Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Paper shells and Doodle birds!!

Yesterday, I went to watch my grandson in his school production. It was his first speaking part and he was so nervous. Apparently all the boys try to sing and speak badly so that they will not be chosen for parts. it didn't work but at least there were only a few lines for him. He says he prefers just to be in the choir doing the singing. So, no treading the boards for him then!! It was lovely to see his little face light up when he saw us in the audience and he gave us a sneaky wave. He had it to do again in the evening when his parents were in the audience. Not so nervous the second time round apparently.


As I mentioned in my last post, when I took the paper shells out of the moulds they had turned out really well. All the detail I'd hoped for was there. They were separated and then I gave them a coat of matt varnish so that the paint wouldn't soak into the paper. I painted them matching the colours loosely to my digitised image. They were given a final coat of varnish.

Next I had to decide on a background. I chose a white polyester velvet which I sponged with the colours of the digital image background. This was overlaid with a turquoise sheer also sponged with metallic paint and then sprinkled with embossing powders. The embossing powders were heated and set and the paper shells positioned. The background fabric was touched to create the effect of waves of wet sand. This was free machined to hold it in place. The shells too were free machined in place.

I added swathes of beads along the ripple lines and some dyed curly mohair to represent the seaweed. It was cut to size and satin stitch edged.

An unconventional image of shells on the beach but the colours worked well and I do like to be different!! Unfortunately, it hasn't photographed well as there are too many metallic and sheer surfaces and the shells are three dimensional.

While I was working on this piece I was also experimenting and playing with another piece. I have always been a 'doodler'. I cannot hold a pencil without doodling. In fact, when I was at college, the art students would pass me pieces of paper, even pads, to doodle on during lectures. Then they would take them and use the designs. It is a compulsive thing and I can't not do it. I am banned from handling some papers and magazines.

I bought a new machine earlier this year and with it came software which had sketch and pattern designer modules. I have been digitising for years using the earlier version of this software but now I had the bits I needed to do what I had always planned to do. As always, to learn how to use something, I plan a piece so that I have to learn what I need to in order to fulfil my ideas.

First I had to draw a design which was this bird.

The idea was to fill every space with a different pattern - doodles. In the software there are some built in patterns which I used and I designed some patterns myself as part of the learning curve. The drawing was loaded into the software and the spaces were filled with patterns. As with all digitising, you have to work in a logical way so as not to create long jumps from area to area.

When the digitising was complete and the final painstaking editing done, it was time to stitch it out. Ooops!! I had created it to be A4 size but my largest hoop would not take the design so..... I treat myself to a bigger grand hoop. It also means that I can now go the step further with some free hand doodling next time.

I chose an ivory Thai silk as the background and mounted it in the hoop with a stabilising fabric. Then I had to learn how to get the design from the computer and into the machine. I had to read the manual this time - not something I a do as a rule. Once the machine was ready I chose the threads - mainly rayons and metallics - and stitched out the design. lots of changing of threads and rethreading the machine but I have never minded that. The finished result was what I had in mind.

Now I plan to really doodle and will be using the sketch module to create some abstract doodles so watch this space.

While I have been creating these two pieces, the second draft layout for my book arrived from the publisher so I have been reading that through and making the final edits and amendments. It is ready to go back. The next draft to arrive will be how it will be going to the printers. The end product is in sight.

I think that's it for now so cheers everyone.


hippopip said...

|You certainly keep busy,the shells have turned out well,like you I doodle usually when I am on the phone and do it on things that I shouldnt,but mine are no where near as pretty as yours

Helen Suzanne said...

I like those doodles :D

maggi said...

I love the way the shell piece has turned out.

Shirley Anne Sherris said...

Comments transferred from other blog-

Tricia Cook

Beautiful, your bird reminds me of blackwork, except it is much nicer because it is in colour.

I looked at your shells and for some reason, I was reminded of that poem when I was a child. “Down at the bottom of the deep blue sea, how many fishes can you see.” It looks like it’s under the water, not on a beach, to me. Wonderfully textural, it appeals to me, probably because I’m a Pisces! It was well worth the work of all that moulding, wasn’t it?
Tricia x


Ah bless - children and their school plays - always a delight.
I really like the shell piece - it has worked well
Thanks for your comments these past couple of days

MargaretR said...

Lovely design Shirley. Which Software are you using? I have the Artista V4 which I love, but I'm afraid I'm not too fussy with the long strands (smile)

Sheila Knight said...

I love your paper shells and the finished piece, too; I would like to attempt something similar to this in the new year.

Janet said...

The bird is fantastic! I love that you "doodled" with stitches.