Sunday, 23 March 2014

Some bits of work...

Sometimes, it looks like we create things from nothing, on this blog. So here are some photos of us actually doing something in our times together. Plus some things we've made.

Here are some owl canvas embroideries that Helen has been working on at our meetings.

 Yes, well spotted, the second one did become a postcard!

Nola was braiding multiple strands of embroidery threads to create a watchband. It's quite fiddly because, even braiding many strands, the braid is quite fine.
Yvonne is working on her favourite activity, tapestry weaving. She has no special plan for these little pieces - they will find their way into something one day.
Helen had a challenge from another group, Lateral Stitchers, which she brought along to show us. She had to make a book wrap and a matching postcard in response to one of those paint sample cards you get at the hardware store. Her paint card was turquoise.

Here's the book wrap. It has a pocket in one end and a button, and the other end wraps around the book and attaches to the button.  She trapped fabric snippets behind netting.
The gorgeous blue netting is from a bag they sell fruit in, at her local greengrocer!
Here's the matching postcard:

Carol has been bringing this scarf along to Fibrecircle for a while. Not surprising, as it's going to be a real Doctor Who scarf, metres and metres long.

 Here's some embroidery - can you guess whose it is? Yes, it's Helen's. She does such beautiful handwork.

She made this beautiful sea scene as well

Jan was working on this piece of  cloth - it will be a postcard sometime soon.
And last meeting, Nola was working on her rigid heddle loom, creating a sample piece for warp and weft floats.
You'll see a photo of this when it comes off the loom.

Happy creating!

Journals - Birthstones

Last year, we had a lot of fun (and some challenges) working to a theme in our journals. This year, some of us thought we'd like to continue, and Yvonne suggested we work on the theme of birthstones.

Birthstones are quite challenging as themes! First of all, there are so many lists, as stones have fallen in and out of fashion or become more or less precious. We decided embrace the variation and compile  a list for ourselves that reflected all the others, rather than limit ourselves to a single arbitrary list. Here's our list, laid out nicely in Nola's sketchbook:

We can approach the task in any way we choose, even work outside our sketchbooks, if we like. We can focus on any aspect of the birthstone that attracts us. The idea is to build up a resource of things that interest us, that we can use later in our work.

First, garnets.  Many of us were away in January, which is summer holiday season in Australia. Only Helen and Nola found time to work on the garden theme, though the others may come back to it later.

Helen initially focused on the stones themselves, raw and worked. The worked stones yield such interesting geometric shapes.

These planes really interested her so she began playing with lines to create geometrical shapes.
Nola was also interested in geometric shapes, but she was fascinated by the natural shape of the garnet, which forms a rhombic dodecahedron, a twelve-sided shape with each side a rhombus or specific proportions. This shape, like a bee's honeycomb fits together in three-dimensional space with no wasted pockets between them. 
This led her into the composition of the stones. She was very interested in the exotic names of different forms of garnet and what these names mean; pyrope meaning "fire-eyed" , grossular, not relating to grains but to gooseberries. The name garnet comes from Latin granatus, "seed" an d may relate to the pomum granatum or pomegranate.
Archaeology is a lifelong interest for Nola so she researched cultures where garnets were widely used. There are lots of Roman artefacts with garnets.
Stay tuned for February... amethyst!

Friday, 7 March 2014

March already!

Sorry, everyone. This year seems to have started at a gallop, leaving our blogger gasping to catch up! As usual, we have been busy making things for the last two months.

First of all, our postcard swap continues. In January, Yvonne made this postcard using angelina and silk fibres and hand embroidery. The edge was created with a line of whip stitch.

Maz painted fusible web (vliesofix)  for the background of her postcard, stamped with a hand carved stamp and machine stitched. The edges were turned under and slip-stitched.

Nola painted and hand-coloured her postcard, which she called The Bonny Road, a reference to the road to faerie. The edges were finished with a hand-stitched picot in embroidery thread.

Carol's postcard combined felt, fibres and an embellishment. The felt edges were stitched together with a running stitch.

This postcard from Jan was made from embossed and natural-dyed paper on fabric. The edges were turned under and slip-stitched.

This one from Maz was made with a painted background, embellished with straight stitches. It has a machine satin stitch edge.

Yvonne made this one with mulberry and rice paper on Lutradur, embellished with fibre and stitch.

This is another of Jan's postcards made with natural dyeing. She dyed paper with plant materials, stitched it and mounted it on rust dyed fabric.

Helen has become interested in owls lately, so she made this postcard in her trademark canvas work.
There'll be more postcards towards the end of the month.