Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spring Beasties

Well at times it does appear that spring has indeed sprung. My mum has just gotten back from a trip overseas where she spent some time catching up with my Uncle and Auntie who live in Surrey. Hearing about my Uncle's latest gardening escapes reminded me of my first encounter with foxes and other Beatrix Potteresque animals. This inspired my latest series of animal paintings / prints which are based on the idea of 'In my Uncle's garden'. It appears that 'free-range' gardening runs in the family, there is nothing quite like finding 'susprises' that self-seed in among the weeds. That is when they finally get cleared themselves.

My ummmm, 'vege-patch'
When I was nine, I was lucky to be taken on an amazing trip over to England and Europe by my mum. Part of the reason for this was to meet my Uncle and Auntie for the first time. We stayed with them in their gorgeous three storied terraced house, but I was astounded by the wildness of their back garden. The lawns were about knee height which was in stark contrast to my own experience of the gardens of my mum and grand parents. We asked about why the garden was so unkempt and was told that my Uncle was worried about squashing the toads that lived there. He also liked the fact that other animals felt free to live there and the frequent visitors from Richmond Park which was very near by. Those visitors included a fox with her wee cubs, I was woken one morning quite early to be told to peer out of the window. Sure enough there was the vixen with her offspring sneaking through under the fence, hunting for toads.

Nearly thirty years later the garden now boasts a whole lot of free-ranging trees. The latest resident within the suburban wilderness is now a badger. This was the starting point for this collection, they will be available for purchase soon.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Seasons Fleetings

card marquettes
At the moment we are trying to get sorted for Christmas . . . I know! It is a little scary to think that it is just around the corner. In preparation for the festive season, I have been creating some plans for cross-stitched Christmas cards.

a delightful accident

Basically I have been coming up with the templates and testing them using white silk embroidery thread. White on white is a fabulous way to test out something that has sculptural or textural elements as it shows the form more clearly. I had popped up one on the window sill to see what it looked like from a distance and was thrilled with the effect of light coming through the needle holes.

my working space is not normally this tidy!

As well as festive colours, I think I will have to continue to produce some in white too. I will have a collection ready for both Crafternoon Tea on the 15th October and The Devonport Craft Market on the 16th October.