16 Jun 2011


This is a bit of a departure for me. I've been rediscovering my love of stitch - hand embroidery mostly that I must have inherited from my mother who was a keen stitcher. But I've decided that I want to learn about other things - mixed media pieces, free machine embroidery and everything else that can be done with textiles and stitches. I got myself a reasonably inexpensive sewing machine that has the stuff necessary to do free stitching and am now on a huge learning curve. I'll never abandon hand stitching but want to be able to combine the two.

One of the first experiments I've played around with is using Tyvek. I painted a few small shapes in different colours and attached them using buttonhole stitch. I then added a few french knots, fly stitches and crosses and finally bound the edges of the whole thing with more buttonhole stitch. None of these were very good - the sample was tiny and therefore difficult to sew and the Tyvek was pretty flimsy. Once I'd done this I used a heat gun to shrivel and melt some of the Tyvek, pulling it slightly to create a few holes. This is the result ...

I know it's a bit messy but I'm already thinking of the possibilities (leaves, petals, etc) and I can think of ways I could have done it better (painted both sides of the Tyvek so the white back didn't show when it curled, done some of the embroidery stitches after shrinking, etc.) but I love the way the material has shrunk away from the stitches which are heat resistant.

If any true stitching/textile artists happen to read this I apologise in advance!! I'm just a learner :-)

11 Jun 2011


I can't believe how symmetrical this group of roses on a single stem is. Unfortunately they now reside in a vase on my mantelpiece because a squirrel jumped onto the birdhouse above the pot where the rose is, the birdhouse came unscrewed from its fixing and fell on the rose below, and the stem was knocked off the plant!!

3 Jun 2011


Isn't this wonderful! It's one tile in a community art project installation at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. Each tile is the same size but some are inscribed onto bronze, some are ceramic, some are mosaic and this wonderfully textured tile is... I don't know what it's made of to be honest. I took a picture to use as an inspiration in my altered textiles project. I hope they don't mind.