2 September 2015

TAFA List profile

TAFA - Textile and Fibre Art List have highlighted my profile on Facebook tonight.

 Here’s a direct link

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1 September 2015

Playing with paint.

An idea popped into my head just the other day…. it involved ink, watercolour washes and  textiles.

Its been a LONG time since I got the watercolour paints wet, so I thought I should have a play and create some paint trials, splurges, mixes… happy accidents.

I spent a few days creating pages and pages of coloured splodges.


Firstly mixing each and every colour together and then taking a selection and exploring the mixing variations.

Here are just two of many spreads in the sketchbook.

Buff Titanium +...

2 paint swatch 2


1 paint swatch 1

It makes a great change from mark making explorations.


I don’t usually recommend supplies but I can’t fault two products.
Firstly Daniel Smith Watercolors (or as we say in the UK Watercolours).  The intensity is like nothing else.
I like to work with transparent or at least semi-transparent watercolours but I also like strong colour.
These give me the perfect combination.

Secondly brushes.  I have hunted for YEARS to find a brush that works for me.
I’m not so good at painting with a brush - I usually prefer my fingers, but whilst this is practical for acrylics it doesn’t work for watercolour.
Just last week I discovered KUM Memory Point Brushes.

Perfect - and even better they are 3 for 2 at Cultpens - who offer the most fantastic service and free next day delivery. 

I have just two days left before the summer holidays are over for 2015.
Incredibly mixed feelings as I shall miss my boy SO much.
I love having him around. 

On the other hand I’m looking forward to getting back to work in the studio. 
I have pages of ideas in my sketchbook to work through.
And a “New Year” (for I still work in school years) resolution to be more committed to a proper working schedule each week.
(Dorothy I’ve written it down so it must be true!) 




27 August 2015

Holiday break in Keswick


We are back from a wonderful and relaxing break in Keswick.

In a beautiful cottage in the conservation area just a few minutes stroll from the town centre.


We enjoyed freshly squeezed orange juice


Took an age to decide at the olive counter


Laughed at the wine


Ate out every night - walking from our door to theirs.
Walked a few yards to the cinema (Mission Impossible).

Simply enjoyed the novelty of walking to a shop or watering hole. 


Whilst the boys went Mountain Biking I walked to see a Gruffalo.


Fond memories of bed time reading. 


Saw Magenta painted trees - which looked stunning in the sunlight

Tree marks

Took several walks along the shores of Derwentwater.

The boys skimming stone whilst I got the sketchbook out.
Finding natures beautiful offerings



My favourite being the evening after dinner at the Dog & Gun (Woof & Bang).

Derwentwater long

Derwent water sunset 2

Taking silly photographs

Helen Ian

On our last afternoon a red boat was sailing past

Red boat Derwentwater

Admired the beautiful flora on the lake shore.  

Flora Derwentwater

Had many meals and drinks out and visited the new distillery. 


And came home via Castelrigg Stone Circle.
Which has become a family tradition. 





19 August 2015



Playing with colour, layers. pictures and symbols.
Its not perfect, it needs refining, its only a sample and an experiment. 

But I absolutely adore it (and can see it in fabrics).

13 woman and crow experiment

15 August 2015

One photograph, several different post processing actions.
Which is your favourite?

04 Summer cocktail


06 Summer cocktail HDR


08 Summer cocktail 1a


07 Summer cocktail insta high pass


10 Summer cocktail 3a

13 August 2015

Printing blocks

 I didn’t get my trip to Festival of Quilts this year.
So retail therapy was concluded online - with this wonderful collection of printing / rubbing blocks.

Can’t wait to use them. 

01 Printing blocks 1

02 Printing blocks 2



10 August 2015

Studio Art Quilt Associates - SAQA

I’m just been accepted as a professional Juried Artist Member of SAQA!  
Happy dancing and looking forward to future opportunities.


You can see my profile here

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You can find out more about SAQA here.

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9 August 2015

Heleniums for Helen

School holidays….

Lazy days of sunshine and buzzing bees.

Gardening and slow stitching.



1 Heleniums

19 July 2015

Bamburgh in the evening


2 Bamburgh2 HDR

Is beautifully free of tourists!

1 Boys Bamburgh 2

4 Bamburgh and seaweed copy

3 Bamburgh seaweed

5 Bamburgh 3

I am still sewing….. but have been using much of my time to set up the new website of textile groups and tutors in the UK. 



7 July 2015


Wooler in Northumberland on a glorious summers morning.
I live about a mile to the left….. couldn’t live anywhere else really.

We’ve been here for 19.5 years.  
Hard to believe its been that long.  
Almost half our lives.

1 Wooler to Milfield 1

2 Woller and cheviots

6 July 2015

Rose petals

Deadheading roses - always seems so sad in one way, though of course it needs to be done.
Gertrude Jekyll is doing well this year.

2 rose petals 2

1 Rose petals

3 rose petals 3


5 July 2015

World Textile Day - Part 4

The African Fabric shop - always have a wonderful display


1 Af1 001

Batik Fabric

4 AF4

2 AF3 001

3 AF2 001

 More indigo (told you I was having an Indigo Moment)

6 AF6

5 AF5 001

And THE basket.

2 Basket

1 basket close

How many can a girl fit into one house and studio?
Just LOOK at those colours. 

4 July 2015

World Textile Day - Part 3

The Slow Loris stand had these beautiful Chinese baby Carrier panels.

I saw these last year but could only afford a small piece…
They are created using the most intricate batik. 

1 chinese 1

Just look at the intricate details.

5 chinese 4

The “pop” of colour is perfect.

4 chinese 3

3 chinese 2

6 chinese 5

2 chinese back