Thursday, 29 May 2008

Johan's Angel

Last year I made a series of work for an exhibition. As I've said before I'm 'hooked' on old churches and the inspiration for these pieces came from visits to some beautiful little churches in Cornwall.
There's a church at Forrabury in North Cornwall, dedicated to the delightfully named St. Symphorian and the churchyard is full of interesting, lichen covered grave stones.
The sea is all around you and the air is so fresh (as one of the locals told me) 'It hasn't been breathed since it left America'.
I found my little angel on Johan Tubb's stone which dates back to 1624 . I love the 'just permed' hair.
These are some of the flowers I found on a lovely slate memorial to Jane Mellow, at Talland in south Cornwall.
I made the pages into a book which I called 'Cornish in Memoriam'.
My aim was to try to create a 'stone like' appearance for the background fabric.
I used plain calico onto which I mono printed the design. I then collaged various scraps of paper, rubbed gesso over the area and stitched the design using free machining.

The finishing touches were given by rubbing some areas with charcoal and applying just a little black fusible webbing.

Knot garden in the rain

Well, I know it's not surprising,we had a holiday weekend and it rained, again.

We visited Greys Court, a National Trust property near Henley on Thames in Oxford shire. The property goes back to medieval times and has the prettiest gardens, arranged in sort of 'outdoor rooms', each bordered with lovely old walls.

This picture shows part of the 'Knot garden'.
They were ornamental gardens from Elizabethan times.

The little hedges,made of Box or sometimes fragrant Lavender, were planted in intricate patterns.
There is a fabulous book called 'Embroidered Knot Gardens' by Owen Davies and Gill Holdsworth.
Lots of inspiration for making miniature embroidered gardens! There are even instructions for making tiny water features in fabric and stitch.

I know I must be mad but because of the rain, we had the gardens to ourselves and I got to play with my new camera without feeling too self conscious. . . then we went into the little tea rooms and had a Cream Tea (scones, jam and clotted cream), forbidden food but I ate it quickly!

Later, we went to the local church. I love exploring old churches, they are so full of history and interesting bits and pieces.

This is the tomb of Sir Francis Knollys and his wife who lived at Greys Court in Elizabethan times.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

More about my visit to Chester

The workshop I did at Chester was on making 'Bookwraps', they are rectangular, textile wraps to keep precious things safe.

Some of the girls at Chester Guild.

Here are some of the Bookwraps they made, using mainly coffee dyed calico, felt chiffon,newsprint, oiled photo copies and brown paper.

I love how the imagination takes off, especially using some really quite basic materials.

Hello, I'm new to this

It's taken me ages to get myself sorted, but here goes. Where to start?

I've enjoyed reading other people's Blogs, so I thought I'd have a go too.

I went to Chester recently, to do some teaching for the Embroiderers Guild. A great group with some very talented members and they made us very welcome (us being, myself, Mike my husband and Rowan).

We stayed in the grounds of Chirk Castle for a few days and the weather was great, for a change.

The bluebells were at their best in the woods all around us. The path in the picture must have been made by the woodland animals.