an artists' view

an artists' view

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

sky & stich

The winter sky, reflected in the lagoon near to where I live. Strange how the sky didn't seem quite that shade of blue when I took the photo? Cerulean.
Seed stitch on different fabrics; at the bottom is the walnut dyed silk; top left is onion dyed cotton; 2 re-cycled slices of red silk stitched onto a cotton/linen fabric dyed in a black bean dye-pot. The black on the right is gifted silk.

Monday, 27 January 2014

winter walk

With the low light we get in winter, strange shadows, colours, and pattern, can be seen, especially in the mud.
The angles of the sun shining on emerging catkins makes the trees look as though they still have xmas decorations on their branches. The colours brighten the brown and black landscape.
Trees fallen during the winter, remind me of sculptures.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Spring is a-coming. These were in my garden last week; green coming through the bleakness. And the days are slowly lengthening. Lightening. For which, many thanks.
I've been doing some more clearing up in the garden today. Got out while I could. Good timing, as we've had roaring wind, and pouring rain this afternoon! When I get up tomorrow, I expect everything will have been blown all over.
I've been in the studio too. Did another collograph print onto fabric last week, so wanted to check it, and see what I could do with it. It's pinned up; awaiting my needle and thread.
Yesterday I visited a friend who lives near IKEA. We walked over the fields to have some dinner there (a first for me) then had a stroll round. I bought some tea-lights (doesn't everyone!?) and a rather fetching pinny. Been wanting one to use for printing; and although India Flint in her book 'Second Skin' recommends using an old shirt to make one, and includes instructions, I ducked out, and went for the easy option!
So quite a busy couple of days; and even got some jobs done. Don't know if I'll get into the garden tomorrow; weather forecast is grim, even though we're having a fairly mild winter, and not experiencing the massive snowfall they're having in the USA. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014


I popped some threads in the walnut dye-pot; the top one is silk, originally coloured pink. The dye hasn't penetrated all the way through to the bottom lengths of thread, so I've unravelled it some, to allow the dye to permeate further down. And popped it back into the walnut dye-pot.....though it is pretty exhausted now, and I'm dropping used tea-bags into what remains, to try and keep it going. We'll see.
And out of the mists of ole guitar dragged down from the loft. Re-strung; ready to go. It's a shame I can't play it! But I have fun strumming, and filling the house with noise. My body reverberates after I've stopped strumming! The cats are fascinated. I haven't asked the neighbours!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Friday, 17 January 2014

rend & mend #3

This is just about completed now. The close-ups show the stitching nicely I think.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

bleached fabric; dispersal

Black cotton folded and Domestos bleach dripped onto the folds. I left it a few days, until I could see the fabric lighten. Rinsed it out quickly so the bleach didn't rot the fabric, and create holes.....though that could turn out to be a happy accident? Next time?
The fabric really is black; the second photo shows a more true colour.
I pinned it onto the cotton/linen mix fabric that I'd dyed using black bean water. It's a bit too heavy, so I'm experimenting with different ones. I'm stitching that seed stitch I'm so taken with. The next thing really is to get the right fabric to attach to it. Then I can stitch away to my heart's one's heart ever content?

Saturday, 11 January 2014

walnut dyed

A silk shirt given to me, found in a charity shop. This is the sleeve, after festering in the almost exhausted walnut dye-pot for weeks. The photos were taken when it was still wet; it will dry lighter, obviously. But the lighter marks show up at present, where I tied string loosely around the silk. See if they are still as noticeable when the silk dries. I hope so.

Friday, 10 January 2014

completed; crazy shirt

Wearing my patched shirt; stitched patches onto a second hand shirt I got from a charity shop. Finished! Warm! Layered!
Doing the job that I intended. Acting as insulation to keep me warm throughout the cold.
I layer up with t-shirts and jumpers/cardis, and keep toasty warm. Intending it to be an 'overall' I could wear in multitude situations, today I wore it outside while doing some garden clearing.
Last autumn I had an ash tree taken down that was too big, and overtaking my garden. During this, the tree-feller managed to smash a glass screen that was acting as a coldframe on my raised bed. Result; lots of fragments of safety glass in my soil, and raised bed......sigh.
Each job, creates another.
Disheartened at the amount of work I would need to do on clearing this glass I've put off the job. Today, I started picking out the glass. It was archaeology; me on hands and knees with small hand-spade, picking out glistening pieces from the soil. At least I've begun. For the actual raised bed, I'm going to just get a spade and dig out the lovely compost I put in (which is where the glass is!) then chuck it in the bin. It'll be hard work; but quicker than going over it like an archaeological site!
It made me wonder about my methods of doing things with small tools; the hand-spade; the small brush I used when I decorated recently, rather than a roller.
I'm like that with my paintings; small brushstrokes, rather than sweeping ones. Making small seed stitches, when working on textiles. It may simply be a physical thing; I have quite small hands, so grasping hold of large pieces of equipment can be uncomfortable for me. Still; preferences can change. Methodologies can alter.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

20:20 Print Exchange

My lovely box of prints from the 20:20 Print Exchange, last year. Organised in conjunction with the Arthouse. Below, are just some of the prints I received in the box.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

rend & mend #2

Throughout December I've been stitching this. I cut up the Rend & Mend collography print (printed on rust and woad dyed cotton), and added black reclaimed silk and plant-dyed silk pieces. Then proceeded to seed stitch over the surface. 
I've also been thinking and designing some small pieces. They're still in the early stages.
I may incorporate some beautiful wool fabric (tweed?) that came to me from my dad, via Rob. It's old; my dad was going to have it made up into a suit, many decades ago. He never did get that suit, so mum gave it to Rob when my dad died. And Rob never got that suit; so it's come to me. There's loads of it, so I've given some away; and could quite fancy a skirt, or pair of trousers made from the remainder! Meantime; I've got a lot of wool to use for my fabric work.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

new year's day

To start 2014 I wanted to post these pix of xmas trees; lights; and stars. We're still in the dark of winter, & my tree will remain up till Twelfth Night, the 6th January. Today is a dreary, grey, rainy new year day, and I need all the light I can get!
My tree; complete with cat wassail cup from my childhood Christmases. My mum gave me this, and a few other decorations last winter. They were all old 1960's glass wassail cups, many fractured with age. The ears are a bit broken on this blue & silver cat, but it carries memories of putting the tree up when my family were all living together under one roof.
My niece's xmas tree. Helen and Tim were up for Xmas and we spent the day together, at Rob's (Helen's dad) house. He made us a fabulous dinner. Note the star in the middle of the tree.......
 An excerpt of Paul and Paula's tree; oh look, that same star!
Paula and Ian's tree.....complete with star!
I made lots of these fabric stars for people for xmas, instead of the usual cards. Some of them began life on the tree at Irene's they are in situ on various xmas trees. Brightening the dark MidWinter.
Happy New Year to everyone.

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