Saturday, 25 August 2012

Social Fabric in town

A new shop and workshop has opened in Totnes, my home town, in Devon U.K. called Social Fabric.

Caroline the owner says 'Come and master the age-old arts of knitting, sewing and crochet, but in a very 21st century way. This isn't school, it's going to be fun and fabulous!'

I reckon it's going to be a vibrant fun place for those who like to create stuff! I want to go to the lampshade workshop and learn to make lampshades using my own fabric designs (something I have always wanted to do) for my hallway in my home.

Plus, Caroline is selling some gorgeous yarns and some fun sewing and embroidery kits and inspiring craft books.
And I am so pleased that Social Fabric will be stocking my Campervan cut and sew soft toy fabric.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Colour - Orange

 A certain hue abounds in my garden at the moment. The gorgeous oranges hum against the greens. I love it, but I have to admit its by luck rather than judgement.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Alex Hartley searched for and discovered Nyskjaeret in 2004. The island had been revealed by the melting ice of a retreating glacier. Alex was the first person to set foot on the island. It's about the size of a football pitch. Alex built a cairn at the centre of the island with the date of his discovery inside a tin can. In 2006 the Norwegian  Polar Institute agreed to recognise the island and to name it and include it on all subsequent maps. On the 2011 expedition, Alex replaced this can with a signed note by the expedition team marking their visit, along with a letter written by an eight-year old from Bristol.
Nyskjaeret                                                       Photo:Max Mclure

This became Nowhereisland, an island from the Arctic on a journey around the coast of South West England. As it started this epic journey, it travelled through international waters, whereupon it became the world's newest nation - Nowhereisland - with citizenship open to all.
The Embassy                                              Photo:Max Mclure

On it's visit to Torquay I went to see Nowhereisland and visited it's embassy (which was in the harbour) and became one of the citizens with a certificate to prove it!
What fascinates me  are the multiple layers which comprise this artwork. Nowhereisland is durational (it unfolds over time); it is nomadic (it moves across locations, accruing different meanings in different contexts); it is physical matter (it is a sculpture comprising material from the Arctic and a collection of objects, documents, photographs and films in the Embassy); it is an intervention (a geological displacement of material, a landscape moving around another landscape); it is the words and images of others (speaking back to the project through the Resident Thinkers programme and Constitution) and it is a utopian idea (a conceptual nation involving thousands of people across the world shaping that nation's values and principles online).

 It's got something for everyone, after our visit to the embassy even my five year old was questioning the meaning of freedom!

I recommend you visit the online embassy to explore more about it all.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Illustration Friday - Freeze

Baby Penguins
This weeks word over on Illustration Friday is freeze so I thought this little linocut print I made last year would be appropriate, plus it's a good reminder to myself how much I love and miss printing.

With a lack of a studio in recent months I have had little room to work. Give me ink, paint and lino and everything gets covered, so working on the kitchen table is not an option. However, all is about to change as finally I am sorting out my soon to be studio in the garden. It wont be the pretty cosy space I initially envisaged but it will be my space and my studio, a precious thing when the house is full of my lovely boys, their friends and the mayhem that ensues.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A Rainy Day and Pirates Draw Narnia!

Aslan by Alfred 5 years old
Narnia by Seren 6 years old
Its pouring with rain and my smallest son and his friend are kicking around the house, dressed as pirates drawing pictures of Narnia! Well that is what you do when you are 5 and 6 years old. The idea emerged of turning the drawings into fabric and these are the resulting repeat patterns. I think these two small people have created two lovely fabric designs.

These are now on Spoonflower but not yet for sale, that is where extreme patience will be necessary as we wait for the samples to arrive.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Flying Again

Sometimes life becomes very hectic and fraught with challenges that take over. I am just emerging from just such a 'sometimes'.  As I say, this little blog is about my return to illustration now I have my family of boys, and recently they have needed my undivided attention. But things are calming down and I am back and facing the challenge of drawing again. (I have found myself unable to pick up a pencil for weeks, let alone make a mark.)

So as part of this challenge I have tweeked an old fabric design and entered it in this weeks Spoonflower contest. If you like it you could vote for it.