Hello and a warm welcome to you! Thank you for visiting my blog where I love to share a little of my life and my passion for textiles, I hope you will enjoy what you see and read here...do say hello to me on Facebook or Instagram...or come and get creative on a workshop!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

stitch time...

Hurrah for spring at last! I'm back in my studio and everything is working, including me! Colour everywhere outdoors and the bleating of lambs means that nature is moving us all forwards into a lovely new creative place...


A long overdue commissioned piece of textile art is finally underway. After looking at the fabrics for a few weeks I boldly cut a backing fabric to size and launched in with cutting the colours...not sure where it was going but that's often the best way. Playing with the fabrics always leads me somewhere...


stripes are feeling like the right thing, and somehow a colourway emerges, with pops of colour and a sense of a journey across the piece. The only request was for a colourful piece so I have the freedom to allow it to evolve...


Adding in some bling with gold makes everything even more vibrant...



and how about some textured orange circles cut from a piece of crochet?



so time to be brave again and get stitching...one by one I start to cover each strip with stitch, to hold it in place, but also alter the surface. I think I may well do 2 or 3 colours on each stripe, mingling and adding a depth of colour and texture. But for now it's basically getting everything in its place...




and always some delicious scraps and threads left over for a future embellishing project...


let's see what happens shall we...

back soon!

meantime enjoy the new light nights and delicious longer days...


Tuesday, 26 March 2019

spring IS coming...

I am sure, all the signs are there, and we even had a week of surprise hot temperatures a few weeks ago. It's bright and cold today as I write, but there are signs of spring everywhere, with cheerful flowers and lambs in the fields. Everything and everyone is feeling the change in energy.


All manner of creatures are coming out into the warmth of the sun...here was a whole bank of ladybirds sunning themselves!

I am so grateful that at last, after 3 slow waiting months, the heat pump for my studio has been repaired and I have proper all round warmth again! Underfloor heating is so efficient - I have been using electric heaters and a coat in the meantime, but it's not really conducive to full on creativity! Hence I mostly did sorting and clearing ...but now, I can get back in properly. Which is just as well as I have lots to get done!


 And as I was waiting, I finally got round to sending off my camera to be cleaned, it had smudgy marks inside which didn't do a lot for my photos...so I am very pleased that I now have it beautifully sorted and I get back to some relaxing photography. I love just going out and about with it on my daily walk, or snapping  away at arty bits and bobs in my studio...I think my first creative love was photography, and I love how digital gives me such instant results.


Our next Fabricate exhibition at Florence Arts Centre, near Egremont here in Cumbria, is 28th June - 10th August, with a Meet the Makers Day on 30th June. The exhibition is called Sewing the Seeds, inspired by an environmental project on the West Coast of Cumbria about Pollinators, and which also illustrates what our group is about: sowing seeds of support for each other, sharing ideas and materials and inspiring others to get creative too... 

My first step was to choose a lovely brand new sketchbook and get painting and printing, I find if you cover your blank pages with colour, then ideas can flow more easily...


and I always enjoy making a cover to suit...this one has some delicious narrow corrugated cardboard and some painted lace, and of course, it has to have stitch!



I find early morning lying in bed brings lots of ideas, then if I have my sketchbook handy in the house I can just scribble them down...lots of words, and even if this is not the direction the work ends up going in, it is a starting point for the unravelling to begin...



I can be relaxed if I have something to look at and be inspired by, it's a kind of distraction for my mind and prevents fear from taking hold! I then begin with some fabric play, getting out boxes of colours, seeing what feels right to work with, and cutting and stitching and sampling...then it starts to get exciting!


Fabricate is also going have a stand at the Textravaganza Fair 8th and 9th June at Rheged, near Penrith in Cumbria. Covering a wide range of textile disciplines from embroidery and mixed media to weaving and felting, this willbe a unique opportunity to meet textile artists from across the North, buy their work, discover the workshops they run, and chat about the materials and techniques they use.  

AND you will be able to see the work of national and international textile artists in Thread: Contemporary Textiles the exhibition which will be running in The Gallery at Rheged from 3rd May - 30th June.

Rheged also hosts the Knit and Stitch show on 4th and 5th May...I've just booked my tickets so I may see you there!

I'm off to get stitching, tho' the garden is also rather tempting!

See you again soon...





Sunday, 3 March 2019

where does the time go...

Here we are, at the start of a brand new month of March, spring is galloping in (with 3 days of summer to start the ball rolling!) and probably like yourself, I am not quite sure where the last month or three have gone! I have been keeping a low profile as winter has rolled round, sorting out the house a bit, and keeping up with some gentle drawing, sketching and painting artwork, with a little handstitching for a change.

I think it has been time for a little retreat, time to rest and just take stock of life. Learning to go slower and do less (haha!) which has to be a good thing! More time for looking and appreciating...


My studio has been without heating for a month or so while I awaited the repair of the heating system, but I have had a REALLY REALLY BIG sort out of all my fabrics while I waited for it to be fixed. This was long overdue and I have sent about 10 bags of fabrics for recycling...and it feels great! I went down there each day, took down a colour of fabrics to sort, and slowly but surely it has become clearer and more organised, ready for my own work to start, and creating more space for running my workshops.







So I've kicked off with work for our Fabricate exhibition in June, feeling my way in with some sketchbook playtime...here goes with 2019! And here goes with my new look workshops...please check out details on my website if you fancy some fabric fun!


and here's to spring following winter really soon...

be creative...whatever you do!

 

 

Monday, 26 November 2018

NEWS! Pop up Gallery and shop...

well heavens to Betsy, it's nearly that time again! Mr Phil clears out his lovely willow and six artists take over the space to create a fab pop up gallery and Christmas extravaganza...we invite you to Make Christmas Easy! And this year we have a suprise guest maker to add to the loveliness! SO put it in your diary for Fri 30th November, Sat 1st and Sun 2nd December 11am - 5pm at Deanscales Village, near Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0SP ...hope to see you there!  

Here's a before...


and an after...


So for the last 6 weeks or so I have been slowly making and even labelling and pricing - usually I do this in about a week and always need another week to get it all done! But, as my word for this year is SLOW...slow it has been. Here's a taste of of the lovely colourful hearts I have been making, lots of upcycled fabrics layered and emebroidered...a real labour of love but so worth it for the results.

First I get all my boxes of fabrics out with the richest colours and get cutting and choosing...


then out come all my shiny sparkly threads....


then I pin the fabrics and stitch the fabrics quickly to hold them in place...quite a job as they do like to wiggle about!



then it's just lots and lots of free maching stitching, in lots of lovely colours to create a rich luxurious surface...




pin on a heart shaped pattern and stitch round, stuff and stitch up the gap...easy peasy!


and ta da, packed, labelled, priced and ready to go...


AND now to my other news...drum roll please...I have re-opened my Etsy shop!! I have spent many months filling the shelves of my lovely shop with beautiful handmade brooches, handbags, teacosies and artwork, and some printed items such as notebooks and mugs, just in time for some handmade Christmas shopping...do take a look: My Shop


so it's back to my studio to finish off all the last bits and bobs, get everything labelled, packed and priced...and on Wednesday we all get together for the big setting up...now where did I put the Take Six tinsel?

here's to a fun week!  

 

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

mind the gap! and holidays part 2...

so sorry I haven't been here for a while....central heating now in and TOTALLY blissful!! But it has taken many weeks to get the house back to some kind of order, and in the meantime I have a new computer as my old one was leaked on and that took several weeks to sort out too...so now we are nearly in winter, so how lovely to have a reminder of sunny summer days...my holiday part 2!



You may remember we took a ferry across to Colonsay in the Hebrides for a week of blissful nothingness! 

 

Big skies and sunshine, lunch outdoors and a view across to Oronsay to lose yourself in...therapy indeed!


most of the islands have wonderful museums marking their history, and Colonsay was no exception, a small heritage centre in the old church was full of fascinating items and stories, including a wonderful tinytelephone exchange!



we had such a beautiful last day on the island, suddenly it was hot and sunny...so of course my daughter went for a swim...and with a seal nearby in the water with her (at a safe distance so as not to disturb)...how magical was that!



we got off the ferry around 9 pm and a short drive took us up a hill just on the outskirts of Oban, into the unknown...to our glamping experience: a wonderful simple shed with THE most comfortable bed and magnificent compost toilet! We were met by Shaun the owner, a really interesting guy, a former forester, now building various sheds/chalets on his hill to let out and give people a taste of the outdoors. We arrived to a candle lit wooden shack and settled down to get some sleep. We awoke to another glorious morning...and breakfast outdoors in the sunshine. You could even have an outdoor shower if you felt brave enough! 


The whole holiday left me feeling calm and relaxed and with a strong desire to simplify my life even more...and this part was especially thought provoking, as there were no mod cons, and yet there was just about everything you might need.

And...I had a hot tip from the lovely lady in 'Christine's Craft Shed' on Colonsay...to visit feltmaker Liz Gaffney of heartfeltbyliz ...seeing as we were to drive almost right past Dalmally Railway Station on our way south from Oban we just had to call in! It was a glorious sunny day, I had a lovely chat with LIz whoo is a talented artist

, saw all her beautiful inspiring work and the fantastic station that is her home and studio. You can even stay there as she does Air B and B, and enjoy a feltmaking workshop too...heaven indeed! 


I could have stayed much, much longer, but travelling home was the name of the game now...so we reluctantly left textile gorgeousness and the highlands and islands, back to beautiful Cumbria.I came home with treasures of many kinds, relaxed and inspired!



And now we are up to date, and starting afresh, as we head into November. Busy in my studio with lots of making for Christmas...yes the festive season is nearly upon us and our annual pop up gallery is at the end of the month!!

so without more ado, I'll love you and leave you and get back to my stitching!

see you soon...