I've moved- you can find me over at the pesky bombolino now. Be a sweetpea and update your bloglines/links xxx.
I've moved- you can find me over at the pesky bombolino now. Be a sweetpea and update your bloglines/links xxx.
Well it's been a while. After a week of illness and a weekend from hell I am back from the brink of despair.
I left you with a little prize draw which Josie has won- congratulations mr monkeysuit! I like your idea of an embroidered clanger and will get to work on that right away.
In other news: I am moving. For various reasons that are far too dull and tedious to bore you with. But a change was needed. You can now find me here: the pesky bombolino. My posts are going to change. Not many words. Just photos. See you there.
Because there's two parts to every swap, of course: The giving and the receiving. I enjoyed the giving so much I almost forgot about the receiving... That was until this treasure arrived:
The colours are just perfect for me- I love apple green and aqua, together with the yellow they're such happy, sunshine colours. The fabric is a really beautiful, heavy canvas, and the trim and lining co-ordinate so fabulously:
It was filled with beautifully wrapped goodies which I couldn't wait to open- certainly not long enough to take a photograph!
The whole thing is just so wonderful!
The only thing is... I don't know who it's from. I know it's from someone called Jenn, so I've tried thanking two Jennifers already, but they weren't the right ones! If it's from you, I'm so sorry not to acknowledge that. Please leave me a comment and I can amend this! Hooray- I finally found my mysterious swap partner, it is Dayben- check out her lovely photographs here.
And if that wasn't enough goodness for one month, Vanessa the fairy princess, sent my girls the most wonderful parcel this week. The contents were so distinctive I think I'd have been able to guess who it was from even without looking at the senders address!
Do you see what I mean?! All that pink, sparkling frothiness! It was full of jewels, ribbons, note books, Fanciful Twist cards, sunglasses, the list goes on... Thank you Vanessa, my girls and I love it so!
While I'm reveling in the glory of all this mail-goodness, you may remember me writing last week that this would be my 100th post and promising some kind of give-away. I want to say thank you for the encouraging, inspiring comments you've left for me. Your support has made such a difference to how I work and has kept me going when I haven't been sure. So, I've been mulling it over and have come up with the following, rather complicated, idea:
I thought maybe you could leave a comment mentioning which is your favourite piece of all the work I've made and blogged about since I started. And then the winner (who's name will be picked out of a hat), will get a version of their favourite thing. Now, it has to be a version because some of the fabrics I may not be able to get again. And, some things took months to make. It's not that I don't love you all, but there has to be a limit; right?!! But say if your favourite thing was the bird quilting, then I could do a smaller version, like maybe a wash bag or book cover or something... I'm not promising to make the same thing over again (I hate making the same thing twice!), but something inspired by the original. Jeez, I'm boring myself now!
Anyway, go ahead, leave a comment; I'm hoping to catch a few lurkers with this, so don't be shy!
(PS you have about a week!)
So I joined my first swap... I've watched you all doing it but wasn't sure how to get involved. Eventually I chose the 'Back To School Swap' hosted by Friday Prize, mainly because dometicali said it was a good idea! The plan was to make a tote bag and fill with a sketch book and any other inspirational crafty bits or projects in preparation for the new school year.
My partner listed Lily Pullitzer prints among her inspirations, (which I'd never heard of before), so I had a look at the website which was in pink and green and features some really funky, bold retro style prints.
Amy Butler's Lotus fabric immediately came to mind as I'd lusted after a bolt at the Festival of Quilts and here was the perfect excuse to buy some! And I noticed from her blog that Emily likes knitting so I had to send these perfectly co-ordinating candy twist needles.
Being a newcomer to swaps I'm not entirely familiar with swap etiquette. Am I allowed to post photos before my partner's received her package? (I did warn her not to look!) Should I even post photos at all or is that just horribly egotistical in a 'look at what I made' kind of way? It's a nerve wracking affair, like a vast minefield of pitfalls, the biggest of which being: I like what I sent.. but will she?!
PS My next post will be my 100th, so in good old blogging tradition there will be a give-away!
Annie went back to school today. I'm obviously not as dedicated as some parents out there because for me it wasn't the bittersweet experience I've read other blogging Mums write about. I was overjoyed and skipped home!
I relished the peace and quiet and spent the day crafting. I finished a book cover to go with the bag and goodies for my back to school swap partner (which I'm itching to show you but I'll wait 'til next week so I don't spoil the surprise;)
And I had a go at this project which I dreamed up as part of the crafty alphabet:
A month or so ago I collected an obscene amount of wallpaper samples from a DIY superstore. I took so many I worried I was going to get stopped by security for taking more than was reasonable but nobody seemed to notice or care. It was good fun (the weaving- not the 'almost' shop-lifting!) and surprisingly comes closer to the effect I was trying to achieve with my Sean Scully patchwork.
When Eliza saw what I'd made she wanted to have a go too. And at the end of the day I picked Annie up feeling much more human. She joined in with the weaving frenzy too!
Here's some awe inspiring paper weaving from flickr:
1. Paper weaves, 2. Woven Paper, 3. BLUENEWS, 4. REDCOUPY, 5. Woven paper hearts, 6. rhombus and hex weave, 7. Woven Paper, 8. What to do with old magazines, 9. Paper weaves, 10. another hex weave - another view, 11. Kahnstruction ll, 12. paper project 9 of 16, 13. Paper weaves, 14. woven paper collage, 15. woven law books, 16. It's a colorful world
When I was in Barcelona last month my sister, her girlfriend and I went to the Joan Miro Museum where a Sean Scully exhibition was showing. I'd bought a print of the painting below for David's birthday last year and was really delighted to see it in 'real' life!
Wall of Light Light by Sean Scully
The painting is huge (108 x 120 inches) and although I'd admired the print I wasn't prepared for the hypnotic, absorbing presence the painting would have.
I'd been thinking about making a patchwork inspired by the painting for a while and I've finally made a preliminary sketch. I wanted to learn from Scully's use of light and colour, but I doubt he's thought of giving patchwork workshops(!), so examining the painting by copying it is the next best thing.
This is what I've learned so far:
Within the painting there are tiny changes in the size and scale of each segment that I didn't even notice until I came to draw a pattern up, which are essential to the creation of movement. For ease I made my piece more uniform but it's lost a sense of flow in the process, for example, the slightly taller cream and brown segment on the bottom left in the original pushes into the space above and the blue and orange pieces in the top left corner flow across into the next segment.
Although the painting has a uniform feel, there's a huge range of tones and shades within each band. There's a depth that's absent from my version; the light is not bright enough, the dark not deep enough; my tones are too similar. His really does glow like a stained glass window but there's a flatness about mine which deadens the design, takes the life away. So I think I need each colour made up of lots of smaller pieces, each slightly varying in texture and tone. Or maybe working onto the top of the patchwork with embroidery and embellishments.
These aren't colours I would usually choose to work with, they're far more muted and neutral. I am pretty far out of my comfort zone with these shades but I find his piece is bright and glows without using the bright, highly saturated colours I usually rely on.
Because of the obvious brush strokes in Scully's work his piece seems full of energy and life. I'd like to add much more texture to mine, I feel it should be more heavy and gnarled; it's too uniformly smooth.
And I want to scale it up massively, the huge scale lends Scully's work an impact. If its small it's somehow just a nice, pretty picture. The immense scale gives it a presence and power and fills your field of vision so you become totally absorbed. I want mine to be bigger, not by using more pieces but bigger pieces made up of lots of subtly varying colours and textures.
In the long term I don't want a pale imitation of Scully's work and if I follow it too precisely it can only ever be this. But if I study this piece I can use the knowledge I've gained to create something new.
I would love to tell you more about Sean Scully but when I got home I found out that the English exhibition catalogue I bought is in fact written in Spanish. You can find out more about him here and here
I've been thinking about the stark appeal of black and white for a while (remember this?!)
I've always resisted black and white, I was trained in art school to see both as 'non-colours'. Then I saw a book about Nancy Crow's quilts and I started to change my mind. I'm still resisting combining black with colour, I think it takes a really skilled touch to carry it off, but I've warmed to the idea of black and white with little coloured highlights here and there.
I was working on the beetle cushion (for my current bugs phase!) while I stayed in Birmingham for the festival and those quilts must have influenced me because I couldn't resist adding a touch of lime green to the finished cushion when I got home.
This monochrome-with-a-touch-of-really-bright-colour combination appeals to the 80's youth in me, when things like that were all the rage!
Here are some of my favourites from the Festival of Quilts last week:
Detail of Quiltstadt by Kristin La Flamme
Clothes Factory by Padmaja Krishnan
Neon Petunias by Anne Smith
(I'm pretty sure this was in the 'young quilter' section but I'm afraid I don't know the artist's name)
Bottom of the Ottoman by Maria Manuel
Cabin Logs by Bailey Curtis
Detail of Chitralikha by Padmaja Krishnan
Squaring the circle by Helen Hood
I've labelled them with their titles and the names of the artists where I can. (If anyone can help me with filling in the blanks, I'd be very grateful).
It was wonderful to see so many beautiful, creative, inspiring quilts. There were exhibitions of quilts by The Quilter's Guild, The Bosnian Women's Co-operative, African American Quilts, amongst others, but photography wasn't allowed so I can't share them with you. I also attended a couple of lectures, one by the editor of SAQA, which was disappointingly vague and un-inspiring. And one by Kaffe which was absolutely not!
I found the stalls slightly disappointing too. I expected to find the kind of fabrics I lust over on American sites but I didn't find too much of anything that I can't buy on my local high street. I did manage to spend some money on the following stands though :
Karry Dot Com (gorgeous turquoise and brown bag handles)
The Cross Stitch Guild (pure linen)
The Button Company (fabulous selection of buttons in bright, fun, colours)
Oliver Twists (beautiful hand-dyed threads)
and Creative Quilting (the only stand I could find duck egg / turquoise gingham on).
Annie revealed this to me yesterday:
She told me she had a new pet and it was inside the box. Bearing in mind her penchant for mischief and my well-known and much exploited fear of slugs and snails, I braced myself for what might be lurking within...
Don't worry, it's plastic! But what a lovely home: Note the lily pad, shimmering sequined water and hand crafted tree! I'm not sure what the pot is for, hopefully not frog food...
(update: Apparently he collects things in the pot that would otherwise go in the bin and 'uses them'!)