Tag Archives: holiday

Grand Designs Workshop

One of the great things about being a textile artist is being able to share my passion for creativity with others, I offer a range of workshops and talks that can be tailored to meet the needs of all ages and abilities.

I’ve just spent a lovely couple of days in North Yorkshire.  The fabulous Snape Textile Group invited me down to teach my workshop on making 3D beach huts and garden sheds.

 

The village itself is gorgeous  – reached via an avenue of lime trees with a carpet of snowdrops and aconites.The village hall, right in the centre of the village, was a perfect venue.

Lots of room to spread out and the newly refurbished kitchen meant hot food and plenty of cuppas were available – big thanks to Mary and Sarah! Having lunch together was a great way to find out more about the group’s interests – even if it did go a bit off topic sometimes (murder and mayhem with your apple sponge anyone!!)

So working with a group of 12 each day we got cracking on converting old tin cans into ‘des res’ on a miniature scale.

The main elements of these pieces are the building (obviously!) the side panel that wraps around the tin and the ‘ground’ that the building sits on. its important to have a good plan of what the finished piece will look like , so that each of the elements will harmonise and make a complimentary whole. Other than that, its up to the maker as to what the finished item will look like – a beach retreat? a gardener’s hide away? There’s lots of fun to be had working out how to make miniature features to perfect the scene – this time I shared top tips for making bunting…and cabbages!

It was lovely to see everyone get stuck in and really engage with the project. I’d sent down a materials list prior to the workshop and I always bring a lot of supplies to help people along, so the hall was soon a colourful hub full of beads, threads, fabrics and tins! (Frist job; check that the templates fit around your chosen tin – if not – adapt them!)

It is easiest to customise the building before it is constructed, so people added doors and windows, embroidered flowers and made bunting. Similarly, the roof can be one piece of fabric, or can be layered with tiles and finished with rick rack or ribbon. Decisions, decisions!!

 

The side panel wraps around the tin lets you ‘set the scene’ of the building, this weekend we had pebbles, flower gardens, fish and boats decorating the surfaces.

After a full day of stitching and constructing we had some very nearly complete Grand Designs, the plan is that the group will get their pieces completed for their annual show at the end of August…I can’t wait to see the final results!

 

Fabulous Funfair

I am so excited to be finally paying a visit to the fabulous Carters Steam Fair in June. Given my love of funfairs and vintage style how could i not be drawn to this! I’ll certainly have my sketchbook and camera prepared  as I experience rides like these.

Carters Chair o planeCarters galloper-picCarters Steam yachts-pic

I’ve already stitched some pieces inspired by funfairs, particularly the Hoppings here in Newcastle. I used to visit the funfairs at Scarborough and Blackpool as inspiration for my final degree show back in the day too!

I’m hoping I can put a new sketchbook full of ideas together from my trip to the wonderful Carters Steam Fair. Here’s hoping for sunny weather to capture all those beautiful colours and shining surfaces!

 

Gallery 45 Coast Exhibition

What a lovely way to spend the day! We started with a trip to the lovely Gallery 45 in Felton, Northumberland, so I could drop off some of my work for the ‘Coast’ exhibition that starts tomorrow. There are several artists taking part –   Fiona Carvell , Sarah O’DowdPeter Davidson , Linda Mumba , Deirdre Foster  so there’s  a wide range of media (and prices!), go along and take a look!

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After that, we just had to go and try out the menu at the Running Fox Bakery just down the road on the edge of the Coquet River. It was a breakfast brunchy delight and kept us fuelled all day! (I’d recommend the Foxless Scone – eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes on a cheese scone – yum!)

So, then we thought we’d go and seek inspiration – and burn off some calories – with a walk on the beach. There was a glimmer of light and a sliver of blue in the sky and we hit lucky – I’m beginning to believe that the sun always  shines on Alnmouth!

I love the way the long grasses frame the views on Northumbrian beaches. It was a bit too breezy to hang about, or paddle (!) but a brisk walk on a Northern beach in a Northerly wind does clear the head!

We only saw a few other folks, along with a lot of oyster catchers, a beautiful sight on a fabulous Friday.

Down on the Farm

A new piece in the Day Trippers series-might have to be renamed the weekenders!

Inspired by our little camping trip earlier this year when we stayed in a vintage caravan, the only cooking spot was a campfire, the view was fields as far as the eye could see, our neighbours were feathered or four legged and it was wonderful!

So, if you feel the need to slow down, take a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy this view!

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I’m pleased with how the chickens turned out, mornings drawing in Pets Corner put to good use;)

Tin Can Holidays

It’s amazing how much fun you can have with an empty mackerel tin! I started making these miniature pieces after thinking about caravans as tin cans on the road- and then with my obsession with recycling, well, one thing led to another and now I’ve made a whole series of little pieces housed in recycled mackerel tins!

Tin Can Caravan

Tin Can Caravan

This is one of my first experiments with tin can art, I’ve collaged the tin with an old map and used a CAD embroidered caravan on a simple appliqué ground.

Garden Party

Garden Party

This one is more complex, with free machine embroidery on an appliqué ground, and the tin is covered in pages from an old gardening book.

Part of the fun is that the tins come in many different shapes and sizes depending on which brand you buy – so the artworks take on different forms!

I’ve also developed a workshop day where participants learn how to do it too – so there’s a bit of a tin can movement going on! Today I’ve been working in Gateshead with a lovely group, we started off developing story boards of holiday themes, then sketched out designs. The next step was to collage the tins – always fun but a bit sticky! Whilst the tins are drying we take a lunch break and then move on to create the image that will be housed in the tin. To keep things simple today we used needle felting, hand stitching and Bondaweb (can’t do a project without it!) By the end of the day, everyone had produced a unique mini artwork in a tin. It’s always good to get out of my attic studio and work with other people, so big thanks to everyone involved today!