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27 November 2011

All I Need for Xmas Is ?????

So, the C word is hovering around us... no not Cake - Christmas.  So what do I absolutely, imperatively, cannot possibly live without, need to buy, arty wise?
I have stitched all my life, and I mean all my life, cannot remember not doing it.  I had some idyllic situations as a young child - tiny country primary school (only 4 of us the same age!!!) taking our sewing outside in the Summer to work on it in the playground instead of in class... ahhhh.  I still have the embroidered Radio Times (tv guide) cover I made - in our house we only bought the RT at Xmas!!!
Every Christmas I had something creative - and it became a ritual that after lunch on Boxing Day I would start work on whatever it was - the embroidery kit of a kitten.... playing with my pink paisley knitting bag - although I can't knit - I've crocheted since I was 7, I still have my wallet of crochet hooks, bought as a present. A couple of years back I bought myself a flower loom, as I remember having one of those as a child - was it K-Tel who made everything naff!!!  Rediscovering I made my flowers in wire....
These days I spend part of the public holidays alone - which doesn't worry me, actually I rather like it - box of posh chocs, "It's a Wonderful Life" to watch, quite content, and its even better with something creative, preferably fun and relaxing rather than making to an agenda.  But of course I've now lost the childish excitement over the stitch kit, but I still long for the ritual, and for something new to lovingly look at, stroke and coo over.
So.... what should I have to keep me company?  And no.... a Readicut rug won't do - did every family make those, we did, Gran did - more than one.

24 November 2011

Avoidance techniques

Well for the past few days I've been consumed in paperwork,  sent off to Canada for Material Girls and then had other things to look at.  I've had to take a deep breath and get on with it, purely because just soooo not in the mood to even look at it.  Managed to move the pile of paper around the table, on the floor, even almost got ready to look at, and then husband took over the table so again it got moved.... and I didn't object!!!   But I self-lectured and did the come on "one bite at a time".  Its not that its onerous, just it simply doesn't match my mood and that of itself makes it a hard slog.
Anyway forgetting that I had a play... this is it - no idea what it actually is, or even what its for... but its a mix of gesso, writing ink and Craftynotions colour sprays.
Ooooh the smell, yeuk.   I bought a pot of Gesso from one of these discount stores.  Deciding at the time that was a good idea rather than the more expensive branded.  I do use gesso quite a lot, and this is fine, except the smell of it, its really horrible.  And as for the writing ink... well I did have two bottles of Quink, but found one ages ago had evaporated... couldn't find the other one, but did know I'd seen some ink cartridges only last week....somewhere.  Found those, and oops think they must be over 20 years old.  So to use this involved taking scissors to them and cutting off the tops, not much ink in those pesky tubes, and of course who never wears her latex gloves or thinks about them until after.   The coloursprays are excellent for dyeing hands too, actually I figured as they did that so well, they'd be OK on my experiment!
I've got another "one bite at a time" thing to do - Xmas cards and/or decorations.   I don't do this for myself, its just absolutely not me at all... so this is really going to be one of those - you must sit here and do something, no cuppa, no walking away until you've achieved something.  I know it will invovle severe irritation, can feel it already and haven't started - well I bought some tartan ribbon, now I need to lay down to recover!!!

16 November 2011

Tea Making for the Flustered!!

Well its all doom and gloom – and that’s just today’s weather. I hate this, constant grey, we have heavy mist this morning – its like the colour gets sucked out of the world, even the lovely autumnal shades lose their zing against this backdrop.
Saturday at EG, had the most wonderful talk from Lynda Monk. She is a very very generous lady in terms of sharing both her actual pieces to look at and the information on how its done. She did give me permission to take photos, but I didn’t ask for permission to put on my blog – so go to Lynda’s and see for yourself, I can tell you in the real they were stunning.
I’m feeling sad….. PaperWEIGHT of which I’ve been a Member for many years is struggling. Actually it’s a sign of the times, so many organisations are struggling for volunteers to run them, and also with finances being what they are at the moment, people have to make more considered choices as to where they spend their money.  I don't think anywhere is safe.
There was a time when loads of people volunteered, when all sorts of things, not just art, sprung into life and were realised by people with strong conviction and a willing attitude.  Times have changed, we don't live the same way as we did, time is precious.  Plus these days we can be overburdened by officialdom - I know several things have disappeared because of Health and Safety or insurance premiums - I do wonder what's wrong sometimes with common sense and being responsible for you and yours.  This brings about another problem because someone will say: "when I did it back in..... we did it like this" and they can't understand why it now has to be so complicated, thinking its now excessive in the minute detail.  But we've seemingly progressed this way, "risk assessment" everything has to be thought of and covered from every direction.  No wonder what was a pleasure to join in, help, organise and participate in the end result - by necessity has become lots of box ticking and headaches.  But it has to be like that, so everyone knows what's what, there's no bending and manipulating because once one does it, others follow and soon everything is more of a muddle, tasks get duplicated or not done at all, and lots of precious volunteer time is wasted chasing things up, checking on things, and volunteers end up thinking - never again.  So sorry but we do need some rules, just to make sure we all know we're talking about the same thing at any given time. When people get on and do the tasks they're allocated, the end result is so often brilliant  But still I think we ought to volunteer, we ought to try - because belonging to things is a joy, and if we want to take away, we ought to contribute, in whatever way we can - even if its just tea making for the flustered!!!  I don't know what I can offer to PaperWEIGHT, but ideas and thoughts have been requested, so, as someone who has taken - the very least I can do is to answer that request - to ignore would be very rude and insulting to all those who have put efforts in...
Terre Verte went to its new home at the weekend.

11 November 2011

Let's Catch Up

Gosh where do I start.... a few days have gone by. Found out my charity postcard via the Rochford Art Trail was sold - and the new owner likes it and is known to me.  Enjoy, Helen.
Saturday I went off to Herts for the ERTF Conference on Colour.  So nice to have Juliet with me - as she is excellent at navigating (sat nav in the car is for shouting at!)  Ran into thick fog, and where did we go wrong?  Missed the turning for the car park!!!
Brilliant day - so much new to learn about colour, for a start that there are zillions of different colour wheels.  Joyce Honeysett was the guest speaker, very informative and kept us using our brains with various paper exercises.  Mhmmm what colours are these..... I greyscaled them at home.
Any ideas?   We used the same 3 shapes in different colours and arranged them differently each time to see what affect one colour has on another - right, this one was......

Our Vice Chair, Janet Cook also gave a talk.  Beautiful quilts and art dolls, a very funny entertaining talk.
It was a lovely day, if a long one, so Sunday it was collapse in a heap.
Tuesday off to The Material Girls for the monthly meeting.  A full on day, lots to go through, and yipee I've completed my hanging.  Wish it wasn't so dull as I need a photo of it to send on to Canada.
I've also been out in my capacity as ERTF Website Manager, to discuss ways of taking that forward.  Thank you Sally/Lorraine, and thanks to Sally for the excellent Lemon Drizzle cake to help discussions!!!
I've been in touch with someone who wants a small Art Works commission, and transacted my first ever PayPal income!!!  And I have a second commission of this ilk to make.  I wasn't sure about asking, you kow how it is when someone mentions, and you're not quite sure, is this a done deal or being polite?  Same as a sale I've made.  Wasn't terribly sure about it - but that was confirmed this morning.  Actually I joke with the person that they are my Saatchi sponsors, as the family now have a few of my pieces.
And tomorrow, off to the Embroiderers' Guild for a talk by Lynda Monk.

02 November 2011

Splash of Pink

This is a photo of the book cover I made last week.  Sorry if it looks grainy - problems with the operator of the camera (ie moi).  The very bright pink is something like a vilene, or tissue paper - and we each were given a piece and someone said... why don't we make something with it by next meeting.  Hence the above, and it being done at speed, and not measured etc properly.  Anyway two of us were good girls and did the task.....
I removed my work from Rochford Art Trail on Monday... and they said "see you next year" - remains to be seen of course if I would get allocated there again - but I'm very happy with it all, now worked out how to manage putting work into glass cubes, and they are glass, not acrylic!!!
Remember I said there's always the "can you just" - and I'd had some pre-warning of that - well last week the proper request came through, so I've to consider what I can do for that within a couple of weeks.
I am making my hanging for the Material Girls exhibition - just painted gesso on calico.
Paperwork and admin wise I've still stuff to do - preparing a questionnaire with someone, researching another idea (must learn to keep mouth shut!) and likely having a meeting soon about managing/changing a group's website.
I've a commission to make - and possibly have another sale of a piece made a while back.  So why am I sitting here blogging - I ought to be getting on with it all now, whilst the light is good.  Still not found a daylight bulb for my sewing machine - manufacturers please note - huge market place for these I'm sure, don't just make for selected machines, we all want them!!!
And Saturday - off to Hertfordshire, to the ERTF Conference on Colour.