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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

At Last...

I'm feeling almost human. It has taken quite a while to shake off the effects of the flu or whatever virus invaded my system. No fun at all. Today, I'm wandering around doing The Boring Bits...creating custom boxes for things that have to be sent, a painting via etsy to the US (above), a shoe shrine via a swap to Cambridge (below)... Nobody thinks about this kind of work when they envisage the artist at work, do they! I hate it with a passion, but it has to be done, the packing, the admin, the visits to the post office... And I've been trading work on etsy, acquiring some lovely small pieces of art and a couple of lovely handbags in exchange for pieces done by me. I profoundly approve of barter!

I'm really signing off, here, for a couple of weeks. Holidays, family and friends all beckon. I will, however, be back just after Christmas, doubtless with a lot to say, as usual! I'd like to thank everyone who comes to my blogs, who looks at my shops, who sends me encouraging feedback. You have no idea how important these things are to me. I spend most of my time on my own; you all remind me that there is a world out there, and that I have a place in it. Thank you. Wishing you all joy during the holiday season and throughout the year.

Friday, December 07, 2007


The Scots have a word for everything. Wabbit is just how I'm feeling, run down, a bit wobbly on the pins, tired...not ill, exactly, just recovering. So I spent part of the time looking at paintings, intending to take some photographs. I had forgotten how many smaller paintings I've made...these two are interesting. They were made at around the same time, with the same palette, but how different they are. The first, Tranquil, was a reflection of how fleeting such moments are; the second, Signs and Totems, is another of those paintings that reflects how our minds struggle to make sense of the marks we see, whether random or structured. Are these indeed signs and totems, or are they but random marks? Is there a story here, or not?

I also found myself waking to a fleeting moment of fame, I'm featured here , to my great delight. I find Dawanda a difficult environment to be in, but I'm hoping things will settle all three languages!

Despite all the things I need to be doing, I'm going to rest some more today, and hope that I can start shopping for Christmas next week, in between hospital and dentist appointments (I lead such an exciting life...). And then to Scotland, friends and family, food and feasting...sounds good, huh ?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

When Life Hands You Lemons....

you make lemonade. So, when life hands you a virus, you go back to bed with a sketchbook and some hand sewing. That's what I'm planning for today. I got as far as the post office yesterday, just round the corner, and had to sleep all afternoon. Today, I'm tired, and would have slept in, had not the fire alarm needed new batteries, and therefore started to beep loudly just outside the bedroom door... sigh. It's cold, it's raining and it's miserable, so I'm going back to bed to draw! And maybe to sleep, too. It's good for one.

The image is Bronze Sun, an ACEO. It is one of a series made from the same manipulated image, cut up into aceos and painted/altered. The original image was of one of my paintings. It's an interesting thing to do, all told; I intend to do more of this, particularly with paintings that I feel are not as successful as they might be.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I don't like...

being ill, and this virus or flu or whatever it is is NASTY... two days in bed and I don't feel much better. Sigh. Just to give you some eyecandy...Dreamscape is a semi abstract landscape in will get onto etsy eventually...when I feel better...but not today...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Unclean, Unclean....

flubound, to be precise. Maybe not as uncomfortable as egg bound, but not being a bird, I can't comment!

A piece of cloth to brighten up the bad news...some hand dyed cotton. I'll resume normal service as soon as I stop coughing!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nervous Artist...

surveys her friend Jill Arnold at her Christmas Open Studio on Friday evening (photographer reflected in the window, to boot!). Note the cheering glass of wine, de rigeur at any opening. Jill's textile work is amazing, incredibly detailed, beautifully made, much of it inspired by Native American culture and beliefs, of which she has made a study. As an ex museum curator, though, there's not much that she doesn't know a bit about...a great person to have a conversation with. The theme of this open house was Christmas, though, and as you can see, the Christmas theme predominated. I bought myself a little piece of hers, a little Christmas tree, which I pretended I was going to give as a gift to Andrew and Sarah...but I think I'll Just Keep It, thank you very much!

Jill also makes jewellery, bags, cards and all sorts of interesting bits and pieces. And she introduced me to the Embellisher, for which I'm very grateful! At the moment she's doing an MA in Textile Culture, but still promises me she'll find time to fit in a joint exhibition in the Summer...something to look forward to!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Busy, Busy,

much of it online, too. I joined Squidoo yesterday, and had an entertaining time exploring the site and writing 'lenses'. If you are interested in my journey into mixed media, try reading about it here I've also written lenses about blogging and about my etsy shop. It's an interesting variation on a theme, squidoo; I rather like it!

Not that I needed more work to do...sigh. I did, however, take time off on Thursday to have my hair cut. I then went the whole hog and had a makeover by a beauty consultant in one of the department the pic is me in my madeover state! And yes, I did buy the makeup!

Applying makeup is remarkably similar to painting, really, so I'm hoping the skill will come back to me after a fifteen year break. I can't imagine that painting my face with acrylics would be quite the thing for Andrew's wedding next year! Normal service will be resumed in my next post...though I should say that this has done wonders for my confidence, and all artists need both time off and an ego boost every now and again!

Friday, November 23, 2007

On The Run...

between helping a friend to set up her Christmas Studio, and going to drink the wine she's laid on as a reward!! Good luck, Jill!

I was fortunate enough to win a surprise on someone else's blog...Kathy of Vintagesnapsnscraps
had a draw, and guess who got the prize!! Part of it is pictured here, aren't they lovely! Or it would be, if I could upload a photo. No, I'm not sharing, they're all for MOI!

The weekend is busy too, but I'll doubtless manage a post...or two...

Monday, November 19, 2007

I Have...

a new artist friend, Andrea, who has tagged me with this...

1. link to the person who tagged you: Andrea; 2. Post the rules. 3. List seven random things about yourself. (see below) 4. Tag seven random people 5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I can do this!

Random things...

1. There's a little article about me in Magic Patch this month! Hurrah!
2. I'm a Gemini. Probably no surprises for anyone there!
3. My son gets married next year. How time flies!!!
4. I'm on a diet. Sigh.
4. I can't count for toffee!
6. I love reading fantasy books.
7. I love cooking for my friends...we're having a shedwarming dinner on Saturday, hurrah!

Ah, who to tag... a random selection of some of my new BBEST friends!

Alis Clair
Eclectic Oddities
The Knotty Sheep
Zuda Gay

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm Thrilled...

to be featured on the front page of the Art Portal on TalentDatabase I've only recently joined this particular site, I have a small gallery I'm really pleased to have been selected at this point. To check it out, click on the link!

I'm gardening today, busy, busy (don't ask...just be sure it has something to do with the shed...). Having looked at it properly, I'm considering running small 'playdays' with different themes, ATCs, Altered Books, Dye Painting....or anything anyone wants to do that's in my portfolio of skills. A maximum of three, a good, healthy lunch and some chocolate cake...what more could anyone want? Let me know what you think, won't you! If you're interested, drop me an email (there's a link on my profile page).

Doubtless more ideas will appear...gardening at this time of year is suitably mindless. And at least, at this time of year, it stays done for more than two minutes!! It is Somewhat Cold, however, so FrostFather seems like a good image to show! Detail shots are on my etsy site here
if you'd like a closer look! Now to make a cup of coffee and get on with some more work!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Joining In The Fun...

seems like a good thing to do, so I've been joining in things...firstly, the BBEST team at Etsy, comprising Boomers and beyond, ie the over forties. We get together to chat, support each other, chat, promote our work, chat, and maybe chat some more... it's a great way of getting to know other artists from all over the world, and to discover that you're not the only one who isn't selling much! There's all sorts of information about BBEST on our blog, which I manage (using the term loosely, of course...). Click on the link to see what we're up to, and who we are. There are some interesting artists and craftspeople involved in our team!

Then I joined Dijanne Cevaal's project, Expressive Books. I have a specific theme and aim in mind, and hope to enter it into Quilts 2008 next year; how's that for confidence! I enjoy making books, and it will be a pleasure to work in a small group like this.

And then, I am taking part in a Pay It Forward (PIF) project. It's Karen's fault! What it means, though, is that the first three people to leave a comment on the blog today will, at some point in the next year, receive a small piece of work from me. Or, to be precise:

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 artists who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

So, what about it? For once, I have work to hand, so you might even get something before Christmas!! Joining in is FUN!

Last, but not least, I agreed a trade on Etsy with Dani, a talented artist. We traded ACEOs; she made one specially for me, called 'Marion's Movement', based on a painting I saw in her shop and really liked. It's lovely to have something so special arrive on your doorstep! Marion's Movement is the picture on my blog today, isn't it lovely!

Friday, November 16, 2007


the shed is up! It doesn't have windows, and the roof felt has to be added, but it's up. Hurrah. And the builders are back tomorrow to finish it off. Double hurrah!

My scanner stopped working; as it is up on a high shelf, I got on a chair to see what was going on. Pressed all the right buttons, got it to work again...and fell off the chair. Thumped myself against a wall, bringing the chair down with me (don't ask, I don't know, I just did, okay!). Chair thumped me on the chin, thump on chin knocked head back against the wall. Ouch. If I bruise tomorrow, and I doubtless will, the builders will be wondering...

I did, however, get a visit from my friend Heather, who has just been to Houston. She came bearing gifts, and very welcome they were too, the SAQA catalogue from the show they put on at Houston, some fabric and threads too...lucky me! So all in all, it's been a good day, despite the bruising!

Having fixed the scanner, here is the picture I was trying to show you; a couple of small encaustic pieces, slightly bigger than ACEO size, done on khadi paper. I started an altered book today, but only got as far as the cover...I'll show you when it has moved on a bit. Meanwhile, I'm going to stop typing...must have bashed my wrist too. Poor me....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cracked It...

The thing to do is to put the picture up first, then write the post...that way, I don't have to mess about with a picture here, and text there.

This is the face again, amended and some more wax added. It is purely an experiment, and is made on khadi paper, there are about five layers of wax on it now. Click on it to enlarge the image, and you'll see that the face is still there. I think another layer of wax, probably, and I'll call it done.

I spent the afternoon working in oils, the first time I've done so in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and suspect that might be how I spend tomorrow and Friday, too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Not Everything...continued

Actually, looking at it, I need to lose the chin line, too. It's interesting how much more you can see from a photograph than you can from the real thing. Perhaps its just that it puts some distance between you and the work. Or perhaps it's more honest than your eyes. Answers on a postcard please!
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Not Everything...

succeeds as planned. Which is one of the reasons I rarely ever have a plan when I'm working. I started out with the intention of working with encaustics, probably on things that aren't finished, but were waiting for me to get the stuff out... Instead, I made some miniature pieces, one or two that I'm really pleased with, and I'm working on this piece here.

I avoid drawing faces, people too. That's where my confidence runs out. But there was something about this encaustic that suggested half a now has most of a face, but there are some lines that are going to disappear...the one suggesting the forehead or top of the head, for instance. It doesn't work. It's not right. So it's going. With encaustics, of course, that's easy, just scrape or melt and the line disappears... But I do think I need to tackle this place where my confidence runs out. I know that all it needs is practice. I can't find a good life drawing class, but I can sit in cafes and sketch surreptitiously! Or I can draw Robin, who won't sit for me per se, but doesn't know what I'm doing when he's got his back to me! Or I could find someone to sit for me. Mind you, they'd have to accept the likelihood of not recognising the finished article...sigh...

Now to get some tissue paper to clean the palette. And go sit down with a coffee...sounds good to me... though I'll have to feed the cats first, or I'll get no peace!
Oh goodie, no pics with blogger...I'll upload it with Picasa...just a moment...

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Another thing the 'net is useful for is reminding you of things, of the way you worked or thought a while ago. This article was published in the 'Muse', an online 'zine, so long ago I'd forgotten I wrote it! It still has relevant truths, though, and pictures of my work at that time. My work has changed quite a bit, really, over the years (okay, it was written in 2002, five years ago...). I'm intruigued. I wonder where it's going to go over the next five years. Not that it matters, really. Just curious...

Meanwhile, Curving is a small piece made from Evolon, dyed many times, then stitched. I'm very fond of it; in some ways it epitomises the way that my art work has lightened and brightened in those five years. I think that's a good thing.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Telling It Like It Is...?

One of the problems of being on a European shopping board like Dawanda is that you do have the chance to write about your work in three or more different languages. Now I trained as a translator, you would think that would be easy... But I don't use my French all that much; same for my German, but much more French is reasonable, but my German is grammatical, but so rusty it squeaks! And as every translator will tell you, technical language is a nightmare. You either know it or you don't. What to do.... Well, for one thing, I've paired up with a German speaker whose English is great but who doesn't do French; I can translate her French listings, she can translate my German listings, and all is well with the world. So far so good, huh?

But that still leaves me with the French technical language. So I thought...I'll just go and have a look on amazon France... and lo and behold! I bought a couple of books, en francais, one on ATCs and one on postal art, which I haven't really tried...sigh... I'm just telling it like it is, here, you understand...I need these books to enhance my vocabulary...!!!

Because I opened a flickr account, I got the chance of ten free Moo cards. They arrived today, and they look *wonderful*, so I think I will go ahead and have some cards of my work printed. And maybe even some more Moo cards! Meanwhile, though, you'll have to put up with looking at the first of my holiday offerings!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's Time...

to get out the encaustic stuff again. The temperature is low, low, low, my feet are cold and the conservatory isn't the warmest place to work. I was reminded of how much I enjoy working with encaustics when I came across this altered book that I made with encaustics. I'm hoping the weather will be better tomorrow, so I can take more pictures of it...meanwhile, you get to see the cover.

The shed arrived yesterday at 6.20am, an inordinately early time for anything to be delivered. The builders, however, failed to appear today, so it's still piled up beside the house, somewhat damply. Grr. Other than that, all's well with the world, really!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Even The Smallest Scrap...

gets used these days. I'm finding ACEOs to be an interesting challenge. Working that small is difficult; simple often just looks unworked, somehow; Starry Night, one of my favourite cards is made from a small piece of hand dyed kitchen roll with a handful of stars sprayed across it. I think it looks wonderful (click on the link to see it). But this new one is much more complicated than that! More hand dyed kitchen roll...upon which is collaged some slips of hand dyed lutradur, over which is applied a piece of hand dyed evolon, some punchinello (sequin waste to the rest of us) and then more evolon, dyed and drawn upon. I thought the larger piece of evolon was wasted when I burnt it; the nylon content in the cloth makes it susceptible to melting when you use transfer dyes on it, if you're not careful. But as we all know, even the greatest mistake has the potential to become a design feature, if we work at it hard enough; and so has it been here, I hope. This piece is called 'More Than Meets The Eye'. After that description, I think you can see how it merits the title!

Monday, November 05, 2007

One Of The Benefits...

of joining Etsy and Flickr has been finding lots of other artists who make beautiful things. I was so stunned by the beauty of this paper that I went to visit the blog of its maker, Alsokaizen at KaizenJourney This artist, based in the US, doesn't just make paper using shibori methods, but cloth, also...and is very generous with her in process photographs...go look and enjoy!

Blogging is a wonderful thing. It allows us to meet up with all kinds of interesting artists and wonderful art works. It inspires us to make more, different things... I'm really grateful to my fellow bloggers for everything they share with us. Thank you. I can't say it often enough, really.

I don't have the patience for shibori, really, though given that I have some dye made up, I might dye some paper today. I can't really see myself going back to making hand made paper, either, unless I suddenly take a notion! But I'm enjoying working with papers in mixed media, and I think it allows me to transfer what I learn to other things. Celtic Spiral, pictured above, is a good example, I think. I've been making a number of Celtic inspired things recently, a link to my Scottish roots. Those roots have transplanted well to Norfolk soil, but I am none the less a product of my earlier environment; it is inevitable that those cultural references will prevail, I suspect.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cold Feet...

in November seems reasonable. I have particularly cold feet, hands too, and the saying, cold hands warm heart, wears a bit thin after the first fifty times! So I'm posting a picture that expresses sunshine, to remind myself that when it was hot, I complained also.

I've added a DaWanda shop to my portfolio, on the principle that if one is good, two has to be twice as good...but that remains to be seen. Spent an interesting whiley translating stuff about hand dyes into indifferent French, but need to find my German dictionary before I tackle anything else! Not to mention having to learn how to make an umlaut...sigh.

The things we do for feedback...

Friday, November 02, 2007


the base for the shudio is complete, pretty and ready for the shudio itself...which will, I hope, arrive some time next week. Meanwhile, I'm working hard and keeping out of trouble...and very tired. I don't do early morning starts, and I've had three this week, feeling distinctly dozy.

UK artists may not have come across Artforums I confess to a slight vested interest; I'm a moderator on their Textile section. It has been quiet, as with any new project like this, but someone asked a really interesting question, and off I went about why textile art now embraces such materials as tin cans or even slate...

Got the handdyes rinsed and washed, ready for drying and ironing...hurrah. They're looking reasonably promising, despite the hassle I had yesterday. But of course, that's only half the story; the rest is cutting up, photographing, folding, assembling... but that's another day. Today, I think I'm going to pat them gently, smile at them and do something else instead!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

In An Attempt...

to cheer myself up, here's a picture of Fred, another quilt pet. I'm making sundry variations of these pets, they're bright and cheery and make me laugh. And for me, that's a good enough reason.
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dye when you're tired. Especially if you want to be very careful, and keep colours separate, because you're dyeing single colours for a particular purpose. What happens? Oh, the usual. Spill cerulean blue over your hand instead of into the container it was meant for. And on the floor. Ditto, orange. Splash the damp fabric that's waiting to be dyed with a colour you never meant to use... Put orange into the mix that was supposed to be purple...

Anyway, it's done now, and I'm going upstairs for a nap, accompanied by a new book, 'Magical Secrets About Thinking Creatively : The Art of Etching and the Truth of Life'. Well, that promises much. And, flicking through it, it is possibly one of the most beautiful books I've seen in a long time. And it's got a DVD, and a website all of its own. Never let it be said I don't share anything with you!!!

But first, I'm going to add the soda ash. Otherwise, I suspect I'll be washing out the dye whether I like it or not...given the way today is going. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This is Approaching Winter, a small mixed media painting. Again, see below!
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This is the paddling pool that wasn't...see below!
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Oooh, Look...

a paddling pool! Okay, not really! What you see is the first stage of the preparation for my shudio. Hurrah!! It has taken a while to get things organised, but the builders came today and laid the foundations; now for the sand and slabs. And then the shed, which should appear next week.

And, of course, I've been working downstairs today; it's hard to hear a genteel knock on the back door when you're up two flights of stairs. So I've been tinkering with etsy, adding bits and pieces, taking stock (as it were), starting to get the admin systems that every artist needs into a coherent structure, taking photos... And I also managed to make a couple of blocks of Andrew and Sarah's wedding quilt. I'm going to need 36 of them; I've got 6 so far. Sigh. But I'm pleased, now that I've decided that they needed to be a bittie smaller than the 12" they were going to be. So I reckon if I can just make a few blocks a day, it'll be ready for quilting in no time. Well okay, maybe after Christmas. And I don't see myself quilting it, either. I did briefly toy with the idea of doing it by hand, but decided that life is just too short, and I am just too busy. So I'll be approaching someone soon about it.

And just to remind you what I'm getting a 20 foot shed for, a mixed media painting, Approaching Winter. It'll be good to get all the paint and mixed media materials together in one place...once I've worked out how to heat it...sigh.

ps oh great, blogger's sulking again...I'll try picasa for the pics...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Having Fun.

Great fun! I was given some cloth by my friend Heather, and in amongst it were some fussycut cats and hence, the quiltlet above you, Archie the Quilt Pet. Why Archie? Well, somehow he looks like an Archie...though I did toy with the idea of calling him Alf, instead. Then I realised that there's another little dog pic that does look like an Alf, so lo and behold, a series!

Am I going to make frivolous work for the rest of my life? Well, no, probably not. There's plenty of serious stuff, exploratory stuff, ready for me to make, or in the process of being made. It's just that I've spent most of my life being serious, lots of it struggling with the demon depression, and recently, that struggle has lessened significantly. Part of that is because I've been working with a really good therapist. Part of it is because I've changed the way I look at myself and my life. I used to see my life purpose as the creation of meaning. I still do, but much more so, I see my life purpose as the creation of joy. So if making Archie and his friends brings joy to me, and joy to others, then that's exactly what I'm going to do. So there!

And, if you'll forgive a bit of blatant self promotion, I've added Archie to my Etsy shop. Etsy is taking up a fair amount of time, all told. I've sold some things, which I think in the first month, is quite exciting... I'm enjoying having an outlet for all the bits and pieces that I'm doing; they mount up over time! I need the space!

Tomorrow, I go and take down my part of the exhibition at Watton (and Heather's too...lucky Heather is off to Houston...). It's a good bet that something that took a good half hour to hang will take a good two minutes to take down again! I'd like to say that was because I'd sold stuff, but it seems unlikely...sigh. And in truth, that's not the point. For me, all of this is about getting the work out, having it seen, hearing what people think about it, how they feel. That's the real reward.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

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I've just spent the last hour and a half applying text to a quiltlet. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I had bought a fat quarter that was printed with some very luscious roses, and that suggested Robert Burns' famous poem, 'My Luv Is Like A Red, Red, Rose'. So far so good. So I made the quiltet with the rose, some handdyed fabric and some tartan (I think it's meant to be Black Watch, but I'm not convinced), quilted the rose and started cutting the lettering out of 30gm lutradur. Sigh? Oh yes, more than once. Could somebody remind me why I do this stuff????? And then I stitched into the lutradur, got to the last word, and discovered that my luv is like a red, red ose. Not quite what is required. Couldn't find the missing r, either, so had to cut another one. Double grrr.

And then I went to fish out the sleeve I made yesterday and the quiltlet I had to attach it to. Quiltlet, yes. Sleeve? Well, no. Who knows where it went? Last seen on the ironing board. Along with a small mountain of cloth, and said quiltlet. So guess what's next? Yes, that would be it. Grrr.

Blogger isn't uploading pictures at the moment, so I'll endeavour to send it through picasa. If not, it'll need to wait til Blogger has fixed it, or tomorrow, whichever comes first.

Monday, October 22, 2007


is a challenge, sometimes. This one was...five works and limited space. I started out one way, thought it was fine, and ended up, four arrangements later, with the second photo you can see here. The variations were interesting, but the end result was almost identical with the first...sigh. I also had Heather Hasthorpe's work with me for display; as she only sent two pieces, though, hanging it was not quite as challenging! The gallery, the Dragonfly Gallery in Watton, is very artist friendly, however; the staff brought me a cup of coffee, made nice noises and generally were helpful and charming, too. As were the other artists, and the odd passer by (one of whom declared my work was 'exciting', to my great delight).

The exhibit is called 'The Magic Of Fabric', and at the risk of sounding sycophantic (as if!), it is a magical exhibit, a well balanced view of fibre art in East Anglia. Some of the artists have an international reputation, others are well known within this area. Somehow, the work all hangs together harmoniously in what is a very nice space. A space, I should say, that I have designs on, along with my friend Jill Arnold, who also has work included in the Magic of Fabric. We're planning a couple of joint this space! I've talked about Jill before (it's hard being a friend of mine, you get talked about on the blog!!), but if you missed it, her work is here

Robin is off work with a very sore back (he couldn't very well be off without it, I suppose, but hey...), so I think I'll be taking myself to the opening this evening. I know several of the artists, so at least I'll have someone to talk to... Must remember to take the business cards....

Sunday, October 21, 2007


thought she should come with me to Alveva Quilters, but got left behind. I had a really good time meeting the members there, a great group of people who clearly like to have fun! And they seemed to enjoy patting the quilts and handdyes I took with me, so that was good, too. For me, at least!

A number of you seemed to be puzzled about my four and a half cats, so I thought I'd explain.

We seem to have picked up a stray. We don't know a lot about her; we think she's a she because the boys aren't fighting her, and Advo fights anything that has four paws at the drop of a whisker... She's referred to as Girlie. She comes into the house through the catflap, a couple of times a day, usually, then she disappears for a day or so, only to reappear unexpectedly. She eats everything in sight, at a rate of knots, begs for milk pitifully every time she sees me open the fridge door, and generally behaves as if she owns the place. She used to be terrified of both of us, but she'll now let me stroke her if I'm quiet and calm. But she makes it clear that she's really only here for the food and the shelter. No Purring Whatsoever. Recently, she's been making herself a bed at the bottom of the stairs when everyone has gone to sleep.

Problem is, my girlie cats are terrified of her; she beats them up whenever possible. She may be frightened of people, but other cats are a different story. This annoys us, of course; as Robin says, I don't mind feeding her, if she'd stop terrorising everyone else (even Merlin hisses at her, and he's scared of his own shadow). Perhaps it's purely a territorial thing, but if it continues, we'll have to try to catch her and take her to cat rescue. If she does have an owner, that person isn't taking care of her at all; she's full of worms, and doubtless has fleas, too. I'd like to sort that out, but can't get at her for long enough, though I could probably give her a tablet in a bit of cheese...she might like that...

Okay, normal service will be resumed tomorrow, I promise...but I thought that given I'd trailed the story, I'd maybe better tell it here!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


which took me somewhat by surprise, by Sharon , whom I met on Fiber Arts/Mixed Media. She tells me that the instructions are...
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Well, done the first one...

Seven facts about me.

1. I have walked on fire.
2. I spent ten years working in personnel management.
3. I have asthma.
4. I'm a Gemini (surprise...)
5. I have four and a half cats.
6. I'm married to an accountant (one of us had to be able to count, and it was never going to be me!!)
7. I'm giving a talk at Feltwell this evening, entitled 'The Dyer's Art'.

Hopefully the first one is weird enough to let me off the hook for any further weirdness...

I spent yesterday asleep, perhaps because of a reaction to the flu jab, though that seems unlikely, or maybe just because I've been working hard...and am anaemic, yet again...sigh. Today, I'm sorting out cloth to take to the quilters group I'm talking to, and putting the quilts in some sort of order so that I'm organised for the evening. I like talking to groups, it's usually great fun, we all have a good laugh and get to stroke fabric into the bargain...what more could you want?

Meanwhile...who to tag...
Neki Desu
Dijanne Cevaal
Sandy Marcoux
Thelma Smith
Sandra Wyman
Carol Clasper
Alis Clair

...a mixture of old friends and new.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Much Of Yesterday...

was spent lying on the sofa in the conservatory. I'd say I was languishing, but frankly, there's too much of me for a good have to be slim for that... I snuffled and sneezed a bit, instead, and read a good book instead. But later on in the day came a burst of energy...well, ok, burst is maybe the wrong word, whimper? Either way, I made this collage, a small thing, only 5" by 7". It's made from a digitally manipulated print as the base, with a section of a photo taken at Castle Acre, where there are all sorts of interesting ruins, plus some found images and text. Not to mention an embroidered motif which made its way on there. Eclectic. I like eclectic. Now, if I could just get rid of this cold...

Thursday, October 11, 2007


the way that things are panning out. On the one hand, I'm having a wee excitement to myself, all these new possibilities in collage, in altering, in painting, even...and on the other hand, I'm finding that I'm spending less time making, and more time at the computer. Partly, I blame Etsy. It takes up time, needs lots of photographs, and is more work than you'd think. On the other hand, though (yes, three hands, don't we all have three hands...)it's reminding me of just how many interesting photos I have on the computer, and what uses I can make of them. It's not just interesting, it's downright exciting!

I thought I'd put up a couple of ACEOs (and there's one on the emporium too), just to let you see what mischief I'm up to. I'm varying techniques and styles a lot, but then, these pieces are so small, it's no hardship to mix, match and swap around.

On the cold front, I actually feel worse today than yesterday, makes no sense at all. Robin's at home with a migraine, so I'm having to be quiet as the proverbial mouse, and that rules out going upstairs to piece anything. Think I'll tear up paper and make collages instead. Or there again, I could just lie down on the sofa and have a nap...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


better than yesterday, but still sneezing at inopportune when holding the camera still...sigh. So I'm just waving as I go past, and showing the new collage. Hopefully tomorrow, I'll be better still...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A A A A A A-

Tchoo! The cold has caught up with me, my nose is pouring and I'm going to stop now; I've been making more ACEOs, but now that my eyes are running as well as my nose, I'm going to go have a cup of coffee and sneeze. Robin is off to Paris, so at least he stands a chance of missing the infection...though the man who serviced my boiler today said that he'd just recovered from it, but only by taking to his bed. Not such a bad idea (my bed, not his!).

Meantime, a picture of the first of the Texture of Memory quilts. The quilting uses motifs from Celtic standing stones in Scotland, and the structure is reminiscent of the way that textiles are pieced together for demonstration in museums...indeed the very texture of memory itself.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Another Monday....

another ACEO, or ATC if you prefer. I'm having fun with collage and mixed media; this piece is printed and stitched lutradur, with paper additions. Rules...what rules? I made another collage today, too, printing off some of my manipulated photographs to use. It's quite hard starting this from scratch, hunting up text and images in a limited number of sources, mostly magazines that happened to be lying around. I'm working on the principle that, like the rest of my art, I only want to do things once, and to use things once, as much as possible. So the original gets used, almost every time.

I seem to be sniffling inordinately, suggesting a cold coming, hiss. Hopefully it'll be cleared before Saturday, when I have to have a flu jab. One of the only benefits of having asthma is an annual flu jab, arranged by the local surgery. Sniff.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Climbing Out Of The Box...

that I seem to have locked myself into, metaphorically speaking, of course, I made a collage today. Not an abstract, but rather the broader interpretation of collage, the one that takes elements from all sorts of places and gathers them together. I had fun! It is in many ways a very different thing from painting, or working with cloth, but it's rewarding all the same. I knew what I wanted for one side of the collage, but couldn't find it anywhere. You couldn't believe how difficult it is to find an image of a long stemmed rose when you really want one, but one that's outwith copyright...or maybe you would, given that it's not February. So there's a tiny one instead, and other images added. I'm definitely going to do more of this. The Serious Artist is getting rid of her misconceptions and her prejudices and having a very good time whilst doing it! Now to do something with those watch parts...

So, what do you think of my first attempt at Real Collage?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Using Up The Leftovers...

is a good housewifely thing to do. And a good quilty thing too, come to that. So when I made some ATCs for a swap using altered text, I wanted to do something with the bits that were too small to make ATCs I cut them into two inch squares and made some brooches. Jewellery is not an area I'm familiar with, though I've been known to make a brooch or two from found objects. This, though, is quite different for me, and I'd be interested to hear what you think. I'm considering adding a tiny bit of embellishment, perhaps...they're made from lutradur on pelmet vilene.

I'm intending to make a series of 'art speak' cards, and these brooches will be part of it. I like the idea of subverting some of the pretentious nonsense that's written about art, and altering it so that it not only sends a different message, but also becomes art itself. Works for me!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

On A(nother) Roll...

with these small pieces. I finished the two from yesterday that were left over. One is the rust dyed silk piece I mentioned here; It now has a name; Rust Never Sleeps. Given the nature of rust dyeing, that seems like a good name...besides, I like Joan Baez's music. I intend to make some more of these pieces with rust, they are intruiging; I like the cloth used in this way. I have a couple of larger pieces, one already quilted, but not yet bound, the other needing to be tacked together for quilting (by hand...). Hand stitching seems a requirement of the larger pieces, but Rust Never Sleeps has been machine quilted, and I think it's quite effective. More images are available on Etsy; just click here

The second piece is a felted piece that has been around the workshop for a couple of years, wool fibres nuno felted onto cotton muslin (cheesecloth). I fused it onto pelmet vilene, which is becoming my batting of choice, and stitched... It is called Blue Moon, Rising. I like the way it has turned out. My granny would say, if you keep a thing for seven years, you'll find a use for it. Fortunately, this piece hasn't been around quite that long, but I am pleased to have used it. Keeping things at all in this era of decluttering seems faintly decadent, but I can't see myself slimming down the supplies any; if anything, I think MORE is in order, given that I've started working with altered things, ACEOs and the like... any excuse!!