Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Lewes Exhibition Entry & Mr Rivers

Just thought I would let you know that I have got into the Lewes exhibition that I entered for!! I am one of 70 artists who were accepted, and apparently there were some pretty high up judges from the art world (including critics, award winners and acclaimed artists) although I don't know who they are as they will remain anonymous.
Still, it's all very exciting and will look great on my CV! Dad says that he is going to retire from his job early to become my manager and will make me work all hours making things to sell! It's probably a good thing I am going to university- give him a chance to calm down :D

I was asked to answer some questions on a form- some seemed to be quite random like:
-What were you wearing when you made this piece? (Customary jeans and t-shirt teamed with big fluffy slippers)
-What is the biggest pain about being an artist? (Lack of storage space!!!)
-What painting would you hang on your desert island palm tree? (One by my friend Mark Rivers because I love the textures, colours and paints he uses)

Yes, I've been meaning to do a post about Mark, so now seems as good a time as any- here are some close ups of his paintings...

Essentially he mixes as many forms of wet media as he can to see what happens. He also tries using different backgrounds- mainly canvases, but also varieties of paper and even aluminium sheets (as seen on the middle photograph). It's very spontaneous, experimental and just fun to look at!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Sparkling Lilies!

Well I think I was a little over optimistic about summer having arrived- no sooner than I said it we were plunged into one of the wettest droughts I have ever seen!! That will teach me for getting excited too early! Anyway, amongest all this rain there have been a few moments of twinkling sun, at which point the lilies in the garden started to sparkle like they were covered in hundreds of swarovski crystals! (When I went out to take these photos though the sun had disapeared back behind the clouds again- typical!)

The clematis also tried to join in but it took a bit of a battering so possibly doesn't look as fresh as the lilies.

The cat of course is disgusted with the ridiculous amount of water falling from the sky and has taken to stealing my brother's X-box playing chair (yes he has made himself a comfy chair....which he can't sit on because the cat is always curled up on it!!) which is made up of a bean bag, a large cushion and a nice fleecy blanket. The cat is very grateful to the monkeys for providing him with such a fantastic sleeping spot of course.

A Whole New Blog!

After a lot of thought, I have decided to add another blog to my current one- this time devoted entirely to my ATC related art (or other swaps with the MixedMediaATC_UK group), so if you are wanting to see the latest in my received and sent swaps then click on this link (or look at my profile page and follow the link there):


I have done this because I would like to try and be more varied, so will post up interesting photos I have taken, and will also try and do more random, experimental art pieces (hopefully more of the bowls and vases as I have a load more ideas!!!)

So hope to see you there!!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Enchanted Coral Bowl

Well after a lot of machine stitching and waiting for bits to dry, I have finally finished my textile bowl!! I didn't realise how much thread it would use up though and now have loads of empty reels knocking around the house. Still, I think it looks nice.

Firstly I made a big outer layer of machine stitching with bits of fleece and fabric trapped in the circled stitches...

Then decided it needed something else- Mum didn't like the way the 'sides' were all different lengths so I decided to add another layer out of beaten kozo, which I then painted with acrylic paint.

Layered it all up with a smaller layer of more machine stitching on top of the kozo and it ended up looking like this...

So hopefully I will get into this exhibition- I sent the pictures off this morning so now I have the nerve wracking wait. It would just be so fantastic to get in!!! And would look great on my CV of course! :D

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Poetic Foliage

It's really difficult trying to think up interesting names for these posts. As most of them are currently about leaf ATCs it would be boring to continually write 'More Leaf ATCs' or 'Even More Leaf ATCs'. So as one of my recently received sets has sayings or little bits of poetry on I thought I would put that in today's post title.

Anyway, these little gems are from Sue H:


And these came this morning from Hilary. The paper on these is lovely and thick so probably homemade. And I have a sneaky feeling that she made the leaves herself using the rolled Fimo technique- which I have been meaning to try myself!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

More Leaf ATCs

Some more ATCs arrived the other day- only a few more to go now and then I can swap them out. I haven't made mine yet but at least I have finally started! For someone who supposedly has nothing to do now foundation is finished, I have been surprisingly busy!

Anyway, these came from Alison:

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A Lewes Exhibition

My Dad was reading the Argus this evening and noticed an article about an exhibition being held in Lewes by the Lewes Football club. Apparently any Sussex artists can apply for their work to be displayed and he suggested that I have a go at it. The deadline is for the 20th June so that doesn't give me much time but I thought I would start researching into it anyway.
For a long time now I have wanted to make textile bowls, but have never really had the time to make them. By textile bowls I mean using machine stitching and lightweight fabrics on water soluble fabric on which I can create textures which will then mould over a form to create the vessel shape.

I have started researching artists and images on the Internet and some of the things I have discovered are so beautiful I felt the need to share what I had found.

First up is Anne Honeyman! Specialising in free machine embroidery she combines a lot of other techniques and materials to make her creations such as felt making, paper making and metalwork.
I am especially interested in her machine embroidered bowls which are often inspired by hedgerows or fields of flowers and are produced in a perfect spherical shape.

Other artists include:

Kathleen Laurel Sage with her gorgeous organza vases.

Margarat Frass with her hand dyed and hand stitched felt bowls.

Helen Howes' bowl is almost patch worked in style, incorporating hand dyed and silver materials.

Sugane Hara, who I don't have an image for, has a whole range of interesting things, not just bowls!

Kath Danswan creates lovely intricately patterned bowls.

And finally, Penni Panayiotou who has made this lovely bowl out of threads and goodness knows what else!

A Bouquet of Leaves

After a reasonably exhausting day wandering aimlessly around the packed South of England Show, I like nothing better than coming home to not one but TWO envelopes of ATCs! Not really for me though as they are part of my hosting swap, 'Leaves' and I will have to give most of them back. They are still really cool and I can't wait for the rest to be in so that I can choose the ones that I want to keep!

(By Bobbie)

(By Lorraine)

Thursday, 9 June 2011


My latest load of ATCs, originally inspired by an image I saw in a back edition of Stitch magazine (No 23, June/July 2003). It is an embroidery called 'Seed Trays' by Vicky Lugg and I really loved the textures in it.
As I went through my vast material collection though I came up with  few other ideas and substituted all the french knots and other stitches that Lugg appears to use for puff paint, then used bondaweb to attach some organza leaves to the calico backing.
As the theme is wildflowers, I had to make it more flowery so used some lace flowers which is stitched over the rough edges of the organza and in the bits where there is no puff paint.

I thought that the flowers were too vivid a contrast to the greens behind so muted them down with some watery poster paints, and added yellow colonial knots to the centres and they turned out like this:

I was going to add to the cards a bit more with green collonial knots and bullion stitches but after I had stitched a few on I took them out again as it didn't quite fit so I am leaving them as they are!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Rusted Rubble

I am on an ATC roll at the moment, having finished both the 'Made with Wool' and the 'Rust' swap.
The 'Made with Wool' one was easy as last year I had a massive thing for needle felting and had made lots of ATCs using this technique. As I had two that were suitable for this swap I only needed to make one more to finish it.

The colours for this one are slightly different to the other two as I couldn't find any of the same fleece, however as they are all going to different people then it shouldn't matter. I just hope they like them!

I have also made my rust ATCs. I found this swap a bit of a challenge as I sort of feel the need to make the cards pretty and nice to look at but the instructions were to use something that had rusted, make something rusty or use a form of rusting powder. As I can't afford to buy any rusting powder I googled Rust ATCs- really interesting actually, some of the ideas people come up with!
I eventually came up with the idea of going for a walk and seeing what rusty things I could find, the majority of which seemed to be old beer bottle tops, which had been nicely squished by cars leaving them mostly flat with frilled edges. (I did wash them before I used them!)
These were generally found in patches of dirt which gave me my idea for the background on the cards. Mixing together sand, metallic bronze paint, glue and some other acrylic paints I painted the cards, laid the bottle tops on top and then painted some more of the gloop around them to fix. They took ages to dry and are definitely not pretty but the more I look at them the more I like them.
Can't wait to see what 'pretty' cards the others have come up with!


And finally, I recieved another ATC from an unexpected source- I may have previously mentioned that my group has a swap shop for books and materials. I had asked for two books from one of the ladies and she sent me a lovely card along with them!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Naughty Alphabet ATCs

I have been very naughty and sent in some alphabet ATCs late twice in a row now. We are now up to I & J which I have miraculously finished and will package off with the G & H which were supposed to have been in by the end of last month.

 I can't decided whether I like these or not- I was trying out a new idea inspired by the other Alphabet cards I have received, a lot of which have done this 'G is for...' idea. Previously I have just stuck to doing the letter but I was discussing this particular swap with my family and we came up with the idea of Home and Garden. I was sort of going with the idea of old fashioned embroidery, quite childish in the simple stitches, however I don't think I will try this technique again.

A technique I have used previously and really loved, was shaping the letter out of wire and then embroidering flowers over the top, predominantly in colonial knots and bullion stitches (which I first discovered with my very first alphabet ATCs). As I know this works for me I have revisited it again for the 'I' and 'J' ATCs and am much happier with the result.

The background is recycled painted muslin which I have free machine stitched over.