Friday, 31 August 2007


Lovely day to-day. Denice took me out shopping and this is what we bought!

We got up and eight - and drove to Mostyn about 2 hours from where we live to visit a shop called Abakhan. I didn't know this shop existed in Wales and I was in heaven - fabric heaven, well fabric and trimmings and papers and threads .....

You get the picture. One thing that I found really strange was they have big baskets of remnants - you pick your pieces of fabric - and they are priced by the weight!

For example - I use a lot of velvet in my Textile jewellery - so I rummaged through the velvet remnant basket picked out pieces in various sizes that caught my eye; they were weighed and I paid - like shopping for I don't know - fruit and veg - it was quite cool really - as I made some quite creative choices with colour and pattern - especially with the organza. Usually I just buy a metre each of 6 or 7 plain colours - today I bought patterns.

Denice is a patch worker - so she got lots of cottons. She also teaches class - so some of the things she bought are for other patch workers.

Great day.

(I will be playing in the studio tomorrow!)

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Son, Dog and Amulets

My youngest son is safe and happy in Denmark and we have the dog back home after his operation to remove the saliva glands on one side.

He looks quite gruesome! So I wont be posting a picture of him. As well as a large shaved area around and under his neck and chin - for some reason the top of his head on one side has been shaved - around his ear - and above one eye - most strange - he look very vulnerable with a partially shaved head.

Apart from all the swelling and stitches he seems OK in himself - and he still searches the floor for every crumb of food that might have dropped by accident!

So as I was dog sitting to-day - to make sure that he did not scratch the stitches out - I was able to get on a bit in the studio with "Standing Stones".

There is a lot more stitching by hand in quite thick silk and also I have made an amulet for the top corner. I have made amulets for some years now (see my website amulet page here
and here)

This little talisman necklace is made from slate wrapped with wire, with beads of coral, turquoise and lapis - interspersed with random coloured glass beads.

I don't know what I think of this piece yet - although I really enjoyed working with it to-day!

Friday, 24 August 2007


We got Merlin back from the vet on Wednesday - after his small operation to release the pressure of the swelling. He was overjoyed to be home - but quite tiered.

I took him back this morning for a check up - and the vet says he now has to have the operation to remove the saliva gland - and has booked him in for Tuesday. I least I feel a bit re-assured as now he has had one anesthetic he should survive another - I once had a dog die as a reaction to anesthetic. But I still hate the whole thing - I hate that I cannot explain to him what is happening and that it will all be OK.

Another thing that has happened this week is that my youngest son - who has been staying here for the past three weeks or so - has left - and is going to live in Denmark with his girlfriend. One of the things - even after all this years - that I never get used too are the feelings that Mothers have for their children - I am so excited for him - for the opportunity to live in a different country and experience everything that has to offer. Also so concerned for him - that all will be well with him - and that he wont feel frightened, or alone - that he knows that he can return here to Wales if things don't work out. Holding these two sets of emotions, for me, always creates tension - and it is at times like these that I should keep away from work in progress (and credit cards) but this afternoon I went into the studio.

It should have been a gift - an unexpected afternoon in the studio - instead I think I may of wreaked the "Standing Stone" piece - as I put it under the sewing machine and stitched hard!

I am not totally sure where the piece will go from here.

No studio time until Monday now - so ..... I have a bit of time to think about it.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

My Dog - Merlin

I have not been in the studio for a couple of days now as I have been as bit anxious about my dog, Merlin.

He had a swelling on his jaw last week, the vet thought it might be a problem with his saliva glands - which if so they would have to be removed.

However on Sunday night the swelling ballooned massively - so I took him back to the vet on Monday - and they operated to remove the swelling.

He is still at the vets - hopefully I will be able to bring him home tomorrow. They have not at this stage removed the saliva gland - that is still to come.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Standing Stones

Last year I read an article in "Cloth, Paper Scissors" (summer 2006. Issue 7) which was a bit like reading a yummy recipe - I was hungry to give it a go - all the "ingredients" sounded right up my street.

The article was "Fused Integration" by d j pettitt - See her website and or blog and check out her wonderful work.

Her article explained how to fuse a variety of wet media - gesso, matte medium, molding paste onto fabric, and include bits of sheer fabrics , ephemera, tissue paper.

I was entranced - and I made this background piece the day I read the article - I don't think I had all the ingredients that she mentions in her tutorial - but I used what I had to hand - and this was the result. I loved it - the weight and texture were wonderful. It suggested ancient standing stones to me - and it has been pinned up in my studio for many months.

Background fused fabric.

Today I decided to work on this background - drawing 3 standing stones where the shadow of them appeared to be, overlaying with sheer fabric and machine stitching the detail. This heavy fused fabric is interesting to stitch on. It is so ridged that I did not need to put it in an embroidery hoop. It was also so dense that I used a larger needle than I usually do, with bigger stitching and heavyweight threads.

I don't know if this piece will work yet - or not. I have overlaid more sheer fabrics on the left side of the picture because I am going to stitch part of a circle in hand and machine embroidery.

The effect I want is the stones standing against a partially abstract landscape with a distant mountain - so we shall see.

With regard to pieces not working;- a friend came around today who has seen "Walking Man" on the blog - and very tentatively she told me she did not like it - phew - what a relief - I realized that I was not too keen on him either - and really it is not a very good piece - so that is one that has not worked!

So A big thank you to d j pettitt for her generous and inspiring article - "fused integration".
It is definitely something I will be trying again.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Walking Man

Not the greatest day in the studio - I definitely had a bit of a monkey mind - and mentally I was all over the place and could not stay focused.

I am having a table at a small craft fair here in the village in September - I guess it will be very different from the Fairs I used to attend in the South - which were very expensive to attend as an exhibitor and highly competitive - in that there were a large amount of very talented crafts people with fantastic work.

I used to love the "Craft Fair Circuit" as I felt part of a wonderful, multi-coloured, tribe of designer makers.

I am sure that at the village fair - there will also be very talented crafts people with wonderful work - but as it will not have cost me hundreds of pounds to have a stand it feels slightly different.

The bottom line, however, is that I am there to sell my work, and today I felt that I was slipping back into my old way of working - as it is "safe" When confronted with deadlines or pressure - I often fall back to a safe place making the "known" as it might sell, on the grounds that it has sold before. I am berating myself - for not doing some daring pieces for the craft fair - because it really does not matter if I sell very little as the stand will only cost a fraction of what I paid in the past - and all I am using up is some of my time

One joy of keeping a blog - is that visually my work is up here on a day to day basis and there are changes and developments from piece to piece I just forget to note them for my self!

It is something about this piece "Walking Man" that makes me feel that I have not developed - because I have used this image in other work, and used a similar arch shape as well.

The way I layer fabrics is the way I enjoy working - I am forgetting that I have extended this to include layers of papers that I have dyed, printed, and transferred onto to make a "fabric" that is unique to me.

Background of layered and coloured ink-jet prints

In this piece the background is made of ink-jet transfers onto tissue paper; built up in layers, including the music from the "Magnificat" and a map - which I altered in Photoshop.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Beyond the stars

No studio time today - I have promised myself a complete day in there tomorrow.
Here is "beyond the stars" mounted on painted canvas board.

I am going for the unglazed unframed look in my work at the moment - which is quite new for me - people do worry about dust and unframed work - especially in textiles!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

New Piece Started

I finished the boat piece - but the light had gone - and I have not photographed it yet.

I did start a new piece - quite a small one - 8 ins by 8 ins will be the finished size when mounted on board.

The starting point for this piece was the tissue paper with the figure stenciled on it - it was actually a "test stencil" on scrap tissue - which then got used for other things - but I quite like the blotchy paint.

I bondawebed the tissue onto a felt back ground, then put another piece of bonded and printed paper along the bottom.

I marked out the arch - as this is the shape that I want the finished piece.

Then I overlaid the images with scraps of fabrics.

The next step was to start machining in the arch with a variety of threads.

That is all I had time to do to-day!

Monday, 13 August 2007

Birthday Gift

No time in the studio recently - but I did celebrate my Birthday - and look what I got from my stitching friend Denise! - How lovely is this!

It is a wrapped basket for keeping my threads in. Cords have been wrapped and stitched together on the sewing machine.

Denise then made a butterfly for the outside and stitched it on

What a lovely gift - I shall enjoy using it - although at the moment it is being the star of the show in the house - not the studio!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Boat Stitched

I seem to have had quite a busy week this week with gardening commitments - so I have not had much time in the studio. But I am not complaining - the weather has been glorious these past few days.

I did get a little time in the studio yesterday - and stitched around the boat - then cut the fabric away.

Taaadaa - here it is - in the right place on the background and sailing along - not falling off the horizon or anything bad.

We are going away for a few days tomorrow - to a friends wedding and visiting my kids. So it will be a while before I get back into the studio, to start stitching the sea and sky and have anything visual to post. Hope you all have a lovely weekend. Byeeee