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  1. If you have read my latest newsletter, you will know that I have recently joined the Rochester Cathedral Embroiderers (If you haven't managed to read the November/December issue yet, you can read it here!). Last week we put the altar frontal and quire kneelers to one side and had a bit of a play day. We delved into our stash of fabrics and made quilted tote bags. Although mine currently doesn't resemble any kind of a bag at all, you can see the pieces I made and the colours I chose:

    Tote bag pieces   Tote bag pocket

    The smaller pieces and the image on the right are two pockets I made and hand embroidered while I was waiting to use the sewing machine. We made the bags by layering fabric, cutting through them along the length to make curved strips and then reassembled them in a different order to get curved stripes. Being a hand embroiderer rather than a machinist, I get impatient and hurry things and my pieces came out a little distorted to say the least! I am reliably informed they will flatten out with a good steam but I'm not convinced! They may get made into something else...

    In other news, I have been busy updating my Etsy shop. If you are across the pond and would like to buy in Dollars why not check out what's for sale here? As with my website shop, I will be adding more items, so check back regularly...

    Etsy shop 2011

    Talking about shop items, new in the shop this week:

    Bracing/spring needles, gift items, books and pre-printed designs. Check it all out here!

    Coming soon: Christmas peg doll kits and crochet brooches...

    Need to amuse the children or grandchildren? Why not print off my Christmas tree design to colour in (see below)? You can find the full size version of it on the 'Free stuff' page or by clicking here. You can always go back to your youth and colour it in yourself, I won't tell...

    Christmas tree pic

  2. Well I started the month well, doing some sketches nearly every day, but I have to admit it talied off towards the end! Good to see lots of other people are drawing though. While we were up in the gallery being drawn, the kids were down in our classroom decorating it with their creations!

    Big draw classroom    Big Draw money

    They also seem to have been designing their own money. I don't know how old they were but it amused me to see the values they had printed their bank notes at: everything from £23 to £7,000,000!!!!! Spot the future entrepeneurs....

    We managed to get ourselves in the paper too! This is Suzanne and I 'selecting' threads (we're the ones in the top left hand corner, not the two with painted faces, in case you were wondering...)

     Big draw news

  3. On Saturday our Certificate in hand embroidery class was held in the gallery at Rugby library and Art Gallery as part of Octobers 'Big Draw' event. The idea of the event is to get as many people expressing themselves through drawing as possible and the library had different events going on all day long to encourage everyone to have a go and included hand painting and drawing machines! Artist Morgan O'Hara flew all the way from New York to come and draw us (I'm sure she is doing other things also)! Morgan's work consists of 'Live Transmission' drawing - a record performed, in real time, of the movement of human beings. Morgan explains further:

    'I draw methodically with multiple razor-sharp pencils and both hands, as time-based performance, executing a direct neural transmission from one human action into another. I condense movement into accumulations of graphite line, which combine the controlled refinement of classical drawing with the unbound sensuality of spontaneous gesture. Time-space coordinates for each drawing are described with precision in the titles.'

    See some of Morgan's work at her website:

    Morgan spent all day drawing us and capturing our movements on paper. It was fascinating to look at the result; she had created a record of our entire day, not just one moment of it. You could actually 'read' what each one of us had been doing all day and how we had been interacting with each other. Morgan is very kindly going to let us have a copy of the work so more soon! The press were also there, so look out for us in the Rugby Advertiser! Meanwhile, here we all are in action:

    Big draw day    Morgan OHara