I haven't been posting much because I haven't had a lot to post about, I'm afraid - but a few things came together today, so here I am.
First - we had a Friday trip this week. [We had a Tuesday one as well but that was a routine trip to Bournemouth so doesn't really count.]
The Discovery Centre [that place again - if the cakes were as good as the coffee I'd probably move in] has an exhibition of Hockney etchings. They are illustrations to Grimms' fairy stories, which Hockney made in the 60s. It is a touring exhibition from the Hayward and seems to have been on the road for several years so you may have seen it elsewhere. [I picture someone at the Hayward saying 'Didn't we have some Hockney etchings? Whatever happened to them?']
But I digress. As usual. The etchings are well worth seeing. There is one of a rose which I would dearly love to own if I was rich enough - and I don't like pictures of flowers. If you want to learn from a master how to use line and make marks - get yourself to the Discovery Centre.
On a more mundane level, I have finished my 'Stellar' quiltet for the 'Round the World in 20 Quilts' group. Sort of. I cannot reveal it all until the end of the month but here is a rather bad photo of a corner of it. This is one of the Inkaid pieces which I thought would be too stiff to hand embroider, although as you can see I managed to do some. It is sort of finished because I think it needs more fly stitches.
i am also working on these from Maggie Grey's on-line class for owners of her book 'Textile Translations'. These will eventually become a book, although they look like witches hats' to me. They are made of Vilene, believe it or not. I don't want to give away Maggie's techniques - if you want to know you'll have to buy the book - but there is a lot of stuff on there. Not much stitch, but a lot of crud - er - artistically applied mixed media.
You may notice, although the photo isn't clear, that the pieces are edged with zig zag. I wanted to edge them with blanket stitch but for some reason my sewing machine did not want to do blanket stitch on the Vilene. I tried everything I could think of - I even cleaned it and changed the needle - but no go. It would do FME. It would do zig zag. It would do blanket stitch on other fabrics. but on the Vilene? No.
Books are also being made for the Contemporary Textiles Workshop. Yes, in the plural. To make a cover, I stuck some monoprinted brown paper on Vilene, foiled it, added some monoprinted Lutradur, stitched it, zapped it with a heat gun, hated it. Threw it in the bin - then fished it out because I thought I could make some more samples from it - samples of what not to do.
So I made another piece on felt - except I'd run out of foil. I called in at our local craft shop, 'Creative Crafts' today to get some more but they had every colour except gold. So they persuaded me to try a new line of paint they had just got in - 'Precious Metal Colour'. This is the result - and the photo doesn't do it justice. The paint ain't cheap. but it just glides on - and the manufacturer claims you can use it on all sorts of surfaces including glass and plastic.
This afternoon I sat down to work on the witches' hats - looked at the first monoprint piece - and thought - it's not so bad after all. That's why I am now making two books.