Finished - Class No 5

This piece has taken some time to finish.  Not because it was so difficult but because of everything else going on in my life at the moment.

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 10.42.30 am

So, this is about my friend Maxine, who is a sculpture and currently the maker of jams, pickles and unusual food.  (She also wears many other hats as well.)  Her trade mark is "fable".

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 5.42.17 pm

I learnt so much doing this piece, mostly that I see lots of detail all the time.

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 5.12.00 pm

This is just the beginning I think.



Not a thing.  All work has ground to a halt.

On top of that I am waiting for the third thing to happen.  Number 1 was the death of Charlie, number 2 has been an abscessed tooth,  I just had a root canal on that one.  So what will number 3 be?

While I am waiting let me introduce Quackers and Dip, the new addittions to Haley's farm.  Every morning they run to get the crusts from the breakfast toast.

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 9.10.07 am

Dip is the white drake and Quackers is the pretty brown duck.  It is nice to have them to talk to every morning.

Class - 5 - Sue Stone

Another Textile Artist that I admire, Sue Stone.  I have been following her work for a few years now but up until now the classes have been out of my price range.  As have all the artist that have been involved in this Stitch Club.  I was looking on line and saw that Emily Tull is coming to the "Fibre Forum" in Geelong, Victoria.  I would love to go but the cost of travel, accommodation and class put the cost at about $3000 Australian Dollars.  My $40 per month for 3 classes is much better value.

Screen Shot 2020-06-30 at 8.59.30 am

So, I haven't completed anything to date but I have started two pieces.

Piece No 1 sees me just about finished weaving the fabric strips into a background.  On this one I have used all recycled materials.  I even took the drastic step of using some embroidered pieces.  They were all damaged pieces and I then tea dyed them before cutting them up. The backing piece is an old embroidered mat.

Screen Shot 2020-07-05 at 8.10.02 pm

I have started to stitch some texture in place and have used the old pieces of embroidery for this as well.

Screen Shot 2020-07-05 at 8.10.12 pm

At this point I ran into a problem.  I was going to embroider a line drawing of my mother.  I started with an old photo and did about three drawings until I came up with something that looked something like her.  This I found a lot harder than I thought it would be. 

Screen Shot 2020-06-04 at 4.16.56 pm

Screen Shot 2020-07-05 at 8.10.22 pm

Then Charlie became ill and I became emotional and all the issues that I have held onto for over 50 years surfaced, so I put it aside.

But the exercise still has to be done. "Use three fabrics to weave the background and no more than three different coloured threads  for your stitching". 

So I am trying a different approach.  This time I did a line of machine stitching around the woven strips which are a bit smaller than the first piece and I started with the line drawing.  Much better, I even got a fairly good likeness of my subject but I still need to refine this.  I found I just couldn't stitch teeth, so the mouth isn't right and her eye brows are darker than they are in real life.  It is one thing to draw the portrait and quite another to stitch it.   The stitching took a lot longer than I thought it would.  I have used one stand of DMC stranded cotton and machine thread.  I think on the next one I will use silk thread as well.  Using different weights of thread helps with the detail.  I still have a lot more stitching to do on this one and a lot more practice until I will be happy with the result.

Screen Shot 2020-07-05 at 8.10.34 pm

Then I have 20 portraits of my quilting friends and the original piece to finish so maybe by that time I will have improved a bit or gone crazy trying.

End of a cycle

It had to happen, but it is some thing I have been dreading.  My little dog, Charlie, who has been my constant loving companion for the last 13 years became very ill and I had to make the decision to put her down.  Just heart wrenching, but, she was suffering and her quality of life was becoming terrible.

Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 3.46.29 pm

Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 3.43.11 pm

Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 3.44.17 pm

So now I have a big hole in my heart, but wonderful memories of her.  Reflecting on her life, I find that after having many pets this was the one who I loved the best and I know she love me back. 

Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 3.42.15 pm

That can't be a bad thing.

Winter Wattle

I do love this time of year.  Cold nights and crisp cool but sunny days.  It is time for the winter wattle to bloom and there are trees flowering all over the island. 

Screen Shot 2020-06-30 at 8.45.51 am

I took a couple of sprigs to put on the kitchen table. 

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 4.01.14 pm

This makes a nice watercolour print.

Screen Shot 2020-06-30 at 8.45.34 am

Bringing the sunshine inside.