2022/05/24 - Art Society exhibition
Getting sorted out for the next exhibition - Hall Green Art Society on Saturday 28th, 10.30-4 at Moseley Exchange. I'm putting two watercolours and two textiles in - also taking some mounted watercolours and lots of cards for sale. Our first exhibition since November 2019 - so I'm looking forward to it!
2022/05/18 - One successful Open Day
Saturday 14 May was our WSD Guild Open Day. A very busy day for me - a lot of the exhibition infrastructure is stored at my house!. The night before we were setting up tables etc., then at the hall about 8.45 to put up display boards etc. Exhibition arranged, with displays of weaving, spinning and dyeing, then I spent the day demonstrating "flower pounding" or Hapa-Zome. Hitting flowers with a hammer to dye fabric. Quite a successful day. And then at the end I found I'd WON the competition - Make do and mend, or sustainability - with an ecoprinted dress made from an inherited cotton nightie
2022/04/15 - Deadlines - feeling more positive
I think I'm gradually recovering after 3 months of feeling under the weather - starting to think I might actually do something creative. Part of this is deadlines of course! First deadline is May 14 - WSD Guild Open Day. Competition is "make do and mend/sustainability". I have one mended shawl to enter, but also planning to make something from recycled ecoprinted fabric. Will also be taking things I've made in the last 6 months... And I've offered to demostrate "flower pounding - which is apparently the Japanese craft of hapazome. Then RBSA Friends exhibition (21 June-23 July) - deadline 10 May. I probably have a picture I could submit (last year's Christmas card?), and it is a good thing to have on my resume. Next deadline 12 May - Hall Green Arts Spring exhibition. The first exhibition for 2 years, at Moseley Exchange, for just one day - 18 May. I need to work out what pictures etc. to enter. Then MTF exhibition at Bishop's Castle. Theme "Evolve", submission date 1 June, exhibition 16 July-1 August. I have a lot of ideas, but none of them have crystallised into a piece of work... Also Festival of Quilts - deadline for submission 27 June. They exhibit anything you submit (unjuried) - but not sure if I will have done anything that could qualify as a quilt by then. Exhibition 18-21 August
2022/03/16 - March already
I don't seem to be doing much art/craft work recently - too busy redecorating the bedroom after drylining it. Hopefully it should be warmer, for less gas expended. But I have now finished the felt flower posy workshop - must take photos to add to the website - and I have been doing more watercolours for the next "walk" book. This one has a bit of industrial archeology, as well as a picture of me swimming. I think I've done most of the sketches, so the next thing is to assemble it into a book. Now need to think of an entry for the WSD Guild competition - Make Do and Mend - and start designing something for the Bishop's Castle exhibition (July 16) - title "Evolve". Hopefully I'll be able to get somewhere with those when we go to Scotland to open up the house for the season
2022/02/14 - February - yet another illness
After Christmas I was finding it difficult to get started on new work, so decided to take part in the Online Guild (WSD) WIP (work in progress) workshop - basically finding things that had stalled a bit and finishing them off. I managed to finish the tatted Round Robin that was due for the Scattered Tatters meeting on 5 February, and I also finished the dragon socks that I started in September. Then as I was trying get sorted for the next workshop, I came down with yet another cold. This started as a sore throat, and has progressed to a really nasty cough, which nothing seems to help. I've had it 2 weeks already, and not feeling that much better. But I did test negative for Covid! I have also managed to finish a partly-done ply-split braided "vessel" (not yet photographed), and revised the Christmas card painting. This afternoon I thought I was feeling a bit better, but this evening I feel like I'm trying to cough up my teeth again!
2022/01/16 - January - back to working
I've finally put my December work on the website - it's a record of what I've been doing. I don't think anyone reads my blogs, but my website is really a form of vanity publishing. I've produced my usual calendar - 12 A4 pages of my work over the year. I used to produce it particularly for my brother, but several people said they would still like it, so I've continued even though he died in October. Available as a pdf file to print out for £2, or I could print and email a copy (without binder) for £10. Apart from that I'm taking part in the WSD Online Guild UFO (unfinished objects) workshop - so far tatting a round robin doyley and knitting dragon socks. Also need to update the photos on my page on the MTF website, to reflect what I've done in the last year - combining weaving with machine embroidery is possibly what I want to continue with this year
2021/12/30 - Happy New Year
Starting to surface after a difficult 3 months - both Peter and I have been ill since I last posted, and I also had Christmas things to organise. However, we've now come through that - I've even produced my calendar using scanned pictures and photographs of the things I've produced over the last year. I want to produce another couple of walk books that could be printed for the Schoolhouse, or to give to family. Want to make something with all the ecoprinted samples I've done over the last year. And I'm starting a photography course on Tuesday 4th January. Realise I never posted the details of the Guild Open Day on 13 November - very successful, we had lots of visitors and an good display, in spite of Covid restrictions. Now thinking about MTF exhibitions in the summer...
2021/12/05 - Difficult times
I've not felt like posting for a while. My brother went in to hospital on 5 October for major heart surgery. He appeared to be recovering, very slowly, but then had a coronary arrest and died on 27 October. I've spent the last month organising for his funeral etc. - so that's 6 weeks plus just disappeared before I've surfaced. And now it's nearly Christmas. Not doing anything for sale/display/exhibition at the moment - just trying to get the family Christmas presents sorted. Glad I hadn't booked any craft fairs!
2021/10/04 - More pictures
Having got over the Open Studios, and collected the exhibition from the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek, I'm finally finding time to upload photographs and sketches from June-July. A lot of ecoprinted samples. The ecoprinting course was good, but it did confirm my feeling that I'm not sure I want to do a lot more of it. I found it difficult to get a good colour - natural dyeing on cotton does tend to be a bit disappointing. Although I had some good results with some of the leaves, I'm not sure I really like the overall colour that ecoprinting with iron gives! I've also uploaded the sketches I did for a book on "walk to the Point of Knap" for our grandson. I had fun making the walk book, and even included a map from Strava on the back which shows where we walked. I've done another on walking in the woods above Achnamara, looking for beavers (we didn't find any) - but that is illustrated with photographs rather than sketches.
2021/09/28 - Open Studios - some success
I've now done an analysis of the Open Studios. Not quite as good as 2 years ago (though I don't have the records of the number of visitors then - kept them on my spreadsheet this year). But it was good to see people and get some feedback. Nice to see my gazebo in use in the garden, and people having a relaxed tea/coffee and cake there. Now need to finish all the "demonstration" work I started!!
2021/09/24 - Open Studios - second weekend
Can't believe that I forgot to put on the website that I had Open Studios - last weekend and last Wednesday - and two more sessions this weekend - Saturday and Sunday 11-5. Going fairly well so far - 32 visitors last Saturday, 20 on Sunday, 5 during the week... Hoping for a few more this weekend, as lots of people hadn't realised Open Studios were on! We have Carol's Tiffany-style glass, Anna's knitting and crochet, and Brenda's felt and cards, as well as my textiles - flowers, weaving (I have a shawl on the loom, and some half-done machine embroidered bits), dyed yarns and fabrics for sale, and ecoprinting to talk about - and my watercolours and textile pictures. Plus free tea and home-made cake of course
2021/09/04 - New pictures added
Looking at the website I realise I've been too busy to upload the most recent pictures - or even the ones from April/May. I committed myself to things for the exhibitions, in addition to doing a fairly challenging ecoprinting course over May/June/July... and then we had the exhibition in Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek to set up. That exhibition is on until 2 October. I will be stewarding next Thursday (9 September) and again on the last afternoon. I have now added the "May" photos, but still haven't sorted out photos from the latest things which have gone to the exhibition - and I have realised that Open Studios are coming up soon... 18/19 and 25/26 September! I need to get on with sorting out the house and garden, as well as making more samples for the Open Studio... The exhibition currently at Foxlowe is going on the the Brewhouse Arts Centre in Burton-on-Trent - though it won't be quite the same. An additional artist, and not everything will necessarily fit in the Brewhouse!
2021/08/11 - Exhibitions - after 2 years
We are working towards the first MTF exhibition for two years. After a very busy 2018, we decided to have 2019 off. Had 3 exhibitions booked for summer/autumn 2020 - then Covid happened. But we are getting sorted out to set up an exhibition in the Foxlowe Gallery in Leek (Staffordshire). It opens on 21 August, and goes on until 2 October. Title "Discoveries", with work from seven of our members which we have done over the past two years. There are also local Open Studios starting again - Birmingham OS will be on 18/19 and 25/26 September. I will be open both weekends, and probably an evening in the intervening week as well. It's unfortunate it coincides with the exhibition - difficult to decide what goes into which!
2021/07/19 - Ecoprint course finished
Well the ecoprinting course has finished. I have a single bed's worth of wool (blanket) samples, and a similar area of linen samples. I think the linen may get made into a book, and I'm thinking of a blanket curtain from all the blanket samples. I've also overdyed two blouses for myself, three antique (pre-war) domestic service aprons and two caps, and two pairs of silk bloomers and two silk petticoats. Overdyed some fabric I printed on the previous course, and taken apart a linen nightie to recycle as a dress. Altogether a pretty successful course. Now working towards the exhibition at the Foxlowe Gallery in Leek - which starts on 20 August. I have a number of ideas, but I need to actually put them into practice!
2021/06/22 - RBSA exhibition - and what I've been doing
Over the last six weeks I've been doing another online course on ecoprinting - this time with natural dyes. I have a lot of samples, but haven't actually made them into anything. The course has now notionally finished, but fortunately Caroline Nixon, our tutor, is going to continue giving advice on our results for a few more weeks. Apart from that I've also been making more things for grandhildren. The Rest House in Bournville Green is open again (and selling my cards - I need to print more local postcards for them). My picture Lockdown - Forbidden City is in the RBSA Friends exhibition until 3 July. And the delayed MTF exhibition at Foxlowe Gallery in Leek (Staffordshire) has a date again - 20 August - 1 October. Not sure I will get to do a meet the artist - I seem to be busy every Saturday in that period!
2021/05/11 - RBSA success - long time without posting
Putting my picture's acceptance for RBSA Friends exhibition on to the website, and realised I've not added to the blog for months. I suppose it's because I've not been doing a lot of creative things in the last couple of months. We did decorating, and I've made a birthday present for our grandson. I've done a tapestry weaving course, and then woven a piece of fabric for a waistcoat, and we've had a week's holiday in Scotland. But not much sketching, and not much machine embroidery either. But I'm really pleased that Lockdown- Forbidden City was selected for this year's Friends exhibition - apparently there was quite a bit of competition again
2021/02/16 - Ecoprinting course
I've just finished a really good online course by Carolyn Nixon on printing with leaves The course was Foundation skills for ecoprinters, an online course over 4 weeks, exploring the basic processes for ecoprinting using plants from the garden and a simple iron mordant, on silk and linen fabrics. Very clear information - a combination of text (which we got as a pdf at the end) and videos, with more released each week. We started by "auditioning" leaves on fabric dipped in an iron solution, to see which of the leaves we had would give a print with iron. Progressed to making arrangements of the leaves we'd tested, and doing mirror images and ghost prints, using barriers to avoid prints where we didn't want them. There was a lot of support from Carolyn and from other course members on the Facebook page, where we shared our results and got advice. I've ended up with a silk top and a remade cotton/wool shirt, printed with leaves from my garden, and some fabric for a skirt which I'm debating overprinting. Plus a silk scarf, a 1m square piece of silk twill (shawl?), a long cotton scarf and a lot of smaller samples which would be good for machine embroidery. I'll be putting photographs of some things on the website today - others will go on when they have been made up or used in embroidery etc.
2021/02/09 - Website back
Had a bit of a panic last week - I was suggesting that my website had a variety of tatting on it, and trying to link that to an email for the online Weavers Spinners & Dyers, who have a tatting workshop on now -and found the site was down. Apparently there was some maintenance somewhere. Did make me ask my son to back the site up again - I would be upset to lose all the information on it!
2021/01/12 - Happy New Year
I seem to have been a bit busy since the end of November - first with Christmas presents, and then with the arrival of our third grandchild - we had almost a month of false alarms, before she arrived on her due date. But there are some Christmas presents and the Christmas cards which I need to add to the site, and my "You and I went down the lane" is still in the RBSA Prize online exhibition. I need to arrange how to collect it after the exhibition closes. I'm starting a course on ecoprinting - hoping for better results than I got last summer - and trying to design some weaving. At the moment all shops are closed, but I can still post things if there is anything you want from my Etsy shop
2020/11/27 - More lockdown
The Rowheath Christmas Craft fair was fairly successful - a big increase in visits to my Etsy shop, and one sale. But I've not sold any of the cards I rushed to add to the site. Updated the website pictures with things I've done over the end of September, October and November. Some for sale, more for me and the family. Now trying to work on Christmas presents and design a Christmas card, but it's difficult to concentrate when we have builders redoing our front wall and drive. The end result is going to be good. Facebook keeps coming up with reminders that this time has been Open Studio time for the last few years. I'm missing the socialising as well as the sales!
2020/11/08 - RBSA Prize exhibition extended
The RBSA Prize exhibition has been extended for another 6 weeks, due to lockdown. So my "You and I went down the lane" will be on show on their website, and in the gallery (if it's allowed to open) until 16 January. I might still have a chance to see how it's been hung - was going to go last weekend, then the gallery had to close!
2020/11/08 - Online craft fair
Having had no craft fairs since the beginning of March, and with the craft shop closed due to lockdown as well, I have decided to join the Rowheath Online Christmas Craft fair. I've added three sections of cards to my Etsy shop, as that's the easiest way to organise online sales. A new batch of abstract machine embroidered cards done as well. If card sales actually work, I might add some of the quilted cards, but the trouble with them is that they are all individual.... And I would need to do a few more before I have enough to be worth listing, as my stock has run down a bit over the last year
2020/10/24 - Cards added to Etsy shop
After 8 months lockdown, with no sign of the end, I've decided to add cards to my Etsy shop. To begin with I've sorted out several groups of cards, and I'm offering them as a pack of five for £10, including UK postage. It will be interesting to see if there is any response. I'm thinking of adding my machine embroidered cards as well, but need to make a few more before I put them onto the website. But if you want any of my watercolours from this site on cards, I can do them as part of a 5-pack.
2020/10/01 - Winterbourne Sunset donated
Another month gone! Just before lockdown I had offered my Winterbourne Sunset textile picture to Winterbourne House, to add to their collections. I was due to demonstrate in the house, and take it in the week before lockdown, but I decided at that point to stay home, and avoid meeting anyone I didn't know. Now the gardens are open again, I thought it would make sense to pass the hanging on, so today I delivered it to their collections manager. The house isn't open again yet, and she didn't know exactly what they would do with it, but it is now out of my hands (and probably being looked after more carefully!)
2020/09/09 - RBSA Prize exhibition
I decided to submit a couple of my recent hangings to the RBSA Prize exhibition which will be on from 8 October to 21 November, and is a physical exhibition as well as an online one. Really pleased that my "You and I went down the lane..." was accepted. Then checked up and realised I'd not actually put the picture on the website. So I need to do that now. I'm still trying to get more inspiration for new speculative work, but mostly I've been making things I've been asked for, so it's really nice to get one of my things I did just before lockdown into the exhibition
2020/08/14 - Continued isolation
Over two months since I last wrote on the blog! This is mostly because the Covid-19 lockdown continues. Although I'm not quite 70, Peter is 72, so we are shielding/being very careful, staying in. I'm not attempting to make anything speculative to sell, though I've made a few things on commission in the last couple of months, and I've made things for my grandsons. There are still some of my flowers and cards in the Rest House on Bournville Green, and I would be happy to sell via Etsy or from home. I have experimented with ecoprinting, but not made any final items from that. We had two weeks at the end of July in Scotland - a welcome break, in spite of the weather and the work that needed doing on the Schoolhouse. Weather wasn't conducive to sketching - wet and/or windy most days - and I've not decided whether the two sketches I did need more work before I scan them in. The big thing I've done in the last three months that I've not yet put on the website is a climbing frame tent - this took two attempts to get it to fit properly (which I hope I've now managed) - so hasn't yet been photographed. And I did get a mixed media piece into the RBSA Friends Online exhibition - which is still on until 5 September 2020.
2020/06/10 - Lockdown continues
I didn't expect us to have to stay locked down for so long. All the craft fairs have been cancelled, and the next possible physical exhibitions are not until the autumn. I still have the stock which I had at the beginning of March, but I have not added much to it. I have been working on a playmat for our new grandson - which was great fun - and I knitted him a pentagonal blanket. Then I had a commission to make egg cosies -so I have made one sale this year! Now thinking of items for online exhibitions - the RBSA Friends online exhibition submission date is tomorrow - exhibition will be online on 16 July
2020/05/01 - Still locked down
Finding it a bit difficult having been semi- isolated since the beginning of March - and completely isolated since 16 March. Husband had a series of respiratory infections over the winter, and he's over 70, so being careful. I had a full calendar up to 16 March, then as things got a bit worrying, I decided not to risk anything. Have only been out for local walks, and for fortnightly trips to Sainsbury, and occasional visits to the post office since then. But I realised I'd not posted the things I made in March... So here they are. My latest exhibition piece - flotsam and jetsam - with inclusions of beachcombed shells and debris; a sketch of the old Grammar School - mostly done at the Art Cafe in Bournville on Monday mornings, some bootees for my new grandson, a bit of dyeing - oh and masks for me and the family for lockdown shopping. I've done more work in April - mostly for our second grandson who arrived unexpectedly on 1 April. More about that in the next blog!
2020/04/14 - Four weeks isolation
Still staying home, not seeing anyone apart from neighbours in passing. Finished my latest piece for Midlands Textile Forum - mostly - but I'm feeling uninspired for doing any craft design work, apart from a play mat for my latest grandson, who arrived six and a half weeks early on April Fools Day. Rebuilding my above-ground pool, with extra insulation, and having a bit more of a go at the garden, which had been a bit neglected due to last year's surgery. Hoping that I will feel more inspired in a few weeks
2020/03/19 - Social distancing
Today's (19 March) talk for the Marches Embroiderers and Textiles group has been postponed to July 2021. All the things I was planning to do from last Tuesday (17 March) have been cancelled or postponed. At the moment we haven't cancelled the MTF exhibition at the end of April, but it looks unlikely to go ahead. Hoping for the July one in Wem. I'm working on a new net curtain that I was intending to put into that, and also into the Festival of Quilts in August (if that goes ahead) Birmingham Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual exhibition on 9 May has been cancelled, but we assume the WS&D National Exhibition (submission end of May, but actual exhibition in September) will go ahead. I'm working on some weaving for that. I've avoided the last textiles course day - decided I didn't want to stop my social distancing. Going to the local shop is one thing, spending all day with even half a dozen others who I don't know (so don't have friends in common) is much more risky in my opinion.
2020/03/13 - What happens now?
I'm working towards three exhibitions - the Midlands Textile Forum Discoveries exhibition in the Weavers Gallery, Ledbury, 26 April-2 May, the Birmingham Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual exhibition on 9 May, and the national Weavers Spinners & Dyers exhibition (happening in September, but submission end of May). I'm organising the first two, and all the while I'm wondering if anything will happen at all - will coronavirus mean that there is no point in opening the exhibitions? Supposed to be giving a talk for the Marches Embroidery and Textile Group next week - will it happen? How many people will be prepared to come? Is it worth their money and my time? I'm just feeling very unsettled - I'm not really in the seriously at-risk age group, but I am close, and quite a few of my family are too. Do I self-isolate? Is there any point in working towards exhibitions that may not happen....
2020/03/03 - Craft fair successful
Reasonably successful craft fair at Stirchley - I more than covered my stall fee, and had a good evening. Finished some more hair jewellery and a couple of earrings, had fun dancing to the swing music that was on next to me... Next item is a talk for the Marches Embroidery and Textile Group on 19 March in Craven Arms. I'm taking slides and some finished items to show off - and my craft show textiles for sale as well. Talk is basically on my textile history. I ought to update the website as well - haven't put any photos on this year yet
2020/02/27 - Craft fair on 5 March
My first craft fair this year - on Tuesday 5 March, 4-8 at Stirchley Baths - hope to see you there!
2020/02/24 - Recovering
I do seem to be starting to recover from the virus - still have a nasty cough though. Now working on my next project for the Midlands Textile Forum exhibition "Discoveries" in Ledbury 26 June-2 May. Another organza hanging with trapped shells etc. that I've discovered while beachcombing. But that got put on hold while I made a boot liner for our son's Tesla car (his Christmas present). Much more complicated than the liner I did for our own car, as it's a much more complicated shape! Next craft fair- 3 March at Stirchley Baths. I tried for the Rowheath Spring Fair but didn't get a stand
2020/02/02 - Another virus
I had hoped that by now I would be well into working for the next MTF exhibition (and of April in Ledbury). But I have a really nasty cough/cold virus, which is definitely sapping my creativity. Since the last post (nearly 3 weeks ago) I've finished my knitted and felted skirt (which I'm really pleased with - it fits, it's flattering, and it's one of the UFOs I was trying to do for the Online WSD Guild). I also finished my ply-split braided necklace (another success). Last Monday I talked to Leicestershire Quilters on "How I got to where I am now". In retrospect, perhaps I should have spent more time on details of individual items, but they seemed to enjoy it, in spite of problems getting access to the meeting venue. The landscapes course is interesting, though I'm still not sure that my ideas fit with it, but I had a really good course on drawing (people) with stitch last week - I've finally put the foreground people on to my Rolling English Road.
2020/01/14 - Chilly January
I've decided to to some finishing off and sorting this month. No craft fairs, and only the Kitchen Garden craft shop selling my things - but I will be going to the Leicester Quilters Guild in Oadby on Monday 27th, so I'm updating my talk and wondering what to take to show off. Apart from that making a boot liner for a Tesla car, and a skirt to go with my Shadow Shells jacket - only knitted the fabric 18 months ago! And I'm doing a Textile Landscapes course at Littleheath Barn. Interesting different techniques and a bit more of a challenge.
2020/01/01 - Post-Christmas pause
I've just put my Christmas cards for 2019 on the website, along with assorted Christmas presents. Not much more work for sale done recently, and I'm now suffering from a nasty cold - but I'm thinking of designs for the MTF exhibitions next year... I'm also doing a textile landscape course locally. So far I'm finding it hard going, but hopefully it will catch my imagination soon.
2019/12/11 - Back from a December holiday
We went off to Cornwall for a week's holiday at the beginning of December - missing a lot of possible craft fairs - I wonder which I would have chosen, and whether any would have been good. Current climate, people don't seem to be spending much. Now working on Christmas cards - for me to send out rather than for sale. But there are quite a few of my watercolour cards in the Rest House on Bournville Green, which is open until 24 December with a big range of craft items. I also have a small display in the craft shop of the Kitchen Garden shop and cafe in Kings Heath - or if you want any of my items specifically, some are available via the Etsy shop, and you are welcome to visit if you're in the south Birmingham area
2019/11/10 - No more craft fairs - but still at Rest House
I've finished craft fairs for this year but still have cards and textile flowers in the Rest House in the middle of Bournville Green, and those and originals watercolours in the Kitchen Garden craft shop, York Road Kings Heath. Or contact me via Facebook or Etsy and come and see my stock here if you want a small Christmas gift
2019/10/22 - Craft fairs this autumn
Realised I've only got one more craft fair this year - I'm doing Stirchley Baths on Tuesday 5th November, but I didn't get a stall at Rowheath on 19 November (disappointing) - and I'm away the first week in December. So after 5th November I'll have some work in the Rest House on Bournville Green, and in the Kitchen Garden in Kings Heath. But apart from that, if you want any of my work, you'll have to contact me direct.
2019/10/11 - Open Studios - second weekend
Looking forward to another couple of days Open Studios - I'll be weaving - hoping to finish the shawl I started last weekend, and demonstrating machine embroidery - done a few more samples to show work-in-progress. Plus Brenda's felt accessories, Anna Baker (Spangleberry)'s knitting and crochet - and tuition , Carol's glass and Liz's bead jewellery. Hope the Farmer's Market on KN Green will increase the footfall.
2019/10/06 - Open Studios up and running
We've had the first day of Open Studios - very successful, over 30 visitors - quite a few of whom we didn't know before they came! Now set up for today (added another sign on Rednal Road, as well as the ones on Beaks Hill Road). Hope to have lots of visitors - it's a lovely day!
2019/10/01 - Disappointing
Well that was another disappointing craft fair at Stirchley Baths. Not a particularly good turnout, and not many sales. I did give away a few more brochures for Open Studios, but I didn't even cover my costs, let alone make a profit. It was a bit cold, and the weather hadn't been good all day - I'm not sure how much advertising there had been either. Now hoping that the Open Studios at the weekend will be better - I'm putting a lot of effort into them!
2019/09/25 - Craft fair on 1 October
I'm working hard for the Open Studios on 5/6 and 12/13 October - but before then I have a stall at Stirchley Baths Community Fair on Tuesday 1 October, 4-8 pm. Come and see me there if you can't get to the Open Studios - or as well!
2019/09/11 - Birmingham Open Studios
South Birmingham Open Studios are coming soon - 5-6 and 12-13 October. We had a big meeting to hand out publicity today - I've offered to take things round Kings Norton. There will be five of us here, so it would be worth spreading things as far as possible. I shall take flyers and leaflets to places on the Green, and probably leaflet the local roads as well - see if we can get a few more people we don't know to come and look at the art!
2019/08/23 - New stock
A few photos added of some new stock - but I have a couple more pictures from our holiday in Scotland to scan, edit and add, and I've almost finished the coloured version of the Carillon sketch. Currently finally getting on with our daughter's wedding guest book quilt - should get it finished for their 4th wedding anniversary! And thinking about the next Midlands Textiles Forum challenge - something on the them of "Discoveries". I have some ideas, but they are not crystallised enough to write down yet. In the mean time I'm enjoying Worcester Open Studios this weekend - a chance to look at a range of other artists' studios, as well as their current work!
2019/08/17 - What next
The last craft fair was reasonably successful (I more than covered my stall fee, and made another batch of flower clips, and I'm selling steadily in the craft shop on Bournville Green, but I need more impetus to do new work. I'm starting a new textiles course in the Autumn - in the mean time I'm replenishing my stock - and I have a few commissions - ready for the Open Studio in October
2019/08/05 - After the Quilt Show - Craft fair tomorrow 6 August
I had a couple of exhausting days at the Festival of Quilts (think I saw all the quilts on display - may have missed a few, but I have over 200 photos and that was just the ones I liked). I bought a bit more for the quilt I should be making for my daughter's wedding guest book, and some water-based oil pastels to experiment with. The comments on my Make-do-and-Mend waistcoat at the Quilt Show were positive - mostly"good", with a couple of "excellent" ratings. I thought they displayed it well - in fact all the "quilt creations were displayed pretty well (but I still don't know why they picked the winner they did! Now thinking about tomorrow's community fair at Stirchley Baths. It seems a long time since the last craft fair - hope my card reader still works! I have a couple of new watercolours to take on cards - perhaps I should print them on to postcards as well? Not sure what I've got apart from that - the usual dyed yarns (I have some more that need labelling), and woven shawls (not that there's much call for them at the moment), plus watercolours and cards, and textile jewellery.
2019/07/28 - Back from holiday
I did another week of the Online Guild dyeing - walnut (brown) and annatto (the brightest orange I've ever seen from natural dyeing). The went off to Scotland for 3 weeks. Did a bit of patchwork for a cushion, a bit of work on my daughter's wedding quest quilt (only 3 years late), and knitted most of a pair of socks. Also helped with waterworks, grandson-minding... and had a bit of time away, even if mostly wet. Come back and done one dyebath - logwood - which gave pretty good results. Tomorrow I'm off to the NEC to deliver my make-do-and-mend twinset for the Festival of Quilts exhibition. Went to collect my Night City IX shawl from the RBSA today - and they've mislaid it. Hope they manage to find it again!
2019/06/26 - RBSA success
One of my entries was accepted for the RBSA Friends exhibition - my Night City IX shawl is now hanging there (until 20 July). That means that quite a few of my Night City pieces (which I've been doing for about 10 years) have been exhibited at the RBSA. A bit disappointed that they didn't want my suffragette hat, Night City VIII waistcoat, or the textile picture of Loch Scridain, but at least I got one thing in!
2019/06/17 - Online Guild workshop
This is obviously a dyeing summer. The online WS&D Guild has a workshop "natural Dyeing for a painter's palette". Obviously something I should take part in. So far I've done mordanting (with more alum than I usually use), and dyeing reds (cochineal, madder) last week, and yellows (onion skins, weld) this week. Unfortunately I let the madder boil when I didn't intend to, and it has come out rather orange. The weld is coming out a bit pale I fear. But it's interesting to do dyeing where you make a dyebath first, removing the dyestuff, then adding the yarn after that - and with a bit more calculation than my usual bucket chemistry
2019/06/14 - Guild Dyeing picnic - good range of colours
I've pretty well cleared up from the dyeing picnic - and I did get a good range of colours. The acid dyes were successful too (I think) - but they were taken away still wrapped up, to be allowed to sit overnight before unwrapping and rinsing. Won't see them until the autumn!
2019/06/07 - Guild Dyeing Picnic - tomorrow 8 June
Starting to set up for the biennial WS&D dyeing day here tomorrow. We'll have 2 gazebos in the garden, but we'll probably have to do the dyeing on gas burners in the conservatory, as the forecast is wet up to about 10 am, then "gusty" - which would be likely to blow the gas out. I'll be doing natural dyeing - haven't yet decided what dyes, as I've inherited a big pile. Rachel will be supervising acid dyeing - we'll do the steaming on my cooker inside, as you only get vinegar off that, and all the preparation can be done out in the gazebo where splashes won't matter. We'll have a bring-and-share lunch (I'm making shortbread tonight, and bread tomorrow morning), and tea and coffee is included. £2 for Birmingham WS&D members, £5 for non-members, including any dyes used (but not including yarn/fabric/fleece to dye - you have to bring your own if you want to take any away). Visitors are welcome - email me if you want more information
2019/05/26 - Cold virus continues
I am still feeling seriously under the weather with the virus. Managing to do odd bits in the garden, but my creative streak has gone for the moment. Weather not so good today, so I spent some time catching up with mending and projects that I'd stuck in the studio to do at some time. But I'm finding it hard to keep on - sleeping badly, but also having paroxysmal coughing fits. Curently sorting out sketches I did last weekend to add to the collection. More cards....
2019/05/18 - Nasty cold virus
Not managed much in the last week - I've developed a nasty cold virus, so not felt up to anything creative. Hoping to update my display at the Kitchen Garden on Monday, but not selling much apart from that - and I don't have any craft fairs booked at the moment. Still trying to get myself sorted for the MTF exhibitions next year, but not feeling very inspired. I expect things will come together eventually - in the mean time I am dragging out stalled projects and having another go at them
2019/05/09 - Another disappointing craft fair
Tuesday's craft fair at Stirchley baths was disappointing again - though I did take slightly more than las month. But at least two stalls didn't turn up, and there was no hot food - people came hoping to be able to buy their evening meal and eat it there. There was a tea and coffee stand outside, and cakes/bread and chocolate inside, along with hot sauces and jams and cordials. But no proper food. Not sure whether it is worth continuing to go - the biggest problem is that the cafe, which used to provide good meals at very reasonably prices, has closed. So little to draw people out on a cold evening. On a more cheerful note, I do continue to sell the occasional item to friends and acquaintances, and at the Rest House in Bournville. This Saturday (11 May) I will be demonstrating/helping warping up inkle looms - and I'll have my dyed fabric and yarns from the WS&D Open Day on display. Cotteridge Meeting House with the Weavers Spinners & Dyers
2019/04/28 - Good day yesterday, disappointed today
The Hall Green Art Society exhibition yesterday was good - the weather meant that a smaller Moseley Farmers Market happened in the Moseley Exchange - and a lot more visitors came to the Art Society exhibition. I sold quite a few cards - some printed and some machine embroidered. Today wasn't as successful. I spent out on a supposedly higher-profile craft market at Highbury Hall. One the punters actually have to pay to get in to. However, once in, it didn't seem that people were buying. I sold a few things, but nothing like my stall fee. Beginning to wonder whether craft fairs are worth doing - get up at some horrible hour (left at 7.30), and spend all day and £13 (net loss) in a chilly (if picturesque) room, sewing more things that will probably not sell. Combine that with the rejection (yet again) of my submission for the RBSA Prize exhibition, and you can see why I'm feeling a bit jaundiced!
2019/04/15 - Craft Fair 28 April
The next craft fair is at Highbury Hall (between Kings Heath and Edgbaston) on 28 April. A more up-market one than I usually go to - so let's hope it's successful. Lots more dyed yarns to sell, and some more sketches that may be on cards by then. The day before is the Hall Green Arts Spring Exhibition at in Moseley - I'll have some of my weavings there as well as ink-and-watercolour sketches and cards.
2019/04/14 - Guild Open Day
We had a successful Open Day yesterday - lots of have-a-go demonstrations of weaving and sopinning, and I demonstrated tray dyeing with Procion dyes for the first time - seven dyebaths, with the dyes already dissolved. But quite tiring as it took me a couple of days to get organised in advance, and most of another day to finish off
2019/04/07 - Updates coming up
Son Jon updated the Python program he used for the website today, so I can upload pictures again. Now need to finish editing the sketches I did in Provence in February so I can upload them. Next event is the WS&D Open Day - next Saturday - I'll be demonstrating tray dyeing - a new venture for me, so I hope it works, and I manage to get the dyeing back home again afterwards without filling the car with dye!
2019/03/16 - Difficulty with updates
I've had problems over the last few months. Had the shoulder operation (my shoulder is still not happy), so haven't done as much in the last 3 months as I would have liked. Went to Avignon for a week's walking with Ramblers Worldwide - and came back with a really nasty virus - so that took out 3 weeks. Then I tried to update my website a couple of days ago, and realised that we changed our computers, and I no longer have the right program to upload the photos. I have done a small amount of work in the last 3 months, but can't upload until I have the right program. Not doing very much craft anyway at the moment, as I'm still recovering from the surgery
2019/02/24 - Craft fairs coming up
Back from a walking holiday in Avignon - by train. Weather was good, and I have quite a few more sketches to add to the website. But I did come back with a nasty virus infection - and I need to prepare for the first craft fairs of the season - Saturday 2 March (daytime) at Rowheath, and Tuesday 5 March (evening) at Stirchley Baths
2019/02/14 - Disappointment at RBSA
I submitted my latest shawl - the night city IX one - and my waistcoat - night city VIII - to the RBSA Open exhibition, along with the suffragette hat, and the whole suffragette costume. Unfortunately none of them were accepted. I'll try submitting them (or some of them) to the Prize exhibition (perhaps - you have to pay to submit), and to the Friends' exhibition in the summer, but I am a bit disappointed that none got in. In the mean time I've made another 4 sunflowers, and coloured the picture of the J/I school entrance. Hoping to do some sketches of Avignon in the next week or so...
2019/02/03 - Getting back to work
My shoulder is gradually getting back to normal, so I am able to do a bit more craft. So far just the odd bits of finishing off things I started last year, working towards submissions for the RBSA Open (don't think I'll get in). But I'm also thinking about 2019 sales. The Rest House on Bournville Green opens again next week, so I've set up my display again. But I seem to be very low on sunflowers, so that's the next craft-for-sale thing to do. And I'll be at Rowheath Pavilion on Saturday 2 March, and then at Stirchley Baths in the evening on Tuesday 5 March
2019/01/14 - Feeling at a loose end
I've had the shoulder operation - arthroscopy. A bit more serious than I had appreciated, under general anaesthetic, and resulting in my arm in a sling for 3 weeks. So no sewing, tatting or knitting - or even writing - which I am finding difficult! I have done some updating on the computer - and I've managed to get another few sketches of local places scanned in and added to the website, with the Christmas card and things I made at craft fairs and for commissions at the end of the year
2019/01/01 - Happy New Year
Happy New Year to everyone. I won't be doing much sewing for the next month - having a shoulder operation on Friday 4th, and there isn't much point making more stuff for sale when there won't be a craft fair for at least a month. The craft shop on Bournville Green is closed for the month, at least - I've taken my display home. Still got a few items for sale at the Kitchen Garden cafe in Kings Heath. But there will be more photos to go on, of Christmas cards and Chrstmas presents, and things I made at the end of last year
2018/12/13 - Gearing up for Christmas
I've finished with making things to sell for this year now - finished off the scarf I started weaving at the Open Studio, which was the last thing. Now working on this year's Christmas card, and one or two small things as presents - but not really worked out what I'm giving anyone this year. I'll upload cards when I've worked out what I'm doing - it's a combined watercolour/textile one again this year
2018/12/02 - Last craft fair on 4 December
Well the craft fair in the city centre was interesting - but my stuff was obviously not what people wanted. I suspect my flower jewellery is too "pretty" and not on-trend at the moment. Sold some dyed yarns and one printed card. But I have one more craft fair - Stirchley Baths on Tuesday 4 December, 4-8 pm - then that's it for this year.
2018/11/30 - City Centre craft fair
After a successful Open Studio (I always enjoy showing off the items I've made that are unlikely to sell), I'm now getting sorted for the Etsy Made Local craft fair on Sunday. I'll be in the Banqueting Suite in the Council House in Birmingham Victoria Square, 11-5 on Sunday 2 December Hope this one is successful - my first venture into the not-quite-so-local craft fairs!
2018/11/25 - Last day's Open Studio
Feeling fairly tired after 2 days Open Studio, plus a visit from the family last night. Had a reasonable number of friends, family and neighbours round the last two days - but a bit disappointed that my handing out flyers at craft fairs etc. doesn't seem to have resulted in any extra visitors. There's still Monday evening.... but it looks as though I'll be putting a lot of cake (back) in the freezer.
2018/11/21 - Three days to go
Tomorrow it's cleaning and making ginger cake, Friday setting up tables and making apple cake and shortbread. Then Saturday -Sunday-Monday Open Studio. I've said 2-6, but someone will be around in the morning. I just may not have got the demonstration bits done
2018/11/18 - Open Studio in a week
I've just updated the website with the last couple of months' work - I seem to have done a reasonably amount in spite of the hand surgery. Now starting to get the house ready for the Open Studio next weekend. I think I've advertised it more this year, but whether that will mean any more visitors I don't know!
2018/11/15 - Rowheath Craft Fair
Next opportunity to see my work - I'll be at Rowheath Pavilion in Bournville on Saturday 17 November. I decided to go for a bigger stand this time, to give me plenty of room to spread out my dyed yarns, cards, watercolours, textile flowers and woven shawls Hope to see you then
2018/11/12 - Success in the WS&D Open Day competition
The Weavers Spinners & Dyers exhibition was really good - over 100 entries, and a fantastic display, with the opportunity for visitors to have a go at weaving and spinning. There were 9 entries in the annual competition - Beautiful Birmingham. A challenging title - I'm sure that a lot of the people who voted for it at the AGM didn't make anything to put into it!. But my waistcoat, woven in one long piece on my 9 inch reigid heddle loom came second. First prize went to Wendy's hat based on a murmuration of starlings seen over Birmingham, and third prize to Janet's woven picture of a fruit market I spent a lot of the time on the sales table - but sales were disappointingly down on last year - I'm hoping for more success at Rowheath Craft Market on 17 November
2018/11/09 - Weavers Spinners & Dyers Open Day
Tonight we set up the exhibition bit for the WS&D Open Day tomorrow. So much better than doing the whole lot on Saturday morning - especially now we have an idea of what we're having for the exhibition. Tomorrow should be a good day. Demonstrations and have-a-go opportunities, sales - and of course tea-and-cake, and an opportunity to meet the artists. Just a pity the exhibition can't be on for longer - but my suffragette will be there for the Open Studio in a couple of weeks
2018/11/02 - November exhibitions
Spent the afternoon sorting out for the Hall Green Art Society exhibition at Kings Heath (All Saints) tomorrow - taking a couple of textile pieces, and the three watercolours I've framed from the summer - plus a big load of cards of course. Then going off to the tatting group meeting in Halesowen for the afternoon. Next weekend more demanding - WS&D Open day, with exhibition and have-a-go, as well as sales
2018/10/30 - Getting ready for Autumn shows
Spent today and yesterday doing a big batch of dyed yarns ready for the Weavers Spinners & Dyers Open Day on Saturday 10 November - Friends Meeting House, Cotteridge, 11-3.30 I've framed the pictures for the Hall Green Art Society exhibition at All Saints Kings Heath on Saturday 3 November - I'll be taking some unframed sketches and my box of cards as well. Next thing to work out if I need to reprint any cards, and then do some fancy yarn bundles for the Open Day, and write something on dyes for the exhibition
2018/10/25 - Struggling a bit
I've updated the website with things I've done in the last couple of months, and realised how much my hand operation has set me back. Operation was on 3 September. I rushed to get things finished beforehand, but nly had two items to add to the site, so didn't put them on immediately. It's nearly two months later, and I've not finished anything else enough to photograph. I do have some bits of tatting (done in the pre-op while waiting (all day) for the op, plus some done when I got too frustrated with sitting and not knitting or sewing. I've also done quite a bit of weaving for the WS&D annual exhibition - two pieces for the competition (so they have to be secret for the moment) - and spent a good bit of time winding yarns to dye (next week's project). But I'm feeling quite frustrated that my hand hasn't recovered as fast as I hoped it would!
2018/10/14 - Next craft fairs and sales
My hand is gradually recovering from surgery. At the moment I'm working on things for the WS&D Annual competition - title "beautiful Birmingham" - so I can't post photos. My hand copes with weaving better than knitting or sewing, which is just as well! Next craft fairs - I decided not to book too much because of the surgery, but I'll be at Stirchley Baths on Tuesday 6th November, and Rowheath Pavilion on Saturday 17th. There will be some of my dyed items at the WS&D Open Day and Exhibition on Saturday 10 November, at Cotteridge Quakers Meeting House. Plus items for sale at the Rest House craft shop on Bournville Green and the Kitchen Garden in Kings Heath - must renew my display there!
2018/09/27 - Recovering from hand operation
I've not done much more work since the Open Studios - still recovering from the hand operation three weeks ago. I'm finding it frustrating as I can't do what I want to! But I have booked up for a number of craft fairs. I had to cancel the September Stirchley Community Market, and as I only get alternate months, I'm not expecting to have another stand with them until November (6th). Then I'll be selling a certain amount at the WS&D Open Day in Cotteridge on Saturday 10th November. I've booked a larger stand at Rowheath on Saturday 17th November - and then I'm planning an Open Studio at my house in Kings Norton on 24/25/26 November. My last craft fair booked so far is the Etsy Made Local fair at Birmingham Town Hall on Sunday 2 December - at the back of Victoria Square, while the German market is on. Not sure how good that will be!
2018/09/22 - Successful Open Studio
Last two weekend's Open Studios were successful. Lots of visitors on all three days I was there, and a range of things sold. My Butterfly Shawl from 2016 has flown off to a new home, and I also sold two big flowers and a sunflower - looks like that is the next thing I should be getting on with. And I got 3/4 of the way through weaving another mohair shawl - this one is for the WS&D annual competition in November (so I'm reasonably early with it for once). Not sure if I'll get a stand at Stirchley Baths in October - if not I shall be working towards several sales in November.
2018/09/11 - Open Studio next weekend 15-16 September
One Open Studio done - another tw days next weekend. Do come and see us at the Old Print Works, opposited Moseley Baths. I'm hoping to get my scarf loom warped up for demonstration, and thinking of taking the sewing machine as well. And hoping that my recently operated hand can cope. probably easier than knitting or tatting!
2018/09/07 - Brum Open Studios
I decided to take part in the Brum Open Studios (https://artsbrum.com/open-studios/ ) earlier in the year. I didn't expect to be slightly disabled due to an operation on my right hand! However, I'll still be there, just not able to demonstrate quite as well, and maybe with a little less display. I'll be at Moseley Old Print Works, 11-5, on Sunday 9 Sepember, and the following weekend, 15-16 September. I'm also planning an Open Studio at home in Kings Norton on 24-25-26 November, and I'll be at craft markets in Stirchley and Rowheath...
2018/07/13 - Updating website
Finally got round to adding the photographs of the suffragette exhibition which has been on for a month. It's still on at the Nicholson gallery in Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands, until 4 August. After that, some of the pieces and the Rolling English Road will be at the Festival of Quilts for a few days. I may be at the Stirchley Baths craft fair on Tuesday 7 August - I haven't decided yet - but even if not, some of my things will be at the Rest House on Bournville Green and at the Kitchen Garden in Kings Heath
2018/07/03 - Hot craft fair
Realised when I got home - I didn't put today's craft fair at Stirchley Baths on the website. It was a fairly low-key affair, with the hot weather and football on today - but I did sell more than enough to cover my stall fee. As usual a variety of items - I can never predict what is most likely to go. I expect to be at the September 4th market - may also be at the 7th August one, though that week is looking to be fairly busy with takedown of the Nicholson exhibition and delivering to the Festival of Quilts. There is also a range of my items at the Rest House in Bournville, and at the Kitchen Garden shop in Kings Heath
2018/06/27 - RBSA Success
I had a good bit of news yesterday - my Rolling English Road has been accepted for the RBSA Friends exhibiton - starts tomorrow, and on until 21 July. My only problem is that we'll be away when I need to collect it from the RBSA - I'll have to persuade a friend! Today I started a replacement for my Sea-and Sky gossamer shawl - having sold the last three. Each has been slightly different - this time I'm including Rowan kidsilk eclipse, a faintly glitter thread, with two shades of Rowan kidsilk haze, and some eyelash yarn for an edging
2018/06/25 - Exhibition in Leek
I realise I've been neglecting the website - the trouble with having the Etsy shop, and the Facebook page, both of which get more interest. But I think this blog is useful as a longer-term record of what I've been doing. Recently, that means working towards the current exhibition at the Nicholson Museum and Art Gallery in Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands. It's a reprise of the No Shrinking Violets exhibition at the NEC - but most of the MTF members have added to their displays. We have members there for Meet-the-Artist sessions most Wednesdays and Saturdays - I'll be there on Wednesday 27 June, weaving, and possibly demonstrating machine embroidery
2018/05/02 - Craft markets in May
Had the first craft market this year - a bit disappointing, as I only sold one thing, and didn't even make my stall fee. Not sure whether it was the weather, less people out than some times, or my position in the hall. Next craft market on the Bank Holiday monday - May 7th - at Rowheath Pavilion. I have lots of new dyed yarns, as well as the ongoing hair flowers, woven shawls, and watercolours
2018/04/20 - Suffragettes again
Still working on suffragette-inspired themes. I've been researching my great-grandmother, who was involved with the Women's Suffrage League. Planning to make a couple of exhibition pieces based on suffragette costumes. But I need a mannequin or at least another dressmaker's dumme!
2018/04/09 - New shawl
My new shawl is almost finished. It's in green and lavender/violet (almost suffragette colours, but no white this time) I need to full it (hand wash it) and then block it and let it dry - tomorrow's jobs. Then make a bag for it - probably using some batik dyed silk I did on a workshop a couple of weeks ago. Tried to do violets, with a vague Chales Rennie Mackintosh feel, as it's for the WSD annual exhibition (or failing that, it'll be part of my suffragette outfit for the next exhibition).
2018/04/04 - Good first craft market
A good craft market yesteday, in spite of it being Easter Tuesday. I sold a reasonable amount, and finished off the hair flowers for my Etsy order. I'm pleased with the end result. My next project is a shawl for the WS&D Annual competition - needs to be finished by 14 April, but I'm about half way there.
2018/04/01 - New order
Didn't submit the Rolling English Road to the RBSA after all. Filled in the form, but still debating adding to it - then realised I was past the deadline and hadn't submitted. Saved £16, and probably wouldn't have got in! But have had another order from the Etsy shop - more hair flowers. Didn't have quite enough of the right colours, so had to make more to order - needed 6, but made nearly 106 - finished to the "satin-stitched edge" stage. Ready for the handwork of beading and attaching to clips. Green white and purple, so will fit the suffragette theme for this year. Loom also warped up and started weaving. Space dyed warp good, not sure about which wefts to use...
2018/03/25 - New projects
I've now got over the NEC show, and finished my workshop weaving project (which still needs the ends finishing, and deciding what to do with it). Next deadlines: RBSA Prize exhibition - next Wednesday. I'm submitting my Rolling English Road hanging, but it's very unlikely to get in. Second deadline - Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual exhibition - I'm planning to weave another kidsilk mohair gossamer shawl, using some yarn I dyed with acid dyes for the warp. Deadline for submission of a photo and "feely sample" is 14 April I think. So warping up on Tuesday.
2018/03/19 - Next challenge
Three days at the NEC was hard going - especially with the snow. But I enjoyed it - displays were wonderful, and I got quite a bit of tatting done in the demonstration/stall stewarding bits. Bought yarn, fabric, paints, now need to use them. Today was a long-delayed batik workshop. Tomorrow I'm demonstrating at Winterbourne House - so planning to finish a bit of weaving on my rigid heddle loom, and maybe wind dyed yarn ready for warping up the scarf loom, and skein more yarn ready for dyeing.
2018/03/15 - Creative Crafts/Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC
Well the show has started at the NEC. We set up yesterday - I was pleased with how the stand looked in the end - that's one thing I don't feel competent to be in charge of. Today I've had a rest at home and done a bit of gardening. Tomorrow I'm off to demonstrate for the Ring of Tatters on stand R01 - right by the entrance to the show. Hope we get a bit of time off, as there's only one person on the Midlands Textile Forum stand in the afternoon, so I'll need to go and help. Then Saturday and Sunday afternoons I'm on the Midlands Textile Forum stand - L30 - with our suffragette-inspired display. Just hope the threatened snow isn't too bad, as I'll have to drive on Sunday whatever the weather!
2018/03/12 - No Shrinking Violets Here- stand at the NEC
Nearly sorted for the MTF stand at the NEC, 15-19 March. Our title is "No Shrinking Violets Here - Sewing the Seeds of Equality" - and we've all done things based on suffragettes, particularly the less well-know ones. My piece is a collection of the sort of jewellery that less well-off supporters could have made for themselves to show support for the suffragist cause - tatted and machine embroidered violets. Doing the jewellery was fun, the support to mount them on was frustrating and difficult - but all done now, ready for setup on Wednesday
2018/03/05 - After the snow
I realised that although I'd added to the blog, I hadn't uploaded pictures to the website since before Christmas. This was mostly as I'd been working on things for me rather than things for sale. I've now finished my exhibition item for the Midlands Textile Forum stand at the NEC (15-18 March 2018), so I have time to upload pictures of Christmas cards and Christmas presents etc. Craft fair on Tuesday 6 March at Stirchley Baths was been cancelled, but I will be setting up at the Rest House/Carillon Visitor Centre later today.
2018/03/01 - Bournville Rest House opening
I was going to set up my display at the Rest House - Bournville Carillon visitor centre today - but it's -5 out there, and the visitor centre has been closed and unheated since Christmas, so I couldn't face it. Should be opening on Saturday 3 March. If the weather isn't quite so cold tomorrow I may get my display up then - otherwise it will have to wait until Monday!
2018/02/17 - Craft fairs and shops
I will be out and about selling stuff again. I have a stall at the first Stirchley Baths market on 8 March - and the craft shop/visitor centre at the Rest House on Bournville Green is opening again on Saturday 3 March.
2018/02/09 - Suffragettes
Working on suffragette jewellery for the NEC in March. Feeling a bit disappointed about craft sales. No news on opening of the Rest House craft shop on Bournville Green (I'm not included in any information circulation, but apparently they have difficulty finding volunteers to staff it). My items have been returned from St Nicholas Place gift shop on Kings Norton Green. Although Ive changed my display at the Kitchen Garden Boutique, that hasn't affected sales (zero). I've not managed to find any craft fairs in South Birmingham to book up in the next couple of months. So I have a lot of stock of textile flowers, and no outlets at the moment!
2018/02/03 - Working towards exhibitions
Still not many craft fairs for the next month - so I'm working towards the Midlands Textile Forum next exhbition. Title - No Shrinking Violets Here- Sewing the Seeds of Equality" I've decided to do suffragette-inspired jewellery - done one tatted choker-style necklace, and half-done some machine-embroidered violets and leaves for a second long necklace. Planning to mount them on a bit of old lace/brodere anglais - which might even be Edwardian. Things still for sale on the Etsy shop - and by email of course!
2018/01/09 - New Year - new projects
No more craft fairs until March, Rest House at Bournville closed until February, so I'm not making much more for sale. Trying to catch up on personal projects instead - and working towards the next Midlands Textile Forum exhibitions. Title "No shrinking violets here - sewing the seeds of equality". My plan is to do some vaguely Edwardian-style textile jewellery - violets in green and purple with seed pearls - addressing the words of the title, rather than the implications. Also catching up with posting pictures of the things I made before Christmas, and more recently. Some for sale, some not - I try to record most of the art and craft items I make on the website, for my own benefit
2017/12/23 - Happy Christmas
Happy Christmas to one and all. I may update my site with pictures of the things I made at the end of November/in December later in the holiday, but in the mean time - head over to my Facebook page (Textile Designs by Sarah Cage) if you'd like to see the latest Christmas cards
2017/12/13 - Closing down for Christmas
No more craft markets until next year now - especially with the snow and cold weather. Working towards Christmas instead. I've nearly worked out the calendar I'll be giving to people for next year, and half-designed my Christmas cards. A new idea combining watercolour with machine embroidery, and using the hot knife (soldering iron) I've been using so much this year. Also making some Christmas presents - and I must put the last few things I did for sale on here as well. My flowers and cards are still available in the Kitchen Garden in Kings Heath, the Rest House on Bournville Green, and the craft shop in St Nicholas Place, Kings Norton
2017/12/05 - One down one to go
Successfule craft fair at Stirchley Baths - took over £60, on a range of items, and got on with knitting as well. Nobody asked to do the workshop - don't know if they will tomorrow at the Kitchen Garden!
2017/12/01 - Craft fairs with workshops - 5 and 6 December
Tuesday and Wednesday next week I have the next two craft fairs - and I'm doing a fabric flower workshop at each of them. Taking the bits to do a basic fabric flower on a safety pin or hairgrip, and charging £2 for the workshop (including printed instructions), where the flower would be £4. So that's Tuesday 4-8 at Stirchley Baths, and Wednesday 6-9 at the Kitchen Garden cafe in Kings Heath. That's all the craft fairs I've got booked up at the moment- after that it'll be full steam ahead on Christmas cards (not thought of any new designs yet)
2017/11/28 - Open Studio - Success
Saturday started well, and when I went off to collect pictures from Moseley we had about 10 visitors, and several sales. But by 6 on Sunday I was feeling very disappointed. Only 3 visitors on Sunday - though they were interested, and did spend some money - we ended up with 3 artists sitting in the front room and crafting together... Only open for 2 hours on Monday - but we had 7-8 visitors - and they were all really interested and prepared to buy things - so we ended up taking significantly more than last year. And I sold 3 paintings over the weekend, and used my card reader for the first time in earnest. Altgether a good weekend
2017/11/24 - Open Studo - tomorrow
Realising that Open Studio AND Hall Green Art Society exhibition tomorrow. NOt as sorted as previous years - I think my stiff shoulder is slowing me down. Need to be organised with lists of what I'm taking where... So far the infrastructure is up, and Lucy and Carol have delivered and displayed their things- but still waiting for Liz's beads, and Anna's knitted and crocheted work. Should be a good variety of craft items, all in one place.
2017/11/22 - Open Studio - preparations
Starting to get the house ready for Open Studio. Took all the covers off chairs etc. in the conservatory to wash them after the summer - and had to do major repairs to the chaise longue cover. Really need to make a new one, but that's serious work....
2017/11/18 - Open Studio 2017 - 25-27 November
Open Studio will be 2-6 on next Saturday 25 November, 2-6 in Sunday 26, and 4-6 on Monday 27. I do hope you'll be bale to join us - Anna will be with me on Saturday, and Lucy, Liz and Carol on Sunday/Monday. Looking forward to it - and looking forward to seeing you. Today's craft fair at Rowheath ws OK, in spite of the weather - but I hope that people I gave the flyer to will get to the Open Studio. I'll have a range of stuff for exhibition, not all for sale, and will also have my scarf loom and sewing machine (for machine embroidery) out for demonstrations. After some discussion today, I can also get out my sketching/watercolours (though not good at sketching with an audience...
2017/11/14 - Rowheath craft fair November 18th
Next craft fair is 18 November at Rowheath Pavilion in Bournville. Last year's one was good, so I'm looking forward to it. Not so many dyed yarns as I had - I sold nearly half my stock at the WSD Guild exhibition!
2017/11/11 - Successful Guild Open Day
Still recovering from the Guild Open Day. Exhibition was definitely improved - and setting up the night before a good innovation. Lots of interest in the exhibition and the have-a-go opportunities. I was on the sales table for half the day (another change for me) - and we took quite a bit of money. Much more successful than the craft fair last weekend! And I came second in the competition with an acid-dyed kidsilk mohair cowl. I was pleased with the dyeing, but did think my bobbin lace and tatted necklace was a better bit of textile work. However, the competition was "rainbows" and maybe my cowl fitted the description better! Pictures of the two rainbow creations will be on here in a few days (already on Facebook)
2017/11/08 - Guild Open day and Exhibition
The next showcase/sale for some of my work is the Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual Open Day and Exhibition. It's at the Quaker Meeting House in Cotteridge, open 11-3.30. I've been exhibition coordinator for a few years - this year we have a working party, so hopefully the exhibition will be better, with more hands-on for people to do, and I'll be less stressed. Craft fair last Saturday was disappointing - not terribly busy, and I only sold one little fairy for £3! (Cost to me apart from the diesel to get there was £20, so I definitely made a loss). Looking forward to Rowheath Pavilion on 18th November - that has been better for me in the past, but I think everyone is counting pennies now!
2017/10/31 - November craft fairs - 4th and 18th
Craft fairs in November are coming up - first on Saturday 4 November - the Quartermasters fair at 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham. A new one for me, and I'm not sure how it will go - but a chance to meet up with other Etsy sellers. Then two weeks later I'll be at Rowheath Pavilion for the craft fair and farmers market. I'm still selling at the Rest House on Bournville Green, St Nicholas Place on Kings Norton Green, and the Kitchen Garden in Kings Heath - and my Open Studio is coming up at the end of November
2017/10/17 - September's output
I'm catching up on the website with the last month's output. I went to several meet-the-artist demonstrations last month, as well as the usual craft fairs and volunteering, so I've made quite a few more textile flowers. Partly this is gearing up to the next few craft fairs. I'm not sure about any more fairs in October, but in November I'll be at the Quartermasters (1000 Trades, in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham) on 4 November, and at Rowheath on 18th November. I'm also having an Open Studio in Kings Norton on 25-27 November
2017/10/16 - Catching up after a month
Website mostly back to normal - so now I need to find one or two "dropped" pictures and links, and put on all the sketches from the summer...
2017/10/15 - Website back up and running
After our previous host was compromised I'm happy to say I've successfully extracted what was left of the site as it was ~1 month ago and painstakingly re-assembled it on a shiny new server. Normal service resumes...
2017/09/21 - Revised web site
Web site is moving, so not sure if this will upload. Once moved, the pointer should be the same. But in case anyone's following and sees this, I'll be at Aardvark Books for my last meet-the-artist stewarding tomorrow, Friday 22 - and the exhibition closes at 5 on Saturday
2017/09/13 - Meet-the-Artist sessions
Yesterday's session at Aardvark books went well - a reasonable number of visitors, and I enjoyed doing some more machine embroidery - red flowers to bead and add to jewellery. Saturday I was at Bishop's Castle town hall, as Artist in Residence as well as having a craft stall - reasonably successful. Next outings - on Friday I'll be at Aardvark in Brampton Bryan again - taking my scarf loom and some space-dyed mohair, as well as the half-done flowers from yesterday. On Sunday I'll be at the Hagley and Halesowen Country Fair - in a marquee near the craft tent as there wasn't room in the craft tent for me
2017/09/02 - Autumn exhibitions
The Midlands Textile Forum at Bishops Castle has been up for a couple of weeks. On until Saturday 16 September, open 10-4, most Mondays-Saturdays. I think it's closed part of Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and also closed if they have a wedding in the Town Hall - so probably best to check with them if you're going any distance to see it! I have also been asked to exhibit in a group exhibition at Aardvark Books, Brampton Bryan near Ludlow (again). We're setting up next week, and the exhibition is part of h.Art, Herefordshire Art Week, so on from 9-16 September - and then continuing for a further week until Sunday 24 September. I'm there stewarding on Tuesday 12, Friday 15th, and Friday 22nd. It's open when the bookshop is open, stewarded 11-5 every day. And I'll be at the craft fair at Stirchley Baths on Tuesday 5 September, and at another craft fair in the Town Hall at Bishops Castle on Saturday 9 September. Busy month!
2017/08/27 - Looking towards the autumn
Starting to think about selling again. I still have things in the Kitchen Garden, Kings Norton Place, and the Rest House on Bournville Green - but I'm now working towards craft fairs as well. The first at Stirchley Baths on Tueday 5 September. Set up at Aardvark Books in Bramption Bryan on Thursday 7th, then have another craft fair at Bishops Castle on Sataurday 9th...
2017/08/20 - Next exhibitions
Latest exhibitions. On Thursday I took my latest embroidery (not yet photographed for the website) off to be added to the MTF exhibition in Bishops Castle. I've decided it's not for sale - I hadn't put a high enough price on it - and anyway I'd like it to give to our grandson Elliot for his first Christmas present! Today I took Night City IV to the RBSA for their Metropolis exhibition - expect to go and look at it at the Private View on Thursday. I'm also sorting out what to take to Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan - I've been asked to take part in a textile exhibition and sale there, 9-24 September. I think flower crowns, bouquets and shawls - the more expensive and interesting items - especially as I'll have at least one craft show to go to while it's on. Probably some watercolours as well. Meet the Artist sessions on Friday 15th and Friday 22nd. Planned craft fairs: Stirchley Baths on 5 September Bishops Castle on 9 September (a long way away, but an alternative to a meet-the-artist) Possibly Hagley Country Show on Sunday 17 September (I enjoyed it last year but haven't yet booked)
2017/08/16 - Trying to catch up
I realised I'd not put any new photos on the site for months - took the photos, but hadn't uploaded them - so I've now done that for things I made in July (it's the middle of August). We've been a bit busy with holidays and a new grandson, and I've also had deadlines for exhibitions, but not many craft fairs. Maybe things will get less busy now!
2017/08/08 - Festival of Quilts
I've taken my Pre-Raphaelite collection - dress, jacket, bronze flower crown, and a new bouquet to the Festival of Quilts - exhibition Thursday to Sunday 10-13 August. Got photos too - the crown and jacket were already on the website, but not the dress or bouquet - will add them soon, but they are (public) on the Facebook Textile Designs page
2017/07/28 - RBSA acceptances
Looking back I realise I didn't post that my two bouquets - the white (Fairytale, Happy ever after) bouquet and the blue one (sea and sky, Something blue) were accepted for the RBSA Friends exhibition - they need collecting from the RBSA now the exhibition is over. And my Night City jacket has been accepted for their Metropolis exhibition - 24 August-30 September. Feeling pleased with these!
2017/07/27 - More successes
I didn't note on here that the Waseley Hills Craft Guild annual competition was "something for a summer wedding". I felt I should put in a good effort - submitted my rosegarden shawl, with a flower crown and bouquet from the "only just begun" collection. And I won - now have custody of a glass rose bowl for a year, and have to decide on a subject for next year's competition. As well as that I put several of my Night City pieces in for the RBSA "Metropolis" exhibition, which is on for over a month - 24 August to 30 September. They have accepted my jacket (again) - this exhibition allows things that have been previously exhibited
2017/06/25 - RBSA Friends exhibition
Submitted four things to the RBSA Friends exhibition today - but won't be surprised if none get in. There were a lot of people with very big "traditional" canvases when I was delivering stuff, so my less-standard ideas don't stand much chance! But I do feel I should keep putting textiles in and trying to stretch the boundaries a bit!
2017/06/10 - Dyeing day
A good and instructional day today - the biennial Dyers' Picnic at my house. We did 6 or 7 natural dyebaths - and got a reasonable rainbow - and there was a lot of acid dyeing of (mainly sock) wool using Rachel's acid dyes. My natural dyed samples were successful - I didn't have time to try the acid dyes - will have to have a go tomorrow!
2017/05/23 - A quiet month or two
I have had the big party - our Ruby Wedding in the middle of May. I put a lot of effort into making a dress to echo my embroidered wedding dress - even using some of the samples I made in 1977 when I was designing the dress. I think it worked well - bu haven't yet found any good pictures. No plans at the moment for more craft fairs, but I am continuing to sell in local craft shops, and my things are always available online. I shall probably get them out for the Weavers Spinners & Dyers dying day on Saturday 10 June as well. In the mean time, I can still build up my stock of embroidered cards, which sell steadily, and catch up with administration of the website (just put on the things I did in April, but there are probably more photos not yet sorted out for the things I've made in May
2017/05/15 - Gap in fairs
I've had a bit of a hiatus with craft fairs. Booked the early May ones, but then had a big party for our Ruby Wedding in the middle of May, and we are expecting our first grandchild at the end of June - this has meant a lot of helping to sort out daughter's house, and I've been reluctant to commit myself to dates in case I need to be away. But my cards will probably be in Stirchley Baths next month, and I'm leading a workshop on Aran knitting for the Knitting & Crochet Guild in the Community Room at John Lewis Birmingham on Sunday 21 May
2017/05/02 - Stirchley Baths tonight
One craft fair down - next one tonight. Stirchley Baths Community Fair 4-8 this evening. Then I'll have paintings/embroideries - and my sunflower soft sculpture - at the Hall Green Art Society Spring exhibition in Kings Heath centre on Saturday
2017/04/28 - RBSA Prize Exhibition
Came back from a couple of days away to find my Sunflowers (after Van Gogh) textile sculpture has been accepted for RBSA Prize exhibition 18 May -10 June. Need to adjust it slightly so the flowers are less easily moved - but I'm really pleased after a couple of years with no RBSA acceptances
2017/04/25 - May craft fairs
Next craft fairs are May Day - 1 May - at Rowheath Pavilion 10-3, and then at Stirchley Baths - Community fair from 4 to 8 pm. I'm busy making more flowers and cards to take
2017/04/13 - New sales outlet
I've taken a selection of my cheaper items to the Rest House in Bournville - I will be there on the till alternate Wednesday afternoons. There is a good display of information about the Bournville Carillon, as well as quite a good range of crafts in the craft shop.
2017/04/03 - Craft fairs starting again
Had a good day demonstrating at Ilkeston - plenty of interested visitors, and I managed to weave more than half of the next blue shawl. Now starting to think about craft fairs again. I'll be at Stirchley Baths tomorrow (Tuesday 4th) with my textile flowers and dyed yarns and cards - the next one is at the Crscent Theatre on Sunday 23rd, then Rowheath pavilion on May day (1 May)
2017/03/31 - Demonstrating at Ilkeston
Just about to go off to Ilkeston to do a meet-the-artist demonstration for our exhibition in the Lally Gallery at Erewash Museum. Taking my scarf loom, plus some flowers to to finish and knitting and tatting - hope there are lots of visitors!
2017/03/13 - Disappointed
Disappointed. Having held November Wedding back from the Earth's Riches exhibition at the Lally Gallery in Ilkeston, as it and the Fairytale bouquet were selected in the photographic pre-selection stage for the RBSA Open, neither of them was selected for the final exhibition. I think I'll probably go to the Private View on Thursday, but I'm disappointed not to get in. I think they are going further away from textiles!
2017/03/12 - A good demonstration
Starting to recover after a busy week. Two long days at the Malvern show - but they were worth it. We made a certain amount for the Knitting & Crochet Guild (about £150) from sales/donations/sales of donations. We also spent a lot of time chatting to knitters, crocheters, and other interested crafters. We had a good display of knitting and crochet - some new things, quite a few that come out every year, and some older things that haven't been on display for a while - and that still roused interest/queries. Today I took November Wedding and the fairytale bouquet in to the RBSA for the Open exhibition. Having seen other entries, I'm expecting to need to collect them as rejected submissions next weekend.
2017/03/10 - Malvern show
I'm organising the K&CG stand at the Malvern Quilt Stitch and Creative crafts show again. Set it up yesterday (involved leaving at 7 am to get into the hall at about 8.15, unload, and set up the exhibition by 10 am (just about finished on time). The stand was twice the size we were expecting - a bit of a surprise - but Sally and I had taken enough knitting and crochet between us to do a reasonable display even without our volunteers contributions-for-a-day. Thursday was reasonably successful - I'm back tomorrow for another session. Next week I'm demonstrating tatting at the NEC for Ring of Tatters on Thursday. Another long day - but don't need to leave before the 9.37 train, to take advantage of my West Midlands bus pass.
2017/03/05 - Earths Riches exhibition at Ilkeston
Rather exhausting few days - but the exhibition at Ilkeston looks good - see the Facebook album on Textile Designs by Sarah Cage for more details. I improved the Only Just Begun backing for the exhibition - adding brown organza oak leaves to the needlefelted background. I flt this looked much better. Got back from a week away, and found that I have a sale - to the US - of the shawl which is currently in the exhibition, so I've had to arrange to take it out of the exhibition to send it off. Obviously my next demonstration should be another replacement shawl in that colourway. Perhaps I need to wind some yarn for dyeing in the summer
2017/02/20 - Submission accepted!
Just heard that two of my pieces have got through the photographic pre-selection for the RBSA Open exhibition - so there's a good chance that one or both will be selected. The Fairytale bouqet (titled Happy ever after) and the November Wedding mounted flower crown and bracelet were accepted. Really pleased!
2017/02/16 - Exhibition in Ilkeston
Just getting ready for the next Midlands Textile Forum exhibition - at the Lally Gallery in Ilkeston. It's called Earth's Riches again like the one last Easter at Ironbridge, and includes some of the same pieces, and some new ones. I'm sending my Hedgerow series, November Wedding, and the Sea and Sky wedding collection
2017/02/15 - Women's Hour craft competition
After the disappointing results from the wedding fairs last year, I feel I should try for a few more exhibitions to showcase my work. So I've applied for the Women's Hour/Crafts Council/V&A Craft Prize. Don't expect to get anywhere - I'm sure there are a lot of more competent crafts people exhibiting round the country - and it is all crafts... But it was a good exercise to revise my CV - last done several years ago. Now need to work out an entry for the Festival of Quilts - though if it coincides with Cropredy folk festival I may have difficulties getting my work to and from.
2017/02/04 - Hopeful submission
Well I sent in the RBSA submission. I've offered them the November Wedding and Winterbourne Sunset pictures, and the Fairytale bouquet (I've titled it "Happy Ever After") and the sunflowers in felt pot. It's a photographic submission - which I think is particularly difficult for textiles as they are so tactile - and they don't tell you the result until 24 February. Don't expect to get accepted - so I won't be disappointed, and at least I haven't had to treck things into the City Centre and back again.
2017/01/30 - One exhibition finished - preparing for the next
The Ten Years On exhibition has finished. A pity that there was a review in the Bromsgrove Messenger last week which said that it finished today - we met one disappointed viewer who'd come to see the exhibition and found it was taken down. It was a good exhibition - lots of visitors, and complimentary comments, really good hanging staff so the exhibition looked good... I'm now trying to sort out a submission for the next RBSA Open, in March. They seem to have gone away from the sort of things I make, but as a Friend it costs nothing to submit, so I'm giving it a go again.
2017/01/24 - Ten Years On - almost finished
The Ten Years On exhibition finishes at the weekend - we're taking it down on Monday. I think it's been a good one - we've even had one piece of work sold. Next exhibition in the Lally Gallery in Ilkeston - title Earth's Riches - some new things and some exhibited at Ironbridge last year
2017/01/20 - New outlet - St Nicholas Place
I've decided to try more local craft outlets - they may take a significant percentage, but they give me a more-permanent outlet, and more advertising. So today I took some of my smaller flowers (and all my current range of cards) to the craft shop in St Nicholas Place (what was the Saracen's Head, on Kings Norton Green). I felt we ended up with a good display - it will be interesting to see whether things sell. In the mean time, my next craft activity is obviously making more of the machine embroidered/quilted cards!
2017/01/15 - Website revised
My website crashed and some sections were lost nearly five years ago (seems more like 2 years to me, I had to go back and check!). My son sorted out most of it, though 6 month's blogs and updates were lost, and I ignored the missing links and sections that needed revising for a while. I've now learnt to do the corrections myself. Still a couple of pictures not uploading properly in the articles section, but I'm getting there, and feeling pleased that I can organise further updates myself. The next thing to do is to add another section to the Articles page to link to the knitting patterns which I've written and formatted as pdfs, so people can download them if they want to.
2017/01/05 - Bromsgrove exhibition
We have a new exhibition - open Monday-Saturday, 10-4 and performance evnings at Artrix art centre in Bromsgrove. Looking very good - a wide range of textile pieces - about 50 - done by eleven textile artists
2017/01/03 - Ten Years On - exhibition
Just about ready with things for the next MTF exhibition - at Artrix in Bromsgrove, setting up tomorrow, 4 January 2017. This is a retrospective - including things from the ten yers that Midlands Textile Forum has been going. Once again I've done the labels - so that was my job for today. I've also collected 3/4 of the submissions here. I do hope that I've found all the things I was supposed to take!
2017/01/01 - Etsy - is it worth it
Just renewed the payments for my Etsy shop. So far i'm in profit, and I have a reasonable number of people liking my work - but I've only taken £20, only sold 2 hair flowers in 5 months. I suppose it's worth keeping an online presence...
2016/12/28 - Next exhibition
Working up to Christmas I was busy with things for sale at craft fairs. Still have lots of things for sale of course, but I'm now working towards the next MTF exhibition - setting up next week (4 January)
2016/12/15 - Last craft fair for 2016
The last craft fair this year is coming up on Saturday 17th - Christmas Craft Fair at Rowheath Pavilion in Bournville. Lots of other entertainments, Father Christmas etc. Come and get your last minut presents!
2016/12/10 - An interesting year
I've spent a year trying to get somewhere with textile wedding flowers. Not really very successful. What I'm doing is a niche market, which so far I've not broken into. I enjoy making textile flowers, and slightly-abstracted textile artwork. My problem is that my output is more than the possible recipients, unless I give things to random strangers, or sell them. But selling isn't keeping up with my output, so perhaps I should try to reduce how much I make? Maybe do more watercolours and sketching (output is less obvious when it doesn't sell)? Find another outlet for my creativity? I shall keep on with the Etsy shop, but not sure that I will go to any more wedding fairs!
2016/12/04 - Craft fairs - are they worth it?
I've been to 3 craft fairs in the last 3 days - the only one which looked even vaguely successful was today's at the MAC. Friday I visited the Etsy Local Makers' fair in the city centre. Cold, didn't feel very welcoming, and not well enough advertised outside the building. Yesterday (Saturday 3 December) I was at Moseley Aold Print Works all day. Cold again. I did cover my stall fee, but not much more than that, which was disappointing. There were long periods with nobody but the stallholders present. I was upstairs, the stairs were steep, and to begin with there was little advertising for the upstairs stalls. I did stay until 4-ish before packing up (some left at 2.30) - but it was supposed to be open until 5.
2016/11/30 - Successful four days
The Open Studio was supposedly 3 days - but I had the WS&D Magpies group here on Tuesday, so the things were left out until this morning. A very enjoyable three afternoons, showing off my textiles and watercolours - mostly to friends, with a few neighbours and some passers-by. A reasonable number of sales - definitely more productive than a craft fair (but not sure if it would be if I did them more often - there is a limit to how many of my things my friends will want!)
2016/11/25 - Open Studio the next three days
Well I've made fruit cake and shortbread (ginger cake in the freezer, making mince pies tomorrow). I'll get out tables for displays, unpack the car from tonight's craft fair tomorrow morning, and set up all my watercolours, and textiles (wedding and non-wedding) plus friends' items. Then set up my scarf loom and sewing machine for demonstration - and hope to see people!
2016/11/24 - Only 2 days to Open Studio
Open Studio on Saturday-Sunday-Monday. Made fruit cake today, making the first batch of mince pies this year tomorrow, and shortbread. Got gingercake in the freezer. Tidied up the conservatory, and got Lucy's felted bags and jewellery - not yet on display as we need to clean and set up tables first. In the mean time - off to KN Boys for a craft fair tomorrow night - taking the usual pictures, textile flowers, woven scarves and dyed yarns, and have printed more cards
2016/11/23 - Open Studio coming up
Thinking about my Open Studio over the weekend. I've sent out emails to contacts and set up an event On Facebook. Checked the supplies for cake making. Finished another batch of flowers for the next craft fair on Friday. Peter has fixed the electrics on the William Morris flowers on the hob (several broken wires - not sure how that happened). I'm now working on things that I can do as part of a demonstration of how I do fabric flowers - and incidentally making some flowers in colours I was lacking (mostly blues)
2016/11/20 - A difficult weekend
Well the HGAS exhibition went well - I had lots of good reactions to the Night City jacket - it was good to exhibiti it again. The craft fair at Rowheath was reasonably successful - I more than covered my stand fee, but didn't exactly pay myself anything for the time on the stand. Did make a few more bits for sale though. Peter was ill, so couldn't help pack up and collect things from Rowheath - made me rethink my display boards, and I think I've worked out a better system
2016/11/18 - Art exhibition set up - Craft show tomorrow
The exhibition is set up at Woodbridge Gallery in Moseley - I think it is looking very good. I got my pieces in a good position, and they were gnerating a lot of interest. The car is packed with the stuff for display for Rowheath tomorrow (Saturday 18 Novmember) - and I have several new-style things to take. Busy day tomorrow!
2016/11/17 - Art exhibition Saturday
Think I've got all the bits ready for the Hall Green Art Society exhibition - setup tomorrow morning, private view tomorrow night. I can't make the exhibition on Saturday as I'll be at the Rowheath craft fair until 3. But we are including 3D things this time, so I've decided to exhibit my Night City jacket, and a soft sculpture of a vase of sunflowers - "after Van Gogh"!
2016/11/16 - More craft fairs - and my Open Studio
The next Craft Fair is Rowheath Pavilion on Saturday - I've got a new design of flowers - and have also developed some little fairies. Think I need to take photos to upload tomorrow morning. Next week I'm going to an evening craft fair at Kings Norton boys school on Friday (6-8 pm) - and then holding an Open Studio, here in my house in Kings Norton, on Saturday-Sunday-Monday. We'll be open 2-7 on Saturday and Sunday, and 4-7 on Monday. I'll have most of the things I've done this year on display - not all for sale - and will be prepared to demonstrate weaving on my scarf loom and machine embroidery. I'm also getting porcelain buttons and yarn bowls from one friend, felted jewellery from another, and glass Christmas tree ornaments from a third.
2016/11/12 - One good one disappointing
The craft fair on Thursday night was disappointing. Not more than 20 visitors all evening, £20 for "big" table that was less than 5 feet, and very cramped. Nowhere near covered the stand fee. Today was much more successful. Guild annual exhibition and competition. Lots of visitors - and a good number of sales. I spent an enjoyable day demonstrating weaving on the scarve loom, pointing out advantages and disadvantages compared to a rigid heddle one. PLUS I came second in the competition - "insects"" with my woven butterfly shawl with chrysalis bag to put it in
2016/11/09 - Christmas craft fairs
This year I've decided to make a bit more of an effort with craft fairs. The next one is tomorrow - Thursday 10 November at the Kitchen Garden Cafe in York Road Kings Heath. I'm not taking all the wedding stuff this time. Then on Saturday 12th we have the WS&D annual exhibition and competition. I'm planning to demonstrate weaving, but will also have woven and dyed craft items for sale (on the sales table), and woven and dyed items in the exhibition. Saturday 19th I am going to the Rowheath Pavilion craft fair - but will also have things in the Hall Green Art Society Autumn exhibition. Then two more craft fairs the following week!
2016/10/31 - Stirchley Baths November
I will be at the Community Market at Stirchley Baths again tomorrow - 1 November. Taking cards (including my new ones of the baths - not sure that I don't need to have another go at them, as I used a 0.1 pen and the drawing is a bit faint) I'llalso have yarns - dyed and fancy - and the textile jewellery and wedding flowers and woven wraps. Have more sunflowers to finish off - got half way so far - and a new design of textile earrings.
2016/10/26 - First sunflowers sold
I took my sunflowers to show off to the Magpies group of the Birmingham WS&D yesterday - and one person bought three of the second batch, the two bronze ones and the one with the yellow/brown centre. So I need to make another batch!
2016/10/25 - Wedding fair - not sure it's worth it
The wedding fair was rather quiet on Sunday (without the excuse of the Big Birmingham Run). There were a reasonable number of visitors in the morning, and for the catwalk show at 12.30, but from 2-3 there were perhaps 6 couples visiting. I'm wondering whether the effort and expense are worth it. I did manage to get photos of a couple of my bouquets in the catwalk, which I can add to the Etsy shop.
2016/10/20 - More new flowers for the next wedding fair
After the first wedding fair I've been working on sunflowers as an alternative "big flower" for corsages, bouquets and flower crowns. Now made 8 sunflowers - waiting to see how they go. Next Wedding Fair 23 October at Pear Tree Inn, Smite, near Worcester
2016/10/12 - Another wedding fair
Getting ready for the next wedding fair - Sunday 16th at Uffculme, Moseley, 11-3. I was asked for sunflowers at the last one, so I've developed them. Only 4 so far, maybe another batch by Sunday
2016/10/04 - Stirchley baths again
Just about to pack things for the craft fair at Stirchley Baths this afternoon. Taking my watercolours as well as the textile jewellery and wedding stuff. Also taking the camera as I want some photos of the baths to do a sketch
2016/09/29 - Busy few days
Getting ready for a busy weekend - Saturday I'm running the sales table for Birmingham Guild at the Guilds Together meeting near Banbury - an early start as we need to start setting up about 9 am. Then on Sunday I'm helping Tatting & Design by demonstrating tatting at the Great British Craft Festival at Stoneleigh. On Tuesday evening I'm booked in to the Stirchley Baths craft show (4-8 pm) - and I have wedding fairs on 16 and 23 October
2016/09/24 - Etsy shop working
I've had the first sale through the Etsy shop - encouraging, as this is a "real" sale - I had been wondering whether to get someone to buy something so there was a "sale" on the site. Put another batch of things on the site today. The daisy-chain earrings are being quite successful at craft markets
2016/09/18 - Halesowen and Hagley country show
A good day out at Halesowen and Hagley country show. Craft tent was a bit cramped (and tables seemed to have been over-booked), but I sold a reasonable amount, and had complimentary remarks on my work. Enjoyed the music from Blackwell Concert Band. Just wish I'd been a bit less overtired from the last few days!
2016/09/11 - Wedding fair - went OK
The wedding fair today was reasonably successful. Lots of compliments on my stuff, and requests for brochures (when they already had a brochure in their "goody bag". A couple of people asked about bespoke specific flowers (particularly sunflowers) - but only one sale, to another stallholder, made-to-order, and charged less than I would have if done in advance. I enjoyed it - but needed Peter's help, and he was seriously bored!
2016/09/10 - Wedding fair tomorrow
Think I'm ready for the wedding fair tomorrow - maybe. Lots of items for display, brochures, things for sale, disply stuff, all taken downstairs ready to load. Persuaded Peter to come with me to help with setup. But it all depends on what people think on the day!!
2016/09/07 - Working up to the big fair
Starting to sort out what I need for the wedding fair on Sunday. This will be a big step - a proper wedding fair at a fancy location - and it's Vintage Chic, which is probably closer to what I'm doing. Need to sort out packaging, just in case I actually make a sale of one of my bigger things!
2016/09/04 - Wedding and craft fair preparation
I have a couple of wedding fairs booked this autumn, but I'm also continuing with the craft fairs, so the latest batch of photos is mainly things for craft fairs - which have mostly been successful - rather than aimed just at weddings, which I'm still not sure about!
2016/09/02 - Etsy Shop
I've finally taken the plunge, and launched an Etsy shop. For the moment I'm selling my bridal accessories - but if anyone wants anything on this website, I could list it in the Etsy shop for easier payment. The address is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SarahCageTextiles - and I've put a link on the "links" page of this website
2016/08/20 - Wedding fair coming up
I have been working hard on the wedding collection - but also had last weekend off to go to Cropredy folk fair - I enjoyed sketching while listening to the bands, and also did quite a bit of tatting. My latest design (not yet on the website) is tatted festival "daisy chains", which could be worn as necklaces, flower crowns, or braided into a hairstyule.
2016/07/26 - Website pictures updated
I had collected pictures to add to the website, but kept thinking "I haven't photographed that" - finally decided to upload photos from May and scanned-in sketches from May and June. The next batch can have the white items I've been making for the wedding fair on 11 September in Leamington Spa
2016/07/25 - Wedding fair booked 11 September
I've booked a Vintage Wedding Fair in Leamington Spa on 11 September. Working on some more white things for that - and have sent my sewing machine off for a service, as it's nearly out of guarantee, and it's been playing up a bit!
2016/07/23 - End of term
Yesterday was the end-of-term for several things. Now I need to make an effort to do things without any incentive of "I need to do it for the next class". I've got sketches from our holiday, and more white stuff for a possible wedding fair which needs photographing - but tomorrow is another aged aunt's birthday (95th), so I'll just be tatting daisy chains on the train!
2016/07/04 - Holidays over for now
Back from three weeks away. Stirchley Baths craft fair tomorrow, and I need to start working towards the next Wedding Fair - although I did do a bit towards the next wedding collection while I was away - took the loom AND the sewing machine this time. Maybe that's why I didn't do much sketching!
2016/05/24 - More exhibition opportunities
This weekend will be busy - on Saturday there is the Hall Green Art Society Spring Exhibition at the Exchange in Moseley - I'll be there for the morning. Then on Sunday I'm going to a Vintage Wedding Fayre at the Custard Factory in Digbeth - see if that is more my style than the last wedding fair
2016/05/20 - Craft fair tomorrow
Well the wedding fair was interesting - a good tryout of my new display. I gave out flyers, and got admiring comments, but no more interest than that. Tomorrow (Saturday 21st May) I have a stand at the craft fair at Rowheath - hope I have more luck with sales!
2016/05/14 - Wedding show tomorrow
Nearly ready for the wedding show in Burlington Hotel in Birmingham city centre tomorrow - website now updated with my lates collections - the last 3 months' work. Hope the public like them, not just my friends!
2016/05/10 - Wedding Show coming up
On the run-in to the next show - this is the Ultimate Wedding Show at Burlington Hotel in the city centre. A new venture - I have a new range of bridal accessories (which I must add to the website) - not long now - starting to panic that things won't be ready!
2016/05/02 - Craft fairs
Spent the last couple of days getting ready for the next craft fair - at Stirchley Baths. A small local fair - don't expect to sell much, but doesn't cost much for a stand, and helps to publicise what I do. Made more tassel earrings and more embroidered butterflies Tomorrow have to get out all the things I need - and get them into my little sports car as the big car is off being repaired after someone drove into it outside the house. Gearing up to a Wedding Show on Sunday week - a new venture!
2016/04/28 - Guild National exhibition
Having got my Winterbourne Sunset piece back from the Year in Colour exhibition, I need to put the inkle-woven header on to hide the space-dyed cotton header, and photograph it to submit to the WS&D National Exhibition. Also working hard for the Ultimiate Wedding Show in Burlington Hotel, Birmingham on 15 May.
2016/04/19 - Continuing difficulties
The last exhibition was successful, and the small exhibition in the coach house at Winterbourne house is also going well. I'm having problems though, as I've been told not to drive due to a retinal cholesterol embolism. The doctor originally said not for a month, but I'm having difficulty getting signed off!
2016/03/17 - Earth's Riches exhbition
Spent most of yesterday setting up the Earth's Riches exhibition at the Footprint Gallery, Fusion, Jackfield Tile Museum. Really pleased with the end result. Exhibition open 19 March to 16 April, 10-4, Tuesday to Sunday, except Easter Sunday (27th March). We'll have "meet the artist demonstrations" every Saturday and most Sundays, and Wednesdays 6 and 13 April - I'll be there on 2 and 16 April
2016/01/28 - End of January - more exhibitions coming up
Trying to get things finished for the next MTF exhibition, which starts on 19 March, but I seem to have been ill since the middle of December. Just hope I can manage to get my ideas sorted in time
2016/01/02 - Happy New Year
I'm starting to plan for 2016. Hoping to produce more wedding items - buttonholes and corsages, but also another wedding crown, maybe a bouquet "on spec". But also need to do some more woven scarves/shawls - I sold 4 over the Christmas period! Still made a tax loss in 2014-5, but maybe this year I'll actually make a profit!
2015/12/01 - Open Studio - some success
Just about cleared up from the Open Studio now - display things put away, the only things still out are the cards I made while waiting for visitors. It was reasonably successful - but I think next time I will reduce the opening hours slightly (no visitors after 6 pm) - and try to advertise a bit better. Maybe see if I can get more people to share in the display, to give a wider range of products
2015/11/25 - Open Studio
Looking forward to the Open Studio this weekend. Decided to do a bit more dyeing - I seem to have lots of green and blue dyed cottons, but no red or yellow - so that's tomorrow's job. Apart from that I've been doing buttonholes and corsages, as well as wedding hair flowers
2015/11/04 - Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual exhibition
Starting to work towards the WS&D annual exhibition - I willhave two acid-dyed bridesmaids' shawls to exhibit, and am working on a tea cosy for the annual competition. This in addition to wedding things. Feeling frustrated today as my sewing machine is in for PAT testing so I can use it for demonstrations, and everything I want to do seems to need a bit of machine sewing
2015/10/26 - Website problems
I can add blogs to the website, but since getting a new computer, I can't upload new images. A pity as I have a collection ready to upload. Hopefully this should be sorted next weekend
2015/10/21 - Meet the Artist at the Light House
The exhibition at the Light House is good - combining the three sets of work in one exhibition has bee successful. I went there today as the artist for people to meet - not so successful. There may be a big footfal in the Centre, but there were very few visitors to the exhibition - only a dozen or so all afternoon - and half of those were photography students whose tutor had set them a project to write a review of the exhibition. It would be interesting to see what they made of it!
2015/10/04 - Remnants and Traces at Wolverhampton
After a good second week at Aardvark, the next exhibition is 4 weeks at the Light House in Wolverhampton. We've combined the three "Remnants and Traces" exhibitions from the Coffin Works, and added a few more pieces from recent recruits. A good exhibition - open 9-9 Monday to Friday, 5-9 Saturday and Sunday - though the room is used for other things occasionally (Thursday mornings to 12 pm). We'll be demonstrating on Wednesday afternoons.
2015/09/20 - Good first week at Aardvark
The first week of the Brampton Bryan exhibition was very successful - I sold a scarf, an embroidered coiled pot and an embroidered picture. Enjoyed the two days (Tuesday and Thursday) that I spent stewarding. Although it was almost out in the open (big barn doors open), there was a fantastic view of Herefordshire countryside, sun, rooks, Charolais(?) bullocks... And lots of interested visitors to talk to. Did the flowers for Daughter's wedding headdress, had a first go at leaves and decided I had the wrong colour organza. Another try next week
2015/09/14 - h.Art week
I've got quite a few things at Aaardvark Books, Brampton Bryan near Ludlow - and tomorrow I'll be stewarding and getting on with machine embroidered flowers for my daughter's wedding garland
2015/09/06 - Aardvark Books again
Aardvark Books at Brampton Bryan have asked me to exhibit with them again this year for Herefordshire Art Week. So as well as getting stuck into preparations for my daughter's wedding in November, I need to finish a few more things for exhibition there.
2015/08/14 - Summer School preparations
I decided to have a trade stand at the WS&D Summer School before I realised quite how busy my summer would be. However, it's now just a week away, so I'm working on producing things for sale. 3 weeks since I last posted - not sure where the time went!
2015/07/23 - Catching up
I've realised that I haven't added photos to the website for a while, so spent some time catching up today. More cards - I did them for the Court Cupboard exhibition at Abergavenny, so some will have been sold, also tassel earrings and machine embroidered butterflies - also all sold. But I could (and will) produce similar again!
2015/06/25 - Extra exhibition
Hall Green Art Society has been asked to put on a small exhibition at St Mary's Church in Moseley this weekend - I've put a couple of pictures in, and am planning to go and sketc for an hour or two in the morning
2015/06/21 - Disappointment
After a couple of months not doing much, I decided to put textiles rather than watercolours into the next RBSA Friends exhibition - so sorted out Foxgloves and sea pinks (2), Veil of the White Horse, and Rust and Ashes, took them into the RBSA on Sunday morning, before heading off for a week's holiday. Very disappointed to get an email saying all three were rejected! I expected at least one to get in, as I felt that they are all reasonably good pieces of work. Makes me wonder whether it's worth going on submitting to the RBSA, as their selection policy seems to be diverging from what I consider to be my better work
2015/05/17 - Hall Green Arts' Spring exhibition
I've been under the weather with a cold - but managed to get pictures to the Hall Green Art Society Spring exhibition yesterday - no sales apart fromone card though!
2015/04/21 - Abergavenny continues
The exhibition at Abergavenny was revised - to fit in with the other exhibitors some of my larger pieces had to come home (the kitchen looks better as a result). At least a few of the items have sold, so it's probably worth the travelling.
2015/04/03 - Exhibition at Abergavenny
On April 1 I took most of my for-sale textiles to the Court Cupboard craft gallery, just north of Abergavenny for a 6-week exhibition. Very pleased with the display - and that leaves me free to get on with mother-of-the-groom clothes for the end of May
2015/03/30 - Open Studio - summary
The Open Studio was more successful financially than any of the craft fairs I've been to. But still disappointing. It's quite a bit of work to get everything out - for a total of 13 visitors over 4 days! I got on with various craft items - more cards, finished weaving a scarf, did bunting, machine embroidered flowers, knitted - but I could have done that without spending a day getting things out and another putting them away again!
2015/03/28 - Open Studio - days 2-3
Disappointed. I had 4 visitors from my Creative Textiles class on Friday efternoon/evening. But only 3 visitors today (Saturday). I did get on with experiments for teal flowers for Caroline Hewett's bridesmaids, bunting, embroidered cards. But woiuld have liked to show things off to a few more people.
2015/03/26 - Open Studio -day 1
Well I suppose the Open Sudio could be classed a success today. Only 2 visitors, but they came to buy! Hopefully there will be more people tomorrow and over the weekend
2015/03/17 - March Open Studio
Working on more cards and earrings ready for the Open Studio - I will be providing tea and cakes, and have a display of my work at home in Kings Norton on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 March, at 5-8 in the afternoon/evening, and then all day (10-5) on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th. After that I pack things up for an exhibition in Abergavenny
2015/03/04 - Another Open Studio?
I had been thinking of holding another Open Studio at the end of March. I've just realised that's only 3 weeks away - I need to get on with more things if I'm going to have a reasonable number of cards etc. for sale!
2015/02/23 - Hall Green Arts Society
Hall Green Arts Society had an additional exhibition this year - a winter exhibition in Shirley. The venue seemed good, and it was a good exhibition, but I don't know what the footfall was - and I didn't sell any paintings or cards.
2015/01/22 - Getting there
I've finished the rust dyed piece for the Coffin Works exhibition. Decided to call it Rust and ashes. I'm pleased with the result, but it has proved difficult to photograph. It's semi-transprent, and designed to hang in front of a window, but the window in the kitchen is in rather a dark corner, and it really needs reflected light as well. Will have another go at photography next week
2015/01/12 - New Year - slow progress
Two weeks since Christmas. I've got two pieces I've promised to make for the MTF exhibition at the Coffin Works - and I've also had a really foul cold-flu ever since Christmas. Progress is slow!
2014/12/05 - Open Studio is On
I'm definitely having an Open Studio event on Monday 15 December, from 3 to 7 in the afternoon. Making more Christmas cards (as long as I don't have more than I would use this year if I don't sell them) - and more machine embroidered earrings. Already did more dyed skeins, and I'm thinking of doing more skeins of 2-m lengths of fancy yarns for highlights
2014/12/04 - Open Studio
Well the craft fair was a big dissappointment. I only covered my costs due to a drunken Irishman who came in as we were closing and bought 4 of my printed cards! However, thinking about things, I've decided to experiment with an Open Studio here. Not much more effort to organise, less cost if nobody turns up - and if I have no visitors I can get on with my craft things (or play online scrabble!!) So all friends and acquaintances and connections are invited here on Monday 15 December between 3 and 7 - email me if you need directions!
2014/11/28 - Craft fair on Saturday
Getting more things ready for the craft fair in Stourbridge on Saturday - new ideas are tassel earrings (as I did 20 years ago) and machine-embroidered butterfly brooches, using the butterflies I've been appliqueing on cards - plus lots of Christmas cards - if they sell I'll just have to do more to send from us!
2014/11/24 - November shows
A good day on November 22 - I took 8 pictures to the Hall Green Art Society exhibition - though sales were poor (for all of us), it was a very good, high standard exhibition. I also gave some of my cards and small jewellery items to a friend who had a stand at Selly Manor in Bournville, and took about £20. On 29 November I'll be at Stourbridge for a Waseley Hills Craft Guild craft fair in St Thomas's church hall, opposite Waitrose.
2014/11/10 - Competition third prize
We had a good exhibition and sale of work on Saturday - and my scarf woven from a "bag of bits" came third in the competition! There were sixteen entries (I did 2) and all got at least 8 votes from the Guild members and members of the public
2014/10/29 - Exhibition preparations
Getting ready for the Birmingham WS&D exhibition on 8 November. Nearly finished my competition items, and now dyeing a big batch of yarns for sale (plus some for me of course)
2014/10/13 - Disappointing craft fair
I had a stall at a craft fair with the Waseley Hills craft group yesterday, at Waseley Hills visitor centre. Although the weather was good, we didn't have that many visitors (maybe about 50) - and few sales. I think we each just about covered our costs for the room rent... but people just weren't buying!
2014/09/29 - More exhibition success
I was so busy with the exhibition at Aardvark Books, that I forgot to note that my embroidery "A beach at sunset" (title from the song "Sunshine Superman" by Donovan) was accepted for the Friends Reunited exhibtion at the RBSA in September. The two watercolours I submeitted were rejected - I suspect that my watercolours don't show enought "development"! I'm now working towards the Birmingham WS&D annual exhibition in November, but also thinking of "Traces and Memories" - the next Midlands Textile Forum exhibition in Spring next year at the Coffin Fitting Works in Birmingham
2014/09/05 - Natural Threads exhibition
I'm pleased with the latest exhibition. We set it up yesterday, and it's on from tomorrow (6 September) for 9 days as part of Herefordshire Art week, and then a further 2 weeks as a follow-on. I've produced a couple of new thigs, and found others which hadn't been previously exhibited. Updating the website, I realise I've not photographed a couple of my pieces, so I shall have to do that on Sunday 14th, when I'm stewarding the exhibition, and add them later
2014/08/17 - What to do next
I realise I've been too busy with house painting (in Scotland and Brimigham) to post on the website. The craft fair at Waseley Hills was disappointing, but I did cover my costs. Three "exhibitions" to look forward to at the moment - Natural Threads at Aardvark Books, Brampton Bryan - part of Herefordshire Art week, 6-28 September - but the other side of Ludlow so a long way to go. There's also an RBSA Friends exhibition, from 10 September - I'll sort out a couple of pictures to submit. And I've offered to demonstrate tatting at the Waseley Hills Craft Group open evening on 8 September. So I need to get on with some new work!
2014/06/24 - Craft fair at Waseley Hills
I have said I'll do a stand at a craft fair organised by the Waseley Hills Craft Guild, which I joined in February. I'm going to take an assortment of textile stuff - tatting, machine embroidery, felt, weaving - and lots of cards. Not taking things I might want for the Natural Threads exhibition at Aardvark Books in September, or for the WS&D Guild exhibition in November. But still have a range of items I need to price up and label.
2014/05/22 - May days
Finding it hard to get on with things. Three pictures going into Birmingham Botanic Gardens on June 6 - and I'm working on some 2d/3d pieces for the Festival of Quilts - submission by 30 May (next Friday). So far I've done 3 fabric "boxes" that can go flat, or be pulled up to a 3-D shape. Based on impressions, sketches and photos of Tenerife a year ago. Also tryig to build up a stock of items that I could sell on a craft stall. I need to have stock before it's worth booking a stall!
2014/05/08 - Next exhibitions
The next exhibition is Hall Green Art Society - one day for the Spring exhibition on Saturday at the Church of the Ascension, School Road, Hall Green. I'll have 8 pictures - 4 watercolours and 4 embroideries - in the exhibition, plus some mounted-but-unframed watercolours for sale.
2014/04/22 - Artist in Residence - success
A good 4 days as artist in residence - the staff at Nature in Art were supportive, the visitors were interestedf and impressed by the exhibition. I've got 2 mohair shawls, 6 cards and 8 taffeta-organza flowers nearly complete to add to my wares - and took nearly £100 in sales of cards etc. Maybe even paid for the petrol for 80 miles a day!!
2014/04/13 - Artist in Residence
I'm going to be Artist in Residence over Easter Weekend at the Wallworth Gallery, Nature in Art, near Gloucester. I'm planning on taking my scarf loom, to weave another mohair shawl, and the bits to do some more fabric flowers - but I'll also take my tatting, and other odds and ends that I could show if anyone's interested. Now need to make more cards and a few more flowers for sale - the colour selection seems to be getting a bit small. Blue and green flowers needed I think, and cards with butterflies
2014/04/11 - Nature in Art exhibition
Realise I've not updated the site for a while. Have been working hard on items for the exhibition at Wallworth Gallery, Nature in Art - at Twigworth near Gloucester. I'm pleased with my items, and I thought the hang went well last Monday - now need to upload the photos of my new things to this site - so far they're only on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154017359540374&type=1&l=ddb91d1dd0 The exhibition is rally good. I'm artist in residence all 4 days of the Easter weekend, and it goes on until the following Sunday. Well worth a visit!
2014/02/17 - February blues
Finding it difficult to get started on new ideas, although I have several deadlines for craft projects. Life has been busy since Christmas, and my mother died on 20 January. She was one of the first people I used to run my projects past. Perhaps after our memorial gathering I'll find it easier to think about design ideas.
2014/01/02 - Christmas and calendar
I scanned a lot of last year's pictures to add to my 2014 calendar, so I've now uploaded them to the website as well. Calendars are available for £5 to download yourself, or £10 printed and bound with a bulldog clip. They include last year's sketches and paintings, and photos of some of the textiles I've done in the last year. Pictures take up half of an A4 sheet, with dates and one line per day on the other half of the sheet.
2013/12/01 - HGA Woodbridge
A disappointing turnout for the Hall Green Art Society exhibition thjis weekend - only just over 100 visitors over the 2 days, and disappointing sales. I sold some yarns and a couple of cards - but not a significant income! No more sales now until after Christmas
2013/11/26 - RBSA Open December 2013
Two Hedgerow pictures accepted for the RBSA Open - on until Christmas 2013. I finished the third one (in a bit of a rush) on Sunday morning, photographed all three again, and took them in. Only 1 and 2 were accepted - I thought the third one was actually the best
2013/11/11 - Guild Exhibition
More success at the WS&D exhibition on Saturday 9th November. The exhibition went well - we had over 60 visitors, as well as lots of members demonstrating. We used the whole of the Meeting house this year, which gave us room to spread out, so things didn't look as cluttered. I made over £100 - sold a bag and 3 flowers, as well as lots of dyed yarns. I'd packed up selections of fancy yarns for weaving/braiding/embroidery highlights - none of those sold. Perhaps I hadn't labelled them right. I'll have to see if they go at future exhibitions and demonstrations.
2013/11/01 - Dyeing day
Spent the morning doing fibre-reactive dyeing for the Guild exhibition next weekend - 30 skeins dyed in various colours, plus some fabric, and my Guild competition piece. Leaving them overnight - see what they come out like!
2013/10/13 - HGA Autumn exhibition
Hall Green Art Society had a good exhibition on Friday - a lovely hall, but unfortunately not a very good location, so rather small footfall. I think I sold one card, though a couple of others sold paintings. Now trying to get down to starting a competition piece for the Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual exhibition on 9 November - I think a third piece in the Spring Hedgerows series
2013/10/03 - Sales at Aardvark
Got the pictures back from the Aardvark Books exhibition - sold a scarf and a bag, as well as some scrunchies and cards. Hung them back on the wall - now thinking of the Hall Green Art Society exhibition a week tomorrow - 8 pictures to go in that, plus cards and mounted pictures for sale. In the mean time we're having a party on Sunday!
2013/09/25 - Thread and Thrum exhibition
The exhibition at Aardvark books is more than half way through. It was good to see some of my things put together so you can see the progression - all the Night City pieces, several Spring pieces, etc. So far I've sold some tatted scrunchie/bracelets at £2 each. Collecting the exhibition on Sunday afternoon, then the next exhibition is Hall Green Arts on 11 October.
2013/09/06 - Back to school
End of the summer holidays. Back to the textiles course at Bournville. Also working on things for the Midlands Textile Forum at Aardvark Books, Brampton Bryan. It's going to be quite a big exhibition - a chance to get all my Night City items in one place. September 16-29.
2013/09/01 - Summer's end
Not sure where the summer's gone. I've not managed to do much craft stuff. Spent quite a bit of time on gardening and allotment, done some sewing and weaving, but not much to show for it! Put last year's Christmas card, the Nolton Haven watercolour and my painting of Tenerife into the latest RBSA Friends exhibition, but they were rejected. Trying to get some things done for an exhibition at Aardvark Books in Brampton Bryan the last few weeks of September.
2013/07/28 - Exhibitions finished
Feeling at a bit of a loose end - all the pictures are home from exhibitions, and I seem to have finished a lot of items. End of term for the textiles course, so no more of that until September. But I have submitted my Night City IV jacket to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC - and finally got round to doing a bit of embroidery on the dress that goes with it.
2013/07/11 - Meet the Artist
I will be at the Forge Mill Museum in Redditch on Sunday 14 July - a last chance to "meet the artist" at our exhibition. I've been doing catch-up work - a bit more sketching when out enjoying myself - in Scotland and in Birmingham - and some replenishing of my stock of cards and flowers for sale. It will be odd to have all the things which have been out on exhibition back the week after next. - The next exhibition is the MTF one at Aarvark Books in Brampton Bryan in September
2013/06/06 - RBSA Prize exhibiton
I just finished two pictures in time to submit to the RBSA Prize exhibition, along with one I did in April. Really pleased that Traigh Ban na Sgurra - a window hanging commissioned by a friend - was accepted, along with Night City VI. My second hedgerow picture wasn't accepted, but I'm still pleased with it. Not sorted out the pictures of the latest two for the website yet
2013/05/12 - Members' favourite
I heard today that my picture "Garden Reflections" was one of the three joint favourites for Members at the Hall Green Art Society exhibition yesterday. They did the tie break by looking at the number of favourite other pictures by the same artist, and I suspect the final choice wasn't me - but it's still gratifying. Spent today at the Middle Earth (Tolkein) weekend at Sarehole Mill. I'm not allowed to dyeing any more, so I spent the day weaving a band on my inkle loom. Lots of interest from the public, in spite of the weather - but a bit wet after lunch, and we packed up about 5 rather than half past.
2013/05/06 - May
At last the weather has warmed up! I went to set up the Stretching Boundaries exhibition at Craven Arms on Wednesday, then went back again yeterday (Sunday 5 May) to do a "meet the artist". Lots of interested people looking at the exhibition, but nobody wanted to do my workshop. I did more work on another net curtain, and on things for the next Hall Green Arts exhibition.
2013/04/26 - April working hard
Waiting for daughter and friend to arrive for a craft weekend - showing others how I do machine embroidery. Not sure how it will go, but should be fun. Tomorrow morning we go to the rag market, then in the afternoon and Sunday morning we have a play with sewing machines, and see if we can do what they've imagined!
2013/04/16 - May exhibitions
I'm submitting several pictures to Natural Talent - an exhibition in Achnamara, in Argyll, as well as four textiles for the Midlands Textile Forum exhibition at Craven Arms 1May -4 June. So needing to sort out different things in a bit of a rush- but now packed to take pictures to Scotland tomorrow - come back and finish the MTF ones (the journey to and from should give me lots of time for tatting flowers!)
2013/03/30 - RBSA Open March 2013
A bit late - I submitted three items to the RBSA Open in March - and two were accepted - another take on the Night City series - Night City V, combining machine embroidered felt, inkle weaving and card weaving, and the "Windsurfing" net curtain which I produced for Jon and Caz's front window. The exhibition finishes next weekend (April 6th). I went on holiday as soon as I'd submitted the pictures, so forgot to post here!
2013/02/24 - Working hard
I realise that I am tending to post items on Facebook rather than here - but I have been working hard towards the RBSA Open exhibition next week, and the Midlands Textile Forum exhibition at Craven Arms Discovery Centre in May. Two new textiles in my "Night City" series, and another organza curtain nearly done. Pictures to follow in a week.
2012/11/28 - RBSA Open December 2012
At the third attempt I've got one of my dragonfly jewellery pieces into the RBSA. I took them to the RBSA Friends' appraisal, and was advised that they would be better not mounted as I'd done them, and also that I should finish the ends better. I did that, and the damselfly necklace was accepted. Now realise I don't have a picture of it on its own - and I've uploaded the pictures of the jewellery onto my website twice, which has caused a conflict.
2012/11/20 - I won!
I won the WS&D annual competition! A big surprise - I was pleased with my galaxy/solar system cushion, but there were quite a few other things that were good as well, so I didn't expect to win. Need to get a better inner for it - at the moment it has a rather large pillow crammed into it! As well as that I sold all the yarns I'd dyed for sale, and several of the dyed fabric samples. All in all a good day!
2012/11/13 - New exhibition
Haven't posted for a while - but I've been busy working on a three foot round catherine wheelfor the Midland Textile Forum exhibition Festivals and Celebrations at The Public gallery in West Bromwich - exhibition opened on Saturday and goes on to 3 February. My Garden reflections/Anniversary reflections and Holiday reflections are also in the exhibition. A good collection of work from all the group, especially some really exciting new suspended items. Pictures of my things to follow - I'm having problems withthe upload!
2012/10/09 - October already
Two months since I posted on the site - too busy working on the kitchen and sorting out my mother's house. I now have an enormous stash of blankets to dye and fabrics to embroider, and a new utility room/dyeing kitchen. The only problem is that there is little room to work with all the extra items which we've brought back.
2012/07/17 - July
Main thing which has happened over the last month is work on the new kitchen-living room. This has entailed clearing the two downstairs rooms (expected) - but also both spare bedrooms, as they had concrete hearths supported by the wall that was coming out - and although the wall was pinned about a foot up, much of the wall below the pinning also came down. So I've had a very restricted craft space for the last few weeks. At least three weeks before the kitchen is finished, but I may have a bit more space for craft work in a week or so. Now working on the catalogue for the Creative Crafts exhibition in Selly Manor in August, and thinking of new pieces for the Midlands Textile Forum exhibition in The Public in West Bromwich over Christmas.
2012/06/25 - June
I started this month by finishing my Natural Dye sampler - dyeing and embroidery, with woven inkle braids. Mounted in 2 sections so the whole thing is less unweildy. It's been accepted for the national exhibition of the Weavers Spinners & Dyers - at the Weald and Downland museum 14-29 July. Then I made a bag to pack it in, so that I can take it to demonstrations and keep it tidy in between them. A big piece of work - I did the dyeing last summer, and the embroidery in the 4 months to May, then took the inkle braids and embroidered squares on holiday to put them together. I'm pleased with the results, and I think they will be good for display at craft events.
2012/06/06 - Artnamara
A successful trip to Artnamara in Achnamara near Lochgilphead. I sold one picture - Castle Sween 2004, painted from by Doide - and quite a few cards and postcards. Lots of people came up to me at the Kilmory Gathering and said how much they had enjoyed the exhibition. If there's another next year, I think I'll exhibit again
2012/05/19 - May 2012
Hall Green Art Society spring exhibition today. A good exhibition, even if no sales (not even of cards). Now preparing for Artnamara in Argyll, on next weekend. I will be taking a lot of mounted but unframed watercolours, as well as postcards, embroidered cards, embroidered jewellery...
2012/05/09 - Wesite updated
My website is now up to date. All the completed pictures are back, and the exhibitions up to date with the one at the church of St Martin in the Bullring, which is on until 27 May. I now need to frame pictures for the Hall Green Art Society Spring exhibition at the end of next week, and Artnamara at Achnamara in Argyll on 25-27 May
2012/05/07 - Getting back
Gradually getting images back on the website. I've now made sure that all the titles on the website actually link to images, and corrected a few miss-connections. Next I need to work out what's still missing, the things I uploaded and exhibitions I submitted to in the last 6 months
2012/05/04 - Rebuilding
Website nearly back after our web hosting company trashed the whole thing. Five months blogs lost - not sure what went into them. But I currently have seven things on display in the Midlands Textile Forum exhibition at the church of St Martin in the Bull Ring in Birmingham City Centre. The exhibition is titled "Legacy" - so I have included the two items I did last summer inspired by my great-grandfather's work, and have produced a jacket based on his sketches as well. I have also included the Road to the Isles organza embroidery which I did for my parents' diamond wedding, the Urban Landscape embroidery of St Pauls in the Jewellery Quarter, the Bull Ring cushion which I did as part of the Weavers Spinners & Dyers' Millenium project, and the embroidery of our garden which I did for our silver anniversary in 2002. There is a wide range of items in the exhibition - felt, embroidery (hand and machine), lace, and "mixed media". An interesting collection, and on until 27 May.
2011/11/26 - RBSA Open - Highly Commended!
I entered three of my latest textiles into the RBSA Open exhibition, which runs until Christmas Eve. My Night City jacket (Night City IV) was not only accepted, but was picked by the judges as "Highly Commended". Makes rushing round to get fabric on Friday and make a dress to go under it on Saturday/Sunday really worthwhile! They had a problem with the other two, as they were inspired by turn-of-the-last-century artworks - the bronze flower wreath, whch I made to go on the bronze resin head of my grandfather by Diana White, and the border waistcoat inspired by one of the drawings in my Great-grandfather's (Archi Macgregor's) sketchbook. I don't think they can cope with that, even if the artwroks were done by someone who has been dead for the best part of 100 years!
2011/11/13 - More exhibition success
Just back from the Hall Green Art Society exhibition at Woodbridge Gallery in Moseley. Very successful from my point of view - lots of interest in my paintings and textiles - and I sold 2 unframed paintings, a Saga loom scarf, a pair of dragonfly earrings, and several more of the fabric flowers - as well as a few printed cards (but none of the embroidered cards this time). I also got my knitting to the stage where I have to think about it, nearly finished a green silk flower, and did several more tatted Christmas stars. So all in all a good day!
2011/11/12 - Weavers Spinners & Dyers exhibition
Just back from the WS&D exhibition and sale of work. I put two things in to the competition, but didn't win anything - there were too many better things than mine!! I voted for the one which came first, which was quite spectacular. I did sell quite a few things - the new flower brooches which I've been making, based on the flowers I did for the bronze head, and my Winter Garden shawl which I did for last year's competition, as well as the usual yarns and dyed fabrics, but not as many cards
2011/11/10 - November - exhibitions
Just getting ready for two exhibitions this weekend - Hall Green Arts have a 3-day exhibition at the Woodbridge Gallery in Moseley - I'm entering 8 pictures, plus taking some cards and embroidered flowers and unframed pictures for sale. Then on Saturday we have the annual exhibition/competition/sale of work for the Weavers Spinners & Dyers - 10.30-3.30 - and I'm the exhibtion coordinator. I've done a lot of chemical dyeing of yarns (for sale) and fabrics, and will also be taking some of my embroidered things etc. So a busy weekend!
2011/09/27 - September
I seem to use Facebook more than my blog. Since May I've taken part in an exhibition which was organised at the end of the Creative Textiles course - where I sold Night City III. I've also been working on items for the Midland Textile Forum exhibition at the Nicholson Institute in Leek, which is on from 10 September to 5 November. I'll try to get more pictures put on and the exhibitions updated in the next few days
2011/05/08 - May 2011
Realised I hadn't put anything on the blog for ages. Too busy doing things to write about them. But I did get two pieces of work from the Bournville textiles course in the RBSA Open exhibition in March, (the red-green one was rejected) - and I've continued enjoying the course, but not finishing anything. Will obviously need the summer to catch up with all my half-done projects
2011/03/14 - RBSA Open
Submitted three embroideries for the RBSA Open exhibition and two were accepted - developments on the "night city" theme which I did in my textiles course last session. I put some effort into framing them - bought a suitable mount board and painted the frames to match. So they're at the RBSA until 2 April.
2011/02/02 - Retired
Well I'm finally retired. Started well as my Christmas card picture was accepted for the RBSA Friends exhibition - though the picture of Castle Sween I did in May (and revised thoroughly last week in the light of a HGA crit session) was rejected. So far I've spent about 5 hours making poi socks - the next batch of 5 for the second release. I hope I can get faster.
2011/01/08 - New Year - New Career
Haven't done much to the website in the last month - in spite of having my latest textile accepted for the RBSA Open exhibition in December (collected it unsold today). But I have continued enjoying the textile course - the last session was mostly on printed textiles, so I now have a lot of things to back my embroidery. Now looking forward to retiring (2 weeks - 6 working days - to go) - and a new career as a textile artist?
2010/12/03 - Sold!
I've sold a painting through a gallery! I exhibited my Spring Morning (textile) and Tenby - low tide (watercolour) with the Hall Green Art Society at Birmingham Botanic Gardens for the month of November. When I went to collect them on 3 December - the watercolour had a red spot on the label. My first sale apart from commissions and sales to people I know. Encouraging when I'm thinking of starting a second (craft) career
2010/10/28 - Favourite picture!!
My picture was voted best-in-show by the public! It's a couple of weeks ago now - but I'm still really pleased that the textile pic of Dun-a-Bhilg, which I put into the Hall Green exhibition in the Family Fun Day at Birmingham Botanic gardens was voted the public's favourite. It washed over me a bit at the time, but I was reminded yesterday when they asked if I would be at the meeting last night to collect the cup! Maybe I should try to do more like that
2010/10/13 - Textile course
I seem to have been very busy since the last post - mostly because I've started a new creative textiles course on Friday mornings. Basically machine embroidery and interesting manipulation of fabrics. The first 8 weeks were supposed to produce a piece of wearable art - I've got something that may be a cushion cover eventually, and a design for a jacket, which will take a lot of work to produce. It's being really fun to do, even if I don't get the wearable art done this session!
2010/09/06 - What happened to the summer
Have realised that I've not put anything on the blog (or on the website) since April. Mostly because I've done several bits of work, but not finished anything and photographed it since then. Now have two pieces in the Midland Textile Forum exhibition at Brimingham Botanic Gardens - only 20 textile pieces - but the gallery isn't very big, so they make a good display. When I've edited the photos I'll add them. Have done a few small watercolours - but alll need a final touch-up before scanning in and adding to the website. Also finished a big waistcoat - but haven't tidied up the ends or blocked it. So I have been doing some work, just not publicised it. Maybe once I retire in January I'll have more time for that.
2010/04/27 - Poi socks
Well I've done my bit for the first batch of poi - should go out this week with any luck. My woven belt wasn't accepted for the Weavers Spinners & Dyers National exhibition - not particularly surprised, as it's probably not unusual enough! Now finished the tatted necklace and done some earrings to match - will photograph and post them later this evening (too sunny now)
2010/04/05 - April
Malvern show went well. Each time I am surprised by how much we make on secondhand patterns and magazines - recycling by re-use, by far the best way. Have done more tatted scrunchies (demonstrating at the NEC), and started on a beaded tatted necklace. My submissions to the RBSA Open exhibition - the Anniversary Garden watercolour and related embroidery, and the dragonfly jewellery, were not accepted, which was disappointing. But poi socks are now in production, and hyperlight poi may go on sale next week!
2010/03/01 - March already
Already March - realised I didn't put anything here at all last month. Never noted that I had one of my latest pictures - done on our holiday in Madeira - accepted for the RBSA Friends exhibition. Recent news on Madeira made us realise how lucky we were to pick the week we did to go there - otherwise our holiday would have been cancelled by the storms! I've not done so much craft things recently - cold weather getting me down. Just a few odd bits of tatting to keep me busy on the bus. Have probably finalised the design for poi socks for the hyperlights - might go in to production in the next month or so
2010/01/21 - facebook link
2010/01/21 - New Year
Have realised I've not put anything on the blog for months. Too busy over Christmas - I did manage to paint a picture for the Christmas card, and produce the usual calendar from the year's paintings. Then we went on a spur-of-the-moment holiday to Madeira for a week - sketches from that will be added to the site once my new computer has the right program! Now I'm doing yet another dreadlock hat, and also some bits of tatting for earrings. I'm also trying to design a complicated waistcoat, using some Colinette yarn, some I dyed myself, and some which a friend dyed. Maybe it'll be started for the Malvern show in March
2009/11/14 - WSD exhibition 2009
A good day. The Guild exhibition went well in spite of the room having been double-booked. I sold most of my dyed yarns (see recent site update) and had lots of interest in my latest tatting and the Victorian purse and twinset-with-pearls. A pity it clashed with the MTF exhibition/symposium - I would have liked to go to that as well! Also seen the first demos of my son's "hyperlight" poi - really exciting. Altogether a positive day
2009/11/05 - November exhibtions
Working up to the Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual exhibition at Cotteridge. I've done another few embroidered cards, and wound a large number of cotton skeins to dye with fibre-reactive dyes. That's this weekend's project. Then next week I'm busy at work as well as doing things for the exhibition.
2009/10/18 - Autumn
Just back from the Hall Green Arts exhibition at the Botanic gardens - a good range of paintings, and I submitted 5 that were already framed. Too busy to do do anything that doesn't have a deadline at the moment - I really can't cope with starting any of the things I've got tentative commissions for
2009/09/17 - RBSA Friends
Wrote the last post then remembered, I did at least get a painting in the RBSA Friends exhibition - the one of Castle Sween I did 5 years ago - they didn't want the one of Kilmory Bay in the storm (mostly put that one in because it's a picture of my father) or the latest one of Castle Sween though
2009/09/17 - Catching up
A traumatic couple of months, with little craft work done. My father went in to hospital on 18 July, and died on 18 August. My mother is disabled, and not well, so there has been little time for any painting or embroidery - I still have the bus journeys for knitting and odd bits of tatting though
2009/07/14 - Scotland in June
We only had a week in Scotland this time - and half that time we had parents staying. I managed to do 3 sketchbook pictures, and one bigger one that still needs more work. Had the best weather we've had for ages there - maybe May-June is better than the end of June!
2009/06/24 - May - catching up with what happened
We had 3 days away with a hired soft-top car - in Cornwall - so of course it rained. Managed to do a few sketches though. The dyeing at Tolkein went well - I got a good rainbow of colours - though my Spectralite had gone off and I had to get some colour run remover from the local ironmonger to do the indigo bath. Lots of interest in how things used to be done. At the end of the month we headed North - that'll be the next blog!
2009/05/13 - May
Not much craft things in the last month - too busy catching up with the garden. But I did put some of the older paintings into the Hall Green Arts Spring exhibition (no sales), and I took my latest jewellery to the Weavers Spinners & Dyers members' meeting - both on Saturday, so a bit of a rush. Now getting organised to demonstrate dyeing at the Middle Earth (Tolkein) days at Sarehole Mill in Hall Green this weekend
2009/04/14 - Easter catch-up
A busy month since the last post - I decided to do another embroidered picture for my cousin Amy's wedding (started only 3 weeks before the wedding, as that's when I decided what to do). Printed out one of my watercolours on white cotton fabric, machine embroidered, appliqueed and added tatting. Finally finished it on holiday in Kilmory. Also decided to do a "fascinator" for myself, using fabrics from my outfit. Again I did the machine embroidery before we went, and finished it in Kilmory (more hand sewing than I'd like). Combined with trying to do some things for the latest RBSA Open exhibition (all rejected), think I spent a bit much time on craft stuff last month. Now trying to catch up in the garden!
2009/03/19 - Tatting at the NEC
An enjoyable day on Sunday tatting at the NEC with Jane Eborall. My "Garden Reflections" picture was popular, and I tatted a wire dragonfly and quite a long piece of edging for a vest neckline. Jane took some good pictures - http://janeeborall.blogspot.com/ Now working on jewellery and updating the picture a bit for the RBSA Open - submission next week
2009/03/06 - MTF Golden Triangle exhibition at Droitwich
Two weeks to produce an exhibition entry isn't really long enough! I always intended to produce a garment based on my "Golden Triangle" photos and sketches, but when we were told on 17 Feb that we needed something for today (6 March), my first thought was that I couldn't do it. Then I thought of the dreadlock hats I'd designed for Jon's skiing hat, and thought that would actually fit the bill. Finished it on Tuesday (in spite of my sewing machine playing up) - and managed to make something of my feather weaving samples as well! Now recovering
2009/02/15 - Cheltenham show
Just had a very good exhibition for the Knitting & Crochet Guild at Cheltenham. I went down for Thursday to set up the show - people from the Cheltenham area looked after it for most of the time. The dreadlock hat (borrowed back from my son) was very popular, and so was my twinset-with-pearls, finally finished just in time.
2009/01/27 - Dreadlock hats
I had great fun knitting hats with dreadlocks attached for Jon and his girlfriend. (Lots of pictures on Facebook of them, but none very clear. I shall try to sort out pasting some on here as well). I've written/scanned in the pattern, so will post it as a pdf on the articles page of the site
2009/01/12 - Christmas knitting
Amusing that when I worked out how to add the picture of Caroline's new mittens to the blog, the last picture I added was her last year's ones - now mislaid of course Anyway here is a picture of this year's taken on my lap when I finished the sewing on our way to drop her back at Oxford after Christmas
2009/01/12 - New Year
I'm obviously not "in to" the idea of regular posts on the website- it's nearly a month since the last one. I've been busy with Christmas presents (will have to upload pictures - some really novel ski hats for Jon and his girlfriend)! I also did the annual pair of mittens/gloves for Caroline (with ribbon so she can hang them round her neck, and name tape with mobile phone number). Wonder if they'll come back from her trip to New York and Peru?
2008/12/17 - Happy Christmas
I've at last got our Christmas card painted (the latest picture on the website) - and have even got most of them printed, written and posted. Now producing calendars and trying to get the colour balance right on cream card.
2008/11/25 - RBSA Open
Well I put 3 textiles into the latest Open exhibition at the RBSA - but none of them were selected. I'm a bit disappointed, but apparently the standard was very high. To balance that, the write up of the WS&D National Exhibition has a good picture of my Night City II hanging, with an appreciative description - so today is not all bad. We had a Magpies meeting today, and I have finished weaving a pheasant-feather tassel. My sister-out-law wants feather tassels for a headdress for belly dancing! I then finished winding up the yarns I dyed last year - only this summer's ones to do now.
2008/11/11 - WSD exhibition
Well the WSD Guild exhibition went pretty well. We had over 40 visitors, as well as most of the Guild members there. I took winding of last year's dyed yarns to do - and didn't manage to start until about 11.30 as I kept being asked questions. Lunch was a bit difficult - every time I tried to get started, someone else wanted advice! I didn't get anywhere in the competition (though I did get at least one vote) - not surprised really as my split-ply braided mat wasn't that exciting. I did do spinning and weaving (well braiding - but NOT dyeing for once). Helen Tomes won with her "beach bunnies" - knitted from a commercial pattern - I couldn't have done the spinning of the fleece that fine, and she did them back in February -she was obviously inspired by this year's competition!
2008/11/03 - November exhibition
A week away in Scotland with my parents has reduced my output recently - but I managed to get some embroidered cards done before I went (just uploaded in a new section) - and I've done my ply-split braided competition piece. The Birmingham Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual exhibition is next Saturday, so I'm trying to have things for sale then - have wound lots of cotton yarns for fibre-reactive dyeing, as well as the embroidered cards. I will also print out some note cards for sale
2008/10/20 - October
I've just come back from delivering my Urban Landscape picture to a friend to get it to the MTF exhibition in Leicester. Still busy knitting, and thinking about an entry for the Birmingham Weavers Spinners & Dyers annual competition in three weeks - I've spun some fleece, not I have to do something with it. I'm thinking of split-ply braiding
2008/09/27 - Mid-September already
I've had 2 textile pictures accepted for MTF exhibitions - I entered three things for the selected exhibition in December, and the "Urban landscape" textile was accepted - I'm half way through remounting it because I got the two halves together slightly wrong when I first did it. I also did another "reflections" picture for the MTF open exhibition which is on now at Beauchamp College, Oadby, Leicester. It was going to be something to mount my tatted dragonfly earrings and necklace on - but ended up being a re-working of the watercolour "anniversary garden" - scanned in and printed out at twice the size on silk, then embroidered etc. I'm really pleased with the result!
2008/09/04 - Successes again
Another watercolour accepted for a RBSA Friends exhibition - the one of Jura from Port an t'Salainn which I painted this summer - just come back from the private view of the exhibition. I've also had my Urban Landscape textile accepted for a Midland Textile exhibition in Leicester in November-December (not added that to the website yet, as it's not for a while, and I've re-sewn it because the original version was distinctly crooked)
2008/08/26 - August
Almost the end of August and I've not added anything. Heard that my father has cancer, and that has stopped me thinking about this. However I have done a few things - another version of the embroidered foxgloves for my mother's birthday, and some more foxgloves on the curtain I did for my parents' diamond wedding. My Urban Landcape embroidery has been accepted for a Midland Textile Forum exhibition in November in Leicester.
2008/07/31 - Weavers Spinners & Dyers National exhibition
Just heard that one of my "night city" weavings has been accepted for the WS&D national exhibition - the first one for 8 years as the last one was cancelled. So it's on exhibition in Liverpool for a month. I think it's night city II, the one with the lights - they told us by the submission number, and of course I didn't keep a record!! I'm really pleased though. Will have to go to Liverpool on Saturday week to see it!
2008/07/19 - Holiday pictures
It's taken me two weeks to scan in and edit the pictures I did on holiday - but I also did another picture today as well. We had two wet weeks in Kilmory (mostly) with one night on Mull (also wet). I did quite a bit of knitting (a twinset-with-pearls for the Knitting & Crochet Guild annual competition, which I only got half way with the jumper), and some embroidery, and read a lot of SF. Weather too wet and windy for sitting outside painting!
2008/06/05 - Night City textile
Well I got the lace, felt, inkle weaving and electronics done, and all put together in time for the RBSA prize exhibition - but it didn't get in. When we went to the private view of the exhibition we were a bit disappointed - there were quite a few pictures and other things which I'd seen submitted which didn't get in, and I felt the selection was a bit pedestrian. Not got a good picture of the weaving yet - maybe after the dyeing day on Saturday - when we'll be doing natural dyeing and acid dyes on wool, with a bring-and-share lunch.
2008/05/18 - Middle Earth weekend
Just spent 2 days demonstrating dyeing at Sarehole Mill, Birmingham for the Middle Earth (Tolkein) weekend. A good range of colours, with some new successes - cherry laurel berries gave a grey-purple, and pecan shells a lovely pinky-brown. Will post a picture when I get them downloaded
2008/05/14 - The last few weeks
I've been working hard on a new textile picture - a revised version of the Night City weaving. This one is braided from fancy yarns, with felt sections, and will have an inkle woven header. It will also have LIGHTS - Peter is working out lights to represent the cars going along the roads. Was going to post a picture of progress so far here, but it's still on the camera! Also going to the "Middle Earth" day at Sarehole Mill to demonstrate dyeing this weekend - more preparations.
2008/04/29 - Midland Textile Forum day
A busy weekend with the second day of the Midland Textile Forum "voices from the Golden Triangle design days - I had not managed to do much, but the work that others had done was inspiring. I tried weaving on a "bow loom" - just a bent stick with 5 warp threads stretched across. They use them for weaving feather and bead "tassels". My experiment came out quite well (was going to post a picture but we've mislaid the camera cable). Then today was the local Magpies craft group - at my house. I finished a cardigan (only needed the last bit of sewing up) and got started on the lace for my next big picture.
2008/04/20 - Amberley Inn
Decided to do a quick sketch of the hotel where we celebrated the parents' Diamond Wedding. Colours not really quite right (stone roof should be browner) but I'm quite pleased with it.
2008/04/13 - April already
Not done much suitable for the website in the last few weeks - I organised a family party for my parents' diamond wedding, and that took most of my effort -but I did make myself a new skirt for the party, from some silk which my daughter brought back from Thailand. And I've almost finished the cardigan I'm making her from "limbo" variegated double knitting yarn. Just the cuffs and sewing up to do. I'm now trying to design a revised version of the "night city" woven/felted hanging, incorporating moving lights for traffic movements, in time for the RBSA prize exhibition at the end of May, and the Weavers Spinners & Dyers 4-yearly national exhibition in July. Maybe I should add another page for all the garments I've knitted or sewn over the years. My daughter suggested I should add the cookbook I developed when my son left home.
2008/03/18 - Success!
Both the pictures I submitted were accepted for the RBSA Open exhibition! I'm really pleased - a pity I can't make the Private View.
2008/03/16 - RBSA Open
I've just added two more pictures - I submitted them to the RBSA Open exhibition this morning - having spent most of my spare time in the last 2 weeks working on them - finished "the road to the Isles" about 11.40, photographed it, then took it in to the RBSA for the 1 pm deadline!
2008/03/12 - Pictures for RBSA open
I've now started on a net curtain - a picture of sunset behind Jura on shaded organza that the parents could use as a net curtain in their downstairs toilet - particularly if they decide to put a shower there. Got the fabric originally last summer, but the trigger was Mummy asking if she could have the copy of the foxgloves picture that I'd printed on to net as a diamond wedding present - the deadline of this week was a bit of a problem though! Almost done, then I'll photograph both and add them
2008/03/06 - More embroidery
This Tuesday I reframed the Dun-a-Bhuilg embroidery, so I can try putting it in to a RBSA exhibition (revised picture will be in the gallery next week). I t looks a lot better. I also started on a new embroidered picture - a sunset behind Jura, in organza to be a net curtain for the parents cloakroom
2008/02/24 - a busy three weeks
A very busy couple of weeks since we came back from Bryndias at the beginning of February. I did a couple of sketches there on 2 February, but then didn't have the photos I needed to finish them off. I organised a Knitting & Crochet Guild stand at the Knitting & Stitching show at Cheltenham last weekend (14-16 February) - then my mother came to stay for half of last week, and the Midland Textile Forum had its first course/workshop on Saturday (yesterday) - sketching textiles from the Golden Triangle (Burma/Thailand/Vietnam/China). However I've managed to catch up a bit now, and finished the sketches. The next project will be a picture for my parents' Diamond wedding - I hope to get it done for the RBSA Open in the middle of March - and re-framing the textile picture of Dun a Bhuilg, to put it behind glass.
2008/02/05 - RBSA Exhibition
I'm really pleased - the RBSA accepted 2 of the 3 pictures I submitted for the Friends' exhibition. I did some more sketching at Bryndias at the weekend, and was going to revise the sketches comparing them to photos I took - but I think I've left my camera there, so I can't do that after all!
2008/01/27 - Carolines gloves
Here is the picture of Carolines gloves that I have been meaning to add to the site. They are gloves without the ends of the fingers, but with a mitten section which you can tuck over. She was given some rather nice wool/silk yarn for her birthday, and asked me to knit them for her. Joined together with a ribbon, and with her name and phone number inside in case she loses them!
2008/01/22 - Knitting and sewing
My usual day off - and a "Magpies" meeting, so I have done a bit more craft work - took apart the "urban landscape" textile - it has always irritated me that I got the background at an angle to the foreground, so I've re-pinned it, and hope to straighten it out. Also started knitting a "beanie" hat, an example from one of the Knitting & Crochet Guild patterns that we will have on the stand at Cheltenham in February. My fingerless gloves are almost finished. The hat with earflaps was not a success - but I did make it a bit bigger
2008/01/15 - Peter's birthday
I did a new sketch for the series "a tidy house is a sign of a miss-spent day" for Peter's 60th birthday card - a picture of his corner of the loft, with the CNC machine that he's going to make for his birthday on the screen of his computer.
The jumper was reasonably successful (will add a picture when I download it from the camera) but a peaked cap I made him, with earflaps, came out too small. I'll have to take it apart and see if I can make it bigger.
2008/01/14 - Recent knitting
My latest knitting on the bus is fingerless "mittens" with a hand flap - on 4 (or more) needles, in stripy sock wool, which I got for Christmas. They are going to have fluffy cuffs to match my Mobius scarf. So far I've re-knitted the first one 3 times I think - I'm adapting a double knitting pattern to thin 4 ply, and combining 2 patterns as well to avoid sewing up.
2008/01/12 - Re-knitting
Having produced a chunky zip-up cardigan for my husband's Christmas present, I'm now having to re-knit the borders because the bottom one was "frilly" - and of course I'd gone all the way round in one go, so I had to take the zip off and re-do that too! This time I've done the bottom separate from the front borders, so if (when?) I have to reknit it, I won't have to do the zip this time.
2008/01/03 - Just starting
This is a new website - a Christmas present from my son. I intend to keep a record of my art and craft doings here, with pictures of anything interesting.