Tuesday, December 08, 2015

I've been a bit busy lately!

I was lucky enough to be offered a place to exhibit for Eastbourne Christmas Open Houses. A really nice Art Studio and Gallery in South Street. As soon as I had accepted, of course, a virus intervened and production slowed right down for a while. In the usual way of things, as soon as I recovered and started to get ready for the exhibition I got a rush order for three red santas! Wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew, I got to work:

and made these. Lots of embroidery stitches and embellishments.

 and finally, I arrived here last weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2015

What do you do.....................

if you don't like the piece you made while you were out of your comfort zone?

You try a mount over it and see if looks any better.

 and if you still don't like it? Try a few more mounts. You can always cut it up and use the best bits!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cranberry Juice, a bit of a mess!

I'm way out of my comfort zone with this. I work in a very figurative way, so for me this is a mess. Doesn't mean that I can't enjoy playing with it though!

I've added some more stitching and done some more needle felting, this time by hand.

 I got the plastic hoop a while ago. I use it to stretch fabric sometimes when I paint it. The paint washes off easily rather than soaking in to a wooden one. It's also useful for doing little bits of hand needle felting on fabric because it has these little legs:

 I made felt beads too, but I don't know if I will use them on this.

I saw the cranberry fields on a trip around New England once. I couldn't believe my eyes. The cranberries grow in water so the fields are more like shallow lakes and the time I was there the berries were ripe and floating like a bright blood-red raft on top of the water. Absolutely amazing!

There's cretan, herringbone and stem stitch on here with a few french knots.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Taking it a step further!

Yesterday I went to a workshop. The workshop was being held at Hastings Art Forum, a super little gallery right on the seafront at St. Leonards on Sea. I like it there, because they have a healthy respect for textile artists. In fact the workshop I attended, Textured Landscapes by Catherine Lawes, was being run as part of the annual textile exhibition, this year entitled Ebb and Flow.

There were upwards of a dozen of us. Catherine had provided us with all the materials and equipment we needed. We each had an identical "starter pack" of fabrics and there was a huge pile of threads to choose from. We were using a photograph of cranberry fields as inspiration and although there were many unfinished pieces it was clear that despite working from the same source and using identical fabrics they were all going to be completely different.

I'm not going to show the techniques as I learned them in the workshop because that would be a violation of copyright, but this is what I came home with:

Any one that knows me, knows that for me it's all about the STITCH! While I was doing this, I was already thinking about taking it further by mangling it through the embellisher and stitching on top. Maybe it was the cranberry colours. I was thinking about this piece I did a while ago:

Here's a close-up.

So, today I put my workshop piece through the embellisher.

Here it is, mangled and ready for another layer of stitching.

and here's the back.

I remembered the cranberries from the original source photograph, so I've just made some felt beads.

There should be some progress to post in a couple of days - when I've had some fun with it!

Here's the link to Hastings Art Forum
and this is where you can find Catherine Lawes

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Showing off the stitches

I may have mentioned that I took part in Artists' Open Houses during the Eastbourne Festival this year. It wasn't a great success and I doubt I will do it again, but that's another story. Anyway, having described myself as a "Doll-making Embroiderer", I produced this strange little figure to show the kind of embroidery I put on some of my dolls.

This is the front view:

Here's a close-up:

What have we got here? Down the middle is my favourite interlaced raised chain band, with elongated tie stitches. This stitch reminds me of the frog fasteners on vintage military coats, and the embroidery on some Native Amercian clothing I saw in the museum in Bar Harbour. A couple of rows of laced herringbone on either side. Around the "arms" is another of my favourites, trellis stitch on a buttonhole foundation.

This is the back view:

I was more pleased with this, than the front. Another close-up:

Very simple, cretan and running stitch.

and here, cretan, herringbone and buttonhole.

Now I just have to decide what she/it is!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Using up the leftovers.

I love fabric and I hate to waste it, so every so often I go through my box of "bits" and make up a few of these little things ready for embellishing. These are made from offcuts left over from doll making. Sometimes I will just pick a couple out, take myself of into a corner and sit and stitch quietly, embroidering with stranded cotton, in a world of my own. For me, it's as good as meditation or a sound bath.

Sunday, April 05, 2015


Our Creative Co-op group decided to swap Artists' Trading Cards. We meet once a month - attendance varies!

I thought mine should reflect what I mostly do, so decided to make coloured pencil drawings of some of my embroidered dolls. I concentrated on the faces because people always ask me if I draw them myself or ask me where I buy them!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Apologies to Bea Dollmayer

Bea, you asked about a stitch. I'm so sorry. I haven't been watching my blog lately.
It's just simple buttonhole stitch over a thread.

For the piece you asked about, I tacked down the first thread before I started to stitch over it, and then just carried on working in rounds, gradually building it up, without taking the needle through the backing fabric.

I used it on this box too, but I here took the needle into the fabric with each buttonhole stitch.

Sampling stitches

This summer for the first time I am taking part in Artists' Open Studios as part of the Eastbourne Festival. Mostly I will be displaying my art dolls, as there will also be another textile artist at the same venue. But I am also an embroiderer so I want to have at least one heavily stitched piece on show. I've had a piece of hand dyed fabric floating around for ages, wondering what on earth to do with it. Not one of my best efforts! I used this piece of cotton "drip cloth" to sample a few ideas before I get started on it. This piece is 8 inches square and mounted on a box canvas. The final piece of work will be 36 x 12 inches, an art quilt, mounted on a stretcher. I plan to make an impression!