Monday, 18 March 2019

Outdoor art in Hull

A usual Monday today. Crafty Club till 12 noon, then coffee with a friend, two coffees actually, and a very long natter. When I got home in the middle of the afternoon I had a very late lunch, so that made my evening dinner late as well. I did a quick one, a pot of frozen chopped onions, half a tin of chick peas, and a packet of rice noodles. In a pan with a spot of oil and seasoning.

I took a few outdoor photo's in Hull last week, of some very colourful and arty graffiti. I walked over the Drypool Bridge, even that looked cheerful in the sunlight.

I think there's some talented artists here. I'd love to watch them do this. I think it must be difficult with spray paint.

View from the bridge.

I'd like to see a lot more of this kind of art, it looks so cheerful.   ilona

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Update on new plastic artwork.

The weather was a bit better today so I did my walk in the morning. Mind you it took me twice as long due to all the people and dogs I stopped to chat to.

I've been getting on with the new art project, it's coming together nicely. All of the plastic embellishments are finished, it's just a matter of stitching them onto the backing, then framing it. I've made a video of the job so far, I'll make another one when it's finished.

Must get on, Toodle pip.  ilona

Friday, 15 March 2019

More pictures from Ferens Gallery.

You'll need your sunglasses on for this one, lots of bright colours. This is a painting, quite a large painting. I'm not a big fan of abstract, but when there has been many hours of work put into it, and such detail, I have to be impressed. From a distance it looks like it's been done on a computer.
But look closely and every shape has been drawn with a pencil and coloured in with paint. Flippin amazing.

A wall hanging in wet felting. Lots of texture.

This exhibit is a little odd, but quite intriguing. Each stick has a hand attached to it, and is waving a lacy white scarf. I think the message here is perhaps something to do with surrender.

Back to colour. Residents of Hull will recognize some of the iconic buildings,this picture is crammed full of details of the city and surrounding area.

A close up, look how neatly it is painted.

More wet felting.

And look at this stunning picture. Isn't it fabulous.

Look closely and it's pieces of painted paper stuck down to make a collage.

Pieces of paper torn from magazines make up this landscape.

Three very large pictures.

Now look closely, the design is made up of painted dots of various sizes, and stripes. So very skillful.

You can click on a picture and it will come bigger as a slide show. It's a very good exhibition and is on until the middle of April at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull.  ilona

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Open Exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery.

I had a day out in Hull today, I wanted to see the Open Exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery, before it closes next month. You may remember I entered three pictures in this last year but didn't get accepted. I didn't  apply this year. 
It was rip roaring windy today, and the bus battled it's way over the Humber Bridge. It was rattling and knocking, and there was a massive bang which appeared to come from the back end. It sounded just like a tyre blowing. That happened to me once when I was driving a coach over the Thelwall Viaduct in the third lane of the M6, at 70mph. Luckily it was a back tyre, not a front one. Today it wasn't a tyre, I don't know what caused the bang. 
I see they have modified the bus route slightly since I last traveled on the 350 from Scunthorpe. There is a new shorter cut into the Paragon Bus Station, entering it from the back instead of getting stuck in traffic going round the front of the railway station. Same coming out, much better. 
I took quite a few pictures of the artworks. Mostly I was interested in the textile pictures, but some of the paintings were also stunning. I'll divide them up into separate posts, too many to put them all together. 
This is a quilt, about the size of a toddlers cot. Very small pieces, with hand stitching embellishments. A lot of metalic threads were used. 

The green cords are couched on with very small neat stitches.

I bet you can't guess what this picture is made with. They look like small tiles, until you get closer.

Feathers, cut into tiny squares and stuck on with glue.

These are long pieces of calico, strips torn off a larger piece, and stretched out between two pieces of wood at each end and secured to the wall.

On closer inspection they have small pictures painted on and stitched over with free motions machine stitching. The odd thing is all the threads have been left loose to hang down. I couldn't leave my work like that, I would have to tidy up and trim them.

How to turn an ironing board into an artwork. Paint a body with a colourful costume on a piece of board and screw it on.

A small painting with lots of texture, on a piece of broken pallet board.

Couldn't quite work this out. It looks like layered papier mache with plaster added to it, to give it thickness and strength, then painted and glazed.
A woven wall hanging. I like the wavy lines.

I didn't buy a brochure for £2.50 so I can't give you any artists names or prices. I did see a lot of little red dots however, so quite a lot have sold.

I'll put some more pics on tomorrow.  ilona

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A super bargain offer.

I've just posted this on a forum, so to save time and effort of writing a blog post today, I will copy and paste it here.

I have in my possession a 'No Licence Needed confirmation', from TV They thank me for telling them that I don't need a TV licence, and this claim will last until February 2021. They very kindly tell me that I won't receive any more letters from them until just before this expires. 

I am able to offer a copy of this letter with your own details, name, address, superimposed at the top of the letter, and on the certificate at the bottom. You can then present your own confirmation to the TV licensing people when they come knocking at your door. Show them this exemption and they will go away. 

As this service will incur great expense to me, scanning, copy and pasting, printing and photocopying, I must ask for recompense. However, I have a 'mates rates' exclusively for my reader friends on the blog. Please dispatch to me at your earliest convenience in a plain brown envelope, the sum of £75, sorry cash only, used notes, with your details to be entered onto the confirmation. Hurry in case your current TV licence is about to expire, and I will endeavour to send your confirmation back by return post.  

I think you will agree that this offer is much more preferable to the current system of robbing you of £150 for a TV licence. Don't delay, do it today.


Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Happy Birthday

So, the World Wide Web is thirty years old today. Happy Birthday, but is it really something to celebrate, or is the internet the biggest evil of our century?

There's no doubt that it has made life more interesting, the way we now have a whole library at our disposal in our own homes. A few clicks and we can find out about anything we like. We can study subjects to further our education, there are distance learning courses, and we can learn new skills from videos posted by people who have all ready worked out how to do something. We can join communities of like minded people, always someone to talk to on forums so nobody needs to feel isolated and alone.

The internet has given me a hobby, an outlet for my creative juices, which helps keep my brain ticking over. Putting words together to make some kind of sense is an extension of me being creative with my hands. I need to run the two skills side by side to enrich my life. My head is never silent.

Then there's the dark side of the WWW. Where there are gains to be had, there are also evils to contend with. I remember when I was younger, before I had a computer, my world was a very much smaller place. I didn't take much notice of anything happening further afield, apart from the big news stories which hit the headlines in the newspapers or on the TV screen.

Now there is too much information available to me and I have to be more selective with my reading matter. Yes, my brain has expanded at an alarming rate over the last few years, as I've become more aware of what is happening in other parts of the world. Now I find myself peddling backwards, skim reading anything which will not directly enhance my life. I'm pulling in the drawbridge, blotting things out that I don't need to know about. 

A bit dramatic I know. We can't get away from world crime on our little island, the internet is the bridge which brings it here. If something cannot be done to curb the easy access that criminals have to peddle their evil anywhere they like, crime will grow and grow. Crime has a free passage through the internet.  Maybe a time will come where we have to kill it off.    ilona

Monday, 11 March 2019

Re using, recycling, up cycling bedding.

I thought it was about time I did a little video, so here ya go. Me making pet beds and seat covers out of second hand bedding, with a helping hand from Mayze. Please excuse her bottom, she is a bit shy of cameras.

The large duvet has been cut up and I have nine more small ones to make up. And I've still got another duvet upstairs that is waiting for the chop, plus a couple of pillows. I must stop taking in any more for the time being. So much to do and so little time. I gave Crafty Club a miss this morning because I have been busy here.  Mundane stuff is stifling my creativity, must get back to my art.  ilona

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Subscription V free (Updated)

A couple of yoootoooobers I follow have recently announced that they have opened an account with Patreon. I had never heard of this before so it prompted me to explore further.

Here is the Wiki link.  It is a membership platform with headquarters in San Francisco, and first came onto the www in 2013. Patreon provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, so artists can build relationships with their subscribers. It allows them to receive money from their fans, and Patreon charges a commission for each donation. I suggest you read the whole of the Wiki report to understand how it works.

Here is David with an introduction to Cruising the Cut, on his Patreon page.

And here is Rafi talking about his new Patreon page.

It will be interesting to see where all this goes. Will yootoob content shrink because contributors are moving over to Patreon? I have noticed that there are more adverts creeping in at the start of every yootoob video. They can be skipped but if they are the contributor receives no money from them so they are giving their services for free. The money they do receive if the adverts play to the end  however, is a pittance.

I can see how those vloggers who are doing this as part of their work do need to be paid. Everyone of working age needs to earn a living. But it means more decisions for us watchers who choose the free yoootoob channel. We can opt in to pay for extra content on the Patreon channels, if we so wish.

Yoootoob V Patreon, it seems there is a two tier system, those who pay get more content, some people won't mind that, and those who want to stick with the free content. A bit like television really, there are free channels, and those that you have to pay a subscription to access.

As living within my means, money saving, frugal and simple living, is embedded in my brain, I will have to evaluate what is the best deal for me, as I do with all my outgoings. I have an aversion to signing up for any subscriptions, direct debits, standing orders, and memberships. No one gets access to my bank account or card details unless there really is no alternative. I do have money to spare and keep a tight hold on it, until such time that I decide how I spend it. Any charitable donations are paid for as and when I can afford it, always with a cheque or cash.

I'm interested in what subscriptions you pay for which you think are good value for money? And what would you never pay extra for because you already get what you want very cheaply or free?

I wish David and Rafi good luck with their new channels. They seem like thoroughly decent people who want to pay their own way in life. Their work is a lifestyle choice, and they put a lot of time and effort into it. The High Street shops may be closing, but people are looking for new ways to earn a living.  ilona

PS. I have received a message from David at Cruising the Cut, he has clarified a few misconceptions that he feels I have touched on. I tend to see things in black and white. I am an 'either/or' person, sometimes the middle bit is not always obvious to me, especially if some of it is missing.

I will let David explain what I got wrong.

I think I should clarify that Patreon is not a new "channel" for me (nor indeed is it new as I've had Patreon for ages). Rather, I view Patreon (as I clearly say in the text on my page there) very much just as a means for people who enjoy my videos and want to chip a donation my way, as a means to do so. It is not an alternative to YouTube and it's certainly not "YouTube vs Patreon" as you suggest. Whilst I do offer some Patrons a little extra "bonus" content, it's very intermittent and very much thrown together. My main output is, and will remain, YouTube.

Thank you David for that. ilona

Thursday, 7 March 2019

New ideas

It's been raining for most of the day so I have been playing with an idea. Started a new picture, don't know whether to frame it, or make a wall hanging. I'll see how it goes and decide later. First take a piece of green baize, 18 inches by 23 inches, and add a lot of scraps, fabric, wool, and pieces of mesh. Spread them out. 
Close up.

Then add tons of free motion stitching with the new machine, all over it to hold it down and flatten it out. It took ages to do, trying to keep it all in place without it all falling off. I used a large hoop to do one section at a time. It was good practice. I have an open toe foot for doing this, now I know that I should have bought a closed toe, because it kept catching on the uneven surface.

Close up. It looks messy, it's supposed to look messy. Lots of texture.

The next part. Using plastics and wool to create interesting patterns.

I have joined these bottle tops together with wire at the back. Punch holes in them with a map pin, and add stitching.

More ideas to come, it will be a masterpiece.   ilona

PS. I have added a new link to a sewing blog on the sidebar. McAnaraks makes some nice things. 

Thursday funny



Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Free, upcycled shopping bags

What is better than a 10p plastic bag for life, that can be exchanged for a new one every time it wears out? Answer....a free, very strong bag that is never going to wear out, and it's not plastic.
Can you guess what these were in their previous life? The fabric is similar to the bags I made from a gazebo roof, these are a bit thicker and stronger.  
This will give you a clue. It has a wide hem along the top edge, the opening used to be where you pushed the poles in and out. It started life as a long piece of fabric, found in my uncles garage. It used to be a sunlounger, don't know what happened to the poles. After a good scrub on the table outside, I cut it in half, trimmed off the hems on three sides, used the uffcuts to make handles, and bingo, two free shopping bags.

All I had to do was sew up the bottom and one side, make a boxy bottom by nipping in the corners, fold handles into three and sew, and attach them with five rows of machining. The motifs I cut from non fraying material from the Scrapstore and hand stitched the layers together with matching red and yellow thread, with the outer edge being stitched directly onto the bag. 

I'm going to keep these for myself, and show them off at every opportunity just to get the message out there. STOP BUYING PLASTIC BAGS.  Toodle pip. ilona

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Wetherby, Linton, Collingham, and Sicklinghall ramble

Here are the last of the photo's from last weeks ramblings in Yorkshire. Not so many on this post, I only did seven miles. A note on calculating my mileage, I don't bother with parts of miles, if it is less than half a mile I round it down, if it is more than half a mile, I round it up. I am not going to bother with 7.45 or 10.65. It all evens itself out in the end. 
I checked out of the hotel after breakfast and drove to Wetherby, which is on the way home. There is a large free car park as you come into the town, it used to be a railway station. That will do me. Across the road is a footpath next to the river leading to Linton Ings. It was a misty morning, I don't think there is going to be much sun today. 
The path leaves the river and is diverted around and through a golf course. Signs up saying watch for flying golf balls. Then it goes under this bridge, and up towards the backs of houses and onto the road.

I followed the road into Linton. A converted church next to the road. I would love to live in a church.

The front door caught my attention, a pussy cat lover lives here I think.

On I rambled to Collingham, passing over this river bridge.

A quick walk round Collingham and back over the bridge towards Linton. The daffodils are starting to bloom.

I took a path down a track alongside some big posh houses with wonderful views across the river. It eventually joined a road at Sicklinghall House, which went to the village of Sicklinghall. Very strange name I think. In the village I did a right turn and followed the road back to Wetherby.

Three marks on the map for three walks. I write on my maps so I know where I have been and can look for new routes next time I am in the area. A total of 28 miles walked on this trip.

I do like to get away for a few days, I need a break from house duties, and thanks to my good friend Janet who takes over, I can get my fix of the great outdoors.  ilona