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Friday, 26 October 2012

Crochet can be COOL !

Hi Everyone
There seems to be a little optimistic crack in the clouds this morning - it's still drizzling but I sense a tiny bit of sunshine behind a break in the clouds. Fingers crossed !

Today, is a teacher training day and the kids are at home. We need to buy school shoes and pack for a weekend camping with the scouts ! Glad I'm not going - say no more on that. However, as a result, my work programmes has closed down.

Yesterday, I made some progress with my new paintings and a bit of my book as well as a few Christmas things. I do have my work schedule for Christmas worked out and I will just get on. The only issue is sticking to the original design brief. I seem to have an inability to stick to each design and creative development takes over, the upshot is - time wasted and the work output drops !!! Such as life.

Exciting news on the crochet front. A friend contacted me to highlight a crochet session coming up at our local wool shop - Treacle. I mentioned the shop last week Shop site here it's exactly what I need so will sign up. It's taking place 1/12/12 and looks good from the picture. The workshop is called 'Introduction to Freeform Crochet Workshop'

I've not done any crochet practice for a few days. I'm missing the challenge - will do some more this evening. The idea of the course has made me look for examples of ' free form crochet' - sounds like my stuff already. I never know what will happen until I've finished - fingers crossed and my imagination can turn the results into something convincing. I do 'live on the edge' with crochet !

On another completely different subject, I came across this fantastic image

It's one of Suzi Blu's paintings - I love this type of thing. It's another huge inspiration for one of my new paintings. The face is unlike most of her work. She tends to concentrate on pretty faces. I think this one is wonderful and just as good as the pretty faces. Here's a pretty one for comparison.

The pretty sample here is lovely but I still think the other is much more interesting. Love it.

My last offer today is also hugely inspirational. Yet again, it's crochet related. I couldn't believe it when I saw this

Apart from the fantastic model ! - the necklace is CROCHET. Fantastic stuff. This is my kind of crochet. The work can be found here Shop The designer is called Aliquid. The photos are stunning and the choice of colours used in the jewellery are amazing. Love it. I want to make a necklace like this. There is 'my problem' ! One day - I will get there.

Next week, we are away on a family holiday. This is our annual outing to Whitby in North Yorkshire. It's Goth Week in Whitby during our visit. Huge opportunity for some 'scary' inspiration. I hope to take lots of photos and may get a few blogs in over the week. Have a great weekend.

Bye for now

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Considering 'the face' and other things

Hi Everyone
Another dull today today - it's not raining now but it could ...... any minute ! Looks as if this is going to be the pattern today. I will need to find enthusiasm from within !

I have a few pieces of wood to prep for the two new paintings .
Here is a quick look at the faces of the new dolls

Each face shows a different character - ' the whimsical' and the ' the slightly worried' . These faces are very early in their development - having considered their faces, I need to change their 'look' - tweaking around the eyes and mouth.

Talking of faces, I've also been thinking about doing a side view of Miss Mitchell - this is proving a much greater problem than I could imagine. Here she is from 'the front'

I've done a few little sketches - all have gone in the bin. It's quite a difficult thing to do. All my efforts have not captured the essence of the doll and make the character look very odd. The pretty face loses its charm and I feel there is a way to capture it. My latest tack is to make a clay face and look at the profile. It's a big ask for me but I think I will give it a go. Who knows where this one will take me.

My other priority job is to move on the up cycled Aunt Jen

I have some little metal embellishments and some ideas about paint. Will aim to get a more integrated look. I also want to add some 'gloopy' drips somewhere. Will report on any progress tomorrow.

I'm onto Christmas prep. too - it's much to early to talk about Christmas, so I will simply get on and announce things next month.

On another subject, I saw a fantastic piece in Elsie's blog - take a look at the detail
It's a font creator for making fonts on ipad . It looks really exciting. I'm looking into the cost etc. but this seems a great idea for my work. Will talk about this more when I do some more research. This is a picture of the app in action and shows what can be done.

I think that's about all my news to date.

Bye for today.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Insects and Christmas ? How did that happen ?

Hi Everyone
Very dreary today - light rain and dark. The weather does not encourage me to go out !Lots to do inside, so I'm OK.
Ive had lots of stuff printed. Christmas stuff - cards/tags etc. all to be hand finished and individualised with embellishments. I wish I could leave this until a few weeks before 'the day' but sadly, the market is here and now.
I did manage a few insects in my mini journal

I'm going to give the insects names and will keep adding extra things as I feel I need to. I love this little project. I think the book will go on for years and this is the thing I will take on my mini holidays. I'm always looking for a small kit pack which can travel. I hope this will be an experimental thing. Wonderful.
Also added a little embellishment to the inner front cover

The treatment on the inner cover is white wallpaper style - chandeliers are embossed into simple white printer paper. The result is brilliant. I will add some extras as I'm inspired.
I also made a new drawing of a winter Papersac village inspired by my recent visit to the Hearth Art Centre and Rebecca Vincent's work. It's just a first sketch

I will re draw on white paper and add some colour. I have created an angel to add

Again this is a first sketch. I need to transfer the images to a larger piece of wood ( I think wood would work well for this painting) and adapt the scale of each sketch. This will be the first of 2 new paintings. The other is still in this first sketch phase too

I like the tissue deer on the skirt. I also think I see the deer 'swirling' around the doll - somehow ?
Must get on. Just writing here has given me lots of little ideas for these paintings. I should write them down before they go !
Bye for today.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Flowers (croched) or work ?

Hi Everyone
Seems a better day 'weather wise' - cold and dampish but getting brighter as the morning moved on. Generally, uplifting !
Yesterday, I had a great little experience visiting a local art venue. It's called 'the Hearth'. More information from their website HereThere is a lovely little cafe with a range of artist workspaces. Several artists were there working in their rooms- so inspiring and wonderful work. Fabulous ideas and such a welcoming feel from everyone.

This picture shows a little of the work of working in a print room - wonderful opportunity to see and talk about the work and processes with Rebecca Vincent (the artist).I will be going back to have a go in one of the workshops.
If you want more information about Rebecca's work look Here
I also spent more time on my current obsession - learning how to crochet.

As you can see, I'm making progress- slowly.
I've been looking at crescendoh Look here ( I often mention this site - loads of ideas) and came across this

I think I can make these flowers myself, I understand enough to produce the stitches.

This is lovely too, I see this type of thing in one of my paintings. My ultimate aim is to move my experiments into the paintings. Must give some time to work today. I'm having a review so the immediately required items are At the top of the 'to do'. I've had enough experimental stuff for a while. Work must happen today.

Bye for now.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Out for a 'jolly' !!

Hi Everyone
What a very 'dreary' day it is today. The air is full of rain and fog. Most depressing weather. In order to lift my spirits I'm off to a local gallery/workshop to find some inspiration. The place is called 'the Hearth' and I came across it via a weekend visit to a food fair event. My weekend has flown by - not too much to show from the weekend.

I have a few new pieces of wood prepared for painting and I practiced some crochet. Still struggling with making the basis of my necklace (I mentioned this 17/10/12). This is my first attemp again

It doesn't look too bad here but it's too 'frilly' and does not lend itself to adding beads - I see adding beads as the main point of the exercise !
So, I need to keep trying. I am determined on this one.
I had thought I had it all worked out but ........ I am more confident and seem to understand what's gone wrong rather than why ? I see this as progress.

I've been spending a little time on the 'up cycled Aunt Jen' picture - it's not finished but here is another look. I've added several more layers of paint - white and purple. I have some little metals things to add. I want to give more texture with some glass beads and a few thick 'drippy' lines. I think I will add a purples boarder around the sides - maybe not all around but will check out how it ' feels'. Maybe the colour will not work but I think it will.

I will aim to spend more time on this picture later today. I will also spend a bit more time than usual on FROM SCTRATCH (the book) - its taking shape as a book with a 'story' and I need to keep it going at a pace.

Other things like Christmas stuff and stocking the shop need doing ? I think a day planning would go down well. I find if I have a written plan things 'happen'.

Will report on my trip to the Hearth tomorrow.

Bye for now.

Friday, 19 October 2012

'Aunt Jen' moves on !

Hi Everyone
It's another damp morning today - looks and feels cold ! No sunshine at all - I will need a ' kick-start' to get going this morning.
It's almost the weekend again, not sure where the days go - this week has flown by ! Not sure what's in store for us this weekend ? However, today I'm busy with one of my new business clients again and have been doing some prep. - I will share the exciting news about a new online shop coming soon. I'm doing some support work for developing the shop. The online shop will be a Folksy member and I will add a link from here.
Last night, I spent some time adding to the recycle project 'Aunt Jen' - it's developing but still in very early stages

I've added some extra elements and some colour. I like what's happened so far.

More news - a very exciting package arrived yesterday.

Lots of crochet hooks in different sizes. Regular readers will know about my current obsession with crochet. These hooks will open up my options.

I did intend to make a crochet border for a picture. I didn't manage this yesterday but I hope I can squeeze it into the weekend. I'm off to our local wool shop (Treacle)Link here
I've just noticed they are having a sale !!!!
I need to find some interesting yarns to play with. I have some ideas of making some items for my pictures- so will have that in mind when I'm tempted by the sale !!!
I think that's about it for this week. Have a great weekend whatever you are doing. See you next week.
Bye for now

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Crochet and beyond .......

Hi Everyone
Weather report is good today - after a few days of very unsettled weather with rain and quite cold periods - it's a great change of atmosphere. I work so much better with sunshine.
I'm also feeling much better after a recent 'head cold' - so all looking good.
Must apply myself to my house and some serious cleaning up at some point today !
That aside, I hope to move on from my complete obsession with crochet. As readers know I've been trying to 'up skill' myself for about a week. All is well, I am getting there and have made a major breakthrough with my understanding and reading of the crochet stitches. Here are a few photos of my recent success

This is the heart which has eluded me for days. It looks OK - I love the hemp yarn and the secret is the correct tension along with the correct hook size. Seems blatantly obvious but it's a revelation to me !!

The heart is too big for the tag but I'm getting there and I know what to do in order to make the size appropriate.

The pink is about to become a flower.

I want to do the combination project in the final picture too. It's from a Crescendo project
This site is a wealth of great ideas and lovely presentation. I particularly like the combined stitching, crochet and paper thing going on. This is where I see my new crochet skills going. I've also been trying to find more examples of the frames I mentioned yesterday. Here's another look

I can't find my original link but I'm having a go with my take on the little project above. Will share my results.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Crochet has taken over !

Hi Everyone
The weather has improved as the day has moved on - earlier this morning the rain was very heavy and non stop for several hours. Now, the sun is out and shining and a blue sky has emerged. I can function again !

I've been busy today with business stuff and a client but am hoping to get a few hours work before I turn into a taxi system for my kids.

Last night I spent more time developing my rather poor crochet skills. I'm improving - very slowly. I have huge desire but am hopeless.

I know the photo is dark - I did this while waiting to watch an England football match ( which did not happen- long story) and it was quite dark. I had planned to make a necklace/collar into which, I could weave beads !
This was an ambitious aim. As you see - no chance.

The initial project idea ie crochet was initiated by reading this Crochet project

I was drawn to making these lovely frames for some of my doll paintings. I have not lost hope and am now ready to try my hand. Will report on my progress tomorrow.

Still on the crochet news, I've ordered myself a new range of crochet hooks to add to my practice sessions my ultimate aim is to crochet a dress for one of my dolls - I need a dream !!!!

That's about it for today.

Bye for now

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

New Doll for Christmas

Hi Everyone
It's raining today - what a difference to the whole atmosphere of the day !
Still struggling with my head cold and am involved in volunteer work this morning. Hope I can get through the morning without sneezing myself to death .

Yesterday, I did very little ( the head cold !). I practiced my crochet - not sure it's improved although I do feel more confident about the stitches I'm making

I was trying to make a heart for the centre. The first one was more like a flower. My last attempt

It's more like a heart but a way off being acceptable ! I will keep trying.

My next production is going OK - I started a new doll for a Christmas thing- I had a very different idea when I started but its changed my mind now. This is an initial sketch - I hope to add a 'ice' like feel with some circling deer in sheer paper ? just an idea at the moment. I like the plan and will try out some options

I took this last night in the wrong light so it's not a good photo. I hope the piece will be quite tall with lots of different techniques included
Just as an idea of height the doll is 2x A5 sheets.

That's it for today.
Bye for now.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Crochet hearts and tags

Hi Everyone
Yet again a lovely morning - blue sky and sunny. Must be cold but I'm not going out anywhere soon - I've got a horrible 'head cold' - eyes aching ,sore throat and nose running ! I've taken to my bed for a few hours with a hot lemon and honey drink. However, I've decided I'm not good at lying in bed during the day doing nothing, so am just writing this - it's a bit of a struggle but I will sleep for a while later this morning.
Last week I challenged myself to making a crochet tag in an hour - you can read the detail in my last blog. I spent lots of time over the weekend trying - much more than an hour ! I had relative success. I did improve my crochet skills but its not quite there yet.

This is the project picture- lovely and highly skilled work.

Other than the first picture all the other efforts are mine. The better examples use a quality wool and the the last uses hemp thread - I've tried lots of times to get the heart right. No chance. I need much more experience with the pattern. However, I have learned the difference between single and double crochet. I have also found I do like the process and will keep going.

With my new found enthusiasm, I have found another example of a great crochet heart - looks simpler but I've not tried it yet Technique here
Here's a few lovely images of the hearts

Fabulous colours and seems easy - there's a video too. Take a look.

Not sure what I will achieve today ? I hope to try the new heart approach and would like to draw an insect in my new journal - featured in my last blog.

Will report any progress tomorrow .

Bye for now.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Crochet Hopes - again !

Hi Everyone
The weather has improved enormously in the past hour and its almost sunny. Great news.
Not so great news - I'm struggling with a virus. I may go to bed for a few hours. It's in the balance at the moment.

On a more optimistic note - work has been going well recently and FROM SCRATCH is moving at a pace. I was hoping to get a separate page on this blog about my book but need to use the PC to set it up. I don't use the PC much (I use my iPad most of time ) so the job has moved down the list. I think it would be good to have a separate page as a record of progress as well as an opportunity to share. I hope to put this into place this weekend. It's a 5 min job, so not undo able ! or is it ?

Yesterday, I managed to add a little to my handmade book ( now dedicated to drawing insects). I have it on my desk in the studio and every now and again, I add something to the cover. Many of the additions are materials destined for the bin or left over ink on a stamp etc. I love this idea - using up every last element. My Granny was legendary for this 'waste not want not' approach to life, it must be in my genes.

As you see, I've added some beads to the string and this has transformed the feel of the book. Now, I can start to use the book.

I saw this lovely item a few days ago - the shape and colours of the piece inspire me to paint my version of this, I think I'd incorporate it into a painting. I'm not sure who has made this but I will find out and credit the work.

It's the kind of thing that I would like to use everyday to eat from. Not sure everyone in my family would like the pinks but who knows ? Should they notice ?

Here is another lovely thing :

And here is the tutorial link Tutorial
I long to be able to crochet 'with ease' - I'm going to do it now. Will report my efforts next blog. I'm going to give myself an hour - only !

Well, that's it for this week. Have a great weekend.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

'Experimental prompts' - my new technique.

Hi Everyone
Lovely day again !! No more to be said on weather.

I managed my workload yesterday and am onwards and upwards with the book. So, more of that today. I also added a little to the chair painting (don't have a title so will just called it 'the chair' for now

It's still very 'raw' but I like the feel. I'm going to display the final piece in the dining area so am using colours which will sit there. I see the project as a long job - in the sense that it will get many layers and varied treatments. I'd like to add one of the doll images from my Aunts collection. I mentioned my Aunts work a while ago - not sure how I can link the piece here but it's 24/9/12 blog - if you want to read about it.
This is the image I wanted to use it - in it's current state it's much too big. I think it would be good on tissue. I think,I will need to draw it rather than print.

I will experiment .

On another experimental front, I've been looking through one of the many books I have about ART. The book in question is this one, 'painted pages' by sarah ahearn bellemare. There are a series of exercises in the book and one of them in particular is called 'two-minute prompts'. As the name suggests its about prompting a creative moment. There are 16 little actions eg 'paint only with a white pen' or 'paint lines,shapes or tiny dots with a tiny brush'. All the prompts go in a bowl and you have 2 mins to pick out and 'DO', when 2 mins is up - that's that. The idea is to be a warm up activity but I like the idea as a PROCESS. I've taken the core policy and applied my own prompts based on elements, techniques and materials I want in my 'chair' painting. I've got unlimited time but I want to use all the prompts (eventually). I've decided my only rule for loosing a prompt is to 'sleep on it' and only if I feel it's not working. We will see how this goes.

I mentioned yesterday, the idea of producing a 'tools roll' to add to my 'on the move' art kit. It will be based on this lovely item. It's a folder for holding the kit I need for this portable art initiative. I really want to make this work for me ie on the move. It's eluded me for years. This folder came from Paperchase - love this shop. I will attempt to create a complimentary fabric for the roll using the folder as inspiration.

I think that's it for today. Lots to do !!!!