Friday, July 23, 2010

Quilting Books

I haven't sewn for at least a month, but have been creative with my sketchbook.  I signed up for the Brooklyn Art Library  Sketchbook Project 2011 Tour as a push to myself to focus a bit more on learning to draw.  The Sketchbook has 80 pages to be completed by January 2011 - so far I've done 16.  I need to develop the habit of drawing something everyday.  My theme is "Figuring You Out".  The 'You' of this for me, is figuring out how to draw.

I'm finding it is making me look more closely at details, particularly on faces and the way the lines of the mouth behave in certain expression.  Will work on getting some pictures up so you can see.

Today's image is my Quilting Book shelf - every book or magazine on this shelf, has some connection to quilting.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

NZ$2.99 Vege & Chicken Soup!

Can you believe this - a box of veges for NZ$2.99 - all of course slightly damage,but mostly only bruising.  Probably in the worst state was the parsley - being a bit withered.  It has made the most  beautiful soup, with great flavours and the addition of ground black pepper and caraway seeds has given it some winter warmth.  mmm, mmmm.  That's my creativity for the day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Paints, Dyes and Pencils

I've been playing with dye and watercolour paint mixed and painting the pages of two new sketchbooks.  One is going to be for a series of work around the Great Wall of China, that I'm wanting to make a quilt about at some point in the future.  The other is a Sketchbook to go into The Brooklyn Art Library's 2011 Sketchbook Project.  More about that probably in future posts.  Its  challenge to myself, so I put time aside to sit down and develop my drawing skills - I'm a novice learner when it comes to drawing.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Last Breath

I began this piece in 2009 after seeing the centre black and white fabric.  The end result isn't too different from the original sketch.  I changed the stitching of black on white to white on black and left the woven white fabric alone.

Quilting intuitively often means following what feels right at the time of quilting, and letting the piece speak for itself.  I did a third of it then stopped completely, because my eyesight deterioated by 0.25% and suddenly I couldn't see black on black at night and never had daylight hours to do this.  Two weeks ago I was sick for four days and had invested in new glasses an found a new inspiration for getting this finished.

This piece is called Last Breath and was quilted while thinking alot about my friend Peter Crosbie.  He has lung cancer, but his life and the enthusiasm with which he has embraced it and the opportunities it has given him, is inspiring.  I will always remember him telling me about his trip to Machu Pichu (when he was in his sixties I think).  Rather than take the tourist bus down the mountain, he hurled himself off down the side with the local kids, racing the bus to the bottom!

Old Friends and New Friends

I've finally walked my last hiking mile in my old Ecco Friends.  I've had these vibram soled hiking shoes for eight years and I've worn them almost every day.  I've walked so many miles in them that the sole has a hole and can't be replaced .  They are so comfy, its hard to trade them in for the new ones, who are showing themselves off - looking like they are ready to go dancing.

I'd thoroughly recommend this brand as I wear them like trainers, for walking and hiking and they have been incredible value for money, costing me on average about NZ$50 per year.  By comparrison a pair of trainers would only do me a year.  The new ones are made of Yak leather - apparently three times stronger than ordinary leather.  The leather on the old ones never wore out, so I figure the soles on these will be their demise as well - hopefully in about another ten years time!