Archive for July, 2011

Hello again after yet another fairly long lapse.  This year seems to be flying by.

I have been busy with my photography and of course many more Dubai pieces.

I finished the last post with an image of the butterfly duffle bag which took its design source from the hanging butterflies of one of the Dubai Mall domes.

I created many sheer fabric butterflies some of which were for the duffle bag and the rest were for a mobile and a panel.  The mobile wasn’t an easy piece to photograph.  Not only did I have to contend with shiny sheer fabric, metallic threads and glass beads but it also constantly moved so many of the images were binned.  This was a reasonable success.


The panel is a representation of the dome and used a machine stitch pattern of butterflies.  It could be used as a book cover or box lid.  I am leaving it as a panel for the moment.

Another very rich design source was the Heritage village, just a short walk from our hotel.  One of the buildings had a very distinct ornate ballistrade which I have used for many pieces.

I made a stencil and a stamp using two of the designs.

This design was used for the stencil which I made using an acetate sheet.  The acetate sheet is thick and strong enough to use over and over again – just be vigilant about cleaning the stencil (and stamps) before the paints dry.

I used the stamp and the stencil to create a large tote/bag.  The fabric was a sandy weave and I used red, bronze and gold metallic paints.  The stamped and stencilled motifs were then quilted and outlined with free machining.  The back of the tote mirrored the same design but this time I just free machined the motif designs.  I also made some bag tags to hang from the handle.

Another set of designs were taken from a wall of windows.  The bottom windows were shuttered and the top set were false painted windows. It was the false windows which caught my eye and became the source of many pieces.

I chose two of the designs and created patterns.

I transposed these onto graph paper and created blackwork designs to stitch onto Aida fabric.  These were perfect for taking away on holiday, which I did, so a number of them were stitched sitting by the pool over in Florida.  I still have many more to do but will keep them for the next trip away in October (or before if things go to plan).  They were perfect for bag tags, ipod touch phone pouches etc.

This is a little bag tag and the following image is the ipod touch pouch which will hang from a belt loop or handle of a handbag.  It is lined with a nice soft thin felt.

While we were in Dubai, we stayed at the Arabian Coutyard hotel & Spa.  It is situated in the old part of Dubai just a short walk from the Creek and opposite the Fort museum and a short walk from the Heritage village and lots of shops and souks.  It is very different from the large showy beach hotels but with as high a standard.  We didn’t want to be by the beach although this hotel provides free transport to and from the beach if required.  We wanted to be in a much more interesting area and from where we could go for a stroll.  The Creek is the place to be in the evening with lots of lit up floating restaurants which set sail when all customers are on board and everyone promenades along the side of the Creek.  We enjoyed Dubai so much we are going back for a longer visit in October and staying in this hotel again.

The hotel itself provided me with more ideas and designs.  I posted one at the beginning of this project – an embossed metal shim box.

This is the front of the hotel-

We were on the top floor to the left and were overlooking the museum.  I took a close up of the two centre panels and in Photoshop, applied a filter to give me this special effect.

The two arched columns were done using blackwork. I took this first stage away with me and they were stitched over in Florida. It took a long time – a lot longer than I thought it would.  It was a very small intricate pattern.  The painted, sponged,padded and quilted  overlay was created on my return.  When it was complete I stretched it over a box frame.

I used the Arabic writing motif in the centre of the hotel name for a tassel.  I isolated the motif, digitised it  and sent it to my embroidery machine to stitch out four of them to form the tassel head.

This is the last of the photographed pieces.  I have quite a number of pieces still to photograph so they will be in the next post.

This project just keeps growing as I have many more ideas, sketches and designs in the pipeline so I had better get back to it.

Until the next post, cheers everyone.

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