Friday, 26 April 2013

A lovely lazy day.

I spent much of today with our youngest daughter and as it was such a nice day we took her dog for a walk. This little wooded area is in the middle of quite a large development of houses.   We both think that the tree above needs a statue to fill that niche, or perhaps a narrow studded oak door.

We were both surprised to see bluebells already in flower, but they were in a sheltered corner.  The colour is washed out here but in reality they are such a glorious blue.

This gorgeous peacock butterfly very kindly kept it's wings open for me.  I can't tell you the number of times I have tried to photograph them in the garden and they are off before I can focus the camera.

I was curious to see if there was anything of interest on the other side of the road so we walked through the underpass to get a better look at this lovely rural scene - pity about the pylon in the distance.   There is a tarmac path which ends abruptly at the hedge in the foreground.   Very odd.

This little bit of tangled woodland was just off to the right of the first view.   I am so pleased that these small areas of unspoiled countryside still exist even though they are so close to a main road and a very large housing estate.

After lunch we enjoyed a bit of playtime.   Julia worked on a painting she had already begun and I experimented with collaging various papers onto artists canvas.   I plan to use paint and or ink to create a subtle background onto which I would like to add either a drawing or perhaps a piece of stitched work.  If this comes to anything I'll let you know.   If it doesn't, I'll keep quiet about it!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Be Prepared!

I've never been a Boy Scout or even a Girl Guide but I do like being prepared, so I have been making up these fabric and thread packs in readiness for North Somerset Arts Week during which Gordano Textile Artists have an open studio event at Portishead.   I know it is still two weeks away, but I never know what life is going to throw at me next and hate leaving things till the last minute.

 One of our members has offered us the use of her garden room and garden for exhibiting and serving teas, coffees and homemade cakes, weather permitting.  Her house is Purbeck Lodge and the entrance is opposite the boating lake car park.   We open on Thursday May 9th until Sunday May 12th from 11 am to 4 pm each day.   I will be on duty on Friday and Sunday so do come and say hello if you are in the area.

I made 50 of the fabric packs in the first photo - they almost sold out at Nature in Art - and 50 of the thread and yarn packs below.
The other packs which are very popular and did sell out are these little ones of sparkly snippets so, you've guessed it, I made up 50 of these as well.

The other thing which has kept me busy lately is the new module of my course.   I made these two little origami books, whose folded pages provide four little pockets,  from scrap paper.   The one on the left has pages made with a Sunday colour supplement and the for the smaller one I used scrap A4 sheets.

Just off to a lunchtime concert at the church as part of Thornbury Arts Festival.   Must dash.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Happy Couple.

This is my eldest daughter Sue and her husband Rick after their wedding ceremony.    It was a fairly informal occasion and there were no official photographs but in the scramble to take pictures after the service I'm afraid I wasn't quick enough to get to the best position so haven't posted the others that I took.   They have just signed the register here as you might guess.
Here is the cake that Sue's sister made - she is my second youngest daughter Jen and has made so many wonderful celebration cakes over the years.
It was a lovely day and being in good company for such a happy event made up for the fact that the weather was not too good, though we didn't get soaked or feel cold.

Friday, 12 April 2013

I'm still here.

This is what has been occupying me for the past two weeks or more.   I really needed to get it finished and am being very naughty posting it here before I put it on my other blog for my tutor to see it.    It is part of my online coursework and is an altered book having started it's life as a herbal year book.
In case you don't already know an altered book can be made from any hardback book with pages stitched in signatures.   Half the pages need to be carefully removed and the rest are glued together in pairs to give them added strength.   Extensions can be added to some, others can have shaped cut edges or holes cut into them.   There are any number of possibilities and very few rules.
The original pages have their text brushed over with gesso to provide a plain surface for drawings, etc.   I have been brave and drawn directly onto all the pages shown here.   There are birds on some of the other pages which I did draw on separate paper before cutting them out and sticking them into the book.
My brief was to tell a story and as I couldn't think of one I wanted to use, I decided to tell the story of the transition of my garden throughout the year.
As you can see, some of the pages have a stitched edging.   I found it easier if I made the holes first by prodding the edge of each page with a large needle.
Below is the front cover made by sanding down the shiny surface of the original cover, painting it with gesso and embedding small strips of frayed muslin and pressed hydrangea flowers.   I tried to use small skeleton leaves too - they wouldn't lie flat but when I lifted them off they had left a nice leaf shaped print for me.  I had intended to add colour to the cover but it has a nice natural rustic look and I don't want to muck it up.  It looks grey here but in reality is a warm beige/brown.
There are quite a few more pages which I haven't photographed yet but if you would like to see them all they will hopefully be on my other blog on Sunday.   There is a link for it at the top of this page.   

Tomorrow will be a busy day as our eldest daughter is remarrying.  We all had visions of trying to hide thermal vests under our outfits but that won't be a problem now it is so much milder.  Plastic macs?  We'll wait and see.  It seems mayhem will ensue until we are all safely at the church as everyone is coming here to change into their finery.  What a good thing we have three loos!