a life of fibre

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Another quick peacock update

Friday, October 20th, 2017

The peacock hanging is going well, I’m definitely making progress.

Definitely progress. I had intended to do more work around the shisha mirrors but I looked at it last night and decided that actually the tail is done.

Still not completed by the way and still loving it.


Trawden Artists and Makers Open Studios

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Trawden Artists and Makers (TAM) art trail and open studios is taking place in and around Trawden this coming weekend Saturday and Sunday 21st – 22nd October.

There’s lots to see including textiles, jewellery paintings, photohgraphy, ceramics and felt because I’ll be there in the Summerhouse Studio. Or to be more precise, my work will be there as I unfortunately am needed in Cornwall and I’ve not yet learnt to clone myself.

Above is an example of some of my work that will be on display and don’t worry it won’t all be white, I just thought they made a nice grouping. That I’m exhibiting at all is with grateful thanks to Kate Sutcliffe whose studio space I’ll be sharing. Kate is a talented artist and general all round creative type who produces beautiful things wherever she brings her talents to bear.

I do hope you can find the time to take a trip round Trawden this weekend, it’ll definitely be worth your time.

Just popping by

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Just popping by with a quick update on the peacock hanging and I thought you might like to see the box of threads I’m using for the tail.

So sparkly. The body of the peacock is turquoise and I’ve chosen turquoise, green, purple and copper for the tail in as many shades as I’ve got, including a wool thread I’ve just dyed for it, many have sparkle but not all.

All thirteen shisha mirrors are now on and you can see I’ve begun to bring the stitching off the fabric tail. Progress is being made although now I look at this picture I can see how much I’ve still got left to do. Still loving it.


No felt involved

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Last year at uni our daughter Charlotte had a window in the door to her room and as the hall light switched on and off with various comings and goings the light distrubed her. My solution was to make her a small hanging made of felt with prints of elephants and shisha mirrors to catch the light and we attached it by means of double sided sticky tape. It was appreciated and did the job. (I cannot find a picture of this but I’ll ask her to take one)

This year she’s sharing digs and the landlord won’t allow anything to be attached to the wall, not even with blue tack. We found a solution for her pictures, a piece of 6′ x 3′ grid garden trellis onto which she can stick whatever she likes. On the wall at the top of the stairs there’s the head of a screw sticking out and they’ve decided they’d like to hang something there,. As they all like Charlotte’s hanging from last year I’ve been requested to make sonething for this space, the only stipulation being shisha mirrors.

Within two minutes the idea of a peacock had popped into my head and also the idea that I should use some of that lovely linen gifted to me by Rosie (thanks Rosie), no felt involved! Perhaps I’m not feeling well?

Work began immediately with me researching styles of peacock designs on the internet and I soon had an idea.

As you can see I’ve already got the body of the peacock on and I’m trying to work out the tail. I envisaged lots of machine stitching with this project which would be quick and lots of sparkle to enliven a gloomy hallway.

After attaching the body I decided the next step was to free machine stitch all over to keep it secured and add texture and sparkle. It was such hard work but I did eventually manage to get the body done then I switched to holographic thread to go over it again for the shine. I didn’t need to cover every inch as the fabric (crystal organza) provides the shape. The holographic thread was a nightmare and with some bad language, quite a bit actually, I did finish the task.

Next up was to do some stitching down the tail along the line of where feathers would lay. My machine had other ideas, it had absolutely had enough and wouldn’t sew anything. I cleaned the machine, I changed tension, threads and needles, it wasn’t having it. So I’m hand sewing the tail which means this project is now a longer job than I’d intended but it will mean lots of variation and texture in the tail.

The fabric for the tail makes it a bit blocky at this stage but the intention is to break the outline with stitch on all sides which will have the effect of softening it. The fabric background also means I don’t need to sticth every inch of it.

The first three shisha mirrors are completed and backgrounds sewn for ten more, thank goodness for the internet as I couldn’t buy any mirrors locally. I’d originally hoped to have this completed by the 14th of October (such niavety!) but that’s definitely not going to happen, not least because I’ve had to learn how to stitch shisha mirrors on from scratch which I’ve never done before. All this hand stitching takes time but I am loving doing it even though there’s no felt involved.


Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

In August we had a day trip out to the Burnley area beginning with a visit to the singing ringing tree panopticon at Crown Point.

The blurb states “Constructed from pipes of galvanised steel stacked in layers, this Panopticon takes the form of a tree bending to the winds and harnesses the energy of those winds to produce a low, tuneful song.”

It was very breezy and very cool up there but you do get a wonderful view. I’d have to say it sounded quite mournful to me but we were refreshed by the breeze.

Following on from this we visited Gawthorpe Hall.  Quite a small NT property but one of the main reasons I wanted to visit was the textiles.


The Gawthorpe Textile Collection showcases  intricate needlework, lace and costume amassed by Rachel Kay Shuttleworth as well as contemporary pieces from talented artists across the region.The exhibition isn’t large enough to travel a vast distance for but was good to take in whilst we were in the area.

Leeds Light Night

Friday, October 6th, 2017

One of the benefits of darker evenings is the opportunity to go to events like Light Night in Leeds. It’s a completely free event with stuff happening all over the city and lots of people joining in too. We saw cyclists bedecked in lights and lot and lots of joggers in neon and carrying lights as they toured the events.

Images were projected onto three public buildings, the Queens Hotel, the Town Hall and the Civic Hall. My favourite was the Queens Hotel wich is an art deco style building and all the images projected were competely appropriate to the building and it’s age. Cocktails, pianos, luggage, food and even trains running across! but my favourite image is the one below.

Where there were art installations, like the giant angle poise lamps on Briggate, street lights had been switched off so there’d be more impact. My favourite part of the entertainment was the drumming band in the Leeds West Indian Carnival. Superb.

Their makeup was great, their lights changed through red, white and green, they moved in unison and even had dry ice.

It was great fun and if you fancy seeing it for yourself it’s on again tonight, Friday 6th October and it’s all completely free. If you’d like to see more of my photos you can see them here.



Wherever I go

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Wherever I go if I spot rust I have to take a photo, just have to. If the rust is portable it often comes home with me to my garden (ask Hubby, he does most of the carrying). We managed a few trips late this summer and here’s a roundup of my rusty haul.

When I move on from my white work perhaps I should move to rust.

Heather, heather and more heather

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Before we took our daughter back to uni, yes she’s gone already, we managed to get out for a walk on the hills to see the heather. How I love the heather. Not many words in this post but lost of pics, I hope you enjoy them.

Creative tidy up

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

An artist friend of mine, Kate, is finally getting her own studio space and knowing how creative she is I know it’s going to be lovely and I started to feel quite envious. Which is really rather silly of me as I have a lovely room with plenty of space, light and central heating so I really shouldn’t complain. But, you know how it is, this room also doubles as general creative room for everyone, teenage den and occasional guest bedroom.

I’d started to dump, had creations with no home and it was looking messy and not feeling like a creative space.

I began by clearing out a stack of six drawers which have housed all Charlotte’s pens and paper for more than the last decade. The drawers will be repurposed by Kate and I gained a little more space. Mind you, you should have seen the mess on the floor whilst I tried to incorporate the said pens and paper into the cupboard!

On my sideboard was a mess of quickly discarded items with no home or homes that I couldn’t be bothered to find at the time and an old music system which I didn’t use and which was taking up a lot of space.

I like old pallets, we’ve used them for all kinds of things and as we had 3 in the garden I thought it time I had a go at recycling one myself. Previously all the work has been done by Hubby but this time I was determined to do it myself. Well, no matter how hard I struggled I couldn’t get it apart and had to resort to chopping it up. In my mind I had an idea to make a set of display shelves for my pots, no more than that, just a set of shelves so it didn’t matter that I couldn’t get long lengths I thought. In the end I did have to ask Hubby to help with a few bits of the dismantling.

He’s got my physical clout than me and did help me to save one long length which would be the base of my shelves. We even managed to leave the blocks on so that the bottom shelp coped with the irregular height on the sideboard.

At this point I got all excited and started clearing the top of the sideboard.

It didn’t go very far as you can see and then I had to clear it off there onto the windowsill so I could use the table to work on.

I’d taken a photo of what I wanted to do so it was a case of working out each piece as I went along. Pallets are made of cheap rough wood and I wanted to use that, especially the knotted, gnarled and bits with holes or nails in. Where two pieces of wood had crossed each other I’d chopped them apart and liked using the bits which had 2 layers of wood left. Working with wood, drills and screwdrivers is right out of my comfort zone and I won’t be rushing back there anytime soon!

You can see what I mean with two of the shelves and two of the uprights. Hubby would have removed these but I wanted them left and they became shelf supports on the uprights. I left them on the shelves too as I thought they’d give me different heights when displaying pots.

All my little homeless pots are now housed on the shelves. Hubby was a great adviser when required and a constant support, both he and C like the finished article and it worked out better than I’d hoped. You can see how the long piece with the bottom blocks left on copes with the uneven height of the sideboard top. The three solid blocks were other feet I removed and Hubby suggested we use them as you see. I haven’t fixed them in so they can be removed for taller items or used elsewhere to give different heights.

There’s still more to do in the room not least of which will be a set of fairy lights for the shelves and then I really must do something about those boring cupboard doors. Thoughts anyone?



Monday, August 7th, 2017

On Saturday we visited Potfest in Penrith auction mart, 130 potters all in one place for my perusal. Well, obviously it wasn’t just for me but I liked to pretend. Actually it was really nice visiting a show where I wasn’t exhibiting, there was something other than wool and I had time to look around.

Ceramics definitely inspire some of my pots so I was happy to saunter round and be inspired whilst hubby and daughter made their own rounds.Here are a few of the pictures I took – enjoy

These lovely little birds are by Barbara Chadwick Ceramics. The patterns are created by naked Raku firing – naked I think because there’s no colour.

I like lacy pottery and was delighted by Snail Pottery (good name) with lace in all colours. It was this blue which really caught my attention although I could have chosen pink, green, turquoise, white….. Perhaps it was the wave like shapes on the top edge which sat so happily with the colour.

I just adore the colours in this raku fired pot by the Old Brewery Pottery in Keighley and was even more delghted to realise they’re local!

Sad to say I’m not enamoured of the shapes of these last two pots but I really really liked the decoration. They’re by Jose Maria Mariscal

These are mostly white and therefore a surprise that I think these were my favourites of the day, perhaps it’s all that white work I’ve been doing recently. There were subtle greens and yellows at the top but the camera has lost them. They were created by Gill of The Other Pottery.

It’s Art in the Pen at Skipton this coming weekend, I’m hoping to go so who knows what I’ll have to show you next week.