Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Finishing off.

 With all the background stitching to the piece, the small areas with the butterflies bubbled, but not in attractive way, they sank unevenly into the background. I decided to pad each motif with a tiny piece of light quilting batting, cover the back with lightweight cotton fabric and then stitch around each 'bubble'  through all layers by hand to make them sit up.
            That turned out to be the answer, they now bubble out nicely from the background.
       This is a mock up with the matt board from the old frame that I intend to use for this piece.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A Touch of Orange.

To liven up the image a little I decided to add a few touches of orange water colour paint, orange being the complimentary of blue. I think that it now looks a lot better, though I'm still not completely done with it!

Monday, 28 September 2015

New Work.

 I'm not quite sure what prompted me to start this piece, except that I already had a frame with a blue border to the matt board and so I thought that I might sew something especially to make use of a spare frame. Well, it wasn't exactly spare, I removed an old art piece from the frame that never worked very well. Here I've scanned an old piece of screen printing that again never worked, and started Photoshopping  the image. All the little butterflies are added individually to the background screen print which was originally green and red!
Here I've printed the image onto fabric and with 2 different variegated threads I've sewn random  small circles all over the area that wasn't covered by the butterfly 'bubbles'. Not sure what comes next, as I need a focal point, but I don't want to introduce another colour. Thinking........

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


 I have indeed added an insect to the grasses image; the beetle is a digitally reduced print of a stamp that I hand carved some time last year. I felt that the whole picture needed more of a point of focus, particularly when I wanted to use an old frame that had a much smaller open area than the piece of textile work itself.
Here you can see the new size of the finished work, much narrower than it was originally which I am quite happy with.

Monday, 21 September 2015


Here's another solar print that I've been working on for some time. You might remember that a while ago I had the idea of appliqueing some blue silk pieces to this background, but nothing looked quite right, so I have reverted to machine embroidering the small plants below the grasses. I'm thinking of adding an insect, but I'm not totally convinced about the idea!

Friday, 18 September 2015


 Still some cleaning up to do here, and I think that I will invest in some new printing ink.  What I have is very old and doesn't roll out evenly at all. Some of the carving lines will stay, after all it is a lino-cut and they prove it!
A red crest yes, but what about the eye? Here are some variations that I'm considering, just click on the image to enlarge it.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Still Carving.

 I'm not sure if all the feather markings are actually deep enough to show up properly, but I'll leave them for now and keep carving.
 The surrounds looked a bit bare, so I've incorporated several leaves. I don't know what species of cockatoo it is, but it definitely isn't an Australian one with that shaped crest.
 The leaves look like Eucalypt leaves which isn't entirely appropriate with the 'foreign' cockatoo, but they do have nice shapes!
          First trial print just using a stamp pad dabbed on to see where I need to tidy up the carving.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Carving a Cocky.

 I found an image of a cockatoo that looked as if it would translate well into a lino-cut. Here is the initial drawing and I'm just beginning to cut the area around his crest.
      A bit more outlining, and I've just realised how many feathers there are to work around.
 The preliminary carving is almost finished, although there is lot more work to be done removing the background and in between the leaves. I also want to go back into the feathers are make some faint marks on them, just to make them look more like feathers and less like scales!
 I've done a quick crayon rubbing on rice paper here just to get some idea of how it might look.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


 I just love Gazanias, their shapes and their many colour variations, added to which they are easy to grow.
    All of these I actually grew from seed, and it's taken a couple of years for them to flower.
 Well worth the wait, as I can now move pieces to other parts of the garden, knowing if they are to go in the pink flowering area or the orange, yellow, red area.
                                                         The variations are amazing!
                            Even the less striking markings are beautiful when seen up close.
                                  Perhaps I need to grow more seed for even more variations!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Museum in Visby, Gotland.

 These ancient stone markers are in a small but interesting museum in the town of Visby, on the Swedish Island of Gotland. The interesting thing about the photo of a boat above, is the striking similarity between it and the images of boats seen on monuments in ancient Egypt.
 The carvings have worn away with time, but the more important ones have had a bit of paint applied so that the images can be seen. I love all the people in this boat with it's single large sail
                                               A lovely collection of patterns on this one.
                                           Some reindeer perhaps and a wheel like symbol.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

New Stamp.

   Back to carving stamps today with this one that I hope will be the start of a new piece of work.
                                  A few things to tidy up, but I'm pretty happy with this one.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

A Bit of Stitching.

     The colour of this print isn't quite right, although the original is a blue green shade. Nearly finished! I'm  not sure whether to leave the mottled background fabric showing or whether to frame right up against the central panel.
I almost never work on more than one piece at a time, but as these 2 are so similar in subject matter I have been stitching on both. As you can see I have removed the blue silk patches from this one, maybe for ever or maybe they'll return later, who knows.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Grass Printing.

                                              My box of pressed grasses ready to print with.
 I thought that the piece of cotton with the solar printed grasses needed a bit extra, so I over printed with the pressed ones.
Here I've stitched over some of the grass, but it still needs something extra, some small flowers in amongst the grasses perhaps?

Monday, 7 September 2015

Seed Pods.

 I couldn't believe the shape and texture of these seed pods, and I have no idea what plant they belong to. I spotted them in the restored garden of  Carl Linneaus in Uppsala Sweden.
 There are 1,300 species of plants grown in the garden today, which was originally laid out in 1655.
I do know that this is a black form of edible pea, but again I have no idea what the small black pods above are.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Kadriorg Palace Estonia.

 I just love these old tiled stoves in the palaces. While everyone else was looking at the old Dutch Masters' paintings, I was admiring the stoves and the Dutch tiles.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Doors of Tallinn.

 I just love old doors and was delighted to spot a few on a short walk through the old town of Tallinn in Estonia.
                                                   A pity about the light flare on this one.