Friday, 26 December 2008

Happy Holidays


Hi folks and a very Happy Christmas wish to you all. I hope this is a peaceful time of year for everyone. I managed to get some crafting time to myself and hope to get lots more over the coming weeks. Here is a little snippet of something which I hope to send off to be published very soon.


Monday, 15 December 2008

I've been absent......

I know I know, I do promise myself constantly that I will photo my work and blog it more regularly but at this time of year its almost impossible. I have been doing lots of work at home making curtains and cushions which I also promise not to do again in the future. I have also been busy making some of my xmas pressies / wedding pressie this year hence my absence but hopefully after xmas life will settle down a bit and I can get back to doing some more work with less time constraints.


My lovely friend Audrey is getting married next week and some of her forum buddies in the UK and Dublin got together to make her a little something. I had been inspired by what I saw on Julie van Oosten's blog and thought I could get some of Audrey's creative friends to do something similar. I have to admit to being delighted with the results and almost not giving it to her. I think she kinda liked it :-)))




This is what I made for Audrey and which my lovely hubby thought I should 'do the right thing' and buy her a proper pressie lol. The background is some silk paper I made some time back at a workshop which I then stamped and embroidered on to it and I am very happy with how it turned out.


























It was a busy month for Audrey as it was also her birthday, so I made her birthday card too...


















And Finally........................... I have literally just finished making this hanging for my mum for xmas, the tips of my fingers are still numb but its worth it. I'm pleased with how it looks but I think in the future I will make something a little more abstract to this piece, its exactly how I had planned it but I'm not sure if its something I would want to re-create.









Hopefully during the holidays I will work my busy little fingers to some wonderfully creative work and get back into a routine of blogging again. Thanks for dropping by and do pop back again soon :0))

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

A Day of Sharing Words


While popping into the lovely Red Velvet blog today Judy posted about the challenge that LK Ludwig has on her blog. It goes like this:


The idea: We have words that touch us, move into our hearts and resonate, creating a feeling, taking us some place- past, present, future- perhaps some place we have never been and may never go, but for whatever reasons, the words pulse in our blood. Meeting new words, new poets, new poems, new ways for my heart to beat, is an intruiging concept. Want to go on this adventure with me? It will be easy to travel along.Many of us already do this sharing; this idea is just to help us find each other and hear the words we have to share.

The Date: Wednesday, November 19.

The Plan: on your blog, post a poem that moves inside you, touches you, reaches you. (quotes and song lyrics welcome). Include the author (or composer or musician) and source (book, album)- perhaps also the amazon link if there is one. no explanation required, no other revelation necessary.One last thing- Perhaps add an image. a photo. a video. a painting. a collage., if you would.Come here to this post. Add a comment with your link.I'll create a typepad page with the links, so others can hear the rhythm of the words, see the image and share in the experience.

The Request: If you are intrigued enough, post on your blog about this Day of Sharing Words- encourage your friends to post. Who couldn't use a few new poems in their treasury or new songs in their hearts?


So here are my shared words. I have planned a book around this for my beautiful daughter and hope to finish (start) it in the near future.


Did I tell you?

Now that you are grown,I look back and ask myself-Did I tell you all that I meant to tell you, all that I felt was important?Did I tell you or was it lost in the shuffle of our Everyday lives.The busy full days when we taught and didn’t know it.What did I teach? Was it strong? Was it good?Will it root you in something real that will allow you to grow with a firm and sound foundation?Did I tell you…

Did I tell you to love?Not with a fair-weather love, but with a love that accepts and cherishes unconditionally.Love not with a quick and passing love, but with a love that is a quiet peach within your heart.

Did I tell you to be thoughtful?Not to be a martyr or a doormat to be trod upon, but to be aware of other people and their needs.To meet others with awareness and within your own framework,Be able to meet them halfway and on occasion, go the other half joyfully.


Did I tell you to be courteous?Not to display empty manners with no meaning but to live the courtesy born of caring.And to express this caring through the small formalities and customs born of the years.Did I tell you to be bold?To be not afraid of the unknown, but to live life to the fullest, and meet each new experience with joy and anticipation.And did I tell you to be cautious?To temper your daring and sense of adventure with good judgment and consideration.


Did I tell you to serve other people if only in a small way?There is growth and satisfaction in being part of something larger than yourself and your life will be richer for knowing this.

Did I tell you to find a part of nature that speaks to you?Then know it intimately and well. For some it is a mountain peak, for some a windswept beach.Find your own and in it find your restoration.


Did I tell you to maintain a sense of the past?To recall and uphold all that is best and meaningful in our country and in our society.But never be afraid to speak out when you don’t believe or where there is room for improvement.Work for what you believe, but work in a positive way, with a structure of order and reason.Remember your ancestors; learn about them, so you can know of where you came.


Did I tell you to be creative?To explore the seed within you.Find your creative spirit and let it grow.


Did I tell you to laugh to dance to sing?There is a lot in life that is hard, but take it as is comes and find the good…And make time to dance.
And did I tell you always to respect yourself?Don't compromise your morals- do what you know to be right and good, regardless of what others may do.


Did I tell you these things as we went along the way?If I did, I am humbly grateful.If I did not, then choose for yourself.If it has meaning to you, accept it and make it your own.If it does not, discard it.Your life is yours to build as you choose.


And did I tell you…I hope it will be a good life.Now that you are grown,I look back and ask myself-Your life is yours to build as you choose.And did I tell you…I hope it will be a good life.

Elizabeth Knapp

Some workshop work

Well, I had promised a few people I would post what I have been making at the workshops I have taken recently. None of these are completed works but I'm at the learning stages for a lot of textiles work and its fun. I did a silk papermaking class in Lisburn last saturday which I really enjoyed. I did have a play also when I got home to make sure I knew what I was doing but it didn't turn out just I had expected. I think the thickness of the paste might make a bit of a difference so more experimenting needed. Also 2 weeks ago I did some quilting practice and felt beads at a workshop in Dublin which was endless fun, especially when doing it with some friends. The felt beads/millefiori were great fun as I had no idea at all what they would turn out like. I will have to master this art and incorporate all my litte pieces into 'something'. I'm begining to wonder if I will ever make that final 'something' at this stage. Off to London this weekend and then for my final textiles class next week so hopefully more techniques will be on offer. Oh yes, I did have a play with some potatoe mash and bleach on linen which I absolutely loved and have to try to incorporate this into something soon also. :0))))))

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Textile Translations - Maggie Grey

Have any of you bought this book and tried the free online classes? Its definitely a must if you love to experiment with something new. I bought the book at the Knit & Stitch a week or so ago and have been busting to get all I needed together to have a play and join in the classes. This is my work which is as yet unfinished. I absolutely loved trying these techniques out. I was even more delighted to find what was left behind on my blotting paper which I used to dry out my vilene, the image is so colourful I will use this in another piece of work. TFL....








This for me was the bonus of the experiment.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

One Powerful Hour







The Challenge this week at One Powerful Hour is an xmas ornament. Joanne is guest designer and is being sponsored by Inka to give away a beautiful xmas stamp. Why not jump on over and have a look and a play :0). This is my effort which I had promised Joanne I would do this week. Have fun......

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Tote, paper, stitch, metal and broken needles.



Two posts in the one weekend????? Whats going on............. Well, I think I have been bitten big time by the textiles bug. I'm loving it. Last year at the Knit & Stitch show I bought a book called Bags, with Paper & Stitch by Isobel Hall, its a fabulous book with amazing techniques using paper and fabric and stitch, obviously, lol. Anyway, one bag in particular always caught my eye and this weekend, yup, for almost 2 days, I had a go and made a large tote. I am off to the Knit & Stitch this coming weekend so I needed a large sturdy tote to carry all my new stuff that I will splurge on and this is definitely sturdy. Its curtain/upholstery fabric and I can you tell I broke a few needles. It was worth it though as this was fun and definitely a satisfying result for me.

Friday, 24 October 2008

textile box update

Well, I wasn't at all happy with my little textile box which I had last posted about so I decided to alter it. I took my trusty heat gun to it, added some beads, more organza and a lovely little bird in a cage sitting on a fabric bead all stitched inside the 'birdhouse' which is what it is now. In reality, it doesn't look like a torn old bag as it does in the photo but its hard to capture the true colour and texture. I'm a lot happier with it as it is now but think a lot more of these will be produced/developed. :0)))) cLick the image for a more detailed view if you wish.

Monday, 20 October 2008

I havn't got lost

I had almost forgotten how to blog.............. Only kidding. I thought I might show you some of the items I have been playing with over the past weeks. I have recently started an online City and Guilds course wtih Linda Kemshall so I have been spending some of my dark evenings preparing the first module. Isn't it hard to get into the swing of things on dark evenings? or maybe its just me. (Thanks to my lovely sister I should have no excuses as she bought me a day light lamp) . Joanne recently made a lovely tea towel tote (or 565 lol) and I thought I would like to give these a go. You will find instructions here on this lady's blog if you are tempted, be warned, you may have to go on a major tea towel spending spree/hunt. Once the bug for trying this was over I had a play at making some jewellery which I had spied in a catalogue but they were an absolute fortune so I have made my version of them. AND lastly, I attended a 'Moving on with textiles' intensive workshop just yesterday at the Draoicht in Blanchardstown and I can tell you I had a fun fun fun day. There were 2 fantastic tutors who were teaching us how to do 3d embroidery, they did have a challenge I have to admit but it was worth it. My pieces here are not what I had envisaged they would turn out like at all but I am very happy to have learned so many techniques that I will definitely refine my next attempts. So, thank you for dropping by and catching up, hopefully it wont be as long until I blog again, but the next few weeks are filled with more fantastic textile workshops and I'm helping out at the Mega Scrap too but I'll be back :0)



Friday, 3 October 2008

Wednesday Stamper - Structure


Its been soo long since I participated in a weekly challenge and I miss them so much. I have too much going on and yet nothing - do you get me? So, this is a little painting which suited the challenge as it has lots of texture paste spread on a canvas board, some gauze was pressed into it for added texture, air drying clay was used for the swirls , I used a mould for them and the focal piece is an etching where I used a Stampers Anonymous stamp and stazon on nickel silver, its a more silvery/pewter colour irl. The background had then several layers of acrylic paint and washes applied to get the desired effect. :-)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Judging a Book


I came across an article recently for a call for submissions for the 'Judging a Book Exhibition' to be held at The Winding Stair Bookshop in Dublin for Culture Night. This book had just been returned as undelivered from the states where I had sent it to a magazine. I thought I might as well put it to some use and sent it off (hopeful :0)) . I was delighted to learn that it was featured in the exhibition recently. The book is an old fusty book which I had found and it was glued together and altered to form a canvas for an image transfer of my nan as a young girl. (Click for a larger view)

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Invisible


Sometimes................................

I just want to be invisible

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Textile Work


I've been trying to develop my textile skills before I take a few workshops in the next few weeks and have made this piece. As yet it is still unfinished, I think a bit of advice on the next move will be sought - hopefully when I go to my first workshop they can give me a bit of guidance. The background fabric is rusted irish linen (lots of steel wool and vinegar) I have to admit to loving rusting fabric. The heart is made up of many layers of silk,linen which I stamped on, chiffon which has been heated to an inch of its former self, scrim, netting and paper with embellishments. It was fun experimenting on how to do this and definitely worth having another go very soon. You can click the image for a more detailed view.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Photoshop



Wow - have a look at this piccie Elisa had done something similar for her daughter and I loved it so much she kindly did one for me too. The piccie is of my daughter before going out to a disco. Check out Elisa's blog if you wish to contact her, I have no doubt this will be a successful new business venture for her. I would love to hear some feedback from you so I can pass it back to Elisa, I think she has done a wonderful job and I'm off to get this framed now.


Here is the before piccie.




Thursday, 14 August 2008

Journal Pages






A very special friend of mine celebrated a very significant birthday recently and I along with some crafty friends got together to put a journal together for her as a surprise. These are my contributions to the journal. Mary is such an inspiration to any who have met her and we were delighted to be able to do something to mark her day. The album was an 8x6. These pages have distressed ink backgrounds with stamping and embossing, my favourite image transferred onto fabric, an etched angel on nickel silver and soluble paper which I inked and stitched into it. (I used glue to stick it to the page and it started to disolve, so a lesson learned for me lol)

Sunday, 27 July 2008

A Pair of Little Shoes



Its my lovely God daughter's first birthday this week and I wanted to make her something special. Even though she is not yet 1yr old she has so many shoes it would make any girl jealous (her mum is the shoe Queen!). I had designed these little shoes for her and made a small rubber stamp with the design, I then enlarged it to make my pattern for the felt shoes. This piece is done on a canvas board which measures 10x12" and there is lots of painting, stamping and distressing in the background. I had made the felt some weeks back in the good weather and it was the perfect colour for the shoes. I was lucky enough to spy a beautiful pair of pink sparkly shoes in London recently which will match this picture perfectly (they will be too big but she wont mind lol) I'll take a piccie of them and the matching card tomorrow. The light is not great in these photos as its brighter irl. Hope she (and her mum) like it. xx

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Linocutting

I'm back again after another great workshop, this time at the National Print Museum in Dublin with tutor Caroline Byrne. This workshop was over 2 days and it was well worth it. We designed and cut our own lino and printed with up to 3 colours. Caroline was a very informative teacher and had the patience of a saint too. She was willing to share so much of her knowledge with us all. This was my design - did you ever have a design in mind and be happy with it until you saw what everyone else was doing? I was along with Audrey and Mary and they did the most fabulous work. These are my images, the first is on cotton paper in black, the second using 2 colours was printed onto Japanese paper - I love this paper. Below them are just 2 rubber stamps I made for fun while in 'cutting' mode. The museum has quite a few workshops running and I have spied another couple I think I need to register for.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Gel Transfer


I have completed a challenge - its been so long since I have done any but the challenge was an image transfer so it was hard to not do it. Have a look at Saturday Workout for the challenge.


This is a gallery wrapped canvas which has been painted and collaged and stripped back with rubbing alcohol. The transfer is an acetate transfer with gel medium onto fabric and one of my lovely little cages stitched on top. Hope you like it :0)

Friday, 4 July 2008

Tyvek


Here is a piece of tyvek which I altered by painting, heating, stitching beads and wire, glueing some shells and scrim and some found bits of twigs from the beach. You never know what you are going to get with tyvek - its a great material to work with. TFL.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Metalsmith Workshop


I attended my first metalsmith workshop yesterday at the Marketplace Theatre in Armagh. It was probably the best workshop I have attended so far. We were given a small piece of silver to work with (after drawing out our designs). I went with a design already drawn and I didn't change it all that much. I have only just finished it off as I wanted to use some gorgeous Jasper beads which I got from BDI in Bray. I would definitely recommend this class, I want to go again - now. (Even though when I woke this morning I thought I had no use of my arms!)
Click the picture for a bigger view.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Find Yourself


Well folks, it seems like a while since I've posted anything but its not that long really. I've been busy creating lots of things but not really finishing off anything. Here is a piece I started a month ago and only finsihed it last week. I love this piece, probably because of its distressed look.


Who is the little girl and why is she trying to be invisible? Why doesn't she release herself from that little cage and be free? What or who is she hiding from? Does she hope to free herself in the future?...................


I love making these little cages, they are tricky, I did try to distress the wires over the gas stove but some melted lol. Cant remember if they landed in with the spaghetti lol. (I'm kidding)

Saturday, 7 June 2008

A Mother's Love




I made some felt last week while out in the sunshine and today I finished off this piece again in the glorious sunshine. There are many layers to this that I cant seem to capture in the photo, lots of burnt chiffon, dryer sheets and acetate, all layered and stitched onto rusted cotton and more chiffon with an image transfer and some stitched foil, utee and beads. There is a story behind this piece but I will share that with you another day.







Edited to add - the net bag contains a stone symbolising the heavy burden a mother carries, there is also a sharp shell hanging from it - I'll leave that to your imagination. The layers represent the many layers of a mother's love, torn and ripped apart but held together by threads of steel reforming to make them stronger. The image transfer is of a stairs but shows a light at the top so the journey is always worthwhile ;-)