Saturday, November 12, 2011

Excuses excuses

Shelagh has hit the nail on the head. i have been busy but iwll be back soon. Back to leaves - but in the meantime to stretch your brains - wot sort of leaves haveyou got in yoru gardens? i have loads of eucalytpus for starters - we think they are all the same but there are so many different shapes and sizes when you look carefully.

Check us out later this week.


I have been continuing working with the leaf theme over on my blog:

Please visit there and Dales blog:

Until we have time to start stretching our collective brains again!!


Monday, October 24, 2011


As a lack of drawing seems to be coming from both of us I thought I would post a couple of my photographs
This one is a good colour combination, deep rusty maroon & lime green.  Try it with your crayons.  Use a lot of maroon and a little green.
In fabric try maroon fabric, green stitching & cream beads.  Maroon & lime - complementary colours!!

This Bamboo uses many tints & shades of green.  Look at the many grades.  Pale to very dark
Very interesting lines within the elongated shapes
I love the spotty nearly dead ones

Hopefully we will begin again soon x

Friday, October 21, 2011


Dale is now enroute back to Australia, so I thought I would welcome her back with 5 minutes of computer designing
This is a pen drawing of my leaf, then it has been combined with background images of original pieces of my art work,  This would make a good print out onto fabric or Khadi paper and stitched
Hmmm a nine repeat would work well....

Another 5 minutes produced this pattern.  Have a go at scanning and combining your art work and a line drawing.  If I get time then I will stitch it - but cant promise as there are lots of designs in the pile at the moment, been having a few eye and headache problems grrrr.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Here we are together for the first time, the meeting of the creative brains!!!!!???
Full story over on my blog

I picked up this leaf locally on Monday, look how beautiful it is.  I may have to draw it with my new Coloursoft pencils recommended by Frances Pickering (google)
We will contine with the leaf theme when Dale returns from Provence, so get out your drawing books and  media and join in with us x

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Late summer sun

As Dale is away here in England, there will be a blog break until November when we shall return, in the meantime, I might add a few tempting things...or not...see you soon
Shelagh x

Monday, October 3, 2011

leaf for inspiration

not sure what Shelagh's excuse is but I did have plans to do things with this lovely leaf I found on the garden path this morning. I shall leave it here to inspire you instead and be back to action in November when I get back from Europe. It is a eucalyptus leaf - they do come in all shapes and sizes and if you watch the trees you can seethem mature and change both shape and colour.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Okay so we are invisible, blown away with the leaves.  Dale is packing to visit England and I am being an Ostrich.  I have done this
Using a Pitt pen, Zentangled leaves, out of my head, yep they look really childish but are a great resource for this...

I have extracted sections by placing a cut out mask over the previous sketch, these thumbnails could be the start of a new piece - could I said....
I messed around - if you look closely (click the image) I have printed a leaf in white onto the Khadi paper, the cut out leaf is an experiment with acrylic inks in blobs left overnight, it has remained raised which would make a fab rubbing surface - I might .....

Now this is wonderful & of course it took much longer than 5 minutes, but if you add up the 5 minutes owing, I figure half an hour is due.  These are actual leaves and there are multiple layers & colours
Okay so I got carried away, this is printing & using the leaf as a mask I seem to have developed a love of using masks whilst doing these brain challenges.  See what happens when you make yourself do something.
I still have to go into the garden and sketch, My lime green Acer is just begging to be sketched, I hope that its sunny tomorrow and huge chunks of my day wont be taken up with washing!!!

A good idea would be to print off one of the above images and use it as a created paper to cut out the shapes in the little thumbnails.  If it wasnt half past ten at night I might just do it (hmmm - sleep or not to sleep) x

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dale's Mask

Here is my mask almost on time... I sprayed the background with some of my luscious sprays over a stencil and then laid my leaf on top. No repostional glue for me - it was fingers down. It very much looks like it is in the bush and I couldn't resist popping the leaf on top - it now is a very nice colour. There is a lot of grey-green in Australia so I feel the grey is highly suitable. There are more greens in the colour palette than any other colour and whenever I see a landscape I am aware of this.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I decided today that the leaf would be used as a mask.
The background has been sprayed with Dales sprays first, then the leaf sprayed with repositional spray mount and then splattered over with acrylic paint
I love the broken edge of the leaf

Monday, September 12, 2011

dale's rubbings plus

definitely Friday and Sunday rolled into one - no excuse except that the rugby world cup started

 First I did a rubbing using Tissutex which had been sprayed with Moonshadow Mist - it sort of worked.
Then because I am playing with bleach for a different activity, I printed with the leaf onto a black paper napkin - an interesting result from what I thought it would do.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Friday & Sunday rolled into one.  Rubbings with Inktense blocks, Graphitint & Sennelier Oil pastel. In black & white.  I added some sparkly bits
Here is a close up

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

wash on leaf

I have been playing qwith various inks today but this is rather interesting. My leaf drawing was originally done with neocolours but dry - I didn't add water to them. over the top I have painted black Quink ink and wiped it with a Qantas Club paper towel (people who have done workshops with me or been to my talks at shows will know what these are) and it has ended up rather like a leaf in the undergrowth. I am pleased with it really.


Being a bit pushed for time - due to the impending start back to work & the lesson planning.  I decided that the crayon drawing from Sunday should be washed over.  That was our only criteria.  Don't know what Dale has done, but here is my tale.
I was going to wash with Indian ink, which I have done many times before.  If you have been following my main blog you will know that I have had a massive studio tidy.  Whilst doing this I found 2 bottles of ink. Quink ink, blue & black in their boxes. I chucked the boxes and tidied with the Indian ink.  So on opening the drawer there they were.  Ah Ha I shall use this instead
Of course it has different properties to Indian ink, I know how long to leave that one before washing off.

Good job my crayoning was on Khadi paper as I had to rip the drawing out of the book & stick it under the tap and scrub it
To photograph it I needed to outline the leaf in white gel pen.  Deep dark & moody.  Is this a triumph or disaster?? what do you think?
As it is no longer attached to the book I could stitch it, but I have some other ideas
Back on Friday

Sunday, September 4, 2011


We have some lovely dandelion leaves, my daughter used to keep Guinea pigs and they love these leaves so we encouraged them around the edges of the garden & in the wild area.  I love them as leaves and flowers.  I wonder whoever decided that they were weeds?  I also love Daisys in the lawn and beautiful Buttercups,.
So here is my childrens crayon offering.  I used my medium Khadi book, which has always fallen apart
I slipped a grid under the right hand piece & the circular marks on the left are from work on the other side of the page.
5 minutes manic crayoning was huge fun

Leaves from Dale

I have many eucalytpus leaves in my garden so my choice is made for me. These ones are just hanging about on one of the trees.

I chose one - it has a few holes and of course leaves are never perfect even though everyone thinks they are. They get eaten, they get attacked, they just fall apart.

Another of the very quick 5 minutes using crayons I do believe was the brief. Trying hard to show the holes - at least I got the shape okay.

I hope we are allowed to stitch this month - leaves are great for layering and working on Romeo - especially when you get to the disintegration side of things. I especially like it when leaves break down - these ones take some time though and hang around in our back garden for ages until we sweep them up so might need some encouragement.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


If you have been following this blog since the beginning you will remember this picture
By William Morris & the story of the flower / leaf.  This month is all about leaves so I thought I would start with a re-visit to this fabulous textile

The famous Acanthus leaf, that is actually around 25 inches, huge.  Unfortunately I dont have a real one of these leaves.  But I do have large dandelion leaves which actually look a bit like these

Please return tomorrow to see what I have done with this leaf, I shall pretend its an acanthus!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Grand announcement - this months theme is:  LEAVES

We will commence when Dale returns from her holiday, please check back for the new set of ideas from the troublesome two x

Sunday, August 28, 2011


My final piece adding the hand stitching & the beads, is of course influenced by the wonderful course with Stephanie Redfern
I am still to finish the edges or to mount the piece, I need to spend a bit of time thinking about it.
I am really pleased with it.
I am also glad that its the end of Teapots!
Check back & see what we are doing next month!

Friday, August 26, 2011

HOLIDAYS HERE holiday ....pouring whatever changes eh?  Nothing so grand as a trip to NZ.

As promised Teapots machine stitched
and a close up

I shall finish off the teapot theme on Sunday with the hand stitching and embellishment, then we will be back with our new theme when Dale returns from all that exercise & fresh air with no doubt a full sketchbook of ideas & stitch
Meanwhile my students exhibition is in full swing - info over on

Thursday, August 25, 2011

my teapots final

 Because I am going away frmo a week from today I didn't get to do all I wanted but I had fun spraying everything with lots of colour and creating a woven background - I had planned to stitch but not to be.
I also thought I might hang the teapots and maybe  I might when I return.

I am sure Shelagh will enthrall you in my absence

When I get back we have a new topic - one I will be working on while I am away.

teapots ready to play

my teapots are ready to play - they will be rather different tomorrow on a background - I hope. Have gone back to my original drawing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Today I set the challenge of SHAPE.  I am not enjoying working with the teapot, I much prefer natural forms than manmade, I find the engineered shape stifling.  I learnt this many years ago whilst working for one of my diplomas researching into the Hammersmith weavings of William Morris.  Now who was I kidding thinking that I could use the master of all designs as the basis for my designs.  I learnt a lot.  I learnt what I am not good at and that is static shape.
Last week (see my main blog) I had the wonderful pleasure of a course with Stephanie Redfern, a master of shape.  As a teacher it is good to be a student once in a while & I really knew it would be a trial for me working with shape.  I certainly appreciated the prodding given by Steph whilst I was dithering about with too much resource material.  Why am I dribbling on?  Well todays challenge is a multitude of shapes
Yesterday I prepared papers, today a background & cut out the shapes.
I timed myself laying down the shapes
5 more minutes & change of background

5 more minutes, try a regular approach

Oh really Shelagh - are you actually a City & Guilds tutor?
Right back to the drawing board or rather thinking cap
This is a 15 minute consideration & a 5minute stick down

I am at last happy with this
5 minute challenge that took over an hour!!!!
I have turned it into black & white as a teaser, cause I am going to stitch it Friday & Sunday & reveal the colour on Sunday along with the techniques & products used
- actually I might keep that for my newsletter over on my main blog
We know that there are far more visitors to this blog than the number of followers shows
 - it would be fab if you could consider joining as a follower, lets try to hit the 100 mark
- means a lot in blogland

Monday, August 22, 2011

NIne into 5 goes strangely

being a little frivolous these past few days - must be the weather - who knows? I forgot to load my 9 little quick sketches but here they are - I went for little details which have appealed to me and repetition. The more I look at my teapot I can see repeating things.

We took a break for Sunday - Shelagh is overexcited about the workshop she went to - lucky thing - and I have been skittish - it surely is spring. Well the freesias are out. We should be back on Wednesday

Friday, August 19, 2011


I have just returned from a great workshop, head is a-buzzing.  Back to Earth was what to do today for the challenge?
From somewhere in my head, nine squares popped up.
I could have done random squares but am busy putting all the 'stuff' that I took back into its home!
So this is today - 9 squares & tiny elements from the teapot
Hmmmm more food for thought

Thursday, August 18, 2011

5 x 1

 If you think 5 minutes isn't very long, try 1 minute. I have used Graphtint pencils for background and detail. Background not part of the 1 minute.

I am also late but if you have read my blog I had an excuse - something I didn't want to do slowed me down. BUT - I am not sure what we are doing tomorrow so have to wait for Shelagh to come back from her wonderful workshop with Stephanie - lucky thing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

5 for 1 or even 3

Very hurried today as am a very lucky girl who is attending a two day workshop with Stephanie Redfern
So five little sketches at 1 minute that isnt!!!
Both one minute, then got fed up so the last one is 3 minutes ish
Very hurried, but the last would work as a string stamp ....hmmmm
Am off to hear Brenda Boardman talk tonight, cant see Dales offering and she will be in bed now wonder what is up, see you Friday hopeful with a sketchbook full of ideas

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Last Thursday night we had a meeting of our group BOAT.  One of the girls had been on a summer school & bought along what she did and showed us her take on the taught method, which was quite different to the tutors.  I made my version, very quickly after a tiring day at the Festival of Quilts, see my blog I shall post my original piece lso on the blog.
So after the spout drawing from friday I thought 'lets give this method a go'
Unbeknown to me, Dale has also used scrim.  This scrim was bought at FOQ, its so good to use purchases really quickly.
This piece is heavily hand stitched, not a machine stitch in sight, the world championships of Badminton have been on, maybe the shuttles were also an influence.
This piece is very 3D, I know that it looks like an eye and is a bit weird, but I want to try and add more to the background at a later date, see what we do in the next few weeks.  The image will enlarge if you click on it, if any one wants details then you will need to leave a comment & then I will post it in my next newsletter.

take a little stitch for a walk

our brief was to stitch but I think Shelagh's stitch will be unlike mine. I decided to take a stitch for a little walk and try to work the outline of my teapot without the handles. Created a background to get the general colours - it's a textured stitch of hand painted scrim and the I stitched the outline - only looking to create a fleeting slightly ethereal outline and you may have to look closely to see what I have actually done. I am always interested in fragments rather than wholes so it suits my style of stuff,. Click on it and you should be able to see how I have tried to get the outline in a stitch - it took me more than 5 minutes. Maybe it could be something archaeological and found in a clay deposit - it is a clay teapot.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Using Graphitint so we are back on track with the challenge, to ourselves and each other
5 minutes
No water, not enough time for that, I used the more creamy of the paper from the Fabriano book, I dont really want to add water as it is not a very strong paper, but here goes

Another 5 minutes this time allowing for using the water

Oh yeah, no shape or form, looks like an eye, totally overbalanced with too much pigment at the top & not enough at the bottom or in the centre.

So I gritted my teeth (I am still whacked from the FOQ yesterday) & spent 30 minutes to produce this

Using water & then dry Graphitint over the top - what a challenge this was, but I am reasonably happy with it, my daughter, who is an artist, would not agree & would scoff at this pathetic attempt, however; it has stitch possibilities....see what Sunday might bring
(Still looks like an eye to me though - what do you think?)