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 also visit me on Facebook and say hello...or check out my workshops and come and get creative...

Saturday, 30 June 2018

it had to be ...Woolfest ...again!

was it only a week ago I arrived home happy, exhausted and foot weary from the best textile event of the year...


I am probably only slightly prejudiced as not only is Woolfest very local, and I have been going every year bar 1 since it started, and I was lucky enough to have stall there 3 times(!) a few years ago, BUT it never fails to brighten all our lives with its variety and inspiration and all the lovely people, be it visitors or stall holders, or the hardworking gang who make it happen. Another triumph in my book...and I only came home with a small stash of goodies, honest!

Here's a few of the fab makers who I loved this year...there are so many there, too many to mention, I know we all have our favourites!








so many colours, textures, yarns, fabrics, woolly everythings, and of course the wonderful animals, without whom none of it would happen. If you haven't been, make a date for next year, come and have a holiday in lovely Cumbria and don't miss it!

happy creating






















Tuesday, 29 May 2018

in the summertime...

when the weather is hot hot hot! It's been an amazing few days of beautiful weather, but so warm I've been glad to be in the cool of our old house, or in my studio (any excuse!). Cumbria is usually a coolish place...shade is now imperative! It is blissful to be out in skirts and skimpy tops, exposing skin to the elements after the wintry jumpers and layers.

 
The garden is looking full and I am putting extra flowers in pots and hanging baskets, a little at a time...and my husband has been doing a major overhaul of the veggie patch...so it's full steam ahead with summer...for now!


I've had notification from the fabbydo people who have provided the Networked Blog gadget thingimibob, all these years for free, and sadly they are withdrawing this service. So all you lovely folk who follow me by this means sadly will no longer be able to do this. SO thank you dear followers...and I hope you will still be able to read this in some way!!I have added on 2 new widget gadgets so you can subscribe by other means or sign up for email notifications...so perhaps that will assist! See the bottom of my side bar for those.


In the midst of new flowers, seedheads are also appearing, probably hastened by the heat...I so love honesty flowers in all their different stages don't you?


And how about these delicate poppies, so fragile and generous with their beauty! 




I am so grateful for all this loveliness and the fresh air and birds singing...it's truly glorious...but meanwhile I am stitching and creating thankfully and joyfully as it's really all coming along nicely now...happiness all  round! Paper and stitch is so satisfying, one of the wonders of soluble fabrics and papers. You can create such delicate ephemeral structures. and yes I have been handstitching again...


so have a delightful summery week, enjoy whatever you're doing!


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

a sea change...

I always enjoy a little trawl around the charity shops, inspiration can come from the oddest mix of fabrics, and there are always bargains to be had, 'lashings' of materials in garments, scarves and wraps. Plus I am making a donation to good works. I don't generally confess to the nice lady serving that the lovely blouse is coming home to be chopped up and mashed!


The colours here surprised me as they are not my usual sea tones, rather darker and more sombre, but the browns and blues were perfect together. I adored the repeating circles of the blue scarf, which also gave me bonus blue lace, and so, with a hint of pale gold gleaming underneath and a splash of white foamy lace...it all came together with ease and enjoyment.


I am in the middle of making work for an exhibition so it was lovely to step away from all that for a morning and just play with these fabrics, and slowly , with layering and judicious embellishing it became what it was to be...



the all important thread choosing...which colour will work best? how does this one feel...or that one?


here is is all embellished and ready for some free machine embroidery...more choices as to where and how and how much...this too is an organic process, a little at a time, feeling into what needs to be done



the shells need to be attached somehow, hand stitching will be the way as I don't think glue would be at all appropriate, tempting tho' it is to have a 'quick fix'
 

a deliciously tactile close up, you can almost feel the fabrics can't you?


I love how the colours blend so nicely together, giving a sense of  sand and sea


and the final piece...oh, apart from the handstitching needed for the shells, I will do that in a quiet moment...very soon!


maybe this will inspire you to dig out those unwanted garments and see the potential in them to be upcycled into something arty too!

happy creating!














Tuesday, 24 April 2018

out and about...

After the long winter the chance of a sunny warm day inspired me to text a friend and arrange a spontaneous lunch...we met at Priest's Mill in Caldbeck, one of my favourite places to go, not least for the stunning countryside and delicious food at the cafe,  but also that centre of gorgeous textile creativity, The Wool Clip!

It was just so good to be out of the house and studio and into fresh air, the scenery around Caldback and the drive there is always wonderful, even if I did have to go a rather long way round on a diversion as the usual road was closed...a metaphor for always being willing to go another way in life and trusting the road will take you where you want to go!

We had lunch al fresco and such a good catch up on our lives...what a joy...and on the way home I stopped on the road back over the moors and smelt the air and listened to the bird song and felt the wind on my skin, heard it rustling the grasses...

 
  
driving back I stopped to photograph the glory of the gorse, glowing like yellow fire in the sunlight...
 
and on my (almost) daily walk along our village road, spring is suddenly leaping ahead with green, yes glorious green, new and fresh...



even humble daisies are a joy for their beauty and simplicity and for the spring and summer potential they represent...


lambs are the eternal symbol of hope, born at often the bleakest time of the year, surviving all that the weather throws at them, and still able to play and skip in the sunshine, a reminder of childhood fun and an innocent, carefree attitude we would do well to emulate!



there is beauty and inspiration everywhere if we just have eyes to see it. I love my neighbour's rusty shed, even the barbed wire has an aesthetic quality in some strange way..


and the same neighbour had a pot of fabulous poppies, a pop of colour, hot and sizzling no matter the ambient temperature and weather...and hope for what is to come!



so I trust that whereever you are, you are getting out and about and appreciating what is around you and perhaps being inspired by the simplest things...meantime I'm back into the studio for some fabric fun, a textile group exhibition is looming so it's time to get on down with threads and yarns, upcycle some fabrics and get stitching!

have a creative week...









Sunday, 8 April 2018

how to get going, when you have no idea where you're heading...

My new work is for an exhibition called Interwoven, with a new textile group 'Fabricate' based at Florence Arts Centre near Egremont in Cumbria. We are from all textile disciplines and individually investigating 'heritage' and what it means to us. I have chosen to think about the ultimate heritage, or inheritance, which comes to us via our DNA.

But where to start with a new body of work? When your mind is blank, like the pages of a new sketchbook? Some tiny scraps and wisps of ideas are lurking...so I need to find a way to allow a chink of light, an opening for any ideas to emerge and grow.


Questions must be asked and an investigation begun! Playing with fabrics, exploring in my sketchbook. Sometimes just taking pages out of my book and covering them in paint or ink gets the ball rolling, at least it gets rid of all those blank white pages looking at me! 

This time photography may not be directly relevant, but textures or lines may stimulate a notion. I even toyed with the idea of getting my own DNA imaged!

There are no rules, other than the importance of showing up in my studio...and then something can start! 


Writing words can also help me form ideas, move me from nothing to something. Words are another way to express of what comes into my head, one word leads to another and as the flow brings new thoughts and different words, I carefully write them down, allow them out. Keywords can give focus as well as inspire and fire up my making.


Sticking and stitching into the pages is part of the process...and process opens up possibilities. No outcome is necessary...it will, I trust, unfold as the work goes forward. Happy accidents and ideas you'd never have thought of come out as you fiddle about, and you can make what seems to be awful rubbish of no value, and yet it can clear the way for the exciting stuff...you just need to get going!

Even the edges of cut off pages from another project when stitched into my sketchbook can be suggestive, linear patterns implying the orderliness of genes and genetic information.


Words when stitched with free machine embroidery make their own pattern and statement...here words are conjoined or tied together, linked as genes are linked and we are linked to our genes...


Circles and more circles keep appearing...perhaps they could be atoms and molecules, maybe cells...




Even the waste from the hole punch when stuck down and stitched into has a feeling of biological and DNA like stuctures...


Some random sketching of shapes becomes cellular structures once stitched and cutting holes out offers another dimension, we can see through the structure, perhaps to snippets of information about our genes, or a glimpse to the past or future...


Using dissolvable fabric can create delicate almost transient structures which could add into the mix...


It may all seem rather random and unconnected, and may not have any relevance as the work progresses but it is a starting point to open up ideas which develop as I experiment and explore...

How it will become a body of work is as much a mystery to me as it is to you!

let's wait and see what comes next...

By the way, have you seen Make!Craft Britain series on BBC4, really exciting and inspiring, hands on with lots to be inspired by, both the people and the crafts!

stay creative!