Newsletter – January 2021

January Update

Welcome to my new website! It hopefully signals the start of a better more creative year. 2020 was of course challenging for many reasons but sadly my mum was diagnosed with cancer early in the first lockdown and died in September. Adjusting to her loss and all the implications stopped any creativity for the majority of the year. Mum loved seeing and hearing about my work so I’m so pleased to be back out in the workshop creating again. I have tried to find positives within the limitations and reality of Covid – I have had the opportunity to spend far more time with my family and realise now that the ‘hamster wheel’ of my pre-Covid life had been spinning far too fast and mostly driven by me. I have had time to think about what matters and I’m trying very hard to be less task driven, more creative/experimental and enjoy the journey!

I have decided whilst updating the website that I would like to start writing a monthly newsletter rather than the old, infrequent blog posts. I am hoping these will give a brief update on seasonal changes, work in progress and other news such as exhibitions.

This newsletter is being sent nearly at the end of the month, its a quick round up of what’s been happening and I look forward to talking more about my work in Februarys update.

Book of the month

I am a compulsive buyer of nature books, not sensibly buying one and then reading it but amassing far too many and feeling guilty about not giving more time to the simple pleasure of reading.

I tend to read as part of my research when planning a new piece, but my one New Years resolution is to read a book a month and hopefully help me catch up reading what’s currently sitting unopened on my bookshelf.

I have decided to start with Joe Harkness’s ‘Bird Therapy’. One of the quotes on the back of the book is ‘An antidote to the stress and confusion of modern life. This is an honest, warm and positive guide to decompression…one bird at a time.’

Sounds like the perfect start to 2021!

Current Work in Progress

Over the last couple of months I have not wanted to be in my workshop using the machine, my creativity seemed to disappear after the events of last year.

I decided back in the first lockdown to subscribe to the Textile.org Stitch Club. This has provided regular challenges in different techniques and styles set by internationally recognised textile artists. This has provided me some great insight in a wider range of inspirations and approaches.

I am so lucky to be a member of CQW; lockdown and the subsequent arrival of zoom meetings has been a fantastic support, we have all got to know each other far better providing a support network both creatively and personally.

I rarely used hand stitching but decided to join the Slow stitch group within CQW… wow what a fabulous discovery. Members have set different challenges to try new stitches and techniques. A whole new world of stitching has opened up for me and I am looking forward to experimenting with new smaller projects. I started the piece below by painting a small wren with textile paints – I am now slowly and tentatively starting to add hand stitching. My imagination is racing ahead of my ability but that’s ok for now.

Warmer workshop

I’m very fortunate to have space in our outbuilding to have a studio. This area used to be a small milking parlour. We have kept parts of the old stalls and feeders as a reminder of its rural history. This space has evolved and improved over the last 10 years, starting with a new roof in 2011 and a new wooden floor and woodburner in 2012.

The biggest difference though has been the addition of a partition wall last year, this wall has reduced the roof space and formed a corridor and new entrance to the studio. The excitement of having a door and warmth! Its the little things…..

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