Sunday, 22 March 2015

Modern Home Needlecraft

I was fortunate to be gifted this book by a friend. I have spent the last couple of weeks pouring over the pages. There are some amazing techniques, pattern drafting directions and suggestions for make do and mend.
The book was published in 1946 and came in its original card envelope, with the address still intact. it even had the slip inside that stated it must be paid for by return, so maybe it was from some book club. It was published by Odhams Press in London, which I'd never heard of.

Inside the book I found two patterns, one for a child's dress - it's not a printed pattern, but looks to be in very good condition. There is also a knitting pattern for a boy's slipover. I don't knit so cant ever imaging making this.

The book contains a wealth of information and there are a range of techniques covered. Have you ever heard of a Jetted pocket?
There are pattern drafting instructions for a range of simple garments including suspender belts and underwear; mens shirts and pj's; childrens shirts and trousers.

And to top it all off, suggestions to make do and mend. How to make your garments last longer or refashion them. I particularly like the section on disguising underarm shabbiness!

This is an absolute treasure and I look forward to trying some of the techniques and patterns for myself.
Have you ever come across such a gem?

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Developing a Painting

Life has been very busy around here over the last few weeks. I have sewn a couple of items, but have yet to blog them. The creativity does continue though! I've had very little time due to a huge amount of work to complete over the last few weeks, it feels like I've been working non stop!

I arranged last year to exhibit some work at the Newbiggin Maritime Centre during march 2015. And true to form I've been undecided about the type of work I wanted to show. In the end I went with Landscapes of the local area as it's a location that overlooks the bay and would fit in with the setting.

So how do I create a painting?

The canvases were stretched and prepped, I'd collated together photographs and sketches to work from.

I work in a loose and quick method, mostly outside as I like to pour paint and spray the paintings to create a range of different effects and both these create a huge amount of mess.

I'd sketched basic forms on the canvases and laid down the first washes of acrylic paint. I like to cover the canvas with a thin layer to begin with.

From there I begin to build up layers, slowly adding colour - often very bright colour.

I always document my work as it progresses and I often photoshop my work to quickly explore how each piece can develop without committing to the paint. Although I start with  my drawings and photographs my paintings usually abstract themselves dueing the process.

With this image I intensified the colour and added some darker tones to the background.

This is then further experimented with in paint. I love adding in texture and often use a range of different materials to build this. All this takes a couple of days as I layer paint, let it dry, adjust and add washes and details, which helps build complexity and depth.

These are not the final pieces - come along to the exhibition to see them. It's open until the end of March.


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