Saturday, October 27, 2012

TEXTILES IN SCOTLAND: LOOKING AND BUYING

Inveraray Castle, Scotland

One of our stops in Scotland was Inveraray Castle, the home of the 13th Duke of Argyll and his family.  Work on the castle began around 1746 and took 43 years to complete.  The home and gardens are immaculate and much history is found throughout.  I was excited by the many tapestries seen throughout our tour and delighted to find weavings by Louise Oppenheimer in the castle gift shop.  There were quite a few of her works and it took some thinking over lunch to decide which I would bring home with me.

  This is the piece I decided to purchase.  By Louise Oppenheimer.  I just love the feel of the blues, golds and greens against the red background along with the movement created.  It is now at home in our living room.

Close-up of work. (Louise Oppenheimer)

We traveled to more than a few woolen mills. Each town seemed to have its own shops for selling wool products.

Power loom with work in progress.

Information about power looms.  I only wish I could hook that fast!

Samples of fabrics woven at the mill.

Wool samples from mill.

  You don't go too far in Scotland without seeing fields full of sheep.  These were hiding out behind the mill.

  This weaving tool was on display and had been found on the grounds of one of the many castles we visited.

I had to have this shawl when I spotted it.  I love the colors and texture and plan to use it as a wall hanging.

A closer look at the couching used on the shawl.

I will close the posts on Scotland with this guy.  I thought highlanders would be everywhere.  As they were rarely seen during our travels, I took photos at every opportunity.

This trip really gave me the chance to think about the history of textiles, from tapestries in castles to clothing in woolen mills.  Find some time to think about the history of your work or hobby and have a great day.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

BACK FROM SCOTLAND, STIRLING CASTLE


I would like to thank Kami for taking over the blog while my husband and I were in Scotland.  I loved the color from Southern California and have chosen a logo for the website update I am working on.

Myself inside Stirling Castle, note the short door height on left and thick wall where the window is.

There was so much to see.  Scotland is truly a beautiful country.  We had a chance to take in both the cites and the countryside.  Our first stop was at Stirling Castle where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at a little less than one year of age.  Later her son would be baptized there and placed in the royal nursery.

"The Hunt of the Unicorn" at Stirling Castle.

Stirling was a must-see on my list not just because of its history but as weavers are currently working on creating copies of the Unicorn Tapestries there.  Researchers found an inventory list from 1539 that mentioned two copies of Unicorn Tapestries. This information led to the project of recreating them as the originals are in the Cloisters Museum in New York.

"The Start of the Hunt"

The work on the tapestries is a collaboration between West Dean College and Historic Scotland.  It takes a labor-intensive two to four years to complete each tapestry with three weavers working at a time.  When we arrived they were working on the next to last work.  The series is to be completed in 2013.  Unfortunately, no photos were allowed in the weaving room.  Below are more textile photos from our tour of Stirling.

"The Unicorn in Captivity"

"The Unicorn is Killed and Brought to the Castle"

The Queen's (Mary of Guise) bedroom was surrounded by elaborate fabrics of silk and brocaded gold.

The Queen's bedroom.  Persian carpet covering table and royal arms on cloth of estate above table.

Close-up of velvet, silk and fringe on canopy above bed.

Close-up of curtain bottom in castle.  Beautiful combination of color, pattern and texture.

Display of clothing of the period.  This was in the children's education area which had a closet of clothing styles of the period for children to play dress-up with.

There were cloth and dye rooms where children ( I played too!) could hit buttons to find where certain fabrics and dyes of the period came from.

I hope you enjoyed this textile tour through Stirling Castle.  Keep an eye out for all the fabrics that surround your world and have a great day!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

LOGO: IN PROGRESS

Bonjour, y'all! This is Lori's daughter, Kami, again with some of the logo designs I've been working on. Lori made it back Stateside this morning and you'll be hearing from her again next week.


You may recognize the logo above from the top of the blog. This is a logo I threw together for Lori ages ago and both of us agree that it's time for an update.

This is what my digital artboard looked like while working on the project.

Since Lori wants to go with Lori LaBerge Designs for her rebranding, my mind quickly went to the acronym LLD.


I wanted to come up with a way to combine the letters so I drew out the script above. While I like it, it may be a bit too formal and frilly for the more geometric designs in Lori's art.

I was also interested in seeing how I could piece letters in other types of fonts together. I found that the logo design above turned out a bit more like a monogram you might see on a fancy bath towel rather than a brand logo.

I chose to continue the circle theme but only using the L - on its own, the circle with the L looked a bit lonely so I added the brand name to the design. A nice thing about this particular design is that the fonts of the "L" and "Lori LaBerge Designs" can be easily modified to better suit Lori's taste.


I continued with my circular design for a bit longer, this time going back to the "LLD." I find that often times using a lowercase font can give your logo or text a completely different feel, as is very much the case above. This is also a great example of how different fonts drastically change the look of a design.

I also wanted to try a much more modern design; I selected a colored square and placed the lowercase letters in white inside of it. If the logo is placed alongside a piece of art, the color of the square can be quickly changed.

An example business card design using the square "lld" logo.

I also tested out a few designs using the full "Lori LaBerge Designs" text rather than an acronym. Given the geometric nature of so much of Lori's art, I chose a hexagon with thick dark lines to surround the text in the logo above.

Another example business card using this logo. I've continued the thick dark lines throughout the design.

Creating so many designs has shown me how frequently I clutch to my first creative idea, which often limits my creativity. Giving myself a push to create something drastically different than my previous design has been a great exercise - and it's resulted in some great ideas. Give yourself an excuse to explore your own creativity and have a great day!



Saturday, October 6, 2012

GUEST BLOG: COLORS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Hello, readers! I'm Lori's daughter, Kami, and I'll be guest blogging for Lori while she's enjoying the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Scotland. After studying Art History and Library Science in North Carolina, I've recently relocated to sunny Santa Monica, CA. I'm now working for a small law firm as a research and graphics consultant while exploring the beautiful landscapes of Southern California.

 
C'est moi!

Many of Lori's inspirations come from her surroundings - shapes, color, texture. My first thought when she asked me to guest blog for her was to share images and colors of things that inspire me near my own home.


There's a lot of shipping in the area - I loved the juxtaposition of container ship and dainty sailboat (along with great colors) I saw when I was touring the USS Iowa in LA County.

"Where the turf meets the surf" is the Del Mar race track. Big hats, cash bets, and horses all around! The pinks and yellows of the flowers were a wonderful addition to the paddock area.

LA is known for its smog - the tiny dot of white in the center of this image is the space shuttle Endeavor as it made its grand entrance into LA. A monochromatic (yet beautiful) day.

I took a train ride down to the San Diego area and was incredibly excited to learn the tracks follow the coast! The purple-blues and yellow highlights of the water were amazing.

Succulents, as you might imagine, are very popular in Southern California, primarily because they don't use much (expensive!) water. I loved the texture and pink tips on this one.

You have to love the red and white of the Brentwood Country Mart.

Again, Brentwood Country Mart! Live greenery, the red walls with white trim, and plethora of wonderful shops make Brentwood Country Mart one of my favorite stops - I'm lucky to live so close!

What Southern California adventure is complete without seeing the sun set over the Pacific?

This photo was taken only a few minutes later than the previous. It's amazing to see the differences in color a few minutes make - the red hues made a grand appearance after the sun set below the horizon.

Look at the colors around you and think about how they make you feel, how they inspire you. Colors you see in a plant or on a building could become the basis for your next artistic creation or even a decor project in your home!

Next week I'll be sharing some logo design ideas. Lori asked me to create a logo for Lori LaBerge Designs in my free time so I'm going to share some of my initial designs with you. Until then, as my mom would say, have a great day!