Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Covid hankies plus Covid lockdown

Well, we got the news today that we will be going into a 3 day lockdown from 6pm tonight.  We have watched across the country as new cases appeared; as different cities locked down; hearing borders shut with resounding clangs and were pretty sure ours couldn't be too far away.  

We decided on Sunday that we would cancel our next Sunday morning Celebrating Books event - too risky we thought, and we were right.

So, here we are checking that we are prepared and ready to settle into a very tight lockdown with pretty much no excuse for leaving home, and we think are good to go.

I have mentioned before how amazed I am that I still have so much to stitch about; and I thought I'd show an update of my June information gathering.

June was ticking along with quite regular headlines as we watched what was happening down south.

Then the past 5 days things took off across the country. And in such a way that I am quite literally grabbing post it notes and random notepads to try and capture it all. I write one thing, then within hours it changes. This morning on the national broadcaster there were just rolling press conferences by the States, one after the other... 

And I am still finding time to stitch - never as much as I'd like - but who knows, maybe lockdown will see me finish May before July gets here. Cry-laughing at the likelihood of that!

This one makes me laugh - "We're off war-footing now". So many meaningless phrases.

On the good news front this lovely bundle of remnants appeared in the post from ink & spindle (go look, they are gorgeous) so they are there for playing with if needed.

And in further good news, some spring flowers have popped out early to give us some cheer. I think I will be investigating the garden more now we are stuck at home for a few days.

Mind you, I am not complaining about a 3 day lockdown - it is more than manageable for us; it is necessary at the moment and we are fortunate to be safe and well.  I just am so sorry for what it does to small businesses and casual workers and folk with plans when I think we could have avoided it.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Printing, tidying and others

 The last few days have been a bit of a mixed bag.  Barry and I usually alternate at the studio - he does Thursday and Saturday, and I do Friday and Sunday.  I did have a marvellous time printing on Friday; but we both spent both days of the weekend at the studio doing a major studio-blitz. See Barry's blog for the real dirt.

My printing is a bit experimental, using some words of Pauline Prior-Pitt a poet who lives in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

I am still playing with that paper that has the stone and the stitching of ripples on it, so it is turning out to be quite the sampler of things.



But then the weekend came along and it was all hands on deck as we sorted through things in preparation we hope, for a bit of a studio sale - like a carboot sale or a garage sale or...something we can't quite put our finger on; but it will be all the things we no longer need or use; or which simply need to find new homes.

Here are some bits of printing gear that we decided we could let go of.

Here is some furniture for locking up chases all numbered by size now and ordered in a box.

Same with the word furniture - all measured in picas.

We were weary by Sunday evening - having checked every press, every drawer, every cupboard, every box; and tidied up desks, frames, bubble wrap, artworks, paper bags and even under the sink!

When sorting frames I came across this wee one and picked up a cement heart and thought - yes they go together.  So it's now at home waiting to be mounted and popped on our ledge of precious things.

And Sunday late afternoon light on some grevilleas - a golden glow.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

Art is the journey of a free soul. 

Alev Oguz

I wondered about the veracity of this as I skimmed over this quote, then returned.  I thought yes, that is definitely worth pondering.

I wondered at first, if only free souls can be artists? And what is a free soul anyway? Or is it that any art you see is actually just the journey of a free soul; not the intent of a free soul?  And then, is art the only journey of a free soul? Can a free soul do other things?

Perhaps it is just that art happens when you follow along a meandering path, one without too many boundaries and you are free to follow where the work leads you.

Perhaps it is hard to be a rigid artist one who is restricted and limited and not free?  

I do think that it's probable that free souls/spirits are more likely to explore and express and create; but I do somehow think that great art can also be made from within constraints and boundaries.  I guess however, that physical limitations and impositions are overcome by the free thinking or drifting of creativity - of a free soul perhaps?

Somewhat unresolved I must say!

But a beautiful work of art by Cai Guo-Qiang.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Prints and magic by the sea

Whenever we spend time in Scotland I catch myself saying over and over 'the light, the light!!"
The light there is magical and stops me in my tracks time and again.  I feel the same way when we visit the Maroochy River for our mini-breaks.

Each and every time I look up from the couch - I say "oh, look what the light's doing now" kind of thing. Here are a few examples...

And onto the water...

Can you believe this??? Reflected sunset reflected onto the water.

The morning we said farewell.

 And then lucky me.  I was at home on Saturday doing a few bits (washing those tea towels!!!) whilst B was at the studio.  He was printing his 3D plates and was doing really well. You know when you hit the groove and things get into a rhythm and it all just happens?  He was doing great prints and sending me photos and I said - if you get bored, feel free to print mine - and he did!!!

I am so grateful because they are really good prints.  I would have mucked around for ages and wasted paper and ink and not ended up with as many goodies as I did had I done it myself.

 So on Sunday I returned the favour and printed the titles on the front, and the postcard and press on the back; on both mine and his - team effort!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Even more bits and pieces

 Although I am not pushing one big project forward at the moment, I am dipping into many it seems and definitely enjoying the time! This, that and the others is pretty much how things are rolling...

This - continuing to wrap pebbles with thread and wondering about whether they look OK with this more formal crossed pattern.

And if the formality works with the organic waviness of the marks on the paper.

And then what happens if you play around with stitching ripples.  Tighter or looser? My answer was tighter.

That - still stitching those hankies.  Here is April complete - yay!

Tracing May.

Selecting May's thread colour.

The others - I printed a heap of tea towels and they are taking ages to dry and to set.  I ironed them all on Saturday and was still worried about the marks that had transferred between them when I had had to clear the drying table and fold and stack them before they were ready. I thought I had lost the lot really as there were so many erroneous inky marks.  So home they went and they all got washed to see if a) the main game was set; and b) if the unwanted marks might disappear.

And yay to that.

Clearly a lot of ironing awaits me once more; but I can now sell them confidently knowing that they are in pretty good shape.

Except for this one - the first I printed when I had folded the sides back and out of the way to print, only to find that of course they changed the pressure and I kind of got unintended stripes!  Free to a good home!!!

The other others...

I think this is my best loaf so far. Need to keep practising!

And here I am charging our car at the very first EV charging station in town at the Maple St Coop!!! They are yet to trim the grass, (love a country town) but we were very keen to try it out.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

"People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading". 

Logan Pearsall

I can't honestly express how much this one resonates with me! I am sitting here almost cry-laughing at it and nodding enthusiastically to myself.

We are just back from another mini-break. We headed to Maroochy River once more, to our favourite haunt with the intention to do nothing more than sit and read, look up and see what the water and the light were doing, then head back down and read some more.  
The routine is up and brekky; read, then wander off on a visit, explore or shop, back for lunch, read, dinner, read, head to bed, read.

Indeed, people might say life the life is this thing - but reading, well it pretty much does it for me!

A stunning sunset on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Stitching Paper

Having played with the hi tech world o f 3D printing, it was back to the real me - sitting and slowly poking holes in paper...

The paper is quite heavy (around 800gsm) and 5.5cm square.

I dot up a 0.5cm grid with pencil. And then pierce each hole with an awl.

With no stitching plan in mind, I take needle and thread and stitch.

This way and that; some work better than others.

And then I wonder what to do with them.

This way and that.

That way and this.

Who knows?


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Printing 3D printing plates

Well, it was time to print the plates we had printed...

I must admit the printing of plates printed by 3D tends to become a bit of a word-warp for me!

Because the printer lays the filament down in lines, some lines are evident on the top surface when you do the first roll with the brayer.

So you go a  bit heavier and in the direction of the lines to fill the gaps. And of course make a mark or two on your plate which you have to clean off!

And then you print. Pretty happy with this wee one. The paper was damp, and the pressure pretty light and the combo worked well. The ink needs to be sticky/tacky - we used Sakura oil based and cleaned the plate later with vegetable oil and hot soapy water.

Before I inked I wanted to check how the plate might emboss. Our first run was a bit heavy and creased the paper.

The second run with less pressure produced  a lovely image.

I managed to 3D print a second plate - this time a Heilan Coo. Sometimes known as a Highland Cow.

One thing I have learned is that my tendency towards to lightness does not always translate into the print - my fine lines can be too fine and some bits can get missed.

I also wanted to see what happened to the print if you didn't do the bit in between printing and printing - the filing and sanding of the surface.

And I am glad I checked - because it really does make a difference.

And I really enjoyed cleaning off my plate on a phone book page, and the loveliness of the random marks on the paper.

Thanks again to Noosa Council and Noosa RADF grants for the opportunity to do this workshop.  We have both become members of the Makers Space there and can see that we will do more...