Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Doing more in the hopes it will improve the idea

I have actually scheduled this post so I won't forget to do it on 17/1/17.  How organised am I?? (It is not as good as 7/1/17 but it is ok.)

It has been much nicer in the last week or so, weather-wise. Gorgeous summer days with cool nights.
The Australian Open tennis is on this week, so it will, of course, get hotter. I don't know how the players survive some of the conditions they are asked to play in.

But back to my interests ...

I have made some more little skeleton pieces. I laid them out on the, supposedly, finished piece I was not happy with.  The camera is a wonderful invention, especially the digital camera, where you don't have to pay to have the images printed (remember the old days??).

I tried a few different layouts and then decided on the one that I like best.

Can you notice the subtle difference? Such a big decision!

Now I have sewn them on and even put a border around it. That was traumatic, I hadn't given any consideration to how I would finish it off, I was just focused on how I might make the front of the small art quilt.

Keeping to my idea of only using what I have, I couldn't find any fabric that would be an ideal border. I wanted it to be muted and unobtrusive.

Fortunately, I have also been playing around with an idea for the 4th quilt in this fossils of Gondwana idea that I am currently working on. So I had some fabrics spread around for that. (More on that later, probably.) It occurred to me that a couple of them might make good borders. They didn't quite do the job I wanted. However, after I had done the sides, I realised that, if I used the second fabric, I might get a better effect. So now I have two different fabrics in the border. Not my usual thing but, as I kept telling myself, the quilt police aren't involved in this. I just have to do what I feel like doing.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Trying to beat the heat.

As I have already said (complained!), it was hot here recently. It came upon us rather suddenly too. We were having a lovely cool start to summer and then Christmas Day was HOT. We had no time to get used to it. It was hot for a while and I started to do some sewing to take my mind off it.

I tried to be creative during this time, when not preparing for Christmas celebrations, of course.
I am still working on my idea of fossils in the ground.
I am also trying to meld some of my recent experiments and workshops into a cohesive piece.

I looked around on the internet for images of fossils in rocks. Then I traced one image onto soluble fabric and free motioned it.

I made a background using Vliesofix and silk hankies that will look like rocks (I hope). Then I put the skeletons onto that background and free motion quilted it.

I did lay out some of it one hot day and was not popular with the family as I had to turn off the cooling while I laid out the silk, it kept blowing away and being very annoying. So I had to work quickly to get it in place and then turn on the cooling again.

That was a couple of weeks ago now - how time flies, even when you are not having a good time.

I have done some of the quilting but was not happy with the outcome, it seemed rather sparse and the image didn't pop out. More work to do. That is the beauty of small quilts. Not too much effort is wasted if you don't like the outcome.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Inspired by Art

My machine embroidery group has come up with the idea of doing a small piece each month, based on a famous artist.
January is based on John Olsen. I saw his exhibition, The You Beaut Country, recently and really enjoyed it.
I have come to my artistic life rather late, so don't know many famous artists. This year should be a great learning time.

I found an image I liked as my inspiration.
I didn't want to copy it, just be inspired. But it is hard to not copy! It inspires because I like it.

I have used some techniques from recent workshops.
I started with a small piece of silk that I dyed a while ago, using oxalis flowers. The whole work is only going to be A5, half of a piece of paper. So not a lot of fabric was required.

I ironed it onto a piece of fusible interfacing.

Then I used some small bits of Vliesofix that I had kept, left over from previous works. I teased out a layer of a silk hankie and ironed that to the Vliesofix.

Next I teased out some pieces of raw, dyed silk I have.
(I decided to only use things I already had, no purchasing at all - not a problem on a hot day when I didn't want to go out anyway.)

I used the very thick wadding that I bought recently, after a workshop.

I also used some thrums from my weaving and some novelty yarns I have had for years. (I only ever use tiny bits of yarn in my sewing, so it will last for many more years I think.)

It all came together rather well. I think it was because it was so hot and I just decided I needed to be doing something to take my mind off the heat. It is also rather small and not getting it right would not be a disaster - quite a good way to be trying things out, really. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Have to post today!

Today's date is great - 7/1/17 (7117)
It is hot today, I have left my tapestry out in the heat. Someone suggested that I might singe it with flame but I think the sun is plenty hot enough and can carry the element of fire for me.
I have taken it out of the earth for the time being, am just letting it bake in the sun. I might try putting some leaves or other big thing that might work as a stencil/resist and see if that has any effect. I doubt it but I will try it anyway.
I am about to go out and hang the washing, the first things will probably be dry by the time I hang it all out. Ah, Summer!

Even the flowers are getting burnt.

The hollyhocks are throwing heaps of flowers down onto the ground and I am valiantly collecting them. Now I just have to think about what I want to do with them, and when.
At least I have discovered that the dried up flowers do produce colour, so I don't have to race out first thing every morning to get them before the sun gets to them.

But first I have to get over the heat and find some energy.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Work in Progress

Happy New Year.
One of my group posted that she is working away on her tapestry for The Elements challenge.
Mother Nature is doing a lot of the work for me. And she has been doing an excellent job of providing fire (heat), air and water lately!!

I thought I would check on how things are going.
Buried in the earth. You can just see the top corners.

The back, much lighter than the top.

The front of the piece. Not smelling too bad yet.

Not sure if this is progress or not. The small purple bits from the hollyhock flowers seem to have disappeared. Oh well, it is only an experiment.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Too Hot, Too Wet!

We are having hot and humid weather. It is very hard to be motivated to be creative.
It rained mightily today but we didn't have our usual 15 degree drop in temperature that we usually get with thunderstorms, it is just hot and humid.

I walked down the street to see the views of the city - there weren't any - well, not great views of the city. It was extremely misty, I suppose it is the humidity. Not something we are used to in our summers. However, we have had more and more humid weather over the last few year. Don't tell me the climate isn't changing.

Here are some views of the city tonight - and the mist rising from the trees. When I first got there, you could not see the city at all! Most unusual.

You can see some pictures from the same vantage point, that I have taken in previous years, here and here.

I also have some pictures of our tiny creek, not so tiny tonight after the huge amount of rain we had this afternoon.

I also took a photo of the hydrangea at the front door - usually I am taking photos because of it wilting g in the heat and then rejuvenating after being watered. Today I took photos because of it being beaten down by the rain.

I noticed, while I was searching previous posts, that we had a flood along Darebin Creek in 2011 and my photos were not all that different. And it was summer then too. 
I really don't like the humidity! I can go to Queensland for that, Melbourne should have dry heat. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Between Projects

It may just be that it is that time of the year. I am between projects, not feeling very enthused about anything at the moment.
Summer is approaching, although we had a lovely cool night last night. The weather is changing on a daily basis and I think that enervates me. Any excuse.

Anyway ... The tapestry disappeared from the clothes line and is currently residing under some fennel greenery in the compost heap. And the temperature in the compost has risen in the last day. It is now approaching 60 degrees, something that I have been assured it to be desired (for compost).

The tapestry is only just under the surface, so not exposed to the full heat - yet. I will try to contain my interest and tendency to fiddle with it. I will leave it for at least three days (maybe!) and then put it down deeper.

I have also been trying to finish off a machine embroidery piece I started early in November. It was supposed to be going to be for The Alcove's summer sale/exhibition but I didn't get it finished. A familiar story.
Not the finished version, still a work in progress. 

It is based on a photo I took a few years ago and have used previously. This piece is slightly larger than A4.  I am thinking of doing another frame making course before trying to complete the whole piece.
(You can see how I have used the photo for a much smaller embroidery here.)

I have realised that it could fit the Ebb and Flow theme of the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria. This exhibition won't be till October but I probably won't do any great things for it in the near future, so it can be my failsafe piece. And we are allowed to put in up to three pieces, so I can still work on the idea.