catching up

Just a quick catch up, we have Nadeem visiting this weekend and it promises to be another sunny day, so we’ll probably go into the Lakes for a while. We are lucky enough to live a few miles from this beautiful area of the UK, though not sensible enough to regularly take time to enjoy it.

My last post ended with a bit of machine quilting sorrow, but happily when I started over the next day, things looked a lot better. This is a section of it, together with the lovely Stef Francis threads I’m using to stitch some areas of seeding.


Yesterday I went to Clapham, just over the border into Yorkshire, to visit Jenny Scotts Beckside Gallery, and discovered that it’s now owned by Sandra and called Beckside Yarns. Still the same wonderful range of knitting yarns and embroidery threads. I restrained myself from buying any of the gorgeous Noro yarn – no time to knit – but I did get a remnant of this richly coloured space-dyed wool, which will be great for felting, and a cotton/viscose/linen ‘Cotton Braid’ by Rowan that looks as if it will dye well.


The Artist's MuseYesterday’s mail was exciting too, as it brought The Artist’s Muse by Betsy Dillard Stroud from Amazon. I ordered this after seeing Susan D’s inspiring samples on her blog The Art of Textiles.

I don’t usually sign up for challenges, being overstretched already with the two courses, work work work, life, etc. Actually I’m not sure whether I really fit the life part in – it’s not as I imagine it, certainly. But anyway, I have joined the Draw Something Every Day challenge set by Juli at Orange Rug Yarn Musings – since I’m supposed to be drawing every day anyway as part of the OCA Textiles course. I’m sometimes a little dismayed by how much I seem to need external disciplines to keep me going – I really admire those who are very self-motivated, but I don’t know how to become more so, or if it’s a virtue (as it feels to me) or simply a character trait. Do you find that your motivation comes easily from within, or have you found ways to foster self-motivation if it doesn’t? I’d love to know how other people see this.

stitch samples

I’ve been working on the next stage of OCA Textiles 1, which is using stitch to make marks, lines and textures. I’ve been trying both machine and hand stitching – I’m always in such a hurry I tend to think ‘machine’ first, and I’d forgotten what a pleasure it is to sit and stitch by hand. Especially with La Traviata on the CD player and the sun shining 🙂

revisiting some of my pencil marks and lines in stitch

a machine stitched sample based on something linear from my sketchbook

playing with hand stitches to create texture

I got some Koh-I-Noor watercolours from Art Van Go on Tuesday, plus a new tiny sketchbook for my handbag, and a Aquash paint brush with a water compartment. I christened them all with a sketch of my little dog, Tansy the Tibbie, asleep on her favourite chair. The brush is quite hard to hold as the handle’s so fat with the water reservoir.



TRACEY have an ongoing call for

“the submission of ‘notebooks/sketchbooks’, crossing the boundaries of science, art, design, technology, education. The intention is to demonstrate drawing as a necessary tool in the thinking process – all sorts of thinking.”

The submitted sketchbooks are displayed online.

They also have a fascinating collection of ‘found drawings‘ – “images arising by accident rather than from any conscious process”.