Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Structures - if only they could talk

Lately I have been experimenting with a few ideas and have really loved the results so I thought I'd share them with you.

I have enjoyed printing with my little birds and stitching into them, but thought that perhaps a change of theme would be good. I have always loved architecture and the details you might find if you look carefully, and love both old and some new alike. In the North East as with many historical towns and cities there is a vast array of buildings that if they could talk would tell many a good tale.

So I decided to start a new series and so far it's called Structures, I wanted to keep it open so that I could perhaps add other interesting architecture not particular to the North East too. I'm also experimenting with digital print and loving exploring the effects and layers you can build up. It's not to say I'm leaving the beloved hand printing behind, that may come into it later so keep your eyes peeled!

Here are some of my first pieces in the series.

 Flour Mill - copyright Ballistic Owl 2013
 The old school - copyright Ballistic Owl 2013
 Tryptych - copyright Ballistic Owl 2013
Millennium Bridge - copyright Ballistic Owl
Detail from the Quayside - copyright Ballistic Owl 2012

All the prints are created from images in my own vast archive, collected for college projects and trips around the UK. I've loved adding little embroidered details just to highlight key features, sometimes very tiny features! These are now available through my Etsy shop and I will be adding more as I create them, more waiting to be printed as I write this.

Don't forget to look out for my variations, will post about those once I've had a play around.

Thank you for dropping by and don't forget to tell your friends about Ballistic Owl and where you can find me on the web.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Liebster Nomination

Thank you to Lauren Cherice Designs for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Firstly here's what it's all about, it is to nominate and share new up and coming bloggers that have less than a 200 followers. You answer the questions that the nominator has sent and then ask 10 or 11 more to other bloggers with less than 200 followers.

It's similar to a blog hop, but you get to know a little about the person behind the blog too. It's about sharing and support for fellow bloggers within your field.

So here are the questions Lauren asked me:

1.Who is your biggest inspiration? Design wise it has to be Lucienne Day and the way she took the 1951 Festival of Britain by storm. I love the optimism of the whole of 1950's era and the way they were not afraid to try new things.

2.What is your favourite food? Mmm tricky, I have a sweet tooth so puddings are probably it, especially Pavlova or panacotta!

3. Reading or Blogging? I would say a bit of both, I love finding out what other people are up to and what projects they are working on. But I also like sharing what I'm up to or something that has inspired me.

4. Countryside or Beach? The countryside! Always full of inspiration and I love taking pictures of flowers and interesting views or worn stone walls.

5. Have you got anything exciting planned for the rest of 2013? I'm trying to build up my little one woman business at the moment and hopefully once a few teething problems have been resolved, it will tick along nicely.

6.What is your biggest achievement? It's got to be going back to college/uni to retrain and achieving a 1st class degree! I enjoyed every minute of my degree course and made some lovely friends and learnt tons. 

7. Ice cream or chocolate? Tough one this as I really like both (just eaten a curlywurly!), my favourite flavour ice cream is rum and raisin.

8. The one thing you can't live without? Please can I have two things?!?! My cats Snowflake and Sparkle, gorgeous silver tabbies, who keep me company in the studio. My lovely Marek who bless him always gets my latest creations to look at! Oh so technically that's 3 oopps!

9. What is your design starting point? I always start with visual research and then move onto         drawing and draw until I feel I have enough to start designing with.

10. What is your favourite memory? Being proposed to on the very top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, magical :-)

So here are my nominations:

Some great blogs that I follow and enjoy reading and seeing what they're up to.

So to my questions.....

1. If you were given a travel ticket where would it take you?
2. Favourite designer and why?
3. What flavour ice cream would you choose vanilla or rum n raisin?
4. If you were put on a desert island what book would you take?
5. When you work do you have music on or like to work in silence?
6. Night owl or early bird?
7. Where would you most like to see your work displayed/sold?
8. What is your main source of inspiration?
9. Banana or strawberry milkshake?
10. What is your favourite colour combination in a design?
11. If you had the chance to work alongside a famous designer past or present who would it be?

Have fun!

You can also find me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/BallisticOwl and www.ballisticowl.co.uk

Thursday, 1 August 2013

The not so desolate North East and how it inspires me!

One of the most recent topics of conversation in the North East this week has been the comment made by Lord Howell of how fracking would be OK in the North East as it is a desolate place. It has been commented on numerous times in social media and has been taken on board by groups such as @NorthEastHour and https://www.facebook.com/groups/DesolateNorthEast/. Who are all for promoting how great the North East is and wanting to show that the region is a great place to live and work.

As a textile designer and maker I love living in the Newcastle and find it a great source of inspiration. My latest prints inspired by the puffins on the Farne Islands is just one example of how where you live feeds into your work. The pictures below taken by Marek were then used by me to produce the delightful characters in my prints below. If you are a regular visitor to my blog you will have seen my previous post on these cheeky little chaps.

Staple Island Puffins- Picture credits Marek Bidwell

 Fish Supper- Tracy Bidwell for Ballistic Owl copyright 2013

The Offering- Tracy Bidwell for Ballistic Owl copyright 2013

It's not just the wildlife that inspires my work but also the built environment and the beautiful countryside. The Baltic and Central station have fantastic architectural details and the prints shown below are from those great landmarks from architectural history.Newcastle's Cathedral is also a beautiful building with many great details to inspire the creative mind.

 Baltic Flour Mill- Tracy Bidwell for Ballistic Owl copyright 2013

Central Station- Tracy Bidwell for Ballistic Owl copyright 2013
 Newcastle Cathedral - Picture credit Tracy Bidwell

Gothic Cushion inspired by the Cathedral door- Tracy Bidwell for Ballistic Owl copyright 2013

The architects of the past, such as John Dobson left us with a great wealth of inspiring buildings, whether they be industrial or residential. Even having lived here for many years I'm still discovering fantastic buildings within the region.

As for the countryside we couldn't really ask for anything better, open fields, woodlands, coastline and meadows. As well as a wealth of beautiful stately properties and gardens. Images I take as I walk around these places all form a vast library for me to work from either in print or stitch.
 Secret Garden (detail)- Tracy Bidwell for Ballistic Owl copyright 2013

Grasses from around Cragside's extensive grounds- Image credit Tracy Bidwell

So as you can see I love nothing more than going round where I live and taking pictures that then inform my designs. So lets hear it for the fabulous North East and all it's beauty and variety!

To see more of my work please go to www.ballisticowl.co.uk or visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BallisticOwl