Saturday, 30 April 2011

Art Van Go - Hot Textiles 2 - 27th and 28th April Part 1 of 2

students painting up products

I always enjoy teaching at Art Van Go, we are all SO well looked after. Fresh coffee and tea on tap with biscuits in the morning and chocolates in the afternoon. But I suppose you will want to know about the work!
Hot Textiles 2 is the follow on workshop from Hot Textiles - funnily enough! The main idea of these workshops is the safe and creative use of irons, heat guns and soldering irons. Although my book Hot Textiles was published back in 2007 these workshops are still my most popular. 

We were working with Vilene Spunbond, Tyvek, pelmet (craft) Vilene, Bondaweb, painted and plain and polyester organza, all the usual suspects. I also included Hot Stuff Sheets and Lamifix. As followers of this blog will already know, I have a passion for old painted and dyed newspaper. The faux chenille technique with newspaper was also tried out in this workshop to great success. It is featured in my new book and judging by the reactions from my students I will be teaching a few newspaper related workshops next year.

 layering the newspaper
Once all the products had been painted we could get on and layer using machine stitch to hold every thing together. We layered various weights of Vilene Spunbond with polyester organza, Tyvek was layered in the same way.

various weights of Vilene Spunbond and polyester organza machine stitched together

 the layers distressed with a heat gun to reveal different layers of colour
 It is important to layer with the heaviest product at the bottom and the lightest at the top. always use a 'poker', a pair of scissors or paintbrush to hold your work in place rather than your fingers.

 This was a rather rare and very wonderful sight, one of my students making notes in a sketch book!!!!!!!!! Please note the use of the bold highlight!!!!!

 Fabulous layers!

I will report back over the weekend with Part 2 of this workshop, I am now off down the coast for some R and R with a certain gentleman of my acquaintance - Yeeeeehha!


Just a postscript to yesterdays post, if any of you have a website that is managed by some one other than yourself do check out what, if any, Disaster Recovery Policy they have. I have now got my perspective back, its only a website - no body died! It's just the time it takes to redo what has already been done. I keep hard copies of all orders (the names, addresses and products, not financial information) so not too much has been lost apart from time . . . 

Friday, 29 April 2011

A bit of a disaster!

this is how my head feels after the tears and the panic!!!!
I got back from a a brilliant 2 days at Art Van Go to find that my mail order company website was down. Not only down but annihilated - there has been a fire where the server is housed and I have lost all the information about orders and subscribers after 11th February this year. This is a nightmare as I have just had my busiest 2 months ever. All changes made to the site since then have also been lost. It will take a couple of weeks to get the site up to speed. The company that look after the site are working virtually 24 hours to get all their customers back up and running.

If you ordered from me after 11th February and wish to order again you will need to re enter your details for which I apologise, similarly if you subscribed to the newsletter after that date you will need to re subscribe.

I'm sorry to be so down on what was such a lovely day for 'The Wedding' but thought you all ought to know in case you had tried to order and couldn't access the site.

I will, no doubt, be back to my usual happy self on the next post when I update you about our antics at Art Van Go.,

yours VERY fed up - x

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Off again . . .

layers of painted Bondaweb on black cotton, layered with heat transfer foils, gilding flake, glitter and skeleton leaves

I'm just sorting out and packing up my kit for my 2 day workshop at Art Van Go. It's my new Hot Textiles 2 and I'm really looking forward to see what we achieve. As many of you will know I don't teach finished projects - just processes. It should be a great 2 days of experiments, colour and fun.

After such a glorious weekend it is going to be hard to leave the garden looking so beautiful. Hopefully it wont dry out before I get back on Friday - we could do with some rain.

I will report back over the weekend, enjoy your 3 day week. 


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Castanea - Part 5 of 5

the last evening, the courses are finished and we are having our last drinks on the terrace

The last day was a gentle dash to get samples finished and try anything anyone thought they had missed. It is always difficult to stop the day running away with you when you are finishing a course.

 Jane Sadgrove had been working in the upstairs studio all week and had had difficulty getting Marion and Lee down for meals, they were totally hooked on what they were doing. They were learning special stitches and starting to make beautiful bags. They have the patience of a saint. 

 We all gathered together for a 'show and tell' at 5 o'clock and Jane Bolsover arrived with some fizz to finish the courses off with a bit of sparkle. Everyone seemed to be pleased with what they achieved during the week.

Pauline taking a rest from entertaining us with great jokes all week

The 2 Jills,  I am so cross this image is slightly out of focus, I was laughing when I took the shot

So that is about it - I hope you have enjoyed seeing what we got up to in Spain, I think it gives you a good idea of how the courses are run. So if you fancy joining me in September I will be teaching Hot Textiles from the 11th to the 16th. 

Go on - come and join in the fun!


Next week I am teaching at Art Van Go on the 27th & 28th and will report back next weekend. I know I will have a brilliant time as Viv And Kevin are wonderful hosts and everyone is always very well looked after, my main problem is to not spend tooo much money in the shop . . . !
Have a fantastic Easter, don't eat too much chocolate and enjoy the break.


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Castanea - Part 4 of 5

 one of the stunning floral displays in Murcia

Are you bored yet? I am so enjoying looking back on our week in Spain but I do have a lot of images - I hope the amount of information is not too much for you all, I appreciate you can have too much of a good thing. I am now going to accost you with even more images . . . 

from the left - Jill W, Jill G, Lee, Jane Sadgrove, Jane Bolsover (keeping us in order), me, the lovely waitress, Pauline and Marion

 one of the beautiful buildings overlooking the square where we had our lunch

Thursday afternoon saw us being collected from the studios and taken into Murcia for our tapas lunch and tour of the Real Casino, Museo Santa Clara and the Cathedral of Murcia.
Lunch was great fun with everyone in high spirits - nothing to do with the wine flowing. The food was delicious and just when you thought all the dishes had been brought out, more were served. Then the paella arrived, piles of luscious seafood in fragrant rice - gorgeous. After the paella there was a selection of puddings to fight over, Ohh!! Bliss!

our lovely waitress who always enjoys the Castnaea visits

 Our guide Pedro on the left, Diego and Jane Bolsover

Pedro our guide arrived at 4pm and after introducing himself whisked us off to our first venue - the Real Casino Murcia. To say the interior of this building is opulent and quite stunning is doing it an injustice. The Casino was built as a private club for the The Royal Casino of Murcia Society in 1847 and was a private men's club. since then it has had its ups and downs and a total refurbishment. It is still home to the men only club but the ground floor is now open to the public.

The Arabic Court is inspired by the Patio Door of the ambassadors in The Alhambra, and is lined with over 35.000 sheets of gold leaf

Salon de Baile, sumptuous neo-Baroque design with incredible chandeliers. they were the first electric lamps to be used in the city of Murcia

Tocador de Senoras - The Ladies Room. Ladies were allowed into the club for special events and had their own dressing room. As with many of the rooms in the Casino it is very plush and has a beautiful painted ceiling. This ceiling is canvas painted by Jose Marin Baido and represents the night and the goddess Selene. The winged woman who is falling from the sky has eyes that follow you around the room. It is the weirdest thing. You can stand anywhere in the room and she is looking at you - very spooky.

We then walked the short distance to the Museo Santa Clara. This Franciscan nun's convent was founded over the Alcazar Seguir, a 13th century Islamic palace attributed to the Emir Ibn Hud. The building is a remarkable patchwork of building styles and houses some amazing Islamic art and religious artifacts. I am hoping to be able to spend more time in this fascinating building next time I am in Murcia.

one of the beautiful restored arches in the convent

this image is slightly out of focus for which I apologise - we weren't able to use flash photography.A stunning ceiling based on dragons

We then walked back to the main square and the cathedral. I love this building with a passion. no photo can really do it justice. All I can say is if you get a chance to go to Murcia - go to the cathedral - you will not be disappointed. 

one of the doors decorated with tacks in a spiral pattern

 The end of along day but very enjoyable day. 'see no evil' is me, 'hear no evil' is Jane Sadgrove and 'speak no evil' is Jane Bolsover and Yes! we had had one or two glasses of wine.

Last one tomorrow  . . . x

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Castanea - Part 3 of 5

 the mandarin tree outside the studio
There are 2 studios at the Castanea villa one upstairs inside the villa and one out in the garden. My group and I were working in the garden studio, One of the greatest pleasures of the week (and there were many) was picking mandarins from the tree right out side the studio. MMMmmm!  I can taste them now - delicious. The very lovely Claire Muir, who is featured in this months Stitch magazine, was teaching at Castanea last month and her students very kindly left us some fruit in the middle of the tree . . . !

This is just a selection of the work that was produced last week and in no particular order.

painted Bondaweb on black cotton with heat transfer foil

painted Bondaweb decorated with with snips of polyester organza and gold flake

painted Bondaweb on dyed newspaper

layers of painted 75gm Tyvek and polyester organza machine stitched together and then zapped with a heat gun. The sample above was also attacked with  soldering iron

faux chenille created by layering dyed newspaper and polyester organza

These 3 samples show the students were experimenting with layers of Vilene Spunbond  machine stitched together and zapped back with a heat gun to reveal more coloured layers

these 2 samples show Hot Stuff Sheet decorated with heat transfer foil

I think that's enough or you will lose the will to live, as you can see we worked through all my basic processes and products and the ladies produced some FAB work. Tomorrow I will show you the stunning places we visited on our tour in Murcia.


Monday, 18 April 2011

Castanea - Part 2 of 5

 this stunning Houseleek/Sempervivum graces the front terrace of the villa

Because of worries about the threatened Spanish air traffic control strike and illness we were a small and exclusive group. This meant we could get through a lot more work, it was a great luxury. It is unlikely to ever happen again so we all made the most of it.

The timetable was - 

Monday am - Market
Monday pm - Studio
Tuesday - Studio
Wednesday - Studio
Thursday am - Studio
Thursday pm - Tapas lunch in Murcia than a guided tour and shopping!
Friday - Final day in studio and 'show and tell'.

Working in the studio during the week -
As with all of my workshops we had to paint all the products before we could use them. Of course being in Spain that was no hardship, everything dried in record time. We painted up the Bondaweb and Tyvek with Colourful Thoughts paints from Cratynotions
These are high metallic paints that stay really bright even when you need to water them down to paint these products. We then painted copy paper with transfer paints (disperse dyes). Finally I mixed up some Procion dye powder and water to use as a colour wash on the Vilene Spunbond.

 Jill G and Jill W painting up their transfer papers
Jill W, Pauline and Jill painting outside the studio

 As we had some procion dye mix left I thought it would be a good idea for my ladies to dye a sketch book each, everything was going really well until the breeze got up and lifted the newspaper we were working on - Yep!!! Dye all over the table - but we got some fabulous kitchen towel out of it . . .

Kitchen towel used to mop up the dye - gorgeous!

Because my group were at different levels of experience we started right at the beginning with all products. We worked with the painted Bondaweb first then discovered how versatile Tyvek was.
We then went onto paint up and then iron off the transfer painted papers.

Pauline painted some beautiful papers, this one was ironed onto Evolon (Evo 80)
This was part of Jill W's ongoing work with a flowing sand design

 These 2 pieces were created by Jill W by ironing Bondaweb onto the back of the transfer printed craft Vilene which was then cut with a soldering iron and ironed onto more dyed craft Vilene.

 This sample by Jikll G was constructed from layers of transfer printed Evolon (Evo 80) and craft Vilene again with Bondaweb on the back and then shapes were cut with a soldering iron. These were then ironed onto a heavy craft Vilene background.

This sample by Pauline was inspired by the shapes and colours of a recent trip to India.

It was quite wonderful just working away all day in the studios breaking for coffee, teas and gorgeous lunches. It was such a treat to be waited on. Sitting having lunch in a lovely garden with like minded ladies was fabulous, as the week went on all the students started to get on very well - with them all going out for dinner together in the evenings. 

I will update more tomorrow, am off to the dentist, I have broken the third tooth in three weeks - I'm falling apart!!!! wish me luck - x