Saturday, 2 September 2017

Why my posts are a bit erratic

The best way to keep a blog is to plan regular posts so that you, dear reader, are kept engaged with all the goings on. That's the theory anyway, and certainly its what all the blogging experts say.

And you'll probably agree that blogs that keep you entertained are also pretty frequent. 

I'm amazed that people like Junkaholique, Seth Apter and The Girl with the Green Sofa manage to keep regular posts despite the fact that they clearly have incredibly busy lives. 

I have a busy life! It's all a bit full on but oh dear, the poor blog is not getting the attention it needs. 

This year keeps bowling me curve balls. 

So, you might remember in May the stuffing was knocked out of me when I lost my old dog. It definitely affected my blogging creativity. 

And now my Mum is ill. And that too is sapping the creative energy. 

So please bear with me while I adjust. 

Meanwhile, some more lampshades.!

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Short journey of a lampshade

Or a mini tutorial if you will.

But I was on a mission so not all stages of the process were photographed.

But I started with an old map - in this case an old street map of Bristol.

Then, using Neocolour Wax crayon in white I rubbed a pattern over the map (using a stencil underneath to make the rubbing). Now, I admit, you can't really see the street map underneath in this photo but trust me - it is there!

(In this case I used the white crayon because I wanted a simple colour palette and the street map was just black printed on white. I wanted more of a resist than an additional colour. On other lamps I have used the coloured wax crayons.)

The wax crayon acts as a resist for the next layer - the ink.

Be aware if you fancy having a go at this. There are two types of Neocolour crayon - Neocolour II is watersoluble. They look pretty identical to me but I only have the water resistant ones, and they're the ones you need for this technique.

Also, I have used just a simple Crayola wax crayon for this technique - the results were just as good thought there will be less pigment in the Crayola.

For the ink I used 'Infusions' powder ink in Sunset Beach.

Seen here doing it's thing on another piece of paper. (I create stacks and stacks of paper I can just dip into when I want it) 

There is little science to this. The powder is sprinkled on and then spritzed with water. Then you let it 'do its thing'.

After that I have found it is best to set the ink. Infusions will run again if they get wet - they are not permanent, unlike Inktense pencils. And while I won't be putting my work out in the garden I think it is best to set it as much as possible. I used a spay fixative - a standard one suitable for paints and pastels etc.

Next small leaves - an old book page painted with copper acrylic paint. I used Hobbycraft own brand. Other paints will have more pigment, but this is perfect for what I usually need. (I am not a pure painter after all).  And attached with PVA glue.

And the final layer is nylon organza - graduated pink/copper in colour.

I stick this down with vilene Bondaweb.  The paper copes with the iron well.

And finally stitched - free motion machine embroidery.

For the actual lampshades I use supplies from Needcraft/dannells. You can buy pre-cut panels and rings to match. 

I won't tell you how to use the actual panels and rings. Other people have made good videos to explain that. This is one of the best - there are some very good tips on this one.

So there you are - a mini tutorial explaining one of my techniques.

These and other lampshades will be on display at Hampshire Open Studios.  I am sharing a bit of space with Rob Turner China at their studio and mini gallery, The Vestibule at 4RC.  If you are anywhere near Gosport the studio will be open 10am to 5pm every day of this artistic festival which runs from the 19th to the 28th August. Hope to see some of you there.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Honeybuns and Sewing Bees Patchwork Shop

In my last post I showed you round my friends lovely Hampshire garden.

They live in Alverstoke - once a seaside village on the Hampshire coast (right opposite the Isle of Wight) but now it is rather subsumed into Gosport.

But Alverstoke does have a little village centre with a handful of little village shops. And though I was dog sitting and supposed to be working in the studio, the sun was shining and I thought I would have a little wander.

And a shop window caught my eye!

Of course, I had to step in.

And it was like stepping into a little sweet shop! But nothing was fattening - all calorie free.

A little gem packed to the rafters with the most beautiful patchwork and quilting fabric, all beautifully co-ordinated. 

Every surface covered.

Like every good shop a decent haberdashery section with a good selection of thread. 

And also pre-cut packs for patchworkers. 

And in all of this gloriousness a few things caught my eye.

I bought some of the above for some bunting for the Open Studios (must crack on with that).

And fabric brand new to me - Lewis & Irene.

This little shop is called Honeybuns and Sewing Bees.  And if traditional patchwork and quilting is your thing (and you find yourself in Gosport any time soon) it is worth a little trip. It is a tiny, compact little gem (though there is a workshop room just behind which they use for classes etc.) 

Susan showed me round (she described herself as the Saturday girl) and Caroline is the boss

And I am told they are planning an on line shop too. 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

An Artists Garden

Dear reader

How lucky was I - I borrowed a studio!

And not just any studio, but a garden studio belonging to my lovely friends Rob and Andy of Rob Turner China (I was dog sitting for them) so of course I had a good nosey round the garden too. They have very green fingers. 

Even the tomatoes looked stunning and full of promise for what is to come. 

And the Hosta was flowering. 

Lots of decorated pots on their new deck. 

And a stunning vista as you step out of the back door ( there is a glimpse of the creek through there). 

Succulents in pots. 

And the corner of the deck by the studio. 

Agapanthus almost blooming.

Decorated terracotta pots for sale

and ined up for studio visitors. 

 I used to think succulents were so boring. I am changing my mind! 

And then I wandered down to the veg patch and found these beauties. 

And the old sign from their studio shop in London ( so many years ago now it almost feels like another life) 

Inevitably I was accompanied on my little journey by my little charges.

And the potato bed proved particularly fascinating. 

The back of the house. 2 years ago this was a boring 1960s bungalow.

Hampshire Open Studios will run from the 19th to the 28th August.

Rob and Andy are throwing their doors open for the first time for this festival. The venue is listed as
The Vestibule @ 4RC (4 Rectory Close, Alverstoke, Gosport). 4 artists will be showing in total, including yours truly.