Hello and a warm welcome to you! Thank you for visiting my blog where I enjoy sharing a little of my life and my love 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!

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

the last post?

To all my lovely readers, thank you for being here! We are living through most interesting times and there is so much change in the air. I hope you are all keeping safe and well and that we will come through all that is happening to the birth of a new and greater world, where we can all share and connect and be more aware of nature and ourselves and our role here together. New possiblilies and new beginnings...



It must be around 10 years since I started blogging. Imagine that...a totally different world! A totally different person! My first steps into the digital world were such tentative ones and now I connect with confidence online in many different ways. The world is moving forwards and I wish to focus on what I truly desire to do creatively, and it seems that blogging no longer holds the joy and ease it did for me. 


I have loved my blog and enjoyed posting...but from now I will mainly be found on my Facebook page, and of course my website, with a little sprinkle here and there on Instagram (mainy cos I love looking at other people's stuff on there!). I am starting to make films of my work and am looking to create online workshops, so look out for those. In the current climate, digital connection is all we really have and I embrace it and look forward to growing as I learn more.


If you wish to keep connected with me and see more of my work, please do sign up for my newsletter via my website, or find me on Facebook and come and say hello! I'd love to see you there and I post most days so it's a much more active, responsive and fun place to be!

And finally a big thank you to you my readers and to Blogger for the platform, and I look forward to seeing you on Facebook or in person one day!

May you be creative, be safe and be connected! 

this is not goodbye, but au revoir!







Sunday, 8 March 2020

Introducing...Contemporary Cloth

what an honour to be part of a brand new group of artists, 14 talented Cumbrian textile makers exhibiting together at the fabulous EVAN Gallery in Penrith, a wealth of 2D and 3D fabric creations, felt, weave, beadwork, print, stitch...and more. Over the fortnight of the exhibition, many visitors came to the gallery who would not noremally have gone there, such is the lure of textiles! We held a series of workshops and demonstrations which were very well attended by people eager to meet the artists and find out about their process and techniques. I had a wonderful day with friends old and new, showing both free machine embroidery and embellishing.
 
 
Those taking part: Magda Brugier, Ros Dyson, Jane Firth, Kirsten Guilder, Pamela Harrington, Sarah Hiscoke, Lucy Hughes, Liz Jones, Kay Leech, Julia Neuberger, Diane Standen, Wendy Ann Stanger, Maggi Toner Edgar, Emma Wigginton and Marion Woolcott.

Our thanks and gratitude to EVAN Gallery for hosting us and making us so welcome and to the Curators who put the ecclectic collection of work together so brilliantly!

Here's to the next time we put our work together!

Now it's back to my studio for another tidy up, I seem to have been working away at many different things, co-ordinating the many facet sof my artistic life, and now it's time to get grounded again and sort out the creative mess!

see you again soon...



Tuesday, 18 February 2020

exciting new textile exhibition...

Contemporary Cloth Exhibition

Cumbrian Textile Makers
15th - 29th February
OPEN every day 10am to 4pm
EVAN Gallery
4 Corney Place, Penrith, CA11 7PX
14 Cumbrian artists and designer makers
in an inspiring exhibition

Open Evening:
Thursday 20th February from 5.30pm
With music and refreshments
 Please join us for this Celebration of our
first Textile exhibition together!
Supported by Eden Valley Artistic Network 
 
 
Meet The Makers
a chance to meet a maker, see some
 of their process and talk about their work, 
click on the link below to access more information
and for the Meet The Maker Timetable
 
 
 
This is a brand new group of artists, who came together following the success of Textravaganza, a textile art event at Rheged in Cumbria in 2019. This is our first show together and it's looking fab! A collection of work from talented artists who use the medium of textiles in many different and individual ways. The gallery itself is artist owned and led, by a network of Cumbrian artists, and is full of inspiring work, plus there are some artists studios where you can see art in process. All in all a great day out!
 
I may see you there, as I am demonstrating on Feb 27th between 11am and 3pm!




Saturday, 28 December 2019

hurrah for a stitchy workshop (not mine!) ...

it is always a lovely treat to go on someone else's workshop...this time on a very frosty icy day, and a 45 min drive over to the village hall in Culgaith, near Penrith. I stopped on the way to photograph these beautiful tempting frosted grasses, berries and seedheads...
and arrived at a cosy hall full of bustling women, with textile artist Shelley Rhodes, our tutor for the day, laying out a table full of her delicious hand stitched work...yes hand stitch, you read correctly! I was lured by the thought of 2 whole days doing something I don't do as a general thing in my own work..and so excited to see Shelley's work for real, and meet other creative souls for some fabric exploration...out of my comfort zone!
After some demo-ing from Shelley we got cracking with some simple line drawing from objects,which we then used to make into mini prints on the fabric in our stashes...half the fun of the day is seeing what other people have brought and how their creativity starts to play out...

It's always hard to get started when you don't know where you're going...at the end of the first day, I had lots of scraps of fabric which I had battered, painted, printed, bashed, meshed and embellished...but no idea what was going to come next. I went home tired, but hoepful that the second day would bring some clarity and magic!

but by playing with our fabrics and printed pieces , with guidance from Shelley and inspiration and encouragement from everyone, we slowly pull something coherent together...
it's surprisingly tiring just making all day, I went out for a little walk along the village to get some fresh air in the afternoon of the 2nd day...and as always there are more things to inspire and I just happened to have my camera with me...
We eventually came to tidy up time as the workshop drew to a close, and the excitement of show and tell time! We all laid out our work together and stood around to talk, discuss and admire all our beuatiful creations...it's always amazing to have a group do the same process but come out with such different and varying outcomes...each one a delight and an inspiration!


Huge thanks to Shelley for a fantastic workshop, and to Kay for organising it, I made some new friends and spent time with some old friends which was all part of the joy...just got to finish handstitching my piece...

Hope you had a joyful relaxing Christmas, thanks for being here and reading...

See you in the New Year...lookinf forward to all that 2020 has to offer(including Shelley's new book due out next year!)...


Wednesday, 30 October 2019

it's that time of year...

seedheads everywhere, and with a workshop to plan a few weeks ago, my head was full of them! I love running workshops for many reasons, one is that I have to make samples as part of my planning...and that is such a pleasure! And often, as in this case, it leads me to further explorations...


and it's always good to start with some sketching to get a feel for the subject, it feeds the creative process. I didn't always realise this...but now I do! For years at college when tutors went on about the importance of drawing, I just didn't get it...and now I totally understand and love it! Even if it's not directly connected to my fabric work, I just love to draw and paint and play with paper and print.



I uses the drawing to create simple seedhead shapes as a design, then the fun began of adding in fabrics to the mix, and beginning to compose a piece of seedhead stitchery. Because it was for a short workshop I needed a crisp easy-to-carry-out design, to work in stages and build it up on the fabric with ease...



I tried out seedheads in various colour ways and fabric types...loved the tweed!



isn't it funny how the reverse of the piece is often the bestand most exciting part? {perhaps because it's not really under your control??)




and then it led me onto some other work, getting ready for shows coming up...here I created a background by embellishing downsome lovely autumnal fabrics, then playing with shapes and colours of seedheads...


  
I loved the blues against the orange (colour wheel opposites, how neat is that?!)...


ta da! Another finished piece of textile art ready to frame, and more to do. And the workshop went well, so I'm very happy.

It's a beautiful sunny morning here, so many possiblilities of what to do...a walk, the hoovering, the dusting, the dishes...or maybe just get down to the studio while the light is so good and get making!

have a delicious week!




Monday, 23 September 2019

back to Islay...

I promised part 2 of our blissful trip to a scottish island...so here goes. I have to say a lot has been happening here at home in the meantime so it's quite hard to get back into holiday mood...but it's actually lovely to look at my photos again and remember...

the ruin of Kilchiaran chapel and walking down to the pretty bay, always something to please the eye and a desire to draw it, to capture a sense of the place on paper, a more tactile connection with it than just a photo...

A trip out to peaceful Port Charlotte overlooking Loch Indaal...and a picnic lunch in glorious sunshine in this peaceful bay...
Everywhere there are tiny details to inspire ideas and feelings...a visit to the Islay Museum which had so many interesting items, an out of date post box in Port Ellen, typewriters, yarns and weaving equipment in the Islay Woollen Mill...all give a sense of history, of lives lived, of people and place.

Going much further back in time to the Lords of The Isles... we had an evocative time wandering at Eilean Mor, the once inhabited island at Finlaggan. In ruins, surrounded by water, but with signs of occupation from long ago, marks of man in the landscape...very romantic!

and again and again I was drawing, making marks and shading colours, with simple pen or pencil, or watercolour pencils and some watercolour paints...
and there had to be at least one swim and this was the day...not me, just my daughter having a fantastic time in the cold waters at Claggan Bay, in the late afternoon hot sunshine...and such a peaceful spot...

Then it was time to head back to the ferry, caught from Port Askaig. We watched as the tiny Jura ferry came in...and went, sideways across the short water to Jura....next time we'll go on it! Eventually the huge Cal Mac boat steamed in, dwarfing the tiny Jura ferry. Heading back across the sea to the mainland...then the long drive home, back to our own beds in our beautiful Cumbria, refreshed and replenished, and inspired...

and now, back to my studio...imminent workshops, and Christmassy thoughts required...



Sunday, 1 September 2019

time for another Scottish island retreat...

our annual treat has become a family holiday away up to the Scottish islands, this time we were off to Islay, the southernmost island, picking up the ferry at Kennascraig on the mainland, docking at Port Askaig on Islay. Part of the relaxation is the long drive up north, playing Runrig at full volume on the car stereo, knowing that at the end a huge Cal Mac ferry awaits, and we drive on clunking over the ramp, park carefully in the belly of the boat directed by the wo/men in hard hats, and head up to the top deck for a couple of hours of sea watching...nowhere to go and nothing to do!

Tho' it's always an opportunity to take photos and be inspired by the industrial colours and shapes of the ferry, and of course the sea, the endless sea...and the romance of the distant islands...

 
Arriving in the late evening, we drove to the cottage, greeted by a barn owl as we arrived...a good omen for the week ahead! The cottage was just lovely, feeling clean and new and neat, with beautiful tweed curtains and a simple easy style, and everything you would need. And no wifi! More info here if you'd like to stay there...

Through the windows there was just the surrounding moorland, and deer coming close by...lots of birds, we even saw a golden eagle soaring up above the hill, and plenty more as we were very close to the RSPB reserve. The sea is never far away and there were lots of little bays to visit...and no one else for miles around!
The views from the windows were so calming and beautiful, whether in rain and mist or in sunshine. I had taken a sketchbook with pre-prepared pages, so I spent the week doing a drawing or two each day, using my water soluble coloured pencils, and some amazing old watercolours (from my childhood!!) to create some simple interpretations of what I saw. I upcycled some plastic packaging as a water pot!
Wildflowers and wildlife abounds on the island, so much to see and delight in...

and there were even donkeys! As many of you may know we have donkeys at home...and we are always happy to see more...you cannot be uncheered by them, and these were so friendly! Sadly we had no carrots for them...

I think I will show you a few more photos next time...there's plenty more where these came from! We are home once more and I'm back in the studio, getting ready for another set up of our exhibition Sewing the Seeds: we're going to be at The Gather at Ennerdale Bridge, here in Cumbria for a month, setting up tomorrow...so I'd better go and find my boxes and get organised...

Happy 1st September...time for some autumny creating methinks...I'm running Seedheads workshop on 26th September and Mini Landscapes on 17th October if you fancy some fabric and stitch fun! check out my website for details...