a life of fibre

Felt covered vase 2 October 7th, 2017

It’s only a couple of weeks since I showed you a felt covered vase which I was stitching into. I wasn’t feeling it, the white stitch just seemed too stark and it needed more.

I’ve added some french knots in an off white silk thread, courtesy of Rosie (thanks Rosie) and some crystal beads and am really liking it now.

This is just one of my pieces that will be for sale at Trawden Artist and Makers art trail and open studio on Saturday and Sunday 21st / 22nd October.

Leeds Light Night 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 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.

Midsummer Night’s Dream – Skirt September 29th, 2017

I started this skirt…oh so long ago! I finished some months ago as it was a piece I created for my Midsummer Night’s Dream work with Metaphor Textile Group. The problem I was having was in photographing it.

Not great is it. The skirt is long so I had to extend the top of the mannequin up which meant it kept toppling over in the breeze. Not that I got outside to photograph it very often as it was usually too wet, grey, windy or all three. I asked my daughter Charlotte if she would do a photo shoot over the summer, she agreed and even convinced a friend to be the model.

The shoot couldn’t begin until they were both home at the same time and the day dawned brightish but grey. Our model, and Charlotte’s friend, Rio Hindle is a lovely girl, very happy to sit, stand, pose as directed and not minding damp, dirty feet. Best of all, I couldn’t believe my luck, the skirt fitted perfectly as though it had been made for her with not even one tiny adjustment required.

The skirt is Merino wool which was hand carded in shades of greens and plum, dyed tussah silk noil added and the inside lined with green mulberry silk which is what you can see on the waistband and ‘bustle’.

The hemline is covered with Teeswater curls which I hand dyed and then I hand beaded with a green glass bead which matched the mulberry silk embellishment.

Rio’s top is fashioned from one of my scarves, another item which fitted remarkably well.

I thought I should also share with you a few of the ‘poses’ the photographer, Charlie Battersby, adopted 🙂

I’m not sure pale blue denims were the most suitable attire for the shoot but I’m sure you’ll agree she did a brilliant job. Was I there? yes, of course, I was responsible for aiding the model climb onto and off various structures, tweaking the outfit, carrying the shoes and getting in the way. Here’s me photo bombing.

My grateful thanks to our model Rio Hindle and my talented photographer duaghter Charlie Battersby. I hope you’ll see some pictures of the shoot on her site soon.


Felt covered vase September 17th, 2017

The glass inner for this vase has been in my studio for some time and I’ve finally pressed it into service.

Some of the texture I added has been lost in the felting but you can still see the three cotton scrim windows.

I’m finding the white a little stark so I plan to add more stitch in richer cream tones and some beads as well. That way it will fit in with the other white pots. Expect to see an update soon.

Now what do you think? September 14th, 2017

Remember this from a few weeks ago?

I wasn’t happy and not at all sure what to do with it. In the end I left the shape as is and continued to felt it down. Since then I’ve stitched and beaded it, see what you think now.

All the running stitch is in the same cream embroidery thread and the crystal beads are in three sizes.

It’s appeal has increased I think but there’s still something of an eccles cake about it. Do I love it? No, to be truthful I do think it’s attractive but but hopefully someone else will love it.

Heather, heather and more heather 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 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?


Textured white pot 2 August 22nd, 2017

You may remember this pot from a few weeks ago. I was very pleased with how it turned out and pondered on it for a while but I always knew I would stitch into it.

Round the rim is a mixture of pearl and crystal beads plus french knots in a range of white and cream shades.

Around the centre is a line of stem stitches with short lebgths dripping down from it. Above that is a mixture of beads and french knots as per the rim.

I’m absolutely delighted with the finished pot, I’m giddy with delight and I’m over the moon. Do you get that I like it? It was created with the intention of it being part of an exhibition with Metaphor Tetxile Group but I’m wondering whether to put it on sale at Trawden Artists and Makers event in October. On the other hand perhaps I really want to keep it, what to do?

Potfest 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.