Thursday, 12 November 2015

Daily Drawings... The Journey

A sketchbook drawing experimenting with a series looking at a story of a group of people. This is a bit vague at the moment but I wanted to try out a few ideas. I have to say the character's faces are not my favourite so I will definitely be working on those- i think they look a bit too much like children's storybook characters. Any works that i'm happy with will, of course, be worked into an embroidery. Oh and this has a border design as well that i've managed to cut off in the process of photographing- sometimes you would not believe that I studied photography at art school!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Daily Drawings... The blackbird

Animals in clothing is always a winner-right? We have set up a bird feeder in our garden which my two year old girl is crazy about so i've been chatting a lot about birds lately. Anyway I felt inspired to draw a portrait of the faithful blackbird that appears in our garden every morning for breakfast (I might also do one of the squirrel family who have taken over the garden as well at some point).

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Daily Drawings

My little girl picks up random flowers, sticks, pebbles and any other 'treasures' that she finds when we're out. We constantly have flowers sitting in bottles around the house so I decided to draw one for her and combine it with a bit of pattern.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Daily Drawings... Oh Hello

Apologies this image has been taken early in the morning to it has a crazy blue cast over it but hopefully you get the idea! A quick drawing from sketchbook- thinking about pattern and characters merging.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Paperfolk Loves ... Rieko Koga

Rieko Koga is a contemporary artist based in France. Working with textiles and thread in both 2D and 3D construction is the main outcome of her practice. I particularly enjoy the spontaneity in the process where it appears as if the work is forming and taking shape as it is being worked on which is very organic. This is the way I like to work in my own practice where I have a loose idea/outline to get me started and then all of the pattern, layering and stitching evolves from there. I always try to keep this way of working even when it is on a larger scale (which can be a bit more daunting since there is always a possibility that it won't work out!) I have quite a few disaster canvases in my loft to prove that it doesn't always work. Rieko's art has the feeling of taking that raw and exciting material from a sketchbook and actually allowing it to evolve into a piece of work. 

If you would like to read and see more please check out Rieko's beautiful website

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Embroidery: Dotty Egg Girl

I've been trying out some hand embroidering with metallic thread (not an easy task!) I used one of my sketchbook illustrations as a basis and then embellished as I went along. 

The original sketch...

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Monday Musings... Ray Eames

I love this image of Ray Eames standing amongst geometric sculptures. I can only imagine that as a designer, it would only be natural to hope that your work will inspire designers for generations to come and that is exactly what the Eames' have done. When I look around my own living room that is filled with bits and pieces of textiles from a variety of stores and designers yet all of the designs have definitely taken inspiration from Charles and Ray Eames. So inspiring!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Paperfolk shoe doodles

So I bought a pair of plain white tennis shoes about two years and have never worn them because I actually never where anything that's plain white. Whatever possessed me to buy the shoes in the first place I have no idea but the result was that they were just lying around. 
I came across the shoes yesterday and thought I would just doodle on them with permanent marker. Here are the results... 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Daily Drawings... Boy meets Girl

Another sketchbook drawing. Always doing these with the intention of them becoming embroideries but I always end up doing miniscule patterns with a 0.05 pen so I always have to alter for the embroidery anyway- i'll never learn!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Daily Drawings

A drawing from sketchbook using black fineliner and felt tip pens. The background is filled with tiny black dots and I used some plants at home for inspiration. 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Paperfolk Jewellery

This was a bit of an experiment for some new jewellery collections constructed from clay. The thing I liked in the past about using shrink plastic was that I could spend a long time creating patterns with fineliners in the same way as I do with my sketches. Other mediums never gave me this freedom. So, i've been looking for different ways I can use clay for the same sort of purpose. Still lots of experiments to come!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Daily Drawings

This a a sneak peek of a drawing in my sketchbook that i did for my little girl, Amelie. She asked if I would draw her, so I did. The idea was to create some cloud transport for her to zoom about in.

Daily Drawings

So I decided to draw a collection of ghosts with a polka dot background. Enjoying using my new sketchbook a lot!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Daily Drawings... Fresh Start

A quick sketch done while i was watching Fargo last night. Looks like Fargo didn't influence me at all since it's turned out nothing like anything I was watching!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Embroidery: Dancing Ghost

Dancing Ghost, 2015
 I actually meant to post this before now and thought I already had (oops). This dancing ghost embroidery was inspired by a sketchbook drawing. I felt it needed a little injection of colour so I added the emerald green satin stitch and the lavender shoes to lift it a little. It's always funny how the medium dictates what you do. Everytime I think it will be a straightforward drawing- to- embroidery, it always ends up being changed after the outline is finished!
I've added the original drawing to the bottom of this post for comparison.
Dancing Ghost, 2015 (detail)

Sketchbook drawing for Dancing Ghost Embroidery, 2015

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Paperfolk Picks

What I'm reading...

I've been a fan of Vivienne Westwood for years. Westwood's clothing isn't to everyone's taste but I love the cut and use of pattern in her clothes. It's funny that although I didn't know a great deal about her, I somehow knew her life story would be interesting! Westwood's new autobiography is a hardback tomb that is surprisingly easy to flick through. Each segment deals with important points in her life that have been inspirational and vital to her life in the world of fashion. I haven't quite finished it yet but i'll be sad when it's all over. Buy it here

What i'm listening to...

I'm a big fan of Sufjan Stevens but over the past couple of years i haven't been bowled over by any of his works. Carrie and Lowell is a return to Steven's older style and is a bit of tear jerker (although to be fair i'm pretty soft when it comes to sentimentality in music). Give it a whirl you won't be disappointed. Buy it here

Friday, 22 May 2015

Paperfolk Loves... Aisling Smyth

Aisling Smyth is a textile artist from Northern Ireland. With a first class honours degree under her belt it looks like we'll see great things from her. I particularly enjoy her use of everyday mundane objects (banknotes, CV etc) that we all have some exposure to and pieces of embroidery created on a large scale. I always feel playing with around with scale, be it large or small, can draw attention to the formation of stitches, the technical part of embroidery. 

More of Aisling Smyth's work can be found on her website

Confessions of a counterfeiter

Embellished CV

Monday, 11 May 2015

Embroidery: Triangle Girl

Image of an embroidery I managed to eventually complete last night. Working on some research drawings tonight for the next one.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Organic Crafting

I've been making some changes to eating and cosmetics habits to lead a more healthy, organic lifestyle. I haven't been too crazy about it, just making changes where I can and when it's financially viable. 
One of the reasons I got into crafting in the first place was because it was affordable, it didn't require many specialist materials, most likely things my mum already had in her mending box. I feel it's really important to make sure that crafting is accessible for all.
At one time organic and Fairtrade fabrics cost a lot of money and we would all be a bit hesitant at trying out a project on a fabric that cost a lot of cash. Now things have changed and it's much easier to make a choice to be organic or Fairtrade (or both). Living a more sustainable lifestyle doesn't always have to mean purchasing from expensive haberdashery stores, in fact the best option if you are crafting is to use second hand fabric! 

If you do choose to give second hand a miss I thought I would share a few contacts where you can find a high quality range of fabrics and embroidery thread that are either organic or Fairtrade...

Fairtrade Fabric : A company who works with producers to ensure they receive a fair wage and also produce items which use minimal chemicals in their processing. 

House of Embroidery : South African embroidery house that specialises in embroidery thread of various colours, strands and thickness.

Organic Cotton Plus : This company started as a 5 generation cotton farm in Texas that became a certified organic farm in 1991. They sell a nice range of fabrics in various styles and weights. 

Raystitch : A London based shop with an online shop too. They sell a variety of fabrics and notions but doublecheck to make sure the one you choose is organic as they also sell non-organic too. 

If you have any other companies that you enjoying purchasing from (particularly if they are UK based) please let me know in the comments section. 

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Paperfolk Picks...

What I'm reading... 

I picked up Of Bees and Mist when I was scouring for something new to read. The story is a straightforward tale of young woman in a small village who finds love and marries into a difficult family. The story centres around her relationship with her husband and the strains of his family on their relationship. This basic storyline is enhanced by a magical realism that is always present. Enjoying this one immensely!

What I've been listening to... 

I was at a Godspeed you Black Emperor gig a couple of weeks ago and had a great time listening to the support band Xylouris White. This duo consist of a lute player and a prog-rock drummer, give them a listen.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Embroiderer's Delight: New Pincushions

We've all been there, you're sewing away and it's time to change the thread so you stick the needle in the arm of the sofa, sound familiar? Well it doesn't have to be that way especially when there's so many great pincushions out there to choose from. 

Here's a few of my current favourites...

Buy from Fabric and Ink

Buy now from Peels and Posies

Buy now from Foxtail Creek Studio

Buy now from Fireplace Hobby

Buy now from Gingermelon

Buy now from How Joyful Shop

Monday, 6 April 2015

Monday Musings... Women's Hour

So today I was sunning myself in Aberdeen (yes you read that correctly, the granite city was scorching this weekend) and I noticed a bit of chat on twitter about a craft programme on Radio 4, Women's Hour programme. I just listened to it half an hour ago whilst making a skirt. There's some nice discussions from designer-makers including Donna Wilson (see above image). Of course you could have a season of programmes on the subject! Have a listen and let me know what you think. 


Daily Drawings

A quick sketchbook drawing of a new character...

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Monday Musings... Matthias Jung

Apologies for the late Monday Musings post, I was pulling a 14 hour shift yesterday. I came across the surreal collages of Matthias Jung when I was trawling the internet for interesting building pics. Jung creates collages of structures in situations that couldn't exist in real life. Definitely worth a look! 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Daily Drawings

Another quick sketch from my doodle book. I had my spy series in mind when I was drawing this one. 

Paperfolk Picks

What I'm reading... The Mime Order

The Mime Order is the second book from Samantha Shannon, author of The Bone Season. I was recommended The Bone Season by a friend after I finished the Goldfinch and The Luminaries in quick succession. I needed a light, easy page turner. The books are aimed at a young adult audience but I was hooked! Shannon has created a world in the future that vaguely resembles Britain today but has the addition of the human race being separated into those who have mind controlling powers and those who don't. As would be expected the human race do not tolerate those who have powers and work tirelessly trying to find ways to wipe out their existence. The voyants also have conflict within their own kind and this story is told in the first novel. The Mime Order follows on from The Bone Season and continues to tell the story of Paige Mahoney and her development into an independent adult. The most interesting parts of the novel for me are when we are introduced to non-human characters and of course the detailed battle scenes. There were small sections two thirds of the way trough the novel that could have been shorter and more refined but this is Shannon's first published works so there are bound to be points for development and it will be interesting to see where she goes with book number three. 
In short if you're looking for an easy but interesting read then go for it!

What i'm listening to... The Julie Ruin

I spent my youth listening to Bikini Girl and Le Tigre so naturally I was gutted when Kathleen Hanna seemed to disappear from the music scene never to be heard of again. In the film, The Punk Singer, Hanna describes her battle with illness and it becomes clear why she was no longer able to continue writing and performing. The Julie Ruin is Hanna's new band and although it shows a more mature style there is still the punk element that makes e feel completely nostalgic. Young women need Kathleen Hanna around!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Daily Drawings

A quick sketch of houses on stilts. This was drawn with an eventual embroidery in mind but not sure. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Daily Drawings

A new little character from my sketchbook. My little girl thinks it's her (she's 2 years old).

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Embroidery: Girl with Headphones

Happy Sunday!I've just completed my new 'Girl with Headphones' embroidery. The headphones are satin stitch and the hair strands are all backstitch. You can probably guess the hair took forever!

The original idea came from a sketchbook drawing...

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Monday Musings: Edinburgh Yarn Festival

Apologies but yesterday was hectic so i'm cheating a wee bit and giving you Monday Musings on a Tuesday! I wanted to give a mention to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival taking place this weekend. I know embroidery is my thing but I have been known to dabble in other crafts on occasion. Seasoned knitters will love the selection of stalls and beginners will find the selection of classes a real help. There's lots more info on the website but get yourself down there and join in the fun!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Paperfolk Picks

What i've been reading...

Michel Faber's 2002 bestseller, The Crimson Petal and the White, is a beast of a book, The story centralises around the lives of a middle class family versus that of prostitutes living in Victorian London. The story is straightforward and stories like this have been told many times, however Faber's writing style is what saves this novel from being just another period drama. Faber describes scenes in incredible detail to the point where I felt I learned a lot about everyday life during the Victorian period. The novel also takes time to allow the reader to understand the different restrictions placed on women during this period despite class, For example the main character's young wife didn't understand she was pregnant because she simply hadn't been educated in understanding the workings of her own body. There are slower points in the novel but it is well worth persevering through these lulls because overall it's definitely worth spending time on. 

What I'm listening to...

I first listened to doom cellist, Helen Money, a few years ago when I was at All Tomorrow's Parties in London. She was playing in a small area next to all of the merchandise to a tiny group of people who happened to catch her when they were wandering around the venue in between main acts. If you haven't heard of her before, imagine a Cellist playing Metal. It sounds like a weird combo but it's pretty amazing!