Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I am currently reading two books, one is ‘Playing with Sketches’ by Whitney Sherman; it flew into my inbox in one of those cleverly timed emails, those that come before you are thoroughly awake, from Amazon which are so hard to resist. I am pleased I did not, as it is a book full of ‘drawing callisthenics’, new ideas and links to the work of those who have contributed to the book. I thoroughly enjoy books like this which are so packed with ideas that they are an exciting read.

The other book is ‘Mark-making in Textile Art’ by Helen Parrott; I managed to get this book by ordering from my local library, although it involved a long wait. It is a well presented book, with some pages showing textures and colours which are lovely. On the whole I would recommend it as an interesting read, but am pleased not to have bought it as I don’t think it is a book that I would keep going back to, but it may be a good one if you are starting to gather ideas for how to collect and use marks in your textile art. I liked some of her ideas for using straight stitch and reef knots as marks. I am working on finishing a few pieces which have literally been hanging around and I tried out her idea for radiant stitch and knots on my black and white waxed and discharged piece.

I have been taking some square photos to make some new cards using Moo.

I hope you have a few good books to read, a pleasure hard to outdo; perhaps leave a note with your suggestions, textile or fiction.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Play time.

My month’s subscription to Creative Bug is about to come to an end; I have enjoyed playing along with a few of the workshops and have discovered some interesting artists, including Lisa Congdon , Jody Alexander, and Courtney Cerruti.    I didn't find any difficulty in unsubscribing and will keep a look out for any workshops which may tempt me to dip in again. I particularly like the sets for the videos and on their blog there is a section describing how they are set up. The only problem I had was that there seem to be some bugs in the Ipad app, which is awkward to use and does not have some of the features that were available when I logged in on my PC.

I never thought I would be interested in having a go at Iris Folding but apparently it was initially done with the security paper from inside envelopes and started in Holland; with the addition of old book pages it appeals to my liking for recycling.

I posted on the Sketchbook Challenge blog some altered photos I worked on following the line drawing workshop.

I had a go at packaging tape transfer using some magazine pages and an illustration from an old book, and combined these in a page of collage. So plenty of playtime.

Saturday, November 01, 2014


These days I find that I need some incentive to finish a piece of work and now that these two pieces have found a home I have found the energy to complete them.

If you like the artwork visit  HERE where you can view more of my son's work.

This piece I visualized hanging horizontally but it will be hung vertically so I added some more lines of stitching, although I prefer it my way!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Suminagashi continued.

I have learned a few things whilst experimenting with Suminagashi; one is that it is quite addictive. If you try this you will need plenty of paper, I have found that watercolour paper works well, as does a mixed media card- like paper, even copy paper will work. The best results are made with handmade paper. You also need plenty of kitchen roll in order to damp off the paper.

By leaving the old marks on the water there will be an interesting ghost print on the next piece of paper.

It is fine to over print and it gives interesting depth to the papers. The original print is not disturbed. Also the other side of the paper can be printed without any effect on the original side, mostly mine are double sided.

Most of the time there is little control, at least whilst one is experimenting, but there are some marks which one learns how to repeat.

If you want to have a go at this you could join up to Creative Bug, the workshop is excellent, but if not there are some good videos on YouTube.

If you want to know how to get these pretty colours I can tell you, its a cheat, I used the original photo in a water colour app on the Ipad.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I have recently signed up to Creative Bug on line craft workshops really just because I wanted to  follow a line drawing class and found that I had to take out a monthly subscription to join it. Fortunately or unfortunately I tend to want to have a go at numerous new techniques when I see them in action, so this has been a big distraction. More of the line drawing later but this week I found Suminagashi very clearly demonstrated and decided I just had to have a go at it.

I am lucky to have found a Japanese Calligraphy set in a charity shop not so long ago, and in it is a bottle of Sumi Ink and two brushes. Plenty of paper is needed, I have some offcuts of printing paper, and various types of handmade paper which work well. I found the nicest marks were actually on my own handmade paper.

The darker shapes are where I used two kebabs skewers rather than brushes.

The background marks on this one were made with Indian Ink, which seemed to give lighter marks; I like the Sumi Ink used on top of it.
Using my own handmade paper, which is fragile when wet but takes up the ink well and gives such nice marks.

I don’t feel that I will stay a member of Creative Bug for long, although I may dip in and out. I would say that the workshops are extremely well produced and professional. They do tend to focus on dress making and knitting, so the ones I have watched have been limited, which is just as well as it could get terribly expensive in buying new materials. There were some problems using the app on my ipad but more content seems to be available, i.e. live chat sessions when I use my PC.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fabric painting.

I have been painting some fabric pieces recently to demonstrate to a group  with which I work. I haven't done it for some time, I usually use acrylic paint for this but this time I had access to some fabric paint, which does leave the fabric much softer rather than using acrylic without any added textile medium.

The middle piece now has some added layers of monoprinting. It is hard not to get attached to ones’ layers but worth keeping adding more marks.Thanks to Alisa Burke from whose dvd I first learned this technique.

It is also difficult to cut up pieces but I wanted to show how pieces can be used together, particularly if they are unified by colours or marks used.

Over on the Sketchbook Challenge blog the theme is Trees for October, take a look.

Friday, October 03, 2014


Don't say no thing ever happens in Basingstoke, although you are  probably right,take a look at this event happening next weekend.

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