19 Nov 2014

Ready to go

Bobbins wound and ready to go for the next exercise in Rebecca's course - sewing slits. Mini bobbins are from Woodland Turnery who are currently making me some small Aubusson bobbins which nobody in the UK seems to supply any more. I'll post a picture of them when they arrive.

18 Nov 2014

after Paul Klee

This is my final project from Part 1 of Rebecca Mezoff's online tapestry weaving course. It's woven from the back and I can't photograph it from the front yet as I need to wind it on around the loom to use the rest of the warp for my Part 2 samples. I'll post a photograph from the front when I cut it off the loom.

The arrow is done in regular hatching and appears as a 'ghost' behind the stripes.

29 Oct 2014

finished first sampler

Here's my finished first sampler showing regular and irregular hatching at the top:

I could have cropped the picture so it didn't show the bulgy sides but this is a course after all and hopefully a record of my progress. I'm currently working on a weaving which will finish this first part of the course and will try very hard not to let the sides bulge!!

5 Oct 2014

tapestry weaving progress

I'm progressing with my sampler and am really enjoying it. Rebecca's feedback is comprehensive, helpful and pretty well immediate and I'm learning a whole lot of things I just can't get from books.

Things haven't been going without hitch - my sampler has suffered from a corrugated-like effect caused by too much weft bubbling which I'm gradually getting rid of by watching the amount of weft I put in. I also suffered from a developing hill on the left hand side which can clearly be seen below:

After discounting several possibilities Rebecca thought the most likely cause was uneven beating down of the weft. As I always beat from right to left I may change and try from left to right and with a lighter touch. For the moment though Rebecca suggested trying to ease up the right hand side to even it up and carry on from there. I managed to do this although some of the lower weaving got a bit wobbly but it's a learning curve and the idea of this sampler is to find out how to avoid these sorts of problems. Here is the straightened tapestry:

26 Sep 2014

tapestry weaving again

I'm so excited - I've just started Rebecca Mezoff's online tapestry weaving course. I admire her work so much and as far as I know this is the only online course of its kind. It's no lightweight but a serious course taking the art of tapestry weaving right from the basics. Until now I've tried to learn from books but believe me, there's nothing like having someone in front of you (even if it's electronically!) showing you how it's done.

This is my sampler so far. It's far from perfect but it's not too bad I think.

9 Jul 2014

sampling for embroiderers' guild course

These are my samples for straight stitch, fly stitch and detached chain stitch for Module 1 of the Embroiderers' Guild hand embroidery certificate course I'm doing.

25 Jun 2014

some pictures from the Forest

I remembered my camera when I was out on the Forest this morning.

This part of the forest is part of the Chelwood Vachery estate where I believe there used to be formally laid out gardens. Parts can still be seen.

20 May 2014


I've been spending a lot of time gardening since the weather turned nice - planted lots of veggies in our small patch. We lost about 40 small salad leaf plants to slugs - same as last year - so may not plant them again. They seemed to prefer to be grown in the containers rather than in the ground so maybe that's the trick.

Had to stop and sit in the sunshine and sketch my tools though...

15 May 2014

un-named flower

I can't think of its name! It's been on the tip of my tongue for a couple of days but I just can't remember. Grrr!

9 May 2014


I'm going to have these for dinner tonight but before I do I thought I'd sketch them...

I used Derwent Graphitint water-soluble pencils - not my favourite medium but they were quite useful for getting the stripy effect. 

8 May 2014


Tried my hand at a little botanical study! I had no idea what this was when I picked it at the edge of a field planted with rape but when I got home and consulted my wild flower guide I found it's a Thorow-wax. Strange name but fascinating plant. It's an umbellifer which is part of the carrot family.

Still trying to get the hang of writing in my journal with the dip pen!

6 May 2014

drawings of Rosie

I've been trying to draw my beautiful Irish Wolfhound, Rosie, for one of the classes in Sketch Book Skool . Luckily she's been staying still for me because her cousin, a border collie, came to visit yesterday and wore her out! Here are my attempts

I did them both using a Pilot Lettering Pen 2.0 - it's a lovely pen to use for gesture drawing like this.

2 May 2014


M. Graham watercolours, pen and ink. I did the writing with a dip pen which takes a bit of getting used to as it makes blots all over the place. I don't mind that though. Pity I had trouble spelling 'choice' - I tried to cover my mistake but it didn't work!

30 Apr 2014


I really enjoyed doing this page. It's part of the Sketch Book Skool course and this week it's Jane LaFazio whose work I absolutely love. This was all to do with composition - where to put each element on the page to make a balanced whole.

I loved the challenge of painting the garlic which was quite detailed and fiddly but it really made me look at the subjects more fully than I'm apt to normally!

15 Apr 2014

ready to start stitching

This is my piece for my Mastered course and I'm all ready to start stitching. I've transferred the design onto a piece of linen using tacking stitches and have stapled it to the frame - good and tight.

I've chosen my colours and the only thing I'm not too sure about still is whether to use Perle cotton no. 5 or no. 8. The whole thing will be stitched in twisted chain to try to preserve the painterly feel and this stitch will also be robust enough to take the wear and tear a cushion has to put up with. I may do a little more sampling before I start because I don't want to get it wrong.

9 Apr 2014

sketch book skool

I'm doing Danny Gregory's (et al) Sketch Book Skool course and these are the sketches I've done so far this week. Each week there's a different teacher with different styles and I'm really enjoying it so far. I have a huge amount of respect for Danny.

25 Mar 2014

design sketch

This is a sketch for development into a hand embroidered piece - probably for a cushion cover. I may use a mixture of appliqué and stitch or just stitch. Or both. Much experimenting and sampling to be done plus design development.

Pity about the shadow in the photograph but it covers most of an A2 sheet so was too large to scan.

19 Mar 2014


Playing with ideas for a stitched journal depicting various forms of fungi - such a fascinating subject.

17 Mar 2014

burgundy and gold

I did this whilst on holiday in December last year. Silk and felt fabrics with various threads. The photo makes it look a little brighter than it actually is.

7 Mar 2014

abandoned station in yorkshire

We stayed in a holiday cottage just the other side of the now grassed-over track from this ex railway station. A little further down there were some old railway carriages that are now holiday lets. The people who lived in the old station house kept chickens which used to walk along the platform and annoy Rosie who couldn't get to them! Thank goodness!!

24 Feb 2014

fungi sketchbook

I'm working on a sketchbook with the theme of mushrooms and fungi and these are a couple of the pages which I've completed so far. I may translate the whole thing into fabric eventually or possibly a hand-made book.

20 Feb 2014

dead sunflower head

This is from a photo I took last year. I don't like sunflowers but I love dead sunflowers - they are so much more interesting and have a soft beauty that the live ones don't have.

18 Feb 2014

Sketching again

I don't know why I don't make a pact with myself to sketch something at least once a day. I really love doing it and am sure practice will improve me. So I did two sketches today - one which was just a copy of a photograph and the other was my Valentine's Day present which, if I'd left it much longer, would not still be there! Yummy...

I've signed up for Danny Gregory's Sketchbook Skool which starts early April and am hopping from foot to foot with excitement. Hope I don't mess up!

25 Jan 2014

16 Jan 2014

Burgundy and Gold

It seems so long since I've posted anything at all but I've been working on my stitching experiments and have also started to weave a tapestry for an exhibition in March (unjuried or I wouldn't have tried for it!). Plus the usual butterflying around between dozens of different projects!

Retirement is coming up in a few months and there's another puppy to think about finding so Rosie has a companion. She's curled up alongside my chair here in my workroom as always.