Grey light of janaury

I’ve had enough of this grey January light, doesn’t matter how many artificial lights you put on its still dreadful at this time of year.

Its really holding me back on photographing the workshop details.
Most frustrating.

Last week I tried out more rust dyeing, I set out the trays and my collection of rusty bits n bobs. 


10 minutes later the light had gone 😦 

Dyeing 2

Here are muslin and scrims, washed and ready for wrapping around “stuff”.


And here they are all wrapped up and ready for the dye and oven.
Brrrrrr…… it was chilly outside, time to go inside.

The fabrics dyed beautifully and just as soon as the light comes back, you know, about APRIL… I’ll be able to take some pictures for you. 
Excuse the sarcasm about the weather.  
I wish I was working in the south of France. 

Out of the comfort zone and into….. where the magic happens.

They say that if you move out of your comfort zone you might just make something wonderful happen.

We should all try it occasionally.

Comfort zone

I’ve embarked on a 48 week course of mixed media exploration.  More here. 

So far I’ve completed four weeks and I AM LOVING it!  It’s quite an investment, but I am SO glad I pressed that “buy” button.


48 weeks Course 001


48 weeks week 1

Week 1 involved an image transfer, working with stencils and “joint filler” (finding the equivalent in the UK is proving to be a challenge) and inks.

Week 2 web Helen Cowans

Week 2 was pop out vibrant!  I never follow the tutor exactly, never have.  So I have paisleys instead of daisies.

Week 3 Helen Cowans

Week 3.  My favourite so far.  LOVE it.

Swallows Helen Cowans 1

Week 4 I decided to draw a swallow rather than a figure.  
As a child I used to watch thousands of swallows come to roost in the trees, I can still remember standing out in the garden with my dad.

Week 3a helen cowans

 Some close ups for you.

Swallows Helen Cowans 2

Swallows Helen Cowans 3

New projects

Two new projects to show you today.

Firstly the C14/15th peasant costume, it needs tweaking and altering a little (you can see I’ve cut down the left hand side overdress on the bust).
These historical costumes never quite fit as the dress form is a modern size 10-12 and not a form based on a boned and corseted female figure. 

Question is – would the underdress (kirtle) have laced up the front or back?  
If you had a servant you could wear back lacing clothes as you had someone to do the lacing.  
My pattern says back lacing.  I’m not convinced.  

This Northumberland peasant is unlikely to have had a servant.  
So are the kirtle and overdress both front lacing?  Can’t be for modesty…… maybe the kirtle is side lacing? 
Or maybe it was very loose and no lacing front or back or sides?  Just lacing the strap to the front.  Mmmm…. that seems more likely. 

Anyone like to offer any suggestions before I go any further? 

Peasant dress 1

Peasant dress 2

The next stage will be making up using the dyed scrim and muslin.  I will show you as much as I can without giving away my ideas.  
A difficult balance – one wants to blog….. but one can’t blog everything for security of ideas and artistic copyright.
Sad, but true. 

1 Fabric choice

And a splash of colour.  I’m writing the next online workshop you can see the first one on Mini-Towers HERE.  

There are just a few copies left at the special intro price.

Above are the fabrics I’ve chosen for the workshop and below is the original piece of work that I’ll be recreating – with some tweaks and changes.

(If you want to know when the workshop goes live join the mailing list)

Goddess summer tree 

Monday morning.

Hello!  Welcome to a new week.

To get started here’s a photo I took last week on a walk into Wooler along the “back road”, I went over the river, up and down and up and down… you don’t notice in a car.
Unfortunately my walking boots rubbed a huge blister for some unknown reasons (they never have before) so walking has been out for a few days.

I took my Moleskine sketchbook with me and I did stop and draw – and yes, I got a comment from a dog-walker… I just said hello and smiled sweetly.
I was drawn to the colours and textures on the old buildings ……and the colours of the trees.

And the hills and the sky…..
Guess I just love Northumberland! 



Gridded lines – the undercoat of a new sketchbook page I created today, I’m waiting on clear gesso to arrive before colouring.  

DSC 0012 copy

Stitched dashed lines around a shisha mirror

DSC 0004

Circular dashed lines around a daisy motif.

DSC 0006

And from a friend of mine – Travel Lines.  Margaret has a wonderful blog and has produced a series of artworks based on her jounreys around London.

Her website is here where you can buy bags and sewing companions made in Travel Lines Fabric.  
Its a really creative way to use line and the “memory” of a journey across London.


Screen Shot 2014 01 16 at 16 46 47 png



52 Happy Notes

Here’s a good idea I saw on Facebook.

Each week you write down something really good thats happened on a scrap of paper and pop it into a jar.  
At the end of the year you can tip 52 notes out and remember all the little things that made you smile.

2014 is the year of Being Here and Now, of Mindfulness of the Present and Being Positive.
No I haven’t lost the plot, I’m trying to regain it!

On a recent trip to Ikea I picked up the perfect jar and on a recent trip to Paperchase I found these lovely paper tapes.


Decorated jar 1

Decorated Jar

Inside I dropped my note for the week.
What did I write?
Well on Monday I had a fabulous morning with DS, we laughed and giggled our way around Alnwick making (normally boring) household chores a real treat. 
Its the Simple Things that really matter in Life. 

Note in Jar

Do go and look here and sign up for the free weekly email quote.  Its very good. 


The Indian Hanging

Well finally I can unveil a new piece of work.  I had to shhhh before Christmas because I wasn’t sure if Angie reads this blog (do you Angie?)

I forgot to take measurements, I’m not good at guessing but it was around 40cm across and 50-60cm lengthways.

Angela s Paisley Hanging

The background is made from sari silk ribbon, woven and stitched.  The border is hand dyed cotton velvet, machine stitched with little arches.

There are numerous shisha mirrors, silver elephants and sparkling things in the background.

Angela s Paisley Hanging 005

The main motif is hand dyed silk velvet, appliquéd, stitched and beaded.  
It took FOREVER to cut out and iron all the little pieces – important to keep them in order so that the colour flowed around the paisley.

Angela s Paisley Hanging 010


Angela s Paisley Hanging 009

More paisleys were “drawn on” using free motion embroidery – my favourite way to draw.  
I find it much more enjoyable than a pen or pencil drawing.

Angela s Paisley Hanging 004

Each of the three embroidered paisley designs were beaded. 

Angela s Paisley Hanging 014

There is another picture here on Blipfoto – showing the elephants.

Now I need to make one for myself – Angie will appreciate that as an in joke.

A New Year

Well Happy New Year!!!!!

Here we go for 2014…. onwards and upwards.
Are you planning out what you’re going to do?  Any new years resolutions?

I have one. (So far).

To catalogue and keyword my photographs AS I GO ALONG!
I’ve spent three days working through 2013 ready to make up the yearly photo book and I’ve had enough.

At least publishing the 2013 Textile Goddess Book is easy on Blog2Print, press a few buttons and thats it.


I hope you all had a good holiday, I am SO going to miss my boys, DH is back to work tomorrow after THREE weeks holiday.  Unheard of.  DS heads back to school on Tuesday.
We have had a great time.  Days out, visitors and great lunches. 

I’ll leave you with this photograph from Christmas Day Lunch, yes those are sausages on my plate – a veggie version.  The boys are more traditional and the lunch from M&S was gorgeous, we eat far too much and had pudding 2 hours later.
Just as it should be. 

Christmas 2013 25 Dec 2013 14 034