Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tag Tuesday-Bunting

The theme for this week's Tag Tuesday is Bunting, a topical theme for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
 I went into Reading the other day, and there is bunting everywhere! A lot of it handmade by a local group. It looks very festive and jolly!    

It is amazing that the Queen has been on the throne for 60 years. She has worked very hard, and is still going strong, even at the age of 86.She has been a great ambassador for her country. I hope you all enjoy the festivities .

For my tag, I just couldn't think of a bunting topic connected with the Jubilee . I didn't have time to make some-too many other projects on the go, and I didn't want to get too sidetracked !

 Then, by some strange coincidence I received this photo from my uncle . I thought it would be an interesting take on the bunting theme. It shows my Auntie Margaret, in the foreground  at St Bartholemew's Hospital in London  putting up bunting in preparation for  " Bartholomew Fair" which took place in July 1939.  

                  The colours for "Barts" were black and white, but I have coloured in the pennants with Inktense pencils, then used a fine brush and water over them. I also coloured in Auntie Margaret's hair and uniform ( although the uniform would have  really been grey, but I wanted it to stand out.) I placed it on this wonderful telephone box fabric, which is too nice to cut up and use for anything! I did try other methods, such as painting it digitally, but it didn't work out for me. I tried collaging paper and fabric, but it was on such a small scale, it was really fiddly. I decided against extra bunting/ribbon on the sides and let the photo speak for itself.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Artspace at Barn Galleries

Yesterday Richard and I went to visit the Artspace exhibiton at Barn Galleries near Henley. In a countryside setting, with rolling hills as a backdrop, it is an amazing space for displaying art. The beautiful old barns provide perfect gallery space, I particularly liked looking at the work shown against old brickwork. There were sculptures all around the grounds, shown to their best advantage in this hidden-away part of Berkshire.

I didn't take my camera with me, as sometimes I just like to look at things, rather than lining them up for a photo. If you look at the website there are some great photos and listings of the artists.

Some of the artwork was too conceptual for me, but there were a lot of things I liked. I think the sculpture was the most impressive art feature over all, although there was a wide range of other work. Sculptures that were worth noting were the lifelike dog bronzes by 
Rosemary Cook, Jenny Pickford's gigantic dandelion and the Birds of Africa by Louise Stobard.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Caversham Arts Trail

Last weekend it was time to visit the Caversham Arts Trail again. It is an annual arts event, where local artists have the opportunity to show their work in open houses and studios. Check out their web-site, as it is very clear and has a short synopsis of each artist and photos of their work. I didn't do the whole trail this time, but nearly managed it all last year!

There is a lot of talent out there, and Caversham is full of artists of all kinds working away in their studios, sheds, kitchen tables, attics and barns. I really enjoy going round , seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones, and it is a different experience from going to a gallery, so informal and intimate.

I won't mention all the artists and work that I saw, but will tell you about my favourites.

 My first stop was to see Linda McDowell and Carolyn Nash. I like Linda's watercolour paintings so much that I bought one of them!  Our new loft bedroom has a totally empty wall
space, waiting to be filled with art! I have put it in the sitting room, for now, so I can have a good look at it before deciding where to put it.

Linda McDowell's watercolour
Linda McDowell Nordmarka

Carolyn's work is also very appealing, clever, textured collagraphs of cats and ballet dancers, also watercolours.

My second stop was to see Nina Krauzewicz, whose beautiful botanical paintings I had enjoyed last year. She mixes Celtic borders and patterns with very tight plant paintings. This year's work included some interesting  images made by  printing with pieces of wood.

Photographer Anne Mackensie-Webster has beautiful work, and particularly likes taking photos of the River Thames.

Mixed-media artist Liz Real showed some fine collages, prints and mixed media work.

Textile artist Gloria Pitt  designs and hand weaves wonderfully luxurious, textured scarves in mouth watering colour combinations. Gloria is a neighbour of mine, she also has a loft studio and I look forward to visiting her and to showing her mine!

I was blown away by the amazing colours of Nina O'Connell's batik paintings.

Lastly, I want to mention  the stained glass work of Therese Wicks. Therese and I attended a stained glass class together about 6 years ago, she was already proficient and gaining experience, while I was a beginner. Her work has really grown over that time and I think you will agree she makes some stunning pieces. For me, working in glass was the catalyst to me starting my art journey, as it lead me to textiles. I thought that if you can make things in glass, you can make them in fabric!

I have only mentioned the artists I visited, but you can find out about them all and the different media they use on their web-site.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Tag Tuesday-Found Objects


The topic for this week's Tag Tuesday is FOUND OBJECTS.

For this week's tag I have used objects found about the house. To be more specific, the things I found in little pots all over the house. Who puts them there is a mystery, but it was quite interesting to go through them.

To make the tag, I used cardstock and wrote words about Found Objects on it with a calligraphy pen. Then I sorted out my collection I had gathered. They are all enclosed in little envelopes made of organza. 

The objects are:-
 a paper clip, a pine cone, a dime. a shell, an earring, a brass screw and a marble.

To make the envelopes, I used a soldering iron and a method from Margaret Beal's book, FUSING FABRIC.

Design To Stitch

This is my white piece I did for Shelagh Folgate's Design To Stitch course. As you can see, I found it hard to stick to white, and brought in some colour-but it was neutral! It was a good exercise in texture, to stick to white and muted colours.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Design To Stitch Course

Here is my black and white  hand-embroidered piece that I have just completed for Design to Stitch, the on-line course I am doing with Shelagh Folgate

Oxfordshire Countryside

Driving through the Oxfordshire countryside at the weekend, everything looked so green and lush, so I wanted to share it with you. This is what happens when you have so much rainfall. It would be good to see the sun again, but the rain has done a good job to make everything  grow! In the top photo there is a splash of  the vibrant yellow  rapeseed which 
is seen all over this part of the country at the moment.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tag Tuesday-Gardening

The topic for this week's Tag Tuesday is Gardening.
I had so many ideas about gardening, I found it hard to get started. I was thinking of gardening tools , packets of seeds, pictures of gardens Eventually I chose an image from the graphics fairy of a gardener in his potting shed, which I printed onto translucent paper and coloured in some flowers and flower pots. This was mounted onto a background of grass. I used a magazine image, and tried to print it onto Indian papers to create a more interesting texture, but it didn't  stand out, so I stuck to the original. I decorated it with flowers and butterflies and silhouettes of gardening tools. I feel as if I should have put a shed in there somewhere, as that is traditional in British gardens! 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Library Books

Searching for inspiration, I have been looking at these books from the library this week. I found plenty of food for thought, and probably too much inspiration, but they are great books! I feel so lucky that Reading has such well stocked libraries, and always has new art and craft books available.

 Mixed and stitched by Jen Osborn

Woodland Style by Marlene Hurley Marshall

Homemade gifts with love by Catherine Woram

Handmade Embroidered Bags by Jenny Rolf

Blackwork Made Easy by Lesley Wilkins

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Sari silk yarn


From these two balls of sari silk yarn, my knitting has grown in a couple of hours. Just think, it started life as lots of colourful saris. I am going to make a bag with it. However I am tempted to unpick it and start again, as it is such a pleasure to knit with!

Here is a close up -such lovely colours and textures!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Scandinavian embroidery

I haven't been posting much recently, except about Tag Tuesday, but I haven't been idle!
I have been wanting to do some hand embroidery from Clare Youngs' scandinavian needlecraft book for a while now, and decided the best way to do it was to just  start something! The coat hanger cover was simple but satisfying to do, so I followed it with a cushion cover. I love the freshness of gingham, but must be careful not to go onto overload with it! There are lots more projects in this book, so watch this space ....

Tag Tuesday-Baking

Baking   is the theme for this week's Tag Tuesday
For my tag I wanted to make a cupcake, not bake one, make one, so I did!
For the cake I used cream felt , for the icing I stitched on lining fabric, and decorated with beads. The paper case was made from corrugated card , and I added in some felt pen to make it more stylish.  The backing is felt, which is brilliant to stitch layers into.
I took the photo with an old cookery book for background.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Tag Tuesday-Sewing

Sewing is the theme for Tag Tuesday this week.
I have been rather busy this week, so made a quick tag this time.

I used this lovely button fabric from my stash for the background. It was a pleasure to use it!
The image of the sewing machine is from Graphics Fairy , and I printed it onto cotton print on fabric from Crafty computer paper. Then I hand-stitched round the outline of the sewing machine. Buttons were added as further embellishment . To finish off I used some fabric tape from my sewing box-no idea what it is for, fastened together with a press stud. The whole tag was backed onto felt, which gives a solid background, but is so easy to sew!