Sunday, 23 January 2011


On Friday, I visited Birmingham to see a good friend from university and we had a mini Christmas swapping gifts.

I had a small idea about what I was receiving, but Friday was full of joy when I opened the brown paper package.

A little bag.. 

 of Pants!

Detailing on the underwear!

Andrea Bonnell pants - Freaking awesome and by far the most exciting and cute christmas present I received this year. I cannot wait to wear them and hoping for the matching bra next year.

You should check out her other lingerie bits, and more importantly her corsets here. Her final degree collection was the same colour palette I had in mine [by coincidence] and I even modeled it! Great stuff that was ahead of the high street fashions too.

Incase you wondered, I brought her a few small bits from a small apothecary in Lyndhurst. Find them here , I'll be back for gifts for myself, as the scents and bath bits are so great!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

World of Woolcraft

One thing I did want to do this new year was expand my crafting skills, and knitting was an obvious one to start with. I have been known to knit before, but it has been a while and my skills have never been any further than beginners standards. So last night, I found an old ball of wool I had from Uni, searched for mums old needles and I got going. Below are the results from a 3 hour session [whilst watching a film] 

Only one or two noticeable holes.

An end that got away from me somehow..


My guidance that was given to me by a friend of my mums [see previous post form yesterday morning] that despite its age, was very useful with steps and diagrams!

Today, I unpicked two old dresses in order to reuse the fabric for other things. To be blogged another time.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Craft and Sleep

This week I received a late Christmas gift in the form of a book called Indie Craft by Jo Waterhouse.
[excuse the bad mobile picture]

Some key artitst that I want to reference from the book are Joetta Maue, Diem Chau and Marloes Duyker. With a new year and new projects for the upcoming months, I figured some fresh influences and establishing where I exist in the artist world would be a good start. All of the artists featured below have a strong relation to my work [it's easy to see] and I instantly fell in love with all of the artists. 
N.B. I don't like rewording biographies of artists to make them sound my own, so I have used statements from their sites so you gain the same engagement about their process and ideas as I have.

Joetta Maue

Bio: In my work I celebrate the contradictions and dynamism of the joy and sadness of life.  Just like the word “lovely,” which we may use to describe everything from a wedding ceremony to a funeral service, life is an indefinable experience. It fluctuates, never remaining in one moment or emotion for long. This dynamism creates the complexity of life, the beauty of life, and the path of life.  As Joanna Freuh says, “life is sloppy” and, as an artist, I celebrate, question, and reveal the sloppiness of our lives.

Two pieces that sums up her work - embroidered typography and delicate illustrations of people. One rule that I stand by is to avoid illustrating people because its just insulting when I try to do so and I have never had an interest to represent a person in another form. I am more of a storyteller through other manners.

Feminine embroidery piece that is looks delicate and refreshing. The use of embroidery hoop as a frame in the piece is something I have seen some Etsy sellers do, but this works in a different context. Quite an inspiring look at the objects that are used in the creative process. The type used is feminine and personal, which adds a lot of character to a very simple piece.

Another piece depicting a person, this time sleeping on a couch. I like the way she has stitched over some lines in order to make them stand out more, a process which I have learnt myself to do also. I think Maue has an intelligent way of working with stitch to create the detail like the folds of the trousers and the hand, which is not something I can ever accomplish. To achieve such a great standard, I can only presume Maue has had good training within the Arts and has done a lot of life drawing.

Website: Joetta Maue

Diem Chau

Bio: Chau combines common mediums and common means to create delicate vignettes of fleeting memory, gesture and form, resulting in works that combine egalitarian sensibility and minimalist restraint. Her work touches on the value of Storytelling, Myths and its ability to connect us to each other through cultural and humanistic similarities. Chau's current work drifts into new territory by exploring the periphery of the narrative, moments forgotten and faded, or too brief to retain.

Ceramics + thread = amazing! This completely drew me in with its uniqueness and strange quality. The delicacy of the saucer combined with a tradition that often involves the harsh piercing of materials was for me at first quite astonishing- Who would dream up the combination! But I am quite excited about this mixed media piece. Chau allows the piece to evolve outside of the obvious framing of the circle giving it so much more extra depth.

I like the composition of this illustration and the combination of colours for the skirts. Chau has a very simple illustration style, its hard not to like. 

Another piece that evolves outside of the original shape, with use of that simple illustration, with a hint of colour to bring it to life from the cup.

Website: Diem Chau

Marloes Duyker

Bio: As an artist, Marloes gratefully uses the contrast between the technique and subjects like suicide, the depression, and the loss of identity. This is varied by light-hearted and spontanious images of colorful birds, styled man-figures and poetic portraits.

Mixed media pieces with a great sense of colour and composition. How I went so long without acknowledging these artists seems insane, but I like the use of objects and cut outs in this piece.

Another simple palette of colours that compliment each other well with detailed stitch illustration of birds and facial features. So much detail that you could look at for ages and constantly spot new details every time you look at it.

Magazine piece which enables you see his work in context. I think I might have to mock up professional pieces in order to see what my work would look like as a professional piece like the above.

Brooches- A new adventure for Naked Designs, which has been worn by a Dutch charity worker on tv. Very unique design with threads hanging loose from the final product with a very simple illustration of animals. A good example of work that shows that simple always works, even with a few loose threads.

Website: Marloes Duyker

Over the weekend, I watched a Michel Gondry film called The Science of Sleep(2006) after a friend recommend it to me. What my delightful friend failed to inform me was that the film was full of amazingly enchanting animations. Because I cannot get hold of a great screen shot to show you how good it was, I have managed to find the artist who made some of the key elements to the animations. Lauri Faggioni [ award-winning director, production designer and choreographer,] made the objects below which are in a few of the animation sequences in the film, with the horse being a key character to the story line about a man entranced by his dreams and imagination is lovestruck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

Elephant and bug

 Horse. which is later recreated on a life size horse

A key piece between the characters friendship. Beautifully created boat.

An animation made out of empty toilet and kitchen rolls- simple and curiously beautiful. Makes you just want to explore the cardboard city.

Screenshot of Ski-ing scene- use of threads and fabric. So simple and yet enough to tell you a lot.

Telephone. Now i am a fan of buttons, and seeing them in this context gets me stupidly excited. This actually reminds me of something I made this time last year, will post it up when I find a digital copy of it.

More good button use on a typewriter this time, which has one of my favourite animated scenes; long creepy fingers come down to type, which has a slight feeling of Tim Burton to it. Inspirational to say least, makes me eager to do more animation work in the near future.

Website: Lauri Faggioni

So those are my relevant artists and influences leading in to 2011.


My mum is a care worker and one of the ladies that she visits is having a massive clear out. I have already received a few delightful bag loads from her and today my mum passed me some more bits and pieces! These I just had to blog. So amongst the usual threads, yarns and needles came these little bundles of excitement...

No idea what this is. Asking mother later.

My favourite object- A wind up measuring tape.

Initials OEE inscribed on the end. 

The back of the measuring tap container.

A box of yellow bobbins which amused me greatly. Expect a lot of yellow in my work this year.

A lovely box of old pins. I'm just delighted everything I have been given is probably older than I am.

No idea, but its brilliant [it pretty much explains itself on the piece if you can read it]

Home made doodaa...

..with lots of threads!

A wooden box with more cottons. Hazaar!

A tin of large needles, but I am just a box fanatic and loved the condition of this tin.

If you have old stuff you don't want, please send it my way. I now have a massive collection of fabric, threads, zips, buttons and knitting and embroidery patterns. I love getting textile bits for my work [especially in boxes].

Saturday, 15 January 2011


New year, New projects.
Setting myself up with a few aims and projects for the next few months into 2011.

1. Follow news from the Sketchbook Project.
Since sending off my book, I have felt a little lost and yet excited about where it's going. I must make sure I update and finish my profile on the Art House website for all to see.

2. Learn more crafts eg knitting,screen printing.
After being highly influenced by my latest buy [Indie Craft by Jo Waterhouse- I think it might be true love], I have realized that I want to learn more crafts and definitely upgrade my poor knitting skills and expand my hand sewing capabilities. Hiring the mother as teacher for knitting.

3. Take part in Secret Valentines . 
A project set up by Alicia-Rose, a textile illustrator, which works in the same way as Secret Santa does at Christmas. Artists put themselves forward to join, and your name with website links are added to a list, now far into double digits, so you can admire the work of others. A key rules for the idea is that presents must be completely hand made- brilliant. Time to put a few ideas into practice.

4. 1st Personal Project 2011
I have had a few ideas brewing for a while and want to really put efforts in to put an idea into practice. Some inspiration and key artists will be blogged in the next few days to get the ideas rolling. My aim is to get a mock up done before the month is out. Some deeper research might also have to be done. Think positive.

5. Creative Community
Join or set up a creative group. Whether it is to do with point 2[see above], or due to a lack of visually creative close friends around, I have thought about setting up a group to meet up and chat about our creative work over a brew and biscuits. Just gotta work out where do advertise such to get people interested, and get a blog started to get an online presence.
I have seen Meet and Make which occurs in Glasgow, and feel quite inspired by other events and groups that work well. Just need to find the right space to have a gathering of creatives.

6. Job
Get a job within the creative industry, even if it is part time in an art shop - I need some more inspiration in my life. Consider work experience in galleries

After visiting the first New Forest Film Festival back in September at my old college, they were talking about having an open film competition with a theme of 'Forest.' I have had ideas with a friend in relation to this competition, however it has been 2 years since I created Rusty Joe, a stop frame animation about my old car, and I am so eager to make another animation.

Thats it, for now...

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


So Monday this week involved a trip to the Winchester Discovery Centre to see an exhibition about fashion inspired by Art Deco and Tutankhamun. Dazzle is an exhibition 'celebrating the exquisite detail, glamour and design of the roaring twenties, the exhibition presents over 25 items from Hampshire County Council's collection.' Despite living and studying in Winchester for 3 years, I regrettably never went to see any exhibits there, but this was quite something. The space was small, but not tiny, and is part of the library where they also had another gallery on the ground floor which is currently showing work chosen by the Major.

Dazzle had the dresses presented down one central plinth on mannequins, and every dress was unique. One pale silk dress had to be displayed flat in a glass cabinet due to its fragile state, which only enhanced the beauty of the dressed. The heaviest dress weighed about 1.2K, which is, as a notice suggested, the same as 2.5 pairs of jeans, or jeans with a top and cardigan[about 1k]. The heaviest dress was heavily embroidered with tiny beads, as were most. My favourite dress was a cream dress with delightful beaded patterns which were based on the shape of comets. The colour co-ordination on the dresses were spectacular, my particular favourite, which almost made me gasp in its beauty, was a pink outfit, with a simple pattern, complicated with the beads to enhance it. The pink was complimented with pale purple and a slight other shades of this pale pink tone, large dark pink beads threaded in sequence to the pattern. The selection of dressed were each set apart from each other with their patterns and colours and yet they all had a very similar neck line, and length. 
 The exhibition was enhanced with large photos from the era of actresses and models who were wearing key accessories for the time. There were also two display cabinets which contained accessories such as shoes and head-wear, often using gold as a way to bring detail to the accessories. The shoes were not cheap with a modern price set between £45-75 which in the 20's was more than a weeks work for a maid or cook.
 Many of the patterns found in fashion was inspired by the art movement of the mid-20's, Art Deco and more interestingly the discover of Tutankhamun's tomb. The find in 1922 by Howard Carter was a world-wide sensation which led to many Egyptian motifs being a key inspiration for fashion for the decade with large defined shapes on many dresses.

Details here. A definite look for all who need inspiration and dazzling. 

SBP Tour.

The Sketchbook Project: 2011
So I have finally sent off my Sketchbook Project. If you haven't heard/seen about it, it is an idea by Art House Co-op, which has been running for a few years. In exchange for $20, they will send you a  moleskin sketchbook for you to be as creative as you want, as long as it gets back to them with the original cover and filled with lots of work. There were a few limitations and rules, one being on the purchase of your book, you also had to pick a theme to which you would work with. Out of a list of about 30 themes, I picked Facing Fowards, and I used my book as a place where I could experiment with ideas that I has built up for a few months as this was a way to help me find successful ways of working.

Below are images of the final pages and me working. There were only a few pages as the fabric padded out pretty fast, but i enjoyed it all the same. Enjoy.

Finishing Process

The Sketchbook

[Page currently missing]


I enjoyed this process, as I was able to let myself go within the book, experimenting with the simplist of ideas and concepts. Around the time of starting, I wanted to look at typography, which is why the first chapter is so type based. The second chapter, in contrast, became much more image reliant, with experiments with basic shapes and composition, such as the stripes and flower mass. I previously did a piece of work involving a zip,which was a piece to encourage interaction, and I wanted to bring that element to this, so I decided to place a zip in. I thought about adding a velcro page somewhere, but it never fitted into any ideas well enough. Buttons seemed to bulky for this project, but I'm glad I managed to squeeze one on the zip, as I am a massive fan of buttons, they each have their own little characterized faces. The final chapter was the most spontaneous and involved the most experimental pieces with stitching on patterned fabric, cutting through fabric [I cannot remember the techniques proper name] and a concept idea I have had for weeks [I do not Fake Tan].

I hope you like, and I apologize for the picture quality for a few. If anyone finds this during the book tour, which starts in March, please let me know!