I am an Artist from Northern Ireland living in the U.S. with my Husband. I wanted to create a blog to showcase my art work and things that inspire me. I named my blog Peacocks and Dragonflies because they are both beautiful. I don't think all artwork has to have a deep meaning, I think that creating a beautiful item is enough. If the reaction my artwork evokes is pleasure then I am happy.
I finally finished the wall hanging that I was making for my Elena's nursery. I made bunting to go with it only I included some blue because the curtains in the room are blue. I am really pleased with the way it turned out and hope that my brother and his wife like it. I hurriedly took some pictures outside because after taking this long to finish it I wanted to ship it off right away!
I trimmed the edges of the kaleidoscope panels with ric rac (my favourite) and added covered buttons. some mini hexagons made from the striped fabric (they look a little like beach umbrellas) and some braided ribbon.
I was just reminding myself that not every little piece of art work that you do has to be for a purpose - sometimes you can just sit down and do something for the sake of it. I was thinking about a project that I did with one of my art classes once. The technique is using chalk on wet sugar paper (construction paper). So I went out and bought myself some chalk yesterday and sat down to doodle. I did several sheets it is a very quick and easy technique. When you get the pressure right the chalk just glides on the paper. It is very fun and relaxing.
The most successful piece I did was this red one. I was thinking back to the original project where I had the kids look at painting of mud huts in Africa (wish I knew the source but I can't find what I am looking for on google) They used very simple designs but the overall effect was very dramatic.
Then being me I scanned my picture and played around with the pattern variations that I could make just by flipping and rotating the picture in different collages.
Above :- Simply rotating the image creates a nice diagonal effect.
Left :- Basic repeat. I amazed that the double line I drew across the page is so even from one side to the other.
Right:- The best for last, rotating and flipping the image makes for a very interesting pattern. Far more dramatic than the original. I might buy this as a rug in Ikea!
Well not really! But our clocks have sprung forward! And the snow has melted, it has actually been a little rainy which reminds me of home and I like it. The rain cleared up so much the other day that I thought I would go for a little run - that soon turned into a walk (I am really not one for running). Shortly after my walk began I circled back to the house to get my camera to take picture of some rusty water mains covers. I love rust! I am sure I could do some work based of these pictures. I am thinking rubbings and rusting process.
I must apologise for not being around that much lately. I have had some personal issues taking over my life in the last 2 months and much as I wish that it hadn't affected my art-work or my blog, I have to admit that it rather took over my entire life. So hopefully I can put that behind me for the mean time and get back into the swing of things. I hope that some of you that used to read my blog will come back and read it again. I have been keeping up to date with a lot of you and how you have been getting on. There are some extremely productive people out there and I aim to emulate you.
The promise of nice weather on the horizon always makes me a little happier, at least I don't feel so cooped up inside the house.
And so I will end with another picture from my walk which I am sure will become much more routine than the running will. I should remember to take my camera out with me whenever I go. When you leave without it you are bound to need it at some point.
This view made me happy, I like that the tree was there first and so they built the footpath around it! It just made me smile!
Unfortunately just after this there is a car park and then the footpath does not continue, there is a lovely golf course and not foot path to walk around it - not even on the other side of the road. I would have walked on the grass bank but it was a bit wet!
Sorry I haven't posted much recently. I have had a lot of things going on which are distracting me. I will try to get back on track. The first thing I need to do is to finish this quilt. I started it back in November, for the nursery wall of my Niece. At the time she was not born but I am proud to say that I am now and Auntie and I couldn't be more excited about it! However the quilt has not progressed much since November. My plan is to get it finished in the next week and send it off to my Brothers home so that when my parents are visiting in February they can hang it up. (My Brother and Sister in Law are not big decorators and leave that kind of stuff to my parents when they come - I can't believe we are related sometimes)
Anyway, I saw a Kaleidoscope Quilt online one day and decided I would make one. It is really fun actually. The first thing you need is a fabric with a nice big print. You need to get enough yardage so that you can find the repeat at least six times. Then you need to cut equilateral triangles out of it making sure that you get the exact repeat six times. You can use a view finder or you can cut a block of triangles out and then lay them over the matching area. At the end of the day I did not have enough fabric to make every Kaleidoscope block 6 matching triangles so I mixed it up and made some of them 3 of one pattern three of another. I also Included some polka dot fabric in matching green and pink colour ways.
The next thing to do was to lay them out on the floor and arrange the pattern - this stage took a long time. What was great is that all the kaleidoscopes look so different from each other, one is almost entirely pink while another is mostly yellow.
Once you have decided the order of the blocks you sew the triangles together in strips, this is so much easier than sewing the blocks together. In the picture above the strips on the right have been sewn but those on the left have not. I have to admit I made a few mistakes at this stage with a triangle turned the wrong way as I sewed it etc. After 1 or 2 unpickings I got the basic quilt made and there it has stayed until this week when I will finish it. Watch this space.
Oh and because I am posting - I was commissioned to make this tiny pom pom heart garland from my Etsy site.
Justin and I had our first just the 2 of us Christmas. This was due to the fact that he had to go into work at 9pm and do the night shift at the hospital. So it was an interesting day - he slept in and then had to take another nap later so that he was able to be somewhat alert for work. Anyhoo, we had our Christmas slap bang in the middle of the day. I made a nice roast chicken and all the usual trimmings that one generally has with Turkey (except the Brussel sprouts).
I got some lovely presentsI finally got my Blue Morpho Butterfly necklace from neile's shop. I had wanted to buy it for my birthday but never could get round to spending the money on myself - Justin bought it for me. My luggage broke this summer and I had to sew it shut just to make it back home, Aunt Julie bought me a lovely Purple set of luggage. I got an overlocker from Justin's parents ( I actually got it at Thanksgiving but it was a Christmas gift.) Finally I got this lovely Pom-Pom scarf rom my Secret Santa. I got some other lovely gifts too!
My Mum and Dad left me a lovely parcel with lots of gorgeous items inside including these lovely pieces from Eden Pottery. I love the pottery and it is one of my favourite places to go when I am home, the owners are lovely and let my dad paint his own pieces and fire them for him, I have some great plates and bowls that he has made there. Of course we are great customers and regularly buy items in their annual "seconds "sale as well as eating the enormous cinnamon scones that they sell in the cafe. You can buy pieces from the website and I highly recommend them, my favourite current pattern is Cottage Garden after the sadly discontinued Sweet Pea series. A good friend of the family commissioned 2 sweet pea mugs for me a few years ago - a great gift.