Thursday, 23 July 2015

Successful exhibition and workshop then back to Paris

My exhibition at the Scottish textile museum in Hawick, Scotland seems to be very successful with lots of positive feedback. I was very pleased with the way the pieces had been displayed. A lovely job.

The workshop too was very successful with everyone enjoying trying new things and some right out of their comfort zone.

The will be another workshop at the end of August.  I hope it will be as successful as this last one.

Back to my Paris project now.

On either side of the gates to the Tuileries garden which leads to the Louvre, are two towers which are decorated with oak leaves and acorns.


I used the design of the oak leave for a couple of pieces.


First I had to make a pattern.


As the original was a tower I decided to make a round  vessel. I used pelmet Vilene as the base material, painted it, added a mesh then using the traced pattern machined the acorns.  Once the machining was complete, I painted the leaves and acorns. The top edge was cut and the Vilene rolled and a base stitched to it.



I also made a bag tag of a single oak leaf.


The aperture metal windows of the Arab centre inspired a bracelet made from faux silver leather.


There are a lot of tiny silver beds on the centre of the star.

The internal tiled wall inspires another bracelet.


The architecture of La Défence inspired many pieces.  This wall of windows was first changed with a colour filter and then distorted.




This is the resulting art quilt.  I created a pattern and then traced it onto white calico.  I really enjoyed painting this piece before it was free machined.

Still in La Défence, the wonderful structure of the Grand Arch inspired this art quilt.



And that is it for now.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Jewellery, books and purses

Time for another post.

There will be only three pieces from my Paris project this time.  One is of the jewellery I created using part of the image of the American embassy door panel.  I used the technique of printing onto transfer printer paper for dark colours and then applying this to navy blue felt.  The pieces were then hand stitched and beaded. There is a bracelet, a necklace and a pair of earrings.


The second Paris piece is also an example of the pocket booklets that I will be  teaching in my workshop at the Scottish textile museum in Hawick, Scotland in July.  I hope to cover a number of different techniques one of which can be used for decoration on the front of the booklet.  I have chosen to use the fluer de lis design to create the embossed metal shim motif for the front of this booklet.


At the end of August, I will be teaching another workshop and this time we will be making purses.  I have already made a number of samples to help the students create their own.
We will be recycling fabric stripped from skirts and dresses no longer in use.  We will be over-dying, stamping, stencilling, quilting etc.  The following images are all the little purses I made.
The first one was created to fit into my Paris project.  It uses the stencils I made of the Paris text and the Eiffel tower.


The next one - over-dyed fabric from a skirt then quilted.


Over dyed fabric from an unused pillow case which was then stamped and hand embroidered.


Recycled over dyed fabric from a skirt then free machine quilted picking out the design of the original fabric.


This was one a long thin silk scarf. It was quilted and gold braid added.



Dyed pelmet vilene with bits of metallic sheer under a black sheer fabric which was then decorated with lines of machine patterns.

This next purse began as a 'mop up' wet wipe.

The last purse was another mop up.

As you can see, I have used a number of different mixed media techniques, all simple but effective.
I have already sent a selection of textile pieces which have been displayed to advertise the exhibition starting in July and runs through until September.  Fingers crossed it will all be successful.
Cheers for now

Friday, 22 May 2015

More of my Paris project and some art panels

Another long lapse in my blogging. Lots of excuses but I won't bore you with them.  

I have been, however, completing lots of textile pieces for my Paris project.  In fact, rather a lot with many waiting to be photographed. They have been in dispersed with other work.  

The last of the refurbishments were completed in January with a beautiful new patio and terracing down to the pond.  We have also managed to do the replanting which I hope will be completed tomorrow - weather permitting - when we errect the hanging basket pole and hang the newly planted baskets.  

The other distraction from the Paris project is my forthcoming exhibition at the Scottish Textile Museum in Hawick, Scotland.  This will take place between July and September.  I will also be giving two workshops during that time.  I have been busy dealing with the choice of pieces to be exhibited and making samples and preparing information for the two workshops. 

That being said, on with this blog.  

My first piece is a booklet.  It used the distorted text of the name Paris.
Bk DSC_1293

The booklet is made using pelmet Vilene and the distorted Paris text is cut from the same Vilene and glued in place.  The whole booklet was then dyed and painted with purple and crimson metallic paint.  

Paris bag tags

Next is a collection of Paris bag tags using various different techniques.  Most of you will recognise the techniques from the images.

Cut out and mounted motifs, stencilled motifs, embossing powders, metallic transfer paper, stamping, printed transfer paper and canvass stitching - can you see which is which?  

The next piece was inspired by the fabulous sculpture of a blue head which was outside one of the office blocks in La Défence in Paris. It is huge and very impressive.  It took a while to decide on how to interpret this piece.  I eventually decided on using a goldwork technique.

Blue head sculpture

 I stitched a pattern of the head onto blue fabric and then couched the gold Japanese thread using blue thread. The main defining lines were couched using blue cord.

P DSC_1302
The next piece used the central flower design of the carved squares on the Arc de Triumph.


 I used the traditional canvaswork technique to make a clover for a book.  I kept to the colour palette of the carved panel as much as possible.

Bk DSC_1296

Bk Ark de triumph motif stamped on evenweave book
I created a second book cover using the same flower design. This time I made a stamp from funky foam and stamped the design onto an even weave fabric. I hand stitched some defining lines on the stamped motifs.  I sponged the surrounding area with white paint and then hand stitched cross stitches over this area.  I hand stitched a border of leaves as per the carved square.  

I stamped more white paint motifs on the inside of the pelmet Vilene lining.

Bk Ark de Triumph stamped book inside

I created some pieces which were not for the Paris project.  I have a beautiful new conservatory and wanted a couple of textile pieces for one of the walls. The first one was an abstract piece based on squares.  I used many different  open weave mediums such as canvas, scrim and mesh.  They were glued onto a canvas fabric in a design then painted and highlighted with gilding wax.  It is 50x50cm in size.

Abstract squares panel

                                                 There was a circle to contrast the design.  

The final piece was stretched over a box frame. The second piece was one that I had been intending to make for some time and this was the perfect place for it. Some years ago on a visit to Thorpe Perrow arboretum, I took an image up through the branches of a horsechestnut tree of some leaves which were back lit by the sun. In the computer, I applied a special effect which gave me the design I used for this piece.  It was printed onto fabric then sandwiched up for free art quilting. Once the stitching was completed, I added some sponged highlighting in gold.  The final piece was stretched over a box frame. The piece is 50x50cm in size.

Horsechestnut skeleton leaves
Before I tackled this larger piece, I made a small test piece - something I do not usually do.


The difference in colour is down to the photography conditions.  They should both look the same.  
Well, this is it for this post.  
Hopefully it will not be as long to the next one.  
Until then, cheers everyone.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Adding to my Paris project

It is a long time since my last post but I have good reason for that.  As I mentioned in my last post, we have been doing major refurbishment of our home.  It just keeps snowballing and we have added many more things to do.  This has meant that we are still not finished yet - hopefully sometime in January.
I have still been managing some textile work and can post some of it today. 
On the underside of the Arc de triumph are wonderful carved squares.  They look similar to those on the underside of a Roman ruin arch in Rome.


I used one of these squares -

for the next few pieces.

I loaded the image into Photoshop and played with the colours until I had one that I liked.  This was printed onto teeshirt printer paper for black/dark fabrics.  It was ironed onto pelmet vilene and then I used a fine line black pen to outline some of the detail.  I created a pocket book -


I added some gold machine stitching and some gold braid. 


On the inside I used the stamp I made of this square design.

and I made some bag tags -


I always use the text of the places of my projects and I have continued to do this using the text of Paris. It was distorted and made into a motif.  It is still obvious that it still says Paris.  This motif was then digitised in my machine software and stitched out onto black felt.
I make lots of serendipity paper when using up paint on my brushes and stamps.  It is better than washing it down the sink.  I use lots of different kinds of paper including hand-made paper.  I made this particular paper quite a long time ago.  It was time to use it.  I decided to use it for the front cover of a book.


This is a hard back book and I stitched the front to the spine with a left and right blanket stitch. The machined motif was stuck onto the front.
One incredible place I visited was Sainte Chapelle which is on the island in the middle of the Seine.  the same place as Notre Dame.  The windows of this church are spectacular.  I had to hand hold the camera but with its brilliant iso facility I was able to get pretty good images.  I used one of the windows as the basis for a long hanging.  I used sheer fabrics sandwiched between tulle.  I free machined all the black lines of the leaded window.



It is well over a metre long and although there is a definite best side, it is presentable on the back too.
That is it for this post.  I am attempting to keep them shorter than I usually do.
Cheers for now

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

More of my Paris project

We are still in the middle of major refurbishments of our home.  As one part is finished we decide to do yet another.  We hope to be finally finished by the end of October. We are pleased with what has been done so far.
As a consequence, I have little time to do my hobbies.  I have managed to photograph the pieces finished so far so now I can post an update to my Paris project.
I usually make a mobile with images off iconic landmarks of the city, in this instance Paris. I chose a number of images, printed them onto acetate , edged each image and then strung them together into a mobile.  Using both landscape and portrait format means that the images have space to turn when hung.


In the La Défence region of Paris are some fantastic modern buildings.  I chose the following building for a series of pieces.

I applied a filter in Photoshop to achieve a very colourful pattern.


I used this pattern to create a pocket booklet.  I used garden mesh and sheer fabrics and to interpret the shimmer in the windows I put some Irisé film under the sheer so that it catches the light and changes colour.  All the lines were created by using a 1mm wide satin stitch over the garden mesh.


I then applied a distortion filter which gave me an oval design.  I used this design on several pieces.  The first stage was to print the design onto gold metal shim which I then embossed.  This was the centre piece on the front of a small booklet.  I had some fancy gold braid in my stash which fitted nicely as a border around the shim which was mounted on dyed and painted pelmet vilene.


As well as a small pad, I made a folded pocket from colour washed tyvek.


I printed the oval onto transfer paper, cut it out and ironed it onto coloured pelmet vilene to make a bag tag.

Next I made a box.  I had to change the oval shape to a circle for the two ends of the box and kept the ovals for the top, front and back. The designs were printed onto transfer paper and ironed onto felt.  I embellished the ovals with machine stitching and beads then stitched them onto the red fabric and edged them with red metallic twist.

I used the oval design for the inside of the box.

I used a panorama image of the Louvre and the pyramids to make a wrist band.  The image was printed onto transfer paper and ironed it onto black felt then machine edged.  I used a toggle for the fastening. I also gave it a coat of clear varnish to protect the image.


 We visited the French National Armouries museum - not to be missed.  As long as we didn't use a flash or a tripod we were free to do photography.  As I have a Nikon D3 camera, I was able to get good images in difficult lighting conditions.  I really liked this staircase.


I gave the image a colour change in Photoshop and used the result to create an art quilt. The fabric was painted and sponged then machined.


In front of the Armouries was a plaque.  It was dedicated to the Armouries building which was and still is in parts a hospital for injured soldiers. The plaque was cast copper which had a lovely green patina.


I used the flower design from the centre to create a box. The lid was embossed shim brushed with bronze gilding wax.

The front and sides used some patina metallic shim which I embossed then machined. I also used the same technique for the inside lid.


On each of the inside walls I free machined the flower design.


                                                                 This is the final box.


We went up to La Défence one evening to see what lighting there was after dark.  Unfortunately there was not as much as we were expecting.  Apparently Paris has reduced illuminating lighting to save money. The Grand Arch was lit up and there was some coloured lighting on the front of the Mall.


I used this array of neon squares to create a black velvet purse.  I used a machine satin stitch over cord to make the raised squares.


One of the buildings in the older part of  Paris was covered on the outside with a metal facade in an art deco style.


I took this idea and created a purse.  I used silver lame covered with black sheer and then free machined the art deco  design over it.  This small panel became the flap of the purse.  I recycled some silver grey satin from an old blouse. I also recycled some silver braid which had edged a Caftan mini dress of mine many, many years ago.  Just goes to show that keeping things will eventually find a use.


One of my favourite buildings in Paris is the Institute of the Arab World. There is some incredible engineering within it.  I have already shown the metal tiles on the roof in my last post.  I used the image of them for the front of two booklets.  I also used this image to create a quilted art panel.  I applied another special effect on the image to give me yet another colour palette.  I printed it onto printer transfer paper and ironed it onto black felt.  I free machined it and highlighted some of it with metallic paints.

                                                                 Here is a close up.


Finally on the Champs-Elysées we came across the American Embassy.  There was a long queue outside - people waiting to apply for visas to enter the USA. On this wall was a doorway.  It was made up of coloured glass panels.  I liked the design and decided to use it to make an art quilt.


I isolated just one of the squares.  I  opened this square in Photoshop and applied numerous filters on it changing the colours and effect.  I had twelve new squares - all different.  I printed each of the squares onto fabric then painted and highlighted different parts of the design.  Next each square was made up into a quilt panel and free machined. When all twelve panels were complete they were joined together with black ribbon separating and framing them .


Well that it is for this post. I have a bit of time now between jobs. The next refurb is scheduled for the middle of September so I hope to manage both some more photography and textile work 'til then.
Cheers for now.