2018

March

Many apologies to any one who has got this far and is thinking, why hasn't she updated her blog for ages.

It's been a VERY busy year so far, but unfortunately, not busy art wise.

I was away on a 7 week cruise before Christmas, seeing some gorgeous places, Cuba, Mexico, Columbia and several Caribbean islands, a wonderful experience. Then of course Christmas.

My daughter and her partner have just got engaged, so she and I have been shopping for wedding dresses, and although the nuptials do not take place till next year, it's been a bit fraught.

We have had renovations going on in our house, which involved all the kitchen and glass house flooring being replaced with flagstones, so ALL my equipment and art stuff had to go into storage. I've only just got back to normal

I joined the committee of my embroiderer's guild and have designed a web site for them, along with my partner in crime, Mary. If you haven't seen this on my home page it's www.eastsurreyembroiderersguild.btck.co.uk

I have attended a brilliant workshop run by Carol Waddle, Colour with Design in Mind. This has started me off on another exciting textile adventure. I am halfway through a piece of work based on a landscape that I have turned into trees!!!

It's been too cold and horrible for me to feel like going into my garden studio, so lots going on in the glass house.

 

 

 

 

April

 I have been playing around with paper lamination, where pictures on thin paper are  glued onto fabric via a silk screen and then scrubbed off. Im using photos I took in Singapore of skyscrapers. Again I'm halfway through this.

 

Very excited to announce the opening of my new studio, the 'she shed'. Its in our garden, on what was formerly the strawberry patch!

It houses all my sewing stuff, fabrics and machines. I now have room to cut fabric & iron at a waist high table-bliss, and my sewing machine looks out over the garden.

The glass house studio is now for all my 'wet' work, the painting, dying, printing and the construction and destruction of fabrics.

May

Beavering away and trying to finish pieces of work started on various workshops. Four of us from Spectra textiles are having a weeks exhibition at Standen House, a National Trust property in West Sussex. They have a new exhibition space next to the kitchen which is bigger and lighter than a previous space upstairs. The exhibition is at the end of July but before then I have a hot week (I hope) in Spain and a wet week (Im pretty sure) in Wales.

Did a workshop with my old mate Lynda Monk using painted Tyvek on felt. Lots of heat distressing-lovely. Have turned some of the samples into purses to sell.

Finished the work begun with Carol Waddle and am using the same techniques when a group of Blue Tulips ladies come to me for a workshop. Have also just completed the piece I started on skyscrapers and trees.

My next workshop is with Jae Maries on colour. So I have been dying pieces of cloth using Procion dyes and the plastic bag method. Also discovered on Youtube 'cramming' dying in a pot. This gives different results with the same fabric primary colours- yellow, turquoise & magenta. These are different to artists primary colours. Have also done some tie dying while I was making a mess!

July

Well Wales was not wet and we had a very relaxing week pottering and wandering around Llanidloes and Worcester. Discovered a wonderful book shop and have invested in books on natural dying, indigo dying and batik. Had already tried using avocado skins and stone to make a lovely light pink dye. You boil up the skins etc until the water goes dark pink/red. You dont need a mordant as the skin has this naturally. Added lemon juice in some to create a yellow/orange and bicarb of soda in some to get a deeper red/brown. Fascinating. Popped into beautiful Ledbury on the way home, where I do workshops with Angie Hughes.

Spain was predictably hot but I did manage to do some sketching, which I was able to use with Jae Maries in her workshop.

Then my embroiderers guild held a regional day at Bletchingly village hall. I did free machine stitching demos all morning, and then in the afternoon we had a fantasy fashion show using Game of Throne style costumes made by a clever lady who lives in Bletchingly. Models consisted of me and my fellow stitchers. Gosh the costumes were hot and heavy. We had to parade up and down a catwalk and then walk amonst the guests. Not easy when you have a Georgian hoop wider than a door under your skirts!!!

At the guild meeting in Redhill, we were visited by a very talented young lady, Harriet Riddle, who free stitches people as she wanders around places. She has been to India 4 times and carries her machine, battery, table and chair around in a suitcase. Plonks herself down in a market and starts stitching what she can see. She did a 15 minute p;ortrait of one of our ladies and it really looks like her. Very envious-must practise.

 First week of exhibition at Standen House and very good it has been too. Lovely place to be and the space we have is just right. Lots of interest in my embroidery of Standen and also of My Home Town (Hastings) Forgot to take pictures yesterday as we were very busy, so will try to remember when Im stewarding again.

Im trying to steel myself into going in to my studio to do some stitching, but honestly its SO hot I might melt. When Im at Standen again, Tuesday and Wednesday I will take my machine and stitch away between yacking to visitors.