Friday, June 27, 2008

June Take it Further

June has been an eventful month. I won't go into too many details, but it has involved quite a lot of traveiling and meeting lots of people. Yesterday was my mother's birthday and we had a small family gathering to celebrate. Tomorrow we are having a larger party, so there has also been planning and preparations for that. She is now 90, not bad as she was only given a short time to live some years ago.

During this time I have been giving the June Take it Further Challenge some thought. The theme this month was 'stories that are and stories that are possible'. Not sure which way to take I suddenly realised that I could run it into a swap that I joined on Etsy.

I have a large 'stash' of dyed fabrics, but I am always adding to this as I dye on a regular basis. Although intended for selling, I often dip into these for projects. A couple of the 'new' fabrics went perfectly with some of the older ones, and suddenly they were transformed into a bag for ..... (I'll reveal the name when it is received and also the story of why I chose these particular fabrics).

The finished bag, and below a couple of closeups.

It's a practical bag - maybe it will take a trip to the shops and carry home new additions to someone's stash every now and then.....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Embellisher Network

Just how many users of the Embellisher are there? Wouldn't it be great to have somewhere where we could all meet up and share ideas and resources? How about a Network?

If you like the sound of this you will be interested in joining this. Be in at the beginning and help to shape this really NEW group. Will you be the first new member today? It would be good to see it grow. IT REALLY IS NEW

I look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Embellisher/Textile Art Pack/Rolls

I just thought I'd tell you that I've put the first Embellisher Roll onto Etsy. Here is a picture of the contents and you can find more information about them by clicking on the link. If they have disappeared you can reach the shop via the link in the sidebar.

The contents make lovely surfaces for further stitching. This photograph shows one made using an Embellisher with a broken needle. Some people don't mind the holes, but I use this as a workshop sample to demonstrate the difference between broken and non broken needles.

This design including the fish is also made using the contents of a roll. The stitching is with a Serendipity Jumbo Medium Perle. Another Serendipity Jumbo is shown here.

You've seen this one before, but I thought I'd remind you that the background is also made using the vegetarian silk from the Embellisher Roll/Textile Art Pack.

By the way - I'm teaching at Missenden Abbey this weekend, and it just happens to be an Open Day there on Saturday between 11am and 3pm. If anyone is visiting the end of term exhibitions you are more than welcome to come and see what we are doing. We will be in the Carrington Suite, that's the old Lecture Theatre for those of you that haven't been for a while. I just ask that you respect the fact that this is a weekend workshop and we will be working away during your visit. I will have a few items for sale, but obviously don't want to be interrupted to a great extent.

Friday, June 06, 2008

What did I do yesterday?

Yesterday was a day of great concentration! I needed to dye a specific range of colours, but to do this I had to use a technique that is quite time consuming, so I don't use it very often. It is worth doing, though, as it creates well over 400 different colours within a minimum number of dyebaths. Of course 400 hanks means an awful lot of preparation, and once they are dyed they also have to be twisted into skeins, so the involve quite a lot of work.

Here are some of them drying in the open air.

They are shown in the early morning sun. By the time the sun is high enough to do any damage they will be in shade and fully protected.

This is just a small proportion, and may not seem very different to other methods at this stage, but there will be a wealth of colour change in these skeins when they are dry. Some of them may well find their way to Etsy at some time. I can't upload any more pictures as these are apparently just about at the limit of Blogger allowance.

Someone somewhere knows where most of these are going ;)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

June Take it Further

By the time I come to write about the challenge I always have a problem finding the link. I'm doing this for my benefit, as well as that of everyone else! The June challenge can be found here

Now I'm off to read it .....!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

May, Take it Further

What a chapter of accidents! I have had to write this post in fits and starts. Many interruptions caused me to save and return to add more. The problem arose when I had more than one copy open in several windows (I still don't know how this happened). The result was that instead of publishing the final copy I saved the first! All the time and effort (well, almost all) was wasted and I have had to start again. Hopefully I can remember what I wrote, at least in gist.

I know it's June now, but I had actually completed the challenge by the end of May. As I thought, it was a holiday project, and here are my thoughts and results.

I gave the question a lot of thought because it goes much deeper for me than it would at first appear. My name is Welsh, but as soon as I open my mouth you will think I am English. It was a quirk of 'fate' that caused me to be born and brought up in England, but in spite of living here all my life I still regard myself as Welsh. I experienced Hiraeth long before I knew there was a name for it, and travelling over the border always makes me feel as though I am returning home.

In my working life I wear many figurative hats. I am a dyer, stitcher, artist, enabler (I feel that that is different to just a teacher). I work in textiles. My other hats include wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. At different times and if different places my 'title' needs to be different. With regard to my working life I consider myself to be a Dyer first and foremost. If asked 'what do you do' I always say 'I dye'. Of course, that could be for the impact, as it often raises a shocked glance as the 'y' isn't apparent in speech! I then go on to say that I'm an Artist who works in fabric and thread. I used to say that I worked in textiles. However, that seems to conjure up pictures of sheets and tea towels to the uninitiated, and I most definitely DON'T work in those!

Thinking along all these lines made me want to create something that harked back to my roots. Here is the result

This was made during our holiday. Fortunately I had an embellisher with me, and each layer was made using a different technique. There is also some hand-dyed fine viscose felt there, and some of the layers were made using an embellisher roll. It was good to make something from start to finish while still in the area. From first sketch to finished piece took about 3 days, but I certainly wasn't working all the time. It made me realise just how much I love creating, and how rarely I am able to fully indulge these days. However, dyeing is creative too, and I do LOVE mixing colour. Don't forget that you can see some to the colours I create on the website and also on Etsy.