Tuesday, 30 November 2010


I'm feeling much better today, but other people aren't so I'm still at home.  Unlike the rest of the country we have only the merest sprinkling of snow (so far) but with our clear skies it is particularly chilly! Lovely sunshine and blue skies this morning made my favourite tree look really pretty - I love the combination of blue and gold.

Monday, 29 November 2010

More Weaving

I have been stuck at home today with a cold, feeling sorry for myself. Well enough to want to do stuff but not really well enough to do anything much... and bored! I did take some photos of some little weaving experiments I did the other week - not very good pics because of a certain lack of light at the moment - but here they are anyway.

The first sample I made, I was experimenting with including strands of a fine copper thread to add a bit of sparkle - very subtle and doesn't show too well in the photo, you can see better if you click on the image for the larger version.  Part way through I decided it needed a bit of green - I do like using little bits of fluffy yarns, they add interest to the texture but the weaving manages to keep the fluffiness under control!

The next piece is my favourite - the coloured bits are pieces of grass - I was really pleased with how well they worked.  This is where I discovered I had holes in my slippers as I kept rushing outside in the wet to get just one more piece of grass...

And the last one I got a bit carried away with the whole using natural materials thing and used some bits of twig - they don't hold together so well so I think I need to rethink the technique for this.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Etsy in £s!

Just a quick one to let you know (if you didn't already) that the Etsy site has brought in currency handling.  So you can pay in your chosen currency and I will receive my payment in good old £s sterling.  The upshot of this, in my shops anyway, is that for UK customers my prices now appear a little cheaper since there is no commission on currency exchanges to pay any more.  Hooray!

Saturday, 13 November 2010


I've been to London this week on the 'let's send all the first years to experience London' trip.  It wasn't such a novelty for me, having grown up just outside London and worked there for a while too - but it's lovely to go back.  Unfortunately in these days of tuition fees and (late) student loans not many of the first years could afford to go, but those who did had a great time.  We stayed for 2 nights and personally I was totally exhausted at the end of each day.

So, I went to the British Museum, the V&A, the new Contemporary Ceramics Gallery, the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery, Tate Modern, and had a mooch round the craft and design shops in the Oxo Tower.  And we managed to fit in side visits to Liberty and Anthropologie, plus a little time spent stroking all the lovely handmade papers in Paperchase.  My feet have just about recovered now!

The British Museum is one of those places - like the V&A - that I have been to quite a few times and never managed to explore fully.  This time I discovered the Assyrian relief panels - I loved the amount of detail in them and that once they had covered the slab with detailed pictures they quite often went on and wrote the story right over the top - creating a whole new layer of texture.

I was pleased to get to see Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern (click on the link to see far better photographs than I could ever take!).  I was sort of sad that we're not allowed to walk on it any more, but on the other hand I don't think it would have been  quite so impressive covered with people! The 100 million (yes, 100,000,000!) porcelain seeds are incredibly realistic, and have all been individually hand painted by workers in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen, where the people have traditionally worked in the porcelain industry.  There was a fascinating video showing the production of the seeds, how deftly they were painted - and how pleased the workers were to have the work, while not quite understanding why anyone would want so many painted seeds...  Well worth the visit.

I did allow myself just a little retail therapy... couldn't resist these sheets of handmade paper in Anthropologie...  I'm sure I can find something lovely to do with them!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Still Life in torn paper

Apologies for being a bit quiet lately... I am working on an essay so whenever I think I might write something I think it should be that!  Nearly done now though, I think...

This week at uni we have mainly been tearing pieces of paper into tiny pieces and sticking them to other bits of paper.  In the end I have quite enjoyed it in spite of the sore fingers - who knew tearing paper could get so painful?  The object of the exercise was to get us to take notice of colour values and I think it has been successful in that.

...and After


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