Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Textile work inspired by Claire Coles

On the textile course over the last couple of weeks we have been given the details of the final exam. I think it is about 8 hrs but split into bits and it sounds like you have 5 hrs preparation time beforehand. The subject is Rhythms & Circles of Life and we've started to think about what we'd like to do and what we will be creating, i.e. a garment, wall hanging, accessories etc.

My initial thoughts are along the lines of surface decoration as I like design, print and embellishing. We have to research artists whose work has captured our imagination and we are now starting to do samples along the theme of the exam.

I found this wonderful textile artist called Claire Coles and I will put a link to her site where you will see some most unusual work. The work which I was particularly taken with was Claire's use of vintage wallpaper where she has embellished other fabrics and drawn with stitch over it to create an almost 3D effect. The results are quite quirky and have a dream like quality.


As I'd like to try different surface decorations I went and got some wallpaper samples so that I could try to do a Claire style technique. They were very helpful in Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston so I got a bit of wallpaper and I also bought a few remnants whilst I was there.
I have used one of the less 'pretty' wallpapers I picked up, it has a beige background and grey florals and leaves. Have shown picture before I  got to work on it. I then found some fabrics in my stash, mainly black, white and reds and I had this halloween fabric I hadn't used so I thought why not put some skeletons in for a bit of whimsy! Gradually I cut out fabric florals, created a bird, stitched them on and did some embroidery stitches. I'm quite pleased with the result so far, it's one of those things which is quite addictive and you can keep adding to it. For now I've had to stop and get back with work but it's something I will continue with.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Culinary disaster!!

I'm having a bit of a run of foodie entries on my blog at the moment and I think it's important to show the bad as well as the good. If nothing else it will make you smile!

The aga is losing heat at the moment which being an old decripid one it seems to do so every 6 months and then needs a service. Anyway I decided on jacket spuds last night (bad idea with hindsight), there just wasn't enough heat, after 3 mins in the microwave and then just over an hour in the aga they were still crisp and uncooked in the middle. So, had something else to eat and left them doing for a bit longer. That was last night, well I think you can guess the rest! I've just been into the kitchen to start food and found the spuds from last night, looking remarkably like burnt cinders!

It's so challenging cooking in that particular aga, I don't know how I ever manage to get any results. I'm just pleased I'm a veggie or I think it would be rife for a food poisoning nightmare if a meat eater was using it.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

More lovely food & coffee

Went to York today and visited a coffee shop which I've walked past many times and never gone in because it looks too small and always busy. But made the effort after finding a wonderful blog all about great coffee shops and I'm gradually trying the recommended local ones. Here is the link where you'll find interesting reading & pictures about coffee shops up and down the country.


The place I checked out was Coffee Culture on Goodramgate. I think there were 2 tables downstairs so you have to head upstairs or upstairs again and the narrow staircases are not for the feint hearted! It is a lovely quirky place with friendly service and the Java I had was very nice. I succumbed to a plate of mushrooms on toast and it was divine, reasonably priced too and I am looking forward to a return visit on an empty stomach so that I can do justice to a veggie breakfast which sounded great and I saw someone else having and it looked great.

If you go to Coffee Culture and it's full, just opposite is Goji which is a veggie cafe and deli, they also have lovely food & drink, a favourite snack there is the Goji Tofu hot dog which is wonderful if you are a veggie or not.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Ambiente in Malton

Had a bit of a treat and went out for the day as I've been working for the last don't know how many weekends. 
Started off in Malton and visited my favourite place for brunch, Ambiente. This is a wonderful tapas place with a great selection of veggie dishes. I had the Huevos Rancheros pictured here, lovely tortillas with organic free range eggs, in a spicy tomato salsa with coriander & cheese served with refried beans. Absolutely delicious!


Finished with an afternoon potter around Pickering and was lucky enough to find some Hornsea Pottery in a charity shop, came away with a set of Heirloom, 3 bowls, jam & mustard pots and 6 saucers for just £5. Also got a wonderful box frame which will be ideal for a piece of textile art.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Goodies from Ikea & Habitat

Had a trip to Ikea yesterday. As it's always busy on a weekend and as I seem to be working most weekends at the moment it seemed to be the best option. The weather has turned cold again, we've a sprinkling of snow on the floor, the electric blanket ceased to work after new year and the duvet stuffing has gone flat so it's pretty chilly on a night. So the solution was a lovely new duvet from Ikea. I went mad and bought one of those 2 quilts joined together options, summer and winter so that you can dissect the extra bit after winter and just have a summer duvet.

The trip would not be complete without a few bits of fabric and of course some nibbles from the Swedish shop.

Also popped across to Habitat and bought the rainbow plate, pencils like big matches and other bits n bobs. The coffee cups were from Ikea and will come in useful when I get going with my coffee pursuits. I have booked on a course to do latte art in March. It's happening at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and a well known barista is doing the training so really looking forward to that.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Mondays trip to college

On the way to Brid yesterday I caught up with a curious looking van, well it's not everyday you see a van with The Beatles on the back. I was hoping to see what was written on the side as we swished round the corners to satisfy my curiosity, was it a mobile disco or maybe Ringo's secret runaround. Annoyingly it turned off at Burton Agnes and I didn't get to see!

Had an interesting session on the textile course. We had taken in some of our photos to manipulate and they'd got some sheets of cotton and silk to feed through the printer. All very expensive, a packet of this stuff is about £65 so we were just allowed 4 sheets each. These are a couple of my prints onto cotton and silk, the idea will be to embellish these.

Stopped by Gallery 49 to see if the valentines exhibition was in full swing and was delighted to see quite a bit of my stuff in the windows.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Stamping on fabric

Not had much time for anything other than work this past week, things are getting too busy again to give the textile work priority so having a quick burst of paper work and research this morning before the class.

I've had a go at rubber stamping onto different types of fabric, it then needs working on either by embellishing or chopping up and making into things. That's where the creative bit will come in and sadly I haven't got time to relax and be creative so it will have to wait.

I'm also trying to start an altered book which will turn into an ideas book. It's basically just using an old booklet or brochure, masking out the pages with paint or paper and then sticking in your own scraps and ideas. A good way of recycling too. If it starts to look interesting I will display it here.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Textile course - embellishing

I have been embellishing onto the felt I made last week. Mainly couching, some embroidery stitches and a few beads attached for a bit of sparkle.
We had also done some fabric printing with mixed results and none of mine came out very well, the best offering was this apple which has also had a bit of embellishing.