Sunday, 24 July 2011


                                                                     Source: via Elaine on Pinterest

Been playing around with Pinterest - a lovely online site where you can look through and save inspiring photos to your own pinboards. You can look through others collections, be inspired by photography, architecture, interiors, costumes, jewellery, artwork, textiles, colour, fabrics, yarn..... oh the list is endless! So that is where I've managed to lose a lot of time this weekend ;) It's also free to join, just click the invite button then look for the e-mail to join in your inbox. Then you can start pinning lots of pictures. This is addictive and to be honest I would have been on longer if my computer wasn't so slow processing the pages of photos. (anyone else have this problem? Interested to know so I can maybe stop blaming my computer if you do, lol!)

This pic took my fancy as a simple but lovely project for lights. As long as the bulb isn't too hot, I'd say this should be beautiful and practical. I love the see-through silks, just lovely. You could paint or dye your own silks too and it doesn't have to be patchwork, although I do love the boldness of the larger sections in these. Or you could cut-out sections filigree style, lacework dyed and stitched together? Mmmm, lots of ideas ;) Unfortunately there is no mention where this originally came from on the web so I can't give credit but passing on inspiring photos such as this here and through Pinterest is credit well deserved.

There is some making going on behind the scenes but nothing far enough along to show as yet as I'm spending too much time online looking at inspirational photos! A bit of decent light for photos today and I should have some Finished Objects to show you that for some reason haven't managed to get onto the blog as yet - like the lonely sock and some yummy stripey armwarmers. Also feel some pattern writing coming on...... not had that mojo for a while. Let's see where it goes today! Bye now!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Musings on a rainy day

It's raining again but it's a softer kind of mizzle - mist/drizzle all wrapped up together. The cars are swishing by through the puddles, sounds outside are quite muted and it has a quiet, soporific feel, inviting you to relax for a bit in a comfy chair with a warm cuppa. I'm wondering if there is a good film on that I could lose myself in whilst comfort knitting. Might have to get out the dvd's and find an oldie....

You know what I really feel like doing today? Spinning. Out of the blue, not planned, and it's not as if I really need to start anything else new with so many things already on my to-do list. But it seems to fit this afternoon perfectly. I'll have to dust off the spinning wheel as it has been quite a while. In fact, there is a roving still being spun on it so that should be rectified immediately :) So I'm going to follow my muse today and just 'be'. I always find spinning quite meditative - keeping the hands busy whilst letting the mind wander off wherever it likes.

So a nice pile of roving to get stuck into. Now, just need to put the kettle on...... what does it matter if it's raining when there is good fibre yumminess to enjoy?  Back soon with some spun yarn maybe? Enjoy your day!

Saturday, 16 July 2011


Creatively, actual making has been a bit thin on the ground this week as the re-organisation of tables and working space carries on. But I don't mind as it's giving me time to consider just where my creative input should be focused on. There is something so refreshing about a clearout - it gets you out of habitual thinking and allows you to look at your work and ideas with fresh eyes. Colour palettes, techniques, materials, we all have old favourites we fall back into using without always considering why or if it's the best choice. So I've been browsing my books, researching ideas and surfing online to find new inspiration to add to the creative melting pot, so to speak. And on my bookshelf was this book I re-discovered  'The Painted Quilt' by Linda and Laura Kemshall.

I featured this on my blog when it first came out - oh, 2007?? Yikes! But I still feel inspired every time I pick it up and get lost in the visuals. The combination of print, stitch, dyeing, colours and layers of visual language are just sumptuous and so distinctive in style. It made me realise that I love working with all aspects of markmaking - the texture, colour, layering, embelllishment, relief - 2or3D, fabrics, papers, experimentation, building up complexities using mixed media. And as much as I like my filigree vessels, they don't convey as much to me as these textile pieces do. It's the process of discovering new things that attracts me more than the outcome. I know all this about myself but sometimes being visually reminded is a good jolt back onto your true creative path.

I came away feeling full of inspiration and possibilities which lead to me realising my workspace didn't cater for messy materials like monoprinting or mixed media, hence the clearout and prioritising of space. Synchronicity has a lot to do with this too as I got offered two sturdy wooden tables for my workshop just at the same time. Of course I had to say yes :) A girl can't have enough messy worksurface in her shed! But something as simple as a change of furniture meant I had been unconsciously limiting myself creatively before then due to my lightweight 'that will have to do for now table'. Interesting how just a few changes open up so many possibilities.

So if you are feeling in a rut creatively, maybe a re-organising of your space or work habits will get your creative juices flowing again too in new and more exciting ways. You just never know where the muse will take you!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Red poppies

Well, back inside today doing a spot of tidying up and re-organising my work space - commonly known as procrastination! - since the sun has decided to disappear and the clouds are making everything look grey and cool. Not summer at all! So to remind me of the sunshine, I thought I would show you these lovely red poppies that appeared in the garden this year. A neighbour down the road has some ginormous poppies in their front garden and I can only think the wind has kindly blown some seeds our way to give us these beauties. We've had so much wind and rain these last few days though, I was frightened the petals would be blown off before I could get out there with my camera. But I was lucky:)

Three out so far and loads of buds waiting for some more sunshine to bloom. One of these would fill the palm of your hand easily and mmmmm, the colours! I feel a purpley-red yarn begging to be dyed just looking at the centre detail and the intensity of that red. Now, what could I use that for???? Mind is whirring with possibilities!

I thought I'd wander around the garden to see what else has come out in bloom over the last week. Mostly the bright orange lilies which are settling in their new home very well this year and have many more flowers waiting to open too. Funny thing about these lilies. I split the overlarge original plant last year and planted two new plants further up the garden. This one above has kept the strong orange colour but has a much more complex flower centre - a double lily even, a flower within the flower.

You can see it better in this close-up. But the second plant has done something strange. It is a much simpler bell shaped lily with paler colouring and distinctive markings. Both the same plant, honest! It must be the soil or that one gets less sun than the other? But it's really interesting how plants do this - fascinating.

Now I just have to wait for the mother plant to flower now to see which genes the children have inherited :))

Well, back to tidying and actually getting some work done. Quite a few things to show you on the needles at the moment too so back soon with something stripey.... :)

Monday, 4 July 2011

Filigree circles

As promised, I have photos of the filigree circles vessel for you :) Although it still needs some more height and more considered shaping when I get nearer to the top, I think it's working out quite well so far. I didn't like the randomness of the dyed yarns at first but it's growing on me more now when you see it all assembled in the round.

A wee bit closer for you. Each side of the circles has a distinct look from the crochet chain. In the last vessels I deliberately matched like for like and then decided which side would be the 'right' side but I've decided to mix them as another layer of textural interest going on. It's amazing how more relaxed you can be creatively when you've already decided that this is a tester so it doesn't have to meet the standards you automatically set yourself - and it's working out so much better because of it. So everything is a tester from now on :))

And a lot closer now;) Circles within circles. You can see a bit more of the crochet definition and the graduating colours in this one too. I am still mulling over whether I like the 'perfect' circles the wire creates v's the more organic circular shapes created without a core.... practical support v's aesthetics.... but why not room for both? :)

And the last one using the light to create shadow circles on the table. So far this is a simple vessel/bowl shape but I think it has the potential to morph and grow into so much more. Thinking of lots of interesting 3D forms..... Thank you everyone for your supportive and helpful comments here and on flickr. It really helps me along the creative path as I develop these ideas of mine.

Let's see where it goes from here, shall we?
elaine x


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