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I got the biggest surprise for Christmas when I opened a big box and found this, my own design, printed up on gorgeous heavy weight linen. My HB had made up a pretty believable story in order to get hold of the files to this design and I didn’t suspect for a moment that he was in cahoots with my S-I-L whose idea it was to get it printed.
It has got my thinking hard about future possibilities…
Happy New Year all.
Fingers crossed for weeks 2, 3, 4 ..!
After along hiatus in painting activity around here, I have unpacked some lovely new paints and re-discovered my happy place. Inspired by our French holiday I have added some colour and warmth to my otherwise cold studio.
One way to cope is to wear lots of layers – these dungarees are 27 years old! They started life with me at art college, have decorated every house we’ve ever lived in, have helped create most of my paintings and are still going strong today
I took delivery of a new sewing machine which is able to do free-motion machine embroidery – lots of fun ahead adding that to hand-prints and the like.
And yesterday I allowed myself a moment of celebration when I saw the book I’m in on the shelf in my very own local Waterstones bookshop!
Have a happy week everyone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Todays calendar page is not wrong!
After a lovely busy Summer bursting with family affairs, teaching, holidays and other welcome distractions, today is the first day I find myself home alone and able to concentrate.
So I picked this interesting Hydrangea flower from the garden and got re-acquainted with my paintbrush. It feels good 🙂
We split our recent holiday in France, into two destinations so that we could cover more of the south coast in the time we were there.
I had heard of Grasse being the perfume capital of France (and read that book years ago!)
And I also knew that it would be cheaper than any where on the coastline to stay and that it was the home of Fragonard perfumes.
And I am a big fan of Fragonard packaging so all in all it was the perfect destination.
I love the styles of illustration and painterly florals that they use.
And spent a happy time snapping away at all the beautiful displays.
I’ve got to tell you I saw an assistant throw a beautiful box in the bin, and if I hadn’t had to navigate the convo in French I would have asked for it!
Being the home of Fragonard, the town of Grasse had several Fragonard shops in it all with beautiful displays.
So I have come home with oodles of inspiration…oh a bit of perfume too 😉
This past week I’ve been doing a little screen printing project at home.
A little zippy bag for my soon-to-be aupairing girl.
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.
And the opportunity to photograph socks freshly off the needles.
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!
And this wool I bought when Debbie Bliss came to our local knitting shop recently, bringing a discount day with her.
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.
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.
In the last weeks the dresser got Spring cleaned – I found myself picking out yellow and pink china and it snowballed from there.
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.
I’m excited to see how teaching this class will develop my own work as these things always have a synergistic effect.
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 😍
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?
Lemon and Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with edible flowers for the girl who gave up chocolate for Lent.
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…
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!
Here’s a little snap of my Spring inspired work table to leave you with. Hope the sun’s shining where you are.
I have a v. large pin-board in my studio which is great except I have a tendency to fill it with things I’m inspired by but then not ever get round to following that inspiration. It’s become a bit like a huge pin-board of my brain or a way of filing things and putting them off – you know, a little drawing here, an inspiring card there = a big pile after a while.
So one of my 2016 intentions has been to actually set to and get making.
This is making for a bit of a random but fun way of working as I pick my way through the pinning, taking each as it comes without much planning.
Here’s a new pattern design which started as a post-dog walk sketch of some finds in the wood which I then put into a pattern repeat and coloured with a palette chosen from a lovely painting in the V& A which I’d seen on a recent visit.
Wonder what’s next in the pick and mix?!
Hello all you fellow pattern lovers. I have this lovely new 2016 Caroline Gavin calendar to put some cheer on the walls.
And don’t we need it – I don’t know about you but I’m sick of the daily downpours (although also v.v. grateful not to be contending with flooding) and ready to see some colour outside.
I love the painterly style of Carolines work and her use of colour.
Her Instagram feed is a dose of sunshine too if you need a colour shot 😉