Thursday, 31 May 2012

OPAM - MAY Hand made felt and embroidery -

Well, May has not been as productive as that of previous months.
This is a little off the wall and I hope that this is acceptable for May OPAM.  I have been doing a lot of hand skills at school lately and wet felt making is one of them.  Many groups have got to grips with water, soapy solution and wool roving.  My latest group is a small group of girls who come to an after school club.  I need to be one stage a head to show them what to do so above is shown my example piece.
So we all made a wet felt piece for the main centre area.
We then taught the girls a few basic stitches.  Some had already completed a Textiles module and had some experience.  The option of adding beads and sequins to their felt to enhance certain areas of their design.  Their design really took on whatever pattern their wet felting created.  So it became a very spontaneous and creative development.
When they have finished their pieces I shall take some pictures for you to see.
I found some small canvases measuring 15cm x 15cm and taking some colours and shapes from their felted fabric and painted on to the canvases using poster paint.
The felt and embroidered piece is then attached to the dried canvas.
The final item can them hung up and admired.
So I have finished mine and after half term the group will put the final touches to theirs.
I shall take pictures to show you all, but the painted backgrounds look really good so far.
xx

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Sophie's Artwork

My 9 year old daughter loves drawing and making just about anything.  She likes to see things take shape and become reality, especially if the idea is hers.
Sophie also likes my Polaroid Pogo Printer.
So last weekend I showed her how to take some pictures of her latest creations and then print them out.
They are usually stuck on her wardrobe with blu tack.
Sophie likes to draw anything.  Fairies are very popular.
Toadstools seem to be appearing more lately as well.
Jolly sea creatures.
The above picture was one that she had in a dream and wonders if I could make it?!!
Once all of the pictures had been printed off she stuck some on to the cover of a small sketchbook and the rest inside it.  She says that she will draw in the book and add pictures of any that are too big to glue in.
I think a Polaroid Pogo may need to be in Santa's sack in December, what do you all think?
xx

Monday, 28 May 2012

Mini Master Piece

....well it might be a master piece, what do you think?
I love to visit Alisa Burke's blog and in April she had a great post about going outside of your comfort zone.
For her it is to paint small, to work on small pieces.
The post is here and the art work is brilliant.

I thought about it and seemed to remember buying a very small canvas just before last Christmas with the idea of making some stocking filler drawings.
The drawing is linked to a design that I did ages ago for a silk scarf but also links to some of the work that I am doing as part of the on line Sketchbook Delight class that I have signed up to do.
This canvas measures 6cm x 8cm and I used watercolours and a black fine liner to add the detail.  It dried very quickly so I have to work quickly.
Despite the size it was really satisfying to make and  have a such little work of art.  It sits on my white dresser in the kitchen.
I found the little canvas in Truro Arts and next time I am in there I shall see about buying some more, at 69p each it is a fun thing to do with Sophie and a challenge due to the area available to draw on.
What is the smallest thing that you have ever made?
xx

Sunday, 27 May 2012

It is time to say Good-Bye

I have been a bit absent this week and what a week it has been.  Glorious weather, lots of work and farewells.
The weather speaks for itself and it has been so hot at school that the sudden rise in temperature has been a bit difficult for the students to concentrate.  It is either all or nothing sometimes and a gradual increase in temp would have been better.... we are never satisfied but there you go.
On Friday my tutor group officially left school, although many will be in on  Monday for exams.
We had an excellent final assembly which over-ran by an hour but was allowed due to what was taking place.  I have taken part in numerous final assemblies but this one was very different and I am not sure if I can fully put my finger on why exactly.
My group have been brilliant and the past 5 years have whizzed by.  I have had so few problems, genuinely lovely students, supportive parents and a great atmosphere that there were times when I was expecting the bubble to burst.  I have had many lovely students in the 6 previous groups that I have been responsible for but not so collectively where all 28 have been a delight.  I would have been proud to have any one of them as a son or daughter and I hope that my own daughter, Sophie, turns out just as well.
I could take them anywhere, introduce them to anyone, leave them in charge of a task and be confident that they would not let themselves or me down.  In short the next group have got a bit of an act to follow!!
The picture above it a gift from a student and his Mum and is perfect for my white and red theme in my kitchen.
This gift is from another student and was given to me with a lovely big smile.
Thank you Kieran, I think I shall be looking for a lovely necklace to use this giftcard as a memento rather than a frying pan which I bought with a birthday giftcard!!
I shall really miss this group, they have great personalities and not the selfish attitude that their age group can sometimes display.  They have showed empathy and support for each other and I am sure that they guessed something was up last September when my Dad passed away even though nothing was ever actually said.
I had a further surprise when we received a certificate for maintaining the highest attendance over the past 5 years which was a surprise because we are a sharing group and when one gets a chest infection it is passed round!  One the other hand they do not stay at home just because they have a sniff either.
The staff then sang a song to the music of "New York New York" and we had changed words which matched the fact they were leaving and moving on. (Only knew about this lunch time the day before and our practice was not good at all).
At the end we were given a round of applause and a standing ovation!
It was all quite emotional and students always say they can not wait to leave but they looked far from willing.  My lesson started off my passing a box of tissues round and assessing mascara damage!  I had to let them calm down before I could get any work out of them and the added heat did not help either.
By the end of the week as we move into the half-term holiday I am sure that they will begin to feel differently and look forward to moving on to the next stage of their lives.
xx
PS
I can not believe that I forgot to say that all data, stats, merits, attendance etc was worked out over the 5 years my tutor group came out on top and I was given a Best Tutor Group certificate as well.  As you can imagine I have laminated it as I doubt that I will get another one of those!
I am a bit chuffed too.
xx

Friday, 25 May 2012

Zentangle Patterns

After trying out some Zentangles a bout 6 months ago I decided at Easter to devote a small A5n sketchbook to these fascinating patterns.  Above shows one that I created using pen and watercolours to add a different depth.
This is a similar idea but without the colour.  Looks completely different doesn't it?
This is using a sharpie pen and I started with a paisley shape outline and then just kept going.  I realise that different shapes etc can have different meanings, but I am literally just doodling.
Tried adding more black to the background and it does make the images stand out more.
Then compare that with this example which has been finished off with watercolour paints.
I really do enjoy doing these and I really wish that I had more time to do more.  I have had the firs set of Zentangle homework in from Year 7 and they have done brilliantly.  I have put some up on display.
So this is my Zentangle sketchbook so far and I hope to tangle some more.
If yo have not tried this then have a look at some of the Videos on You tube  which will show you some zentangles actually being created and it is fascinating to watch.
xx

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Jubilee Quilted Mug Rug Project in Popular Crafts

Several months ago I approached Katherine at Popular Crafts and was asked to submit and idea for the Golden Jubilee issue.  This is the current issue and I was kindly sent a complimentary copy.
This submission was never intended to have a fee instead I am hopefully going to appear somewhere in an issue further along the line and I did have a mention in the blogs to see section a couple of issues back.
Being such an important event I was a little worried about this to start with.  What if my idea was not good enough.  Katherine was very trusting and when I said a Mug Rug with a Jubilee theme I was given the go ahead.
It has to be the most nerve wracking project to date.  Well it is an important event and this issue will be remembered too.
A fashionable pink polka dot mug rug with floral binding around the edge.
You can see roughly when it was made by the lovely yellow daffs. 
Unlike Sew Hip where they took their own pictures, Popular Crafts used my photos in the magazine which is a new thrill and I simply had to use my Cath Kidston spotty tea cup  and matching tea pot which my SIL kindly gave me.
I hope to work with Popular Crafts sometime in the future and a big thank you to Katherine for helping to sweeten the very bitter pill dished out by All Craft Media who publish Sew Hip magazine.  If you are a member of Ravelry pop over and read the comments about this publishing company, very very blunt to say the least.  Basically they have gone into liquidation.  I have kept quite for over a month now but I have been in contact with the liquidators and even they have not bothered to reply!
  Basically , my work was used, I am owed £150 and I am unlikely to ever get paid!!!
I would like to work with other magazines, especially Mollie Makes but I shall want some key questions answered first in future.
It has been suggested that perhaps I would be better off writing a book and putting all of my ideas in one place instead.
Anyway....I am being let out of school today to go on an Art Textiles course in preparation for September, which I am really looking forward to including the train ride down to Falmouth Docks as the course is taking place at Pendennis Castle.  Should be a good day.
x

Monday, 21 May 2012

Felt Book Cover - Indigo Stitched Designs

I have been waiting to list this felt book cover until the website was up and running.
It is a new design which includes hand cut felt, embroidery and brads to bring this design alive.
I love this green colour and use it quite a bit.
The cover is re-usable and will fit an A6 hard backed book.  I do have some spares which I shall be listing too.  Pop over and take a look at the other versions that I have listed.
Happy Sunday.
xx

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sketch Book Sunday

In February I signed up for an on line Sketch Book course with Alisa Burke.  I have been working slowly through the lessons over the past few weeks/months.  I am finding to a good way to relax in the evening too.
I have also been putting my Polaroid Pogo printer to good use too.
This is the cover of my sketchbook it features a dried poppy seed head from my Sister in Laws garden plus a sketch of a shell.  There are reasons for these pictures.
Alisa Burke is having a reduction week for her on line course if you want to pop over and take a look, but be quick.
Getting to grips with pens and pencils with notes.
Moving onto to shading and light with a range of media.
Introducing colour.  I like using water colours and water colour pencils a lot.  Started using them when studying for my Fashion Degree and loved using them ever since.  They are a bit of an investment but they last a long time.  You can also buy them individually if a colour runs out.  I have still got my original tin bought in 1991 and added a few colours along the way.
Then a big sketch using the skills covered so far.  I am using an A5 sketchbook for portability but also I also have a chance of actually finishing pages.  i have signed up for the follow up course and I think I shall get a bigger sketchbook for that.
I decided to add some pictures of the item I was using to add another dimension.  It does not call for that in the classes but I wanted to be able to use them anywhere without having to carry a dried poppy seed in my handbag!
A change of media and on the left I used some of Sophie's wax crayons.  The picture on the right is Derwent  soft colouring pencils and some of these I have had since doing O'level Art and Design at 6th Form!
They are lovely to use and some are very small to hold so I may treat myself to a new set at some point.
Looking at patterns in everyday things meant more fun with my Polaroid Pogo!
Bold shapes and colour.
Doodling and shapes with colour to add depth.  I love doodling and letting my brain empty itself of the days
This is one of my favourite pages.  Bold lines and working quite quickly without being too precious resulted in something much better than I was expecting!  One of my favourite pages.
Moved onto lines, shapes and tone.
I am now working on a full page which I will show you when it is done. I thin that is enough sketchbook goodness for now.
I have really enjoyed this and wish that I had more time to work on it, but I am getting there..........gradually.
xx

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Olympic Flame in Cornwall

Well we went into St Austell and found our spot and waited for what seemed like forever!  
As we got out of the car a friend called out so we and our daughters went off to find our spot.
We were at the front on our spot but you know what it is like and by the time anything was happening we were no longer at the front.
So we did the best that we could with our pictures.
We were stood there for nearly 90 mins but then eventually some large buses and coaches paraded through.
Cheerleaders.
Olympic coach.
With the motto and logo on the side.
Lots of buses with the support crew and music etc
Hundreds of people.
The next few pictures are the results of a group effort.  You can just about see the torch bearer top left as you look  at the photo.
Just going out of shot but you can see me bottom left wearing the flowery fleece top with the black background.
I kept snapping away and this was the best I got.  A hand, torch and lots of smiling faces!  My friends daughter got a better shot and said she would email it to me so I may be able to show it later.
So it past me within a few feet.  It is now on its way to Lanivet in mid Cornwall and should be in Plymouth by about 8.50pm.  I had hoped for a better picture but there were so many people out to watch, but that is a good thing and it looks like it is going to be a very exciting 10 weeks leading up to the Opening Ceremony.
As we were walking back to the car we caught up with one of the smaller buses and we saw........
...what looked like spare Torches.  They really are much more shiny in real life.  There was about 8 of them and it was quite a surprise to see them.  
Plus this little character stuck to the window.
If you are able to log into the BBC website you should be able to see a route and additional information.
One of my students is going to carry the torch along Plymouth Hoe tonight and I wish her all the best.
xx
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