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Journal

Posts tagged inspired by nature
making the gods laugh...
 

in which not a lot of anything gets done and we remember how sleep deprivation feels…

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Hello again. I’m just going to start by saying that last week the Delinquent Dog was unwell, which meant that most of the things I’d thought I’d be doing didn’t happen, whereas lots of things I really didn’t want to have to do, did happen. They say that if you want to make the gods laugh, tell them your plans…oh how true…x

Anyway, things are on the up again, so with a fair wind we should get back on track soon.

Having a poorly dog meant no walks in the lane for a week. This undoubtedly contributed to me feeling a touch stir-crazy, but it’s hard to distinguish that feeling from the one of sleep deprivation as a result of having to get up through the night to tend to the boy. Our daughters are grown up now, so I had totally forgotten just how debilitating disturbed nights are…but crikey, how wrecked did I feel!

Anyway…enough of that sort of thing…let’s talk stitch…

stitchiness

This month at The Workhouse in Dunstable is ‘Artists in Action’ - so a whole load of artists are going to the gallery and demonstrating what they do, running mini workshops and the like. My pre-dog episode intention was to run an informal ‘stitch-together’ session, inviting people to come along either with their stitching or not, to sit and have a natter about all things art stitch, preferably while we all wield a needle - I had thought I’d take some materials along and let people have time to play and experiment. But it’s now Tuesday lunchtime and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to get myself organised - my session is tomorrow - so I’m afraid it’s going to be even lower key than planned. Nevertheless, if you are in Dunstable tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd October), please call in and say hello. I’ll be there, stitching away and more than happy to chat about any thoughts, ideas or inspirations relating to creating art in stitch. There will probably be mugs of tea too…

Unusually for me, I am currently working on two pieces. One is quite tiny, the other quite a lot bigger, but involving almost entirely work in couching. here they are…

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playtime

I’ve also carried on playing with the Inktense blocks I mentioned previously. This time I’ve tried using them on paper to create textures/patterns. I watched some Youtube videos and was reminded of the old bubbles technique that we all tried at school…you know the one, you mix a drop of washing up liquid into the runny paint and blow bubbles into it…whatever you do, don’t forget and suck!

bubbles…oh my goodness, I’d forgotten just how much fun this is to do.

bubbles…oh my goodness, I’d forgotten just how much fun this is to do.

The other thing I tried was applying clingfilm onto the wet ink. I did try doing this a few months ago and it didn’t really work, but while I had my pinny on I thought I’d give it a go. And actually this time I loved the effect.

clingfilm on wet inkwash.

clingfilm on wet inkwash.

Plenty of scope here to play with layers and adding more details. I have absolutely no idea where if anywhere this is going, but it feels good to be playing and actually experimenting with the materials that I have. I’m gently hoping that something will provide that little spark that sets off another touch of inspiration.

Do you have any techniques you return to to provide ideas or relaxation? Is there anything you did when you were younger that it might feel good to try again - I’m talking arty here - behave yourself…x

Well chaps, that’s pretty much all I have this week. I wish you all a happy and healthy week ahead. Enjoy your creativity, however you express it. Until next time, here are a couple of pictures from today in the lane…

Happy stitching!

Anny x

 
More experiments in stitch...
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more experiments in stitch...

and a rainy lane.

Well they say you have to experiment from time to time, shake things up, push your boundaries. So having started loosening up and allowing myself some playtime, I'm continuing to see where it takes me.

This week I've moved on to another new piece.

A couple of weeks ago, when I had my painting session, I set up several pieces of fabric, some linen scrims and some old cotton pillowcases, and painted them with a mixture of acrylic paint (variously watered down) and acrylic inks.

The piece I showed you last time used the cotton pillowcase for the background, but this time I'm using painted linen scrim.

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The first thing I did was to add shapes using fabrics from my stash. This was also the first time I've ever really used Bondaweb in anger and once I got to grips with it (literally) I started having quite an exciting time.

I was choosing fabrics for their colour and texture, so I've included some organza, silk, more scrim and something meshy that I have no idea where it came from but which I kept from years back because I liked it.

This was a decidedly interesting afternoon - there was one point when I thought I was going to have to buy a new ironing board cover, but thankfully I managed to peel the offending fabrics off without doing too much lasting damage. I've now developed a greater respect for greaseproof paper...

The Delinquent Dog kept an eye on me from a safe distance near the door - I suspect he was just checking that I hadn't forgotten his teatime.

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Once I had the basic pieces in place I pulled together a selection of threads to use with it (always an exciting part of the process)

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And then I began to add some stitches. Beginning with some basic couching to define some of the spaces and help give it structure. I'm never sure where these lines are going to go exactly, so I often just lay the thread over the piece and see how it falls, giving it a little tweak here and there until it looks right.

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I know several readers are interested in following the development of each piece and I'm pretty rubbish at keeping a regular habit of photographing and posting updates, so this week I thought I'd see if I could be better organised about it.

I decided to try and post an update on Instagram Stories each afternoon and Tweet at the same time - so if you follow me on either of those, you may well have seen these already. It feels slightly better to me, but then of course this week coming is a holiday, so typically just as soon as I get into a routine things go and change. But I will aim to carry on doing that on the days when I'm actually stitching.

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The big difference between this piece and the last one is the nature of the background fabric - the scrim is obviously a much looser weave, and whilst I'm very familiar with it, I'm usually creating the background as I go, this time it's already there and I'm working out how to incorporate it, how to bring the whole piece together.

After the initial couching, I started adding a few cross stitches and running stitch in a variety of threads, to get a feel for what each would do on the scrim. So far on this piece I've used sewing threads, embroidery silks, weavers' silks and 4 ply knitting yarns.

They all do different things and it's fascinating to see how each one looks and how they combine with each other (well, ok, our definitions of fascinating may differ, but I imagine you know me well enough by now to understand).

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Look closely and you'll see I've also done a little section of needlepoint (tent stitch) - going back to my roots perhaps? I'm thinking about it. This canvas just seems to be asking for more needlepoint - we'll see.

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So here we are as of today - my entire repertoire of stitches and the beginnings of some lines and texture.

It's a holiday here this week and I have the OH at home and Number Two Daughter manically revising for 'A' Levels, so I have no idea how many stitches will happen over the next few days - we'll just have to take each day as it comes. If I do manage to fit in some work I promise to try and keep to my Instagram and Twitter postings, so if you follow me there you'll be the first to see what's happening.

In other news...

Hedgerow Watching...

We've had some tremendous thunderstorms this week which have taken their toll on the may blossom, but we've now seen the first of the elderflowers begin to open and, best of all (I'm sorry but they are the best) the dog roses are here!

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I've been catching a few minutes of TV coverage from The Chelsea Flower Show this week, but you know, each morning when I walk the dog and look at the flowers in the hedgerow, there's nothing from Chelsea that I prefer to nature's own.

Wishing you a peaceful, creative and productive week.

Happy Stitching

Anny x