Sunday, 31 August 2014

Day 52: 2 to catch up

I did two flowers today - today's and yesterday's. I put my toe up yesterday afternoon while lounging in front of the fire and drinking wine. When it was time to do my embroidery...well, you know what they say about alcohol and operating dangerous machinery. So today I did everything before settling in front of the fire. Today's big excitement **cough cough..yes, excitement** is changing the thread colour. The thread that someone gave me has almost run out. I've left a bit for stitching and any unforeseen emergencies but for the next batch have switched to a darker sort of salmony coloured thread. You can't see it here because this shows the bobbin thread.

Here's the previous batch ready to rinse and dry.

And here's Rocket, the Sunday afternoon desk assistant.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Day 50: half way and an embroidered cushion cover

Half way! If you've made it this far, you're now on the downhill run.

When you have a broken toe and can't do much, you end up finishing projects. Here's an embroidered cushion cover I started a little while ago. I haven't done hand embroidery since I was a wee nipper. I recall we embroidered hessian wall hangings for our mothers for Mother's Day when I was about 7. Even then I remember thinking my design skills were lacking and my final product was a crude house and a stick man. It pains me to say I haven't advanced from that in the intervening decades. My mother - bless her cotton socks - kept the wall hanging up for years (albeit in a dark corner of the house) before finally removing it when she imagined no one would notice.

Anyway, you'll notice that the flower design here is quite nice. That's because I got it from somewhere else. For the other side of the cushion I've just added some stripes to break the monotony. The whole thing was a bit of an experiment and I'm happy with the way it went, although it would be better if no one examined the stitching too closely.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Day 49: still life with glasses

Today's flower photographed with my glasses, without whom this project would not have been possible.

We couldn't resist putting this in (from clayfeat). Bad bear! 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Day 48: through rain, hail and broken toes

Last night I broke my big toe. It's incredibly difficult (and painful) trying to walk with a broken big toe. Fortunately everything else is intact and today's sterling effort is shown here along with the previous three days' efforts.

That's all for today.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Day 47: and yet another

As can be seen here (one of the three - the funny-looking one):

I'm happy to report that I can now whip one of these out in about 15 minutes before dinner. Practice and all that. 

One person whose project is never dull is ana (we've featured her dog here). So to break from the monotony of my own project (and I hope that will change as I start making up the cape) here's another dog. This ana's dog Samba of whom she says "I can't imagine my life without him."  I've selected this because Samba looks just like my dog when he's stolen a sock. I couldn't imagine life without my little guys, either.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Day 46: one more, and a more colourful example

Day 46 - nearly at the half-way mark. I haven't cracked but it is gettng hard to say something interesting about each of these unique, hand-crafted wonders. So here's today's effort.

Hilda has also been making flowers but heres are multi-coloured and made from different materials. We particularly like the felt as the felt has such lovely colours. Felt is an under-rated material so it's good to see it getting a workout here.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Day 45: captured pattern

Here is today's effort. As you can see, I've managed to capture some of the pattern on the fabric. It's not as easy as you'd think. If the pattern is too close to the edge you miss it because you have to leave some room around the edge for the sewing machine foot. As it was one of the petals is a bit squashed because there was insufficient space left. Never mind, it's done, and all before I went out!

Today's featured photo is from Tara and Jarvis. Their project makes the bold claim that 'modern art is rubbish'. We don't know about that but we quite like this little guy.
That's all for now.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Day 44: showing off my duckbill scissors

Another small batch done. I've realised that although each flower has some error (great or small) the fact that they are all different means that the mistakes will fade away into the mass. Which is good because a couple of them look decidedly odd.

This photo shows the latest batch with my flash new duckbill scissors. I got these when I realised nothing I had was quite up to the job of cutting out embroidered flowers: the dressmaking scissors were too large and the tiny scissors were - you guessed it - too small. I love these. They're sharp and accurate. The limiting factor is the fact that I'm as blind as a bat and can't see well enough to cut close to the embroidered edge of the flowers.

Today my snoop around the 100 day site turned up janine and Flights of Fancy. Janine is doing stylised birds and insects using different media. I love birds - we have chickens and many fat, noisy birds in our neighbourhood (they're fat because they eat the chookfood). Here's some - what? lorikeets? - having a close-up moment.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Day 42: flower with stiffened front

Today's effort photographed against a front and facing stiffened with gygli. Sadly the rumours about the gygli not being as good as the solidot it replaced appear to be true.

Note to self: if you come across any solidot hiding in a fabric store bin somewhere, just grab it.

No bonuses tonight as it's been a dinner and drink night so we're off to walk the dogs and have our beauty sleep. Buenas noches!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Day 41: even more flowers

Today's masterpiece for your contemplation is entitled "Flowers with fabric and lining".

Far more interesting is this yarn-bombed bike, and a bit of light relief for you clever handypersons out there.

Au revoir for now.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Day 40: and...cut!

Tonight was taken up cutting out the cape, lining and iron-on gygli. i was hoping to get the gygli ironed on but ran out of time. The reason tailored jackets and whatnot are expensive is not because they take more time to sew (although they do take a bit more time) but because it takes hours to measure, cut and iron on all the bits. Then again, if you want something chucked together in 10 minutes on an overlocker you can always go to the Warehouse (and yes, I know most of us shop at the Warehouse because we think that's all we can afford).

You'll notice this photo features my gorgeous Finny dressmaking scissors. Thank you, Jacquie. I miss you.

Since we've been inundated over the last couple of days with news featuring repulsive rich white guys, I thought it was time to air the work of someone who appears to value diversity. Matt Wenlock's project is called Friends with a portrait, no matter what. Matt says: 'I'll be looking to portray diversity which compliments the social environment New Zealander's live in. Everyone deserves to be included in today's society, no matter what." We couldn't agree more. You'll also notice Matt also has the distinct advantage of actually being a good photographer.

I've chosen this photo because of all the people in New Zealand who are ignored or discriminated against, disabled people are top of the list. That's our fault, not theirs.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Day 39: a notable batch

Another batch, this time set artistically on the piano keys. (Hmm, I hear you thinking. Those flowers look like they were just plonked there.)

That's all for tonight because it's late.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Day 38: cutting out

Starting to cut out at long last. It's a couple of hours work and I ran out of time tonight (plus it's better to do it during the day when the light is better). But here's the notes and the main pattern pieces pinned to the fabric.

I make the notes not because I think they will end up in a university library but because these days I (1) am forgetful so have to make a note about what I'm doing, and (2) usually have several projects on the go at any one time and if I don't get round to something for a couple of weeks I can look to remember what I was doing.

Also doing a project that looks repetitive but in fact isn't is Kathleen. Kathleen is handstitching a quiltblock every day. They sort of look the same but actually they are different shades and will, I suspect, in the end form a rainbow-style pattern. So this is for my Mum, who is also a quilter.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Day 37: plum margaritas

Offered without comment prior to heading into the big smoke to imbibe plum margaritas.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Day 36: a pattern...

Today I had a bit of spare time in the afternoon so cut the cape pattern out. As you can see, it just looks like a pile of white paper, which it mostly is. If you look carefully you'll see that these days I note where the pattern originated. This is so that if the dog chews some of the pattern pieces, it means you don't have to go scrabbling through a pile of magazines to find it again.

I was delighted to (quite by accident) find a friend's project this week. Going under the moniker clayfeat this project is making 100 flowers from stuff around the house. We think this is very cool and we love the flowers. Obsessed as we are with things art nouveau, we particularly like the Charles Rennie MacIntosh flowers. My aim is to embroider some of these on a jacket in an upcoming project. And now I have someone who can help with the drafting! It's a beautiful world (well, bits of it).

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Day 35: the elephant in the room

On what Tim Watkin describes as a crazy day in New Zealand politics, we thought perhaps a multi-media effort was called for. Here is the latest batch of flowers on the the elephant in the room of New Zealand politics: the troubling hunch that whoever our political overlords are working for, it ain't us.

In the spirit of something lighter, today's example of someone else's imagination is from Irene who is making a gif a day. Of course, we couldn't go past the animal one.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Day 34: imagination

Today black and white (mostly) screen actress Lauren Becall died. She is one of the last of the seriously glamorous film stars, although at the age of 89 it not surprising their numbers have dwindled.

Today's photo is in black and white with a Lauren Becall quote especially for all you 100 day participants who may not be glamorous, but have wonderful imaginations and are sharing them with the rest of us.

For you young spiders brought up with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, this is what glamour looks like. Note this photo was taken before smoking was passé. Don't try this at home, young people: Lauren looks gorgeous, you'll probably just look like a dick.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Day 33: one third of the way

This amazing contribution to the art world is called 'working the strip'. As you can see, it's really just photographic evidence that I have done my flowers but they're all on the strip of fabric waiting to be liberated.

Today's featured artist is Robin Williams who died this morning from an apparent suicide. Like many other artists, Robin WIlliams brought joy and laughter to millions but suffered from depression himself. I know depression can be debilitating for sufferers and emotionally draining for their families and friends. And it kills. This is for all of you who have or perhaps will suffer depression, or know someone who does. I hope you find your happy soon (and if you don't, please - find someone to help).

Monday, 11 August 2014

Day 32: upbeat finger puppets

Today I've left my flower attached to its strip of material because I'm a bit grumpy. A task that should have taken 20 minutes has just taken over an hour. Long story short: I ran out of bobbin thread then couldn't get the machine rethreaded properly. My old sewing machine is as simple as a stone and is fairly easy to get going. The one I am doing the embroidery on is electronic and rather more fussy. Never mind, it's done.

Instead I've been snooping around other people's projects and here's a couple I like. The first is Upbeat by Andrew. He quotes A. A. Milne: "Piglet noticed that even though he had
a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude".
Andrew's project is to capture different aspects of his wellbeing. And there's his cat, his Mum and a bunch of other stuff. The photo I have selected is of his Nana. She's beautiful and dignified, and this is a lovely photo. Andrew says she is still intact and kept asking him if he was warm enough when he had dinner with her. They don't make many of 'em like that any more. 

Andrew has set up a Facebook group, The Upbeat Collective, "as a way of inspiring people to relish the joy in 'giving back' and to create positive wellbeing in themselves and those around them." Check them out: 

Shifting gear, Jaymie's project is finger puppets. Jaymie is making a finger puppet every day and when they're all done she's going to send them to the Clown Doctors at Wellington Hospital. We think this is awesome and I'm sure the children will just love them. We particularly like this little guy with his cute smile. Also shown is a rapidly filling shoebox waiting to be shipped to Wellington. Hurrah for the crafty people!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Day 31: a load of old bull

Assembly line production is tedious: the process is tedious and the sameness of the objects made is tedious. So it is with 100 flowers, especially when they're all the same colour.

So I've been thinking about ways to break the monotony. Having worn my Brenda the civil disobedience penguin apron while making a mess in the kitchen I also got thinking about what civil disobedience means in the 21st century. We've come a long way from Beasley Street and now we craft bomb. I don't blame people for being disillusioned, what  with all those punks-turned-property-developers-and-tax-dodgers. And that's before we get to the hippies with their bean sprouts and identity politics.

Anyway, I came across a photo of a craft-bombed Wall Street bull. I'm firmly of the view that those bastards (banksters not craft bombers) have caused more than their fair of misery in the last decade so I have B&W'd a flower, shrunk it and stuck one on each of the bull's horns. Maybe that way the banksters won't be able to gauge everything that moves for its last dollar, although God knows they'll try. It's symbolic but sometimes that's the best you can do.
(PS If you're not familiar with Beasley St, it's well worth a listen.)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Day 30: group photo

Today I let the little suckers out of their box and organised them into a rough pattern on a piece of the red fabric I will be using to make the cape. I've heightened the contrast in the photo to make the red look more like it does in real life, although it's still a bit bright.

And the moment you've all been waiting for: here is a scan of the cape pattern. It's a simple burdastyle (12/2009) pattern. It's not as full as the idea I've ripped off but that's mostly because I'm vertically challenged and full coats look stupid on me (I have conceded defeat, and my much-loved full length woolen trenchcoat is going to be recycled into a Chanel-style jacket). I'll keep the collar on because it can get a bit nippy at an Auckland bus stop - maybe I'll embroider it or something - and have yet to decide whether to make some buttons or use self-covered buttons with bound buttonholes.  I'm leaning towards the self covers/bound buttonhole option but am shying off because it's a lot of work. I'll keep you posted. 

Lastly, here's a sketch form Maggie inspired by her garden. It's an empty nest - but fear not! The tuis are back at our place heralding the return of spring. This nest probably won't be empty for long.
Au revoir for now.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Day 29: flower first, beers later

Done before I went for dinner and beer. Now it's late but at least it's here.
It's Friday so over and out.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Day 28: a pattern!

Continuing with the pink organza...when I bought it we noticed a very subtle pattern on it in paler pink and red. The red happened to be almost the same red as the cape fabric so I figured it might add a bit of interest. Shown here is today's flower. You can see the pattern, some of which has been captured within the flower (I've heightened the contrast to make it stand out a bit more). I've also reverted back to the plain-coloured thread as I suspect too many flowers with variegated thread might be a bit much.

And in case anyone thinks like it sounds like I have a clue, I don't. I'm winging it. I think I will need to recruit my rather more talented niece to help with the actual design and arrangement of the flowers.

For the shallow (and not so shallow) fashionistas out there, today's featured artist is Christine with her project Polished. Christine is painting a fingernail a different design every day. They're way cool - I love flashy stuff like this, especially if it's different and clever. Here's a strawberry (who wouldn't want strawberries on their fingernails?) and music. Rock on!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Day 27: 2 today

And here they are. I photographed them against a black background to get a better sense of the colours.

It's late and I have yet to walk the dogs so that's all for today.