Posts Tagged 'project'

Geekifying my girliness (Assessed Bag Part 1)

This is a mirror to my earlier post about ‘girlifying my geekiness‘ by making a pretty, lacy case for my internet tablet. I can’t help getting aesthetic about geeky things, and it seems I also can’t help but get geeky about arty things.

In City & Guilds we are currently half way through making a bag for an assessed piece of work. Week before last we were asked to create a design for the bag and my after a few initial ideas my mind kept returning to platonic solids. I’m such a maths geek! Tetrahedron or dodecahedron were favourites. In the end I plumped for the latter because it is made up of pentagons, and they are more interesting than triangles. (I’m sure normal people don’t have favourite geometric constructions).

Once I had inserted a measure of geekiness into the undertaking I took to it with enthusiasm, drawing up designs and creating a mockup out of some scrap grey felt.

On Thursday in C&G we spent the time creating the fabric from which to construct the bag, by the same method I used to make the needlecase and my notebook covers.

The fabric took ages to make, putting together tiny pieces of fabric on a felt background and then stitching all over it so much that the fabric base can barely be seen.

Once I’ve got all of the fabric made I’ll cut it into little pentagons and stitch these together with an insertion stitch, which will allow the contrasting lining to show through. Construction will occur on Thursday @ C&G. Stay tuned for pics of the finished thing.

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Ugliest cushion in the world

Last week at C&G I handed in my first assessed piece of work. It was a cushion made of dyed fabric, machine embroidery, machine lace, and braided machine cord – and I hate it. It’s not at all what I thought it would be when I envisioned it.

The fabric was a preprinted cotton I had scrunched into a sausage shape and tie-dyed purple by mixing pink and blue dyes. The method of dyeing with the two colours gave an interesting effect, most of the fabric was purple, but at the edges of the tie-dyed section there were areas of pink and areas of blue where only one of the dyes had permiated.

In class we were given the task of embellishing a piece of our dyed fabric with machine embroidery. I started out using long, straight, parallel strokes of machine embroidery to enhance the different shades of dye in different areas of the cloth.

It wasn’t until we were all well underway with our sewing that the tutor told us that this would be a piece of assessed work. Cue much woe from the assembled company. Everyone, including myself, would have liked the chance to agonise more over our design decisions had we known it was to be assessed.

I covered the face of the cushion with machine embroidery. Then I created a motif in machine lace. The motif was a simplistic flower based on the original pattern on the printed cotton. The machine lace was made by machining into a water soluble fabric to create a mesh of thread in the appropriate shape.

To finish the edges of the cushion I made five long strands of machine cord – by zigzag stitching over wool in the same colour threads I had used for the machine embroidery of the face of the cushion. These strands I braided together, leaving loose sections for variation, and then attached around the edge of the cushion.

It was a whole lot of work for one very ugly cushion. Feedback from the class was that everyone liked the machine cord and the braid. Which was probably my favourite bit too.

Project: Big Read

A friend just sent me links to the BBC’s Big Read top 200 best loved books. (1-100, 101-200).  This was the huge poll they did in 2003, asking people to vote for their favourite books. From the results they created this list.
My friend is using this list as a suggested reading list – he’s up to 140/200 read. As I’m always looking to find new things to read I thought I’d follow his example.
My starting point is that I’ve already read 78/200. Leaving me 122 to go. If I read about 1 a week I could finish by the end of 2010, but I doubt I’ll be able to keep that pace. This will be a task that takes me years! On the plus side there are quite a few kids books on the list, which I can usually read in a couple of hours (judging from my average time to read Artemis Fowl novels).
I’m going to start with Moby Dick, because I have owned it for so long and have never read it. Then move on to Winnie the Pooh, which was the only book in the Top 10 that I haven’t read. From there I’ll probably work through them in their ranked order as best I can.
I’m not looking forward to the lashings of Dickens on the list. I’ve read Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol, and (I think – A Tale of Two Cities) but I can’t say that I really enjoyed any of them. But by far the most unhappy experience of this project will be when I’m called upon to read a book on the list which looks suspiciously like it’s about football.

Project: 2 Days Later – Finished! (4 days late)

Well the film’s finally finished, and looking pretty cool. Not as awesome as I’d hoped – but I had unrealistic standards.

A huge effort was put in by our editor and director on the final weekend. Dan and I contributed music, opinions and sound effects.

Stay tuned to see how we fare in the competition.

Project: 2 Days Later – 75% filming done

With the deadline looming just over a week away we’ve completed about 75% of the filming required and hope to finish principal photography tonight.

This will leave us a week (and about 15 hours remaining out of our 48) to edit, add any effects and mix sound for those scenes which require it.  The editing task is made more difficult by the fact that the camera we borrowed to do the recording on is a Sony and hence records to horribly proprietary format files, which take a great deal of processing to make them editable.

Project: 2 days later, in progress

This is the first update on the 2 days later film project. And that’s because not much has happened so far.  We’ve had a few chats/planning meetings (~3 hours), I wrote a basic script (~2 hours), Matt’s done some storyboarding, Dan’s constructed a steadycam rig (??? hours). I don’t know exactly how we’re supposed to do our accounting of hours but it’s getting slightly flaky already – are we allowed to count seperate people’s hours on small side projects as having happened consecutively (for those tasks that don’t gate on earlier tasks’ completion at least). Who knows.

We were supposed to start filming last weekend, after Dan and I got back from holiday, but everyone kind of forgot – which is a bit rubbish. Now we’re on schedule to start filming on Sunday – but the deadline is drawing nearer and I’m starting to feel nervous.

Project: Birthday Cushion

It was a friend’s birthday on Friday, his 30th, and he’s a guy and hence hard to buy presents for. I was mulling over ideas and thought about making something out of fabric, which is one of my few talents and my current priority hobby.

A quick rummage in the fabric stash and I came up with some heavy red and green cotton. This immediately lead me to the idea of a Welsh flag motif. My friend’s Welsh and something he was miffed about recently was that his bank are no longer going to be providing him with a credit card with the Welsh dragon on, instead he’ll have to make do with a bog-standard one.

So there’s no chance that I could make a Welsh dragon logo on anything smaller than A4 size without it looking rubbish – so the plan was formed: it would have to be a cushion cover. A quick rummage in the airing cupboard came up with an uncovered cushion and I was ready to go.

Cushions are square so cutting the green and white cotton to size was pretty easy. I went for double thickness as the fabrics were slightly to thin for upholstery use. It was the work of moments to whip up the front and two back pieces.

Next – the dragon. That was more of a challenge. I printed out an A4 size outline of the flag dragon and pinned it to a board, I then pinned the fabric over the drawing and traced the dragon with a black fabric marker. I ironed some fuseable interfacing to the back of the dragon and cut him out. This was all the easy bit. Next came the time consuming bit which was to pin and baste the dragon onto the cushion front. Slightly quicker, but still pretty time consuming was the process of machine stitching the dragon to the cushion.

Dragon done I quickly whizzed the cushion front to the cushion backs, turned it right-side out for a final iron, and then marvelled at the fact that it had turned out alright. Check it out:

Dan’s also going with the handmade present theme, and I’ll add a link to his post about his present when he blogs about it.

I’m hoping my friend likes his present, but personally I’m just chuffed that I can go from fabric stash, to idea, to design, execution and completion over two evenings if I put my back into it. This is definitely one of my more successful creative projects of late.


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