Monday, 22 September 2008

Overdoing It

I've always liked autumn and regarded it as a time to start new things - a hang over from new school years I expect. Well this year I think I've gone a bit overboard and might regret some of the enthusiasm. This time last year I did a few different classes and enjoyed them but for various reasons I didn't sign up for any more this year so I decided to get back into the swing of things. So at the moment I am signed up for 5 classes - just half days and one full day but I'm also running stamping classes on a monthly basis, another 3 between now and Christmas and I'm still struggling with the new job at work which is very busy. Then there is Christmas itself: making my own Christmas cards, shopping etc etc. Most of it looks set to be enjoyable (except work of course...) but I think maybe I should learn to pace myself.
I ran a class on Saturday at Kraft Krazy in Tidworth using Ranger's acrylic paint dabbers. It was good fun but as I only had one dabber in each colour everyone was working on a different piece at a different time and I was running round the table showing people the various steps and passing colours and stamps back and forth! Maybe there's an easier way....

This isn't a whinge, I'm just taking a deep breath!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

To Do List

This month's Take it Further challenge from Sharon is lists. This is not an artistic response to the challenge but a practical step intended to help me keep my sanity and as I'm not likely to get round to doing a real piece I thought I might as well include this.

I have recently changed jobs at work and am now dealing with loads of stuff new to me that I have very little idea how to do. This week I felt overwhelmed with things and one morning started about 6 different pieces of work and made progress with none of them. I've always been pretty organised and have kept a running to do list for several years but I decided I'd got to ramp up the system if I was going to cope. So instead of just a to do list I now have a folder. I've decorated several of these plain frosted A5 folders lately and in fact my last workshop was about altering one. The to do lists we use at work are turquoise so I decided to colour my folder orange using Pumpkin and Mustard seed Stazon ink and overstamping with Rusty Brown and Midnight Blue. I made file dividers to separate out the different aspects of the job using some orange scrapbook paper by Flavia and overstamping using Prima and Paper Artsy stamps. I think the result is bright enough to ensure I'll never lose the folder however covered my desk gets with papers!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Poppy Heads

So this is what I want to be able to do - finally!
I want more time to be able to play about with projects like this, leave them lying around while I decide what to do next, come back to them when I'm ready and really work through ideas. I'm very pleased with this but I expect it will be ages before I produce something else along these lines.
I started off by playing with needlefelting -can't afford/don't have room for an embellisher but it's surprising what results you can get very quickly just using hand needling. I used butter muslin laid over a bit of wadding and then wool roving. After it was done I decided to paint the background! Each stage of this I decided to paint afterwards instead of first as I would have done if I'd had any sense! Also added beads to the flower centres.
Then I wanted to have a go at fabric paper following the instructions in Beryl Taylor's book 'Mixed-Media Explorations'. I have tried this before but the paper came unstuck from the backing fabric after a while. I don't know what I did differently apart from using butter muslin as the backing this time instead of calico and the piece is well and truly stuck. However I stuck the needlefelted piece on at the same time - as I was doing it I knew it was a mistake but I kept going - why? Anyway, I managed with it like this though it would have been easier to attach it later. I used stamped scraps from my scrap drawer (always makes me feel virtuous) and then added more stamping along with drawing inks over the top. The poppy head is a rubber stamp and for the centre piece I stamped it and enlarged it on my copier then traced it onto handmade paper and stitched and beaded it. Then I added the colour! I stitched it onto the background with oversize, uneven cross stitches then added more over the rest of the piece to tie it all together. The photo shows it cropped beautifully to a finished piece but in reality I haven't yet decided how to finish it off - I think it would look nice in a frame painted dark blue - if I ever get round to it.