a life of fibre

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Work in progress

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

I’ve not managed much felt making over the last month but here’s a glimpse of another project I have in hand. It’ll be a combination of hand sewn, machine sewn and  painted.

It’s on a calico base and is destined to be a gift. Once it’s been gifted I’ll be sure to let you see it. Oh! and don’t forget to ask me about my rust project.

Baby blanket

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

My friend’s daughter has just had a beautiful baby girl aww! They did know the sex of the baby in advance so I was able to crochet this blanket in the requisite pinks for her.

Not that it has to be pink for a girl but I knew the new Mum would like it to be pink. I think it looks like ice cream colours. Soft pinks, white and soft green.

A deep border and a picot edging finished it off. It’s in acrylic so it can be washed in the machine, always an essential with new babies I find.

Meadowhall To Sheffield Canal Basin

Friday, June 1st, 2018

We don’t live close enough to meet too regularly but my friend Mary and I squeeze in a few hours together whenever we can. Meadowhall is often our meeting point, close to the motorway, easy and free parking plus shelter if the weather is bad. The day began in our usual way with a coffee and a natter but as, for once, it was a glorious sunny day we decided to walk along the canal into Sheffield.

Sheffield is where I grew up and I’ve been along the canal many times but not for some years now.  Once we eventually found access onto the path the day began well with my first sighting of rust.

It’s not just the colour that excites me it’s the texture too, just like this wood stump, glorious texture.

You can see from the water that it was a windless day, there were a few folks along the canal but not as many as I’d expected and as it was a Saturday and the trams weren’t running it was rather quiet.

Why do we find dereliction and decay so attractive?  And oh just look at this rust, even the water is rust coloured.

Beautiful windows and a fab reflection but look, I was able to capture the old, the not so old and the new.

I wonder how long since the last time this was used to tie up a boat?

It even has a Yorkshire rose!

Our walk finished as it began, with more rust 🙂

It should have finished with a picture of the canal basin, Victoria Quays, but it was sunny and the cafe was calling to us. The Victoria Junction cafe has a great selection of sandwiches, jacket potatoes and dish of the day but if you’re not hungry there’s always the bar next door. We were able to sit out and eat (and natter) before nattering all the way back to the car.

 

 

Festival of Making

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

We were unable to visit this festival last year and so were pleased to make it along yesterday. The National  Festival of Making is held in the centre of  Blackburn across a range of venues. It doesn’t matter what your interest there’s things to do, food marquees, makers fair (might have indulged in both of these), teenage makers, music, craft sessions, art, more music, drop in and bookable craft sessions and lots of manufacturing references. I quite enjoyed the steam pavillion which was right by where we parked.

I loved the steampunk submercycle and the cathedral was a refreshing change.

It’s been added to over the years and so is a mix of styles, was only made a cathedral in the 20th century and has lots of modern art.

It also had a display of photographs by Wally and Harold Talbot which I enjoyed. Everywhere we went Blackburn College was heavily involved which was great. One of my top marquees was the one dedicated to keeping alive some of the lesser known crafts like brush making (I had a ago) and safety pin making. Along every street were drop in sessions including making jewellery from bottle tops with this as your inspiration.

Further along the street was the clayground where we each made an item to add to the glorious mayhem. Mine was a fairly poor flower and pebbles, Charlotte made a lemur but put it so close to my phone that I couldn’t focus!

Simon managed a respectable owl and then it was on to the next thing. The making of an asian wedding drew me and after making samosas (mine was perfect!) I got a henna tattoo. There is so much going on that I can’t tell you everything so take a look at the website and go along on Sunday 13th May if you can or there’s always next year.

A canal walk

Monday, May 7th, 2018

One early Sunday morning we parked by the canal at Bradley and walked into Skipton. It was a still and sunny day with few people about and short though the walk is, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

There’s something about the charm of old buildings plus the reflections on the pacid water.

We came across this amazing fungus, one I’ve never seen before. Does anyone know what it is?

The finished peacock!!!

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

I’m so pleased to be able to show you the finished peacock at last. It’s such a shame really as 80% of the work was done in the first two weeks but life has been so terribly busy that it’s taken weeks longer to complete the last 20%.

How do I feel about it? I’m thrilled, it’s worked out very well, not perfect but I so enjoyed the making of it that I don’t mind. After all, it is going to a good home too, our daughter Charlotte’s new digs at uni.

Quite a modern interpretation. It was tempting to try and depict it accurately so I began by searching peacock images on the the internet and made my choices from there.

The simplicity of the head and body is a good contrast with the rather much busier tail. I began by fusing crystal organza shapes onto the linen background. For the body I free machined over it working down in the direction that feathers would lay and then went over the whole thing again with holographic thread for the shine. That nearly finished me off! It certainly finished my machine off which refused to sew anything afterwards and is why I chose to hand stitch the tail.

The only time previously that I’ve used shisha mirrors they came with the cotton surround already done. As I couldn’t find the sizes and colour I needed I had to learn to stitch around them myself. It’s not difficult, which was just as well as I decided to use a thread with metallic elements and they can be painful enough to use.

Using the fabric background made the tail look rather blocky but bringing the feathers off and breaking the outline worked well. I had intended to put more feather detailing around the shisha mirrors but decided to leave as is and looking at it now that was the right decision. Hand stitching the tail gave me great pleasure and I’m so pleased with it I might have to do more work without felt!

So close!

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

I’m back! The shows are over for this year and I can now think about doing something other than packing wool, like using it maybe? (happy dance) Before the show madness overtook me I managed to get the peacock hanging quite a long way, so far in fact that a further 20 minutes worth of work would have seen it finished.

I’ve backed and bordered the hanging with calico. I’d literally just finished machine stitching it down when a section popped out. It’s hard to explain how deflated I felt, so close and yet so far now to finishing. There’s so much going on that it’ll probably be another two weeks before I complete it and yet the majority of the work only took 2 weeks. Wish me luck

 

 

Out of the ORDinary

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

It’s been a while since I last popped in but it’s manic over at Adelaide Walker as we exhibit at 4 shows in 3 consecutive weekends! I look forward to a week on Saturday and a well deserved weekend off and if I haven’t been busy enough with that, I’ve also signed up to exhibit with a new shop in Skipton.

Out of the ORDinary stocks work from Yorkshire based artists and makers and happily for me, they now have some of my felt work.

The shop is in Craven Court at Skipton and has work from over 35 artists so there’s a brilliant range of goodies on offer and definitely something for everyone.

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.