Sunday, June 23, 2013

of books and broken ankles

There are two reasons I have not blogged for a while.  The first is that I am spending far too much time on my creative sketchbooks course and the second is that I currently have a broken ankle. Until late last week, it was impossible to do any sewing and quite easy to sit and draw for my course.
My ankle is now in an huge boot, which will keep it stable until I have surgery to re attach some ligaments.  It's like an enormous cast, but it can come off.
Enough of that.  Today I decided my sketchbook needed a cover so I started needlefelting a wrap around cover for it.
I warn you my pictures are awful as I am getting used to the new camera after my old one died a few blogs ago.
First, I wrapped some black felt around my book and marked the edges with chalk.  The felt will shrink quite a bit and that is why I have cut it extra large.
I missed a few steps before this photo, but I laid out some white organza for my background and some rovings in browns to look like wood for my table top.  In this photo, I have needlefelted the organza down. and added a few extra bits.  I love the texture of needlefelted organza.
I thought the background could do with a bit more colour, so I put a few scraps of other coloured organza and chiffon down.
And felted them into the background.
Here's a closeup of the texture after needlefelting.
And here it is after I have needlefelted all the rovings in place.
I started free motion stitching at the bottom right with a gold thread, but I wasn't happy with it.  It didn't show well and I felt the colour of the rovings was just too raw, so I unpicked it all.
Then I added some black bridal tulle over the top and started stitching again.
And here's where I got to with my stitching, on the bottom left.
and a close up of the stitching.  I am quite happy with how it is going and will work on it again tomorrow, but I still have a ways to go before I get to the design I have in my head.

Make time for art!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A little bit of a hiccough

Of course, when things are going well, something is bound to put a burr in it.
My phone went dead and with it my camera!  I can receive calls but there is no screen, sigh!
Anyhow, I have managed to get my pictures for the last few days off the camera, but of course can't take any more.  Have to go back to my old camera - but no phone!
Ah, well at least I have some work to show for it.
At the end of last week, I had a bit of a crochetting fit and made this stuffed owl, from a Craftsy pattern.
Pretty cute if I do say so myself, although my hands were sore from so many single crochet stitches.  I think I will add it to our charity table, which is going to Dunally in Tasmania very soon.
I have done a little on the crocus piece I started last week, but no photo.
I have however done three little needlefelted pieces which I will embroider on soon.
The first one started off with a nine patch of these little squares which are hand dyed scrim/cheesecloth with little bits of silk and satin on top.  The black dots are made by felting from the back, which is black felt.
They looked very distressed close up, but that is why I used the scrim.  It was a pale lilac colour, but looked very washed out against the black.  So...  I pulled them off and added some magenta shot chiffon underneath.
Here is one when re felted.  Looking very distressed now.
Here's a comparison of the two.  The original ones don't look the best, do they?
And the final, very distressed looking arrangement.  I think I feel some gold threadwork coming on!
The next two went a little easier
My next one had little blocks on it as well.  Green chiffon with dyed batting and gold organza and some gold lame under the whole thing to give a bit of sparkle.
I really like this one and think it might like a bit of gold, too!
This one was a bit of a seat of the pants experimental piece.  I wove (very loosely) some organzas together, then added a piece of yarn, the felted them all down.  Then I turned it all over and felted from the back to make the black lines and circles.  This one, I think, calls for some all over black and gold and perhaps will become a book cover.
Needlefelting is a bit addictive, I must say and it is hard to stop when you have started, but maybe that's a good thing?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Philosophising on textile art

I have been absent without leave for a little while.  As I have said, I am completing a course with Design Matters, and I can't post that here, but beyond that and all the family problems at present, I had been thinking why I often fall of the cart with my Textile work.  and really, I have come to realise, work - that terrible word is to blame.  Once something becomes WORK, it becomes a chore.  Since I started the local gallery, I have been more focused on making THINGS rather than just making, and I think this is what has stifled my creativity.
When I work in my journals and sketchbooks, I have no particular end in mind and am not even intent on finishing - often, I just make backgrounds, which I come back to when the muse suggests.  Perhaps I need to be a bit more intent on the process with textiles,like I used to be, rather than what it looks like or whether it's finished or not.  I might end up with lots of ufos, but I might end up with more finished and more creative work, too.
So, to this end, today I just threw some stuff together and made it up as I went along.
A piece of interfacing and some bits of green stuff - stain, chiffon, organza, batting - all the stuff I love to play with.
I just arranged the green bits all over the interfacing and when I was happy, I pinned a bit of black tulle over it to hold it.
On the back I pinned an inkjet print from a dover book.
I turned it over and pinned some lilac satin where the flowers were to be (sorry about the upside down pic)
Then I turned it back upside down and sewed around the flowers on the lines of the paper (basically bobbin drawing)
I glues around my stitching with a syringe (very fine line of glue) so it wouldn't fray when I trimmed it.
I did a rough trim, then a closer one.
Then I did the same with some very pale green satin for the foliage.
Then it was time for some embroidery!
I turned it over again and went over the lines in the flower with a variegated purple thread.
And that's where I got up to before I had to go out and stack wood for the fire.  It gets cold early now that it's winter here.

And this is one I need to remember more often.  Play is the heart of creativity!