Saturday, 17 November 2012

Blogging Break

I've started getting swamped with christmas and similar already so I've decided to postpone my blog updates until the new year.

So until then - enjoy December, Merry Christmas and watch out in January for new arty updates...

Monday, 12 November 2012

Reference Library

Here's a few extracts from my first completed inspiration book (the others are only half finished) ...

For years I've been collecting images, for reference, research or inspiration and until recently they've all been residing in box files - jumbled together and rather in-accesible. To resolve this I started putting some of the images in salvaged books (books that would otherwise have been pulped or similar) creating a collection of inspiration books - my own reference library - which I find a much better way to look through my image collections.

Each book has its own theme - so to speak- a way of making the volume somewhat coherent, the book featured below is filled with copies of vintage photographs.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Saltram Stairs

Found this buried in my studio stash today. Its a watercoloured photocopy of a drawing inspired by Saltram house ( a local national trust property), in other words another relic of a past project that I plan to revive / rework.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Stuffed Shape Experiment

Following the ridged shell experiment I felt like exploring some more shapes and so Amba's toy collection has grown once again

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Finding new uses for a doodle pattern that used to adorn my degree lecture notebooks

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Stuffed Shell

Another stuffed experiment, continuing on the sea theme I guess - mostly I just wanted to give the ridges a try... 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Compilation sketches

I spent a pleasant few hours hatching away with my fineliners, jumbling together snippets of different subjects to be used later ...

Friday, 2 November 2012

First drawing of the month...

The first drawing of November, another to go with the bunch I posted here.

These drawings I've been producing recently have all been inspired in one way or another by an old photocopied page motifs I found stashed away from years ago. It serves as a nice starting point for the designs though frequently my finished drawing has little in common with the motifs (all of which are no more than an inch wide and poorly photocopied) partly due to drawing style but also because of all the extra pieces I keep putting in.

These two are a good example of the "added extras", as you can see, the bottom one is an expanded version of the top one - complete with cross-hatching (I think I'm having a bit of a cross-hatching phase)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Patterns - Ball Experiment

Continuing with my pattern drafting experiments I've constructed a roughly shaped ball, mostly I made it to see if I could but also so Amba could have a new ball toy...

Amba - after playing with toys

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The First Page

As promised in this post here is the first page I've completed in our collaborative book project, technically its been nearly finished for quite a long while but I only recently got around to doing the last touches on it...

I have a second page already underway so shouldn't be too long before its done and posted up.

Please note: even though this project is collaborative between me and Duncan I will only be posting my  own pages on this blog, its up to Duncan to post his finished pages on his own blog.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Rag Rug Vessels

My most recent rag rug creations

A little storage/trinket pot - perfect for keeping my desk a little tidier

Hanging Bauble - fill it with pot pourri or hang on a christmas tree,
or even weight two and play rag rug conkers! 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

New knitting skills

I may have been knitting for a few years now but there are plenty of skills still on my 'want to learn' list.       Knitting in the round (on double points not circulars) has always been high on the list, well up until now...

Helped by Duncan I started this sock, when finished it will be one of a pair (well as long as I knit the second one) of knee high/long comfy winter socks. They'll be simple slipper types as I'm not currently planning on turning a heel on them ( although heels are on my skills to learn list) but the important thing is that I become comfortable with double pointed needles/ knitting in the round - then I can make all kinds of knitted tubes!

We've also recently learnt a technique called mirror knitting, thanks to some videos on YouTube, essentially its an alternative to pearling - it produces exactly the same results as a pearl stitch but enables you to knit without the need to turn the work around. Apparently its quicker (not that I've found it to be) and great for knitters that dislike pearling, personally I like pearling but I do find knitting mirror a nice change from all that turning. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Mini wall hanging

Measuring approx. 7x17cm, this mini wall hanging is the first in a series of appliqué flower panels. Each panel is created using artificial flowers, embroidery techniques and added embellishments such as beads. The panel sizes vary - some will be the same as this mini panel whilst others will be considerably larger.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Stuffed animal prototype

This is the stuffed fish prototype I mentioned here, its a little worse for wear since Amba (a.k.a my mischievous puppy) got hold of it but I plan to make more decorative versions now that I'm happy with the pattern.

Amba - playing innocent 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A place to rest my coffee mug...

This is my Rag Rug coaster, it sits pride of place on my studio desk...

 I plan to make more, maybe even placemats too.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Patterns - stuffed animals

A while ago I started altering various teddy bear patterns, making small changes to lengths and shapes that adjust the overall look of the  bear. Those alterations have been the stepping stones to drafting my own simple patterns, again I started with a bear but I've also been getting quite excited about other animals like dolphins and fish.

Its all very experimental and so every time I've made a prototype to test the pattern my puppy Amba has got a new toy. I leave out details such as eyes and use tough fabric for the toys/testers but eventually I plan to use the patterns I'm happy with to make more elaborate, decorative stuffed animals using plenty of interesting fabrics and nice finishes such as embroidery.

I might post up one of the prototypes later - if Amba hasn't playfully destroyed it by then...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Fizzy - Reworked

A Mixed media canvas, featuring a salvaged piece from a previous painting and a finger knitted/ couched border

Monday, 15 October 2012

130 Splat Bears

 Remember these

Well I've recently finished cutting out a hundred and thirty more splat bears (to be precise: 130 complete bear patterns or 260 pieces/ half bears ) from various piece of scrap fabric in several sizes. Needless to say its going to take me a very long time to get round to sewing them all, especially since they will mainly be hand sewn due to their small size and the stretch of the fabric, but keep an eye out for future posts featuring splat bears - hopefully not too far in the future...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Blooming Sketches

Some pen and ink drawings, design explorations really - I have half formed plans involving leatherette and/or collages in mind for a couple of these...

Posts of the future

A little peak at some of the things going on in my new studio

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Back again...

And so much has changed.

There's been so much going on in the past few months I haven't got around to having time to blog and to be fair I haven't always had the time to create either. Lets just say we've had some losses, some gains and a few pains, but thats just how things turn out sometimes - as a very good friend of mine often says "sometimes life just gets in the way".

Happily I can now announce I'm ready to get back into blogging, so I'd better get started because there's quite a lot to catch you up on:
For starters I have a new studio set up, a space into which I have crammed all my arty equipment, half finished works, books and few more things besides. No doubt it will get even more full as time progresses so its just as well I included lots of furniture and hidey holes...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

This brings back memories

I Found these little key rings when having a bit of a tidy-up, they're made using lots of plastic (beads, leaves, sequins) and wire. They have to be at least 5 years old, created in a phase of experimentation and I consider them to be a kind of prototype ( made cheaply to try out shapes and combinations) as I originally intended to make more in higher quality materials once I felt comfortable with a design. Now they're more  of a nostalgia than anything else but I figured I'd show them anyway.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Latch hook cuffs

I'm experimenting at the moment using a latchhook, wool and a rubbery non-slip material I found in my stocks of stuff ( its an alternative to traditional latchhook canvas and works surprisingly well). Hopefully when I've finished I'll have a fluffy cuff/bangle/bracelet, if successful I'll make more in various colours and potentially patterns... ( this first one really reminds me of the cookie monster)  

Monday, 16 April 2012

And Back to work...

Its been a bit of a rough couple weeks for me, so my creative production level dropped to bare minimum - a bit of spinning and one brief foray into watercolour were about the best it got.

Happily, the art engines are now ticking over once more (or at least revving) ,  so last night I got some of my older paintings up onto the hallway wall which means they're both stored and displayed rather than stacked on various surfaces, pushed from pillar to post and inevitably damaged.  Since it's the upstairs hallway the ceiling is nice and high allowing plenty of room for lots more paintings in the future: I intend the hallway to function as a working progress storage/gallery so not all the space will be used all the time and the paintings can be from different series or maybe even unfinished.  This is helped/hindered (depending on perspective) by my tendency to hang paintings close together (much like old estate houses with collections of dark oil paintings).

Strangely, ever since hanging these last night I've felt like painting, something I have't had the inclination to do since February (when I restarted the produce patterns canvas - enthusiasm for which is somewhat tidal = it comes and goes), I've been so absorbed in the school work and a major textile vibe that painting got sidelined a fair bit - hopefully not for much longer...   

Monday, 2 April 2012

Flat packed Teddy Bears

I've had these little bear patterns cut out for a couple weeks, I'll probably get around to cutting some more soon ( part of my plans to finally use some of the denim I've had stored for ages), hopefully I'll get round to making them even sooner - they're just like a flat pack: I have the fabric cut out, teddy bear eyes, stuffing, thread and other such equipment all ready to go... I just have to start sewing them, it's one of those 'never enough hours in the day' situations.