Tuesday, 26 June 2012

New work


I almost finished this piece a few weeks back, then put it aside to focus on more urgent things… OK, and dither a bit about the last stages, too.

I haven’t decided on its name yet, but it’s inspired by a starry sky – the constellation of Orion to be exact (the only one I can recognise, I’m ashamed to admit).

The picture above is just a section, the whole piece is quite wide - seemed to suit the panoramic view you get looking out on a clear night, if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere without too much light pollution.

What probably isn’t obvious is that the stars are machine embroidered on dissolvable fabric, so they make what I’m thinking of as “star lace”. Does that  sound crazy? I’d be much easier to just embroider them on a black background fabric. But I do prefer the effect – even though they’re not raised above the backing (like most of my pieces), they still stand out more than if they were part of it. And hey, I like a challenge…

Thursday, 14 June 2012


I’ve just listed a new “Botanic Bookmark” design in my Etsy and Folksy shops. Here’s a close up:


I started making these bookmarks for people who liked my machine embroidered bowls but couldn’t give one a home, so the first three were the same designs - Meadow, Cottage Garden and Hedgerow. This new one, called “Trellis”, is the first designed specially as a bookmark, and I’ve surprised myself by being quite pleased with it. I had climbing plants like wisteria, honeysuckle and clematis in mind, but I don’t try and embroider accurate likenesses, only an impression that leaves room for imagination.

More photos in my shops.

They’re also available from Platform Gallery, Clitheroe.  

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Art for a wet weekend

It’s wet and grey outside, you can’t get on with the gardening (or sunbathing) –but it’s a perfect chance to get out and see LOTS of arts and crafts in the Yorkshire area!
I’ve already mentioned Textilia III’s “Earthly Delights” exhibition at Farfield Mill, Sedbergh. This is my work on display there:
But if you haven’t been yet, now’s the time – it’s only on until the 17th! Plus, if you use the code word from here, you’ll get a big discount on entry to “Four floors of inspiration… in this vibrant arts and heritage centre housed in a restored Victorian woollen mill”. But, warning, just don’t try and go on Wednesday 13th as it’ll unfortunately be closed due to highway maintenance.
And, if you’re in the area this weekend or next, you can combine that with shedloads (sometimes literally, hehe) of arts and crafts in North Yorkshire Open Studios. Lots of wonderful artists are taking part in the dales area, it’s easy to fill a whole wet weekend – though it’ll be even nicer if the sun makes an appearance!  


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sample Project 2012 - May

Another month’s messing about on the underwater theme…



Week 18: Whale shark (skin)

Needle felting, flat wool knops applied to grey felt from the back.




Week 19: Garden eels

Machine embroidery.





Week 20: Atlantic octopus

Applique, beads, hand stitch.







Week 21: Ornate Turkish wrasses (skin pattern)

Hot fix Angelina fibres ironed over ribbed texture.





Week 22: Tail of a hieroglyphic hawkfish

Silk paint with gutta resist on fine cotton, loosely pleated.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Business and Pleasure

Popped over to Clitheroe yesterday with more stock for the Platform Gallery shop – bookmarks and framed pieces. I always love visiting this gallery, I think it’s my favourite – for the place, the people and the crafts. So, it was a huge relief to see that the recent changes to bring in a Visitor Info section haven’t spoilt it. A little less space, but longer opening hours and maybe more people will venture in?


Business (!) over, time for a treat - the Lancs and Yorks Crafts Open exhibition. I’ve been in this the last three years, but didn’t apply this time as it was earlier than usual and clashed with other things. Wow, it’s stunning! So much wonderful textile art in particular, I probably wouldn’t have got in anyway.

I made notes and tried to look up some of the artists when I got home, but surprised to find most don’t seem to have any web presence... shame.

Some of the best – Katharine Owen’s layered constructions in Perspex boxes, Alice Fox’s nicely understated print/stitch “Green Wall” series, Clare Lane’s digital prints with embroidered infill. Also Chris Cannon – “Groynes”, paper laminating and hand stitch hanging; Paula Bishop – large framed pieces in shades of white constructed from found textiles and paper; Stewart Kelly – Life Lines I, subtle monoprint and machine embroidery. I wish these artists had websites or at least blogs to show you!

Well worth a 30 mile drive in torrential rain – highly recommended if you’re within reach, it’s on until 14th July.