Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Songs of Innocence

I've come over all monochrome in  my newest Altered Book.

I'm usually so mesmerised by colour but sometimes the peacefulness of pale is just what I need on a crazy day.

Songs of Innocence is all about the beauty of simplicity and the cherishing of  memory, the moments of silence when we know the most important truths and taking time to breathe in the busyness of our hectic day.

I'm hoping that the painting of the pages and the gentle stitching of the linen will be a kind of meditation about the important things in my life. 

Try a little stitching and give yourself a moment of time to be still.  Have a happy peaceful day xx

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Monday Vintage Blanket Stitch Workshop

Tomorrow is the next sewing workshop and we are going to be working with Mixed Media and Paper as a way of adding a modern twist to our Folk Art inspired stitching.

We are then going to be stitching on these and adding elements of our own stories and memories to the collages.

Here are some more photos of the gorgeous Paper Patchwork pieces.  First Dawn's.



We are also working with Tea bags which I have been saving  for ages.They are amazing to work with because they are made from really strong paper which doesn't fall apart when used with water. They are great to stitch on, they are already tea dyed, ha ha, and I'm especially in love with the round ones. 

I also just wanted to show you a finished blanket sampler made by the wonderfully talented Dawn Walsh. I need to get a bigger photo so that you can see the incredible detail. She has decided to frame this instead of using it as a blanket book cover and brought it to show to us. It looks totally amazing in a frame. I am so, so proud of my stitchers. This is amazing Dawn.

If you are free during the day once a month on a Monday, join us. Slow stitching with gorgeous materials is good for your soul  and it is so lovely to allow yourself a day just for you. We meet in Hemel Hempstead.

Soldering Heaven!

Yesterday I was in soldering heaven. 

I have wanted to learn how to solder little boxes and jewellery for so long. Years and years!
Ever since seeing the artwork of Sally Jean Alexander and her book of Pretty Little Things.

To be able to make tiny works of artyness, collages of memories and love tokens has been TOP of my wishlist FOR EVER so when I saw photos of a workshop run by Diane Tinker Foster about a year ago where she was showing lucky people how to make these little treasures I have to admit I kind of stalked her. 

Luckily she is a complete darling and tolerated it all pretty well. I loved everything she made. Some made my heart beat faster, some made me weep with their imagery and poignancy. She spoke to my soul!

Luckily she was also found by Louise of the wonderful Hope and Elvis workshop studios in Worksop and she booked Di to teach 2 days of soldered boxes.

Hope and Elvis is a pretty fab place to visit in itself; the walls are full of inspiring art by some of the great artists that teach there and some wonderful vintage finds beautifully displayed so just walking in through the doors starts the day with a warm welcome and the feeling that something special is going to happen there.

This time there was also some of Di's fabulous work displayed right by the door. It was heart achingly beautiful.

 This piece below is inspired by the exhibition Threads of Feeling at the Foundling Museum: 

The exhibition documented the stories of the more than 4,000 babies left by their Mothers with a scrap, usually of fabric, to identify them when they returned to claim them. The heart is divided into two halves as a love token. It is held in a handmade,shaped box which has been lined with vintage quilt fabric. 

You can read more about the exhibition here:

Another love token.

On a much lighter note look at these French Girlies below. Vintage Half Dolls have been soldered onto an  Eiffel Tower made of glass.

And look at these cuties who are just waiting to be rehomed!

We couldn't wait for the workshop to begin. Here is Di telling us all about her inspiration and warning us about hot things! Look at her necklace!


Here she is demonstrating those HOT things! Her teaching was so good that nobody even got in a little bit trouble.

She spent months making us the gorgeous  little papier mache boxes to hold our treasures. They were covered with  beautiful vintage french papers. 
We could choose 3 different sizes. We started with the smallest which was only .75 " in size.

I made a teeny collage with a piece of antique lace, a brass bee and the tiny word from and old dictionary 'Bee Brave'

Di gave us beautiful bevelled glass to cover our boxes with before soldering them.

My medium sizes box was 1.5" square

Di had already made the box from fantastic Marie Antoinette  printed vintage paper and because I have been wanting to make a fabric Marie book for quite a while I decided that the box was waiting for me and just decorated the inside with glass glitter, diamante trim and a vintage carved gilded glass button.

For my biggest box which was 2"x 3" I had made a little embroidered piece the night before .

But Louise always has such lovely things for us to use at Hope and Elvis  that I made another from some snippets of fabric, stitching, little toy chicken and some flowers and buttons that I had in my stash.

The diamante embellishment on the top was a little found piece of broken jewellery that I had been saving since I first saw photos of Di's work.

Talking about stash, one of the loveliest things was going around being nosey about other  peoples fabulous stash. It got us talking about the exhibition coming up at the Barbican later in the year on Artists and their Collections.

This is a very long post but I'm just going to finish by saying a huge thank you to the wonderful Diane Tinker Foster for her inspirational teaching, her generosity and sense of humour and to Louise for the wonderful workshop. 
Here is one last photo for you to marvel at: A chatelaine! made from  delicious vintage found objects, soldered and wearable. Ohhh my goodness! xxx

Monday, 2 March 2015

More Gelli Printing coming very soon! and Altered Books too.

The new workshops are booking up fast!

On April 11th I'm repeating the beginners Gelli Printing workshop to fit in all the people who wanted a place last time. I so hope you can make it for this one if you missed out last time.

There will be Gelli part 2 in the summer where we will be developing our prints with drawing and experimenting with using our prints to make repeatable images on fabric  and embellishing them with stitch so it would be great to do the beginners workshop to get some really good images to use for part 2.

The whole process is so addictive and if you have been thinking about getting a gelli plate this is a great way to try it out and buy one if you like it.

On May 23rd the very popular Altered Book workshop will be happening again.

There are lots of images from some of my Altered Books further back in this blog and also on my website:

They are such a joy to make: to take an old unloved book and make it into a very personal piece of art feels like rescuing an old friend and giving her a breath of new life.

We will be learning lots of techniques for starting and working in our books. The day is suitable for beginners, experienced mixed media artists and art journallers and everyone who wants a day of playing with paint, print, glues and exciting art media.

Both workshops cost £65 for the day and include everything except lunch.

Contact me through my website to book.