I am fascinated by light and water and I am always taking photographs of streams.  Here is one series that I took , a few miles walk up Far Easedale, in the Lake District , UK.

I decided after numerous attempts to draw this photograph which were really unsuccessful to try felting using prefelts incorporating various fibres using just yellow and black merino .

First step , so far so good , but it needed more
 Here I am testing the idea of couching some yellow wool onto the piece.  I choose not to go down this route but to machine embroider with some variegated yellow thread and then hand stitch in black.

Finally I added some orange highlights.  To me the finished piece contains some elements of my sunny stream and I think looks great in a black IKEA frame but the glass is so reflective it does not make a good photo so I photographed it with the mount before I fitted the frame .

Memories of Artybird

Over the last weeks I have been doing a lot of sorting out and clearing out the mountains of felting I have accumulated.  Some things have headed to the recycling but I have also come across some treasured pieces from my first Artybird felting course.

Sunsets featured prominently in my first course and here are my beginners attempts at dyeing with some very tentative sunset stitching.

One of the great things about the courses was the design work , but there was felting as well

 Two different techniques to felt a sunset !

My first experience of natural fibres , using Shetland , which I have really grown to love.

 Making an embroidered piece, again all hand dyed which if I remember correctly I was told to go back and stitch some more .

 All these pieces are a wonderful reminder of the journey I embarked upon about 5 years ago. I think I have developed a lot (I hope I have ) but I think I can still see the voice I have today in these pieces.

Drawing for Textiles

For the last two weeks I have been taking an on-line course called Drawing for Textiles D4T by the wonderful textile artist Dionne Swift.  In the first week I had fun drawing some small objects , really enlarged , using a variety of techniques.

My objects ( some family heirlooms here) and examples of the large crazy drawings I made are below.       


I say crazy , because of the fun drawing techniques and because they felt to have little connection with the objects by the time I had finished – I think that was the idea really.  

We then had to seek out gems in the masses of lines.  I found quite a few I liked and cut them out, making a little book for future reference.

Then came the textile part.  Using sewing and embellishing to make textile lines , in order to repaint the gems.  Great fun even though I don’t have an embellisher and had to hand needle .   For me there were eureka moments here too.  Ideas of thread combinations to use on my sewing machine.  How come I never knew you could put two threads through the top needle ?  Thick threads on the bottom spool. I did know this but had never tried it.  Two sides to every piece.  Of course I knew this , but I had always approached my pieces by sewing , from the top.  Starting on the reverse gives a whole set of new effects.

Mostly I made samples , but here is a completed piece .

The course was great , Dionne videos were informative , relaxed and professional.  I also liked the idea of a sail ly delivery for two weeks of information and the private FB page the students from all round the world who could then share our work in progress and ideas.   Great course I  would really recommend it.