Thursday, 29 November 2018

Art Elements Star Challenge Reveal

We come to the end of November and the reveal for the Art Elements Challenge of the month.  This month the challenge was set and hosted by me and I chose 'Star'.  I thought it was quite fitting for this time of year, the long nights and starry skies, which promise the following day will be bright but frosty, creating yet more sparkle as I walk through the fields when I walk my dogs.  (You can read the original blog post HERE).

The same fields I found this rather nice flat stone and painted it with acrylic and some lovely shimmery paints, I hope you can see the shine. 

For the best part of this month it has been an endless cycle of 'if it can go wrong it did' and 'when did we get this busy because I need a holiday'... hence the confusion when I was sending out the links to those that have taken part in the challenge this month - thank you all for putting up with my endless emails for corrections!  and for most of the month I did think that this stone was going to be my rather disappointing entry to the challenge BUT... in between the chaos that has been November in this house I have 'rescued' my daughters sewing machine and been teaching myself to use it.  Until this month I have struggled all my life to even sew a button on - I did write about my sewing adventure for Art Elements and you can read that  HERE.

As I say in the AE blog post, following patterns is not something I am good at - or following a recipe for that matter - so with my new found enthusiasm for all things needle and thread, I drew an outline of a doodle I did in a sketchbook some years ago of a MerCat... and yes they really do exist ;)  

In the box of scrap material left over from my daughter's Textile exam when she was at High School (6/7 years ago!) I found some heavy-ish linen material and using a combination of Inktense pencils and blocks and acrylic paint I transformed the plain fabric into my illustrative doodle.  I have to say that for any future projects (because they are already being done I have the sewing bug!) I will be sticking to Inktense as I am not so keen on the stiffness of the fabric once acrylic is applied.  I have ordered some wax to see if I can soften it but only another experiment will tell if I like it.....

I wanted to add so much more embellishments to my MerCat but time has unfortunately got away from me and I had to stop.

On her tail is a little silver charm of an anchor because I was thinking about all the boats that MerCat has seen, those sunk beneath the waves hiding their treasure for ever.... I am an avid watcher of the History Challenge and stories of the deep ;)  

Her crown is made with silver and gold coloured wire and I added a small sea horse charm.

My star is a star fish in beautiful gold raw silk, which I left the edges to fray.  I have this sample of raw silk material in the box that I have moved from house to house, county to county, one end of the country to another.  For someone that doesn't sew that box holds some treasures.  This piece of silk was given to me by my friend as the remnent from the trousers and cummerbund my son wore as her page boy at her (first!) wedding - my daughter was the little bridesmaid in a beautiful white silk dress.  It was a very glamorous wedding and my children were the only ones that were allowed to attend, they were about 4 and 6 at the time.  The whole time I was stitching this star fish I was thinking about that wedding, the dresses of the guests, many from the other side of the world, the guests that is, most were London Couture outfits and I had a friend at the time - who could sew a button on - help me make my wedding outfit as I couldn't afford a dress from Harrods!  .. my friend did do most of the sewing.. ok all the sewing I made the tea!  I remembered my daughter getting chocolate sauce down her dress, which to this day is still stained, and my son looking like a wooden soldier as he concentrated so hard to be the perfect page boy for my friend.  I remembered the room in the big posh country manor house hotel in Kent (where we lived once.. in Kent that is not the posh hotel!).  We had a four poster bed and the bathroom was fitted with an antique claw foot bath and Victorian fire place and tiles.. it was so grand.... 

But I digress....  

I really loved creating my Mercat, finding a new muse with the artist style doll.  I loved sitting and stitching on the sequins and the beads but most of all I loved thinking of the stories the bits of fabric held, even that ribbon was saved from a cake long ago.. not one I cooked I hasten to add!  

I hope you like my Mercat and you enjoy hopping around the challenge blogs to see what everyone else has made.

Guest Artists
Art Elements Team