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Angela, this one is just for you 🙂 Thanks for asking 😉

Some more snippets from the pages of my Fish Sketchbook (see previous post) showing bits of pattern exploration, a little painting, rust dying, block printing, collage, string printing, applique and free motion embroidery.

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I’ve been Spring cleaning of late – you know all those little jobs that you put off but need resolving eventually. So I’ve cleared and filed my desktop…dating back two years! collated all my pattern designing files into one place which was a major task and I’m making inroads into clearing out iphoto.

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Which has prompted me to show you what i’ve been working away at over the last few months alongside other painting and design work.

Every 3 months I get a new group investigating textiles at MAC and I like to have a theme to demonstrate the techniques to and to show how you can develop ideas along an idea.

I was inspired by all things fishy when we were in the South of France in the summer and so that was my theme with my last group.

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Above is a demo of open screen direct dye printing – fish scale style.

It’s always good to play around in a sketch book and I generate so many samples that I find it helpful to theme them into a book.

Students seem to appreciate looking at them and getting their own ideas of what to do.

And I love looking at students sketchbooks – one of the best things about textiles is that there is always something new to try or a new way of seeing or applying a technique.

We use a wide range of approaches in Mixed Media Textiles at MAC Birmingham and so I set myself the task of including a piece of all those techniques into one final piece.

An underwater scene lent itself nicely to the many layers of textile applications.

Hope you had an enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend whatever you were doing x

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I get to dream up lots of fun projects for kids and adults alike as part of my job at MAC which in turn challenges me to keep things fresh, re-visit techniques long forgotten or delve in and learn new ones.

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And as a part of my Mixed Media Textiles teaching, I played around with some potato printing which I hadn’t done for as long as I can remember.

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It’s often the simple, childish things that are the most fun to do but can be brought to a new level as an adult.

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One thing I’ve rediscovered is my love of drawing with threads – either by hand or free-machine stitching. It’s just another form of colouring in and mark-making.

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And all of that play has got developed into a one-day course Print, Sew, Make on Dec 15th where you can use simple fabric printing methods and stitch and leave with a drawstring bag if you like.

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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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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.

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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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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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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.

This past week I’ve been doing a little screen printing project at home.

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A little zippy bag for my soon-to-be aupairing girl.

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And the time and the weather gave us a chance to get into the garden this long weekend and sort it out a bit- the upside of which is finding flowers once hidden.

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And the opportunity to photograph socks freshly off the needles.

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The Fairisle flower was finished first. You can find it here but I added the toe pattern which has made them a little pointy – elf socks!

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And this wool I bought when Debbie Bliss came to our local knitting shop recently, bringing a discount day with her.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed your long holiday weekend too.

Hello! Today is the first day here that truly feels like Spring. It’s also the first day in a week that I feel well (stupid virus, nothing serious) and maybe it’s a combination of those two things that has prompted me to tidy out my iPhoto library today and come say hello with pictures.

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It’s not that I haven’t been busy creating (apart from last week) but quite the opposite and once there’s too much to say I find it becomes harder to say anything.

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In the last weeks the dresser got Spring cleaned – I found myself picking out yellow and pink china and it snowballed from there.

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I was thrilled to get the opportunity to begin teaching one of the MAC’s adult evening Textile classes (insert whooping and cheering). This has taken me on a journey back in time and a re-birth in skills once learnt and used. I studied all kinds of Textile art for my degree before specialising in Print and it has been really invigorating prepping samples to show the students – here’s some batiking I did inspired by these gorgeous anemones.

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I’m excited to see how teaching this class will develop my own work as these things always have a synergistic effect.

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You know the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” well this couldn’t be truer in the context of me teaching my daughter to crochet. First she knocked out her own gorgeous Granny Square blanket as her first project, then set about a huge Granny Square blanket as a friend’s birthday gift (here’s where I got jealous!) then for Mothers Day she made me this beautiful cushion cover for a pillow on our bed 😍

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And the making = love message has been strong in our house of late as we celebrated a BIG birthday this weekend. We can’t believe our kids are 18 and 20 – where did the time go?

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Lemon and Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with edible flowers for the girl who gave up chocolate for Lent.

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And following the tradition to have a special item to commemorate a landmark birthday like 18, this little pumpkin asked me to knit her a cardi! Ahh…

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It did nearly kill me as it’s the most complex thing I’ve done yet but that’s how you up your skills level isn’t it!

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Here’s a little snap of my Spring inspired work table to leave you with. Hope the sun’s shining where you are.

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I had a lovely day on Saturday tutoring The Spotted Dog Art Group from Nottingham in the sensibilities of The Fauves. I hope they don’t mind me calling them ‘The Wild Beasts of Nottingham’ they are actually a very welcoming and inspiring group.

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The Fauves, meaning Wild Beasts, were a C19th affiliation of artists which included the rock stars Gauguin, Dufy and Van Gogh. When their work went on show, a French critic named them The Wild Beasts because of the way they saw and used colour – he wasn’t a fan!

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But The Fauves use of warm and cool colours contrasting brightly was exactly what we were trying to emulate on Saturday.

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The Spotted Dogger’s are all very good, competent artists and a pleasure to work alongside – although I did more chatting than actual painting.

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It was a challenge to translate a Fauvist colour palate into a scene without it but with the use of paint-chip cards and visual reference they all made successful interpretations and produced beautiful work.

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I thoroughly enjoyed teaching about colour and encouraging a more unplanned, experimental approach to painting and in return I had some great advice about what acrylic paints to buy in the future – I love it that there’s still so much we can learn from one another and that painting can be such a social endeavour – it’s fun to spend time with like-minded people.


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After an exercise in Fauvism it was interesting to see individuals translate the approach into their favoured way of working and medium.


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It never ceases to amaze me how individual we all are in our creativity and how much there is to enjoy and learn when we share it.

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I get a lot from these kinds of days – so thank you again Spotted Dog Art Group and good luck with your exhibition – I hope The Fauve paintings win the prizes 😉

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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.

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#25years ago today we got married #lovelocks #25yearsmarried #budapest #budapest🇭🇺 #tbt to when @huggies bought this #surfacepatterndesign of mine. Spotted out in the world this  week in Pittsburgh USA 🙋🏻#pattern #patterndesigner #patterndesign #printed #paintingstopatterns #surfacepattern Finished AND framed 🖌📐🔨signing out for the weekend which will definitely begin with a 🍹#sometimesidowork #painting #landscapepainting #france #acrylicpainting Jelly Babies 👶🏼... literally. Baby Creative Play @mac_birmingham today #creativeplay #babytoes #messyplay #babysensory

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