Saturday, 23 April 2011

My Spider Sense Is Tingling


When I went to Universal Islands of Adventure in Florida we saw a sweatshirt with Spiderman embroidered on it. My friend who is a huge Spiderman fan loved it, but the sweatshirt was super expensive so I said I would embroider it for him. The design was a really cool outline in red, blue and white in satin stitch - probably done by machine. I did it by hand of course! It didn't actually take as long as I thought as it is a simple outline. Now I kinda want to do a Superman version... maybe this will turn into a comic series?!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Hope For Japan - Finished!

japan Finished_1

My charity piece for Japan is finally finished! I decided to add a hand printed background and Japanese characters around the outside of the flag to finish it off...

Japan background_1

When I get home in about a months time I am going to put this up for sale in my
Etsy shop and the proceeds will go the the Red Cross to help Japan. If you're interested you can email me here

You can still donate to the Red Cross here as well

Saturday, 16 April 2011

To Infinity and Beyond!

kennedy 8_2
The International Space Station

As well as going to the Harry Potter Exhibit for my birthday, I also visited Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. I was fortunate enough to go on the day of the 30th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle launch. Columbia was the first shuttle sent into space that could be reused after its return and to commemorate the day Kennedy Space Centre had a presentation and lots of astronauts walking around talking to people and taking photos!

That would be Endeavour behind me, yes.

The Space Centre is very interesting. The best way to see everything is to take the bus tour. This takes you out to the observation deck, from which we could see Endeavour - the second to last shuttle Kennedy will currently launch - on launch pad A. It then takes you to see a replica of the Saturn 5 launch when space history was made. The tour is very well narrated by your bus drivers and there are some very interesting things to see, including a selection of space suits and, my fave, a space suit repair kit!

Kennedy 2_2
Endeavour on launch pad A

The Crawler used to move the shuttle to the launch pads

The Saturn 5's engines

A space suit repair kit!

After the bus tour we went back to the main visitors centre and saw the rocket garden - full of old rockets of course - and watched the Star Trek Live! show. This is lots of fun for kids. There is even an art exhibition to peruse of Kennedy related art.

The Rocket Garden

Inside a shuttle - still looking for the real astronauts we were promised!

At the end of the day we finally met a real astronaut. Bob Springer has spent over 200 hours in space, taken part in numerous experiments while up there and taken video footage in HD of our planet and its atmosphere for various documentaries - a very intelligent and space experienced man!

There he is! Our real astronaut Bob Springer!

Even though I do not consider myself a space nut, the Kennedy Space Centre was lots of fun. Add it to your list of great Florida attractions when you visit!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Exhibition Report: Harry Potter - The Exhibition

Harry Potter Exhibition 1_2

This week it was my birthday - yay!! I treated myself to the Harry Potter Exhibition that is currently at the Discovery Center in New York, just off of Times Square.

If you haven't managed to catch this exhibition as it tours the US, you are missing out! As a complete costume geek this exhibition was a real treat. The displays are set out in groups based on areas of the movies, for example, Griffindor Tower, Hagrid's Hut, The Forbidden Forest, Herbology etc. In each section there is a very well presented display of props, costumes and artifacts from the Harry Potter movies. Now, I am not a big fan of the movies, preferring the books instead, but it is the attention to detail that has made these movies successful despite my own opinions of them. Mostly, the costumes are well designed (I have a personal problem with the 'school uniform' aspect though) and there are quirky little touches that destinquish the wizards and witches from the muggles. For me, these were the most interesting things on display at the exhibition. Things like Sirius Black having a double collar on his button down shirt, Bellatrix Lastrange having a leather wand sheath sewn into the design of her corset, the intricate engravings on the Deatheater masks and the overlaid dyeing on the invisibility cloak are just a few I picked up.

This exhibition is fun and a visual feast. The props and sets are just as detailed as the costumes to create a world that you wish was real. The one thing that really surprised me was how big Hagrid actually was. I expected his size to be camera tricks and therefore the actually costume to be regular human sized. This is not the case! Hagrid is actually bigger than the other humans so Robbie Coltraine has a huge costume that must have been padded and stilted to the nines! Very interesting indeed!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Book Review: Fabric Art Workshop


I was browsing through the craft book section of my local Borders the other day, actually looking for stuff on natural dyes. I found some good books on that subject, but another book about fibre arts jumped out at me and said ‘buy me!!’ Of course when a book says that to you, just have to buy it don’t you?!

The book is called Fabric Art Workshop by Susan Stein. I was very interested to see that it contained instructions on using Angelina fibre. I have some of this at home and have been shown at a craft fair how to use it. Of course, then I went away on a ship and forgot it all! This will come in handy when I get back on land and can have a go with this great looking sparkly stuff.

There is also a lot about printmaking in this book. I LOVE printmaking. When I was back in art college printing was my favourite thing to do but I have gotten out of the habit because it can be very messy and take up a lot of space. The techniques in the book use whatever you can find lying around and bring great results! I did a few of them and they have come out better than I thought. I find that this book encourages you to go further as well and try out whatever comes to hand.

I urge anyone who wants to create their own unique fabrics or play with fibres to get this book. It have very clear instructions with photos and advice. I found that I wanted to do all of the techniques right now! I found to be very inspiring as well and can’t wait until I get home to really try out all of these techniques!

fabric art workshop 2