Friday, February 28, 2014

Small part of larger picture

The machine embroidery group at the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria has a challenge at the moment.  It is a fairly long-term challenge and I have eventually done a small piece for it.  You can choose an image, that is approx 20cm x 18.5cm, and you are supposed to interpret that to make a stand-alone piece.  It is part of a larger image but we haven't seen the larger one, so don't know what we are making.
My piece looked like a face, or an animal's face, looking up to rainclouds.  Well, that's how I saw it.

My work hasn't quite turned out how I wanted but I will still take it to the group this weekend and see what they say.

The cloudy sky on mine is not really dark, I hope it doesn't matter in the overall finished piece.  I am hoping that the it will be one of the illusion-like images where you can see the overall design if you stand away from it.

You can see some of the sorts of things (that I think we are making) here and here and you can even see how it can be done here.

Interesting date today - 28/2/14. (28/2=14 (I can't find the division sign))

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Changing Seasons

I got my first clue that Autumn is approaching on Monday. I was on the train and there was someone knitting - that used to always be a sign for me, more and more people knitting and crocheting on public transport. It is not such a common sight anymore but you do still see some people doing it.

Then I took the dog out today and saw a cricket match on the oval with football practice right beside it. It won't be long before the football training will be on the oval.
You will have to click on the picture to see the people, I was trying to get unrecognisable pictures of people and the phone doesn't take great shots.

I took photos of the patterns produced by the mowers there late last year.

Here is the link to a photo of Penny, last December, lying in the midst of the dandelions.  I was standing in much the same place to take the top photo.
Here she is, in the same spot.

The dandelions are among the few things that have survived the summer in that spot.  But they are still valiantly producing their seeds and seem to have avoided the mower. So maybe I'll be able to do more dyeing next year.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

White Night

Last night we ventured into the city to partake of some of the events, and sample the feel of the crowd, at White Night in Melbourne.
We met up with some people at 7.00 but quickly realised that a group was going to have little chance of staying together in such a huge mob.

So we wandered off by ourselves.  It was still light so we headed to the NGV, following some of the crowd.

The Edward Steichen exhibition was free.  As I had seen it before, and as it was reasonably busy, we didn't spend a lot of time there but still enjoyed it greatly.  It is a wonderful exhibition.
Then we had a wander in the garden outside, as well as a brief walk through the Great Hall.  There were events and people everywhere.

By the time we had finished there, it was dark.
Tattooed City - on walls of NGV

Off we trotted - not very far! - to see some more of of the lighting displays.

It was SO crowded at the intersection of Flinders St and Swanston St that we couldn't get to the buildings beside St Paul's cathedral.
We headed the other way and saw the Flinders St station show (Wonderland)
Flinders St station 

Changing images

Mirror at tram stop

 as well as going along the river to see the Vortex.
Before Dark

After Dark 

Inside the Vortex

By this time we were done in - and the crowds were still growing.  So, having covered very little ground but also having seen plenty, we went home.

Front of  station - there were so many people  coming out we couldn't get back in!  We ended up going in another entrance.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting closer to the top

I have been working on my small tapestry - not as much as I had hoped, mainly due to the enervating weather. The nights have been warm and that makes for restless nights.
But I am making progress. It is slow work trying to sort out all the various shades and slightly different tones. I mix the colours as I go: no, I don't do colour samples!! I am doing such small amounts of colour that I can take out parts if I don't like them. I call the whole thing my colour sample.
Actually, it is a bit like the tapestry I did recently that used up some of my thrums. I am using such small amounts of yarn that it is rather like making a thrum, I don't even have to put most of them on a bobbin.
The tapestry is about 20cm (7.8740157 inches - exactly!) wide and 15 or 16 cm (5 or 6 inches) high. Of course, that will be the other way round when I take it off the loom.

The mixing of the colours takes time; then there is the realisation that I can't finish that little bit until I have built up the nearby shape which needs to have the colours mixed first, then be woven. And THEN I can't finish that bit because another little shape intersects with that and needs to be worked out.
I find that I am doing weaving across two or three warps but have to stop all the time to make sure that I can join the shapes without having to sew up the slits. So a little bit of weaving over two or three warps has to be checked on both sides to make sure I haven't gone too far without joining them together with the larger parts of the tapestry. It is all taking time!! But I have plenty, so I should just relax and enjoy the process.

I have been taking photos each day to convince myself that I have made progress. Sometimes it is very hard to tell.

I have reached the top on one side!!!  Only a few more hours to get to the top with the rest of it. Then the tidying up.  So a bit longer yet.
If you look closely, you can see a needle through the tapestry in the right-hand side. The shadows on the path are causing me to weave it differently and it is tending to buckle. The texture on the right and left is a bit different at the moment. I hope it all comes off the loom ok.

The left-hand side is going to be the top and I can see that it is not quite straight.  I'll have to deal with that when I take it off the loom. It may not be as bad as it looks (I hope) as I seem to move the guide warp around as I weave - next time I will try using several warps on the side and see if that stops me moving it around so much. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Multi-coloured tree trunk

I thought I had enough photos of tree trunks but just couldn't resist this one.

We were  taking Penny to the river for a swim, a short walk in the shade for us (and her) and then a chance for some good exercise for her, swimming. The humans don't go in the river, no matter how hot it gets. It is a great park as we don't have to walk far from the car but there is a chance to walk further if we want to.

Here is Penny wondering why the humans are taking so long, stopping at the tree when she is usually the dawdler doing that.

It has rained briefly but heavily and some of the bark had darkened with the dampness.  But that didn't account for all the colours and shades. The tree had an interestingly shaped trunk too.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hiding from the heat

It has been another few days of high temperatures.  My studio is facing east so I don't do much in there during the morning.  However, the sun moves away in the afternoon and I have been able to hide in there the last few days. Seeing it hasn't been humid, the evaporative cooling has worked well.

I have been working on a small tapestry for an online group exhibition. I was undecided how to orient my picture for weaving. It is of one of my favourite topics - Darebin Parklands.

Aside:  I have often wondered where the word Darebin comes from.  I visited the Darebin Council art exhibition at Bundoora Homestead (another good thing to do on a hot day) and came across one work that said that Darebin is derived from the aboriginal word Daraben, meaning 'swallow bird'. That's if I have remembered his artist's statement correctly.

Anyway, I decided that the tree trunks were more horizontal than the shadows and am weaving it sideways.

Now I am not so sure that was a good idea, the shadows on the path are turning out to be tricky!  But I've done so much now that I'm not changing my mind - I'll just keep going.  There is some artistic licence there.  I actually manipulated the photo in Photoshop, to make it less realistic, in the hopes that I wouldn't get too caught up in all the detail.  It has worked to some extent but I am still bothered by the loss of detail.  It is only going to be 20cm high as that is one of the restrictions of the exhibition. 

It is rather hard to get up much enthusiasm when the days - and NIGHTS - are so hot but I'll try.  We did have a cool change today, so I'll try to get a good night's sleep and see if I can get it finished before it heats up again. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Disguising the mistakes in my Optical Illusion quilt

I have had another go at the quilt which has the small squares that didn't line up.  I had put it away in disgust but still liked the effect from a distance. Having blurry distance vision helped.

I decided that I couldn't just let it lie around being another UFO.  I got out the left-over bamboo batting, put a backing on using a piece of fabric that I had bought to trial as the optical illusion solid colour but rejected for the darker fuchsia colour, and sewed it all together.

I looked at the designs in the books I got from Dijanne Cevaal and found one I liked.  A wavy grid that I hoped would subtly disguise the non-matching corners.

Isn't it amazing how looking through a camera changes your view of something?  I hadn't noticed the strong delineation between the blues, purples and the red. Luckily I had decided not to use if for the call for entries so I didn't get all stressed, as I would have if I had been entering it. Now I can just enjoy it.
Just when you think it is finished, you have to bind it, put a hanging sleeve and generally tidy it up.  Still a few hours of work to do yet.
But the sewing has disguised the uneven squares quite adequately.