Sunday, July 31, 2011


These are some of the images from this months challenge using my sitting room chair as the starting point.
Dale chose a chair & this was not comething that I would have ever even considered.  I barely ever look at the stitching of the bottle green leather or the patterns on the wood work now-a-days & I have fallen in 'love' again with my furniture!!
So for the final challenge piece I chose to use the colours in the chair.  Remember a few Sundays ago when Dal was naughty & didnt do a piece & I did the piece on Evolon?  Well this is what I chose for my background
I used 3 weights of Lutradur, as this was todays challenge & stamped one piece, rubbed another & sprayed some more with Dales yummy sprays Teal & Lime
I freeform stitched with FS thread & then set about using the Siron
All the pieces were collated onto felt & 30 weight brown lutradur & then stitched again with Supertwist thread, I applied the words burnt out with the attachments to the Siron & then burnt away the
The collage shows some of the processes involved in creating this final piece

I have really enjoyed this challenge & working with Dale & am looking forward to our new challenge on Wednesday

last effort for chairs

Didn't quite finish up as I imagined but it has been an interesting month playing with an old chair in the garden. I think I like things more filled in myself but it has been a challenge. For my last little effort I sprayed three weights of Lutradur and stamped my stamp on the surface but rather than stitch I decided to use my creative versa tool (unlike Shelagh I do not own a mountain of tools) and mark make the circles.
As a result - I wonder why I layered up because the hot tool actually melded all layers together which negated the fact that I was planning to expose the underneath but it did leave me with a very firm piece of fabric. I rubbed over the surface with Gleam.

I am sure Shelagh will finish with an exotic bang.

Come back on Wednesday and what we are playing with for August. I am hoping to make life easier for myself this time around.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Repetition is one of the DESIGN PRINCIPLES.
Following on from the 'take one motif & repeat' & knowing what we are doing tomorrow, I decided to make my stamp IN RELIEF, this is the negative of the design.  Dales is the positive - the actual design is raised- my design is incised.  I chose a 3 inch square piece of balsa wood & used one of my eight (yep how did THAT happen) pyrography pens or now called a soldering iron.  I actually call it a SIRON.
I used a fine tip but not as fine as for working on fabric
The wood grain resembles the actual wood on my chair
The edges have been compressed, I did not want a perfectly square stamp.  The parts that will print are the areas WITHOUT the marks

This is a translation - this means that the stamp is repeated exactly, then it has been half-dropped.  A method very evident on wallpaper & fabrics
Pink & green Versacolor stamp pad here

Stazon red with the image rotated & placed at one of  'the rule of thirds' positions

I do love to layer effects & this is the start of building layered repetition

Another layer this time the motif has been rotated back to the original orientation, & purple Stazon used
I have not kept to the 5 minute rule here
Sunday will see stitching & the end of using the chair as a starting point.
August will see another inspiration - chosen by Dale!

Friday, July 29, 2011

playing with the doodle

I stitched my doodle onto some form-a-foam and use a ColourBox stamp pad to print on my page. Tool me a little more than 5 minutes because I had to stitch first.So it is going to be a bit of stitch to print and print to stitch if you think about it.

then I printed onto my page - finally for me - something is happening.

Be interesting to see what Shelagh comes up with. On Sunday we will be spending more than 5 minutes because I think we are stitching, layering and burning and it is our last day on the chair. See you then.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

doodling and repeating

I am a day late with my doodle - we had lightning and thunder last night and Ian turned the modem off and it has taken me this long to get back. I used my lovely sennelier oil pastels and repeated the little motif from the chair. Five minutes still goes quickly.

We will be back tomorrow using this doodle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Not an easy media to do detail work.  I have used Karat Aquarelle crayons as I am in the middle of re-organising my studio & storage room, these were easy to grab
Dale has made todays decision to do a doodle with one repeated element
I choose a black & magenta crayon, have no idea why just the magenta seemed to shout pick me!!
I chose the spiral carved into the wood of my chair
Its evening here in England, so Dale must be asleep, I guess something must have happened

Thursday, July 21, 2011

an element of my chair

Shelagh said for us to take an element today with crayons so I thought I would have a break from the swirls and look at the ground - each leg has a round bottom to it all slightly rusty these days from being left outside for so long. I used Caran D'Ache Neocolours and tried to get a bit of the rust going.

I am teaching in Esperance this weekend so won't be here on Sunday and we are supposed to have the day off but knowing Shealgh she will probably sneak something in - if she does I will be back on Monday.....


One of my very favourite observation techniques is to look very closely at a subject matter.  I love macro photography where the actual object is photographed in such minute detail that it is the texture that overwhelmes the subject matter
The same can be done with art
Here I have peered very closely onto one of the studs in my chair, the same ones as the string from yesterday
Again 5 minutes makes quick loose marks & I quickly washed over it with my spent fruit teabag from breakfast.  I actually use these quite often as they give a softer pinky glow instead of normal tea bags which give a creamy sometimes dirty look to the water soluble pencils.  These are Caran D'ache
I have tried to capture the spherical form, with the ligh source from the right hand side
I may post further whilst Dale is away, so check back to see what I am up to
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cats away

Watch out the mouse will play!

a void in a chair

I have lots of spaces in my chair which one day will have a seat again. It's raining so it had to come indoors to be looked at.

 5 mins to do a little negative colouring in with a green prismacolour and I went over time with my colouring. Tut tut - some of these spaces need to start overlapping.

I think we are doing Friday's whatever tomorrow because I shall be away for the weekend and Shelagh wants a holiday on Sun - ha ha (weird - thought it was you off on a jaunt)


My chair is solid! Not see through like Dales, so the negative shapes are only to do with tones. I did a sketch with Caran D'ache pencils, which looks like a patchwork & I will post it on my blog HERE
The sketch above was of the studs around one of the areas of the chair
Yesterday Ruth bought me a BLENDER pencil & I have used it here on the dark areas, it is a fabulous tool.
The shading in the centre part is a little bit lighter than around the edges, look how the blender grabs the pigment and accentuates the shading. I used just 4 pencils for this 2 browns, dark red & yellow & am pleased with a very hurried sketch - 5 minutes does not get any longer - phew!
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Sunday, July 17, 2011


I am not feeling too well today, so this is today's offering at the altar of Dale

If you join my newsletter over on my blog HERE

Then I will put a step by step & stitch (when I do it) into my next newsletter.  Guess what the fabric is? & the rubbing media & the colouring media?

good news - a rubbing at last

Today we were allowed to abandon the drawing and do a rubbing. I did my rubbing on lightweight Lutradur (30gsm) using a silver iridescent Shiva stick and then I sprayed it with a Starburst Spray - Tibetan Poppy - it is interesting how it appears to have picked up a rust type colour but it really didn't.
The spray was still wet when I photographed it but I liked the effect - you can see which part of the chair I chose for my rubbing.

Then I popped it on a piece of Kunin felt since I have been working on that today, and stitched it and then carved it out with the Versa tool -I finished it off with some copper paint here and there. This could be an interesting slip. You could have a series of them or they could be used for something raised on a surface. An idea for further work.

Wonder what Shelagh has done?

Friday, July 15, 2011


It seems that my errant 'pupil' thought it was rubbings & not charcoal pencil - hoho, will have to do two now

I sound like goody two shoes - I had done my drawing this morning & just now had to do a rubbing

All very confusing - so if you are following along with us.  Today is two things.

Charcoal pencil drawing of the PLAN view again of the chair & a rubbing of part of the chair.  I did the rubbing onto sizoflor which is like the 30 weight Lutradur, I chose pink cause hey I could not be bothered to hunt further than what was around in the studio.
I rubbed with my red iridescent Sennelier oil pastel
This was the pattern on part of the wood

The actual challenge was this!!!

The plan view of part of the leather using my new Derwent charcoal pencils, two greens, a brown & a black
Urgent marks trying to get depth, time ran away before the seat was finished.  I smudged then with my finger.
After time I tried using a burnisher pencil that I bough on the really dark area, which worked well, but I only did a small bit.
The restriction of A6 paper is just as well in such a short time frame.  But I have some ideas on what to do about that in a further challenge
Now to go & see just what Dale has done with her fabulous chair.
I am spying my mums chair in the kitchen & maybe back later with a quick 'slip in'

bad Dale once again

Shelagh will have a wonderful drawing done using graphite pencil and I could not find mine no matter where I looked so I used charcoal which she said not to use - see me back tomorrow for detention and another try. Thank goodness for Sunday - I am looking forward to that one - of course Shelagh has done all the prep of course and I have not.....
This took 5 minutes because I had to hunt for my pen and then my charcoal and I climbed on the chair and almost fell off and I had to drag my chair indoors because it is raining and dark.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


What we both hate - but necessary - is pencil sketching.  In preparation I visited the local art shop & purchased a pencil - new to me called ONYX
Graphite (pencil) I thought it would be a good idea to try something new.

5 minutes....................
WHO on earth decided 5 minutes for a pencil sketch?

We were to draw the plan view.  Well my chair weighs a ton so I stood on a dining chari with the camera on the ceiling to get this picture

The chair is green.
I then debated as to if I could draw standing on a dining chair & decided that I am rubbish at pencil sketching anyway so have a go, 10 seconds in I gave up
I drew these images each in 5 minutes from the little screen on my DSLR camera stitting down!!

Obviously the camera was on its side
Well I think I might have captured a bit of depth.  The pencil was really sharp & it produced lovely marks, I used my finger to smudge where I had no time to shade

Feeling frustrated at such a poor sketch - I reset the clock & tackled just a small part of the image, this was on one piece of A6 using the same pencil - ONYX.  I am impressed by the pencil & am much happier with this end result
In a strange way I quite like the urgent, free, unconsidered marks achieved by the short time span
Thank goodness that one is out of the way!!
Now to see what Dale has done from on top of her table!!

drawing from the top

this chair is not an easy friend at all and this drawing from the top with a 2B pencil was hard to do and the 5 minutes shot by fast as before. Plus I had to actually stand on a chair and then get back off it again. Now I read something about 2 drawings - you have to be joking Shelagh - I am off to stitch to get that cover made - maybe mine will have a woven sari background?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dale day 5

I didn't read anything about a book cover - typical student doesn't listen or pay attention -I printed my 4 little drawings on Jacquard cotton and cut one out

then I stitched and after 8 minutes remembered something about layers and I think she said organza but I couldn't find any fast but I did spot some netting on the floor and popped that over and stitched a bit more.

Obviously I am an example of an inattentive pupil and may have to repeat this and stay behind in class. But I don't know how Shelagh had time to edge that piece - I usually do but there were no minutes left. Perhaps the clock goes faster down under. My prep involved turning my laptop on, plugging everything in, scanning my pieces, making a collage in PSP and printing them out. That long.....


Today's challenge is to use our previous drawings.  Print out onto fabric & using sheer layers make a book cover for our CHAIR challenge book.
No time limit set on the prep
10 minutes only to stitch

Here is a short TUTORIAL

I have used the images from Days 2, 3 & 4
Days 2 & 3 were printed onto cotton fabric from  The deeper image from day 3was printed onto cotton that is washable & the lighter image from day 2 was printed onto un-washable cotton fabric.
These two fabric have a different handle & I chose to do this to get a good variance of colour, I guess that the washable one has been treated with bubblejetset or PrintAbility type products.

After printing the sheets were left in the warm for an hour to cure, the paper backing was then removed. The fabric looks like the images so no need to post piccies

INSIDE:  Dale sells the most wonderful Starburst Sprays which I used onto a cheap calico.  The spots are PearlEx Pigments Mica powder mixed with green ink
When all the colour was sprayed on I used a brayer to mix them around

When this was dry I attached it to heavy weight Lutradur with 505 spray glue

On the other side of the Lutradur I drew a grid 1.5 inches, then sprayed it with 505

The 2 sheets of cotton were then cut up into 1.5 inch squares
Then placed on the grid in a chequer board fashion (to make Dale smile)
I am pleased with the mark making that shows here
You see it does not matter in Design if you are a fantastic artist!

I then printed out the un-activated image from Day 4.  I reduced it in scale to get a sheet & printed it onto cotton organza.
Here I am overlaying the squares.  I tried quite a few layouts & this is not the final one

TheBackground piece was cut to size before the final placement of the organza

The whole cover was then covered with pale lemon organza & the edges wrapped & stitched. 
I have stretched the rules here for the edge stitching being 'prep' lol
The excess organza was cut away with the soldering iron

Now its time for the stitched challenge gulp - what could I stitch in 10 minutes - time to panic
I knew I wanted to use the motif from day 4, so I traced it onto vellum, cut it out & used it as a template & stitching from the reverse, just manged to get a few freeform stitched in the time
Have to leave it like this for the challenge but might add more & finish it off at a later date

Finished cover


Evaluation:  Preparation took around an hour with a hours drying time for the printing & painting
The grid worked well
I planned this piece as it was a challenge piece, normally the sqaures would be stitched, possibly by machine & then the organza would have been tacked down, stopping it shifting when covering with the organza.  Silly idea for the edge althought I used my new foot for the Bernina walking foot - so that was a challenge in itself!
The final stitching needs much more as it looks very sparse on the cover.
5 minutes for sketching seems a doddle now compared to 10 minutes stitching (Dales idea, I wanted half an hour, because I knew what I wanted to do :-(

Looking forward to seeing Dales - will be wonderful no doubt & spoil my day!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dale Day 4 chair adventure

Today we got to play with the yummy Senneliers - I keep these protected as you don't seem to be able to buy these big sets any more - we sell the 12 iridescent sets but somehow these big boxes have disappeared. They are an oil pastel but soft and rather different from Shiva/Markal paintstiks. Work on paper beautifully (and fabric).
Spent most of my 5 minutes working on the heart shape on the back on my chair - it doesn't have all these little special parts like Shelagh's seems to - and because I haven't used my Senneliers for a while, added a few extensions. Then I remembered....

We were supposed to do a wash with the Koh-i-noors so had to do a very rush job here.

My very well used Koh-i-noors - these are strong pigment and you can use them to bleach back - great for travelling - I have a new set to take on holidays so no one can see how bad these are but I have let students use them in classes...

I have just had a look at Shelagh's and I see we are allowed to stitch on Sunday - thank goodness.

Ann - and anyone else following our little challenge - do join in - that's what it is all about - 5 minutes is pathetically short but it gives no time to be worrying because it is gone before you know. The chair theme is for a month and then who knows what will be next.


Today's challenge is to find a motif on the chair & use Sennellier Oil pastels with a Kor-i-noor wash over
The wood of my chair has many motifs but I chose this one
I love the wood grain & the deep shadows caused by the incising - Soldering iron here I come!
Remember this challenge is 5 minutes - gulp
This is the underpainting
Frantic scribbles, trying to get some form in the design
Final splodge of colour, this was still wet when photographed

Evaluation:  5 minutes ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Got some form in the black & gold oil pastels so am pleased with that
Needed more time for the wash
However, this is good discipline, because I would have faffed and faffed

Sunday is stitching, check back to see what we do, wonder what Dale has done today?
Off to work x

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Graphitint pencils.  Ordinary pencils are made of graphite, these are graphite with pigment & are also water activated.  Here I have used a water pen
Lovely new big tin, a birthday gift from my children yum!

This is the angle of the chair that I chose today
I do like the feet of this chair,
Capturing the angle is what appeals the most
This is the under pencil before activation
So hard to do in 5 minutes, the shadows became urgent marks aka scribbles!

I could not leave it like this so added another few minutes using the water pen
These pencils have a lovely matt effect.  they can be bought singly, which is what I had before the lovely pressie.
Trying to get form & shadow in such a short time is very difficult, but good discipline
Have not seen Dales yet, so am looking forward to seeing it now.
Have a go at doing this, take a small detail & explore using the wonderful Graphitint pencils