January news.

These days a lot of blogs generally seem to have been superseded by Instagram, but those of us who like a bit of a woffle tend to plod on regardless with the blog format as well as all the rest. I seriously think I did more actual work in the past, before all these sharing platforms took over. I do enjoy using them but think that one day I will simply stop and grow my own veg instead.

So, let’s woffle on. For the last couple of months I have been working on some patterns to sell as instant downloads from my rejuvenated Etsy shop; better not duck off social media just yet then. I really enjoy the design and the making up of the patterns, having also done this in the past and in various articles I have written for magazines.

I have spent some time recently weighing up my work and deciding whether to go completely arty or completely commercial. Many hours were taken up with these musings, until I came to the conclusion that as I enjoy and want to follow both paths, that’s what I’ll do. It is generally one thing at a time though, and the patterns have taken over while I get the shop up and running. Here are the first four, below, all designed to stitch and stay in their hoops if the maker so wishes, or to be used as framed pictures, quilt blocks, or indeed whatever the maker wants to use them for. They are nothing if not versatile little chaps.

My other work is following, in direct contrast to these jolly patterns, the usual convoluted path. I am working on a collection of mixed media work called Stories of the Lost and the Found.

This work has been featured previously on my blog, but has moved away from the original book format I was contemplating. I’m using a mix of digital print, collage, needlepoint and stitched textiles combined with porcelain in these pieces. Yes, I have managed to make it as complicated a project as I possibly could, but in my new attitude of acceptance, well, that’s the way it is.

The needlepoint part of it is great as it sits around waiting for the evening when I work away at it, completing a very small amount in a not ungenerous amount of time. The project needs to be done for summer 2020, which sounds as if I have ages, but things are at the moment very very slow moving. I think I need a few lists to clarify what I need to be up to, but, until I can present a logical and coherent statement of intent, here are a couple of images of the needlepoint that is on the go at the mo.

Below, the design and drawing out stages.

And some early stitching, below.

This piece is an autumn piece, and there is text to accompany it. In the image below you will notice that it’s been through a change or two, those giant floating berries weren’t quite right. As usual at this stage there is serious veering to the left. I love tent stitch but it’s naughty. It will look fine when blocked. It’s around 50 x 35 cm, 20.5 x 14 inches.

Lastly, I’m teaching a course, Beautiful Birds, at the RBSA Gallery in Birmingham on February 21. It’s my favourite place to teach, and the students seem to like it too!  Contact the gallery if you fancy coming, it starts at 11am and runs until 4.30pm.       www.rbsa.org.uk 



10 thoughts on “January news.

  1. Thank you for this, I really enjoy your posts. I have noticed the move to Instagram and although I like it and use it myself, the danger is that we are loosing depth of information of how things are done, or maybe that is just me just wanting detail!!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you like my posts, it’s great when someone tells you that. I like Instagram too, so I suppose that by posting on that and on a blog caters for those who just like a quick fix and those who like a bit more information. I certainly don’t blog as often as I used to, but perhaps a once a month round up is enough unless there’s a lot to show. Things moving a bit slowly around here at the moment though mean that monthly may be the way for a while!

  2. It’s going to be an exceptional work, Stories of the Lost and Found. I do like the change you made to the needlepoint. I do so wish we were on the same part of the planet! I’ve been cooling it on my blog of late but it’s more a reflection of my health at the moment.

    1. Hi Holly, sorry you’re not well, I hope you improve soon. Then there’s all that snow! I love your optimism re the Stories project, I’ll have to live up to that now! The internet is great for bringing people together but it’s sad when you realise that you’ll probably never meet people you’ve become friends with, isn’t it. Just keep posting and chatting.

  3. As soon as I read that title ‘Stories of the Lost and Found’ I was reeled in.., want to know more, can’t wait to see it evolve etc etc. Convoluted… what’s wrong with working in a convoluted way? I think we’re on the same page there Steph and as for the social media thing, I think you’re more with it than me. I wonder whether I’m getting caught up in posting for the sake of posting and often wonder whether to leave comments or not. Like you say, there’s always the veg garden calling and we’ll soon be able to get out there and enjoy it again.In the meantime I get my exam paper for the Photography A level on Friday and have to pick a topic for the last few months to work on. Sounds like I could be picking your brains for a title!!

  4. Your photography is brilliant Lesley, it’ll be a Degree next. Choosing a topic is right up your street, I look forward to seeing what it will be. I do love a title it’s true, they seem to help me focus and become more creative, if only in terms of introducing more convolutions! I seem to get more convoluted the older I get. When I plan to aim for more simplicity in life I seem to have to go through so many preparations and machinations to reach my imagined ideal level of straightforwardness that basically eventually very little happens…
    Keep posting though, I would happily see more of your work, we need to see as much high level work as possible.

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