Tuesday 31 July 2012

Backfrom the Baltic

Well, here we are back in harness, putting WoW together, catching up with emails and getting the grub in.

We had a wonderful holiday and I take back all I said about cruises. I thought we would be bored but we loved all of it and, after three consecutive days of excursions, we were just so glad to have a day at sea to rest.

Such a good way of seeing the world. I loved Stockholm and Tallin, could happily move to Copenhagen or Lubeck and found Russia interesting but not my favourite.  I had so wanted to see the Hermitage but it was, understandably, not a very long tour and we only saw Western Art. I love the Impressionists but I had so hoped for icons. So St Petersburg was not exactly a dissapoinment, but not as expected. We did love the ceiling in the Hermitage and were very taken by a friendly russian cat who lives at the Peter and Paul fortress. He looked very well fed and we wondered if his name was Killmouseski.

I did lots of sketchbook stuff but it was harder than Australia to find natural colouring materials. You may remember that I challenged myself not to take any art stuff. This is my front page. I did find a bit of mascara was useful sometimes to darken things down and I went on a shipboard class to make paper flowers and so gained some crepe paper which leaked dye beautifully. I also found that I am rubbish at making paper flowers.

The page below shows Copenhagen - a lovely city. Had to use a teabag to colour the pages. Thank goodness for the little pogo printer. I used it such a lot. I know that if I don't do most of the book on holiday it just won't get done at home.

Thes next two pages are also Copenhagen. We had a lovely meal of salted herring, sitting by a canal in the sun and sharing a table with some very jolly Danes. I was pleased with the little folder that the hotel key came in as I was able to make a fastener from a needle threader in my complimentary sewing kit. This held one of those cape gooseberry things that the ship used a lot to decorate puddings - a sweet momento. I couldn't buy glue anywhere and was forced to purchase a puncture repair kit at a bike hire place.

You can also see a house, under renovation, wrapped in lace-printed plastic. Now there's a thought.

This page (below) incorporated a pop up map bought in Denmark. Sadly I didn't find it easier to fold than the usual kind.

This is an Estonian town called Tallin. It was just wonderful with old walls, old towers, decorative gates and doors. Must do some more sketching. It even had balalaika players in the old square. They were very good.

I was very pleased to get a view of the bridge that goes from Denmark to Sweden (I think it is called the Oresund bridge) from the plane as we landed and also from the ship, as we sailed. Pure fluke to get two different types of  vessel in the shot. I couldn't see a body, though, in either pic.

I am sure to have lots more stuff to bore you with but it's time to see what we might eat for tea. Ooh I did love not having to cook.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Holiday Sketchbooks

I am off on my hols on Friday. also off to Art Van Go to teach tomorrow so have to go up today. Am trying to avoid the Olympic clogged M25. Wish I'd taken more notice of the dates.

Anyway I am packing. My best holiday sketchbook was the one where I forgot all my sketching gear and had to stamp paper in the dirt for colour. Luckily we were in Oz so lots of pigments around. I have blogged about this before but the reason I am reminding you is that I have set myself a challenge for this holiday to see if it works as well.

Remember these pics?

This one is sideways - forgot to printscreen.

They were all drawn with an ordinary ink pen, coloured with lip pencil, eye pencil (even the lemon from our fish and chips).

I also used the pogo handbag camera - a super little gadget - not sure you can still get them. Lovely to stick the little photos in a sketchbook and draw into them.

These pics were taken in the Kakadu National Park, Northern Territories of Australia. I was careful to ask our guide if it was Ok to use the images as I think you have to be careful of other peoples beliefs.

I have decided to upload the new lessons that are free with my Dissolvable Delights book when we are back as it seems silly to put them up and run away. Still just about making the July deadline.
Keep an eye by going to the site http://www.d4daisy.com/ and clicking on the free classes button.

Will show you my holiday sketchbook (if it comes out OK) the week after next.

Friday 13 July 2012

Inspirational Friends

Every time I think that my inclination to stitch is drying up I become inspired by my wonderful friends. I have been lost in the mires of admin lately and never seem to get time to do my own thing. Don't you think it is true that you have to keep up the level of activity with any art ot craft or discouragement creeps in?

I am now on the up again as I was so inspired by the article that Sherrill Kahn has written for the September issue of Workshop on the Web that I immediately had to have a bash at some of her techniques. Here is one of her pieces.

The article covers the simple technique of rubbings from stamps but she shows so many ways and materials and then describes how to put it all together.

I had most of the media she suggested so now all of my rubbings are drying off, having been overlaid by lots of different paints. Can't wait to put them together.

Another great friend is Jane Wild who has just come back from Florence. We had lunch yesterday and then looked at her photos. She knows just what I like and this one of rust and graffitti had my name on it. Perhaps it could be used with some of the rubbings.

I also loved this view of the Duomo and was reminded of Val Campbell-Harding saying 'crouch down and photo up!' We once ran a digital camera course together and all the students spent a lot of time lying under bushes and viewing the undersides of leaves. It was quite a shock to the bystanders when we all emerged!

This looks like  a jigsaw. I'd like to print out the components, crumple them up and then stick them on Vilene. Then you could experiment with the spacing and work them up with stitching.

Jane and I are very pleased because Batsford has re-printed our book Paper, Metal and Stitch. We are always being asked for it, so it is good to have it back in circulation.

The new classes for my Dissolvable Delights book will be out next week so keep an eye on the d4daisy website.  

Did I tell you that Clive and I have booked to go on a Baltic cruise soon? We have always thought that we would hate cruising but we wanted to go to Stockholm and Copenhagen and it was more expensive to do our usual thing through the internet than to go on the cruise and get to see Tallin and St Petersburgh as well. I can't help but think that it is the first sign of old fart-ism but Fiona tells me that there have been signs of that for years!

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Urchfont - the Last Post

This is the last time that our textile Group will meet at Urchfont Manor College - so sad. I have packed all the work up ready for home and am just taking five to do the blog. I've been working on my next Workshop on the Web article which is on metal flowers for dull spots in the garden. here is a petal - or possibly a leaf.

I shall miss the walks in the grounds, especially the vegetable garden.

We have had broad beans and lots of lovely strawberries - all home grown. Saturday is graduation day for the City and Guilds groups so we have been asked to put up a little exhibition. We are all going to bring a piece of work that we made on a course here. I will take photos.

Thanks for all the great comments on video versus books - lots of food for thought. I think the combination of the two is best and will work out a way to do it.

Winners were picked by Jane Lemon who is also a member of the group. We have:

Stitchety Grub, who wins a piece of my work, Maggi who wins some exciting 'stuff' and Wabbit, because we are all so pleased to see her popping up again. Please can you all send me snail mail addys (maggie@workshopontheweb.com)

back with you all soon.