Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Little Hope and Wanderlust

With one project now properly concluded, finally sewn on the backing fabric, I can now really start to concentrate on the new piece, 'Hope'. There was a bit of a stumble with getting the pace and flow of this piece, but I am starting to get somewhere with it now. Two letters are near complete and the shapes, and curves of the letters are working better, though I say that, and looking at the shot below I am still a bit iffy about the top part of the 'H' but we'll leave it for now and see how the other letters look before I start messing with it any more. It is yet more split stitching, and two colours merging into one another. 

Once all the lettering is complete then I'll start to look at the border, which I envisage to be made up of oodles of little eyelets, and star-bursts in various shades of purples, lilacs, and pinks. 

This week I even made my way back to the Royal Academy, one evening after work, to check out the newest exhibitions, 'Wanderlust' on the works of Joseph Cornell. One thing I would say, if you are planning on visiting it does involve walking  up several flights of stairs, frosted glass stairs...which for me wasn't the best thing to be walking down (not a fan of any glass stairs, frosted or not *shudder*). 

Now onto his work. I'll admit I had never heard of the man nor seen any of his work before. This I feel is somewhat of an oversight on my part as his works are extraordinary. In more than one ways. Fantastical and whimsical. Makes you wish you could lay your hands on just a fraction of his paper ephemera collection. The lengths he went to construct some of his works are amazing. I was especially drawn to 'The Crystal Cage (Portrait of Berenice), 1943, not least for the work itself but it was the layers of back story that he constructed around the story of the girl called Berenice. 

I also rather liked the astronomy based works as they pull me back to my love of maps and navigation.

If you get the chance, perhaps combine it with going to see the Summer Exhibition at the RA, go and take an hour out of your time to view. Oh, and take a minute to watch the video of a man boxing with a Kangeroo...

Additional links

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Flowering Love Completed

Not bad for just around 4 weeks worth of work! (Not 24hrs a day mind you!)

If you have been following me on Instagram feed then you will already seen that I have completed a rather lush piece of embroidery. Which I have since decided to call 'Flowering Love' a little smushy perhaps but I think it rather suits it. 

The pictures don't entirely do it justice as the colours are so rich and bright, which is why I have decided to have this piece professionally scanned so that I can turn the finished design into GiclĂ©e prints. A new area I am venturing in but one that I think, or at least hope, will turn out rather well. It will be good to at least get professional shot taken, there only so much you can do with an iPod Touch and a Nikon camera without the knowledge, and some additional assistance to make it work.

 Sometimes, sometimes it pays to get someone who knows what they are do it. 

I am in the process of mounting the piece up so once that is done I am going to get the printing sorted out. Which will in time include set of greetings cards and I think that it's high time I had some new mirrors made up. If you are interested in knowing more then do sign up to the newsletter (which I've not done one in a rather loooong time, but it's time to reinvent it and make use of it again). Also the original piece will, eventually, be available to purchase.

So, so many stitches went into building up the border. Lazy daisy, straight stitches, beads, eyelets and so on, and so forth. Think I went a little blind to all the colours in the end.

Rather unusually I managed to mount it up with little need of adjustments, and it's so flat it's nearly a miracle! Well, perhaps just a nice surprise. 

On the back I opted for a bit of retro Liberty Tana Lawn cotton print. Just because I can. I will be making up a hand sewn label on the back in due course.

Whilst I finish of the mounting of 'Flowering Love', I've also started work on my follow up piece, 'Hope'. I hadn't expected to have the chance to do that but the materials came sooner than I had anticipated, so that was again, another nice surprise!

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Studio Visit - Joumana Medlej

The internet is a bit of a strange beast, but through it I have come to make some very good friends, link up with oodles of creative souls and share their work and my own. Sometimes I have actually met some of the folks and continue to do so. Recently I had the opportunity to meet someone whose work I've followed for sometime now, years if not a decade via Deviant Art...she was the reason I ended up on Etsy too. 

That person being the super multi-talented Joumana Medlej, doing anything from illustration to digital games. The work that I have been especially drawn to is her calligraphy especially being a bit of a fan of all things typography based. Not that you would ever know.

I popped along to her open studio day last Sunday, 28th June, in London. It really was an honour to get the chance to meet her and to see her work in the flesh, honestly photographs don't always do it justice. 

Part of her London studio, lovely amount of space and light

Just some of the equipment she looking into a apothecary (you know, a word that I have always had issues with saying aloud)

Also, gave me the chance to pick up a few pieces for the flat, which was fantastic. Can't wait to get these framed and up on the wall, they will be going pride of place in my bedroom...well once I've finished decorating it (so close).

I have to admit, I am not sure how I missed it, as I do have a tendency to get distracted, but I missed the fact she was in London and had been for sometime. So I have Instagram to thanks for helping me to see she had the open studio day! Gawd love social media.

It was a lovely opportunity and I'll certainly pop along to another one of her open days, and maybe I'll get the time to do one of her calligraphy classes, that would be amazing!

You can follow Joumana's work, and travels too (she does take some cracking photographs):