Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Jeffrey Bale's World of Gardens: The Arts and Crafts of Morocco

Jeffrey Bale's World of Gardens: The Arts and Crafts of Morocco: "Fountain at the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Rabat Morocco is, pure and simple, one of the most beautiful countries for artistic expression ..."

I love this blog post about Morocco.

The inspiration for the the centre of my 'fountain' hanging came from looking at all the beautiful Moroccan tiling when I was researching for my C&G course.

Decadent Dolls Workshop.

I went to a workshop last Saturday taken by Sue Cathcart . Sue makes quirky dolls, impeccably painted and dressed, with lots of personality.

Below are some examples of the painted heads from Sue's collection, two at the bottom show the body waiting to be stuffed.

Below are the papier mache heads. We covered these with a fine layer of modelling clay and added the facial features. I was disappointed not to make the heads from scratch but obviously it would take too long to dry so Sue had already made these for us.
We made a plaster mould for the arms, and whatever else you wanted, so I could have made a mould for 'future' heads, if I had thought. Alternatively, you could shape them by hand with paper pulp.

The three heads at the bottom are my bird family!

We painted with acrylics and I found it really hard doing the eyes and mouth. I will try and improve on these at home.

The day flew in. Sue was lovely - and comical too - so we had a great day and get to do it all again next Saturday. The fun of dressing the dolls this time!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Gorgeous Glass.

One of our talented Harmony Hill members, Laura, brought in these gorgeous pieces of glass today. They were designed and made by Laura at a recent workshop using layered coloured glass and a grinder to cut shapes/patterns. The pieces were then fired in a kiln. I was impressed!

My favourite was this clear glass piece.

Hmmmm....... another workshop I'd love to have been at!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Moroccan fountains...

...or flying saucers? That's what my husband says the fountains are like on my hanging!
I bought a Moroccan cook book and there was a lovely picture of a rose filled fountain in it.

But to get an idea of how this began you would need to go back to my oldest posts here, here and here, that is when the design for this 'metre piece' was forming in my mind.

I'm planning on adding some beads to the fountains to represent the water (for 'The Elements').
All looks a bit wrinkly in this photo. Not liking that!

Free machining 'pulled work' on muslin.

I used pieces of china I had found in the local fields for the centre of the fountain. They were to represent the Moroccan zellig tiles. I think I might add some beads to the centre of this too - to represent the water.

There is the loveliest post ever from my favourite blogger at My Marrakesh.
Now I'm about to finish off the hanging I made, based on a Moroccan riad and the rose petal fountains, all inspired by Mariam's award winning blog and also this blog... designamour.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Friday, 18 March 2011

Backing and Wrapping.

I decided to back this piece I've been working on with some curtain wadding. I then covered this with a piece of cotton/linen to tidy it up.

I taped together four kebab sticks and felted some wool around them, adding in some silk waste.

I finished by wrapping my hanger with the same embroidery threads I had used for machine stitching the main piece. I might add some beads to this.

Now, how do I attach the hanger to the piece?
Amazing how much time this all takes. Well takes me, anyway....

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


An army of violas tough enough to have survived the harsh winter.

and an army of gingerbread men!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

another dimension

I've been to see the F. E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio today and my favourite exhibit just happened to be the Chicken Train, seen on the flyer. I think this was made from card but couldn't be sure.

I was impressed with this diverse exhibition from the Seacourt Print Workshop.

I went outside to the studio, a near replica of McWilliam's studio-workshop, where a group of ladies were busy at a Printmaking:Drypoint Workshop. I watched as they etched designs onto perspex before inking and printing onto paper. Looked like fun!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Raising the surface.

I began with quite a flat piece and gradually I've been trying to raise the surface. Now it's almost finished and I'm thinking of how to back it and how to hang it?

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Donegal.... and the beach at Culdaff.

I've been up to Donegal for a one night stay to see my little grandson.
My two big sons were there with their two pregnant wives!
Who's who?

Friday, 4 March 2011

Alice Kettle at the Island Arts Centre.

I was looking forward to seeing this exhibition as when I started City and Guilds and began learning machine embroidery it was Alice Kettle's work that I admired.
I liked how her pieces looked quite messy and the edges looked unfinished really.

I thought the sewing I'm doing at the moment is like that....rough stitching.

And I'm enjoying it!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Gifts from a Caribbean cruise.

a bag made from beans from Cuba

vanilla essence from Mexico

a fan from Cuba