Saturday, 12 April 2008

"Blogs that bring me inspiration" award

I was as pleased as a very very pleased thing with a big smile on its face the other day to find a message on my blog from someone who had nominated it as a blog that "brings me inspiration and makes me appreciate the blogosphere" - thank you Laurence from France. So now it is my turn to pick 10 inspiring blogs and pass on the baton - so in no particular order:

1. Juju loves polka dots - you've got to admire anyone who crocheted the Italian flag for a geography project. I love this site and it was one of the earliest ones I came across. For some reason I've never left a comment.

2. papéis por todo o lado - babelfish probably doesn't do many favours in translation but the pictures are fab and don't really need words.

3. Anna Maria Horner - just those bright colours would be enough but there is so much more to enjoy.

4. Ruby Crowned Kinglette - really great photographs, some food and fantastic textile art - what more could a gal wish for in life?

5. A Garner of Stitched Thoughts - Alison is on the same distance learning C & G course, and I have become quite addicted to her blog which is a great mix of the 300 different art projects underway at any one time, progress on the course and family life as it is lived

6. Another shade of grey - only recently found this one, seems to consist of pics from Etsy of fab items, and I love and need each and every single one right now

7. Gosh darn knit - love it, a mix of her stuff and stuff she's seen and loves

8. Retro alchemist - beautiful pictures and lots of doodles, makes me happy!

9. Angry Chicken - ok so loads of people have a link to this blog but yet again I am seduced by art and cooking and all of that and its great so there

10. Girl gone thread wild - I am running out of superlatives so just visit and enjoy

"I can resist everything except temptation"

I keep up a regular email correspondence with Anne who I met on last year's summer school at Urchfont, and Anne has the good sense to be very strict with me at times. Emailing over Easter I warbled on about various other crafty things I was half way through and I was roundly reproved for neglecting my work on the C & G course. Anne, there follows the visual proof of my ongoing reprobate behaviour (look on it as a sort of confessional). There's the memory blanket I'm working on made from material from some of Emily's toddler clothes (why can't grown-ups get clothes that cool?WHY?!). Then there's the Rowan cardigan I have been knitting that only needs its collar and it will be complete (I'm knitting smaller stuff after this - phew!). I tried macrame again after many many years and made a belt which I am really pleased with. And I finally got round to uploading my collection of photos of doors and windows in France, and ordering a collage picture from Photobox ( I try to defend myself by claiming I am getting more rounded experience and one artform may inform another. Anne just thinks I am very very naughty indeed.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Module 2, chapter 2 - tonal column in stitchery, and part of chapter 3

I ended up doing two stitched columns. The one on the left was the first. I kept adding to it - a bit of black here, some more white there, until it threatened to grow to several inches deep. So I tried another - and pretty much the same thing happened. There's only so much squinting I can do in one lifetime.

Onto some blackwork

I tried the sample on the left and while it gives the general idea I figured I could do better.
I drew the sheet using pink and black so I could tell one segment from another. I think it works out better and shows the concept more clearly.

Left - showing tone changes from different spacing.
Right - showing tone changes from differing thickness of thread but identical pattern.
Chapter 3 - machine stitching

Left - zigzag stitch, width 3.5 length from 0.3 to 4.0

Right - zigzag as before but adding increasing gaps between lines of stitching

More samples until the machine started to play up.

Module 2 has begun

The animal markings I have chosen are pythons. To the left is a typical example.

I made some pictures based on the list of words. I intend to make a few more a little later on, but these are a start.

Top left picture (from top left, clockwise) : sandpaper, candle wax swirls, then black and white pastels added and smudged; reverse print from next picture (taken at the point when I didn't think the next one was going to work); sandpaper, wax dripped over with some gaps left, black acrylic paint poured over, wax removed when dry; wax dripped on to palette paper, black paint poured over, wax removed when dry

Top right picture (from top left, clock wise) : 'snakes' of candlewax as a resist, snakes of thick black paint, then thin white; 'hissing' flicks of white paint a la Pollock; daubs of polyfilla that refused to do anything remotely interesting like crack on top of sandpaper; candlewax resist covered by white paint

Third picture (from top left, clockwise) : boring experiment in paint shop pro; polyfilla and black acrylic splodged on - but it refuses to crack even under duress; sandpaper with swirls of polyfilla (intend to do some reverse prints from this that may be a bit more interesting); more boring polyfilla


From left to right: a piece of dark paper was photocopied, then the photocopy was copied etc each one getting lighter and lighter; tracing paper and tissue paper strips; patterned scrapbooking papers; white pen stripes on black paper; black scribble on white paper; black dots on white paper

From left to right: black felt tip pen and ruler; flower stamp and black ink; white acrylic paint, white pen, white pastel and white pencil (a la Monet's waterlilies); black acrylic paint smeared on with piece of card; more very oredly white ink on black card; black paint splattered

From left to right: black watercolour paint on white paper with added white pencil; thumbprints in black paint; white acrylic paint; various shades of pastel; black paint applied with rag; black watercolour