Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Autumn in Dawyck

 What could be better after visiting painted paradise gardens yesterday than to visit one in real life today. It was a fabulous day to visit Dawyck with beautiful low light. The trees are at their autumnal best and we even saw some black pheasants on our way out of the garden, sadly they were too fast for the camera but what a treat! Here are some of the best pictures of an earthly paradise:

Monday, 24 October 2016

A Visit to Paradise

A cold and damp day was left behind in order to visit paradise, located for now at The Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. It's an exhibition called: Painting Paradise; the art of the garden. It's a beautiful show incorporating not just paintings but also ceramics, botanical drawings and even beautifully embroidered chairs. I loved the audio tour the gallery provides for visitors. It was very informative and also had lovely music to accompany the exhibits. The catalogue too is gorgeous although I recommend buying it after visiting the show. It's a very hefty tome and you don't want to carry it around while looking at the exhibition.
At the entrance to the gallery there are two facing doors, featuring the lion and the unicorn respectively, symbols of the United Kingdom, the lion being the one for England and the unicorn for Scotland. The unicorn is accompanied by a view of Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park while the lion features Edinburgh Castle and the skyline of Edinburgh.
The show will continue till the 26th February so plenty of time for a visit. I then treated myself to a cup of tea and a scone in the coffee shop next door before walking back to the car park nearby in the streaming rain.
It was good to get out of the house, that feels so very empty at the moment.

Friday, 21 October 2016

An Ordeal of Change

We had a break from Colour Me Positive this week which was very welcome as far as I was concerned. But The Documented Life Project 2016 continued with the October theme of: A Fresh Start - clear your palette. The art challenge was: draw a line down the middle and create two scenes. For my line I used the centre of the 8 x 8" Dylusions art journal in which I'm working.  A fresh start always involves change and this is certainly a time for that at the moment here, and not all in a good sense. Hence one of the vintage text pieces reads: "endure an ordeal of change". 
Both pages were originally treated as one and I did exactly the same things on both sides. Then when I was happy with how the spread looked I grabbed a Fiskars Ovals stencil and outlined ovals on both pages. On the right hand page I filled in the area around the ovals with a black marker while on the left hand side I filled in the ovals themselves with black. I must say I had a lot of trouble finding a black marker in my stash that would work on the many layers of paint, but eventually settled on the Zig Scroll & Brush one from Kuretake
 Techniques used: rubber stamping, stencilling, ink dropping, outlining with white marker
 ools used: art foamie Ring TicTac designed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Kaffee Klatsch cling rubber stamp set from Nathalie Kalbach for Stampendous, and French Journal Page rubber stamp designed by France Papillon for Stampotique. The following stencils were used: S314 Entangling Threads, medium stencil from Seeds and Pods February 2014 Stencilgirl Club and S226 Small Mod Ovals and Circles all from Stencilgirl Products and the TCW458 Coffee Splotch stencil by The Crafters Workshop as well as the  Fiskars Ovals 1 plastic stencil.
As you can tell, it's not all doom and gloom, there is a glimmer of light on the horizon.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Open European Quilt Championships

Today is the first day of the Open European Quilt Championships, held in Maastricht, The Netherlands. This is their 20th anniversary and to celebrate they have invited all the championship winners from the past to show their winning quilt again together with a more recently made piece.
As you can tell from the above picture I won this show back in 2006 (the only British winner to date!) in the days pre-blog and pre-blip and when we still had a very slow dial-up connection at home so I needed no further excuse to show you the two quilts that are in Maastricht at the moment here.
This is the winning quilt from 2006 called Foxfires, a translation of the Finnish word for the Northern Lights. It's made entirely of silk, was foundation pieced by machine, hand quilted with additional hand beading and beaded tassels. It also won various other prizes at other competitions and was accepted into the AQS Paducah show in 2008.  I think it has stood the test of time.
I wanted to add a more modern piece of mine that sort of toned in with Foxfires and this piece called La Linea d'oro (Golden Line) fitted the bill. You have seen this before here. It too has been a prize winning quilt for me, winning the 2nd Prize Small Wallhangings as well as the Embellishment Prize at the Scottish Quilt Championships in 2015 as well as the 1st Prize Samll Wallhangings as well as the Surface Texture and Embellishment Prize at Quilts UK, Malvern in May 2016.

If per chance you find yourself at the show which is on till Sunday I would love it if you could take a picture of my quilts hanging in situ in Maastricht.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Wonderful Life

Here is my latest project done as a Guest Designer for Stencilgirl Products. That means there is a step by step tutorial for these pages (done in the A4 sized Dylusions art journal) on the Stencilgirl Talk website as well as links to all the stencils I used.

Of course I do know that for many people life is not wonderful and most of us have days when things are not quite as rosy as we would like, not to mention the horrific events going on in the world at large. But underneath it all I think we are all aware that to be alive is a glorious thing.

My art is what saves me in difficult times. I may not always be in the mood but when I go to my studio, gesso some pages and grab my favourite colours and play, I start to feel calmer and more peaceful, more like myself and joy returns to my heart.

 And I find that yes: it is a wonderful life. 
Many thanks for Stencilgirl for inviting me as Guest Designer, not just for this spread but also for the rest of this and the whole of next year. It's such a pleasure to play with their fabulous stencils.
Don't forget to join their club. Every month I think they can't possibly get any better than the previous month and yet every month they come up with another gorgeous set. They are unique to club members! I know it's a bit early for the C word but I gave myself my club membership for Christmas some years ago and it looks like it is becoming a life long gift!


Related Posts with Thumbnails