Thursday, May 31, 2012

Installation Art.

Unintended installation art found in Wynberg.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Mr Darning Foot seems to have developed an obsession with sewing girls with nerdy glasses.
So this became this:

Read. (Freehand machine stitching on book pages and vintage doilies.)
Have a lovely weekend, dear friends. I will be curling up with a book, and I hope you will too ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Too long.

How long since I've last posted a salad? Too long. Much too long.
Here is one I made on the weekend:

Rosa tomatoes, chargrilled and marinated artichokes, butter beans, creamy blue cheese and pecans. And a little vinaigrette. Yummm, just the right amount of crunchiness and squishiness!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Draw 1 & 2.

This month I am attending a series of 4 drawing classes. So far I have had two classes, and they have been great. The teachers, Stanley Cohen and Van Zyl la Grange, are really, really good.  I find that I enjoy the process of drawing (apart from starting - which is quite anxiety-provoking). Once started, the process itself is rather hypnotic and before you know it the entire two hours have passed. I have unfortunately fallen into the trap of comparing my work to others in the class. And that is demoralising. The other 'students' all seem to be accomplished draughtsmen.  And indeed, upon inquiring, I found out that some of them are practising artists. They all draw so beautifully! But I am plodding along bravely and doggedly. Where there is a will there is a way and so forth. If I can just stop myself from peeking at the others' drawings, I suspect I will feel much better.

In the first class we had to choose a few objects from a box (I chose an old plug, a bit of wire and a rusted comb-thingie), do a contour drawing with a single line, and then play around with pencils from 3F to 6B to 'colour' in the background, and experiment with pressure and holding the pencil differently.

In the second lesson we were presented with a section of wet kelp. Again we did a contour drawing. I kept on getting lost between the strands. I would go up one way with my line, and on coming down I would find myself drawing an entirely different strand. We had to choose a section of our line drawing and then colour in using pencils and one or two colours mixed in with the graphite.

I can already see some improvement, I think ...

Friday, May 18, 2012


Some objects I found at the local junk shop and a car boot sale some months ago:

This is an old (probably 1950s) row counter for knitting.

A vintage thermos flask. The glass inner is broken, unfortunately, and the lid is missing, but it is so beautiful, and the colour is lovely.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Will you be knitting, or perhaps having a picnic? C'mon - be bold! Do both!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A case of Kindle ...

I do love my Kindle. So handy - like carrying an entire bookcase with you. Anyway, I used to carry mine in my handbag using a bubble-wrap envelope to protect it.

But then I saw my boro-lappie where I had left it months ago, sad and forlorn, taped against the wall above my desk. Perfect for a case for my Kindle.

And much more stylish, don't you think?

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Gosh,  I have been a busy little bee lately. With proofreading projects finished, I finally have time for my art class, my fiddlings with fabric and paper, and a second workshop (on drawing) is starting soon. I love this journey I have embarked upon. Learn as much as I can, have fun with it, and create things on the way ... What more could one want? For me it is not really about the product at the end of it. Maybe that will change, but for the moment I am just playing and experimenting and not obsessing too much about the end result.

I have been wanting to make 'paper fabric' since reading Stitch Alchemy by Kelli Perkins. Paper fabric is formed by combining layers of tissue papers, strips of other paper, fabric and ephemera, paint, stamping, etc. Everything is pasted together using acrylic gel medium - delightfully messy and gooey work. Best to cover the desk completely with cling wrap before you start!  Once dry you then use this as the background for other work. I iron on vilene so that I can stitch or embroider on it.

Journey (tissue papers, wrapping paper, newspaper, maps, shopping bag image, paint, raffia, fabric images, embroidery yarn, bamboo - photocopied, stamped, painted, hand and machine stitched.)

The quote is by Lao Tzu:
" A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving."

Monday, May 7, 2012


There are two aspects I particularly like about making stuff. One aspect is how something can change from one thing to another. I often put a 'lappie' or other creation on to the wall of my study using masking tape or prestik, and in time I see how I want to change it - what might be added or subtracted. Sometimes something gets incorporated into another piece - for example, I have used some of the batik & embroidered squares from an earlier workshop in the flags I am currently working on.

The second aspect I like is the by-products that are often the result of experimenting. I was exploring different  birds for my fabric sculpture, decided against using them, and then made a mobile with the discarded birds and bits of cotton fabric.  
Birds mobile (bird from Ikea fabric photocopied in various sizes onto tea-dyed cotton, torn cotton strips, string, buttons, stuffing)

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I purchased a new art work last week. It is part of a series by Roz Hoek based on the Anglo-Boer War. When I saw it I immediately thought of my grandfather who was a young boy during the War, and whose father (my great-grandfather) was killed in front of him by a British officer.

(Playing at War - acrylic on canvas, by Roz Hoek)

I also (eventually!) got Leenie's amazing watercolour crows framed - don't they look just beautiful?)

(A Murder of Crows - watercolour, by Leenie Black)