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Here’s another finished project that has been lurking in the ‘to do’ pile for too long. It’s from the book Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts! Embroidery (Crafts) which I got for Christmas last year (completing it inside of a year isn’t too bad now is it?!)
I’ve gotta say that embroidery is not my thing and this has reminded me of that! I’m too impatient and it’s too fiddley, plus my forty-year old eyesight isn’t what it used to be!! It took three hours to fill in a tree trunk! Thank heavens for Location, Location, Location and Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour.
I discovered along the way that buying cheap embroidery thread is a false economy because it untwists almost immediately and becomes straggley. But this sewing is good enough and even here where the thread split when I sewed through it, it just looks like the dog has an opened barking mouth – of course I meant that to happen, it was no accident- ha… I also discovered the joy of memory foam cushion filling – little sausages of really dense sqiddgy foam. I stuffed the whole bag in. It’s an arm workout moving it around the sofa!
So now we have the best dressed sofa because of the new cushions this week. They look great, it’s just a shame no one is allowed to lean on them!
Here we are all finished after a morning of sewing. Not a brilliant photo I’m afraid – it was a drab day in a dull room!
I tried to keep true to the original painting by using the same colour scheme and the red polka dot fabric which was part of the backdrop. The silk is a beautiful shot silk with a red weft and a blue warp making it change colour as the light catches it. Perfect for this red blue colour scheme, lovely to print on but very hard to photograph well!
Well here’s a mini love story for a dull Monday morning… about 20 years ago we met at art college. Mr L was studying Graphic Design while I was studying to do this kind of thing on a much larger scale. Back in those tender times we always had time to go and help each other out. Two decades later and he’s still my best screen printing pal – my best everything pal in fact!
My memory of print techniques got quickly refreshed on this project – the most important one being read the labels and see if the screen printing ink is suitable for laundering!! OK, I won’t make that mistake again but it’s done now. Got a bit of sewing to do before the final show and tell.
…looking for colour combinations in magazines…
…cutting a stencil out and hoping to get it right first time…
…experimenting with mixing fabric ink’s together and seeing how it dries on this red silk.
Remember my Circus Girl painting (pic 1) well I’ve been percolating an idea for a screen print design for some time. I haven’t screen printed since graduating in June 1991!! Am I crazy or do I still have the olde magic?
I’ve traced a leaf shape directly from the painting and I’m playing around with colours and flower shapes to make a design that stays true to the painting too.
I really am in love with these little ladies (they just can’t be male!) I tried to squeeze in time to paint them over the weekend but they were dying in front of my eyes. I think I just about got it though.
The last few days have seen a few of my ongoing projects finished up. Here’s one. I’m not sure how I feel about this painting yet. It’s so far out of my comfort zone (different paints, board not paper, new techniques and not my usual prefered still life) that I have nothing to compare it to and so no point of reference.
I’m breaking from painting to wax lyrical about potatoes and the virtuous feeling of growing your own. We have four little 4 by 4 veggie beds but look what we’ve got!
Harvesting potatoes is one of my top three favourite ‘chores’, nay even my favourite thing to do in the whole world!! But only if they are ones I’ve grown! I have happy memories of helping my dad on his allotment. I can remember him lifting the plant with his fork while it was my job to collect the potatoes. It’s like a treasure hunt, as exciting now as it was then to see how many and how big.
Nasturtiums never fail to amaze me. They grow so easily, give up their seeds for the next year without any complaint. Always seem to germinate and then they get on quietly and humbly without a fuss. Then dan’nah…you look around a long while later and there they are growing a profusion of gorgeous flowers, with colours mixed and splodged together on natures watercolour palette.
If you could smell these you’d know why they are worth bringing if only for the few days that they survive.
We neglected to prune our blackberry canes last year and we’ve paid the price by having far fewer fruits then last years bumper crop. However I am diligently bringing in a handful at a time and freezing them. Soon enough there will be blackberry and apple crumble!
I’m totally loving the photo mosaic’s that can be made at Big Huge Labs. When I’m working on something it’s so exciting to see a visual record of how it is developing and emerging by lining the stages up like above. I’m still putting into practice what I learnt on the acrylic course, by under-painting before anything else. That was hard to bring myself to do since I’d meticulously traced it in order to keep the exact detail!
Back in July when I’d visited Venice, I was full of plans of things to work on but no time during the school holidays to get my teeth into anything. Since the acrylic painting course I’ve had a moment of synergy where one of the sketches I’d done nagged away at me to be tried out on gessoed board with acrylic layering. The original sketch has a line quality to it that I couldn’t repeat and an overall charm that I was worried would be lost if I simply re drew it. So I ran up to the copy shop, got it enlarged and traced it down to keep it as exact as possible. Now for some painting…