Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The nitty- gritty of producing new work

It seems quite a while since my last post but you know how it is - family life takes over sometimes and priorities have to be established. Amongst all the comings and goings I have kept my promise to myself and pushed on with my work for the Ullapool exhibition. Boy - has this been a difficult one. From a casual conjecture raised in a conversation a year ago to completion has been challenging  but as with all such things I'm quietly pleased with the out come. The first picture is a part of a finished piece that at times I thought I'd never achieve. As usual I got quite wrapped up with the process and almost tried to avoid an end result but that is the good part of exhibiting  - you have to come up with the goods!

I'll explain what the work is about after the exhibition. In the meantime I like my exploration sketchbooks enough to turn them into a journal to exhibit along side my finished pieces,so that's what I'm working on in the next week or so, by which time I will need a burst of colour to compensate for all this black and white.
John and I spent the Friday and Saturday in the depths of Norfolk to welcome a beautiful great nephew to the world. New babies fill up the senses and we were quite envious when we came away but Sunday spent with our wonderful, energetic grandsons reminded us of how much effort it takes to bring up children - best left to the young!   

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The delicate hands of an embroiderer

I can't tell you how pleased I am to have finished this piece of work . I was never going to give up on it  but what a challenge I'd set myself. Never attempt to sew through canvas!

I also finished this little sample I made in June. I spent along time on bedding this piece into the canvas - I hate that 'plonked on' look so I moulded the edges flat with matte gel medium.  I use this product all the time - a brilliant invention. I finished the background off with a little metallic rub in a dark rose colour and that's when I looked at my fingers, the rub had highlighted all the little needle prick marks from embroidering that darn quilt!.

The delicate hands of an embroiderer - not!!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

More Prevarication

On Monday whilst cleaning up from the grandsons weekend visit I got way laid by the papers we had been painting together. Given wax crayons, texture plates,stamps, punches and Koh-i-noor paints and a little bit of subtle direction  they  always produce wonderful papers for me to play with - which is what I've been doing in between other arty things ever since.

Children always make the most wonderful papers - they are not concerned with producing anything arty or limited by what they can or can't do. Paint is sploshed around by the gallon and when it all eventually dries some lovely effects are achieved quite accidentally.

Add a little bit of stitch and ideas happen.

I photographed every pleasing combination  and then bundle all the pieces into the box marked 'painted papers'.

Friday, 5 August 2011


I really am pushing on with my work for the exhibition in Ullapool at the end of September - but at this stage it is not worthy of a photo - pretty it isn't! As per usual my mind is trawling round for distractions so I thought I would show you my 'Seed Box' I made earlier this year. The design on the the top was inspired by something I saw on a stall at the Textiles in Focus show at Cottenham this year. I'm sorry I can't remember the name of the lady that gave me a three minute tutorial but her stall was full of the most pretty embroideries. This is a kind of trapunto quilting i.e. stuffed from the back to raise the blobby areas. It has cured me of any desire to do french knots for quite a while. As the top reminded me of seeds I used some fine cotton that I had  recently dyed and printed using a wonderful Coloricious seed pod stamp to line the box. Fiddly but it looks great.

I thought this would make a lovely box to store my garden seeds in but then remembered that I keep my seeds in the fridge.

I'm using it as a 'jewel ' box.