Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Silver Linings

When the world is grey what I need is a little sunshine.

There you go, in these dark and dingy and rainy days you need a little blue sky.  Well I do, just for a while.

Hopefully, if I've any photographic skill (I use that term loosely) at all, it''s in finding a moment when it looks as though there was no-one else there at all.  

This is as good as I can get for the photo of the bay....

No it's not!

This is on the evening we took the kids down to the beach (me and the other singlies) and let them play in the water until dark-o-clock.

Hello to the couple who were quite happily swimming alone until we let our monsters in.

Anyway, I'm already looking forward to our holiday this year in exactly that place.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

As it's a shockingly long time since I last posted I think I'll just skip that section of my life last year and say, "I had a creative block."

My creative juices have started to flow again and for a while I'm just going to play around with some ideas and techniques and see what comes of it.  It's been such a long time since I was creative just for the hell of it I need some time to just see how creative I can be.  I have to get ma groove on ya know?

For the longest time I have loved the shape of ammonites and spirals and circles and how they sit next to squares and oblongs and such when it comes to shape and interplay.  I have some clay texture plates in my kitchen that I made at school when I was 14.  Even now they resonate with me, and I can see me in my work.

Blogger pulled that one in sideways.....

You should understand something about me - in all creative endeavours since school I am self-taught.  Ok, I look at books and now have the Net but ever since I've done anything I've just had a go and gotten on with it.  Plus I'm very visual and in the last few months I've been really busy with a new job, so much so that I haven't fed my soul with any visual loveliness.  As Christmas was upon us last week I used it as an excuse to buy some coffee table books - Art Deco illustrations, Art Nouveau illustrations and interiors and deep space.  And a beading book.  I'd forgotten how much I love pictures and how inspiring they can be.  Looking at things on Pinterest doesn't have the same spark as looking through a book and being able to go back to the photo or illustration.

So in the last 5 days I have come up with some new projects (all of which need me to be able to use what's already in the house):

~ Make some Klimt influenced jewellery pieces.  A choker is my first project as I adore his portraits of women when they are wearing throat encasing chokers.  I should also add that I'll be adding my love of spirals/straight lines aesthetic so they're not Klimt copies per se, just influenced by his work.  And I'll be using a silver and copper colour palette just to get away from the gold thing.

Here's a shot of my set up so far.  You'll have to excuse the colours, it's night-time here and in my kitchen everything looks muted, although to be fair these are quite muted colours.  The fabric being used was cut from faux suede blinds about 6 years ago.  It's good for beading on as it doesn't fray and it has a vinyl backing.  It is wrinkled but I kind of like that about it, it's another texture.

I've set out the length and width with tape, and this will help to sew in a straight line - much better than a drawn line.  I might change the shape yet.  Or maybe I won't, I quite like a broad choker and the ends of this will sit just behind the ears.  I've played with a basic focal structure; a piece of etched copper (I may etch new ones yet, I'm just playing, and the etch on this one isn't right...or maybe it is....we'll see), some faceted "stones", brass stampings and some rhinestone.  I don't want to fill the rest of the space with edge to edge beading, I want to have some negative space, so I may emboss some markings onto the fabric backing that I should be able to sew through fairly easily. As I use PVA glue as my bonding agent for the embossing powder there's potential for the needle to get sticky so I'll have to ponder a little more and then just get on with it.  I figure if I can try and predict where beading will look best I can emboss in the spaces and then see what happens.

The beading and other things that might get added will be in silver (clear beads with silver inside), copper, dark and copperish brown and all manner of things that I may or may not add as they occur to me.  I may even make some copper squares as I'm not loving the brass.  At the moment though I'm just playing with shapes.  

~ Embroider a nebula or a galaxy.  This is something I have longed to do for some time and in searching for fabrics to help me on my way I found some of my earliest attempts at mixed media bead embroidery.  It wasn't called that at the time but I can recall the day I looked at the book that contained some work that blew me away.  I'll wait for some good light to photograph those pieces because it's dark and dreary here at the moment.  I have to step up my game for the galaxy piece or I'll end up producing something that I'm unhappy with, or glorky looking (see below).  The book is full of awesome photographs so there's a lot of inspiration there, and I love the way different filters get used to highlight different areas within galaxies and nebulae.

~ Use some crystals in my possession to create some pieces.  Without them looking too glorky....you know what glorky looks like?  It's kind of nice but a bit mundane.  I'm sure they'll start out glorky but I aim to move on from that.

~  Try out some beading techniques advocated by Sherry Serafini, even though I don't always love her work I adore it - does that make sense?  And how ironic is it that I just gave you a link to a Pinterest board of her work?  Beadwork.  This is what's leaking into the Klimt influenced pieces too.

Part of the process for this kind of project is all about finding a way to keep all of my ideas and supplies easily to hand.  When I have a commercial project to do I put it all in a very useful and basic plastic container.  It's wide and deep enough to hold a lot of "stuff" and it's practical.

This project though is gorgeous before it starts.  On returning to the source of the books I had bought to get one that I didn't think I needed (which it turns out I really did) I spied an Art Nouveau influenced tray so I bought that too.  Again it's sideways and I can't sort that out...

Into this I have placed a slightly cut down Christmas selection box inside (the kids had so much chocolate this year they don't know that they have another 3 selection boxes each).

Once I start to weed out what are day-to-day items I will need somewhere else to put the "ideas" and they will go into a tin I've been saving and found again in the last few days.

Sideways Mucha is still good Mucha.

There's nothing in the tin as yet, but it's there when I need it to be.

And that?  That's just a gratuitous picture of my "proper" sewing box.
Happy New Year to you all.