Friday, August 31, 2007

Challenged? You Bet!

On my to do list were Challenges 4 and 5 for the Artist Muse group.
I didn't think I had been putting these off, I had just had so much else to do.
Now I realise I had. Sorry Sue.

Sue Bleiweiss sets the challenges based on the book The Artists Muse.
She does a great job.
These chapters were basically about being free with your work and doodling and splashing paint around.

Now you would think for someone who always tells people she comes from the "old slappers

school of art" that it should be an easy project.
Huh, read on!

The first challenge was to gather 12 different fabrics.
OK the first problem came right here.
Good grief I think I am being brave using 4 or 5 colours in my art work!
In retrospect I should have picked different fabrics in similar colours but by now my brain was already in overload so I grabbed anything - this is me trying to be free!

Next we had to cut the fabrics into pieces and apply them to a background. Easy.
Well the pieces had to be in a bag so you couldn't see what you were picking then once you had
placed them on your background you couldn't
move them again.

Oh good grief, I spend days moving stuff around on my collages.
This was so hard for me.

The result was utter chaos. I put a piece of sparkley tulle on the top and thought, what the heck chaos it will be, and did some mad free machine embroidery over the top of that.
I put this to one side and started the next challenge.

We were given 3 choices and I chose the fabric weaving challenge - that should be OK, yes - no!
This time we could use 6 to 12 fabrics. I chose to use 8 and had learned from the last exercise to pick them more wisely.

Now to make the strips. We had to rip the strips not cut them. OMG! It had taken me 5 (yes 5) years to get to grips with ripping paper for collage!
We weren't even allowed to get rid of offending, dangling pieces of thread. (whimper)
I did as suggested however and carried on.
Once the weaving was done I covered the piece with a chiffon scarf and stitched a grid. I couldn't help myself, it just had to be a zig zag over those offending raw edges - sorry Sue.

Another piece thrown to one side.
I went to bed.

Yesterday I decided I would see how I could
make the pieces more to my liking - I know that wasn't the idea.
I decided the first piece was just too dizzy and stitched a grid pattern in silver. I think it has made it more unified. I am doing a circus quilt and I think it will be a great background for this.

In the Artists Muse book the 5th chapter is about splashing paint around.
My first idea was to couch some threads to the piece but instead I decided to play with my machine.
I do not have a good grasp of free style embroidery with the machine other than doing random spirals and vermicelli so I thought I would work in the squares and make patterns.
I had great fun and managed a few little flowers and am happy with this piece. I will make it into a cushion I think.

I know that if Sue, Jan or Laura had been here they would have said leave the pieces alone and learn the lesson that you can make something good from chaos and being free but, I think I actually learned a very important lesson for me.

I'm not such an old slapper after all!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I know this is late but there is going to be more!!

Well, if you are in the UK the chances are you will have heard and maybe watch the One Show at 7pm weekday evenings.

If you do watch and saw on Monday - why on earth did they change the time that day? - you will have seen a new feature called the Complaints Choir.
This choir sings peoples complaints to get the complaint noticed.
It is funny, beautifully sung and works.
It was very popular and they will be back on a regular basis.

Why am I telling you this?
Well for one thing this choir is Chantage. They are the BBC Choir of the Year and were crowned last November.
But more than that Toby, my future Son in Law, sings with them.

Yes I am proud and yes I am showing off - wouldn't you?

Toby is in the picture on the back row, first on the left hand side.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Flower Power

We have been away for the Bank Holiday weekend. We went to see Laura and Toby in Southampton. It was lovely to see them they are so happy together.
I have photos and will share later.

I wanted to show you my latest organza flowers.

I just love to make these flowers and I love to wear brooches so I decided to combine the two.
Here are the results.
These are big showy brooches, almost 4 inches across.

They have the same heavily beaded centres as the flowers on my quilts and of course the little dragonfly but, now I can wear my art!

I'm really thrilled with them. I wore one on our little walk around Ilfracombe yesterday and had some lovely comments about it.
Big head now ;0)

You can see other pics of them on Flickr and my Etsy Shop.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Second Quiltie for Unlimited Textiles

There was a little mux up with the partner list on Unlimited Textiles.
Yes, I know I did the partner lists so it is all my fault.
Maybe I should be sacked!

But it did give me an excuse - as if I really needed one - to make another quiltie.

This is the result.
The background is hand painted fabric and the motif is a little needle felted leaf.
Not that you can tell it is a leaf as I have a lot of practicing to do with the needle felting. I still think it is great fun though.

This is now on its way to Patsy or Sandy or somebody ;0?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


These are my ATC's for the Getting to Know You swap at Unlimited Textiles.

Turquoise is one of my favourite colours at the moment, but as you see I couldn't resist putting in a bit of the the all time favourite purple.

I'm also having fun exploring this method of layering and piecing.
The rocks along the coast here have such wonderful strata. Add that to the beautiful grasses on the hills and fields, the colours and tides in the sea and I think you will see where I am going with this technique.
Lots more to do with it yet.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Getting to Know You Quiltie

This is my quiltie for the Getting to Know You Swap on Unlimited Textiles.

The background fabric is hand painted cotton with layers of sari fabrics and glittery braid. The image is printed on to cotton.

The cotton I use is ready to print on. I cut the photos to size, peel off the backing and iron in place.
I don't usually stitch round the image unless it is left as a photograph and then just for decoration.
I do think however, that if the article was to be worn you would have to stitch the edge.
I get it from Crafty Computer Paper

This quiltie is going to Sandy. I hope she likes it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Look what I got!

I recently did two great trades but I keep forgetting to tell you about them.
Shame on me ;0(

The first was a postcard trade with Anna.
I've only just started making postcards as you know and was thrilled to be able to trade with Anna. I love the work she does (and she is so hard on herself).
This is the postcard I received.
I love the colours and textures and it even has some of her famous washers attached.
Thanks Anna.

The second trade was with Sue Bleiweiss.
I received this great Wrapfolio with notebook inside and several of her great patterns - including the fab teapot ;0)
The Wrapfolio is lovely and is made in my colours.
The notebook inside has lined paper so is just fantastic for making notes to tell me what I should be doing.
I sent my Pink Flower in a Grass Garden.
I was really pleased with that piece but despite what Sue said I know I got the better end of the deal.
Thanks Sue.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Autumn Daydream

Autumn Daydream is the latest addition to my Etsy Shop.

She is a lovely daydreamer in autumn colours.
Created on 8" x 8" canvas board with acrylic paints, collaged papers and skeleton leaves.

The leaves stamped in the background are the stamps I made when I did Susan Sorrells class.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

August Chunky Pages

These are my Chunky Book Pages for August via AlterNative UK

The images are stamped and I received them and a few more in a stamped image swap some time ago.
I really like them but I can't remember who sent them or where they got the stamps.
If anyone recognizes them I would love to know where they are from.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The men in my life.

These are the men in my life.

Roger and mop.
Yes he was cleaning the shed!
To be fair it was because the seagulls had left calling cards.

And of course Fred!
What can you say about such a cute and scruffy dog other than he is adorable ;0)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hive of Activity!

The room I call my studio has been a hive of activity.
I know that by the way that Roger huffs and puffs when he is playing with his hoover.
I may have mentioned it before but yes, I have a man that likes housework ;0)

It took him an hour this morning to hoover up.
We get thrown out!
Yes honestly. Me the cat and dog get shooed out into the garden.
It's a jolly good job the rain has stopped.
But we are back in now to a clean and tidy studio.
Not sure it will stay that way for long!

Anyway, as I said the studio has been busy and at
last I am excited to say that I have been able to
put some things in my Etsy shop.

As you can see there is a new Grass Garden with a Sunflower and a couple of new canvases.
I have more things to list and I am still working on ideas.

It feels great to be back on a roll and I'm sure Roger will be huffing and puffing for a while yet ;0)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Chunky Book Pages

These are my Chunky Book Pages (4" square) for July via AlterNative UK.
The theme this month was flowers.

The backgrounds are cut from a watercolour painting I did of a vase of flowers. It did not work out very well but did work for these pages.

The images, from Lunagirl are printed on to cotton and ironed to the background.
Hard to see but there is some silk fusion and organza flowers on there too.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Paper Towels???!!!

So far this is as far as I have got with Sue B's Mixed Media class.

There is so much more in this class and I know I will be going back over it time and time again to get all the information.

This vessel is made from paper towels!
Yes I know. I couldn't believe it when I read that was what we were to do.
I've only used paper towels to mop up before - what a waste! Never again will paint spills end up in the bin. They will end up in a project.

Another fun project with lots of uses.
This vessel is about 13" high. I think it would make a fantastic way to present a posh bottle of wine.

Anyone fancy a tipple? ;0)