claire leggettsm notebks wrapped

It’s Moseley Arts market again tomorrow – was the last one really only four weeks ago?

claire leggett sm notebks wrapped

Time seems to have condensed itself recently, don’t know if the days just feel shorter because of it getting dark earlier or whether my expectations for what can be done in a day are too great!

claire leggett yellow notebk in prog

I have been in my painting cave this week re-stocking these hand painted notebooks. They are a labour of love, I’m not gonna lie, but the emphasis is defiantly on love.

claire leggett large notebooks

The painting of these really gets my creative juices flowing for other projects and I just love doing them. Plus I added a ‘belly wrap’ (get me) which just finishes them off nicely.

claire leggett lg notebks wrapped

9-3pm Alcester Road, Mosley, tomorrow :)

Pastel pink book

Everyone once in a while I get a little bit obsessed with a colour. Seems to be this sticking-plaster pink. I was lucky enough to score this book for a fiver and it’s helped fuelled my pink infatuation and designing today. Can’t last though – tis soon the season to be red , green and white!



I have just cast off these lovely pink socks and I think they have been my favourite knit so far, for many reasons.


Number one has got to be because when I began them I was dog-sitting Lottie who had just come home from the vets having had her knee surgery. I bought the wool while we were killing time waiting for her operation to be done so we could bring her home.


Once she got back, for a few days I just couldn’t leave her downstairs alone for long stretches of time while I worked upstairs, so I found myself sitting beside her bed knitting these. Now they’re finished they bring happy thoughts that, that difficult time was worth it as she is recovering nicely now.


The second reason is this yarn. The shop owner who said I’d never go back after trying Debbie Bliss yarn was SO right. I don’t know why it’s so heavenly – this is Rialto 4 ply 100% Merino wool – but it feels like nothing I’ve ever used before and it knits up beautifully. Now I’m not a perfectionist, I drop stitches and find them later, but would you look at how perfect this knitting is!!

pink socks

The third reason is my down to my new pyjamas!! Oh, how I love new pyjamas – for some women it’s too many shoes, my weakness is my constant need for new pj’s! It wasn’t conscious (but it had to unconscious) that I chose wool in the exact same colour as the trims on my new pj’s – man, I am now warm, snuggly and matching from top to toe! lol.



I thought before I’d finished with my trip to the American Quilt Museum that I would show you these pictures of it as I know some readers love quilts and some Folk Art.


The American Quilt Museum shows artefacts and information on the history of America from the early settlers through to the twentieth century.


The exhibitions show the highly varied array of American traditions but I only photographed a few as time was tight and it was very dim in some of the rooms.


Folk Art is generally a bit of a misunderstood term but in this museum they use it to mean the artistic heritage of ordinary folks living in pre-industrial America.


In one room, painted a striking red, is the display of home decoration made ‘by the people, for the people’. The guide explained how portraits were painted by travelling ‘artists’ who worked quickly and simply to keep the cost down, thus making a portrait attainable to the poorer classes. That’s why they look naive and plain (sometimes more than others).


The museum has over 200 quilts, although only 50 are on display at any one time.


This ‘giraffe’ here is actually from a fairground carousel which is why it’s neck is a bit short!


One thing I love about places like these is the wealth of inspiration it fires in the imagination.

american museum colour palette

I made a few colour palettes from things I’d seen, like this set of old sewing threads, for future design work.


I’ve got a feeling that this is a Kaffe quilt but as I was whizzing about at this point, I never made a note.

american museum colour palette_quilt

Lovely colours though :)


 Let’s finish with this super-cute baby bed with a tiny quilt, pillows and netting – I hope it was for a doll and not a real baby!


I’d definitely go back again as I only scratched the surface of what it has to offer – I think Bath in general calls for a longer visit sometime especially as I hear they’ve opened an Anthropologie there and you know how much I like Anthro!


More Kaffe today! It seems there is a hunger out there for it as so many of you have *liked* the previous post or left a comment – thanks, I love them :). Who I am to deprive you of more of these wonderful things I had to share.


 Inside the American Museum in Britain are these gorgeous pieces which are the colour separations that the printer would have used to print the Kaffe Fassett fabric lengths.


They show the hand painted original design in repeat and then all the colours which would have made up the different colour ways.


I was très excited when I spotted them hanging up around the museum because I love this kind of behind the scene technical stuff.


Some of the photos are very yellow and full of reflection – sorry, there was not a lot of light or space.


And look at all those glorious colours! It’s hard to believe that in 20 years we have gone from hand painting every design idea and colour way to being able to put drawings into repeat and play with colours all at the touch of a mouse.


Back in the day I had a work placement in a company who sat me in a (large) cupboard (no windows and a lot of boxes) and had me paint in their drawings with specific colours  - all day for a week – or two –  I forget now, it seemed a long time.


A Google search shows they no longer trade so that’s all the retribution I’ll get for the cupboard ‘love’.



I could have poured over these for hours tracing which colour went where and plotting the pattern repeat.


I like to think the master’s hand had touched them all but I’m sure he will have had assistants help paint these in (just not in a cupboard I hope!)

Let me know if you loved them as much as I did :)

A couple of weeks back I took a day trip to Bath to meet up with a friend and catch this wonderful exhibition.


Coming up the drive to the American Museum we were greeted by some beautiful yarn bombing - the tree was decorated with fabric covered plant pots (looking like lampshades) and pompoms and crochet.


And inside the exhibition just got more and more colourful.


The Colourful World of Kaffe Fassett showed over a hundred pieces of textile, mosaic, painting, tapestry, knitting, quilting and beading spanning Kaffe Fassetts creative life to date.


He says himself of this exhibition “I want my message to come across in this mood altering show – I’m flying high on colour.” And it’s so colourful and in your face that it’s going to be like Marmite – love it or hate it. I LoVeD it of course because of the colours.


The main reason that Kaffe Fassett is a hero of mine is because of his mastery of colour – whether it be in paint, yarn, cloth or ceramic – his colour aesthetic is beautiful to me.


He can harmonise or punch you in the face with his colour choices.


He has had the biggest influence on my own work ever since I discovered him whilst I was at college and he still does today.


The exhibition has lots of his personal treasures incorporated in it and I loved drooling over the little pin boards of his inspirational materials to see what was there.


Hard to believe any one actually wore the knitwear back in the day (let alone could afford to knit it in all those colours) but they are truly works of art and it’s difficult to conceive that he made some of them up as he went along.


He can even do beige well!


My favourite room was this green room housing all things vegetable.


I remember back in about 2008 chancing across his cabbage painting in my box of cuttings and being so creatively inspired that I got my paints out after a decade of them languishing in the loft while I brought up the kiddo’s and went back to work teaching.


So it was a special moment to revere it in the flesh.


His colour palettes have something to teach either up close or as a whole curation of items of work.


I could sit and paint  juxtaposed colours for months and still only record a tiny amount of the inspiration there is here – Kaffe describes the exhibition as “an opera of colour” and I feel like I can hum a tiny bit of the chorus!

red scarf and collage claire leggett

I often go to exhibitions and take hundreds of snaps and never quite get around to digesting what I’ve seen through to some actual work, so I’ve tried hard this week to take time out of proper work to just play around with paint and paper using the photos as a prompt.

Kaffe_pennants and collage

You can never tell what ideas will get sparked.


There was also the American Heritage Exhibition and the Folk Art room which I will show you some pic’s of another time.


It was so hard to edit these photo’s down but here’s just one more quilt to finish on.

Sir William Nicholson     Pink Still Life with Jug c 1936

Sir William Nicholson Pink Still Life with Jug c 1936

The other Saturday HB and I went for a wander around Birmingham City and discovered by chance this amazing exhibition in the Waterhall -  part of BMAG . It’s called Still Life Reconsidered and aims to raise the question of what is considered still life – subject matter, materials and arrangement in their broadest sense.

Raoul Dufy        Lis

Raoul Dufy Lis

Historically, still life has grown from the painting of details in larger compositions with subjects. Once it had become a subject in itself, it became  layered with religious, moral or political symbolism and later used as a vehicle to challenge style and approach to painting as well as a safe foundation from which to make challenging statements.

William George Scott    Still Life: Flowers and Jug

William George Scott Still Life: Flowers and Jug

I often look at still life in a purely visual manner especially if the piece appears to be ‘domestic’; I find it hard myself to answer the question of ‘what does it say’ when I’m asked about my own work – so it was challenging to read more about painters commenting on mood, memory, personality and illness through still life painting. Still life isn’t always just a pretty picture – but sometime it is – both are valid.

William George Scott    Still Life: Flowers and Jug - detail

William George Scott Still Life: Flowers and Jug – detail

Picasso drew Goat Skull when he was in his 70′s and may be a reflection of his own feelings of mortality.

Pablo Picasso  Skull of a Goat

Pablo Picasso Skull of a Goat

Winifred Nicholson shows the symbolic start of Spring in a setting she loved most, her home in Cumberland.

Winifred Nicholson   Flowers at a Window 1939

Winifred Nicholson Flowers at a Window 1939

She believed that colour and tone could be used to show the spiritual truth; beauty in the ordinary.


Winifred Nicholson Flowers at a Window 1939 – detail

My choices to show here don’t represent the more abstract end of the still life spectrum in the exhibition but that’s just because I wanted to record what I liked and what could inspire me to think further.

Henry Moore          Elephant Skull

Henry Moore Elephant Skull

It is a very well-chosen, broad selection of pictures – some of them by rock stars of the art world that are exciting to see in real life just because.

Mary Fedden Basket of Fruit 1998

Mary Fedden Basket of Fruit 1998

Very inspired to see my first Mary Fedden in the flesh – not disappointed – look at the texture on that paper and I love the gesture you see in her brushwork.

Mary Fedden Basket of Fruit 1998 - detail

Mary Fedden Basket of Fruit 1998 – detail

 It runs until 31st December 2014 and it’s free.












1.2015 calendar Cover_flattened_CMYKI thought I’d do a proper ‘ta-da!’ post about the calendar I have designed for this coming year 2015.

November 2015_flattened_CMYK

I had so much fun painting images to use to represent each month, using colours that remind me of those months.


I’m a real stickler for buying a calendar with a week that begins with a Monday (unlike European calendars which begin with Sunday). I like to be able to see the week grouped together and the weekend days adjacent rather than split from the front of the week to the back.


So I had begun to look at 2015 calendars in the shop when the idea hit me that I could design exactly what I wanted.

December 2015_flattened_CMYK

The painting part is always fun. The WHOLE week I spent on the computer piecing it all together was only fun for a few days though!


But it was worth it – it always amazes me when something that you design on a computer gets printed and becomes a real 3D object.

August 2015_flattened_CMYK

It’s £12.00 and you can find it and all the details here in my Etsy shop which is ClaireLeggettArt. 
Or come along to tomorrows Moseley market and save on the postage ;)

moseley Oct 2014


Digging through my holiday photos, I found this one of the socks I knitted whilst in Italy. I couldn’t do the last row and cast off without the internet to watch The Knit Witch demonstrate Kitchener Stitch, so that had to wait till we got home.


I thought it time to get a model and photograph them in their finished state and someone else decided she wanted to be in on it too.


Lottie usually hates the camera – this is the longest she’s stayed in a shot – typical when that’s not the intention!


So back to the socks –  the yarn is Gloria Cannan and was nice to knit up although I’m not a fan of a 100% acrylic finish.


So back to Lottie because she’s far cuter than the socks anyway :)

Astrid Trügg  On a Chest of Drawers

Astrid Trügg    On a Chest of Drawers

I thought I’d share the work of Astrid Trügg with you today.

Astrid Trügg  Stacked Bowls

Astrid Trügg    Stacked Bowls

Astrid is a painter originally from the Netherlands but now lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Astrid Trügg  Late Afternoon

Astrid Trügg    Late Afternoon

She used to focus her painting on architecture but developed a love of still life after discovering the work of Ben Nicholson.

Astrid Trügg  Pomegrantes

Astrid Trügg    Pomegrantes

The influence is clear to see with a love of scumbled surfaces and flattened planes of composition.

Astrid Trügg  Gathering of Objects

Astrid Trügg    Gathering of Objects

The same love of texture can be seen in her mixed media collage approach.

Astrid Trügg  Still Life and Blue Cloth

Astrid Trügg     Still Life and Blue Cloth

She often re-uses favourite objects and motifs in her work as they have a strong personal attachment for her.

Astrid Trügg  Lemon and Stripy Jug

Astrid Trügg    Lemon and Stripy Jug

I love the moody quality she creates with a dark background and hilighted areas on the objects.

Astrid Trügg  In a Tin

Astrid Trügg    In a Tin

And I like her muted colour palette with pops of turquoise, indigo and yellow.

Astrid Trügg  Preparations

Astrid Trügg    Preparations

Hope you enjoy it too. You can buy her work here.

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