Thursday, 25 February 2010

Whipped up in a zoo frenzy

So I got a bit carried away after I started the new 'techno' elephant.

I had only just stitched him up and immediately I thought, 'what the hell am I doing? I promised myself same classic styling, but I've done it again, more of the 'crazy' that I keep trying to veer away from'. As I looked at the empty skin of the animal I decided that was it......... this one I would sell and I would make my daughter another one, a more realistic, plausible creature. So I found some dusty lurking fabric from under my desk, which happened to be a nice handwoven Harris Tweed and stitched up a camel skin.....it was only then I got a little bit excited.

I decided there was plenty of space in the living room. Having still not worked out, how I was ever going to get a sofa or a TV, ( even the British Gas man thought we'd only just moved in.....No Mr. we've been here 7 months.) I just cant work out what this 'living space' is for. Its too small for a sitting room and a dining room. The flat is also too small for me to have a studio and so the result has pretty much been, that if I can't have all three, I shall have neither. And there it is, this useless room, void of proper function has been demoted to, 'the other room'. Ridiculous I tell myself but I've not done a lot about it. I'm very much an 'all or nothing' sort of a person. And the current stance is definitely 'nothing'.

But here is my effort to change all that. "Bring out the fabric, pass me my threads and let me add a little touch of my own crazy", though just a touch mind.
I stitched and stitched, like I used to back at college, in those days gone by, feint as they are though not that long ago. Pulling another all-night er, I sung along to music feeling rebellious knowing that my daughter was asleep the other side of the hall whilst i was clutching at my old life with wide eyes and a feeling of excited sickness in the stomach that always seems to go hand-in-hand with the college all-night er. By 2:30am I had another two creatures.

Enter....A grey corduroy elephant and a brown horse. So simple, so refined, So 'what the hell are you thinking!' These animals are really large once stuffed, that to have three in the house, let alone the same room would mean any visitors would have to stand in the hall, or possibly sit on the loo if they were to drop by. I wonder if I can stack them to make space when I need it..........?

The next issue before all this, is actually to stuff them. They take about 5kg of stuffing each, possibly even more if you want them to be firm enough for your child to sit on and for them not to crinkle. Where or how i will afford to get that, i have no idea. So far my Freecycle request for old duvets has not yielded any delights so i may have to get thinking or I'm going to have to save up big time. In your average sewing shop, this amount of stuffing would cost over £140!

So for now, I present you with empty animal skins and I will get back to you when I've got them stuffed and ready for show. Keep your eyes peeled. I'm quite excited that they will turn out to be a big hit.



(excuse the competing upholstery and wallpaper patterns, this was just a working shot)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Ideas overload has caused a halt in production



Ive finally finished the tapestry for the mask, OK, i actually finished it about two weeks ago. But due to my Guerrilla style of stitching, it has warped, it always does but still i keep doing it the same way. I have put it aside for now until i become wired enough to go and sit in my icy living room to battle with it and stitch it up. Meanwhile i have been doing a few other things:

*in the middle of stitching an owl tapestry, nothing original just a pre-printed canvas that i may turn into a cushion.

*Finally finished all my cushion covers, made a patchwork and tapestry cover with a field mouse and toadstool design.

*Making some clothes and trying to correct the deformed body of a secondhand doll i got for my daughter.

* Researching and becoming totally obsessed with Playsack's. Designed in 1968 by Fredun Shapur. These printed paper sacks have a beautiful range of different animals printed on them. Pop one on and you have a complete costume! I salivate just thinking about them. I think the idea is absolutely genius. They would be such a big seller these days, I'm surprised no one has considered re-producing them. The illustrated characters are so in tune with current trends in the children's clothing/lifestyle market that they would feel very much at home, alongside contemporary Scandinavian designs. I may think about making a smaller version from a calico which i could applique on to. My daughter is too young for costumes now as she's only just walking but maybe in the future. Meanwhile i just want one of these to put on my wall. But it would be like finding a needle in a haystack i fear. So for now i shall just dream about them.

*I'm also cutting out more fabric for another sit on elephant. Just from some scrap i had already. Again its a bit 'techno', print wise but i cant afford a single penny on fabrics and luxury items at the moment. I have this cheap duvet, that although not very old keeps clumping and is incredibly uncomfortable to sleep under, so i think that will form most of the stuffing.

*Another project I'm thinking about is a cardboard playhouse. I want to create a little house in the living room that my daughter can play in. I will get lots of old boxes from local shops and start taping them together. It could be really good fun as you can keep adding extra rooms, turrets and windows whenever you want. Plus you can draw on it or paint it to make it more exciting. All you need is parcel or gaffer tape (a huge amount of floor space!) and the cardboard boxes you can get for free. When its really old and bashed up you can just put it out for recycling. How Eco can you get!

Be back when ive actually got something to show for myself!