Friday, January 30, 2009


Cup 30/1/09

Today I had a day off work and went to play at college. We were transfer printing after creating rubbings with transfer crayons and then washing over transfer dyes. This would, of course, explain the rare glimpse of an iron in the background. Screenprinted gouache paint onto brown parcel paper.

Post Cycling hoodie

Victory! One purchase of some woolly nylon & one and half hours later and I have a finished hoodie. It is a comfy fit, the hood could do with being a little roomier but, it is a success! M is pleased with his hoodie - he looks peeved because his pedal fell off (and I was too busy sewing the hoodie to notice he wasn't back yet and might need to go and rescue him).

I have added to the Flickr CRAFT: along 2009 group and I have been impressed with some of the other hoodies there. One lucky fella has a zippy pockets for a phone and things (don't tell M). Whilst one young chap has his pocket made from some cute WALL-E fabric. If I had been half as clever as this chap's Mum I could have done something cunning with contrast sleeves and hood.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cup 29/01/09

Cup 29/01/09

From Anna Piaggi Exhibition brochure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cup 28/01/09

Cup 28/01/09

Vienna Contemporary Art Tower. From MAK, Vienna Summer brochure.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cup 27/01/09

Cup 27/01/09

Watercolour background with acrylic pain stamped with homemade stamp

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cup 26/01/09

Cup 26/01/09
Oil pastel rubbing of an old Indian wooden stamping block on sugar paper with a black ink wash.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I thought it would be fun to take part in a sew/craft-a-long this month and my eyes alighted on the one hosted by Africakelli and Finny Knits. Following the Craft zine blog the months task are to either making some lemon drop cookies and/or making a hoodie sweatshirt. I found the tutorial for the hoodie over at CraftStylish and thought "hmmm, a good project to try out on my overlocker". So with M in mind I bought some fleece from the local sewing shop*:
I drew up my pattern. I decided to make a paper pattern instead of cutting directly as indicated in the tutorials - who knows if this is successful I could make more! Or remake if M doesn't like the fabric or the fit needs adjusting slightly.

I even applied the pocket (using a twin needle on my regular sewing machine). The effect is okay but the rest of the sewing I wanted to acheive using my overlocker and the coverstitch function.
So, I then set up my overlocker with some black thread and to check the stitching used scrap fabric to check that I had everything set up right. I tried this lots of times and still came up with the same horrible effect:

Yuk! Despite checking and rechecking I couldn't stop the trimmed fleece bouncing back and that nasty loopy overhang on the edge of the seam. I managed fine with the baby fleece wrap top I made before Christmas - what was I doing wrong? Nothing. The only difference was that I used woolly nylon thread in the upper looper. So I tinkered about and found that it all sorted itself out:

Looks fine doesn't it? Well, yes, unfortunately thats the view from the lower looper side. The other side looks like this:

Bleurgh! Whilst the shortcut sprite is saying in my head "it doesn't matter if its baby blue" the perfectionist pixie is saying "it can only be done in black". I know I could just do the whole thing on my sewing machine but I feel it would be missing the point - this was meant to be an overlocker project. So I could just go back to the sewing shop and get some black woolly nylon thread. Well, yes, but I discovered I needed it at 6pm Saturday evening - after the shop has shut for the weekend. So I will be (im)patiently waiting for my order from Empress Mills to get to me and I am hoping that I can get this done before the end of the month. At the moment I am feeling a little thwarted, I will just have to put the overlocker away and fold the cut out project up (and have an iron will to get this finished - there are enough UFOs round here). Hmmmm UFOs maybe I could be getting on with one of those.....

*note the omission...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cup 23/01/09

Cup 23/01/09
Red watercolour layered over wet yellow watercolour. This paper was leftover from some design work that I completed for my final City & Guilds piece, which on further inspection of my blog I never wrote about. There is a glimpse of it and the design work in the photo accompanying my entry about the end of year exhibition.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cup 21/01/09

Cup 21/01/09
Computer print out of pattern experiments with one shape.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cup 20/01/09

Cup 20/01/09

Brusho watercolour with undissolved crystal sprinkled over whilst still wet.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bag design into a cup

Cup 19/01/09

Drawing pen on cartridge. This was a sketch of a design for a bag, inspired by gladiators helmet from The British Museum. The bag was meant to be a mini project for raised / stumpwork. I was glad I didn't have to create a more traditional sample. Whilst I admire the workmanship involved, I am not a fan of the overall effect.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Little books

Rather little notebooks for taking some very small notes or little lists. I coula make a thousand of these and still have a paper stash left. They are constructed in a very similar fashion to the little books you would get matches in (which nobody gives out anymore because of the UK smoking ban). I followed the instructions at The Spotted Sparrow.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cup 16/01/09

Cup 16/01/09

Watercolour on cartridge paper, chalky ink stamped and then punched.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cup 15/01/09

Cup 15/01/09

Silk paint on cartridge paper. The cartridge paper was placed under some silk I was painting for some samples. I had lightly placed the silk on the paper and used light brush strokes with a saturated brush.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Todays cup and last night's pizza

Computer print out of some shape manipulation. The shape evolved from a drawing I did of a photograph found in the book "Thai Food" by David Thompson. This was done as part of my design studies for C&G part 1, when we started looking at shape and pattern. I used some of the work in my laptop case which I made as my final piece (accessory) for my part 1.

One other thing I want to note is last night's girls night in. I got together with the last 2 females in the known universe (G & X) who hadn't yet seen Mamma Mia. Pizza was purchased and X asked for tuna and jalapeno - not the most obvious combo. but one which works surprisingly well......

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Old Seasonal memories

Cup 13/01/09

This was a piece of "test" paper for my Christmas card manufacture. In the end I ran out of time and the fabric I embellished (before cutting it up) wasn't quite as sparkly as I would have liked it. The paper was really a test of the thermofax screen which I was using and the accompanying gold metallic screen printing ink I had bought, I then washed over the ever faithful brusho watercolour.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cake of the Weekend

Carrot cake to be gobbled by me, M, role players and colleagues. Trying out recipe from this month's Delicious Magazine.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Itajime Shibori

Cup 09/01/08

Itajime shibori paper using folded Japanese calligraphy paper into brusho watercolour. This paper was created when I was doing some practice prior to a college dyeing day. I had been inspired by a series of posts by Karen K Britto, a textile artist and maker who is the author of a book on Shibori. She hasn't updated her blog Entwinements in a while, but her previous entries still hold a wealth of information and discussion. This post and this post got me started with the paper folding. Hmmmm its tempting to give it another go......

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Cup 08/01/09

Cut out of the museum newspaper I picked up when I visited the MAK in Vienna during the summer (that seems so long ago now - especially as I only really experienced a summer in Vienna). A Julien Opie exhibition was on at the time and this was on the front cover.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Cup 07/01/08

Cup 07/01/08

Stamped masking fluid, brusho and metallic ink.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

On board chilling

Cup 06/01/09

Cup of the day today features a oil pastel scribble with a black ink wash. Today I swapped lids with another cup and poured a smoothie in there instead of making a coffee. There were grainy bits (due to the raspberries) but this time no spitting was necessary. My smoothie was kept nice and cool due to the onboard chilling feature of my transport: the bottle cage of my bicycle. Yes, on one of the coldest days of the year I hauled my carcass onto my bicycle in the pre-8 o'clock gloom and pedalled into work. The cold wasn't too bad after the putting on of: 2 snoods/scruffs, 3 long sleeved tops with various thermal, windproof, thumb loops (thx G) features, cycle shorts, fleecy cycle tights, woolly socks (thx Mum), winter gloves and liberal smearing of vaseline over my cheeks (thx G, again). Everything stayed reasonably warm except my toes which were painfully defrosted in the lovely warm work shower.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cup of the day

Cup 5/1/09
Cup 05/01/09

At Christmas I found one of these kindly left by my sister under the Christmas tree (not forgetting the rather nice pile of overlocker feet left by my other sister). Over the holiday season I found myself doing a little tidy up - tidying up I really should have done in the summer. I found myself with boxes and boxes of design papers left over from my college course. So I decided to sort them out. I got rid of some of the plain ugly bits of modroc, plaster of paris lumps which were created for some reason or other (texture? hmmm, not sure, and if it was texture than what I was trying to convey was dubious at best) and other scrunched grot that I no longer wanted. Some of the paper I put to one side for possible greeting card manufacture. Other bits found the internal cardboard from my new travel mug/press being drawn on them and then cut up. An hour or so later I had 8 boxes compressed down to 3 and a pile of cup inserts. Almost one for each working day for a little while to come.
This design paper was from part 2 of the course when I was designing using armour as my theme. I had hand carved a stamp taken from the shape of a Japanese helmet ornament, stamped acrylic paint on some textured cartridge paper and then washed over brusho watercolour. The coffee wasn't too bad either - mental note don't push press down too hard otherwise grounds come up over it and the last mouthful of coffee ends up being a leeeetle gritty and you almost end up spewing it up over your esteemed colleagues.

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