Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Dreamweaver - dream on!

Well piece number 23 is finished. I thought it was finished yesterday and was waiting for daylight to photograph it when I realised that the metal panel in the centre was 'wonky'. I am hopeless with the vertical - everything looks either 2 mins to or 2 mins past - and yes I did measure but somehow it must have moved.
Came up with an idea to camouflage it which had been part of the original design and dropped but now I had to use it.

I think I like it.
Back to my vertical problem - when I used to display on my classroom walls it was evident that I had this vertical problem so I always had a plumb line handy similarly at home when hanging my work. When things are actually vertical they look 'wonky' to me - must be my eye perception that is at fault.
I well recall one incident when my daughter and I had just brought home her chosen wedding dress and she was trying it on to show her father. When I came in the room they were standing there arm in arm as they would walking down the isle but they were both leaning slightly over - 2 mins past - as that was my norm!!! Funny Ha Ha.
It isn't so funny when I have finished the stitching or mounting work and it is wonky as with this piece. Grrrr

Anyway - at last the book to help me learn Dreamweaver has arrived so I have spent a couple of hours starting at the beginning. I think it is going to take a while. So lesson 1 over - I have familiarised myself with the interface and know what all the tabs and bits are - I think!
Will sit and make some sketches of how I want the pages of the site to look and how many new images to prepare. Fancy including a slideshow. How ambitious is that????

For now - preparing my next piece.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Digital imaging

I have finished piece number 23 of the Egyptian project that I was working on - I think!!! I keep looking at it and think it is finished then I look at it again and think I could do more on it. If in doubt - leave it out. Will go with that for the moment.
I'l take a photo tomorrow in daylight and post it on my next blog post.

Meanwhile, I have had a play with some digital imaging. I came up with this one and have played further with the colour sliders to create three more.

I may use it as a base design for a piece of work. It lends itself to stamped images, fibre felting, free machining and a machined overlay of the fancy lacy design. A quilted piece perhaps.

I used the colour sliders and sliding the blue to its + max gave another nice possibility similarly with the red and blue sliders together to their + max.

Some time ago I did some more digitial imaging from a photograph of a rhododendron bud. It involved a LOT of layers.
One of the designs was given a coloured gradient background and the other a monochrome background. Can't decide which I like the best. I think I will have to print both of them.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Starting a new piece

I have changed the image of the final Egyptian Eyes piece posted yesterday. I didn't like how it looked using flash and hung against the white wall. It looked really nice on the wall but didn't photograph well. I have now photographed it in better daylight and on black which looks much better - more how it really looks. Have a look at yesterday's post.
Thanks for your comments Sharon - re: hanging the piece - I have attached a cord on the back stitched to the fabric so it will hang as it looks in the photo.

I have begun my next Egyptian project piece. Some time ago when I bought InkAID, I did lots of experimenting and the centre for this piece is one of them. I printed the image onto gold metal shim and embossed it afterwards. it turned out really well so I decided to use this for the centre of the next piece.

First I cut a piece of fabric and this is a fabulous find - to me anyway. Many years ago when our daughter came caravanning with us, she slept in an inner tent in the awning. It was, however, still cold during the early hours so I bought thermal curtain lining. It is a fine weave fabric coated on one side with a white substance and reminded me of the coating of gesso I put onto fabric I am going to paint. I decided to try it and see how good it was when painted. My fabulous find - it paints and takes inks brilliantly just like a gesso coating. Ready done. Now my daughter no longer needs this inner lining, I have a large stash of this canvas weight coated fabric which stitches easily. I used it for the last piece so from now on.....

I painted and stamped the fabric background Stage 1. I made all the stamps used on the piece.

Next I laid the metal shim image and some threads over the surface as I will now let the piece develop. I have only a vague idea of what the end will be.

Back to work.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

The finished hanging

Well, the piece is finished. Made some last minute alterations - didn't like the radiating lines on one of the squares so unpicked them and used some seed beads instead.
I looked at it for a while before I decided how to mount it.
I decided to make it a hanging. It is in essence a sampler of techniques using the Egyptian eye as the theme.
Difficult to photograph - dull days so had to use some flash - a lot of shiny surfaces there.
This is a replaced image to the one posted originally.

Time to plan the next piece.

A bit further on

I have managed to do some more work on the 'Egyptian Eyes'. It is building and getting closer to what I envisaged it to be but not there yet in this photo.

Since taking the photo I have now almost finished the piece - ready to take off the frame and decide how it is going to be mounted. The colours are more vibrant than those I visualised and it looks better for it.
Have wrapped some rather bright metallic braid with tea dyed scrim then machine wrapped them with a variegated thread which had most of the colours in the piece. These will be stitched down the vertical joins leaving some of them loose and overhanging top and bottom as per my original sketch..

An unexpected free day today as my grandson's dad was at home so he would not be with me today - miss him - but it is best he spends time with his dad - he doesn't see enough of him due to work demands. So I hope they had a good day together.

Went to the camera club last night for 'Digi night'. Apart from a couple of things not really anything new to me but I enjoyed it and met new people.

Read some blogs and posted some comments. Now back to the Egyptian eyes.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Day two of ' Egyptian Eye' piece

There has been a discussion going on on the FA/MM group about the design process to which I have added some posts. As a result I thought that I would blog the design and development of this piece to show how starts and finishes.
Initially, on this occasion, I began with a sketch and a few notes. This is just one of my approaches to designing.
Yesterday I played with Angelina film and fibres and tyvek and created some 'Egyptian eyes'. I sorted out the stamps I'd made and some fabric to use as the backing. I placed the 'eyes' and stamps on the fabric rearranging them until I was happy with it. I had an idea of how the finished piece would look but at this stage it was very much 'let it grow'.

Next I began using paints to fill the squares and continually moving things about to keep a balance of effect.

The piece is developing as the squares fill up.

The final base layer is finished. I will now be working on each of the squares building up the layers and textures so stay tuned.....At this stage I think it is going to work out as I visualised.

I will have my grandson with me tomorrow so not sure how much work I will get done. Going to check out the new edition of my group's magazine Design-IT which has one of my articles in it. Looks good at first glance - will have a better look now I've finished this blog.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Angelina delight

A busy day today. Spent most of the day replying to emails - much as I love doing it, it does take up a lot of time. Must begin to do my email post at night and use the daylight time for my art work. Hmm!
Ordered a book to help me learn to create web pages with Dreamweaver. Need to revamp my web site. I also ordered some matt archival photo paper so that I can print out some of my collages etc.

Spent the afternoon playing with Angelina film and fibres and tyvek with rubber stamps and wire shapes. Initially I was getting some brilliant results - then a few not as good as I'd hoped for and some really successful ones at the end. Managed to photograph them too. Can't wait to get started on the pieces to put them on.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Final piece

I have finished the Ancient Egyptian tile hanging. Quite pleased with it. It does look 'Egyptiany'.My grandson is sleeping over tonight so I will be spending my time with him tomorrow. I might if I am lucky get time to prepare the next piece.
I have managed to prepare for my talk on Saturday. I am doing my talk on Craster - a project which grew from a visit to Craster on the Northumberland coast and the 36 photographs I took. They were put into the computer and 'played' with. I produced 66 pieces of work which included bags, boxes, books, tassels, hangings, panels and even jewellery and then laid out and printed a book of the pieces. I hope the group enjoy it and I don't overrun which I usually do.

We went out to look at bikes today. We want to buy our grandson a bike for his birthday. We also managed to have a good walk as the weather was so nice. I always have difficulty with this as I want to go for a walk and I want to get on with my art work. I went for the walk.

While my grandson was on his computer tonight I sat and bent gold wire in the form of an Ancient Egyptian eye. It turned out well but I need a few more.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Stage 2

This will be another short blog.
Have base painted all the pieces and they are now ready to guild and embellish. All the stitched detail should stand out.
Will also test adding some colour to the embossed shim brooch.
My grandson called to ask me to pick him up from school tomorrow . He will be sleeping over too.
Had a confirmation phone call for Saturday's talk to Hartlepool Embroiderers Guild.
Managed to look at some of the blogs and web pages of some of the members of FAMM. There are a lot more people out there who are just as obsessive about fibre art as I am. I am not such an odd bod after all. Nice to know that.
There are also a lot of talented people too. Some super work. Love looking at it.
must try to keep up with messaging those I have messaged before. It is all too easy to lose touch.

Machining day

A short blog today.
Spent most of today machining the base texture for my Egyptian tile hanging. It is ready to receive its first coat of gesso. I also embossed an Egyptian brooch onto some burnished gold shim. This will sit in the middle of the bottom tile.
I think I will paint it turquoise, blue and jade with the texture lifted by gold leaf paint.
It will look very different to this.

Received a surprise email today. It was from an ex pupil from many , many years ago. I am intrigued to find out how he came across my website which is how it reached me. A web site on embroidery isn't come across during normal surfing.
Will be interesting to find out.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Ancient Egyptians

As promised I am posting a photo of my 'distressed' Egyptian box. Not too pleased with it but it does look 'old' so can get away with it.

I finished the Nile panel last night although I now need to make a frame to stretch it over for hanging. Reasonably pleased with it - the colours worked and I was able to use up a piece of model magic I had made a couple of years ago. Everything comes in useful eventually - it is the storage that causes problems. My home is bursting at the seams with finished work and the materials I hoard. All needed I tell my husband.

This morning I sat and sketched out some designs for the next batch of Ancient Egypt. This batch will be more abstract and contemporary - playing with techniques I think.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Finished at last

My little grandson has become a keen golfer - at 7 years old - watch out Tiger Woods. He has a golf club called a 'wacker' - the name speaks for itself. When his dad joined our family I made him a pair of Ferrari car golf club head covers and so my grandson - not to be out done- asked for an orca for his golf club. An orca is a killer whale. My grandson has always been a lover of dolphins and orcas and has a huge family of stuffed dolphins and orcas from very small ones to a very large orca - known as 'Big Lump' which we had to get into the luggage to bring back from Florida.
I had to borrow one of his stuffed orcas to make a pattern and have today finally finished making the 'tadaaaah' orca golf club head cover. I had instructions to make it big enough to fit the next size up wacker. Job done.
Late last night I made some dyed mohair fabric paper. Decisions, decisions - now I am having difficulty deciding which side to use. It represents the Nile running through the Egyptian desert sands. I am going to embellish it with stamping, embossing and stitching etc with symbols of Ancient Egypt. So........


Not much difference on screen is there? Will make decision after this blog.
Hey, two blogs in a row !!!! This could get serious.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Found time at last!

Well I have finally found the time to blog again. I have finished all 9 articles for my CTDGroup and sent them off. There's plenty for the Editor to pull on when she needs them.
Visited the Knitting & Stitching show at NEC. Was disappointed - not a very big show considering the cost of entry and parking. I did manage to give some stewarding time to the group stand and met lots of new members. Nice to put faces to names of existing members. This made up for the disappointment of the show.

Had a lovely day out doing - yes - photography. We went to Whitby and Sands End and this time we were rewarded with some super photos. The weather was perfect and the tide was out.

This was taken on the 199 steps up to the abbey. Took this while having a rest nearly at the top. Need to be fit!!

This was taken on the beach at SandsEnd. The late afternoon sun gives lovely warm tones to the photo.

Finished some more stitch outs for the articles I wrote. They made a change from the Egyptian project. They turned out better than I expected - last minute ideas usually do.

I visited the Fashion & Embroidery Show - Ex Madiera Show- at the Yorkshire showground. Much better than last year and met up with friends from CTDG. It isn't the Madiera Show of old - the best ever - but it is improving. Spent some even though I told myself I didn't need anything - which I didn't - but.....

Back to my Egyptian project. Finished another piece. Wasn't sure it was working when about half way through but quite like it now.
After Nefertiti on blue I prepared to make a box. Did all the prep on the computer and then began to transpose the designs into textiles. I rather feel that the curses of the Ancient Egyptians one reads about must have been at work for this piece. It was one of those pieces where if it can go wrong, it will and did. I was almost ready to ditch it but my philosophy is to see it through till the end. Could be my - must not waste anything- at work. The box is finished but not photographed yet and it didn't turn out to be a disaster although it was definitely not to my usual standards. Could pass it off as 'aged' or 'distressed' which I certainly was????

These are the four sides of the box. The backgrounds of hieroglyphics were printed on an inkjet printer. The figures were printed on transfer paper and ironed onto felt and applied to the background. The lining and lid are another story.