Friday 31 May 2013

Adding to the collections

OK I call them collections - you may disagree and consider it all just more clutter. Every weekend at the flea market I seem to find something that's hard to resist. This week it was elephants.

This is one of the pair I bought to add to Laura's elephant collection but he seems quite at home on my mantlepiece. She may have to admire them when she visits!

I also found another sea urchin. Not a bad trick this far from the sea!

And a tall skinny green bottle to add to the others. What were they used for I wonder?

And a couple more wonky, green glass inkwells.

They all sit in this display cabinet. One of two we bought at auction months ago. Sorry about all the reflections - the cabinets are on a wall of the conservatory and in full sun. That's the main reason I'm keeping this collection to glass wood and china - none of which should suffer from the light.

There is stuff other than shopping for treasures going on. Here's a detail of the latest quilt I'm working on. The gold leaf shapes have been painted onto the fabric after it's been quilted. I'll be showing you the finished quilt in a week or two, fingers crossed!

Thanks for visiting - I'll be back again soon -  Linda

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Today's all about sketchbooks

I've been enjoying making time for my latest sketchbook work. I shouldn't really call it work because it is definitely more like play!

My room looks a total disaster but it is at least a creative chaos, unlike the rest of the house which is just everyday chaos.

This sketchbook is inspired by my garden and the latest studies are all of Ivy leaves.

I want the pages to be precious so the gold leaf had to come out! I've added a wash of red over the top to warm it up and knock the glitz back a bit.

I'm planning to go back to an old favourite when I've finished with the Ivy. Pretty as the Honesty is in flower..........

It's the papery seedheads I love - especially at this time of year when they show signs of what a tough winter we've had. They'll be a great subject for monoprinting I think!

I'd like to thank our Creative Sketchbook student Hannie for letting me show 3 of her sketchbook pages here today.

Great use of colour and lovely paint effects Hannie!

Pears are always a beautiful shape and this is a really vigorous drawing.

Thanks for dropping by - please come back soon!  Linda

Sunday 12 May 2013

Quilting, sketchbooks and found treasures

I don't think I showed you the latest little treasure I found in the flea market recently. I paid the princely sum of £3 for this lovely red needlecase. 

The paintwork is a bit sorry for itself but the contents are intact and show no sign of rust. I don't mind the signs of age and use - in fact I rather like to see it's had a useful life.

The needlecase was made in Redditch, needle capitol of the world last century. The top turns so that an arrow lines up with the size of needle required and it's then dispensed through that little hole you can see. Having exhibited a number of times at the Needle Museum in Redditch I feel a special affinity with  this particular treasure!

I may be testing some of those needles soon as the machine quilting on the second mad heron is finished now and I'm adding hand stitch around all the circles. This work is destined for Llanidloes in the summer along with quilts from all the members of Six and Friends. I see Hilary posted on the site today - if you take a look you'll see she's really on a roll!

We spent the whole of last week's gloriously sunny long weekend purging the garden of weeds. I could barely move after all the exertion but this afternoon was dismal and wet - a perfect excuse to hide away in my studio. I'm still working on garden inspired pages for our latest DMTV sketchbook videos and had fun collaging the scraps from recent monoprinted rejects. I plan to draw into this page to give the leaves a stem and maybe a bit more detail once the glue has chance to dry!

I recycled an old gouache and Indian ink iris too. It was lying around looking lonely and sorry for itself and will be much happier glued in a sketchbook with other flowers and foliage. I never throw anything away!

I also attached a photo in readiness for the pencil drawing which will sit opposite on a golden ground. There's quite a lot of gold throughout the book as I'm trying out a variety of metallic paints and inks for another rather precious book I want to alter.

I'm not the only one busy in my sketchbook. Janet is working through our Creative Sketchbook course and was kind enough to let me show you a couple of her pages. I know people enjoy seeing our students' work so many thanks Janet!

Hope you're having a pleasant weekend and that you're finding time to be creative too. Thanks for visiting - Linda

Wednesday 1 May 2013

All things floral

I spent the weekend drawing, painting and printing in a small sketchbook. There's method in my spring madness - we're making a short series of videos for DMTV and I need lots of new work. Not that it's a hardship you understand - I love nothing better than idling the day away with pencil or paintbrush in hand, especially when it's lovely weather and I can work out in the garden.

My sketchbooks are usually a mish mash of different themes. I might start off thinking I'll work in a systematic and orderly fashion but that idea all goes to pot when I'm in a hurry and I tend to grab any sketchbook that has a blank page or two. This time I've resolved to keep a book just for flowers and foliage. It's a subject I think our members will like and I have plenty of plants to choose from. 'He Who Gardens' always leaves a corner of the lawn unmown (is that a word I wonder - spellcheck doesn't think so) at this time of year.

Here's the reason why. So pretty with every pastel colour you can imagine.

Every year there are more and more tiny plants with no effort on our part at all. OK, so a few dandelions sneak in there too but we can live with that! I haven't painted any of these yet but I am going to steal a couple of the prettiest flowers while he's not looking and press the petals between absorbent paper to preserve them. I often like to include dried flowers in my sketchbooks although they are quite fragile unless they are well protected with a layer of acrylic medium.

At the other end of the scale there are these huge beauties. They are at least a metre high and look ridiculously exotic at a time when we are still having night time frosts!

With so many lovely plants bursting into life I have no shortage of inspiration. I've sacrificed actual leaves to make this print.

The veg patch didn't escape my attention either! If you are a DMTV subscriber, you'll be able to see the first of the sketchbook videos in a couple of weeks' time and I hope some of you will join in with me to make your own flower filled sketchbook as a reminder of summer 2013!

And to finish - here's Amelie sporting a fetching top and matching bandana in Madras check. What you can't see in this picture are her purple harem pants. Whatever happened to romper suits? Seven months old and a fashionista already!

Thanks for dropping by - I'll be in touch again soon. Linda