Friday, February 26, 2010
Going off on a tangent.................
Hi dear friends,
Funny how tangents get in the way of everything else you had planned. They get a grip and won't let go until you get them out of your system. This week it was just making stripy felt and what effects you could get with the same yarns with different coloured backgrounds.
What are they for? Who knows! Does it really matter? Of course not!!
Testing yarns for felted strength - not all yarns are great felted. The higher the percentage of wool the better.
Neutrals for a change
Flat ribbony yarns and thick slubby yarns.
Like furrows in a field
The trouble in this creative life, is getting caught up in the almighty dollar. Fresh, lovely and original ideas evaporate in worries about production and supply, commissions and orders.
So this week to all you fab friends creating out there - find time to experiment, to try something new. Work in different colours, add a new element. Try a different shape, try an old idea in a different size. Work outside, work with friends.
We make art because we have to, that is the sort of folk we are - but do we have to be so driven that time to just have fun - with no thought for the outcome is overlooked?
I hope not!
Posted by Elizabeth Armstrong at Friday, February 26, 2010 12 comments:
Friday, February 19, 2010
The beauty of stitch
Hi dear friends,
You know the nature of stitch is so honest and beautiful. It never fails to delight me. Like many things that are intrinsically beautiful you can never fully explain what it is that touches you about them - to me it is a hidden soul that allows you to glimpse it now and then.
Like wood that is so very much a spirit house and holds such depth of feeling.
If you look in and around your home you will find there are items that you have just loved forever. They travel with you no matter where you shift to. Sometimes when you find a new item you seem to see into it - a piece with such value because of how it makes you feel.
I strive to create work that holds these elements and the use of stitch, both hand and machine, helps to facilitate this.
If you are a feltmaker, consider adding machine and/or hand stitching - you can turn a ho hum piece of work into something really special.
I hope that your endeavours are bringing you much satisfaction this week in whatever medium you are currently addicted to!
Posted by Elizabeth Armstrong at Friday, February 19, 2010 14 comments:
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Standing in the shallows
Hello dear friends,
I must firstly say a big, warm welcome and THANKYOU to everyone who has signed on to follow my blog. I am really touched! Cross your fingers I say something of some vague interest.
Well this is the piece I have been working on this week. After each night peering into boxloads of threads - that no matter how much I stitch seems to say at the staus quo, it is finally finished.
Title: Standing in the shallows
It measures about 90cm long and about 40cm wide. I really enjoyed it and will probably add to this as a series. Created in 100% beloved merino. All carded from the scraps found in many receptacles in the studio!
There is a strong element of the organic in felting -the way it comes together, the way it stands alone with very little decoration. I am so very conscious of trying not to spoil it all with overworking with the needle and thread. Many is the time I have pulled sections out because I couldn't stop. In my eagerness to use "that" thread with a certain bit of felt just because it matched.
Mum has said to me for years - "Just because you've got it, doesn't mean you have to use it!"
Now it rings in my ears as well!
Hoping your weekend has been just lovely
Posted by Elizabeth Armstrong at Sunday, February 14, 2010 14 comments:
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Leaves and Gardens
Busy in the studio today - finished a piece of felt which has turned out to be a garden. The great thing about garden pieces is that you can stitch them, either by hand or machine or both, as much as you like.
One thing I have noticed however is that stitching onto felt is best left as simply as possible. I can recall pieces where I did intricate stitching, looking up Victorian stitches in old books and in the end I was really quite unhappy with the result.
Getting ready to stitch. It will probably take a good few weeks to do - which doesn't matter in the slightest!
Assorted hand spun yarns felted in.
Oh yes I meant to mention - this is the carded wool which I was so excited about at the end of January (see Utilising Scrap )
These are the silk leaves from the other day now stitched into position. I just love adding silk paper cutouts to other pieces of work. They add such sparkle and somehow give a lovely floaty quality above the background. Funny though, I made this piece of silk paper one day when I made a pile to have in stock. It has been waiting for the right home for absolutely ages!
I often do that. Making extra elements for fun knowing that one day they will come in handy.
I really had no idea what I would do with this piece of silk paper but am pleased it has finally been used. This is my year to use stuff up!
Piecing is all done and here are the threads I have selected for the hand stitching.
Starting to all come together!
Well the weather bureau PROMISED - I mean PROMISED rain and it all bypassed us. Can someone please tell me why it is that we know about every dint on the surface of the moon and can tell what is happening on Mars and in galaxies at the back of beyond but "they" never get the local weather right?
Oh well, here's hoping for tomorrow!
Posted by Elizabeth Armstrong at Wednesday, February 10, 2010 6 comments:
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Earthy felt and tomoatoes!
You may recall the other day I was laying out these rich colours of the earth. Here is the result felted. You can see that dyed cheesecloth/muslin just adores being felted to a woolen ground.
A variety of hand spun yarns create a great knobbly texture and always give surprising results.
I got to thinking that this is really the essence of felting. The delightful surprises that reveal themselves in the last processes of the technique. If you have never felted and feel the urge to try I think that this is the key element to understand. With many disciplines you have a fairly clear idea about the end result, with felting there is much that is unclear when you set out. Certainly there is a visual result you are trying to achieve - but there is much that waits until the final curtain call.
I love this element of magic so much - if I really stop to think about it - it is why I continue to felt. Surely, whatever discipline you have selected, then a little magic each day you work at it is crucial! Don't you think?
These tomatoes were collected this evening - about 7kg!!!!! I am turning it all into sauce in the morning for the up coming months for pasta etc. NO sprays just sheep manure and water.
Like life really, the simpler the better!
The dark ones are Russian tomatoes and the yellow ones are acid free in case tomatoes don't agree with your tummy!
Gorgeous colours though!
See you soon
Posted by Elizabeth Armstrong at Sunday, February 07, 2010 10 comments:
Saturday, February 6, 2010
How lucky am I?
Hi dear friends,
Just a quick line to let you know that today was quite special. As you know our adopted cat Nelly has been with us since last August. Well finally today, after many sniffs around the studio, over a lengthy period, she decided to make herself comfy.
I always think that an animal at peace in the studio is a very good sign. Well this morning she got to listen to Bach and Handel for hours and actually started snoring!!!! I won't tell her though, she might get embarrassed.
This is what I made whilst she dreamt on the seat. Silk paper cut into leaves.
Hand stitching still progressing...........................
Boy oh boy I love the macro facility on the camera - it is particularly useful for studying stitching.
A blissfully cool night - I am away to my bed..........................................
Lots of love to everyone
Posted by Elizabeth Armstrong at Saturday, February 06, 2010 7 comments:
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Well struggling through more hot weather has sent me into the studio, which many of you will know is under the house. The temperature is very even all year and just wonderful for escaping the hot northerly winds.
As a result I have been managing to get a bit done. As you know last week I was mad about carding wool - well it got so addictive I have been through every box, tub, shoebox and bag to locate any possible leftover fleece that could be added to the pile.
I am so lucky I now have batts ready for felting - for no particular project - just the luxury of them waiting to be something, someday is just wonderful!
I so love rainbow shades - they are just so energizing! Don't you think?
It would appear that I have been hard at work planning a stunning colourway -
DON"T YOU BELIEVE IT!!! I just used what was at hand - so very liberating somehow.
On reflection it was amazing how many spots I found odd handfuls of wool scrap leftovers.
At least I can't imagine there is wool somewhere under the table in a bag - there just isn't!
Hoping that wherever you are, your week is filled with colour,
Posted by Elizabeth Armstrong at Thursday, February 04, 2010 6 comments:
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