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?)

friday quick draw

thought I would finish my Friday with a 5 minute draw working on the spout and using Graphitints - I do like these very much. 5 minutes is really fast and I was trying to get a look at the shading as well as close up.

Sunday we are stitching - well I think we are....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I am obsessed with these at the moment;
Along with the paper I have chosen.  I shall find another book to do the type of drawings Dale is doing & keep this book for dry charcoal & pencil media.
These are all the colours as in the box except for the 'ordinary 3 charcoal pencils' included
This is the line from the top of the second Japanese teapot
It does not really show the colours so I scribbed this
Using some of the pencils & blended them in some areas using the WHITE charcoal - yep thats what it says
I thought that this was beautiful so I have used it for my 5 minute sketch

PLONK - a cut out shape from the Japanese teapot, used as a mask & erased away with a tiny piece of PUTTY rubber - I love it!!
Dale & I are on different journeys at the moment - we shall get it together for Friday - I am off to find another book to do pen drawings & maybe one for wet media.  There this blog has been a discovery for me in that I shall not just use one sketching / drawing / painting surface for all media in the future - my students be warned!!! lol

quick teapot draw

a very quick teapot draw today and I bet you can't even tell which part I have attempted. I am wanting to practise small sections for small shapes and details. I am not actually sure what Shelagh is doing but I guess we will co-ordinate again before the weekend.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

my teapot lid

I know it isn't Wed Fri or Sun but I am behind so whilst watching the looting in London - so dreadful - I did a 5 minute of the lid of my precious tea pot - I wonder what the pattern is or if it means anything. When you look at it it looks a bit like a lovely cat's mouth - a happy smiling cat. I like using the micron pens to draw with and I am trying to improve my simple drawing without fudging it with all the other stuff so I shall be attempting more of the shapes tomorrow - the round fat cat type shape.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Beautiful day here in England.  Todays 5 minutes is the line formed along the top edge of the teapot lid
This has been repeated
Okay so I know that mostly a teapot would be thought of as a shape.  I never seem to want to work with shapes unless they are organic, you know the usual poppy seed head, daisy, rose, fish etc.  But these are so overworked.  Random shapes dont really have much appeal unless they are as layers (hmmmmmmmm)
So todays offering at the altar of Dale is LINE, using my pencil again as I love the effect from the Fabriano paper so much.  The darker areas are burnishing
I know what I want to stitch from this.  But if you saw the mess that is my studio you would understand.
However, if I have a good sorting day (oh yeah) then maybe later or even tomorrow, the plan is to sort all the embroidery fabrics, so visit later & see if I have produced anything
Dale is back tomorrow - hooray - I guess she will have something totally fabulous

Saturday, August 6, 2011


One thing about 5 minutes is it takes all the worry out of recording images.

Direct observation of the subject is called Primary observation as opposed to secondary observation which is using photographs the internet etc.

I wanted to record some little sketches really quickly, holding the lid

Quick recording of the pattern, without colour, laying down the marks
This is 'the top brick of the chimney' a phrase that my mother used to say - aim for the top brick of the chimney, through the generations I have changed this to 'aim for the stars' to my children
These little marks would translate so well for stitch
Or would make a stamp!
Finally this took very much longer than five minutes & I just love the effect of the charcoal pencils (again) what a find they are
This is using the MASK from the previous post & then smudging with my finger.  Cant wait to get my tin of these pencils.  The tooth of this paper is also really good, it seems to hold the pigment
I have oodles of ideas for stitch now
As Dale is still working hard, it would be nice if we could have a few more comments.  Let us know if you are taking part & if you have learnt anything from our explorations

Friday, August 5, 2011


I was so inspired by the shadows attached to the teapot, that I decided to print out the photo & cut it out to produce a STENCIL & a MASK
Carefully cut out around the shape & the shadow with a craft knife or scalpel.
Using the stencil (the piece left) I drew around the shape.  I am not a lover of shape; I much prefer marks & texture.  I randomly drew 5 interlocking shapes with my Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencils, which I have so fallen in love with that I have ordered a tin of 21 from eBay, cost 15 quid, bargain!
I then used my BURNISHER to go over all the lines, this intensifies the subtle colour of the charcoal
Using the BLENDER pencil I have pulled the colour of the charcoal out around the edges to give this wonderful smudgy effect.  My Fabriano journal paper is not white but a nice buttery colour & I have enhanced to colour of this image in Picasa, because I wanted to do this:-

This is the 2 pictures above combined in Picasa under collages.  I offset the pictures by cropping & now have a drawing that shows depth, look how the charcoal colour has been highlighted, wonderful pencils!
This will be part of this months stitched textile - come back soon for some more ideas
Dale is at the Perth show working very hard for a few days, so I am not expecting any posts but you never know as she is so prolific

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Forgot to upload yesterday
This is my five minute pencil sketch of the teapot in the previous post.  Its so hard to get the correct perspective in 5 mins but I am quite pleased with this end result
I  guess that with more time I could sort out the stange door angle & the upstairs windows
Tomorrow I shall do something different!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


After much dithering, I have decided to take part in this months TEAPOT challenge.
This is one of my small collection of teapots.  I am interested in this image with the strong shadows that the teapots when photographed have created.  This is influenced by visiting the Joan Miro exhibition at the TATE modern, last week.
The display included some of his paintings that were deliberately burned.  Yes burned after painting.  He lived though the repressed times in Barcelona (such a fantastic city) & his work was very influenced by his feeling towards the government.  The Tate had hung 2 of his paintings with strong lights shining on them and left a blank wall to show the shadows.  I was completely blown away by this.  I found it very moving and profound.  Photographing my teapots this morning in the bright sunshine has made that link again.  Isnt art fantastic?
This is not my picture - photos were not allowed but on a Google search I found this; I guess some people have not adhered to this rule.
Look at the shadows.  If you can go to the exhibition, I urge you to, this is one room of 12, all very different
I shall do my piece later when it is cooler
This is the book that I shall use this time.  It is very important to me what I draw or create in.  It takes a while to decide which format suits the subject & this one has drawn the short straw this time!
With various softly coloured pages
Preparation to me is very important.  When I studied my Patchwork City & Guilds one of my design studies was of teapots, I am not very hopeful of finding the folder from 20 years ago!

A Teapot

This month we have chosen a teapot - I have a lovely pottery one I bought locally but I don't know who made it. I don't drink tea - only herbal tea and that is usually in a bag but this little beautie lives in our kitchen. I think it has lots of potential for drawing practice.

Not sure what Shelagh is doing but I have chosen the same sketchbook because it has plenty more pages - A6 - and I have sprayed the pages with Glitz Spritz in Cactus Gold - just a subtle mica background. Once again this is a 5 minute drawing using a micron pen and I am pleased with my starter.

I won't be back until next week because we have a show in Perth this weekend but I have more plans for lots of drawing.