Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Erosion Bundle Project

At the beginning of this year, I joined the Erosion Bundle Project and quickly selected some items which I made into two bundles.  One to hang in a tree in the garden and one to bury in the compost heap.  The idea was to the leave the bundles for three months, open them up and then create something from the recovered items.  

As it turned out, I could have been a bit cuter about what I bundled up in order to manipulate the results a bit. I had hoped that fabrics and papers would transfer their dyes and make marks on each other and that weather and ground conditions would cause significant deterioration. Certainly there was some leeching of dyes, but the weather and underground conditions had less effect than I anticipated.    And I had to make quite a lot of insect-life homeless in the process.

The main piece of fabric here is a 6" x 6" section of a large piece of screen-printed wool which I bought at a thrift shop.   The dyes helpfully moved themselves around a bit and the wool began to speckle and rot during its three months exposure.  
The little black specks on the wool made me think of hundreds of tiny seeds and some of the pieces of lace and crochet suggested the shape of seedheads and an idea was formed.   I added some beads, embroidery and one of my favourite stamps of a cow parsley seedhead.  It's quite a tactile piece, and soft, being sewn through two backing layers of old much-washed wool blanket.  

The base for the three hangings in this 'tryptich' was a linen napkin.   It, again, didn't show major signs of erosion after three months exposed to the worst of England's weather.  A few dirty marks and some pink dye, but nothing to make much of a feature of.  

The paper has lost most evidence of its original incarnation. It was pages from a rent book from the late 1940's/50's, each receipted entry being validated by a tuppeny postage stamp. The stamps, though they came unglued, were in almost perfect condition after their time in the compost heap - Her Majesty completely unblemished.   And the black fountain-pen ink, although a wee bit faded, still speaks out well from the pinky-paper.

At this point I would just like to mention that I wrote this with a packet of frozen peas on my head.   I am such a clutz that I stood up quickly under an open cupboard door and cracked my skull, so now I've got a big lump, a headache and a very stiff neck, not to mention double vision.   So it didn't help that Blogger seems to have devised a new way of uploading photos .......... or is it just me?

(OK sorry, just looking for some sympathy...)

Anyway, this is just some other thing I made, not with eroded stuff, just having a play to make a postcard-sized piece with scraps and old buttons and a print from an old French postcard which I bought in Saffron Walden when we went to Audley End House.
And this is the beginnings of a journal cover which I started while we were away on holiday.   I followed a link from Arlee's inspiring blog to Teesha Moore's, where there were some little tutorial videos and fabulous examples of quilted pillow journals and bags that she had made in this style.   This is just the front cover, so a way to go yet.  Actually I could have made the back cover while we were away, if I'd been careful enough to make sure the little pillows were all the same size.   Unfortunately, I had four biggish ones and four not-so-biggish ones, which serves me right for not taking my Dad's advice to "measure twice and cut once".   Gaahh, knew he'd be right!!

And thank you to everyone who took the time to leave a comment and visit Cathy and Lesley's blogs to look at our Seaside tag swap.   It looks like we may have some more friendly bloggers to join in on the next one, whatever that turns out to be.  Isn't that great?

Hope you're all having a good week!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sun, Sand, Sea and .... Sauciness

(by Cathy - 3D bathing belle emerging from the sequinned waves)

Early in the summer, three brave bloggers conspired to throw their artistic insecurities to the winds and take part in a 'tag swap'. Cathy from Menopausal Musing, Lesley from PrintedMaterial, and me. We selected the topic of 'Beside the Seaside' with four headings: On the Prom, On the Beach, Seaside Memories, Favourite Seaside Resort and every couple of weeks we would send each other a tag illustrating the current heading.

(by Lesley - witty use of paint chips, Scrabble tiles and vintage knitting patterns - what a hunk!)

Part of the intention was to try and challenge ourselves to do something unfamiliar, out of our normal comfort zone.   Making something experimental to send off to someone else was exciting, but it was also rather nerve-wracking, even though I knew  that Lesley and Cathy were not going to be sitting in judgement on what they received.  
(Cathy's sand sculpture at her favourite resort)

We hardly knew each other and I did want to make them tags that they would be pleased to have. Fortunately I did manage to relax and have some fun as the weeks went by! It was amazing to see how we all interpreted the themes: sometimes simultaneously tuning into similar ideas, other times chosing quite unexpected methods.

(by Lesley - heady nostalgia, seashells and starfish)
You can imagine the excitement, nay, impatience, waiting for the postman to arrive with the next tag from the girls.   Two of us had to admit to being ripper-openers-of-parcels and peekers-at-presents, while the third (naming no names, but you might be able to work out who) confessed to being able to 'leave a parcel on the side'! (Chrissie and Cathy scratch heads in utter bewilderment....) 

(by Cathy - who has a worrying tendency to set fire to things..)

We've so enjoyed the experience that we would like to do something similar, not necessarily a tag-swap, and were wondering if anyone else might be interested in joining in?   Do leave a comment on any of our blogs if you would.

I'd be so pleased if you visited Cathy's and Lesley's blogs to see some more examples of the tags that we swapped. It's been so much fun taking part and I feel so lucky to have received some wonderful pieces of original art to enjoy and treasure.  

And, more than that, to have had the opportunity to get to know these two lovely ladies better and to have made some new friends.   What could be more rewarding?

(Lesley's folded book tag taking strolls around Sidmouth, with vintage ladies)

(Cathy's giggly memories of a trip to Bridlington to have her ears pierced)

Monday, 9 August 2010

nice to be home

So we're back from our sojourn in south west France and now you have to suffer the holiday snaps.  

Prayers for a pigeon

trompe l'oeil ladder

shabby chic shutters
chariot of fire


turning to the sun

chez nous (for two weeks)
glimpse on the way to market

tartelette framboise

sunshine softly falling on stone

only the spiders visit

green gathered in the garden

nice to be home  - did you miss me?