Saturday 1 November 2014

see ya!

i'm pretty sure nobody reads this blog anymore, as i've neglected it so much over the past year. but for those of you hanging in there following me, i thought it only right and proper i let you know that i've decided to stop blogging here for the foreseeable future. my plan is to have my own website with space for a newsy blog on it, but i'm quite good at saying i'm going to do stuff and not doing it, as i'm sue you're aware. but anyway, for those of you who do pop on here from time to time to see what i'm up to, i want to say a massive thank you for being there. i started this blog when the boys were teeny and next year the eldest will be a teenager, so it's a sad decision. i'm not disappearing altogether though, i'm still around on twitter and instagram as @lusummers. so see you later, folks. and heartfelt thanks for listening to me warbling on these past 7(!) years. lu x

Tuesday 29 April 2014

grow... last week's assignment was wall art & i was very enthusiastic about this assignment because it was basically mixed media collage based (although it could be collaged digitally too) i spent one day working tirelessly on my piece, layers and layers and layers of paint & papers...ripping stuff off and changing it up constantly. we were given a few parameters in which to work - i was given the colours yellow & green and we had to include at least one word & a floral icon.

i took the day off on thursday because it was my birthday but i took a quick pic of it on my phone so i could keep looking at it during the day with fresh eyes, and i *hated* it. so i came home, made another, more graphic piece then couldn't decide which one i i put it to the vote on social media (thank you if you commented on FB, IG or twitter!) & would you believe the vote was even?! one thing i did with the new piece was add a pop of pink - so i looked at the 'old' collage and decided to keep working on it, adding pops of bright pink. and so the one i submitted is the original piece with a few additions - a lesson learnt i think, but i wouldn't have got there without making the second piece. i was thrilled when it was chosen amongst some very beautiful pieces in this week's review by lilla as a good example of low volume contrast. result!

this week is all about collections...but i'm being honest, until i know what the main assignment is tomorrow, i'm having a few days off to think and contemplate...

original piece - i liked it, but it wasn't quite there
new piece, much busier & more graphic - see that little pink flower?
improved original, so pleased with it!

Monday 21 April 2014

half way...

...phew! i promised to post more often didn't i? erm, that didn't happen, sorry. well, i'm halfway through the 'make art that sells' online course and it's been a whirlwind.

i don't want to write a saccharine oh-my-god-it's-amazing type blog post, i want to write something honest because actually, a lot of it hasn't been amazing, but that's because of my own hangups, not because of the course. (it's ok, i promise i won't say the phrase 'an amazing journey' a la the Xfactor.)

my biggest hurdle has been the talent in the class. the range of abilities is broad, from students who are just so out of this world talented, i can't believe they haven't got an agent of their own and raking it in, to more beginner types. although we're encouraged to work in any media, i'd say at least 80% of students are VERY proficient in digital design and my own self taught photoshop knowledge looks pretty damn pathetic i can tell you. but because this was meant to stretch me, i decided to do the first assignment, bolt fabric, completely digitally from drawing with my wacom tablet to colouring which rather threw me at the deep end.

the brief was 'tropical fruit and vintage pyrex'. i was so pleased with this when i was finished, but looking at it harshly, i can see it falls down in a million ways. i struggled with colour (for flip's sake - tropical fruit = summer! what was i thinking?!) i wan't exactly tropical in my choice of fruit, & my pyrex icons don't really stand out, and i should have worked harder on my co-ordinates. i struggled more than i thought i would with this because i felt pressure being 'a fabric person' - but i mainly struggled because i wouldn't personally use fabric with fruit and kitchenalia on it in my quilts.

anyway...the following week was home decor, and plate design using succulents as a design source. i MUCH preferred this assignment and worked hours and hours on this. i scanned in my drawings and coloured them digitally. i created these with myself in mind - would i buy these? yes. whenever i see this image, it makes me happy. i'm not going to lie, i was gutted when this didn't get chosen for review by lilla herself - every week, lilla selects students work to talk about. there's lots of emphasis on her not necessarily choosing the best work to review, but let's face it, that's what everyone wants, even if nobody admits it.

this week was children's book week, a book cover or page spread based on the aesop fable 'the fox & the crow' and i submitted this on saturday. i was absolutely petrified about this assignment. i don't draw animals, much less cutesy characters with bundles of personality. BUT i surprised myself by enjoying every single brushstroke. i know it's not good enough for review, but i'm absolutely fine with that - because of this assignment, i've discovered i much prefer getting my hands dirty and actually, although a bit of photoshop knowledge is helpful, i'm not at all interested in creating digitally from start to finish.

this week i'm a little bit excited because it's wall art week and it's less about working digitally and more about collage and mixed media, much more in my comfort zone, plus the boys are back to school on wednesday so more time! oh yes!

so there you are, my hectic three weeks fitting in the boys on easter hols with hours of work, what a juggling act, what an amazing journey.....oh shit, sorry.

Friday 28 March 2014

out of my comfort zone...

i'm going to pretend that i've been a faithful & dutiful blogger & that it hasn't been months since my last post...

i've been toying with getting back into design 'properly' - you might remember years ago i designed stuff for other people - some food packaging, a book cover & some stationery before designing for moda. i enjoyed these experiences immensely - taking direction (however loosely) from someone else who has a 'proper job' (ie an art director) was daunting, but equally rewarding when the final pieces were finished. so in order for me to stick my toes back in the water, i thought i'd better brush up on some skillz and take an online course. from monday i will be a student on the lilla roger's 'make art that sells' (MATS) course and i'm bloody bricking it, not least because it's an intensive 5 week course & the boys are off school for easter for 3 of those weeks. way to go with planning, lu, you idiot. it's to push me out of my comfort zone & designing for all kinds of markets, from bolt fabric (well, yeah, ok, looking forward to that one) and children's books (ekk!) the second part is in october and i've signed up for that too. oh, & i'm writing my second book. (which is why i've been awol - been starting to play around with ideas & researching. as well as procrastinating & eating cake.)

anyway, i will be blogging a bit more regularly if i've time, with images, if not lots of words. but that's OK because i'm pretty sure most of you would rather i shut up now & then anyway. 

i leave you with a collage i made the day i signed up for MATS. i won't lie, i didn't exactly push myself out of my comfort zone here, but slowly, slowly, catchy monkey, yes?

Tuesday 25 February 2014

fat quarters...

...are now up in the shop - these are completely unique, black & white pieces i printed last summer. there are only 5 of them left, so get 'em while they're hot :)
available right here!

Thursday 30 January 2014


big congrats to my two winners…

first up, the winner of a signed book & mini quilt is penny from the rats as big as cats blog

who said:

"How exciting! I'd love a Lu Summers original. Our tradition is putting up the tree to an 2010 CassetteBoy Christmas Mix, it has all the Christmas songs you could want jam packed into 20 mins." 

and the winner of the second little quilt is helen from helen quilts who said:

"I'd love a chance to win a copy of the book and/or one of your beautiful minis! I have a large tub of strings that could do with some new inspiration so they could become quilts.
Not many traditions in the household, but we do always watch "It's a wonderful life" on xmas eve :)"
congratulations ladies, and thank you to all of you for entering!

Wednesday 29 January 2014

sew mama sew

PHEW! it's the last day of the blog hop today and it's the turn of sew mama sew on the blog hop and to say i'm excited to have this massively popular quilting blog involved is a huge understatement. there's a little treat in store for you in the form of a little tutorial i created just in time for valentine's day. so hop on over and check it out!

i'm honoured to have had so many amazing people taking part in my first blog hop in so many brilliant ways - i've enjoyed being interviewed, reading the reviews and best of all, i've loved it when bloggers have actually delved into the book and given it a go - especially those who openly admit to being uncomfortable with bending the quilting rules! i hope you've enjoyed hopping around the blogsphere with me, and i'd like to say a MASSIVE thank you to both the bloggers and you lovely lot for joining in. stay tuned for the winners of the giveaway later on!