Saturday, 29 December 2012

Life 6 - preliminary ideas/sketching

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, if applicable, and are ready to start 2013 at a running pace!

Life 5 is coming on apace and will be finished very soon.

I've added some bits this morning which has helped me resolve an area around the focal point.  It's a book on Tea History (yep, I have one or two!) and a pair of booties. It all looks a little flat at the moment because it's not stitched and painted.

I'm really hoping that my machine will make it through all the layers of cloth and all those coats of acrylic paint. Fingers crossed!

I've been doing a little preliminary sketching for Life 6 - Still Life.  It is going to be a still life of chinese pots on a table with a patchwork cloth, with a model.  I'm trying to get the drawings of her etc to look serene and content.  I've spent a couple of hours on the shape of the body, and have been trying to work out hands.  I'm not quite there yet as you can see, but it's a start.

The shadows are interesting, as the light is from two sources; above and from the right. I will have to decide if this is confusing and whether or not I should change it.

Friday, 21 December 2012

End of the year.

I've just had to clean and convert the studio into additional dining space for Christmas so have come to a screeching halt on Life 5.

This one has been very slow but it's because I'm a very fussy person and things have to be right. It's nearly done though- just the bells and whistles to do!

And I've started some preliminary sketches and thoughts for Life 6 (Still Life) while I'm waiting for Christmas to happen.

This year has been very eventful which is why I'm taking longer to do things but 2013 is going to be even more action packed as far as my quilts are concerned, with Life 7,8, and 9 already planned and waiting.

You know if you've read the blog before, that this year I became a Granny.  I like being Granny Rainbow; it makes me feel like a character from a Terry Pratchet novel.  I intend to be an good Granny and do interesting things, such as stand on tables and sing rude songs, and have tea and cakes in posh places, and spend far too much money on dresses in Top Shop. That sort of thing. I might have to wait a bit though - she's very small.

 This year was the Queens Diamond Jubilee Year and the year we hosted the Olympics,and it was the year that Leamington's very own guerrilla gardening team received an MBE. 

I had a wonderful time celebrating and was lucky enough to go to with the 3 other GALS to Buckingham Palace to have tea with the Queen (Gals stands for Gardening Around Leamington Spa, but also Gill, Annabel, and Lyn)  London was in a great state of upheaval and the Palace was being made ready for a Jubilee concert, which meant that there were no taxis and we had to trot through London and battle with the tube in all our finery, high heels and hats.  Don't ever say the age of chivalry is dead as young gentlemen, as well as the older gentleman, leapt to our assistance, giving up seats on trains and holding open doors. Enormous fun and never to be forgotten. We did look a bit odd on the tube...colourful, but out of place.

And, well, yes, here's me in new frock number 2. That gorgeous looking gentleman in his uniform next to me is the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire. Also pictured are the Mayor, Chair of Warwickshire County Council, MP, and Cllrs. We (the GALS) had a celebratory tea in the lodge just behind us with champers and small sandwiches, and were presented with our award.

This lodge is just across the road from the Art Gallery and Museum where Through Our Hands is currently running.  The exhibition has been exactly as I hoped it would be, and lots of visitors who haven't seen art quilts before have been amazed at the level of work and impact that quilts have in a gallery space.  It's been so successful, that when it finishes it will go onto Festival of Quilts in August (with new work to replace that which has sold)  I'd like to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful artists who agreed to take part, and produced such magnificent work. I'm hoping that Through Our Hands may become a permanent series of exhibitions for art quilts, but more about that later.

So a hectic year. I've moved tonnes of soil, planted thousands of plants, cut down trees, and dug until my back won't straighten; I've shed tears of joy at the birth of a new Rainbow, and spent hours going up and down motorways to see her and I've cuddled and sung nursery rhymes at every opportunity; I've stitched and painted as many quilts as I possibly can, I've spent hours interwebbing and organizing, shifting and lifting, meeting and sorting.  I've loved every minute even if I didn't have time to stop and think about it all enough.  Phew. Life is cool. (probably quilt number 10!)

Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  Back soon!!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

There's time left for a visit!

There's time left for a visit to "Through Our Hands" at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum - it's on until 12th January 2013.

The first two images aren't mine; I found them on the interweb here. The images give you a flavour, but you need to get close to see the amazing work in some of these pieces; the detail, and techniques are astonishing! 

Some of the pieces have been sold, so it's your last chance to see them, because they won't be at foq in August.

Monday, 10 December 2012

The Facebook thing?

I should have mentioned that if you would like to see more updates than are here on the blog, I have an artists page on Facebook. I'm trying to post daily, but don't quite manage it!! Please feel free to join me, it would be great to talk to you!  Just click on the link at the top of the sidebar, and you go straight there.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Coventry Evening Telegraph review of Through Our Hands.

 Just a small update: the face, 2nd round of paint, beginning to put in features and work on flesh tones a bit more.

Below: because I was asked, here are closeup details of the straightened out seam at the base of the shed....filling in space with paint.

Link to site:;+Art.-a0309660052


UNWRAP yourself a Christmas treat with a visit to a colourful Warwickshire exhibition.
Through Our Hands at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum brings together the works of 10 top international quilt artists.
They are keen to show how their work has moved on from the purely practical to being an art form.
British artist Annabel Rainbow's work is striking in its visual images and the intricate work that has gone into it. Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today? features a naked woman working on a quilt, tea and chocolate biscuits at the ready - and a shelf of feminist and women's interest book titles behind her.
Tracey Emin may have shown quilting can be feminist, but these are equally strong. Two more works by Annabel Rainbow also feature naked women, one fleeing her life, chains and abandoned items flying off, as she runs across the surface of the world with passages by Auden and Emile stitched onto them.
Alicia Merrett is interested in maps and Elizabethan City looks like a fantastically-coloured aerial view, with a river meandering through, and lots of tiny plots of close-up properties surrounded by countryside.
Welsh quilter Bethan Ash has contributed two pieces, Any Colour You Like, a wonderful swirl of different colours which is graffiti-like in places, and I Want to Stitch, a political piece with her intentions stitched onto a background.
Hungarian Eszter Bornemisza has several pieces of work on show including Red Mud, which is gloriously coloured, and Primitive Findings, a box-type work showing different fabrics.
American artist Elizabeth Barton's Petergate incorporates layers of cloth she's painted or dyed and looks like a stained glass window and Australia's Dijanne Cevaal shows Travellers' Blanket, an attractive explosion of colour.
The intricacy of design and attention to detail is amazing in these works, and surely meets their aim of having quilting accepted as art.
BREAKING THE MOULD: A feminist work by Annabel Rainbow, above, and, below, Eszter Bornemisza'a Primitive Findings

Friday, 23 November 2012

More painting done on Life 5

A bit more progress.  I've been working on the zen garden which will have to be knocked back a bit, but not until I've decided on the tones for the foreground.

On the left is the last stage of the garden shed, and on the right is yesterdays efforts.  The bottom line of the shed has been straightened and I've added darks (using pthalo turquoise)  I was going to pile gravel against the shed, hence the uneven edge, but decided it was better without. The gravel is in but I think I'll go for a bit more patterning and shape. That will be one of the last things to do.

Friday, 9 November 2012

As well as painting.....

...I've been making a little box for a special treasure!

The inside of the box is lined with fabric which has been printed with the newspaper for the day my granddaughter was born.  I had to pick through the paper to find bits that were suitable - so we have fashion, the stock market, grandad's crossword (completed of course) and foreign news, as well as a quote and birthdays of famous people born on the same day.

If you had a bigger project, or wanted the printing done easily and professionally you could try here.
I had a bit of bubblejet liquid left from years ago and decided to use it up in the hope that it would make the print last longer. Not sure if it has that effect or not, but it didn't cost me anything and only took a little time.

You soak prepared fabric in the fluid, for about 10 minutes, then squeeze out and dry.  Iron the fabric to freezer paper and cut to size for your printer....and print. You then need to wash, dry and iron.   The newsprint came out best when I upped the contrast to high. It's readable and I hope may amuse at some point. It's going to house a special present of course.

The outside of the box will probably be decorated with flowers.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A little of the process for you!

I'm asked lots about what paints I use and how I paint.  Here's some photos of the beginnings of the process for you.  I try lots of different things - this time it's underpainting with green - and I like to experiment so it's not always the same for each painting.

Getting everything ready and choosing the paint colours.  I have a separate drawer for yellow, reds, greens etc - it helps no end.
 The commercially available flesh tints are pretty grotty on the whole and need stuff added to them.  In this case, green, yellow ochre, and titanium white.
 I keep adding those colours until I get a flesh colour which is ok at least for the underpainting.  At this stage whatever you put on, looks a bit like pink sausage (to use Laura Kemshall's phrase which is very succinct).  Getting a good flesh colour is very hard indeed.
 An underpainting of green. I thought it would tie up well with the topiary in the centre bit.

Below, adding the flesh tones all over, and right, adding some highlights to show the lighter areas, and yellow ochre for the darker. Tip: always go over the lines as you don't want harsh edges and that includes the hairline.

It's now a question of building onto it all.  I may decide to leave painting the figure at this stage and move onto the surroundings just so that I can maintain a colour and tone balance throughout the whole.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Ready to paint at last!

I remember saying on this blog in the dizzy mists of time, that Life 5 should be finished by the end of October. Silly me.  Life, if you'll pardon the pun, has got in the way, and there's a vast amount of stitching on this one.

However, I finished all the stitching today and will begin painting tomorrow with a bit of luck - too dark to start today. That's the trouble with winter in the UK, it gets dark from about 3.30-4.00pm and I do like natural light to paint by.

Footnote: A couple of weeks ago I had an anonymous comment about Life 4 - Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today? telling me that really I should quote my sources when giving statistics, name the books etc. The writer had obviously completely missed the point! Perhaps he/she thought I was writing an academic essay of some kind, rather than making a piece of art.  So, just in case, (!) all these quilts are in a series of 10/12 and are called "Life Stories" and have detailed text on them. The text is not an explanation, it's a story about the person depicted. You don't have to read the text to understand the picture, it just adds another layer and is something the viewer can investigate if they wish. I've done a great deal of research on them before stitching, but they're not intended as educational in any way.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Art Quilts - a view

by Warwick University - Helen Cobby review of Through Our Hands.

The relationship between art and crafts is constantly debated and revised
within the creative world. Leamington’s latest art exhibition at the Pump Rooms
engages with this by presenting a great variety of quilts in terms of shape,
size, subject matter, medium and stitching techniques in order to focus on
the aesthetic, but also the political, nature of quilting and craftsmanship. This
directs the viewer to approach the quilts as pieces of art, rather than functional
items coming from an archaic crafting history. However, the craftsmanship and
obvious crafting skill that goes into making one of these beautiful quilts is not
ignored, as the exhibition includes a film on how quilts and patchwork pieces are
made alongside displays of quilting fabric samples that visitors are encouraged
to touch.

This exhibition, entitled Through Our Hands, includes work from ten top
international quilt artists and teachers, which makes for a vibrant collection of
techniques and modern subjects, and undermines traditional prejudices about
quilting being a fussy, old fashioned, and predominantly functional craft. Though
I feel they still play around with the ‘woman question’ attached to the creation
and use of crafts – for a start, all the artists are female, and their work depicts
mostly domestic or ‘familiar’ scenes. This however is not a criticism, because
although the exhibition can be seen to (re)define quilting as a form of female
expression, this focus on the domestic and the feminine ultimately serves to
present everyday details as beautiful, something poets and artists alike have
been doing for centuries. In addition, these familiar scenes are often pushed into
an almost supernatural sphere, and ‘unpicked’ so as to focus on the potential of
quilting for conveying, and experimenting with, shape, colour, form and feeling.
Through Our Hands is definitely a successful stand for modernising quilting as an
artistic form and process.

You don’t have to be a quilting expert to be able to appreciate the variety of
different practices this exhibition brings together. This is partly due to the way
the exhibition has been curated and hung, as quilts made up of contrasting
techniques are juxtaposed within the same hanging space. So an exciting mixture
of hand painted quilting, hand appliqué, embellishment, embroidery, and
machine or free motion continuous stitching is displayed, giving a great feast for
the eyes and senses.

One piece by quilting artist Bethan Ash called I Want To Stitch, 144 x 80cm, is
made up of appliqué and text, which I feel is reminiscent of Tracey Emin’s wall
hangings – but is a lot neater. With the use of text, Ash’s quilt literally explores
what quilting means in a colourful collection of enjambed lines, which state ideas
about quilts being a “reflection of our past”, a source of warmth and comfort,
defined by shape and colour, and able to impart political ideas and values. This
implication of the fluidity of quilts in terms of their function, form and meaning
is mirrored in the way each quilt is hung because due to the intense stitching
on each piece, the work hangs away from the walls defying any fixed frame and
instead suggesting movement and freedom within the stitching lines.
Text is also a feature in Eszter Bornemisza’s pieces that greet the visitor at
the beginning of the exhibition. Her work experiments with ideas of evolution
within cities and urban life, which she communicates through using rusty brown
colours and found materials such as recycled paper and reprinted newspapers.
Especially in the piece, City in the Aire’, 300 x 100cm, Bornedmisza incorporates
birds eye view maps, calligraphy and newspaper text to layer up different
methods of communication constructive of city life.

Text is also a fundamental theme in Annabel Rainbow’s three quilts (each
roughly 150 x 110cm), through which she explores what it means to be a modern
woman pulled in different directions by pressures of motherhood, domesticity
and academic success. Her triptych sequence is broken into three poignant
but satiric titles, Be the Change You Want, Switching Off, and “Hello Dear. What
Did You Do Today?”, which maps the roles available to the modern woman.
The feelings that the artist believes these options evoke within a woman are
then ‘blistered’ and ingrained onto the skin of the female figures central within
each panel’s composition. This dramatic and thought provoking reaction to some
of the pressures women face is heightened by the highly detailed domesticity
depicted within each scene and the thick dark frames that simultaneously
close off and link each section of the triptych together. Due to this, the feeling
of claustrophobia and containment is lucidly conveyed beneath what initially
appears to be a comfortable domestic interior.

After looking at Rainbow’s work, the quilt Traveller’s Blanket with Circles, 140
x 85cm, by Dijanne Cevall, appears particularly uplifting. It is one of the most
abstract quilts on display, and celebrates pattern and embroidery techniques
through a collection of cheerful and vibrant ‘microorganisms’. This definitely
captures the energy and movement of travel and memory from which it is

This exhibition is on until 13 January, which hopefully means no one will miss
out on seeing it. Although it is small, I am sure I will be going back several
times to savour the diversity, skill and passion that this exhibition exudes. It is
a completely refreshing take on quilting that provides a creative platform for
exploring this art form and its relationship with craft and modern life.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The words for Life 5

Currently stitching the words for Life 5 - Shall I Be Mother? 

This is not an explanation, it's a story.

Perhaps I should explain to non-Brits! The saying "Shall I be mother?" is often said when one takes charge of the teapot and helps everyone else to a cup of tea. So there is a double meaning on this quilt  and it's all to do with the tea ceremony.

So, there's this young woman who needs to work for a living as a geisha. She's not a prostitute but a respected member of a society which values things differently. She makes her living from singing and dancing and entertaining including
officiating at tea ceremonies. Illegally, her virginity has been bought and she now finds herself with child. She's doesn't know what to do. Her instincts as a prospective mother have to be weighed against her lifestyle and the years of training she's undertaken. Her life as a geisha would not be possible and she has to live somehow. She has an answer of course, but it's not simple. She doesn't know what to do. There's a rational argument, an instinctive human response, and a spiritual one as well.

Shall I be mother?  I don’t know, I really don’t know. In 2001 my mizuage was illegally sold for £20,000, which means I am now Geisha. For me the tea ceremony is a transformative practice and my belief is of wabi sabi and I can now be a host and earn my living. I do not believe in an afterlife. When I die, I disappear. But I am with child and my mortality will become my immortality.

No one should have the right to say what happens to my body, because I don’t belong to anyone else.  I was given the gift of life when I was born but I find I am not free. No one is. Governments and religions all dictate to us. They have given themselves the right to command what happens to our bodies and say when one person becomes two, and that one person must suffer because of the other.  What is soul? Consciousness is soul. Potential isn’t soul. I had the potential to pass exams but didn’t. A potential person isn’t a person. Thomas Aquinas said that boys had soul 40 days gestation and girls at 90 days, and the Catholic Church says soul exists from conception. How can that be?  How can you quantify the spiritual and justify your actions by promising me an afterlife if I believe.  I don’t believe in your God.  BUT..

At 1 month 0.5cms
Heart pumping since 18th day. The beginnings of eyes, spinal cord and nerves, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys.

At 2 months 2.5 to 3.5 cms
Arms and legs become distinct and tiny fingers and toes appear. All internal organs of an adult, at various stages of development, are present. The first bone cells begin to be formed. Brain waves can be detected from about the sixth week.

At 3 months. 6-8 cms
Development continues. The mother may feel the foetus kicking as it flexes its muscles. The heartbeat can be detected. The foetus now looks clearly like a human baby and can suck its thumb.

At 4 months 12-18 cms
The head has distinct human features and may have hair. The skin is pink, and the bones are closing to form joints. A baby can now be a girl or a boy.

At 5 months 25-30cms
Developing rapidly and very active

At 6 months 28-34cms.
Eyes may now open. All systems are formed and are just growing in size

At 7-9months 36-56cms
Grows in size and fat is deposited to help survival at birth. Grows fingernails.

Shall I Be Mother?

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Shall I be Mother?

 "Keep Away From Fire"? Well you would, wouldn't you?

I've been collecting some pots for Life 6 - still life.  The model came on Tuesday and I'm ready to start as soon as Life 5 is painted.
The stitching apart from the words on the body is done.  I realized why I'm having problems with this, and would refer you back to photo 1!!

I'm also itching to get out the oil paints at some point quite soon and paint a portrait on canvas.  I haven't used oils now for nearly 2 years and I'm missing them. 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Just a little taster of the exhibition!

Just a snippet to wet your appetite!  "Through Our Hands" at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum until January.  There's a little more on Linda Kemshall's blog with a few photos of the crowds - it was a bit of a squash! 

Artists on show are: Laura Kemshall, Linda Kemshall, Sandra Meech, Eszter Bornemisza, Elizabeth Brimelow, Elizabeth Barton, Bethan Ash, Alicia Merrett, Annabel Rainbow, and Dijanne Cevaal.

Below is Laura Kemshall's Don't Go, and Elizabeth Barton's street scenes of York, and Alicia Merrett's map fragments. Don't they look fab?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Nearly ready to paint, and I get to fiddle around in a gallery store room!

Life 5 is nearly ready to paint, but I have to stitch some words on the body between setting up a new exhibition at Leamington Art Gallery, and being a new Granny!

New baby is still in hospital as she's a bit sleepy and everyone wants to see her feed heartily before she can come home.

I spent the morning at the Gallery, delivering quilts, and unpacking others.  I have to say en masse, the exhibition is going to be wonderul - the quilts are truly amazing.  Do come and see if you can!

Details here. (opening times, etc)  Don't forget Friday 19th October is the meet the artist day, with lots of talks and demos from 1 to 4pm. There's a free catalogue and teas and coffee.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Granny Rainbow!

Evelyn, born 10.30pm on the 13th October.  5lbs 11oz. All very well and wonderful xx I shall endeavour to be an exquisite Granny.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Still waiting

No news yet.

 However, one has already purchased baby's first pumpkin.

And, I've been after a bronze teapot like the one below for some time.  I found it in Waddeston Manor tearooms on Wednesday, and asked to buy one.  It holds 2 large mugs of tea, which is surprizing.

All the mess on the table above, was to make these decorated panels in my GALS diary.  It's PVA drizzled in shapes on the edges of the page.  Then a touch of oil pastel in yellow ochre, brown, and orange.  Black gesso covers it all, and it was scraped back when dry to reveal the colours. They'll be a spot of text in the centre. I like the effect - never used black gesso before.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Hello again - 2 postings in one day??  Things are happening thick and fast in Chez Rainbow!

First of all, details for the talks and demonstrations for the exhibition Through Our Hands, which has it's opening event in Leamington Spa on Friday 19th October (it actually opens on Thursday 18th October) is on the posting underneath this one.

I would like to let you know about something else too.  On Friday last week, I went to visit Laura and Linda Kemshall (and new baby, Amelie, who by the way, is absolutely gorgeous!), and they talked to me about my quilts and some of the controversy surrounding my subject choice.

You can see the results here:
Laura and Linda Kemshall on DMTV
They took some amazing photos of them too with closeups that are much much better than mine.

So, if you'd like to join us, please press the link and log in!

Thirdly, my lovely daughter is expecting our first grandchild at the end of October, but it looks like she may be putting in an appearance a little earlier than planned. It's so very very exciting. What a year 2012 has turned out to be!

Talks and demo timetable for Through Our Hands

Leamington Spa Art Gallery  & Museum presents
Through Our Hands
Exhibition Opening

Programme for the Day

Friday 19th October

1pm  Alice Swatton  - An introduction to the Through Our Hands exhibition

1.30pm   Linda Kemshall  - Demonstration and Talk
2pm   Elizabeth Brimelow – Talk
2.30pm  Sandra Meech  - Talk
3pm   Alicia Merrett  -  Demonstration and Talk
4pm Event finishes

Meet a selection of the exhibiting artists
Visit the exhibition
Tea and Coffee will be served

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Collecting things.

 I'm fairly sure that there is someone out there who can explain the psychology of "collecting".  It seems to be part of being human.  Occasionally it gets out of hand (I've heard of people who literally can't get inside their houses because they are full of magazines, and old bottles, dirty plates, and things rescued from the street.)

For most of us it's about having lovely things around us.  I love small things and just lately have been adding slowly to my stock!

When my mother-in-law died, we had to clear out her house, and were appalled at the amount of rubbish stored in drawers and cupboards - bags full of, well, more bags!  Small amounts of money stashed in old chocolate boxes, and enough sheets to keep a small hospital going for a couple of weeks.

Both DH and I said that we would never get like that, and so, have gone through our stuff and donated hoards to charity shops and sold bits through auction houses.  We had nothing, literally, left except what we needed to live life comfortably.  But slowly, slowly, starting with a display table, and then a display cupboard, we've been adding again. There's simply no hope!! I'm worse than DH - cannot live in a vacuum it seems, however nice it looks in the property and interior magazines.

So I publicly apologize to my family who may need to do a bit of sorting when I've passed on. All I can say in my defence is that I'm trying to keep it small, ok??

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Exhibition catalogue etc.

There's a free catalogue waiting for you when you visit the exhibition in Leamington. 

There's also classes by Alicia Merrett (sorry now full) and me (no idea if mine are full or not!) They are £10 for the whole afternoon and include use of new pfaff machines and with all materials provided for free as well.

On Friday 19th October, there will be free talks and demonstrations throughout the afternoon.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Stitching begins with the sky, roof, tree and wall.

OK, so not a great deal to show but it's a big quilt!! 

This is part of the view through an open window to a zen garden. It will have a gravel garden with two trees. The background hut which you can see in the picture, is wooden with a corrugated roof. 

Of course - and I always say this! - it'll look better when it's painted. I have plans to do a bit of splashy stuff :)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Life 5 - Shoji blinds and tatami mats

As you can see Life 5 is going to be large.  

I've spent a happy few hours researching shoji blinds and tatami mats and getting an idea of placement in the whole picture.  I find the easiest way to do this is to stick the quilt to the wall, and stand back.  By putting on bits of masking tape and moving them around, I can get a feel for distance, scale, and perspective. You can just see the tape on the white cotton below.

Things I've found out and will be in the picture!

Shoji blinds are those lovely paper screen within a wooden frame that divide rooms or go over doors and windows to provide privacy.

Tatami mats are what people sit on when going through the tea ceremony.  The mats are laid out in a very particular way - usually 4 around the outside and a half one in the centre.  How the mats are laid out determines how a person walks through the tea room. It's customary not to put your hands palm down on the mats, but to shuffle on your knees and the knuckles of your hands.

If you wear a kimono and walk on tatami mats, to avoid disturbing the mats, you need to shuffle. This slows you down, makes you walk in an erect and dignified manner, especially if you wear the slippery socks (tabi) with 2 toe spaces. 

The room often has a scroll with calligraphy, a flower arrangement, and incense burner. There are lots of imaginary lines crisscrossing the tearoom-based on the placement of the mats- and these are used to determine the exact placement of utensils etc.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Well, the cloth's in place

The next stage is done!

I've been going a bit slowly haven't I?  Oh well, many other things to do at the moment. It's taken quite a time to get the cloth in the right place and all the curves properly aligned.

The stitching on the top of the tablecloth was drawn on, and then free machined.

The light will be hitting the top part of the cloth, and you won't see much except a blur of colour here and there, so if I'd have pieced this, it would have been too strongly defined.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

More sketchbook book pages

Just a couple of bits from the new sketchbook.  This is my new favourite effect; torn paper stuck and painted.

Below is a sample of screen printing (the daisy was a paper mask and the dye put over the top onto cotton)  A little doodle with pen, and a few stitches.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Nearly finished the paper piecing...again!

Granted, it probably doesn't look a lot different to the last posting a few days ago.  I've just got this little corner to do though, and I'm finished!

Below: The whole section. It probably won't make much sense until it's painted.  My fingers are firmly crossed that it will work out - I never know because so much depends on if I can paint it properly.