Saturday 29 February 2020

Final Daily Photos

Last time I showed days 22-31.  Today, here are my final photos for days 32-42.
Back to my comfort zone.  Pastel colours and collage

Laser print and organza

Paper lamination

Metal fish on the kitchen wall

A friend's poem printed for Jubilee Church Art Gallery

Why would anyone need 10 spare pillows?

A child's costume for the Venice Carnivale

And the back

Abstract Calligraphy with Simon Sonsino

Painted Tyvek

Valentine roses

My word of the year - abstract calligraphy

Next month or April maybe, I'm starting 42 days of collage.  Watch this space!

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Daily photos

I have completed my daily photo for 42 days.  My last post showed you 12-21.  I was going to put the rest on this post but realised that's 21 photos so I'll do two posts.

Pub Lunch. Yummy crackling

Canalside living

Pages from my Venice concertina book

Decay and shadow


Seafood Linguine

Collage play at C2C

Silver Birch trees

Photo being used for design work

Designing with paper

Thanks for  joining me today.  Next time the last of my daily photo challenge

Saturday 22 February 2020


I drove down to Cirencester to meet Helen & Becca so that we could visit the Quilt Art Traces exhibition.  It is at the New Brewery Arts Centre.

I took photos of the pieces that most appealed to me.
Sea Fret by Fenella Davies

Close up of Sea Fret

A snippet of De Profundis by Eszter Bornemisza

Cry Me A River by Jette Clover

Breakdown by Sue Hotchkis

Traces of Memory by Christine Chester

The exhibition is on until March 15th so you still have time to visit.  Whilst you're there take the lift to the top floor and visit my friend Emily Northen.

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Abstract Calligraphy

What a fabulous day we spent with Simon Sonsino at Littleheath Barn.  He showed us various techniques through the day and after each demonstration it was our turn.  Here are my efforts.


Just have to work out how to reproduce the abstract calligraphy on fabric now.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 15 February 2020

Climbing a spiral staircase

Do you have that sort of déjà vu feeling that you've asked yourself the same questions before?  Hopefully as you ask yourself the question you have moved on a bit - much like climbing a spiral staircase - where you come to the same point but higher up.

I went to Committed to Cloth for the workshop Unlocking the Mystery of Creative Play.  Having done it twice before, I knew what to expect - sort of!  Lesley changes it up a bit every year depending on who is on the workshop.  But I knew there would be playing with paper and design as you have seen in my two previous posts.

But I wanted to spend some of the time investigating what I am going to do with my work in the future.  I've been working through the Head, Heart and Hands workbook and found that to be really useful.  The activities are about finding your creative voice.

This is one of the things I wanted to talk to Leslie about.  I was very fortunate to have a session with her every day, just to talk.  In between I did the paper play activites but mostly thought and journaled.  I answered some of the questions that Leslie asked, which often provoked questions of my own.  Here are a few of my answers.

Why do I go to so many workshops?
  • I enjoy learning new processes and techniques
  • The 'cross-pollination' of working with other people and their ideas

Why should I stop going to so many?
  • I don't spend time afterwards playing with what I 've learned or making the process my own
  • Procrastination: a workshop can be a 'worthwhile' way of putting off doing my own work.  Why is that?  Lack of self belief in my own work.
  • Money spent on workshops could be better spent on quality materials for my own work
  • Free up mental capacity for my own work

Leslie talked to the whole group about 'finding joy' in our creations and our creative process.  She and I talked about numbing and how Brene Brown says you can't numb one emotion on its own.  If you numb one emotion you numb them all.   I wrote about numbing in January 2014.

I journaled about joy - or the lack of it.  I journaled about the investment of time and money.  I asked myself questions and came to a point where I felt there was a choice:

Give up creative activities altogether.  Clear out all the media and fabric and find a new thing.
Become committed totally to what I do.  But do what I want to do - no courses, no exhibitions, no deadlines - just play.

I decided on the latter.

I made a list of what I need to do.
  • Narrow down techniques I like - make a list.
  • List the colours I like to work with.
  • List materials I like to work with - narrow it down.
  • Take responsibility for my own creativity.
  • Develop my curiosity.
  • Go on Artist's dates.
  • Value my work.
  • Play

As I have written this blog post, all of the above seems so easy, but at the time - those 5 days away - there was a lot of angst.  I knew things needed to change but I don't like change.  I like to think I'm open to change but in reality I can be quite resistant.

I'm still working through the questions and journaling.  I looked back through my creativity journal and found that I was asking these same questions in 2017.  Hence the spiral staircase analogy.  I'm climbing the staircase and believe that I am making progress and seeing the same point from a different perspective.
Climbing the stairs featured in the first photo.

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday 11 February 2020


If you have been following my journey with the School of Stitched Textiles Master Practitioner course you will know I was on Module 3.  In my last post about the course, I said I would tell you about my design brief and how I got on making the piece.

I submitted two suggestions both of which were approved.  I chose to do the dress first.

I sort of mocked up the dress on the tailor's dummy and drew a version as well.

The intention was to make a costume for a child to wear at the Venice Carnivale, inspired by memories of Venice.

And here it is:
the front

the back
I shall probably make the other design, which was for a decorative cone, when life calms down a bit.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday 8 February 2020

More design work

Continuing with my design work and playtime at Committed to Cloth.

My previous post showed me working with squares.  In May I am going to C2C to do Improvisational Pieced Cutting which is basically playing with fabric and a rotary cutter.  So for the latter part of my playtime week, Leslie suggested I played with curved shapes.   I had this photo with me.

Thankfully I realised fairly early on that trying to replicate this photo was difficult and I should just take shapes from it.  This led to these designs.

I took some close up photos of areas that looked interesting.

Eventually we realised that I had been working with the photo upside down.  It's of lifting gear in a a cafe in Savannah.

 On Sunday morning I returned to my comfort zone of small collages in a zigzag book.

And finally my show and tell design wall with lots of b&w photocopies.

I had an unusal 5 day retreat - a mix of play, some angst and some serious self investigation.  More about that next time in Climbing the spiral staircase!

Thanks for joining me today.