Friday, July 29, 2011


Ha!!! I have discovered the secret of drawing with one's sewing machine - you have to have a special attachment called a darning foot, which allows you to twist and turn the fabric. (Of course this was a secret to no-one but me.)

Anyway, once I realised this, I was off like a shot to the sewing machine shop, and got my darning foot. This is the result of my first experiments, a small canvas called Bird.

The two left-hand faces, the birds, the word and the figure are all stitched, either on canvas, vylene-covered paper or muslin. The right-hand face (slightly obscured by the figure) is the result of an experiment where I had to draw a face with my eyes closed and without lifting my pencil.  I still have to paint the sides and cover the whole canvas with acrylic gel medium, and then I'm done. Whoooo hoooo!

Have a great weekend, everyone. Do some art!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Experiments with surfaces.

Last week's mixed media class was about different surfaces, and working on them with watercolour pencils. I wanted strong, sharp lines for my faces, like a cartoon or comic, rather than a more realistic look. (I think I achieved comical rather than comic-like but nevermind. Let me not be too harsh a critic.) For inspiration I looked at a book of Faiyum mummy portraits.

Canvas calico with gesso and blue watercolour pencil.

Plain calico with gesso and acquarelle graphite 8B.
Plain calico with gesso  and acquarelle graphite pencil 4B.
 Paper and vylene with gesso; blue watercolour pencil and acquarelle graphite 4B.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What to Pack.

Some weeks ago I received the newest addition to my collection of zines - the creation of the fantastic editorofthatblog; "that" being Up and Down Town. I adore her work, absolutely adore it! What made this one even better is that I received with my zine a tiny envelope with stickers, which I promptly used to adorn some of the pages. Interactive art - what could be better? Here are a few pages to whet your appetite.

Get yours here. And then go plan your trip!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I made a small A5 fabric book to contain all the experiments I carried out for my first mixed media session. Here are some pages:

Transfers with transfer glaze; stitching, and a nappy liner applique..

My first attempt at drawing something with my sewing machine.

Colour experiment with fabric squares, gauze, netting, fused to black nylon felting and then zapped with a heat gun. Quite hideous. If I try it again I will do it sans colour.

 Experimenting with drawing tools and seeing which ones will take a wash.

Stitched teabags as a surface.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I have been experimenting with bleach.
In this first one I sprinkled ordinary household bleach straight from the bottle.

And here I painted the bleach with a fine brush using a stencil for the letters.

Might use this idea in one of my patchwork lappies, and/or my altered book.
(I will maybe write more on the altered book later - it is in its first stages only ...)

Have a lovely weekend, wherever you are, dear friends! Experiment a little!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Herbs just do not do well in my garden. Actually, few plants do. Apart from a thriving rosemary bush, everything else gets eaten by the snails, or burnt by the sea wind. And our garden does not get a lot of sun. Also, out of sight is out of mind, so plants in my care sometimes get ... hmmmm .... a little less water than they need.



Therefore I decided to grow my herb garden inside - in the sun room, which gets more sun, has no wind, and where I can spot the wilting little buggers before they shrivel up and die on me. L'Usband built me some shelves, and friends contributed herbs. I have celery (x2),  mint (x3),  rosemary, greek oregano, oregano, thyme, parsley, coriander and rocket. I even have cat mint. (But I may get rid of that. Do we want to attract cats? Nooooo, says Snous.)

I got a set of fish knives at the car boot sale for R10, and decided to punch out some herb tags. Just so that I do not get confused ...

 Cool, hey?

Saturday, July 9, 2011


About 6 weeks ago I attended a book-making workshop, where we learnt to put together this triangular book. Triangles have never been one of my favourite shapes - they seems so sharp and pointy. An unfriendly shape.

But I have to admit that as a book, it is rather lovely. Or maybe it is just the way the pages unfold from the centre that has captivated me. I haven't filled its pages yet, but I am thinking of using it for a selection of the quotes that I collect, or perhaps poems.

(The paper for the end covers was given to me by a lovely and generous friend.)

Have a great weekend, everyone. Make a book, or read one, or write one!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A White Dog & A White Horse.

A few weeks ago we took Snous to view Kevin Brand's new public sculpture installation on Sea Point Promenade. While I was trying to get Snous to pose with one of the white horses (there are five), L'Usband snapped this picture.


Snous was not too keen to pose, it has to be said. Perhaps she was afraid that she was going to have to wear a metal vuvuzela up her backside, like the poor horse. The horses are connected via underground pipes so you can speak into the mouthpiece of one horse and listen at the tail-end of another.
(For more information on the background of the installation, read here.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Spoon necklace.

I have seen lovely spoon jewellery on the Internet & elsewhere, and decided to make my own.
Step 1: Buy an old spoon from the car boot sale.
Step 2: Saw off the handle with a small metal saw and sand with sandpaper.
Step 3: Drill a hole.
Step 4: Stamp a word on it.

Step 5: Add a bead or two.

 Step 6:  Hang on a chain.

Step 7: Wear.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Put on a necklace, go out, and enjoy yourself!