22 November 2015

Design ideas.....for the Green Dress

I’m having a thing about Hares.  Have you noticed?
Yes, I thought so!

I want them running and jumping around on the green dress.

Possibly stencilled using oil paints… gold work appliqué ….. crewel work?

Well I know one thing I really want to start with - three hares running across the shoulder towards the front panel. 

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These are the threads I’ve picked out for the first stages.  
Autumn influences…. 
…. back to using a Goldwork style. 

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Cutting out felt for padding….

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Having drawn the hares onto gold silk organza the first stage is to stitch down the padding, piece by piece.

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Nothing is more inspirational than a blue sky.
With a storm brewing in the distance.

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21 November 2015

20 November 2015

The Green Dress for Autumn (working title)

Starting a new project, which design to choose…….

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Fabric all prepared, washed and ready to cut.
Two pairs of very old and very heavy cotton velvet curtains from the antiques auction.
Light faded in the most beautiful way.
No one else could love these curtains the way I do! 

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And so to “fussy" cutting…..
to give the deepest green on the centre panel. 

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17 November 2015



That feels good.

1 On the Forest Floor

16 November 2015

Yule / Christmas cards for sale

Yule for displayDisplay Yule 2015


Yule / Christmas Greetings Cards, printed on 350gsm gloss laminated card. Blank inside. Quality brown Kraft envelope. Exclusive and high quality.

1-4 cards £2.50 each 
5-9 cards £2.40 each  
10-19 cards £2.30 each 
20-49 cards £1.80 each 
50-99 cards £1.50 each 
100+ cards £0.90 each 
Includes UK postage.
Send me a message or leave a comment to buy. xxx

The Foundling Museum

Its taken me a long time to write this post.

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I’ve been thinking about what to say….. on a place that has deeply touched me.

The Foundling Museum, set up in 1739 and still in operation (in a different form) as a charity helping children today.

With a charter from the King and support from Hogarth and Handel it also became the first public art gallery.

It is simply heartbreaking.  You can read more here.

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Initially entry for your baby was by ballot - as the hospital was so over subscribed, as the Victorians took over it became a matter of petitioning the board to have your child accepted.  
You had to prove you were a woman of previous good character.

Often the babies were left with a small token - as their names were changed on arrival, this was the only way for a mother to identify her child should she wish to reclaim it (sadly very few were).

As a result the museum has the most wonderful collection of scraps of fabrics and ribbons from Georgian England.
There are also many trinkets - opera glasses, broken bracelets.
A fascinating insight into the lives of normal people. 

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At the time I visited there was an exhibition of Victorian painters on the theme of “The Fallen Woman”.

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So sad and heart wrenching.


I had an hour to wait before the train so walked through Bloomsbury (had I a spare £2 million I would buy myself a flat somewhere around here).


And spent time in the British Library looking at their “Treasures Room”.  From an original Beowulf (this was the highlight for me) to manuscripts by my favourite composer Purcell to Shakespeare (of course) to ancient Indian manuscripts.

A lovely way to end a wonderful, if absolutely exhausting, two days in London.




27 October 2015

British Museum

My second day in London started at the British Museum
Well no, actually it started at Gudrun Sjoden.  
Dangerous to be walking back past the shop.

First things first, breakfast in the members room.
But sadly lacking in veggie, gluten free choices so early in the day.

It was either GF brownie (which seems to be the one staple for galleries and museums in London) or a cauliflower and roast tomato salad thingy.
Surprisingly nice.
Certainly healthier. 

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The Egyptian room was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday.

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Some of my favourite rooms are those containing the Assyrian reliefs.
Always quiet and a wealth of visual information, patterns and textures.
Thank goodness these are safe in the British Museum. 

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The main purpose of my visit was to see Celts, Art & Identity
No photos as usual, but a well illustrated book and sketches do the job.
Well worth a visit - its coming to Edinburgh next year. 

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Before I left I couldn’t resist a visit to the Islamic room.
So incredibly beautiful. 

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And no visit to the British Museum would be complete without admiring a 1000 year old Ganesha.

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19 October 2015

The Fabric of India

By the time I arrived at the V&A it was 6.30pm and I was flagging a little.

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So after admiring another chandelier in the entrance hall I walked up and through the glass gallery to the members room where I sank, with utter gratefulness, into a soft, squishy sofa and drank a lovely cup of coffee. 
I may also have indulged in a GF brownie.
It’s possible I had 40 winks. 

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The Fabric of India exhibition was WONDERFUL!  

I wanted to bring it all home with me.
A mixture of woven, printed and embroidered work, much of it from the 1851 Great Exhibition. 
The woven work was some of the most intricate I’ve ever seen.
My only criticism was that some of the embroidered work was on display at the back of a cabinet, where you could see the overall effect, but it was difficult to look at individual stitches.
Not always, but enough to be a frustrated embroiderer.

 When I was there on Friday evening it was quiet and a lovely time to visit.
I spent a long time walking around and made lots of wonky sketches. 
Mainly of small details.

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No photographs allowed of course but there is a book to buy which is worth the money if Indian fabrics are your thing.

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The book and exhibition take you through the early stages of fabric manufacture - the cotton and silk types, the dyes, the making processes.
Then there are examples of wonderful items; shawls, dresses, jackets, caps, saris, head cloths and tents.

The Tipu Sultans tent was a favourite.
I sat inside for a while and pretended it was mine. 

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The Kashmir map shawl.
A stunning amount of embroidery.
Very inspiring. 

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The exhibition also tells the story of the export of fabrics from India to the West and modern day Indian fabrics and designs.

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After the exhibition it was dark outside and there were lovely reflections that I tried to capture

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The sculpture gallery was empty.
I love visiting at night.
You feel very special and there are no school children.

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I also visited the Shoes, Pleasure & Pain exhibition.
It was full of Friday night Fashionista types.
I was too tired to take much in so I picked out the historical examples to study.
And the gothic versions.
A few pairs of shoes to envy too. 

9 VAM shop

The shop of a thousand wonderful things.
A shawl and hare necklace came home with me.

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