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.