Thursday 23 April 2015


Don't you just love April? This is my favourite time of the year. The sun is shining but it's not so hot that you feel like doing nothing all day. The hedges in the lanes are full of blossom and the fields full of new life. The days are longer again and it feels like anything you set your mind to is possible!

I had an email this week from someone I taught a long time ago. She tells me it's been 18 years which is quite horrifying. Pam did a lot of work with bleach all those years ago and last week's DMTV video inspired her to pick up her Quink Ink and have another go!

This pumpkin bleach drawing with its text is intriguing isn't it? Great work Pam! I've been enjoying using bleach in my 'Finish Me' art journal too.

This is mimicking the mono print on the facing page. I've also found time this morning for a few quick paintings in my sketchbook.

After so much acrylic painting lately it's lovely to get back to my favourite watercolours.

Not sure where these might lead at the moment but drawing and painting help me get to know swallows a little better.

I haven't featured swallows before as they are really Laura's territory. Have to make sure mine look completely different to hers!

Hope you're enjoying the spring weather and feeling creative too!
Love Linda x

Monday 13 April 2015

Make do and make better

It's always lovely to hear from people who have been inspired by DMTV. This week Marilyn wrote to say how much fun she'd had making paper bowls after watching a recent video workshop. You may remember one of my bowls from the video.........

I confess I got a bit carried away with the spots!

But probably not as carried away as Marilyn who tells me she plans to make lots more than the eight she's shown me here - I love her enthusiasm!

So, the bowls were made from old envelopes and paper scraps while the decorative spots I added were the punched leftovers from the hanging devices of the talisman pockets.

Which in turn were made from old photos and scraps of original artwork. Just shows how I can never bear to throw anything away.

But my hoarding instincts are vindicated when old bits and pieces are just what're called for in a project! I get a lot of satisfaction from creating something out of next to nothing.

My latest recycling challenge comes in the form of these less than lovely pieces of wood. It's my own fault I suppose - I had mentioned to Laura how much I'd loved some paintings on driftwood I'd seen recently. It's dangerous to say anything like that to her because, quick as a flash, these wooden panels were thrust into my hand. The top one looks like an apprentice piece from someone learning to carve, the other two were salvaged from an Edwardian wardrobe door, all complete with dust and cobwebs as you can see. My task, should I wish to accept it, is to make something of beauty from each - we'll have to see what can be done!

Thanks for reading today - Love Linda x

Saturday 4 April 2015

Secrets and dreams

To all the lovely people out there who were kind enough to send messages for us to include in the Talisman pockets I would like to say a huge thank you. The messages were heartfelt and obviously sincere. We've had very personal expressions of hope for specific individuals, quotes from favourite poems, uplifting phrases to help people through difficult times and more general wishes for a kinder and safer world. I hope that expressing your hopes and dreams has had a cathartic effect and that you are pleased to be an important part of this work.

If you're wondering what's happened to the messages right now, here is the first batch. They've been handwritten onto red paper and the papers folded and closed with stitch so they will remain forever secret. As each is transcribed to paper the emails have been deleted so the secrets now only exist in their allotted pockets. It's been quite an emotional experience to read your thoughts and hopes. Although no one else will ever have the opportunity to see everything you've sent, just knowing these secret wishes exist will make a powerful contribution to the overall meaning of the exhibit. For us, it's also important to see that a trace of the black ink is visible through the paper.  It shows there are messages contained within but from the outside the words are illegible and the sentiments remain hidden. Secret and powerful but invisible - gives me goosebumps just to think about it!

The preparation of the messages might progress more quickly if the studio assistant had a better understanding of the process. Apparently rectangles aren't as creative as confetti - good job we have a plentiful supply of red paper.

On a less cerebral note, it's the weekend and time for our usual visit to the local market. Who'd have suspected when we left home this morning that we'd come home with this........?

Strange the things that tempt when all you planned for was a bit of fruit and veg! It's called a Kalimba and basically it's half a gourd with a flat wooden top and a few fingers of metal. He who gardens often demonstrates a taste for the exotic when it comes to musical instruments!

It was only fair that I deserved a treat too don't you think?  Couldn't resist this Irish pot!

Something about the drippy glaze reminds me so much of my sketchbook pages. Another small pleasure in a troubled world. Looking at the glorious colours makes me very happy.

Hope your weekend is filled with sunshine, positive thoughts and the odd self indulgence.

Love Linda x
PS There's till time to send in your contributions for the talisman pockets if you want to be included!

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Quilting for fun on the PowerQuilter and a blustery day out.

DMTV viewers will be familiar with my recent iris piece. I've really enjoyed adding the details that bring it all to life on the Pfaff PowerQuilter this week. I can't praise the big machine table enough - makes free motion quilting an absolute pleasure and so quick!

On the same subject I was happy to receive this lovely image yesterday........

One of our DMTV members, Mary, tells me she had great fun stencilling the iris design too. Thanks for allowing me to share your photo Mary and good luck with the quilting. Hopefully this week's video will give you some ideas to inspire!

We've been anticipating it for so long so it was very exciting to see wonderful work materialising in Laura's first two classes last week. The pavilion had seemed so pristine and almost clinical until the place started to gradually fill with the buzz of creative people and their colourful output. I was itching to join in too but had to content myself with providing snacks and lunch! There are lots more photos of both days over on Laura's blog. We've decide summer is upon us so it won't be wholesome vegetable soup and homemade bread next time - we're moving on to salads. Of course there will still be home baked cake and shortbread. You need to keep the engine stoked!

On the day of the second class we voted to leave Laura in peace with her students and entertain Amelie at a local hands-on farm. There were new lambs and goat kids only a day or two old as well as chickens which roam free and peck at your shoes as you sit eating your lunch! It was a wild and windy day with horizontal sleet from time to time but what made my day was meeting a lovely lady who cares for rescued owls. The Tawny owls above had all been involved in car accidents but were obviously recovering well under her tender care. She had a complete parliament of owls for us to admire and even stroke.

You probably know how much I love birds and I really feel I need to paint some of these gorgeous characters even if this little fellow looks more like a stuffed toy than a living and breathing creature!

Hope you're being creative and feeling optimistic for the coming months. There is so much trouble and horror in the world right now we all need to find solace in small pleasures. Be thankful that we have our passion for art and stitch!

Talk again soon,
Linda x