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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tracy Tagged Me!

She did! Despite the fact that I didn't tell you how wonderful her postcard was, that she traded me for a couple of aceos... sorry, Tracy... I really loved it!!!

And now for the rules...

  • Link back to the person who tagged you

  • Post the rules on your blog for the friends you chose so they know what they're to do

  • Share 6 unimportant things about yourself

  • Tag 6 of your blogging friends

Six unimportant things?

I can spell well in four languages (shame nobody can read my handwriting...sigh...)

I hate shopping for shoes. It takes forever, and they all look the same at my size (eight) and requirements (flat and boring..)

I have two hats, a fabulous outfit and no wedding to go to (Andrew's wedding is off)

My (long lost) niece is coming to stay with me this summer (hurrah!)

I've discovered a passion for jewellery. (anyone who wants to send me jewellery is very welcome to do so!!).

I love orange, the colour, but not oranges, the fruit, though I do drink the juice. No, I don't know. I feel the same about bananas (love 'em) and banana flavoured things (yuk!!).

I can't count.

Sooo...who to inflict...ahem...choose... Sally Bramald, definitely, who quilts divinely. Zuda, who makes fab jewellery. Alis, who makes pretty things. Dijanne, who doesn't actually need anything extra to do, but hey, it is voluntary, and she's my friend... Sandy, because she doesn't blog often enough and oh, Liz, because her work is fab. Have fun, guys!

ps the image is an aceo, made with sand from Hunstanton. and if you haven't seen the dragon, yet, go look at The Other Blog

Friday, May 30, 2008


the difference between scars and erosion took up most of today. Both are maligned, both epitomise change. I think there's a lot of work to come out of this particular set of ideas, so watch this space. Mean time, here are three images. The first is Scar I, followed by Erosion I and II. All are mixed media. Having avoided collage like the plague for so long, I find it hugely satisfying to work in this way, producing textures and combinations of colours and textures that suggest things to me. See what you think. For myself, I think it's a good beginning for what I suspect will be a long journey.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


is inspiration all by itself. Just going to the beach and looking at these cliffs brings all sorts of ideas to mind. Is erosion the opposite of scarring? I don't know, but I'll be thinking about it over the next wee while. It seems likely that it is. Scarring is a sign of healing; erosion eats away at things until they are no more. And yet both are natural occurrences; how can what is natural be wrong?

Moira and I spent last Thursday at Hunstanton, collecting shells and shingle, stones and seaweed, all to be used in some art project or other. I think you can see from the image why it is I keep returning there...hoping for good enough weather to go back to do some painting next week. I've never done any plein air painting; hopefully this time, there won't be a large school trip. The one last Thursday discussed what it was I was doing on that rock over there, and took photographs of me for the record (so Moira tells me; I was focussed on what I was doing, so didn't look...).

I spent this morning in the shed, preparing canvasses and making a few ACEOs, just for fun. It may not be completely organised, the shed, but it's a joy to work in there. No phone, quite apart from anything else... peace, perfect peace. I had intended to do some quilting this afternoon, but instead found myself printing out this photo of Hunstanton Cliffs, only to find that my colour cartridge needs to be changed; instead of an interesting terracotta colour, it has printed out purple... not quite the same thing. Still, it's an interesting part of the cliffs, and what I want it for is to reference the shapes, rather than the colours. In some ways the purple works better for that.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It Started...

...with a rectangle, that blue rectangle there, and a burst of energy from somewhere. I've been recovering from a family visit, a shed move and a massive house tidy up (some of these things aren't quite completed yet, either), not to mention a summer cold, and not much is getting done other than sleeping and sneezing. So when I had an unexpected burst of energy this afternoon, I went up to the cloth studio and looked to see what was around. I prepped several things for quilting, even quilted one, then picked up the blue rectangle and though, what am I going to do with you?

The upshot was...absolutely nothing. As is the way with these things, the rectangle quickly got removed from the equation, and 'Meditation in Yellow And Blue' was born. It's a small piece, just 8 1/2" by 13 1/2", and I suspect it would be better framed. It is made from small scraps of commercial fabric, fused to one of my hand dyed cottons, with a little foil added. It has a thoughtful feel to it...hence the title. I'll add it to the artmixter shop later today, if you want to see detail shots.

And I'm back to work...and suddenly I feel better. Wish I could say the same for my throat...sigh.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Unexpected Benefits

...or rather, things I hadn't thought about. I've never had a large enough space to work in so that I could actually see what was going on in a big canvas as I painted it, or even when it was finished. And now I have, hurrah! I painted in the shudio for the first time yesterday afternoon, working on a large (44" by 56") canvas, and the difference being able to step back from it made was enormous. I could see all sorts of things that I wouldn't otherwise have been able to see.

No photos of that,'s still in progress, and I'm not entirely sure where it's going, though I have my suspicions. Instead, a photo of the other textile piece I finished yesterday, made from Evolon, with fibers and another of Mike's beautiful beads on it. Titled Fissures I, it, like 'Cracking Up', takes its inspiration from the cliffs at Hunstanton. I'm planning a trip there soon, hoping to find some small fossils as well as take more photographs; it's not far from here. I might go visit the lavender fields, too, though it's a bit early. But I could buy myself some dried roses, or a rose/lavender mix; I love the scent of both plants.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fewer Circles...

slower running, and some completed work. As well as an Evolon piece, which I'll show you another time, I finished the Texture of Memory piece I was talking about yesterday. Though I may contemplate adding some text to the top layer; right now, though, I'm not sure what to say. Or even whether to say... Perhaps that is another piece in the series...?

As you can see, I've quilted, and added some heavier yarns to the surface, as well as adding a beautiful little glass button which was a gift from friends on Etsy who make wonderful glass and fabulous jewellery. Their shop is here, Gimme Beads (oh believe me, Mike and Madelaine can gimme as many beads as they like... I'll even pay for 'em!). A second little piece of their glass is on the evolon piece.

I've always wanted to use glass in my work; I recently commissioned another piece of dichroic glass from an Etsy friend, Eileen, AKA Chauncey of Chauncey Design, whose work is amazing. I intended using it in a textile piece, but it is so wonderful that I'm keeping it for myself and using it as an inspiration piece, instead. You can see a picture of it here. Joining Etsy has been inspirational at all sorts of levels!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Running Around In Circles...

seems to be what I'm doing best at the moment. Stuff is still wandering out to the shudio, and I'm also trying to tidy up the spaces that I'm taking it from. That is no mean feat! I have a conservatory, now, or at least half of one, and I'm unearthing bits of work that I'd forgotten about (duh...). Everything is suffering as a result, fewer blog posts, fewer etsy visits, fewer everything except sneezes; it's either the dust or I've caught the cold that my friend Jill had at the weekend. My money is on the cold, as I started sneezing before I started dusting!

Tomorrow, though, I will get some work done. I've started a couple of pieces; this one I've mentioned before, I think. It is distressed lutradur in layers over a backing of pelmet vilene. It needs some stitch, I think and possibly more colour...I might print over it. This is the new Texture of Memory piece that I was talking about here. Click on the image to enlarge it; see if you can see the writing through the lutradur layers. I can in the original, though it's not easy to make it out if you're not used to my appalling writing!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Filling Up The Space... not difficult, unless, as you can see from the first picture, you forget to take the keys of the shudio with you in the morning. So here are works in progress, propped against the corner of the shudio, whilst I go back to get the keys...sigh. Moving stuff from the top floor of the house to the bottom of the garden is tiring when it's warm. At least it's not raining!

As you can see from the other photo, I'm not having any difficulty filling the space. An 8 ft table is arriving this afternoon to go down one side, and I suspect I'll need a wee bittie more storage... But the easels are in, and that's the main thing. I'm planning to have several different activities laid out on the table, separate little workstations. That sounds wonderful, but in practice is likely to degenerate into an indisciplined guddle within a few hours. But then, I can always find things, so how bad can it be? I work in a lot of different media, after all... it seems reasonable that I need a lot of room!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I've been taking things from the house to the shudio this afternoon, and suddenly, it doesn't look quite so big! And there's an 8ft table coming tomorrow, too, so that'll take up a bit of space... But it's still much less cramped than my current studio, so I'm really not complaining. Not a bit!

Moving, too, in terms of my work. I rarely stitch by hand, but this piece has quite a bit of hand stitching. It's nearly finished, and is made from evolon that has been transfer dyed, then machine stitched; I'm now adding the final few hand stitches. I didn't add a backing to the (polyester) batting, and the stitching looks wonderful. I'm intending now to either transfer dye it or paint it, or possibly both; I think it'll be interesting. The image is a detail shot; the piece is called 'Circus'. See what you think.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ta Dah!!!

One finished shudio. I got home yesterday to find that Robin had laid the flooring and finished off the walls, and this is what it looks like. I have been recovering from my trip to Scotland, today, so nothing got added to its pristine perfection, but I think by Friday I'll be showing you an entirely different shudio... possibly one I can't get into!

I'd just like to thank Robin for all his hard work... isn't it amazing!