Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Customs and Crafts Exhbition at Lydiard House

Exciting day today.
 The Mayor is officially opening the Exhibition by Great western Embroiderers at Lydiard House today at 2pm. The House and Exhibition is open to the public from tomorrow.  Lots of associated events are also on the calendar. Next week I am giving an illustrated talk on the history of Embroidery. Check out Lydiard's website for more information .... here

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Drinking tea?

I'm afraid I have not been sitting around drinking tea.... although I would dearly love to.
 Life has been far more hectic than I would wish and has demanded skills from me which I do not have. It has also been something of a nightmare trying to organise some support to help deal with the issues. The process is incredibly beaurocratic  and time consuming. My creative output has been nil as a consequence. It has taken all month at the moment and is nowhere near resolution.... wish me luck.. it appears to be a lengthy journey.

The school children have just had a half term break, so 2 year old grandson has taken advantage of having his older sisters at home and has in true family tradition been painting.

Fantastic output...and just look at that happy grin on his face.
BTW the cup of tea in the photo was consumed in a moment I had to myself whilst himself was at the Parkinson's group balance gym.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Drawing - food for the soul?

My car was parked when I took this photo through the windscreen, I wish I had taken my sketchbook and drawn the wonderful image I had in front of me.
I had just attended a meeting at the Marlborough Embroiderers Guild. The talk was by Amanda Hislop, absolutely brilliant,  such an inspiration to get drawing into sketchbooks.
 I did a workshop a few years ago with Amanda and amazingly I blogged about it too... have a look here. I wonder if my photo today was inspired by the work I had just seen at the meeting? 
Amanda very generously allowed me to take a photo of her, but was not keen on me recording her work, so I will not share any photos here, however she  had a wonderful booklet for sale showing her work, and if you would like to see some of her work ----her website is here.
At present she is working on her Prism exhibition work, the annual exhibition which takes place at the Mall Galleries in May. The exhibition is called coded: decoded. details here. We had a sneaky review of her ideas.. its going to be really exciting.
I came away from the meeting very inspired.... I have a free morning tomorrow... just hope the inspiration lasts and I can get into the studio.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Shadows on the wall

Sunshine on the kitchen wall.... the shadows are the proof. ( by the way .... its a fly swatter)

Saturday, February 01, 2014

The best Hot Chocolate in the West.

I take no credit for this very tasty beverage, but can recommend. A meeting at Heelis meant I could indulge..... I love the symbol with the sprinkles.. great effect.

I have been trying to do something creative every day,.... even if only for 15 minutes. Mainly thanks to Myfanwy and her FB - "Be Creative" incentive.
 Here is today's effort. The A2 painting has been hanging around the studio for a few months. Just waiting to have the paint/ dye/ink discharged with bleach...... so today was the day.... 15 minutes later... it was bleached. Why did it take me so long to get down to it? Better post it on FB as well... otherwise they will all think I have been slacking again.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Studio work

The studio table was in a real mess by the time I had finished today, and this is my feeble attempt at tidying up. The weather was awful today.. it was raining ice at one stage, and late afternoon was getting very cold. So it was good to be cosy in the studio and working.

This is a small quilt that has been hanging in my studio unfinished for quite a while. it now boasts a backing, binding and sleeve. It may need a little more surface decoration in the form of embroidery. I am not sure, I do like the textures as they are.. 
The daylight was very poor, and so this is not a good photo. I have decided to  leave it hanging in the studio before I decide whether it is finished or not.
The weather forecasters are threatening some snow tomorrow, just hope they are wrong. I have some chores to do which involve going out.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Be Creative

Myfanwy created a Facebook group ( for this weekend only) giving a series of prompts all through the day for spurring your creativity.  Have a look here.
This was my response yesterday to Prompt 1.... which was 6 circles. My first  thought was  round footballs... but then as usual, I make  it all my own.. and created oval rugby balls with faces, drawn with neocolour II in my sketchbook.
I then took a digital photo of the sketchbook page, and then played with layers in the free program called GIMP see here. I use it a lot and find it very powerful.
The resulting image above, I uploaded to FB. to the group page....... and obviously the next question is.. how to use it?
Have had thoughts about that too. I may print it onto fabric and then stitch into it. At the moment it will have to wait though... I have other work underway in the studio today. Its a small quilt that has been hanging on the wall, looking dejected and unfinished. So its time to give it some attention.
Right back to the studio and some being creative... this is fun!

Friday, January 24, 2014

A lot of red - and a short walk.

A few letters need to be posted, so a short walk was called for to the post box. The weather was dismal and grey.... but the redness of the post box shone out quite brightly. The complementary colours of red and green seemed to work particularly well too.

Instead of turning round to go home... I thought I would take a ten minute walk as it wasn't raining. The walk took me past the children's play area.... totally deserted today. Perhaps the children prefer to play indoors today. The bright colours caught my eye.... but there seemed to be a lot of moss too, a result of all the damp and rainy weather we have experienced.

This bush of red berries caught my attention on the way home.. it is national bird counting  here In the UK this weekend. We do not get many birds in our garden, but the countryside nearby is full of good things for them to eat, so my bird feeders are not as attractive to them. that's my excuse anyway.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Name the mouse for Lydiard House... please.

So here she is all finished and ready to go on show at Lydiard house in April. She will be part of the children's quiz and will perch in one of the State rooms for the children to spot.
At the moment she has no name.... so please leave suggestions for a name in the comment box.... and I will pull a name out at random on the 29th January.
Maybe it should be Mia Grace..... see why  here !

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A day of activity.

After a hectic morning of chores, I had to go and post some letters after lunch, so decided to go for a walk as well. At least it was dry, but the wind was bitterly cold. Very strange sky in this direction.... but..... turn around ..... and......
Blue sky...... ;o)
Had a another look at the number of road signs that are now gracing the road closed.... they seem to be multiplying by the day.  When I got back home I headed for the studio, feeling rather cold and windswept.
Some of my Internet buddies and I are trying to do drawing more frequently and trying out different techniques. Just for fun. Here I tried some drawing by touching objects ( hidden under a cloth) and making graphite drawings..... it was great fun. I have isolated some areas of the drawing that I like and may translate into textiles.

I have also been making a mouse for GWE's next Lydiard Exhibition which is April - June 2014. The mouse is nearly finished and I will post more photos when I have put in the finishing stitches .
I also put a few more stitches into some abstract work that has been pre-occupying my thoughts and sketches, and my studio walls since the autumn. It felt good to get into the studio today and complete some unfinished pieces of work... and of course sketch.

Friday, January 17, 2014

English patchwork - hexagons

It was good to get into the studio today and finish the hexagons I had started earlier this week. I still cannot believe I have used green fabric ! The larger patchwork is now a cushion cover, I have not bought the cushion pad yet, which is why it looks rather flat.
I have made the smaller hexagons into a pin cushion, with a hanging loop.
English paper patchwork is quite relaxing to do... and very easy... have a look here
The sun was shining this morning and I was hoping to go for a gentle walk around the area, but I had too many chores to do. After lunch it started raining , and I lost the willpower to go out in it. Instead I spent a most enjoyable afternoon in the studio, as you can see.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Walking in the neighbourhood.

As I have mentioned here in a previous post.... street furniture can raise a smile. The formation of this cloud and others in the sky were very apt I thought.  At least the sun was shining..... we still seem to have had more than our fair share of rain just recently. So I thought I would just share my  recent walk with you again today.

This old stone wall was covered in ivy, old leaves and a tangle of roots. I wonder how old the wall is?

I used to drive up this road quite regularly..... it was very busy and a good connection to other main roads. It was shut permanently in 2000.. however the give way sign at the top of the hill is still in position.  Cyclists often use this road now, and so it may still be necessary.

A few more road signs have appeared at the junction of the other lane that has been temporarily shut.... there seem to be more signs every day - where do they all come from?
This tree is huge and  very impressive..... probably been here for a long time, and so I could not resist the temptation of some more images for the sketchbook.

I have used oil pastels again..... love blending them.

I have also made a small printing block, and this is printed onto fabric.
Did you notice the strange date today 14-1-14 (14 Jan 14)?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fascination with trees

I chose to take another walk along the closed lane, the sun was shining and the trees were magnificent against the sky. They were really demanding closer attention.
En route I passed this old and tangled apple tree.... I have made a mental note to go past again when it is Spring.... the negative and positive shapes of the branches are fascinating.
I took my sketchbook along and created a few sketches... and then added some more when I got home. The ivy leaves were picked up on the way and I have hidden them under a piece of organdie. I am hoping this will preserve them.
I also did this sketch above in the studio using oil pastels.. ....I love the way the colours can be blended. One of the artists I have always admired since I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of his In Dortmund, when I was visiting family, is August Macke. This piece is called Rokoko and is dated 1912.
I love Macke's' subject matter and use of colour. I often find his work inspirational.
I could not resist taking this photo- in the far distance are the hills of Gloucestershire, and I wondered what my very special friend Gill was doing on this lovely sunny day.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The forgotten Seamstress

I have never blogged about a  fiction book before, but must share this one with you. it was part of my Christmas reading from the local lending library. I found I could not put it down, it was so spell binding.

 The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Renow.  Liz gives a synopsis of the story here, much better written than if I tried to write it.

Apparently Lynne Edwards - a renowned quilter - created a virtual quilt to complement the book..... I think it is fantastic idea. I wonder if anyone has actually made it up? Details here