textiles

Sampler

Last week we visited Missenden Abbey again. I had the chance to wander in the grounds even though it was a dank and dull day. It seemed to rain whenever I was free to wander, but I specifically wanted to take a photo of these flowers.

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Rudbeckia, otherwise known as Black Eyed Susans and more, is a popular plant in gardens at this time of the year, and is a welcome splash of colour as the days shorten and the sun is less obvious in the sky. However, it wasn’t the perfect bright petals that had drawn my eye but those that were withering and fading. If it had been dry I would have quickly sketched them, but after taking these shots I ran for cover.

 

I began my stitching journey many years ago, first at the feet of my mother and grandmother and stitched my first sampler, which, of course, was in cross-stitch. I still have it, somewhere. In the late 1980s I embarked upon a City and Guilds course in Creative Embroidery (in truth I think it was called something different then). and I stitched another sampler. This time the ‘samples’ were of threads – different types and, due to the subject matter, shades and colour too.

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The subject of the sampler was Rudbeckia. The flowers were hand drawn, then the design transferred to the fabric via a tracing method. Badly stitched (it was very early in the course) it features about a dozen different types of thread, and if you look closely you will see evidence of my very first hand-dyeing efforts. Seeing the Rudbeckias that morning reminded me of this effort, and I think it’s time to make another. This time I will approach it differently. It is on my ‘to do’ list, but first….

….. draw the Rudbeckia!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Endurance

I know that many of you are aware that I dye. In fact, here are some fabrics that I have been dyeing just this week!

 

There is an element of endurance involved in the dyeing, nothing is instant, taking time improves not only the colours but also the effects.

 

My subject of the Weekly Photo Challenge, however, is none of the above! The subject is some of the vital equipment that I cannot do without!

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After many months of searching, I have finally found rubber gloves that don’t disintegrate after just two days of use! Not only do they last…… they also fit the length of my fingers which mean that I can manipulate the fabric and threads within the dye!

 

Well worth the enduring search………………..!  ;)

 

Just Snaps is now here!

What made me take out my camera today?

Just a quick post in response to this one by Ben Hubermann.

I use my camera to capture the moment and also as a tool to record textures and ideas that can later be translated into fabric or mixed media. The photographs are not translated in a pictorial manner, but rather interpreted in a variety of paints and media.

Today my eye was taken by the placements in this picture, which probably won’t appeal to anyone else.

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Anyone got any scissors?

I did warn you that this blog gave me permission to write about anything and everything. So, here’s another ‘anything’. I came across this blog yesterday when I was looking for some information. The answer wasn’t on this page, but this was

Design by Satu Maaranen

 

There are another couple of outfits by the same designer there, so pop over and take a look if you feel so inclined.

I love the fabric. I’d love to cut it all up and rearrange it – those that have followed my #summerjournal will probably understand what I mean – but the one thing I know for certain is that I won’t be wearing any of it.

Which brings me to the point really.

When will people actually realise that because it is in the shop – it doesn’t really mean it’s wearable? And frankly, if that means that I’m an old fuddy duddy, I really don’t care!

(But I do   L O V E   the fabric!)

Weekly Photo Challenge – Room

If you missed my earlier post I hope you will take a look before you leave this site. It relates specifically to today, and refers to someone I love. There’s more to this post below than at first meets the eye, too – so don’t forget to scroll right down too.

This week’s Photo Challenge is ‘Room’. If the family see this they will laugh raucously, I’m sure, because I never have enough. I can fill a space before it is vacated! However, the one place I always ensure that I leave PLENTY of room is in the dyebath!

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The fabric needs room to move in the fixing solution. Below are the results of part of the above collection

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Incidently, if anyone is near South Wales and is interested in learning a little about dyeing, I’m teaching a day workshop on 14th June at Busy Bees Patchwork in Newport. There are a couple of places left, if you are interested email Busy Bees directly for details. It’s very good value and, apart from having fun, you will learn that it’s simple and logical to create colour on fabric.

A Day Off

I’m not used to having a day to myself! It’s surprising how quickly the diary is filled and there is no time left. Well, tomorrow will be different! I’m catching the train to London (yes, I am occasionally let out on my own) and will be heading to the area around Trafalgar Square. Here’s the reason.
Prism Textiles Exhibition

 

I had intended to go to the Private View, but sadly I need to be back before it starts….. However, I will make the most of the time that I have and enjoy my visit.

Prism is a group of artists that work in Textiles in some form or another. Their disciplines are wide and varied and if you have time to visit I know that you will find something to suit your taste. No promises for photographs – they often aren’t allowed at Exhibitions – but I’ll let you know about my trip later in the week. Let me know if you visit! Maybe I’ll see you there tomorrow………?

 

A Creative Weekend

As bloggers we are all creative. Creativity can take many forms and sometimes it’s good to indulge. Over the years I’ve found that doing something regularly is the best way to warm up the creative juices and find something we really enjoy. I’ve blogged about this before when I first joined postaday a few years ago. Now I still post every day – but in a variety of places according to topic. It isn’t the blogging every day that has been important but the doing something that has enabled me to go on and do more.Every day I squeeze in just 15 minutes (obviously more if I can) and do something creative. I keep misquoting Picasso – but as he said ‘Inspiration comes, but it has to find you working’

This coming weekend is destined to be a creative weekend why not join us? Find 15 minutes – more if the fancy takes you – and do SOMETHING! Maybe try something new – or indulge yourself in something you LOVE! Take a look here on Facebook This is the Friday page – but if Saturday or Sunday suit you better then there are events scheduled for then too. Then join us in the group It’s a closed group – that just means that you have to be approved. As it’s me doing the approving you can always let me know who you are blogwise if you wish. So far there are people from the UK, USA, SA,  Aus and NZ. Several from Europe too. After last year’s illness I’m still finding it difficult to do the things I really love – but I’m determined to get back into full flow this year and finish all my outstanding commitments and work on some new ideas.

I hope you will join us, but even if you can’t maybe you will spread the word. It could be a GREAT BUMPER WEEKEND. What qualifies? Almost anything – photography, writing, poetry, blogging, art, textiles, stitching, embroidery, quilting ….. even numbers are creative – so…… what’s your excuse? ;)

See you there…..

There are bags, and then there are BAGS!

Way back in the summer we went to an Exhibition and I made up my mind to buy myself a bag. Somehow, although it was reserved, it slipped through my fingers and I never did get it.

Until Monday! :)

I once again met the maker, my friend Alison, and now I’m the proud owner of the most useful bag I’ve found.

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Alison Hulme was one of the students that graduated from Eastleigh College textiles degree course this year. She designs and makes these bags from scratch. The outer fabric is screenprinted with her own designs,

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and mine is a beautiful dark navy with cream.

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Lined with ticking, it is the most capacious bag with comfortable STRONG handles,

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and I LOVE IT! Take a look at her site and email her for one – they are very good value. She also makes Pinnys. She’s making me one of those too. :)   Tell her I sent you, but not too loudly or she might tell you a few of my secrets…….. You know what they say….. ‘You can never have too many bags!’