Wednesday, 29 December 2010
To welcome the New Year, the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors has just arrived. With articles on recycling fabric, paper casting, journal making, working colaboratively, collage postcards, needlefelting and artist profiles, it is a bumper-packed issue to start the New Year off with an inspirational bang!
I've had to revise my opening hours for this week. Due to an unexpected routine hospital appointment, I will no longer be open this Friday, 31st December. I'm sorry if you were hoping to come along to collect double Loyalty Card stamps, but if you let me know by commenting on this blog post, leaving your full name, I'll make sure you receive them on your next visit.
See you all in next year!
Thursday, 23 December 2010
You can find the full Craft Arena Christmas and New Year opening hours on my website.
I'd like to say a big 'Thank You' to all my customers and friends for the support you have given me during the last year.
Don't forget that you can collect double Loyalty Card points from Wednesday 29th to Friday 31st December, and that the Craft Arena sale starts at 10am on Wednesday 5th January.
A Happy Christmas to one and all.
Saturday, 18 December 2010
I'm now contemplating whether to leave before we are snowed into Barleylands, but there are still people out shopping, so I can't go yet. I've constructed my metre piece and now just have to attach it to the rod for hanging. I'll post a picture once it is totally finished.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Friday, 10 December 2010
The fabric was constructed using threads placed on sticky dissolvable film, with Romeo placed on top of that then machine stitched. Once the film was washed away, I stitched on three metal embossed panels, and made the beads with Tyvek. Makes it sound as though it only took me five minutes, but I started it in July!
Once I've finished this, I only have two more projects to complete, then I'll need to finish my samples and the theory part. Before the end of July. Hmmm...........!
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Sunday, 5 December 2010
I went to the theatre with some Dunnett friends yesterday to see Romeo and Juliet at The Roundhouse. I was late getting there due to engineering work on the railway and missed most of lunch, but the soup I had was excellent and the play was good too.
Back at work as normal today, although I may shut at 4pm to get home before the melted snow freezes!
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Liz was kind enough to ask me for lots of information for the radio website, and her blog, so I'll be giving her info on Basildon Stitching Club, Essex Handicraft Association, Eastern Region Textile Forum and Embroiderers' Guild. If I've forgotten anyone, let me know and I'll include it.
Thursday, 25 November 2010
The second shows work by members of Ladybugs Quilters, based in Shenfield.
Two very different styles of work, but both are stunning, so do come along and see them. Both exhibitions are on until the end of December.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
A couple of new books are in. They were published in September, but it's the first time I've had them in - don't know how I missed them!
Drawn to Stitch by Gwen Hedley is a guide to using line and other forms of mark-making in textile art and embroidery.
Line is an essential component of textile art. When used effectively, it can convey texture, tone, form, movement and mood. Drawn to Stitch is a practical guide to the uses of line in embroidery and textile art, presented as a series of exercises designed to help the reader explore line's potential and develop their creativity. It covers line and mark-making tools, materials and processes - including printing and mixed-media techniques - and then moves into stitch, explaining how to interpret different line qualities from crisp and sharp to soft and diffused, from raised and overlaid to recessed and inlaid. Full of inspiring ideas, the book is illustrated with stunning examples of stitched-textile work.
A structured series of exercises helps the reader explore the limitless possibilities of line and boost their confidence in this fundamental area . The book is illustrated with stunning examples from the author and other leading textile artists.
The practice differs from recycling in that the objects often remain 'themselves' when they are incorporated into the work. The work is often conceived and built around the found object. The definition 'found object' can include a wide range of objects, from natural materials such as driftwood and leaves to old bits of machinery and vintage fabrics. Mundane objects such as CD cases can be used to create stunning pieces of art, or more sentimental items such as old jewellery can lend deep meaning to a work. This book contains a wealth of techniques and inspiration for incorporating found objects into your textile work.
These are both inspirational books that could take you further in your textile journey.
Our Christmas Charity Night is on Friday 26th November when we will be raising money for two good causes; The Burned Children's Club and Southend Breast Cancer Care. There will be lots going on including live music with a Robbie Williams Tribute Act, entertainment and an auction with some great prizes including meal vouchers for The Magic Mushroom and The Ivory Rooms, family Pantomime tickets, a helicopter ride and an electric guitar. Father Christmas will be here with a FREE present for the children, there will be a Christmas Farmers' Market, Mince Pies and Mulled Wine, Carols from local school children, (including a choir from Northlands School in Basildon, where my daughter Jennifer works) and much more!
I hope to see you then.Denise
Friday, 19 November 2010
I'm off to Basildon Embroiderers' Guild in the afternoon to talk about my City and Guilds work, so there are a few gaps on the walls as I'm taking some of my work with me.
There is a rather nice article about Craft Arena in the December issue of Essex Life magazine. If you would like to read it you can see it on my website here. I haven't read this publication before, but I must say I'm really impressed. I think I'll be getting it more often!
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Last weekend I was up in Norwich for the ERTF Conference and a study day on Friday at Norwich Cathedral Broiderers and Carrow House Textile Museum. Lots to think about and plenty of inspiration, including an exercise using thread and a hanger! I've left my camera at home, so I'll try and pop them up in the next few days.
I have a new exhibition in The Gallery in December. Ladybugs Quilters will be displaying their Calendar Quilt, together with other pieces of their work. It will be available to view from Friday 26th November which is also the Barleylands Christmas Charity evening, until 31st December.
Our Christmas Charity Night runs from 4pm to 9pm on 26th November, and is an opportunity to kick-start your Christmas shopping, enjoy an evening of entertainment and help raise money for The Burned Childrens' Club and Southend Breast Cancer Unit. There will be an auction and raffle and you can deliver your Christmas list to Father Christmas in his grotto. Local schools and bands will be performing, there will be a fancy dress competition and live music including a Robbie Williams tribute act. I will be supplying refreshments and mince pies and there will be lots more on offer, so do come along to see what is going on.
A bit of advance notice about my Christmas opening times. I'll be closing at 4pm on Thursday 23rd December and will open between Wednesday 29th December and Friday 31st December from 11am to 4pm when there will be double Loyalty points on any purchase over £5. We will be closed again from 1st to 4th January inclusive, and then 5th January sees the start of our annual sale. I only have one sale each year, so it will be an opportunity to pick up some bargains.
If you get a chance, do take a look at Essex Life magazine this month. There is an article about Craft Arena on page 183!
Friday, 5 November 2010
I did some pulled thread work with a customer on Wednesday, then on Thursday at college did more! I forgot how relaxing this is! We are attempting a Casalguidi sampler. I'd never heard of this before. Here is a link to Stitch with the Embroiders Guild showing a piece. Mine won't look anything like that though! I've just done the background at the moment. I've just taken a picture of it with the camera on my phone, but it's not talking to my computer any more, so I can't show you. So much for 24 month contracts - I still have a year to go until I can get another!
I have just one place left on the Crewel workshop with Pat O'Connor on Wednesday 10th November. If you would like to join us, give me a ring on 01268 523780.
Don't forget that Sharne Gregory will be In The Studio on Saturday 20th November, demonstrating her vessel. You can see some of her samples for the day on her blog. I'm really looking forward to that, although I will have to leave at lunchtime as I have a talk to do at Basildon Embroiderer's Guild. I know I said that was last month, but I got the date wrong. Another CRAFT moment!
Friday, 29 October 2010
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
An excellent issue.
I held a workshop at Braintree for Essex Handicraft Association yesterday doing metal embossing. I wanted to take some pictures of everyone at work, and their finished results but I thought I'd left my phone at home. Of course, as I was packing up I found it in my coat pocket! It was a good day and they made me very welcome. We got a lot done in a few hours; practicing embossing on aluminium and then working with copper and stitching metal onto fabric. I'll have to run this class at the studio one day. Let me know if you are interested.
My daughter dropped in to see me this afternoon, and we went to look again at the wedding dress she'd tried on a few weeks ago. Then we bought it! One more think to tick off her list. 26 weeks to go - I really must concentrate on that diet!!!
Thursday, 21 October 2010
I've also received the frames and an icon which you can see here. These are ideal for painting and embossing with all sorts of media. I immediately thought metal, but you can use them for attaching all sorts of fabric, threads and completed art work. Very reasonably priced too.
I've also some new Valdani varegated machine cotton threads in some lovely muted shades.
This is the organza work I did yesterday with Dorothy Wood. It's not finished, as I had to slip away to a hospital appointment before the end of the class. Eileen did the workshop too, and she's promised me she'll bring her piece back when she's finished.
At college today, I reviewed all the samples I need to have completed by the end of the course, and I was surprised at the amount I've actually achieved! I've a lot less to do than I thought.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
The new issue of Stampton Studio has arrived; it's not usually my favourite magazine as it's too paper based for me, but this issue is crammed full of lovely things to make, and the colour palette they've used for this issue includes some of my favourite colours, red and turquoise. It is a Christmas season issue, with some lovely ideas for decoration and gifts.
For the quilters amongst you, International Quilt Festival Quilt Scent has arrived. This is an annual publication from Quilting Arts, and has 19 projects to use up your fabric stash with both modern and traditional designs.
I'm currently in the middle of the organza workshop with Dorothy Wood. I'll try to post some pictures later.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Dorothy is also taking two workshops at Craft Arena. Tomorrow we will be making an organza landscape, and on Sunday 31st October Dorothy will be taking us through the process of constructing a hanging based on her Four Seasons panel. We still have a few places, so do let me know if you would like to join us.
Saturday, 16 October 2010
Today I'm doing another talk; this time a little closer to home at Basildon Embroiderers' Guild. I was originally asked to talk about City & Guilds to try and encourage members to give it a go, but as most of the funding has now been cut and courses are very thin on the ground, they have asked me to talk about my City & Guilds journey. It's the first time I've given a talk just about me, without having a demonstration to hide behind, so I'm a bit nervous! Hope they don't get bored!!
If you, or a group to which you belong, would like me to come along and give a talk and/or demonstration, just let me know.
This evening is my daughter's engagement party, but I won't be able to get too sozzled at I'm off to Rye in the morning to meet up with some Dunnett friends.
Monday, 11 October 2010
I was hoping to be able to light it up to show the translucence of the Vilene, but that is proving problematic. As the opening is only 1½ inches wide, Ray is having difficulty making a battery powered light small enough to fit in! Might have to abandon that idea.
This was version three of the vessel - the others didn't go as I wanted, and it wasn't until I went on the Lynda Monk workshop that I realised what I had to do to make it work. This is version two:
So, now just the notes to write up and then on to my metre piece; it's half-way there, just have to do a little more to it before it's ready to be unveiled!
Had a great time at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally. Met loads of people I know, including Sharne and Nickie as soon as I walked through the door! Met up with them again at lunch with Sue to compare notes and show our purchases. I didn't get much - a few nice things from Craftynotions which I'm hoping to get in soon, but more of that later.....
Friday, 8 October 2010
I finished my vessel today. Hopefully I'll have time tomorrow to post pictures.
Off to Ally Pally on Sunday - really looking forward to it - maybe I'll see you there!
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
College tomorrow. I'm hoping to finish my vessel and will try to post pictures if I do!
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
I'm off to Ally Pally for the Knitting and Stitching Show on Sunday. Can't wait!
Don't forget that I have some special workshops coming up. Dorothy Wood is making an organza panel on Wednesday October 20th and a hessian hanging on Sunday 31st October, Pam O'Connor is showing us some Crewel work techniques on Wednesday 10th November, and just arranged, Sharne Gregory will be demonstrating in The Gallery on Saturday 20th November - not to be missed!
I'd like to thank Lynda Monk for the plug on her blog. I have some large sheets of distressable felt available in black or white, a little thinner than the felt she mentioned, and ideal for making vessels!
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
'Learn how to print designs on to fabric, and then embellish them with stitching. Janet Edmonds teaches you about all the materials and techniques you need to develop your skills in this fascinating area of textile art.
This highly practical and unique book provides clear, step-by-step instructions for adding amazing designs to fabric by printing and stitching. Using a whole range of printing techniques, including block printing, soft-cut lino printing, mono printing and collagraph printing, the author guides you carefully through the process, from initial idea, through the development of a theme, to designing and making a block and creating pattern on paper. Once you are happy with your design, it is transferred to fabric and finally stitching is added to enhance the design. Both machine and hand stitching are used, and there's a useful and extensive stitch library at the back of the book showing the range of stitches you can use. Janet's unique eye for colour is evident throughout the book, which is richly illustrated with numerous partly completed samples to illustrate the author's methods, finished examples of her work, and three-dimensional objects created using printed and stitched fabrics to extend the reader's imagination even further.'
Says it all! A great book for learning techniques, refreshing your knowledge or getting inspriation from.
Also in are 'Redwork Winter Twitterings' and Jane Greenoff's '100 Cross Stitch Patterns to Mix and Match'.
It's been a busy morning; also in today:
- Polyester felt for distressing: 17.5 x 12 inch pieces in black and white
- Flizi wool in 5 colourways this can be knitted, then felted
- Needles for embellisher machines
- Needles for metallic thread embroidery; I found out from my supplier that Topstitch needles and Metallic needles are exactly the same, but Metallic ones are packaged to be more expensive! Needless to say (no pun intended) I'll just get Topstitch needles from now on!
- A selection of Madeira FS machine embroidery threads in the newest and most popular colours.
- Aquatics water soluable paper
I've also received some pretty new ribbon in matching brown and cream shades which will be great for all sorts of embellishment.
The latest issue of Quilting Arts has just arrived - talk about a busy day! Contents include:
- Thread Sketching 101 Lesson 5: Focus on patter
- Transfer Dyeing Create uniquely patterned fabrics from repurposed men's attire
- Transforming Discards into Art
Surface design and mixed media with shredded paper
- Resists from the KitchenIngredient 1: Oatmeal
- Abstract Ditial Imagery An easy approach to creating one-of-a-kind fabrics
- Making "Boro Bobbles" A fun, fanciful use of your scraps
- Everything Old is New Again Inspirations for contemporary quilt design in antique imagery
- Needle-Felted Fabrics from Scratch How to create a felted stash
- Metal as a Surface Embellishment Part 2: Wire
Friday, 24 September 2010
This is the first time we have asked members to enter a competition, and we were delighted at the response.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Not a very good image, I had to take if from quite a way off. In case you can't make it out (and I can't say I blame you), the person third from the right on the poster by the escalator is me! The poster is to advertise Basildon and District Art Trail which has been on over the weekend and finishes today.
Embroiderers' Guild tonight. I may even have something to show as my vessel from the Lynda Monk workshop on Saturday is nearly finished.
I painted it with Modern Masters Iron paint, and then spattered it with Rust Activator. It may need a little more activator - I'm not sure when to stop!
Saturday, 18 September 2010
This is it painted with gesso and with pieces of scrim applied, then gesso'd (?) again.
And another close up
This is great fun!
Off home to get my dinner now. I think my husband thinks I've left him!
All I can say is, if you get a chance to go on one of Lynda's workshops, you MUST! She was so generous with her knowledge and samples - we even got a CD with notes on that is almost a complete book full of information!
These are the samples we did in just a few hours .....
.... and there were loads of other pieces of Lutradur, Tyvek and stuff left over for us to play with at home!
The workshop has solved a problem I've been having with my C&G vessel, which hasn't been going the right way. I know what I'm going to do now though! Off to have a play.
Friday, 17 September 2010
On Saturday I'm off to a workshop by Lynda Monk, arranged by Chelmsford Embroiderers' Guild. I'm really looking forward to this, as I don't think I have had the chance to go to a workshop since Craft Arena opened.
Craft Arena will still be open, in the capable hands of Penny.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Four deliveries today, mostly restocking, but the kid's kits I ordered at the trade show the other week have arrived, and they are great! The Learn How to Knitting Kit is brilliant; four balls of lovely coloured wool, needles, felt with full instructions and patterns. I think it is going to be a big hit for Christmas!
I've also got some sewing kits; felt jewellery, pretty little love hearts and the sweetest little mouse house complete with occupants!
More Debbie Bliss wool is in too, but I haven't had a chance to open the box to remind me what I've ordered!
And only another week before I'm back at college! Arrgghh!!
Thursday, 9 September 2010
- Swirling leaves - Form wirework leaf shapes from copper wire to create this autumnal jewellery set
- Satellite beads - A simple and effective polymer clay tutorial that shows you how to add spacers and embellishments to your handmade beads
- Serenity - Use mandrels to create these effective wire links and create a gorgeous jewellery set
- Ebony necklace - Get your blowtorch out and link silver ovals to form a stunning chain
- Autumn tumble - Melt copper leaves into your glass designs to create a seasonal inspired bead
- Love notes - Mix up your metals with this beautiful twotone style silver clay necklace
- Vintage memories - Silver clay donuts link together to form the centrepiece of this stunning wearable necklace
- A hole in one - Silver clay donuts link together to form the centrepiece of this stunning wearable necklace
- Jasper hearts - Combine matt and metallic seed beads to weave tubular peyote stitch and combine with semi-precious focal hearts
- High tea - Antique looking chain, palest blue beads and exquisite pearls combine to create this chic jewellery set
- Flowers of distinction - Wirework pretty flower shapes for bicone beads and attach to a chain for a delicate necklace, earring and bracelet set.
I've also heard that there will be a new Cloth Paper Scissors publication in soon. Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts will include 33 holiday inspired mixed-media projects, gifts, accessories and gagets and much more
I'm off to do more C&G work today; my vessel is finally starting to come together. I'll take pictures this time, I promise!