Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The penultimate Dubai project posting - I think!!

I hope everyone had a good Christmas break and will have a good new year in spite of everything.

It has been a long time since my last post and I have noticed that most of us are blogging less frequently these days.

I have had a big backlog of textile pieces to photograph and only managed to do them today. There were so many that I have decided to leave some for next time when I will have a few more finished pieces to add to them by then. Hopefully the next four pieces I am on with at the moment, will be the last - taking the project to about 70+ pieces altogether. However, every time I think this, I find a few more ideas come into my mind and that usually snowballs into even more so we will see.....

At the end of my last post I showed an image which was created in the computer from the facade of the hotel we stayed in.

I did manage to interpret this but it was rather fiddly. It was a compilation of several different techniques. The most difficult part was joining the pieces together.

Whenever I create a project from a visit, I always try to use the name of the place in some way. I have already posted a mobile which used the name of Dubai but separating the letters. The next two pieces use the name in full. I chose a font and distorted each of the letters in Photoshop then put them back together again in two different designs. The two designs were digitised in my machine software, sent to my embroidery machine to be stitched out using a variegated thread.

I used some dyed silk fibres and made them into a lacy fabric using an acrylic medium. This was placed onto a circle of the recycled sandy coloured fabric that I have been using throughout this project. The text design was stitched out over the top of the fibres then outlined with couched gold Japanese thread. I stencilled part of the Arabic motif around the edges and embellished them with beads. The remaining area of the fibres was stitched with vermicelli stitch to prevent the fibres being caught or fluffed with wear. The handle/strap was created from a woven pyjama cord. I dyed it, then machined a motif pattern along either side to stabilise it - ( must buy another one to replace it!). The strap was held in place with loops around the gusset. One of the bag tags used the text design - painted and outlined.

Next, I created a book, but this time the text was kept in a line in a different stylised design. I still had a very small amount of the dyed fibres, so I spread them thinly over the surface of the same fabric as the bag and adhered them in place using a fine bondaweb. The text was stitched out by my machine using the same variegated thread. As the fibres were still loose, I used a vermicelli stitch over the surface to prevent fluffing with wear. I applied some copper transfer foil around the edges of the fibres. Lastly, I applied clusters of copper beads over the surface, thinning out to single beads towards the edges of the book. The finished design was stretched and adhered to a card foundation and decorated pages were added inside. I used large beads - two of which were painted to match - for the book tags.

In the heritage village were a set of painted false windows which I have used many times in this project, mainly for blackwork. For the next piece, I decided to machine large versions of two of these designs. They became the sides of a pull tie bag. Some hand stitching was used to outline the designs and sequins and beads were used to embellish the designs. It was lined with a red silky fabric - a recycled dress.

The heritage village provided much of my design source and the large jug which stood at the entrance of a courtyard provided the next idea. I cut jugs from a number of different fabrics and materials - sixteen in all. Some were machine stitched, some were enhanced with transfer foils and some hand embroidered. They were all then appliqued to the surface of both sides of a tote or as a friend called it - a satchel - made from - you guessed it - the recycled sandy fabric. Every jug is different so there are eight different jugs on the other side.

I created quite a number of kaleidoscope patterns from the facade of the hotel and the next book uses yet another of these. I used up the last of some natural coloured Aide fabric for this piece. I chose copper metallic threads and cords with some bronze padded leather in the centre of the design.

Many of the walls were in fact open pattered frets and have used them for a number of pieces. I made a stamp from Funky foam for one of these designs. Using this stamp, I created a number of paper casts which produced the inverse of the design. I used four of these casts for the four sides of an open vessel. They were painted then highlighted with gold gilding wax. They were applied to the fabric using my favourite sorbello stitch in three different wights of thread. I free machined the centre part of the design onto the felt linings. They were then stitched together and enhanced with beads in amongst the sorbello stitches and along the edges.

I made six of these casts. One was not detailed enough to use leaving one spare - or not! I made a bag tag with it!!

I also had a left over model magic jug impression so I made that into a bag tag too.

And while I was into these bag tags, I used up another paper cast of one of the ballistrade designs. It was well varnished as it was a paper cast.

The next piece was yet another rescued piece. I was trying out some transfer foiling. The first part went well - covering the surface with some red foil. The next part was the disaster. I tried to create an effect using the heat gun but it ruined areas of the red foil. So, once again, me being me, I began to see what I could do to rescue it. I painted and foiled and stitched and painted and foiled and all of a sudden I had a fabulous piece of distressed antique surface. Better than my original idea. I turned it into a booklet.

Well, I think that is enough for this post. The rest can wait until the next one.

I hope you all have a happy new year celebration and I look forward to seeing lots of your textiles throughout 2012.

Cheers everyone until the next post.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Adding to the Dubai project

I though that I should post another blog before our trip to Dubai as I am sure I will be extemely busy processing images after my return so no time then. I am also preparing some sessions for my camera club on creative imaging which will take up a fair bit of time. So here goes. There is rather a lot to cover.

This file cover was created using a design created from an image of the front facade of our hotel in Dubai. I put it through a distortion pattern filter to create this design.

You can still see the windows and the decorative fretwork. I transposed the design with canvas work stitching on a very open weave soft fabric. It was so soft that I had to treat it with a stiffening agent to work with it. When the stiching was complete it was mounted onto some furnishing fabric recycled from recovering my sofas. This was then stitched to make a file cover.

I plan to keep some of the sketches and printouts in it.

Keeping the distortion effect theme, the next three pieces were created from an image of windows on a building alongside The Creek. I liked three of the design so as I usally do, if I can't decide which one, I do them all. The designs were printed onto white lawn cotton. I painted over some of the detail with metallic acrylic paints.

These were then quilt sandwiched and free machine quilted. I made them all the same size and stretched them over box frames which I made. they work together as a tryptich.

Another piece was created from the same distortion effect but was given a colour change. I tackled this piece differently. I traced the design onto tissue paper and free machined it onto a quilt sandwich using a plum coloured cotton fabric. I used some machined satin stitching over the stronger lines of the design. After the stiching I highlighted areas with paints and guilding waxes.

I took an image in the Heritage villagewhich I put into Photoshop and used a colour effect on it. It gave a very vibrant coloured image which i liked. I planned to print this onto transfer printer paper and make a small A4 sized art quilt.

However, part way through the print out the yellow ink ran out and the image was banded. It was useless for the art quilt ,so me being me and not wanting to waste a full sheet of transfer paper or ink, I decided to play with it. I washed water over it which blended and blurred the colours. Then I painted squirls and scrolls over it with water and then with white acrylic ink. I ironed the transfer paper onto some black fabric which enriched the colours as it does when ironed. Then I had the idea if painting over these white squirls and scrolls with gold metallic paint. Liked it even more. I free machine quilted the piece.

I decided to make it into a purse. My rescued heritage village image turned out to be a pleasing success.

I made some bag tags from old jewellery and beads.

When I went over to the villa earlier this year, I took some hand stitching with me. Blackwork is an easy thing to pack and do when away from home. I managed to finish another one of these pieces since my return. It is another ipod touch pouch using another of the window patterns from the heritage village. I had to search the web to find and buy some clasps to hang it.

Another image of a patterned wall was the design source for the next few pieces. This image is the result of selecting and pasting the wall pattern to get the design I needed.

I changed the colours using a gradient map and printed this onto printer transfer paper.

I cut a panel from this and ironed it onto black felt and free machined the design to give a gentle quilted effect. I made this panel into the flap of a satin purse.

I used the pattern to free machine quilt the main body of the purse.

With the remaining print out I made some bag tags. It was ironed onto stained pelmet vilene. I applied some embossing powder some of them.

Liking the colours and the design I decided to print out another panel. This one was made into a keepsake folder.

I made a stamp of this pattern using 'Funky' foam and stamped the centre part of the design onto each page of the folder pockets.

I have still to fully utilise this stamp and have plans for more pieces.

This next image is the result of yet another distortion filter on the facade of the Arabian Courtyard Hotel in the old town of Dubai. I have created a hanging of this but it isn't yet potographed so watch this space. It was a fiddly piece to make but I got there.

That just about brings me up to date so cheers for now. Must go and empty the washing machine!!!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Back from Paris, getting ready for Dubai

Life is a bit hectic these days. Travelling and photography is stealing time away from my textile work. Oh for more hours in the day!!

We had a very last minute week in Paris. I treat my family to either a week in New York or a week in Paris. My grandson chose Paris and what a good decision that turned out to be. The week we would have been in New York would have been torrential rain, an earthquake and a hurricane with long delays getting home. Instead we had glorious hot weather in Paris. It was hectic trying to get to all those places we see in all the photos of Paris. I could have done with a new pair of legs and feet. I climbed, yes climbed up to the second stage of the Eifel Tower. I still can't believe that I actually achieved it. I am now wading through all the images, around 800+ of them. It remains to be seen if I manage to create a project from this visit. I am still working on my Dubai project and will have lots more inspiration from Dubai when we return in October.

So, back to the Dubai project.

I have used the ornate ballistrade in the heritage village numerous times and here are a couple more pieces using this ballistrade.

I decided to do some printing onto transfer paper and this box was created using this method. The printed transfer paper panels were ironed onto fabric which were then embellished with embossing powders/crystals. I also highlighted parts of the image with metallic paints. The four panels were then free machine quilted. The lid of the box was created by embossing the design onto copper metal shim which was then highlighted with alcohol inks to add more colour to the embossed texturising. I already had some beads which fitted perfectly to make the corner ties. The box opens out and can be stored flat.

Using the same ballistrade design I ironed the transfer paper onto felt which was then free machine quilted and highlighted with gold metal powders. I used air dried clay, model magic, to make a book marker. I pressed one of the stencils I made into the clay so that it squeezed up through the design. When dry, it was painted with metallic paints and highlighted with gold guilding wax.

I colour washed tyvek sheets to line the inside of the book and drew little gold flowers in the corners of each page. there is also a stencilled motif on the inside cover.

I always use the text from a project to create pieces and so this piece used the letters from the name Dubai.

I digitised each letter and stitched it out on different coloured silks. Each was made into a small mobile edged with beads. The header used the Arabic motif from the front of our hotel which I digitised and stitched out twice. The two sides of the header were pushed apart by stitching two metal rings at the top and bottom. The very bottom motif was another smaller stitch out of the Arabic motif.

Next I printed lots of small images of Dubai onto acetate sheets. I used them to create two more pieces. The first was a hanging with little image windows. The body of the hanging was made from painted pelmet vilene covered with a gold mesh fabric. Small arched window frames were cut and satin edged. The front and back were stitched together with the acetate images as the windows. Beads and a tassel were added to finish.

The second acetate piece was an image mobile. Each acetate image was hand edges with buttonhole stitch. I used the machine to make the equally distanced holes around the edge of each image. I used kebab sticks to make the hanging frames and hung each image from twisted threads. This was the tricky bit - getting the positions and lengths right to balance and allow the images to spin.

I used the same images to make the next piece but this time they were printed onto transfer paper and ironed onto fabric. They were cut out and machined onto four sides of a small duffle bag design.
One, my favourite piece of architecture in Dubai - the Kalifa Tower - was used to make a bag tag. I used small metal curtain rings, covered with buttonhole stitch to make the pull closers for the bag. I twisted several yarns of blue wool together to make the draw strings. I managed to hide the joins of the drawstrings inside the large beads.

The final piece for this bblog was created by using the window pattern of a building which I had used previously - see an earlier blog - changed the colours and put it through a kaleidoscope filter in Paint shop pro. The resulting design was printed onto tee shirt printer paper, ironed onto white fabric and free machine quilted. I used silver decorative threads and ribbons to hightlight some of the design. It was edged with a navy blue fabric. I made a block frame, covered it with canvas, painted it with white gesso then mounted the piece onto it.

That is about it for this blog. I have a number of other pieces waiting to be mounted and photographed and hope to have them ready for the next post.

This week, while trying to decide what to take with me to Dubai (a bit early I know but it does take up time making these decisions) I finished up weeding out clothes which I no longer liked/wanted or more to the truth didn't fit anymore. I spent a whole day altering what I could to fit again and those which I didn't want I stripped, giving me some rather nice fabric stashes crying out to be made into bags and books. I can print on them, over paint them, stamp them, embellish them, quilt them and make some lovely bags, purses and books.

This may just put the Dubai project to one side for a while!! Excuse the repetition but Oh for more hours in the day!!!

Now it is a quick lunch, provided by my OH, and on, I hope, with making some block frames for the three quilted pieces waiting to be mounted.

My grandson is coming to sleep over tonight too.

Cheers for now until the next post.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

My Dubai project just keeps growing....

Hello again after yet another fairly long lapse. This year seems to be flying by.

I have been busy with my photography and of course many more Dubai pieces.

I finished the last post with an image of the butterfly duffle bag which took its design source from the hanging butterflies of one of the Dubai Mall domes.

I created many sheer fabric butterflies some of which were for the duffle bag and the rest were for a mobile and a panel. The mobile wasn't an easy piece to photograph. Not only did I have to contend with shiny sheer fabric, metallic threads and glass beads but it also constantly moved so many of the images were binned. This was a reasonable success.

The panel is a representation of the dome and used a machine stitch pattern of butterflies. It could be used as a book cover or box lid. I am leaving it as a panel for the moment.

Another very rich design source was the Heritage village, just a short walk from our hotel. One of the buildings had a very distinct ornate ballistrade which I have used for many pieces.

I made a stencil and a stamp using two of the designs.

This design was used for the stencil which I made using an acetate sheet. The acetate sheet is thick and strong enough to use over and over again - just be vigilant about cleaning the stencil (and stamps) before the paints dry.

I used the stamp and the stencil to create a large tote/bag. The fabric was a sandy weave and I used red, bronze and gold metallic paints. The stamped and stencilled motifs were then quilted and outlined with free machining. The back of the tote mirrored the same design but this time I just free machined the motif designs. I also made some bag tags to hang from the handle.

Another set of designs were taken from a wall of windows. The bottom windows were shuttered and the top set were false painted windows. It was the false windows which caught my eye and became the source of many pieces.

I chose two of the designs and created patterns.

I transposed these onto graph paper and created blackwork designs to stitch onto Aida fabric. These were perfect for taking away on holiday, which I did, so a number of them were stitched sitting by the pool over in Florida. I still have many more to do but will keep them for the next trip away in October (or before if things go to plan). They were perfect for bag tags, ipod touch phone pouches etc.

This is a little bag tag and the following image is the ipod touch pouch which will hang from a belt loop or handle of a handbag. It is lined with a nice soft thin felt.

While we were in Dubai, we stayed at the Arabian Coutyard hotel & Spa. It is situated in the old part of Dubai just a short walk from the Creek and opposite the Fort museum and a short walk from the Heritage village and lots of shops and souks. It is very different from the large showy beach hotels but with as high a standard. We didn't want to be by the beach although this hotel provides free transport to and from the beach if required. We wanted to be in a much more interesting area and from where we could go for a stroll. The Creek is the place to be in the evening with lots of lit up floating restaurants which set sail when all customers are on board and everyone promenades along the side of the Creek. We enjoyed Dubai so much we are going back for a longer visit in October and staying in this hotel again.

The hotel itself provided me with more ideas and designs. I posted one at the beginning of this project - an embossed metal shim box.

This is the front of the hotel-

We were on the top floor to the left and were overlooking the museum. I took a close up of the two centre panels and in Photoshop, applied a filter to give me this special effect.

The two arched columns were done using blackwork. I took this first stage away with me and they were stitched over in Florida. It took a long time - a lot longer than I thought it would. It was a very small intricate pattern. The painted, sponged,padded and quilted overlay was created on my return. When it was complete I stretched it over a box frame.

I used the Arabic writing motif in the centre of the hotel name for a tassel. I isolated the motif, digitised it and sent it to my embroidery machine to stitch out four of them to form the tassel head.

This is the last of the photographed pieces. I have quite a number of pieces still to photograph so they will be in the next post.

This project just keeps growing as I have many more ideas, sketches and designs in the pipeline so I had better get back to it.

Until the next post, cheers everyone.