31 January 2013


I've been playing, not that I really grasp what I'm doing, but I've made myself a Page on Facebook.  Its for my art life, (cough) trying to be a proper artist darhlinks!!!  But I have decided that any more of this interwebbing and twitfacing, I will need staff!!
I don't like mess and muddle, and Facebook is a bit of that for me, too many columns and lines and stuff and I can't work out which way is what, let alone a new language to learn.  As I often say, my keyboard has a carriage return, not an enter key!!!
I've changed the little badge thingy (that's a very technical name for it) over on the righthand menu here, which should click and connect.  I invite you to visit my new page, you will find some Photos uploaded, and if you would like to Like me, that would be good, otherwise I'll end up as BeverleyNoMates.  Thank you.

You will need to be a Facebook Member to see me at:

25 January 2013

And next we have...

I don't do much family on here, but I am a very proud auntie.  My niece Vickie, has just been accepted into college to study a BTEC in Art and Design plus Photography.  No doubt she now has to work hard to make sure she gets her grades for her place. I'm just so pleased she gets to follow her dream from the get go, and not like me, had to wait to my 30s... plus it's nice to think arty stuff is in the genes.  I can stop being the weird one not doing a 'proper' job.

In the meantime, I had an email to say my Sketchbook from The Sketchbook Project has been viewed again.  That makes 4 times!!!   True not many, but it's 4 more than I ever expected.... so thank you, whoever you are, whether you enjoyed or not, it's nice to have been considered.

I've been spending money - tsk my friend's fault.  Talking over the phone guiding her through finding a product on a website, and I say... careful make sure it's the best deal, and then I find at half price and, well it's just plain rude not to buy.  So here they are, Superior Rainbow threads, just love the short length colour change:
I've delivered my work to Juliet for onward  delivery to A Taste of Textiles exhibition, which gets set up next week.  As the time covers Valentines, my two pieces of work and shops pieces are all hearts. Not new pieces for the occasion, but more as it implies a Taste of who I am as a textile person.
Details of Heart Icon and Heart Mosaic

Details from the two large stitched postcards for sale

16 January 2013

A Taste of Textiles (in lots of ways...)

Wheee spin around and suddenly it's all change.  Within three days the calendar for 2013 has been added to.
# Before the New Year I received an email asking if I would like to review a book... well two offers actually.  One book wasn't me, so I checked out the other.  This was out of the blue, no idea how they found me, or chose me. Part of a mail shot no doubt, but still a thrill for me. Decided to be straight and responded Yes, but were they sure, after all I'm just little ole me, trying to make my way in the art world.  I'm not a 'name'  nor publish a magazine or the like.  The answer still came back yes, and the book arrived yesterday.  I will write a review, publish it here and on my Facebook page.  So for me, a new task/experience to take on.  Come back soon to see more.
# I've also had an invite for a social textile get together, not for a while, but that's also gone into the diary and looking forward to seeing people not seen for a while.
#And lastly but importantly, received a request, friend of friend, to exhibit a couple of pieces of work in February, not new pieces.  Nice to be included in the ask, and also to extend contacts.

08 January 2013

BEVERLEY'S BULLETIN : 3 Achieving Deadlines

As with the start of any new year, everywhere is full of reviews and ways forward.  I've been reading textile blogs with the same themes.
One caught my attention, specific detailed evaluation, and a structured plan for the year.  It included how many pieces are to be made, time allocated to art, in fact so detailed there was a spreadsheet, which was to be appraised and evaluated on a regular basis.  At which point, frankly I thought, give up now, lay down in a dark room and recover!

So I thought I’d use this topic for another Bulletin, because self awareness, ie the speed at which you can work, or how much time you  have in a given week can be vital to help when working to a deadline.  It is another skill learned from my City and Guilds studies.  Often what we think, is not actually what is…

The little record book I have kept for the past 7 years also helps me with knowing myself.  I don’t list hours spent, just things like “painted papers” – “handstitched on blue piece”.  Its surprising when the gaps appear in the making, times of the year when things slow or stop, but aren’t necessarily when I’d suspect, like holidays or around events, but these natural breaks seem to occur around the same time each year.
So perhaps its worthwhile to actually time a few tasks, not as in race against the clock, but as being real about timings.  Some tasks I find, say stitching up the first side of something can take 40 minutes, but by the time I’ve got to the last, its 20, because I’m in the rhythm of the process, know the angle to hold things, etc.   If I had another the same to do straight off each side would likely be 20 minutes or less… but seldom are there production line projects.  And I find the next time, its back to the long slow start.  So I might have estimated 90 minutes to do, but in reality its much longer, yet faster if done in one session, even a break for lunch can throw me backwards in terms of the rhythm of the process.
Or it can be worth noting what times of day you find it easier to work, how much, time, perhaps it’s a little every day, perhaps its only a couple of days a week you have available.  I have the time, but I don’t ever stitch in the evenings, IF I do need creative things in the evening, then that’s when I choose to read my magazines, so its creative input, but of another kind.

I see two options when making work for a deadline.

1) design the piece, stick to the design and work at it, until made.  Even if time gets tight and it means early mornings or late nights to get it done.
2) design the piece, but look at how long it will take you to make and then decide, either commit, be willing to sacrifice other things to achieve, (which might mean cancelling lunch with a friend) or else go back to the design and modify it, or the techniques to be used.

I favour 2), purely because I cannot work all hours, I have done on occasions, but actually working late in the night, I’m more prone to mistakes, more likely to have to redo things, more likely to cut into something vital, likely to tip paint all over the project, and frankly feel a danger to be let loose on the sewing machine when tired.  So for me, the longer I work, the less I achieve.

I am quite good at working my way backwards from a known end date.  Packaging by this time, framing, photography, so it needs finishing by.... lessons given during City and Guilds studies.  We would have to state what would be achieved by when in order to meet the assessment deadline.  A plan would be drawn up, backwards, starting with the end date, listing each week what was to be done, how etc. If we didn't do the stated task... there was a full on interrogation, answers were expected. There was no getting away with “I didn’t get around to it”.  Scary and harsh at the time, but lessons learned. But over time you learn, I can do this task quickly but that one always takes me a long time.  I can do that task in an hour, but then it takes me two hours to clean up the equipment and work area.
And for the record…. I don’t see machine stitching as faster than handstitching, they are different skills, worked and used in different ways, giving different looks.  So its not a speed issue, to use one over another, its simply the design effect you wish to achieve.

In the previous posting I noted the general plans I have for my year's work, and that at the moment is the extent of it.  I write a monthly plan in my sketchbook... but it's so detailed, not!  It's a list.... work on blue piece, complete forms, take photos.  Once completed, then it has to have a red ink tick and a large DONE beside it, nothing quite so satisfiying as a big tick!!!  If its not finished, it gets rewritten in the next months list.  I print off a monthly calendar and pin it up to see, but it doesn’t list tasks, just reminders of a deadline/event.   It will have a MUST DO reminder a couple of days before the large DEADLINE.  I can always see this calendar, its in a prominent place, not to be missed and never covered up. I firmly believe though in the phrase "that which is recorded, gets done" - which is likely the same premise as the person with the spreadsheet plan.  My statement of intent, if you like, is a mix of the puter generated calendar  reminders, the list in the sketchbook, blog postings, and personal emails/contact with friends discussing our projects..  Between them all I have gentle reminders to get on with the task in hand.
So when planning work, for a deadline, things to remember/consider, which I find work:
~ a deadline, even if just a personal one, helps to focus the thoughts.
~ allow enough time for the extras, framing, labels, packaging, form filling – always takes longer than you think.
~ photography, even if that is purely to take a record of the piece for yourself, dull days it can be a struggle to get a nice image.
~ be aware of your self.  When do you work, how much time do you have, are some tasks quicker than others for you.
~ are you a do everything last minute, or a steadily paced worker.  Either way its still about managing yourself and your time.
~ is your design and method of creating larger than your available time.
~ can you find/commit to extra time, or should a design/method of construction be modified.
~ remember to look at your plan or just think about it, make it work for you.
~ don’t spend so long in drafting up the when, what and why, so there’s no time left to actually DO.

01 January 2013

Here to the next....

HAPPY 2013
Wishing Everyone a Productive, Creative Arty Year
Time for reflection and forward planning, as always as the New Year arrives.  Last year was very full on personally and art wise.  I managed it all - as you do in such circumstances. So I'm very pleased to have achieved so much... but now I need to regroup and re-establish.  Sounds like I am the old bag I am.... but I need to pace myself a bit because I'm very well aware I'm not yet back to how I should be.  I've already turned down an opportunity, thought about it, and although it might have been months before it happened, its the tension of the planning for it right now, that I simply don't need or want.
I think arty wise it will still be a full on year, likely two art trails to apply for, as a solo artist - one, the application forms were issued just before Xmas, so I have those.  I will be taking one of the meetings at my local Embroiderers' Guild.  Already I've been asked what are you teaching us - errrr I don't know its months away, let me finish one year first.  It will be bookbinding of some description.  The ERTF will be launching its next Exhibition, and I'd like to try for that.  Mainly because it brings another challenge, its a selected exhibition, so along with paperwork/photographs etc its also, for me, about trying for an opportunity, which is not a done deal.  The Material Girls are also working on their next project, and again, that for me is about challenges, research.  Of course in my head I've already made several magnificent pieces for that.....
Other opportunities will come up, no doubt - keeping my little record book which I've done for the past 7 years has given me a pattern of when things appear. 
I'm not making myself a book this year, sigh. I will keep the same information as before, but this year in this:
And today is part of a project, recording in photos, life on the 1st of each month. Today was something which was planned for last year, but didn't happen because life exploded.  Visiting the beach on New Year's Day - although I live only a few miles away, its something I've never done.  The other 'ambition' is to see the sea/beach when its snowing.  The photo below was taken this morning, in brilliant sunshine, with a bright blue sky, and this one area of sea which had sunlight hitting it, creating a very dark intense area next to it.  Sunlight so bright it was a case of point the camera and click, and guess what was in the frame.