Tuesday 31 March 2009

April Greetings

No, of course I wouldn't do that to you all - you would never trust me again.
Thanks for all the kind words. Glad you are looking forward to the new books.

wabbit - I can't bear it about your catalogue. You always make such great art. Email me your postal address maggie@workshopontheweb.com and I'll send you one of my spares.

It's a big post tomorrow (might take a while to load) so I just wanted to show you a piece of art that has proved an inspiration for my killed catalogue. It's by a chap called Rob Woolner, who lives in my neck of the woods. Jane Wild introduced me to him and Clive and I loved his work and purchased this piece. I like the understated color scheme with the enlivening touches of red. Not a good photo as it is a glazed piece, but you will recognize some of the elements in tomorrow's post.

.This is the catalogue I will be using and I am going to go through the whole process. Next week it will be another catalogue and an entirely different approach.


See you all tomorrow, catalogues at the ready.

Monday 30 March 2009

Getting the Brush Off

Phew - that was quite a week. Got almost all the work done and met with Lynda and Carol - more on that later. Thanks for the comments.

Thanks, Heather. It was exceedingly busy but quite fun.

Fibrenell - I think there is a certain cachet in having a catalogue stolen by a bush turkey. I am quite surprised that Smudge hasn't brought mine in through the cat flap.

Best of luck with your book Beverly. You'll have to send me a copy to review for WoW.

Wabbit - the lesson may well put you off anything to do with catalogues!

Good to meet you Richmond - drop by again.

Amanda - how flattering that you want to pre-order. Clive will be putting something up on the d4daisy site soon and we''ll have a list of 'let-me-know' people. We're mocking up the covers at the moment which involves hard decisions.

It was a lovely day on Saturday seeing all L and C's work. I can tell you it will be a terrific book. Michael said he has never had work so well presented. I then let the side down by handing over mine in a great muddle and having to sort it into piles on the studio floor. Michael made us have our photos taken which we all hated (I think you can tell this in my photo). I asked him to airbrush it for me but he just laughed.

Time to get the catalogues out. Hopefully they will have had a disinfectant spray and now I'm giving mine a work over with a stiff brush to get rid of any debris.


This one looks a bit boring but it actually has pages that open so I shall treat it like an altered book. There are some good areas where I gouged out holes. The toe of my boot is not part of the design scheme but it wouldn't stay open.


I like this one the best. It has dried really hard - like cardboard. I'll be scared of spoiling it.


This one is shown open - the pages look interesting with the striped effect. More text shows on this and some of it will have to be hidden.


.On Thursday I'll post about the first stages of working with the catalogues. It would have been Wednesday but that is April Fool's Day and I know lots of you are convinced that I am going to say, 'Ha-ha - look at all you dafties burying catalogues'! That is so not true - or is it?

Friday 20 March 2009

This and That and a Hawken Hat

Glad you all liked the hats.

Heather thanks for the compliment.It was fun editing Embroidery but I wish I'd had full colour. It was always such a terrible decision as to who had to have B&W pics.
I went to a garden party at Buckingham Palace once, Clare. (One's egg sandwiches were superb). It only occurred to me afterwards that I could have borrowed a Cauli hat from Deirdre - would one have been thrown out for lese majeste?
I have a 640 too, Sandra, and I do love it. Not sure about the BSR - it wasn't suitable for the satin stitch I was doing and it didn't let me go very fast but I shall have another go soon.
Great to hear from Arti again.
Maybe we'll have a WoW readers' weekend. Don't tell Clive - I was impossible to live with while arranging the Embroidery one.
Hi Liz - good to be in touch again - the blog looks good.
I have been slaving over the work for the photoshoot next week. I have quite a lot still to do so, if I am misssing for a while, you'll know what I am doing. Lynda (PurpleM) and Carol Mcf will be there so we'll all take some photos for the blogs.
Have been trying to kill two birds with one stone - working on a piece for the Ramster exhibition, which I foolishly titled before I'd made it. Never do that - it never works, I find. It was called Celtic Spear and I wanted to build it up from paper strips. Here's one of the painted papers.
.Torn into strips - a close up of the stitching.
If you stitch blotting paper from the back it causes puffy marks on the other side. They don't show up well here but it is quite effective.
This is the very beginning of the spear. I hope that the next time you see it will be in the book (if it works).
If you are doing my on line classes I am having trouble posting to the site. Will try again later but I haven't forgotten you. Our internet connection went down this morning, which is very rare and it's still a bit iffy.
I have to tell you the sad tale of Marilyn, a catalogue killer whose catalogue was stolen from her front garden, possibly by a tidy minded neighbour. Some people just don't recognise treasure! She is distraught. Don't forget the 2nd April for the revelation on catalogues.
I have a quick Smudge story. You have heard before what a thief he is - he targets my nice neighbour and brings me their car washing sponges. The same lady looks after her toddler grandson a couple of days a week and, of course, Smudge considers that he has a vital role to play in this child's education. He goes to help her amuse Sebastian in the garden and is very good about things like pulled tails.
Yesterday Clive shouted out to me - 'Quick, look at Smudge - what's he got now!'. He (Smudge, not Clive) was running through the garden, heading for the cat-flap, wearing a red nose. Closer inspection showed it to be a small red plastic ball (one of Sebastian's). I don't know how he managed to hold it in his teeth but I wish I'd got a photo - could have sold it to the papers for red nose day.
Back in a week's time, when all the madness is over.

Sunday 15 March 2009

Get Ahead - Get a Hawken Hat

I was so pleased to hear that Deirdre Hawken, a good and lovely mate of ours, has one of her hats in the prestigious Hats - an Anthology exhibition at the V&A (until 31st May). It is this one - her cauliflower hat.

When I was editing Embroidery magazine I organised a readers' weekend to tie in with an exhibition of contributors. Deirdre was one of the speakers, together with Liz Harding. It was all a great success but I was a nervous wreck and, despite many requests, could never face doing another one. Here are two more 'Hawken hats' that we had at the show.

I do so love this sweetie bag, don't you?

Thanks for all the comments. This is a quickie blog as the sun is shining and the GCs await but I will have a bash at the answers.

Thanks to all those who commented on the BSR. I did find it worked well on water-soluble with straight stitch but satin stitch was a no-no. I shall press on but remain unconvinced at present. I think I could be in lust for that new Bernina. Stephen Bogod is writing us an article so perhaps he will tell us about it - that bobbin trick is a winner. Interesting about the BSR update, Marianne, and I will try to get more info.

Hi Heather in Qld. No probs with comments here.

Yes, Jacqueline I think Lynda & Carol will have a winner on their hands with the Textured Surfaces book.

Doreen I am dying for us to meet up for a Grey reunion. Aussie Jo - you are coming too. That's so cool. Like the sound of your itinerary. Hope we will be able to have a look around. Spent a fortune last week booking the Oz trip and buying a woodburning stove. That'll turn the weather next winter.

Will be in Sydney but only for some R&R with the lad.

ElizH - Print.Ability is very differnet to Inkaid. It is washable - more on this in the next blog. Get it from http://www.gallerytextiles.co.uk/.

Thanks for all good wishes for Clive - he is much better, thank goodness.

Back soon with full Print.Ability report.

Sunday 8 March 2009

Books and Oz Planning

What an exciting week. Have been editing Lynda and Carol's book. It was really hard as I kept wanting to leap up and try out all their tricks. We are in for a real treat with this one, folks.

Mine is coming on well,too - here's a composite of some surfaces from my backgrounds chapter.

Trouble is all my backgrounds have ambitions of being foregrounds but I am enjoying getting back to stitching. Pleased with progress and both books are on track for April.

Talking of stitching I have been playing with this - the Bernina Stitch Regulator. When I tried it before I wasn't keen but I had a go with one belonging to a friend of mine and I'm quite hooked. When I've had more time to play with it I'll report back. Anyone got one - tell us how you like it. I love the tin.

Not a lot to report - too busy working. Poor Clive's bad back turned out to be a kidney infection. He's much better now, thanks to the antibiotics. Good thing I made him go to the docs, wabbit.

Good to have the wabbit back, by the way. Would love to see Smudge's portrait. I've often drawn my other cats but he won't stay still. Never did find out what he'd been up to when he damaged himself, but yesterday he came home smelling of perfume! I hope the explanation was that he'd been visiting my neighbour - he sometimes pops in there to help her cats eat their food.

Glad you liked WoW, Gina - I thought we had some especially exciting folk this time.

Heather - I do hope your eyes are sorted, I remember Val getting her cataracts done and she said the clarity of vision afterwards was incredible - like have a veil removed. Well, that's what it is, I guess.

Going to have a fun afternoon planning our trip to Australia. We are doing the show in Perth with Dale (can't wait) and then going to see the boy in Sydney. Planning a side trip up to Broome. Not getting any interest on the savings so may as well spend it!

Monday 2 March 2009

Quite a Week

Thanks for all the comments

Beverly - Catalogues. I've done one of each. There are no rules, really.

The snow drops are really quite breathtaking - I didn't include the long view which is quite amazing, just snowdrops as far as the eye can see.

Aussie Jo - there used to be a group over here called the Textile Tarts - I wonder what happened to them.

Penny no - I don't suppose there is much water to spare for catalogues. I hear you are due another dose of the horrible hots. Hope they are wrong this time.

Kate - so sorry about your cat. That's so sad and you miss them so much. Smudge lost another life on Monday evening. He usually comes in when it gets dark but I kept calling him and nothing happened. Then, just when I was getting really worried he appeared, very bedraggled, lots of fur pulled out, limping and smelling very ferral. He ran and hid under the table and, having established that there were no wounds, I thought I'd leave the vet until the morning - he did eat his supper, nothing stops him from eating. In the morning he was much better and by Tuesday evening he was back to normal. Still don't know what happened. we do get foxes in the garden but they are not supposed to go for cats. Clive's view is that he fell out of a tree and was so scared that he peed himself! All is well now.

Hi Jen - glad you liked the book and yes, there is always another in the pipeline. I'm aiming for April and we have the Lynda Monk/Carol Mcfee book to go with it. Exciting times.

We have given Workshop on the Web a make over with a new logo and a new cleaner look. It's something we've been meaning to do for ages so we got down to it over the Christmas break. Thanks so much to all who have said they like it.

Some super articles, too. I'm pleased that I signed up Jackie Langfeld and Anita Bruce at the K&S. Remember this armour?

Jackie gets the most amazing textures, doesn't she?

Our blogging friend Anna has an article on rust dyeing, too and there's loads of other super stuff, including another great blogger - Olga Norris. Love her work.

Our subscriber numbers have been increasing steadily lately, which is great - I do try to keep the price down, although our costs have gone up. I do believe in paying people a reasonable price for writing workshops. It keeps the quality high.

It's been a difficult week, madly busy and Clive has not been well. He had a really bad backache on Monday, which we put down to the weekend gardening. When it didn't go I frog-marched him to the doctors and the poor chap has a kidney infection. He has antibiotics and is feeling much better now, thank goodness.

We did manage to finally get out for the firm's Christmas lunch on Friday - better late than never!