Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Tag Tuesday-Winter Landscape

 It is time for the last tag of the year for Tag Tuesday, and the subject is Winter Landscape.

I have made a winter landscape picture. I got carried away and forgot it was supposed to be a tag, it actually measures 6" x 8".
My winter sky is watercolour wash with trees drawn in black ink. The trees are made from black card painted with white watercolour with fine glitter added. I made drifts of snow with some white muslin. 

I have enjoyed all the tags this year and it has been fun being part of the Tag Tuesday team. I am looking forward to another year of Tag challenges.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

  100 Free Christmas Images
Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for visiting my blog.
The image I have chosen for you is from The Graphics Fairy of a Christmas postcard by Ellen Clapsaddle, dated 1908.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas Tree

Here is a photo of our Christmas tree. We always have a real one as I love the smell of fir trees. The Christmas tree farm we go to is called The Tree Barn, and it is at Christmas  Common, which is a lovely name! This is a non-shed tree, so I hope we won't lose too many needles from it. The main problem we have is keeping our three cats away from it. They know they are not supposed to touch it, but can't resist the odd gentle tap on the baubles!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Tag Tuesday-Twelve Days of Christmas

This week's theme on Tag Tuesday is The Twelve Days of Christmas.
I am running a bit late with my tag this week. I seem to have been so busy, both with Christmas related things and art ones. I attended a beading workshop on Tuesday, and we were working with tiny delica beads, very painstaking work, and I made slow progress, although I hope to finish my snowman decoration by Christmas! Then on Thursday it was the last drawing class of the term at our local adult education centre. It has been a great class, and I have learned so much, and have even been doing my homework!
For my Twelve Days of Christmas Tag I chose to do a Partridge in a Pear Tree.
The tree is a shape from an old Christmas card , the partridge was cut from wrapping paper with knitting on it. For the background I stamped snowflakes and stuck silver snowflakes on top.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Aunt Elsie's Christmas Do

I went to Aunt Elsie's Christmas Do in Reading on Saturday.There was a marquee filled with stalls selling products by local artists and makers, mulled cider and a great atmosphere. It was run by The Jelly Legg'd Chicken, know as Jelly , which you can find at:- http://jelly.org.uk/ for information about local artists and makers and forthcoming events, art classes and workshops.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tag Tuesday-Angels

The theme for Tag Tuesday this week is Angels.
 For my tag this week I have taken inspiration from the early Italian Renaissance painters of the 13th and 14th centuries. I have spent a lot of time looking at the way they painted angels in their religious scenes. I chose to use this image by Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro)  who lived from c.1395-1455, and was described by the great Italian writer Vasari in his the Lives of Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent"
I used an old Christmas card with the image of Fra Angelico's painting Annunciating Angel 
and photocopied it onto fabric.The angel was then embellished with gold pens and embossing powder and collaged onto a halo ( from another old Christmas card) . The angel's wings were made from Angelina fibre. The whole angel was mounted onto a gelli printed background which was stamped with stars and embossed .

Monday, 2 December 2013

Wallingford Castle

Here are some photos taken from Wallingford Castle. The ruins of this mediaeval castle give a great vantage point over Wallingford and the surrounding area. The River Thames is visible below, and on a clear day you can see for miles. 

 Always on the look out for texture, I loved the stone carved archway.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A Lovely Day for an Autumn Walk

Although it is the end of November, here in Berkshire the weather feels quite mild, especially when the sun is shining. I decided to take advantage of this, and enjoyed a pleasant walk in the sunshine.

 The Old Man's Beard I found was looking very luxurious. 

 There are still a lot of leaves left on the trees, with beautiful coppery and golden colours.

 These ivy leaves were nestling under a tree. I liked the contrast between the fallen leaves and the green of the ivy. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Tag Tuesday-Black and White

 This week the theme for Tag Tuesday is Black and White

The first thing that came into my head for Black and White was to do an Art Deco Tag, as this movement used a lot of black and whiteI chose the Chrysler Building as it is an iconic symbol of Art Deco. I love the shape of this New York building, built in 1928-1931, and the fact that it was made to look like a car radiator in honour of the Chrysler company is just the sort of quirky fact that appeals to me. When I visited New York, I found myself  constantly looking out for the distinctive shape of this beautiful building.

For my tag I have made a collage from newspaper (a Greek one, brought back by my husband who travels a lot and obligingly brings me back useful things for my art work!). I have also used black paper, white card and fine liner pens. The edging is made from braid and ribbon.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Caversham Artists and Friends

Yesterday I went to a Christmas Fair, which was held by Caversham Artists. I have blogged about this group of local artists before, and if you follow the link you can find out more about them. It is always nice to meet local people who spend their time creating  beautiful pieces in their studios and homes. There was a variety of wares on sale, paintings, ceramics, stained glass, textiles, photography, prints, jewellery and hand made soaps. It was a good opportunity to see their current work and to buy a few bits and pieces, as well as to catch up with friends who live in the neighbourhood, over a cup of tea, and home made cake.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Etsy Shop Announcement

I am pleased to announce the opening of my Etsy shop! It is called TextureTrail and you can follow the link here.
I will be selling hand crafted and hand embroidered goods, all original pieces, which I have made.
Here are some close ups of my embroideries.

Go ahead and visit my shop! Tell your friends!
I would be very interested to have your feedback.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

DESIRE Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair at Winchester

Yesterday I had a great day out at the DESIRE Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair at Winchester. There were a lot of talented exhibitors, lots to see and to buy. The venue in Winchester's Guild Hall was very appealing. It is the first time I have visited Winchester, and I thought it a very pretty place with so many cafes and restaurants I wanted to go into, a street market, and a lot of nice looking shops too. I didn't take my camera with me, as I wanted to really concentrate on looking at the jewellers' work. I am sure I will have to go back again!

Monday, 11 November 2013

River Thames at Reading Bridge

 Peaceful scene on the River Thames at Reading Bridge. 

 This was shattered a few seconds later by the arrival of some gulls just along the bank, snatching the bread thrown by some people for the ducks. The gulls were very noisy and entertaining, the water birds took no notice of them. I was pleased to get a shot of them swooping onto the water.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

New Wooden Printing Blocks

These new wooden printing blocks have just come from Colouricious. Aren't they lovely! I am delighted with my latest purchases.

 My collection of  blocks is sitting on my work table. A clue for you about what I am working on at the moment. You may well spot some of these patterns in the things I am  making for my Etsy shop, which I hope to launch soon. 
Watch this space for news of my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tag Tuesday-Proverbs

The theme for this weeks Tag Tuesday is Proverbs
I chose "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"

I used my bird stamps and embossed them. The background is an old envelope with a paper bag on top. For the hand I used some painted up tissue paper. There is braid round the edges and washi tape. For the wording I used a banner from Graphics Fairy.
Here is a close up so you can see the birds.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Duck Pond at Kidmore End

On Sunday my husband and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. We had a lovely Sunday lunch at a country pub near us, The New Inn at Kidmore End. Afterwards went for a walk and stopped to take photos of the duck pond. It reminds me of an old gentleman I looked after in my nursing days,  who was brought up here, in this very house. He had a beautiful painting of his childhood home and often told me stories of his escapades with his eight brothers and sisters, he was the youngest of the nine.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

St Laurence's Churchyard, Reading

I took these photos on my phone as I was walking through St Laurence's churchyard in Reading. 

I love the shape of this ruined archway.

The yew berries looked very dramatic lying on top of the tombstones.

 Yew trees were traditionally planted in churchyards.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Old books

I rescued these beautiful old books from a skip, which I noticed when I was walking past. I couldn't believe that anyone would just discard them like that. They are part of a set of bird books by T A Coward, and had obviously been collected by someone who treasured them, as they had little pieces of paper with notes on. I like the way the volumes look when stacked together, and also the gold cover and the wonderful illustrations inside.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Pumpkins

It is Halloween today, so here are some pumpkins for you. I guess they are squashes, really, but close enough! We have been drawing them in my art class. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tag Tuesday-Halloween

Halloween is the theme for this week's Tag Tuesday.
I decided to do a stitched tag this week, as a change as I have been using my gelli plate so  much recently. I took some Halloween fabric from my stash and deconstructed it, stitching the pieces onto a night sky with scattered stars.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Tag Tuesday-Autumn

This week's subject for Tag Tuesday  AUTUMN is so appropriate, because although it is still unseasonally warm here, the leaves are starting to change colour. I decided to use leaves for the subject of my tag. Inspired by Wendy K's SHOE tag, where she put shoes within a shoe, I decided to put leaves within a leaf. I had originally planned to use a real leaf, but decided instead to draw round it, and recreate it in card. On top of this I added leaf cut outs, using a maple leaf cutter I bought in the States. The paper I used was from interior design magazines (you see, I knew they would come in handy!) with a variety of autumn colours.
I photographed it outside on the grass in my garden against some fallen leaves and some  mushrooms which had just appeared.

Monday, 21 October 2013


  I noticed these archways at Caversham Court  and admired the different shapes of arches, which all match together.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The River Thames from Bridges

Here are some photos of the River Thames taken from Bridges Restaurant, which as its name suggests is right by Caversham Bridge. Sitting at a table inside was as close to the river as possible.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Finished projects

Here are some projects I have been finishing off.
I made another lavender bag, inspired by Clare Youngs' Scandinavian Needlecraft .
This scarf was fun to knit. It is made of fabric, with ready-made holes to knit. 

The tapestry was started when I was on holiday in France. I wanted a needlework project I could just pick up. It was very satisfying, like colouring in with stitch and I liked the way all the coloured threads were supplied as well as the ready-printed canvas. I chose poppies to remind me of France.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Tag Tuesday-Shoes

Our theme for this week's Tag Tuesday is SHOES.

I have gone vintage for  my shoe tag, as I remembered these wonderful images from The Graphics Fairy  and had been wanting to use them for ages! They are from an old Wanamaker's catalogue, but I don't know the date. I have collaged them onto a lace background. This was made by doing a lace rubbing with a coloured pencil. I trimmed it with lace and buttons and photographed it on a patchwork quilt to add to the vintage feel. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Apple time

At our local apple orchard, Cross Lanes Fruit Farm, last week the apples looked stunning. We bought a mixed bag of different varieties and have been trying out some apple recipes this week. I enjoyed looking through my old cookery books and finding old favourites and some new ones to try. One thing is for sure, that I have enough recipes to keep me going until the apple season finishes. In my art class I have been drawing apples too.