Category Archives: collage

In a Vase on Monday

spode jug, nigella seed heads, crochet cotton mandala

Nigella seed heads sit in a beautiful Green Spode jug, given to me many years ago by my mother-in-law.

It sits on the turquoise crocheted mandala which I have just finished, at last! It has been sitting in the WiPs pile for far too long. I will write another post soon about the edging I made.

I am joining in with In a Vase on Monday, Cathy’s weekly meme, where gardeners from all over the world pop things in a vase for us all to enjoy.

Gardeners are a generous lot and sharing seeds and plants is one of the great joys of gardening.

Cathy, very kindly, sent me some pink dandelions seeds last year. I sowed some in the garden but none came up. This year I sowed them in a Veg Trug, and the first one came into bloom at the weekend

pink dandelion

So pretty.

Another gardening triumph this year are these

Angels Fishing Rods

my friend Anne’s Angels Fishing Rods, grown from seed harvested from her garden at least 6 years ago – this is the first year they have flowered. I am so proud that I have managed to keep them going for 6 years not knowing if they would ever flower or not – it is a minor miracle. They are tall and beautiful, but hard to photograph to show their full splendour, dancing in the breeze.

Friend Andy is represented in my garden in Loganberry form ūüôāloganberry

I gave him a plant from my garden in about 2004, I moved a couple of times and then, when I moved to this house, he gave me a plant from his.

Then there is the gorgeous Hot Princess! My Flower of the Day, given to me by Nanacathy for my birthday.

rose, Hot Princess

She is such a gorgeous rose, all pink perfection with a beautiful delicate scent. She seems very happy here and has given me the confidence to try a few more roses in the border for next year.

I am also joining in with my daughter @newgatenarcissi for her  #gardencollagemonthly

She is just getting into gardening and was so thrilled that a few of you joined in last month. Thank you ‚̧

I chose all the pinks for my July collage.

#gardencollagemonthly

It is a great way to feel good about the garden and ignore all the work still to be done.

Happy Gardening!

Textile Tuesday: Kunin Felt

Kunin Felt, the Stitchbook CollectiveThe Stitchbook Collective, organised by Helen Birmingham of Untangled Threads couldn’t have happened at a better time. Each month a box of delights pops through my letterbox and new little textile project is born, full of learning, peaceful stitching and an opportuity to share it with the others in the Collective.

If you are looking for a small slow stitching project, I can highly recommend Helen’s kits, which come with full tutorials and all the materials needed to produce a piece of textile art.

May’s box of goodies was all about Kunin Felt and playing around with candles and heating the felt to form flowers or other shapes that took your fancy.

I was a bit stumped to start with and could not work out a design I wanted to create, so I turned to Pinterest and found this post which inspired my design.pinterest, felt, B Zwickler

I laid out some pieces of shiny cord included in the kit an added my own Sari waste cord which I got from YarnYarn, and couched them onto the black backing felt.Yarn Yarn, felt

and gradually built up the design.

felt design

A fun month with bright colours and playing with fire, fabulous!

Have you been playing with textiles this month, or maybe you have some archive posts about textiles you would like to share. Just pop a link in the comments, I would love to see them.

Textile Tuesday happens on the first Tuesday of each month.

Textile Tuesday: Tyvek

Is anyone else losing track of the days, weeks, months?!

Here just one week late is Textile Tuesday

Tyvek

In The Stitchbook Collective we have been having fun with Tyvek.

Each month we get a pack of goodies to experiment with

The Stitchbook Collective

It is always a wonderfully exciting moment to open the parcel to see what is inside

IMG_8886

Colours I would not usually choose to work with, all carefully chosen and lovingly put together. The kits are still available if you go to the Untangled Threads website, and a pound from the sale of each kit goes to the mental health charity, Mind. So far Helen has raised and donated £2,489.50.

Tyvek is a synthetic fabric that reacts to heat

IMG_8878

IMG_8879

Creating great bobbly textures

This one was painted with a tester pot of Dulux emulsion before hitting it with the heat gun

painted tyvek and heat gun

Here is the piece of fabric collage I will put on a page in my stitchbook

textile collage

Now onto the next parcel to open, which is all about felt.

Have you been working with textiles or found any interesting textiles or textile art recently? If so it would be fun to see what has caught your eye in the world of textiles. Just leave a link in the Comments.

 

Scrap Happy Box

machine embroidery on crazy patchwork

I made this piece of crazy patchwork in 2013 and although I have photographed it and have tote bags and cushions made from the ensuing fabric, I have never made anything with the fabric itself.

Another little fabric box seemed just the right project for it.

Still using canvas left over from my needlepoint days, I cut the sides 3″ by 2.5″ and the base a 3″ squarebox structure

making a fabric box

I lined the box with an old T-shirt, the hem at the top.

recycling an old T-shirt

Here are all the layers, ready to be stitched together.

pieces ready for assemblong, fabric box

The base is T-shirt fabric on both sides.

After stitching the layers together with some runnig stitches across the pieces, I blanket stitched the edges

fabric box

Then sewed the pieces all together to form the box

IMG_8239

Using some 2ply crochet cotton left over from a dreamcatcher, and a 2.5mm hook, I did a chain stitch all round the top into the blanket stitches, to make a simple shell stitch edging.

fabric box with crochet edging

Lots of Scrap Happiness to join in with Kate and her merry band of Scrappers on Scrap Happy Day, which is on the 15th of every month.

If you want to see how some scraps of rusty barbed wire can be used to create art, have a look at my previous post.

Pop across to see what others have been doing with their scraps:

Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, Sue L,
Sunny and Kjerstin

Always inspiring!

Textile Tuesday: Box

Textile Tuesday happens on the first Tuesday of each month. Join in by leaving a link in the Comments. Current or archive posts are all welcome, your own textiles or those you have seen out and about.

textile art, box

Inspired by Cathy’s Scrap Happy post, I was itching to have a go at making a fabric box.

I have lots of bits and pieces of canvas left over from my needlepoint obsession days. A piece of this made a nice firm frame.

needlepoint canvas

I cut 3″ squares of canvas, and 3¬Ĺ” calico squares as the backing for some little pieces of textile collage.

collage, upcycling, recycling

After stitching the pieces in place with just a few stitches, I put a piece of wadding between the calico and the canvas and stitched them all together.IMG_8217

The two pieces on the left have little pockets.

textile collages, slow stitching

I sewed blanket stitch round the edges and made a plain calico basetextile box

then oversewed the sides to the base before sewing up the sides.

Oh I did enjoy making this but it had taken me a whole day and I wanted to finish quickly. I cut a piece of canvas for the lid and thought, ‘that’ll do’.

textile box, collage, canvas lid

I added a piece of thicker wadding top and bottom and found a shell for the handle.

Ta Dah!textile box

I think it works

Now – what to put in it ….

 

39

Sometimes you don’t know what you are doing or why you are doing it until later….

In memory of 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

lift the flap of old blanket and there hidden beneath is the number 39

in memory of the 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

I was on an Art Course last week and on Wednesday I created this piece – today, as I realised its connections and significance, I added the number 39, painted on with my finger, hidden beneath the piece of old blanket.

The process:

Our tutor, Helen Turner, did a demonstration using this red acrylic paint. It is not a colour I usually use, so to push myself out of my comfort zone I used the paint in various experiments.

At the end of the day whilst clearing up I cleaned my brush by wiping it backwards and forwards across a piece of A2 cartridge paper

I wasn’t sure how to use the piece of canvas, so I placed it on the paper whilst clearing up and left it there overnight. It had the look of a blood-soaked piece of cloth.

The next day, I put these three elements together. The weave of the blanket going with the criss-cross of the paint on the paper. The red blanket stitch, chiming with the colour of the paint. (The blanket is one that I had collected to send to Syrian refugees a few years ago – it was so old and threadbare, I had kept it back, wondering if I could use it in some creative way.)

I did not make the connection until today, but that morning at 1am, 39 dead migrants were found in a container in Purfleet, Essex, 50 miles away from where I was staying. The container was being driven by a red and white truck.

The aesthetic we were trying to embrace is Wabi Sabi, an Eastern concept, the migrants, so we have heard, were either from China or Vietnam.

Today I was going through the artwork I had done on my course and suddenly made the connection – I added the number 39.

It is now a piece in memory of those particular 39 migrants and all the other thousands who have died fleeing from war and poverty, searching for a better life.

Wordless Wednesday: Wabi Sabi

wabi sabi, art course

wabi sabi art course

wabi sabi art course with Helen Turner

charcoal, wabi sabi, art course

On a fabulous art course with Helen Turner this week.

The Stitchbook Collective: Texture 2

The Stitchbook Collective

As you might remember, I have joined The Stitchbook Collective: a year long adventure in stitch with monthly Workshops created by Helen Birmingham.

In September’s Texture Pack we were sent a small pack of factory waste threads to play with. Helen provides some very helpful video tutorials and explained the process of glueing these threads together to make them into a piece of fabric that can be used in a fabric and stitch collage..

I separated the threads out into colour groups and used mainly purples for this piece

embroidery

Although it works as an example of the technique, I’m not thrilled with the design and prefer the more abstract look of the backreverse embroidery

especially when I flip the photo

the back

I can see this in paint on canvas …….. ¬†each excercise sparks new ideas.

With the next groups of threads I kept the threads in a rectangular shape, hoping to be able to create a better design.

gluing threads together

I cut the lower piece into 4 and laid it on some waste sari silk which I got from the company YarnYarn.

textile

textures

At Helen’s suggestion (in her video tutorial) I added some netting provided in the pack

embroidery

and then stitched into it with Rice Stitch, Running Stitch and Cross Stitch.

I am happier with this one.

Here are the two pieces as they will appear on the page of the Stitchbook.page of samples, embroidery, Stitchbook Collective

I am really enjoying the workshops and the stitching, but I don’t feel I am in the creative flow of it yet. I am waiting for that magic ah-ha moment, when the creative penny drops and, well ¬†……. hmmm …….. ¬†I’ll know it when I feel it.

The best bit is to be part of a like-minded supportive group, sharing what we are making and talking all things textiles – I’m really loving the sense of community that is building up.

The packs and tutorials are so well put together. It is very soothing to sit sewing whilst listening to Helen describing the process and her joy of stitching. There are a limited number of packs still for sale in Helen’s online shop, one pound from the sale of each pack goes to the mental health charity MIND.

To date £749 has been raised.

Stitchbook Collective

Last year I joined with  Cathy in entering a Heart in the Sawdust Heart collective exhibition. Helen Birmingham, of Untangled Threads, who organised that amazingly moving event, is now hosting another collective venture and I am delighted to be taking part.

The Stitchbook Collective of 150 people are each making a 12 page textile book that will culminate in an exhibition in November next year.

There is a Starter Pack.

Everything arrives beautifully packaged and presentedstitchbook collective

Presents arriving in the post!

Helen has made some very easy-to-follow videos which are suitable for complete beginners and experienced embroiderers alike. Anyone can buy the kits and make a textile book following her excellent tutorials – I can highly recommend them.

The whole experience is a complete and utter treat!

The Starter Pack includes instructions for some stitching samplers and a collage pack.IMG_4651

The first task is to divide a piece of calico into 9 and work the suggested stitches with different thicknesses of stranded cotton. Helen’s videos give very clear instructions, but she is also happy for us to make our samples unique to us – the main emphasis is on relaxation and enjoyment.

Whilst stitching I kept thinking of my travel doodles and how they might look in stitch

travel sketchbook doodles

It has got me wondering how I might combine the two together

Included in the Starter Pack are materials to make a collage to be sewn on one of the pages.collage kit

fabric collage

Helen even provides a drawstring bag in which to keep the work.

starter pack materials

Although the 150 places in the Collective have been filled, the packs are available to all, with access to the teaching videos. I can highly recommend them.

 

 

I’m really looking forward to the September Pack pinging its way through my letterbox.

Silly Saturday with Mrs Moss

Mrs Moss and her dog Lichen

Mrs Moss was up with the lark

Taking Lichen her dog to the park

They walked everywhere

To get lots of fresh air

And didn‚Äôt get home til ‚Äėtwas dark!

 

Mossie was a sturdy old stick

Very rarely did she get sick

At seventy years old

Fit, adventurous and bold

She can even still do a high kick!

 

Out and about every day

Visiting places and pals on the way

She was going to tea

With the Shelbys by the sea

And was buying some cake on the way.

Poem by Judy E. Martin

Assemblage art by Sandra Dorey

 

shell art, shell people, winkle pickers

The Shelbys

So happy to be joining up with Judy Martin again for a Silly Saturday collaboration. I sent  Judy the photo of Mrs Moss and her little dog Lichen and once again she has created a fun story in rhyme for her.

Pop across to see Judy’s new blog and find a link to her book ‘Rhymes of the Times’ and more humorous takes on daily ¬†life.

Our previous Silly Saturdays include Maggie the Pole Dancer, and here she is in racier mode

 

 

Whimsical Collage: 2

Back in November I went to a fabulous 4 day Mixed Media Collage Workshop led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach. See my first blog post about it here.

It was such fun getting messy and creating colourful papers in readiness for our first 6 collages. We used pages from old books we had been supplied with – books that would otherwise have gone to landfill. The print adds a layer of texture and interest.mixed media collage workshop

And the books themselves make perfect little sketchbooks to carry around for those odd doodling momentscreating collage papers

Julie and Nathalie have a great way of introducing the theory of colour and composition in fun bite-sized exercises. Julie BalzerIn this one we were mixing tones of one colour using black and whitemixing tones, acrylic paints

no paint was wasted, we cleaned our brushes on more paperusing old maps for collage

collage paperand then experimented with stamps, building up layers of marks, pattern and colour – my memory is a of a frenzy of fun and activity as we all dashed off all these wonderfully inspiring pieces without really thinking

stamping, acrylic

In this way we gradually built up supplies and confidence, moving towards creating pieces we were pleased with.six 6 x 6 collages, mixed media

The background of this one is the newspaper I was using to protect the cloth beneath. I think at this stage it reminds me of textiles …. still more to do in those blue squares, but I’m not sure what yet……

newspaper as art paper

I wondered about adding a little knot of silk remnant

mixed media, sari silk

and maybe some stitching …… hmmm …. not there yet.

Julie’s first Blog post about the workshop¬†¬†explains the format of Day One and Two.

There is a picture of me (the 8th one in) in pink Tshirt, working away, ( and a couple more later on) plus loads of pictures of fellow students and their work. This blog post alone is inspiring enough to keep me busy for weeks as I remember all I learnt and discovered.

And then we were ready to work towards some finished pieces.

Next up – ¬†working in a series: six collages on 6″ x 6″ card

collage

Julie’s second Blog Post: Whimisical Collage in the UK Part Two¬†shows lots of these from the group. You might be able to spot mine in amongst them.

mixed media

The best part – building the layers with stamps and oil pastel lines and scribbles

The next part is wondering if they are finished or not

mixed media collage

The 4 on the left have a story attached to them, but that is for another day ……

Joining in with Kate and her Scrap Happy January band of happy scrappers.

 

 

 

Whimsical Collage Workshop: 1

At the beginning of November, on my way up to Yorkshire, I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous 3 day workshop: ‘Mixed Media, Whimsical Collage Circus’ organised by Art Workshops and led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach.

It was a residential workshop held in the Holiday Inn in Coventry and there were about 36 attendees.

We were 6 to a table. Look at the contents of the goody bag that greeted usworkshop goody bag

The organisation was superb, and Nathalie and Julie are excellent tutors.

They would first do a demodemo in art workshop

 

Then we would go back to our tables with a simple set of instructions and create.

One of the first exercises was mark-making

mark making, art workshop

No paint was to be wasted – to clean our brushes we used up any excess paint on newspaper and old book pages.

See the wonderful creative flurry on our tableart workshop, mark making

The best thing was that we were only given about 5 – 10 minutes to do each exercise – no time to think, just paint – it freed me up so much.

At this stage we were creating papers we would later be using in collage.

creating papers to use in collage

Gosh it was fun!

Julie and Nathalie both create a range of foam stamps that were there for us to excperiment withfoam stamps

We could also buy packs of them, foam stampsbut by the time I had decided which ones I would like, they had been snapped up!

There was an amazing array of art supplies in the ‘shop’ and lots of shopping going on!shop

It is hard to know which ones to buy before using them – this one of Nathalie’s turned out to be one of my favourites. She had made a book with each of her Foamies stamped as a simple repeating pattern

Nathalie Kalbach stamp

The fun comes when you use the stamps over other layers of paint. Here’s what happened when I started to play with it

mixed media

The trouble is I like it too much to tear it up for collage. You know that feeling I’m sure.

We did some fun exercises and had lots of laughs – at the end of the three days we all had 12, 6″x6″ collages to take home.

I will tell more in a future post, but in the meantime, Julie created a Vlog about her whirlwind trip to Ireland and Coventry which includes our workshop (starts at about 18.40 minutes in) – she has such energy!

 

Happy crafting!

Image

Wordless Wednesday

painting, collage, stamps, yellow

Photo Challenge: Yellow

Welcome!!! It’s the Monthly Meet-Up Photo Challenge, which happens on the first Tuesday of each Month.

I had a happy time looking through my files to find archive photos featuring

YELLOW

This is Miss E with her Dad enjoying a bouncy castle a few years ago

A friend in a yellow silk dress at my daughter’s wedding, 2006

A postcard made for iHanna’s Postcard Swap 2016Collage waiting to be turned into a greetings cardPainted¬†garden potsCandlelight at a wonderful surprise party thrown for me by my lovely kids and their partnersBig Sis at playgroup when she was 3 (she will be 8 this month)Swiss chard stalks from the gardens at Esalen, California – such happy memories from November/December 2008I was there for 6 amazing life-changing weeks on a Workstudy Course, working in the gardens and doing Creative Expression and Process Artacrylic paintHave you ever tattooed a banana? No – really? See here how to do ittattoo a banana

A plasterer’s bucket from when I was having my fabulous new bedroom createdmixing plaster

A happy sunny yellow trip down memory lane for me – I hope you enjoyed coming along.

If you would like to see last month’s entries you can see them in the Comments in this Post.

Couldn’t resist including another blast from the past

To join in please post a link to your photos of YELLOW in the Comments. Archive, or current, all are welcome.

You can see all the prompts for the year on my Photo Challenge Page

For May the prompt is

FLOWER

 

Silly Saturday with Sandy

shell person, weightlifter, shell art

Sandy had a great time with Shelma

When they went out on their date

But he wanted to shape up

And decided he needed to lose weight

~

He had become rather chunky

And that made him feel rather glum

His goal was to be streamlined and sexy

It was time to tone up that tum!

~

Shelma had a great figure

wherever they went she had turned heads

Sandy was scared she’d lose interest

And that thought had filled him with dread

~

He worked out at the gym almost daily

although at first it seemed tough

He knew it was definitely worth it

When Shelma told him he looked buff!

~

 

poem by Judy E Martin

assemblage shell art by Sandra Dorey

pebble face drawn by one of my  Grandchildren

 

 

Hope this gives you a little chuckle on this Silly Saturday.

Silly Saturday with Shelma

shell art, shell people, winkle pickers

Shelma was going out on a date

So excited she just couldn’t wait

She was looking her best

In her January Sales dress

The evening was going to be great

~

Sandy lit Shelma’s fuse

She loved his winkle picker shoes

It brightened her mood

To be with such a cool dude

He banished her January blues!

~

They wanted to paint the town red

But painted the beach blue instead

A moonlit walk along the sand

Strolling together hand in hand

Anticipating what lay ahead.

~

poem by Judy E. Martin

shell art by Sandra Dorey

 

 

What lies ahead for this couple I wonder, any ideas?

Will it be calm seas or stormy waters?

Judy and I have enjoyed teaming up again this week. I do love her take on things, pop across to Judy’s Blog to read more of her delightfully beguiling work.

Did you know you CAN still buy Winkle-Picker shoes? I’ll be looking out for them now.

I recently found the pebbles that my grandchildren children had drawn on last Summer, lurking in the bottom of a bag. They had obviously been lying in wait, ready for an appearance in a ‘Silly Saturday’ or two.

 

Girls out Shopping

shell art, #sillysaturday, shell people, shell collage

Maggie went shopping in town

Enjoying a good look around

She thought it was great

Bumping into her mate

They went to a cafe to sit down

~

They chatted over a nice cup of sea

Both of them buzzing like bees

Comparing their goodies

From high-heels to hoodies

The Sales made shopping a breeze!

~

poem by Judy E. Martin

artwork by Sandra Dorey

The background is an unfinished acrylic painting on canvas that I have never been able to resolve. It is the result of playing with bright colours in a Process Art kind of way. It has come in handy for a Silly Saturday background giving a suggestion of the town where Maggie and Shelma can meet up for a chat over a cuppa.

So thrilled to be teaming up with Judy again.

Pop along over to Judy’s website and enjoy a wry look at life, in poetry and prose, always told with honesty and lashings of good humour.

Silly Saturday at the Sales

shell people, January Sales, shopping

January Sales

Miss Shelma received her weekly pay
And decided to spend it on a lovely day.
With her handbag swinging she strolled into town
Thoughts of the high street banishing her frown.
~
Out of the hairdresser’s and back into the shops
Shelma looked radiant in her little white frock.
She was having a blast in the January sales
Snapping up bargains and browsing the rails.
~
Hundreds of dresses, thousands of shoes
Shelma was verging on January sales blues.
She hailed a cab: ‘ To Sheldon Street’, she cried
And collapsed with all those lovely bags by her side.
~
 poem by  Sue M
shell picture by Sandra D
~
A guest poet today, my dear friend Sue. We have known each other for over 40 years. She introduced me to¬†Dr. John Cooper Clarke’s poems and occassionally we have poetic exchanges via email. Sue is not a blogger and doesn’t follow blogs but we share a love for all things arty. I was thrilled that the shell collage inspired her to write a poem and name this little person Shelma from Sheldon Street.
~
Have a fun filled and Silly Saturday!

Cinders?

Maggie rummaged through the ball gown rails in her local charity shops and found this little number – a bit of upcycling and she was off …

shell picture

A Panto was coming to town

Maggie donned her best gown

She was going for an audition

For the Cinderella position

And didn’t want to let herself down.

 

The producers were very impressed

And thought that she was the best

Her smile so disarming

She won over Prince Charming

And outshone all of the rest.

 

Maggie’s career had come very far

From her lap dancing days in the bar

How she loved being on stage

But missed the large wage

She could get from the cash in her bra!

 

poem by Judy E. Martin

shell picture by Sandra Dorey

 

Here we are again with another Silly Saturday.

Judy is writing a series of Christmas Limericks at the moment – just right to read out as an antidote to all those cracker jokes.

Have a wonderful time, whatever you get up to.

Strictly Maggie

 

shell art, humour, silly saturday

Maggie’s was looking her best

Kitted out in her fanciest dress

She practiced her prancing

For Strictly Come Dancing

The Shells were very impressed!

 

She really got in the groove

Performing the American Smooth

Her waltz was divine

And foxtrot sublime

Maggie knew how to move!

 

There will be no more tits and arse

Maggie was a woman of class

Her lap dancing days

Though an interesting phase

Was now a thing of the past!

 

poem by Judy E Martin

shell art Sandra Dorey

 

Judy and I have joined forces to celebrate the Strictly Come Dancing final with Maggie for today’s Silly Saturday.

Pop across to Judy’s blog to read her cheeky Christmas Limericks.