Saturday, 22 October 2016

Birthday cards and sketchbook pages

I needed a birthday card in a hurry. 

So I assembled two cards using materials in my stash. The one on the left used a snippet of old map. The one on the right used paper textured with gesso and coloured with paints and inks. 

I used 'ribbon' made from snippets of fine fabrics sandwiched between dis-solvable fabric and machine stitched. 

And I have added colour using Inktense pencils to that sketch book page. I don't think I've showed you that. 

Quite pleased with the effect. I'm seriously tempted to get a couple of sketchbook pages printed up into some fabric. However, they aren't repeat patterns. Have you ever tried that? If so, how successful was it?

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Sunday studio day

What with one thing and another, it has been a while since I have had a proper studio day. 

So, Sunday was very welcome.

First of all, I had to unwrap presents to myself - some Infusion inks 
 and some new paints.

Both from Paper Artsy.

Now I love their paints. I really do, and just to make this little package extra special look - they are a limited edition set put together by Seth Apter.

Now purists might say its a bit of a cop out to get so many paints and that you should mix your own from the basic colours etc.

But you know what? Time in the studio is so very precious (as Kit Lang so rightly pointed out here), if someone else can mix the paints for me then why should I feel too guilty.

And look, when the paints land, they arrive with nifty little cards to tempt you even more.

What's not to love.

But lets get back to those inks!

Now, dear reader, if you follow this you will know that I am a bit of a fan of Brusho Inks. They creep into my work quite a lot. 

Hence, I was keen to try some new inks that work on the same principle.  They are dry powder and are activated when they get wet. 

First up - make a little hold in the top so that you can sprinkle the powder.

Sprinkle on paper, spritz with water and pure magic.

The difference with these inks and Brusho inks is walnut pigment (I think - anyhow it's a brownish pigment) so the effect is more 'vintage'.  You can see this clearly in the pictures above as the ink colours capture the water.

But I still went a bit mad on a bit of khadi paper - see below, captured while wet. The colours are so vibrant when wet.

Then I experimented by sprinkling the powder onto the paint while the paint was still wet - with a bit of a spritz to help it along.  (using an old dictionary page in this instance)

Quite liking that effect.

But then I just coloured some pages up to add to my stock - simply applying the colour with an old credit card.  These are using paints from the new set.

Here I just grabbed my paint trolley and went for it.

And finally a few pages with small amounts of paint and inks applied directly.

And last, but not least, inks applied directly to an old map.

All in all, a good day and mojo fired up. 

And a good supply of pages for collage etc. 

I will pop back and let you know what I think of the inks once they had dried. 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

The Fate of Constance - or midnight web wanderings

It has been a little while since I have been gripped by the nuisance that is insomnia. It's blooming frustrating I can tell you, especially when you're laying there getting more and more frustrated by the fact that sleep eludes you and all you can hear is the gentle snoring of your two canine companions!

All the more frustrating since it had been a busy day.  

We had two great dog walks ( an adventure in itself since one of my wayward hounds is wearing the 'cone of shame' due to a skin injury, but blunders around as though she isn't wearing a cone at all. Consequently shins, the backs of legs and any loose debris are not safe! The loose debris? Well she rather uses her cone as a shovel - collecting all in her path!), we tackled some overgrown ivy at the back of the garden and some self seeded ash trees ( lovely things but in the wrong place), we went to the gallery and did a bit of housework (the fabric swags are stunning but we haven't quite mastered the knack of keeping them permanently adhered to the ceiling) and I got back into the studio after the final push to finish my pieces for "Transformation".

I had a lovely hour or so playing with my sketchbook.

An older page - one with potential I think!

Another older page - this did become a series of stitched mono prints. They hang on my living room wall.

And a bit of new play.

A map page under painted tissue. You cannot see the map - that did not quite work - but that is the point of sketchbooks.

Ink drawing very much of the style of Alisa Burke. Not really me, but I quite like the effect. 

So theoretically I should have been on my knees ( well I was actually) but 41/2 hours sleep isn't what I was expecting.

Oh well! 

But - and it has been a while - there is no point wasting time so a little meander around the web to share with you. 

And I found this. What a brilliant cobweb! I have never come across Karen Lane before. It has been a while since I have done any stitching and burning with lutrador. I need to set a session aside to get a stash of these textures together. 

So, with Halloween approaching I thought you might appreciate this cobweb.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Colours of summer - hanging on!

So, dear reader, I guess when you saw that post title you thought I meant summer frocks or flower beds or other such lovely things of summer - now all sadly being packed up for winter storage. 

But let's just hang onto a few memories - like the colours in the Porto fruit and veg market. Just look at that box of chillies!

And the lovely thing about continental market is the range of tomatoes. We Brits seem to want our tomatoes round and bright red and tasteless and frankly boring! 

And don't get me going on the melons or the figs ( though no figs in these pics!) 

And then there was the inside of the churches. 

Taking a photo of this proved a challenge - that shiny gold leaf rather confused my camera settings. 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

"Transformation" and an explanation

Gosh, dear reader!

Do you feel all abandoned and unloved? 

I admit I've been a bit absent here in Blogland. I've been busy elsewhere on the wonderful World Wide Web, but a bit absent from here. 

Let me explain! 

But before I do, let me tell you where you can find me elsewhere on the web ( which is a bit presumptuous of me - do you want to find me elsewhere on the web?) 

I'm on Facebook here

But I also co- manage The Quilters Teashop here.

It's a bit of fun and frippery originally set up by the lovely Annabel Rainbow before the equally lovely Laura Kemshall persuaded her to focus her efforts on Through Our Hands. If you're on Facebook ( yes, I know!! I know! But hey, it's a great place to share stuff) then come on in and grab a cuppa and a piece of cake and let's have a chat about all things basically lovely and quilty and arty. 

And as if that isn't enough I also manage The Workshop Sale page on Facebook for my lovely friends Rob and Andy

And then there is Mix3d Stitch! Ok, so I share this with Jane and Yvonne but it still needs a bit of maintenance and love and care (presence on the web is a bit like gardening - it all needs regular maintenance!) 

Which brings us onto the main reason why I have been a bit absent here. 

Let me show you round "Transformation - and exhibition of contemporary art and textile art".

But before you do, an explanation. 


Well we booked the same space for another exhibition to run over Milton Keynes Art week and for the month of October. We being Mix3d Stitch. 

And this one was an open call - we sent out invites ( you may have even been included) and curated this fabulous exhibition. 

Let me show you around.  (You might want to get a cuppa - there are quite a few photos!)

These first two are by Maliheh Zafarnezhad, an MK based mixed media artist. "All my Wounds are From Love' - above and 'Hide It" below.

Upcycled Poole Pottery - they made such beautiful shapes; reworked by Rob.

Here is one of mine! 

Jenny Leslie - Ruin and Regeneration. 

Detail of a lovely piece by Yvonne - also of Mix3d Stitch. 

Another one of mine - this is a triptych. It is an up cycled old map (inherited from my father).

We were so lucky - Catherine Lawes agreed to submit some work. 

And local quilter and stalwart of the Contemporary Quilt group, Margaret Pratt. 

We had such amazing support at the Preview evening - over 60 people I think! 

The embroidery in the ring is from Jenni Mills in Australia.  

Deborah Cooper's quilt. She is a local quilter based in Milton Keynes.

From Spring to Autumn by Sue Vincent. 

Pots by Margaret Pratt. 

And so chuffed to have this fabulous tea set from Sue Trevor. 

A lovely quilt from Jane Charles - another of the Mix3d Stitch group. 

Embroider by local embroider Dilys Seddon.

Beautiful Cyanotypes by Yvonne Elliott.

Embroidery by Margaret Pratt. 

Bees from Heather Talbot based in Canada. (this is a truly international exhibition!)