Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A workshop, a visit to Creative Stitches & a start on the peacock fabric

Delighted to be asked to give a workshop at Skyeworks Gallery in Portree (on the Isle of Skye!) on April 9th & you're all invited - I appreciate it may be a little way for most of you to come!

Had a wonderful day at the Creative Stitches show in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago, traveling down with my friend Jenny. 

Some people from last year had returned & it was good to see them again. I might even consider a stand myself one day, promote some workshops perhaps.... nothing like frightening myself to death, having that idea! Feel the fear & do it anyway I think they say.

 Susan Hotchkis

 There was a series of quilts from the Quilter's Guild based on 'hidden histories', I've just shown a few here, lots of beautiful work. Edit : So sorry in advance, I thought you'd be able to read the info I so carefully included in the pics of the quilts but you can't in most of them ;( I'll try better next time

 name unclear, (in my pic) sorry - hope you can read the names on the others
 Katrina Parris
 Millie Thomas
 Khurshid Bamboar
 Judy Fairless

Below there were some lovely hats & bags from the 1890's - 1960's

& above, Jeanette Sendler from Hat in the Cat, a place I'd love to go for the many wonderful Masterclasses they give in Newburgh, near Edinburgh. She was very helpful in giving advice on making a fascinator, lovely pieces here.

 above was a weaving made by 'the people' from Rachel Powel's last show, you write a label with a memory, choose a thread beautifully dyed by Rachel then you tie it to the weft using , I think, a Turkish knot. This one was complete - the one we took part in had only just started.

I admit to not having seen Les Miserables

 with a stunning dress like the one above I think I must!

I came across Reveal, info above, a surprise as I hadn't realized they'd be here, first met them at Knitting & Stitches 2 yrs ago. Lovely work but quite bright lighting in the stand.

Wonderful Contemporary Quilts & info below with my favorites

We went to a talk by Dionne Swift - this pic in the link is exactly as we saw her on her stand, one by Pat Archibald - her talk was on Indian inspiration, in this link, & Jenny, who organizes people to visit the group Skye Quilter's, who I've just joined, says she's coming up to give a workshop next year, can't wait!

We also heard Lynda Monk talk about her wonderful techniques & had to visit her stand for her latest book....of course 'Exploring Creative surfaces. Then over to Colouricious' stand to meet Jamie Malden of Talking Threads fame - I've watched so many youtube clips from them it was great to see her in the flesh & she's coming to give Skye Quilters a workshop next year, too ;) We revisited some of the people from last year who came back & finished up at the Yorkshire Books stand where I got Cas Holmes & Ann Kelly's book Connected Cloth which I'm enjoying slowly, such a treat. Jenny bought a couple of different books & when we can find a minute she's going to give me a dyeing workshop at hers, further up the island - I shall take notes & while the fabric is  'batching' we can work thru one of her books!

 Above was a bit of architecture right next to a bridge seen on the walk back to the car, love those windows.

 & above looking under the bridge at those lovely marks thru the car window...on a red light, honest!

Jenny gave me a wonderful gift of some bits & pieces from her shop, so generous! Can't wait to see what else she has when I get up there. Exactly my colors, which leads me on to my next pic.

Above is the start of the cloth I'm making to create a fascinator, an earring, a 'buttonhole',  a small bag, a wrist cuff & possibly 2 clipy things to brighten up my shoes for......The Wedding. Suddenly it's only 5 1/2 weeks away but if I don't manage to make these things in time I'm the only one who will loose out. You can see top left The Dress & top right The Jacket. I thought peacock feathers for the fascinator, it looks so well with the jade/turquoise color of the dress & I don't believe that something that beautiful could possibly be unlucky. Also, I have some peacock feathers ;) They'll go on the bag, too, along with some organza flowers, Fijian style, sort of. The wedding is a mix of Fijian tropical (where they met) Eastbourne seaside where they're marrying, Seaford seaside where my lovely dil to be is from & Skye seaside of course where the Eldest was brought up for the second decade of his life. He's 25 on Saturday, I can hardly believe it!

I was thinking delicious colors, soft wool tops, needlefelting & I love the fabric above so far but it's not the wedding glitzy I imagined, far too rustic for that. I'd been looking at my shiny, silky flower hangings for inspiration & wasn't feeling it on this fabric. If you can't be shiny & glitzy at a wedding, well, where can you be?!

Even tho rustic looking the back was lovely too.

Even so, I started a new piece, same lovely peacock colors with a little tropical pink

& added some organza & random gold  stitching. I'll add more glitz as I go along & we'll see what happens.

Thanks for sticking with me this far & welcome to some new followers - we kept loosing access to google & therefore the sign in facility here & facebook too for goodness sake, how did I manage?! Seems ok just now, we'll see ;)

Friday, 28 February 2014

Another collage or two

A little late for Valentine's but here's my effort. I went walking looking for red which I didn't expect to find in such quantity, well it;s more of a rusty blood red, bits of seaweed & stones with a contrasting blue 'heart' in the middle. Took a quick pic & stopped to chat to a neighbor & with my back turned for a minute, Tam, having spat out the stones, chewed up the lot!

Carrying on in the series I started, using up some of the piles of papers I've printed I've made some  collages using the oak leaves. Not very topical I know but they are papers from the end of last year. (the direct prints in the sketchbook pages did well as 'alternative' nature's Christmas cards - I like a bit of nature, me)

ready to stitch, these are all 12x12cm

This will need some lightening up, a technique using a white correcting pen seen on Design Matters TV might suit - I got a 3m subscription for Christmas. Lots of inspiring tips there which I thought would remind me of things already learned & give me some new ideas. I intend to make a school of DMTV sketchbook......

 The 'abstract' one - I didn't have enough material for a bigger collage, so I'll have to do more printing if my gelatine plate hasn''t got lost too deep in the freezer!

Above are some purses made in a morning workshop I was asked to give primarily for 2 girls, aged 7 & 4 neither of whom spoke English, a challenge on both counts! The mother of the girls & my friend who they were visiting joined in (kids on the left, big girls on the right) & all had a good time. I could foresee all the sewing being done by adults so decided we would first make a sketch on paper of a shape, found by thinking of  a design, or looking around the room for inspiration. Then we would look at the design & draw onto bondaweb backed calico cotton. The big girls added some stitching to the motifs guided by the girls & while the construction was going on they continued to draw more of  their own designs. Give a child a sharpie pen & they're away! Very pleased with my students. ;)

Always finding inspiration wherever I look (the DH thinks I'm barmy, I'm sure) I couldn't resist these fragments of grilled cheese fallen off a piece of cheese on toast - imagine, a bit of raw umber, tyvek & a heat gun & you'd be laughing! Tasty, too ;)

Monday, 10 February 2014

I spoke too soon!

Well, having just said I wasn't going to miss a moment of this year & just as I was about to get on with my 3rd 15 minute challenge & post it into Myfanwy Hart's 'Be Creative' group, open to everybody creative, I was gripped by such a pain!

a heart for Myfanwy

The first one I managed above is 12x12cm & only took 15 mins as it's a familiar card/collage design. I wanted to start easy. You can spend as long as you like but the idea is to do something creative every day.

Beetle (found on floor while tidying in the studio) tied with gold thread on slate found on the beach, wrapped with raffia.

This would be just a bit bigger all round than the first one. The poor little beetle had obviously come into the studio from the cold & never left. ;(

The pain turned out to be a stone blocking my kidney, just one thank goodness & after some wonderful care thanks to the NHS, most importantly a few special pills to reduce the stone from 5mm to nothing, hopefully, (& pain relief!) I'm on the mend. I'll find out if there's anything still lurking in a couple of days when I have an x-ray locally!

On one of the mornings of the 3 days from hell,  I was totally pain free, took the dog for a walk & even did some seaweed pressing inspired by Julie commenting on a pic by Alice Fox, someone who's work I really admire. (why am I, who adores color, so often drawn to work using delicious neutrals?) I admit I haven't looked yet, hope it's cooking nicely on the damp studio floor ;)

I was quite knocked for 6 having not eaten or slept properly for days,  but during last week when I started  recovering from it all - I've never done so little in my life! - I had a very important piece of jewellery to finish & post off. 

It's the Youngest's gf's 21st today so I made the lovely girl a wrist cuff, hope she likes it.

I worked at the day job yesterday but luckily had previously booked today off - such a relief! I don't know how I got thru but I did despite having to take a little longer to do some things. So, determined not to waste this day off (I was actually on days off when it all started 2 weeks ago, not a good way to spend 2 days holiday!) I put together the start of some collages. I managed last week to sort some piles of paper you've already seen from a mono printing session (with a store cupboard geletine plate) but that was as far as it got. I'm determined to use these papers & not just hoard ;)

12x12cm sample

12x30cm ish


 12x12cm 'abstract'


It's a start, the last one  needs a lot of integrating, (it might turn into the sample!) the 2nd one a top & bottom, very tempted to draw into the 3rd one & even tho I like the simplicity (so hard for me to do 'less is more'!) They all need wax crayoning with lovely rich oil bars, darkening here & there, or lightening & lots of stitching. I know, I've said that before. To feel a creative tired tho is a wonderful change from the last 2 weeks, I'm catching up slowly but surely!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A happy new year so far

I'm determined not to miss a second of this year as the last one just flew past, almost in a blur. After a lovely flurry of 2 out of 3 boys being home for Christmas it's all gone quiet no as they've gone back to college. So I made some collage, based on the printing done for the wedding invites in the last post. Instead of keeping it in a dusty pile, I'm using it!

these are both 12 x 12cm (5x5")

as are these 2 pics, which way up do you think?

This one below is at least twice the size in real life, but the smallest pic here.

I've been looking at these pieces here  for design inspiration & of course my samples book (just one here) I never thought it would be such a wonderful, personal to me, reference point.

I plan to draw, scribble & stitch some, maybe after work tomorrow ;)

Did I mention we went to Edinburgh early December to get all the family together? Part of that trip was to finally get into the wonderful gallery Dovecote Studios
where an exhibition called Selected was on. Wonderful. Here's a small selection - the artist info is in the word pic after the images. I could have spent hours there.

wonderful drawings, beautifully interpreted

I love the back!

perfect for the wedding? I hadn't see the prices  (below) till I sorted the info below !
Maybe I'll sort out some more pics of this great exhibition next time.

Welcome to my new followers! Having been un-followed a while back it was great to meet some new people. Anna at Inky Fingers, I tried to follow you but my DH appeared instead of me! Jackie can't follow you as you have no link, do comment then I can visit, thanks.

If you have time do visit my new facebook page,
Barabhaig B&B
  designed by the Youngest for us. I am trying hard to keep up with it all!