Monday, 10 October 2011

A new blog

I'm settling into my new house and in the process of sorting out my new studio, so I've decided the time has come to lay this blog to rest and start afresh with a new one. 

It's called Carrie's Studio and you can find it here.  Or, you can type into your address bar:

It would be lovely to see you over there, but if you want to take the opportunity to bail out of following then there'll be no hard feelings on my part!

Thank you to everyone who has followed my witterings on this blog and who have left me lovely comments and sent me emails (especially over the last couple of months), I know I've been a bit slack about replying to everyone lately but I have appreciated your support.

Carrie x

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Life laundry

I've been away from here for quite a while now and to be honest, I haven't really missed it.  I spent a long time in my home town of Doncaster, looking after my dad in the final stages of his illness and now I've decided to move back there to be closer to my brothers and their families.  I'm having a huge clearout at home and I've recycled/given away/binned a lot of stuff including most of my college and uni work.  I want to start again afresh once I'm settled in my new house.

I've turned down a place on the Textiles MA at Manchester Uni - I didn't take the decision lightly, but I think it's the right one.  I love art and textiles, but I no longer feel any need to prove myself by spending a huge amount of money on a qualification that will serve me no real purpose. 

I'm looking for full time work so that I can get a foot back on the property ladder - a practical step that will get me closer to my ambitions than an MA will.

I think that letting go of the need to make a living from my art will make a huge improvement to my enjoyment of making and will improve the quality of what I make too.  It will take the pressure off and become what it used to be for me - an enjoyable, playful, theraputic and relaxing pastime.

Once I've moved and got sorted out, I'm going to start a new blog and abandon this one.  I had to make a new blog as part of my MA application and I realised how much fresher and more positive it felt.  I've quit my online shops for now too.  I mostly found them a pain in the neck, especially my Ebay shop - lots of stupid questions from people and unnecessary stress.

So, that's my update.  Thanks for sticking with me and when I've got my new blog, I'll post the link in case you want to continue following.  (It may be a good time to bail out if you're fed up of my ramblings!)

Oh! I nearly forgot, Amelia on 101 Birdtales is running an interesting looking experimental art e-course in Autumn.  I've been wanting to join in for ages, but things always have a habit of cropping up.  I'm going to save up for her Spring one, but she still has places left on her Autumn course. 

Monday, 18 July 2011

The toys are back in the pram

Just a quick update for anyone who may still be interested in my ramblings.  The time I've had away from the studio have put things back into perspective and I've been pottering again.  I worked a bit on my quilt but withdrew it from the show.  I'll come back to it another time - maybe!

I'll be absent from here for a while longer - maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months while I deal with some personal family stuff in my home town. 

Thank you to everyone who sent me lovely emails and comments after my last post.  I've tried to reply to everyone personally, but its a difficult time and I suspect a few may have slipped the net. 

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

I quit

My quilt has driven me to distraction over this last week.  First my machine stopped working, so I spent 5 hours stitching the backing fabric on.

This wouldn't have been so bad if the finish had been perfect, with lovely even stitches and even tension between the layers of fabrics.

However, I have spent the last week stitching and unpicking, stitching and unpicking, stitching and unpicking.  The problem is this:

Becasue the tension isn't right, no matter how carefully I stitch, I end up distorting the backing fabric, which in turn distorts the front of my quilt.  It looks terrible.  After the umpteenth time of unpicking my sewing I had a pique of rage and now it looks like this:

In short, I quit.

I'm sick of the sight of the quilt, I'm withdrawing my entry to the show and actually I'm seriously thinking of hanging up my artist hat.  I stopped enjoying making work as soon as I decided to try and make a living out of it.  The designer/maker cap doesn't fit - it never did.  Even at uni I was making art installations when everyone around me was making product.  I think I'm going to look for full time work and make art to suit myself when I feel like doing it instead of trying to force it.

I'll still follow the blogs I enjoy reading, I always like to see what other people are creating.  I'll probably carry on posting on my own blog, I'm not sure.  I've been thinking a lot lately about why I bother blogging and what the purpose of it is, but that's a whole other post for another day I think.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Making progress, despite the interuptions

I'd love to know how other people get on working from home.  I don't know how to say this without making it sound like I'm miserable and don't want to see my mates, but does anyone else have a problem with people thinking that because you are at home, then that must mean that you're not busy?  I've told people diplomatically lots of times that I work every afternoon at home, but people still think it's OK to pop in, to phone up, text, ask me to drop stuff round to their house for them etc etc.  Why?  Do office workers who work from home also have this problem?  Or is it because I'm doing something creative and there is a general assumption that "it'll be alright, she's just doing some arty farty crap"?  Maybe a studio is the answer.  I got very little done today, what with door to door sales people, meter readers, nuisance telephone calls and a friend "popping in".  OK, moan over, I probably don't deserve to have any friends and I am just being a mardy cow and should get an early night.

With the bit of afternoon that I had left, I managed to finish stitching the mill outlines:

I'm ready now I think to give it a good iron and add a layer of wadding (recycled from an old quilt) and some blue fabric for the reverse.  I need to track down a copy of the book I used in my original project as I've decided that my quilting stitches will be the embroidered memories of the mill workers from the book.  

Monday, 23 May 2011

Contains scenes of quilt butchery!

I took the plunge and cut it up:

I then spent ages drawing the mill that inspired my original project (previous post) on to large sheets of paper using a grid to help.  I racked my brain for ages trying to think of a way I could then transfer my drawing in reverse onto the back of my fabric to use as a guide for stitching.  Eventually I settled for tracing it onto the rough side of bondaweb, which I then ironed onto the reverse of the fabric.


I'm sure there's probably a better way of doing this, but it served my purpose.

I've been stitching over the guidelines for the past couple of days, but the light is too bad to take photographs.  I'm leaving some of the windows blank and others I'll be stitching with yarn that I've pulled from the edges of the backing cloth.  The idea being that the mill is fading from history, leaving nothing but the memories of those who worked there, which I'll be embroidering on before I start any quilting.

Monday, 16 May 2011

A little help from a friend

I visited my best mate from uni earlier in the week and as usual we got talking about where we're at (or not!) with our work.  It's something that I really miss from uni - another person's view point and some constructive criticism.  I gave her my honest opinion about her latest work and she reciprocated and gave me some good ideas.  I took her advice and looked back at my mill memories project from uni for inspiration on what to do with my quilt. (Cheers Jody!)

I based the project on the recorded memories of Huddersfield mill workers, in particular I was interested in how memories might become embedded in the fabric of a building and I used part of a a quote to form the whole basis of my project. 

Luckily being the hoarder that I am, I still had most of the research work.  It struck me as soon as I put it all on the wall how similar the colours and shapes are to my quilt.

I used this to do some very quick drawing work...

I've decided to chop out a large section of my quilt and apply it to a large piece of heavy woven cream cotton.  I'll then use the patterns I've found when drawing to hand stitch over the whole cloth and embroider the extended version of the quote that I used before.  I'll also try to incorporate the old image of the mill workers. The way I see it is that there's no way I'm entering it as it is at the moment, so if it doesn't work then I've not really lost anything except the tenner entry fee.