Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Light and Shadow

Where to start?  Have you noticed how it gets harder to start the longer time there is between posts?  Added to that I have been slipping into a slough of despond and  coupled with Blogger being difficult I really haven't the patience to blog, but here goes!

I was recently invited to join a new challenge group and we have just completed our first challenge.  There are 16 of us in the group with members from across the world and it looks like being a really exciting experience. 

Annabel set the first challenge as Light and Shadow and after and initial panic and some brainstorming I eventually settled into exploring the effects I had photographed on a visit to the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The biomes which house the plants are made up from hexagonal shapes and I was taken with the striking shadows cast on a massive rock at the back of the biome.

My initial thought was to manipulate the image in photoshop and I was quite surprised and excited by the effects.

I finally settled on the image above and decided to work it on my embellisher which has been sadly neglected if not ignored lately.  I used part of an old blanket as a base and used prefelt, silk scarf, chiffon, wool tops and carded wool to build the design.

I felt (no pun intended) that the large dark area on the right was a bit overpowering as I had used a piece of pre-felt for the shape so I pulled bits of it off and needle felted some lighter wool from the back.  Overall I am quite pleased with the final effect although I may add some stitch and I still have to decide how to finish the edge.

The International Quilt Challenge Group is a very illustrious group and I feel a bit inadequate in such experienced company but I  have enjoyed the experience of this first challenge.  I probably should have mentioned that my piece is A3 size.  The next challenge, due in November, is 'Through The Window'.  I have had a few thoughts about possible interpretations but I need to find some time to sit down and work them through.  'Through the Window' could have many interpretations, both literal and not so literal so I shall have to stir the old reluctant brainbox into life and hope for inspiration.

I should own up to feeling very low lately.  I don't like to bring personal stuff to the blog, especially negative stuff,  but I am down in a bit of a hole at the moment and blogging and facebooking are both feeling like hills to climb (not to mention tackling the tip that is my house at the moment!).  The sale of my Mum's house fell through today (we need to sell it to pay for her care) so you can understand that that felt like the final straw in a rubbish year but a bloody good roar and a couple of soaked hankies has helped me get a few things into perspective and it's not the end of the world.  Onward and upward!  (A trip to Ally Pally on Thursday to meet Dale Rollerson who will be there from Australia should be a helpful pick-me-up!)    


Beverley said...

Good luck with the house sale. It WILL sell eventually. Keep calm and drink wine.

freebird said...

Where there is one buyer Julie, there is another. Hang in there. Yes, I have noticed that when I get into a rut and don't post, it gets really hard and I think about closing my blog but then I get back into it and am glad I didn't. You HAVE had a very tough year so it's only realistic that you get down, low down a few times during the period! Sheesh, you are human lady!
Except as far as quilting; there you are more than human. You do great work and being in the challenge ought to be good for you. When you want to push ahead you need a group you feel is better than you as then you won't slack but will stretch yourself instead.

Nice job on this first challenge. I can't wait to see the next!

Anonymous said...

Hi, sorry you've not been so good lately and hope your roar has helped!Selling houses is so stressful-my parents have moved house so many times that even now I tidy up as if the estate agent is coming round to put the house on the market!! It will sell, and all will be ok. When you're low these things magnify, but you'll get there xx

I've just bought the book mentioned in your last posting - hope it will arrive this morning which is exciting. We can compare notes!

Well done on your challenge btw, I loved your piece and hearing how you arrived at it. It's just the right sort of challenge for me really, not too onerous and within a reasonable time scale, and with a relaxed and happy attitude to rules!!

Take care, good that you're back x

Heather said...

Selling a house is always a very trying time but there's a buyer out there somewhere. Your trial designs are amazing as is the embellished piece - I don't think you need to feel inadequate in any way. Have a great time at Ally Pally - I am so envious of you meeting Dale but I know my legs wouldn't last the day. Hope it gives you the lift you deserve.

Peneller said...

Poor you! Even though you're not feeling at your best, the piece you've made for the challenge looks really good, So give yourself a pat on the back! Our house sale has just had a little set back so I know exactly how you're feeling. Hang in there Julie. I envy your meeting Dale. Have a great time at Ally Pally!

jan said...

Sorry to hear you're feeling down. I like how you have manipulated the photo and love your embellished piece. Hope your trip to Ally Pally will be the tonic you need x

Annette J said...

Love your interpretation of your challenge Julie. You have managed to make it through a dark patch and into a creative one. I know exactly what you mean by not getting on with blogger at the moment!!! Enjoy Thursday you will feel much lighter when you get back.

pam said...

Enjoy Ally Pally that is normally such a good show. I like your piece for the challenge it is very good. Selling houses is a nightmare - but it will all come good- look after yourself - because you are too important to DH and Mum

Lis said...

That's an lovely piece of work, love seeing the process from your photos at Eden to the finished textile piece. Sorry to hear you're not feeling on top of the world. I'm glad you shared on your blog as I see you have a lot of encouraging comments. I've found how wonderful blogging friends are at "being there for me" when I share down days, they're the best and really give an instant lift to the day. Hugs from me and this too will pass :)

Erica said...

Julie, you are having a rough time at the moment. I love your blogs but when you have so much going on in your life, it's wise to let go of those things which are not essential - like blogging! Just for a season... I would miss them very much and there are obviously others who would too but your well being is paramount.
Take care, keep creating those inspirational works and the house will sell, eventually.

Gail P said...

The "right" buyer is out there!
I need to use the embellisher/felter again. Wow, what you did is very inspiring. Meeting Dale will be amazing! XOXOXO

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Sorry to hear about Mum's house Julie, glad you had a good cry. The Ally Pally will surely cheer you up and meeting a pal from down under should do the trick. xox Corrine

ju-north said...

So sorry to hear you are feeling down and that the house sale fell through. Get your lovely hubby to take you on a special holiday (St Ives?) x

Gina said...

Sorry things aren't so good at the moment Julie. Hope you've had a super day at Ally Pally today. I'm sad to be missing it this year.

Angela said...

I'm sure All Pally will do the trick and cheer you up. It's always nice to be with cheerful like minded people .
Hopefully you won't have to wait too long to sell your mums house.
Your felted quilt piece is stunning. The way you have interpretated your photo is great.

Emma said...

My first thought is you're over loaded, let alone the house selling. My second thought is there are some things you have to do & others you couldn't bear to miss out on which I can totally relate to - we need to keep striving to find the 'perfect' balance, at least a little more than we might have had. Use AP as medecine but have a good sit down 1/2 way thru. Also, look at those collage & embellished piece & tell yourself they are not bad at all (& hear me telling YOU they're wonderful!)

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Oh deer we ar awl sorry to hear yu hav been low. Mummy was very low too larst week but is coming up a bit now. I think she waz worreed abowt Mr Scooter. I am sending yu sum Bear Hugs. Thare! Did yu feel them?

I like yor peece ov werk. It remindid me ov the girrarffs I see wen we go to the zoo. Thare coats ar lite an dark like that.

For throo the window i think I wud look into the window from owtside in, an hav snow all rownd the frame. I don't noe wat wud be inside. Probly a nice warm fire!

I hav to go now cos we ar tayking Granny into town. Tayke care!

Sharne's Bit 'n' Bobs said...

I hope some retail therapy at Ally Pally has helped. Life is full of ups and downs but sometimes, the downs seem to make you forget the ups. x

Robin Mac said...

You should not feel in the least overawed by the challenge group - you piece is lovely, and I loved seeing how you worked it out. I hope your meeting with Dale has really cheered you up - she is such a lovely lady. I am sure the house will sell sometime soon. Cheers for now - and I hope Blogger lets me post this. I know your frustration, I have been having awful trouble lately!

Maggi said...

I had several sales fall through when trying to sell my mother's house Julie but it eventually happened. I hope that Ally Pally lifts your spirits and if not take pride in that lovely Light and Shadow piece. Your problem solving with the dark piece worked really well. Try to remember all that you have had to deal with over recently and allow yourself to feel down at times but also uplifted by the strength that you have shown in dealing with all your problems..

lisette said...

you feel inadequate! how do you think i feel??? your work is stunning, julie, i really admire it very much.

i am sorry about your mum's house but i'm sure it will all work out.


Helen Suzanne said...

Hi Julie,
I can really understand this about posting... I'm only just getting back to it myself, so Hopefully I'll be seeing much more of you in the next few months.
(thanks for the report on Ally Pally too... I've never been but glad to see the inspiration!!)

Jackie said...

Oh Julie, I 'm really sorry I wasn't here earlier to send my best wishes and hugs. I hope by now you've taken a turn for the better. I'm going to read your ali palli post in a minute so it looks as thought you might have.
I love this work you've done here.