Saturday, 11 June 2011

A summer postcard

A group of friends from my C&G course still meet monthly.  We make a small postcard sized piece on a theme each month just to keep those of us less good at motivating ourselves working. I have to admit that, even with such a small piece and a deadline, I have still been poor at doing these.

However, next week we meet, and this month the theme is summer.  I have planned several different pieces in my head, but they got no further.  One of the group does a truly inspiring mini-sketchbook for each them.  We all sigh and say we must do the same and never do.  So, all these thoughts don't even make it to paper.

Yesterday I was hunting on the computer for a particular photo and came across one I took in Scarborough a few summers ago.  They have some lovely beach huts and two women had set up a table with bright cloth and a vase of flowers and were enjoying their tea in the sunshine.  I asked if I could take their picture, thinking it would a lovely source of information.

So, this little postcard is based on that idyllic hot summer moment.

I started by drawing the picture with felt pens.  I find drawing a scene helps me be sure of the spatial arrangement and points of interest.  I then found a scrap of artist canvas, found a new sewing machine needle (that took a hunt) and a wash-out fabric marking pen.  I was going to just do free drawing with the machine but it is so long since I have done any embroidery with the machine that I drew the rough sketch first.  I then stitched with black thread, washed the cloth and left it to dry.

I gave away vast amounts of fabric recently due to an impending house move, so have fewer pieces of cloth to chose from.  I thought the table cloth, vase and flower, and the beach hut doors should be fabric snippets, and the rest left as stitch. Fortunately the stack of fabric and sundries I was going to take to College is still here, and it includes a lot of ties I painted for Rod.  It occurred to me that if I just kept those I would have access to a lot of different colours in small amount, so this will be my source for small bits of cloth.

I added a bit of colour for some of the doors, the table cloth and the flower.  I did make an error on the blue and red door but I didn't spot that until I had sewed it up (they should be shorter) and I decided not to unpick the envelope to restitch it.  The reverse has a note from these two ladies to a friend - done as always too hastily.

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