Thursday, 30 April 2009

Earlier work 1

This is some of the work that I have done over the past few years:

I made this (the red quilt on the left) with reverse applique, or Mola as it is also known. It was inspired by the motives found on Egyptian tents, but the design is my own. The Egyptians use normal applique, where they add the motifs on top of the base fabric. I changed it around, for no other reason than that I liked doing reverse applique. The cutting away and revealing what lies underneath has an element of excitement and surprise that appeal to me.

This quilt was inspired by the highly embellished Indian fabric that are used in their clothing and home decorations. One of the wonderful things about living in Dubai is being exposed to so many different cultures and all their traditions. This range from food to language to fashion.
I pieced the diamond shapes first and then embellished them one by one. I didn't plan the embellishments before the time but did them as the mood and the available treads, beads and sequinces appealed to me. It is finished of with bells as is common in Indian embroidery

This one was a g ift to my neighbour-friend's
little boy. They are SA expats too. She had a surprise baby about a year before we had ours (there's something going on in this street...) and it gave me a good excuse to make baby things again. We are both emotional about the fact that our children were not born in Africa and we worry that they won't have Africa in their blood and soul like we have, so I decided to make him a blanket with African wildlife on. I used normal fleecy blankets and worked them like felt. They worked very easy but are a bit softer and more cuddly than normal felt. I used the reverse applique/mola technique again.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Babette blanket

My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was a young girl. In those days I made dresses and blankets for my dolls. That was years ago and I haven't touched a crochet hook since. In the mean time I admired all the crochet projects that Alice made on her blog Futuregirl and when I became pregnant with my daughter at the end of 2007 I decided it was the perfect excuse to start crocheting again. I browsed around the internet for a while looking for a nice blanket and then came across this wonderful creation.The colours was 'n bit wild for me for a first project so I toned it down to suit a baby girl. I also decided to only use one colour per block to cut down on all the loose ends. This is how I designed my own Babette's blanket.As you can see, I made a few changes as I progressed. As this was my first project I wasn't sure how much yarn to get of each colour, so as I ran out of some colours I made more of other colours and adjusted the layout accordingly. My main aim was not to get two of the same colour blocks next to each other. Here are a few images of the finished product:

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Blog header

I thought I'll tell you a little bit about my blog name and the photo I used in the header.
Sol y sombra is Spanish and it means Sun and shade. It refers to life being made up of good and bad, positive and negative. For me it also means that there is never only sun or only shade, but always a combination of the two, and the challenge is to focus on the sunny bits. So even when you walk in the shade you can look towards the sun. I try to apply this philosophy to my live in general but it is very applicable to the creative process. Every wonderful creation is preceded by many hours of 'labour pains' to produce something that looks and feels right. I am sure you have all been there...One of my favourite books is called Sol y sombra. It was written by an Afrikaans writer, Uys Krige, during a two year stay in Spain from 1933 to 1935. It was only published in 1948. He said that even though Spain is one of the sunniest places in Europe it has a dark side of poverty and unemployment. It was true about the whole world then and it is still true today 74 years later.

The photo was taken on New Years day 2008 at Ras al Jinz on the east coast of Oman. My husband and myself where watching the sun rise over the new year. It was a really special moment... The track in the foreground was made by a female Greenback Turtle who came on shore the previous night to lay her eggs. We watched a few turtles lay eggs and also saw newly hatched turtles finding their way into the ocean. We felt truly blessed! Ps 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

The Golden Mean

I've been procrastinating over how to start this blog for some time now. Then on Tuesday I attended a talk by María Pérez-Luque on Art and Mathematics and I was completely blown away by the shear brilliance of it all. How awesome is our Creation! Then I knew that the best way to start talking about my own creativity is to start with the awesome work of our Creator. Just to put things into a little perspective...
Firstly she talked about the Golden Mean and the Fibonacci series. I had some knowledge of this through my architectural studies but by no means did I understand the magnitude of it. The Golden mean is a mathematical equation with which to measure scale and proportion in architecture and nature. It is usually expressed like this:(Sorry, I know this image is really small, but I am stilling getting the hang of uploading pictures... It will hopefully improve with time.)
It basically means there is a ratio of 1:1.618 between different components of the same thing. And this applies to everything from nature to architecture and art. It is also described as the formula for beauty because if something just looks 'wrong' it is usually not according to this formula.
The Fibonacci series is a series of numbers that looks like this: 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 ... the following number is always the sum of the 2 previous numbers (2+3=5; 3+5=8; etc) And when you divide one number by the previous one you get... ta da.... 1.618This sequence is evident everywhere in nature from pine cones and pineapples to the way leaves are attached to the branches.
A great website that explains this a lot better than I can and also has great images can be found hereHere are a few images from nature to illustrate this principal: