Friday, 19 December 2014

Sewing for Christmas

I saw some lovely felt tree decorations at a recent local craft fair and decided to make my own version for my nine grandchildren. Each one as their name on it. They were nice and small to carry about and sew in odd moments, like when I was stewarding at the craft fair in the Corinium Museum on the Creative Forum stall. Some great things there at reasonable prices, if you haven't been yet do call in.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Tree fairies 2

Another set of six tree fairies finished and ready to go to the Christmas Craft Fair that opens tomorrow afternoon at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester.

Friday, 21 November 2014

English patchwork

This week in the Art Textiles class at BA we have been looking at the work of Paul Klee and were inspired by his more grid like patterns in paintings of buildings. These translated well into little stitched pieces of traditional English type patchwork. A great way to use up small scraps of fabric.

Rustic house

A little rustic fabric house inspired by the artist John Blockley - a sample for next weeks class at Brewery Arts. Made from last over woollen fabric from the BBs exhibition 'Suited' at Stroud last year and with silk scraps for added colour.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Tree fairy close ups

Sent from my iPad

Christmas sale

This week I've been making Christmas tree fairies for the 3Cs Christmas sale at Made by Ben cafe in Walcott Street, Bath. Work goes up today and will be there for several weeks.

Friday, 17 October 2014


Both the Creative Forum at Brewery Arts and the Stroud Artists Books have decided to have a go at making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) to swop at their next meetings. I thought I'd combine the two and have worked on this piece which should cut up to make 9 x ATCs each of which has to be 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 ins. I might add some stitch later when all the paint is dry, not sure yet.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

New sketchbook, new drawings

A quick drawing a day? Need to keep my hand in and use those odd 5 minutes here and there. Waiting for the washing to finish, the tea to cook or a bus to come.


The darkest pieces so far marked by found objects, heat, liquids, time. Drying lightens the intensity, allows some of the essence to escape, to wash out, to drip away.


Marks on paper from various found objects. Stained. Unpredictable. The paper, when wet, fragile yet when dry strong. Tears, cracks, separations, links, relationships.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Colours of autumn

First results from the recent batch of eco dyeing drying on the cooker. Lovely patterns and varied colours.

Monday, 22 September 2014


Fabulous colours of leaves and stems of prunings given to me by a friend to try dyeing with. The continues is meant to give orange! Not sure what will happen but that is the beauty of it all. I've bought some soya milk to try using as a mordant with cottons etc.

Friday, 5 September 2014


The quilt is finished at last! Just in time as the baby is due next Tuesday.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Back from holiday exploring some of Essex, an area we hadn't been to before. Spent a whole day on Mersea island - apparently it gets cut off by high tides at full and new moon. Lovely to walk along the beach listening to the different sounds of the sea, watching the wooden staked areas appearing out of the water, beachcombing and collecting. Things, thoughts, peacefulness, ideas. Plan to spend this week making bundles to eco- dye and include some rusty nails from an old bonfire site, oak galls and walnut husks found elsewhere on our travels this weekend for a bit of added colour.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

More bundles

Bundles waiting for drying space so that they can be unwrapped and opened out. Some look quite dark so can't wait to see how they'll turn out.

Eco dyeing

The first of the bundles unwrapped - elderberries on paper. No tannin.

Sunday, 17 August 2014


At Alison's today having a BBs get together to talk through ideas for our next exhibition at Nature in Art in 2015. These bundles contain leaves and twigs gathered from Alison's garden and they have been wrapped with fabric and / or paper before being tied up tightly with strips of silk. They need steaming now before opening up to see what the results are.

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Finished the new lining for the baby basket at last! What a difficult job it was as after 35 years it is rather out of shape. But it has lasted well through my children and now onto the grandchildren - ninth one due next month. Just have the Hawaiian style quilt to make now to go with it. My son and his wife went to Hawaii for their honeymoon and were taken with the appliqué patterns. I haven't tried one of those sorts of quilts before so it will be a steep learning curve I think.

Friday, 15 August 2014


Saw this little heap on the floor - detritus from various projects and I like the randomness of the pieces just thrown together and abandoned a bit like flotsam and jetsam washed up on the shore. Juxtapositioned layered and waiting.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Eco dyeing on paper

Various papers dyed using some of the leaves etc that we collected on our walk.

Eco dyeing

Went for a walk with two of the grandchildren and collected lots of different leaves and berries. We wrapped them up tightly in T-shirts with a bit of rusty stuff and then steamed them for one hour. After two days they were unwrapped. Some amazing colours! Should have kept a better record of what was used so that we knew what worked best. More structured experimentation needed.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


I was sent a link to a YouTube clip about making a book out of old Amazon cardboard packaging designed by Michelle Ward on and thought I had to have a go. You use brown gum tape for a binding and it works surprisingly well. After assembling the pages they were manipulated a bit. Parts of the top layer of paper was torn off, sometimes randomly and sometimes in a pattern, to reveal the corrugations underneath. These bits of paper can be glued on again elsewhere. Using a cocktail stick or an awl, patterns of holes can also be made. When distressing is finished the pages were painted with gesso. I've used the book to store ideas I'm working on for a project piece for the BA class on Indian Embroidery.

BA class wk 7

Yesterday we had a look at metal thread embroidery, so lots of couching which is quite quick to work. Next week the students start their 3 week project of choice based on the Indian Embroidery theme.

BA class

Last week we looked at phulkari or flower work. It is a type of counted thread work so once you have the first stitch of each section set up in the right place the rest follow relatively easily. Though it is a bit of a strain on the eyes!

Saturday, 7 June 2014


Last week we tried out appliqué methods used in Indian embroidery. They are very clever the way the fabric is just folded and the slip stitched in place.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Class sample

This week we were looking at shisha work. I couldn't get any proper shisha mirrors so we used ones intended for mosaics that I found in Hobbycraft and The Range. They seemed to work ok. Patterns were inspired by Indian embroideries. An Indian lady suggested that shapes cut from old CDs were often used these days as the old type of mirrors tended to crack and discolour in the wash.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Chain stitch

Chain stitch sample for the BA class. Some of it should be infilled with orange stitching but didn't get it finished in time and probably won't now as on to next sample. Busy week ahead - visiting the Stroud textile festival, working, and going up to London to see Gizella Warburton's exhibition.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wired landscapes

The wrong side of the first of three wired landscapes that have been dipped in paper pulp made from old brown paper bags. The other two are still drying. You can see the wired trees and hedges better from this side.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Indian embroidery

This is the sample for the first Art Textiles class tomorrow at Brewery Arts. We're being inspired by Indian embroidery and this week looking at kantha work. The top layer of fabric is pieced from old scraps of white/off white fabrics.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Spring journal

The spring flower pages of aconites and snowdrops using painted and printed papers on fabric.

Spring journals

The Spring journal - book of samples - is completed. Now to start work on samples for the Indian embroidery class for next term!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Nature Journals

For the last week of the Nature Journal pages we worked on images of mammals that we had seen recently. I've seen hares, rabbits and squirrels this last week. These are painted calico that was appliquéd onto a painted background. A couched line was added round each of the animals to define their outlines and add details.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spring journals

More pages for the spring journals from today's session at Brewery Arts. The backgrounds are fabric paper made using PVA and the insects are also from fabric paper but made using bondaweb instead of the glue.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Book covers 3

I made these book covers yesterday using similar techniques to those used on Tuesday but with more readily available materials. So alcohol inks were substituted with silk dyes, shop bought chipboard (thick card) backgrounds with mount board offcuts, and die cuts with my own cereal packet card cutouts based on drawings in sketchbooks. The shape and size was changed to make it more suitable to take the postcard sized samples we've been making in class at Brewery Arts. The bundle of sticks were collected on my usual daily walk and wired through the card cover. The samples are being made into a ziz-zag format and the end pages will be glued to the covers. Can't decide whether to add ties to it yet to hold it all together.

More book covers

These are the book covers that two of my grandchildren made with me. Jake, 9, made the pair at the top and Alicia, 7, made the ones at the bottom. They had great fun. So much so that Jake wants to live here so that he can make arty stuff all the time.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Book covers

These are the mixed media book covers that I made yesterday to hold all the samples from the Spring Diary course at Brewery Arts. We'll be making something similar in the last class of the term.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Spring bulbs

These are the spring bulbs, based on narcissi bulbs, and a fungi made for the class at Brewery Arts this week. Fabrics are hand painted, layered, stitched and stuffed. The toadstool has a card and stick base.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


These are the sketches of twigs that I used as inspiration for the rubber printing blocks. It was such a cold day that I collected the twigs and took them home to paint.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Nature diaries

This week in the class we are making printing blocks out of rubbers and using the prints to make a double page spread. After drawing different twigs standing above the frosted hedge one misty morning, I made 6 printing blocks on the rubber to give variations of stick and bud. I used them to create this piece based on horse chestnut and beech twigs.