Saturday, 30 June 2012


  I don't usually blog about the household and about my pets, but I had to share the photos of our new kittens! We got them on Wednesday and they are 8 weeks old. We haven't named them yet, they are both girls. Both are very friendly and playful, but the one with a patch on her eye is definitely bolder and more adventurous! 

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tag Tuesday-Tales of the Riverbank

 The theme for this week's Tag Tuesday is "Tales of the Riverbank"
I don't know why, but I seem to find it difficult to find inspiration for river themes. I think it must be because we live 5 minutes walk from the River Thames, and it is very familiar to me, it is hard to pick one subject to work on.
As you saw in my previous post, my art teacher took our class out to sketch down by the river last week. I thought I would stick to what I know, so did a quick sketch from memory of the scene I was painting that day. I used black fine liner pen on Indian paper for texture, then coloured in with watercolour crayon, which I didn't add water to, although I thought about it, and decided it would be too watery and that I preferred the stronger colours of the crayons.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Art class by the river

Last week our art class went down to the river to paint. (It is only a few minutes walk) It was an interesting experience to paint outside. I had a bit of a set-back when the boat I was painting moved off halfway through my picture! It was a glorious day, with sunshine-unusual at the moment. As you can see we had a couple of visitors, a young drake and a swan who settled down right beside one of my classmates and sat for most of the class. That is how I got a close up, it was very close!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


I bought a bunch of aliums the other day. I am still fascinated by seed heads. Aliums have a particularly interesting structure. Aren't they pretty?!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Jewellery class

I have signed up for a short course on costume jewellery making for next term. I wanted a break from my drawing and painting class, as I have been doing it quite a while now. It looks like fun,  as it involves polymer clay and beading techniques and I am looking forward to it. When I was on the Access Course at TVU I did an introductory course in jewellery, but it was more silver smithing and soldering (at a very basic level).

Unfortunately this course didn't run, as there weren't enough people signed up to do it.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Colouring up fabric

  I have been colouring up fabric  ready to use in my Design To Stitch course. Painting on fabric has to be
one of my favourite activities! Here I used Brusho paints. I love the way they blend together when wet. The colour may fade a little in sunlight, and the painted fabric is not meant to be washed. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Nuffield Place

At the weekend Richard and I visited Nuffield Place together with my mother-in-law. It is the home of William Morris, Lord Nuffield, philanthropist and the founder of Morris Motor Cars. The house has recently been taken on by the National Trust, and it is like entering a time capsule, as it has been left as it was when furnished in the 1930s.
The house is pretty and surprisingly modest for the home of a millionaire. I thought it was delightful and unpretentious, with some lovely pieces of furniture and  embroidered furnishings. I particularly liked the Clarice Cliff teaset, the blue Bohemian glass and the  flower watercolours on the landing.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Tag Tuesday-Green

 GREEN is the theme for this week's Tag Tuesday
The countryside in Berkshire/Oxfordshire is looking so green and lush at the moment, it must be all that rain we have had! Three months rainfall fell overnight last week, but the good news is the hosepipe ban has been lifted! The first thing that sprang to mind when I thought about Green was green leaves, as seen everywhere whilst driving around.

I have used the set embroidery stitches on my machine and stitched leaves and the words "Green Leaves". The background was from a piece I have just coloured up for the
 Design To Stitch course I am studying with C & G tutor Shelagh Folgate. This month we are working with one colour and  mine happens to be green! How lucky was that!

Monday, 18 June 2012


Here are some earrings I made myself, using  these beautiful handmade glass beads from

Some of my earring collection displayed on a lampshade, so that the light shines through

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Tag Tuesday album


My Tag Tuesday album is now full! It is half way through the year, and I have done
one tag a week since January. Now I really cannot cram any more into my album, and will have to start a new one!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Diana McKinnon-Textile Artist

 Diana McKinnon is an artist I met on the Henley Arts Trail in May. I wanted to share her work with you.
She does very intricate, beautiful machine embroidered landscapes.
Check out her website and look at the gallery.
The bluebell woods are particularly good, but all will inspire you.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Tag Tuesday-Camping

The theme for this week's Tag Tuesday is Camping

Tag 1
Here is the camper van ready to take a family on an exciting holiday.

Tag 2 
Here is a camp site with a camper's tent, sleeping bag, backpack and camp fire with a breakfast egg or 2 being fried.  There is a caravan in the background.

Tag 3
Here is the sort of camping I will be doing-"glamping" This means glamorous camping. You can have tents with luxurious furniture, and even a butler and maid. Bliss!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Beading Book

The library book about knitting beaded jewellery lead to me getting out my bead collection and sorting it into colour order. I realised I didn't know the basics about jewellery making, so I went into town and bought this lovely book! It has great photos, colourful and full of texture. I hope I will be posting some of my own jewellery creations before too long!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Bead collection

 First the library book about knitting jewellery, then I got out my bead collection, and looked through it. This is one box, there is more! Where will this lead to, I wonder.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Library Books

The weather here is very wintry (despite it being June half term!), and a perfect excuse to stay inside all warm and cosy and peruse my latest library books. As you can see I pick an eclectic mix of books, mainly I am looking for ideas to stimulate my senses. I won't be making all the things in these books, or even trying to, but am using them for inspiration. 

Knitted beaded jewellery by Ruth Herring

A book full of colourful photos and clear instructions. If you have never knitted jewellery before, it is a good  starting point. I liked it so much that I got out my bead collection, sorted it and then started knitting some earrings. Watch this space to see what I made.

Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker

Crammed with ideas for mixed-media artists.

Felt Furnishings  by Anne Kyrro Quinn

 The colours and textures in this book are stunning. I want to make everything in it, but the price of felted wool helps to restrain me! I love Scandinavian style, and was delighted to see these colourful projects.

Indie Craft by Jo Waterhouse

Interesting book about "cool crafting", a mixture of craft techniques and fine art. Look out for the iron with embroidered sole plate, done by  Lithuanian artist Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene, which proves that anything is possible in art!

Light and Movement in Watercolour by Jake Winkle and Robin Capon

A brand new book about watercolour, I am the first person to take it out of the library! 

The Scandinavian Home: A Style Sourcebook by Lars Bolander and Heather Smith MacIsaac.
Did I mention that I love Scandinavian style?!  A wonderful feast for the eyes, with superb photography.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Last week I was really excited because
 I was able to take the bus to Oxford and to visit the Ashmolean museum
This time last year I was in  the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, after a long and complicated illness, where I had a skin graft on my hand. It is a measure of my personal progress that I was well enough to have this day out.
I have shared a few images with you, but this museum is full of artefacts, a real cultural feast. I had a thoroughly enjoyable day, and can't wait to go again!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Tag Tuesday-Diamond Jubilee

This week the theme for Tag Tuesday was, not surprisingly, Diamond Jubilee.
For my tag I decided to do "crowns".
The images came from Graphics Fairy, a wonderful site.
First I printed a background page of crowns, then overprinted it with another image. 
I photographed them on The Times special Corgies, Snakes and Ladders game.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Design To Stitch Course

Here is the third piece I have done for Shelagh Folgate's Design To Stitch Course.