Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stuff.... bits....

Hmmm, well this week's sunday project was pretty much all over the place. Jesse's swatch swap has taken on a life of it's own and as a result, my first project for the week was to print some more swatches. I cut another paper stencil, which I guess has an autumnal feel, though it is now winter in this corner of the world (and getting damn cold). The plan was to have swirls of red, gold and black, but pretty much immediately the paint turned into a bronze-copper kind of colour, which actually looks quite good.
Of course, I couldn't just send my swatches out in a plain old envelope. That would've been too easy. The obvious alternative was to stitch envelopes and make cards. Honestly, I sometimes wonder what compels me to get carried away. But I think the results were worth the effort. Some people got lucky (?) and received 2 swatches. Just because I was in a generous mood, and know that I won't do anything with them myself.
Yes mum, there's a swatch on the way for you.

And excitingly, my first swatch arrived!! Fittingly, it was from Jesse. It's beautiful and i'm excited to put it to use.

In other project events, I added the extra straps to my printing pad. I'm not sure if they really helped, and now that I've used it a bit, there's things I should've done differently, but it's fine for my amateur purposes.

Tomorrow also marks the beginning of another project, which should perhaps be called the every second monday project.... My friend Elly and I are sending each other a handmade postcard once a fortnight. She's in Australia and I'm in New Zealand, and by the time we see each other again we should've built up quite a collection. If they're any good, perhaps we'll even have an exhibition, hey El? I'd post a picture of the postcard I've made, but that would ruin the surprise.

Last night I stayed up too late and my brain started wandering about the place. It came up with this little fella, who I think is just so adorable. I'm not much of a fan of anchovies or scrabble, but I'm sure there's other stuff we have in common. (Just give him a click if you can't see him properly).

I guess he's a work in progress, and I'm thinking I should write down one of the stories he told me last night (he would not shut up!) and draw some pictures to go along with it. Some of the little ones in my extended family might like to hear about his adventures.

Unfortunately, he's not the only character in progress. I hope he gets along with all the others in my brain. Some of them are a tad ruthless (I think - they're not very complete right now), and others are just a tad neurotic - like Warren Piece - he's troubled. Haha, I'm cracking myself up, and as I'm the only regular reader of this blog, that's the main thing.

Anyhoo, I'll endeavour to have one concise project for the next installment.

Until next Sunday....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Swatch swap....

Well a big thank you to Jesse for this week's project idea. Having said that, I don't think I had any idea what I was taking on! Jesse came up with the idea of starting a swatch swap which anyone could take part in. That was inspiration enough for me to dig out my old silkscreen and get it cleaned up. That in itself was harder than I expected, as I'd left it full of screen filler two and a half years ago. After scrubbing with turps for hours, I turned to professionals who got it looking brand new in a matter of minutes. Bless them.

Then there was the problem that I don't have a studio, let alone a printing table, so my first project for the week was to do something about that. I made a calico-covered pad that straps onto my dining table. It needs another couple of straps to pull it the other way, but my goodness, it's pretty. It's not as good as an actual printing table, but being the nomad that I am, it'll travel with me next time I do a big inter-country move. And it could always double as a camping swag. Versatile!!

Right! So then I was ready to print! I decided to go with cutting some paper stencils and screen printing them. I forgot how long it takes to cut those things out! And mine weren't even complex. (I also tried potato stamps, but the results were awful). I have a tiny selection of textile paints, so tried a few different fabric colours, teamed with a small palate of paints. Here's a selection of what I came up with:
I had a few problems (obviously). Some of the paint bled, mainly on the parallelograms (gosh I love that word). On the reds (above right) there was kind of an oil stain around the paint. If anyone (Elly?!) can give me some advice on how to overcome these mistakes, let me know. I'm also wondering if my printing pad is too spongy. I think I'll have a better idea when I add the straps to pull the pad horizontally (am i making sense?).

Anyway, you can see more of my swatches on the flickr group that's been set up for the Swatch Swap. Anyone wanna swap?

Until next Sunday....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

French knitting....

Ok, so French knitting is hardly going to give me street cred, but the museum in town has a French knitting project happening, and i thought it would be fun to get involved. The project is called the Herschell Street Lounge and you might just find some more info about it here. Basically, anyone can sit in the lounge and French knit. The lounge is in the museum's window, so passers-by can watch. The resulting strands are pinned to the wall to create a rug. It's tied in with an exhibition which I'm yet to see. It's on my long 'to-do' list.
The first thing I had to do if I was going to get involved, was to make sure I knew how to French knit. I'd done it as a kid, but that was about 20 years ago. I decided to make my own knitter, so I bought a big wooden bead with a 12mm hole. Then I hammered some nails in. I decided to just start with 4. Perhaps I'll advance to something more impressive in the future.
I still don't know how to cast off, but I'm sure I'll figure it out when the time comes. Right now I'm not sure what I'll use my French knitting for - perhaps making replica baby corn? Hehe. It's about a metre long now, so hopefully it finds a use. The important thing is that I figured out how to do something and did it. And here's me chillin' in the Herschell Street Lounge, doing my bit for the project. I'll try to remember to post a photo of the finished piece towards the end of next month.
Until next Sunday....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Welcome to the sunday project....

Well my first mistake is that I'm writing on a Saturday, but please forgive me. I need a day to figure out how to blog!

I'm one of those people with a head full of ideas, but who struggles to know where to start. My theory is that if I start a blog where I try out one idea a week, it'll force me to do something, even if it's just a little. As you've probably already worked out, I'll post each Sunday with a report on what I did and how it went.

A little bit of background on me: I'm a mechanical engineering design drafter. I know what you're thinking - boring! And well, yes sometimes it is, but I do get a strange pleasure out of what I do. I guess that's why I still do it. Actually, maybe you're thinking - geeknerd! which is perhaps not far off the mark either. But! - there's another side to me. It likes sewing, painting, drawing, writing and all kinds of other stuff. And luck for you, it's that side of me doing the blogging. Admittedly, all these things need a lot of practice, and I figure it's time to start doing just that.

Wish me luck!