20 October 2014

Exhibition weekend

Santa said he would come early this year and so I am very fortunate to have a weekend of indulgent pleasure in London in November.

We’ll start with Morris.  The main reason for going south to the big City.  
Who could resist a Morris Exhibition?
Not me.


And if there is a Tudor in the house…. got to been seen.


Then nip across Trafalgar Square avoiding the tourists and pigeons.


Grab a quick dinner and then sit and enjoy Vivaldi (how kind of St Martin's to play my favourite classical music yet again on my London evening).

St martins

Arrive at the hotel late and crash out. 
Next morning walk along to the RA for two very different exhibitions.



Then from Moroni to Ming for the final instalment before braving East Coast Railways and arriving home late evening.


12 October 2014

Marks on the earth become marks on fabrics and papers

This is an aim for the winter of 2014 / 2015 .  

To capture the feeling of Northumberland -  when you go out for a walk and discover an abandoned hill fort, a cairn or a cup & ring carved rock.

I’m exposing this new work on here - to claim it as mine, we all have copyright issues and so here I declare that this style / idea belongs to me in October 2014.
Just in case. 

Labrynth close1

Labrynth close2


6 October 2014

A week of laughter

I’m back from a lovely week away in Grasmere with 7 lovely friends and 2 DH’s.
We have laughed, eaten, stitched, laughed, eaten, stitched, walked, eaten, laughed, photographed, eaten and laughed.

We’ve admired the stunning scenery in the fabulous warm and sunny weather.
(Yes I am talking about the English Lake District in late September - early October). 

 I’ve got some lovely memories, loads of conkers, two pieces of work underway and have got stuck in to learning the idiosyncrasies inherent in the new Bernina software. 


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 This is the hotel.  Our work room (all newly built) is the building on the right hand side.

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The path leads directly into Grasmere and a certain Art Shop.

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Yes, that Art Shop.

One of the best.

Allan Banks

Opposite the hotel is Allan Banks, a unique National Trust Property that has suffered some fire damage and they still have the doors on display.  
Fabulous textures and colours. 

Grasmere Lake 2

The view from the house is STUNNING.
When the sun shines in the Lakes it really does have a natural beauty all of its own.

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A walk up the hill ...

Gasmere tree

… gives a natural sculpture.

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And another set of textures and colours on this door.

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Couldn’t be in the Lakes without a trip to Keswick and a walk along Lake Derwentwater.

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The work room and my gorgeous, funny, lovely, inspiring friends.

Thank you all for a lovely week. 


29 September 2014

Down time

After all the excitement of setting up two exhibitions and a summer of tooth and bone infections its been great to stop and just drink coffee.

Flower bed

The garden is still going.  Looking a bit straggly in places, but thats mainly my neglect and the effect of the autumn chill, dampness and lack of light.

Green Man

My green man is still watching over the garden and keeping track of visitors.

Haugh Head

And I’ve chosen the picture I’ll use for my first pastel painting in YEARS……  Its almost a pastel painting as a photograph.  
One of my favourite photographs and taken not far from the house.


16 September 2014

Exhibition is open

The Exhibition is opens today at Bellingham Heritage Centre.

Small, but perfectly formed.

Like moi ;)


15 09 2014



8 September 2014

New Exhibition time



Next week a new exhibition opens at Bellingham Heritage Centre where I will have all new work.
With no magenta (!) - though there is a dash of purple.

I’ll get the photographs taken and post them up here for you soon. 

Poster bellingham 09 2014Helen Artist Statement Bellingham 09 2014



7 September 2014

Choosing thread colours...

…is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process.

Choosing threads 001

Grey spiral in progress

6 September 2014


I’m having a bit of a shisha mirror moment.
Have I finally found a way to combine the imagery of Northumberland with the sparkle of India?


Will this help to stop the feeling of a split stitching personality? 
We can only hope. 

Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon stitching with silks and watching videos (French Revolution with Coursera).

This piece and other Northumbrian inspired pieces will be exhibited later this month here. 

Shisha sewing 1

Shisha stitich 1

Shisha stitich 2

Shisha stitich 3

4 September 2014

First day of a New School Year

As a mum, September is the beginning of the new school year.  
This time into Year 10 - the start of GCSE’s (or ‘O’ Levels as I still call them sometimes).

 For me September feels like the start of a new year too.

We talk about the start of spring, the start of winter…. but the END of summer.
The end of the growing season in the garden, the end of warm sunny days, the end of long, lazy school holidays spent sleeping and eating.

But also the start of new adventures.
A new school year for son, new studies for mum, writing lists of all the things you want to achieve now the school holidays are over and you have the days to yourself.

And for me - healing from a tooth and then bone infection that has seen me taking antibiotics for 34 days over the holidays, throw in a scratched cornea (still very ow) and I will be happy to start a new chapter.
I promise to capture it through a lens and share it with you.

Here’s to new adventures *raises the coffee mug*. 


Sept butterfly

29 August 2014

Gothic Exhibition

Another online exhibition, this time on Gothic:Dark Glamour from 2008.  You can find it here.
I have the book to this exhibition, well worth the money if it’s your thing.

Mix this with the corset exhibition I told you about in the last post and I personally think its a perfect combination for inspiration.

Screen Shot 2014 08 28 at 08 41 06

28 August 2014

Corset exhibition

Have found a wonderful Corset Exhibition online here

From older times of support, suppression, control (a straight laced woman couldn’t be a loose woman) all the way to modern corsets as signs of sexual liberation. 

Screen Shot 2014 08 28 at 08 26 53



24 August 2014


Cooking on the stove tonight.  

Logwood and blackcurrant on the left, alum mordant.

Rusty objects and tea on the right.

Fabrics are a mix of overdyes, cottons, silks, organza.


17 August 2014


A few quick snaps (and they were quick iPad snaps) of the workbook I produced for Wallington.
Not a sketchbook, more to give the public and idea of the processes used and where the ideas came from - and some samples they could touch and feel.