Saturday, 27 February 2010

A little Silkie detail

The drawing for "Silkie Smiles"

The big piece for Ruthin that I have been mulling over for such a long time was finished today. I have called it "Silkie Smiles" I am very pleased with it, and it was so smooth and easy to make, no headaches, no worries. Even though it is (for me) a big piece 60cm x 35 cm I just relished the feeling of being 'lost' in it as I sewed away.
I now can make some more pieces for the Textiles Fair at Teddington with a clear path.

I visited Market Harborough branch of the embroiders' Guilds on Thursday and gave the group of very lovely members a slide talk about my work. They were a very enthusiastic and responsive group to talk to, and I enjoyed myself very much. I was looked after, and made very welcome by one of the members; Amanda who is not only an enthusiastic embroiderer but a quilter too.
I have been invited back to the Guild later in the summer to give a workshop, I know we will all have a great time.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Cat and Windmill


Trampolines, Lego and the colour blue

My week last week has been filled with little boys, varying in all ages from 3 to 13. My nephews came to stay for half term, and boy Oh boy did we pack activities in!! Two of the highlights being bouncing on trampolines for over 40 minutes and a massive Lego competition set by none other than Stephanie Bateman-Sweet. A delicious afternoon tea was provided before hand by Sarah Tyssen Stephanie, and myself and then we sat back still sipping tea and putting the world to rights watching as the group of boys sprawled before us on the carpet constructed the most fantastic array of Lego creations ever imaginable. Marvellous! I am glad to say that each participant won in his category, so there were no disappointments and no stamping of feet.

I've still been mulling over this big piece. Tomorrow however I begin it with the final drawing. Preliminary sketches were tentatively made a couple of weeks ago when I had the first initial idea of my girl swimming beneath the sea with seals. I only draw using a black felt pen, drawing with it onto big pieces of white cartridge paper which I then cut up and reassemble in collage form until all the placing of the composition is pleasing, usually knowing as I draw what colours I am going to use in the piece, but I don't use any colour at all in the drawing, I save that delicious aspect of making until I start to sew, choosing the colours as I go, following the pattern that is in my head and the reference drawing that is on my studio wall. I can't wait to start sewing once more, and the only colours that want to use are..........................different shades of blue.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Monkey buisness

Monkeys in the making

Party Party Party!

It's been one big social whirl in the studio! Children's birthday parties! one after another, children of all ages busily making delightful creations in our Light Box building with cake and party food at the end of their party. The most wonderful things have been made from felted jewellery, get stuffed creature features, bags and sock monkeys. I have loved helping them but have been truly exhausted by the end! Amy our wonderful workshop helper has helped me throughout, she wants to be a primary school teacher when she leaves college and I think she will make a great and fine teacher, she is lovely with the children, gentle, enthusiastic and encouraging-just what you need when you are having trouble threading your needle for the third time.

Because of all the birthday Parties my own work has slowed down a bit in the last week or so. (with a lot of preparation for each individual party) I am getting a new collection of pieces together for the Landmark Arts Textiles Fair in Teddington which is on Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th March as well as making and finishing off commissioned pieces which are to be posted this week. I'm still mulling over this first big piece I want to make for the SMILE exhibition at The Gallery Ruthin Craft Centre I really want to start making it, I have that wonderful nervous excited feeling that you get in the anticipation of making something very new which is in the uncharted waters of creativity. The piece has to be finished and ready to be photographed by the end of March, I don't want to let it compete with my new ideas for the Landmark Textiles Fair pieces I want them to run side by side, sometimes it can be so hard juggling projects and keeping everything even and running smoothly and within designated time slots too! But i will try my best and see what happens.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Little Dogs in a big Park

February Animals and a still life.

So now we are in February!! I have finished two dogs running in a park and now need to finish the 63 animal templates that need sewing up. The animals are in preparation for children's workshops and I hope the children like them as much as I have choosing the fabric combinations and cutting them out.
There is something so exciting about cutting new cotton fabric that is crisp and responds well to the scissor blade and then the stacking of the cut pieces to make towers of random and abstract colours. The fabrics which I chose are a wonderful mix of cottons and linens in colours of buff ,burgundy, red and green, stripes and floral designs.
Each little animal will be ready and waiting to be turned inside out and be decorated by its new owner, and each new potential owner will have his/her new own creature feature to adorn with stitch, beads buttons fabric applique and love and then to carry home knowing that they made it themselves, very satisfying all round!

I spent Saturday in Solihull with The Genesis Textile Group. What a wonderful, clever, generous and inspiring group they are. There is nothing nicer than being in a room of like minded people all sewing and creating stitched pieces together.
The workshop day was 'drawing with your machine' a huge still life was set up and the group added there own chosen objects to it and then they began to draw what they saw before them with the needle of their sewing machines, using only one colour thread, after lunch colour was added.
The drawings and pictures that they all produced were truly magnificent, and I was so pleased for them, everything they made were pieces to be truly proud of.