paints. The pieces of silk were sewn onto it with the machine and then embroidery was added over the top. The little charm at the bottom says "made with love". And it was!!

As you can see, I have a LOT to learn. The shape is dreadful, the stuffing doesn't quite reach the bottom of the heart, the ribbon at the top is a disaster and should have looked much prettier than it does.

But I absolutely loved doing it and it has taught me a lot... and the only way to go from here is up!

1 Jul 2011

WHAT FUN!!

I'm doing a course called the Experimental Art e-Course and I'm having such fun. This experiment contains coffee and tea stains, watercolour paints, acrylic ink splashes spiked with a toothpick, wax pastels and soft pastels plus gold acrylic paint.

And this one is magazine pictures stuck onto water coloured paper stained with rubbed beech leaf, oil pastels and acrylic paint applied straight from the tube with a cotton bud.

More will follow!