Saturday, 25 June 2011

Fibre Arts Ballarat - Australia - it's FULL!

 Hurrah! and lashings of ginger beer! My first course in Australia 2012 is full - there are still places left on other courses so if you are one of my Aus followers - check out the website

I am so excited, particularly as this will be a new workshop combining newspaper with Vilene Spunbond and painted Bondaweb . . ooohhhHH!!!! It's going to be GORGEOUS.

  old dyed newspapers layered with painted Bondaweb and gilding flake with STITCH, don't die of shock, I do get round to stitching sometimes . . . .

 old dyed newspaper decorated with foiled Hot Spots!and Yes! more stitch

 There are still places left on my workshop for ContextArt Forum in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains
4-DAY Workshop: HOT TEXTILES – NEW SURFACES FOR STITCH (from Mon afternoon April 16th to Friday noon, April 20th 2012). Come and discover what Kim has been experimenting with in the past 2 years since she first graced Australia shores in 2010 to work for TAFTA. New, soft fairy like and jeweled surfaces can be developed by distressing Vilene Spunbond/Lutradur and layering this exciting product with Tyvek, embossing powders and Hot Spots! Using beautiful mica powders and high metallic paints we will create stunning layered surfaces on which to stitch – or not. There will be plenty of opportunity to experiment with all the products and develop several well considered samples to be finished at a later date.

for more details go to -

Vilene Spunbond CS500 layered with painted Bondaweb, embossing powders and sequins 

 So lots of layers, colour and texture will ensue in Aus next year - boy are we going to have fun!



Sunday, 19 June 2011

Stroud Embroiderers Guild - a lecture and workshop

 Vilene  Spunbond CS700 backed with Bondaweb, cut with a soldering iron and applied onto CS800

Did you all enjoy the lovely weather we had on Friday? NOT!!!! I needed to drive to Stroud to deliver a lecture Friday night and a Scrumptious Spunbond workshop on Saturday. I was due to arrive at 7pm to start speaking at 8pm. As it was raining very hard and it was a Friday afternoon I had to decide if I was going to dice with the M25 or drive along the coast and up the M3. The coast road would add 30 minutes to my journey but I thought it would be a better route as it would keep moving!!!! HAH!!!! I have never had such a terrible journey in all my time driving to workshops. I left Brighton at 2.30pm thinking I would have plenty of time to stop and eat on the way. Silly girl!!!

I actually arrived at my destination at 8.40 pm - it took me SIX hours in stead of three. I could have flown to Spain or driven down to my friend Sue in France in that time. It was unbelievable. 
I have never seen so much water on the roads and the traffic hardly moved from Chichester, through Portsmouth to the M3. Of course the M3 was blocked and not moving so I had to divert. I just hope there are no speed cameras on the A34. I have never been late for a lecture before. The ladies of Stroud Guild were wonderful - I kept them up to date with my progress and they were still there waiting patiently for me when I eventually arrived. They were SO good. I know it was no ones fault but I still felt bad. Never have I been so ready for a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich, thank you again Angela. I delivered the lecture and all went well. We were in the same hall the next day so I was able to leave everything where it was to sort out in the morning, it was a great relief - I was SO tired. The lovely Ann whisked me away to her home for my overnight stay, I was very well looked after.

 Vilene Spunbond CS800 backed with Bondaweb, cut with a soldering iron and ironed onto CS700

The next day was much better after a good nights sleep. I had 17 students enrolled for the workshop so I knew I would have to be on the ball! 12 students is my preferred number for a workshop but with my petrol costs and my fees I know it is usually necessary to have 15 in the group. The extra 2 were allowed as I felt I needed to make up for the previous night. To be honest it is great that that many ladies wanted to do the workshop.

 layers of CS500 on more CS500, because this weight of Spunbond is so thin you can create beautiful translucent layers

We were working with all 4 weights of Vilene Spunbond. CS500, CS500 crash, CS700 and CS800.
Bondaweb was also going to feature in the day. We painted all the Vilene Spunbond with a wash of procion dye powder and water. YES!! I know they are dyes for natural fabrics and Spunbond is synthetic, but paints can form a barrier when you are using a heat gun. The colours dry quite pale but I still think it is one of the best ways of colouring the Spunbond for my purposes.
The Bondaweb was painted with a watered down mix of the divine 'Colourful Thoughts' paints from Cratfynotions they really are fantastic.

more Spunbond with net added

The point of the workshop was to show how to colour, decorate, distress and cut the Vilene Spunbond. The day was so busy I didn't get round to taking photo's till right at the end of the day.

CS800 and CS500 bonded on to CS500, heavy weight fabrics can look very attractive ironed onto finer weights

Vilene Spunbond and polyester organza decorated with painted Bondaweb, sequins and heat transfer foil

We used heat guns to distress the Spunbond, I wanted to show the different types of edge you create with this gorgeous product.

heat gunned CS800 decorated with painted Bondaweb, heat transfer foil and flat sequins

we also made beads with the Vilene Spunbond see pages 24 - 30 of my book Hot Textiles for 'how to' (sorry it's not in focus - more haste . . !)

After such a terrible start my trip to the Stroud Guild was very successful - they are a fabulous group, very well organised, great fun and have I mentioned - VERY patient - thank you ladies!


I decided to stay in Portsmouth on my way home, with a certain gentleman of my acquaintance (that will make you smile Jill and Tallulah) I couldn't face another long journey. We went out for a meal at Port Solent - and the lighting on these grasses caught my eye - I don't usually hold with coloured lights in the garden, I prefer white lights - but I thought this lighting was FAB!!!!! I want some now . . . . .

maybe I should dye my hair these colours for Festival of Quilts - what do you think?


7.30pm - Stop Press . . . . . Lee Stratford who attended the workshop yesterday has just emailed this image of a piece of work she assembled and finished off when she got home last night - gorgeous!!! Well Done Lee!

Lee's website with a link to her blog

I wish more students would send me images of their work - HINT HINT!!!!


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bobby Britnell's Studio and Workshops

 the stunning country side around Newcastle on Clun

After I had eaten my second piece of cake and taken another 100 or so photos I left Bryan's Ground and tootled along further up country to have supper with Bobby and Martin Britnell and Bobby's students who were working in her studio over the weekend.  

For those who are not aware of Bobby (there can't be many), she is an amazing tutor, quite inspirational and SUCH good fun. Bobby runs fabulous courses from her studio at Moor Hall in Shropshire. Bobby also runs workshops working along side Ruth Issett, the demi goddess of all things to do with colour, print and design. They make a great team, encouraging students to produce new work and develop new ideas. All workshops and dates can be found on Bobby's website 
Bobby also has an excellent newsletter I would recommend you subscirbe to it.

Moor Hall in the late evening

the sunny terrace for coffee or lunch

crazy poppies that I was quite keen to draw

beautiful planting around the house

Bobby's stunning studio - purpose built with plenty of room
 I will be teaching a 2 day workshop at Moor Hall on the 6th and 7th of October. We haven't decided what it will be but it will something HOT and melty!!!!  Keep an eye on my diary . . .
It was great to catch up with Bobby and hear all about what she has been up to in Uganda. It was also good to meet her students and see some of the work that will be on show in their next exhibition. It was was all very exciting.


I am off to Stroud Embroiderers Guild tomorrow to deliver a lecture tomorrow night and a Scrumptious Spunbond workshop on Saturday. If you fancy coming along to the lecture the venue is The Village Hall, School Lane, Whitminster, Stroud, GL12 7NT. The lecture starts at 8pm. I will update you all with our exploits next week.

Have a great weekend 


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Bryan's Ground - 11th June

As I needed to drive up to Mostyn in North Wales for Sunday morning I thought I would take it slowly and visit a garden and a friend and colleague on the way up - North Wales is a long way from Brighton!!! I decided to try to find Bryan's Ground after I saw the images on Angie Hughes' blog recently. I wasn't disappointed. Bryan's Ground is the most beautiful and quirky garden I have visited. Absolutely STUNNING!!!!! Bryan’s Ground, Stapleton, near Presteigne, Herefordshire LD8 2LP - if you want visit you need to hurry, the garden has very limited opening times and it closes for the year on the 18th July. 

It is a very intimate garden, beautifully laid out and everything exquisitely placed. It just falls short of being manicured which makes it even more gorgeous. Everywhere you turn there is a surprise and a lovely vista.

There are formal areas and crazy areas, this place has to be seen to be believed.

the planting is stunning

a surprise around every corner

amazing colour combinations

the garden is open from 2pm - 5pm, it gives you just enough time to wander around, get lost, discover where you are and have time for tea and cake - bliss

there are some very quirky areas and displays - nothing is wasted

I really do urge to see this incredible garden - x


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The LBD - Hot Stuff . . . !

 one of the original 10 black dresses made form black bin liners

 I received an email this week from Sarah Patterson saying how useful she had found my book Hot Textiles.  When you write a book you never know how it will be received or if anyone will even read it, so it is always very satisfying when you hear your book has been useful.

Sarah teaches A/S A/2 and GCSE Textiles at Portsmouth College, she likes to teach students a range of techniques such as Photoshop, printing, embroidery etc. This year her A/2 group were inspired for the final exam by the little black dress and this coincided with a local exhibition at Portsmouth Museum based on the LBD. The task Sarah had set her students was to create a dress using non conventional materials such as bin liners, condoms (not used!) tampons (again not used!) in fact anything that could be coloured or turned black. The students went to the exhibition and collected great ideas and inspiration for shapes and cuts. When the students returned from the exhibition Sarah set a task to use bin liners to create 10 dresses on their mannequins. These were really successful and gave the students ideas on how to drape, fold and shape on to a female form.
Lily Bodkin - Inverted black playing card bodice and net/organza skirt with playing cards. - Model Daisy Marshfield.

All students found inspiration from various chosen themes such as, glamour,
Alice in wonderland and Victorian corsets. At this point Sarah had contacted the Museum to ask if they did a workshop or something alongside the exhibition. What they offered her was a fashion show to work alongside the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Kings Theatre in Southsea! The prize for the best dress was to be displayed within the museums' exhibition! All of Sarah’s students were very keen to take part.
Emily Barber - Black net and bin liner skirt. Nude body with black net and embellished with felt and crystalina leaves and bin liner roses - Model Jade Saunders.

This is where my book Hot Textiles came in! Sarah and her students started to look at different ways they could mould, melt and shape the materials they had. A heat gun and many experiments later created some beautiful dresses!
 Abeda Siddique - Painted doilies on nude body, and organza skirt with doilies.

The Fashion show was Saturday 28th May; it was open to the public and other students from
Portsmouth University. Local award wedding design team/shop Creatiques had also submitted a beautiful black gown. Sarah’s students strutted their stuff to Depeche mode's 'Personal Jesus' showing off some edgy designs. They had a guy dressed in a black painted bubble wrap dress, very Lady Gaga.

 Jade Saunders - Painted bubble wrap body with metal wrapped bubble wrap skirt. - Model Chris

The winner on the night was Rosie Bishop; she had constructed a corseted dress made from heat gunned organza and crystalina fibres. Rosie has been a great student and hopes to go on to study Textiles at Brighton University, though she has had unconditional offers from Winchester, Bournemouth and Northbrook.

 Rosie Bishop - corseted burnt organza dress with crystalina fibres - Model Jade Saunders

 This is my favourite - very melty and gorgeous!

  Hannah Davies - corseted dress made from melted Tyvek, crystalina fibres and sequins. Burnt bin liner skirt with crystlina fibres and sequins - Model Jade Saunders.

 I think you will agree they have created some AMAZING garments . . . 
Well done to Sarah and her students.


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Delightful Denman!

The Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in full flower - quite stunning, just one of the many specimen trees in the grounds

One more post about Denman College. It is a very beautiful place to work, learn and play! Denman has it's own new website which will be continually updated over the next month or so. Although the college is the home of the W.I. all the courses are open to the public - MEN and women. You don't have to be a member to enrol on the courses and enjoy the whole Denman experience. The grounds are stunning and well kept with plenty of areas to explore in any spare time you have. They look good throughout the year. Amongst many attractions I love the long flower border and the lake.

looking across the grounds to a beautiful group of trees

one of the gorgeous flower borders

one aspect of the lake with its well established trees and surrounding planting

There are usually several courses running at one time at Denman and on the last day of a course all students are encouraged to have a look at what everyone else has been up to. It is always a great chance to have a good look at the all the other teaching studios. Mike Burgess (above in the blue shirt) teaches at Denman regularly. He offers digital photography and working with pastels and watercolours. He is great fun and very encouraging, so if you fancy having a dabble artistically, then his will be the course for you. I am trying to find time to go on one of them myself as I need all the help I can get to develop my skills and being rather unconfident about said skills, I think Mike could help.

two of my lovely girls discussing the floral displays

I will back at Divine Denman for these courses

October 31 – November 2 2011
Hot Textiles  
course no - 112.124  3 places left

July 13 – 16 2012
Hot Textiles part 2  
course no - 112.964

August 6 – 10 2012
New Layered Textile Techniques  
course no - 112.1044


I am having a catch up week this week. I need to sort a load of images for the Alaska Fiber Festival website and for the New Zealand blog. I MUST try to sort out my office - it is a TIP!!! I may be having a visitor to stay next week . . . . a certain gentleman of my acquaintance . . . . and he will NOT be impressed! I am hoping he will help me with hanging my new supposedly squirrel proof bird feeder. Huh, squirrel proof, I wish!!!!! Still, it's worth one more try. This is the last feeder I am going to try. It's an air rifle next . . . . . don't worry I am joking . . . . but sometimes - aarrgghHHHHHH!!!!!

I have tried just about every type of feeder, huge ones, small ones, cages with sleeves that slide down, you name it, I've tried it. I will let you know if it works. If any of you have had any success at keeping squirrels at bay - do let me know. 

Yours about to attack my kitchen floor with a mop - I think I know where it is - the mop that is!


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Extreme Surfaces for Stitch at Denman College Part 3

an octopus's garden - painted Bondaweb and Vilene Spunbond CS800 cut with a soldering iron

Wow!!! What a Fab last few days at Denman College! My group worked very hard and produced some excellent work, it's a shame I can't fit all the work on here. A few of the group were beginners and the rest were quite experienced so it was an interesting mix to teach. Everyone got on well together and there was lots of sharing, both of ideas and threads and fabrics, this always helps things to run smoothly.

flowers cut with a soldering iron from Vilene Spunbond that has been backed with Bondaweb, (apologies for bleaching it out with the flash on the camera)

Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron and ironed onto pre dyed pelmet Vilene with painted Bondaweb decorated with machine stitch and gold heat transfer foil

layers of Vilene Spunbond and pelmet Vilene backed withBondaweb, cut with a soldering iron and ironed onto pre dyed pelmet Vilene

polyester organza, Vilene Spunbond CS500 and pelmet Vilene cut with a soldering iron and ironed onto painted Bondaweb, highlighted with machine stitch

Vilene Spunbond CS800 decorated with transfer papers then cut with a soldering iron and ironed onto pelmet Vilene

Evolon transfer printed and cut with a soldering iron and foiled edges on a transfer printed Vilene Spunbond CS500 background

polyester organza with Bondaweb on the the back cut with a soldering iron and ironed onto white cotton

polyester organza zapped with a heat gun decorated with gilding flake and ironed onto painted Bondaweb

a close up of Vilene Spunbond layered with polyester organza machine stitched together and then zapped with a heat gun to reveal different layers of colour

another close up - Tyvek layered with polyester organza, machine stitched together and then zapped with a heat gun to reveal different layers of colour

Vilene Spunbond backed with Bondaweb cut with a soldering iron and ironed onto dyed Vilene Spunbond CS800

I know I always say don't start off with a square of Tyvek because you will end up with a square of Tyvek, cut into it, cut circles or spirals, but these two samples are just so beautiful it doesn't seem to matter. Heavy weight Tyvek painted with metallic paints and ironed lightly between baking parchment to create texture. The Tyvek was then foiled with gold heat transfer foil. 

Don't forget my Denman girls - Kiss, Stroke and Caress for texture and Welly, Wiggle, Off to foil!!!!
Wednesday is looking good . . . . . !!!!

I will be back at Denman doing a Hot Textiles 3 day workshop, October 31st – November 2nd so if you fancy having a great time while you are learning new techniques in beautiful surroundings - sign up now!