Sunday, February 08, 2015

Essex Silk Painters

Spent a lovely day in Toot Hill yesterday teaching a workshop to a very talented group - Essex Silk Painters.
Some really wonderful work was produced as always:


 Isn't this surface fabulous?
These photos are a study in concentration:



This, in the centre, is my eldest student to date. Rosemary aged 92!
What an amazing lady. So talented. She bought a book along to show me where she has put photographs of all the different arts and crafts she has participated in over the years: china painting, tapestry, silk painting, book making, watercolour painting....the list is endless. Her artwork is superb and so detailed.
She was once head seamstress at Selfridges. She made both her daughters wedding dresses and the cakes too. Rosemary now scans her watercolour paintings into the computer, prints out copies which she mounts on cards and sells them for charity. I feel privileged to have had Rosemary on my workshop.

I took along my heat press and we all had a good play with that, everyone was very impressed.
But the simple thing that really blew them all away was one of these:
A Japanese paper punch.
I think everyone will have one of these next time I see them. :)
All in all a really good day, nice hall, great company and had a laugh, what more could you ask?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Missenden Abbey Weekend

Had a great weekend teaching 'Creative Surfaces' at Missenden Abbey. 
We only had a small class this time, and then smaller because of illness, but it was decided to run it anyway. My fault. I call my workshops 'Creative Surfaces' then when it comes to it I can do whichever techniques I want to or alter everything at the last minute and nobody realises.
Consequently, when prospective students see 'Creative Surfaces' they think they have already done this workshop.
So the Summer School in August is also called 'Creative Surfaces' but even if you have been before I promise you will be learning new techniques to create surfaces and in future my workshops at Missenden Abbey will have specific titles and descriptions just so there is no confusion.

So back to this weekend.
We made a folded pocket book, a scrunched scrim canvas, postcards and a free-hanging piece, played with the molding paste and tissue paper technique and had a bit of a go at fragments before we run out of time. Everyone was exhausted, but as Claire said - 'a happy exhausted'.

I love reading Kim's Blog/Facebook page and looking at the photos she takes of her students work and always promise myself I will do the same. I always take the camera along - and then forget to use it! So this year I am going to make a determined effort to record all the workshops I teach.
So here we go.
Everyone hard at work:



Molding paste (and Xpandaprint, Gesso and Pumice Gel) and tissue paper samples before and after colouring:








Scrunched Scrim:

First coat of colour on Scrunched Scrim canvas:
Completed canvas:


Folded pocket books waiting to be finished off:

I wish I had managed to take some photos of the finished folded pocket books as they were all stunning. You would not believe the difference with the before and after photographs. But we had to unfold them straight away in case they were still a bit tacky.
Didn't they do well?
Thank you ladies for a lovely weekend. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Following a blip, hiccup, call it what you like, middle of last year I threw loads (which I bitterly regret) and gave the rest away (which I'm quite happy with) of my samples and finished pieces only to have a complete turnaround and decide that I do need them after all.
So I have been putting off the inevitable of re-making lots of them, thinking it would be so boring, time consuming, soul destroying.
But it hasn't been. Not at all. I am really enjoying myself discovering these techniques all over again. Even to the point where I am beginning to get that 'why don't I / what if....' feeling.
For the last couple of days I have been making tissue paper folded pocket books. These are some of the pieces ready to finish. 
This one is mustard and Indigo navy procion dye.
This one is Indigo navy procion dye one side and walnut ink sprinkled with sea salt the other.
And this one is burnt sienna and turquoise silk paint sprinkled with sea salt.
As they are they don't really look anything special but once folded always look completely different.
They have all been coated with Acrylic Wax and just need stitching around the edges, folding and embellishments added to the front.

I have also been finding time to play with my heat press. It works a dream with disperse dyes, so much quicker, easier and a lot better finish than an iron.

This print has been transferred on to Evolon that had previously been rusted - as you can see from the top half of the photograph.
And this is the second transfer on to white poly velvet.
I can get at least four really good transfers from one print before it starts to fade - and it only takes 25 seconds to do this. I'm amazed!

I have also been spending far too much time on the internet - the holiday pages. We have a big decision to make for 2016. Because DH has worked for the same company for over 45 years they have decided to reward him with a holiday of a lifetime for the two of us.(I sometimes feel that I have worked for the company that long too!!!)
Is it going to be a month in Australia, a month in the USA, maybe a tour around the major European cities or...?
My daughter has suggested that we get booked into a really posh hotel in this country for two weeks during the summer holidays then all the children and grandchildren can come too.   
Hmmm, maybe not...




Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year.....

.....to everyone that knows me or is reading this.
There was one really big downside to 2014 and a couple of minor ones but if 2015 is half as good as the rest of the year was, it will be a brilliant one!
Do hope that everyone has a really good one too.

On Monday a few of us gathered at ArtVanGo for a 'playday'.
We all played with lots of different bits and learned a lot from each other plus had a good chat with mulled wine and sausage rolls.
I took along my latest toy - a heat press. How have I managed without one for this long???

Damn,damn,damn.
Just about to load the photos only to find I can't!
I took a load of photos, some really good ones - especially the one of Viv cuddling the empty mulled wine bottles.
But they also showed some of the work we were doing.
I loaded them on to my PC which automatically deletes them from my camera. And at this moment in time my PC is going back to factory settings as I have a virus on there - 'start123' I think it's called. It is a virus that supposedly makes note of all your web browsing but who's to say that it doesn't capture your passwords and cc details etc. Goodness knows where I picked it up from and I have tried every which way to get rid of it, lots of tips online, but it just won't go so formatting was the only option left.
And of course I never saved the photos in a file, thinking they would be quite safe in the Photoshop Organiser, 

Oh well, Will have to show you later some of the fantastic effects we got from the heat press.

In the meantime, a blog is no good without a photo so I will just leave you with one of the heat press :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Just look at these gorgeous threads that arrived from Germany.
And guess what?
They have been named after me. How wicked is that.
They are from Anne Lange who also has other threads named after different textile artists: Sandra Meech, Richard Box, Marilyn Pipe, Janet Edmonds.
So I'm not totally unique but what an honour to have threads named after you. :)

This year is the first year I have been unable to go to Ally Pally since the very first show. I have all the programmes from the shows (how sad is that) but will be missing the one for 2014. 
Back, legs and knees have been really bad,finding it very difficult to walk and I just couldn't face it. Finally went to the doctor, thought it was either Sciatica or hips but he pulled my legs about for some time and decided it is Lumbago - what an old fashioned word that is. Anyway, he has given me some really strong painkillers and advised me to walk more to loosen up the muscles. They are beginning to work already so maybe, just maybe I might make it on Sunday.
Trying to convince husband that I really do need to get me a puppy very soon to encourage me to walk more and of course it really needs to be two Labs so that they can keep each other company. Still got a way to go with that one!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In Residence at ArtVanGo

Big day tomorrow - Thursday.
I am 'In Residence' with Clare Bullock and Sharon Osborn at ArtVanGo.
It's going to be a great day.
Why not come along, have a coffee and a chat and see what we are up to?
And, of course, a bit of retail therapy always goes down well. :)
Also a good opportunity to catch the Spectrum exhibition mentored by Gina Ferrari which is on until 5th April.
Hope to see you there.

Friday, February 14, 2014

#7

Not sure I feel comfortable about using the blog for this but, I have one of these for sale if anyone is interested.
A Pazzles Inspiration Creative Electronic Die Cutter.
It connects to your computer, similar to a printer, but instead of printing, the Inspiration uses a small blade to die cut your designs.  You can cut pre-loaded designs or more importantly can create your own. The Inspiration is capable of cutting much more than just paper and cards, from light plastics to chipboard, fabric to rubber stamp material, thin metal to fun foam. You can even draw, engrave, emboss, distress and pierce using the added tools. And because the Inspiration is computerized, you never have to buy expensive cartridges!
Read more about it here: Pazzles

Apart from the USB lead, transformer and original box,  the machine also comes with the following which are all new and unused:
Cutting Mat 12x12"
Embossing Mat 12x12"
CD and Instruction Booklet
Extra CD with bags and boxes
Spare Blade
Emboss Tool
Engraving Tool
Distressing Tool
I have used it for cutting shapes from Pelmet Vilene and Lutradur. And also from other surfaces that I have already prepared i.e. metallic effect surfaces (which is foil bonded to Pelmet Vilene and tissue glued on the surface - see Fabulous Surfaces).
Here are a couple of samples of simple shapes that have been cut.


I think that the only advantage the Brother ScanNCut has over this machine is the fact that it is a stand alone machine whereas the Pazzles Inspiration needs a PC/Laptop etc. to run.

It's a great machine with lots of potential - and I do have a very, very good reason for parting with it.

All spare parts are readily available from Amazon and Ebay.
You can also buy a piercing tool, a pen tool and a 12 x 24" cutting mat along with CD images with different shape templates .

I would like £250 or the nearest sensible offer.

Collection or meeting at some point to hand the machine over would be preferable to posting.

Email me at: purplemissus@aol.com