Thursday, 24 April 2014

Colour Play with the Gelli Plate

I spend more time painting cotton fabric using my gelli plate and a wide variety of acrylic paints. As chance would have it it was exactly a week ago I did this last although that wasn't planned. I simply woke up this morning feeling like doing a painting session. When those moods strike I have found it's a good idea to give in. Doing things when you fancy them is much easier than fighting it. That doesn't just apply to painting fabric but also to writing this blog.

I've had a dry spell even though you might not have noticed. For some reason, probably because of all the internet problems, I suddenly lost the will to write even though we now have two wifi systems to keep us going. But my mojo had gone in hiding. Yes, there were still pictures here courtesy of the Blogsy App, and a few lines of text were even added, but I knew my heart wasn't in it. That was the reason I didn't switch on the laptop and took the time to think about my words and get them down on the page.
The mojo hasn't returned yet and I'm sitting it out. I know it will fly home at some stage, but in the meantime I have finally switched on the PC and made myself type this. Sometimes just doing is enough to bring the will to do more back. If this doesn't help I will (cliché coming up!) go with the flow.
The painting on the other hand flowed a lot easier. I used much the same paints as last week's session, with the addition of some neon and fluorescent colours. As I mentioned then these painted fabrics are for a quilt I have in mind. I want to have lots of fabrics to chose from so anticipate a few more painting sessions till I feel I have enough to get started. I also want to make quite a bit of progress with the quilt that I'm hand quilting at the moment before diving into a new project.
I'm trying not to get to attached to these individual fabrics because they will be cut up in due course but I'm rather pleased with the one above. Not sure if I can persuade myself to put the scissors into this one when the time comes!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


Also known as Soldiers and Sailors as well as many different names. This year is is the best I've ever seen it with loads of pink and blue flowers. They are about half an inch in size.


Monday, 21 April 2014

Going Places

The new challenge theme on The Documented Life Project is: Photograph or draw your favourite shoes . In the end I did both. I thought long about what my favourite shoes are. I have quite a few lovely shoes in my cupboard, mostly dating back to the days I went to work outside the house. I even occasionally wear them. But the truth is that my feet have always been my weakness. The only thing I've ever broken is my ankle and I also stepped into glass on a beach once many years ago (some glass is still in there and occasionally pops up) and I can't even begin to count the number of blisters I've had over the years. So they are not by any stretch of the imagination my favourite body parts. I mainly live in boots and wellies over the winter and the day that I decide I can put on my Crocs instead to do the morning dog walk is a joy indeed. That day this year was yesterday.

I put on my favourite coloured ones (turquoise at the moment, must try and get some yellow ones this year!) and after walking the dogs, sat down in the grass among the daffodils and took a picture using my Polaroid camera so that I would have the photo immediately to use on my page. I then also drew one of them and it struck me that crocs are full of my favourite circular shapes, not just on top but also on the soles. That's the sort of detail you notice when you draw instead of photograph.

I used both on a gelli plate printed paper background and added more circular shapes (just because!) as well as some text, an arrow and a Dutch postage stamp. This was selected because of it's colour but it's quite fitting as my feet started their life journey there. So there they are: my favourite shoes! And I'm still wearing them today despite the fact that the weather has turned and it's quite cold and very foggy. Once my feet have tasted the freedom of crocs they don't want to go back to wellies, even if they are pink.

Friday, 18 April 2014

The sun is shining

All is well in the Macbiehill world. It has been a gloriously sunny day and we have two working wifi systems! What more could anyone want!


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Getting My Hands Dirty

After all the upheavals of the last few days or even weeks peace has returned to Macbiehill together with the internet access. And what better way to spend it than to retreat to my painting shed with a stack of cotton fabric in my arms, get the acrylic paint and fabric spray paints out as well as some of my stencils and gelli plates and  proceed to get my hands dirty. And boy, do I do that. Paint up till my elbows, and what a satisfying feeling it is. So is the stack of fabrics and papers that are now drying. All the fabrics will be for a specific project I have had in mind for a long time now but that I wouldn't allow myself to start till the previous quilt was tacked. 
That has happened and I'm in the process of hand quilting it. I'm up to date with all my other projects and am well on the way with an article I'm writing. So all is good! Very good even!

 These fabrics will be cut up in the process of making the new quilt that's in my head but somehow I still "design" every piece of cotton I paint which is strictly speaking unnecessary but I seem to be conditioned to do it anyway plus it's good practice too. One day I might set to work making one large piece of fabric, all painted, to translate into a whole cloth quilt and this will have been an excellent preparation for that. I just have to get to grips with the logistics of such an undertaking given the size of my gelli plates (largest being 12 x 14").
I feel it coming though, which is always exciting. My quilts tend to live in my head long before they ever take shape in reality and it's at this stage that I problem solve and think about how I can turn my vision into cloth. 


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