claire_l_bunty mitt 1

Just off the pins…Bunty Mitts by Ella Austin. you can find them here.

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I wanted to do some Fairisle but not be months on it and these are the perfect sized project and a manageable amount of colours.

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I love them!

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Ok, the last you’ll hear about Amsterdam etc.

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But I love this little piece – a quick little patchwork with alittle patchwork with some transfoil hi-lights.

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Perfectly captures what I’ll remember best-  that big, big sky and those clouds.

It’s been ages since I filled a sketchbook like this!

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60 odd pages full of textiley work inspired by our Dutch holiday earlier in the year.

Want to have a little lookie?

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I’ve been experimenting and making examples of all sorts of things –

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lots of different types of print methods, stitch and applique.

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Pinterest was a good source to fire my imagination with.

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I haven’t done a project like this probably since art collage and it’s been fun to blow the cobwebs away and do some new things.

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I have been having a lot of fun over the last few months teaching Mixed Media Textiles at MAC Birmingham. This is a fabric collage piece based on the lovely village of Marken in the Netherlands.

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The students are full of talent and creativity and sometimes it’s easier to show someone how they could approach their work, rather than explain it.

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So I have been using our Amsterdam trip as inspiration to re-aquaint myself with techniques and ways of working that I haven’t used recently while painting so as to make a sketchbook of samples.

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And boy have I had fun! And learnt some things long forgotten such as I love print, love using embroidery stitch to draw with, like trans foiling, like dying but still hate weaving – too slow!

One of the best things we did on our recent Amsterdam trip was to get the ferry off the main bit of Amsterdam town and hire cycles for the day.

Amsterdam just over the ferry

Everyone cycles in Amsterdam so this was all very easy.

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We headed off with great plans of all the villages we visit on a round-trip and with a little warning from the cycle hire guy about not being over ambitious because of the wind.

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Ah the wind! I figured cycling on the flat would be a breeze (excuse the pun!)

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We stopped on the way at Broek-in-Waterland which is a beautiful historic little village full of gorgeous houses and fascinating architecture.

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Then we continued on to Marken –  OMG I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was the loveliest place ever…

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the houses, the architecture, the scenery, the ducks everywhere,

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the shutters, the fences, the harbour…all set out like a cute little toy-town.

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And having laughed all the way up till this point we soon realised that the return route was going to be real hard against the wind and did have to curtail our grand plans to cycle-see everything and we began the slog home against the wind.

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But so worth it. We often find on a city break, that a day out in the surrounding country not only gives us a break but contextualizes what we see of life in that place. And this was never more true here where we could see how people live and commute and what the land looks like – I would never in a million years have guessed how lovely the Dutch country villages could be.

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And it has inspired a wealth of creativity since.

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Where does the time go? The Summer seems to be hurtling past and these past few weeks have been really busy and are only set to get busier with children’s classes to run at MAC and a lovely holiday to look forward to.

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So I’m prompted to finish some work I’ve started inspired by my travels earlier in the year and edit and store all my many Amsterdam photos.

A Windmill on a Polder Waterway - Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriel

A Windmill on a Polder Waterway – Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriel

These shots come from the Rijksmuseum which is one of the most beautifully set out buildings for art that I’ve been in.

Portraits of Sir Thomas Gresham and Anne Fernely - Anthonis Mor

Portraits of Sir Thomas Gresham and Anne Fernely – Anthonis Mor

The layout, the wall colour, the space…it all set the pictures off to their very best.

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It had a few ‘rock-star’ pieces like these Vermeer’s (below) which are truly lovely and made all the more so by being quite small in reality; intricately painted and full of emotion.

Woman Reading a Letter - Johannes Vermeer

Woman Reading a Letter – Johannes Vermeer

The Milkmaid - Johannes Vermeer

The Milkmaid – Johannes Vermeer

There were also some other sweet, candid, real-life scenes from painters I’d not heard of.

A Mother's Duty - Pieter de Hooch

They appeal to me for their subject matter – a little like walking past an open door and catching sight of a life being lived in a snapshot moment.

Woman with a Child in a Pantry - Pieter de Hooch

Woman with a Child in a Pantry – Pieter de Hooch

Other paintings appealed for their colour palate – sorry it’s blurry but the colours are gorgeous.

The Calling of St Anthony - Aertgen Claesz

The Calling of St Anthony – Aertgen Claesz

Others caught my attention because of their sense of history – this one is a beautiful composition and the notes on the plaque  explained that a family being painted playing music was symbolic of their harmonious life together.

David Leeuw with his family - Abraham van den Tempel

David Leeuw with his family – Abraham van den Tempel

Finally, when in The Netherlands you’ve got to love a Dutch countryside scene.

Boat with a Pollard Willow - Matthijs Maris

Boat with a Pollard Willow – Matthijs Maris

 

***

There are 3 main galleries the guide books suggest you visit.

The Van Gogh museum is a must-see – however long queues outside, big crowds inside, one or two ‘famous’ pieces of his but then bulked out by works by his contemporaries, made the expense of it feel a little bit like it was a money spinner exhibition.

The Stedeliijk museum of Modern Art was alright! Not a massive fan.

The Rijksmuseum was my stand out favourite.

(PS To those people who asked me about this, sorry it took me so long to write about it – you’ve probably had your trips by now and discovered for yourselves!) 

 

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I’m so gutted we’ve voted to leave the EU – I think inclusivity is always a good choice to make.

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This work is inspired by Amsterdam houses from when we visited in March –  when we were still part of the EU :(

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Although it’s been a busy week here, it’s been a week full of working with the loveliest people and doing the nicest of things.

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I am grateful for the shape this artful life has taken and for the people who make it possible.

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Today I visited the Constance Wallace teashop (which I have mentioned before here)

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 but they have since gone on to open a beautiful shop.

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Alongside all the gorgeous vintage china for sale/hire and the beautifully curated things you just need to have, like the softest socks and eye-catching ceramics and pretty handmade buttons, they have been stocking some of my prints, cards and original art.

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 I went today to replenish the stock and had the prettiest and most delicious business meeting yet😉

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I’d recommend a visit especially as they are now licensed to sell Prosecco too!

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I had a lovely day workshopping with some GCSE student’s at a secondary school near Cannock yesterday.

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The brief was to learn some of my still life painting techniques – they had fun with the masking fluid but didn’t like the smell – who can blame them!

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And they coped exceptionally well with all the pattern I threw at them in the set-ups.

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I really enjoy being around young people – youth is infectious and these kids are talented, funny and a credit to the people involved with them.

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Monday morning vibes – have a super sunny creative week.

Copyright notice 2015

All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Claire Leggett and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Claire Leggett.

If you wish to link to this site or to a post from this site, please ask first before doing so and then give appropriate credit for content.

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The South of France was great for us arty-farty types 😎#nicolaslavarenne #artyfarty #envacances #france #france🇫🇷 Fragonard 😍 painted packaging heaven! 🎨🖌🌻🌷 #surfacepattern #surfacepatterndesign #painted #illustration Market day colours #envacances #france🇫🇷 #france #market #marketplace #colour So many lovely villages to explore full of gorgeous doors, windows and balconies.  #househunting #ihavethisthingwithdoors #envacances #france🇫🇷 #france #holiday #ihavethisthingwithwindows

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