Planet Textile Threads

August 01, 2015

Natalya Aikens

daybreak

Summer.....it's always so full of activity! And in between all that activity I finally managed to finish a small artwork, and finally post to the old blog...

Daybreak is a small (12"x12") study of the George Washington Bridge in pinks, on a background of greens. The pinks are hand stitches in a variety of cotton embroidery threads. The greens are re-purposed plastic shopping bags layered and machine stitched with a collage of skyscrapers. Daybreak is on stretched canvas with my usual thickly painted edges.



Daybreak. © Natalya Aikens 2015
Happy lazy summer days to all!

by Natalya Aikens (noreply@blogger.com) at August 01, 2015 12:34 PM

Margaret Cooter

Ceramics, day 2 (of 3)

Nothing got fired, but here we have a week's making of "textile tubes" ready to dip, and some that have hardened during the week. And one already dipped, dangling, and dripping -
The diaphanous pale shapes on the right are made of a stiffened gauze, and - I discovered - need to be several layers thick. This one disintegrated at the seam when immersed in the clay, and is being re-sewn -
 New uses for chopsticks - as dipping support contraptions, both over the slip bucket
 and to support still-wet tubes that are sitting on a puddle of slip, thereby making them into vessels -
 If they aren't drying quickly enough, they get a blast with the hair dryer.

A new departure - this linen tube is lined with metallic fabric; I suspect the inside will be black and the outside murky. The lifesavers are dried porcelain that was piped onto fabric and peeled off, in hopes that it will make a white area on the murky background. Possibly the stitches should have been much chunkier, in order to stay white. We'll see...
This lot has been sent for firing - I do hope to see some results at the next (last) class. Then comes the task of packaging up the survivors to take them home.
And these are drying out for next week -
If all goes well ("if"), there will be rather a lot to take home.

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at August 01, 2015 09:17 AM

July 31, 2015

Sarah Ann Smith

Foto Friday: the Story

This past week’s challenge in my 52-Week Photo Challenge workshop with Ricky Tims was “The Story.”  My story was that I was really, REALLY busy getting ready to teach at Maine Quilts and helping with set-up (as a Pine Tree Quilt Guild member and volunteer).  So I wasn’t really “in” to the assignment.  Turns out my best photo was one I took during set-up on my iPhone, then edited and converted to B&W at home in Photoshop.

Too busy this week, so feeling not creative.  Decided this shot on my iPhone was my best story!  Smart sharpen, removed the back of a person on the left with cloning, desaturated to render B&W.  Learned that you can use the burn tool on highlights, midtones and darks, so darkened the too-bright/distracting overhead lights as well as adding a gradient to the top.  Slight crop to remove more slats/boards on the very bottom.  Guess what I was doing on Wednesday?  I know some of the class members will guess correctly!

Too busy this week, so feeling not creative. Decided this shot on my iPhone was my best story! Smart sharpen, removed the back of a person on the left with cloning, desaturated to render B&W. Learned that you can use the burn tool on highlights, midtones and darks, so darkened the too-bright/distracting overhead lights as well as adding a gradient to the top. Slight crop to remove more slats/boards on the very bottom. Guess what I was doing on Wednesday? I know some of the class members will guess correctly!

My other two alternates were just meh.  But they certainly tell my story!

It’s messy.  Chaotic.  Not a great photo, more of a snap, but it certainly is my story.  Adjusted levels, smart sharpen, A bit of burn on the corners to give a subtle (I hope) vignette. Wish I had more time this week, but …..  Ooops.  Almost told the story….

It’s messy. Chaotic. Not a great photo, more of a snap, but it certainly is my story. Adjusted levels, smart sharpen, A bit of burn on the corners to give a subtle (I hope) vignette. Wish I had more time this week, but ….. Ooops. Almost told the story….

My story.  Sigh.   Messy.  Chaotic.  Piles.  Heavy equipment.  Smart sharpen, slight vignetting with the burn tool, minor adjustments to contrast, yada yada.   Too busy this week, feeling singularly not-creative.

And the cropped version. My story. Sigh. Messy. Chaotic. Piles. Heavy equipment. Smart sharpen, slight vignetting with the burn tool, minor adjustments to contrast, yada yada. Too busy this week, feeling singularly not-creative.

by Sarah Ann Smith at July 31, 2015 09:22 AM

Margaret Cooter

Alexander McQueen at the V&A

Well done, V&A, with the Alexander McQueen exhibition "Savage Beauty". In the last week, advance tickets have all been sold, queues for day tickets are long, opening times have been extended till midnight ... and there have been queues at the membership desk, people becoming Friends just so that they can go see the show.
Ever-lengthening queues to become a V&A Friend and have access to the exhibition
As a Friend I've been to the show several times with different friends. Is it heresy to say that, first time I saw the exhibition, I didn't enjoy it? Crowded, dark, hard to read labels, too much to take in ... especially in the (crowded) "cabinet of curiosities" room -
(via)
But in subsequent visits the novelty had worn off and it was possible to see, to take in, more ... to revisit favourites, to look closer, to see things that had gone unnnoticed ... this head-dress for instance -
See lots more photos at fashion.telegraph.co.uk.

These "wearable" jackets were among my favourites -
(via)
whereas Plato's Atlantis, the final room and McQueen's final show, left me cold -
(via)
The "japanese" collection was full of interest - beautiful fabrics, inventive cutting, strange details (underskirt of shells; molded hessian bodice; sudden realisation of straightjacket; etc etc) -
The exhibition is an intense experience, in which you have no idea of the passage of time, or that it might be daylight, even sunlight, when you emerge. 

Exit is via the gift shop, which segues into the bookshop, where I found a few books for future browsing, perhaps even immediate purchase -
Several of the items on display were described as "cuirasses"

Classic books by Janet Arnold; fascinating

Wonderful bedtime reading, or even just looking at the pictures
696 contributors! The book is based on a questionnaire...intriguing and tempting

"It seems to have your name on it" said Karen. So it came home with me.

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 31, 2015 09:33 AM

Neki Rivera

about darts







this is cut and spread method.
a good reason why i should have paid more attention in geometry class.
( had it been explained in a practical exampled way)

have a great weekend.







neki desu
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by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at July 31, 2015 08:00 AM

July 30, 2015

Rayna Gillman

Dinner for one

While I am waiting for my shakshuka to get done, I figurered I might as well do something productive, i.e., blog about it.  This is a wonderful middle eastern (Morrocan, transplanted to Israel) dish that is easy, low cost, and low calorie. Perfect for dinner for one or two people.  Tonight, I am one.  My stepson Todd Gillman introduced me to this dish when he was here one weekend with the family
and it seemed like a good thing to have for breakfast.  Actually, it works beautifully for lunch (who  cooks lunch???) or, with a drink and a big green salad, for dinner.
I love Melissa Clark, the NY Times food writer.  If you get the NY Times cooking app you will think you have died and gone to heaven, and I have never made a bad recipe from Melissa. (I cannot imagine how she stays so skinny, since her baking recipes are also fabulous).  Anyway, I followed her directions and put the skillet into the oven to bake.  She says   "till  just set." but ick - I have baked this for 10  min and more and the whites are still - ewwwww.  So finally, I turned it on to "broil," which I have never done in the 7 years since I redid my kitchen.  Eggs now more-or-less hardboiled, but that is ok with me - better than the alternative.

Here they are in the bowl, with cilantro & tabasco sauce added -- and I have just happily finished my dinner.  There is a restaurant nearby that serves shaksuska but mine is better, if I do say so -- because I am not dumbing it down for the general public and it is loaded with cuminseed, cayenne, and paprika -- with a piece of jalapeno for good measure.
Shakshuka With Feta
by Melissa Clark
Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014721-shakshuka-with-feta
--------------------------------------
INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
6 large eggs
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving
Download The New York Times Cooking App on the App Store.
------------------------------------
Considering that it is in the 90's here with humidity in the you-don't-want-to-know range, I have been in my sewing room all day.  This is not a bad thing, although it seems I should go for a walk -- never mind, I just poked my head out.  

I actually feel as though I am making some progress on the idea I had in my head (unusual for me) so if I have any visuals to post later, I will.  If not, I will upload this without further photos of what is on my bulletin board.






by noreply@blogger.com (Rayna) at July 30, 2015 10:26 PM

Sabrina Zarco

Seeds of Summer

Monsoon rains continue and everything is green and growing. I share with you today two works for a Studio Art Quilt Assoc. (SAQA) of New Mexico exhibit called How Does Your Garden Grow? Seeds for SAQA. Each artist was to create a seed real or imagined to be mounted on a consistent background creating an exhibit that looked like oversized seed packets. Being the artivist that I am my seeds are also my wishes for us all. So go out and sow some seeds of Peace and Justice and  Love and Equality! 





Update: these two works are sold and found a home. For more available work check out my website gallery SabrinaZaco.com 


by Sabrina (noreply@blogger.com) at July 30, 2015 01:04 PM

Dijanne Cevaal

India and the Stitching Project

This is my year of self directed residencies and it  has been really good for getting a perspective on things and changing the way I was thinking about some things. It is good to get away from the usual ( though my usual has been a bit all over the place these last two years) and rethink, refocus and have a good look at what is and what can be  and just  discard what is detritus.

So earlier this year I joined the Creative Camp organised by Creative Arts Safaris ( aka Fiona Wright) near Pushkar in India. I loved the encounters and I also explored a little  how I might represent banksias with the aid of some Sujuni embroidery. I have always loved indigo but using my own wood stamp and mud printing before dyeing with indigo was like going to carnivale! I also had to buy an urgent and expensive visa as I had misread the instructions for getting an on-line visa which isn't so on-line. However it opened the door for returning to India, which I decided to do as I could not find any house sitting and it's too cold in Gellibrand to go and live in my shed ( plus it needs a few things done to it- would love some help come late October to get some things sorted out there so I can live there)

So back in India I am on a self directed residency and already Fiona and I ( we are both earlier risers) have generated a ton of ideas and also are hatching a collaboration that will  hopefully result in some of our ideas reaching fruition and which we have called "#Where Things Change". We both have a passion for stitch, cloth, indigo , woodblock and getting colour onto fabric, but our approaches are a little different, determined both by the lives around us and the means by which we sustain ourselves.We will both be blogging about it as time goes on , on a regular basis and we have a few other surprises in store.

I spent a few days in Delhi on the way here, and on the first day after I arrived we went to Bagru to see Mr Satnaryan, who had cut some woodblock designs I had sent Fiona earlier. I was really delighted with the results ( unfortunately it has been too humid to do any real printing apart from trying out the stamps as it is the monsoon season)



Mr Satnaryan with some of my wood blocks and some of the men working in his workshop. After the woodblcoks have been carved Fiona soaks them in oil for three days so that it toughens up the wood. We then went to the indigo dyer Mr Rambabuji who  works in another part of Bagru. Unfortunately we could not look at any mud printing as again the conditions were too humid but just getting a piece of muslin indigo dyed was exciting enough for day 1!  These were all things I encountered on the Creative Camp earlier this year so it was lovely to renew acquaintances and have more of a look.























The colour  indigo is just so wonderful, so rustic but also so rich. The town of Bagru is one of the areas where indigo dyeing is practised and there has been a bit of a revival as the world starts to engage again with natural dyes and natural handlooms. The hand loom fabrics like Khadi and dhoti are not  only  brilliant to stitch with ( and I will talk about that more in my next blog post) but the colour is rich and dense- just wonderful. If anyone wants me to dye them some  handloomed loosely shiboriedor folded  cloth email me and we can discuss as  we will be going back to Bagru before I leave in mid August.

So after the first days excitement I have been trying to fit into the busy and hectic schedule at the Stitching Project workshop whilst trying to get a bit of my own stitching done and trying to record our early morning sparks of ideas and collaborations.Fiona describes India as gentle anarchy, and I find this description to be pretty much like it is- it is also infectious and I love seeing things reduced down to  elements- which is what has to happen for the workshop to function.

I promise to be a little more diligent in my blogging- there are so many things to tell you about, not only from encounters but also things happening in my own work. I am so happy I made the decision to return on many levels! And last a few impressions- a little backyard shrine to one of the many gods worshipped in Hindu religion- I don't know how they keep a track of them all, but gentle anarchy describes the gods as well, and modes of transport. Now if I was the wife I would be hanging on for dear life, but this lady sits casually and lightly as her husband negotiates pot holes and road undulations caused by the recent rains.



by Dijanne Cevaal (noreply@blogger.com) at July 30, 2015 12:47 PM

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - Herbsttag by Rainer Maria Rilke

Herbsttag

Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren laß die Winde los.

Befiel den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

Rainer Maria Rilke

A compilation of translations can be found at thebeckoning.com.

Rilke's dates are 1875-1926; he is widely recognised as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets. I confess I haven't read a lot of his poems, certainly not in the original - and some of the nuances of this short poem are lost on me. (But, fortunately, others not; beautiful, deeply-shadowed images....)
Portrait of Rilke by Paula Modersohn-Becker, 1906 (via)

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 30, 2015 09:16 AM

Neki Rivera

these were dyed too





the color is much darker, but the light today is not very good, it's cloudy and muggy , no more dyeing. 3 dips, wanted  couple more, but the material is cotton and paper yarn and was concerned about its possible disintegration.plus it was a gift from a dear friend and didn't want to lose it to high ph.



these went into the vat,with recklesness because they were cheap cotton pants from the chinese bazaar. got them while doing el camino because night were too cool for shorts.nothing to lose here a lot to gain!
proud to say that with my 30 liter vat i was able to dye them without streaking.
waiting for the weather to improve so i can keep dyeing. if it's cloudy or storm menacing using the vat is not recommended.




neki desu
Creative Commons License

by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at July 30, 2015 08:00 AM

July 29, 2015

Virginia A. Spiegel

Land Lines : Exhibit opens this Sunday

BW61500Boundary Waters 61

Karen Stiehl Osborn and I will be showing our artwork in a two-person show at the Jewish Community Center Art Gallery (333 South 132nd Street in Omaha, NE) from August 2 – August 30, 2015.

I will be showing 18 artworks never exhibited before as well as several large artworks from the Boundary Waters series.

Karen and I both work with abstract imagery drawn from the natural world to create lyrical and sbtle tributes to specific places.  Our artwork in infused with memory and emotion.

by Virginia at July 29, 2015 01:38 PM

Rayna Gillman

working hard or hardly working?

Depends on what day it is. It's so hot and humid in the studio that I've been working/puttering/experimenting at home.  No sign of cooling down for the rest of the week.

I did finally finish the bizarro string quilt I was working on as a baby gift. When I finally took a picture of it, I realized that "wonky" didn't begin to describe this rather psychedelic quilt.  I hope the baby will not have any bad effects from playing on it.
Finishing that quilt has freed me up to play a bit with some ideas floating around in
my head.  They haven't quite jelled - so I'm at the beginning of a "what if?" period.  Here's what is on my sewing room bulletin board this morning: bits of unrelated, previously started and new experiments.
Will any of these turn into something besides bits and pieces?  Only time will tell.  I'm working on it.

by noreply@blogger.com (Rayna) at July 29, 2015 12:16 PM

Margaret Cooter

Here and there in Kew Gardens

On Mondays, the Shirley Sherwood botanical art gallery and the Marianne North gallery at Kew Gardens are closed, but there's still lots to see - for instance, a group of three chinese pheasants stalking round in the undergrowth of the pinetum -
Their stripey hairdo of neck feathers is worn asymmetrically by the hipster in the group. (Have a look at this image, taken by Kevin Schafer.)

In search of "a typical Canadian fir tree" Heather and I spent a long time searching out tree labels and discovering the differences between fir and spruce, cedar and pine and larch and redwood and yew. It's still rather confusing, but this one turned out to be a larch -
This one, though, I've forgotten  - the photo shows new cones and, further down the branch, those from last year which have opened -
Somewhere along the way we saw this swathe of hydrangeas -
and later, at the other side of the gardens, among the famous trees is the stone pine (this shot is looking up through some branches) -
 In between, reflections of papyrus in the waterlily house -
In the gardens planted and maintained by the first-year students on Kew's diploma course, Heather pointed out how the basil leaves looked so much like fabric -
and I indulged in a spot of nostalgia over straw flowers, which my mother grew to use in wreathes and bouquets and other everlasting decorations -
Exit via the gift shop, of course - in this case, passing various herbal-flavoured chocolate bars, beautifully packaged and ... irresistible ...

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 29, 2015 09:37 AM

Neki Rivera

those manipulative darts



 this is my bodice block, drafted all by myself.i know someone somewhere is going to whine about some kind of infringement, but onward i go. there is a gap  on the shoulder  to collar line, this is the bust dart.there's another dart at the bottom. 






this gap is a dart that has to be closed .the bottom dart needs to be slashed open and manipulated so it ..


..fits the dart on the front skirt block. the dart on the skirt also needs to be moved to match the bodice.they have to be the same width.then you join both blocks to get your dress block.














so far it's pretty ordinary, but what if you want to move the bust dart to the armhole? whoa!!
we're talking big leagues here; there are various methods for manipulating darts, slash and open pivoting, but despair not as there are awesome tutorials.

the shortlist:
http://www.ohsewfashion.com/p/main.html
http://www.ohsewfashion.com/2012/11/dart-manipulation-pivoting.html
http://www.ohsewfashion.com/2012/11/dart-manipulation-slash-spread.htm
http://www.sew2pro.com/dart-manipulation/



it just takes a bit of patience and a lot of erasing. once you get your basic dress block it becomes the foundation for creating any style you want.i am closer to making my final pattern  ^_^




neki desu
Creative Commons License

by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at July 29, 2015 08:26 AM

July 28, 2015

Terry Grant

Sprechen sie Deutsch?

 

This arrived in the mail last week. It is my quilt, "Red Umbrellas" on the cover of a German quilting magazine. I was surprised and pretty excited! Inside is a translated reprint of the article I wrote for the Dutch magazine several months ago. Here's what it looks like in the German magazine.

 

Crazy. Stuff happens— I'm not sure how. Well, it's the Internet is what it is. An editor sees something on a blog or a web site and contacts me or you or whoever posts it and proposes an article, then someone else sees the article and proposes something else and without ever meeting, documents and photos and discussions and translations take place and there it is. It's all so easy. Remember when it was all so hard? Maybe you don't. Maybe that was before your time. Not mine. I remember. I repeat—crazy.

And here's something else. Do you know about Through our Hands—an online fiber arts magazine, coming out of the UK? It is the creation of Laura Kemshall and Annabel Rainbow, two wonderful British artists. I loved it from the first issue. It is simply beautiful. And then they asked me to write for them, which pretty much blew my mind. I have just finished my third essay for the magazine, which will be in the next issue. (it comes out quarterly). Here is the cover of the last issue.

 

Click here if you are interested in taking a look.

So, gosh, I am feeling very worldly and international, all without leaving the comfort of my little woodsy, Oregon home.

Crazy.

 

by Terry Grant (noreply@blogger.com) at July 28, 2015 07:25 PM

Sarah Ann Smith

Quilting Arts TV–my free downloads

Well, I’m only a little (ahem) behind the curve!  Finally discovered where the links are to my downloads, and folks LOVE my easy-peasy inside-out bag!  I am thinking of expanding the pattern and adding LOTS of options to make iPad cases, card cases, journal covers and more, so the popularity of the download thrills me!    Here are links:

If you watch Quilting Arts TV, these may look familiar, as they are on one of my episodes in season 1400 AND were in the 2014 Quilting Arts gifts magazine.

If you watch Quilting Arts TV, these may look familiar, as they are on one of my episodes in season 1400 AND were in the 2014 Quilting Arts gifts magazine.

Easy-Peasy Inside-Out Bag

Free-Motion Basics

Thread and Needle FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

I believe you need to have an Interweave/Quilting Arts account, which is free, to download theses freebies.  Enjoy!

 

 

by Sarah Ann Smith at July 28, 2015 06:21 PM

Margaret Cooter

Drawing Tuesday - Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection

Looking around the Reading Room, one of the first things I saw was the collection of Georgie Meadows' textile work, her "stitched drawings" in jars ... rather high up, therefore hard to see the details -
I found a chair with a good view of another cabinet (also rather high up, on top of a bookshelf) and eventually tackled the anatomical wax moulages (waxes showing injuries or pathological changes in the body; these are c.1930) and Jane Jackson's plaster and wax models, also from the 1930s (another of her models is here) -
Too high up and too far away for comfortable drawing, but after the "medical drawing" course I found these depictions of pathology interesting, and am still searching for what to use, and how, for depicting undulations in smooth surfaces. This attempt used compressed charcoal. The three "people", faintly done with pencil, are a boy with rickets, a woman with Cushing's syndrome, and an elderly woman (is old age a disease??).

This wonderful machine with its unknown components allowed for drawing from a distance and then getting closer. That's a sort of scientific approach: from the distance you formulate the hypothesis, sketch it out; then you test it by looking carefully and closely and readjusting the parameters -
The intriguing contraption is the Pohl Omniskop x-ray machine from Germany, 1925-35. The chatty attendant showed me the features of the machine - the patient was positioned on the board, which could be moved (with counterweights and a motor) into a variety of positions. The screen and the cathode ray tube behind it could be moved along the body, and also around the body. It hardly looks comfortable, and doses of radiation were high, but this was cutting-edge technology at the time.
Ernst Pohl, inventor of the machine, was a technical autodidact. In 1902 he founded a firm making medical and surgical instruments, with an early focus on x-ray technology. By the 1930s he had filed 150 patents in various areas, and his colleagues and students went on to found other medical instrument firms. The Omniskop was developed in the 1920s and came to be used internationally. In 1947 Pohl received an honorary doctorate from Christian Albrects University in Kiel, where he had been taken by his mentor in 1899.

I went on to look at the levers etc that were used for adjustments -
Other objects of interest were this gas-driven prosthesis for a thalidomide child in the 1960s - the irony being that when it was being worn, the child couldn't use its own hands -
 and this blown-glass model of the ebola virus -
which is displayed along with other models from Luke Jerram's glass microbiology series -
It was the jars and mortars that caught Mags' eye -
She drew the glass with hard and soft pencil, as light-on-dark and dark-on-light -
 and the wooden mortars to show their woodenness -
The chair under the stair appealed to Janet (drawn while she was sitting in its twin) -

and later she drew the chair I was sitting in, near the x-ray machine -
Sue started with some appealing objects from the amulets cabinet -
 and moved on to these -
 straightjackets and their shadows -
Latest must-have item: a holder for chunky graphite sticks -
DO try this at home - use your non-dominant hand for (warm-up) drawing -

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 28, 2015 06:40 PM

Neki Rivera

the great blogging debate

Unexpected abstraction

lately there has been some questioning about blogging, whether it's dead or not, whether it still holds a purpose given the myriad of other on line communities.

i am somewhat old fashioned in this respect; to me blogging is an essential part of my doing. although sometimes there's little text, for me, it is a more in depth recording than any other on line platform. it also functions as a knowledge transfer platform as there are lots of tutorials about every thinkable topic.
it is a place where one can ramble and distill thoughts. and if someone is kind enough to leave a comment it can also mean a way of conversing.i have made great friends through blogs and some i have even met in person.
plus there's something about a first,let's say love, that is difficult to replace.

instagram for me is mainly about photos and photo experiments; quick glances from my walks and open to the viewer's interpretation. hardly ever i add text.

facebook is in my opinion repetitious and superficial. from all the posts in my feed maybe 1/4 is interesting and or informative.it's mostly about cats, disasters that can happen to you or your pets,pseudo inspiring schmaltzy thoughts and gods of every kind. it is time consumed passively and i am slowly limiting my presence there.

pinterest poses copyright ethic questions, it is also rather passive, but at least it is inspiring. mind you i am just half guilty; i don't pin, but i follow some boards because they are full of information. like a graphic google at your fingertips unlike present google which is more interested in selling ads and promoting places. have you noticed that one has to go to the 7th-8th page to really start finding information.

perhaps all of the above describes me as a non millenial, which definitely i am not. but then again that's not my niche and i don't think they'd be interested in something so time consuming and slow as weaving.


neki desu
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by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at July 28, 2015 08:00 AM

July 27, 2015

Margaret Cooter

Fab floor

Is it inlaid linoleum? It's at the ICA, on the way to the upper galleries.



by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 27, 2015 09:30 AM

Neki Rivera

sometimes two is bigger than four



especially when talking fractions ie:1/2 vs 1/4.not only did the other day i read on line that a person was heatedly arguing that on forth was bigger than one half because four was a higher number than two,but later on the week i wanted to draft a skirt block and the instructions called for drafting one fourth of the pattern as then you would place it on a folded cloth to make the whole pattern.
DUH???ಠ ಠ  ಠಠ
1/4 +1/4= 2/4=1/2. and i'm not good at math!

here is the evil one fourth of the pattern, wish there were classes that taught giving instructions.
the right pattern block + ease added as per these instructions, something quite uncommon.
from the basic block i am aiming to develop this number. nothing like a challenge to keep your mind focused.
and if you're interested in unusual pattern developments the blog and facebook page are absolute musts. warning: not for wimps.!



neki desu 
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by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at July 27, 2015 08:00 AM

July 26, 2015

Margaret Cooter

Street art, Hackney Wick

Charming!

Clever use of "holes in the wall"

It goes round the corner

More birds

"Strongly graphic"

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 26, 2015 09:43 AM

July 25, 2015

Margaret Cooter

A morning at King's Place

Meeting up with Art in the Park (Islington Art Society) to do some drawing ... but first I had to have a big cup of coffee ... and a long sit&think ...

... time for noticing things, like the colour schemes within the building, reflections, the patterns made by shapes and by the movements of people ...




and for a look around the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize exhibition (till 9 October). All works are online here. The first picture I saw used textile, which was surprising and passed my "why textile" text -
Emily Tull, Fragility #1, 2009; Needle painting
Nearby was this oil pastel, which intrigued me through its conjectural story telling (and passed my "are those words really necessary" test) -

Another that gave rise to possible stories - and the use of figures on the jacket linked up nicely with a jacket in the Alexander McQueen exhibition with strategically placed faces from a medieval painting -
Peter Laraze, Self-Portrait as Saint Prince, 2004
A few paintings depicted groups of figures - which is the "self" being portrayed here? The one reflected in the glass covering the picture on the back wall, perhaps?
George Lloyd-Jones, During Canasta, 2015
One of the winners of a purchase prize - a linocut, hurrah -

Mostly the "just my head" works appealed to me less than the iconographic ones with all their included objects, but this one was painted on an antique linen sheet with known associations -
Liz Rideal, Marie Elisabeth Rideal (1954-)/Marthe Callet (Nee Bailleul,1897-1993), 2015
 My photo of this large conte and ink work loses the wonderful details -
Freya Pocklington, After Frida, 2014
 Finally, out into the air - before the arrival of lunch crowds - to join the other sketchers

 My subject: some of the narrowboats. Medium: water-soluble neopastel -
 Plenty of materials were in use. Most people seem to be painters, doing preparatory work for a "proper" painting -
On the way home, a quick look at "Sculptor's Drawings" at Pangolin Gallery (till 15 August; all works are online here) -
 And the discovery of a farmer's market at King's Cross station forecourt. Brilliant.
The big cheese!

Wonderful breads ... and more





by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 25, 2015 09:20 AM

July 24, 2015

Sarah Ann Smith

Foto Friday, July 24th, 2015

The week’s challenge was footwear.  I’m not big on still lifes, but most of my ideas had already been done by other students in the class, so I set up a still life of Eli’s wrestling shoes.  The other part of the lesson was on dominance.   The shoes are clearly more dominant in the second photo, but I felt the first one was a better photo, so I submitted that for my week’s challenge.

Here's the photo I submitted for the Footwear/dominance challenge.

Here’s the photo I submitted for the Footwear/dominance challenge.

The usual smart sharpen, slight adjustments to levels, dodged a bit on the red knee-pad on the left as it was too distracting.  I like the tight focus on the well-worn wrestling shoes.  The kid came in second at the State Wrestling Tournament (Class B), and fourth overall in the State in his weightclass, including competing against the big schools in southern Maine.  Proud mama!

The usual smart sharpen, slight adjustments to levels, dodged a bit on the red knee-pad on the left as it was too distracting. I like the tight focus on the well-worn wrestling shoes. The kid came in second at the State Wrestling Tournament (Class B), and fourth overall in the State in his weightclass, including competing against the big schools in southern Maine. Proud mama!

by Sarah Ann Smith at July 24, 2015 09:53 AM

Margaret Cooter

Friday miscellany

The wardrobe doors open to reveal clothes on hangers, then the whole thing folds into a card

Jolly beach umbrellas, part of a Bond Street jewellery display
Exhibition "curated by Tony Cragg" at BlainSouthern -
Matthias Lanfer  manipulates industrial materials using cutting edge processes

Gereon Lepper, Der Apparat fast unbewegt
The fans switch on every 8 minutes, and the wire cage trembles, but nothing else moves

Andreas Schmitten, Basic Distinct
Minimalist forms, colours derived from Pop Art, fluoresent lighting, dull or reflective surfaces
The fabric in Schmitten's work brought up the "why fabric" question - what qualities of cloth make it the right medium to choose. Later the question came up again, or perhaps partly answered itself, in this shrouding of a shop being renovated -
Back at home, the zinnias in my garden continue to delight -


by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 24, 2015 10:33 AM

Ceramics, day 1 (of 3)

Three Sundays to indulge in slip-dipping ... as long as I can make enough textile tubes during the week.

Out of nowhere came the idea for a bias tube - would the springyness of the fabric hold up against the weight of the slip? These were ready for the first session, some quite tiny, the largest about 7" high -
Most have metallic thread or fabric stitched on. Another factor to get right is the balance of dark areas against the white of the porcelain.

The "before" photos - once they are fired, I intend to do a "before and after" sequence -
Left, the bias is double-wrapped; right, sewn together to make a simpler tube

Metal threads woven into springy silk

Synthetic organza with machine-sewn tucks

Right, "plastic" metal threads woven into the fabric - the grid is useful for nice neat patterns

Stitching on the wild side - and the threads to hold the tubes during dipping are in place
And now for the "during" photos - the process - should you wish to try this at home.

Dipping - the larger tubes tend to crinkle up around the top -
 Dripping, suspended from sticks -
 and from a tripod made of chopsticks -
 The wire contraption is to hold the top open during dipping and dripping. It sort of worked.

The double layer will be interesting ... will the slip permeate all layers of fabric, or will it form thin sheets that crumble? Until I know, I won't be making more like this -
 The day's dippings, set onto bases (most of them) and resting on molochite for eventual firing -
 These few need to dry out properly before going into the kiln -
The task for the week is to make at least a dozen more of the bias tubes, and some heat-set organza ones. Fingers crossed that the ones in the tray actually do get fired, so that I can see what works and what doesn't, in terms of making more textile tubes for the final session in this (very!) short course. 

(This post is linked to Off the Wall Fridays.)

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 24, 2015 09:43 AM

Neki Rivera

hanabi season







enjoy!
have a cool weekend.



neki desu
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by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at July 24, 2015 08:00 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Some Time Out

GNPweb

After getting 3 quilts done and photographed, sewing facings, making labels and travel bags, I had to take some time to breath.  Here is the travel bag that I made for the finished Glacier National Park piece which is 24 inches square. It would not roll easily so this is a great way to send out into the world. The plastic sleeve has a photo and identification information.

GNP travel bag

Yesterday, I cleaned up the sewing room which was a bit of a disaster. Lisa and Clay called and wanted to come and hang out and have dinner with us. I love to have them stop by.

Today, I headed to the studio to get some work done. I got the July Printed Fabric Piece done – the theme is insects. I will post photos at the end of the month.

I am behind on my Master Class homework for this month. The theme is rhythm. I need to do a little work on my sketch. I want to do some layering with silk organza and silk charmeuse so I painted some organza to use. Here it is still wet.

paintedorganza

It has been nice to have a few days without looming deadlines.

by Gerrie at July 24, 2015 04:55 AM

July 23, 2015

Olga Norris

Experiments (printmaking)

I have been experimenting with a couple of images printed from two sides of a block of vinyl.  The first is Scary story - here is the block before I decided to carve away the hair.
I have been experimenting with printing on different papers, mostly tissue, either altered by me, or pre-printed, as in gift wrappings.
Below I've printed on this last: a white and silver unobtrusive floral pattern, which I think worked rather well.  I have used this tissue before, and like the way it takes the ink.  I also pasted the tissue onto black khadi paper so that the silver shines - unfortunately not visible in scanned reproduction.
I have also been experimenting with using digitally printed patterns which I have designed.  I made the background the wrong size in the one below, but went ahead with the trial anyway - not only because I wanted to see how the ink sat on the paper (I used printable lokta paper), but I liked the idea of her hair extending beyond the background.
I also like to try out different papers - such as scrunched up and then ironed brown wrapping paper.  Although it does not work with this print, I do like the effect of the ink on the scrunch edges, and would consider using it with a larger scale shape.
On the other side of the Scary story plate is that for Jazz flute.  First I tried a textured tissue - a coarse-ish fibrous tissue with bits in it.  I like the result, and am now thinking about what paper I might mount it on.  By the way, creases such as the one bottom left will smooth out in the pasting.
The digitally printed paper has also pleased me, and despite the rather faint inking on this print I do think that the dark-ish background will work.  I have also designed some lighter coloured versions to use.

by Olga Norris (noreply@blogger.com) at July 23, 2015 10:38 AM

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - The Right Word by Imtiaz Dharker

(via)

The right word

 
 
Outside the door,
lurking in the shadows,
is a terrorist.
Is that the wrong description?
Outside that door,
taking shelter in the shadows,
is a freedom fighter.
I haven't got this right .
Outside, waiting in the shadows,
is a hostile militant.
Are words no more
than waving, wavering flags?
Outside your door,
watchful in the shadows,
is a guerrilla warrior.
God help me.
Outside, defying every shadow,
stands a martyr.
I saw his face.
No words can help me now.
Just outside the door,
lost in shadows,
is a child who looks like mine.
One word for you.
Outside my door,
his hand too steady,
his eyes too hard
is a boy who looks like your son, too.
I open the door.
Come in, I say.
Come in and eat with us.
The child steps in
and carefully, at my door,
takes off his shoes.
       - Imtiaz Dharker
(via the poet's website)


See the poem being performed at bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0110cs6

For those with access to BBC iplayer, Imtiaz chooses her desert island disks and talks about her life here. She grew up in a Lahori household in Glasgow and now divides her time between India, Wales and London.

"When I start making a line on a piece of paper, I don't know if it will become a drawing or a poem" - see some of her drawings here.


by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 23, 2015 09:03 AM

July 22, 2015

Olga Norris

Both blue and pink

Our hydrangea is looking really good this year, flowering all over, and covered with hover flies.  I find it extraordinary that one plant has both pink and blue florets.  It is delightful.
The various clematis plants are also looking good at present as we have not had enough rain to damage the flowers.
The hollyhocks are also benefiting from not being battered by heavy rain.  We are having humidity rather than a proper downpour, and the ground is really dry.

by Olga Norris (noreply@blogger.com) at July 22, 2015 02:44 PM

Sarah Ann Smith

Descended from the Stars, Part 3

Good news:  it looks like there will be an article on this quilt!  Bad news:  that means I won’t be sharing quite as much here out of respect for the magazine.   But here is a lot, and I’ll tell you when the article is out!

 

The sun in the center of Descended From the Stars

The sun in the center of Descended From the Stars

When I left on in my last post about this quilt, I had shared the dyeing process and the stones and lettering.   Next, I fused trees in the four seasons into the corners.  I distorted the shape so the tree canopy served as a frame.  I had thought initially I might need an inner border, perhaps couched yarn or stitching of some sort, but the shape of the tree worked so well I didn’t need anything extra.

Detail, upper left corner, Spring Tree of Life.

Detail, upper left corner, Spring Tree of Life.  Each of the leaves is free-motion stitched with several rounds of thread on each leaf.  The nice part about doing this at the top stage is that I could use the scissors on my Janome 15000.  I didn’t have to bury thread tails!

Detail, top right, Summer Tree of Life.

Detail, top right, Summer Tree of Life.

Detail of the lower right corner, showing the autumn tree of life.

Detail of the lower right corner, showing the autumn tree of life.

Detail of the lower left corner, with the winter tree kissed by snow.

Detail of the lower left corner, with the winter tree kissed by snow.

You can see my work (on a glorious Janome 15000) as I am quilting around on the stones and leaves.

Here

Here I have begun quilting.  You can see the custom-dyed cotton duck on the back.

Next,

asdfa

Superior Threads (Thank you Bob and Heather Purcell!) has come out with some tone-on-tone variegated threads.   I have been pestering Bob for YEARS to make threads like these as I prefer blendy to contrasty.  I ordered up all of the new earth-tone blendy variegateds in the Fantastico line and used them.

At last, it was nearly DONE!  Time for facings, sleeve and label.

The back side of the quilt.  By dyeing the back to correspond with the front, the quilting design shows up on the back as it does on the front.

The back side of the quilt. By dyeing the back to correspond with the front, the quilting design shows up on the back as it does on the front.

And I couldn’t resist the temptation to place a moon behind the sun as my label.  One more time with the dip pen!

The End--the label is on, the sleeve is done, the facings are stitched!

The End–the label is on, the sleeve is done, the facings are stitched!

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

(c)Sarah Ann Smith 2015; quote (c) Mirza Khan, used with permission

This quilt will be for sale–another reason I opted to not include a lot of personal details in the quilt.   As I said before, I am happy!

 

 

by Sarah Ann Smith at July 22, 2015 09:28 AM

July 21, 2015

Margaret Cooter

Drawing Tuesday - African gallery, British Museum

It wasn't my plan to draw all these masquerade head dresses - just one or two, with their shadows. It became a matter of getting a clear sightline.

At this point most of the struggle was over, and it only remained to make a few adjustments and fill in the details.
"The Bijogo [of Guinea-Bissau] divide males into different age-grades, each with masks appropriate to its character. Young boys may dress as calves and fish but older uninitiated youths assume the form of dangerous and uncontrolled beasts such as sharks, wild bulls, and - as here - sawfish. Their dances are exuberant and aggressive and are expressive of their own undomesticated nature."

To fill in a few minutes, blind drawings of other head-dresses -
 Objects that other people were looking at -



... and some of the drawings -
Michelle's sculptural pot, Woyo people, Congo

Janet's terracotta head, Benin

Pat's  colourful carving

Cathy's  wooden figures, Azande people, Sudan

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 21, 2015 09:52 AM

Neki Rivera

aizome cuts it too





the very best vat ever. i think all my problems were due to the quality of the indigo i was using.this ai is a dream. this will become a dress


here's the bottom part.




































first dip, 5-7 minutes.                                                                      second dip, 5 minutes.
the silk remained lustrous.







neki desu
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by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at July 21, 2015 08:00 AM

July 20, 2015

Olga Norris

From Panda to Polar bear

This morning I encountered a snippet in the Guardian newspaper.  Art critic Jonathan Jones wrote about Jeann-Marie Donat's collection of old photographs showing at the Arles photography festival this year.  I would not normally have been interested in the article, except that I have a picture taken of me, my mother, a toy polar bear cub, and a man dressed in a polar bear costume (looking I must say more authentic than the one in the German photographs!).  We were in a park in Aberdeen in 1951 when I was three years old.
More of the German photos like the one above here

by Olga Norris (noreply@blogger.com) at July 20, 2015 07:19 PM

Margaret Cooter

Cycling again

Not in the Velodrome itself, that would be an entirely different kettle of fish. Still getting my confidence up in a traffic-free zone. Going round the Olympic Park, it's wonderful to see how the floral landscape has changed between sessions. Two weeks ago, the gladioli weren't even in bud and now their brief span is almost done. And lilies (are they lilies?) have appeared on the other side of the grass swathe.
 Off the main paths are hidden nooks -
 Most of the dense planting is near the water-fountain area; love those cone flowers -
"The monstrosity" keeps an eye on it all -

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 20, 2015 04:11 PM

Sarah Ann Smith

Foto Friday on Monday, because I forgot LOL!

So I forgot to post a photo on my Foto Friday (and just my second week of doing this…erk!).  Except I just checked and I skipped an extra week.  SHRIEK!  OK…so today you get TWO fotos!

This past week's challenge was Macro/Flowers.  I don't have a Macro lens, so I just did flowers.  I deliberately focused on the one flower, blurring out the rest to create a focal point. Adjustment to levels, highlight.  That’s all folks!

This past week’s challenge was Macro/Flowers. I don’t have a Macro lens, so I just did flowers. I deliberately focused on the one flower, blurring out the rest to create a focal point. Adjustment to levels, highlight. That’s all folks!

And from the previous week, the theme was Celebration.   We had a lovely quiet Fourth of July, and I was touched that Joshua and Ashley wanted to come spend time with us.  And I gotta get Joshua to teach me how he got a burger that is both well done and juicy!

As soon as the theme was announced, I knew I would celebrate family when the few of us (just five!) gathered on the Fourth.  I like the triangular composition and the fact that three of my four family members (well, of the humans) are in this shot, even if hubby’s slipper is barely in the lower right corner!  Used dodge to darken corners, lasso and content aware fill to eliminate the white tag on the chair behind the firepit, a distracting glint of light on the chair leg, and a streak from a rising ember that just looked off.   Given how dark it was and that this was hand-held, I’m glad it turned out so well.

As soon as the theme was announced, I knew I would celebrate family when the few of us (just five!) gathered on the Fourth. I like the triangular composition and the fact that three of my four family members (well, of the humans) are in this shot, even if hubby’s slipper is barely in the lower right corner!
Used dodge to darken corners, lasso and content aware fill to eliminate the white tag on the chair behind the firepit, a distracting glint of light on the chair leg, and a streak from a rising ember that just looked off. Given how dark it was and that this was hand-held, I’m glad it turned out so well.

I am just too dang busy, but I’m sure having fun and learning!  My yard and house are a mess, but so what.  As the saying goes, I’ll be buried under 6 feet of dust, I’ll deal with it then!

by Sarah Ann Smith at July 20, 2015 02:52 PM

Margaret Cooter

Memories of lavender

Harvesting lavender near Chichester (via). Seeing this brought back memories of Hvar, which I visited while it was part of Yugoslavia. The island has long had a lavender industry and, as this photo from 2010 indicates, the harvesting methods there must be very different -
Lavender fields of Hvar (via)
Our tour guide (that was in 1987) told us that young people were leaving the island, looking for work in the cities, and we could see that the lavender farms were being abandonned, the plants sprawling untended. This is how I remember it -
I was in Hvar for a conference  - the Society of Indexers - and have been travelling down memory lane via the pages of its journal, which I was deputy editor of around then. We had some rather charming articles, for instance this one on indexes to clerihews, this one on indexers in Penelope Lively's novels, and this one on Barbara Pym as an indexer. And quietly mind-boggling fillers like this -
Back issues of The Indexer, since 1958, are available free online, with links to specific articles, via theindexer.org. Curl up with a cup of cocoa...
Here's one I compiled earlier!

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at July 20, 2015 09:01 AM

Neki Rivera

busy hands




finished
















in progress















this one's a disciplined sampler
and it feels good to have some structure.










neki desu
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by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at July 20, 2015 08:00 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Making a Mark

stitchedmark

I know that I have been missing from the blogisphere, but I have had a lot going on. I lost two days earlier in the week because I had a colonoscopy on Thursday and Wednesday was prep day – stayed close to home. The good news is that it was all clear and I don’t have to go back for another, ever.

And, I have been working to get three quilts finished and ready to photograph tomorrow. One, I can’t show you, as it is for a special project and I have been asked to keep it under wraps.

The other two are for the annual High Fiber Diet show. This year, our theme is Making Our Mark, done in neutral colors, with minimal other colors.

The mark that needs to be on or part of every piece is that little square up there. I want to submit this quilt:

MarGECfinal

I made it in one of the sizes that the committee asked for, but what to do about that mark. Up above, you can see that I stitched the mark down in the lower left corner so that it sort of looks like a chop mark.

The piece I have been working on all week is photographs of our trip to Glacier National Park. I played with them in photoship and printed them on Jacquard Extravorganza. I fused them to grey cotton and then to gray felt and I have been obsessively stitching on them all week.

aspenstitching

glacierparts

Here they are organized for stitching together. you can see that each segment is a different part of the square so that together, they make the mark.

 

glaciersneakpeek

We also had my daughter’s chihuahua for a week while she was in San Francisco taping an illustration workshop for Creative Bug. He is really not much trouble and is very loving. He spent the week on the sofa, behind me while I stitched and recovered from anesthesia.

wilfredodogwalkI still have to do facings on two of the quilts in the morning before I photograph them.

by Gerrie at July 20, 2015 04:43 AM