Saturday, 27 December 2008

closest book and a bit of knitting

I saw this on Anna's blog

How to play:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions in a note in your BLOG.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual... Use the CLOSEST

Cont in patt until back measures 14(16:19:21)cm/5.5(6.25:7.5:8.25)in from cast-on

from Junior Knits by Debbie Bliss. It was abit difficult to do. I wasn't sure when the sentences started...

I'm actually knitting a bolero for Toddler Girl which is on page 70

since her chocolate brown shrug turned out too small...

Cardboard kitchen - summary

  • I bought the plans from fortytworoads on etsy. Cost £4.30
  • collected cardboard and glued some together to get required strength
  • cut out shapes and notches
  • assemble
  • cover with gummed tape to tidy edges etc. Cost £1.50
  • cut hole in oven door and use a poly pocket as window, use handle from old drawer unit
  • add square baking tin as 'sink'
  • add knobs. Cost £6
  • add hob plates (cardboard with string painted black)
  • add curtain wire and make curtain from tea towel. Cost £0.75
  • paint and decorate using leftover emulsion paint
total cost £12.55

Cardboard kitchen - finished!

I was still painting and gluing at 11pm on Christmas Eve but it was all finished and secure by the time Toddler Girl came downstairs on Christmas morning.

The oven door is still abit wonky, but the velcro works well. It only catches a little so she can open and close the door with minimal effort. I was abit worried that she could pull the whole door off trying to open it.

It has so far survived a very large water spill - inside the oven and all around the sink.

I will need to seal the edges of the hole I cut for the 'sink' as any water spillage will weaken the exposed cardboard. I'm also not sure how long the cardboard hinge will last on the oven door.

But so far so good....

The big test will come when she makes 'cakes' using all the new cooking equipment she got for Christmas...

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Cardboard kitchen - update

I've had to add an extra bit to the oven door as it was very very squint, so its abit behind schedule. It does have a window and a hinge.

I also had a problem with the hook for the curtain under the sink and I had to secure it with glue, hence no curtain in this picture.

The hob plates are stuck down. And all the knobs are screwed in place and are turnable.

Still to do
  1. repaint oven door and add handle and secure
  2. add H for Hot and C for Cold on the taps and maybe something on hob knobs
  3. add oven knob on front panel
  4. decorate utensils tin and suitcases
  5. add bunting!
  6. add further decoration... panels of colour or flowers...

Monday, 15 December 2008

Studio Journal - cupcakes

My colour scheme for the cupcake shelf on Toddler Girl's cardboard kitchen.

Studio Journal - two pockets

I haven't spent any time decorating my sketchbook. I find it too much of a distraction. A lesson I have finally learned after procrastinating over what colours to use and what technique to use and what to do aaarrrghhhhhh.

Studio Journal - Location Location

Last month I bought the new book by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn - Location, Location.

It came after I had made a proposal to be part of an exhibition in Dumfries of books made by artists to be held in May/June 2009.

The brief read like this...

"We are inviting submissions on the theme of PLACE, IDENTITY AND MEMORY. The Exhibition's theme is one, not three, but it is one that is reached by three initial routes, which are often seen in isolation. Where Identity, Place and Memory meet, mingle and reflect each other is a fruitful territory, one that is sometimes expressed particularly potently in the book form. We are intrigued to open out the visual poetry in this theme. All submissions must be centred on books or projected books, but can include clearly associated art works. Submissions can be of an existing book or books, or a proposal for a new work, backed up by evidence of previous work. Related ideas for book events, workshops or installations are also encouraged. We are interested to present each artist in a context if possible, so multiple exhibits by each artist are acceptable."

At first I thought, "eh?". But after some time I realised that my work on my cafe exhibition was a starting point.

My idea came out looking like this...

And my text...

"My proposal for Place, Identity & Memory is to create 3 unique books using mainly fabric. These books will take the style of a journal using St Monans and my own journey as an artist as inspiration. My aim is to convey my feelings for the place I have made my home and where I am raising my child. I want to explore the landscape, seascape and architecture of the village. But most importantly I want explore what it means to the people who live here - in a village that changes dramatically with the seasons. Not just the weather and the light but the residents too. The books will include hand stitched images and include additional attached items. I want the books to feel like a collection of items bound together as one, perhaps dated like a diary. All the books can be handled freely. I also want to include the design work which leads to the finished pieces. I work with paper sketchbooks, which are sometimes handmade. These contain samples, photos, notes and ideas. I hope that by showing the supporting design work with the finished fabric books I will add to the viewers understanding of the journey I (and the village) have taken."

This is the first exhibition I have made a proposal for. The first written statement, apart from my ramblings on here...

It was rejected.

But I still aim to work through the proposal. I need to focus on one idea and explore it fully. A New Year resolution for 2009.

And so I have closely read my new book, Location Location...

Of course all my doodles, mindmaps and ramblings are noted in my sketchbook.

Studio Journal - random pages

I started a sketchbook back in June for Sharon B's Studio Journal class.

I'm still using it... shock horror.

After humming and hawing I settled on a landscape A4 hardback spiral bound euro sketchbook, bought directly from Seawhite.

This is the type I used for my C&G course.

I like its flexibility (snipping the pages and reordering them) and the thickness of the paper.

I have photographed some of the pages to show how I'm using the book. Given my limited creative output in recent months its really become a catch all...

A collection of a perfume bottles. I aim to sketch these. I like the shapes...

A collection of clothing from Boden catalogue for inspiration... if I ever get around to embroidering Toddler Girl's t-shirts.

Recipes to try.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

2008 Resolutions - end of year review

This is my 2008 resolutions review (in bold)

Take it Further - Sharon B's 2008 challenge. Haven't attempted any of them. I will print out the final list and add it to my sketchbook for future reference...

attend a stitch group every Tuesday night in local cafe. Its for stitchers and knitters. Not every Tuesday but at least 50% of the time. I've knitted 2 cardigans for Toddler Girl, a shrug that didn't fit, several scarfs etc. And I'm currently making some clothes for Baby Annabell.

continue to work on my fabric book. no progress. Its definitely on hold. I'll maybe make use of what I have done and give up on it...

blog at least 2 times a week - Monday and Friday. I hope this will stop me surfing under the pretence of blogging and encourage me to produce something to blog about (over the weekend and through the week). nope. I only blog when I have something to show.

reduce the time wasting! No progress on this one. Maybe I should ban my laptop...

Sharon B's Visual Journal course. I'll post some photos of the sketchbook I started for this course. I'm now using it as a catch all...

Exhibition 2008 - 8 pieces completed on time. 2 sold, 3 re-exhibited in St Andrews, 1 taken apart and 2 others reused... (I'd like to make a cover for a new needle book with one).

Other stuff done...

  • I collected all the letters of the alphabet.
  • I've knitted:-a blue cardigan and a pink cardigan and a brown shrug. 1 hat and 1 scarf. and some doll clothes.
  • discovered that the backside of my stitching is often more exciting...
  • rediscovered my love of Klimt
  • some ideas... scattered pom poms, mushroom spore prints, knitted sculptures, seaweed, shingle box,
  • hopefully finishing a cardboard kitchen...

Stitch Explorer 2009

Sharon B's new challenge... Stitch Explorer 2009. Starts January 15th.

I have signed up. I'm not sure I'll manage all, most or even any of the challenges but I'll have a go...

"Each month on the 15th of the month I will post details of either a slightly unusual or lesser known stitch, or a style of embroidery. Please note I will be looking at embroidery styles as well as stitches. Sometimes it will be both. Sometimes it will be one or the other.

I think anyone who did or watched TAST quickly realised that although a stitch can be worked in a traditional manner if you look at the structure of the stitch and its use the stitch can be changed completely. Looking at how a stitch is constructed and adapting that makes for some interesting discoveries. The same holds true when we look at different embroidery styles. Looking at how and why a style might be worked in a particular manner and investigating that, makes many styles more versatile than people realise.

Each month I will provide readers with enough information to enable them to explore, investigate and or adapt the stitch or style. Readers can use the challenge stitch or style on any project they choose. This means people can adapt the challenge to their needs. "

I'm interested to see what Sharon presents and how it is interpreted...

I didn't manage any of the 2008 challenge. I had intended to use her monthly 'prompts' in a visual journal but I didn't find the time...

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Cardboard kitchen - update

The cardboard kitchen has been taking up most of my creative time. That and another cold and a Toddler Girl who no longer takes an afternoon nap no matter how tired she is. Oh, and online Christmas shopping and now wrapping....

So, its white...

I have decided to place the hob knobs on top of the cooker and just place the oven knob on the front panel.

I hummed and hawed over whether to fit a sink. I tried a round deep pie tin but was unconvinced. Then I tried a square cake tin and it looked better. I am worried I have limited the work surface space but as Karen, the professional artist, pointed out she can still make stuff in the 'sink'.


I have started the oven door. I have cut a window and will fit a clear plastic 'window' (a poly pocket!) I think I will use cardboard to make a hinge and I need to fit some velcro to keep it up.

I started to make a little curtain for under the sink, but I found some cupcake tea towels in Woolworths (I will really miss it when its gone) and I have used half a tea towel to make a curtain and also as inspiration for the decoration...

I also used some paper string to make hob plates and then painted them black.


a close up of the cupcake shelf...


Still to do
  1. finish oven door by fitting window, hinges and painting inside white and securing
  2. paint hob knobs green and oven knob green and fit (allowing for turning!)
  3. glue down hob plates
  4. secure blue taps and add H for Hot and C for Cold
  5. paint cupcake shelf
  6. create a utensils tin in matching colour scheme
  7. add tea towel holder
  8. think about a clock?
  9. add further decoration... panels of colour or flowers...
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