31 March 2007

City and Guilds

Well I've had a good look through my 1st Module of 'Level 3 Certificate 7922 Embroidery' to give it its full title and I'm going to enjoy this. I've started surfing the net to find pictures of my first research project 'Stars and Crosses', I've found quite a lot already. I'll go out one morning next week for a long walk round the neighbourhood to see if I see anything else that I can photograph. There's a few churches within walking distance that I can look at and as I said to mum I can always take a walk to the local cemetery, there's bound to be lots of 'crosses' there in one form or another. I'll also go to Liverpool's 2 Cathedrals one day, there's bound to be lots of inspiration there. But I'll try not to restrict myself to only the obvious places for 'Stars and Crosses'. I've already found a few in the house, the top of the taps in the bathroom and there's a start on the front of the stove I can copy. I found a website that has tutorials for 'Photoshop' and one of them shows how to draw stars, so I'm going to have a go with it.

30 March 2007

Happy Birthday

It's my Mum's birthday today. Don't tell anyone but she is 81, she won't mind me telling you, she doesn't keep it a secret. She is my best friend as well as being the best Mum in the world so HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mum.

27 March 2007

Now how did I know Lynda would like the buttonhole sample.

I've been meaning to answer Lynda's question
Your drawings are brilliant Susan. I do envy you this talent. have you always had this ability or is it true what they say that practise makes perfect?
I took O'level Art at school but was devastated when I failed the final exam despite being near the top of the class, so it put me off for quite a few years. I'd drawn and done some painting over the intervening years but not as much as I have in the past few year since I started the OCA courses. I believe you can learn to draw but I think it does help if you have some talent to start with. I've always been very artistic, I take after my Mum in that respect but my brother is more academic he work's in the insurance sector.

I've just looked at Lynda's blog from last November and her drawings of fairy's are very good so don't put yourself down, as you say the more you practice the better you get, you are advised to sketch most days even if it's only for 10 minutes. I did some drawings for the course that a few years ago I would never have even considered trying.

Re-delivered Post

The parcel that wasn't delivered on Friday came at 11 am this morning and it was the one I was waiting for with the needle punching kit, so now I can have a go at embellishing some material.

It comes in an A5 box

and this is what you get

My C & G 1st Module also came from Sian. I've had a quick look through but I'm going to sit and read it properly later. My first impression is, it is going to be interesting and a challenge but I'm looking forward to starting.

26 March 2007

I did a sample of buttonhole a while back but didn't post it so I glued some tissue paper on to it with PVA and painted it with Burnt Umber acrylic and some Copper acrylic like I did the previous sample and this is what it turned out like. It's not as big a piece as the previous one about 6" by 6".

T.A.S.T Couching

Hurray at last I've managed to be more experimental with some stitching.

I used some thick wool I got cheap in Abakhan and used thin cotton to couch it to a piece of cream cotton. The pattern is from a drawing I did for OCA Textiles. I used the same drawing to do some twin needle pin tucks.

Close up of couching.

Next I stuck down 2 layers of tissue paper with PVA glue.

Then I painted it with a layer of Burnt Umber acrylic paint, wouldn't you know it I forgot to photograph that stage doh!! Then I lightly painted some Copper acrylic paint over that, and this is was it turned out like.

T.A.S.T Up and Down Buttonhole

Here's my samples of up and down buttonhole, a bit late but I've been busy starting to put my OCA Textile work together for assessment.

This is the 1st sample I did on Jute.

This is my second but on Hessian and with thicker thread.

last one is wool to couch some plastic, I'm not sure what it's called I used it to do some weaving for my OCA Textiles.

25 March 2007

Textile Video

I was just surfing the net not looking for anything in particular when I found this video there are a lot more on the same page but I haven't got time now to have a look but I'll be back tomorrow.

Spring Forward

I knew we had to put the clocks forward 1 hour last night hear in the UK but guess what I FORGOT!!!! I was on my way to bed and suddenly remembered but I couldn't be bothered messing, there's the clock over the fireplace, then my watch and Mum's watch, then the clock in my studio and finally the one in my bedroom. The computer and video see to themselves. I HATE when we mess around with the clocks, it's not to bad in Autumn at least then we get an extra hour in bed but in Spring we lose the hour, yuk!! I woke at 6.30am but then realised it was really 7.30am so altered the clock then so I didn't oversleep, then turned over and went back to sleep for another few hours.

24 March 2007

Missed Post

Isn't always the way when you are waiting for something to come in the post, you miss it aaagh!!!SmileyCentral.com

I got a postcard from Royal Mail this morning to say they couldn't deliver a packet to me at 1pm yesterday Friday, because it was too large for the letterbox and no one was in. My Mum and I where both in and the postman didn't ring the doorbell or knock on the door when he put a letter through. We think perhaps it was the end of his round and he couldn't be bothered waiting for an answer. I'm waiting for the 'needle punching kit from Crafty Notions and my 1st C & G module from Sian and I'm not sure how big that is so it was probably the kit. Anyway I'll find out which it is on Tuesday, that's when it will be re-delivered. I did it online instead of having to telephone them like I've had to do in the past.

Mystery Solved

Well now the mystery is solved.

Thanks to Ali Honey at Quiltingorchardist who found out what the mystery flower in my Mum's Mothers day bouquet is. It's a 'DAUCUS CAROTA' or to give it it's common name 'WILD CARROT' or 'QUEEN ANNE'S LACE' I think the last one sound pretty.

I've just googled the name for images only and it is definately the one, so a Big Thank You to Ali for the help.

22 March 2007

New Book

I also got a new book in the post this morning. I only sent for it on Tuesday how's that for service.

It's the new one by the late Valerie Campell-Harding and Maggie Grey. I've sent for some felting needles from Crafty Notions and can't wait for them to come so I can try embellishing.

ATC Swap

Look what I got in the post this morning. 7 ATC's from Dale in exchange for the 5 I sent to the ATC challenge she organised, Make 5 Take 5. Who's a lucky girl then because I got 2 extra.

This first one is made by Rob Wilkinson,

this is from Linda B, I hope I've got it the right way round.

Norma McPherson in Australia has put a lot of work in to this little lady,

house sitters Bev and Paul Schwedes made this one,

and Dee Dee in Tasmania made this.

The final 2 don't have anything written on the back so I can't give credit to whoever has made them, sorry!

20 March 2007

OCA Tutors report

I got my last assignment back from my tutor at lunctime. with her last report - she wrote:-

I can see that you have learned a great deal during this course - you are starting to experiment more and be less reliant on the known, and instead starting to venture into unknown territory in order to create something new. It would be great to see this continue. I understand that you might wish to embark on a C & G course in Embroidery before starting Textiles 2. I would be happy to be your tutor again when you decide the time is right for this. Well done on completing Textiles 1.
I never said but my tutor is Sarah Braddock Clarke who is a published author of Techno Textiles: Revolutionary Fabrics for Fashion and Design No. 2.

19 March 2007

OCA Drawing

I thought I'd post some of the drawings I did for the 1st OCA Drawing course I completed last year.

It started with some exercises on using diferent drawing media such as pencil, charcoal. They aren't very exciting to look at so I won't bore you with them.

The next chapter was on Drawing and Looking

The drawing above is various boxes and books with tins done in charcoal.

Next I had to find a load of different sized jars and bottles in pen and ink.

Then we had to use tone to describe boxes and round objects in charcoal.

In the next chapter we got to draw some real objects, starting with eggs in various mediums, pencils, pen and ink, charoal.

Then Cups and saucers in pencil, charcoal, pen and ink.

Then I got more adventorous and set up a kitchen still life which I did with a drawing pen. It took me hours to do.

And finally in the chapter a mixed media drawing of various vegetables in pencil, charcoal, pen and ink and watersoluble pencil. Again this took me hours to do.

The next chapter I had to do a few drawings outside. This is in charcoal and is trees in my local park. I entered it in the OCA Student exhibition last year in Barnsley. Unfortunately I couldn't get to go to the exhibition. I looked up on the internet train times and it would have taken me 4 hours there and 4 hours back. I couldn't get a train direct so would have had to go via Sheffield or Huddersfield.

This is of St Lukes church next to Everton's football ground just along the road from where I live. I did this in pen and ink and must admit I cheated a bit and did some quick sketches in my sketchbook of it and took some photos to work from. I felt so exposed standing drawing in the street.
This is my attempt at a Cubist study for the chapter on perspective. I'd never done anything like this before so was pleased with the finished drawing. Now I look at it from a Textile point of view it could be used as a basis for a patchwork. What do you think?

There was a choice of subjects for the last chapter depending on which you where interested in, something suitable for photographers, garden design, or artists. I could have done figure drawing but I chose to do the exercises on collage I thought they'd be more useful for Textile work.

18 March 2007

Mystery Flower

This flower was in the large bunch of flowers I got Mum but I don't know what it is so if anyone knows can they let me know. I didn't put it in the arrangment it looked out of place so I've put it in a vase with the flowers that where left over.

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mothers Day to the best Mum in the world, well I think so because she is my best friend as well as my Mum.

This is photo of her in her early 20's.

Her engagement photo and companion to the one I posted of my Dad recently.

and this is one I took earlier today.

I bought some flowers from Aldi on Firday and spent yesterday afternoon doing it in to an arrangment for her.

I got 3 bunches of flowers these 2 for £1.79 each

and this larger bunch for £4.99

and this is the finished arrangment in a basket.

I knew those flower arranging classes I did a few years ago would come in handy. I always buy Mum flowers for her birthday and Mother's day and if I see any I think she will like. I think she should have the pleasure of them in life.

It annoys me when you see a funeral hearse going past full of flowers and you wonder if their loved ones ever bought them for the person when they where alive.

17 March 2007

St Patrick

I had to have a go at this being born on St Patricks Day.

Your Leprechaun Name Is:

Sniffles Luckleaf

Your Birthdate: March 17

You tend to find yourself lucky - both in business and in life.
And while being wealthy is nice, you enjoy sharing your abundance with others.
You put your luck to good use: you are very ambitious and goal oriented.
Often times, you get over excited and take on more than you can manage.

Your strength: Your ability to make your own luck

Your weakness: Thinking you can do it all

Your power color: Bronze

Your power symbol: Half Moon

Your power month: August


Thanks to Lynda and Margaret S fo the advice to soak my bleached threads in some vinegar so they don't rot. I'll get some in the supermarket next week.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

I'm not one of those silly women who won't admit to their age so I'll tell you that I'm 48 today. I got some lovelly cards from family and money to put towards some books I want from Amazon.

15 March 2007

Bleached threads

I'm running low on the cream crochet cotton I've been using. I got it cheap in Abakhans last year and only bought 1 of each. I suddenly thought would the colour come out of the pink if I put it in bleach like I did with the hessian, so I tried it and it does.

The first piece in the phot is the original colour, the second is after it's been in bleach for a few hours and the last has been in overnight.

I gave them a good wash in soap water to get rid of the bleach. Then it took an hour to untangle the mess they'd got in to.

T.A.S.T Alternating Barred Chain Stitch

Here are my sample of Alternating Barred Chain Stitch.

The first sample is my usual cream thread try at it.

The next sample is done on a piece of hessian that I put in bleach overnight and it came out a lovelly shade of cream. The sample above appears very spiky so I remembered I had some raffia that I bought a few years ago to make a hat, so tried stitching with that. It's a bit hard on the fingers so I didn't do much with it.

and my last sample is based on some work out of my sketchbook taken from 'Van Gogh's' picture 'The Starry Nights'. I used some of the fabric I spilt silk paints on and a varied coloured thread.

13 March 2007

In the post

At last I've put my last OCA Textile assignment in to the post. It wasn't too heavy this time so didn't cost much to post. Overall though it's only cost me about £20 in postage for the course. Now I've just got to get everything ready to send for assessment at the end of May.

Happy Birthday Dad

It would have been my Dad's 80th birthday today if he'd still been with us. He had a strained heart because of his job as a butcher, lifting heavy sides of meat. Nowadays he would probably of had a heart transplant but back in 1969 transplants where in their infancy.

09 March 2007

Larger photos

Thanks to Lynda for the advice on how to add an image to my blog that will be bigger when it's clicked on so people can see the detail if they want to- if that makes sense.

This is a sample I did for TAST Feather stitch but didn't post so I've had an experiment and it works. Two thicknesses of wool stitched on to hessian.

Then I painted it with some acrylic primer, but I'm not sure where to go next.

07 March 2007

OCA comment

Lynda asked in her comment what I felt I had gained from doing the course. Well firstly I've found another outlet for my creativety. At the start of the course I had to write a short piece

Hopes, Plans and Expectations
I have the ideas bubbling round in my brain and often see something that gives me inspiration but I can’t seem to get them down on to paper so I’ve only used patterns out of books or magazines for the various embroidery and textile/craft techniques I can do. I hope to learn how to turn my ideas into workable designs.
After looking through the course material I think I will be trying some things I’ve never done before and begin to look for ideas in even the most mundane of items.
I hope I can let my creative talents loose in new directions.
I don’t understand or particularly like some contemporary/modern art, I prefer traditional art work, clothing etc but I want to do work for Textiles 1: A Creative Approach to Textiles that has a contemporary feel and not be thought of as ‘old fashioned’.
Well I've learnt you don't have to do a literal interpretation of your resource material, before I would have done an exact copy of, say the photo of Hydrangeas I used for my last project, but now I realise you can use the colours as inspiration or enlarge part of the photo and use it as an abstract piece.

I've really enjoyed the course but I still feel that I'm inclined to be a bit old fashioned, by that I mean in embroidery I do each stitch as I was taught - but I have started to be less so since doing TAST. I don't think I was as experimental enough in some of the work I did for the course so as I've mentioned before I think I would benefit from doing a C & G course.

T.A.S.T Cross Stitch

I must admit I wasn't looking forward to this stitch, reminded me too much of school days and hours upon hours doing cross stitch on tray cloths that would never be used. But once I looked up variations I got into it more, especially when I looked at Doreen's blog where she had done 'Chicken scratch'. I knew I'd seen it somewhere before so looked through my collection of Stitch and found it in Issue 34 April/May 2005, so once I'd done my usual cream sample I had a go. The gingham I used had small squares so I didn't do a very large sample as it was making my eyes sore.