Autumn concertina book

Autumn concertina book

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Three little blue bugs in a box.

 Ah ha - a little fun for a Christmas present. I made these three little blue bugs some time ago but they needed a home.
 So yesterday I made them a box to live in. The fabric is a very soft denim from a top I wore for years and was especially good for box making.Felt linings.
 A teeny bug book fits into the box with them.
The box completed. It has blue beads like berries - well they have to eat something! I am hoping the friend this is going to will name the bugs and write in the book in teeny writing. With some help from her children. Great to make something just for fun!

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Christmas card 2018.

 This year I had our Christmas card printed (online company called Moo) rather than stick a photo on a card. Result-  much more professional but more expensive . I am really pleased with it though. It is not a very Christmassy picture but I spent a lot of time working on puffin embroideries and with the basket of threads it sums up my year perfectly.This week has been one of Christmas decorations, cards, shopping and preparations. We did manage a lovely day out at Slimbridge WWT  with our friend Rosemary on Tuesday.
All the ducks -a -dabbling - we love the noise the Eider ducks make - a Frankie Howard ooooh! There were huge flocks of lapwing ( golden plover etc) on the fields by the River Severn, Bewick swans and 10 cranes. Hope to get back in January when the largest gatherings are there. Hope you enjoy your Christmas preparations.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Rose hips and a landscape developing.

 The rose hips are finished- the next species in the hedgerow harvest.
 This week has been very wet and one late evening the light was amazing over the ridge of hills opposite so I did a quick sketch.
 Then I put together some fabric strips.
 then added colour, this is straight after I painted it.
 This when it had dried- very disappointing, the colour leached out of the fabric dyes.
 So I painted it again. Better but different colours. Will see if I like it enough to continue into stitch. I seem to have lots of work again on the go. I have so many ideas and never enough stitch time. Also Christmas seems to be heading this way at a pace. How did that happen so quickly? Hope you all enjoy the lead up to Christmas.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Celebrating the life of Maggie Shaw.

 On Sunday afternoon we celebrated the life and times of Maggie Shaw, Stroud artist, tutor, friend and all round wonderful person. This is one of her early embroidery pieces but she is really well known for her abstract paintings. There is more information about her on the Glos Guild of Craftsmen website- look under News. I knew her in the mid seventies because I taught her children then we became friends and she inspired me to take up embroidery and do a City and Guilds course. Everything she did, said,wore and had in her house was inspiring. There were many, many tributes to her spoken from the heart and she was truly loved by all she came in contact with. 
Tiny ted came too! Maggie made these tiny teddies and little children dolls with their own teeny teddies, one Christmas in the late seventies. She sought out the finest knitting needles and then got Peter, her husband to file them and make them even thinner. I have put a pound coin there to show the scale. He had to have a little darn then I could wear him to the celebration. Peter is going to organise a retrospective of Maggie's work in Stroud next year.

Monday, 3 December 2018


 Last week I was working on ivy for my hedgerow harvest. Here is the lovely kissing gate at our village churchyard with (Hedera) ivy growing up it. The juvenile leaves are the traditional arrow shape and the mature leaves - well leaf shaped. The flowers and berries come on the mature plant and are food for wildlife. It is not parasitic but does grow up trees and can cause trouble for some, if it smothers them and blocks out their light. It is a refuge for many birds and very important for bees as a food source later in the year when nectar and pollen is scarce.
 It has taken me a ridiculously long time to stitch this ivy but there was lots of undoing when I went for too fierce colours. There has also been other stuff happening- you know- life - gets in the way of the stitching sometimes! But the new carpet is down- Hurray and the book shelves have been sorted. The room freshly painted. All much harder work as you get older but lovely when its done.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Meditation and Stitch.

I want to keep notes on this new piece and how it develops but if you are signed up for Susi and Kays second workshop best not to read this so you can do all the tasks for yourself with a clear mind.
So I did start again on a larger piece of cloth with different colours. I have begun with Winter colours because this will be the heart of the piece. I should explain - on the Meditation and Stitch workshop we were given short meditations and tasks. One was to think about the word FLOW and write down associated word and symbols to go with it. Because I am working on my project of The Enormous Field I associated FLOW with Natures life cycle, seasons, the flow of growth and death etc. I decided to make my circles have breaks in them because of the ebb being naturally integral to the flow. If its a large piece you need more than one stitch, for interest. When I first started I had drawn little arrows on my lines but I dispensed with those when I started stitching. I also had to choose whether to continue on one large circle or lots of smaller ones. All the choices you need to make when you start a piece of embroidery! But like Kays advice - you just have to start. I am stitching this slowly and quietly, thinking about my theme and letting the rhythm of the piece carry me.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Hedgerow harvest has colour!

 So I added some colour- it did not go well at first but finally I got it right. It is thin and long- 8cm x 55 cm.( so not good for photography) The sloes have been stitched- the rest awaits.............

This is a tiny cycle to represent FLOW. I started it at a Meditation and Stitch workshop last Saturday with Susi Bancroft and Kay Swancutt. The idea being to think about presence rather than technique or overall design. Now I have had time to ponder on it I want to start again on a larger piece of fabric and think about the colours of a year flowing into each other. Hopefully more to come about this, it's a different kind of work but one I would like to develop.