Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Christmas Tree Decorations

What better way to spend a wet Sunday than making Christmas Tree decorations. This year I am buying a FAKE tree, The time has come to stop cutting down growing trees and I'm tired sweeping up pine needles. I want the tree to look artificial, I do not like imitations trying to look like the real thing. So after much consideration and a great deal of effort on my daughters part, below is the tree that I hope will arrive in time for Christmas.

I know it does not look much in this photo but when it is decorated with curated (my daughters word) ornaments it will be wonderful..I hope!
Some people prepare for Christmas by cooking up a storm, plum puddings, Christmas cakes and mince pies, but I don't bake so instead  preparing for Christmas here means cutting up some old sweaters and making decorations, these are a few I made on Sunday. Unfortunately my sewing machine was not working properly so on Monday I left it in to be serviced. You will see the bad stitching in the photos (I am blaming the machine).
This one I have to hand finish sewing the opening (spot the pin)
The other side looks like this

The green spotted fabric on the legs was once a favorite T-Shirt.
This was another much loved jumper.I left the buttons on it.
And here is more of that jumper. 
This one is already on display in my Bell Jar.
The Bell Jar changes according to the seasons, so maybe I should add some fluffy snow.
Getting back to my sewing machine when I left it in to the repair shop the first question I was asked was "How old is it?"
Only then did I realize that it is Thirty nine years old. I know you must be thinking I must have had it as a toddler, but no! I bought it the first year I was in The Grafton Academy studying Dress Designeing, it has served me well. I could buy a new one for less than the cost of the repair, but it is a work horse, made of metal, unlike the light weight plastic machines on the market now. At the time it was so high-spec. with zig-zag and a button hole setting as well as a couple of embroidery settings. It has served me well, how could I part with it for a newer model. When I collect it in PERFECT working order, hopefully I will post a photo of it for you all to admire.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Illustration Friday

This weeks topic is Silence, which is a coincidence as I am currently reading "A Book of Silence" by Sara Maitland. I am fortunate to live in a quiet place and Silence is part of the landscape. This abandoned house is just up the road from me and I pass it on my daily walk. It is a now Silent Homestead,

Art For Alexandra

As a visual artist I think the worst thing that could happen would be to loose either my sight or the use of my hands. The radio show Liveline (an institution here) recently featured the story of Alexandra Trotsenko, a Russian artist living in Dublin. During a break-in at her apartment she was violently assaulted, she suffered horrific injuries including the amputation of some of her fingers. Two years on she told of her ordeal on the radio show, I don't think anybody listening, especially artists were not moved by her story and her tremendous bravery. She can no longer work as an artist. So an Art Auction has been organised at Adams Blackrock. to help raise funds to support her. The works donated to the Auction should be available to view  shortly on line.
Before the attack Alexandra illustrated children's books, below is an example of her beautiful delicate, detailed  work.
I have donated Nearing Recess, an oil and ink on linen.
I hope two wealthy buyers love it and bid each other up to a decent price to acquire it!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Old Books

I love old books and I use them quiet a bit in my Collages. I am lucky that there is a fantastic second hand book store in Galway Charlie Byrnes. I see on their web site they sell books to use as furniture, I've noticed this recently,  The Mornington Hotel in Stockholm did this very effectively. I have also seen window displays with thousands of books used as props.
I especially like the illustrations in old books, Here are some photos from a book I have, even the sticker on the inside page is a thing of beauty.
It was a Sunday school prize presented for best attendance to Sally McBurney in 1924

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