27 March 2014

Appearing At....

Announcement time, drum roll, trrrrrrrrr - here's a list of things I will be involved with coming up so far this year.

21st-29th June 2014
Venue: Paul J King
10 Station Road
Burnham on Crouch
Essex CM0 8BG

I missed participating in this Art Trail last year, due to personal circumstances, but applied again and have been accepted.  As always the Trail brings surprises as an exhibiting artist as you don't get to choose your venue.  Its important to always be respectful of the business, to not cause disruption when setting up and taking down work.  More important this year for me - as this business is a Funeral Directors!  Well in the past I exhibited  in an osteopaths complete with skeleton in the window.....
The website will be updated with this year's Trail news so do pop back and they also have a Facebook page - look for Burnham Art Trail.

In the past I've done some teaching and I've been asked to do a day class, so you can find me

Bookbinding Techniques
Wednesday 2nd July 2014
Fantasia Textiles Studio

This is going to be a day workshop about techniques for stitching bindings, with hints and tips on covers and other elements.  It is NOT making a book start to finish.  Hopefully students will go home with enough information and samples to be able to make multiple variations of books of their own choice.
For more information on the variety of courses and options on offer, contact Norah at Fantasia Textiles  or I have a pdf document of forth coming programme I can forward to you.

I have done multiple teaching/taking meetings for my local Branch of the Embroiderers; Guild, and this year I have another afternoon meeting:

Salvage to Selvedge
Saturday 12th July 2014
Embroiderers' Guild
South & East Essex Branch
Balmoral Centre
Salisbury Avenue
Westcliff-on-Sea SS0 7AU

This is open to Non Members, if you take a look at our Programme here, you can see more re Visitors fees, location, access etc.  This is a workshop during our normal meeting time to 1.30-4.30pm.  You will need to bring along your sewing equipment, needles, scissors and threads of your choice.
The intent is to make textile art which includes items already found around the home, there will be supplies and samples.
You can always come to any of our Meetings - next one on 12th April has guest speaker Liz Trenow.

As I write the Rochford Art Trail call out hasn't appear yet, but I expect it any day soon, but I will apply as and when, and will advise of results.

20 March 2014

Inspiration.... if I remember...

This is going to be a bitty post.... cos that is how I feel at the moment, lots of bits of stuff going on.
Finishing the two Exhibitions you'd think life would be back in order, but somehow I'm still catching up.  Not least the need to put things in cupboards in order to start over afresh.  I'm hoping that once I finish my role as  a website manager in April I'll find more time - but then I did agree to and have been helping out another website, a hmm non arty this time.

This is the postcard I received in the Great Big Postcard Swap - comes from Sophie in Ireland.

On Saturday I went to an Artist Book Fair - now I don't think I've ever been to an exhibition/event which is solely devoted to artists books, or the book arts... and part of the reason is also part of the reason I don't make as many books as I'd like - means of display.  So often they require a shelf, cabinet, table, some venues are purely wall space only and some you wouldn't trust to be secure to leave things.  I've seen small exhibitions before, devoted to book arts, just by one or two people - this time there were around 18 or so.
All different skills and interpretations of the genre.  You can see a snapshot of the work on show via this gallery page.  Had a nice time chatting with the artists.  One of them was explaining her methods and I thought.....

Oh dear I've got some of that, and that.  More of this buy when you see think its a good idea, store it somewhere safe you can't find it, and forget the idea you had to use it for in the first place!  And yesterday something else cropped up and it was, yep got some of that to try... and then worse duh not only heard of the technique but actually done it....   It makes you seem a bit of a know-it-all - but in the same breath having tried and used so much diversity, I forget about things or it takes years to come back to being the very thing you need.  I did consider at one point making a list of all the techniques or things tried.... so I could remember and/or go back to - but then that would just be a huge avoidance technique of not doing at all.  As we used to say in college - "first hoover the cat"  ie very difficult time consuming and pointless task.  So... need to make myself a little sample book of relevant to now techniques - but first, where's the bag of stuff I bought last Summer?????
Oh and I got some paints out for another play, not sure they are made any more...Colour Sprays by Crafty Notions.  Realised again why they get relegated to the back of the cupboard, either the nozzles won't spray or they splat over everything.

13 March 2014

Returned and Onwards

Well, do you remember this from a few weeks back.

Well in the space of a couple of days, its all back home again.  All that work and the time out on display just races past, or is that a sign of old age (oi who is shouting over there).

The Material Girls work was really well received at Textiles in Focus.  Do take a look at our blog page for some images.  However, that's not its only outing.  It is a way ahead, but the work is due to appear in Essex, at Gallery 50, Craft Arena, Billericay.  So plan your Christmas shopping to include a visit to see the work in December, and spend your Christmas money in January 2015, as we will be there just into the New Year!!! I know, ssssh the C word, but people do start mentioning it in July, and creatives start their makes months in advance.  So what's a few months even earlier than that!  I'd wish you Happy Christmas but I can see things being thrown at the screen, ouch!!!

The Material Girls have some exciting news - a new Member, Helen Wilson, who many of us have known for some time.  And we are excited to move on to our next project.  See this blog post.
I won't say anything about my choice of topic for the next project (might change, who knows) except to say - its  likely where I should be.

On a personal level, more excitement in that I will be teaching a day workshop in early July, won't say any more because its not common knowledge as yet, until the host says so.

It really is so strange how in the space of 10 days how things can move and change,blossom and inspire, plus I think this current warm weather and in particular the blue sky, just fires you up into feeling so much better about things, or is the half can of cider I found in the fridge at lunchtime......

10 March 2014

Postcard Swap

I came rather late to finding out about The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap and only signed up on the last day of registration.
Well I could hardly miss it when it involves stitch with paper.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I make "postcards" although its a term I'm told should be more one of 'mini works of art'.

So I decided after debating with myself and only finding out so late in the day, to use one of my already made postcards with a bit of refreshing and additions.

I have done quite a bit of stitching in the past which involves white on white, ie white stitching on paper and colouring after.  This postcard belongs in this category.  (A more recent project has involved coloured stitching on white paper - see)

This is one of the series of cards made with hearts on, to give you an idea of the base layer:
In this case its machine stitch with white threads of various thicknesses.
After all the stitching its time to add colour, this can end up with many many layers of colour, sometimes 7 or 8.  Hearts are a fave motif of mine and have been used with this technique on several pieces.
shows lots of colour tones
'Heart Icon'
This includes hand stitch as well as machine, all white on white with colour added

This is the postcard I have sent to my swap partner
in Ireland

It is all made on 160gsm cartridge paper.  Its machine stitch white on white.  For the colour...the pinky purple is multiple layers of acrylic paint, with some additional alcohol ink. Silver acrylic paint and the gold is acrylic paint mixed with gold bronze powders.  A few heart beads and Tim Holtz words, coloured lightly with Inktense pencil, added.
The whole thing is slightly padded, with a backing of 160gsm cartridge paper. The 'sandwich' is approx 4 layers, and all that appears on the back is my printed name and website details.
I hope the card arrives safely and that my swap partner enjoys receiving it.


For my non Facebook friends.... a pussiemog update

Awwww littlle itty witty baby
Spike first weekend we had him in Sept 13
Around 11 weeks

Now a bigger baby
Spike in February 14

We don't let them play with the little balls any more, certainly not unsupervised.  They are made of a hard sponge, and tend to get stuck on their fangs.  Spike is bigger than his brother, he's a stocky cat, about 400gms heavier than Bandit now.  You can see his stripey leg warmers on the back legs.

Bandit on left, Spike on right
First week of March 14

This was after they woke up at 5am, played chase around the house at full speed, then time to collapse in a heap for sleep.  Bandit is still nick named Lanky Legs, he doesn't seem taller, but those legs have a very long stretch.