Friday, 31 October 2014


On Tuesday evening's I go to a printing class in Hereford.  This week we had been doing monoprinting using plant materials with water based inks. At the end of the class I had some ink left and a dirty roller to clean so I was busily rollering over a piece of newsprint when I discovered that I had left some pieces of grass and honesty underneath.  The raised edges were being highlighted with the excess ink coming from the roller.  It was a lovely surprise and I think I might wax the papers with either acrylic wax or candle wax and use them for something.  I could even put a wash of colour over the background before I do this.

We only had red or blue to work with and, as I did not like the brightness of either colour, I mixed them together.

An whole and partial honesty seed that had been stuck to the roller

Grass Stalks

Monday, 27 October 2014

Textiles at the Cathedral

Not only was the sculpture brilliant, but I got a huge surprise when I discovered that the alter cloth was created by Alice Kettle.

I also found a very nice fish on another alter cloth which reiterated the fish on the floor tiles ...

 and then I found the Tom Denny windows ...  not that my photograph does them justice.

Sculpture Exhibition

The weekend got off to a bad start - I waited in all day on Saturday for the decorator to call to give me a quote for wallpapering the hall ceiling upstairs and downstairs but, yet again, he never turned up.  I was most annoyed as I had planned to go to the Crucible 2 Exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral which ends on 31st October.  There are 61 sculptors exhibiting.  However things improved on Sunday as DH decided that once he had done a bit of gloss painting in the morning we could go off to Gloucester in the afternoon.  It is the first time since we came to live here that I have actually been into the centre of Gloucester.

The exhibition was fabulous.  Choral Evensong started at 3 pm and was a lovely backdrop to the sculptures.  We had a lovely time but did not manage to go into the crypt where we missed 8 of the sculptures.  I wondered where the Paolozzi was!!

Antony Gormley - Pose

 The three frescos painted on the back wall were epic and really complimented the sculpture
David Mach - The Thief

Deborah van der Beek 'The World Gone Pear Shaped'
This pear was full of lots of found objects embedded in it which gave it a fabulous tactile surface.
Sue Freeborough "Let there be spaces in your togetherness'
We could not get to see these until Evensong finished but they were worth the wait.  My day was made when two very small children walking past them with their parents took a distinct liking to the pair.  It proves that the beauty of sculpture is not in looking at what others tell you is currently in vogue, but more to do with the shape and feel of the piece.
Lynn Chadwick 'Jubilee IV'

Andy Johansen - Heart

Charlotte Mayer - The Thornflower
Unfortunately I clipped the top edge off this sculpture, which I liked very much.  The small chapel it was in had the most beautiful decoration.

Friday, 24 October 2014

This Green and not so Pleasant Stitching

Shamed by those who have already finished theirs I have now attacked the bag of 11 pieces of green fabric and a packet of beads, which form part of a challenge for "Running Stitchers". I aim to make something interesting with them, she says confidantly!!  I used the larger pieces to make some small squares which will either be based on Cathedral Windows or the Secret Garden technique.  Then I might stuff some of these with the flimsier fabrics and add beads to others, who knows.  It is work in progress at the moment.
Remaining fabric choices

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Out and About

I had to pop to the Library on Tuesday morning whilst out shopping and was delighted to see the grasses waving in the wind on the terrace above the Library.  It was difficult to get a shot showing how spectacular they were as the sun was in the wrong position.  Also a shame about the bus lurking in the background.

Guess these were the remains of phlomis  flowers.  I just wanted to get my sketchbook out and draw the stems.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The eyes have it ...

Perhaps not the correct use of 'eyes' but not to worry.  I had to go for an eye test yesterday so made the most of my visit to Worcester by popping into The Hive to see the exhibition of illustrations which are part of the International Lemniscaat Illustration Competition.  It was worth the visit and I also took one or two photographs outside the building.

Had to try to tilt this picture to make any sense of it.  The gardeners had been strimming the surface of the raised areas in the lawns and they were looking better than usual with a more distinct outline.
This is The Hive which houses the library amongst other things.  I am not very taken with the outside of it, but everyone to their own taste.
 An inspirational view with perhaps some design potential.
 After playing in Photoshop with it and adding a filter.
The raised walkway also has potential as a design source, particularly after our use of horizontal and vertical lines with Ruth Issett and Bobby Britnell.
 After adding a patchwork filter to it in Photoshop
More playing in Photoshop.  You can see why nothing ever gets done.  I spend far too much time messing around when I should be working.

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Lesley Brankin
One or two more pictures from the "Working Together" workshop earlier this week with Ruth Issett and Bobby Britnell. The picture above very much reminded me of work several years ago by Sarah Burgess.  These are all by other people on the course.

Life is strange ...  I came across a photograph with very similar colouring to one of the squares I had produced and when I followed it up discovered Gina Ferrari had been on a course too and used the same colours as I started out with.  Follow the link to see the pictures on her blog.   (Fan My Flame)

Friday, 17 October 2014

Ruth Issett and Bobby Britnell Workshop

This was my inital core board of squares and a piece of abaca tissue all painted with just two colours of procion dye.  Magenta and Turquoise.
We then went on to chop them up and reassemble them on a piece of cartridge paper the same size as the original square.
There was meant to be a theme linking the squares together.  I managed these four.
This was one of my squares which I did not want to cut up, but afterwards was pleased with the combination of two squares and a bit of the abaca tissue.
This one was several squares and gesso.
Gesso with various marks and tissue paper, then holes were added and finally a rubbing of graphite powder.
This final one was on black paper and has all the above things plus some coloured shavings rubbed in from a pastel crayon.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


As I have not been doing anything too exciting over the past few days I thought I would look in my folder of inspirational pictures I have taken at various times.

 I think this one was taken at Bryan's Ground some years ago.  A fantastic garden to visit if you get the chance. (Bryan's Ground)

However, it could also be at Chris Rowlatt's (the bookbinder, now retired) in Presteigne as he has odd things hanging up in his garden.
These are the leaded windows at Haddon Hall in Derbyshire.  You would wonder how they managed to stay in place!
Finally a picture of a potting shed at a walled garden.  A friend I met recently had been to The Lost Gardens of Heligan and taken a photograph very similar.  I think this one was somewhere near Hull in a garden owned by the local council - could be Normanby Hall.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Racing Whippet

This little chap is one of the things I am working on at the moment.  He represents 'Whippet's Brook'.  I have lots of scraping and sanding to do before I can apply the leather cover to this book and he may get a line of grass to run along.

The other leather book I have got prepared will have an indented image of the path of the stream through our garden .... if I ever get it finished.  I seem to be awfully busy again at the moment with no time for the things I want to do.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Wightwick Manor

On Wednesday we went to Wightwick Manor to meet up with a friend who was on her way back up to Yorkshire, but staying over with her daughter in Wolverhampton for a few days.  The day started off dryish and sunny but by the afternoon we had torrential downpours.  Not to worry though as there is lots to see in the house and the tearoom serves delightful food.

There was a massive, and I mean MASSIVE pumpkin patch..  I think they have an Halloween Weekend coming up.  The pumpkins were gianormous!!

These little fabric chappies were perched on one of the scarecrows located in the vegetable garden.  We had to take cover in the large greenhouse just before this as we had the first of the many downpours.

Everywhere you look at Wightwick there are sources of inspiration for design ....

We had a fabulous day out despite the weather.  The only downside was that when I got home I had got another speeding fine for doing 35 mph in a 30 mph zone and this time will have to pay the fine and have some points put on my licence.  I was caught on a mobile camera in a van whilst out on Sunday visiting the Ledbury Quilters exhibition.  It was most unusual for me to be speeding as, since I got caught last time, I have been dawdling about everywhere.  Could have had something to do with the constant nagging about my pathetic driving by DH.  He reckons the Speed Awareness Course I had to do last time has turned me into a dreadful driver.  I personally think it is his influence on my driving!!  He makes me into a dithering wreck by the time I get home.

Tacket Binding (3)

This is the second book we made this term at the bookbinding class.  It is a type of tacket binding, however, I am going to have to undo the stitching because I have not got it tight enough.  The cover is a piece of heavy watercolour paper that has been coloured with acrylic paint applied through a stencil and then given a wash of procion dye.  The inside is just procion dye with clingfilm applied to it to create a pattern.  I have sealed the outside cover with acrylic wax.