31 December 2013

2014 Here I come!!!

Time rolls on and here we are start of a New Year, time to think of hopes and dreams which may become a reality.  A reflection on previous year, thoughts of what to do better, explore further, yes even abandon or adjust, personally and art wise.
But I try to keep this for my textile life, so...

2013 saw a new development for me... a set of work, and not one but three, poss four, depends how you define a body of work!!
I always see my pieces as inter connected, but have never tried to make a cohesive group, so closely similar, before, nor to set out with the intent of X number in the set before a needle has been threaded.  And yes I did struggle with the spirit to keep going.  This is mainly because after making one, the itch is scratched.  One of these sets is 99% hand stitch, which will make some of my friends faint... they think I only use the sewing machine, whilst I think I use anything and everything I like!  Perceptions? Oh to see ourselves as others see us... scary.

To 2014 - and my arty plans

~ Exhibition for ERTF opening Feb - items already made, tick.
~ Exhibition at Textiles in Focus, Feb with The Material Girls - items 90% made, little tick!
~ Potential Art Trail submission, yes also Feb deadline, sigh.  Ideas, and possible items, not enough for even a tiny tick yet...
~ Further Art Trail submission, usually around May, ideas only.
~ Next topic for The Material Girls - in early research.
~ Me inflicted on my EG Branch - I've made lists!!!
(Look on the listing on the right of this blog for quick references)

If submissions accepted that will mean displaying work in June and Sept and any other adds ons as part of process.
There are other possibles... but at the moment I'm coming down on the No side.  I know I would like the project, can do the project, but think I need NOT to do the project!  Its not the doing of, or discipline needed, I'm finding hard, but the switching of my head from one thing to another, thought wise. I think I need to allocate time out and recharge a bit. Instead I need some fun input, things which really don't matter and provide joy in the moment.
After writing this in draft, twice in one day I came across similar ideas. One person said their New Year Resolution was
"Do Less - but Do It Better" 
Then there was the magazine article, taking the ideas from the 5:2 diet and applying to other areas of your life, restriction/cutting down on something for two days, be that internet use or watching tv.  Personally I can easily manage 5 days of cutting down on hoovering!  I go with the theory that if you squint you can't see the dust!  Heck just take your glasses off....
So to bring some fun, I made myself a Holiday project... and here it is.

A Boast of Bunting!
I hope you will keep me company, here or on my Facebook page, for another year of mixed media textile adventure.
Wishing You A Very Successful Happy Arty 2014

11 December 2013

Tis the season...

for lost parcels - fah la la la lah, la lah la lah.
(In a time far far away I used to sing in front of people, now its a sound cross between crunching gravel and murdering cats)
The great parcel fiasco... well several actually.  A couple of small letter packets were delivered to the wrong house, not only that, the wrong street.  Then Monday, expecting 2 parcels, delivered 2 parcels, signed for 2 parcels.  Opened 2 parcels, 1 is not mine!  Very nice courier came back at 7.40pm to exchange for the right one!

One of my parcels was a light.... remember the saga of attempting to use the sewing machine at this time of year.  See this previous post.
Well I've strapped various lights to my machine, hung them round my neck, twisted angled, poised, and that's just me!
Now I have a new toy, expensive, but let's see if this is the answer.
Its an Ottlight (already own one which I have as a bedside light) The beauty of this is that its both electric and rechargeable battery.  This means I can put it wherever I want it, yeah!   No sockets where I sit in the lounge, which is partly why I never work downstairs.  It means I can easily move it from sewing machine to this table.  Next, needs testing, oh that means actually doing some work then?  Let's hope this is the answer, as seem to be gathering quite a collection of torches and lights etc.
This is why I need extra lights.... yesterday morning really thick fog here, this is the sun just trying to peep through at about 8.15 am.
See the house behing the telegraph pole?  Yesterday fogged rolled in and I couldn't see the house, not even an outline.  Another foggy day today, not so bad, but no hint of decent light yet, more hanging out of windows to take photos though....
Oh talking of windows, ha, via my personal Facebook page I'm adding a daily pic of  doors and windows for Advent, as I do seem to 'acquire' them - sky pics could last the whole year...... have just one or two, cough

28 November 2013

Senior Moments and Junior Pic

Oh dear.... think I might have hit the "senior moment" era.
Computer has had an update... so that's why I spent about 30 minutes trying to find things which should have been under "My computer" - stupid machine has changed it to be called "This PC" - huh, why?  Look its doesn't take much to confuse my poor old brain.
Thought, running out of white felt, need to get some more.  Now this was always part of a ritual for me.  Back "home" visiting the old fashioned fabric shop which has been there for eons.  I used to buy felt there by the metre, and its the only place I knew I could get it by the metre.  Now I've no family in the town, returning home is difficult, not been back in a long time because simply not ready for it.  So... where to get some felt.
Easy get it via the internet.  So I did, and immediately an email to say despatched.  Errr so what's this big folded up piece of fabric sitting here then?  Ooops.
And I've promised myself NOT to spend without thinking.... so that's why last week I sent for some more paper to play with, which I don't need, and is in colours I never use.... heck the colour option is called Neon! Its hot pinks and oranges.

I'm bursting with ideas for an EG afternoon I'm teaching... considering its about 8 months away, little premature, and of course by the time the day gets here it will be, what was it?  Lists, and more lists, heck use my new neon paper to flag up where I put the list!

Now time for an animal update.  I've worked out that despite trying very hard to be a "proper" artist, sincerity, integrity etc - actually on the internet I get more responses and views when I add photos of kittens!!!  Hang on, just got to go to This PC to find them, tsk.
This is about a month ago, Bandit laying on top of Spike, look closely and you can sort which legs belong where.  Ssssh they have an appointment with the vet next week, what an early Christmas present to give them!!!

18 November 2013

Excellent Talks

I've attended a couple of lectures recently.
The first by Rachel Gornall on her work and how she layers fabrics to make colour.  She was lovely, very enthusiastic, a good speaker.  It showed how pursuing a technique can produce endless possibilities.  And.... ta dah, she also uses elements of paper, so that pleased me too!

Then I had a day conference on restoration/conservation with Jackie Hyman.  Not really my 'thing' but I'm a huge detective/mystery fan.  So it was not only the historical information on the particular pieces in the talk, but also the how of unravelling the story, which intrigued.
Second element from Jackie was about conserving/looking after our own textiles.
As a conservator she said never ever lace embroidery when mounting it up. It creates strain points, where the fabric is likely to rip.
Well I was almost there with a high five, racing round the room yelping, OK there was an underbreath YES! I hate lacing work, I am no good at it.
photographed on black background
This piece is my headache.  Made way back in 1995 as part of City & Guilds studies.  It was an 'extra'.  The tutor wanted us to make a panel, of our choice, but within a timescale.  So I made this, laced the cream fabric to a board, and she failed it!  Not that there was a section for this task.   It failed because the base cream fabric was not on the straight of grain all along the edges of the board, the thread line waved, not much, but it did. However with a ruler the small surface panels measured equally to the edge. So I was made to dismantle and do it again, not much more successfully I might add.
Its not my only attempt at lacing, but I always seem to get the wiggle!  I see it now on other pieces, so I guess the lesson was learned.
However, I do now (partially) commit another sin for the textile restorer.  I use sticky tape.  Let me tell you, there's no wiggle now!  But its not something the restorer likes of course.
BUT in my defence I use sticky tape from the world of scrapbooking, where creating longevity of memories is the essence of making.  As such the sticky tape is acid free.  So I like to think I'm trying my best to be aware, not that I expect my work to exist in 100 years!
Oh and yes I mounted the piece above, again... this time using sticky tape, determined to get the grain lines straight, which it now has... not acid free tape at the time though,  but there's no seepage of glue, 18 years on.  Ssssh don't tell Jackie!

08 November 2013

Exhibiting Now (and poss in future...)

The Material Girls collaborative exhibition moves on, starting today until 10th January:

Also today, received the dates for the Rochford Art Trail next year!  I intend to work towards it, but its a while off yet, and is subject to submission and acceptance.
Rochford Art Trail
18th-27th September 2014
there will likely be special events during the Trail too.  The Trail has also won awards:
The Art Trail was named the winner in the ‘Culture and Environment’ category for the East of England before going on to take the overall prize for the East of England.
Judges of the Towns Alive Awards said:
“The Rochford Arts Trail combines artists’ creativity with a level-headed approach to marketing a town and measuring the benefits. 
Importantly too, this annual event keeps growing and adding new twists so that visitors come back for more.”

30 October 2013

On Show...

The local opportunity to exhibit til the end of the year is in process, I will deliver my work tomorrow.
Adult Community Learning Centre
Roche Way
Rochford   Essex  SS4 1DQ
Hours - College class hours, ie some evenings inc
Exhibition now til end of year
So to entice, here are some photos of the work I will put up and a little information about each piece.  Hopefully clicking on each image it will enlarge for a better view.
TUDOR ROSE 18cm x 12cm
Remember in previous post I said I had done a lot of white stitching on white - well this is one of those pieces!  Yes I know it has colour - but its all stitched in white and painted with colour after.  So small, but actually contains a lot of work, and many colours/layers of paint.
STRATA 40cm x 30cm
STRATA detail
This is from my imagination, looking through layers to the earth's core and no I've not stuck my head down a Volcano.  The top comprises layers of paper with further layers of chiffon, which have been stitched and melted back.  The top piece sits away from the cut out shape. Free machine straight lines across the void and beneath, hand painted fabric with hand stitch, beads and gem chips.
PASTICHE  40cm x 50cm
PASTICHE  detail
This piece has been on a touring Exhibtion around East Anglia.  Made in response to studying the work of Owen Jones. It was displayed along with the research. The background is handmade paper dyed, the bright colours coming from looking at fabrics in the Warner Textile Archive.  The pattern is a Celtic knot, also reference to Owen Jones patterns.  Its stitched in two different coloured gold cords made by me.  The whole piece references one of Owen Jones Propositions as he called them - guides for good design.
Proposition 32   : Ornaments of any colour may be separated from grounds of any other colour by edgings of white, gold, or black
OH YOU PRETTY THING  36cm x 30cm
Difficult to photograph because its all sparkly.  Angelina fibres, fine curly wirelike fibre, hand stitching and surface embellishment on a black velvet background.  This is only a partial view because its in a gold frame.  and its title - I kept singing this song to myself when making, because, simply, its pretty!
I hope looking here, or if you get to pop along to the venue, that you enjoy seeing these pieces.  Thank you for looking.

20 October 2013

Coming Around and Changing Around

Isn't it strange how things seem to go round in circles, might be huge circles which take forever to complete, but sometimes the loop seems to join up.
Sorry I have circles on the brain because of a project - but it seems textile wise that this year may well end in the way it started. Unexpected exhibiting opportunity, locally, exhibit what you have already, vacant space to be utilised.   (Same as happened at the start of the year).  Awaiting more info, but seems a 'why not'.  It will cost me only a bit of time and effort, also same as before.  I see it as a chance to join in, building relationships.

At the EG last week, we had guest speaker, Sharon Blackman, she makes what I believe she terms Folk Art.  I call it naive art, simplistic shapes.  Actually its hard to do 'simple' to make it look good, and not like child scribbles.  So Sharon took us through practical steps to make a piece of our own.  This is my effort.....
hideous, not arty, quirky, just plain wrong. I decided, give it another go, but with my interpretation.  This means paper of course, and I did it twice!
White on white... I've done a lot of this in the past, but then go on to paint colour after, on top of the white paint..  This time, it has stitch/paint/stitch.
It has some bad stitching on it... but the effect is quite nice, and I doubt I could do intentionally if I tried.  OK, but not a masterpiece.

At the same time, I made this one.... much more like my idea.
The pink background is a monoprint via the Gelli Plate.  Its all a bit 'pretty' - so not like me, though every so often I have need to attempt to be more girly, heck it has pink in it!  Actually I like the multiple patterns, not a plain in sight.  I might do some more... but for now, the itch has been scratched.

09 October 2013

Exhibiting News

Well its been Happy Dancing time here.
The submission I put forward for a selected exhibition has been accepted.  This means however I can't share it with you, as yet.
Eastern Region Textile Forum
"Eastern Images"
Rhodes Gallery
Bishop's Stortford    Herts
7th Feb - 7th Mar 2014
Luckily the piece is actually made and ready, because also in February and just a little further North, I will be showing other work as part of The Material Girls exhibition at Textiles in Focus.
Textiles in Focus
Cottenham  Cambs
21st-23rd Feb 2014
So I have those as definite going forward end dates, but..... there is also one lot of research about to start for one project in 2015, and.... dates scheduled in the diary for another research trip for another project also showing in 2015.  Not sure about the second one yet, as in need some brain space before thinking about that one.  Spirit is often very willing, but reality is something else.
There had been a hiccup with blogger, but seems fixed now, so I have added the updates to the righthand column for easy future reference.
Oh and something to show, as I can't show items for pending Exhibitions.   I had made these for the Rochford Art Trail, but possible not very clearly seen in my photos of my window.
Little simple Beach Huts - machine stitched and individually painted, on Khadi paper, mounted on 4" canvas.  Each  stands on its own mini easel.
Plus I have these... actually I think I have a total of 36 of them, they were scattered on the sill at the Trail.
Hopefully photos will enlarge if you click on them.

24 September 2013

Hello Halo

Go on... admit it, you are like me!  Recognise this person...
Take something out of a drawer, go to put it back and it doesn't fit, a lot of wiggling and shaking and squashing the contents and phew slam that drawer shut, Yeah.  10 minutes later you need something else out of the same drawer, only now the contents has sprung back up and its welding itself to the base of the drawer above.  Break out in a sweat after another 10 minutes wrestling, huffing and puffing and thinking if not saying rude words, #*"#**^*  But happy dancing, the drawer flies open, you nearly fall over backwards with the effort, but who cares, now you can get at the must have item which naturally is in the bottom of the drawer.  2 hours later you realise, big deep breath, need to close the wretched drawer, again.... course now the content is even more rummaged around and requires a sledge hammer to force it back in.

Well ta dah, I'm now wearing a halo, na naaah.  After months, if not years with struggling with the drawer, I finally decided, errr, why don't you tidy and edit the content.  Oh how radical an idea is that then, why spend 40 minutes tidying when you can spend endless amounts of time in battle.

I now have a drawer which slides in and out very easily, in fact I may spend my day doing just that... because I can, mwah ha ha.  I may apply for a job in a furniture store, demonstrating ease of drawer opening, now I've perfecting the knack.

Of course all of this has been very taxing, I need a lie down, or chocolate, or both, cos one drawer is such an effort, who knows when I will venture to tidying and sorting the others.
Ooops this is the table, after last weeks doing and out and about transporting things, its got to go back somewhere... sigh.
As they say, careful of the halo, if it slips it might choke!
Right, so first task, find the chocolate!

18 September 2013

Rochford Art Trail

The sun is shining.... and its only Wednesday and so far this week I've ticked two boxes!

~  completed a piece of work, and the paperwork and sent off my submission for a selected exhibition.  Yeah! So pleased to have done this, not so many pieces as I'd wished, but time to be real, and I've achieved.  If its a rejection I will show you, but if it is accepted you will have to wait and see in Feb 2014.  Notifications not due out til second week of Oct.

~ this morning put up my entry in the Rochford Art Trail.  The Trail opens tomorrow 19th-28th September.  Do click on the link, lots of taster photos plus offers from local businesses during the Trail.

Here are the photos of my set up in the Old House on South Street.  Its the oldest building in the area, 13th Century, open to tours.  A special tour date of Saturday 28th September has been set up, click for info.
But you can see my work in the window.

You can find details of the Trail via the website, where you can download a Trail Map.

As well as the work of a whole variety of Artists, there are additional events.  On Saturday 21st September I will be at Venue 1, Adult Community College, as one of several artists sharing skills via workshops and demonstrations.
I will be stitching, abstract art, using unconventional materials, such as these... do come along and say hello.

Click on any of the phots and they should enlarge for better views
Thank You.

12 September 2013

Making and Reassessing

Sigh.... where shall we start?
Well the year has completed on my taking photos on the 1st of each month.  Just a snapshot of life, a means to make me look, stop and see, record.  The idea now kinda fits in with a project I am working on... so may form the basis of a piece of work.
So having managed that regular task, I've embarked on another.... a monthly online workshop on photography.  Never know it might actually help to know what I'm doing!

I've been working on finishing things for deadlines.  Its not been wholly satisfactory, in terms of making, enjoying.  I've so many ideas which I think are better, skills could be better.  So some plans have been revised downwards, which makes me cross with myself.  I've abandoned one idea in terms of making for the timescale.  Its a struggle to say No when you want to try.  I could make, I know I'm capable, I know I could devote the hours.... but I also know that it will be a 'less than'.

In the next 10 days I've to prep for the Art Trail, submit photos and paperwork for a selected exhibition and prep for a day of creative demonstrations.  After that its breathe... next deadline not til Jan.
I think I will need a couple of days of fun indulgent art.  I have these, test pieces, beginnings of an idea, which has yet to develop, so I may sidestep them into something else, just because I can.

Both are 'painted' using Gelli Plate printing
multiple layers, bottom one has a layer of copper paint, would you believe.
Hopefully if you click on them they will enlarge

30 August 2013

Pat Head and Rub Tummy

This is the trick I now have to master... or is it Rub Head and Pat Tummy?

Actually I have two tummies to rub..... as we now have custody of these
Bandit and Spike
10 weeks old

Had them one day, and survived the night with them.  Rescue kittens from Cats Protection.
I saw them on the website on the Wed and rang the next day, and they were photographed for the local newspaper on the Friday, to draw attention to all mass of abandoned kittens they are dealing with at the moment. We went to see them on the Saturday.  All of them from this rescue have found new homes.
My husband and I have had cats and dogs all our lives... sometimes both together, so for us being without a furry friend is a huge gap.  We lost our last rescue cat in February and he left a huge hole, particularly as he just collapsed and died without warning.
So much debate, should our next furry be a cat, should it be a dog, how about one of each?
We settled on a cat, eventually, and then it became, cat or kitten?
But its more which animals say to you, "you're right for me" because so many possibles, it would be tempting to have all of them.  So, decided on a kitten, because possibly its our last chance to have a kitten, being sensible, thinking how long animals live and if we waited til next time round, likely wouldn't be an option in 10 or even more years.
Then it became two kittens.  And it was Spike who we saw who called to us of the many on the various CP Branch pages we looked at.  Initially we went to look at one of the others from the litter to come with him, but it was Bandit who came to us, so that was decided.
They are very similar in markings, both tabby and white.  We chose their new names, and I like what I call "animal names" not people names for animals.  Bandit was obvious because with the lines straight out from the corners of his eyes,  he looks like he's wearing a mask, I expect he does a lot of swashbuckling at night.  Can imagine him like Puss, from the Shrek movies.  The other name has come out of personality.  Spike, is that, he's spikey and sharp and inquisitive, he's done all the exploring first.
And I'm on the computer cos having spent an hour or so knocking the living daylights out of each other, they are now asleep.
I promise I won't turn my blog into a catfest.  They may occasionally appear on my personal Facebook page. which I do try to keep separate from my Facebook textile page.

22 August 2013

Come and Go and Back Again

Well the end to last week was a mixed bag...
The next scheduled class I had with The Sewing Box was cancelled.  Its hard to find students.
But hey ho, its all about timing, right time for the tutor, the students.  Even whether a technique is a current trend.   So I won't be surprised if in a few months, someone says... "I want to learn...."

But I have my date for the next Workshop at the regular Embroiderers' Guild meetings.  Saturday 12th July 2014.  Finances are tight, for all, so we have our own in house Member led meetings, to supplement the Guests.  Branches have a wealth of talent (not meaning me) so its possible to find ideas and its not so scary for anyone to host the meeting.  They don't heckle (much), holding a big stick in your hand they behave.  I've the Programme to type up, and put on the websites shortly, I'll have it proof read first.  The aim is always to have it available for the new Guild year from 1st September, there are some very talented guests, coming along.  So keep checking the sites.

However, forthcoming events, if you just happen to be in Canada....
The latest part of the tour of Articulated Materials, Bridging Waters Exhibition open on 1st September.

Back here on my door step, well, its me!  19th-28th September.  Here's the map for the Rochford Art Trail.  The link will take you to downloadable maps.  You will find my work in the window of the Old Hall, on South Street, Venue 6.
I am also demonstrating at the Adult Community Learning Centre, Venue 1, on Saturday 21st September.

I made myself a tick list this week, checking it twice... it me who's naughty, (ie not doing) but honest I'm nice!!!  I gave myself 7 tasks to do one day... bit ambitious I did 5.  One of them was prep the labels for the Trail... mhmmm now I'm wondering did I spell them right?  But my next task.... play create brilliant jaw dropping pieces, with my Gelli Plate.

17 August 2013

Wotcha Doing?

Last Saturday at the Embroiderers' Guild, it was me, teaching, bookbinding.  They all made a pamphlet stitch book and a one page fold (maze) book.  So everyone achieved and went home with something.  I came home with this, as my thank you gift.  I've said I'll do another afternoon workshop next year, but don't know the date yet - but I will eventually, cos its me who is typing up the Programme!
A book with handmade paper inside from EG

Well so far this week, its been arty and full of excitement and planning.

Site visit to my Art Trail venue on Monday - to measure up and prep for it.  Nice widow, small sill... its about 2m long but workable depth is only about 15cms.  Certainly a challenge.  Not had this set up before.  Its part of the enjoyment of an Art Trail for me, because you don't know until its allocated where or what or how you can use your venue.  Its the oldest building in town, so it also means restrictions, no pins etc into the window frame.  The Trail leaflets should be available now, I've to collect my allocation. Now I have an idea of space, I can get on and make what is planned with this.....

Next, the Material Girls meeting - lots of excitement there.  All I can say is that having bought my diary for 2014, and thinking this is so early to have this - I now need to be thinking about 2015.  But personally I need to finish off some other things, before I can allocate brain space to that one. I was inflicted on the Girls on Tuesday, as it was my turn to explain my project for our current theme.

This is the result of those two things - all of it got to go back into cupboards upstairs.  So far I've divided it into relevant piles.  Told him indoors, plan is to grab something and take it upstairs and put it in its home.  Mhmmm need semaphore I think, cos he totally walked past the pack of copy paper.... and the box of pencils.  Next time printer runs out of paper, nope no idea where its kept, where did you last see it... sigh.

08 August 2013

Sneaky peak

I do hate not being able to show you things properly, but, take a look at what's going on for me arty wise.
Something which is a work in progress/test
A gismo which means I can do this....
New purchase
No space on table, so using chair to gather together things for Sat's workshop
I don't go mad over threads, I have enough hand threads to last many lifetimes!  Rarely buy fabric, and trying to cut down on my paper buying, but I do like equipment (and a nice bit of storage!).  Why show the new scissors?  Incidentally they are EK Success ColorBee.  In my house my scissors are under guard.  You will need to fill a form in triplicate, pay a hefty damages deposit and be subject to intense interrogation little chat about your need to "borrow".  (I did catch himself using cheapy scissors as a screwdriver, and promptly broke the handles - so I'm justified)
I lurve my sewing scissors, and have several from the Professional range of Janome/Kai.  However, I realised I've not actualy bought myself quality scissors for paper.  How could I miss that trick.  Years and years of being a paper person and not bothered.  I saw these being demonstrated and thought, why not.  Part of the demo was that they will make a teeny weeny cut right at the tip, as in only about 1mm.  So I had to test, I mean, can't believe what you see.  And yes, they do.  Not really sure about the colour... but it has an advantage, can actually find them on the table.
Right finish gathering for Sat - so I can sit down and make..... whatever it is I'm making and can't tell you!!!

04 August 2013


Saturday 10th August
Embroiderers' Guild meeting
usual meeting room: THE LOUNGE
We are using our usual room for the August meeting, as the Lift is out of action. Balmoral Centre, Salisbury Avenue, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.  If you are a visitor to us, the car park is at the front of the building, and The Lounge is on the ground floor at the back.   See an older posting here.

24 July 2013

Up and Coming

I'm back to singing that song again... "busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do"
Actually I'm doing a lot of work on a website for a group, lots of on the job learning and doing.

Coming up........
~ Embroiderers' Guild Branch Workshop - 10th August - with little moi, practical afternoon making simple books:

~ Hand and Machine Made Cords 22nd August - click on the link for the venue information.
See previous post for details.

~ Rochford Art Trail, 19th-28th September.  This is my venue.  No, not the inside, you will be looking through the window!  So I will be open 24/7.
For any of you on Facebook, search for Rochford Art Trail to find their page.  Each artist has been asked to submit photos, so its ongoing, but there are taster images appearing, full of wow!

Last Friday, I went out and bought one of these..... 19th July and I have next year's diary!  What's even more jaw dropping is that one day in March has the possibility of being in 4 different places, and not just around the corner, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Herts.  I have this mad life, nothing for weeks, and then everything piles in on one day.
I can also show you these... task for my EG Branch.  We are making a visual record book of techniques.  We each had a colour box and told to use one stitch.  I had the blue so used seeding stitches, then I took a friend's red box and probably my favourite all time stitch, raised chain band.

Right must not take on any more "can you just" - except I've got one more, and to a deadline, sigh.

19 July 2013

Yes, May Be, No - Not me Surely....

Right so last post I signed off mentioning another arty wake up call.  Here's what happened.
Saw a call for entries, on a networking site, exactly me, so acknowledged, few words why, suggested look at website to see if suitable.  Then thought mhmm, bit rude of me, find the email of the person, sent specific photos of items with sizes and techniques/materials for each specified.
This latter may have crossed with the response I got, may not have been read, I don't know - but the response was "can't see what this has to do with the topic"
Huh, jaw drops open, it IS exactly on topic. (I've actually never ever had the ability to bluff my way, too scared to be found out, so would never apply for something not within my remit)  At the moment to me, it looks like an inability to read on the part of the other person.  Actually wondering if they looked, because its so obvious via the photos. I did respond and point out, again, just in case email had not been seen - but heard nothing more.  Of course it could be a roundabout way of saying, you're rubbish don't want you, but hey tell me straight, sideways rebuffs aren't helpful.

But then this is where the profound thinking came in - is my USP not clear enough (Unique Selling Point).  Might need a neon sign pointed at it, marching band have a day off.
Talking with a friend over it, wondered if actually its more of preconceived ideas, ie if it includes X, it must look like Y, not understanding the complexities of another genre, not getting the technical challenges which may arise, or even the possibility that such a combination could exist.  Sigh but why should that matter, its the finished item you look at.  Or.... is it still because it includes textile skills, that we are in the back of beyond in terms of art recognition, or fixated in minds as stitch it looks like this.... doesn't it?  Perhaps I should go back to making the crinoline lady crocheted toilet roll covers - yes I confess, I did make them.  I also made jars of "pickled bums" - but that's a whole other story!  Me - pure fine art you know.

In the meantime, venue being finalised for my Art Trail work, just awaiting confirmation and then I will reveal...
As I can't show work which I'm making for the art trail or exhibitions (I say making, ooops funny falls off chair) how about some of this....

home made texture plates for use with the Gelli Plate mono printing
as yet untested!
click on image, should enlarge

08 July 2013

Lifelong Learning

So you go off on a workshop and what do you hope to achieve?  A nice day out, meeting new people amongst it all, perhaps the chance to learn new things, or be reminded of things already tried, or a new slant on them?  And then home, and what next.
Workshop with Wendy Creak at Art Van Go last Friday
Well to start with the big challenge, fitting things back in cupboards, and in my case pulling out a set of wheelie drawers, something clattered behind them when I was sorting what to take.  Can't remember the last time cleaned behind, to my shame, whole eco system going on.
This got me sidetracked as everything moved off the top too.  There I am with this nice large jar of paintbrushes, is actually one of those big sweetie jars you have at Xmas.  I thought it looked pretty arty and like I'm busy and know what I'm doing... but actually its ended up with another eco system in it.  So I tidied and binned the contents (and the jar) and those of a drawer, and have a lot less.  I decided to bin all the very old and extra paintbrushes, sticks, sponges  that I simply don't use.  Quite ironic when Friday I was using sticks, and bits of stone, and bricks and wood as mark making tools. This brought about another profound thought:
is it OK to stay with what you know
is it necessary to constantly have challenges
You may have noticed that Beverley's Bulletins aren't happening any more.  The idea was to make me look back and revisit things, bring them back to the forefront of thinking, in sharing them with you, it would be a reminder to me.  But in practice its not happening, its not fitting in with how I am...  So back to the Friday workshop, what to do with it next... I have a couple of ideas but actually I'm thinking its one of these things to be absorbed and pulled out when needed, right now, its just not right for my ideas.  To be real its because the class takes place on a particular day and obviously that's not necessarily where you are at that point and time in design or project.  I often find the benefit of a workshop is not what you expect at all... its the throwaway comment which strikes a nerve and inspires, its a trigger for a thought process which races ahead.  And its the act of putting everything away, and realising time to stop holding on to physical things, get rid of some of the clutter, find working space, and brain space.
I enjoyed Friday, all sorts of challenges in the day, processes revisited, and ideas which have (oh that dreaded word) 'potential'.  But what I've learned in the broadest sense will filter through and be used, at some point, but its not necessary right now to explore further.
Its been a profound thinking art weekend... as something else came into the thought process, but I'll save that for another time.

04 July 2013

Get creating

Coming to a Venue near you
(well near me actually, but you get the drift)
Saturday 10th August 2013
1.45pm - 4.30pm
Embroiderers' Guild
Balmoral Community Centre
Salisbury Avenue  Westcliff-on-Sea
"Ties that Bind"
a practical workshop, with me, on simple bookbinding
I will be showing how to make a simple folded book, and a stitched book for beginners and something a little more complex on offer for those who have tried this before.  We are moving to the UPSTAIRS HALL for this meeting (but there is a lift at the back of the building, if you need assistance, let us know and we can arrange this). Check out the South and East Essex Branch on the Embroiderers' Guild website.  or Contact me if you want more information. Beverley@bevfolkard.co.uk
and as if this isn't enough, you can also find me here:
Thursday 22nd August 2013
10.30am - 2.30pm
The Sewing Box
547 Rayleigh Road  Eastwood
"Hand and Machine Made Cords"
Call into the shop for more information, see their website for details.  We will be learning how to make a variety of cords, to have as a reference point for future projects.  It is my intention that we use the sewing machines at the shop.  Materials needed are machine threads, and any others for the hand work, ie embroidery thread, knitting yarn, and a notebook.
Looking forward to seeing you at one, or both, of these events.


27 June 2013

Thwarted Intentions

Mhmmm, I follow a blog where the artist seems to be very disciplined.  I mean incredibly focussed and diligent, setting X amont of creative time per week.  If not achieved she will get up with the birds to find the the hours to work, to keep to the schedule.  I read in awe and amazement, to be so strong, single minded.  I find myself full of envy one minute, and then... hang on, my life doesn't work like that.  I have a "him indoors" to put up with share space and time, but no other family.  But still things conspire against me creating.
This past week good intentions got diverted.  Found a tiny wet patch on the floor near a radiator... investigations needed, phone call.  Can't find source,  blaming him, its his side of the table, he has a permanent glass of water, I think he sploshed some.
Answered the phone to find I was the wrong number, but turned out the caller wanted info on textile shops, exhibitions venues etc.  So I spent 20 minutes helping out a complete stranger.
I did do some dyeing... but in the process discovered the cupboard contaminated with yeuk.  Tempted to shut the door on it, but no.  So whole cupboard had to be emptied, washed out and everything fitted back in.
Does the above person not have any of these things happen to her?  And yes I wake up regularly, but unintentionally at 5am, but I'd be a health and safety nightmare to let me anywhere near, a scalpel, needle or sewing machine, at that time of day. Heck some days even at 11am I seriously worry about being 'with it' enough to not to need an ambulance on speed dial.
But I have done some things... bought two generic sewing machine feet, and took pliers to them to modify to my needs... fixed another..  So quite smug!
Oh and I've now lost more time, cold fingers and my ring fell off. 20 minutes later can't find it.  When him indoors gets in more searching, moving furniture, emptying magazine rack, flicking through each page.  And its bin day, so facing possibility of a yeuk rummage. Eventually found it, dropped and rolled and disappeared under a corner of carpet.  I think I spend most of my time being busy, doing nothing! No wonder I've become such an expert at it.
And here's the dyeing.... for a project not to be shared... yet.
This is paper
Tea bag and repair tissue

12 June 2013

Teaching and Creating

Roll up, roll up, time to book my class at The Sewing Box.
Tuesday 18th June
not running due to lack of student numbers


Hand and Machine Made Cords
Check with the shop for information - places available

The intention is to use the sewing machines on the premises.  The requirements are a few machine threads, for practice use up the threads/yarns from your stash, knitting yarn, embroidery threads, even string!  It is my intent that we work on a rotation, with some learning the machine techniques, whilst others do the hand and others play with some equipment I have.  So everyone goes home with a range of samples, a practical dictionary if you like for future reference.  But what will I do with them?  As well as being accent decoration for pieces of textile art, there's the practical, light pulls, bag handles, jewellery.  These sample techniques will reference to endless possibilities.

Sigh, I would like to be able to show you all lots of lovely work which I'm doing.  I look at artists on Facebook and see masses of creations appearing on an almost daily basis, and think oh dear, where are mine?  However, what I'm involved with is work for exhibitions and displays.  Personally I don't feel it fair on those attending such events to share it widely first, so hence it looks like not much is hapening.  But have a clue....
A very badly painted sketchbook cover.  I really love these sketchbooks so have to do something to them, so I can find the latest, or the one with specific things in.  And to go in it.... mhmmm
Stage 1 in sampling.........

06 June 2013

The past becomes amusing

At the weekend made a discovery as part of clearing a cupboard... actually friend Helen has a much nicer phrase than tidying, spring cleaning, she called it Life Laundering.
I'm hunting for a book which I'm sure we had, from m-i-l, its a needlewoman book, and of course I want to cut it up.  However, came across another one, which I don't recall seeing before.  I opened it and was howling with laughter, him indoors kept asking what was so funny.

Its called "Gifts You Can Make Yourself"   You may have seen you can buy greetings cards with photos on, of knittings patterns etc with witty words beside them - well I found the original words beside these, just as funny.  I've copied out the words below each pic, as they appear in the book - so you must say them in your very best Celia Johnson clipped English, from Brief Encounter!

A pretty yet practical gift is this unusual and attractive hat box.  It is shaped like a large drum and will hold several hats at one time.

A gift that will always prove useful and cannot fail to please is this attractive tray.
A most attractive "threesome,"
those quotations are in the book, not mine!
A gift that cannot fail to please is this practical set consisting of tennis racquet hold-all, cycle tool bag, and satchel.
Designed for bath-time, this delightful little toy fish will cause endless amusement.
A piece of lead is screwed to the underside of the fish so that is remains horizontal just under the surface of the water.
Three practical gifts for the kitchen that are sure to please.
...an extremely useful iron stand of asbestos supported on a brightly coloured wooden base....
There are loads more of course, some which today are really not very PC at all, and some have very very different meanings today.  And yes, there are knitted knickers in the collection.
But a phrase I'm still trying to work out "For the Matron" - clothing items, like cardigans, but different from "For the Business Woman" and also "For the Smart Matron" - apart from in a hospital, not sure I've heard of women as Matron, not quite sure what defines her.  With lead in toys and asbestos in the home, wonder anyone survived.