Monday, December 29, 2014

Say Your 'Thank yous'.

Don't forget to make and send your 'thank you' cards, so much nicer than an email.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

On the wall.

On the wall coming to the end of the year.

Best wishes to those who read this blog, to followers and especially to those who have taken the trouble to comment over the year and kept me not only blogging but creating on days when it has been more difficult.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Sketchbook Challenge

Unfortunately the time has come to roll up the Sketchbook Challenge Blog, since its start in  2011 I have been a contributor to the themes set each week and have added photos to the Flickr blog, more recently I was invited to contribute to the Challenge and had to come up with my own theme ‘words’ this year. Most excitingly I was asked by Sue Bleiweiss to contribute my chapter to the Sketchbook Challenge Book and chose Rhythm from the topics on offer; many thanks to Sue for coming up with the main idea, which I am sure has given pleasure to a lot of people, and especially to her for sharing her own excitement and satisfaction as the book came together.

Above is my first contribution to the theme Highly Prized in 2011. If you want to see the tutorial that went with this post it is Here. This is not the last chance to see the work on the main blog as I understand that it will stay up indefinitely.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


At the end of September we were so lucky to have a warm and sunny week in Swanage in Dorset, warm enough to swim in the sea and to take a trip on the steam train to visit Corfe Castle.

  I took quite a few pictures of the holes in walls, gaps to look through and old window casements.  I have put some of these through apps on the ipad and then am gradually adding them to a sort of album/journal. Drawing on and around the photos is influenced by Lisa Congdon’s line drawing and the work of Duane Michals.

Starting some sort of journal like this is highly to be recommended, you can doodle in it when you have a ‘down’ time or just feel stuck and it really is therapeutic. Don't forget that you are able to click on the images to see them in more detail.

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.
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