Art Lesson

imageJust had an amazing lesson in mixed media from the very talented Barb Gamble of The Shabby Seagull.




I’m sure most of us have a cupboard full of UnFinished Objects and I am certainly as guilty as most (maybe more).  I find starting a project is often more exciting than finishing it and a lot of my work starts out with plenty of enthusiasm but ends up in the back of the cupboard.  As art and craft is for me, about enjoying myself I don’t want to feel guilty about these U.F.O.s but I just wish they would GO AWAY.  However, as with most crafters, I can’t bring myself to throw anything away so they will have to remain as a reminder of my short lived enthusiasms.

So, in view of the above, I would like to share some of my current projects in the hope that sharing will incentivise me to finish them.  Please feel free to leave me some encouraging remarks.image

This is a wrapped coil basket which, when finished, will be twice this size and have handles.  I almost finished it but decided to unpick it as it was a bit wobbly.


My knitting is progressing slowly but surely.  It’s an afghan done in a log cabin pattern.  3 squares finished, 3 to go!

The next project has been on the go for the last two years.  It’s a fabric book trying to emulate Maryke Phillips work.  She has a fantastic web-site called batiksnbeads where you can see pictures of her amazing work.  She also sells beautiful batik fabric, beads and hand dyed Steff Francis embroidery thread.  Here’s some pictures of my pages so far.


Hope it won’t be another two years before its finished.  I have no idea what to put on the front cover so any suggestions would be more than welcome.

Things I’m loving this week…


I love my wool holder purchased from Tracey at TAJ Crafts.  Stops balls of wool going everywhere and unwinds beautifully.


I bought this cactus pin cushion made by Tracey of Yarnsmith Studio for a present and now I want one for myself!


This amazing iPad cover was made and embroidered by Julia Weir.  Julia was a complete beginner who attended our weekend workshop earlier this month and learnt embroidery from the very talented Su Douglas.   Just goes to show what you can learn in a weekend!

Pass It On

I was given a really useful tip at our recent junk journal workshop and I’d like to pass it on.  Thank you Ann Underwood, I have already used it once and I know I will use it many times.

Here’s an easy way to measure equal columns on paper or strips of fabric.

This paper measures 8 5/16
This paper measures 8 5/16″ and I want to rule 9 columns
So place the ruler with 0 on one edge then slant until you come to a number easily divisible by the number of columns required.
So place the ruler with 0 on one edge then slant until you come to a number easily divisible by the number of columns required. In this case 9″.
Make a mark on each 1
9 divided by 9 is of course 1 so  make a mark on each 1″ increment then do the same at the bottom of the page
Join up the dots and you have nine equal columns!
Join up the dots and you have nine equal columns!

…and a good time was had by all

imageOur two day workshops have sadly come to an end but I truly believe that everyone had a great time – students and tutors alike.  A very creative group of people getting together is always fun but for me teaching my passion for journals was very rewarding and I learnt a lot from the students.  We had lots of laughs over the weekend and lots of lovely work was accomplished and I know that my fellow journalling tutor Barb Gamble agrees that we couldn’t have wished for a nicer group of people.


Su Douglas, embroidery tutor had some amazing work done by her beginners as did machine embroiderer Alison Peters.

and to cap it all we had a fabulous pop up shop provided by Tracey from TAJ Crafts.



A big thank you to all who attended and helped to make this a fantastic weekend.

Workshop News

Well, the first day of our workshop went really well.  The journallers got more and more excited as they discovered new ways to make their pages.  The hand embroiderers were the noisiest – whooping for joy at every successful stitch with lots of laughter.  The machine embroiderers were much more serious with their noses to the grind stone.  Watch this space for pictures of the work accomplished.image

Indigo Dyeing Workshop

Some of Carol Ann's work
Some of Carol Ann’s work

it was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, ideal for indigo dyeing and we had great fun getting messy with Carol Ann Eades.  We started by preparing our fabrics by different methods which gave very different results.   Carol Ann produces some amazing fabrics but although we are beginners, our results were very satisfying.

Preparing the dye was quite an involved process and the temperature of the vat has to be precise to ensure good results.


This method is called Ne Maki.  Small beads were held in the fabric with elastic bands and worked in a grid pattern.  When fabric is pulled out of the vat it is often a bright green which gradually turns a beautiful deep indigo.


Here’s the piece hanging out to dry.


And here’s the finished piece.  It’s so exciting removing the beads to reveal the pattern that has formed.

Here’s another piece using conkers and beads



This next method is called Mokume was stitched at home before the workshop.  Just as well as it took me several hours,



Here’s another  method using stitching



Heres another method called Arashi,  fabric is wrapped and bound round a drain pipe!


We tried dyeing all sorts of fabric including cotton, wool blanket, silk and calico.  This piece of lace came out particularly well


Watch this space for journal covers made with my samples!