Monday, 30 January 2012

La Verderie and Bluewater

The beautiful courtyard at La Verderie

2 workshops in France September/October
Hot Textiles - Creative Bondaweb  September 26th – October 1st
Luscious Layers October 3rd – 8th

I am very blinkered in the way I think and sometimes need a nudge to make me realise what is staring me in the face!

 Gorgeous old buildings with loads of inspirational textures can be found around and about La Verderie

Because the workshops in France are going to be for 4 - 5 students I immediately thought they would be good for beginners and marketed it accordingly. It has been pointed out to me several times that working in a small group would also be a great opportunity for more advanced students to have their own 'masterclass' with me. There will be plenty of time for one to one tuition for any level of experience so Sue and I have now changed the skill levels on all the advertising. I am giving you all the 'heads up' as I start my show season this week and will be promoting these courses and I expect the course will fill quite quickly as we can only take 4/5 students.
Sue and John are fantastic hosts and La Verderie is the place I go to escape.

One of the beautiful buildings in Saintes

 La Verderie is an old stone farmhouse that Sue and John Culligan moved to in 2004. Over the years they have added new bedrooms and bathrooms to provide accommodation for up to 5 guests. The house is situated in a tiny hamlet surrounded by vineyards, sunflowers and shady woodland. The enclosed courtyard garden is perfect for relaxed alfresco dining. In cooler weather there is a large open fire in the comfortable sitting-room.
 Have a look at the website - workshops in France
  . . . .  and of course the fields of sunflowers . . . .


Creative Stitches at Bluewater - THIS WEEK!
AARGghhh!!! this has galloped up quickly - I'm not quite ready yet . . . . 
I will be on stand D37 and lots of my friends will be there too - Wendy Dolan, Isobel Hall, Jenny Rayment and Jane Sadgrove to mention a few. I only get to see some of these lovelies at shows so it will be a great treat! We are going to have SUCH a FAB time - The show is going to be amazing with all the new displays and my great friend Brenda Killigrew will be there running the fabulous fashion shows - 
If you can get there in time I will be giving a lecture every day at 11am in the lecture theatre.

 I must dash off and pack up some orders and start thinking about what I need for the stand and then write a lecture . . . . . 


Thursday, 26 January 2012

An extra workshop at Foredown Tower

Bonded and bejewelled newspaper for stitch
at Foredown Tower March 3rd

Hello again, apologies for the gap in communication. I had been struck down by a DISGUSTING cold and am just about getting back into the land of the living. I was so bad I had to cancel my workshop at Uckfield Community College last Saturday - unheard of! 
I am almost up to date with all the orders on The Hot Spots! give away was obviously a good idea. That offer has finished now so things should calm down a bit orders wise - which is a good thing as I have just a little bit of organising to do for upcoming shows and my trip to Australia and New Zealand looming up fast.

Because the funded workshop at Foredown Tower filled up within hours of my mentioning it I have added another one - there are 6 places left. This workshop won't be funded - it will cost £35 for the day and there will be a materials list. As many of you will know I rarely teach in my home town as my college closed, so this is a treat for me.

Foredown Tower is a converted Edwardian water tower on 3 levels. The  viewing gallery on the top floor (no disabled access yet) offers 360° views from the Isle of Wight to the South Downs and houses the largest camera obscura in south east England - a unique optical device that is used to observe the surrounding landscape, sun and sky. If we are lucky we might get my wonderful friend Jayne to operate if for us at lunchtime if the weather is decent. Jayne is the centre development officer and she is the ONLY reason I would add another workshop to my schedule at such a very busy time. It is an amazing place. Very peaceful. The Tower is not open to the public yet so you will be one of the few to enjoy it. If you are interested, the course code is LL98 (Bonded and bejewelled newspaper for stitch) and the number to ring is 01273 42263.


My first show of the year is at Bluewater, Kent. A new venue - all very exciting and it's NEXT WEEK!!! arrgghhh!!!! This time next week the show will be open and I will have delivered my lecture - gulp!!! I had better write it then . . . . 
Maybe see some of you there!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Free - Hot Spots!!!

 Hot Spots! decorated with various heat transfer foils, sequins and glitter - FAB!

 Well that was good idea! 

I offered a free Hot Spots! Playpack (value £6) with every order received on between the 15th and 25th January on this blog and in my newsletter and have been very pleased with the result. I wanted to see if it was necessary to put anything on the home page of the website to generate interest - it seems not! I think if I had put the offer on the website I wouldn't be able to cope. Thank you all for your orders and for being such lovely guinea pigs . . . . . . I have never done an offer before but I am so encouraged I think I will do another one next month - so watch this space.  

It is my way of thanking my existing customers and blog followers and gives you a chance try something new. So until midnight on the 25th January - if you place an order - you get a free Hot Spots! Playpack. If anyone fancies sending me an image of what they have done with their Hot Spots! I will put it on here for you all to see.

If you are unsure how to use Hot Spots! and have a strong constitution - there is a free film of me using Hot Spots! on the top left of this blog - (second film link down). I was very nervous when I started filming but I do warm up . . .


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

West Dean - Layered Textiles - Hot techniques for jewelled surfaces part 3

 Painted and foiled Bondaweb with painted, textured and foiled Tyvek

The final day at West Dean was a day of layering and stitch, a great treat. Having the extra day made such a difference, to the work and to the group. All the students bar one were beginners in the Hot Textiles field and they all produced some brilliant work. We worked through all the basic Hot Textiles processes as you will see in the previous posts. The students were left with various piles of heat treated fabrics which I asked them to create some kind of composition - here are the resulting samples -

Layers of transfer printed CS800 Vilene Spunbond zapped with a heat gun and decorated with frayed organza and embossing powder.

  Transfer printed CS800 Vilene Spunbond zapped with a heat gun decorated with a Tyvek motif.
 Polyester organza decorated with painted Bondaweb, zapped with a heat gun and decorated with textured Tyvek

 Painted Bondaweb decorated with heat transfer foil, jewel dots and seeds

 Polyester organza decorated with foiled, painted Bondaweb  - zapped and distressed with a heat gun

 Painted Bondaweb with distressed polyester organza texture

Textured Tyvek shapes layered to create a kind of mad flower border
Delicate stitch adds definition to the floral transfer print on the this transfer printed CS800

I will be back at West Dean in July for Extreme Surfaces for Stitch - so if you fancy learning about heat processes in a magnificent setting with fabulous food - you know what to do!!!


Free Hot Spots!

Transfer printed Evolon decorated with silver transfer foiled Hot Spots!

This is a just a catch up post - I will continue with the West Dean workshop later when I have had time to sort through all the photos.

Being a bear of little brain and what brain I have left is soggy with a cold, it has only just occurred to me that my followers on here are not necessarily subscribers to my newsletter and therefore won't be aware of my special offer this month. I am giving away a free Hot Spots! Playpack (value £6) with every order received on between the 15th and 25th January. I am so pleased with this product I want everyone to try it. There is a free film to watch if you can bear it on the top left of this blog showing you how to use them - you can fast forward to the demo . . . .

The pack contains 2 x A4 sheets of medium spots, 2 x A4 sheets of small spots, 2 sample pieces of heat transfer foil, hints and tips and a free gecko template.



I have masses of orders to get out over the next few days but it is great to be home again - for all of two weeks . . . . . . I have actually unpacked my wash bag!!!


Sunday, 15 January 2012

West Dean - Layered Textiles - Hot Techniques for jewelled surfaces - part 2

3 A4 sheets of painted Tyvek layered with polyester organza. this was then machine stitched together and then zapped with a heat gun to reveal different layers of colour and to create texture.

The second day of a three day course - we have covered most of the basic techniques now and the students will be combining their own layers and stitching into them tomorrow.  There are seven in the group and it is another good group - textile ladies do seem to be good fun in general. I rarely get someone who moans.

These are two Bondaweb pieces that I missed yesterday

We worked with Tyvek for most of the day, starting with 'kissing, stroking and caressing' single sheets and moving on to layering Tyvek with polyester organza and zapping back. I don't know if you can have too much of a good thing but here are all the layered samples - front and back -

Maggie's front and back

Jean's front and back

Janet's front and back

Sue's front and back

Janice's front and back

The girls working hard in the studio

Tomorrow we are working till 3pm then we leave so I will finish this workshop on Tuesday or Wednesday.
I still have a few orders to get out so will have to do that first . . . . . 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

West Dean - Layered Textiles - Hot Techniques for jewelled surfaces

Painted Bondaweb ironed onto a turquoise background fabric, decorated with dried seeds and leaves, jewel dots and strips of the backing paper from the Bondaweb

 The first day of this 3 day course was spent showing the students the basic layering techniques we were due to cover. Once the students have got to grips with the basics they can then start zapping and stitching or whatever they fancy.
First of all we painted Bondaweb and Tyvek - The Bondaweb we started to work with today (as you will see) and the Tyvek will be played with tomorrow.
While the Bondaweb was drying the students ironed some plain Bondaweb onto a piece of pre-coloured Vilene Spunbond CS500. A soldering iron was then used to cut out shapes which were the ironed onto a second piece of Spunbond. Here are some of their samples -


 We then experimented with transfer printing onto white CS800 - the heaviest weight Spunbond. I have my heat press here so the students had the chance to try transfer printing with an iron and a heat press. We used disperse printed papers and bags to print with. Great fun for tearing and fast to use. Here are more samples -


 . . . and by then the painted Bondaweb was dry so here are few more samples using all the usual suspects - glitter, jewel dots, leaves, heat transfer foil, gilding flake . . .  . .



So you can see we covered a bit of ground today - more tomorrow - I'm off to the bar before dinner . . . . 


Friday, 13 January 2012

Denman College part 2b

Bridget had fun with black Hot Stuff sheet. Decorating it with heat transfer foils and then impressing with wooden printing blocks while hot

We had a chance to play with various materials on the course - Hot Stuff sheet was one of them, another was Solufleece. Solufleece is a water soluble machine embroidery product that has another use. You can 'crash' it with steam.

Solufleece is layered with Bondaweb and a top fabric. The sample is then stitched in rows and then steamed - the sample then puckers up. The samples above show the technique using two layers of organza as the top fabric.
Do any of you remember those swimming costumes made with shirring elastic we used to wear that used to go all baggy when they got wet - No!!! of course not - you are far too young!!! This technique reminds me of that wet soggy feeling!!!!!

 Christine stitching into her decorated newspaper

 Bridget had fun layering CS500 Vilene Spunbond, free machining then taking out sections with a soldering iron.

 Angela made these fabulous cards with painted Bondaweb, sequins, gilding flake, glitter and silk fibres

Sarah made her beautiful cards using torn layered newspaper strips.

We all had a great time together, I will remember this course for a long time to come - great girls and great work! I will be back at Denman in August if any of you fancy coming out to play in beautiful surroundings, excellent studios - and of course the food is FAB . . . !


Speaking of FAB food I am off to teach a weekend course at West Dean College later on today - I just have a few more orders to get out then I can start loading the car - again. 
I am teaching a new workshop, Layered Textiles – Hot new jewelled surfaces to stitch!  We should be creating delicate, frothy (two words not normally associtated with me!) layers with the pre dyed CS500 Vilene Spunbond - I hope to have time to post on the blog while I am there so watch this space . . . .