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STITCHWORKS





Updated: 2018-03-05T16:37:17.279+00:00

 



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2017-12-01T14:17:46.582+00:00

I now have some of my images linocut and digital on Redbubble. With Cyber Monday there is now 25% off.
My shop is under  http://bit.ly/Stitchworksredbubble 



I previously put this image of a linocut , now called Angel Boy, on the blog when I was talking about how great the Xcut is for printing. Here it is as a digital image. Fun to see it on a range of products.



Lino cut and the Xcut

2017-05-27T16:54:29.940+01:00

I am still enjoying using the Xcut, and if you have ever wanted to do some printing but been put off by the price of expensive presses I would highly recommend it. ‘Handprinted’ in the UK is the place to go for an extended bed and felt blanket. On Facebook there is a group especially for the Xcut and there is also Lino cut Friends, where you can see some professional prints and get lots of tips and advice. I am using my dremel to make some marks and I am sure it has more potential for this.This will be a post short on words but ask if you want to know anything about the process.I went to a workshop at our local museum which was linked to an exhibition of paintings from Southampton Museum called ‘The Romantic Thread’.  Asked to come up with an image after a tour of the paintings and a talk, I decided on a contemporary angel. This was thought to be a creative idea but lacking in execution. I agree and when I took it into lino cut I  didn’t like the facial expression; I may redo that. The prints are my first try at mono-print with linocut.I have also made a three block print using a drawing made from a family photograph.So it goes on, endless fun at the moment, made easier by clean up using baby wipes, less ink and Reeves Tear-off Palettes. Caligo Safe Wash ink cleans up easily, but you do need to get into a routine,unless you want a very messy bathroom.[...]



Xcut

2017-04-11T16:00:14.956+01:00

I have continued to enjoy using the Xcut and improving my knowledge of linocut. ‘Lino-cut Friends’ on Facebook is a good source of information and inspiration; of course the Xcut now has its own group. What have I learned in my experiments? I like using the green Japanese vinyl, which I find much easier to cut than traditional lino or easy cut. I don’t like the tins of Calico Safe Wash, which seem to develop a skin almost immediately; beware if you buy the larger amounts as it comes in a tin rather than the tube. I had a go at masking  part of an image which was quite successful.  After watching a video on mono print and linocut on You Tube, I intend to experiment much more with that approach. The artist I watched is Favianna Rodriguez, who gives a very generous insight into her process. I found a sketch book image and adapted that, with plenty of white space to show the mono-print through.I have bought two small rollers which I think will help. I also made some marks with my dremel, which has potential for more trials.You need plenty of wipes to clean up and it can be a messy process in the bathroom sink. I now know to use less ink which makes the clean-up less daunting. Does anyone in the UK know where to obtain small sheets of Plexiglas?Just for fun another 'icolorama' image.[...]



Linocut on the Xcut

2017-03-16T13:55:30.573+00:00

I have continued having fun with the Xcut and trying to improve my cutting marks. I have bought some new Calico Safe Wash inks and I only had a tin of black left from a long time ago and it had formed a skin (this is apparently a well known hazard). I have used Soft Cut and now some Japanese Vinyl, which I like.I have been going to a weekly drawing class and so decided to use some of my sketches as linocut inspiration.Drawing scanned and reversed; I have given them each a flower for fun.Original blockTrying to roll on two colours.Then some cheat images, taking the prints into Icolorama app and changing the colours and background. Just for the fun of it.[...]



L'Artishe Gallery

2017-02-26T12:24:25.783+00:00




L’Artishe Gallery in Swanage is currently exhibiting its popular Cube Show. The opening get together is on March 4th; unfortunately we will not be there until a couple of weeks’ time. If you are in the area do support the gallery by paying a visit.

 I put in a small weaving called ‘Strandline’ having added to it some small pebbles with holes which I found along Swanage beach.



I have continued my experiments with mark making in linocut using the Xpress Xcut to print. I am pleased with how my vocabulary of marks is growing. I added colour with watercolour having seen how someone on line tinted their prints. Lots to learn.






Xpress Xcut

2017-01-24T15:22:27.191+00:00

I think I came across this link to Annie Day's printing blog on pinterest; like many I quickly became obsessed with getting one of these little machines, the Xpress Xcut. It's intended use is for cutting out shapes and embossing for paper crafts, a mystery to me, but low and behold it can be used as a poor man's printing press.I have tried it with a lino block I had and with a speedy cut block. It worked straight away. I have used water based block printing ink and added a piece of felt.My prints are a bit rough but on line you can see some print artists who have had excellent results. It is so much easier than rubbing with a spoon or a barren. I got mine from The Range, which delivered quickly; initially I ordered from the cheapest firm on line but they came back to say out of stock.I thought I would continue to use my view of South Lea Meadow before it is built over. As you see from the plackards most people here are protesting against the attempt to destroy the village, and my husband was even on TV with fellow protesters.I am continuing with learning to weave on the small loom; this is inspired by a frosty day when the ice never really melted in the field. Since my fall last year such days are only good for looking out on.[...]



Seasons Greetings.

2016-12-15T15:46:12.753+00:00


A small tapestry made in the 'Little Looms' workshop.

Best wishes for the festive season and wishing you all the best of possible times in 2017.



Creative Endeavours

2016-12-03T15:14:50.919+00:00

A small section of my desk, in fact my sewing machine table, currently filled with lots of beach finds and my current interest in weaving. I am taking the on line 'Weaving on Small Looms' course with Rebecca Mezoff. I just fell for the small hokett loom without even knowing there were such  things as dents and wpi.. If you know nothing about tapestry weaving I can assure you it is much more difficult than it looks; if you have experience you will already know that there is a great deal to learn. I have put a link in the side bar to the course and I would highly recommend reading Rebecca's blog, about her current hiking experiences in an area of petrified forest. She is using her weaving as a kind of sketchbook, noting the colours and rock formations.This is a small weaving I made before I knew the difference between weaving and tapestry. I included some razor shells from Knoll Beach in Dorset.This is a print I made from dried seaweed found along the strand line in Swanage. I dried the seaweed, printed it onto washi paper and then scanned the print onto the computer.Here is my first small tapestry,perhaps, like ones own naughty child, only I will love it, but I do. It was hard work.I have a couple of books recommendations for you. I bought 'The essential Guide to Beach combing and the Strand line' after attending a talk by the authors Steve Trewhella and Julie Hatcher, who are both based in Dorset. If you spend any time by the beach this is a fascinating read.I would love to walk along the Thames in London and search for treasure, but until I get the opportunity this is a way to enjoy the experience without the mud, 'London in fragments' A Mudlarks's Treasures by Ted Sandling; an excellent book to dip into just before you drop off to sleep or any time really.[...]



L'Artishe Gallery

2016-11-12T12:16:26.694+00:00


This is an exhibition of a range of work linked by the theme of 'natural forms' which will be shown at L'Artishe Gallery,71 High Street,  Swanage,Dorset over the next two month. I spend a good deal of time in Swanage now and have three of my needle felted pieces on the Change theme in the exhibition. We will not be there until the end of November so I shall miss the opening event. I hope you will support the gallery if you are lucky enough to be anywhere near the area.





South Lea Meadow, Cliddesden

2016-11-01T07:00:21.640+00:00

Here is a sad tale I wanted to share.Now the proposed site for 40 new houses. This field in a conservation area and for a long time a perpetual theme. A lino cut.Paste paper added to fabric.Pulled thread free machining.Mono print.Free machine embroidery.Collograph printed with a pasta machine.Will it soon be just a memory? Definitely a case of please 'not in my backyard'.[...]



October

2016-10-01T07:00:18.061+01:00

The year is passing very quickly, I started tidying my craft room this time last year but due to my wrist fracture did not get very far. I have started again now and needless to say the more I tidy and look through things the worse the mess gets. I have, with some heart ache over hours spent, thrown out most of my City and Guilds notes, my Access sketchbooks and much else, but I am at the moment hanging on to most of the samples. Although two assessment pieces have gone. I heard the other day that someone was told after Art School to throw out all the work he had done; that is not altogether a bad idea, although when I look at some of my samples I marvel at the patience I had at the time.These are a few of the samples:I have continued dipping into Skill Share workshops and this is a small piece of weaving with sea glass added.[...]



September

2016-09-01T07:00:08.120+01:00

Coming up to autumn now, I am looking forward to going down to Dorset again soon, starting in September and then, hopefully, regularly through the Autumn/Winter months. Not least because I followed a class on Creative bug which is gives clear instructions for crochet over stones. This helped to revise my very rusty crochet knowledge, but unfortunately I have no stones of the right sort of size so I need to get back to beach combing. I dug through my limited collection of hooks, mostly inherited, and my not so limited store of thread to come up with the basics, but no stones!I have followed some more lettering workshops, watercolour (Silly Faces) and recently one on cross hatching.I made a couple of ‘jewellery’ pieces having bought and tried out some epoxy glue to fix small pieces of beach glass to shards.Thank you for catching up with my 'doings'.[...]



August

2016-08-01T07:00:08.567+01:00

Firstly a short book review:‘I Can Make’ My Own Accessories, this is a book aimed at encouraging young people to start crafting/sewing; it is aimed at ages from 7 plus. For some parents it may be a great holiday project and for grandparents may prove an interesting way to start sharing ones interest in stitch. No expensive fabric or equipment is necessary.  My stitching began when a friend’s mother used to put out a scrap bag of fabric and encourage us at seven to play tailors.I particularly like the way it is presented with pretty colours but also a nice chunky cardboard cover. At the end of the book some useful basic sewing tips are included; I know from experience that one should not take for granted that even a teenager knows how to thread a needle.Once the basic projects are completed there is encouragement to go on and use the techniques which have been learned to design unique accessories.The book which is published by Thames and Hudson will be published on 11th August 2016.I have a couple of new jewellery pieces to show you:I have continued with a little painting mostly at a weekly club and alsosome Skill Share classes. I am now an Instagram addict and don't know how I managed without my daily fix. I would like to be able to emulate  some  ofthe modern calligraphy examples I follow, especially combined with watercolourbackgrounds, but I can't say I have cracked that skill yet!Skill Share class add texture in watercolour'Pearly King and his Dog':Paint a silly Face mainly with watercolour and then app'ed on the ipad:I had a go at transferring photos onto sea glass, could be OK with more practice:So that's what I have been up to. Lets see what August brings.[...]



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2016-07-01T07:00:09.886+01:00

Here comes the summer, probably when it stops raining; here is a short up date of my crafting life over the last few weeks. No stitching as you see, although I post on Instagram under ‘Stitchworks-jackie’, I have mainly been following ‘Skill Share’ classes and working with my beach combing finds.We will not be back in Dorset until the end of September, so plenty of time to look through my collection of sea glass, pottery, etc. I am still slightly in awe of the dremel and hate to think of someone using it on my teeth, it apparently being the dentists’ tool of choice. I keep working on getting used to drilling sea glass because I so like the result which will enable me to plan the piece of jewellery. I am very much a beginner, but I think I am improving, thanks to lots of You Tube videos. I also tried some looping over drift wood and stones, definitely easier than crochet.On Skill Share I have followed a few lettering workshops and finally found one which teaches the basic shapes of the letters for modern calligraphy. I also followed a watercolour portrait class, which is about drawing fun caricature like faces. I will be visiting the last Art in Action this month, how sad that it has to come to an end, particularly as this year the emphasis is even more on artists demonstrating their skills.[...]



June update

2016-06-01T07:00:13.652+01:00

June already, some good progress with my wrist, I can do most things for a short time but still not able to drive which is frustrating. Did I tell you that my son bought me a Dremel to encourage me to look ahead to times when I could do more hand work. I have become rather obsessed with beach combing, which I have always enjoyed but now has a purpose as I collect sea glass and beach pottery. I am so jealous of some of the wonderful coloured finds which people collect all over the world but get a thrill from each little piece I find when down in Dorset. I joined Instagram and don’t know what took me so long as I now check it at least twice a day.‘Skill Share’ which I am sure I mentioned previously has been a life saver, especially when I was more able to hold the camera and use the keyboard. I have followed a variety of courses, particularly pattern making on the computer, really difficult, even recently a block printing one. I made a roll for my watercolour brushes. I am have no real knowledge of how to paint and no real skill, but in some ways it is liberating to go to a class and now a club, and just mess about. It’s a new stage. I have no ambition; I'm just doing and enjoying the company.Here are a few images of what I have been up to.[...]



For May Day

2016-05-01T01:00:20.046+01:00





CRAFT STUDIO BOOKS and the W.I

2016-04-15T12:32:00.736+01:00

 In March Thames and Hudson published a new series: Craft Studio books:Tote Bags - create and customise tote bags Decorating with Pompoms and Tassels - customise objects for your home, from cushions and fridge magnets to wall hangings and rugs Stamping and Printing - personalise items with home-made stamps and with various printing techniques Brooches - make original and sophisticated brooches ‘Each book features 20 creative projects, which are assigned a particular level of difficulty - although all are within reach of even the absolute beginner. Packed full of engaging projects and practical tips, there is plenty to inspire both novice and experienced crafters alike. With a sleek, elegant design, simple layouts and clear advice, the Craft Studio books offer a stylish and modern approach to the crafting craze that will appeal to all ages. ‘ I was sent these books to review and being ‘one handed’ decided to enlist the help of the local Women’s Institute, which has recently started a successful craft group. They spent some time looking through the books and making their unbiased comments;here are their notes.With thanks to Diane,Tricia, Pat and Catherine ladies of the WIDECORATING WITH POM POMS and TASSELSNice cover and contents pages.Good instructions to make a basic pompom. Not many materials for each project.Some good ideasLiked:Tasselled throw and cushion:Say it with flowers -nice simple idea ;Shopper Bag - Pompom ring;Paper Roses;Garland of Greenery;A star is bornTOTE BAGSCover - not very inspiring .Again liked contents pageMight be good for absolute beginners but not very inspiring for those who have some experience. Clear instructions to make a tote bag. Liked:Pocket Tote - brightened up the bag.Bird and  Branch Tote;Tie Dye Tote;Liberty Print Tote;Geometric Tote;Eye Test ToteI liked the picture index and the layout is good. Projects are adaptable to own designs. Clear and simple, great for the beginner. Uncluttered instructions. Basic instructions good. Introduces lots of simple embellishing techniques. Modern clean looking book.BROOCHES Cover OK. Could have been more  colourful.Liked the content pages showing all the projects you could make. There were lots for a small book. Projects liked:Pin-wheel;Clouds;Origami;Vintage Style;Oak Leaf andJellyfishA wide variety of projects using different mediums. Instructions seem straight forward and I liked that you have useful addresses to source materials needed.STAMPING AND PRINTING Nice cover wanting you to look inside! Liked contents pages with pictures of each project. Liked 'Tips and Techniques' but a lot of materials required especially for a beginner. Very useful tips to build up confidence before you start. Projects Liked: Little fish - easy to follow instructions and liked the effect. Polka Dot Curtain - very simple but stunning effect. Triangle Tray Apple Apron Fallen Leaves Wrap it up. Some good ideas - not all to my taste though. Good picture index page - further improvement achieved by numbering picture with appropriate page number.Good bite-sized tips and instructions Typed format aids clarity'Good to Know' snippets good idea Easy to follow instructionsGood  double-page format -illustration/instructions Useful template pages at the back of the bookFront cover uninspiring colours. Wouldn't make me pick it up from a shelf - pityDecorating With Pompoms and Tassels The turquoise, grey and fluorescent complimented each other but the project image colour didn't seem quite right.Basi[...]



3 Comments

2016-04-07T21:15:12.318+01:00

Just a quick catch up, April already: after taking a pause from blogging I was ironically forced to stand back from most of my creative endeavours as I fell and badly fractured my left wrist. I am out of the cast now and starting to get some limited use back from my still swollen and stiff wrist. Thank goodness for Skill Share which has enabled me to follow a number of interesting courses and keep my spirits reasonably good. It proved frustrating at times as there are certain computer functions which require the use of both hands; still every little improvement is welcomed.Before and After   A positive is that this enforced ‘time out’ has made me recognise how important creative activity is to me and I think in time it will renew my enthusiasm. One of my sons has given me a dremel as a challenge for the future and I have been collecting beech finds in Swanage.I was so happy when I could use my camera again (wearing a splint) and I have enjoyed the challenge of manual settings. I have also joined Instagram and posted a few photos over there.A boost to my spirits was to hear that an image of my felt work will appear in ‘World Wide Colours of Felt’ published by textiellink   which will be published this Spring.[...]



Farewell for now.

2016-01-05T13:59:42.510+00:00



I always feel disappointed when I go to look at someone’s work on a blog and I find that they seemed to have disappeared over a year ago with no message, I wonder for their health etc. knowing really that they are probably just busy with other things or simply bored. That is why I wanted to tell any of you reading this that there will now be a ‘hiatus’ on this blog until I get back into the spirit or just can’t resist taking up the digital pen again.




Seasons Greetings.

2015-12-22T15:09:51.680+00:00








Confession time.

2015-12-09T15:27:50.997+00:00

For the last few rows I have to admit that I have taken to the sewing machine. It really isn't as satisfying as stitching by hand but I began to recognise that if I kept working by hand I was going to get bored and put the project aside. It is quite a mixture now as I seek out more pieces of material and projects from over the last   few years; I hope eventually to bring it together as I work into it. So there is some writing, some stamping, even some foiling. Here is a hand stitched card which I made for my husband many years ago. Some encaustic, some monoprinting on procion dyed fabric.Here is a try out for the Magic Feather Project next to a bit of batik with soy wax.I am still equally enjoying and being frustrated by the Skill Share classes; many of the skills are a bit beyond my level but I keep persevering. A fun one is about drawing collections and putting them together on the computer, very well presented and enjoyable.Another is about doodling and then tracing and colouring the doodles on the computer. I also made the clown which resulted as a repeat pattern.I hope you are all prepared for Christmas, hard to believe that is has come round so quickly.[...]



Cloth Paper Scissors.

2015-11-25T15:39:34.203+00:00

I am pleased to have my needle felting work featured in today's Cloth Paper Scissors e-newsletter and on their blog. Here is a link to the full article:




Curved seams.

2015-11-21T12:56:08.608+00:00

The time has come to make use of the curved seam experiments which I made a long time ago inspired by the generous Alicia Merrett  who shared her method. I am pleased with how they fit in as a border.I have kept working at my ‘scrap’ patchwork and am liking both the results and the process. It is satisfying to be making use of some the fabric pieces which have been waiting for a purpose for a long time and the whole process of putting them together by hand is a nice steady occupation. Also I am seeing bits in a new light and liking some of my past failures. I am having to dig deep now and having to get more random with the colours as I run out of greens. By the way, influenced by my long ago patch working I have been sure to wash all the fabric first.[...]



Getting inky.

2015-11-12T10:39:35.566+00:00

I am enjoying classes on Skill Share; this one is Inky Illustrations: Combining Analogue and Digital Media. I must be learning something along the way. At this point I just enjoy getting a result. If you sign in you are likely to be offered a really inexpensive membership for  three months. I have made such good use of it that I decided to sign up for the year as I feel I have already had more than my monies'worth.










Rainy days.

2015-11-07T14:02:10.876+00:00

I have continued this week with this slightly mindless project of finding scraps of fabric from various past interests of the moment and then sewing them together into a patchwork. Not altogether mindless as I have tried to keep to a basic colour way and to give some consideration as to how they are placed. I managed to avoid the urge to get out the sewing machine and so far have sewed them together all by hand, which is quite relaxing in itself. Bits of fabric which have long been discarded experiments are proving interesting and useful. Procion dyeing, thickened dye, stamping, block printing, machine embroidery, thermofax screens, to name a few of the phases I remember.A perfect project for dark rainy days in November.[...]