Friday, 29 October 2010

Hexagon huddle

Sketchbook tree hexagons 001

Looking at options for the hexagons, this seems feasible, but will need more tweaking of layout to ensure enough contrast between adjacent flowers. Some of the stripes are overly dominant, but aren’t we all sometimes?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Christmas is coming…. the needles are getting busy

This month’s edition of Stitch ( not be be confused with Stitch, or Stitch which I have not read) has some simple hand embroideries of trees, easily adaptable to your own stitch designs. One episode of Spooks produced, sewn with lovely thread from Lunatic Fringe Yarns, bought at the Handweaver’s Studio. This is about 12cm long.

Sketchbook tree hexagons 002

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Easier blogging with Windows Live Writer

Trying this out as recommended by Two On Two Off who is an active blogger, and has posted about the issues interweaving photos and text on Blogger.

Photos seem to be much easier to load

Sea kayaks in Wales

Manorafon 2010 103

Canoe Swirl2


Photoshop manipulation, negative and then polar coordinate swirl of sea kayaks




Canoe Swirl




More photoshop, negative, plus different polar coordinates of sea kayaks


Photo manipulation ideas from “ From Image to Stitch” by Maggie Grey.

So far, so good, hopefully more blogging of Morley adventures ahead.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

London day out - packing it all in

Rest of the family all occupied, so a day out in London on my own - no-one to say " this is REALLY boring". Starting from the lovely person I sat next to on the train, who had read many of the same books, to the return journey on the bus where all timings worked, what a fantastic day.
First stop, Bermondsey Street SE1 to the Fashion and Textile museum, and on the way interesting patterns: reflections in the pub window, swirls on the sandstone paving and underlighting with a changing rainbow of lights under the railway bridge.

Then intriguing buildings with some history, The Time and Talents Settlement

Bonkers shops only found in a prosperous city.

Trying on wantable shoes from United Nude, and then to the Horrockses exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum. On until 28th October, get there if you can. Beautiful clothes, moving reminiscences, fabric samples, insight into the textile designers' processes, well laid out and spacious rooms. The textile designs were particularly interesting to see, especially the architectural prints printed out lengthwise down the fabric bolt to allow 5 yards of skirt to have a continuous design around the circumference. The designers of the fabrics evidently had very free rein within the company and could take influences from exhibitions, nature, architecture, and even food.

An added bonus was the "Design and Gerontology" exhibition which is a collection of garments made as a result of GCSE students being challenged to produce clothing that included aspects of how the human body is affected by ageing. Very interesting final garments were produced, although some of the students need help in how to articulate those ideas when speaking about them.
After a quick coffee in the bright cafe, on to the London Glassblowing Workshop to see Essence: an exhibition of studio glass from the British Glass Biennale. Amazing pieces here, but it finishes on Wednesday. An added bonus is that Peter Layton runs glassblowing classes in the same space, so you get a view of his teaching and how students are getting on with their glassblowing. The techniques are very tactile, which seems strange for a molten object that could burn your hand off if handled incorrectly. My favourite piece was this, a 2 inch think piece of glass densely rippled on one side to allow the light to come through in differing shades of amber. Beyond my price range though and I also forgot to get the maker's name.

Next stop The Handweaver's Studio, in Finsbury Park. ( On the way, London juxtapositions: women in full black chadors alongside hordes of home fans going to the Arsenal home game at the Emirates stadium.) The Handweaver's Studio sounds as if it is full of hemp and sandals, but it is full of the most incredible yarns in all textures, colours and weights. Sold by weight, and with many high tech and specialist yarns like soluble, super-stretchy, holographic, meltable ( is that a word) it is heaven. Beautiful winds of wool tops, carded for weaving and felting are strewn around in baskets, just waiting to be picked up and stroked.

The shop's assistants are fellow fibre enthusiasts and really understand the need to handle a yarn before buying it. displayed among the wonderful shelves, are woven textiles of the highest quality in silks, linens and rayons, colours bounding everywhere. This is a must visit shop for all textile enthusiasts.
After a bagel, eaten on the tube ( certainly got value out of my travelcard) , off to the Sir John Soanes Museum. This has been on my list of must sees for too long, so it was wonderful to finally get there. The sense of anticipation builds as it is necessary to queue on a Saturday. A highlight for me was the astonishing picture room, and the guide evidently delights in revealing its hidden aspects to visitors. The original Hogarth paintings of The Rake's Progress are here and it is possible to get very close to see all of the hidden detail.

The candlelit vaults are unique and not for the claustrophobic.

On the way back to the tube, a chance passing of Shepherd's and Falkiners, and some time inside to ooh and aaah at the stunning hand-made papers: Japanese, Italian , French and British. the peacock in the window, made entirely of paper did not photograph well, but this close-up of the tail gives some impression of the delicacy of the papers inside.

Lastly a quick whizz around Covent Garden and environs: hats in the window at Stephen Jones, themed for the London Film Festival
fabric origami and vintage sewing machines in window displays.

Home for 6pm, mind buzzing.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

20h of wonder

Morley again last night, and a chance to incorporate our paste-print papers in to our textile work / sketchbooks. It is intriguing to see the books come together and reflect the character of their makers. These are scans of my prints that may be used as end papers.


The last image is of the back of the starfish-like paste print. This was a piece of screen printed paper found in the Morley studio bin, but was too great to throw away.

Then, followed up by a morning trying out my friend's Sashiko machine by Babylock - what an incredible experience. I'm not a sashiko stitcher, but this machine quilts in a very straightforward and easy way and is the nearest thing to hand quilting that I've seen. Lines, spirals, circles, swirls, all within easy grasp. If you get a chance to try one out on a quilt , then jump at the opportunity..... but start saving up. Thanks so much L!

And, also a chance to meet, chat and review future collaborative projects with B from SLIK stitches, who it turns out, lives really near us. Great to meet you.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Creative and Experimental textiles = consumed and exhilarated mind

In need of a creative push, I've signed up to an evening course at Morley College. Very occasionally, the minute you go through the door, you know you're in the right place - that's what Morley feels like.

The course is Creative and Experimental Textiles and so far we have been making sketchbooks, using our own paste print papers. These are great fun and an intriguing surface to stitch. Photo is of an A4 sized paste paper representation of a tree, bonded to interfacing, with fabric stitched on and joining threads left unclipped. I've now taken the scanned image of this and printed it on to calico using Bubblejet set prepared fabric, but pics of that will need to wait.

The green tree is a scan of an unadorned paste print, and the blue and pink ones are manipulations in Photoshop, courtesy of Number 1 son.

Can't wait for next week.
PS Number 2 son won third prize for Cruella!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

You know you've done an OK job as parents when your son is excited about going to school like this......

Book Character Day, so an excuse to go wild with the dressing up, but was this what they had in mind at a boys' school?

Go, Cruella!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Hushed hexagons

In a brief window of sunshine amidst torrential rain, background hexagons with calm, calico outer layers and vivid centres. Still finding stitching these to be therapeutic in the maelstrom of family life: vomiting nephew and vomiting dog, to name but two.