Sunday, 27 November 2011


No time for blogging lately I'm afraid, for I have been gadding around too much.

First I went to see the Lost in Lace exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries.  Oh, it was wonderful to see so many large pieces displayed in such a big airy space.  I recommend absolutely everyone to go and see it if you possibly can; I'm hoping to go again.

Cosmos Series by Naomi Kobayashi 2011
For many of the pieces the shadows seemed to me to be an integral part.

The Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries is a rather lovely place too; upstairs from Lost in Lace were pieces from the Staffordshire Hoard, beautifully detailed pieces of Anglo-Saxon gold work.  And a very nice restaurant too.

A couple of days after that I was fortunate to be able to attend a workshop and talk given by textile artist Matthew Harris.  The talk was a fascinating insight into his inspiration and way of working and it was lovely to see pieces of his work 'in the flesh' too.  Textile work really does lose something when you only see it in photographs. 

In the afternoon we worked with abstract drawings, folding and tearing them to create new designs.  I seemed to end up quite mappy again, at least in the piece on the left - some little scraps of collagraph prints have crept in there too.  It was a great way of working; all in all the day was very inspiring.

And last but not least I took my son down to London to see the Gerhard Richter exhibition at the Tate Modern.  Wow!  Another absolutely stunning exhibition, well worth a visit.  Son was so taken with it that I treated him to a large and expensive poster, and he is now redecorating his room to make it a suitable place to hang it!!!  How I wish I had thought of this before...

But I think I shall stay home for a while now...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Seashore ACEOs

Since I enjoyed stitching onto my collagraph prints I was inspired to do a bit more hand stitching.

I found 5 Seashore ACEO backgrounds that I'd made ages ago and never stitched, and decided to finish them off.  I made quite a few of these a while back - I have a whole set of them over on my flickr if you'd like to browse, most of them have gone off to new homes now.  I checked and the last time I actually made any of these was in February 2009 so they are a bit of a rarity!

I've finished 3 already...

Seashore ACEOs

and I have another 2 lined up ready to go...

Seashore ACEOs - work in progress

That's it for the backgrounds already made.  I've found the stitching very relaxing so I hope it won't be another (nearly) 3 years before I have time to make more. But then there are so many things I want to do and so few hours in the day...

These ones will be appearing in my hypsela shop on Etsy over the next few days.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Red threads

Red thread on collagraphSometimes ideas take a long time to crystallize. I knew when I first starting making collagraph prints that I wanted to stitch into them, but the question was, how? I tried stitching into a couple but I wasn't particularly pleased with the results, so I left the idea for a while.

So I was leafing through my pile of test prints the other day mulling over a friend's suggestion that I should use them to make cards. They are really too big to use on a card as they are so I chose one and tore it into quarters.

And then... I thought, what these really need is a bit of red stitching. So out came the red thread, and then a collection of vintage shirt buttons, and this is what I ended up with.

I quite like them arranged together like this on a plain canvas.  I've realised that the reason the print fragments shouted 'red stitching' at me is that they really remind me of little map fragments and of course the red stitched lines are footpaths.  I'm not so sure about the why of the shirt buttons though, nice places to have lunch perhaps??

Anyway, after dithering for a while I decided to stick with my original idea and use the stitched fragments for cards.  I'll be listing them in my hypsela shop on Etsy starting later on today.

Red thread on collagraph cards

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Christmas Posting

I'm trying not to think about it but I really can't bury my head in the sand any more... Christmas is nearly here.  If you are thinking of buying from any of my shops for Christmas presents, please don't leave it too late.

Seascape Handwoven Tapestry Brooch Original Collagraph Print
Mixed Paper Journal Seashore Art Notebook

The last order dates for my customers outside the UK are:
  • Saturday 3rd December
    South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Australia and New Zealand
  • Tuesday 6th December
    Eastern Europe, USA and Canada
  • Saturday 10th December
    Western Europe
But do please be aware that even if you order by these dates your purchase is not guaranteed to reach you by Christmas (although it probably will, I don't want to sound too negative here!)  Parcels can be delayed for all sorts of reasons outside anyone's control, not least the weather.  So, the sooner you order the better!

For my UK customers, I will be closing my shops for a much needed Christmas break on Friday 16th December and my last posting date will be Saturday 17th December.  So make sure you get those orders in before I shut up shop!

flower loom kit Flower Hairband Plum Fizz
Flower Brooch in Wine Red Ribbon 3 Rosebud Pink Flowers

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


I have been madly busy this week trying to get on with the practical part of our first assignment of the term.  Between a team of us we have to produce an 8 place table setting.  That's 8 of everything.  I'm making plates.  8 of them.

I have been working my way through the casting process I want to use, finding out what works and what doesn't.  It's quite a long winded process; first make a clay form of the plate...

Platemaking - clay form

...then make a plaster mould of the clay form, carefully clean out all the little bits of clay left behind and wait several days for it to be dry enough to use.

Platemaking - plaster mould

Drill the base of the mould full of holes to let the air escape during casting, and place in the kiln. Cut 2 circles of glass and place in the mould in the kiln. Cook overnight, keeping fingers crossed. And if I'm very lucky the result will be a glass plate with no lumpy bubbles (glass is so hard to photograph)...

Glass plate

Glass plate

Glass plate

Repeat. With a bit of luck, and if it is not moved, a mould can be used 2 or 3 times before it really starts to crumble.

2 down, 6 to go!


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