Wednesday, 24 January 2018

5 in 5 - January 2018 - Melanie

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography.  Every month since the start of this challenge Melanie has taken part in this monthly meme and as she doesn't have her own blog I post here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part, so over to you Melanie:

'A rather belated Happy New Year but I wanted to include it as I get together my first 5 in 5 for 2018.   For the first time I missed out sending a 5 in 5 for December 2017.  December came and went far too quickly and I barely had time to blink.  January is going the same way but I do not intend to miss another month and just hope that this mail reaches Sandie before her deadline.  So where was my photo taken?  It was not the planned one but I was in Jubilee Park in a small town called Meningie (South Australia) and a flock of cockatoos where having great fun in the sky above and on the large gum trees in that area.  It was very noisy.  It was approaching the end of the day and it seems that the natural behaviour of cockatoos in the evening before they go to sleep is to participate in a screaming session.  I felt sorry for the people living nearby but to my ears it sounded incredible and to see so many together was amazing.  My camera didn’t stop clicking for a good deal longer than 5 minutes but I have chosen five photos taken during a five minute period.  It is good my photos always have a time included in their detail.  I hope you enjoy the photos I have chosen.  It was great to have a subject present itself for 5 in 5 and maybe something will jump out at me for February.'

Melanie mentioned that December was one of the few months that she has missed this monthly neme. In fact, from my recollection, this is the one and only time Melanie has not joined in this monthly challenge since it began back in July 2013. That is amazing! But also:  

Has it really been going that long? 

That means in a few months time we will be celebrating 5 years! It feels a sense of achievement - and time to do something special!  So, I will be thinking of ideas between now and then and if you have any suggestions please do let me know!

Hopefully, Melanie  will be back with another post next month, and it makes me happy that others join me in this challenge.  Some of you have become regulars and I look forward to your monthly shares and news - it would be a lonely place without you! And it's never too late to start, whether you post regularly or otherwise.  So: 

If this has inspired you to pick up your camera and join in please go to this months post for details about how to link in.

And to find out more about this monthly photo challenge, you can find out how it started here.

Thank you for popping by and I hope to see you back here soon. 

Friday, 5 January 2018

5 in 5 - January 2018 - Woodblock Printing in India

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes.

Hello!  And a Happy New Year to you! 
I hope you had a good Christmas, doing the things you love most, and that the new year brings health and happiness. I had all good intentions and patted myself on the back for making over 100 handmade Christmas cards. However, while the lights sparked on my Christmas tree it did lack baubles and tinsel. Sometimes you have to compromise when there are other things more important, or if like me, you go to India in the run up to Christmas! 

This was a creative holiday where I learnt woodblock printing and dyeing of fabrics. It was everything I expected and more, and as often is the case, I met like minded ladies and made some lovely new friends. I also saw how these wooden blocks are hand carved in the traditional way, and of course, I bought home a good supply! I plan to post about the holiday itself so for now I will share some of the prints that I made. Timer set... here goes!  

We started simple, printing with one colour. This was called 'Khadi' which means 'homespun cotton cloth'. The technique was easy but in order to make the pattern line up vertically and horizontally you had to pay attention and line the block carefully.

From one colour we progressed to two, then three; each done as a different stage. The design below is an example of this and we did not have a choice of colour for this technique. It is too bold for me but I adopted the attitude that it was about process and learning, and because of this I enjoyed printing it. This piece is a large square and friends suggested I could use it as a small table cloth.  I've yet to decide, I may like it more cut into smaller pieces.

We also learnt how to mitre corners. There was lots of mutterings around the room as we all attempted to line up or remember to block off our woodblock in the right place. I won't show you the corner where I forgot to do this and ended up with right angles!  

I chose to do vertical pattern on this piece, and it could make a scarf or narrow wrap. Time will tell....

And these are possibly my favourite prints and technique. Called Wabu, we used a relief of mud to first print the pattern. Sawdust was sprinkled on to assist the drying process and then the fabric was dyed in Indigo.

Are you intrigued?

I know I was fascinated by the process, so I'll add a couple of extra photos to show you how the dyeing was done. No health and safety here! This is an 11ft deep well of Indigo!
The fabric is then laid out to dry in the sun. It was a beautiful sight.

The visit and learning was an amazing experience and I have booked some workshops as I would like to do more dyeing of fabric. The year looks promising. I hope yours does too.

Thank you for visiting. It is always fun to have company in this photo challenge so a big thank you to Mary-Lou, Maggie, Melanie, Green Tomato and Borqna for taking part last month. And to all those who visited and left comments.

And YOU would be very welcome to join in too, so I hope you are inspired to get out your camera. Here is the plan:

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a timer for 5 minutes (I use my mobile phone).

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool below.

You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.

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