Hello and a warm welcome to you! Thank you for visiting my blog where I love to share a little of my life and my passion for textiles, I hope you will enjoy what you see and read here...do also visit me on Facebook and say hello...or check out my workshops and come and get creative...

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

artists do it in galleries...

when any group of people come together to create something new, there is a power and an energy in their shared passion and vision. Eden Valley Artistic Network(EVAN) is just such a group. Its' birth and growth has been amazing to watch, it is all inclusive of anyone who is an artist, musician, writer etc, it has a website, over 100 artists signed up, a regular programme of events...and now an art gallery! 

And not just a gallery, this is a studio hub, where you can see raw art in the making in a real artist's studio, artists do the selling so you can talk to a live artist, a fantastic opportunity to connect... how does it get any better than that?

Not bad for just over a year! Truly 'Made in EVAN' is going places!  It is based in the Eden valley which is East Cumbria, and over here in the 'wild' West, a West Evan group is coming together, slowly creating a network for artistic people to share experiences, come together socially and offering opportunities maybe to show work or run workshops to get others creating. Just being with a group of people who get who you are, and why you do what you do, is incredibly valuable!

hope you enjoyed this mini tour and a celebration of the power of connection and collaboration...inspired and inspiring...well worth a visit if you're in Penrith

EVAN Arts – Gallery and Studios 

4 Corney Place, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7PX

I'm back into my own studio now as there's lots to be done, including some tidy up time! 

have a creative week!




Friday, 12 January 2018

new year, new ways...

wishing you all a very Happy New Year...thank you for being here and sharing my journey through life and textile art...

they say "old ways won't open new doors" and I have adopted this as is my motto for this year...what can I do or be different in order to create my new reality?? 2018 feels full of promise and opportunities, already things are very different to last year. 

I have started clearing out again in the house, a little bit each day. We have a new sofa, a new bread bin, and await a new freezer(so exciting!) and I am looking forward to sorting out cluttered rooms and gradually introducing more harmony and simplicity. It is a process to be savoured and enjoyed...each layer removed lifts and enhances the spaces, and bring ideas for new things and new ways. 

I have even been making beautiful new cushions, blinds and curtains...a rare treat to use my sewing machine for craft not art, and I am open to doing more, it's so relaxing and satisfying. Even using my beautiful Harris tweed that has been waiting patiently to be made into something lovely. And after 20 years in a home it is certainly time for some fresh new items, designs and colours! It allows energy to flow in a new way. 

Yesterday I asked for a gift from The Universe something to surprise and delight, as I often do...as I stood in the local supermarket car park, a beautiful skein of geese flew overhead in long sinuous lines...such a joy to see, I always feel uplifted by signs from nature. And then in the charity shop I felt compelled to pop into, a stunning pink wool coat hung quietly on the rack... perfect size, brand new, price £6!! It is now home, washed and awaiting a first outing. How does it get even better than that?

On the work front I have been offered some fantastic new creative opportunites, a series of community workshops to create banners to celebrate 100 years since the Suffragettes, and not one but two commissions for large pieces of work. Scary? yes, but exciting too, taking me out beyond where I could have dreamt of being, so easily. It seems the less I do, the more Life brings me perfect things and people.

Last year saw the setting up of an arts collaboration in the Eden Valley, here in Cumbria: The Eden Valley Artistic Network (EVAN), and we are now in the process of setting up a West Coast version,(WestCAN) the idea to create a support and collaborative group, as so often artists, musicians, writers and others work alone and it is so beneficial to connect with other similar folk. EVAN last year ran an arts trail and has now just set up its' own gallery in Penrith which is fantastic. It empowers artists to take charge of their own destiny, together we are powerful! 

So many new things are happening...and in the meantime, apologies if you've been waiting for my new workshop dates, I have had to wait for information on projects, and am now about to sort them out for the year...

An artist may wear many hats...designer, maker, project manager, publicist, admin officer, secretary, artistic director, creative director, photographer, technical department, teacher, workshop facilitator...all of them fun and creative if I allow them to be so! 

I'll see you again soon, as I have some fab photos from my visit to the EVAN gallery a few weeks ago...lots of inspiration!

have a fun weekend...remember "every day's a play day!"


Saturday, 23 December 2017

making merry...

dear friends...who although I may or may not have met you, I think of you all as friends, thank you a zillion times for being here and reading my ramblings and enjoying my photos and creative textile arty fun, 

wishing you may enjoy a peaceful and relaxing festive season...

see you again very soon.... for the best is yet to come!

with love

Monday, 11 December 2017

Take Six Make Christmas Easy

it's over...we did it! Another lovely event where we pooled our resources and energy and our passion for our art or craft, and lovely people visited and looked and admired and bought...and then said 'we'll see you next year!' We had the added joy of being in Phil's delightful new workshop in his restored byre, so were able to showcase our work in a beautiful clean white but characterful venue.
So have a browse here if you didn't make it this time...we were even filmed setting up, by Freya from the 'That's Cumbria' team and appeared on Channel 8 on Freeview (a mysterious place!). That's Cumbria is part of a BBC venture to produce local films about local people, and I have to say if you'd like to watch an antidote to the 'real' news, check out your own locality version! So many heartwarming projects and people doing good and interesting things.
Check it out on utube here and get a 'behind the scenes' sneaky peek!

you may even spot the artist herself in the above photos...that pink coat is my favourite!!

have a creative Christmassy week....and stay warm in this frosty weather!


Sunday, 19 November 2017

mind the gap...

well where did October go that's what I'd like to know? My apologies for lack of appearance here, but cunning plans went all asunder as family events took over. The passing of a loved one, even after a long life well lived impacts on every aspect of daily life, the heart carries many memories, the threads of 'another' woven into the fabric of who we are, stitched in place with every smile and joyful moment remembered, every kindness felt and recorded. Family ties are strengthened by connection and reminiscence as we share sorrow and laughter mingled. There is only love at the end of the day.

Tempest fugit...not half! Suddenly November is upon me and the date of our Christmas 'show' grows ever closer. I am back in my studio, with renewed heart for my work. I have been quietly making, new work has emerged and I am pleased with the outcome of the process. Old work has been cut up and juxtaposed with new in a pleasing and exciting manner! Sketches, photos and feelings start to merge into new ideas and compositions, as fabric play leads the way.

First off is brooches, small and fun, each one unique! Individually created from upcycled fabrics, needlefelted and stitched then beads added by hand...so they become a mini work of art. Inspired by the theme of stone, heather, sea, earth and rust...starting
off with sea and stone...

wishing you a peaceful and creative weekend...

Sunday, 3 September 2017

To South Uist...and home again

if you've been on your own Hebridean adventure...this will be familiar territory to you, if you haven't then drool and imagine...and then book your own trip soonest! 

If you love crossing the sea on a ferry with your car stowed below, with nothing to do for perhaps several hours but look at the appearing and disappearing islands and the endless sea and seabirds, if your heart is in simplicity and empty spaces and a quietness you just can't imagine...this is for you. Heaven indeed...stunning white beaches and turquoise to indigo seas, rocks, seaweed, shells, sea treasures and rust and wild stormy weather and fresh fresh air...and sunshine.. a place where the washing you hang out blows mainly horizontal...if it stays on the line at all!

a prefect place for a family holiday, freedom to roam, lots for me to draw and photgraph, lots of birdwatching for my daughter...and the chance to learn to drive on tiny single track roads with only a sea loch to worry about driving into as there are few cars and you rarely see other people...

I was tempted into The Hebridean Woolshed (several purchases were made!) and a drive up through North Uist on our last day yielded even more delights as not only did we revisit the island we spent our honeymoon on...but I found Uist Wool and a lovely ceramics studio, Shoreline Studio both inspiring and so welcoming...

enjoy this little journey...

back across the sea to Skye (only 11/2 hours sea journey compared to 31/2 on the way out but we end up much further north)...and the long drive home awaited...

I am home inspired...and now my studio is all beautiful ready for C-art Festival and Open Studios so I may not be here for a little while

I would love to see you in my studio if you are visiting the three of us...

otherwise I will return after it's all over and I've had a lie down!

enjoy the last of summeryness as we head into September...

Thursday, 27 July 2017

now it's all over...

and life is settling back down, it seems working for the exhibition and setting it up and taking it down was all just a pleasant dream!

A big thank you to Florence Arts Centre at Egremont for hosting us. I was so inspired by taking part, it really got my creative juices flowing, not least because of the venue; Florence Arts Centre is such an interesting place to visit, with all the history of the iron ore mine it once was, and has exhibitions and musical events all year round... 


It was just so lovely to participate in a joint event, with the chance to collaborate with other artists...even just a cup of tea as we made plans or chatting as we set it up was as valuable a part of the whole thing as actually showing my work.

...and Diversity will be back next year, with another show! How does it get even better than that?!

Thank you too to all those who came to see the show, and perhaps booked a workshop. That was the other wonderful thing; I ran a workshop and we had people wandering in from seeing the exhibition, which meant they could see 'making' actually happening, linked with the exhibition. There were also demonstrations by some of the artists, and altogether it made for a lively 'alive feeling' event, with lots of connections and inspiration!

So if you didn't get to see the work , here's a little taste of what the group had created:
work by Jenni Payne, Susan Denham Smith, Jan Cottam, Diane Standen, Ruth Moore, Maureen Hogg and Sue Cosham 

Apologies for the long gap in my blogging, just been focussing on workshops and various other life affairs...and I am delighted to say some of my work has been selected for the
at Rheged near Penrith, 9th sept - 5th November

...and now C-art Open Studios is looming (8th -17th Sept) so I'm back off down to my studio...

have a creative weekend!