Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Nearly 60 years Old.

It's amazing what one can find lurking in cupboards.  Here's a Royal Visit souvenir doily from when Queen Elizabeth visited Australia in 1954. It's one of those 'blank' linen articles that you are supposed to embroider  over the coloured printing, then spoke stitch the edges and cut it out. Someone has worked all round the map in blue and white, then given up after starting the red. Too interesting to throw in the bin.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Going with Gazanias.

Using a couple of the background papers that I printed a day or so ago and the Gazania image that I drew and subsequently made into a Gocco thermofax screen, this is the progress so far. I'll have to move the stems of the plant as I don't want them to overlap the red bars, but I'm happy with the flower overlapping.  So far so good.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Another Rainy Morning.

With it still raining heavily outside, I thought I would have a go at marbelling on fabric. Having cut my fabrics to the size of the tray I soaked them in alum, dried and ironed them. I made up the carrageen solution according to the instructions on the jar, allowed it to sit for a couple of hours and then poured it into the tray. The paints were all made up and I was set to go..........................nothing worked.  The paints didn't disperse across the surface of the carrageen, even when I added some Synthrapol. I tried diluting the paints some more, adding Synthrapol to the paints and making up a new batch of carrageen. ..........................nothing!!
Maybe the carrageen has limited shelf life.  Mine was some years old and I had never used it before. What a waste of time and effort!
For a bit of relaxation after my trying morning I revisited some of the painted pages from yesterday and found this one that definitely has promise................the surface of Mars??

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Painting Papers for Backgrounds.

 Plastic party plates make wonderful palettes for mixing paints. Here I'm all ready to start painting a range of papers for backgrounds for use in textile art.
                                                Starting to look as if some work is being done!

  Some of the painted papers some show promise of being a good start. There is a long way to go with each of them however.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Reeds Again.

While searching through my photos I came across this picture of an earlier reed embroidery.  It was done some years ago as evidenced by the hand embroidery! These days I rarely stitch by hand. Unfortunately the photo is out of focus, as it is behind glass, but it does go to show my continuing interest in depicting reeds at the water's edge.  (See my posts of a few weeks ago)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

More Gazania Images.

This is another Gazania, one with long narrow petals, which you can pick out of the Photoshop brushes from yesterday.
 This is using the Find Edges filter in Photoshop on the original red Gazania image. The arrangement of the petals is quite different to the flower above.
This is another Finding Edges treatment, this time on a very simple yellow Gazania flower. The markings on the inner edge of each petal are so distinctive.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

New Project.

 These lovely Gazanias aren't out at this time of the year, but I have plenty of photographs to work from.
                                     This is just one colour and shape, but it's a very striking one
I drew a simple Gazania plant with 2 flowers and then made Photoshop brushes from 3 different flowers.
I brushed one flower over each of the drawn blooms and then plonked the other flowers down just to see what they looked like. A long way to go with this design. I wanted to make a Gocco screen of the plant, but either I need new batteries for the Gocco, or it's broken.  I hope it just needs new batteries!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Glass Ceiling.

This amazing glass ceiling is in the arcade of the Nicholas Building in central Melbourne.  Built between 1925 and 1926, the building is 11 stories high and is a maze of small shops and studios.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Reed Ripples.

The pattern that the ripples made from the reed reflections is amazing. I'm sure that I can incorporate the marks into some artwork somehow!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Early Morning Mist.

It was a frosty morning today and as the sun warmed the bush and melted the frost it produced mist in this small valley. An amazing effect.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Friday, 20 July 2012

Graffiti or Art.......Again.

Unfortunately the light was shining at an angle on this artwork, so it was difficult to get a good photo.
Isn't this an amazing piece of work? This and the previous photo were taken in Hosier Lane, a wall art presinct in Melbourne. More tomorrow.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Fun with Filters.

Here are a handsome couple, photographed some years ago at a Fibre Forum. Aren't they wonderful?
              You can just make out her shape vaguely, but he has quite disappeared. Love the colours.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Collage and More.

I went to a short workshop yesterday where we investigated collage with paper serviettes and tissue paper.
Here is my first collage, based on bright colours that I usually don't use, and various cut out motifs.
Never one to leave things alone, I had to have a fiddle in Photoshop.
                                           This is a black and white version which I quite like.
 This one is the end result of many different filters.  I'm not sure about the quantity of plain black along the side.
This one is an inversion of the previous one, with a bit of background cloning to get rid of the whites.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


                        I'm not sure what the name of this piece will be, maybe Dragonflight.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Almost Finished.

 I decided to give the 3 main insects red beaded eyes, with the 4th more distant dragonfly just having painted eyes.
The 3 really distant small dragonflies have no stitching or painted wings so they are much paler. Hopefully they will look as if they really are flying off  out of the picture. I also stitched the closest water plant, again leaving the more distant ones unstitched and paler to give the illusion of distance.
The reeds have hand stitched tops, done in a variegated thread and look as though they will be O.K.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Box and Dragonfly.

 Following on from a comment on yesterday's picture, I have added a similar box to the one shown in the previous photo.  This is one that I made some time ago.  It has little 'feet' made of coiled up and decorated fabric, but you can't see them in this view of the box.
I have started stitching the reeds and the dragonflies in the stamped piece, but there is a long way to go. I decided in the end to stitch the stems of the reeds on the machine, but to hand stitch the fluffy tops. The wings of the dragonflies are outlined in silver which doesn't show up in the photo. I'm not sure whether to add tiny beads for the eyes, or just work Colonial knots in a shiny thread. So far so good!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Time for Tea?

Unfortunately I can't claim to have worked these gorgeous embroidered teatime treats. They are just beautiful aren't they?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Thursday, 12 July 2012

How Does a Bird Work?

                                                         Dissecting a dead bird with Grandad.
                                        Working out which bones are which with a reference book.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Back to the Dragonflies.

Here I'm adding a bit of iridescent paint to the water background and also to the wings of the dragonflies.
Next I'm sorting out the threads for the reeds, which I think will be hand embroidered rather than my usual machine stitching. I need plenty of thickness to the reed stems which might be a bit hard to achieve with machine sewing. I could of course stitch with a heavy thread in the bobbin, but that means working from the back which wouldn't be easy with this design. Hand stitching it is I think.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Cuddly Koala.

      So you thought that Koalas were soft gentle cuddly animals...............check out the claws on this one!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Icy Cold Morning.

                             This is the top of an old fence post, with a touch of Jack Frost on the top.
              I don't know what this plant is, but it seems to cope with being covered in ice each cold morning.
                                                  No morning bath for the birds this morning!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Melbourne View.

The Arts Centre Spire, one of Melbourne's special landmarks, seen here from the city side of the Yarra River.

Friday, 6 July 2012

More Reeds.

Another printing session with the reed stamp. Some are gelatine prints and some are just the usual stamped image.  I was trying out various media for use with the stamp, ie acrylic paint, block printing ink and stamp pad ink. The block printing ink is fairly old so is a bit too solid, but the acrylic ink works well. The stamp pad ink doesn't seem to go evenly over such a big area.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Vale Misty.

With great sadness we had to say farewell yesterday to our old feline friend Misty.  She was 19 1/2 years old and as well as the effects of kidney disease, she developed an inoperable stomach tumour. The loveliest cat I have ever known! RIP Misty.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

National Gallery of Victoria.

This is the entrance walkway to the National Gallery of Victoria's Ian Potter Centre for Australian art.
I went in to see an exhibition featuring the work of one of our most interesting painters Fred Williams. information here..........http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/col/artist/600

After thoroughly enjoying that treat, I also visited the Top Arts exhibition featuring the work of our best local secondary school students.  Some of them are just so talented at 17 or so, it's hard to imagine how much better they could become in the future. 

A lovely morning of art appreciation.