Sunday, 29 December 2013


I don't know about you, but however hard I try NOT to make New Year Resolutions, somehow the urge to make a fresh start and set myself some goals is too appealing to ignore. I suppose that the New Year is as good a time as any for me to look back at how far along my creative journey I have come in the last 12 months. This time last year I was in the thick of my C&G certificate and there was little time for thinking about anything else. It took me much longer than I anticipated to finish and then afterwards I went into a creative doldrums for a while.  However a resolve to make a few things for my Etsy shop got me back into making mode, and many of those have sold either on Etsy or in the Pop-Up shop in Dunstable. I also finished quilting my poppy prints both of which I have written about here. But I have been working away at various other projects which I will share with you now.
Way back in October I drew some Iris foetidissima seed pods from my garden. I have been playing with these pictures in various sketchbooks ever since.

Lots of potential in these shapes. Think I may start a garden/plant dedicated sketchbook. (Res. no.1)

Meanwhile on the sewing front I have added another spray of leaves to this small quilt

There is more to come. (Res. no. 2 )

For Christmas I bought myself a book on Gustav Klimt, I'm not sure why I didn't already have one. Whenever I wanted to look at his work I always had to go on the internet or look at an old calendar I had saved. I remember going to an exhibition of Egon Schiele's work when I was at college and learning something of Klimt at that time. The work of both men has always haunted me; Klimt's wonderful decoration and Schiele's bruised, raw, emaciated figures. I was trying out some of his bleeding colours in the last iris pod sketch above.  However it is Klimt's decorative work which captures   so many of our imaginations. I hadn't realised ( or remembered) that his father was a gold engraver, so no wonder he is so fascinated with using it in his work. I often search through prints of his work for examples of his motifs, so I have decided to keep a record of them in one of my hand made books, that way I have my own reference book.  I have made a start with squares. I have taken patterns from one or two paintings and elaborated on them.

It is a great opportunity to play with my gold paint and pens. Triangles next. (Res. no. 3)
It seems to take a couple of hours to put together a blog post these days (with interruptions) so now I must go for a short walk (Res no. 4)  and iron and perhaps do another page in my book.

Enjoy the last couple of days of 2013 and see you next year.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas to all my 'bloggy' friends,
have a great holiday and see you all soon.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Can't decide on a title...

I'm SO fed up. After blowing my nose since last weekend I am now coughing and feeling thoroughly sorry for myself AGAIN! I keep having lovely ideas for things to make but just cannot get my thick head round anything.  It is the first time in many years that I have not made Christmas cards, but that is not entirely down to the head cold, but just not having any inspiration. I am so glad we'd bought cards Until the dreaded drip took hold I did manage to get on with the a few things.
The Pop-Up shop proved a success and I made a good amount of sales. So much so that my Etsy shop is rather bare.  Not a bad thing, as you can only sell things once.  I will have a rethink what may be in it in the new year. I always said I wouldn't just make things to sell, so it will depend on where the fancy takes me.
I did finish quilting my three poppies. Here they are pinned up to the back of the door.

I've found a suitable fabric for making the cushion backs, but I just haven't had the time or brain power to think about making them up.  The last thing I want to to is to mess them up. A clear head will be needed.
I have been practising my knitting on circular needles and made these three cowls.  I find all the jumpers I like have large scoop, or boat necks and I feel the cold. I often wear a scarf to fill the gap, but fancied something different.  These took a 100gr ball of chunky or super chunky yarn and even I could knit one up in a couple of evenings.  I used a random pattern of rows of stocking and garter stitch which makes the whole thing reversible and no counting!

I rather enjoyed knitting and I am tempted to try something more demanding.   Trying to think of something that comes between a simple tube and a garment with shaping!

The one other creative thing I did before the headcold struck was add some leaves to this little painted quilted piece I started ages ago. It just goes to show that if you hang on to something long enough, you will find the solution. I wanted to add foliage to it and may be some flowers but couldn't decide what technique would work.

I suscribe to Maggie Grey's Workshop on the Web and this quarter there is a piece by Arlee Barr. I have been following her on Facebook and have found work utterly fascinating. She lives in Calgary, Canada and her work is complex and thoughtful. However the technique she uses to create padded appliqué was just what I need to add to this piece. I felt it was a real privilege to have access to her method of working.

It is not simple, and as this is a small scale, rather fiddly to do, however it was perfect for this project.  The leaves have embroidered detail and stand out from the body of the quilt. I can't wait to feel my brain is working so I can plan more leaves to add. 

I am looking forward to my first Christmas Tea with the Embroiders Guild this Saturday and a talk by Linda Monk, hopefully the cough will have calmed down by then or i won't be very popular!

I do hope you are fit and well and prepared for the season.  We have a VERY quiet Christmas, however we do like to fit in plenty of socialising in over the break. 
Hope to be back soon.