31 October 2011

Image Transfer Experiments

Here are some experiments I've been playing with in regards to putting together some work for an exhibition. They are all done using a range of different techniques and a photo I took of a mannequin.

Paper experiments

I've been doing some experiments with quite thick brown paper as an idea for the exhibition I want to work towards. I scrunched up the paper so that I 'broke' the waxy sort of surface, I then painted it with cold tea. Below are the results, I can see real potential in these.

30 October 2011

A Wonderful Halloween Party

I've been kept busy for the last week getting organised for a Halloween Party. I don't agree with trick or treating, etc. here in Australia- but Halloween as a theme for a party seems fine. Maybe I"m a hypocrite, oh well. 

Below are a few of the photos I took for some of the food and decorations I made.

The cupcakes still tasted really good. The photo below is the jar in which I collected the body parts people had removed from their food before eating it. 

The photo below is just one of the heads that decorated the back of the house.

These other photos below were playing around with long exposures 
on my camera to try and capture light movement at night. 

And the final photo below is what my husband and I looked like for the night. 
I'm the monkey...

26 October 2011

Trying to improve my blog

I put a post on another website asking people to tell me what they thought of my blog design, style of posts, etc.

The feedback said that the background to my blog was to bright and busy. I've since altered it and hopefully it looks better.

I was also told my overall header was too large and so I've since made it somewhat smaller.

Finally, I tried to clean up how many bits and pieces I had down the right hand side.

The last comment I received is listed below.  Let me know what you think, do I need to change my style to fit with the comments below?

There is a lot of "I" in your writing. Noone has any desire
to read your diary or journal and a reader is drawn to your blog by 
interest in its purported subject. You can capture that interest 
initially easily but keeping it is another matter. Within your chosen 
subject there has to be something of general and wide appeal that 
sustains the interest of the reader to make the posting read worthy. 
And what you write should be to a general audience under your subject 
not the very few who have world enough and time for your every cute

I am honestly just thrilled that people were even willing to look at my work and be willing to try and give me some helpful advice. Thanks to those who gave me comments.

Now I just need to decide if I act on all of the comments. 

23 October 2011

Gremlins in my blog

Apologies for the weird gremlin problems my blog had in the last 2 days. For some reason my background pic and my header mysteriously disappeared despite me not changing anything at my end.

The joys of the internet.

22 October 2011

Oh how I love hand embroidery

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love hand embroidery. I find it so relaxing and therapeutic. I love the fact that I can sit and stitch while my husband is watching tv and I don't get told off for making too much noise with the sewing machine. (not that my sewing machine is meant to venture outside of my studio- sometimes it just happens magically.

Below are just a few of my hand embroidery images I wanted to share with you.

21 October 2011

I inherited these great reels of thread.

Both my grandma's died when I was very young and so I sort of adopted the elderly lady that lived next door to us while I was growing up. Her name was Flo White. Its funny how no one in the town really liked her, she tended to be rude to most people. For some reason however, she and I always got along really well. Her children knew how close I was to her and used to always say she thought of me as her grand daughter. When she died, her children knew that she would want me to have all her old textiles bits and pieced. Below are a couple of photos of the old wooden reels of cotton she left for me. A lost of them are silk and the rest are cotton and are still in good condition. Even though they're not brittle I'm still not sure I can use them, I just like to look at them and remember Mrs White.

This is one of the boxes that the threads came in. I'm not sure if these boxes have a name or not. Basically it is made of old cards (a birthday card in this case) that then have clear plastic put over the top and it is crocheted around the edge to hold it all in place.

The inside of the thread box from above. Some of the reels are really thick 
waxed linen. Very yummy.

Another box of threads that Mrs White left for me.

19 October 2011

New body of work cont...

The next lot of drawings ideas for my new body of work.

New body of work cont...

I've been working on some drawings for my new body of work. The drawings are based around trees and leaves at this stage. The drawings won't become a work as they are, they are simply some sketches on the theme linking to trees and leaves.

Starting a new body of work

As well as working on textile pieces for the SALT (South Australian Luscious Textiles) group I'm part of, I'm also starting planning for a whole new body of work. I'm crazy about hand made paper and so this is the area I will be working in. The work will not just be paper however, it will also incorporate stitch and the use of armatures. I've already started doing a few small samples for ideas I'm working on.

There will be an overall theme but I won't announce it just yet. Lets just say it is linked to leaves, vessels, handmade paper and trees. Does that help?

The photos below are a few of my experiments so far. The first thing I've been playing around with is stiffening hand made paper. All the paper below are pieces that I made myself.

Handmade paper glued onto black shapewell (Slightly blurry photo sorry)

Handmade paper ironed onto iron on interfacing.

Handmade paper painted with White glue (PVA).

18 October 2011

Invited to write for Down Under Textiles

I am so excited in regards to an email I received yesterday. Down Under Textiles have asked me to submit some articles or projects for their magazine. Woo Hoo.

Now if only my neck would fix itself so I can stay at the computer for more than 5 seconds without getting dizzy life would be great.

15 October 2011

How to post comments

I would really love some comments on my blog so that I know what people think of my work, etc.

Here are some instructions below on how to post comments on my blog in case you are unsure of the process.

At the bottom of each post, you will see information like is pictured below. Click on the image of the bit where it says '2 comments or 0 comments, etc.'

If you don't have your own blog, website, etc. You can simply click on the option for 'anonymous' and just type your comment and leave your name also if you wish.

Hope to read your comments soon. Thanks.

A great offer from Down Under Textiles

Down Under Textiles is an Australian textiles magazine that features articles on a whole range of textile areas. They have an offer on their website at the moment for a free digital copy of their magazines- Down under textiles and Down under Quilts. I think its a really good offer. The image below is the cover of the latest edition of down under textiles. The link below is to their website where you can subscribe for your free digital copy.

A tampon chandelier

This might sound totally strange, but here is the work of an artist who made a chandelier out of tampons. It is absolutely beautiful and yet also somewhat odd at the same time.

Here is the link to the original post on recycled arts website.

13 October 2011

Dangers of the internet while cooking

Below is photographic proof as to why the internet is dangerous. Cooking dinner while trying to improve your internet profile is not a good idea.

Whats in a name?

Funny how when you get married you never consider that changing your name could mean you become one of the masses. Oh course I knew Smith was a common name, but there are just way too many Sarah Smith. The last suburb I lived in had a Sarah Smith only a few streets from me. She had the same doctor, physiotherapy, hair dresser and chemist. I used to get her prescriptions and she would steal my hair appointments. I then moved suburbs and this ceased to be a problem.

I've been trying to establish a stronger online presence for myself lately, and Sarah Smith is just that bit too common. Therefore I've decided to be Sarah Bell Smith. Bell is my maiden name and I figure that it makes me slightly separate to all the other straight 'Sarah Smith's.' I've really changed it purely so that if you were to Google   'Sarah Bell Smith'  you would hopefully (fingers crossed) come up with my work.

Funny part is when I think back to my wedding day, I only decided as I walked down the isle that I would even take my husbands name.

So from here on in for all my artwork etc. (won't be changing credit cards, etc.) I am now

Sarah Bell Smith.    

Nice to meet you.

By the way, my flickr account is still the same.


So fingers are crossed that one day in the future when you google   'sarah bell smith', you will find ME......

SALT- South Australian Luscious Textiles

I feel bad as I haven't been posting much of my work on here lately. There is a reason for this however, and it isn't just that I'm totally slack. I"m part of a textiles group called SALT- South Australian Luscious Textiles. There are currently 4 textile artists in our group and we have been working together since the start of 2011. We complete one textile piece every 3 months and we work to a set size and a set theme. The themes are decided as a group and we each take the theme in our own direction.

We are hoping to exhibit some of the pieces in 2012 or 2013. Until the date of the exhibition, I can't show anyone (other than the SALT group) my work and therefore I can't post anything on here.

Its been great for me joining such a group, as it has forced me to actually produce to a timeline. I'm one of these people who has a thousand projects on a the go at once and this way I tend to actually get things finished.

I'm currently finishing off my third piece of work and have been doing the design work for the fourth piece.

I've just finished reading the book 'twelve by twelve' which has been really helpful in understanding how other groups work. It also talks about the importance of blogging. I've been blogging for a while now and people have written a few comments but other than that maybe it is just me reading my own work. So in other words, please feel free to leave me a comment, tell me what you'd like to see on my blog, etc.

Below is the link to the website for the 'twelve by twelve' group. This is a little blurb from their website.

We are twelve quilt artists who have embarked on an art challenge together. 
Every two months or so, we each make a small quilted art piece -- 
12x12 inches -- on a designated Theme or Colorplay palette. We use our blog to 
share our process and progress. The results are showcased on the
 Quilt Gallery and Artist Gallery pages of this website.

We're from different places throughout the world and our artistic 
                styles vary, but we share a love of art quilting and a desire to play,                                   experiment, learn, and grow.

Above is the cover of the 12 by 12 book.

Gorgeous embroidery threads

Oh how I love my embroidery threads. I just bought a new box for storing them and then enjoyed the job of colour coding them. My last thread box was one I bought at a fabric store and it was approximately $15.00 for a smaller one than what is now pictured. This new one is a tackle box that came from a fishing shop and it cost me about $6.00. This one also has moveable partitions, unlike my old one.

I dream of owning lots and lots of boxes like this. Maybe 1 box for each colour. Oh how i love my embroidery threads. Did I already say that???

10 October 2011

A semi decent photo of me

I actually had a semi decent photo taken of me during the Jackie Abrams workshop. I was working on my sculptural basket when it was taken.

Gorgeous Fulvio Bonavia photos

I love the work of photographer Fulvio Bonavia, he takes the most beautiful photos. He's not just a photographer however as he sets us the art for the photo shoot as well. The images below are from his series 'A matter of taste'.

Jackie Abrams Workshop final baskets

Well here are the final photos from the Jackie Abrams workshop. I've had a really bad neck and so haven't been able to post them before this.

I posted this little basket in an earlier post as being finished. I've since bent the corners down a little bit more so that you can see inside the basket better.

This is the start of a bought basket that I covered in my handmade paper.

This is the finished basket, I really like this piece.

05 October 2011

Anne Lenders baskets

Anne Lenders is a Marden Senior College student and is also doing Jackie Abrams workshop with me this week. Below are some photos of Anne's gorgeous baskets.

This basket is made with pieces of denim jeans and a barbed wire handle.

A closeup of the denim weaving.

This basket is made using wool and fabric strips over a traditional fibre base.

The basket above was made using machine wrapped cords. There is a close-up photo provided as well.

This final basket is made by weaving silk over the top of a traditional fibre basket. Note the barbed wire handle.

Gorgeous work Anne, such a shame for South Australia your moving to Tasmania (lucky Tassie's).

Jackie Abrams workshop continued

Well today was another day working with Jackie Abrams making bias plaited baskets. Below are photos of my work in progress and then my finished piece.

Adding the shoulder into my basket

Cutting back of spokes now needed.

My finished basket- side view.

My finished basket- top view.