Saturday 29 December 2012

M'dam is ready

After readin my confession of love for my shopping bag, P asked if it had a name. I replied that no, I just called it the Make Do and Mend bag, quite sensible, really. After a moment of thought, P informed me that I should call it "M'dam" as an abbreviation. So I now present you with M'dam, all stitched up and ready to go:
Re-Mended Bag

Again, I am really happy with this project. It's getting a bit like stone soup, or Granny Weatherwax's broom, and I can predict that I'll be mending this bag again in the future. The poor Parsnips bag is another story. It's wearing out, but the duck tape lining isn't nice to stitch, so I'm not sure if it will be mended or permanently retired.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Getting on with stuff

The Make Do and Mend bag is nearly mended, and since I'm working between Xmas and New Year, it should be done for January. Last weekend I made progress on my quilt project. It's all sandwiched and ready to start tying with star stitches. It definitely won't be finished this year, but I can see it getting done before summer.

And here's what the art journal is looking like:
working on page 4 from end (4)
Hopefully you can make out the changes to the background. I used the top of a spray creme canister to press cloth soaked with watercolour, making a soft floral print. It's clearer in this picture. I really like how it turned out, but it makes me even more reluctant to get rid of the random bits of junk I've collected.

My process for these pages is sort of reversed from what I've been doing. It started with finding the advert on the left page. I read a tip in a book on graphic design for dummies that recommended copying layouts that you find appealing. So I flipped through some magazines looking for ideas, and one that stood out was a 3 by 3 grid of pictures on one page with a half page of text on the other. I knew I wanted to stretch myself by working with snippets of text on these pages, so when I saw this advertisement, it gave me the layout as well. I'm only using a few small images, and the next step is to finally add some decorative boarders. I'm enjoying decorating these pages, but I haven't been working on them regularly. Some of that is because I've had a bit of a cold, but I also feel a general lack of motivation. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself about it, and just work when I feel like it would be relaxing.

Saturday 15 December 2012

What I'm doing on the bus

Coming home on Thursday, I noticed a girl doing something crafty with what looked like plastic strings, maybe a half a meter long and in rather nice bright colours, slightly translucent greens, purples, etc. It looked a bit like braiding, but her hands were moving more like basket weaving. I couldn't figure it out and was far too shy to ask. It's not likely that I'll see her again, but I am keeping a lookout for a school girl with lots of plastic strings.

My current bus crafting is... mending the Make Do and Mend bag again! I love this bag, maybe a bit too much. I dream about it; I catch myself singing love songs while stitching it, country and western love songs. When a woman at the pub said how nice it was as she moved it out of the way, my reaction was jealousy. And a bit of concern as there were a few pins holding the patches on. Those patches are now held on by imperfect stitching which I thought was a kantha stitching technique, but I'm failing to find via google. I don't think it's a sashiko stitch, and I'm sure I didn't just make it up. If you recognise what the brown and bright green stitching is called, please leave a comment to let me know what it is called!
odd stitch mending

Saturday 1 December 2012

Back to the art journal

During my ornament making phase this summer, one of the things I neglected was my art journal. It was back in July when I scanned it at this stage:

working on page 3 from end

I felt bad about not working in it, like it was doomed to be an unfinished project rather than something I loved working on. But when the faire was over, though it took a while to get back into it, I did start journaling again and now I feel like this spread is finished:

finished page- 3 from end

It’s been a bit of a re-learning experience, getting back to it after such a long break. I feel like I had to work slower and think more about how to balance the pages. Possibly because I just love that dress, it was hard to integrate the large picture into the rest of the pages. (Actually, that problem may have contributed to the hiatus in July, but I can’t remember my thinking that clearly). Though I like the books photo which had been in the middle, I was finding it all to much; removing it left a few rough patches on the paper, but nothing I was too bothered by. I’m wondering if I over rely on images and should try to use more snippets of text?

Scanning the pages at several stages helped me figure out what areas needed more attention. The in between shots are now going into a set on Flickr, as part of my moving to another blogging provider. Hopefully this blog will be at a new address in a week or two.

I’m a bit intimidated but also enthused about moving on to these pages:

fresh page- 4 from end

The original watercolouring left a lot of white spaces, which just don’t work for me. I recently picked up a great book on monotypes/monoprints by Julia Ayres, being sold off by Stockport Central Library, only 40p, and I’m curious about applying the techniques in the art journal. I'm also going to look for some interesting text before looking for photos, just to try a slightly different way of working. Hopefully I will update again soon, rather than pausing again.