Festivals and Food Poisoning (but not connected)

June went by in a blur. The Open Studio event went well with more than 100 people coming through the door over the weekend. I didn’t sell any of the big pieces but all the little bits went – even my peg dolls. People left really nice comments on the way out.

Since then I’ve made another piece for the H2O exhibition called “Overflow”. Not something that I imagine is saleable, but I had fun making it.

I always volunteer for Wirral Festival of Firsts and so far I’ve made  wishing flag bunting and the Troll head I showed in a previous epistle. Last Saturday I supervised one venue for the Street Festival  (fabulous), assisted at the Poetry Day with Jackie Kay (amazing) and helped with cartoonist Tony Husband’s talk on his Dad’s Dementia which was sad but presented in a light-hearted way (what a talented man).

I’m still working on abstract pieces based originally on the broken crockery – this is the work so far but I’m worried that the fabric is pulling out of shape.

A bit of advice for anyone who reads this Blog….NEVER eat a yoghourt that you’ve left out of the fridge. Food poisoning isn’t very nice!

The weather continues to be hot, hot and sizzling. The washing dries in no time!

I hope to get a hang of the changes to the way you edit stuff in WordPress by the next posting – until then, this is the best I can do.  Enjoy the sun while it lasts.

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Things are getting better

Yipee! I have a new roof on the shed and I no longer need buckets to catch the leaks. This makes me very happy.
Stitch work was proceeding slowly, but I’m beginning to panic that I don’t have any small things available for the Open Studio Tour (9th & 10th June). I wasn’t going to stress about the weekend but I seem to be writing “to do” lists like crazy.
I tried making these bracelets, basing the design on a rusting coil I use as a garden ornament.  I think the coil must have come from a lorry’s insides.

I’ve also started to make some cards for sale. I really enjoyed making these with their little fish but they took a long time, so I printed/painted some muscle shells to make tiny cards.  I suppose I should print cards but I quite like offering originals when people go to the trouble of calling at the house.

We have a hook on the front door for hanging the Christmas Wreath – I made a heart from knotted fabric to welcome any visitors. One old shirt and one old blouse provided the fabric.


I’m getting better at organising my photographs which should make this blog look better.


I always volunteer for the local arts festival. The brochures come out soon and I’m pleased they still use my logo for their publicity. I loved this poster which used Barbara Maynard’s photos of Knots (small migrating birds) on the beach. It’s still one of my favourite images so I thought I’d share it.

Merry month of May

With the Wirral Open Studio’s Tour coming up I planned to make some peg dolls.  These I call ‘Dilly’ and ‘Dally’ and I used the only two pegs I owned.   Making them was interesting, but I think they’ll be the only two.

The tulips in the front garden have been fabulous, every year I get bright red splotches of colour to replace the dying daffodils.

My latest embroidery uses many of my favourite techniques, but in this case I’m sticking to fabric and not paper. I’ll make this into a hanging when I’m happy that it’s finished.  Below is a section showing machine and hand stitch and beading.

Last month Sarah Burgess came up to the Wirral and worked with my ConText group. She likes to overlay monoprinted images and uses transparency. This collage is one of two pieces I did on the day. It needs some stitch or a linear element to make it work. The inspiration was Pit Head machinery.


I’m now working on a second embroidery with a blue/rust coloured theme using fragments of floral patterned fabrics. Broken pottery is still the inspiration but I’m not sure everyone will see that  when it’s finished.

Enjoy the bank holidays.

 

Drawn to abstraction

I’ve really enjoyed my makes this month with loose scribbles and lots of messing about leading me in different directions I seem to be moving towards abstraction which is new for me. These pictures show a couple of half finished pieces, still with the blue/white/rust colour combinations.  Rust dyeing is fun – I just wrapped rusty metal in cloth and soaked the fabric in white vinegar.

This next one is a Troll’s head made in response to a request from the local library service for a Troll Trail (we have some Viking heritage here).

Domestically I’m freshening up my decor with fresh cushion covers and a new fireside rug. It might not feel like spring outside, but it certainly brighter in my front room.

 

Warm wishes on a cold day

It’s been a fabulous and frosty February so I’ve been snuggled up inside quite a lot. These footsteps in the snow however show that I haven’t stopped stitching in my shed/studio this month.


Using vinegar and metal objects I’ve been successful at dyeing cloth to get rust marks. Procian dyes have given me a range of blues so now I’m ready to start working towards some final pieces in my chosen colour palette.
Lots of pictures to show you, but as usual the technology of extracting the photo’s from the phone is still a puzzle to me so only two achieved today. Hey ho, here we go.

2018 is blue and white

After a couple of months of no blog and not much creative work, I’m now wishing for a fabulous 2018 and will continue this monthly record through the coming year.

My well known technophobia was at full stress level before Christmas over the tasks set by the Open College of Art. My lack of IT skills was being tested and I became unhappy so I’ve packed the course in. It’s a relief to say goodbye to some of my digital demons although the transfer of pics from my mobile is still a worry.


I have two exhibitions to aim for – Wirral Open Studios in June and a group exhibition with Context in October. I’m going blue and white for both of these with a bit of rust dyeing for contrast. I have a title “fragments” in mind, but I’m only at the beginning of that journey, so we’ll see where I end up.

First snowdrops in the garden so Spring is on the way.

October drawings

Today the sun is shining and we plan to walk along the front and end up in a cafe for coffee and cake. Simple pleasures.


OCA work has focused on drawing and I’ve been researching the drawing styles of well known artist’s. I enjoyed this but felt a bit intimidated by the next task which demanded the setting up of a Pinterest account.  I’m waiting for some help on that but I’m told it isn’t difficult.   In the mean time I skipped ahead to do these drawings based on the work of Elise Engler’s “Everything in my Bag”.  Continuous line drawing on the right.

 


I went to a Shelley Rhodes Course yesterday. I was altering old photographs by scratching, bleaching, painting, cutting and ripping them. This picture shows some of them fixed to fabric ready for stitching.


I’ve always liked designing with circles and lines and had a play around with these seasonal watercolours.