24 September 2016

Recently thrifted: Applique book

I found this great little retro book in a charity shop recently for £1. I really love the pictures inside it , which have a style which takes me right back to my primary school days. I particularly like these pictures of kings. I'm not sure that I'm planning to do any applique anytime soon, but these images will certainly inspire me in other ways!

Blogger Tricks

22 September 2016

Keele University

At the end of July I went to the Hazards Conference down at Keele Uni as one of the Unison Fife representatives. I've written about the conference over on the Unison Fife website, so here's a bit about the campus which was really lovely. The church above was a really unusual building, very modern and un-church-like, and it shone a silvery-grey in the sunshine.

Since one of the things discussed at the conference was stress, we particularly liked this quote by David Mamet in the refectory: "We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie". And on the way we also saw the mysterious PIES grafitti on the bridges which had been mentioned on the news earlier that week (it's a band that has been around for years but finally released an album).

The meals were great!

There were interesting sculptures. We were sure that the person sitting in the sculpture below was the Pokemon gym master defending their territory!

And a lovely area to walk around a series of ponds.

19 September 2016

Embroidered jeans

I saw a picture of a great pair of embroidered shorts that were going to be in Issue 68 of Mollie Makes. I didn't ever get round to buying that issue, though (Asda don't stock it any more and I'm not often in a branch of WH Smith that has it! OK, so I should subscribe, but I like to buy magazines as a treat when I'm out and about). So I decided to have a go at embroidering a pair of jeans in a similar manner, without the pattern.
It was great fun choosing the colours of embroidery thread to use for this project. Luckily I got a job lot of embroidery threads years ago, so I have almost every imaginable colour! I used a piece of floral patterned fabric with a blue background as inspiration for the colour scheme.
I roughly drew the leaf shapes on with a white fabric pencil, then embroidered them in different styles and colours. The whole project took me a couple of afternoons.

17 September 2016

Galerie Mirages rings

To round off my week of exhibitions, I thought I would show off my two new rings that I got from Galerie Mirages.

Every year this jewellery shop hosts an exhibition of jewellery from around the world, and this is how I found out about the shop and visited for the first time last year. I must have passed it countless times before that in Stockbridge, but it's tucked away and I hadn't noticed it.

I fell in love with the jewellery there last year, and I decided that on my next visit I would buy myself a ring. It turned out it took me a whole year to go back.

I had really loved the turquoise rings in particular, so I tried on various ones and finally made a decision. It's a really striking shape, but not too bulky for everyday wear.

But while I was looking around a sparkly blue topaz ring also caught my eye (because it's a similar colour to my birth stone, aquamarine), so I tried that on as well and couldn't resist it!

16 September 2016

Inspiring Impressionism

This exhibition, at the Scottish National Gallery, was all about the mutual influences between three artists, Monet, Van Gogh, and Daubigny (the last of whom I hadn't ever heard of). It was interesting to see the paintings arranged to show the similarities between them.
I bought a graphic novel about Van Gogh with was really good.
The outside of the gallery was decorated to advertise the exhibition.

15 September 2016

Adventures in Space

As a big fan of sci-fi (books, TV and films), this exhibition about science fiction and architecture was a must for me. 

I was a little disappointed about it in some ways, as there were only illustrations on the wall and no items associated with the books, films or TV shows the exhibition was about - I had hoped there would be display cases with old copies of books and comics, and some stills and props from films and TV shows, as well as some photos of the real-world architecture that they were being compared to. This seems to be a trend with exhibitions, as I felt something similar about the Nature of Art Nouveau exhibition last year. While it's nice to have some boards on the wall telling you about a subject, this is something that could be displayed in, for example, a shopping centre or park, and I expect a bit more from a gallery.

Having said that, it was great to be reminded of all my favourite sci-fi, and to see illustrations representing them all. And to see "Don't Panic" displayed in large friendly letters on the wall!

14 September 2016

Surreal Encounters

This was a great exhibition of surrealist art that I went to at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. I wandered around the exhibition and did some drawings of those artworks that most appealed to me, including some by Magritte, Picasso, Dali and Miro.
There were also some fun surreal items outside the gallery, including a concrete sofa! Before I left I had a lovely lunch in the cafe downstairs.

13 September 2016

Paper Trail exhibition

This week I'll be telling you about some of the exhibitions I went to over my summer holidays.

This was a free exhibition I went to at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh recently. There were all sorts of works on paper from their own collection, including watercolours, drawings and prints.

I particularly liked this piece, the Mappa Midlothian by Jane Hyslop, because I've been experimenting with illustrated maps recently.