Sunday, October 19, 2008

4 Generations

This layout of my daughter, myself, my mom and my grandmother (4 generations of eldest daughter of an eldest daughter) is going to DUCTAC to be exhibited in their upstairs gallery, seeing as my student hasn't completed her work yet and we have nothing to show the public on Open Day what my class is about. The background was made with instant coffee (about 5 years ago!) and was just perfect for this photo. I spraypainted the edges black and stamped platinum, bronze and gold ink with various flourish stamps. The photo and lettering were sewn by hand, and I glued the corner scrolls with Diamond Glaze (I just love that stuff). The little key belonged to someone's little cupboard somewhere and ended up in my stash of goodies. I already have had some more enquiries about new enrolments, and hopefully this piece will show the public that they can also make something beautiful for their homes. UPDATE: Turns out my piece wasn't hung - and let's rather leave it at that, folks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Red Bull Art of the Can

I finally finished my entry for the Red Bull Art of the Can contest held here in Dubai every 2 years. I saw these gorgeous hexagonal canvases and bought a couple to work with. They looked like patchwork pieces, and that is how I became inspired to create "Sew Appliqué-Bull".I used some scrapbooking templates to get the basic shapes, which I then arranged in hexagonal patterns. Where I didn't have a suitable template, I made one. Then I traced and cut the shapes out of the cans (and did not cut myself at all). I had to punch holes in the cans to sew them on to the canvas, and the fabric sections were glued with gel medium as a temporary fix until I could handstitch them in place.
Lastly I decorated with beads and sequins to add some texture, more pattern, and oodles of character. I handed my 3 canvases in on the 15th October and the Red Bull staff were fabulous and very friendly. Hopefully my work will be considered for the end of the year exhibition.
My brain is already working on my entry for the next competition in 2010. I'm not saying anything now, but I will definitely make use of the 2 years' preparation time to work on something spectacular.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy days

I have attracted another birthday. They always seem to find me, lol. The muses gave me a wonderful gift. After taking my daughter to school, I saw an interesting oval shape leaning against one of the dustbins. I walked over and found this coffee table (legs lying on the ground, along with all the screws, whew). I carried the whole lot home and gave it a good dusting. It is made from nice solid wood. This is a picture after assembly. The top has a bit of staining, but I'm going to give it a good sanding and then I'm going to paint it. At the moment I'm leaning towards silver legs and frame, silver edge on the top and an interesting collage on the inside of the oval.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Life in your Hands

Here is my finished piece for the Life in your Hands swap. We had to draw the outline of our hand and decorate it to represent our life. This was a fun one to make and the idea for it popped into my head as soon as I saw the theme. I also included a booklet with some current vouchers from the Dubai Entertainer, so if my swap partners come and visit Dubai before the end of December, they can have "buy one, get one free" on the ski slope, dhow cruise, some dinners and an entry to the new Atlantis waterpark! (Dubai - city of opportunity, lol.)

The base of the hand is a photograph I took of the windblown patterns in the sand in the desert just outside of Hatta. You don't have to go far away from the roadside to get awesome photos. The patterns on the fingers are one of my nicer rubberstamps - I collect ones with nice patterns on and this looked just like a henna pattern.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New swaps

Here are 2 swaps I made for my arty_international group.
First are the little houses. These were fun to make and decorate. I used some of my postage stamps that were from cardboard parcels so they had a thick backing. It added nice dimension. I also added some scented flower petals and used some of my old buttons. The Justice houses feature one of my carved stamps. The image is from an old photo of a school play in the 1960s. The guy looked very lawyerly, so I mirror-imaged it and tinted it blue to match the sequins.
Here are my ATCs for the Birds swap. I stamped the rooster on purple satin and free-motion stitched it to the cardstock. My first attempt at free-motion stitching, and I am quite pleased with the look. I added some more scented flower petals and affixed them with office brads that I tinted green using Stazon ink. I finished them off by stamping with scrapbooking acrylic daubers around the border. I love these roosters, they look so cheerful and fresh (must be the lime, heehee!).

It's a BLUE thing

A good day's shopping at the Dragon Mart. I found these flower bedecked hairclips for 5 dirhams each and bought all the blue ones. The fabric is gorgeous and I've taken them apart to use in my art.

The fabric is velvety and has purple mixed in with the blues - irresistable!

Of course, I just HAD to put them all in my hair to see what it looked like. It reminds me of the swimcaps from the 1960s that were full of flowerpetals too, lol.

Beauty and the Beast

Here is a little canvas I did. The photo came from a bundle my sister bought at a second-hand shop on the south coast in South Africa. After the lady died, her niece dumped the photos at the shop. This lady had some amazing adventures: she travelled around Africa in her little caravan, she went to Spain, Greece and all during the 1940s and 1950s.

Here she is posing on a tree trunk in her little bikini. There are pencil marks on the photo where she tried to make her thighs look thinner! I immediately thought of the song "Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" and coloured the bikini yellow. The gold flourishes are beads I embroidered by hand. The photo is surrounded by yellow letter beads: Z or N (depending on orientation) and O. Together they make Zero or No, another little commentary on social issues for women.

I find it fascinating that this lady was brave enough to be seen in public in her bikini, but privately she tried to alter the proof thereof. Each woman has to deal with her inner beast.

This piece is currently on display at Paperlane scrapbook shop in Dubai, where I am going to be teaching classes part-time from September.