Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Santa pin cushion.
This years Liverbird challenge was to make a pin cushion to show and tell at the end of year Christmas party. I had a whole year in which to make one so no rush. However, the year raced by and before I knew it it was the the day of our last meeting for 2013. Its amazing what you can do when your up against the clock and this is what I made. We had a great night with lots of love and laughter and most of all friendship. For me that is what Christmas is all about enjoying time with those you love. I am truly blessed to have amazing people in my life so I'd like to wish all my family and friends, near and far, a very Merry Christmas, I hope all your dreams and wishes come true.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Shoes glorious shoes.....

Christmas Tree.

Once upon a time a long time ago I have a large collection of fabulous shoes. I probably treated myself to a pair or two every month when pay day arrived. Then suddenly two things happened and the shoe collection became very small. The first being I met and married Colin and lots of shoes moved out to make space for his clothes in the wardrobe. The second thing was I discovered patchwork and quilting and my addiction changed to fabric. Now I only buy sensible essential foot ware when needed. However, I have another, more manageable, shoe collection and each year its getting bigger. It is the shoes on my Christmas tree. This year there are four new ones, making a total of four pairs and ten individual shoes.  Some I have bought myself, whilst the others are gifts from friends and family. I adore my Christmas tree shoe collection and look forward to adding to my collection next year.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas Stockings.

Last year my amazing friend Janet designed and made Christmas stockings for her family and I fell in love with them. However, it wasn't until I called to Janet's on Thursday and saw her making an additional stocking that I had the urge to make one or two for my own loved ones. I asked Janet if I could copy her idea, generous as ever she said she didn't mind at all. I came home made a template and set to. I planned to make six in total but to my dismay I discovered I had very little Christmas fabric, certainly not enough to make six. I have managed to complete two as well as a third stocking cut out and ready to sew. I thoroughly enjoyed making these they are a great little project and gave me a lovely break from uni homework. Today's break will be housework before hitting the sketch book again.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Barclay's free pens....

I am sorry to all my lovely friends who keep up with my blog that my post are not very regular. The excuse at the minute is I am constantly busy with Uni homework. It took me all day yesterday selecting, rejecting and mounting my work on to 24 A2 sheets of cartridge paper, ready for presentation for Drawing for Textiles.  I have one detailed drawing left to do plus ongoing sketchbook work for this module but its more or less in the bag. I now have to do the same for Creative Thinking and Textiles. The deadline for completion is the 13th January 10am ready for assessment under exam conditions. Now its seems a long way off but I know if I don't keep on top of it I will run out of time and go into complete panic mode. After selecting and rejecting then mounting out came the sketch book because I wanted to draw this lovely flower. We where asked to use different types of mediums in drawing for textiles, I decided to have a go and draw with a Biro. Now you would think in a room full of pens, pencils and paints I would have umpteen Biro's but the only Biro I could lay my hands on was a freebie from Barclay's bank. I have to say this was a lovely pen to draw with it created really soft lines and it was a joy to use. I have decided that I will be picking up several of these pens next time I'm in the bank. The second image is the same flower only this time I have used water colour paints. It is not quite finished as I need to add bits of detail using water colour pencils.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A trip to Nottingham.

Nottingham Trent Uni

The Council Exchange Building In Nottingham City Centre.

Christmas Market in the towns square

Statue of Robin Hood just outside the castle grounds.

Part of Nottingham castle.

The grounds in Nottingham Castle.

Nottingham Castle.

Wollaton Hall in Nottingham.
Wollaton Hall was Wayne Manor in the 3rd Batman film "The Dark Knight".
I have just come back from a three day trip to Nottingham.  My niece Paige attends Nottingham Trent Uni where she is studying for a Law degree.  I went with my sister Natalie and we had a great time. We visited Nottingham castle but very little of the the castle remains as it was burnt to the ground during the civil war in the 16th century. Today stands a beautiful 17th century manor in its place and  it is a Art Gallery and Museum. We enjoyed the sites and sounds of the Christmas Market in the town square and browsed around the shops. Before we left for home on Saturday we called in to Wollaton Hall and Deer Park. This is a gorgeous Elizabethan House built by Sir Frances Willoughby During the 16th century. The mob of the civil war also tried to attack and burn Wollaton Hall but Willoughby was very paranoid and had the house heavily armed. He even had a small cannon facing Derby Road which I assume was probably where the mob could gain access to the house.  Today it is owned by Nottingham Council and it is a Natural History Museum. Situated in acres of deer park it really is a beautiful place to visit.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Sketch indulgence...

I have noticed that my Fridays now consist of, the morning running myself ragged catching up on housework so the afternoon can be free to tackle the endless amounts of homework for Uni. This afternoon started of great I organised my drawings for textiles in date order and choose several pieces to be mounted ready for assessment in January.  Next on the homework to do list, crack on with Haptic poetry brief but nothing ever goes to plan and whilst tidying my desk I found a tiny image of a face. I suddenly felt the urge to abandon the to do list, grab the sketchbook and 3 hours later this is what I achieved. I say achieved because for me it is an achievement as I am not at all good at drawing people.  Also I have noticed recently that my shading techniques have become very heavy handed no matter what grade pencil I use so it was a good excuse to practise. I really enjoyed drawing this beautiful lady but I better get back to the to do list.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013




Short toed tree creeper.
On a Wednesday I have Drawing for textiles and as part of this module we are meant to keep an A3 sketch book.  We can draw, collect images of other artist work, sketch, paint, collage, basically anything goes with this sketch book. I have to say I am not a big fan of large sketch books, I seem to have a fear of drawing big. I like to draw small then get the image enlarged via a scanner of photo copier. I have had the A3 sketch book for a couple of weeks and I have just looked at it with dread. However, time is ticking on and I thought I better get a move on. My first scribbles are the butterflies using different types of mediums, pencil, paint and graphite pencils.  The images I have drawn are the the ones on the right but I bet you already guessed that.  Today I was stuck for inspiration until I read Linda Kemshall blog and was inspired by the series of birds she is painting on small wooden panels. I have a lovely bird book and decided to have a go myself. For the Kingfisher I have used a very special gift from my lovely friends Janet and Emma. A big set of Derwent water colour pencils and for the Short Toed Tree Creeper I have used two graphite pencils and topped him up with my Derwent ink intense sticks. I am pleased with the end result because I felt I'd been a bit ambititous with the tree creeper, he was not easy to draw.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Palm House pop up quilt exhibition.

Sefton Park Palm House

Jeans Sampler Quilt

Sue's Sampler Quilt

Liverbird group quilt for Button up challenge organised and put together by Judith and to the right Junes Simply sampler quit.

My Summer Harmony Quilt

Sue's Harvest Festival quilt

John doing a great job of putting the exhibition up. To the left Judith's friendship quilt to the right Jeans Strawberry Fields gate quilt and Gwen's Summer Harmony quilt.

My Twelve days of Christmas quilt.

Some of the members of the Liverbirds.

Left to right. Kathy's You shall have a fishy quilt, Sue W's Summer Harmony,Hillary's Summer Harmony and Janet's Hexagon flowers.

Jenny's Medallion Quilt

Shirley's Holly Quilt.

Some hand sewing going on by a few of the Liverbird ladies.

Beautiful spiral stair case entwined with plants.

Marble statue of a young girl.
What an amazing Sunday. The Liverbirds where invited to exhibit some quilts in Sefton Park Palm House. The doors opened at 12 and closed at 4pm. Several of us arrived at 9.30 and work began assembling all the quilt stands and hanging the quilts. As well as quilts from the Liverbird group there where several quilts exhibited from another quilting group called Bridge quilters. All the quilts looked stunning set in such beautiful surroundings.  I think it was a huge success and there was over 800 visitors through the door, some had come to see the Palm House and had the added bonus of the Exhibition and others who specifically came to see the exhibition.  I have to say well done to Sue and Janet who organised a very successful day.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Self indulgence....

A few years ago I made name badges for our area day based on a little sticker book I found called Funky birds. I went on to design my own Funky birds and I made a quilt and a bag. A few people have often asked if I have a pattern for the bag to which I always reply," no sorry I haven't". However with the success of "The Balloon" pattern I thought I'd pull my finger out and make a Funky bird bag and pattern. However, as the book was titled Funky Birds and is probably copyrighted, I have decided to name mine "Classy Birds". I've been itching to stitch for weeks so today I simply indulged myself and made a Classy Bird bag, the first of three. Once I'd completed my new bag (which I now need to write the pattern up) I made this little postcard for Bridgitte in the FMQ fabric postcard challenge group on face book. It is Novembers swap and I am quite late in making it and sending it. I decided to make a nice bright sunny summer card on this rather cold winters day and it really cheered me up. I hope it will do the same to Brigitte when it arrives in Switzerland.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

A funny sort of day

Rabbit meets Alice

The day began with a text message from my friend Judith asking if I had sent her an email at 4.30 am? I knew that something was wrong and after checking my email I discovered I had been hacked. It has taken the best part of the day to sort it all out. I now have a new email and have changed the the log in password for my original email account and hopefully stop whoever has hacked it sending anymore bogus emails posing as me. My homework today was to learn how to make a brush stamp on photo shop, a motif and curves in Illustrator but after being on the lap top sorting out the hacked email I decided I'd had enough technology for one day. Out came the coloured pencils and the Red Book,which is another Uni project and the drawing comenced. I am still trying to teach myself how to draw girls and this is what I came up with today. She reminded me of Alice from Alice in wonderland so I had to introduce my little rabbit.


If anyone has received an email from me this morning around 4am it is not from me. I think my email account has been hacked and I would advise you not to open it but delete it immediately.

Friday, 15 November 2013

All work and no play...

Christmas fabric postcard I made and sent to Pauline.

Christmas fabric postcard I received from Pauline.
makes Susan sad. My days at the moment are filled with endless homework for uni projects as well as trying to fit in a bit of house work and family.  I feel like I am drowning in the paper making brief it is exhausting and not very rewarding I have to say. Still I am crawling to the finish line as I have almost completed 36 different homemade papers. With all that said I have managed to cram in a one to one fabric postcard swap which I thought I'd share with you. It brightens up the day receiving these lovely works of art in the post. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Paper dress.

Paper dress completed.
 Phew I have finished my paper dress, it even has a label on it. I am really pleased with it and I hope it will receive good marks in the end of year assessment. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else came up with next week when we present our dresses to Fiona and the rest of the class.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Fab and forty.

Photo: Wishing this lovely lady a very Happy 40th Birthday xxx
Natalie at her surprise party.  

Friday, 1 November 2013

Fingers crossed so far so good.

And so it begins, making the actual paper dress. This morning I have painted the back but I now have to wait for it to dry as colours can often dry lighter than when they are wet.  As my colour palette is quite bright and vibrant I may have to be a bit more generous with the paint and a little less so with the water for the front, This is the main part of the dress that will be seen when it is hung on the wall when exhibited. I have also experimented with 3d flowers, which again are going well.  I cant afford the luxury of sitting and watching paint dry so I'm off to tackle the ironing.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Life is all about paper at the mo......

The new brief.  I was given this image.

Extract a colour palette of 6 or 8 colours from given image. This is my final palette.

Look at spring/summer trends for 2014 on WGSN. Make a life size slip shift paper dress based on one or more of the S/S 2014 trends on WGSN and use your colour palette.

Inspiration design from WGSN. This image is called "Botanical Floral" by Illustrator Lyndsay Carr. This is the trend I have chosen as a starting point for my paper dress.

So I have been researching botanical images and Victorian botanical artist. I have attempted to sketche some of the images I have printed out, in my sketch book.   Trying to get a feel of the flowers that I am thinking of using in my final design.

Some of the botanical images have birds or insects in, which I really liked so I added a humming bird to my attempt at drawing some trailing fuchsia.

Lots of designs later and this is the one I am going to go with. You can't see from the image but the two large fuchsia flowers are cut out and stuck back onto the paper with 3D foam pads. All the flowers will be 3 dimensional on the life size dress. I have just over  a week to make the paper dress. I truly hope it is not raining or windy, the day I have to transport my paper dress to uni because that will not be good.