With some shame I return to my diary page (the page I was going to update regularly!!) As the year comes to a closure this intention gets another chance looking forward to 2018- watch this space!
Somewhat retrospectively I hark back to last month and my first "stand" at The Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington. Despite my initial concern at the size of my miniature space (1.5 x 1.5 metre square) I was really pleased with my display. This felt like a huge step up from my table at the Spring Fair - I felt like I was joining the grown ups and confess to wondering if I had bitten off too much.
I need not of worried - the event was so well organised and with my lovely fellow (experienced) stand holders, and enthusiastic customers I had a wonderful time. People where genuinely interested in my work and wanted to talk to me about the process and where I get ideas from (I love this sort of a chat!). I so enjoyed meeting such an appreciative audience and was delighted with the sales I made. Sometimes it feels sad to let go of pieces (there is quite a lot of "self" in each one), but I really felt that my embroideries were going to good homes,where they would be valued and enjoyed.
The feedback I received was so encouraging and I'd like to thank all those people who not only bought but stopped to chat. It was lovely to see folk who had visited my stall in the Spring at Alexandra Palace earlier in the year and remembered me.
I'm now looking forward to Spring 2018 at Alexandra Palace.
I'm busy with preparations for "Sewing for Pleasure" ( 30th-2nd )where I am sharing a stand with my great friend and fab textile artist Stephanie Redfern. This is a completely new event for me and I'm very excited and looking forward to meeting people who no doublt have a passion for stitch and fabric.
Having a little departure from birds and feeling inspired by the beauty of the local gardens here in Moseley (sadly not my own - I'm no gardener, but I'm working on it!!) I've also been inspired by a recent visit to my sister-in -law in London, who has the most amazing, creative secret at the back of her flat, full of pots, plants and quirky finds. I spent a bit of time here with my sketchbook but could of happily spent days!!
I'm now preparing for the next exciting event on the horizon. I'm sharing an exhibition space with the wonderfully talented textile artist Steph Redfern, at the Stitching show (Nec) in June.
I had an amazing time doing the Country Living Spring Fair, which was well organised, had a lovely atmosphere and appreciative customers.
Spring has sprung and I'm busily embroidering for The Country Living Fair at the end of the month -Alexandra Palace. Very pleased to be in the flyer for the event.
Well this is similar to my last entry and starts by saying I've been a bit remiss in keeping up with diary entries for the last few weeks! All my time has been spent preparing for GNCCF(Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Manchester)which took place last week at The Old Granada Studios.
I was very excited (and surprised) to be selected for a "big" show.I didn't know what to expect and was a bit worried that my work wouldn't stand-up to the other talented and very professional exhibitors. There was no need to fret, and I was actually quite pleased with my display (having practised the layout in my living room!). It's quite a different thing to dress a 3m x1m stand than the table I usually have at craft markets. It was great having the space to display pictures on the wall and I have to say a huge thankyou to my husband for the wonderful card shelves he made me.
The support and positive feedback I got from both customers and fellow makers was affirming and encouraging. I met some lovely people, including students who were so enthusiastic and flattering and great to talk to - I wish them every success as they embark on their creative journeys.
The whole event was very well organised and ran smoothly with lots of volunteer helpers who were invaluable.
I am now keen to apply for other similar events and would love to be back up in Manchester next October.
I have lots of new ideas from speaking to people and spending time with other creatives. Lots of inspiration, so no time to be idle-on with the making!
I haven't kept up with my diary very well over the summer. It's been a busy old time on the domestic front so I'm just using that as my excuse.
As a result of my little Blue tit picture being featured in the August country Living, I have had some really lovely feedback. Thankyou so much to those people who contacted me, commissioned and purchase - It's so great to get such positive affirmation for the thing I love doing.
Two of my pictures now reside in Inverness, in a newly decorated kitchen, looking very at home, alongside beautiful curtains featuring wild flowers and birds. Thankyou Paddy for sending me the photos -it's great to see my them situ.
Last week it was my birthday and I had a lovely trip to Winterbourne Gardens in Edgbaston. A peaceful wander amongst the blooms and down to the resovoir - one would hardly believe it was Birmingham. Inspiration in abundance!
July 9th 2016
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to exhibit my work in a lovely "garden shed" in a beautiful garden that was open as part of Moseley in Bloom.
The "shed" was perfect for displaying my embroidery, amongst vintage items in a wonderful location. I was inspired to create a floral piece after spending time in this garden(see above)which offered a wealth of inspiration. I'm being very honest here-I could of pretended it was mine!!
A small section of this delightful garden.
June 27th 2016
I am very excited today as I have just received my copy of the August Country Living Magazine. It is quite special to see my work on the Emporium page of that fine publication. Although I new it was in the pipeline, it's great to see it in reality!
A few weeks ago I had a lovely break, staying with a great friend in Cumbria. Sedbugh is beautiful market little market town nestling at the base of the Howgill fells, with a great community feel.
Ruth has a workshop (Wickerfish Studio) at Farfield Mill.
The commute she has to work is enviable.
The Howgill fells
Being in this lovely location was restorative and such a change to Birmingham and Moseley(which incidentally I love and feel privileged to live in such a leafy green place within the city).
There is something energising about open space and countryside though, and I love the hills.
Couldn't resist this photo-oh to be a felter or spinner!
Seeing the studio in Farfield Mill ...
....inspired me to have a bit of a tidy of my home workspace. There is a LOT more sorting, tidying and throwing to do, but at least I can now see my table and shelf!!
Now to do do some stitching.
I have been expanding my range of zip purses lately and love deciding on the fabrics and birds that I will embroider. I enjoy both the "drawing with the needle" and constructing something that is functional. With the hint of spring now in the air, I think some wild flowers will be creeping into my work.
I am working on more birds and always seem to come back to my Blue tit (such a cute, perky little bird). I've also had a go at a bigger more striking bird-the Great spotted woodpecker-love the handsome red patch on the nape and abdomen (males only of course!!)
Completed Woodpecker and Bluetit(ready to fly into frames).
I had a very exciting time this week and took some of my work to show the Deputy Home and Design Editor of Country living, Alaina Binks. My embroidery will be featured on the Emporium page in the August edition-I am delighted and flattered.
I had a fabulous time on the 16th March at the Country Living Fair in Islington. The Pop-Up Market was well attended and the organisers were helpful and welcoming. People were so appreciative of my work-the whole experience left me feeling enthusiastic and raring to get back to my skechbook and sewing machine.
Despite no entries to my diary since way back last september, I am still here busily sewing and sketching and have not hibernated or dropped off the edge of the world! Why no entries? I could say I've been busy on secret state business, international affairs or negotiatinig world peace. Despite being asked to do all of the above, my reasons are more every day-family! I feel state business may be easier!
I am very excited to of been selected to take part in a Pop Up market at the Country Living Spring Fair in Islington on the 16th March. I love the magazine and find it a wonderful source of ideas and images and love to escape into the fantasy of a rural idyll. I am currently making some new pieces inspired by British wildlife, presented in double sided glass frames, using fragments of fabric and machine and hand stitch. I will be adding to this range with flowers and butterflys I think, ready to take the countryside to London!
As the nights draw in snuggling up with a bit of sewing seems the perfect way to spend the evenings. I've been thinking about my trip to Devon with my lovely friend Clare(way back in June)and am creating some little pieces for box frames. I like using lots of layers and sheer fabrics combined with water colour and hand stitch(not to mention a few shell fragments).
Think there will be a series of these!
I entered a little piece into the festival of Quilts this year. My miniature quilt
is inspired by The Obsrvers Book of Birds, one of a lovely pocket size series of books about the natural world, that was a part of my childhood. I always loved the detailed illustrations and information( number of eggs laid by a species, habitat, calls etc ).
Birds are an endless source of fascination - intensely beautiful, colourful and textural-all features that make them a perfect subject for embroidery. I hope to continue using my little feathered friends as source material for some more work.
Despite no entries in my diary, I have been pretty busy (probably why there are no diary entries!). I have been doing a bit of embroidery from my sketches, trying to keep the sketchy element with the thread and drawing with the needle. I'm enjoying the freedom of just looking at my drawings and picking out the bits I like to make a composition. I'm also experimenting with layering and think this gives a bit of depth while using this linear approach.
I have been enjoying the coming of spring, and the burst og energy, colour and pattern in the garden. My sketchbook has been out and I've been composing some little scenarios for possible embroidery.
Well not much tidying has gone on, due to the many hearts that I've been
producing-I hope they give pleasure tomorrow(14th).
I'm now playing around with some new products. These little make-up/
anything bags will be available at my next stall at MAC on 1st March.
I love embroidering(and drawing )little birds and they are an infinite subject matter. Such pretty little beings, detailed and delicate with beautiful colours
flitting about their business with such energy.
Birmingham gardens are wonderful for "twitching",
especially if they are wild like mine!!!
I was quite pleased with my stall at the Mac Christmas markets. It is such a
delight to meet lovely people who are so interested and encouraging.
Thank you to everyone who visited me there and at the Moseley Arts Market.
I'm back at the Mac again on Sunday 1st February, when Robins are
replaced by Hearts!!
I went to stay with a friend in the depths of beautiful Herefordshire. It was
just after New Year and we spent a lovely couple of days in Pjs, chatting in
front of the fire. I had chance to do a bit of hand stitching, which is very
therapeutic and just what I needed after the making frenzy on the run up
to christmas. It made me realise how much I enjoy the process of
thread and needle. I will indulge myself in a little more hand work this year.
I always did like the idea of living in a Jane Austen novel (nothing to do with
I finally get round to doing a bit of sketching from my August holiday photos-
well Rome wasn't built, and all that! This Chatsworth daisy will hopefully creep
into an embroidery, but probably after christmas as my I am now burning
the midnight oil making Christmas cards (like a little elf !)
Preparing some work for my first Worcester market on Saturday
8th November-a cheeky Redwing in a frame.Maybe there will
be another feathered friend to keep him company on the stall.
Cards packed and ready to go-as if by magic!!!
This is one of my favourites this year and is proving popular. Embroidering
these little images is making me feel quite festive - but won't have a sherry
I think a "little town" will find its way into a frame along with the usual Robins.
A sketch using flowers from holiday photos and some teacups
for good measure.
I quite like the organic pattern of the flowers contrasting with the smooth linear shapes of the cups. This sketch reminds me of embroidered
table cloths and afternoon tea.
Having just returned from a lovely week in the rolling
countryside of Derbyshire, I am adjusting to life in the
bustle of Kings Heath. I am keeping in mind the open
space and the beautiful gardens of Haddon Hall and
I am inspired by the wealth of beautiful flowers and plants
and hope to be able to create some new embroidered pieces
from the photographs I took.