Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Whispers of Summer: bright blooms to remember Summer

It has been so rainy and wet! The damp has definitely seeped into the rooms; Autumn has arrived and I fear Winter is closing in quick... so here are a few blooms to brighten your day. Whispers of Summer shall we say? Watch this spot for scarves inspired by some of these pictures. I wonder which one you would choose to make into scarves? I have my firm favorites I have to say.

Summer dreams for you tonight I hope.

If you'd like to see more of my woven work and to purchase some of my prints please visit my shop. Also feel free to visit me on LoomyBin on FB.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Woodland: inspired beauty, mystery and love of nature

It is that time of the year again. The boots are coming out with the soft woollens and cosy knits. I have to admit I love this time of year. I often find renewed energy and focus to buckle down on projects that perhaps I have neglected to the warm sun and light evenings.
Is it because of the colors I see in nature that I tend to turn my wardrobe into browns and reds? I cannot really say, but I find even in my weaving I want bold rich earthy tones.

This year I have found myself thinking more of the woodland theme and so I have made two particular pieces which reflect my love of the woods and also the mystery and romance it still holds for me.

The first is a badger inspired hooded scarf.
This hand woven hooded scarf is made from wool and alpaca mixed yarns in stripes of grey, black and cream. It is very cosy and soft because of the alpaca wool mix. In addition the hood is lined for extra comfort with lovely, soft, black jersey knit fabric to help combat cold. The lining also adds more 'structure' to the hood so that it gathers nicely when down and it holds shape when up. To the ‘brim’ of the hood has been added another layer of stiffened liner so that it does not fall and keeps its shape. All of the features to the hood makes it a little more 'damp proof’ for British Winters and makes it a unique piece to add to your wardrobe.
I am donating 10% from the sale of this scarf to stop the badger culls in the UK.
I really wanted to capture a bit of the spirit of the badger in this piece. I kept thinking of something which could be practically worn, but would also be a good representation of this popular totem animal.

The second is a Little Red Riding Hood inspired hooded scarf.

This handwoven hooded scarf is made from cotton and wool in 4 shades of brilliant red. The dark red wool is vintage, hand-spun wool from a lovely batch I purchased from and estate sale a number of years back; it has an amazing deep scarlet color and lovely roughly hewn texture while keeping the softness of wool. I added 3 cotton yarns to the mix in additional shades of red ranging from fiery to soft because I wanted the fabric to have the rich yet varied look of a garment woven a long time ago. I really wanted to create a practical yet romantic rendition of a hood for Little Red Riding Hood.
The hood is lined for extra comfort with lovely, soft, deep red jersey knit fabric to help combat cold. The lining also adds more 'structure' to the oversized hood so that it gathers nicely when down and it holds shape when up. The ‘brim’ of the hood has been stiffened with another liner so that it does not fall and keeps its swooping shape. 
I added a little silver wolf charm hanging from the tassel in the back as a small detail to round the piece off and add to the romance of this piece. I again wanted to have a piece which really is practical and yet ultimately is closely tied to the magic and mystery of the fairytale.

Both pieces can be found in my Etsy shop or in a special showcase page on FB
Inspired by something you have seen? Message me on FaceBook.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Beauty's Rose a weaving project for Stevie Nicks

A dear friend brought to my attention recently a competition on Talent House (collective of artists and competitions for artists to show off their work). The competition was to design a shawl for Stevie Nicks. Never have I been more excited to start a project!  So I did some research and pinned some ideas on Pinterest. Then I got going.

After I wove the main piece of the sample I decided on I took it off the loom and started planning out the details of the embellishments I planned on making to the main body of the scarf.
lace roses I tried out to see if I would like them
I planned one thing and then another... then tried something else and then something else again...
Time was getting short and finally I changed my mind one last time and decided to embroider using stumpwork techniques (which was nearly back to my original plan of needlelace work).

From there is all started falling into place.

These are so picture of the finished sample:

The following is the write up I did for the piece:

Beauty’s Rose

This shawl is inspired by fairy tales, dreams and enchantment. I imagined this piece after reading how much Stevie Nicks was inspired by fairy tales. I decided to take our common love of the tales and create a unique piece using my additional passion for traditional cottage crafts like weaving and embroidery, which often play an important role in fairy tales.
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories as I love the romance and purity of the message in the story. The idea that beauty can be found in everything really was a theme I took to heart.
The shawl catches the dark mystery of Beast in the handwoven black cotton threads. The soft and voluptuous threads are woven in stripes of alternating weaves. In between the woven horizontal stripes the threads are loose and open, this gives the shawl freedom of movement. Not only does the piece flutter like a crow’s wing, but the occasional glimpse of flesh (or color) as sections open and whisper across the arm and back hints of a great secret beneath.
The delicate beauty of the rose Beauty requested from her father in the fairytale has been recreated and hand detailed with rich deep red and green embroidery threads. The vibrant lush colors of the embroidered roses and leaves are the visual foil to the darkness of the shawl. They soften the darkness while making it all that much more imposing.
As a whole the piece weaves a picture of romance and love and  which I think is what Stevie Nicks embodies.

The piece if created will be 18” x 66” woven in black cotton with horizontal woven stripes alternating with ‘open’ sections of vertical threads. There will be three lines of hand embroidery running the length of the 66 inches: one half inch line of rose buds and vine; and two one-inch wide lines of roses and vine with leaves.

If you'd like to vote for my submission and to see the other submissions please do.

Other pieces of my finished work can be found in my Etsy shop or join me on FB if you want a chat or to see more process photos.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Busy the kids so work can be done... How to get some quality time in followed by free play

Every parent knows that occupying the kids with one task while you get on with another is the best way to get work done. Usually when I ask my girls what they want to do they want to bake...but this requires supervision on my part... so it's not the ideal activity when I want to get my own things done. One of the other favorite choices for my girls, and the one that I love because it gives me free time, is getting them to play with play dough. It is ideal in our house as they will spend hours, literally, playing,,,building things with rocks and play dough, burying things and uncovering them, making footprints from various toys, making scenes and telling stories with the dough... play goes on and on and on... so when one of my small business friends from The Dotty Dough Factory asked if I'd like to try out their make from scratch pack I jumped on the chance because a little 'cooking' and play dough is a double win with the girls.

She sent me pack of flour and salt and a sachet of Kool-Aid and the directions... which were: add hot water... Super easy.

                                                                          You mix

Add water

Mix some more

Then knead

Presto magicka! play dough

The girls were enthused by the process and the absolutely gorgeous smell of fruitiness because of the Kool-Aid. Even over two months later the dough smells great and is still usable (we just used the airtight container the ingredients came into store it). They love playing with dough they made and the youngest (2 years) mentions happily having made it whenever it comes out. (AND it gave me a little time to interact with them and 'set them up' for play, but later gave me the free time to get work down around the house and even get in a little weaving.)

If you want to see some of the work I do please visit me on my FB page, LoomyBin. Or you can visit my shop on Etsy.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Finding peace and joy to create again.


Nothing like a good dose of sunshine and tree shade in the Welsh hills and mountains to give a sense of well being and re-invigorate the creative slump.

Little things       


which are simple 


and divine

P5310165.JPGsomehow let one breathe.

The joy of others completes your own.

And, of course, others’ work makes you breathless with amazement and fills you once again with the wonderment of the world.

If you would like to see more of my work including inspiring photos and handwoven gifts please visit me at my Etsy shop and/ or my Facebook page.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

One Frosty morning: the amazing beauty found in a simple frost

Sometimes it's the simple things which excite and amaze. Something as everyday as a frost can give one such wonderful ideas that you are filled with excitement for the day. Frost creates some many amazing textures...

Like a soft fuzzy coat everything was covered in one way or another.  Once again in the dawn I am a child smiling and happy that a new day has found me alive and well enough to enjoy the frosty light and the quiet that seems to have fallen, muffling the sounds of busy life. A frosty quilted blanket of joy and beauty.

If you'd like to see how these pictures inspire my weaving pop over to LoomyBin or my Etsy Shop