Monday, 14 January 2019

New Forest Retreat

There has been a cancellation on the highlight of my year, the New Forest Retreat Thursday 25th April - Saturday 4th May. I teach this course with Anna Corba at a beautiful country house in the New Forest. The price includes
- 2 nights accommodation at the beginning and end at The Petersham hotel in Richmond-upon-Thames (in southwest London) overlooking the river Thames
- Shopping locally plus a visit to a 17th century house in Richmond, Ham House
- 7 nights luxury accommodation at Heathfield House in the New Forest
- 2.5 days of artful crafting classes with paper artist and author Anna Corba
- 4 full days of textile collage classes with Mandy
- All materials included
- Transport (airport transfers not included)
- Delicious homemade meals provided by our private chef (1 lunch and 1 dinner at guests’ cost)
- Visits to local antique shops
- Visit to 13th century abbey, Mottisfont Abbey
For the prices and  further details please contact Lizzie

Hope you might join me and if you are living abroad this an ideal escorted luxury break with workshops with me and Anna to keep you out of mischief!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Sketchbook month

January is sketchbook month! Here is a taste of what I am doing...

Sunday, 6 January 2019

New Year Textile Resolutions

I have had three weeks away from my studio and practice which has given me a little time for reflection in between long walks, good food and the company of family and friends. These are all important but I long to get back to my own work and especially be able to use the limited day light hours as I find it almost impossible to see colours accurately at night. I can't make diet, food or clothes decluttering resolutions as I know I will break them but here are my thoughts of what I want to do better in 2019.

Threads. Keep my threads tidier. My machine sewing threads are a tangled mess because I never slot the end of the thread back in to the notch at the top.I will do this! Over Christmas I have organised all my embroidery threads too in to little boxes of colours and types and I have thrown away the tangled messes in plastic bags that I have bought in charity shops as I know they are weighing me down and there are more important things to be getting on with rather than trying to get them on to little bits of card.

Fabric. I have a cupboard in my studio where I keep my quilts and then 24 under bed storage boxes for my fabrics. Every January I go through these and have a big throw out. This will be underway this week but seeing the amount I have I realise I must live by the rules I set out in my book and use what I have already got which is enough to last me for the rest of my life time. My excuse is that I am just "saving" something for students in workshops but this can't go on. I also waste time reading Instagram posts about vintage and antique materials that are for sale ( or almost certainly SOLD) so I need to delete all those I follow who are selling things and then I won't know about it or be tempted. I don't like the way Instagram is turning into a market place for sellers so will try and edit it so I just see joyful photos of things that people have actually MADE or are inspired by rather than are selling.
Keeping this quilt by the way!

Plastic. I think 2019 will be the year we all need to address this. I do use the same shopping basket every day to take things back and forward to the studio but am guilty of having a roll of freezer bags on my desk and putting different little projects in them to travel around with. I have already started making simple little bags  out of my old and lovely fabrics and will have a basket of these so will store projects in something lovely rather than something that is destroying our environment. I am afraid though that my blankets, tweeds and wool threads will continue to be stored in sealable plastic boxes that I already own as at the moths can't get in there!

My own work.  Yes it is often at the  bottom of a list. Every year I say I will teach less and do my own personal projects more but just look at my forthcoming workshops and you can see this is not happening. Thing is I love teaching, preparing for the workshops making samples and gathering materials and above all enabling others creativity. It has to stay but I am saying NO to more workshops  held further from home. What maybe has to go is making so much for sale even though this significantly contributes to my business finances. For now you are not going to see much of my work for sale in my Etsy shop though I will continue to bring things for sale to workshops. It is a distraction from what I really want to do!  I have two or three major projects on the go at the moment and want to  really push what I am doing, particularly now that I am a member of the Textile Study Group with the opportunity to network, gain feedback and learn from other committed artists.

If you are reading this and are an artist yourself I hope you too use this time of year to think about what your priorities are. I suspect that all of us are looking inwards a bit at the moment as what is happening outside seems catastrophic. Anyway I wish you a Happy Epiphany and lets think about wise women instead of the wise men!

Sunday, 23 December 2018

No Serial Number

I am pleased to be featured in the new winter edition of No Seria lNumber magazine. This magazine's mission is showing the world that sustainable alternatives are a reality so I was very pleased to support them.
In fact its a detail of my work featured on the front cover! You can buy the magazine from their website
and I can offer my network a coupon. The coupon code is winter2018feature and it is valid until 23.01.2019.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

How I start

I don't have much time to do my own projects but when I do start something it is always exciting to choose a colour scheme. It is always fabric and colour led and basically I just chuck things on the table and see what happens!

Friday, 23 November 2018

Christmas Shopping

I understand it is Black Friday and the busiest day of the year for retailers. Spare a thought for those of us who make things that are handmade. It is not an easy way to make a living but the things we make are made with love and in our own studios and in my case using mostly preloved materials so are sustainable and eco friendly. I mostly sell directly to people who visit my studio so am able to have a personal conversation with them about the piece but in order to share with the rest of you then I have to do it online. It is harder to make much this way as card fees, processing fees, listing fees have gone up a little but our British Pound is so weak now that I guess it is attractive to those of you outside the UK! Anyway what this is all leading up to is that I have just restocked my Etsy shop HERE with loads of work and there probably won't be any more till after Christmas so if you are in the Black Friday mood for shopping take a look.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Mixing cultures

I love mixing things up in my work. This piece uses a piece of Victorian stroppy quilt with the back of a hand embroidered Indian fragment. I have echoed the circles of the Indian piece with my own embroidery. I have made this little piece for our Winter Open Studios event which takes place at The Hearth on 17th and 18th November. Information about the event HERE