Monday, 31 October 2011

‘Say something beautiful’

A day away from the computer for lunch near leafy Queen’s Square, kicking the leaves and looking at the graffiti art work on the walls of Nelson Street in Bristol. Thanks to Anne for reminding me about this ‘event’. It will probably be there for ages yet so if you have a chance to visit Bristol, take a walk from the Broadmead shopping area towards the open areas of the Horsefair towards the Waterside area of town. Nelson Street is normally a bit dingy but is now enlivened by these interesting artworks. A sunny Sunday afternoon brought lots of people out with their camera so we ‘queued’ to take our photos. I’ve posted some that are different to Anne’s blog




I was particularly fascinated by the ones that acknowledged the existing structure of the building with their work; a good lesson when considering a textile installation in a specific site – note to Embroidery Diploma students!




I’m sad I completely missed the ‘dust art’. Another excuse for lunch at ‘Graze’?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Scary Halloween pairs!

double trouble

Beatrice and Amelie

Sian & Eira coronation day

My sister and I on coronation day 1952 – I’m the taller one, aged 2 and a half; Eira would be about 18 months, the same age as Beatrice - the little witch above! The page girl costumes were made by my mother so we could take part in the village fancy dress parade.


Brenda’s singing marionettes, Joan and Derby. They are part 2d and part 3D. Puzzled blog readers note that this image is nothing to do with the others except they are a pair of figures which I have posted for Sharon who is working on ideas for a 3D figure for her Diploma.

Monday, 10 October 2011

October Drawing Project - Plants, flowers. foliage

Find your flower or leaf. Use the same one throughout your project. Let it wilt, change, age so you have interesting things to observe each day or each time you look at it.

My first recorded flower drawing, on looking back through my school books was of a daffodil to make a design for my schools St David’s Day celebrations. I thought I’d put it here for a giggle! It is cropped so you can’t see the date at the bottom of the sketchbook page, carefully recorded in neat calligraphy style letters. I can see that I was trying to convey that each petal was not just a flat shape but had an undulating form, a gently curved surface with slight ripples. The centre trumpet, looking like a cupcake, shows this in an exaggerated way making it look quite solid. All the devices I used in this drawing are ones which we will look at in this project – use of line, tone, colour and outline to indicate a 3D form.

Pop across to the Distant Stitch website to continue this project -

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ally Pally

Foot sore and exhilarated after three days at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally, London. I was stewarding at the Textile Study Group’s exhibition space, seen here and teaching several one hour sessions in the ‘Learning Curve’ section of the show.

The whole show seemed to be heaving with people, looking, buying, asking questions. These photos were taken at the end of a day when the crowds had disappeared and Gwen was having a well-earned sit down – probably the first of the day!

It was great fun, particularly meeting all the Distant Stitch students, particularly Pascale who came specially from Luxembourg for the Show. It was lovely to meet you for the first time Pascale and everyone else who was able to pin me down to say hello.


Several of you wanted to know how I eventually decided to present my piece, ‘Family Ties’. You can see it hanging in here within the exhibition setting between a lovely hand stitched piece by Jenny Bullen on the left and an interesting strip of sprayed and stitched organdie and wrapped safety pins by Sarah Burgess on the right. The exhibition was pivoted around how each artist had been inspired by a postcard of our choice. Links made by each person were fascinating and thought-provoking. I chose a postcard by Bridget Riley as I love the way she defines a three dimensional surface  by clever use of a simple repeating pattern.


exhibition4   FamilyTies4

The support for the hanging is a 12"inch embroidery ring; the piece is draped over the ring as a cloak.

The image below shows it folded flat for packing.






My alternative ‘hat’ during the show was as a member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists, who had a small stand to advertise our big celebration plans for 2012. It is our 50 anniversary next year, as the Group was started in 1962 by Constance Howard and several other embroidery tutors and graduates at Goldsmiths College of Art. This prestigious event has the misfortune to coincide with the Olympics and the competition for funds to support the arts has been very difficult. In order to have funds to produce a book to celebrate these 50 years, we are offering the book at a reduced rate for advanced sales, thus being able to pay the printer!

This book will be a ‘limited edition’ and will be much ‘sought-after’ by the textile world, so take advantage now. I became a member in 1975, just a couple of years after leaving college! I do hope there will be no photos of us in the early days!

If you would like to order an advanced copy, you can use the form below or email me so I can send you one.62 Group A5 flyer front

62 Group A5 flyer back

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Swanning and Dyeing

These are the reasons why the next Drawing project will be a little late this month. Apologies if you are waiting with bated breath for the next instalment.

Swanning – along the the Llangollen Canal in north Wales with Susan, Frank and Eila. Here are Eila and Susan as we float on our narrow boat along the famous aqueduct over the River Dee - built by Telford in 1805. We sat in the ‘pointy’ end while Frank and my hubby Roy  steered at the back. Occasionally we girls did a stint with the tiller. Here’s how to make it look easy; the smile hides a grimace as the next tight spot loom ahead!


Sometimes we stitched and chatted and enjoyed the fabulous scenery. Thank you to Frank, Susan and Eila for inviting us to share this wonderful experience.

P1040750 P1040749P1040759



Dyeing – fabrics for my workshops at the Knitting and Stitch Show on 7th, 8th and 9th October. The workshop is called ‘Letting Your Stitches Flower’ so the cotton organdie fabrics had to reflect those in a colourful garden. You can pop along to the Learning Curve area to see what’s going on without enrolling for a class to see what everyone is doing. You might even be able to spot colourful stitched fabric flowers around the show!


I will be based at the Textile Study Group exhibition in TG I1, first area on your left as you enter the main West Hall by the centre doors. The short teaching sessions will be part of the Learning Curve; you can sign up for any class with vacancies when you arrive or book in advance via the website.It will be so good to meet up with you to say hello if you are able to catch me between teaching, stewarding, shopping – or and queuing for the loo!

THE NEXT DRAWING PROJECT will be based around flowers, or maybe foliage or grasses. I aim to post this next week when I have returned from the Knitting and Stitching Show. See you soon I hope.