28 June 2015


1 Circles 2

 I realised today that, as a tutor, it was very difficult to keep track of new groups that form.
People looking for a group to join must also have the same problems.

So I am in the process of setting up a new website dedicated to textile groups (any fibre or stitch related group), that meet in the UK.
It will also include a list of tutors who offer lectures and workshops.
I'm in the very early stages (I just registered my domain name 5 minutes ago!).

If you would like your group listed please let me know - I need the NAME OF THE GROUP, SHORT DESCRIPTION, WHERE YOU MEET, WHEN YOU MEET, A CONTACT PERSONS INFO (email maybe also phone), WEBSITE (if you have one).

If you are a tutor who would like to advertise your talks and workshops to groups please contact me too - with name, email, phone, details of workshops and lectures, areas covered, website.
There will be a very small nominal fee to advertise tutors / speakers.

PLEASE SHARE AND SPREAD THE NEWS to everyone you know who is involved in stitchery and fibre arts, its the only way this can work.

1 Reflections Kanthaclose3

Helen xxx

27 June 2015

World Textile Day- part 1

I took myself up north, over the border to the Bridge of Allan, a few miles north of Stirling for the World Textile Day.
I went with an idea of what I wanted to buy and found a few things I didn’t realise I did want/need/desire/just had to bring home. 

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This is part of a panel, heavily embroidered and with lovely mirror work.
I’ll mount it and frame it. 

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On a similar theme - this is the MOST exquisite Toran - a hanging for above the doorway.
(The name comes from the Sanskrit torana, from tor or pass and they were used to decorate the main entrance to the home).

Mine will be placed above the doorway to the sitting room, either to the office or the hallway, haven’t decided yet.
I've been looking for something like this for a very long time.  
it was worth every penny.  Or rather every pound. 

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My other purchase from John Gillow’s stall was this bag. Mirrors, magenta and purple……. how could I not buy it?

More from the other traders soon.

26 June 2015

“Within the Earth”

More work from the series thats developing. So many ideas are going around my head!

This piece is more about the Autumnal trees in the landscape and their roots heading down and interacting with the geology below.

24 June 2015

Innocence….until the mates come along.

Me? I’m innocently sitting here….. minding my own business.

Oh a friend to play with.

Safety in numbers….. she’ll never know which one of us eat the precious dahlia will she?

23 June 2015

Sketchbook work to Fabrics

Goodness, where does time go? I seem to have been extraordinarily busy with family, house and especially the garden.

I did get a week or so to really get my head down in the studio and make some progress with transferring the skills I learnt on the Mixed Media Course on to fabrics.

And I think its working really well!

Here’s one piece in a series I want to run with…. with a working title of “Trackways” and/or “(From) Within the Earth”.

A combination of paints and fabric medium with cottons, silks, canvas and silk thread. Using mixed media and batik techniques.

Let me know what you think.

8 June 2015

Catching up

School holidays and visitors meant a break from the studio - and a husband on holiday the week after that meant time out too.

The garden is taking shape for the summer and is taking a lot of my time. I never really understood the conflict of gardening time vs sewing time until last year. Now I get it completely.

Quite a few flowers blooming already.

The clematis are taking over the front wall and the poor windchime is silent!

My feet have been enjoying lots of walking, until I decided to throw myself out of a coffee shop and sprain my ankle. 8 days on and its still painful so I have a trip to the Dr’s tomorrow.

Off to the studio now, coffee and iPad in one hand and tunics in another (I’ll leave the dressmaking for another post - enough to say that I have been having fun!)

24 May 2015

Sleeping Hare Dress

I LOVE this dress…… can’t wait to be making more like this.

Silks and cottons dyed with rust and left outside to weather.
Hand stitched construction, free motion embroidery using six colours to create the sleeping and dancing hares.

23 May 2015

Embroiderers Guild Regional Day

Went along to sell my wares.
Which I didn’t.
Not even a postcard.
Very disappointing day in that respect.
Was it me? The items? The audience?

Hopefully I’ll get some booking for talks and workshops in the near future.

22 May 2015

Blaewearie Dress

Bleak moorland, photography, photoshop, printing and stitching.
Fabulous combination.

Part of a new series of work based on my thoughts about the battles in Northumberland - the blood soaking into the land - hence the red threads, the women who’s lives would have been changed forever by the passing army or the battle itself. Storied rarely told in historical literature.

Again I can’t wait to make more of these - and I have another partly constructed in the studio.

Land & Sky Dress

Is finished!!! A kirtle and shift - medieval style.
From the land to the sky, with markings from the earth.

Silk habotai, cotton cailco, cotton muslin and silk organza. Silk ribbon. Machine and hand stitiched. Dyed with rust, logwood, madder, onion skins and tea.
For those who like to know these things.

Land & Sky Dress

Is finished!!! A kirtle and shift - medieval style.
From the land to the sky, with markings from the earth.

Silk habotai, cotton cailco, cotton muslin and silk organza. Silk ribbon. Machine and hand stitiched. Dyed with rust, logwood, madder, onion skins and tea.
For those who like to know these things.

21 May 2015

Magical Places

Ancient Woodland on Yeavering Bell.
Where you can imagine the Fairies come out to play…..

Where there is a real sense of … “something”… or “someone”.

Simply, utterly, breathtakingly, stunning work of Mother Earth.

11 May 2015

Of Land and Sky

A new dress in the making - well, two new dresses really.

The shift is complete - a fine French muslin cotton dyed with madder and rusty things, the sleeves have logwood dye too.

The kirtle is taking shape;

Cotton dyed with logwood and rusty things, embroidered with cup and ring markings.

The skirt is a patchwork of fabrics dyed with logwood, onion skins and rust.

I was working SO hard look what happened to my needle after just 2 hours!

Recognise these? Photographs and paintings printed to fabric and ready to be made into pin cushions.

This week is going to be a challenge of woman vs time. Two deadlines to meet - one for Tuesday of making three, maybe four new pieces, two down, one almost finished, one in my head!

Saturday I’ll be exhibiting these new works in the traders hall at the EG Regional Day in Gateshead. Say hello if you see me there.

2 May 2015

Crafts Council

Sometimes you doubt your own artwork, so when I applied to be listed in the Crafts Council Directory I really wasn’t convinced I would be accepted.

But I was! Happy dancing time! That really cheered me up.

30 April 2015

Thank goodness for a RAM upgrade….

Have been working with HUGE Photoshop files today - 4GB each - I could hear the Mac creaking! These are the images..... Blaewearie or Blewearie (depends which book you read) an old homestead high up on the bleakest, most beautiful moor you can image - Old Bewick. Close to a prehistoric cairn, double hill fort and carved rocks (how perfect is that?)

The second image was taken near Kirknewton - a lovely atmospheric old stone built cottage.

So what I am planning do to with these? Well I’m hoping to have all ready to reveal at the EG Regional Day on May 16th.