Draw Something Every Day


The Draw Something Every Day challenge. This started off with me thinking about pastel colours for an assignment. I saw a big heap of candy coated chocolate eggs on a market stall and started doodling shapes and arrangements for a potential design.

The assignment was to do colour mixing with pastel colours using a pointillist stitch technique in a design derived from an image. I tried to do some painting and drawing in pastel colours using shells and stones and flowers, but there was nothing I wanted to take further. I found it came more naturally to work the colours directly in the stitching in a more abstract way. It is inspired by the candy eggs and the doodles but has taken on a life of its own.

pastel French knots

circles and Craft

I had fun in my reinvented room yesterday, printing and painting with acrylics. I set out to make a background for a piece I’m doing for the Embroiderers’ Guild Members’ Forum Summer Challenge – which is to make a small piece without fabric – anything else goes. Along with it we’re swapping ATCs along the same lines – I made mine already – my first(!) – but I can’t post a pic till after the swap next week. I love circles and using these sponge brushes from Art Van Go, so I got a bit carried away!

sponge brushes
printed, painted papers

The first piece is for the Summer Challenge.

sponge print

Then I discovered I could make some interesting swirly effects by twisting the sponge with different amounts of pressure, so I played around with that for a while. I don’t know yet if I can get this kind of effect on fabric.

sponge prints
sponge prints
sponge prints

Craft magazineLast week I was pleased to find a copy of Craft magazine in WH Smith in Kendal – I’ve been interested in this since the first issue came out but it’s quite expensive (£7.99) and I didn’t want to subscribe without seeing it. It’s full of articles about makers (I loved David Mach‘s Myslexic), and off-the-wall projects (some of these might adapt for my youth club craft session, where fast and funky always go down well). There’s a special feature on dressing up, a look at open source patterns and a whole lot about recycling and refashioning. At 176 pages with minimal advertising, it’s like a small book. I love it – I hope it’s come to the UK to stay.

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.


brusho and bleach…

… are what I’ve been playing with today. Along with wax crayons, water colours and the odd feather. Inspired by reading A Sketch in Time by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, which I suddenly remembered I had, I’ve been adding more marks and textures to my sketchbook.

bleach and brusho inks
bleach and brusho inks

I’m nearly ready to start stitching! The second half of this first project in OCA Textiles 1 explores the use of stitch in markmaking and creating texture, based on the mixed media studies created in the first half. I have till the end of the month – no pressure there, then – plus a few work deadlines to meet, so I may not be sleeping much in the coming week.

I heard about a new book today (thank you Sue) by Claire Benn and and Leslie Morgan of Committed to Cloth and Jane Dunnewold – Finding Your Own Visual Language: A Practical Guide to Design & Composition; the blurb says:

“this book aims to help those who are seeking a surer artistic voice by providing practical exercises and guidance on different ways forward”

I’m really tempted – even though I have quite a few design books already – as I’m very interested in what the authors are doing with art cloth and surface design.


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”.