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Some people get their fortune from Chinese cookies. We buy Lurpak Danish Spreadable Butter in 500g tubs, so once very 3-4 weeks I get my fortune when I lift the lid on a new pack.
This fits my life right now. I feel as enthusiastic as a sausage about all of the great things that are happening. I’m starting to run my first Creativity Coaching group and 1:1 sessions and have planned a Deep Art Making workshop for next Saturday with a new friend. I’m applying to an art show in the South Hams and starting to think about my 2013 Sacred Threads entry.
I knew that this was coming, but on Thursday I watched, for the first time, the vidcast that Bonnie McCaffery made of me showing my bed Enter the Forest of Dreams to Luana Rubin of eQuilters at the 2012 Festival of Quilts. I had run into Bonnie and she grabbed me and said ‘Let’s go find Luana and show her your bed’ and off I was whisked to be filmed! I had never met Luana before, but found her very easy to talk to and Bonnie is a great camera woman and editor so I knew it would be OK.
I am quite pleased with it, not least because it shows me telling the story of my bed and all of the many dimensions it occupies. I think it gives people an idea of what it is about.
It feels great to have so much going on that I find exciting and engaging. Even though the days are shortening and nights are closing in, there is a last minute flurry of activity and reaping of the harvest before I quieten down for the winter. Steve and I rounded out our weekend socialising with friends, eating fantastic food, doing some DIY around the house and chilling out together.
I hope that everyone is finding their rhythm and feeling in sync with the season they are in.
This is very exciting! I met up with Bonnie McCaffery at the Festival of Quilts and she snapped a really nice photo of me and my bed.
Bonnie is a great friend of mine, whom I meet up with for a few hours at a time when she’s here in the UK teaching or filming vidcasts. Bonnie was filming video of quilts at the show for Luana Rubin of eQuilter.com and I was interviewed by Luana!
After the Festival of Quilts, Steve and I broke down the bed, collected Bonnie and we all came down to Devon for a few days.
Some friends of ours let us use their property to photograph ‘Enter the Forest of Dreams’ in the woods. It was the perfect setting and a beautiful day with sunlight twinkling through the trees.
We got some fantastic photographs from the day. Here are a couple.
I commissioned Bonnie to make a short film of me telling the story of ‘Enter the Forest of Dreams’, from the making of the bed frame when I was a student at the Chippendale International School of Furniture through to all of the symbolism in the headboard and bed quilts. At the end, the secret of the hidden valance is revealed. Even though Bonnie lives in America, through the magic of the internet, we’ll be able to keep in touch while she’s producing the video. I’m really looking forward to seeing it sometime in 2013!
On day two, we turned my living room into a photography studio and Bonnie took some amazing portrait photographs of me. I’m saving those for another post.
My Quilt Creations entry was too big to post in or drop off at a concierge’s desk, so I was able to take it direct to the NEC. Big thanks to the organisers – esp. Pam & Amanda! Steve and I wrote an assembly/instruction manual, hired a van and delivered it directly to the Hall.
It was a rainy day, but we had clear roads and smooth sailing all the way up.
I packed a Dukan lunch into my trusty lunchbox.
We stopped into Gordano Services for fuel.
When we arrived, we walked through the empty, nearly set up halls. It’s going to be great this weekend when the NEC is filled with beautiful quilts and wonderful people!
In one corner of Hall 9, white gloved Quilt Angels were busily unpacking this years entries.
We carried my bed to a quiet corner of the hall and headed back down the road. If I have one wish for Enter the Forest of Dreams, it is that it will touch people in a place of beauty.
On the way back home, I kicked off my sneakers and curled up for a kip on the front seat.
I’m really looking forward to Friday when we go back up for the show!
Apparently, there truly is a Cloak of Invisibility, as fictionalised in the Harry Potter novels. Scientists have developed a ‘metamaterial’ – a new flexible film able to manipulate light rays in a manner that renders solid objects invisible. Sounds like fun fabric to make wearable art from!
I finished my ‘invisible’ hanging sleeve for Suncast Shadows. I whipstitched an organdy sleeve to the back and hung it this morning for the acid test. I have a perspex lath which I use for my other transparent quilt - ‘Le Mariage du Fleuve et du Ciel’.
When we decorated our flat this spring, we put hanging rails in the hallway outside my studio to make a gallery.
Anyhow, the invisible sleeve is just that.
Now, where did I put my fat quarter of metamaterial?
I love my daytime life in which I’ve arranged it so that I don’t need to leave the house until 9:45 am on the days when I need to be somewhere. This means I don’t have to get up until 8:30 am!
The first things I see when I wake in the slowly lightening room are glowing luna moths and the luminous moon on our marriage quilt.
The luna moths we bought at a flea market on our 1st wedding anniversary in Aix-en-Provence, we chose and framed some of our wedding photos and I made the Marc Chagall inspired quilt, Le Mariage du Fleuve et du Ciel, during our first year of marriage.
We bought a DAB clock radio a few weeks ago. I don’t actually use it for an alarm because I generally awaken around 7 o’clock. I do switch it on though and listen to classical music on Radio 3.
Then, I get up and make (or lie in bed and have made for me!) a cup of tea in my favourite mug. I prop myself up and select from the ever-changing pile of books next to my side of the bed.
This morning it was a delectation from ‘Mud’, a book of voluptuous short stories by Michèle Roberts.
At some point, I raise the shade and watch the tree outside. It inhales and exhales; birds dart in and out of it’s branches or trace lazy loops in the sky above it. The maribou stole is from my wedding ensemble.
Whenever I decide to get up, I throw open the window and lean out to see what the cows are up to and what the day is bringing.
And then, I go about my day.
OK, time for an art catch-up. The last time I mentioned this work in progress, I’d finished painting the back of ‘Forest of Dreams’ and was going to figure out how to transfer my poem onto the surface.
Hand lettering it was not an option. My handwriting (and printing) is a bit, shall we say, illegible to most other people.
Some of the ways I’ve put text onto fabric in the past are by stitching, printing directly onto fabric with a printer, using a lightbox, screen printing or stenciling. None of these methods would work, although I did think of ordering some thermofax screens, but because the quilting was already done, I didn’t have a flat surface and it mayn’t have come out well.
I have a fearless, very creative part of me which dates back to my childhood. I remembered doing something with crayons wherein I colored a piece of paper with many different colored crayons, then colored over that with a black crayon. Then I got a paperclip and drew on the black, which revealed the multi-colored background. That felt like a good starting place.
I had researched dress maker’s carbon paper and decided to make my own. First, I chose my font and size, then printed my poem onto a few sheets of A4 paper.
I coloured the back with a white fabric pastel and used a mechanical pencil tip to transfer the text. The problem was that the tip cut through the paper and I couldn’t see how it was transferring. I have some white organdy leftover from my Suncast Shadows quilt, so used that instead. I can pin it, see through it and because it’s fabric, I can give it some welly when I’m tracing and not worry about tearing it.
First, I traced my poem onto the fabric with a Sharpie pen.
I transferred only 1 -2 lines at a time. I decided to stagger the poem to the left and I justified them as I wrote each line. I coloured one line of text at a time, on the reverse, using a white pastel. The fabric pastel was too light, both in colour and in substance, so I used an oil pastel.
I pinned the fabric, pastel side down where I wanted it. Since it is semi-sheer, I could get the placement just right and I traced over the words with a mechanical pencil.
Removed my organdy
Then I got my fabric paints and mixed some white and silver together, got my finest brush and painted over the words.
It was slightly laborious and I could only do about 2 – 3 lines at a time before I lost my fine hand coordination and concentration levels, so I took about a week to transfer the entire poem.
Now that the poem is complete, I’m going to mix up some brown and blue fabric paint and fill in some of the spots I missed, mainly in the stitching channels that I hadn’t noticed previously. Then I’ll get to work transferring the poem onto the valance, which will be very easy as it’ll be traced.