Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Too much Talk !

Been one of those, 'do as I say not as I do' days. I have been talking more and drawing less, which is the wrong way round.

This is a silk painting/small quilt, illustrating one of my favourite Geothe sayings. However I have been doing far more talking than drawing today. Suspect tomorrow will be similar, the creativity today has been very different. Its been about delivering messages to other teachers to help with their development and creating powerpoint presentations, about interpreting exam papers to enable students to be creative. What a day! Will endevour to redress the balance at the weekend.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Irons and Transfer Paint

The process is simple, draw/paint onto paper with transfer inks or paint and iron onto fabric when ink is dry, preferably synthetic fabric for the best colours. Simple! That's the theory, anyhow. Now own up how many of you would have thought this would be a problem. Until.......

This is a little travel iron, thought I would use it for a speedy result. You can see the imprint of the sole plate design on the fabric! Duh! Well would you have thought of looking underneath the iron first?

Undeterred I carried on!

Think I managed to disguise the sole plate imprint.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Memory Lane

Have just been doing some research into Picasso and Cubism, for some lessons this week. More of a "refresh the memory" tour. Have created some new handouts and OHP transparencies to use . Then looked through some of my photos to see if I could find some suitable images. Came to a full stop when I found these.

The photo, above, from a recent trip, reminded me I was going to create some decorative textiles using these as a source. I thought it could so easily be used for a quilt or applique. The amazing thing about this particular village was the number of houses that were embellished in this way.

I hate having to paint the woodwork on the outside of our house....... If you lived here it would be a certainly be a labour of love!

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Felt update

Have done some more feltmaking, quite pleased with the results of the 3 pieces I have done recently. Next stage is to get them under the machine (embellisher). Suspect I may not have a great deal of time for this, as the day job is a bit demanding at the moment.

At least I know what I want to do. I can understand why artists such as Bridget Riley - get others to do the manual painting , just not enough hours in the day! You can spend hours resolving design issues, then run out of daylight hours to do the actual manual work.

I really like this one, the figure is quite minmal.

Crocus Update

Have just been out in the freezing cold to take a photo of the crocuses in the pot in the front garden to share with you. The wind is bitterly cold, sun is shining, and NO snow yet..............
The crocuses seem reluctant to open , who can blame them. However the weeds seem to be surviving very well. Typical.

Puppy update

Thought I had better "come clean" that, really the puppy from previous posts is an adolescent now. I feel so much better now that I have shared that with you.

The stitching supporter has grown quite a lot and is displaying typical adolescent tendencies and he has certainly discovered that ladies exist. Occasionally he is capable of independent thought, despite my notorious hard line discipline techniques. He is known to sulk, still plays with toys when the mood strikes, enjoys watching TV, can attempt to eat us out of house and home, leaves all his possessions wherever he wishes and never tidies up.

We have both been expelled from puppy classes, as neither of us could cope with doing as we were told. It seems that we both have independant spirits, very difficult to tame, and certanly not serious enough to be taught!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Wishing for snow...........................this picture is taken in Germany in the Sauerland, from a moving car. The weatherman here are threatening that we may have snow in the morning. Maybe I can post a picture of Wiltshire in the snow tomorrow. Or is that just wishful thinking

Another snowy Sauerland snap.......... just for luck you understand.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Work again!

Shock to the system this morning, had to get up early! The half term holiday is over and back to work. Lots of paperwork to catch up on, as usual. Also a mountain of post had arrived in the pigeonhole, as well as e-mails on the laptop. So I knew I was back to organised chaos!

I used the wording on this piece of textiles a lot today. This is only a detail of the whole piece, which is inspired by Paul Klee. I just love the way he uses line and colour. The complete phase on this piece of work is a quote by Geothe " Draw more and talk less". I have used this on a lot of my machine embroidered textile panels. I have also used the saying a lot with my students! Mmm i wonder why?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

For my friends

Was asked today, for a photo of me on the blog! So I thought I would compromise.

This was front page news! We had an exhibition locally and made it into the local papers. So you can just about see me holding my hanging which is incredibly heavy to hold like that. The work I am hiding behind was inspired by Roman Mosaics. All the fabrics were hand dyed , and then I manipulated them. It took many hours to make. Here is a better photograph of the whole piece.

Just for fun

On a rather different note, here is an image of ghostly proportions! Totally recycled, I was just having fun, made of paper, fabric and some black cotton tape I found, and oh yes - bubble wrap (don't you just love the stuff). Reminded me of the jilted bride, only the cobwebs missing. Yes, that is only water in the jug!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Busy day today, went for a lovely walk tonight and remembered to take my camera. It was just getting dark, and I was not sure how good the photos might be. I missed the sunset, but caught a view across Swindon. This is the site the Romans camped on in approx 34AD, the tree is beside the spring they used and the Villa complex starts just left of the path and carries on down the hill to the left. The Time Team (TV fame) were here last year as part of the big dig across the UK.

I live about a 4 minute stroll away, and we have pleasant views across Swindon on a clear day. It can get rather windy up here on the hill though!

Have also done a little work today in my studio. Recently have been talking about Icons and it rekindles my interest, so had a play today. Started with some very simple sketches inspired by "the Saint" . Do you remember the TV series?

Did a few drawings of my own.................

then did a little bit of felt making, this is really very soft pre-felt. I love it when it will only just hold together. Thought I might put it under my embellisher tomorrow if I have time.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Crocus Day

Was really pleased to notice today that spring is on its way. These crocuses, (fighting with the weeds in my patio pot outside in the front garden), were enjoying the morning sunshine.

Spent some time, playing with the digital image in paint shop pro, using the layers facility. I was particularly pleased with this one, disguises the weeds without having to do the weeding. Now that's my sort of gardening!

This image has a slighly more colourful background. I can imagine this transferred to textiles by dye painting and FME probably on water soluable. It's growing on me the way the crocuses are framed in this image. ( Oohps -no pun intended!). Might be interesting to print it onto fabric that has been soaked in Bubble Jet set and then ................ maybe embroider.

The Boss

Thought I had better introduce "the boss". She is a quiet, unobtrusive moggie but keeps absolute control of our other furry friends. We have been fostering her for fourteen and half years. (she is 15 1/2). Its a long story, but basically the vet saw us coming! We were supposed to foster her for a few weeks, but as you can see she is very happy with us and we adore her too, and she stayed.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Visit to the Vets

What a morning - annual checkup at the vets for the Schnauzer. Clean bill of health, but it is official, vet pronounced Schnauzer is a total wimp, he has a very low pain threshold and cried and wimpered and howled throughout the check up. So embarrassing. He does love the vet and greets him accordingly, but..........!

The first image I've included today is from a recent visit to Wells Cathedral. I went to see the Church Embroideries that Jane Lemon and the Sarum Embroiderers' had created, they were beautiful and I feel sure that this particular view of the ceiling must have influenced their design work. I found the light in the Cathedral magical.

I was very fortunate a few years ago to work with BECTa and a number of school students on the theme of Opus Anglicanum (medieval Church embroidery). I am not especially religious, but I love the social history entwined with the art work. Original Images came from the V & A in London, who have some wonderful copes especially the Syon cope. What was really thrilling about this case study was I could combine my love of using digital art and textiles as well as more traditional media. You will be able to see the students digital and traditional sketchbooks here

A year later I was asked to deliver a seminar at the Watershed in Bristol to a number of teachers and digital artists who were interested in the case study. Now that technology has moved on ....I really ought to be thinking of some new case studies to develop with the students.

I was inspired to create a textile piece too, loosely based on the theme of Opus Anglicanum and the images I had discovered at the V & A. The images were digitally manipulated in a paint program and then downloaded to my sewing machine to be stitched. The motifs were stitched onto water soluable paper, and as usual, I prefered the wrong side of the stitching! There are rather a lot of different techniques on one cushion, pretty good as a teaching aid. Can you spot the different textile techniques?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Meeting of Friends

Great day today, went to the Brewery Arts in Cirencester and met up with 2 fantastic pals. We had a great time chatting and drinking coffee.Unfortunately the gallery is between exhibitions and was closed today, the staff are busy setting up the new exhibition for Saturday. Weather was good for February, cold but sunny. Really felt annoyed with myself as I had forgotten to take my camera to record the event. We also visited the local art shop and a few of the galleries in Cirencester. However Gill remembered hers. So visit her blog for some great pictures.

I was persuaded today by my 2 pals to start this blog, and so this is my first attempt to see if it works. Not really sure what I am doing yet. Can only get better. She says hopefully . Have posted pictures of 2 of my pieces of work on the embellisher (above), just for Sue, who said she liked them.

Thought I would add some pictures of my stitching buddies, the four legged ones!

Then some more of my work, otherwise my stitching buddies will steal all the limelight as usual.

I have been working with face images for quite a while now. I no longer have this stitched and painted textile, only the photo, but it has a good home. The other picture is my flower stitcher in action , the fabric was coloured with transfer dyes, and as the fabric is a synthetic mix, I had to back it with calico so I could stitch it. This piece of work is not finished, it may stay as a sample to inspire me. Or I may use it someday.