Tuesday, 8 December 2015

And a few more things we've been doing...

Cindy has been drawing  a lot recently. She's been doing an online class but, as we all know, the trick to being this good is to draw a lot and keep on drawing!

Aren't these wonderful?

Helen has been stitching things for Lateral Stitchers challenges:

The Laterals challenges have all been in this square format for a while now. I guess it makes them easy to display!

Here's a book that Robin made, in a Linda Green workshop recently:


It has maps for some pages - very interesting memento of her travels!

She also took a Chinese Brush Painting class with Maggie Cross at West Dean College, in West Sussex, UK.

Very interesting possibilities!

She also brought along a quilt she's been working on. This is the centre of a queen-sized bed quilt.

We love blue and white quilts, but we love this one particularly for its intricacy! It's going to be just amazing when it's done.

Our next meeting is our last for the year so we'll be having a yummy lunch! See you then.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

October postcards

Only four of us swapped postcards in October, because it as a very busy time for everyone.

Nola's postcard was one she was working on earlier. It has a painted background, embellished with Inktense and watercolour pencils and black pen, mounted on Tyvek with a hand picot edge.

Yvonne's postcard was made with tissue dyed fabric, with added organza, dyed unspun wool, embroidery and a whip-stitched edge.
Maz's postcard was made from dyed fabric, embellished with hand embroidered running stitch and French knots, mounted on card.

Helen's postcard was also made from dyed fabric, with a photo of a peacock, trpped under wrapping paper fibre and mounted on card.

All different again!  It's always fascinating to see how each person approaches the process of making a tiny 6in x 4in artwork each month.

We're so late with this post that the group is meeting again tomorrow. More pictures of our activities soon!

October is a distant memory but...

...due to various complications, our blogger didn't blog at all last month. So here's what we were making back then:

Carol was working on some paper cutouts called Kirigami, from this calendar, which she's been saving for a while.

They start with easy ones and get progressively harder. She decided to make them in bright colours to  use as Christmas decorations.

If these are the easy ones, I'd hate to try the hard ones!

Nola was working on a postcard for later in the month. It's one she pulls out of her postcards basket to work on periodically but it never seems to be just right. It's a painted background with various other media used, mostly Inktense pencils.
Later in the month, she was back working on her version of the cereal box book, which we started way back here. Her book was made from a fat biscuit box so it's needed a lot of pages. She's just about ready to star putting in images and memorabilia from her trip to southern Africa last year.

Helen was working on one of her embroidered stones.
They're cute little things and people grab them as soon as she makes them!

Maz has been working on a lot of concept drawings for her work for ATASDA's biannual Palm House exhibition in the Sydney Botanic Gardens, in May next year. The theme of the exhibition is façade, because 2016 is the 200th birthday of the Gardens and artist Jonathan Jones will create an artwork celebrating The Garden Palace, a structure from the Gardens' history. Built for the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879, this massive structure burnt to the ground in 1882. It should be very interesting to see his "ghost building"!

Here are some of Maz's drawings for her work in façade:

Looks very interesting! I'm sure we'll see more of this in due course.

Maz was also working on her piece for the Miniature Round Treasures challenge for ATASDA. The works will be on display at the Epping Creative Centre in December and January.

Isn't it pretty? It's going to be an interesting exhibition.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Of course there were postcards..

 Cindy's postcard this month was mixed media. Her postcard was based on paper serviettes, stamped and hand stitched, with painted Vleisofix and foiling and a buttonhole stitched edge.

Helen's postcard was made on a base of fabric strips, machine stitched, with flowers from Suffolk Puffs and machine stitched fabric leaves.

Nola's postcard was hand painted and hand stitched, with a fine picot edge.

Maz's postcard was based on hand painted cotton cloth, with hand stitching. The edges were folded under a paper backing.
It's always amazing how different our postcards are to one another's and how typical they can be of what we like to make. Cindy often works in mixed media; Nola likes painting, printing or dyeing fabric and stitching it; Maz also likes to add hand stitch to painted or dyed cloth. Helen embroiders on canvas mostly but she often makes postcards like this, with machine stitching and three dimensional elements. 

Friday, 2 October 2015

What a quirky day!

Last meeting, we were talking about ways to use Tyvek. This time, Cindy brought along a couple of her works that included Tyvek, to show everyone.

This one was made for a challenge with the extraTexture group. Each member made a work inspired by this photo of Avalon Beach by Rob Shelberg. The rock in the foreground was made from Tyvek. It's beautifully textural.

The other work, Hawthorne Pond, was based on Cindy's own photograph, based on a photo of reflections in a pool on a cloudy day. The leaves floating on the surface were made from Tvvek.

She says the trick with Tyvek is to use it for details. It certainly works well here!

Some of the girls were talking about World Book Day. It falls in April, but some of the events went viral on Facebook. One of them invited people to grab a nearby book and share the fifth sentence on page 52. Just for fun, we tried it.. 

Helen: "Politicians who vast piles of cash made the inbred aristocracy turn a blind eye to their vulgar origins. (Girt by David Hunt)

Maz: 'History heaves and pukes under every paving stone." (Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover)

Nola: "It was a sad state of affairs but these days, Bradshaw even envied him that status." (No Name Lane by Howard Linskey)

Cindy: "The streets of Geneva were deserted, the bars silent, the electric trains empty." (I an Pilgrim by Terry Hayes).

Make you want to read any of them?

Cindy was making scoubidous to use as luggage tags. Have you seen a scoubidou? Most of us hadn't.

Scoubidous are a knotting technique with plastic strips. You can do really complex knotting patterns of more simple ones.

Here's Cindy making her scoubidou.

You can see a lot more about them here.

I don't think any of us was working really hard, do you? Except maybe Cindy.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

And what we were working on


Nola was working on her work for the same out of hand exhibition as Cindy's work in the last post. Her work is called wanton, a word used about women who were "out of hand". Her main interest is how we label people and the power those labels can have. You'll see a full picture once it's finished.

Maz was working on future postcards. She had this beautiful fabric as a base and was adding stitch.
This is the scrap remaining after she'd cut two postcards:
Very pretty and delicate!
This is the first postcard finished..
Love it!
Meanwhile, Helen was working on a little something, just so she had some work to do. She thinks it will become, " a notebook or something"!

She's also brought along the circle work for Lateral Stitchers that she was making last time.. Plus two more! That display is going to be great!
See you later this month!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Trees trees trees trees...

... and yet more trees...

We were a small group last time, between flu season and travel season! But, perhaps inspire by spring in the air, we all had trees to share in our journals.

Maz was inspired to investigate leaf shapes this month. A lot of Australian trees look very similar to one another at a casual glance, so finding the small details that distinguish them can be quite important, especially for those of us interested in dyeing with them!

First she had words for the different shapes. Isn't "oblanceolate" a wonderful word?
Then she drew pictures of the shapes. So now we know what oblanceolate leaves look like!

Her next pages looked at the shapes of the tips of leaves and the way they're arranged on the stem.  Specific Australian trees species are mentioned, which is really handy if they happen to be good for dyeing!

Then we have a specific kind of leaf cluster called compound palmate leaves, like you get on Umbrella Trees.

Last of all, she looked at the veins in the leaves, which can have distinctive patterns, and at structures in the leaf called domatia. A lot of Australian trees have specific domatia, such as bumps, hollows or bristles on the surface of the leaves. The kind of domatia and their location can be an identifying characteristic.
So now you know! With your leaf guide in one hand and a tree twig in the other, you're well on the way to identifying the tree species, and that will tell you whether it's likely to give you wonderful colour in your dye pot.

Meanwhile, Helen was continuing with her fantasy trees. She's inspired by the gorgeous trees you find in medieval tapestries. This one is a Tree of Life, which she drew with Aquarelle pencils. These trees are fascinating because they always had many different fruits on them, something even the most ardent grafter couldn't achieve!

Nola's trees showed more of her experimentation with techniques. This month, she was working with  different kinds of collagraphs. Her first tree was a print from a craft foam plate stitched with embroidery thread and printed with Permaset printing inks.

Her next prints were leaf prints, made by impressing a leaf into a piece of foam meat tray, using a marble rolling pin. This is what she got when she printed the plate.

Then she created an impression plate by putting objects on a piece of foam core sheet and running it through a press. These plates are all very low relief. 

While she was printing , she accidentally over-inked the plate. She took a very wet print to clean the plate and then took a monotype from the wet print.
She liked this one much better than the prints she'd been getting, as the wet inks gave interesting patterns that were very natural. She also liked the second print she took from the wet plate.

Sometimes these accidental prints are the best!

Cindy didn't create anything in her journal this month but she did bring a tree to show us.

Isn't it gorgeous? It's called "Can't see the wood for the trees" and she made it for the untethered exhibition out of hand, in November this year. The background is made from her prints, many from gelliplates. The canvas on which its mounted is also printed with white textural media. The tree itself is beautifully three-dimensional, made from couched yarn.