Friday, 29 July 2011

Oriental Image postcards

It's been a strange week, I've been busy but there's little to show for it except this set of cards for my version of Oriental Images. 

Omiyage means 'gift' and my Omiyage is  loosely attached to the card.   She can be taken off and by opening  up the back seam and filling it with rice turned into a small paper weight or key fob.  I hope the recipients enjoy her.

I've received four Oriental cards from the BQLPC group this week.

All very different images, Sunrise over the Mountain from Jan, Sashiko quilting from Sue, Bonzai from Alice and a wonderful Geisha from Carole.

I've decided to limit my card swaps for the foreseeable future, sadly postage is beginning to hurt a bit when I have several to post overseas.   I have one box to make for Debs in Australia and after that I hope to concentrate a bit more on digital art and quilting with the odd UK swap to keep my hand in.

I'm off to Fountains Abbey tomorrow to see the Textile Art show, which finishes on Sunday.  I hope to take some photos and perhaps incorporate them into journal pages.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Painted hands, painted nails

Why is it that despite wearing rubber gloves I still get paint all over my hands and nails?  Answer: because I'm stupid enough to take off the gloves when washing the plates, brushes and rollers.

Sewing has gone out of the window recently as I've had the urge to create lino blocks.    I love stylized plants and lowers and recently bought Angie Lewin's book "Plants and Places".   It gave me the source and inspiration to create lino blocks of stylized grasse.   First I tried my hand at drawing a sun, and clover and plantains and carving out a negative block.  However, when I printed it out I thought there was too much paint and not enough detail.

So I tried to create a positive lino block by stamping the negative block onto another piece of lino and removed all the blue ink.   It took me much longer than I anticipated but I like the effect.  Some of the plant details got lost in the cutting as I found it too difficult to leave tiny spikey bits without cutting off the tips.

This piece started off as seed heads with a view to making something for the EG's 'Sewing a Golden Seam' challeng.  Or alternatively as an overstamp for one of the pieces of screen printed fabrics I did at Summer School.  Not sure now I've finished it what I'll actually do with it - any ideas?

I actually did this lino cut some time back but have only just printed it out onto fabric.  I think it would make a good book cover or ......?  Alternatively I could mount the block onto a canvas and use it as wall art.

Not sure why Blogger has turned these photos and I don't know of anyway to turn them the right way round now that they've been uploaded.

I've also been playing with Paintshop Pro and Photoshop but the PSP ones are on my laptop so I'll show them another time.   I've been concentrating on using adjustment layers together with 'effects' to see what can be done.  This one was a soft light adjustment, rainbow gradient that I created and reduced the opacity to 50% and gave it a soft plastic filter. 

This one was uses a photo a rose, gradient filter and a photo of Fountains Abby as a displacement map
 Got lost in this one and am not sure what steps I took.   Apart from framing two layers and using the buttonise filter on both together with dropped shadows.   I was aiming for one of those plaster plaques effects that were all the rage many years ago.   I know I overlayed two gradients and a  photo of lupins up against the shed in our back garden.  Apart from that sorry not sure what I did.  It was getting late and I was watching a film at the same time.

As for the state of our kitchen, it is all finished, clean and shiney (well almost shiney) and I can now get to the front door without feeling like I've just climbed Everest.  Living room is the next one to tackle but I've seen the price of wallpaper so I'm going to do the cheap and cheerful and test out the steam cleaner on the walls.   If it looks okay well it'll do another year, if not Keith will have to open his wallet and let the moths out.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Catching up with my postcards

Last Sunday Keith asked me if we were ever going to decorate the kitchen, it was already two years behind schedule.  I was a bit miffed and said yes today.  I should have kept my mouth shut because he took me at my word and started boxing up the kitchen ready to decorate.  We live in a very small house and the kitchen is the worst room to clear out so for the past week its been a struggle to get to the front door.  When I did this pile of goodies awaited me from the BQLPC and Surface Design groups

Deb Cragan's Textured PC card represents Winter Crops.  Deb has used ribbons, coloured lace and sari wrap to give a kaleiderscope of colours.

 Maria Davis has layered painted fabrics, sheers, stamps together with flowers for her Textured Landscape.
 The 'Painted Landscape' swap is one from the Surface Design group and both Sonya Anderson and Becky Aranyi have used similar techniques and colours of layered, stamped and painted surfaces.

Food, we all have our favourites, Rosemary likes coffee, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, while Jacquie craves summer fruits of strawberries, raspberries and cherries.

Michelle Cooper sent a late 'Summer' card but it was well worth waiting for.  She calls it her Kentish Summer but its one that is repeated all over the world.  Poppies, Rapeseed, green fields of crops  shown against a summer sky.

I've been following Margaret Ramsay's (otherwise known as Digital Gran)  blog for some time now and love her photos and her digital imagery.  So my task today is to go and play with my software as its a while since I did any digital art.  I'll show you later what I've done.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Belstead House CQ Summer School weekend

Not sure what's been happening with Blogger but this is the first time its allowed me to get onto my blog page.   So sorry for the delay in showing you some of our CQ activities last weekend but here they are as promised earlier.   

We started after dinner on Friday night with designwork to use over the weekend.   As a starting point Notan designs were used.  Notan as you know is a form of reverse patterning in black and white.  These are my efforts, a bit of an effort late Friday as I was quite tired from travelling.

The top one started with one 4" black square, as did the one below but I later used this second design to produce a piece of screen printed fabric.

 Some of the designs started as circles, this one I later used the cut out bits as a screen print design but never actually got round to using it.  I've brought it home to complete the process.   We drew the design onto freezer paper, ironed it onto non-fusible interface, covered the whole thing with emulsion paint.   Once it had dried peeled the freezer paper away to make a sort of faux thermofax screen. 

This is a dry print of the second design.   If you are CQ members you can see the resultant fabric in the Linda Maynard workshop folder on their website.  Unfortunately I didn't get round to take a photo.

My blue piece is just above the bottom one, not keen on it and will probably overdye and rescreen it.

This piece we 'blank' printed which basically means you use the screen without any design on it to cover the fabric with dye.  It's a great way to cover you fabric quickly with dye.  Once it had dried (and it was a lovely sunny weekend so drying wasn't a problem) it, along with the rest of the group's pieces were wrapped in polythene and snuggled up in an electric blanket to 'mature'.

Sunday morning we gave the pieces a wash to get rid of the excess dye, one or two had slight dye loss, all of mine went down the plughole!  Although I was under the impression I'd bought cotton sateen it was obviously not cotton as none of the dye stuff stuck to it.  Luckily it was the only piece of this fabric that I 'd used that weekend.

I made another piece, this time using cotton poplin but it will have to wait to be discharge printed.

After each printing session the screens had to be washed to get rid of the dye.  If its left on the screens to dry it renders them useless.

This is Rose with her lovely piece.

The soda dye buckets were in constant use over the weekend, you should have seen the floor when we finished on Sunday.

Belstead House from the front.

The path down to Belstead Meadows brook, lots of lovely works round here.

The view from our workshop windows, the flowers were beautiful and it was a great place to hang the fabric to dry.