Thursday, March 19, 2015

transferring images

 I like transferring images of mine and Ian's photos onto my work and I also rarely look for perfect copy becasue, of course, nature isn't perfect. If I want really good clear images then I use TAP - Transfer Artist Paper - which gives the very best results - and believe me - over time I have tried lots of different ones. However I also have a few other favourite methods of transferring my images - i personally prefer not to use gels and other mediums but sometimes you just want to try something else.

Water soluble paper - which I have used to print on many times and to stitch on and wash out parts etc etc - then I came across a video made by Liz Kettle water soluble transfer using the paper to transfer images using a gel medium and I thought I would try it - I have seen it used to transfer images to soap whihc has fascinated me but as I don't make soap I haven't tried it. But I did try a few a while back and I wasn't happy at all with my efforts - maybe I was expecting too much. However the other day I decided to give it one last shot. The above is one of my pohutakawa photos and it mostly worked except right in the middle where the paper lifted but I can work around all of that.

Then I did a couple of others - Broome and Okarito where as you can see there are quite a few holes. Maybe more than I expected. But you could work around them.

Next I tried a few more and I am pretty happy with most of these - above is me in Marrakesh  and it is possibly the most successful.

 This is a drawing in Marrakesh

and a photo from Marrakesh

 and two of the donkey - first one I forgot to reverse the image and of course it worked best of all and then I reversed it and not so happy. But it does make the background look rather fragmented and worn which I like.

However I am pleased with my efforts - the old permission to play - and my little stash of images will be used in different places with added anything that takes my fancy. I transferred all of these onto polycotton. I found that once they were dry I could run them under the tap and wet them and have a go at removing the top fibrous bits. they do all feel a little too firm on my stash but I think plenty of manipulating might do the trick.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Swirly Whirls playing and finally some rain....

 We had a new shipment of Joggles stencils - all top ups apart from this new one - Swirly Whirls - I rather like this one so thought I would have a play.

 First I cut them into two separate stencils

 Next I took some Tissutex and my Inktense Blocks and did a rubbing

 which I sprayed with water and made it into a fibrous paper using cocoon strippings - this is something I show in my workshops - a wondrous way to create a paper cloth

Once all dry I free machined it all

Next I tried the second stencil and did another rubbin, wet it and made another piece of paper cloth

 which I stitched onto a page in my skecthbook -  a Khadi book

This is the stitching on the back - waiting to be coloured etc.

I sprayed through the stencil onto the facing page.

Very pleased with stencil - love doing rubbings on Tissutex - love making silk paper with cocoon strippings and the tissue and enjoy stitching and spraying as well.

To make the time even better - it has finally rained even though it is very muggy and the Hurricanes had a fabulous win yesterday.

What more could a girl want? ........ a studio tidy fairy to suddenly appear.........

Sunday, March 08, 2015

forever behind

2015 is so far proving to be a busy year and we have somehow got ourselves behind and only catching up slowly. Our little sojourn in Sydney was wonderful (apart from the humidity) - on the Sunday Grant had us walk down to the yacht club - well it was downhill and was actually a very nice walk apart from the fact that I struggled to see much with the sweat running down my specs. But - the main thing is I did survive and enjoyed the time away and we enjoyed the sailing etc and checking out Grant and Hannah's new house.

Since then - not sure - seem to be packaging and cutting and rolling and filling orders etc and in between getting a few little bits and pieces done. With the Hurricanes winning their 3rd game out of 3 - that is a  wonderful start - we went to the game here and the Force were a bit woeful - I enjoyed the game very much have to say. And I suddenly got a tiny bit interested in the cricket last weekend too (I think it was last weekend).

On Tuesday we went to Chilli Orange which is Kim and Anthony's restaurant - we used to go to Koinonia and Wot the Pho pretty often but this is only our second visit. it was lovely to see them and the food was wonderful as always. This was our scallop entree - very nice indeed.

 I have started a little series of work from our wonderful time in Marrakesh - there will be loads when I have finished and I plan to pop them in a little book as usual - I am playing at present with silk fibres and photos we took and stitch - not particularly clear but a record.

This is another and in a way it is a development of an idea that I have with technique - so far it is working very well.

 This one is waiting to grow

And my Graphitints because I have been using them on the surfaces - one of my favourites and about the only pencils I actually use.

Sadly we have had to cancel our Broome Retreat - sent out the newsletter to day but there will always be great things happening. I am teaching at the Berry Quilt Retreat in August and am amazed to hear how the bookings are going. I am in the process of persuading Ian to come and trade. I have been working on new workshops or rather changing some and adding others. It isn't so much about howmany classes i might get but more about what I am developing.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sydney sojourn

We locked the door and caught a plane to Sydney - the 18ft Skiffs are racing and of course DeLonghi on which Grant is crewing this year, came 3rd while we were in the air.

Thursday was birthday day for Ian - happy birthday to Ian! We had breakfast with Grant and Hannah and went out on the ferry to watch the race.

De Longhi heading out

And sailing.

Then we had a lovely birthday dinner at A Tavola but I wasn't allowed to take any photos of birthday boy. The food was great - the staff were wonderful - they even sang happy birthday.

Saw some wonderful figs whilst out and about

The wrought iron front at Grant and Hannah's new house

Sunday, February 15, 2015

seeing things and hanging about and some play this week

 We have managed 4 outings at the Fringe Festival which is the best for us. There are so many things you can go to and usually with us there is so much we do nothing but this year we have made a concerted effort. Three excellent out of 4 was good. Last Sat we went to a very crass event where I do hope they still have their day jobs.  on Tuesday we went to La Soiree at the Pleasure Gardens which has expended this year. It was fabulous and just so professional.

I loved all the acts so it was hard to decide on a pic but the puppets were brilliant and very clever. this particular one was amazing.

 Perth has been Giant mad this week with these two large giants trotting all around the place. We went down to Weld Square yesterday and saw the Girl Giant snoring away.

 Fortunately there weren't too many people around. Cost $5million to put this event on.

The 18ft Skiffs are having their champs in Sydney - Grant is crewing on DeLonghi this year - they came 5th today - we are looking forward to being there later in the week.

 I am working on holes - pretty basic stuff - this is a flimsie all holes cut. I came across a wonderful image on the net which has set me off

 I have started working it - lots of needlefelting from the back and hand stitching on the top

I am using a wool thread and have loads to go but it is starting to fall into place.

Finally -
a) rugby report - yes - the Super 15 season has started and the Hurricanes won their first game for the first time in 5 years. Wonderful stuff.
b) tree report - the tree is looking pretty good. Thanks for everyone who asks. The green stuff is very green and we think we can even see new growth - now that the bore pipe is fixed it is loving all that healthy water. Karma is happening - maybe.....

Sunday, February 08, 2015

finishing stuff off and other happenings

 This week I made a little postcard for SAQA - I don't always take part in activities but I thought I could manage this one. I decided that my time should be spent finishing the pieces I started in my workshop in Adelaide and since I had things ready for weaving, I did just that.

This is a little piece I made in class more as a sample - dry felting stitch and a little gentle wet felt. I knotted some wool which was in my box and added that. There is always room for some flower stitcher goodies.

My woven piece - what looks like brick colour is actually light brown. I love the way the velvet embosses - so did the class - and I have added some of my gimp circles stitched down with a lovely new metallic thread we have which actually works and does not split or break..

This is part of another piece we played with the idea - woven - the little feature was a tiny bit of weaving I added in as a starter. Most of the class did much bigger pieces but I was looking to make a highlight.

This is the bottom and the stamp I use for embossing velvet - these stamps are deep etched which makes them perfect.

My little feature - hand dyed skeleton leaf - very fragile and some buttons I found in my stash.

Then I thought I would try this transfer in my Khadi book - several people have told me about it using paper napkin and Glad wrap - works a treat and I shall try it onto other surfaces and see how I go. Now I can get onto my next project - my list is long.

It's been very hot here and Ian has been working on fixing a broken pipe - well one of the tree roots had wrapped itself around it. Not the best time but with the tree needing water and our bore only working to this point, our excess water was not a pleasant bill to receive this week. However we think our beautiful tree is making progress - won't really know until Spring but there are two areas still full of green leaves and new growth and the poor cracked bark higher up is coming away as it oozes out the poison. Poor tree and what an evil person to have done it. Thanks for the emails I get regulalrly asking.

Grant and Hannah's Christmas present finally arrived so Ian has been very busy plotting out another area in the back garden - he keeps moving it around but it does look lovely at night. We do so  much enjoy our outdoor lounge and sit out very late - there is nothing on tv anyway.

We have had drama here - Ian changed Harley's precious biscuits for a different brand and type and what a misery - sitting in front of her bowl not eating the new ones, rocking backwards and forwards, looking mournful and chatting furiously loudly and her tail going like crazy. On my way back from ATASDA yesterday where I took them the needs be for their challenge and demonstrated our wonderful new compressed sponge, I called into an IGA and found the 'right' ones - now I am in Harley's good books - for a change. She is a happy little bunny for the moment.

We have been to a couple of Fringe Festival events and a couple to come - usually we are so overawed by the programme we never know what to go to. Last Sunday we went to Divalicious which was good if ever so hot in that tent but last night's night event was pretty crass and I am sure most people felt the same from the non-reaction. I just hope they have good day jobs. However it is good to see it happening and Northbridge is lovely and alive. Afterwards we came home and drank fizzzy and ate beetroot chips.

I am still ever so busy with my family research especially for the grannies - being a history graduate means I am a good nosey parker. I have had some great photos sent by cousins of my paternal grannie but I feel another trip to NZ soon is on the cards. Amongst other things i need to check out some graves and places. If anyone is interested in a workshop, just email me. I will fly in and out of Wellington and be in the lower North Island. Dates open as I haven't decided yet.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

mostly compressed sponge printing

 We have just had a delivery from the manufacturers of compressed sponge - it seems to have taken ages from when I first entered the chat about this and the parcel was huge (Ian's job is to slice it all up) so I have been playing away today. I cut a key shape, dropped it in water - it expands very quickly and is wonderful for printing. This is my sponge key.

 I am endeavouring to draw for at least 15mins a day and this is my sketch book for the moment - my place - no 6 and a very poor image transfer. But it was highly suitable for using the compressed sponge key. Keys because since we were burgled in the studio, we lock the gate every night and these days everything seems to have to be locked and here it is with keys.

 This is the print I got - I used Opulence paint in Briza - I love the way the sponge creates texture.

Yesterday I cut a heart and sponged onto a surface previously worked with a screen and layers using a stencil and paint. If you want to see the compressed sponge , go here - you get an A4 sheet and my notes and a pattern sheet so it is pretty good value.

Today I read a  blog entry by Liz Kettle on what is happening in the arty teaching industry - I agree with what she says. Things and times have changed. Back in 1995 when we started in business with The Thread Studio I must have demonstrated to 100s and 100s with new ideas and we ran loads of Playdays in different places throughout Australia showing people how to use all the new stuff they had never seen before. Remember all the freebies were not available on the internet back then. In 2001 I started my Playways on the Net course and I cannot tell you how many people enrolled. I do believe I was one of the first to run on-line courses. When I introduced my Embellish Stitch Enrich class I was rather gobsmacked at the numbers who enrolled and with Ratty Tatty Papers - likewise. Now - on-line teaching is two a penny whether they be good or bad. Technology has rushed ahead like a lightning attack but sometimes it is all too much. I have just taught big classes in Adelaide and I am very grateful that so many people came - and paid their money. I actually think there are too many courses happening - too many people maybe jumping on the band wagon and a lot are not that good. (this is not blowing my own trumpet) Teaching takes a lot of work - preparation - worry - personal development etc. I don't give notes any more for three reasons - one is that I change my mind and think of new ideas as I go - the second is that people tend not to listen as they either read the notes and follow or file them away and ask you what you have written down - and the third is that they simply copy them and use them as their own teaching notes.
Interesting times not helped by the huge flux of bad books appearing - I really hate seeing someone whose work and techniques I admire being copied badly and money being made.

Rant over.

On Wednesday we took half a day off and went to Safety Bay for a wonderful crab fest with Val and Jim who had got up and gone out crabbing in the morning so we could eat and drink in the afternoon. It was fabulous.


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