Hedgerow harvest

Hedgerow harvest

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

More yellow.

Threads added to the meditation piece and celandine for the perpetual journal.

Monday, 25 February 2019


Unusual weather here for February, frost or fog first thing then bright Spring sunshine and warmth bringing out the flowers and cheering everyone's hearts. This is a little tete-a-tete daffodil but we have larger ones out in the garden and the birds are busy and singing first thing. I picked up and added some spring colours to my meditation piece but really have to push on and finish the pieces for Quenington. This is a lovely piece to pick up and add to especially if feeling a bit under the weather (strange little phrase when the weather is so good- just a passing bug making me lethargic.)

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

February embroidery- finished.

 This one is a partner for the January landscape embroidery. (link on the labels below if you want to see Jan) I started this landscape wanting to keep it light and minimal but it didn't come together until I thoroughly stitched the grasses on the bank. It is the bank at the top of our garden which is completely overgrown now and a wildlife area. There are snowdrops and daffodils on the bank and a path to the field at the top. There are a lot more trees, shrubs and brambles on it at the moment and it needs some work (all in planning stage) before it smothers all the wild flowers out. When we bought this house, forty years ago, this bank was all primroses at Easter time.
 Feb started with snow for us but now it is milder and lighter- this morning the birds were singing early! We have a few early daffodils too.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

The Heart of the Field.

 A small embroidery called The heart of the field - 10cms x 13 cms. It has come from my experiments in my winter field book. Winter stubble and the first leaves of the crop appearing. I am a bit obsessed with the stark hedgerows.
 A view from the side to show the loops.
 I have been keeping up with my journal but about one entry a week seems enough when I have other work to finish. I must get on with the Winter book because yesterday felt like Spring for the first time.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Field- Winter Book

 I am working on my next concertina book to accompany the exhibition- 'From where I'm standing' at Quenington in June. It will be in the Pool Room and part of the outdoor sculpture trail. Which is always fantastic and in a beautiful garden beside a stream. There is an entry fee but worth it for the stroll around the garden alone.
 So I began with a cool wintry blue and am building up the images and textures.
 A mixture of painting, drawing and stitching into the thick base paper. Sparrow on the twigs in the hedge. Field and crop lines.
 This leaf is the crop growing in the field at the moment- oil seed rape we think, must check. Looks like a cabbage leaf and the texture is like crumpled tissue paper. Looking closely at the veins, they are like field patterns.
Yesterday I did some printing to vary the mark making. I used the leaf and a piece of scrim ( loosely woven muslin ) I thought it would look like the ragged winter hedges. It is thoroughly absorbing and great to play around with ideas and techniques.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Tyvek and embroidery.

 Irene wrote to me about giving a lesson on using Tyvek in embroidery. I don't teach workshops any more because I haven't the energy and it distracts me from my own personal work so giving a blog lesson seems to be an experimental answer to passing on the knowledge.
 Tyvek is a plastic used in the building industry and for envelopes. ( and craft) It comes in flat sheets and you iron it gently between 2 sheets of baking parchment and it shrivels up. BUT YOU NEED A FACE MASK because like any plastic it gives off toxic fumes - open all the windows or iron near an open door. Also beware getting it onto your iron hence the layers of baking parchment. Not my favourite thing  because we need to stop using plastic but here are my samples from my machine embroidery sketchbook made about 15 years ago. Sample of Tyvek after heat applied top left.
 It can be coloured with acrylic paints- water colour doesn't work - here I have used metallic acrylics, I think oil pastels work too - you need a thick pigment to take on the plastic. Sample with couched textured thread.
It then can be stitched into with machine or hand embroidery, bearing in mind like all stitching on paper you leave a hole when the needle goes through - so no mistakes or stitch over mistakes.The above sample is whip stitch on Tyvek. Silver outside border is tissue paper on calico.
 Probably best used in very small patches and integrated with texture stitches.Sample is on felt -machine and hand embroidery.Spot the 2 small patches of Tyvek!
Scrunched up tissue paper can be used instead of Tyvek - it is safer and more eco-friendly! Have fun experimenting with different things to create textures in embroidery - but be led by the form you wish to create ( lichen, tree bark etc) rather than the material. Always start with drawing to really observe what you want to portray. Hope this is helpful Irene.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

february landscape- sunshine and snow.

This is the little landscape on that piece with a snowdrop in the bottom left corner. It is very delicate. That makes it more difficult to stitch - I want to keep it misty and light but I want some stitches on it for texture, otherwise I may just as well be a painter. So trying to keep it a little abstract too, it is more about my feelings than getting a photographic representation. Wet, mist, snow but sunshine too.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Snow and flowers.

Hellebore from my perpetual journal. Yesterday we had at least 5 inches of snow- below are pictures from outside and inside our house. In our little lane only the tractors and four wheel drive vehicles were going anywhere. Very cold at night but we are warm and snug.
 I just keep watching the birds and getting on with work- drawing and stitching.
 Below is a detail from the next tiny landscape - a partner for the previous blog entry.