Sketchbook Project

The sketchbook went away to Boston at 11.30am this morning and I am almost happy with it! 
Some spreads I love – like using my artwork on the title and end pages (and the knowledge gained in just 2 lessons on using PS).

The deer are by far my favourite images and I wish I had done more of these (but I only created them on Sunday and didn’t have time to do more).  Another project to add to the list.

(NB I “cleaned” up the pencil drawings as the crease in the page affected the photography/light in a bad shadow way).

Sketchbook front copy

Title Page; Digital Collage

Sketchbook 1

Carved Axe Head; Inks, cut paper and stitch

Sketchbook 2

Venus of Willendorf; Paper with inks, fabric and fabric paints

Sketchbook 3

Deer2Deer 1a 30-01-2012 14-45-00 1705x2268

The Cave Art of our Ancestors; Pan pastels

autumn goddess copy

Mother Goddess of the Autumn; Pencil

Sketchbook 6

Carved Spirals of Ireland; Wallpaper, paint, watercolour pencils, inks, stitch

Sketchbook 7

Cold Winter Ice Ages; Paper, paint, watercolour pencils, inks, stitch

Tree of Life goddess

Goddess of Life; Pencil


circle goddess

Goddess of Spheres; Pencil

Islamic goddess copy

Goddess of Flowers; Pencil

Star goddess copy

Goddess of the Stars; Pencil

Sketchbook 12

Prehistoric Pottery Designs; Papers, Lutradur, inks, pen, collage, stitch

Sketchbook 13

Prehistoric Inscriptions; Paper, stencils, inks, silk thread

sketchbook cover

The Cover; Papers, ink, stitch

Sketchbook back copy-001

End Page; Digital Collage


The Sketchbook is part of this project  and you can see it at various venues around the world – and online soon.

PS My darling DS has just pointed out my watermark is a year out of date!

Journal Quilts


For the Contemporary Quilt Guild GB challenge
(October – January, 10×10 inches, using buttons).

Top layer; “drip paper”, inks, acrylics, oil pastels, pen, fixative.

Base layer; hand dyed cotton fabric.

Stitched with silk threads and held together at the corners with buttons.

I really enjoyed making these and plan more in the future (but minus the buttons!)

December 2011January 2012November 2011October 2011


Its been a hugely busy week here – running DS to football and rugby four times a week, supper out, shopping, coffee, the usual housework and washing…

…supervising some serious garden clearing; an old hedge has been ripped out, the fence removed, the old caravan has gone (Ian proposed to me in that caravan so it was rather emotional!), the old privy has also gone (thank goodness!), the gravel has been spread out evenly….. lots of wood burning….and planning new fences and planting.

I’ve been driving Daisy all week (trips to Alnwick, Wooler and Berwick twice each around 120 miles total) and tonight, as we set off to Wooler my darling son said;

“I think you’ve got the hang of driving this now Mum”
Indeed I have, and there are just three rules to remember when Driving Miss Daisy;
1. Only go into second gear when you start off – go around corners in third.
2. If you “lose” the gear, don’t panic – hit the clutch and head for third. Regardless of which gear you have lost (usually fifth) because by the time you’ve found third you lost the advantage of any “speed” anyway.

3. Line the wheels up straight if you want to get the reverse gear to engage and try three times to hit said reverse gear…. you will always get it sorted on the fourth attempt.  Do not panic (again).

You see life in the countryside at a different pace at 45mph (50mph max downhill with the wind at your back), I like it.  I have honed my technique to get in and out without dislocating my back or rupturing my hernia.

And it would seem, I have the seal of approval from the young master for his taxi.


In the studio I’m busy on a dress for F&E and this evening I completed Lesson 2 of the Digital Art Course.  Only 6 lessons behind!

The theme this time was “Home” and I’ve learnt to use brushes, alter their orientation, create and clip masks, make a patterned background, erase parts with brushes, make journaling tags, create inked borders, use my handwriting as a font….  I’m loving it all.

So here is this weeks effort – not totally happy with it artistically, but I’m more interested in learning the techniques at the moment and there’s only SO much time I can spend on each lesson!

Home1 copy

Looking forward

I’m in print so it must be true – the “Fashion & Embroidery Show” leaflet arrived on Saturday and my name is in print.

The ideas I need have finally crystallised with absolute clarity.  Really could have done with starting in November, but its OK – once I know where I’m going I can push on and create.

I’ve quite a large “room” at the show, 4.5x5m double sided – the idea is to take what remains of the Translations Exhibition, along with some new wall pieces, a few Towers and costumes. 

I’m a long way from being a dressmaker, but I love making costumes to showcase the colouring and embroidering of fabrics.

Using original Edwardian patterns I’ve been making up in cheap scrim-like fabric.

Fashion & Embroidery Show P15

The above dress is from this pattern – looks like a jacket and dress to you?  Did to me too. It’s not.  It needed some alternations so  I took the scissors to it.

Fashion & Embroidery Show P16

Fashion & Embroidery Show P23

I cut the back neckline into a square.
Above looks better?  I think so too.

Other patterns were scaled up from “Patterns of Fashion” by Janet Arnold.  I loved doing this part – reminded me of scaling up artwork at school (oh WHY did I give up art at 16?)

The scrim and a cutting mat made the job of scaling up 1/8inch=1 inch a doddle.

Fashion & Embroidery Show P17

No skirt parts just yet, as I wanted to ensure I had enough fabric to create the bodices as these require precise fitting.

Fashion & Embroidery Show P18

This one had me confused? why such a large centre panel?

The back looked interesting, but too “modern”, so it was put back how it’s supposed to be.

Fashion & Embroidery Show P19

And again I took the scissors to it.  The costumes are to be based on original patterns – not faithful copies.

Fashion & Embroidery Show P22

The start of the “collection”.

A mixture of Project Runway and House of Elliot meets Downton Abbey.

How good is it to have this as my job?

Fashion & Embroidery Show P21

2012 is going to be a wonderful, wonderful year. I have certain exhibitions planned (are you ready for this?)

1. F&E  -NEC – March
2. Pins & Needles (with the Twyne Textile Group) – Newcastle – March
3. Loch Lomond Quilt Show – May (showcasing Goddesses)
4. Solo exhibition – Baliffgate, Alnwick – June
5. “Linens & Lace” Solo exhibition at Old Gala House – Galashiels – September > October.

Plus working on a Uni course via distance learning – which I’d planned to take a break from for a few months but I need to cram it into Feb – Oct to beat the governments fee hike (it changes from affordable to you have got to be kidding expensive).

  Thanks you guys in parliament, I REALLY needed something else to be doing!!!

So New Year Resolutions?  None, instead a word for 2012……..

It could only be


(or an alternative trendy phrase)

“Keep Stitching
Don’t Panic”

Images created in the iPad using the Noteshelf App – later today I’ll add my (private) notes and scribbles.