Saturday, 14 December 2013

In the process of creation

Components for my new commission
I'm engaged on a new project this weekend - with step-by-step instructions for creating a nostalgic paper and fabric 'keepsake' using old photos and napkins. Can't say more at this stage; but it is just bliss to be making again - and in the kitchen that RQ has been refurbishing all year - so light and airy and perfect for photography. I'll post more snippets from time to time as the magazine that has engaged me to do this cannot possible use them all.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Seeking support - and maybe your vote ....

This stitched page from a shared journal is included in the
blogpost I wrote for a gardening blog-writing competition.

I am overwhelmed as I was told this afternoon that out of 130 entrants, I have been selected as one of ten finalists in the first RHS Blog Writing Competition. (RHS = Royal Horticultural Society)

IT'S NOW DOWN TO A PUBLIC VOTE. The entry gaining the highest number of votes will win and I am drumming up support. If you haven't seen my 'Falling in Love' story on one of my other blogs (Grandma's Gardening Notes), do please take a look as it is my personal story, as related to plants and gardens, and a whole lot more. Here's the link: - if you like it, please,  please vote for me. And please share it with your friends and family if you think they would like it too; it was written from the heart. xx

P.S. Instructions for voting are given at the end of the 'Falling in Love'  post.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Open studio in a little caravan - an invitation

If you double-click on this flyer, you should be able to read it.
For those who haven't yet been bombarded with information or duplicate invitations, here is the flyer I created for my studio opening as part of Warwickshire Open Studios. Whenever we are away working in the caravan, I always have my art supplies with me, from a tiny boxful to a basket-load. This year I am moving forward from just 'paper, fabric and stitch' in my mixed-media journals, demonstrating processes and incidents that stimulate anything from map-trails to 'woven words' - I am attempting to create an interactive 'Caravan Kaleidescope'. 

Apart from the stitched cover, this journal was created this Spring whilst staying near Knighton, Powys, Wales
I will be creating the pages within the caravan, hoping that visitors will participate by adding their own impressions triggered by the chaos of our surroundings and hopefully the beauty of what I will be exhibiting. I do hope you will be able to join me, and if you can't but wish you could, do send me a message and I will print and stitch it into the Kaleidoscope. I think this will be a exciting challenge as my demos will turn into a finished piece that can be enjoyed by all.

P.S. Please note, the times in my flyer are correct; I have extended and amended them from the ones I submitted for the brochure page.

Here they are for those who cannot open the page:

You will be so welcome to visit - Opening Times are as follows: 
Saturday 29th June and Sunday 30th June, 2013 (11 am - 4.30 pm)
Friday 5th July, Saturday 6th July and Sunday 7th July, 2013 (11 am - 4.30 pm)
Friday 12th July, Saturday 13th July and Sunday 14th July, 2013 (11 am - 4.30 pm)
Ivy House, The Green, Whichford, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, CV36 5PE
(Look for the large red milk churn on the pavement outside the house Please park alongside the Green.)
Telephone: 07891 141580; 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Visiting Shows for Supplies & Inspiration

Monigami experiment
I will be visiting 'Sewing for Pleasure' just under two weeks time for a fresh stock of supplies relating to me latest projects, partially connected with this year's 'Warwickshire Open Studios' and my own exhibition in my caravan. New directions, new techniques, new projects, and much to do. I've described it on one of my other blogs: 'Dilemmas & Delights' (with numerous links) but will be posting quite a few step-by-step techniques in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Marvellous Craft Show

Richard Box demonstrating at the Creative Craft Show
I've just returned from the marvellous Creative Craft Show at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern. I haven't yet had time - or any daylight - in which to photograph some of the supplies I bought - beautiful yarn, beads and fabric - but as the Show is on for the next two days (Fri 1st March & Sat 2nd), I thought you might like to know about it. I've written a long post with lots of pics and online links on my Travel blog, so please link to that for more details.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Word Whispers and demos

napkin images waxed onto dictionary pages / maps and mounted onto
an old curtain prior to stitching and backing; words to be added.
On Thursday evening, I am demonstrating at a meeting of our local Embroiderer's Guild: Paper, Fabric & Stitch' and I have been preparing some samples and planning how I can in a short space of time show all the various phases of creating fabric ziz-zag books based on old maps, recycled books and napkins, waxed or fused into position. I've almost finished the 'Florlegium' that I began during my Caravan Open Studio in July ( not had time to touch it since then and it has taken longer because I forgot what I had planned to do! I need to show how different the napkins look when fused rather than waxed and so am planning another sample entitled 'From Plot to Plate' and a 'Wild Herbal' as well. Maybe I won't have them finished; indeed I won't because that is the purpose of the evening, to demo the steps from idea, through auditioning, positioning, discarding and then putting it all together. Apart from the stitching for my sewing machine is too heavy to shift from my workroom.

Using a different technique
Fused images can be applied direct to paper surfaces (maps, painted bags, book pages etc) or to fabric, and sometimes I apply to muslin or cheesecloth, and then re-fuse to a fabric background. This page has a  napkin image of a foxglove fused to muslin and then cut and fused onto the map, with my hand-written text alongside. It is part of a 'Nature Trail' booklet that I made for a magazine feature a couple of years ago.

Random 'word whispers' for three projects

All my work utilises text as well as napkin images. Some was already written, or at least fitted my theme; the rest I wrote 'to order', and I want to demo how quick and easy that is to do, once you have the images and the idea. This pic (click to enlarge it) shows some of the words for three projects, typed and ready to print onto 'cool peel'. That's the next stage for my samples, so here goes with iron and edge-stitching once the words are 'cool'.

Some of my samples will deliberately be left unfinished: a) because I won't have time to complete all I want to demo, and b) because I think it is useful to show how an effect gas been achieved and guild members can pull them apart and ask about the actual processes.

Now I have to prepare some pages and select some napkins and collect together sufficient pairs of scissors and glue brushes so that they can all have some fun! Or I hope they will, as I am only one of four 'demonstrators' and my topic may not appeal. And I am praying that the roads are not so icy that I cannot get up the hill and out of the village!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Quilted Garden Notebook Pages

Posted in my last entry, but included again so you will not needed to swap between posts;
double-click on the image to read it at a larger size.
In my last post I talked about new directions I am taking in 2013, and included the image of my sketchbook thinking for my new 'Quilt Garden' fabric and paper book. Since then, in between trying to recover from ongoing fragility and keeping up with my magazine commissions, I have been progressing this, and developing the ideas. The 'word whisper' are all typed though their will be more as the month moves forward, but everything for the first 'spread' is ready to posit and stitch.

Meanwhile, I have written-up and illustrated in my accompanying 'Creative Projects & Processes' notebook, which details what I have actually done rather than what I plan to do. 

Between the sketchbook and notebook, it will be a record of the project. Again, click on the images to read each page at a larger size. 

And I apologise for the quality of the pics; they were photographed propped on the bed rather than scanned; for I produced the pages whilst sick in bed. Otherwise, if I keep up this up for a day and then back-to-bed sequence, I won't achieve anything.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A little wine-sketch story

Although I have posted some of my wine-sketches already on this blog, I haven't actually created any of late, for wine was off the menu during the weeks I was under the weather and on double antibiotics. But this little sketch rather fits my mood today (back in bed and lap-tapping away). Cross but skittish. It was drawn on a post-it note because I had nothing else to hand, and the story written last week was scribbled on the back of a shopping list, in Morrisons Supeermarket cafe.

"Which way now?" the little old lady said as 2012 moved towards its end. She did not feel 'old', had never used such an adjective of herself. But suddenly, she no longer felt sprightly. Could still walk fast, and even run, but after even a morning's physical or mental work, she experienced now a depressing lack of energy. Her day, morning, noon, (l'apres midi - needs an accent) and night, or rather evening, which previously had been punctuated by so many tasks overwhelmed her; she felt overburdened. It was all so sudden, she felt lost. What should she do?

pen and wine doodle on the back of a cornflake packet
On New Year's Eve she cleared her creative work-space; just sufficient to be able to reach the sewing machine, her notebooks, her paints and threads, piles of sketchbooks, and she made lists of where these things were stored. Her creative clutter still littered the house; the garden was neglected, but she knew that if she could sit down and CREATE on New Year's Day 2013, she would feel young again. The day was perfect; she should have been clearing the garden!

Double-click the image to be able to read it.
On New Year's Day she started a new project - a fabric book that would take all year to make - a 12" x 12" Quilted Garden. Not just notes, and notes of notes this time, but sorting fabric and embellishments. She wrote the word-whispers that would appear, typed the words ready to transfer onto muslin and prepared the photo images - just for January: a celebration of what she saw in her garden that very morning (was it only yesterday?) All was ready to lay out and stitch, and then - perhaps the moral of this story - nothing goes according to plan, for this morning the little old lady took to her bed again. Was this to be the magical start to 2013 that she had worked towards for so many years?  For 2012 could not have been more awful, and 2013 had new and exciting adventures to pursue.