25 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

The following images were all taken from an old book
"Gifts You Can Make Yourself"
I've put them up on Facebook with my own caption
and share here in case you missed my Advent contribution.

30 November 2016

Essex Open - is Now Open!!!

We've been along to see our work displayed at the Essex Open.  In case you don't know where the Beecroft Art Gallery is - its almost next door to the Southend Victoria train station, in what was previously the Library premises.

Alas, this year there is no printed catalogue, so you will need to read the notifications under the pieces and look for the labels with the various awards.  There are three areas of display, and my work can be found to the left as you enter.

As always at these events, there are very few textile related pieces, but I have 3, and there are also pieces by Karen Apps and Jane Barry, both of whom I know.
The large white worded piece displayed with mine, is also a textile, and is by a lady I don't know, Abbie Cairns.

Here's a photo of my work on display.  You will be able to find and see more detail from a recent posting.

Here is a photo of Keith's piece on display, just around from mine.

Plenty of time to visit, but do go along, lots of exciting work in various formats.

11 November 2016

November Voice for Stencil Girl Products

Here I am with my second contribution for Stencil Girl Products.  Still equally as excited and thrilled to be participating.

The Stencil Club stencils are launched on 1st of every month.  November sees a set designed by Jessica Sporn.

You can see the launch of the stencils here on the blog: Stencil Girl Talk

You will see from the reveal that the designs are floral based.  Whilst very pretty and I'm sure I could do lots with them as they are, I decided it was time for a personal challenge.

It was time to look.....
deeper - sideways - upside down

and I found this motley bunch lurking

I'm still thinking if they are partying, or on their way home..
The one on the right is miffed for being the designated driver, or else has a curfew!

First of all I had a play, quick tracing of the shapes with a pencil, not very accurately, but the ideas came from it.  I immediately saw not a flower/seed head but shoes!
All of the stencils are used somewhere on this piece.

~ The background used the 6x6 - acrylic paint all over Daler Rowney 250 gsm Mixed Media paper.  Two colours of acrylic paint but I thought it a little bright, so brushed gesso over the top.
I made something for them to stand on, with acrylic paint and the large stencil.
~Then to the Girls.  I started with the feet and worked my way up
I coloured them in using Derwent Inktense pencils, made it very easy to get into the small spaces, then once wet the colour, boom soo much intensity.
Outlined with a black pen, but still needed something so this time, I added some sparkle, using Spectrum Sparkle pens  - black, gold and clear.
The only element which is me, are the eyeballs (not the eye shape) and the eyelashes, everything else is found within the stencils.
~ They were begging for some words - but I couldn't think what suited, until a magazine supplement arrived with loads of quirky phrases, so I cut one out and stuck on.

I have a feeling that at nighttime, when I'm asleep, they get up and cause mischief... what do you think?

Please click to see larger images.

Take a look at the blog here to see what the other Voices made with the stencils, and I'm not the only one to see characters!

10 November 2016


I'm a happy bunny.  I have work accepted into the Annual Essex Open Exhibition.  I have been in it twice before, but the last time was 2005!  I've entered a few times since but no luck.

25th November 2016 -  11th February 2017
57th Annual Essex Open Exhibition
Beecroft Art Gallery
Victoria Avenue
Southend on Sea

I tried last year and vowed, not to bother again... but then along comes the info, last year it moved to an online application, whereas previously the work was taken in and selection from actual, so it now becomes an easy process.
Utterly amazed that ALL of my pieces were selected.  I wonder if its because I refer to it as Mixed Media?  We still fight the assumptions of Textile Art being certain things, and as I stitch on paper, I think its safe to say it is Mixed Media.  In fact I'd go so far as to say most Textile Artists are... they use dyes, paints, found objects, unconventional materials, etc.  I guess we keep banging on the door until they let us in.

So here are the pieces which will be on show....

Burnham Bound
Machine stitch on paper and map pages

Floret 1
Machine stitch, book pages, sewing patterns,
mono printing, stencilling and lace embellishment

Resolution 1
Printing, machine stitch on paper, distressing, wax, acrylic paints

But there is more to the story.... him indoors also entered.  This year marks the first year he has turned his photography hobby into work to be seen by the public.  He also entered three pieces, and has had success with one!

Urban Decay and Graffiti Arch 

28 October 2016

Soooo What's Happening?

Since my last posting below, I can happily report that my submissions for the CD Collection 2016 at Inchmore Gallery, Inverness, arrived safely.
The Gallery has 403 pieces - do please take a look via the Facebook page, as every single one has been photographed.  I cannot believe the detail some people can achieve in such a small area.  You will find mine as numbers 170-173.
Such a long distance, so won't be visiting (years ago, but I have been to Inverness) - however, it has brought me new blog and Facebook contacts, so that's very nice.

I've been working once again on a 'secret' project, well time sensitive, and that will be revealed to you, likely end of next week, hope it brings a smile......

This week, I visited the Exhibition of Chris Spencer.  Chris is the Founder and Mentor of the textile group I belong to, The Material Girls.
This is the first ever solo Exhibition which Chris has put on, with work from a period of time. However, it all hangs together beautifully, colours, tones, and technique.  Not long left to see it now, but you can see some images here.

I have plenty of other work to do, not least a piece for a collective hanging for my Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, as its to celebrate our 40th Year, it needs a little Ruby Red in it. Trouble is, aside from not yet designing, every time I think on it, this song pops into my head....  Kaiser Chiefs 

I've been doing a little retail therapy, this week, few threads and essentials like bondaweb. Last week, I visited an art shop to buy card for my latest make for The Material Girls, brought it home, and it was just popped up in the lounge, been there all of 2 minutes when Spike decided it was an excellent scratching post.  Very odd considering he won't use any of the scratching mats etc we have.  Soooo I'd bought extra, let's hope I don't need to make another purchase.

Face of innocence

See you soon, hopefully with pretty stuff to share.  Yes I know, Spike is very pretty, but he's had his 5 minutes of fame, for a while.

14 October 2016

Can You Just..... Of Course I Can

Having completed two Art Trails in September, I had assumed that I was done for the year in terms of events to showcase work.  I don't make for Christmas, its an occasion which is less than happy for me, for many reasons, and I'm not a huge fan of the celebratory makes, as in for me to make them.  I try hard, not to, but its possible to end up with Bah Humbug as my mantra at this time of year.  The only consolation is, chocolate choice at this time of year!

So thinking on, and having ideas for reconsidering art practice... out of the blue has come two opportunities.

I made these for the first.....

This was a quick turnaround, as in only a few days between receiving details, and date for postage in order to meet deadline.
The work has to fit in a CD case - so its very specific on size to meet.
So I've sent these off, the nature of the event is there will be no personal acknowledgement of receipt, so I have to hope they arrived.  I will hear nothing again until April time, when hopefully a fat cheque arrives! (I have seen a photo of a box of entries, but which brown envelope is mine....) The good news is that there is a minimum price of £20 per piece, you set the price yourself, but that's the starting level.  So now I need patience, to see what returns.  So for a full day of intensive work (plus takes ages to label and pack), I hope someone likes and buys  (at least one, please).

Next, the opportunity to enter an Open Exhibition - internet submissions.  Now I have been in this Exhibition twice before, but haven't had success in many years.  Always difficult when you stitch, as usually the Open has only 3-4 pieces.  I had decided not to bother any more - but the entry fee for three pieces is only £15 and entry online is fill in a form and send images.  Its very easy, especially when I make a practice of photographing everything I make.  This is a selected event, so its all down to the judges, and whether work fits in with other pieces to make a good display.  I won't know the outcome for about 3 weeks.

So.... the question remains, have I actually finished submitting for the year?

05 October 2016

October Voice for Stencil Girl Products

Hello – have you found me via the Stencil Girl blog?  I am so proud to have been chosen to be a Voice for the October Stencils, by Mary Beth Shaw. - which you can see announced here.

A little recap on me.  Primarily a creative stitcher, having stitched almost all my life – you will see at the top of this blog tabs to take you to the story of my formal qualifications in both Creative Embroidery and Paper Arts.  For me the two have made a very happy collision, as my preferred ‘fabric’ to stitch on is Paper… and I’d rather use paints than dyes.

Signing up for a monthly shipment of stencils from Stencil Girl Products has brought me oodles of happiness, the styles and inspiration are a good fit with me.  So, seeing the call for Voices, I thought give it a go.  I never dreamed I’d be chosen, being in the UK, and here I am,  having a play with the stencils for October.

I must admit I did play with all the stencils, and made lots of test runs and ideas….

So out came the Gelli Arts® plate and acrylic paints. a mix of Paper Artsy and Daler Rowney.

     Having played around with loads of ideas, the Gelli Arts® Plate had ghost images on it, from all the stencils.  So these became incorporated, rather pleasingly into this piece.

Using Two Plates  - on the larger I brayered three colours.  On the small I laid down the middle sized stencil and brayered through the ‘tulip’ shapes with black paint.  Removed the stencil.
Then I squished this Plate onto the larger, there is a mutual colour transfer. Colour across to the small, and black onto the larger.
I printed off the small Plate onto Cartridge paper.
Repeated this process two more times. So I ended up with this as an additional print.

I took the print from the larger Plate and ended up with the colour, the ghost images from previous printings, and ghostly ‘tulips’.
Added some of the pebble shapes to the bottom.  The piece was now screaming ‘flowers’ at me.
Using black thread and free machine (free motion) embroidery I stitched the flowers.  I didn’t draw these first, but used my machine needle to draw.  Adding in ‘flowers’ too.
Some more colour to the flower petals using Polychromos pencils, trimmed down and edged with a black machine stitch, to make a panel.

For this sample, I covered the plate in black paint, laid the large stencil on top.  Blotted off the black. (colour is from the unwashed stencil itself!)
Then I rollered (brayered) colours over the top.  Removed the stencil, and took a print on 160 gsm Cartridge Paper. (Not sure of the equivalent in US terms – but in the higher weights it’s a really good smooth paper for drawing/painting, but not of the heft of watercolour paper).
I fell in love with it, and decided to add more lines, by going over some of the black lines with a straight machine stitch, and filling in the coloured shapes with small hand straight stitching in colour matching silk threads.  Trimmed down and stitched around the edge, it became a rather pleasing panel, could easily become a book cover – but then I like looking at all the colours!

I love the effect of this kind of printing – so I made one in reverse – ie plate covered in colour, stencil, blot, roller on black paint, removed stencil and print.

I really enjoyed my challenge, so many ideas.  Please come back and see me again – especially as I have the November Stencils to share as well.
Thank you to Stencil Girl Products for this opportunity, I am so very thrilled to have been chosen, and I hope to have lived up to your expectations.
Thanks for looking.