Wednesday 30 December 2009

Creative Threads

I had every intention of blogging more this week but every time I tried to upload photo's the children beat me to it for various reasons, mainly home work but also UTube and Facebook!

At this time of year it's difficult to be motivated when it's cold and dark, which is why I could quite happily hibernate.
Alternatively I just want to curl up with a good book or watch a feel good film.
Then I start feeling restless like I should be doing something, except I decide to go through my sketch books trying to find inspiration for a new project.
I had some sketches of a statue I did back in the summer and this became my starting point for my thread mask.
A face sculptured in thread, following the contours of the features like a map, the face becomes just a different type of landscape.
I also found time to do some work in my sketch book, just scribbling lots of small pictures, playing with different patterns and colours with oil pastels.
I'm hoping these will keep me busy with my threads well into the New Year!
P.S I have spent most of the afternoon watching feel good films and yes the house is a mess.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

A Winters Day


I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas, anyone who has ever had time to view my blog and of course for any comments, which are much appreciated.

We have managed to escape the worst of the snow here in the Midlands, just a light dusting, but it is still very cold and icy.

This morning we took our dog for a walk across the white frosted fields.

I found so much inspiration for my art work, this field with long grass frosted in wave shapes, the patterns in the headgrow and the pale colours in the sky.
Now I just need the time to sketch !

Saturday 19 December 2009

Embroidery Brooch

It's the count down to Christmas and I finished work on Friday.
I work part time at a secondary school as the art and design technician which is a very varied role to say the least.

The last few days I have been preparing patterns and organizing fabric for the textile students, they start making their designs after Christmas.

I am also advising art students who wish to incorporate a textile element to their work.
So in January it will be extremely busy, I'm even dreaming about how to make certain complicated designs!

I'm looking forward to spending a little time on my own work, exploring different ideas, and a few more blog posts.

Thursday 10 December 2009

Stitched Landscape

I have been working on my landscape and it's getting there.
I'm finding the layering of colours quite interesting now and I'm going to find it difficult to stop!
This has taken so much time and I wonder how you could ever be commercial working to this scale?
Last week I did my first demonstration and talk on my work for a lady I know through my art society.
She organises different workshops every few months in her wonderful art studio.
I found it very rewarding and everyone seemed to have a great time experimenting with fibers and stitch.
Perhaps this would be the right direction for me, still for now it's back to stitching.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Festive Threads

As to not bore you with my large piece again, which as you know is still in progress, here in contrast is a very small tree.
A dainty little Christmas tree brooch on a rich, red woolen ground.

I also thought you may like to see this wooden bobbin stand which my Mum found for me last week.
It says on the bottom of it "Worsted Bobbin Flange ex Calder Valley Mills Nr Manchester ( circa 1913)".
It was supposed to be a Christmas present but my Mum couldn't wait!

Thursday 26 November 2009

Embroidery And Threads

Oh dear!

The thread pile has grown again.

I have been very absorbed in my large textile and my thread pile has sort of spread into my stitching!

I have been adding more textural stitching to the foreground by hand.

I still have a lot more stitching to add, as I need to make the texture blend more into the background.
I have placed one of my brooches against the piece for you to see this is so much larger than my normal work.
I hope the scale of stitching is working in this piece, I'm constantly changing threads!
I needed to get back to some smaller stitched brooches and I have made this lace tree.
I thrive on the satisfaction of completing an art work and this is why I usually stitch on a smaller scale.
It's quite exhausting working on this larger landscape, but at the same time I feel I'm really pushing myself.
One of the positive aspects of blogging is, I have even more of an incentive to complete it!

Saturday 21 November 2009

Tree Of Hope

This week has flown and I meant to blog on Wednesday but I have been so busy.
Last Thursday I attended the opening evening at Rugby art gallery & museum for their annual open exhibition.

I submitted three small textile pictures and I was very lucky to have them all selected.
The exhibition has some very wonderful art work and I was pleased to find several different textile pieces.
You will find an excellent range of paintings and sculpture displayed in a white spacious gallery.
So if your near do take a visit, the exhibition is on until the beginning of January.
I also took part in a small event to help raise funds for cancer research, thank you to anyone who kindly purchased my art brooches.
Now it's back to the painting and making, I updated my etsy shop the other day and hope to add a few more pieces soon, including' Tree Of Hope' which I finished today.
I hope you have a good weekend.xx

Wednesday 11 November 2009

If Craft Matters To You


I had an email today from the Craft Council.
It wants to know why craft is important to you.
It sounds like a very interesting project that you could be apart of.
This is also a very good website to see beautiful crafts from leading designers in the UK.

Craft matters to me because quite simply its my life, sounds a bit dramatic but it's true.
It is my living and my social life.
It brings people together, gives me inspiration and Its a way I can express myself.
Its the best sort of therapy.
Happy stitching.x

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Textile Landscape

I'm making slow progress on the stitching, my sewing machine is being serviced this week, not before time, its been in constant use and needs a bit of love and care.
So I am adding hand embroidery to my picture which I really enjoy, very relaxing and I can multi task, watching a good film.
On Sunday I was watching Pride And Prejudice for about the sixth time, I love the rain scene!

I always seem to connect more to the piece when I start the hand stitching, it gives a rhythm to my composition.
The picture above shows it displayed, balanced on my bookcase, I'm not sure yet how I will display this larger piece, any suggestions welcome and also any more good films to stitch to!

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Time To Stitch

It's half term week so I have been busy trying to finish jobs in the house and also fitting in more time to sew.
I have been making my flower brooches in the evening for a Christmas sale in aid of cancer research.

I also decided I wanted to try working a landscape on a larger scale, inspired by the textiles I saw at The Knitting & Stitching Show.
This size is enormous for me, especially if you compare it to my landscape brooches.
It is quite liberating to work to this scale and I kept standing on a chair to look down at it !
This is at the stage before I have added any embroidery, I have embellished the wool and silk fibers down with my embellisher machine.
My inspiration is from the sketch I made in France and I want to portray the atmosphere of the colourful Mediterranean landscape.
The colours are so vivid and intense in the strong sunlight.
I hope to bring it more alive once I start adding my stitches although I think this may take some time!

Tuesday 20 October 2009

If You See A Tree In The Post

Now I think you may find many trees in my blog posts but have you seen one in the post?
I found out my embroidery work which was featured in the Sew Somerset magazine has gone missing in the post.
It turns out it was mailed out from the States at the beginning of July and has not been seen since.
It's this work here scroll down to June 8th.
So if by any chance you may see it, slim I know.........

We put so much faith in our postal service and there is always a risk that it reaches the wrong destination.
I think it's unlikely I will see it again, I wonder if it ever made it across the Atlantic or not?
I posted my Nieces Birthday card early because of the postal strike, due at the end of this week here in the UK.

I do hope they can resolve this dispute soon, as so many small business sellers will find it crippling.
I'm busy sewing lots of flowers at the moment, for a friends Christmas sale in aid of Cancer research, so I best get back to my petals.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Silver Tree & More Threads

I must be slightly mad, I spend entire days just threading up sewing machines and then I come home and do the same!

As the art & design technician I spend a lot of time helping students, by showing them how to set up the machines and how best they can use them.

So I'm surrounded by threads at work and at home, obsessed I am!

These are a few of the smaller stitched pieces I have been working on, including a commission of a silver tree for Carolyn over at
Luckily she likes it!

I must say thank you to Linda who cheered me up, she sent me some fun handmade book marks from her give away.She makes very pretty jewellery too, you can find out more from her blog

Recently I found out that a friend of mine has a relative who stitches and she has a blog too, a small world!

You can see Ruth's embroidery work on her blog here
Ruth uses some very beautiful traditional embroidery techniques including goldwork and applique.
Thanks again for your lovely comments and now it's time for me to sort out school lunch boxes!

Friday 9 October 2009

The Knitting & Stitching Show 2009

I spent Thursday at the Knitting & Stitching show and I loved it !
The textile art was incredible, such a diverse range of different stitching styles and materials.

I find it inspiring talking to the textile artists who must have spent so much time getting ready for this show.
I enjoyed looking at the work of Tom Lundberg who's detailed fine stitching created rhythmical patterns.
His work is small, many just pocket size which are inspired by the symbolic intensity of badges and stitched emblems.

Then I found Alice Kettles stand with embroidery and clay pieces.

Alice's stitched pieces flowed from cloth to ceramics, her work combined with the ceramicists Helen Felcey in Place Settings and Alex Mc Erlain in Conversation Pieces.
Her stitched hangings in pure white, a departure from her usual colourful embroidered paintings ,but still undeniably showing her distinctive style.

My favourite was the one depicting many drawn urns and pots, stitched freely as quick sketches.

I will save more artist's for another blog post.

I was not sure if I could take pictures and I don't really feel I should have them on my blog without the artists permission.

So just the entrance to share with you and my pictures on the Stitch Magazine stand.
Hope you have a great time if your going and I'm sure you will be itching to stitch!

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Trees For The Gallery

I had a phone call at the beginning of the week requesting more of my brooches for the gallery in Leamington so I have been busy making these.
They wanted them as extra stock for Christmas.
This has given me an incentive to get some more work completed.
Next week I'm planning a visit to the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, first time I have been to the London show in years!
I'm so looking forward to seeing all the amazing art textiles in one place and I'm hoping to take photo's to share with you.
Then of course there is all the different varieties of fibers and threads, I can be overwhelmed by the choice and the book stalls full of textile books, which I know will tempt me.

I have been working with year 8 students this week in textiles and we were experimenting with batik.
This is a sample I made to illustrate the technique, we had great fun creating patterns and they will then use their samples to decorate masks.
Another busy week, so I'm looking forward to a rest at the weekend, but it will include some sewing!
I must say before I go, thank you very much for all your kind comments.x

Friday 25 September 2009

Embroiderers Guild Magazine Stitch

This week has been full of lows and highs in that order.
My husband had to go through redundancy again, second time this year!
Using threads is always my therapy, I can immerse myself in my own little thread world and it's a good way to de-stress.

So I made my little red tree brooch out of an old black wool jumper,which I felted and then the bright orange tree on some scraps of hand dyed wool blanket.

On Wednesday I had a very kind email from a flickr friend saying they had seen my work in Stitch Magazine.
I had such a shock when I saw my work on the front cover!
You will find four of my embroideries, which I made especially for Stitch, based on the seasons, in the middle of the magazine.
So a much better end to the week after such a rubbish start and lets hope there will be an end to this recession soon.
Hope you have a lovely weekend.x

Monday 14 September 2009

Threads & Sketches

Well it's taken me quite a while to get on the computer as we have been so busy since we got back from our holidays.
Look at my messy desk again!
The vintage embroidery I found in a small shop in Bude.
I could not resist it, it's so beautifully stitched, I had to give it a home amongst my threads.

As promised a couple of quick sketches I made on holiday which I may paint and then progress to thread and fiber.
So lots to keep me busy again and I still have new items to add to etsy!
Hope you have a good week.x

Monday 7 September 2009

Summer Sketch

A page from my sketch book, a hot day in France.
My oil pastels were almost melting into the page!
Cornwall was quite a contrast, the weather cool and showery, but we had a lovely time.
The rugged coastline was inspiring the shapes, colours and dramatic skies.
I will post Cornwall sketches in the next few days and more French ones too.
This week it will be back to the school routine and I wonder how I ever manage to get anything done!

Friday 28 August 2009

Trees And Lace


Just back from a few days in France and then we will be off again to Cornwall.
The weather was glorious and I have many sketches to share with you soon.
I found this fine vintage lace in a market, which I have now added to my tree embroidery.
I will not have access to a computer while we are away so do forgive me for not keeping up with my blog list.
I hope to catch up soon!
Bye for now.M x

Sunday 16 August 2009

Tree Of Many Stitches

Tree Of Many Stitches
More stitching

Warwickshire countryside

Warwick Castle

A view over Warwick

A room recreated from the Edwardian era.

A wall of pictures in Warwick Castle


This week we visited Warwick Castle as we had some vouchers to use up.
Although it's very near to us it's a while since we last visited.

It has become more commercialized, in my opinion and lost a little of the charm it once had.
Despite that, it is a spectacular English Castle, full of the most beautiful paintings and furniture.

If you have the stamina to climb the towers four hundred plus stairs, you will be rewarded by the amazing views of Warwick and the surrounding countryside.
You will find more information here
I have a few more brooches to share with you, one added recently to etsy.
My store will be closed soon as we will be away on our holiday, hopefully I will have some time to sketch then!
Many thanks for your recent comments, they are very much appreciated.
Bye for now. M x

Monday 10 August 2009

Textile Art

I finished my stitching at the weekend and then had fun trying out my images on
You can upload your art work in gallery frames.

It would be fantastic to work on this grand scale, but I think it would take a few years!
This piece has taken me a couple of weeks and measures approx 23cm x 30cm.
I have included my original sketch for you to see.
I hope to bring you more sketching soon.