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.

Crafts Council Directory

I’ve been accepted!
Into the Crafts Council Directory of Makers that is.

Whoo hoo and happy dancing.
You can see the full page here

27 April 2015

Sketchbook Work; Poppies

I have almost finished the sketchbook! A huge A3 Moleskine hardbound type, I can hardly lift it now. Just one more page to go.

(P.S using a new Blog Editor and I hope it works OK - don’t seem to be able to centre text, which is rather annoying as it wasn’t cheap!)

26 April 2015

Logwood and rust dyeing part 2

1 Logwood 3b

 After leaving the fabrics in the dye pans overnight it looked like this (sorry for the blur - must have been taken B.C. (before coffee).
I pulled the fabric out and left the liquid in the pan for later. 

1 Logwood 1a

After a wash at 40degrees C it looked much better!

2 Logwood 2a

And out on the washing line in the bright warm sun it looked fabulous.

3 Logwood 3a

Can’t say I was very successful at getting a different hue on each piece - I KNEW I shouldn’t have panicked and put more nails into the second pot!
It wasn’t too pink after all.
But I am very pleased with each piece of material.
Perfect for my plans. 

4 Logwood 4a

I added some more fabric to each pan for s second day of dyeing.
Same principle, boil up, add fabrics, turn off the heat and leave overnight. 

2 Logwood 2c

Those “marks” on the fabric are where the rusty items were directly in contact with the cotton fabric.

A lighter shade and most beautiful grey-purple colour.

21 April 2015

Logwood and rust dyeing part 1

Todays recipe;

Pre-washed cotton muslin, about 3 metres x2
Selections of rusty nails
Logwood in muslin bags
Old pot and jam pan. 

1. Buy Logwood from Just Ingredients (website or the Cult of Amazon).
SO much cheaper than buying from “arty” stores or natural dyeing websites.
02 logwood 2

 2. Roughly sew and make muslin bags, add required amount of logwood chips, seal with string.

03 Logwood3

3. Add nails to the pan along with the logwood.
(Add a few more nails than shown here and use different amounts of nails in each pan to give a different hue).

08 Logwood 6

4. Add one or two full kettles of boiling water.
Take out Logwood sachet to have a look at the stunning purple colour.

04 Logwood 4 
6. In the Jam Pan we have lots of rusty nails and a generous dollop of logwood.
Note the purple colour and the  grey.
Logwood + Alum (another mordant) = Pink
Logwood + Iron = Purple-Grey
Logwood + More Iron = Grey-Purple

Bring to the boil for a few minutes, switch off and leave at least 12 hours.
NOTE: this will produce a “space -dyed” effect, not an even colour on the fabric - to do that you need a huge pan, more water and constant stirring. 

05 logwood 9

7. In the large pan we have fewer nails but the same process as above.
Add the fabrics slowly to avoid air pockets.
Enjoy that colour! 

09 Logwood 11

8. Might be a little too pink

9. Add more nails until desired colour is reached.

11 Logwood 13

Part two following soon. 

First talk of the season

At Guisborough EG.
A lovely group, friendly welcome and interesting questions afterwards.

Thank you for inviting me.

If your group is interested in hearing one of my lectures you can find details here on my website.

IMG 5741

Here’s the set up, costume, table full of things to mooch through and a stand with larger pieces (partly seen),
along with the screen for the slide show. 

20 April 2015

Table runner

If you’re in Northumberland and visiting Wallington (NT property) you’ll see my table runner in the dinning room.

This is my second commission for the National Trust.

“Use your Vote"

Absolutely agree, women died so that we could vote and we should all use that privilege won through suffering and perseverance.

IMG 5706


15 April 2015

Repeating and chopping it up

Playing with colours and circles.

A lot of the textile work I have planned is very muted, so its good for the soul to play with bright paint colours!
And you know I love circles.

1 DL repeating elements close1

4 DL repeating elements close2

5 DL repeating elements close3

6 DL repeating elements full

And if something doesn’t quite work out then, in good City & Guilds fashion, chop it up and stick it back down!

2 playing with gold leaf1

3 playing with gold leaf2

Textile work coming very soon, just having to get back to normal after the Easter holidays and also settling my father into a new flat.
Time…… bit elusive for the studio atm. 
But next week it WILL happen.