Monthly Archives: February 2006

Draw a Mouth

Everyday Matters – Draw a mouth:

EDM Mouth

No one said the colours had to be realistic… where’s the fun in that? LOL

I had lots of dodgy attempts at this topic. I won’t be showing my duds as suggested by some brave people in the group. Mouths are HARD to get right.

I got some books out of the library yesterday, one is devoted soley to rating different brands/colours for watercolour.

I currently use a VERY dodgy $12 for 15 colours set of watercolour tubes, and I have three Cotmans (second string) Windsor and Newton colours (I’ve checked out the yellow and now know it will fade very badly).

I like being free and easy with my colour, I mix and muddy with abandon, use colour straight from the tube into a ice cube tray with a bit of water, and most of it goes down the drain at the end of the night.

But I’ve now done at least one piece that I would like to keep. This is no longer a ‘paint and chuck’ exercise.

Is it time to invest in some expensive colours?

Does anyone know of an Australian mail order art supply place with a website?

The to do list was working last week, so I’m doing one again for tonight, I’m not going to restrict myselft to art stuff though:

To Do Tonight
Tidy the front part of the house (guests for dinner tommorow)
Touch Footy (like I’d forget LOL)
Start sorting out possible colours for the BIG QUILT.

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Up to my ears

After the Fire

3500 Hectares of burnt bush.

Yesterday Riscy and I took a drive to look at the aftermath of the Moondara State Forest Bushfire, we were driving through a web of bush tracks which we had accessed off the main road and were deep into the forest before we came across some Country Fire Authority vehicles and they told us we weren’t meant to be there because they were doing some exercises (or something).

So we headed south off the mountain towards Moe (which took about 30 minutes), it wasn’t until we got right to the end our jouney that we saw our first Road Closed sign. Great communication guys!!

I was most struck by the wonderful colours the black of the burnt trunks and the red/orange of the scorched leaves made for a wierd autumnal landscape. On distant hills it was a mosaic of black, red, orange and green.

On Saturday I did some drawing and watercolours, the current topic for EDM is Draw a Mouth. Who would have thought they would be so HARD. I’m persisting though and will post my best one in the next couple of days.

I also drew this:

Drawing - Tubes

This paper was already painted a grey blue, so it was hard to get sufficient contrast for the white tubes of paint. I think I managed to achived a sense of three dimensionality though.

I am up to my ears on fusible web at the moment. Progress is happening on the big dredger quilt Yay! I am marking all the fusible web (paper) prior to fusing

I convinced myself that I could use the overabundance of magenta fabric in my meagre stash as the dark fabric, but I’m unconvincing myself of that at the moment. I was just trying to avoid dyeing.

In addition, the spinning for the big jumper project is underway, but I still have half a bobbin to go before I ply… so no knitting is happening. I should have spun all the wool before I started knitting, I know, I know.

And finally, the Winter Olymics have my attention, I even got a good dose of figure skating last night which is bliss. Continue reading

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Can you believe it?

Dredger Prototype

This is TINY applique, tiny tiny crazy cutting. A miniature prototype, a practice piece for BIG ONE

Last night I got a crazy urge to try out the design for the dredger quilt in fabric, using the image I printed out on an A4 piece of paper as a template. I nearly abandoned the whole idea after an hour or so of cutting, but I persevered with it again tonight and then got hooked in and had to finish it. Did you hear that?? FINISHED!!

I used some of the techniques Melody has been talking about on her blog, namely fusing everything and finishing using her escape hatch technique.

A few comments:


I’ve fused before and I love that I can achieve very crisp images and everything stays put whilst stitching. The negative part is that my work ends up very stiff and very FLAT.

I like texture and I love texture caused when lines of stitching interact together. When I’m dealing with at least two layers of fusible web things stay pretty flat. I will say that the quilting on this piece is very straight line/linear and that is adding to to stiff feel and appearance.

Escape Hatch Finish

I LOVE IT!!! Just got to practice making sure the backing fabric doesn’t show at the front. Thanks Melody.

Regarding the detailed design for the BIG DREDGER QUILT. I’ve changed my mind about introducing detail to the trusses. No need to over complicate my first big art quilt, I’ve decided to let the rather complex shapes stand as they are. I like the introduction of shapes in the quilting on the prototype and I think I’ll explore that idea a bit more.

You may be able to tell I’ve added some accent/orange stitching along the two main diagonal trusses, I’m thinking of taking this further in the BIG DREDGER QUILT… perhaps more on that later.

In other news: You may be wondering what is going on with my plans to improve my drawing skills. In an effort to keep myself inspired to draw, I’ve joined the Every Day Matters Yahoo Group.

Below is my attempt to draw my dog Reuben (he is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). I was very wary attempting this challenge considering just how hairy Reubs is.

EDM Drawing of Reuben

The Challenge: Draw a Dog.

I have discovered that my sweet doggie does not like me staring at him, he started deliberately facing away from me to avoid my sketching ‘eagle eye’, so I had to draw fast!

To Do Tommorow
Do two Drawings on my pre-prepared drawing paper.
Get to bed by 10:30pm (like I was going to tonight, but I just realised it’s midnight)
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photo screen print of the dredger: veiw of the underside

Dredger - Screen Print

I screen printed this image of the Dredger mainly to see just how much detail I could get using the photo screen print method, I was very impressed!

You are SO going to be sick of the damned dredger by the time I’m finished with this LOL. If you want to see the thing in real life check out this link
This particular dredger is retired and sits beside the freeway as a reminder of the three large open cut coal mines and brown coal fired power stations located in the Latrobe Valley.

The To Do list has worked:

I have also washed a heap of fabric ready for dyeing. I’m going to invest a bit more time planning before dyeing though because I wont be able to resist starting if I have the fabric ready. I’m thinking perhaps I’ll have one background fabric (pale green?) and the dark areas will be full of detail. I want to enhance the strong lines, but I don’t want everything running longitudinally up each ‘truss’.

To Do Tuesday
Spend at least 1 hour on detailed design
Find a mail order source of Vleisofix (WunderUnder)
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I just deleted a screed of crap which consisted of me venting frustration with my creative output in a fairly negative way. You don’t need to read it and I don’t need it recorded here forever. So, this is my second, slightly more positive, attempt.

I have some creative issues to work through. I need to pose a challenge for myself, with a deadline to force myself complete a project. You may not have noticed, but I have been starting a lot of ‘art’ but unless it can be finished in one sitting, I’m not finishing. This works great for dinky little sketches and watercolours, but my ‘thing’ is textiles, embroidery… unless I’m working small I can’t finish anything in one day. (and I want to work bigger than postcard sized).

Now this is becoming a real pain in the arse, because I have a bigger project on my mind, one that will require dyeing fabric special, one which will require the purchase of materials, one which needs way more development before I have a concept I can use.

I’m sick of fucking around. I NEED to work on something meaty. However, I’m like a possum in the headlights, frozen at the enormity of failure roaring towards me. I need to get my little legs pumping or my idea will be squashed good and proper.

So (and here is the positive bit), I’m going to have a daily ‘to do’ list for this piece. To Do lists are my daily saviour at work and perhaps they can work for this art stuff too. The trick is not to put too much stuff on the list, and recreate it daily, or even twice a day.

Tape all the pages together for the enlarged design
Scour some fabric ready for dyeing.
Start working on detailed design elements

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Getting ready for a screen printing workshop

I’m doing a photo screen printing workshop tommorow at the Latrobe Regional Gallery. I’m not entirely sure what sort of images are suitable, so I’ve been playing around with some photos to get some major contrast happening:


This image has been maniplated in photoshop. It is from part of a photo I took of a coal dredger.

This is my favourite one and I’m a bit inspired to adapt it for a quilt.

I also did a series of three Kaleidoscope manipulations of an etching I did before Christmas:

Kaleidoscope Daisy Leaves

I have prepared 3 Kaleidoscope from one of the etchings I did recently. They look quite good together and I hope they are suitable to use for Photo screen printing.

Pretty cool huh?

I have also been knitting the JUMPER!!! I am knitting it in the round, and currently have about 10cm of the body completed. This includes the substantial hem which took me many nights to knit up… but it’s very neat, so it was worth it.

I have almost finished the first ball of yarn and need to spin more before I can continue. Perhaps I should have waited ’til I’d spun all the wool, but I couldn’t wait to start knitting.

I am revisiting my first year of Uni when Carol and I were too poor to get our hair cut at a hairdresser, so Carol bought a pair of hair cutting scissors and we cut each others hair. We weren’t too bad at it either as I remember someone else asking me to cut their hair too (Her name was Eva, she had really long hair and wanted the back to be V shaped!!!).

Today we bought some clippers and I gave Riscy a No.2 crew cut. It actually looks pretty good even with the slightly dodgy work around the ears. I’ll get better. He seems happy. I’ve known Riscy for nearly 9 years and this is the first time I’ve seen him with REALLY short hair. Continue reading

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