Friday, 30 September 2011

Birthday Bits and Bobs

The one good thing about not living near your friends (and the only good thing) is that on special occasions such as birthdays,  exciting parcels turn up in the post (if you have been a good friend that year).  One particularly special gift that arrived was from my very dear and lovely friend Sarah, and I have to say, this is just the perfect present for me!  So here is my lovely surprise...

Hand painted tray, quilitng book, fat quarters, buttons, ribbon and a bookmark

And a special message and hand made heart - lilac, to match my living room
I thought I would also take this opportunity to post a few more pictures of my birthday day, and some of the lovely gifts that I received.

Anyone would think it was Freya's birthday with that cheeky smile!

Cakes from my lovely friend Gemma -  so thoughtful and a lovely surprise

A beautiful bracelet from Freya (with some help from Pete, my wondeful husband)

All my special gifts from my wonderful friends - I thank you all xx

Relaxing at the Howard Davis Park in St Helier

This sums up the day!!

I will post more about my coursework next week, I am feeling really motivated at the moment, and determined to finish the design work and start on some applique samples soon. :-)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A Busy Week and a Big Birthday

I haven't posted for a week or so, not because I have been slacking off, but because I have been so busy working on designs and drawings for my colour module related to the Aztecs. Here are a few pictures of my sketchbook and collages, which I will need to mount into a portolio. 

An Aztec Eagle painted in Acryllics

Painting rearranged and cut up into a collage 


A headdress

An attempt at watercolour (it's difficult!)

In detail

Collage based on the two headed serpent (see previous post)

Sketching of an Aztec God

Acryllic painting of same god

Close up detail - experimenting with colour

More colour experiments

The final design, and my favourite.  Will make into a collage and perhaps a quilt??!
I have also embarked on a few other little projects. The first was to re-organise all my craft things, and I now have two cupboards full of baskets, with (badly!) embroidered labels.  Here is one of the cupboards;

Also, last weekend was a big weekend for me, as I turned the big 3-0.  I was thoroughly spoilt by all my friends and family and I was lucky enough to get some birthday money, which I have put to good use and spend on, you guessed it, lots of craft things.  Here is a little selection of the delights that have been arriving through the post...

More Hungry Caterpillar fabric - I love it!!

And a Christmas one - I couldn't resist

The DVD I have wanted for ages - I watched it online, so inspirational

And finally, I have been making a curtain for the utility room, as it is a very boring, functional room and I thought it needed brightening up.  It is still a work in progress but I did quickly make a runner for the top of the tumble dryer in the same fabric...

Watch this space for the curtain!  Well I think that's enough for one post, but I will post again soon with details of a gorgeous crafty birthday gift that I recieved from a special friend of mine...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A Colourful Display

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had actually done much more reasearch on colour back in the UK before we moved to Jersey than I remembered.  Which left me with a problem; the over-sized leaflets that I planned to use weren't going to be big enough.  So I went back to my primary school teacher roots and decided to produce a large display of all my colour theory, after all, colour is a visual thing and what better way to display it than on large boards.  I had a feeling one board wouldn't be enough so good job I bought two when I was in the shop, and I have managed to fill them both...

I also made a few sneaky purchases on ebay last week, and they have now finally arrived...I am loving them all in equal measure!  I plan to make a little 'story sack' for Freya of the Very Hungry Caterpillar as she has the book and the toy etc.  Although this project is going to have to go on the back burner I think while I am working flat out on my coursework.

My ebay purchases
Will post again soon with my latest work, I am doing some experimenting with colour, and I am also re-organising my craft cupboards (I have more cupboards now that we have moved, I am taking over the utility room!) so I will post photos when my re-organisation is complete.  So far it's looking good!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Aztec Artifacts

I am still waiting for my postcards of Aztec Artifacts to arrive but in the meantime I had a bit of a brainwave and found some of the same images on the internet, so I was able to do some preparatory art work from these instead.  In some ways this is even better because I have found some close up images, enabling me to see even more detail. 

Anyway, I thought I would start with an Aztec mosaic of a two headed serpent. I did some initial sketches, then decided to do a detailed picture of one of of the heads, using a black fine liner and coloured pens. I really loved the bright aqua marine colours and the intricacy of the mosaic work and so did my best to replicate it. Here are a few pictures of my progress: 

The photograph of the serpent that I used

I drew the serpent and added the mosaic detail section by section

I used a black fine liner for the outline

The finished picture

As you can imagine it took quite a long time to colour each mosaic tile individually, but it was quite theraputic!  And I nearly had a disaster when I coloured the background, because I had half an eye on the telly at the same time and nearly coloured over the serpent's top tooth!  Luckily I narrowly avoided disaster and told myself to concentrate on the job in hand.  Overall I am quite pleased with the result and I think that felt tips pens make it quite bold and striking.  (I tested out coloured pencils but they looked too washed out.) 

So next I am going to continue drawing and sketching the artifacts and then take them forward and come up with some designs and experiment with colour.  I also hope to finish my colour theory work very soon; just waiting for Pete to do some sneaky colour printing for me at work.  

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Applique Technique File

Well I am pleased to report that after a good many hours, I have finally finished my Applique Technique File.  It has taken me ages and ages but I think it looks quite smart and I am particularly pleased with the front cover.  Here are some pictures, in no particular order.

Close up of felt flower

After all the writing about different applique methods, I was really enthusiastic to give it a go but unfortunately I don't yet have any designs from my coursework to base my applique on.  (That is my own fault for doing things in the wrong order - it just seemed a good place to start after the move as it didn't envolve anything too complicated). 

So anyway, now I am working on mounting all my colour theory work nicely (slightly delayed because our printer is out of ink - so frustrating!) and as I can no longer get to the Bristish Museum in London to look at Aztec artifacts (this module is based on a historical theme and I have chosen the Aztecs) I have just ordered lots of postcards of Aztec artifacts from the internet.  There is a great website called Zazzle which supplies postcards of just about anything, I have used them loads.   So until they arrive I can't do any design work.  But... I have managed to find some funky Aztec pattern/style cotton fabric on ebay, which will look great with some bold, plain cotton fabrics for my applique samples when I finally get around to them! 

Next posting, I'll show you my colour theory work, and again I am playing around with the presentation, just to be a bit different.  I have come up with the idea of an oversized leaflet, that you have to open out.  I will have one for 'colour theory' and one for 'colour in art' looking at how different artists use colour in their work.  Won't take long to put together once I finally get it all printed.  Can't wait to get going.