Monday 9 December 2013

‘Approaches to Stitch’–now printed

My latest creation – or rather a part of a creation - is this exciting book on mixed media stitch techniques, edited by Maggie Grey.

It features six well known textile artists. It originally had a working title of ‘Six of the Best’ but Maggie wisely decide that this title would give ‘interesting’ and possibly inaccurate results if it was searched for online. So ‘Approaches to Stitch’ it is.

approach cover

I’m excited to share this with you, particularly my own workshop contribution, of course and have copies I can sell to you – see details below.

A free online workshop is offered to accompany the book on this link which shows you how to make your own observational drawings in preparation for making your own still life drawing in wire and stitching. Surprise yourself with your drawing skills!

charcoal jug1   still life1

You can buy the book from me and have the added bonus of a lovely personal message in your book, for you or a friend if giving as a gift.

I will send your book off to you as soon as I receive your email – much quicker and more reliable than Amazon!

The price is £16, with an added postage of £2 for UK addresses and £7 for non-UK addresses.

UK purchasers are asked to pay by cheque, but non UK purchasers are welcome to use PayPal, although an extra £2 will be added to to cover the levy added by PayPal.

Address for cheque and PayPal link will be sent by email once your order has been received.

Please give the following information in your email -

Your name and address

Your method of payment

The name of person to whom you’d like the personal message addressed.

Email me to order your copy of ‘Approaches to Stitch’

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Hibernation and activity in Pink Wood

It’s been an interesting few weeks down in a small wood in Somerset! I’ve been working with a select group from the 62 Group on an outdoors project in Pink Wood, near Bruton. It was part of the Somerset Art Works event this autumn and attracted lots of visitors. We contended with the weather as well as ‘comfort’ needs during the day time (although returned to a borrowed house to sleep in comfort!) Penny Burnfield sited her large horse lorry which gave us loo, tea and coffee making facilities as well as being a place to sit in the dry and to store equipment.  Two garden gazebos made a great outdoor covered are for sitting under to rest.


Work began in Pink Wood a few days before the SAW event started and we all worked hard, finding places and materials of interest to work with.

I made three pieces. One called ‘Highlights’ was a series of about 30 empty picture frames, painted pink, and suspended at strategic places to show off the many beautiful vistas and interesting details in the wood.

As well as being a place of natural beauty, enjoyed by walkers, riders and picnickers, the wood has an income by selling coppiced trees to a contractor for wood chippings. Piles of cut logs lay to the side of the path that reminded me of rolls of fabric in a shop – another retail outlet. I decided to label some of these logs.

Close to the gate were a few very large tree stumps that formed a bit of a natural barrier around the gateway. The bark on these stumps was separating from the trunk and one had the most interesting edges, holes and grooves . I decided to highlight these by tucking wool fleece along them – in pinks and reds of course.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Finished but not fully flying yet

The series of eight pieces made of spiralling cane after lots of re-arranging, re-twisting, taking apart, re-steaming and re-joining!

Now off to shop for tiny rings to attach to top for hanging fastening and then to work out how it all fits into a box/boxes tomorrow.

P1060893 (2)



Friday 23 August 2013

More and more birds

Short lengths of chiffon tied at intervals around the cane spirals denote the murmuring birds and, as Meg noted, they need to be dark. I could see that my dyed chiffon ‘birds’ needed to be darker so I dabbed each one with black Indian ink which worked well and also partially soaked into the grain of the cane, embedding the chiffon visually into the cane – an extra bonus. The image below shows the painted and the unpainted ‘birds’.


I wanted an element of ‘sunset’ in the colouring too so decided to ad touches of different reds to some of the birds.


The paper surface on my worktable became rather interesting too as the canes were rotated around in the bird painting process!


Spiralling canes with painted ‘birds’ drying in the garden, pegged to the bird feeder – temporarily a flower and cane hanging device.birdtree2

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Getting wrapped up

Having coloured the canes with dye, the next stage was to add extra features to the spiralling lengths. Working out what to use and how to wrap continue to be interesting tasks. I dyed some fine paper thread and cut silk chiffon (left over from a previous project) into strips. Fighting with lengths of thread and fabrics to control the wrapping rhythm was exciting! One method was to stretch the cane from one sewing machine to another so I could have both hands free. What a fun day!


As well as wrapping with fabric strips, I tied short lengths at intervals to suggest the bird wings. I used some undyed fabric and some dyed to make tonal variation.




Next stage was to join the two different types of wrapped cane lengths to make a more complex structure. Below you can see two sets of pairs. The cane seems to want to ‘do its own thing’, surprise, surprise. I need to work out how to take control of these spirals so they hand just as I want them!


Thursday 15 August 2013

‘Six of the Best’

A new book venture for Siân, in combination with Maggie Grey and five other textile artists -

'Six of the Best'

This book, working title 'Six of the Best', looks at the work of six textile artists.

Their work ranges from quilting, stitching, mixed media and journalling, and each is an expert in her own field. You can see examples of their work below although this is not necessarily the topic they will cover in the book.

Each artist will talk about her work and then expand on this so that the reader will be able to try a technique (or two) for themselves which they can then adapt and develop as a base for their own experiments. I'm really excited about the people we've invited to join us and everyone at d4daisy books is confident that this will be one of our best books yet.

Visit if you'd like a chance to win a good prize of stitching essentials. Just click the 'Let me know' button ; there is absolutely no obligation to buy.

My title will be 'Turning to the Bottle' or 'Get Wired Up' and will focus on the use of wire and stitch. The design source will be bottles because they form such great shapes. We will add character by wrapping, dipping, stitching and painting. The aim will be a free-standing textile still life!