Friday, 27 July 2012

It's all about the image.

I thought I'd start making image collections.  As I have said before, I have no wish to burden my family when I shuffle off this mortal coil, with huge numbers of quilts that everyone is frightened to throw away.  I have to make them, there's no stopping me!  What I can do though, is collect images of all the work I've done, and put them into small books that can be carried through time as a small momento, should anyone wish to of course.

So above are two of them.  On the left is a beautiful leather bound new sketchbook I bought recently to record the goings on of the guerrilla gardening.  The leather is so gorgeous and soft, but I've refused to keep it for best, and am getting stuck in with the gesso and paint.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Coffee spoon repeat pattern

Just thought I'd show you this.  Not artistically wonderful as you can see.

Very hasty coffee spoons just to see if it works...and it does (of course!)

Yay!  I think I can improve on my spoon depiction and develop the idea with leaves for Life 8.  Did I tell you I'm up to thinking about Life 8? 

Friday, 20 July 2012

Can you see a pattern repeat?

Some people have the sort of brain that can look at a pattern and see a repeat straight away.  I can't. I'm absolutely useless at seeing pattern repeats. Someone in my family is dyscalculic and can't remember strings of numbers, but has an extraordinary ability when it comes to spatial awareness...apparently one of the top 1% in the country...and can throw tessellations around with alarming speed.

When it comes to printing on cloth, I've often wondered how it's done so seamlessly (pun intended) and after Laura Kemshall showed me how on DMTV it's inspired me to have a go.  I can't tell you how it works, not only because that wouldn't be fair (that's how they earn their living after all) but because I don't think I could.  I know what you do (I made extensive mental notes and pressed very hard with my memory pen!) but not a scooby about how it works.

Anyway, I went to Manchester at the weekend and spent an unnatural and unwarranted time in Paperchase. I bought a new silkscreen (huge) and a bottle of black textile printing ink (huge) and these two delightful pieces of paper.

The one below has a pattern repeat that is easy to see and isn't it great?  I can imagine this as discharged black fabric.  The one above, well, I don't know if there is one. Can you see it?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Sunday, 8 July 2012

And yet more presents - kettles!

My lovely youngest DD, is coming home from Hong Kong soon, before moving on to Istanbul for a year.  She did some of her archeology training there whilst at University, so is looking forward to immersing herself in the architecture and history again.

She very kindly sent me a couple more kettles.....I'm becoming a little obsessed with kettles and bronze jugs!!!

They're quite unusual shapes arent' they?  The bodies are ceramic.

Maybe I need to make another bookshelf quilt to put all my treasurers on??

It's not even my birthday you know.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Keys, and lovely, lovely, presents!

On a posting of a few weeks ago, I said........

"This is the only interesting key I have (plenty of Yale and boring double glazing keys of course) and it's in my collection of small and interesting things."

I wanted to hang it on a shelf to symbolise the key to my heart.  But in the end, I didn't go with that idea, and just put it in front of a book I keep dipping into, about Hockney. A very useful source of inspiration and ideas....perhaps unlocking something creative for me.

So imagine my surprize a couple of days ago, when a nicely stuffed envelope plopped onto the pile of dust sheets and rubble being marched in by builders during the wet weather. the front door mat.

Inside was this lovely card with details of "Tiptoe Tulips" by Edwina Mackinnon


This lovely little key with a black ribbon bow.

Someone had read about me being a bit short of keys and so sent me this one to add to my collection ..... of one!

Please note the nice white studio walls and the very sophisticated hanging system I have.


(that's not all)

there was this gorgeous fat quarter of fabric with keys all over it.

You can probably guess where they came from by now, even if you didn't click on the link, because you might recognise the fabric.

If you don't, and want to find out more, it - and many others - are available to buy here

One of the lovely things about Laura's fabric is the finish she gets on it; it's lovely and soft and smooth, and it's smells divine!

I think there's a DMTV programme about repeat patterning this week, featuring keys, but I haven't tuned into it yet ...I shall indulge myself tomorrow afternoon whilst the rest of the world watches tennis!

Thank you Laura, it was a lovely surprize!!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Thinking about where to go next

Well, we're still sans bathroom.  No loo, no sink, no shower, no bath, but this morning we appear to have tiles stuck to walls. Progress!!

So, I still can't paint or use my machines as there just isn't room.  I have however managed to do some hand sewing. Nothing massively exciting I'm afraid, just attaching a bit of extra wadding and fabric so that I can make a frame for Life 4.

I hate squaring up.  I don't always have a finished size in mind for a quilt and tend to let them grow if they need to.  I sew over where I imagine the edges will be, just so there's no blank bits, but then I hate cutting them off. They're my friends!!

I'm putting frames on all the Life quilts as it focuses the viewer's attention on what's going on. At the moment, they all have the same dark brown for uniformity.

Whilst I was sitting around doing nothing much, I began to think about the next two Orientation quilts.  In my last posting I mentioned one would be a still life, but that got me thinking.

Does a still life have to be just objects on a table etc., or can people be "still".

Every picture of course is a captured moment - there is no movement so essentially figurative work is all still, but I wanted to find a way to convey stillness to go alongside my pots and flowers.

I trawled through one of my favourite books about Hockney.
These gems have inspired me.  I shall do a meditating person sitting on the floor in front of an open window, in which you will be able to see the palace at Kyoto (not a representation of Hockney's work I hasten to add. I've managed to find a photo)

There will be a low table with a vase of flowers.

That's my thoughts of yesterday anyway.  It might change a bit but "Still Life" will be Life Quilt number 6.
Life Quilt number 5 is still going to be about Geisha and tea ceremonies, and will be called "Shall I Be Mother"

The fabric Laura printed for me will now be Life 7 and will be called Fighting Back. (about angst, depression etc - need to do more research on this one!)

I was going to stop when I got to Life Quilt number 10, but I may go on and on and on and on!!  Things just keep popping into my head so I might keep going until I run out of ideas.

Monday, 2 July 2012


Play comes to a sudden stop. Chez Rainbow is undergoing plumbing works and there is no studio at the moment. In fact, I don't think there's a room untouched.  So the dragonflies have ground to a halt and I'll probably go straight back into another Oriental piece next week.  It's going to be a still life of some sort involving all the lovely kettles and teapots I've been drawing lately.

So, what to blog about? I'm sure you don't want to know how I've been washing in a bucket just as I did at Glastonbury in 1995. Or that the washing machine has broken - as has it's replacement and that we are living in a right old mess.

I would like to share the joy of my other news though, and that is I'm going to be a Granny. My lovely daughter is expecting a daughter not long after Laura from SixandFriends.  2012 is turning out to be an action packed year!!

Because I like to put photos on a blog, the only thing I can show you at the moment is the rain battered garden.  Look at how gloomy it is this morning - but somehow the roses and flowers are breaking through the miserable weather.


Above and left are the "Grandad's Garden" A small veggy patch at the end of the path.