Monday, November 24, 2014

An Apple a Day

An Apple a Day is a personal challenge to use a theme in mixed media over the next 12 months = featuring the humble apple.

In the first fortnight I have -
  •   drawn apples roughly – more a doodle than a quick sketch
  •  done a quick sketch on an envelope
  • embroidered a tiny apple in chain stitch on a crazy patch piece I am working on
  • added apple blossom inspired by blossom photos and motifs sourced from the internet – and then discovered I should have used white tinged with pink rather than pink if I was going for uber realism
  •  stamped using ink pads and fun foam – see Stitchers Plus blog for what we all did as a quick exercise.  
  •  actually carved a couple of stamps and played with acrylic paint
  • stemmed stitched another apple in blue onto that crazy patch piece
  •  played with stitch on a stamped fabric apple, and
  • spent some time thinking/looking/reading about apples in myth, legend and religion.  

In the course of doing this I have read quite a bit of poetry including Robert Frost's work After Apple picking which I have cut and pasted below so you can read it with ease.

After Apple-Picking
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap

As of no worth.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


A fortnight late but here are a few smiling faces which tell it all.  Click here to see the post which tells what we did on the day.

Again - lots of thanks to Wilma Simmons of Empress Wu Designs for lending us her message stick doll tutorial.  Take time to visit Wilma's blog - she is generous in what she shares and her work is fantastic.

wonderful messy creation happening here

Guest of honour with her hand puppet

I think there's a needle in my hand!

I really coverted this bit of hand dyed gauze - then realised it was almost the same colours as the dress I was wearing.

Right into the swing of it - 2 stick dolls each :-)

I have more photos on my phone which someone kindly sent me... I will post them when I work out how to get them from there to here.

Have a great week everyone... I am starting on my first round of Christmas breakups today with lunch and laughter guaranteed at Stitchers Plus.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Arty party & workshop

Had two fantastic weekends in a row – too much enjoyment left me exhausted and I have only got round to writing.     On Saturday 2 November I hosted a fund raising arty party.  We all had a ball!   It was quite a warm day but thankfully our venue was fairly cool.

 Wilma Simmons of Empress Wu Designs gave permission to use her Message Stick Doll tutorial as an activity.   Whilst we were waiting for people to arrive we all made a name tag.   Some were more exotic than others but it got us doing something whilst waiting for everyone to arrive;

Then we moved on to making the doll.  First we played with air drying clay to make a face.  Most of us opted to use molds in the first instance and then had a bash at working a face in our fingers – everyone made great faces - all looked different by the time they had paint/hair/other adornments.

Once the faces were made we set about making a body.  Sticks were selected and wrapped to give a bit of padding and then wrapped with cloth and adorned by their makers J.   Here is a photo of one of Wilma's dolls:

Sadly my camera played up and I am hoping to get a few photos of the event soon.

And of course there was afternoon tea laid on my nearests and dearests (husband, son & daughter).   We were spoilt for choice with banana cake, ricotta cake, exotic chocolate patty pans, cheese, fruit and sandwiches (not to mention the odd party pie and sausage roll).

The day came to an end with a massive subtropical downpour – thunder claps directly overhead made the iron roof in the hall shake, lots of lightening and rain that came down at such an angle it drove itself up the paving in waves. 

Sundaywas a much cooler day after the storm & I instructed at a garden art workshop at Azures Den.    It is a cafĂ©/gift shop/gallery which has a lovely art space at the rear and that’s where the class was held.    It is inspiring to be sitting in a room with original art works all around you and getting to do your own.

A fantastic group of ladies came and had a go at something which was not the norm for them.   We started with the idea that we would make a small garden statute - here is the sample we had:

By the time the ladies variously decided to make their statutes very well endowed (boobs), make it pregnant, ditch the turban, play with hair concepts or use little fabric hardener we had a wonderful and eclectic array of statues.  Even though we started out with the same concept and material everyone made something different which reflected their personality.   They were outstanding pieces.  Sadly, my camera played up & I couldn’t take photos.  Here are some that Taryn took for me:

Of course the day included afternoon tea.   Azures Den offers high teas so we were in for a treat.   Amongst the treats was a vanilla slice which was to die for!

Not quite a self portrait

Not quite a self portrait
small 8' quiltlet with embroidered hair

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