Friday, 31 May 2013

Beading work

I am working on my beading at the moment. The stitch I am learning is Peyote stitch, and I am working it in the round. Now I have got the hand of it, I am speeding up. Here are the books I just got from the Beaderworkers Guild. They are good, basic and informative, with no frills.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tag Tuesday-Letter U

On Tag Tuesday we have reached Letter U.
It was quite tricky to think of a subject!

I have chosen U is for Undergarments

My favourite book of Victorian fashions (Victorian Fashions, a pictorial archive by
Carol Belanger Grafton) provided me with some ideas for my Victorian washing line. I doubt the Victorians would have hung their unmentionables out to dry for everyone to see, but I thought it would be a nice picture.
I used water soluble graphite, a black fine liner and watercolour pencils on watercolour paper.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


At last we have sunshine here, after some very cold and dreary weather.  The fields are coloured bright, vibrant yellow, contrasting with the grass and trees. 

 I spotted this beautiful clematis in a garden.

There were also some pretty chives.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Tag Tuesday-Letter T

On Tag Tuesday this week's letter is T
I am a bit late posting this week, as I have not been well. I am taking my third lot of antibiotics for an abscess on my back. The good news is it is healing well now, but has made me feel very tired. I have an auto-immune arthritis and keep getting these abscesses, and the cause has not been established. Playing Tag Tuesday is a great diversion, and easy to fit in making a small piece of art work.

For my T tag I have chosen Teacup.

I know I had for Coffee, but I couldn't resist doing another cup. I am English, and from Yorkshire, where tea drinking all day is obligatory, so it had to be Teacup!
I took an image of a teacup from The Graphics Fairy , and re-created the feel of 
floral vintage china using fabric collage.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

More about Caversham Arts Trail

Caversham Arts Trail is still on this weekend. I had a very enjoyable day  on Friday with my friend, Christine, visiting our local artists in their studios. Christine is a Fine Arts student, and we appreciate the same sort of work, so she was a great Trail companion.
Over the past week I have managed to go to 9 out of 13 venues on the Trail. I will tell you about the ones I visited on Friday.
At Venue 10 we met Nina Krauzewicz, showing her finely detailed botanical prints and painting, Debbie Page with her smoked series of ceramic moon jars, Jacqueline Fitzjohn  and her beautiful sculptural stoneware garden pots, admired Matthew Hitch's silver jewellery and bought some of his excellent natural soap.
Next stop was Venue 5 in Balmore Drive, where we saw Lauren Denney's textural ceramics- and I bought a lovely little lacey vase from her, Julia Hogan's machine-knitted cushions and gifts, and Corinna Smith's silver jewellery.
We visited Venue 4, Charles Burns' old barn studio, where he has a wall of silhouettes he is cutting of visitors.
After a quick stop for coffee and a sandwich, came Venue 3, Liz Real's prints, textiles and mixed media, Loisue Spiers' decoupage furniture and Nicola Kantorowicz's stained glass panels.
At Venue 2 Stephen Haine was showing his intricate woodcut prints. 
Our last stop was Venue 1, where Julie Simmonds was delighted to show us her prints, paintings and ceramics, shown alongside David Pope's pottery.
All in all I have to say it was a very good trail, and it is inspiring to see the work of local artists and to support them .

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tag Tuesday-Letter S

S is for Swan
I love to see the swans swimming in the river, they are so graceful and balletic in their movements. I made a collaged swan using tissue paper, covered over with tulle. I placed my swan on a background of Pelmet Vilene which I coloured with Inktense pencils. The photograph was taken against a hand painted silk scarf which I bought on one of the Arts Trails. The swan is very small and delicate ( only about 2 inches by 2 inches) so I have put in a close up.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Caversham Arts Trail

As you can see, I have been busy going on arts trails this month. Yesterday I went to the trail in my own neighbourhood , Caversham Arts Trail. I  really enjoy meeting the local artists and seeing their work, and buying a few bits and pieces.
I visited venues 6, 7 and 8. No 6 was where Nina O'Connell, Gloria Pitt and Therese Wicks were displaying their work. Nina's batik work is vibrant , Gloria's handwoven scarves are full of textures and Therese's stained glass is very eye-catching.
At No 7, the work on display was from a variety of disciplines-Lou Jessop's woollen hand-stitched pictures, Emma Bradbury's knitted and hand painted textiles, Brenda Graham's stained glass, Jan Lewis's collographs, Marc Juon's silver jewellery and Su Mcpherson's willow-weaving and sculpture were also full of texture.
At No 8 Nicola Duncan was showing her oil paintings of swans and other creatures.
I shall be doing some of the other venues later in the week, but I don't think I can get round them all!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Oxfordshire Art Weeks

It is the season for Arts Trails at the moment! Today Richard and I went on the Oxfordshire Art Weeks Trail. In Dorchester-on-Thames we saw some nice stitched pictures by Alison Garnett, very textural knitted bags by Claire Houghton ( I do love a bit of texture, but especially knitted texture!), and Claire also makes lovely jewellery. I also liked Paul Ridley's black and white photos. 
We were impressed by Harriet Coleridge's wide range of ceramics at Ewelme Pottery, and I was pleased to find the work of Anuk Naumann there, as I have long admired her paintings. Both Richard and I were very taken by the beautiful carved fish by John Parrey, Richard because he loves fish, and me because of the texture of the stipples on the fish .
It is a lovely part of South Oxfordshire, Dorchester being a particularly pretty village and I will probably go back again next weekend to take photos of the thatched cottages, the Abbey and other buildings that caught my eye. Lunch at The White Hart of soup and a sandwich with a roaring log fire (it is cold here in May some days) was a perfect touch.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Worldwide audience

Thank you to everyone who visits my blog. It is great to have readers from all over the world.  With the aid of Blogger, which provides the stats, I can track the countries from which the audience is viewing. I thought you would be interested to see this too. 
For my own interest I have printed off a world map and colour it in whenever someone visits from a new country.
I can't claim the credit for this inspiring idea, my Tag Tuesday friend, Helen at The Craft Project  thought of it!
If you are visiting from outside the UK I would love to have your comments. Of course it is always nice to have comments from the UK too!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tag Tuesday-Letter R

Here is my tag for this week's alphabet themed Tag Tuesday

R is for River

I had to choose River, as we live only a few minutes walk from the River Thames, and it is a constant presence in my life. I can even see Caversham Bridge and Reading Bridge from my loft window, but not the river itself, except occasionally when the light shines in the right place! 
My tag is my artistic interpretation of the river, the shape of it with its meanders, and I have used floral fabrics  as the banks on either side. The river is made of blue checked fabric, with thick threads couched on .

Monday, 6 May 2013

Henley Arts Trail

I have had a really good weekend going round the Henley Arts Trail. I managed 7 venues over 3 days, picking the ones where there were multiple artists showing together. I met 
some lovely artists, saw  work from a variety of disciplines, and my head is full of the
art and craft I have seen. I didn't take photos as I wanted to concentrate on looking at the work on show. 
I am having problems with Blogger at the moment, I cannot get the alignment to work,so
please forgive my odd paragraphs.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

This week's books

 These are the books I have been looking at this week. Crocheted Accessories by Helen Ardley and Funky Chunky Crocheted Accessories by Jan Eaton. Both are well illustrated and have lots of nice projects in. I have just taught myself to do treble crochet stitch, but I am not really ready for a pattern yet, just sample squares! I am spending more time at              handicrafts and hobbies at the moment , as I am not feeling 100 per cent.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Cat Collage

This is a collage I made of my cat, Minnie. She had been very ill, and needed to stay in the animal hospital for 10 days. Now she is well again and looking happy. The collage was a thank you for the vet's practice. I used painted papers and magazines and embroidery floss for her whiskers.