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31 December 2012

End of....

Well its the last day of 2012... phew.
So what more appropriate I thought clear up a few things on the table, and be ready to start over.
These are more postcards.  Sorry for the bad photography.  Its pouring with rain here, dark as anything and dreadful to try and record things.
The two purple postcards have been on here before... they were a large piece which wasn't going anywhere, but after chopping up it seemed more suited the purpose.  The patterns were marked when the colours were whole, then after chopping and stitching together a few times, I added the surface stitch patterns, which makes them now nicely randomised, if that's a word.  The greeny coloured one in the background is the same cut/stitch/cut method, just includes patterned paper.  All these pieces actually needed was a backing.  However I'd held off wondering whether I should add something else or coat with varnish, and they moved around the table not getting anywhere.  So today, enough, put the backing on... which is actually a good quality cartridge paper, printed up with my details.  And done, at last.
I also finished these today. An Xmas gift from a dear friend.  Make your own earrings kit, of course in my fave purple and long dangles, she knows me sooo well.  Lots of beads left over from the kit, to sit and stroke lovingly!!!

So today, as far as I'm concerned is Old Year's Night, as we always referred to it, in my native Norfolk. End of a year which has brought me challenges in all sorts of directions, could do with the next year being a little slower in order to recover.

20 December 2012

Tis the season for......

How come time seems to evaporate at this time of year?  Even though I've done my Xmas stuff, such as it is.  Cards and presents done and delivered.  Present, yeah, sorted my present for me for Boxing Day alone time.  Nope its nothing from childhood memory... but it is something I've drooled over for a while. Eeeewww  All I will say is it will involve glue and paper, given that I've also my own dedicated bottle of something fizzy and a box of posh chocs at the ready, the end result may not be as anticipated!

I had a nice trip out on Monday, meeting up with Janette from EAST.  When viewing their latest Exhibition him indoors came up to me and said he really liked a piece of work, so I said, why not get it then.  Here it is.  Made by Susan Canfield.  Thank you Susan.
I've also bought Lynda Monk's latest book, which I think so far others have had more of a look at than me, as I've taken it to show various people.  Lynda is one of the nicest people you can meet and incredibly generous with her knowledge and sharing.  If you get to see her work in person or take a class with her, do.

Today, a nice lunch out with Juliet.... finally updated all my accounts.  Sounds posh/important, its not, just not touched a thing, shoved receipts into a folder for the past entire year.  So now its time to hibernate for the duration!  As long as I have intravenous chocolate I'll be OK.

Wishing Everyone Who Drops by for a Read
A Very Happy Christmas

12 December 2012

All the Twelves!

Well today is 12.12.12 - and I've been out and about taking photos.  I think this is my last Date Day recording.  I like these funny dates, could be because my birthday is one of them, and so is my wedding day.
So I've been recording things on these days since 1.1.1  Now the trick is actually to find where I've kept them all, sure not all of them are in digital form.
Sunrise this morning.... and no they are not hills in the background, nor even a forest of trees - its actually dark cloud.
This piece of work has found its way home to me.
Its been absent for about 18 months or more.  It was made for the touring exhibition of the ERTF Owen Jones inspired work.  This piece was based on the colours of the fabrics found in the Warner Archive alongside Owen Jones Proposition 32
Ornaments of any colour may be separated from grounds of any other colour by edgings of white, gold, or black.
The piece is called: "Pastiche".
Thanks to Lorraine for organising, with help from many many others along the way.

27 November 2012

Listening to Alice....

I made a piece of work earlier this year which is based on words from Alice in Wonderland
The real quote is very long, but is often paraphrased into "if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there"
Well the other day I came across another phrase, of which only part was mentioned. Appropriately, to me, I discovered its from Through the Looking Glass. The remainder of the sentence, which I'd not seen, struck me:
Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas -
only I don't exactly know what they are!
Its like thoughts colliding, because here I am, with stickers all over a craft magazine, that's a good idea, and that one, oooo, and I can do that. Then I get torn in pieces, because I can't possibly copy something else, that someone else has struggled and processed to make. But then on the other hand nothing is new, its all recycled in some shape or form, each interprets, and putting it out there in magazines etc, is it not for sharing?
Perhaps I should go back to my own notebook, because in the very front of it, I have this, as a quote
They copied all they could follow,
but they couldn't copy my mind.
The Mary Gloster   by   Rudyard Kipling

Nah, no-one needs to look into my mind, lots of times I think its stuffed with cotton wool anyway, between the brain and the fingers there's very often miscommunication, well that's my excuse.  So I think I'll have a little play inspired by other people's work.... and may be go back to another love, making work which fits quotations.

24 November 2012

The C Word (computers and cleaning!)

Attended the ERTF World Textiles Conference this past Saturday.  It so nice to catch up with people, course now I'm on the Committee and now we've been going for a while people are getting known to each other.  I took supplies to sell in the inhouse shop, and managed to make some sales, so that is good.  The guilt over the volume of stash is pacified.  Though as I tell him indoors, you should see what other people have, my stuff would fit in a corner compared!!!

Its time for a Spring Winter clean.  No, not the house, don't be silly, my personal arty records on the puter.  Phew feels a lot better now to be up to date.  cv is done, and updated on my website.  I've renamed/dated things properly so I can find them.
And the biggest and most outstanding job.... my records of each individual piece.  I got myself in a muddle this year because I'd not updated things, like where the work has been shown. Ended up submitting something which had already been shown at that event!!!  With so much extra personal paperwork this year, I didn't discover my error til a few months later, so upset with myself.
I didn't keep records of pieces for a long time, (save my notes as I made and photo of finished item) until one day the lightbulb went off... going into the garage for about the tenth time to measure a piece of work, so I could fill in a form about it... duh, idiot, why not have that info listed.  So I have an Excel chart, and its easier.
Next ask will be to draw up a plan for next years art work... sounds efficient and likely won't work out, but I think a rough, need to have made by Spring, need to be in process by Summer.  This got me through all my CandG studies, I love a nice tick when its done.  I also know I need to pace things properly for a while, too much gone on this year, and its not finished yet.  I need some free brain space, all this flitting between all my arty projects and other aggro. My list for dangling people who annoy, out of the 10th floor window by their ankles continues to grow.  Some repeat offenders might only be held by one ankle!!!  (rubs hands together in anticipation, mwah ha ha)

Next is the dreaded C word... and I'm wondering what I should buy myself crafty wise.  As a child I always had something to make, frequently Boxing Day afternoon I would get it out and enjoy. Stitch kits, pink paisley knitting bag, that latest craft gadget from K-tel, Ronco, or whatever the companies were called. In recent years I lapsed back in time and bought myself a flower loom, as yes had one of those back in the day. I might make myself a crocheted Afghan square bag... I made one of those as a teen, and have a yearning.  As I will spend part of Xmas alone, ideal opportunity to indulge, (wot you don't already?) with something a bit silly.  Just need to work out what....

15 November 2012

Exhibitions, Sales and the need for Chocolate

Friday went over to see EAST's exhibition.  Its one of the few exhibitions I must not miss and I think I've possbily missed only 1 or 2 since inception in the mid 90s.  Its nice to see what everyone is doing, when you've known people for a long time.  Their work is always very well displayed, crisp and clean and, well, as you'd expect, professional.  Himself was with me, and came to find me to say he liked one of the small art works and we should buy it.  So we did, and that hopefully will come home in December.  The only surprise to me this time around was the lack of 3d.  Yes there were large pieces, more installation work, but hardly anything in terms of 3d. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just a different look to the entirety.  Its good though that things move and change, otherwise why bother to visit a group if you see the same every time.

Small Sales - well delivered my little chiffon flower brooches today, wheeee!!!  And packing up goodies for the ERTF Cornucopia (in house) shop on Saturday.
For the ERTF shop it will be extra supplies to try and sell on and a little booklet I wrote all myself, plus did all the diagrams myself, and put it together myself.  My dear friend Anne, acted as proof reader, and very good she is too, as I write like I talk, ie with a Norfolk accent!
I gulped at the supplies.... you see in the first place I bought way too much, but I also remember that at the time my thinking was going another way, I was going to fully immerse myself, make, show off and then sell on these extras.  But life twists and turns and things change and you end up with a box of things, which I still love and cherish but am never going to use all in my lifetime.  Hands up how many have done that then?
Fetched the float for Cornucopia today... sigh another reason I'm turning in a grumpy old bag.  Why does everything get complicated?  I phoned first, I simply wanted to know can I come in and get this amount of change or do I need to pre-order it.  Of course its not the branch I'm speaking to but a call centre in another country, despite being the phone number quoted for the branch (grrr).  Anyway never got that question answered.  Instead they would pre-order the money for me ready for me to go and collect.  Oh how nice and helpful, not.  Turned up and everything was in coppers, the teller heaved out this bag which I'd need a wheelbarrow for, to start with £15 in 1p pieces..... sigh.  So despite ordering and despite it all being in a sealed bag, the teller had to start over and get me what I wanted from scratch.  And... to answer the question, yes I could have gone in and got that amount of change without having to ask in advance.

Sorry all I seem to do these days is moan, but its been one heck of a year and a lot of aggro and hassle and lots of time stupid issues which if individuals did what they promised, I wouldn't have had to do unwanted, unexpected work and spend days writing emails to sort out. I do have a novelty business idea... how about, people deliver the product/service they promise.  Bit radical hey, need to lay down until the moment passes. (but there is of course, always chocolate!)

07 November 2012

Linking Up

Well they did warn me that Facebook is the great time waster.... well I've not fallen into that hole so much, but I have found another one!!!  Had a happy time playing and updating adding clickable logos to my blog and website.
So over on the righthand side you will find these little gems.  But now I'm irritated, I cannot find anywhere a reciprocal logo for Blogger (which clicks though to my personal blog).  I want to put the blog badge/button (and that's another issue everyone calls them something different) onto my website.  Do they not have a "get your badge here" department?  Seems a bit daft if they don't.  I'm trying to operate my own mutual appreciation society between all these things, promoting each of them on each other and moi at the same time.  So until someone can offer any help, think I may just have to settle with my clickable link on my website.

In the meantime aside from self promotion (cough) The Material Girls have received the dates for the collaborative exhibition in Canada - a brief summary is in the righthand margin, and more details on the dedicated page above.  You can of course also bookmark The Material Girls website and blog.

The Rochford Art Trail came to an end, no major sales, but its not really the point of doing, well not for me.  However, my chiffon flowers were well received and I've been asked to turn several into brooches.  It was always a possibility, and had been considered, but it feels better responding to demand, rather than making and hoping!!!  You may have seen before, but here's a pic.

31 October 2012

Networking/Interfacing.... Whatever!

Well I've ventured forth into the world of social networking!  I am now on Facebook.  On a personal level things have moved and changed with many family members this year, and I fear being on the outer edges if I don't actively make efforts.  But I still intend to use it as I do this blog, 99% of it about my arty stuff, not about whether I liked what I ate for dinner last night.  But so far its so not what I like, hate these multiple columns of info, I like things neat and crisp.   Blogs are always back to front for me, cos I like latest news at the bottom, not the top.  Hate trying to read multiple postings and its constant scrolling up and down, its not how I read a book!!  Even after having this blog for some time, its still seems twisted to me.
I have been on Linked In for some considerable time though.  But I doubt I will get very far with that, especially as I keep referring to it as Lindi Kin!  (Have a complete mind blank about the right name) So the likes of Twitter and Pinterest can relax, nothing much to fear from me.

Today I went out to the EG, for our usual stitchy meeting.  I took this little bit of fun along with me.  Its a piece started in an afternoon EG meeting, where we had loads of supplies and were told to go and play, stitch as you felt like, don't design, just do.
Its bits and pieces stitched onto a heavy watercolour paper.  Around the room we had cross stitch, knitting, goldwork, more considered free embroidery and paper bead making.  We are a noisy bunch, and there's a lot of laughing, joking, teasing, impossible (for me) to concentrate on anything of detail and precious!!  Such a contrast to our friends down the corridor working on paintings, they concentrate so much their room is virtually silent!   Although both groups are entirely separate, because we are both doing arty things, we often pop into each other's room to share what is being created.
I think this piece might sit around a little longer, decide if it needs anything else on it, or not - red beads keep springing to mind.  But I must get down to some considered art pieces.

28 October 2012

Coming Unstuck

So UKers did you put the clocks back last night.... me I put my bedside clock forward before going to sleep.  Got a in right muddle this morning with knowing what the real tme should be. No need to worry cos the cat alarm goes off, marches upstairs to scream
Fe e d   m e   n o w.
Yesterday I had to do some running repairs on a piece of my work up in the Art Trail, tsk.  Been standing upright for over a week, and its in the venue for a day and slips.
You better read the next bit peeping through fingers over eyes...  I commit the sin of using sticky tape on my textiles, (make she be struck down for uttering the word).  I am useless at lacing work, never get it straight, and was once heavily verbally attacked by a tutor for a piece of work, where the warp/weft of the fabric was not absolutley 100% parallel to the mount.  Believe me it measured exact all the way along, just it had a very slight and I mean slight undulation, in the thread on the base fabric..  A lesson never to be forgotten.  So I use doubled sided tape, find it easier to make the adjustment to get it spot on.
However, I'm not sooo sinful... I've always used tape for artworks, acid free, and I've never ever had trouble with glue seeping through even on pieces now over 10 years old.  Of late absolutely loved Glue Dots, Double Sided Textile Tape.
But what on earth has happened to it, now I've got work which is just not stitcking.  It used to be a proper solid tape, now it looks like this:
and I've two reels of it, so not as if I got a dodgy one. (cough unless its a dodgy two!)  Wonder if anyone else has noticed and had trouble, but it looks like this faithful customer will have to go elsewhere as the product has let me down.  First time I've ever had work on show which needed repair....

Enough of me and my moans - I think you should pop along to my friend Anne's blog.  She does the most beautiful work, is in need of a boost a the moment and would like lots more Followers and.... she has a beautiful giveaway.

26 October 2012

Rochford Art Trail

Rochford Art Trail OPENS SATURDAY.
As I've said, I'm in the opticians again, my third year at this venue.  Very nice people always welcoming and friendly.
I set up my work yesterday afternoon,  the staff oohed and aaahed, there were people already stopping to look, and one of the staff leapt outside with a leaflet and one of my business cards, to give details to the person looking!  I was quite touched.
Although this is ny third time at the same venue, new things arise.  My display is in glass, and I mean glass, boxes which are suspended on wires floor to ceiling.  The first year I had to manipulate things to get in,  as the only open side is against the wall.  Last year someone showed me how to open the the other side panel to gain access.  This year I have lime green paper on the bottom shelves, part of their own set dressing, which has stayed in place.
Here are photos of my display.
Do come along to the Trail, this Saturday there is an Arts & Crafts Market in the WI Hall, which is in the Square.  Download the Trail Map, here.
Also importantly there are postcards for sale in aid of charity.  Miniature pieces of art made by Trail Artists - not me this year, not that I didn't want to contribute, but it was one 'can you just' too many this year.

19 October 2012

Passion for Purple

I'm in need of a bit of sparkle - are you?  I finished this little piece yesterday, here's a close up detail.
Changing my avatar is long over due, so I thought I'd use this.  Stitching on paper, with beads and mixed media.  I think the close up looks really good.  Of course, as always it just has to be purple. Do people get set in their ways from childhood - purple has always been my fave colour, all shades of.

Whoah spooky muzak time.  Researching something last week I found out that the days of the week are associated with colours.  So today I've just searched the day I was born, never known this, a Thursday, and guess what the colour is for Thursday - yep Purple!  So let's test it, found an online quiz to find the colour of your soul, oh dear, its Violet.
I might have to lay down before I come over all unnecessary....
Nothing for it then, just have to buy more and more threads, beads, paints in purple, after all, would be rude not to!

16 October 2012

Let There Be Light - hopefully....

I might have solved something which has been a huge irritation to me.
This time of year when the daylight changes and you need lights on indoors, or actually not, I find using the sewing machine difficult.
Where my machine is situated I can't add a lamp to the table, there simply isn't room, and certainly can't do with more wire trailing across what working space I have.  But I've become increasingly irritated by the bulbs in my sewing machine.  Yes my Bernina has two, inncey wincey weeny little things, but they throw off a yellow light, sometimes with some threads I can't even see where I've stitched.  I try with the light on, off, add in the room light, sew almost in pitch darkness.  Last year so fed up with this I resorted to hanging a small flip light around my neck to focus in onto the needle.  Of course perfect until I moved and then back into not being able to see.  Next I tied it up to the underside of the harp bit.  That works, until stitching something large which needs to slide through the harp, then there is all sorts of manipulation needed, sigh.

What I really don't understand is why can't you get daylight bulbs for sewing machines?  Isn't it so obvious? I know some machines have them, but not as tiny as my machine needs.  In fact I enquired of the lightbulb manufacturers themselves (tell you this has really bugged me), they told me they didn't make bulbs that small, oh right, so I painted their name onto the bulbs myself then, sigh.
Top a daylight sewing machine bulb - described as a Pgymy...
below the one from my machine

Surely there must be other hobbyist equipment which take small bulbs, and wouldn't it be an instant seller to have daylight bulb versions - or is someone trying to tell me that my 20 year old machine is too old to bother with.  I know these teeny bulbs are used in things like projectors, microscopes, or around the house to illuminte display cabinets.

So, do I have a solution, well will have to see if the latest idea works.
Now I've bought one of these small round LED battery lights.  As my noticeboard is immediately behind the machine, I'm going to put the light on there shining onto the needle area and we will see if that improves things.  Now the variable is of course me, sliding the machine back and forth on the table, as I tend to push it back when I'm finished, so we might have to play with adjust the angle every time....
All these Dragons Den and business entrepreneur programmes - just make me a tiny daylight bulb - me and a zillion machiners would be so pleased!  Or alternatively get me a house big enough to have my own studio, where I can set it up to meet my every need.  At the moment I don't even have a room for my sole use.
I think that's it, I am quite comfortably now into the whining old biddy zone.

10 October 2012

Almost There.... and the Next Project is?

I found out that this month is known as Blogtober, ie bloggers posting every single day - well look at me, fell off the chair at that one.
I've been driving here and there, had a nice lunch out, oh and yes was discussing textile business and I mean proper important stuff, not chit chat.  So on to what's what in my arty life at the moment.

Minimalist poster, but says everything needed, the pink is eye catching but its also the brand colour of Essex Summer of Art.  I have the actual Art Trail leaflet, but in pdf form, so can't add to the blog - it has a snippet of a piece of my work.  I'm so not with it, I was looking and thought well who is at number 31 then, Oh, its me!!!  Duh.  Go to the website mentioned on the poster for information.  Oooops better finish off work for making, especially as I've made my appointment to set up the display!

Also been to my little stitchy group, where I took along the purple sparkle from the last post and stitched on it.  Still a WiP

Been along to the monthly meeting of The Material Girls.  We are almost at the end of the Bridging Waters Project.  A couple of talks to be given by Members, the next is this coming Saturday, at Romford Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild  this will be almost the last chance to see all the wall hangings before they are all transferred to Canada to go on display there.  Its been a very full on project, especially for me coming in after its underway.  I always knew that would be a personal challenge, but pleased that I met it.
This piece found a new home when on display at Maldon.  I hope whoever has it now, enjoys, thank you for buying.  (there are two other pieces of similar design).
So now we move on to the next project "Tales and Textiles" - for display at Textiles in Focus in 2014.  This is going to take MG on a journey around the world.  I've done a little research for it, but haven't felt able to immerse myself until I've had more brain space.  But the ideas are popping and of course in my head I've constructed a couple of absolute masterpieces.  For me though this is my first project with the group right from inception, so hopefully I will be getting more of an understanding of group dynamics and how it all works. And won't feel like I'm rushing to catch up, which was always going to be the case joining part way in. Already from initial topic, its grown and changed, moved, added and taken away, and individuals have also had a few thoughts before settling with ideas, well may be... who knows what actually develops when you get down to it.  And.... I'm going to open a fresh sketchbook!!!

Even I thought it ridiculous when I bought 2013 diary a couple of months back, but here I am today having to update - as I have committee meetings for one group scheduled right through 2013.  MG meetings are known through to August, and of course my local Embroiderers' Guild meetings are set for the year, better note those, cos actually I'm leading one of the meetings, (cough).  And guess what, already I have to be in 3 places on the one day, trouble is two of them I have to pay whether I attend or not.  Typical.
So I guess its get on with the Art Trail and be ready to start over making for 2013, I know at least one deadline which will be in February.

28 September 2012

If it looks like a duck......

Last week still chilling, and had lunch out with him indoors, of course I picked the surprise venue, well it did involve a little extra excursion up the road to Hobbycraft, just so rude not to visit when 80% there already.  But we came back and had lunch at the reservoir cafe.  Here's one of the other visitors:
I've no idea on such things, I said it looked like a duck cos it has a duck's face!!!  However I'm told its an Egyptian Goose.  Although I am partially right, cos its related to a Shelduck.   Beautiful colours in the feathers.

Been having a play, and working on little bits which need finishing off.
The red and the purple splodges might get threads and beads added, or might be filed!

Also been having a moan.  I am a rare female, hate clothes shopping.  Have hated it all my life, childhood traisping in and out of shops, walking miles only to return to the very first item in the very first shop.  I'm go with, if its the colour I want, suitable for the purpose, it fits, I buy - I'm not looking in 20 other shops for stuff.  However, moan time, have you noticed loads of clothes about, and cheap, but also really awful fabrics, the type that weld you to village hall seats.  Horrible, tacky.  Friends are saying the same thing.  So I went catalogue shopping, looked at the clothes I have already made sure I only ordered the same fibres in the same perecentages, and guess what, items arrive with stickers on them "fibre content not as advertised". Grrrr.  Seriously I'm thinking of going back to dressmaking.  I used to do it.  But of course nowadays, much like knitting (but I don't knit) its actually not a cheaper alternative, fabrics and patterns are expensive.  I have loads of dress patterns.... trouble is they tend to look like this now.
I think I might need to lay down for a while and let the moment pass - using dress patterns like this is soooo much more fun than practical stuff.

21 September 2012

Chilling, Typing and Buying

I write with nothing to show of my own again…. and I haven’t been making anything. That’s because I’m supposed to be taking time out, recharging the batteries and trying to get refreshed. Not quite happening at the moment, don’t actually feel that way, still hovering too close to the edge. Its been a funny old week, bad stuff, good stuff, surprising stuff, sometimes all in one day!  I think it needs more cake or chocolate to help sort it all.
I have been very productive on the old puter. Gosh its like being at work the amount of stuff I’ve been typing, reports for this and that, and comparisons and assessments, all textile things. Send this to that person, can I have this, you can now add that, find web addresses, can you fill in this online table to find a get together. I get fearful of missing something, or sending to the wrong person, because its not from one organisation, its several. Dunno about a paperless office, bright pink, lime green post-its are a necessity.
The puter has brought me nice things, invite to a private view and I’ve done some puter shopping, waiting for a design cd, and some paper arrived, specialist handmade paper for use with inkjet printers, expensive, but I’ve been looking at it for months. So now I have it and I can stare and coo over it….
And I’ve been art shopping
This looks like a painted stone, but its not.  Its actually lightweight and a ceramic.  Just had to have it because its in my fave colour, well its rude not to isn't it.  Its by Emma Williams.
I also bought myself a piece of work by Michelle Holmes.
I just had to buy this piece... any idea what its called - naaah you'll never guess.“Betty in her new gansey.”
Michelle has a whole series showing Betty with various adventures.  This one I had to buy because I knew what the title meant.
If you don’t know a Gansey is actually a fisherman’s jumper, knitted by the family, warm hardwearing, and importantly, constructed with a particular pattern, not only for the area where it was made, but also to the person who wore it. As, should someone be lost at sea, they could be identified by the pattern on their gansey. It’s a term found in several places.
However, in my home county of Norfolk, even us country people use the word gansey to describe a jumper or cardigan of any sort. So I thought I must have this, because not only do I know what a Gansey is, its also a term I’ve used, and if you don’t know, then the title of the piece doesn’t make sense! (It is actually writtern underneath, but I hid that from you).

13 September 2012

Repurpose, Recyle, Remember

You might recall in a previous posting that I mentioned I don't keep unfinished projects, unless they stop in a good place.  I can't return to something that didn't work because the anxiety immediatley resurfaces.
So it seems quite ironic that on Saturday I purchased a part finished piece.
At my Embroiderers' Guild Branch, three of us share a little bit of uniqueness, for such a small Membership, we have the same birthday.
Alongside me, one of the other ladies is Lucie, lovely lady makes beautiful work.  However, I believe she is now 92/93 and has this Summer had to move out of the area, and so the Guild had some of her stash to sell.  I know the third person in our connection bought a finished piece of Lucie's.
So I looked and I hesitated... and asked fellow Members, if I buy this, is it respectful to cut it up and use it for other things.  Its one thing to buy  from charity shops and make them live again, its another to have something from someone you know, it really was a big consideration for me, because I don't wish to be insulting and detrimental to the work or the person.  Anyway the opinion was if I bought it, it becomes mine and I can do as I wish with it.
Here it is
Its a tablecloth in the finest linen, by my reckoning its about 40 threads to the inch, the part pattern already worked is over 2 threads.  It also has, and what I was drawn to, a lovely crocheted border.
So, I'm going to cut it up.... repurpose, recyle, upcycle, whatever you want to call it.  I think in respect to Lucie I will cut out the element already stitched make it in to something new, as a feature.
The border I have other plans for....

06 September 2012

Zap

I have bought myself a new toy....
 
Its a zapper so I can wield it on anyone who annoys me.  Hang on, what did you say, oh right, not allowed to do that, tsk, spoil all my fun, and I'd got them all lined up ready - I have a list!  Its actually for zapping ends of threads to seal them.  And no I probably don't need it... but purely in the interests of research don't you know...
Good News - I have my venue for the Rochford Art Trail - I'm going to be back at the same place as before.  There is no say in what venue you are allocated, you take what you're given.  Mendoza Opticians.  I'm getting the hang of this now, third time at this place, and the glass boxes which are held by wires to the ceiling and floor.  They have only certain access, and only certain sized pieces will fit in, and there is a tiny amount of sway.... but its all the challenge of doing an art trail, dealing with what the venue gives you, meeting their needs as much as your own.  So I need to finish off some work for it, or get on and make, the ideas are all there, just been so tied up with other stuff.
I've done some tidying.... not in the house, don't be silly, squint and you can't see the dust.  No tidying up of items on the computer. This past year with all the hoo haa going on things have been chucked in a rough section of where they belong.  I've more actual work to do on the puter, organisations I do things for have more tasks - sometimes I wish we were back to carrier pigeon, as soon as one email goes and the task is done, the answer is back and more work is needed.
Soon the last Material Girls exhibition will finish for the year, the puter will be organised, stuff will be back in cupboards, everything neat, brain space found, and all ready for the next project. By which time I think I will be ready to look at it - I've done minimal so far, because I knew I couldn't add another item into the mix otherwise I'd burst - but actually waiting, giving things time to spark is not a bad thing.
Oh not another thing and it would be too much, so why did news of an opportunity come my way last week, and I'm thinking about it...... well it is a small task and achieveable, so may be.

29 August 2012

Repurpose

Repurpose - otherwise known as, I've changed my mind!
Actually this is quite a good thing that I'm doing, but often I will struggle on with something, to the point of binning it, when may be if I'd thought and taken it elsewhere it would have had more success.

I originally showed a snipped of this in  this previous posting.  Even then, something wasn't right about it, but I was still of the mind to continue with it as it was.  Until yesterday when I took a knife to it!
Originally it was 18" x 6" - I know inches, but its hard to work in cms when the canvas to mount on are in inches!  I do flit between both, often on the same piece.
So yesterday I wielded the knife and now I have two pieces 7" x 5" and already it feels much better.  perhaps the technique/scale was all wrong for a larger piece.  What's more I made myself consider where to cut, none of this if I take it from the edge I'll have a piece left over and I can.....  The two new pieces don't even join up edge to edge - radical hey?
The patterns were drawn on when each colour was whole, which is why the circle, is no longer a circle.
I was describing this item elsewhere, and realised its multi media, multi disciplines, many genres.  The 'fabric' of course, being me, is paper.  The curved piecing is a technique from the world of patchwork, topped off with simple embroidery in silk thread.
I will take it out with me today and continue to stitch the marked patterns, which are combinations of circles and straight lines.  The bonus is, its one thread, one needle, one pair of snips to carry!!!
I don't have many UFOs, because I've found I can't return to something once abandoned, unless it was abandoned in a good place.  If I put it away, because it wasn't working, then immediately I see it again I get anxious over it.  I can't leave them out on my table, and I can't have them in a box nagging at me.  It was years before I took the plunge and threw away what gave me bad feelings.  Worried about the time and money invested.   Phew such a relief, treat them as a learning process, and be rid of.  I feel so much better and happier to work this way, keeping hold of stuff which isn't working was becoming a huge block on actually doing.
So these little pieces now will be finished, because its better that I've repurposed them into a different idea from the original, the anxiety has gone, I'm actually looking forward to completing them.

23 August 2012

And breathe.....

Phew....
In the last few days I've:
~ prepared and dealt with paperwork
~ finished mini art pieces
~ been on a design/research trip
~ helped to put up an exhibition
~ prepped more paperwork from another source

I very much need to chill, might explode otherwise.  Why does it all arrive at the same time?  I really can't do any more right now, on top of personal stuff, I am worn out.  I had hoped by now to find some peace, but far from it.  As my friend Anne would say, some days have rated themselves as "definitely a 3 chocolate bar day".  And I did buy some, but not touched yet.  As long as I get tea straight into a vein, I can survive - and the design trip out did involved tea and cake!
The three little snippets I showed in a previous post have ended up as these:



They are all actually the same photograph, variously zapped on the puter, printed onto canvas, with hand stitching and beads. Aqueous I, II and III.  Up for sale at the Material Girls Exhibition in Maldon, which opens today!
Very little taster piccies, but I hope you will go along to visit.  This is your last chance to see panels in the UK, in our collaboration between Material Girls and Articulation.  In 2013 all the panels make the journey across to Canada, for display there.
I've one more event to prep for, and then its   b r e a t h e.  Well hopefully, but I know from the past there may well be "can you just....."

20 August 2012

BEVERLEY'S BULLETIN : 2 (Not) Drawing

Drawing – sigh… I thought I’d have this topic in my Bulletin, because as artists darhlinks, we get this draw, record, thrust at us, and some of us, ie me, have brains that don’t work that way. But how can you make art and not draw? Well I do, so there!!!

I hate so much that if you’re like me and struggle, it’s a given you must continue to struggle, must not utter the words out loud “drawing is not for me” – Can’t you just hear the fellow artists suck in breath at the idea, and a loud tsk and tut, the artist police will come and lock you up.
Well may be that’s not true, but I’ve certainly felt at odds with everyone else and alone. That’s the reason for this Bulletin. I want to stand up for those who don’t do the beautiful sketchbooks, who don’t dash off a sketch whilst at the bus stop, who feel less worthy, less of an artist because they don’t find drawing easy, but feel forced into continuing to do it, believing otherwise you are not a proper artist. STOP when it comes to the crunch the information you need is exactly that, INFORMATION FOR YOU. It took me years and years to learn that. I may want to do the beautiful sketchbooks, but its never going to happen, wanting and being aren’t always the same thing. Importantly it took a long while to understand that it is not to my detriment, its just DIFFERENT.

During a gap between City & Guilds courses, I did a year’s art course, drawing, painting, followed on by being part of a private group having weekly lessons, I think that went on for a further couple of years. It means I’ve put in a LOT groundwork, hours, and tried lots of different media. I’ve done the still life, the people, the architecture, the 1 minute sketch the 30 minute sketch, the non dominant hand, not looking at the page, continuous line and so on, all the options tutors give. I have the knowledge of all aspects of drawing….
So I CAN draw, I think you can recognise what these are. Even so after all that input it’s just not natural or easy to me. I just don’t like it. There, said it
I actually get a raging headache, because I have to concentrate so much, think about each aspect, even after all the above, none of it comes naturally. I don’t finding it a relaxing pleasurable thing to do at all. It certainly doesn’t flow instantly from the fingertips. Who wants a nice sketch and a migraine to go with it? Why would I willingly do that to myself?
I’ve even tried the “drawing a day” – at one point it was the ‘in thing’ (may be having a resurgence at the moment) people boasting on the web of drawing every day for months even years on end. Another point of envy. I follow this blog which I enjoy immensely Missouri Bend Studio
However my foray into doing this started off with good intentions, which evaporated, the drawings turned into abstract playing, my every day, found gaps, until it withered to a complete stop.

I saw it as a complete failure. The reality is I should have paid attention to myself, to what I was doing, analyse what I had, ie colour, texture, experimentation, good things. Is this you too? Note your strengths be proud of them, go with them, and don’t get bogged down in the negative of what you think you should be doing, to the detriment of what you ARE doing, and other skills you may find along the way.
I do a lot of this kind of thing, laying one type of paint over another and see what happens, these are acrylics over watercolours.
Words flow easily for me, (likely you can tell), I also touch type, so I can record at the speed of thought. Whilst drawing is headache making, writing is very much free flowing and natural. I found absolute joy in this book….  It has a section on writing about your work… what utter bliss for someone like me. Not only does it describe ideas for what to do, but more importantly for me, this small section gave me legitimacy. It was OK to write about your art. Phew, relief, someone else has agreed with me. So if writing is a natural thing for you, then do it, you may be like me, in the written word can ‘see’ exactly what is described.

There are multiple ways to collate the information you want in order to make the art you want. So if something doesn’t work for you, try something else, don’t stick to something because you think you should, because its what ‘proper’ or ‘real’ artists do.

I have more to say on Sketchbooks themselves, that was another big art revelation for me, so that will come along another time. I also use my camera a lot, so I’ll talk about that too in another Bulletin.
Remember find the freedom in being you. Don’t close the mind to any options, but realise that to be a creative hands on artist, its OK NOT to draw!

Just looked outside, sky is still up there, we are safe for another day!!

17 August 2012

Grrrrr

Sigh, irritation, or as we used to say when I was a teen - "I'm aggranoyed" - meaning a cross between annoyed and aggravated!
I've ended up in one of those situations where kinda everyone steps back and I'm at the front, with tasks I didn't expect or ask for.  All I can say is its a good job I don't have a webcam, and even better not a microphone!
So I left my table like this, about three days ago...

The work space a bare minimum, its been covered up with folders and papers since, but they are back in other piles.
This stuff needs a home, the bag at the end hasn't been looked in and emptied since Tuesday.... the sofa is covered in papers and stuff from him indoors sort out of filing (not).
I do find it irritating though, when talk about Why something is hard,difficult, time consuming to do, if you actually just got on and did it, its sorted quicker than the 501 reasons why not.  Anyways after being sidetracked and consumed elsewhere I have done as much as I can.  So, she says with hope as she has been saying for the last 2-3 days, I can get back to where I was, and actually do something nice!
All the threads on the table actually went onto these (partials), needs a bit more tweaking and then done.  I'm hoping there will be an old film on the tv this afternoon and I can just do nothing but nice stuff and feel I've actually got somewhere this week.  Ssssh don't say it too loud.


12 August 2012

Hello Goodbye

Passionate Pink
This piece went to its new home yesterday.  Thought I'd give it another moment in the spotlight, because actually I've had so very little time with it.  I finished it and the very next week someone wanted to buy it.  It then went off on display at a couple of venues, been gone since May, came back to me yesterday and immediately transferred to its new owner, barely a backward glance!!!  In its finished state its probably been in my hands only two weeks.
Its small - 6" x 8" or so.  Background is 180gsm cartridge paper, with Inktense colour, which I blended by using Gesso, not water., to give a chalky appearance.  Machine stitched grid.  On the points of the grid are tiny tiny flat sequins with a bead.....
Heart shaped hole cut out of centre and filled with another heart.  Painted lutradur, covered in hand stitching.  Brass rings filled with beads, and heart buttons, and a sprinkling of more sequins.
I wonder if I will ever finish and sell another piece so quickly!

08 August 2012

Shopping, Stitching and Stash!

More shopping for these...
Yes I have a Filofax darhlinks, looking for windows so that we can interface.....  actually very big gulp never bought the next year's diary for this so early and.... need a lay down, bought a 2014 year planner too!!!  Came over all unnecessary!
Yesterday I was at my little stitchy group, I took this along.
Not sure I actually like it, might get scrapped, something not quite right about it, lacking oomph I think, It is me, but not quite... my colours, my paper cut/stitch/cut with a variation.... it's just.......
So I went deliberately not taking much, only two threads, that way, its get on and do and stop faffing.  Nice surprise though, come home with this little lot.
The peach stuff is like a folded paper ribbon, there are thin strip of wood, a bundle of clear straws (yummy, always stealing acquiring those in cafes).  There's some gold wiggly wire.  And the metal stick thingy do dahs.  I believe their original purpose is as hangers for pennants, you know when you meet and greet as a team and exchange mini flags. They are 18cms long tip to tip.
The person who gave them to me is having a sort out... brought a few things and its amusing when something comes out of a bag and there's "I thought this was your thing" as its handed over.  Now, I did decide having dealt with my mother's things, that if a bag of stuff came into the house, then a bag of something had to leave.....  does it count that I gave away a big food mixer with zillions of attachments last week?  Priorities in this house, dust covered food mixer versus clear plastic straws, no contest!

06 August 2012

Stitches and Pictures

Friday I went on a 200 mile round trip, to see "Finest Stitches" which is an exhibition of pieces from the Embroiderers' Guild collection.
Somewhat of a surprise to find 75 pieces available to look at.
Leek Embroidery
This piece may be recognised, certainly was by me, as its been included in many books over the years.  The lines across the photo are because it was in a glass table cabinet and got the reflection of the overhead lights.
Actually saw many pieces by 'names' as well as pieces where the stitcher is not known.  Wide variety of items from babies clothing, tiny shoes, hats, to samples, panels and cultural pieces.
Alongside there was an exhibition of City and Guilds coursework.  It looked very impressive, but I did smile to myself.  Overheard a couple of students talking, mentioning their tutor was pushing for them to "step outside your comfort zone" - see nothing much changes.  Guess we've all heard those words whilst studying.

We then went off to the camera warehouse place... and bought me a new camera a Fuji Finepix, 16 megapixel, 20 times optical zoom, makes tea, hoovers the house, you know the sort.  Well it does have GPS.... not sure I actually need to know the place where I am taking the photo, after all, I am standing there!  And the advice on my old camera "not worth bothering" to replace the glass on the front.  Sigh.
I'm not really brand loyal, but actually am quite pleased that I've got this camera, because I already own a Fuji Finepix bridge camera, and I'm forever forgetting which settings to put it on for what.  So hopefully now with two the same, using the same words for things I won't be getting myself muddled.  Oh and the most important thing, the new camera is white.....first time I've ever had a coloured camera, wonder if it will improve the usage!



01 August 2012

Next Year Already!

It's AUGUST and its a lovely hot sunny day dull grey drizzling day.  So of course its absolutely the right time to go out and buy one of these:
Small A6 page a day for my arty life.  I remember from last year buying mid-August that the local Factory Shop (like a pound shop but more expensive!) got their diaries early.  So thought I'd give it a go... and what's more I'm not the only one looking.  This little delight cost me the huge sum of £1.49.  Not a pink person, but its bright and foiled which means when it gets swallowed by the rubbish serious art work on my table, ought to be able to see the wretched thing.  I have textile things for 2013, and even some for 2014, makes me sound very busy, out there, doing - but the reality is venues and events have to be booked so far in advance to get them, that dates are known a long time ahead.  Exhibitions tend to be booked at least a couple of years ahead, so in our arty world its not that unusual to plan - course it helps if you have the diary!!!   Already I know that there is all or nothing, as in the usual everything within a couple of days and then nothing else for months, sigh.
I've got nothing nice and arty to show you, bit sad about that.  But I seem to have spent past few days consumed by paperwork, dealing with tasks I've been allocated, finding, as always once you reply, something else gets added in.  Then there was wear another hat and answer these queries.  I'm off out on Friday, hope to see some textile art, will let you know, if I get there, its all been a bit vague as to what's on offer.  May also get a new toy on Friday - camera.  My point and shoot live in my handbag has lost the glass over the lens.  Not looking forward to the shop experience, no I don't want to eliminate red eye, no I don't want to do 30 second videos, madam wants close-ups of stitches, and drain covers, rusty wire, peeling paint, Nooooo people, get it!
Isn't it just yumacious!!!  Why on earth wouldn't you want more pics like this?

28 July 2012

BEVERLEY'S BULLETIN : 1 Exploring Stitch

I thought I’d kick of my delve into the files with a basic. Something which is so worthwhile and yet so easy to completely forget about. Exploring with One Stitch.
Are you like me, have the stitch dictionaries on the shelf, and yes even get them out and look to use a stitch not tried before or remind myself of how to create a stitch – but after 30 minutes wading through the book, back on the shelf it goes and I slip back into the familiar.
I have favourites – Seeding, Cretan, French Knots and Raised Chain Band.

There’s a wealth of stitches available to create the look we are after, but each individual stitch can have multiple applications if we just think about experimenting with it. It can be hard to push the boundaries, particularly if you were disciplined into making it perfectly as per the given standard.
I remember back in the day having to produce a small square sample of Chain Stitch and all its variations (or Lazy Daisy).
For some unknown reason I’d worked it on polycotton, my square did not end up square! In class it went up on a board alongside everyone else’s and there was a class critique. I don’t remember what was said about mine, I just remember this wonky ‘square’ glaring at me!  And look I still have it... and its still hideous and I don't know which way around it goes!
Some time after that we were given a class project of stitching a ‘picture’ in one single stitch. I used Straight Stitch, a landscape of a cornfield, with trees in the distance and a barbed wire fence at the front. It was amazing to see how just one stitch could create all of these elements.
I’ve since seen other pieces of work made using one stitch and it can be very creative and usually provokes, is that really just the one stitch?

Work an individual stitch – big, small, make a cluster, a line, a circle, work spaced out, close together, work on top of itself, vary the threads used.
Again I chose a hideous fabric to work on - this time like a polyester knit - why?   This is variations of Cretan Stitch, you can see adding beads or sequins as its worked.

A couple of things have stuck with me from the early days, Texture and Contrast. You won’t see the textures created if they are against similar. Put the lumpy and crunchy against something smooth. And don’t think the Contrast always has to be about stitch – the blank space is invaluable.
This time the base fabric is more creative - its a monoprint using acrylic, with Buttonhole Stitch used to decorate.  I've also used a Couronne Stick to make the buttonhole circles, but anything like a pencil will suffice.  Its still just a stitch exploration, but a bit more attractive than the others.
So, even if you stay within your comfort zone, using the same favourite stitch, try to mix it up and see what happens. The bonus of experimentation is that no-one can offer criticism for it not being a perfect text book stitch.

Enjoy playing.

25 July 2012

Growed Up Fluffy Nonsense!

Its dull and its raining and the light is bad and I can't see to do any work.   Oh no, its now extraordinarily hot, I stick to everything, the brain has gone foggy, everthing is at slow speed. See British weather provides excuses for not doing whatever the day!!!
I did my Committee thing this week, and at the moment I feel a bit like "they are going to find out I'm not good at this".  I was being a growed up person - things came out of my mouth and I swear its not me saying it, I wonder who this person is, how did that happen?  Of course you come home with more things to actually do.

As always I've got things to make, deadlines to meet, but I've kinda gone off the moment, the ideas I had still relevant, but actually I don't want to be meeting the deadline, making for the task.  I want to be making light fluffy nonsense.  Actually I was gong to attend a workshop this past weekend, which would have provided the light relief, the "I'm just doing this for fun, its silly and  not vital to learn, not for a deadline or a dedicated project" - but unfortunately it was cancelled.  So I still feel the need for that, mhmm fancy a bit of bling, let's get out the beads.
Took this along to the Embroiderers' Guild this morning, ideal because its portable for one, and because there's no pattern or even a preconceived idea, I can make and talk at the same time!!!  Its a bit like the free designing, go anywhere with stitch work, using beads.
What is it?   Well its art darhlink - obviously, tsk!!

19 July 2012

BEVERLEY'S BULLETIN : Intro

I’ve given a lot of thought to my last post, about reminding myself of techniques, and my thoughts on if/how to collate and make a record of all this information I have acquired over the years.
I don’t know if anyone will drop by here for a read, but as blogs ultimately are selfish things anyway, written from a personal need to record and share, I thought I would blatantly put that out there. Reminding myself, making a record for myself, and at the same time sharing and hoping it also offers something to others.

So I’m going to start a posting under the title of   BEVERLEY’S BULLETIN   looking at the many samples from my stash, sharing the details.

So let’s go back in time. 1992, so 20 years, almost impossible to believe, since I started on this creative journey, by that I mean via formal studies, I’ve been making and creating all my life. So in 1992 I began City and Guilds Creative Embroidery studies, well the first year wasn’t that as such, as the college I attended had a compulsory Foundation Year, although I started the Preparing Working Designs element that year. City and Guilds had switched from being an examination based course to assessment based, and I would be in the second year of this new format. Over the years as anyone who knows C&G will tell you, the how and what of the course has changed many many times, add into the mix that each centre is allowed to teach the course how they see fit to meet the given criteria, the variations in knowledge can be huge. Back in the day... I studied for Part I and Part II Creative Embroidery – I believe they are called levels/diplomas now... but I’m not sure. 20 years ago it was a prestigious thing to undertake, opportunities to study were rare, most counties only had one college offering the course, if you were lucky. For me it was a lifetime dream to take this path, and most of us considered it an honour to get a place.
At this time also you could find day workshops in all sorts of topics, run both privately and via organisations such as the Embroiderers’ Guild, and I’ve attended many of these. Today...sadly both formal studies and one off workshops are disappearing. So from all of these resources open to me, I’ve studied lots of things, some with the ‘names’ from the creative textile world.
I attended two colleges to study City & Guilds, the first being the only option around at the time. My Part I studies were quite formal and conventional, a very good grounding, all sorts of basic info was drilled into us, which still stays with me. But it could be quite disciplined and prescriptive in the how and what. However my Part II studies at another college could not have been more different. Very creative, and eventually freeing, once I finally got used to being able to do almost as I pleased! The room would be filled with everything necessary and we would be told to go and play! There would be questions of ‘miss’ – what happens if..... and the answer was always go and try it and see.
So the examples will come from this background, its absolutely by no means definitive, the right way, the only way. I think its very important to remember that, as for a long time I felt a bit of a round peg in a square hole, trying to make myself fit in with others ways. Unless you are making for coursework or set criteria where it is important that ‘rules’ are followed, or evidence produced – guess what, you are allowed to make things the way you want to, how you want to. The end result may not be as anticipated, it could be better or worse, but it all feeds into the knowledge base for the next time round.

So this is the background to my project, next time, I’ll have something practical to think about.