A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Gathering Memories Project

A community project in aid of the Alzheimer's Society has been launched to help raise money for their charity. You can find the details here. 

One of my friends sent away for a few of the kits, and I was one of the lucky recipients. Both my own Mum, and Mum in law had forms of dementia, which eventually took their lives as a result of complications caused by this awful disease.

The idea is that you make up a piece of textile art from the kit provided, which includes a length of cream silk fabric, stitched through the centre with gold thread. These strips of silk originally formed a piece of  installation art, which has now been deconstructed. I used my length of silk to form the skirt of the dancer's tutu. 

The theme for the project  is to create a piece of art that reflects a memory personal to the maker. After completion, the piece can either be kept by the maker, or sent back to the organisers for sale in an auction to be held next year. I will probably send mine back.

My memory is threefold really, I always wanted to be a ballet dancer as a child, and can remember how bitterly disappointed I was when I wasn't chosen to be one of the fairy dancers in the school Christmas play. I also truly believed that fairies lived at the bottom of my garden, and then last year I actually went to my very first ballet performance at the Albert Hall, Wonderful!

Thanks for reading, and follow my link above if you think you may be interested in taking part too, 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Class Experiments, some results!

My Tuesday class results, the two above and below. We've been working on making concertina books, with the theme, 'our favourite walk'. My first attempt above is more abstract, and the one I favour. I was using imagery from a walk along the prom towards Holywell Bay. It is reversible, so you can see each side. However, the examples below are very kitsch/whimsical, and in fact the top one no longer exists! I didn't like it so painted over it and then produced the one below. I don't like that one either, so I'm in the process of trying another idea.

Below are examples of the watercolour experiments from my Wednesday class. We've been using different types of salt, sprinkled over the wet paint, and then waiting to see what marks are produced. You can actually see the salt on the surface in these photos, because I took them before the paint was dry, and the salt removed. That will have to wait until next week now, as I left them behind in the classroom.

The above photos are all close ups of different sections of the same piece, but below I have just taken the one photo of the whole image.

Lots of fun, and it's good to be trying out new ideas with different techniques. I'm sure there will be an overlap at some point with my textiles.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

No stitch or cloth, but plenty of colour!

April was a very busy month, no blogging, no stitching and no cloth! I had all my family here with me in Eastbourne, including my daughter and grandson from New Zealand.


One of my grandsons was celebrating his birthday, so a wonderful excuse for HUGE icecreams, and very scrummy they were too! Then my daughter decided to treat me to afternoon tea. Not on the same day I hasten to add, but that also went down very well!!! Just look at that huge smile on my greedy face.


Spring also arrived in all its glory, and we walked on Beachy Head one sunny evening when the sun was beginning to set over the sea.

Low tide at the beach revealed pebbles caught in the groynes, and some interesting sea worn groynes on the beach. Hopefully inspiration for some future mixed media artwork.

Unusual milky green coloured sea as the skies above became more and more stormy looking.

That same stormy sky looking east from the seafront towards Hastings.

Finally, a good blowy walk across the South Downs with my sister and some friends on May day. Everything has gone rather quiet again now, with family all returned to their respective homes from New Zealand to West Wales. The family time has been a wonderful and precious interlude, but I'm now ready to get back into making art, watch this space folks, and thanks for looking in this time too.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Still Experimenting!

I've not been to the Grand Canyon, but the above was an exercise in my Wednesday morning art class, where we used thick, mouldable medium to create some of the striped and weathered rocks found in Arizona. Obviously we had some photographic images to work from. I may try to create an abstracted image in fabric, using paint and stitch.

I am also experimenting with acrylic paint on mountboard, using layers of thin paint, and rollering, scratching into, and printing with foam stamps.

Some results from my Tuesday art class above and below. I used some card that I had painted, and rollered etc., and then continued to print with some of my hand made foam stamps before cutting up into regular strips. We were still using the art of Rosalie Gascoigne as inspiration. After re-arranging the strips, I used my mussel foam stamp again. The colours below are better than above, and represent more accurately the finished results, so I'm not sure why the image above is so blue!

Finally, my two latest photographs for my Kairos challenge. I have printed each one twice, and this time, I have painted over the top, to see what sort of results I could achieve. All very experimental stuff and I am really enjoying playing with these images in as many different ways that I can think of.

Lovely spring weather at the moment here in East Sussex, but I think it's all about to change. If you are in the Northern hemisphere, I hope that Spring is springing up for you too, and for those of you in the Southern half of our planet, I wish you a mild, calm and colourful Autumn.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Art Classes.

At the moment, I am enjoying two separate art classes, both with different tutors, and in different locations. One is about developing sketchbook ideas, and the other is a mixed media abstract landscape class. Strangely, they are both complementing each other, and so I am finding that I can use the techniques from each with the other! Above, you can see how I am developing some ideas based on the work of Rosalie Gascoigne. We started out with a mind map, which we then referred to for ideas which we have been developing in the sketchbook class. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos of how I started with this, but it is now quite different from my original collaged page. There are so many layers involved, but it is these layers that give a depth and richness to the work so far.

The third photo above is showing one of the results from my mixed media abstract landscape class. Our starting point, or inspiration was rock formations. The paper I used was first painted in stripes with subtle variations in colour, and on paper of varying textures. This was then torn to give the shapes you can see, and pasted down onto a prepainted piece of mountboard. 

I am hoping that my next step will be to finally print one of my finished pieces onto cloth, which I can then enrich with stitch. All very exciting, and I am looking forward to seeing how these classes help me to develope further inspiration for my textiles.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Beach Inspired - Work in Progress

My own hand made paper cloth, painted with many layers, stamped with my hand made stamps, free machine stitched and further colour added. I will be adding some hand stitch, and further highlights, before making the above strip into a concertina book. Below is an image of the last part that is still in need of the extra colour, but hopefully I will finish that off this week. This has all been inspired by pebbles, seaweed, feathers and shells, I wonder why?

Continuing with the photograph a week challenge, above and below are my latest two contributions. The first is a section of the pier structure from underneath. I played around with the image in Photoshop, and then decided to add the stitch straight onto the photo. Below is last weeks image, I liked the bright blue of the fishing rope against the orangey brown and cream coloured pebbles. It reminded me of an exotic sea creature. Anyway, I also did a bit of manipulation in Photoshop, and after printing the image, I added some stitch to that one too.

So much inspiration from the beach environment, I hardly know where to start! Thanks for your company, and join me again soon.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Working into Sketchbook Pages

Above the cloth cover of yet another handmade sketchbook. I use a mixture of papers for these books, some plain, and others with painted/printed marks, ready to inspire further sketches or paintings.

This blackbird was painted onto a Gelli printed page, and using acrylic paint makes it easier to cover the page surface

Below shows the Gull I painted onto the Gelli printed page above. I think I may start to call this particular sketchbook my 'Bird' book!

If the weather is dry tomorrow, I will be off to the seafront again for another brisk walk, and hopefully some more photo opportunities.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully enjoying.

Monday, 30 January 2017


In my last post I think I said that the metal supports under the Pier looked a bit lace like from the angle I had photographed it. Well, I just had to do it didn't I!, so much fun playing around with this metamorphosis idea!  

Once you get going, the possibilities are endless, as you can see below.

Yesterday, I walked in a westerly direction, and took yet more photos. I made a small sketch when I got home, Hmmmm! Now I'm wondering what my next idea could be. 

A clue maybe? These shelters along the promenade are dotted all along the way to Holywell Bay. 

Watch this space, and thanks for looking in.