Saturday, 27 August 2016

What have I been doing?

This might not look like much but it has taken me days to construct - after first of all working out how to do it. The unturfed lawn has been in a sad state for at least two years I guess waiting for DH to do something about it.  He seems to know every excuse in the book as to why he should not get on with any job I ask him to undertake.  One excuse was that the path was not done yet.  Well at least now it is well on the way to being made.

My next task for this bit of the job is to break up the pile of bricks at the end of the timbers and use them for a solid base before putting a membrane down and gravel. I am really looking forward to getting my sledge hammer out and smashing them up!!

I have also put a board across the end of another piece of would be lawn and am now lowering the level of soil down the side of the house so that it is two bricks below the dampcourse.  It is going to have a wooden edge to it too and some nice angular gravel to drain the water away and keep the house walls clean.

I think I must be mad as I have had moments of despair when I realised I did not really know what I was doing, but I always manage to work through it and find a solution. My latest such dilemma is what to do with a buried pipe at the side of the house that takes the surface water from the roof along the back of the house to the drain.

The flora is self seeded and I could not bear to dig them up as they look so pretty and brighten the place up.

Friday, 26 August 2016

More Rusty Shed

I managed to do a bit of doodling in my sketchbook yesterday and added the two photographs of the shed at Berrington Hall, then overlaid a piece of tracing paper and started to draw over it. Not quite up to the neatness of Nigel Peake, however, he is an architect or some such professional so he has every right to be so precise.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

A Simple Shed

I took a photograph of this shed at Berrington Hall as it reminded me of some of the Nigel Peake drawings I had seen.  This is the original photograph ...

 Then I messed with it in Photoshop

Now I need to spend some time doing a drawing in the style of 'Nigel Peake'!!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Square Eyed

I have actually been doing a little bit of stitching off and on over the past few weeks.  I have resurrected something I did with Venture Group using green fabric made into small  squares.  Not sure where it is going but it is loosely based on allotments and gardens.

The picture below was my original embroidery made from 10 small individual pieces of fabric donated by each member of the Venture Group from which we had to create something.  I cannot remember the exact rules but we were not allowed to add by way of additional materials much to what we already had.  We all started with the same materials and the outcomes were very, very different.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Croome Embroideries

I popped to Croome on Thursday to see the Embroiderers' Guild work on display by the Cotswold branch.  Also managed to fit in a walk, although my foot is still very painful after an incident I had over a week ago with a supermarket trolley.  Think it is badly bruised rather than broken but it still hurts a lot. I managed to get a nice walk in before the sun got out later on and the weather returned to being very hot. Picked up some beech nuts and a couple of walnuts too so hope to do some sketching at home.

I came across this baby robin who did not seem in the least frightened of me and if you look closely you can see where he is just changing into his more familiar red plumage.

There was some interesting embroidery on display ...

and then there was this one ... which was very cleverly executed ....

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Winged Things

I found this beautiful Painted Lady butterfly dead in the garden this week.  As it had its wings open it shows the beautiful patterns on both the upper and under sides ....

Imagine my surprise then on the same day to find these two moths sat on the house wall under the shower room window.  I think they were 'Old Lady Mormo maura' moths.  Apparently they rest during the daytime in houses and barns.  They were quite large. Their patterning is supposed to look like the shawls worn by elderly Victorian ladies.

Just done a bit more investigation and wonder if they were rarer Clifden Nonpareil Catocal fraxini. They were definitely large.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

What Did We Do Next

York seems such a long time ago ... Think we painted fabric next

We painted the background with acrylic and fabric medium, using gesso, wax, oil pastels, bits of collaged paper, printing, etc.  In fact all the things we had been learning during the week.  Next we could fold it up or chop it up, so mine got chopped up.

 and reassembled in a different order, first with just two pieces

 then all three pieces, which the stage it is now at ready to be stitched together and worked on.

Just realised looking at the photos that we added some foil to this at the end.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

More from James College

from Bobby Britnell's workshop

I was joined in York by two friends and they were in either Bobby Britnell's group or that of  Alison King.  They seemed to produce more resolved work than our group did so I thought I would post examples of their work. It was interesting to see the diversity between all three groups.
First piece from Alison King's group

Unfinished piece from second piece in Alison King's group

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Berrington Hall

Had the opportunity to go to Berrington Hall on Sunday to see the Capability Brown exhibition by the three branches of the Embroiderers' Guild - Marches, Stourbridge and Teme Valley.  There was some fabulous work on show.
Lesley Holland - The Veg Garden - Marches Branch - Paperweight

The 'Bringing Paper to Life' mannequins throughout the ground floor of the house were incredible.  I had to go back for a second look later in the day.


Henry Holland
If this was not enough there was a very beautiful exhibition of smocks in one of the upstairs rooms and I wish I had had more time to do some sketches of the stitches and patterns.


Outside in the grounds were several installations by Red Earth as part of their 'Genius Loci' sculptures.  It appears to be an ongoing work with some pieces still to be constructed.

"Telling the Waters"

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Followed by ....

We were all given an A2 piece of cartridge paper which we had to randomly paste with bits of tissue paper and other scraps we had to hand, using PVA and/or gesso or emulsion paint.  Gaps had to be left to allow the cartridge paper surface to peep through too.  Paper flying off the edges was encouraged. This was all then coloured with either brusho, koh-i-noor or diluted acrylic paint. We were encouraged to print onto the surface as well.

Once it was completed and dry we folded it up and then made a long cut up the centre fold so that it resembled a pair of trousers. More folding and the piece of paper became a sort of concertina book.  The general idea was that it could then be used as design inspiration for a piece of work.

I forgot to photograph it so this is all I can show you.  It is the piece at the back of the picture. The smaller piece at the front is something we did later on. Looking at it I must have added some more detail before cutting it up!

Friday, 5 August 2016

And Then ....

What did we do next. Can I have forgotten?

We were each given a length of wallpaper lining paper and we had to randomly cover it with gesso or white emulsion paint and candle wax.  This then had some good old Quink Ink painted onto it.  We left it all to dry overnight and were then asked to draw onto it with whatever was to hand and some black drawing ink. We could add one colour using either chalk or oil pastels.

This was then made into a concertina. The white lines at the edge were where I had taped the paper to my table to keep it steady.

I decided to decorate the other side of mine with Inktense blocks.  After I had made a rough wash over it all I did some rubbings in two colours over the  prairie points made from cartridge paper.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Edging Along in the Dark

We moved onto some monoprinting onto various types of paper, some of which worked better than others. For the examples below I went outside and used part of a gripper bar in the doorway and the concrete well. This was followed by laying some of my paper prairie points under the piece of paper and rollering over the top.

A scrap of paper I had been putting under the edge of a large sheet of paper I had been working on to stop the ink going on the table made a useful insert over a monoprint of some bamboo leaves from the waters edge I had brought indoors. I added a wash of colour to make it more interesting and created an interesting page in my sketchbook.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

A Little More Over the Edge

These are one or two pages from my sketchbook.  I felt I was too slow and did not really produce enough drawings and ideas.  Others in the group were far more prolific.  We had to jot down some of the ideas from the squares of paper we had been cutting and folding.  I had chosen a topic of 'Prairie Points' which I found quite difficult to interpret.

I was encouraged to draw some of the curled corners I had been playing with and make them go right across two pages of my sketchbook, which is something I have always struggled with.  I was quite pleased with the results.  I used watersoluble graphite pencils for the drawing.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Beyond the Edge

Drawn to the Edge
Just returned from a lovely week away in Yorkshire.  It was the second time I have attended the Textile Study Group Summer School. This year it was at James College on the York University Campus. Last year we were at Farncombe Estate which was not too far from home for me.

There was water and birds everywhere, the weather was lovely and the tutors and fellow students fantastic.
This was the scene outside our studio.  Needless to say I think we had the best tutor in Shelia Mortlock and also the best classroom, but it is only a matter of opinion.  There were two further options - Bobby Britnell and Alison King - and I had a friend in each room so was able to see what they were doing too.

This little pile of nonsense was my attempt at making edges based on Prairie Points, which were then stacked on top of each other to create a further edge.