Sunday, 26 January 2014

Busy January

Before you ask, no we didn't get to see the aurora :-( but January has turned into a very busy month.

First of all, the blitz on my shudio (shed/studio).  I've embarrassed myself with photos of said work space on Facebook so I should probably share them here too in the hope that it will spur me on to keep up the good work.

This is the state my studio has got into as a result of being used as a dumping ground.  The table and the counter in the first photo are supposed to be my printing areas but at the moment there's no chance.  I've made a start on de-cluttering and we've already made one trip to the tip.  There'll be a few more yet.

Inside, my sewing space looks nearly as bad:

That shelf on the bookcase is upposed to be empty so I can take my textile books down and have a look at them so how does it keep getting full of rubbish?!  

Work is ongoing to find some space to work in and I am making progress.

As I said in the last blog I have been busy with workshops this month, both teaching and taking.  I am really enjoying a series of workshops with Mary Sleigh exploring hand stitching and its place in design.  Mary has had us exploring some basic stitches and using them in little compositions.

 We started with a little refresher of basic stitches.


 This is cretan stitch which I havn't enjoyed in the past but the penny has dropped and I have plans for this stitch.

 Our first homework had us creating a small scene concentrating on tone and texture.

All of these little pieces are 4 cms square and will be incorporated into a book at the end of the 4 sessions.  I particularly enjoyed doing the cross stitch square which reminded me of the work of Julia Caprara who loved to layer stitch to create texture.

This piece is our homework for this week and it still needs some more stitching to be added. I will probably be unable to resist adding a few beads and a shell or two.

Away from workshops I have been tryng to finish a page I have been working on for a sewing friend to go in her beautiful garden book.

(My photo is a bit over bright because of using flash).  I started with some confetti cloth that I had made and then applied scraps of fabric as flowers and added a few buttons, beads, lace flowers and little flowers from some commercial trim.  I hope she's going to like it.  It's going into this beautoful garden book box.

Last week I taught a Friday Fun workshop on top stitched curved piecing and once again the ladies did really well.  I was nervous beforehand as I had a class of 12 but the general opinion was that the workshop ahd been enjoyed.  Sadly I didn't get to take many photos of the pieces that were made.  

This coming Friday I will be teaching my version of Funky Portraits in a 2 hour session.  I have spent most of today drawing up a handout and researching online versions of fun portraits.  You've seen my original funky portrait as it is my profile photo but I have made a new one for the workshop so I could take step by step photos.

For some reason I look a bit coy in this one!

This weekend I have been taking part in an initiative started by Myfanwy Hart to get people creating, if only for 15 minutes at a time.  Titled 'Be Creative' Myfanwy has set up a facebook page and a blog where she has listed a series of prompts throughout the weekend and people have responded with enthusiasm. My weekend promised to be rather busy but I have enjoyed seeing what everyone else has been doing and I have responded to the first prompt which was to draw 6 interlocking circles and fill them with different textures.  Inspired by a posting form another participant I decided to use fabric and came up with this:

I can't tell you how tricky it was to get the strips to behave but I enjoyed playing with the shapes and colours.

If you want to join in with the prompt inspired fun you can join the facebook page ready for the next round of prompts.  It's a great way to kickstart your creativity if you're feeling a bit sluggish with all the winter storms.  For a small charge you can also join Myfanwy every day on a private blog that will offer all kinds of inspiration and support throughout the year.  The fee is purely to cover the costs of providing a private blog.


Peneller said...

My you are a busy lady! I'm glad your workshop went well and hope the next one goes well too. I love your flower piece. It will give your friend a big thrill I'm sure. Your shudio looks lived and worked in which is how it should be! xx

Wendy said...

It is too cold to be outside, you are brave. Your 'Mary' samples look interesting and are loads better than mine. I need to practice:(

Corrine at said...

Love all those snippets of stitches...and doesn't everyone's studio look like that. i looked around mine yesterday and felt the same way....i've got some clean up to do. Problem is, it gets inthe way of making stuff right? LOL xox

mrsnesbitt said...

Will check out the FB page. I haven't got an area to work in as we are redecorating and the bedrooms are next - once they are done we can plan some designated places xxxx

mrsnesbitt said...

Loved your stitching! Awesome.

Maggi said...

I do love your small stitching pieces. They are going to look great in a book together at the end. Hope the studio tidy up is going well.

Amanda said...

Phew, what a lot going on! Love the colours and texture of the homework piece and really like this portrait one. Liked the other one but prefer this one. :-)

Living to work - working to live said...

I really do love your portraits!

Margaret Cooter said...

Keeping control of the dumping grounds is never-ending! And how wonderful when the surfaces are actually clear...

pam said...

Gosh you have been busy - love the garden page for your friends book.
Your sewing room looks lovely and lived in - do not want them too tidy!

Linda said...

Wow have been mega-busy it seems! The stitched pieces are so nice; I especially like the blue cretan stitch (and now want to do some myself ;-)
I also love the homework piece.

Very impressed with the news of the classes you are teaching....wish I could come.
As for the studio pics......blimy. Julie, you've got some stuff!!!! xx

emma-alittlebitofeverything said...

I'm sure you are doing well i the tidy up, keep persevering! Beautiful flower pic, she'll love it & I'm so envious f your w/s with Mary Sleigh, wonderful samples. Lovely portrait, good luck with the w/s. I think it's you to a tee!