Tuesday, 20 March 2012

From woeful to wonderful

I've felt quite downhearted for the last day or two.  I'm not sure why really - but I just feel a bit homesick.  I can't really explain why - I've not felt like this before, and why I should feel like this after 8 months, with only 10 weeks left, is completely beyond me.  I'd just like to be in my own home with my own things around me.  I'm not particularly materialistic, so having lots of things is not an issue, but I'd like to have my own books to hand.  We are told at uni that they don't want all essay references to be from websites, but to include books and journals. As I like to work at home, rather than in the uni library, this makes referencing books quite difficult. 

I stayed indoors all weekend.  Not intentionally.  I had planned to go to Perth on Saturday, but that never happened, and on Sunday had planned to go for a swim but felt quite out of sorts so that never happened either.  Also the dry skin rash on my face that I've had for about 3 months all flared up again.  It had improved with the cream the pharmacist gave me, but as soon as I stopped applying it, it came back.  So instead I stayed in, and worked up some patterns for the Banksia project.  They did not turn out particularly well, but I mastered the principles of irregular spot patterns, even if they contained a few mistakes.

However, today, Tuesday, I got up feeling like I could jump over the house!  I think I was fighting off some sort of a bug, and was lethargic at the weekend because of it.  So Jim and I leapt on the bikes, and went for a swim.  We each swam 1000m  and it was the first time since we've been here, that I did 400m (8 lengths) non stop. My stamina is improving.  400m front crawl and 100m back stroke, twice.

Jim then took himself off for a bike ride, while I took myself off to Curtin.  I went to the woodwork workshop, and was a bit put out by the offhand manner of the technician when I wanted to find out how to work up my patterns in the Illustrator format for the laser cutter.  So as he obviously did not want to talk to me and Ellie, despite us having turned up at the time he asked us to, I went back to drawing patterns in the Textile workshop.  This went really well.  I'd been working in line, on spot designs, at home.  Now I moved to designing a stripe pattern with my banksia leaves.  I started working in line, then copied it and blacked out the negative areas.  This makes the pattern leap forward and gives a completely different effect.  I photocopied it and made the single stripe into a multi stripe pattern.  I think it is very effective, dramatic and eye catching.  I can see so many ways of developing it further into a fabric design.  I know I've said the banksia project should be really simple in its outcomes, but really I want to work with busy textile patterns.  I will work up a couple more stripe options then move on to a border design, then an all-over repeat.

Vertical stripe

Now it looks like wallpaper

Close-up showing definition of overlaid leaves

In the past I've been upset when I've copied design work with a lot of black areas, and discovered that it uses a lot of printer ink.  So today, having blacked out the background, and made 80% of the design black, I took the A3 design to the university print shop and printed half a dozen copies, for about 20c each, instead of using a whole print cartridge of my own, costing about $20.  As Ian Dury would have said "Reasons to be cheerful!"

All-in-all, I've had a lovely day.

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