Saturday, 1 August 2015

more about painting the letters

My friend Karin lives in Ethiopia. Amharic is the national language of Ethiopia. I remember when she was planning to go there and trying to learn the language. Depending on where you read about it, there are over 250 letters! Some say over 400! As I understand it, there is a different symbol for each syllable. But that is as far as I can tell you. For this piece I am working on, I used an English/Amharic site on the web.
If you are interested in knowing a bit about Amharic, there is a lot of information about the language at this website, including some audio clips.

Anyway, here is a bit more about how I did the lettering. I used this technique for both the Amharic and the English because of the font.

I trimmed away the top and bottom of the letters, leaving them attached in the centre.

Then I traced round the letters.
As you can see, there are gaps where the attachments were. I drew in the missing sections.

And then painted them with a small paint brush using Setacolour Opaque Black.
They look fuzzy because this is a very close image, they don't look so fuzzy even when you are standing close to the work.

So, some translations:
Ethiopia

1960

Roma (Rome)

And the clue of the subject matter:
Abebe Bilika

If you know much about sports or Olympic history, you might know the occasion this work will be celebrating! Especially with the word 'running' which is above and the clue from yesterday and in the above photo about footprints.

But you will need to wait til Monday for more details!

Friday, 31 July 2015

ideas and trials

I showed you some Amharic lettering yesterday. Before I got to that stage, I trialled some ideas. I thought I could use letters cut out and placed on the surface with stamping over top...the letters being a resist allowing the void to become the letter.
So, some ideas:
patterns didn't seem to work, but the 'blank' stamp did.

However, when I tried this for real over some foot prints using a larger blank stamp, I ran in to all sorts of problems.
the cut outs were not within the space of the stamped square and then the cut out foot prints stuck to the block so well that I had to scrub them off and recut more foot prints.

So, plan B.
Paint the letters. However, I really wanted to use the font for the Amharic. I had tried to draw letters with limited success, so I really needed the font.
Okay, I could have got out the light box, but surface space is at a premium at present and I didn't feel I had time to mess about with it. I usually use the ironing board for it, as it is a good height. But that was serving as my printing table.

So, I cut round each word, leaving connections between letters.
Like this year date. These numbers were large, so worked really well.

Then I tried colouring in with a permanent marker...a small nib because I knew most of the words I wanted were quite small.

I didn't like the result, so the next step was painting in the letters. Slow, but the cricket was gripping, so that was alright.

The cutting on the Amharic words was a bit more fiddly. Especially some of the smaller sized words.

But I got a result I liked.
And from there I proceeded with the plan.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

How is your Amharic?

The current project has been a bit difficult to get going. I had a good idea, but just couldn't work out how to make it work together with other information I needed to include.
Then the Special Advisor to Design (A Certain Young Man)came by and asked me about it. And as I explained it, I realised the bit I was keen on was the bit that was keeping everything from working.

So, now I am getting somewhere.

But for now, I leave you with some Amharic which I have painted.

What wonderfully pictorial letters!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Take a Stitch Tuesday - TAST

Several storylines coming together here, so bear with me. There will be photos!

Some time ago, a friend was doing crazy quilting and became involved with a project called Take A Stitch Tuesday run by Sharon Boggon, who is well known for her online stitch dictionary of embroidery stitches. I was doing other things at the time, but I always kept it in the back of my mind to try. However, Sharon hasn't run this for some time.

Lately I have been really inspired by the stitching that Linda McLaughlin does...so, I have been playing with different ideas on how to do a bit more hand embroidery. Linda runs one of her series from her birthday, so I thought that might be a better place to start, than the beginning of the year when I seem to be very busy with the new year bead project. As part of that, I went looking for Sharon's stitch dictionary and signed up for her newsletter.

And...just about the time I was going to figure out how to make the year of embroidery stitching (but not every day!)happen...Sharon posted that she was running TAST - Take A Stitch Tuesday again! The site where the stitch dictionary is located has become very much in need of rebuilding or something, so she is transferring the stitches over to her Pintangle site.

The best advice I have heard about daily or weekly stitching projects is from Kathy Loomis who advises trying something out before the actual start. Then you can work out time issues or even whether the goal is manageable before you get to the point where you would feel you were letting the side down if you gave up. (No, not the exact words, but the principle is there.)

I started to see what to trial these ideas on and found my 'Slow Cloth' looking at me from the desk near my sewing machine. (Just realised I started this in August 2009!) Made up of 3 layers of rust dyed muslin with some small green muslin 'patches'. and then doodling on it with embroidery.
This was the 'Slow Cloth' before I did a lot of embroidery in the blank areas around the blocks.
I had got it to the point where I thought I did enough in the majority of the background, but was really stuck on what to put in that larger rusted spot.

And here is where TAST comes in! Sharon is basically reposting the original list of stitches. So, the week 1 was fly stitch.

I looked at the 'Slow Cloth' and realised I hadn't used fly stitch yet...and that it would be a great stitch for the large rust spot.
So, I have made a start using the fly stitch in a similar way you would do seeding stitch. I am thinking I will eventually fill in the rust spot, but starting with a thicker thread and working upwards with increasingly thinner ones so that it will look 'lighter' in the top part.

And to integrate these new stitches, I am adding stitches in some of those same threads in other parts of the work.

week 2 was buttonhole stitch
green thread irregular buttonhole stitch above the patch
and here with some random straight stitching changing the feel

week 3 - (today) is feather stitch)
Somewhat feathery, but I wanted to make it wander like some of the other trails in that part of the piece.

What the 'Slow Cloth' looks like now. If you scroll down through the 'Slow Cloth' posts, you can see some of the previous stitching close up.

Sharon says "The challenge is for new hands to learn the stitch or if you are an experienced stitcher take the stitch and push it a little further in a creative manner."

Now that my birthday has come, I want to do the stitches in that more creative way each week on a project. Not the 'Slow Cloth', though now am unstuck with this, it can be the 'stitching while watching telly' project.

But for now, this post will stand for the first 3 weeks.

Monday, 27 July 2015

past 1800 with beasties

On Saturday, besides being my birthday, I reached 1800 blog posts. Cool! Most of it about things I have been making.

And things which I find interesting/inspiring.

So...a few beasts and gargoyles from Oakley Court, where we had dinner on Friday night (It is very posh! But we ate in the Scullery Restaurant which is less posh, but still more posh than most anywhere else we have been.) My husband's work were doing a voucher during July if you posted a photo of you and your companions at the place where you had a meal, so we decided to do it for my birthday.

Anyway - Beasts and other statuary...

Love these close-ups of the beast below
and its companion on the other side of the door!








Sunday, 26 July 2015

And the bead keeps going on...19-15 July

Week 30 - July 2015

no.200


no.201


no.202


no.203


no.204


no.205


no.206

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Something on Saturday

My birthday!
Lovely meal out last night with A Certain Young Man and The Thoughtful Man.

A few practical gifts like Black Misty Fuse and a handheld Hoover (to get rid of strings in my room...yes, I asked for it!)

Today it was sewing through the afternoon with my sewing friends.
Who gave me some very lovely flowers.

More flowers from a friend
And gifts, cards and texts from other friends and family.
Including a different type of flour to try with my bread making!

Thank you!