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Over the last few weeks I’ve been inspired to have a go at making a lampshade.
It’s based upon the woods that we live opposite from and can see from our front windows and it’s also where we walk the dog everyday, so of course she features too!
I began by measuring (and measuring again) and making a patchwork textile picture of the right proportions for the shade using colours to suggest the passing of the seasons and some of my favourite rare Liberty scraps.
Then I lino-printed the trees on (regretted using a dark purple but it was too late) and then the fun and time-consuming part was to embellish it with embroidery.
I tried to make the trees show the movement from Spring through to Summer and through to Winter as the shade curls around.
I used French Knots for blossom, diamond-shaped leaves and couching with the bobbin thread.
And of course a bit of free-motion machine embroidery with my new toy*
Still reflecting on what colour to keep the lamp base but I’m pleased to have tried this and it’ll be a whole lot easier now another time – watch this space!
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.
There is a big gap forming between what I’m doing each day and the speed I get here to show it!
I’ve been busy lately making fabric butterflies and moths for an upcoming MAC workshop.
I’m loving the variety of work that teaching Textiles opens up.
I have loads of photo reference from my trip here last year which has come in really handy.
I love it when you follow your heart’s inspiration only to find things come together at a later date.
I couldn’t have known back then how useful the trip to the Oxford Natural History Museum would be and I guess that’s why artist play dates are so important (explanation here)
And it’s interesting for me to see the marriage of painting and textiles coming about too on this project.
BTW did you see my new website header sneak in!
It’s been ages since I filled a sketchbook like this!
60 odd pages full of textiley work inspired by our Dutch holiday earlier in the year.
Want to have a little lookie?
I’ve been experimenting and making examples of all sorts of things –
lots of different types of print methods, stitch and applique.
Pinterest was a good source to fire my imagination with.
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.
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.
Everyone cycles in Amsterdam so this was all very easy.
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.
Ah the wind! I figured cycling on the flat would be a breeze (excuse the pun!)
We stopped on the way at Broek-in-Waterland which is a beautiful historic little village full of gorgeous houses and fascinating architecture.
Then we continued on to Marken – OMG I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was the loveliest place ever…
the houses, the architecture, the scenery, the ducks everywhere,
the shutters, the fences, the harbour…all set out like a cute little toy-town.
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.
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.
And it has inspired a wealth of creativity since.
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.
Yesterday, me, myself and I took a little trip to the NEC to take a gander around the Sewing For Pleasure show. My interest in Textiles has got re-ignited since beginning to teach it at MAC and I was not disappointed by what I saw – here’s some of my favourite inspiration from the day…
Fran Holmes amazing fabric cabbages and Primulas.
This machine embroidery by Emma Villiger – I love the colours and the free machine embroidery that looks like writing.
A photo doesn’t do this piece by Maria Stoller justice – it was very translucent and floated gently around.
My favourite discovery of the day; Maria Thomas. Love her work and aesthetic and was very happy later in the day to take her workshop on appliquéd pockets.
This is the beginning of mine which I will finish sometime.
And lastly this clever piece by Janet Rose which describes with image-transferred words and maps a special place. And of course I bought a few goodies along the way too which I’m looking forward to playing with. Have great weekend yourselves 🙋
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.