I first heard about the ‘694 Labels’ project from Debbie Bryan back in December. ‘694 Labels’ is a community project, co-led by Debbie Bryan and local artist Joy Pitts. Joy creates stunning large scale pictures and sculptures using clothing labels; you can take a gander at her work here.
Debbie and Joy have hosted a number of events across nottingham inviting individuals to participate by embroidering/sewing their name onto lace strips. These strips will eventually be turned into a 3D tiered cake and will tour around a number of venues around Nottingham, including the Nottingham Contemporary, Broadway Arts Cinema and King George Gallery, Ilkeston.
Last month, Joy ran a workshop for students at the school I work for. Sadly, I wasn’t around to attend the workshop. But luckily a colleague held a few blank labels for me to embroider. Here is my attempt.
Firstly, allow me to apologise for my terrible and wonky hand sewing (I havn’t tried to sew like this in quite sometime). Despite the obvious technical flaws, I am feeling quite proud of my little labels. Originally planning to only sew Thomas and my name, I am really pleased I was able to get the names of my two hamsters in too! I love that my little family will be part of such a fun project!
If you would like to contribute to the project, please contact Joy via her website here.
From reading Joy’s blog, the sculpture will be touring from May/June 2014. Can’t wait to see it completed! I will post nearer the time with offical tour dates and locations.
Despite been super busy of late, I have recently been enjoying some small drawing projects.
This cheeky little illustration was for Illustration Friday’s subject last week: wheel. As I am currently learning to drive my mind immediately jumped to car wheels and associated things. But no sooner had I started sketching, my hamster woke up and started running in his wheel. Well, I much prefer drawing animals than vehicle parts any day!
I don’t usually use paints, let alone watercolours. But I really enjoyed painting this little hamster.
I’ll post in a couple of days some more watercolour experiments.
I’m rather aware that I haven’t blogged for quite some time. I have been meaning to post more updates here, but that just hasn’t happened for one reason or another.
I would like to tell you that I have been off on some wild adventure; perhaps circumnavigating the world seas in an inflatable dingy for charity or helping the needy in deprived communities… However, this would be a lie. Unfortunately the reality is somewhat more mundane. So where have I been? Mostly working (boo), learning to drive and seeing friends. I have been doing some creative things when I have had a spare evening:
The exciting thing was the recent exhibition (between January and May) at Mumedi:Design Museum in Mexico, after being shortlisted in an international competition. Mexico was a little too far to go just to see my picture hanging on a wall, so via the power of facebook, you can see a very tiny skewed shot of it here:
I have been busy baking and have started picking up cake orders from various colleagues at my day job. They have included large birthday cakes, easter cakes and (what feels like millions) of cupcakes. Here are a few cake shots from the last few months:
My knitting education continues, albeit very slowly. Here is my latest challenge: learning Fair Isle. Or in my case, wonky Fair Isle:
I have also been sewing a lot lately. It must be the impending summer weather (I hope). It makes me lust over light, floaty cotton dresses. Last weekend I made a cute dotty skirt. I stole the pattern (and the zip) from an old skirt that I was going to throw out. It had gotten so ratty that a charity shop wouldnt have taken it. I love getting something so exciting and new from old clothes. I really love how swishy and full this skirt is and i’ve kept the pattern pieces. It was so easy I’m sure that I will make more.
I was also throwing out an old top which had been washed and worn so much the colour had totally worn out and the seams were getting pretty weak. It seemed such a shame as it was such a great shape. So I ripped the seams (new found love for my quick unpick), picked out a cute summery cotton print and now I have a fab new top! Hurrah!
Just a quick post tonight as it’s late and I’m back at the day job tomorrow.
I decided to get back into the design competition groove this week after reading about MUMEDI’s ‘To Death With A Smile 2011’ Competition. The brief caught my eye: “It is about death, a personal consideration or approach, the meaning in your own culture, how we fear, celebrate ir deal with it. It can be reflected in a serious or playful way.”
Without sounding morbid/emo teenager, I think death is an interesting subject matter. It is a universal truth but its something that everyone has a very personal response to. Just so we’re clear; I’m not religious in any way. I don’t follow a belief system. Regardless I’ve always had a hard time trying to define how I feel about it.
I was watching one of prof Brian Cox’s documentaries (Wonders of the Universe), and I was struck by how beautiful his description of how he viewed life and death. I can’t actually express it in a better way, so I quote him instead “… Every atom in my body was once part of something else. So, an ancient tree, or a dinosaur, or a rock, in fact definitely a rock. And the reason that the rocks of the Earth can become living things, and then living things will return to the rocks of the Earth, is because everything is made from the same basic ingredients. Those ingredients are the chemical elements. The building blocks of everything on Earth. Everything in the world is made up of the same basic sets of chemical elements, just assembled in different ways…”
I think this is beautiful. It’s the nearest thing I’ve heard/read that captures how I feel. I like the idea that my body could have been somethign else, and just because I die, my body will again become somethign else. I hope my illustration captures this.
It’s late and I could ramble on forever, so I’m making the conscious effort to stop and just show you my picture. I’ll pop it in the post in the morning.
I am feeling all proud this month, as I have learnt a new skill (kind of).
Knitting has always been something that has evaded me. I vaguely remember trying to learn at school once and I remember sitting on my grandma’s knee and trying to copy her. But I was always hopeless. Everything about knitting felt complicated and confusing. All the looping, and catching threads, and counting stitches….made my mind melt. I think as a child I had resigned myself to the fact that me and knitting were simply not meant to be.
After years of looking forlornly at the knitting department in craft shops and filling with wonder (and jealously) as my friends revealed exquisitely knitted cashmere jumpers. I decided that as winter was drawing near, I would at least try and knit a scarf. So with the help of youtube, Ravelry and the ‘knitting lady’ from Rowan in John Lewis (sorry I don’t know your name, but you are a legend!) I have managed to knit a scarf! Yay!
And I’ve now developed a bit of an obsession. Looks like everyone’s getting knitwear for Christmas…..
Today I was having a discussion with a colleague who commented on the current value of letter writing/sending post in a world driven by shiny instant technology. She was of the opinion that in a few years time post/letter writing will become a thing of the past. This made me pause and think. How ridiculous! I love writing letters and sending parcels to my friends and family.
It made me think of an illustrator called Harriet Russell. She published a fab book a little while ago called ‘Envelopes’ which was a project where numerous envelopes were posted via Royal Mail with disguised addresses. Sometimes the destination was hidden in a crossword, sometimes the address was written in mirror writing…no matter how cryptic the design the envelope still reached its destination nearly every time.
In the book there is a foreword from Royal Mail:
“…This book highlights how the Royal Mail’s postmen and women often go beyond the call of duty to deliver poorly addressed mail. Each week they successfully deliver 15 million badly addressed letters, and our Return Letter Centre-where items are opened with the hope of finding a return address-handles a further 72 million undeliverable items a year…”
Here are some of my favorite envelopes from Harriet Russell’s book:
Here are a few of my decorated envelopes:
If you enjoyed these you should also check out Post Secret.
After the success of the Derby Etsy Craft Party last month, we decided to do regular meet ups. This evening we got together at QUAD to learn how to make felt brooches with the lovely Britta from JaguarSnail.
Here are a few of her awesome brooches (note the crazy good beading detail).
I decided to make a cupcake brooch out of felt and appliquéd cotton:
The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur for me. A super fun and exciting blur!
A few weeks ago I went to the annual international Etsy Craft Party held by the Derby Etsians. I haven’t met any of these crafters before (and kind of turned up unannounced) but was really pleased to have made the trip. The lovely Bee from This is Bazaar organised the whole shindig and it was a real success. I met some very talented souls, here are a few snaps from the evening to feast your eyes upon:
Remember me? No? Im not surprised. I’ve been very absent from Blog-land for some time. My grip on time/outside world tends to bend and slither out of my control sometimes. I’ll quite often start an evening with a bit of sewing and before I know it my clock tells me its 2 am and I have to be at work in 6 hours. Not my favorite scenario, but a situation I find myself in frequently. I’m working on it. Promise.
Anyway, I think an update is long overdue.
Recently my world has looked like this:
I think pictures are better than my fumbled words. Here’s a few snapshots of some of the things I’ve been working on:
Shadow Puppets for a proposal for some funding to run community art workshops.
Whats that? More Cushions? Certainly.
A new sundress-Made from cream broderie anglaise. Fully lined. 28 piece pattern.
First ever attempt at a maxi dress-I made the pattern up as I went along. Risky. Learnt my lesson. Never again.
The neckline (front and back) is ruffled and hand finished.