Saturday, February 1, 2014


I am more shocked than you are that I've managed to post again so soon. Having made it through my first term, there is suddenly time to take photos and look at blogs and do all those long forgotten, fun and time wasting things that I used to enjoy so much. I am taking advantage of the time to share some of my print work with you (especially the Canadians who can't see it otherwise!)

Going into print, I thought that i was not going to enjoy it all. I thought that it was going to be too technical and precise...perhaps I should have been more precise, but my favourite results came from the smudges and mistakes.

I exposed 3 different screen designs in the end, and layerd print over print until I was happy with a sample. It was lovely to be able to work by eye and not have to plan everything in advance...I never do well with planning.

Above and below are devore samples. I really enjoyed devore and loved the effect that it created (although the pastes I mixed were always a bit grainy and lumpy). Devore works by burning away part of a fabric. It must be used on a fabric that is a blend of fibres so that when the cellulose is burnt away something structural remains. May not be explaining that perfectly, but hopefully you get the gist. There are see-through bits in the end and that is super exciting!

I also became massively carried away using little circular stencils, overlapping different colours of circles...well, the possibilities are just endless!

The very white bits (and light colours) are made with discharge paste. Sounds a bit icky, but it was very fun. It bleached the fabric and made delicate, soft colours (which I obviously love!) These were great to print on top of too. I did have a couple of disasters, however, where the paste was left on too long and the bleach burnt huge holes in samples, eeek!

Just a couple of my favourite sketchbook pages. 

I've decided that I'll leave you with some of my favourite Falmouth shots at the end of each post. The scary woman bust above is outside of a lovely sea food restaurant that I can't wait to visit (bibs provided!) and below, the lovely harbour. I could stare at this scene all day; it's always different and always interesting!


Monday, January 27, 2014


Phew, I've made it through my first term - the final hand in was this afternoon. Although I've been working incredibly hard and failing to blog, bake, walk, travel and knit as much as I would like, I have enjoyed myself so much! It's a huge treat to play around with textiles all day long!

So today I handed in my finished samples for Mixed Media (hand and machine stitching). Here are a few of the things that I've made...

A bit of machine embroidery with hand stitching detail.

This sample is completely hand stitched. I cut out certain sections of the top layer of fabric to reveal a plastic sleeve that is sandwiched in there. It's difficult to see in the photo, but it gives the cut out sections a fantastic glow.

Just a little bit of hand stitching - I could have carried on adding colours and textures to this piece forever.

Hand stitching with machine applique and cutwork over the top. A bit of velvet ribbon never goes amiss either!

I think this is my favourite sample. I dyed this muslin, then cut out threads to make runs and holes. I sewed on a backing fabric and attached bits of alpaca fleece to it (fleece courtesy of John Arbon Textiles, of course) I hand stitched silver thread in the holes and crisscrossing across the entire piece and then picked bits of fleece out through the holes. Don't know if a photo can do it justice, but I love it!

Some sketchbook snippets.

I've taken more project photos to share, but shall save the print samples for another post (soon, I promise!)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

a few little things that I've been up to

I intended to write a lovely long blog post about 3 months ago, talking about my exciting news...that is now 3 months old. I've gone back to university!!

Sounds bonkers, I know. Sometime in August (it's all a bit of a blur to be honest) I decided that I might like to try my hand at textile design...just like that. So, I looked to the nearest art school that I could think of. Conveniently, it's in one of my favourite spots - Falmouth! Take a look at their webiste if  you like. Falmouth is an amazing town, and the university is excellent (I say).

So it's almost the end of November, and this is the first time I've paused to put up some pictures and give you a little update. The Textile Design program is SO MUCH FUN. I've just rushed home from a full day of printing to sort out some notebooks and admire my days' work. 

Enough chatter, here's what's been happening...

Weave samples. We're going through 3 rather fast paced rotations of each discipline (weave, print and mixed media). In the our 4 weeks of weave I managed 2 sets of samples. These are from my second warp, and certainly my favourites!

A funny twill with gold silk weft

Basketweave variation with charcoal alpaca as the main weft.

A very exciting double cloth...with copper embroidery thread thrown in there!

A crazy inlay experiment on the loom...I quite liked this one in the end...

A barely there psychedelic oyster cloud. I'm still printing like a maniac at the moment, so there should be more pictures. For now, just this one. 

Just that little snipped for now. I've started to get into back into taking photos again. I am going to try my best to post more frequently with projects and so on. Fingers crossed!

Friday, July 26, 2013


 photo DSC_0123_zpsd2f77d45.jpg

Once again, I have been terribly negligent of my little blog. Here I am, better late than never I say, with lots to catch you up on!

Back in April (I know, I know) I went on a great adventure. A long train journey to Yorkshire, strapped into my camping gear and heavily laden with lots of warm layers, I was ready for a weekend of camping, foraging and cooking. The whole thing sounded like so much fun that I didn't mind the cold even a bit!

Almost a year before, I had signed up for a wild food foraging course when my mother back in Canada mentioned some cool folks teaching foraging courses just outside of Harrogate. The cool folks I'm talking about are Chris and Rose of Taste the Wild. They offer a great selection of foody courses throughout the year. A combination of years of foraging experience, loads of cooking skill and a great vision made Taste the Wild even better than I expected it to be.

 photo DSC_0104_zps7151a5e0.jpg

A little group of us camped in the tee pees that were set up just next to an amazing outdoor kitchen. Composting loos, a big bonfire every night and all the tea we could drink made me feel like I wasn't roughing it at all! My hair did form rather large dreads by the second day...suppose that's as close as I came to roughing it.

We spent our days wandering around the beautiful surrounding woodland, in search of the first edible growth of spring. Then, trug-fulls of fresh green things were hauled back to the kitchen and the cooking began! Turns out that Chris is was a professional chef in London for rather a long time, so the yummy food just kept on coming.

 photo DSC_0095_zps18c05852.jpg

Wood sorrel drop scones cooked over an open fire. Very fun, and very yum!

 photo DSC_0035_zps32bc4603.jpg

Wood Pigeon on the grill

 photo DSC_0070_zpsf7217908.jpg

Wood Avens Bread Sauce. We made a bouquet garnis with wood aven roots. They taste of clove,

 photo DSC_0069_zps1e044aeb.jpg 

Wood Avens, freshly picked

 photo DSC_0129_zpsb4b0b671.jpg

 Rose explaining preserving!

 photo DSC_0106_zps2a884e00.jpg

Making a Pine distillation in this lovely brass alembic. I want one just because it's so pretty, swear I won't start making moonshine!

There was a lot more great food that I ate up before I thought to take a pic, but you get the idea. I still am a novice, but I can see foraging becoming an addiction. Fresh, organic, local food is growing all around us all the time and we just call it a weed! How satisfying to use something that is already there! Since coming home, I've foraged lots of wood sorrel, wild strawberries, wild pea shoots and wood avens from my lane. I can pick leaves on my walk home from work and eat them for tea. Pretty dreamy!

 photo DSC_0083_zps3b0ae496.jpg 
I learned a few other useful bits and pieces on this foraging course, including how to skin a rabbit. Easy peasy, just ignore that grimace on my face!

 photo DSC_0116_zps82e281a8.jpg 

It's a wild pea shoot. They taste JUST like peas, so great!

 photo DSC_0018_zps6b194cb1.jpg 

Chris, harvesting reedmace (i think that's what this was called). It looked like a giant leek, and we stuck it on pizzas. Huzzah! 

If you ever get the chance, take a Taste the Wild course. I won't overwhelm you with any more pictures, but I will say that I had a great time, learned so much, and am so inspired to keep on foraging!

 photo DSC_0029_zps319dc0be.jpg

 photo DSC_0041_zpsb8ad4734.jpg

a handful on wild strawberries picked from my lane.