30 July 2015

How Much Fits on a Table?

Some bloggers post a What's On Your Table This Week - well how about an explanation of what was there up until an hour ago!

This is actually partially organised.  Things are in piles to go away, but what are these things?

Back left, there's an artist canvas which I coloured in pencil, and didn't like, then covered in gesso, softening the colours, and still didn't like.  Next to it paint splodges which are actually to be cut up and stuck on jar lids so I can see what the colours are inside.
The spotty bag contains the new sewing needles I bought and had yet to file away.
At the left front under and over the pencil case, paperwork.  Some of it is for filing, and some current obligations.
There are odd bits which are not in the pencil case.
The yarn is an itch to be scratched.  I've been longing to recreate a shoulder bag from my early teens.  Just a crocheted granny rectangle, which I remember clearly and lining it with fabric.  Been looking for months at brightly coloured yarns, and finally bought some, but still not started.
Oh, I spy the glue tape runner which is now covered in gesso, cos I forgot to put the lid on my brand new bottle.....
But all of this is now tidy in its proper home, cos I needed the table to give my sewing machine a treat.

I am quite firm on cleaning out lint and changing the needle - but it hasn't had a drink of oil for a long time.  I had to buy some - and you will see that laying on the table - last lot I had went a horrible colour so I binned it.  So it had a nice wash and brush up, a teeny drink, and to insult it, I've covered it with a cover from an old machine I no longer own and moved it back to its usual spot.
On the back of this table are boxes of wooden beads - actually necklaces I buy and chop up, and a box of heart buttons, and the top box is miniature buttons.  Behind is a pin board which doesn't have any work pinned on it as such.  Does have inspirational quotes and pretty things.  And what you can't see here, is above it, is a piece of Betty Pepper's work, which I bought for a special birthday.

So now things are back in cupboards, sewing machine is purring - we are ready to go again!  Good job too, cos I've bought my 2016 textile diary, and I'm thinking Feb is going to be a deadline month for all sorts of things....



19 July 2015

Thrilled - Feel the Fear....

Well  did you hear the squeals?  Time to update on the opportunities which were pending.

First of all there was a boo hoo - I didn't get into the Essex Open.  I've been in it twice, but not for many years, so no real surprise, except going in to these things hopeful, else why bother.  Still it gives me moaning rights "oh my piece was sooo much better than that one darhling" :)

Next comes an old faithful.  I did know over a week ago that I'd been accepted, but waited for my written confirmation.  Having been a part of it since it was just a couple of days and only a handful of artists, and in my home town, its nice to once again be part of
Rochford Art Trail
17th-26th September 2015
I have again been allocated the opticians window.  Its such a specific venue, being glass cubes - the staff are lovely too.
Here's a sneaky look at what I have planned to fill the window with.


I've offered to help out with some stewarding, and will add details of when and where as they are confirmed.

If you recall the previous blog where I'd listed the opportunities pending, I'd said there was something which was completely in my comfort zone, and completely out of it.  Last week I said to a friend, right now, if the answer is no I will feel disappointment and relief.   However, if I get accepted, I will likely feel excitement and scared.
So here I am happy dancing, thrilled, and gulping my fear back down!

I am going to participate in my first ever Artist Book Fair!

HOFS Artist Book Fair
Saturday 14th November 2015
HOFS is Hadleigh Old Fire Station - its now artists studios, but retains its big red doors and fireman's pole!
This is a new venture for me.  Although I've been making books for years and years.  Part of the reason for applying is that space to showcase book arts isn't always easy to come by.  Some venues are wall only, or security is a concern.
I have participated in countless artist/public situations, talking to and demonstrating techniques.  I've also been part of groups with textile stands at art fairs - but I have never done one in my own right, just me, at a table, by myself, with only my work and never primarily my books.
So time to step out of the comfort zone, and give it a try - who knows what will happen, I may be useless, no-one may like anything I make - but after giving it a lot of thought, and I mean a lot of thought, its have a try and see.  One way or another, a box will be ticked!


Please make diary notes of these events - hopefully I will be back with more publicity posters etc.


10 July 2015

Bye old friend....

No, not quite so morbid as the title, but still a little sad.


This is the very first ever 'sketchbook' I bought.  I just adore the cover.  Its not proper quality paper but it was my very dear friend for a long time.
I used to go to workshops and make notes, and then come home and transfer them and the photos (back in the day real ones, not digital) and samples into this book. Playing with ideas those samples too would go in this book.

So I decided this past week that I needed a set of samples to have a book of their own, instead of in different places, so out this came to have them removed, and HORROR.


The beginning of the book pages are covered in black mould.  I suspect this has a lot to do with the bookcase being in the far right corner of a north facing room.  A room I usually hung wet washing on an airer to dry.  But why only partially infected?
I don't suspect it helps but there is within the pages samples of paint and salt, and sugar with pva - don't ask - its does funky things!
So I've had a last look through written out info I want to keep a record of and poor notebook will now be consigned to the bin, no point in trying to salvage things.

I suspect its partly due to the cover, but all I keep hearing in my head is the song - Seasons in the Sun, by, I think, Terry Jacks.  We Had Joy, We Had Fun, We Had Seasons in the Sun!

So its got its own little blog post, because it needs its moment in time recorded, but actually looking through it, so much of this information I don't need, its become ingrained, part of me, and doesn't need any 'how to' record.

Suspect I need to take a look and throw out some more stuff........


05 July 2015

Funday Share 5. 7.15

Slight change of sharing idea.  Who knows if it will be regular as previous, but this time I've decided to share something fun made.  The point being its not for an exhibition or for quality necessarily, but just for being what it is an enjoyable project to make or to look at.

So to kick off - yesterday I went off to Milton Keynes for the Embroiderers' Guild, Eastern Regional Day.
I've not been for many years because personal things clashed and meant it was impossible to go.  So now being able to visit and the enticement of the good speaker, I decided to go.

Perhaps things have moved on in the intervening years, or may be its just me - but not quite the same buzz as I've experienced in the past.  Not so many shops and we didn't know who they would be in advance, so not able to plan.  I didn't buy much, only needles from John James - I need to sort out my needles, plus I wanted some in the pebble pack specifically to be able to take out and about.

However, why I signed up, was the chance to hear the speaker - Ruth Issett  - I've seen her work, and demonstrating at stitching events but never heard her talks.  As I listened I was struck by some similarities in work.  Ruth stitches, at times, white on white, and colours after - as do I.  She works with an idea but its not so prescribed, as to be inflexible when its in the practical being worked on stage - sounds like me too.  Nowhere of this calibre of course, but its actually quite affirming to hear someone who says they work like this.

So a most enjoyable morning, soaking in all the information and above all COLOUR!

After lunch we engaged in what I believe was called Speed Date Stitching.  As in we stitched, whistle blew we swapped the goodies box and stitched.  Here is my piece of FUN.


I was quite happy to try and test myself so deliberately choose bright colours.  The first session, purple (what else) a teal green piece of paper and netting.  The second session added the large red piece, paper in a yellow/orange and orange chiffon.  The last session, a bright yellow paper, and netting in bright pink, blue and black.  We had a couple of different coloured threads each session too, but I mixed up where i added those so can't remember which came with what.
Even from the same boxes others around the table had totally different colour blends.

So there you have it, a bit of FUN, which does actually make me feel good to look at, because the colours are bright and happy.  May be I'll use more of my orange paint now?