"I begin with an idea ... and then it becomes something else"
~ Picasso

Saturday, 30 October 2010

St. Ives peeling paint, rusty boats and a splash of water

Another busy week whizzes by bringing lots of nice things:

lots of fab and groovy comments for the giveaway on
Love Stitching Red
(ends tomorrow)

more natural dyeing

a walk into St. Ives harbour
warm autumn sunshine
amazing light

lunch with a friend in the cafe next to Art Space
a visit to some favourite art galleries

some stitching
with lots of shimmery sheers
and materials that reflect the light

splash of water

one of my St. Ives hearts
with Alfred Wallis style Cornish cottage

layers of sea and a splash of water

using recycled materials in textile art

heat distressed sheers
painted and heated Tyvek
melted plastic carrier bags
and cellophane sweetie wrappers
that reflect the light
and the water splashing up on the harbour walkway

and found objects
a mussel shell from the harbour beach
with rusted edges balancing the lichen coloured cottage rooftop

enjoying the brightness of the day
photographing peeling paint and rust
on Cornish fishing boats

in St. Ives harbour

rusty chains

distressed by elements of nature

weathered by sea and time

and putting together a mosaic of my photographs
in the complementary colours of aqua blue and rusty orange

There is still time to enter my giveaway of natural dyed fabrics,
textile art beads and some of my distressed sheers.
It ends tomorrow so hurry if you are interested!

Happy creating!
Carolyn ♥

I have a new page on facebook
click on the box if you would like updates

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Textiles, rusty boats and peeling paint

Thank you for visiting me and for all comments on recent posts. It's lovely to hear from you and to see new followers

I have a few things to share today ...

Firstly, a couple of pages from my "sketchbook" which isn't really a sketchbook, but more like a sample book! I do draw and sketch a little, mainly still life. When I'm out and about I tend to use my camera for visual recording and a notebook for scribbling thoughts and ideas. Are you the same?

There are so many ways of recording observation, the name "sketchbook" can be daunting. I like to think of mine more as an inspiration book really, just full of my ideas and things I try and recording things I notice with photography, collage, samples, paint and stitch

On the left I stuck an image in my book that inspired me. I was drawn to the colours and detail in the rocks. Top left I painted a couple of Tyvek tags with acrylics in the same blues as the image, heated them and stitched into them. A few of these Tyvek tags layered on top of each other in my book give a bit of texture and interest

I made a textile piece using a base layer of dyed cotton, silk, scrim and tissue paper. I was able to stitch into the paper because it had a supporting fabric layer behind

On top of that I added lots of threads and curly wool tops bonded with bondaweb. Then I embroidered into the surface with hundreds of french knots in a variety of textured yarns of varying thickness, added some lazy daisy stitches and beads

I love french knots. I find them very therapeutic to stitch. They appear on most things I make. I do like the colours of the sea in this little piece :o)

Another thing I'd love to share is my new favourite thing of layering and adding textures in Photoshop! I've always wanted to know how to do it and it's one of those things that's very easy when you know, so everything is getting the treatment!

St. Ives harbour

I soon realised that all those texture photos I've taken over the years, all that focusing in on rust and peeling paint etc., would come in handy for adding highlights and interest to otherwise dull photos, of which I have loads!

So ...

This ...

plus ...

this ...

can, with a bit of manipulation, become this ...

texture multiplied

or this ...

texture multiplied with pin light added

or this painterly look ...

texture overlay plus hard light

or this more vibrant rusty look ...

texture with vibrant light

or the same image with the colours reversed and made a little more red (love red)

rust texture vibrant light colours altered

Using these photos for inspiration I made some samples on my embellisher on a recent Crow Day with my friend Jo. First was a piece of dyed felt which Jo gave me. This gorgeous piece of pre-felt came all the way from Arizona and it's very soft and beautiful

This is how a small piece of the fabric reacted to being needle punched in the embellisher

The pulled threads look just like little lazy daisy stitches and create great texture and movement. I like it just as it is and the colours remind me so much of rusty boats in St. Ives harbour

The next few samples were made on the embellisher using felted backgrounds to which I added wool tops, silk tops, snippets of metallic fabrics, chiffons and ladder yarns

To this one I added some ladder yarns and cellophane sweet wrappers before embellishing. Then I free machine stitched on both samples using a variegated metallic thread

Below ... you can see I got my inspiration from the colours in my boat photo (the vibrant rust coloured version)

To take the samples further I cut them up so there were 16 little pieces and re-arranged them. On each little piece I added more snippets of cellophane, fabrics, hand stitching, copper curls, beads and bits of orange netting (like fishing nets)

I think they look more interesting grouped together like this

I made them into cards for friends but they would also make interesting little brooches for anyone who liked a St. Ives boat/fishing net sort of thing lol :o)

Another sample where the vertical yarns were embedded in the felt with the embellisher. On top there is machine stitching and lots of "flotsam and jetsam" consisting of copper curls, gem stones, beads and french knots

The sample below doesn't have a pre-felt backing. I used the embellisher to join wool tops and silk tops together. I enjoyed this one. You could go on forever ... keep adding bits to the side and watching it grow

I made holes in a piece of blue seawashed plastic I picked up on the harbour beach recently and sewed it to the felt

paint was peeling

Talking of beaches ... I never did show the results of the seaside inchy swap that some of us girls took part in over the summer, so here they are ...

Mine is the top row, second along ... made with a vintage image, text, orange fishing net and a shell

Seaside inchy swap at inchybyinch

... and finally ... some pebbles ...

... with free machine stitching into watercolour paper

I said there would be some blue and orange coming soon didn't I? Well, that's it for now

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Autumn sunshine we are having or else enjoy being creative and cosy indoors. Happy weekend :o)

Carolyn ♥

I'm having a GIVEAWAY on Love Stitching Red

I have a new page on facebook
click on the box if you would like updates

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Rainy day ramblings

For the first time in ages I've had time to go through my photos and have a good catch up on both blogs. I'm showing Autumn inspiration on LOVE STITCHING RED and now a good catch up is needed over here too ... I got busy with real life and then lost my momentum ... easily done when your head is full of "fluff and beads"!

A few weeks ago now ... I got along to an exhibition of work by artist Trevor Bell at the Millennium Gallery, St. Ives


My first impression was one of amazement at the size and scale of his work ... artwork taking up a whole wall ...

... and then I began to look closely ... and was fascinated with the detail ... and then interested to find that, although my first love is red, I find myself more and more drawn to sea blues and rusty coppery oranges, so expect to see some in my next blog post!

The blues came out in this heart I made for my friend Cathie recently, inspired by the cottages of St. Ives and the work of Alfred Wallis

Cafes and places to be

It's a mixed media heart stitched on cotton and silk that I dyed myself in aqua and pale mauve, with an aqua blue satin backing, it incorporates my distressed chiffons, wool tops, melted plastic, scrim, text, beads, tiny hand stitches, french knots and mussel shells

I do enjoy making these because each one comes out different. This one has text "Cafes and places to be" which I think is lovely. In my mind, it's Bumbles Tea Room on The Digey, St. Ives surrounded by little white washed cottages with lichen covered rooftops and Alfred Wallis's cottage just opposite

Alfred Wallis's cottage

Alfred Wallis, artist and mariner, lived here

The work of Alfred Wallis

Bumbles Tea Room is up a little cobbled street in St. Ives and just around the corner from Porthmeor beach and The Tate. It's quaint and cute and has knitted cupcakes on plates in the window and old fashioned cakes. I hope you have tea there one day

Up the steep little street

My blog friend Julie and I had tea and cakes in there a couple of weeks ago. It was a dark, rainy day so we couldn't think of anywhere nicer and cosier to sit and chat and exchange little gifts

This is the heart I made for Julie ...

... and Julie made this beautiful book for me ...

I absolutely love it! The front and back are completely covered in layers of fabric, textured threads and stitch. Julie made a long cord which wraps several times around the book and ties with seahorse and starfish charms

Inside, I had a "wow" moment because all of the pages are hand painted and different types of paper and look at these ...

... pages of beautiful water colour pebbles

My book is gorgeous. Thank you Julie ♥

Later in the day Julie and I went beachcombing on the lifeboat beach, looking mainly for plastic and knitted materials rather than my usual pebbles and shells

Rainy day

The next day was rainy and dark

Rainy and dark

This is what I did with some of the pieces. Texture by Les Brumes

playing with the pieces

Well, as you know, it never rains for long in St. Ives, especially if you have a sunny nature! A few days later the weather was back to being gorgeous again. This is me with the quilt I stitched for Festival of Quilts 2010. I am very grateful to Julie's DH for taking the photo. I wanted one of the quilt with St. Ives in the background. It was taken at the Malakoff

This one was taken on Friday 8th October when I walked down to St. Ives to see textile art by Wendy Topsey in St. Ives Arts Club

No matter how many times I see this view I fall in love each time

Hope you have a great week. I'm already working hard on the next post which is the one I meant to show you before ;o) but before I go I want to share this absolutely gorgeous postcard that my friend Jo sent me recently. Thank you so much Jo ♥ ... I love it!

Carolyn ♥