Archives for June 2016


Well, Instagram, there’s a new thing. And a new icon on the front page of this website. I’m rather hesitant about adopting new social media, simply because of the additional time it soaks up. So, having developed my own website (and here you are, reading it!) and my Pinterest pages, I’ve waited a long time before doing anything else. I keep on toying with the idea of Facebook, and I may get round to it sometime. In the meantime, Instagram. The catalyst for this was reading about an Australian textile artist, Liz Payne, who said in an interview that she’d been very lucky to meet other artists through Instagram. This really struck a chord with me. I’ve very much enjoyed keeping this blog going, and I hope to continue writing it for some time to come. But I can’t say that it’s been ideal for meeting other artists, or anyone else for that matter. I had hoped when I started it, well over two and a half years ago, that it would generate comments, and I would be able to get into conversation, online or offline, with other people who shared my interests. This hasn’t happened. I’ve had a handful of comments, some of them from people I know anyway in the real world, and there haven’t been any significant conversation starters. Really, I’ve been talking to myself here.

There are some advantages in having a conversation with yourself, recorded in a specific place. It’s a bit like keeping a diary, a thing I’ve never been able to do consistently. This is my best attempt yet. And it’s a useful record for me of events, feelings and experiences that I might otherwise forget. I quite like reading through my blogposts; it reminds me of what I thought about things at a particular point in time.

instagram-logoSo, will Instagram be any different? Don’t know. I think it will certainly be easier to keep going, as it’s just a case of taking a photo, maybe doing a bit of photo editing, then adding a comment, then whoosh, it’s out there. I got my account set up on Saturday, then posted a few pictures to it and it was all hassle-free and easy. At the time of writing this (and I will schedule this post for publication some time this week) I had five photos of my current sample stitching, and a charming cat photograph. I don’t intend to photograph the cat on a regular basis, but yesterday I thought she was lost and was so relieved when she came home that I shared the moment with my extant followers (who numbered two at the time) – my daughter and one of her best friends. This morning, another of daughter’s best friends started to follow me, so at the time of writing this I rejoice in three followers.

Incidentally, do look up Liz Payne’s very beautiful work. I was alerted to it by Pinterest, which I do absolutely love looking at. I really like the way she’s created something very original and unusual through the medium of embroidery in wool. This serves to demonstrate how something new is always possible, even using only old methods and materials.

If you’d like to see my Instagram pages, please click here, or click on the icon on my home page.

Prism exhibition

The Prism exhibition ended a couple of weeks ago, but they’ve been weeks packed out with work for me, so I’ve not written any posts of late. Regular readers may have noticed this – sorry! I had a grand day out at the Prism exhibition on the 8th June, but boy, was I exhausted by the end of it. I went down to London on the 7th and stayed overnight, then travelled back up north on the evening of the 8th. The weather was poor and there were storms with flash floods in London on both the 7th and 8th. However, despite the weather there were plenty of enthusiastic visitors to the exhibition on the 8th, and they seemed to be having a good time. There was a lot to see and absorb, but also I spent quite a lot of time chatting both with the visitors and with the other Prism members who were stewarding that day. As I barely know anyone from the group it was a great opportunity for me to make some contacts.

It was a lovely ego boost for me to see my three pieces in the exhibition. It’s a pity that none of them sold, but on the other hand I did sell some of the smaller pieces and cards. Just at the moment, I don’t actually know which ones sold because my daughter collected the unsold work at the end of the exhibition. It’s as well for me that she was willing and able to do this, because otherwise I’d have had to make another expensive trip to London. So, the unsold work is currently at her house, and I won’t see it until I go down in August. Once I’ve got the work back I’ll be able to think about alternative outlets for it. I’m quite inclined to set up on Etsy but I’ll have to ponder further on this. It’s all time and effort… and I continue to be short of time. Work does get in the way.


I’ve been doodling with thread. I felt I needed a bit of a break from the small blocks of satin stitch which is all I seem to have done for ages. Not that I won’t return to it – I think there’s still some mileage in the Paul Klee-inspired work, but I want a change. My chosen stitch for doodling is couching and its variants. I picked up a piece of cloth a couple of days ago and worked with the threads I already had in my basket (emptied in there from the Ziplock bags after the cycling adventure). I worked on the big concentric circles at the bottom left of the photo first, then decided to see what would happen if I worked more circles over them. Then I added the four freestanding circles on the right hand side. Then I wondered what it would look like inside a square, so I worked one. Then I thought I might investigate what would happen if I put in a background behind the circles….. and so on until I felt I’d done enough on it. I just love working like this, seeing what will happen. Making samples is just fun, and it really doesn’t matter what the outcome is. They’re fairly quick to do and you can abandon them if you don’t like the way they’re going. If you do like a sample, you might just be inspired to create a larger piece, or even something that’s going to be important for your own development. Doodling with couching

It’s caught my imagination – which is one of the points of sampling, after all – and  today I’ve just started on a set of samples (in 2inch squares) on traditional linen. The intention is to explore different ways of filling in a small area with couching. I’m going to stick to the same very limited colour palette but I might extend the range of materials to wool yarn, ribbon, even beads. I always like the idea of beads but I think they’re difficult to use well. But in a sample, it just doesn’t matter! I’ll let you know how I get on.


Just a brief post today on a little serendipity. You’ll know, if you’ve read my most recent posts, that I’ve been preparing work for sale in the shop at the Prism exhibition. I took lots of photographs of the pieces before I sent them off. The day was dull, with heavy grey cloud and constant rain, so I put the pieces as close up to the window as I could manage. And this is one of the photographs I got:


I mounted most of the pieces onto white or cream mountboard, but put a couple onto black, which can create a bit of drama. The black mountboard with a layer of cellophane on top of it was particularly difficult to photograph because of the reflection. But, and this is the serendipitous bit, look at what a lovely pattern it creates on the left hand side. The reflection is partly of the teapot on the windowsill, but mostly of the tree immediately outside the window. Here it is, cropped, so that you can see it in a bit more detail:Serendipity image

I think I can use this. Not sure what for, but I think it’s lovely.