Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Art of Giving

Last year I was so industrious and inspired by Kumiko Sudo's book - Omiyage that by the end of November I had a dozen of these little chrysanthemum bags made and filled with chocolates. Eight of them were ear-marked for girlfriends and the other four for last minute gifts. I had a budget of five pounds each for these presents - but honestly what can you buy for that amount these days  - certainly nothing as special as a hand made gift. 

I also had the enjoyment of stamping and printing the gift tags. So - if you are stuck for small gift ideas I really recommend this book . There are so many cute ideas to explore in it and it is a great way to use up scraps of fabric (although I would have to sew non-stop for two years to use up all of my scraps and some people who shall be nameless would probably need ten).

The baubles are progressing and looking more christmasy - I know I should stop making pretties and get on with some serious stuff  (I really have committed myself work wise for next year), but a little glitz now and then lifts the spirits and the repetitive nature of  making these baubles gives me thinking time for what to get up to next. Well that's my excuse anyway! 

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Puting the garden to bed.

Many, many years ago when I first left school and couldn't decide what I wanted to do in life I trained as a florist. I have never regretted this choice as it taught me so much about so many things. The first lesson was about hard work  - not the  the lady like profession you would think it would be  but very cold, long hours on your feet, very early starts, deadlines and disasters with such an ephemeral product. The thing I value the most from those days  is that it taught me composition. The repetition of using such a variety of shapes and colours to form a pleasing arrangement is something that I rarely have to think about, thanks to that early practise. 
 I was stuck into clearing the overgrown veg plot and borders today when I just had to make a table top autumn arrangement before the frosts kill the tender plants in the borders. I know the wind will blow it away but thanks to the wonders of digital photography a moment captured in time.

Ornamental cucumbers in the afternoon sunshine. Very pleasing textures but not edible.

A Christmas bauble worked whilst visiting our children and grandchildren yesterday. Green and red but the camera is reading it as orange and turquoise or is it my eyes?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

This and that.

Today has really settled me into being back home - a whole day of social sewing with two good friends, laughing and dreaming up all the things we are going to do in our monthly meetings in the coming year. We have decided that messy is the best way the spend the day day so lots of dyeing, painting, gluing,melting and general experimentation to look forward to. It was also lovely to get back to friends in my other sewing group 'Calico' yesterday, with a change of venue to look forward to in the new year.

Whilst we were talking today I was making another bead - quite a bit larger than I usually make - this is about one and a half inches in size. It didn't look anywhere near as elegant as the usual half inch, three quarter inch and one inch that I usually make. I was going to put it down as a failed sample  but with a threaded loop looks a perfect size for a christmas bauble. I think I shall try some in christmasy colours.
The other thing I have been working on is a new 'raggy' ( new readers see old posts for the rationale behind a raggy).

Looks very random at this stage but a few months of mindless stitching will pull it all together, but even at this early stage a little masking and framing reveals some lovely areas starting to form.

It never ceases to amaze me that out of such randomness little compositions start to form.

I'm looking forward to an evening of mindless tv. and equally mindless stitching my raggy.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Last day of workshop

This is how my sample wall ended up by Friday lunchtime and in the afternoon I felt the need to leave the colours behind and produce something a little quieter.

Emulsion painted cotton - sewing ephemera and a little pencil work. I made it for John as a little thank you for treating me to the course as an early xmas present. As the end of the day approached my thoughts turned to going home on Monday.

                                         What a wonderful week with a fabulous bunch of ladies.

I shall be packing up the exhibition pieces tomorrow and saying a sad farewell to my relatives and friends but it will also be good to get home again.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Experimental Embroidery

Half way through a week long course with Jan Kilpatrick in Ullapool.
Love her work love, love her teaching style, love her scrumptious food she feeds us with each day.
A real human dynamo with an incredible sense of humour. I can't remember laughing so much on a course, in the meantime the samples are piling up to inform a piece I want to make following on from my Ullapool sketches.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Steam Driven Laptop

Bear with me folks if my blog looks a little eccentric at the moment, lots of crazy stuff happening on this ancient laptop I'm using here in Ullapool. I can't seem to stop alien images popping up all over the place, to say nothing of the fact that the machine switches itself off every 10 mins. So read between the errors to get the picture of what is going on up here. I'm determined not to replace this ancient piece of kit until the new Kindle tablet is available next year.

Embroidered Beads

Just the right size to work on whilst stewarding an exhibition - these beads have attracted a lot of attention from people looking at my work and has encouraged me to make some more.

I immediately went into my default colour scheme.

I'm going to try them in a few different pallettes.

Watch this space!!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

An Talla Solais Exhibition

Thursday evening sunset was quite dramatic we were walking along the shore and the light kept changing everytime we looked up a different set of colours appeared.

Friday evening soon came round and the opening evening of the exhibition that I had been working
for these  last few weeks got underway. What I was not expecting was the number of people that turned up - over seventy, and what enthusiasm!  Here is the artist Dick Lindsay in his 92nd year
 and still producing work of an amazing standard.

I was very uncomfortable showing and talking about my work to so many people so John took over whilst I wandered about with a glazed look on my face. Too many compliments to cope with at one time. the show runs for the next two weeks but for one of those weeks I am taking a five day course with Jan Kilpatrick - Experimental  Embroidery.