Thursday, 23 September 2010

Blogging break

I'm taking a blogging break as I'm going to be very busy so I thought I'd leave you with this lovely dandelion clock.  Tick tock! :)  See you soon. 

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Goodies in the Post

Isn't it nice to get goodies in the post?  Carole Brungar who has been running the Journal workshop here had the great idea to organise a swap of napkins (serviettes) among the girls doing her journal making class.  I dutifully sent off my 10 napkins and today I've received a beautiful selection of napkins and some very useful papers for adding to journal pages.  Some of the napkins will be pressed straight into service and I don't think the lollipop is going to last long either!

A couple of weeks ago we had to go to Essex to take my Mum home after she had been staying here so I built a detour into the journey to visit an exhibition by Fen Edge Textiles at Maeldune Heritage Centre in Maldon.   Fen Edge Textiles are mentored by Pauline Verrinder so that should tell you how professional the work in this exhibition is.  The works in the exhibition were on a theme of 'Yesterday' but as you may expect the interpretations were many and varied.  I was only able to take a few photographs but I can recommend this exhibition to you if you live within reach.

My photograph doesn't do this beautiful wall hanging justice, you really need to see it.  The piece was made by Sharne who blogs as Sharne's Bits and Bobs and you can find it on her blog here and on earlier posts.  I thought at first that this was one piece of organza but Sharne has expertly blended the colours to make a seamless flow of colour change from top to bottom.  On the windowsill in the photo above you can also see a vessel made of the flowers which is also on Sharne's blog.  

A lovely part of the exhibition is a collection of insects with a twist made by the group members. 

I think this one is an interpretation of a horsefly!

I love the 'dragon'fly :)  Dilly, are you looking?

Finally these re Sharne's King Henry and Queen 'Bess' Monarch butterflies which she blogged about in August.  Sharne and all the artists have invested so much effort in these fun figures.  The exhibition continues until the beginning of October so if you live near Maldon do go and have a look.  You will be greeted very warmly  by the members of FET who are stewarding and there are some lovely sketchbooks to look at too.  Altogether a well organised and friendly show.  Maldon is well worth a visit too being an old historic Essex port.

I am pleased to be able to tell you that my  friend is finally out of hospital and is now in a nursing home close to home and friends.  Not sure how long G will be in care but she is very happy to be out of hospital and she is looking very well.  Noone seems in any hurry to rush her recuperation but she is making the effort to have little walks along the corridor.  We went to see her at the weekend when she was in another home waiting for a place here and we were able to give her a wheel out in the sunshine.  I don't think she will mind if I show you a photo. 

 Bless her, she's a fighter!

Monday, 20 September 2010

More digital fun

Linda Matthews has again posted a Photoshop tutorial today and I have given it a go and am very pleased with the result.

This was the brushed border I made following Linda's very clear instructions.

I combined it with this berberis, or is it cotoneaster?

Having combined the two images I decided to apply a 'difference' adjustment and I'm really pleased with the result.  What do you think?

Linda links to a great site where you can download all sorts of fun stuff to use in Photoshop.  It's Obsidian Dawn.  I think I may need one or two lessons in computer technology as I seem to be challenged when it comes to unzipping files and loading the contents.  Now, where is that computer expert better known as my brother when you need him? ;o)

PS  Here's another Photoshop thing I did all by myself!

Just altered a beach photo with a difference blend and added the St Ives view and reduced the opacity.  Simples! 

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Digital Playing

I have been promising myself for ages that I will make the effort and get to grips with digital photo manipulation as I want to incorporate my own images into an art quilt.  In the course of my blog hopping I have been following Linda Matthews' blog and she is very generous with her tutorials.  This evening I finally got round to tinkering with one of the tutorials on her blog.

I took this photo along with the following two,

having decided to use my own images, although the text image came from the site Linda links to. (It think).

The result, after a couple of attempts is this

It's not perfect and I couldn't do it again without Linda's instructions but I am chuffed with myself and I shall be trying a few more.  :)  Baby steps!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Stay Home Round Robin and Good News

I've not had much time lately for anything earth shattering in the creative department but I have managed to complete the next part of Kate North's Stay At Home Robin.

I'm making this up as I go along but it sort of told me it wanted the red batik repeating so I went along with it.  I didn't think about it too much just pieced scraps of the fabrics I'd used in the first square.

I've also got round to making my second book using Carole Brungar's methods.  There is a link to the sketchbook course in her right hand sidebar.  

I used mountboard (mat board) for the covers and the spine is three layers of cloth.  The pennant on the front cover is the one I won at the Festival of Quilts and I'm really pleased to have found a use for it.

The pages are a selection of watercolour pages that I had painted previously, tracing paper, sketch paper and greetings cards.  I'm going to add some lacey bits but mostly I will leave the pages blank to be worked on later when I next go on my hols.

Energy is sadly lacking at the moment and a certain lack of interest in much at all but I am trying. (Very, some might say!)  The best news this week is that my dear friend is finally out of hospital! Yay!  She still has a lot of recuperating to do but at least she is out of the hospital environment and she is much happier for it.  Thank you everyone for all your good wishes over the last 7 weeks.

Ooh!  I nearly forgot!  Welcome to my Followers number 100 and 101!  How cool is that?  More than 100 followers for my inane ramblings :o)  Thank you everyone for being interested in my little corner of the world.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sketchbook Project

Where has the last week gone?  Flown away, that's for sure.  My friend is still in hospital (!) but she is making good progress and there is a glimmer of hope that she may make it out of there and into respite care soon.  We're now starting her 7th week of being in hospital and it's too long, she needs a change of scene.  Thank you everyone who has given me so much support and sent good wishes to G.  She is delighted by the good wishes I give her from my internet friends.

I am bitting and bobbing about with little projects at the moment as I have my Mum staying for a few days so my sewing room is out of action.  I have finally been doing a little work in my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project.  As you may have read elsewhere the paper is very thin and doesn't support wet media very well. Consequently I have been sticking pages together and then applying collage.  

This is the front cover which you may have seen before.

On the right hand side above is some "travel lines" which I did on a journey to Berwick on Tweed.  Margaret Cooter had the original idea for this and has done a lot of work with travel lines.  I hope she doesn't mind that I have played with the idea.  The marks on the left hand page have come through from the other side of the page as I had not at that point pasted the pages together.  (I will have to photograph that title page next time).

This 2 page spread isn't complete yet, but then that's in the nature of a sketchbook, isn't it?  On the right I have cut up and woven *2 identical photographs of a journal quilt I made last year.  I feel it needs something more but I don't yet know what.

* Edited Monday 6 Sept.  What was I talking about?  It's not 2 identical photos at all, it's 2 different photos of 2 journal quilts!  What am I like?!  Must have been a long day yesterday ;o) 

This was done as a 2 page spread and came out of a challenge on GPP Street Team.  This is a great site if you are lacking inspiration and want to play.  I've used torn strips from various sources including textured papers that I have made previously.

On the right a pencil sketch and on the left a page in progress.  I like the fact that pages I had originally coloured randomly are providing a base for future work.

On the right, a collage made on a print of my quilt with various papers and painted Yupo.

Not sure about these pages, the left is a play with paper and painted lutradur and on the right I had previously painted the pages and then decided to cut holes before I stuck them together.  More work to come.

Finally, the back cover which needs finishing to strengthen the spine.

I have loads of pages to work in before the January deadline but at least I feel as though I've made a start.  The theme of my book is "This is Not a Sketchbook" so I feel free to do anything I like.

I have a busy, mostly non creative week coming up so don't be surprised if I am a bit quiet again.  Have a good week and if you are in New Zealand near Christchurch take care and keep safe.