January 2017

Actually its February now, so where did January go?

Took part in another very successful Mayors show in Reigate Town Hall. Such a wealth of talent there, Im sure a pop up shop in Reigate for arts and craft would be very successful.

 

Acrylic painting on canvas using tape to separate the colours. Very Mondrian

Decaf work with adults suffering from dementia is going well and such fun. They are all lovely people. I am very pleased that they have been chosen for my WIs local charity as they receive no funding at all.

I am busy preparing for my next show which will be the Contemporary Textiles Fair at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington. I will be sharing a stand with a colleague from Spectra Textiles Group for the 2 day event.

March

Excellent time at Teddington Fair with good friend Buffy Fieldhouse who specialises in paper lamination, an area I have yet to explore.

It was a pretty full on exhausting 3 days but lovely to meet so many like minded people, stall holders or customers.

The venue was amazing. Formerly the Church of St Alban the Martyr, it still is an imposing cathedral like space, complete with stained glass windows and the old pulpit.

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

Another successful exhibition at Denbies with the embroiderers guild. A lot of excellent stitching work from some very talented people (not all ladies either).

 My first workshop with Art Van Go in Stevenage. These lovely hard working people run an amazing shop, I spend SO much just walking from the front door to the workshops. The 2 day workshop was with Anthea Godfrey using silk screen printing and lots of transfer dying on gorgeous silky polyester fabrics.

Anthea is Artistic director of the Embroiderers Guild and was instrumental in creating a huge embroidered figure of the White Walker from Game of Thrones. He is now being exhibited in Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury.

 

A sample of Alysn's work

July

A return to Art Van Go but this time to work with a lady from New Zealand who specialises in metal stitching. Alysn Midgelow-Marsden has been working with all types of metal fabric for many years, including one of my favourites, Angelina Fibres. She lives very near to where my daughter lives in North Island and finds inspiration from the fabulous scenery, the flora and fauna. I found her hugely inspiring and made re evaluate how I work and how I need to explore ideas far more creatively.

A piece I am currently working on using copper mesh and velvet.

Heated phosphor bronze and velvet

August

Another workshop. This time with Angie Hughes in Ledbury. Amazing lady who was so inspiring and had us printing, heating, stitching all kinds of fabrics. Learnt so much and managed to fill my sketch book with techniques and ideas as I knew I would forget. I now realise Im a process person. Its not the end result for me, but how I get there.

The trees are made by stitching across a hole cut into fabric. The fabric needs to be tightly stretched in an embroidery hoop. You have the feed dogs down in your machine and use an embroidery foot. Straight stitch across and back until you have a 5 finger hand stretch. Then zig zag back across the straight threads to gather them together.

October

My annual pigrimage to Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) to look at all the wonderful students work from art colleges, get ideas and to spend lots of money.

Opened my studio to raise funds for Alzheimers, specifically Decaf as I do the art and craft with them. A slow day but the people who came very generously supported me. Thank you to my book club ladies and to friends who bought several pictures. Eddie eagle has gone, Im a bit sad as he had become part of the family and my last piece of work I did with Angie Hughes, so that didnt hang around.

Have several commissions which will keep me busy after Christmas and a request for work shops which I will enjoy doing.

Went to Lidl to buy a sandwich and came home with an overlocker! After several frustrating hours and a lot of swearing I managed to thread it up. Very useful as Im making transfer dyed silk scarves so they now have a lovely rolled hem.

Have also learnt how to use Inktense blocks in printing fabric via one of the textile groups I belong to, Blue Tulips. We have a workshop session every 2 months, taking it in turns to teach the others a new skill. So many techniques, so little time.

So now Im off for a long holiday until Christmas. My hubby and I are cruising to Cuba, Mexico, Columbia and The Windward Islands. Hope to come back with loads of pictures and ideas. Theres even a craft room on board ship.

So  Happy Christmas everyone. See you in the New Year.