Saturday, 29 September 2012

A feast for the eyes.......

 Fromental's Head Artist Master Wang, who travelled from China. Image from Decorex Int 2012 
Linwood's new collection launch. Image from Decorex Int 2012

Decorex 2012 was fantastic! I had a great time wondering around and gathering inspiration and enjoying all the new collections and a catch up with friends over a coffee or two. My bag of show catalogues was rather heavy by the time I left on Monday evening.

I would say one major highlight was watching the talented Master Wang hand painting delicate paper panels. Fromental had flown him over from their studio in China, where he is the head artist. Over the 4 days of Decorex Master Wang  painted these panels for a silent bidding auction to raise money for the Maggie's cancer centres. I was fascinated by the delicate lines he could paint with quite a large Chinese brush and loved the soft colour palette, the birds and the blossoms.

Linwood also had a great stand which was full of interesting props to display their new collections. Art house was my favourite collection, drawing inspiration from train routes, retro letters, script and tea cups. Postal prints was the other collection I rather liked, with date stamps, post marks and copperplate writing as it's theme.

All the rug companies had lovely rugs on display and the theme of traditional with a contemporary twist was very much in evidence. 

So my little head is buzzing now and full of inspiration and beautiful patterns that I could develop mmm.

Above is an eclectic mix of images taken in my favourite museum the Victoria & Albert.

I love the V & A and always make time for a wonder round when I'm in London if I can. I find even though I've been a few times now, I still see new things and always come away feeling inspired and contented. I even managed to squeeze in a visit to the cafe and have a pot of tea and a slice of cake yum!

I spent ages going round the Islamic section and took lots of pictures and particularly liked the turquoise pieces, with their intricate scrolling and layered patterns. Some of the embroidery from the same region was also gorgeous, like this floor blanket the detail was incredible and  so delicate.

I found a bit of Art Nouveau too, very reminiscent of our time in Paris. This was a window grill from a building that has sadly been demolished. I love the flowing  lines and the colour is gorgeous too.

Old labels and postal marks are very much in vogue at the moment and I loved these labels from an old box that contained fabric pieces.

The last image is of a Chinese shawl, which was quite substantial in size and was said to have been used to decorate a piano. I stood and studied this piece for ages, the detail in it is incredible and the typical boating scenes pretty. Every last stitch was perfect and the graduations on the flowers was beautiful. Perhaps I should try some on my latest embroidery piece.

Another gallery I managed to squeeze in was the new jewellery section. This has pieces through the ages and is for anyone with a magpie instinct as it's VERY sparkly. Unfortunately photographs were not allowed, but I loved the Art Deco pieces and also some filigree jewellery made from iron and steel, who would have thought such delicate pieces could be made from those materials. Some of the collection can be viewed on the V & A website if fancy a peek.

So with a head full of inspiration I better get creating!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Mr Ballistic Owl finished!

I've had a lovely few days finishing off Mr Ballistic Owl, found it really relaxing sitting embroidering and half watching half listening to the tv or radio. All I have to decide now is what to make him into, a cushion, a piece of wall art, a framed picture or a quilt.......? A friend suggested making a quilt and having it as a part of that, I quite like that idea. I found an article in an embroidery magazine about journal quilt, maybe that's an idea to pursue mmmm .

A journal quilt is where you create a section of quilt every month and it reflects what is happening to you that particular month or how you feel, a favourite find, the topics are endless really. Then at the end of the 12 months you stitch it altogether and there you have it, a year of your life in stitch fab! I'm not sure I could stick to one a month as work keeps me pretty busy, but I may give it a go and use Mr Owl as my first section.

The journal quilts of Liz Brookes are a good example of how they work and she has added a description for each one:

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A bit of stitching.

You may remember that a while ago I had a fantastic afternoon making cyanotypes. Well since then they have been sat in the studio waiting for something to happen to them. There are a  few that I think I'll leave as they are, as they're so pretty anything more on them will distract from that. There was one however that I thought needed something more, attempt number one was to machine stitch an image over the top, but that looked hideous especially as my machine skills aren't too hot!

However attempt two has been much more successful and much more me. I've over printed the cyanotype with my lovely Ballistic owl and now I'm merrily hand embroidering details and adding embellishments. It's a work in progress, but here are a few snaps of what I've enjoyed doing so far on sunny afternoons and cold draftee evenings.

I've added white blossom using a very light cotton so you can still see the cyanotype print through it. I also used one of my favourite stitches to outline the petals.

Lazy daisies are fun to stitch and I decided to add beads to the centres for a bit of sparkle.

As I'm stitching the pattern is growing organically. I've a rough idea of how I want it to look, but I want it to have a natural flow so nothing has been planned and I'm not working to a design.

I'm always on the look out for new stitches to learn and I enjoyed this woven stitch that can be used for leaves. I think the variegated cotton adds lovely dimension to the stitch.

It's not finished yet so I'll have to grab a few more embroidery hours, but I'll post an image when he's done. I'm still trying to decide what I should make it into, perhaps a cushion?