Monday, 31 December 2012

In which I reflect on 2012, and look forward to 2013

Oh 2012, where did you go?  You disappeared in a flurry of embroidery thread and dissolved in a vat of printing ink. 

 At the beginning of year, I made the following resolutions:
  1. Finish the OCA Textiles 1 course
  2. Start (and do most of) the OCA Printmaking 1 course
  3. Tidy and organise my studio into a pleasant working space
  4. Blog more
  5. Draw more!
(I also want to get a bike and do more exercise.)

Yay!  I achieved almost all of these - Textiles 1 is finished (I got a 2:2), I'm well over halfway on Printmaking 1, and I have made 75 blog posts this year.  Woot!  

I did not get a bike, and am still as fat as butter.  Also - my fucking studio is a fucking disaster area.  Sorry for the swears but I am so cross.  It's in our tiny back yard - it IS most of the back yard - and was built by the guy we bought our house from.  It's got a plastic roof which leaked - we got someone in to fix the leaks from the roof, but there are still drips coming in everywhere.  It is so damp in there - I went in to do some tidying yesterday and everything was covered in a fine layer of mildew.  I just sat and cried.  So until I have proper money to sort it out and get a new roof, I don't have a studio.  But, I have tidied all my crafty/ art supplies into boxes under my bed. 

I did draw more in 2012, but it's there that I'm making my biggest resolutions for 2013.  I want to do a sketch a day.  Wildly ambitious?  Yes.  Likely to be going awry by the second week in January?  Hell yes.  But I'm going to aim for a sketch a day.  It's the only way to improve my drawing, and I need to stretch myself more with visual ideas.  So, my resolutions for 2013 are:
  1. Finish the OCA Printmaking 1 course
  2. Start (and do most of) the OCA Textiles 1: Exploring Ideas course
  3. Keep blogging
  4. Keep my craft/ art supplies tidy
  5. Draw a sketch a day!
I also want to join a gym and get more out of my allotment this year.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

In which I embroider a seahorse

I took part in the latest Phat Quarter swap, organised by the fabulous cocoaeyes.  The theme was tiny things, and my swapee was cocoaeyes herself.  Woot!  I love her embroidery, so it was a real honour to make something for her. 

She mentioned she's really into saturated, vivid colours at the moment, so I decided to make something really bright.  I've been interested in seahorses for years, and decided to have a bash at embroidering one.   I looked at loads of pics on the internet, and sketched some composite seahorses.  The tough bit was how many ridges there are on a seahorse!  They're made up of bony ridges, so to look good this embroidery would have to have some good texture.  Here it is. 

I used little French knots for the high points of the ridges, and different shades for the lines between the knots.  One line is a slightly lighter colour than the background shade, and one line is slightly darker.  The dorsal fin is satin stitch, and the background stitches are long and short.  I think I used nine shades of orange for the little seahorse - they were all already in my embroidery box.  And a couple of greens for the seaweed.  The background fabric was a bit of batik from my fabric box.  The frame is 4 inches by 3 inches, to give an idea of scale.

Monday, 24 December 2012

In which Tess loves catnip Cameron

I made an early Christmas present for Tess-cat - a catnip Cameron toy.  My original purpose with these toys was to train my cats to attack David Cameron, should he ever come to my house.  But I think I may have taught Tess to love him instead - she's not destroyed it, but every now and then rubs herself up against Cameron's face.  Like Nick Clegg. 

Oh well, if Cameron does ever turn up at ours, he'll at least get a rub from a stinky fish-breath cat. 

In which Robbie Coltrane is riding a unicorn

For Christmas I made my bezzie mate an embroidery of Robbie Coltrane riding a unicorn.  As you do.

It's specifically Robbie as Cracker - Jess loves Cracker.  And unicorns.  I can't remember why they came together, but it's magic.  Here's the preliminary sketch, and the final hoop is below.  I painted the fabric with watercolour - first time I've tried that - and embroidered some details, the outlines, mane, hooves and horn of the unicorn. 

I think in this picture, Robbie and the unicorn have just come from the Middle East, where everyone is now crying and hugging each other, and they're just on their way to a cancer research facility where Robbie's going to tell them about a great idea he's just had.