Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't forget Mother's Day...

It's Mother's day in the UK this Sunday, the 3rd of April so I thought I'd share a selection of pretty Mothering Sunday cards I have designed.

Happy Mother's Day - Welsh

Mixed media card

Pattern on Nails!

I love these Minx nails, a new and glamorous way to extend fashion to your very fingertips! As seen on the models for Alexander McQueen on the AW11 catwalks in Paris fashion week.

Minx nails come in an assortment of colours and patterns. From leopard print to the union jack flag ( perfect for the royal wedding!)

Fresh Therapy based in Swansea does a Minx manicure or pedicure from £20. Fresh Therapy is a mobile Therapist Agency, offering a wide range of treatments and packages to your home, hotel, office or event!

Here are some photos of my favourite nail patterns below! Perfect for your fingers and toes this Spring!

Cheetah Minx
Union jack Minx
Shell minx
Fishnet Minx
Alexander McQueen model

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mission Gallery

The Mission Gallery in Swansea has launched a brand-new website! It's been redesigned and updated with upcoming exhibitions. The gallery hosts an exciting programme of contemporary visual and craft featuring the work of established and emerging artists and makers, many with national and international profiles. 

Coming up this Saturday, the 2nd of April until the 22nd of May at the Mission Gallery, is an exhibition by applied artist Becky Adams, called the Curious world of Becky Adams. I really like her work and appreciate the connections that are made between text, textile, stitch and narrative thread in her contemporary pieces. There will also be a gallery talk at the Mission Gallery on Saturday the 16th of April at 2pm. Becky Adams will be in conversation with Hannah Kelly, the Exhibition Officer at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre 

Becky is a collector of stories; they become an integral part of her life and are ingrained into the making of her work through a sophisticated use of stitch, vintage fabric and antique ephemera. There is a subtle and respectful glance to the study of the human condition; each piece is aware of its past, its present and its untold future. Through the natural language of her work, each piece becomes an embodiment of a story preserved within each careful stitch.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Cushions

35x35cm handmade cushion. Using vintage lace,silk and embellished with buttons from Liberty's of London.
Close-Up of my yo-yo cushion

The start of Spring and the clocks going forward has inspired me to start a new craft project and I've been working on some new cushions using a soft colour palette of beige and neutrals; embellished with romantic lace and ivory and wooden buttons.

I was inspired by these really beautiful ethereal photographs by Rinne Allen

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Griff Rhys Jones – Hidden Treasures of Indian Art

There was a lovely programme produced by the BBC recently about tribal textiles of India in the ‘Hidden Treasures of' series presented by Griff Rhys Jones. He went on a journey through Gujarat, a state in western India which has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. Fabrics of multiple colours are woven into a variety of colourful designs and beautiful mirrored embroideries. Each person's attire giving a clue to their caste, status and family.  

 There are many co-operatives that invest in social projects in the Kutch region to help preserve the area's artistic heritage by ensuring work is not merely market driven.
Kala Raksha Trust is one of these and is a grassroots social enterprise dedicated to the  preservation of traditional arts. Comprising artisans, community members, and experts in the fields of art, design and museums.
Here are some examples below of the different ethnic embroidery styles traditionally stitched by the village women.

Khaarek embroidery style
Mutavas embroidery style
Rabari embroidery style


Friday, March 18, 2011

Comic Relief day in the UK

Today in the UK is Comic Relief Red Nose day 2011. The idea is pretty simple - everyone has a laugh whilst raising money to help change countless lives across the UK and Africa. So to support this great cause TK MAXX are selling limited edition charitable and stylish Vivienne Westwood T-Shirts for Men, Women and Kids.

Liberty of London have alao produced some gorgeous scarves. I'm so excited that Liberty have produced these very affordable scarves for sale at £12.99 with £4 going every sale towards Comic Relief! Each scarf is 100% pure silk, and features two transformed prints -  Bourton, which was first produced on dress fabrics in the 1960s and Wiltshire, a leaf and berry pattern that was designed for Liberty in 1933. I visited the emporium last week and bought a lovely little jar of buttons from the wonderful haberdashery department.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Springtime corsages

I wanted to share my new collection of corsages with you that I have just added to my Folksy shop. I used delicate feminine floral fabrics and layered up with lace and denim for that fresh Spring is on its way feel! I pinned the corsages to my gorgeous new trench coat I bought from Topshop on Oxford street in London.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Tribal inspired Brooches

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I've been working on some new Corsages lately  inspired by the tribal trend and incorporating strong, graphic prints.   Available to buy at my Folksy shop now.These corsage accessories work with any age group, and would look great layered with colourful bead necklaces in turquoise and gold. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Experimental Cyanotypes

Last weekend I went to the Swansea Print Workshop to an experimental Cyanotype workshop with Swansea based freelance artist Kara Seaman. She demonstrated how we could create detailed photographic images on paper and fabric in this 2 day workshop..  I really enjoyed this alternative and expressive photography process and it has sparked off a new line of creative work for the New Year!

As photography becomes increasingly digital, many photographers are turning to techniques and processes from the dawn of the medium to reinvent their image making. Cyanotype, also known as Blueprint, is an antique photographic process distinctive for its Cyan blue monochrome prints. Invented in the Victorian era in 1842 it was popular within engineering circles well into the 20th Century. 

Anna Atkins brought this to photography and is considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. She created a limited series of cyanotype books that documented ferns and other plant life from her extensive seaweed collection. 

Two chemicals are used in the process: Ammonium iron (lll) Citrate and Potassium ferricyanide. These chemicals can be applied to a variety of surfaces and exposed in contact with an object or negative either directly to the sun or to an artificial ultra violet light source. Development simply involves washing with water and allowing to dry naturally.

Below are some examples of my prints I created using this antique photographic process.

One of my drawings exposed onto Bockingford paper
I exposed a positive drawing and actual leaves onto bockingford paper

Finished cyanotype print, I like the interesting washy effect created

Finished Cyanotype print bleached and tinted with tea bags (the cheaper the better!)

Another experimental cyanotype

Experimenting with cut out prints

This is my favourite finished Cyanotype print

Layered cyanotype prints

Tissue paper, interesting shapes created

Crisp silhouette Cyanotype print onto Fabric. Cotton, linen, canvas or silk are all excellent materials for printing cyanotypes onto. Synthetic fabrics are not recommended.