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!

Friday, 9 August 2019

private view...

if you didn't make it to our "Sewing The Seeds" exhibition...then here's taste of the work on show. Some is tricky to photograph as it was framed behind glass, so I selected the easier textiles to snap...

We each made a letter (or two) for the banner, it's amazing how such different techniques look so good together...collaboration is always a winner!











My work was displayed in a little alcove off the main gallery room, which I loved. I was able to set out my stall with pictures and brooches and books, and have space for my larger pieces: my "butterfly net" and butterfly dress.


I really enjoyed creating so many delicate fluttering creatures! Using souble fabrics and layers of net and lace, each one looked as though it was flying, and I really liked the unforeseen effect of their shadows on the net, and their movements as the net shifted lightly in a breeze.




I created a collection of butterflies, moving like sooty moths from the darkness of despair to the light and brightness of hope. The circular shape represents the earth, and the butterflies, the earth’s fragility.




My other pieces were pictures, brooches and books, with butterflies, flowers and seedheads as the theme, in keeping with the overall idea of pollinators and pollination.




More and more I find my work almost creates itself. I start out with ideas, I start off with something happen in a sketchbook, a few words and images appear, then gradually as I sit back and allow, intuition guides my hands and my mind in a new direction. I had no idea where this work was taking me, I would just show up each day and stitch one or two butterflies, as my energy permitted. Then slowly the ideas of how to display them came to me. I knew I wanted to make a corset piece, as that's one of my favourite ways to work in 3D...after that what came was anyone's guess!

 

In the end, I was very happy...not least because I am working in our group 'Fabricate' with some lovely, talented, kindred spirits and makers, and we all just blend harmoniously together, as does our work...so I hope seeing this small taste of our collaboration will please you too! 
 
You can find Fabricate on Facebook here...do come along and give us a like and say hello!

Enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer, from my garden full of flowers, butterflies and tranquility...

with love


PS The exhibition is moving to The Gather in Ennerdale











Sunday, 9 June 2019

sewing the seeds...

is the title of our Fabricate exhibition, and my work is beginning to come together. I am working very slowly at the moment, inching my way towards the creation of work I can actually show! The posters beautifully designed by Ruth Waterhouse are printed and being displayed...so I'd best get a move on!
 

Each exhibitor has also designed a letter to spell out a banner for the show, my letter was 't' and this design made itself as if by magic!  A lovely piece of a green linen skirt made the background, then some samples of cording and some flowers were added to the simple letter underneath.
 

My ideas on the theme of plant pollinators began way back I think in February/March, the sketchbook begun one early morning in bed...and the creative journey has taken me far away from those early thoughts. They served really only to get the pumps primed and keep fear at bay so that the real ideas could gently filter through!



And now my work is so different compared to my first rather earthy ideas around gardening and planting...they have transformed and become light and ephemeral butterflies...and I'm not really sure how! 



I've played with soluble fabrics and paper and stitch to create a collection of delicate butterflies, the word fragile in my head, translated into fabric creations. I have layered net and lace to create a sense of movement as if they are fluttering...



Using free mchine embroidery is so versatile, it's a slow and dainty production process with soluble fabrics, but so satisfying when the butterflies start to pile up...


Experimenting with colours to see what feels right...not sure about the orange...








and now some very different shades, as the colour moves from light to dark...




I am also working on a larger piece, starting with a corset or bodice, to create a butterfly 'dress'...hopefully I'll be able to show you more of that next time!

Meanwhile, time to stop procrastinating and get back to the studio...

Hope you have a creative week too!










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...