Friday, April 27, 2012

max V mink

this small fur arrived in the post today and max made it his business to make sure it was dead.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

some more needlefelting experiments

i have been having a lovely play and exploring the possibilities of the embellisher - as marion, kit and dian commented on the last post it is very useful for making backgrounds. i didn't mean to imply that it is not a useful tool but that a lot of pieces you see made with the embellisher don't go beyond its basic function. and they all look kind of the same after a while. it is another element to add to your repertoire of techniques but it is not an end in itself.

here's the first experimental piece i did with it - ok but a bit limited
then i branched out into Scottish wool tops (from Monika at softfibre) over a black and purple silk cap,
 finished off with neps and some lengths of my own black handspun
 this is an attempted rescue of a piece i started a couple of years ago and abandoned because i didn't like the colours - a bit better but still essentially meh...

 and this is this afternoon's effort,
silk fibres over acrylic felt, silk organza, sinemay and black poly organza, felted, machine stitched and zapped with the heat gun - much more like it

noodling with needlefelting

i have been noodling around playing with my new toy - the embellisher.  i have thought about getting one of these for years but was never sure if they were worth the $500. so many machine needlefelted pieces looked the same and seemed to look like a muddle rather than a designed piece.
but one turned up on ebay and i ended up getting it for half the price of a new one.  and i think i was right - you get some interesting effects, it's fun and quick but i don't think it's worth $500. i don't like the holes left by the needles, so for me it will be a good machine to make backgrounds but not finished pieces.

this is 'wound' in progress - linen covered with silk fibres and muslin, needlefelted then machine and handstitched. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the return of the native

i don't know if i have shared this on the blog, or not but last year when we moved house my toby cat, my black familiar, disappeared. he stayed one night in the new house and then vanished. we searched all the roads and alleys between here and the old house but there was no sign and he was given up for lost.

until yesterday when the lost dogs' home contacted me and said that toby had been brought in.
someone has been looking after him - he is sleek and shiny and shows no sign of trauma - except that he follows me everywhere and has taken command of my lap, making typing rather difficult). and he is just as matte black as ever - in most photos he looks like a silhouette...
nero and max are a combination of curious and overawed - molly is resigned and there has been minimal hissing.
the boss is back :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

if symptoms persist

take to your bed and add another cat

cat and rug therapy

diagnosis: virus(?)
prescription: 1 sofa, 1 mohair rug, 2 cats - to be taken until symptoms recede

Sunday, April 22, 2012

beautiful objects

an ivory needlecase that kind dog bought for me in hobart

and a little antique french bee i found at penelope's linen loft on etsy (go and swoon over the antique french linen  - i bought some of that too...)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

bits of the weekend

we have had a fairly relaxed weekend that seems to have vanished in a puff of smoke.

yesterday kind dog and i went to the australian quilt convention and bought new cutting mats (hurrah!)  although we got a bit carried away at the intense bargamoniousness of the cutting mats and ended up buying the ginormous size, which then had to be toted home by kind dog who rigged up an ingenious harness out of 2 metre lengths of cotton scrim (bought for the purpose, although with an eye to future use)
here he is looking rather like a dashing teenage ninja turtle....

in news from the studio, these fellows arrived on friday and have spent the weekend sunning themselves in the backyard and hopefully losing their slightly musty smell. when they are fresher they can come into the studio and bunk in with the possum skin. (they're ex-hat factory bunny skins i bought on ebay)
this afternoon, inspired by the wonderful margaret cooter whose blog is a daily joy, i free motion stitched vilene, silk and onion skin paper, sprayed with water and then dripped ink freely....
 this one i also ran over a few times with a dressmakers wheel (the thing with pointy bits) before then stitching, spraying, dripping activity
 and this is the next stage of my time piece for the international quilt challenge - we're having very warm autumn weather here so i had to intervene today and take another tack.
and if that sounds too mysterious, the final result will be posted on 24 april here and on the group blog

Monday, April 09, 2012

Friday, April 06, 2012

hither and yon

the last couple of weekends have been spent away from chez seadog - 2 weeks ago we took the smallest sprog down to aireys inlet and then last week we took a long weekend and flew to hobart. so easter will be spent relaxing, pottering around the house and recovering from having to pick up miss emilia from the airport at ghastly o'clock saturday morning.

aireys inlet was very calm and a beautiful play to stay. the house we rented really was around the corner from the beach and across the road from some very good food shops and a bookshop that was irresistible. there was also extremely good rockpooling.
 despite the rather frigid temperatures young w plunged in the briny and got soaked to the skin very happily.
 he was a very small canute, roaring in defiance at the waves and collecting much beach treasure.

and last weekend we went to hobart for a peaceful but thorough examination of its restaurants, bookshops and antique shops. and, of course, MONA - Hobart's amazing Museum of Old and New Art. among my favourite pieces in this very eclectic collection were julia de ville's kitten throw rug (we thought it work equally well as a very stylish toupee)
and their collection of ancient coins, beautifully and imaginatively presented 
our stop for the first night had amazing views across the river
 and this was the waterfront on our last evening
 we had a lovely time :)

Monday, April 02, 2012

spunbond challenge

marion barnett is a UK-based textile artist who recently set up a blog - spunbondsensations - devoted to spunbond fabrics (evolon, lutradur and zeelon) - inspirations, techniques, information sharing and challenges.

i did a piece for the march challenge
called fissures, i played with marion's challenge photo, then printed it onto evolon and lutradur (with much swearing, i might add - there would be no piece without marion's expert and patient help).

these were layered over wool suiting and a piece of scrunched up black kimono fabric; i slashed curves through the evolon layer, then added the lutradur and black tulle, then stitched and burnt back with the heat gun.

the fissures were emphasised by trickling sumi ink down the stitched runnels.
it was great fun to make and now i don't feel cowed by that packet of evolon in the studio...