Saturday, 17 September 2016

Handmade Fair Day one

Gosh, well after months of making stock and a frenzied fortnight putting into frames, designing stand, painting furniture, getting packing staff and admin I've finally made it the Handmade Fair. There nothing like jumping in at the deep end with your first fair / show with a big one like this!

For those of you who follow me on Instagram (jlmyhill) you'll have seen what my stand looks like, simple, understated, muted vintage shabby style with just a hint of soft green in the bunting and the cute little cupboard I distressed.

After setting up in 30 degree heat in a marquee on Thursday, Friday was rain and more rain.  So lots of wellies and waterproofs of all conceivable style! It did finally brighten up late afternoon, typical English weather!

I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone I spoke to yesterday, who said how lovely my artwork was, it's was lovely to see the happy smiles on people's faces as they looked at the pieces on display, seeing all the layers of paper, paint, ink and distressing topped with photographs or my log cabin linen squares with vintage lace, buttons and linen thread.

Once I get home, I'll start adding photos of the unsold pieces here and on my Etsy shop (link on the left), but if you spoke to me at the show and wished you'd made a purchase and didn't and would like to know, drop me an email and let's talk!

Day two, here I come!


Monday, 9 May 2016

More Gelli!

So still in that Gelli vibe, I saw that the PaperArtsy challenge was mono printing, obviously meant I had to have another play.

Still enjoying the taking the "plate to the to the surface" I started with a square of paper that had some text paper glued on.  First  a layer of French Roast rolled on and using Taupe I started adding some blocks of colour.

I just kept building up the blocks leaving white space around the edge with Taupe, Cinnamon  and Chalk and a little bit of Pewter. 

The new little mini stencils from Thats Crafty git pergectly on the Gelli Plate, so I used the small circle one to add some layers of shapes on toop of the blocks.

I added some stamping in Coffee Archival from the HotPicks plate 1605, sanded and knocked back a bit with Chalk to soften everything 

And finally added one of my image transfers of a faded decaying tulip. I edged the tulip with a graphite pencil to frame it.

Finished piece, I like the juxtaposition of the squares and grid against the circles.  Plus the pop of burgundy from the tulip draws your eye in to the focal point.

Again this will be for sale in my Etsy shop, framed at £45.00 (plus pnp) or unframed at £25 (plus pnp).

Sunday, 8 May 2016

It must be jelly 'cos jam don't ...

So the other week I went to Hope and Elvis (run by the lovely Louise) on the Wellbeck Estate near Workshop.  Oh I love going to workshops at Hope and Elvis, they are havens of peace and tranquillity, full of lovely like minded fun, artistic and creative people. Louise and the artists who run workshops are so generous with providing materials for you to play with, its always fun rummaging through paper bits, fabric bits, lace bits, threads and buttons ....

 I'm renowned for getting my head down, completely in the zone, only surfacing for the delicious lunch created by Maggie. Intense days but so inspiring.

So the latest workshop was on mono printing with Gelli plates with the gorgeous Letitia known as Mrs Bertimus.  Now I've used Gelli plates before, but always taken the fabric or the paper to the plate.  This time we took the plate to the fabric or paper and used like a stamp. Letitia showed us how to add paint to the Gelli plate, how to square of the paint with a rag, add marks to the paint that would be transferred, using stuff to act as resist on the which ever surface you were using and much more.

So I worked on some fabric and a strip of lining paper that I'd glued various bits of paper ephemera on (still haven't quite worked out how I want to use this) .  I decided on a colour palette (greys, browns and white and a touch of olive green) ) and got stuck in creating a master board of colour in a 50's Festival of Britain style.

I didn't really do a lot of mark making preferring to use the small 5x3" Gelli plate as a print block (using a small roller to spread the paint on the block) and randomly placing and overlaying colour to create depth. I also used some stencils with the Gelli plate (stencil on plate and rolling paint over, removing stencil and printing) to get more layers.

Once I was happy with it (always a hard call, when do you stop?) I had to have a think what to do with it.  Very early on in the morning I'd drawn a flower shape on some paper as a potential stamp, so decided to use some kids craft foam to make a stamp.  Collaged some paper and fabric bits on the lower half stamped, my flower, waited for it to all dry and bit and then added some free motion embroidery to emphasise the flower and added the stalk.

By this time I was mentally knackered and as I had a 2 hour drive home , decided to call it a day.

The next day (I'd sensibly booked the day off)  I added some more hand stitching and buttons to complete the picture.

I really love this way of using the Gelli plate to create subtle layers of colour and I learnt how to do free motion embroidery, so it was a win win day all round!

So this picture is for sale in my Etsy shop (theshabbydandelion)  £45.00 plus pnp.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

That inner critic has been mighty loud recently.

I think all artists suffer from "I'm no good, all my art is rubbish, I'm not creative, it isn't good enough" Sometimes you can tell that inner critic to "go away" and sometime you listen to it and say "you're right, I am rubbish, I'll just hide in this corner and never create anything again".

Inner critic smirks and ticks you off the to do list of "must make people feel rubbish about themselves".

Well inner critic I'm coming out of the corner and you can go take a running jump as they say.

I have been steadily (actually you might say manically) collecting old vintage fabrics especially linen, cotton and lace. I'm quite happy sitting there with my seam ripper taking the lace off old tablecloths, placements and antimacassars, smoothing it out and rolling it up gently and placing in my wicker basket (the image wouldn't look out of place in Simple Things magazine). 

And every time I buy some more, my husband looks at me (in that way all long suffering craft spouses do) and says "are you going to use it?"

Well husband I have!

As Maria would say, just a few of my favourite things:  distressed paper, paint (PaperArtsy), stamping (PaperArtsy), ink, lace, linen, muslin, photographs and stitches. 

So the finished piece is 30x21 cm in a wooden frame and its for sale, £45.00 plus post and packing.  Email me if you are interested. 


Monday, 21 March 2016

Don't knock it until you see it.

This weekend we were in Paris to watch the rugby (we won, it was cold). But we had a few hours to kill on the Sunday before our Eurostar home.  I had suggested visiting a flea market to browse for some treasures but we overslept after the very late night on Saturday, so plan B was needed.  

After browsing the trusty Internet (search phrase: what to do in Paris in three hours) came up with Musee de l'Orangerie.

Oh boy what a gem, no long queues like the Louvre, not a lot of people, so you didn't fell crammed in shuffling past the art as if you were on a conveyor belt.

Now I thought I wasn't a fan of Monet, too populist, everyone said how much they loved the Impressionists (I know art snob) and when I last saw the Water Lillies in London I thought yeah, impressive scale but ....

But seeing them in their true home and being able to really see them was just amazing.  Yes the scale and size of the eight hangings are, well,  I just stood there in awe if I'm honest with a little grin on my face.  

And yes you have to look at them from a distance to see everything merge together to create the whole, but what blew me away was when I looked closely and saw the texture, the brush strokes and the build up of layers to create that blurry mass of water.

Seeing real art (as opposed to the stuff I create) in the flesh so to speak can't be beat; postcards, posters, photo's just don't do it justice, its flat and lifeless.  As Monet himself said he wanted people to feel immersed in water and for me being able to get immersed in the art and see (or attempt to see) how the they created their art, the techniques, the composition, the creative process as well as the finished article is why I love looking at and creating art.


Sunday, 13 March 2016

She had wings ...

... but sometimes she was scared to use them.

 Since doing the CHSI Stitches I've been having anxiety dreams virtually every night.  The dreams are full on, fast paced, technicolour Hollywood couldn't make up this storyline of jumbled together action and images. They are waking me up (or it could be the cough lingering on my chest and / or he sinuses lingering in my head) and I lay there with a what the  .... was that all about???????

So here is my take on an art doll, she isn't funky or quirky or arty, she hasn't got riot girl striped legs or punky hair who glares at you on the bus with bright red lipstick and Goth girl heavy Kohl make-up .  No, she is a shy shabby style peg doll, who takes the window seat on the bus, takes out her crochet, lays it in her lap and stares out of the window dreaming about what ifs. 

Lots of layers of PaperArtsy paint and paper on the heart, sanding and scratching and flicking to get the distress look.  The wings are a MDF butterfly, crackle glazed, distressed and stamped.

Her dress is a piece of muslin stamped with various PaperArtsy A6 plates, her hair is some thin linen floss and her arms are rusty wire. 

As she gets off the bus at her stop, he swings her basket of crochet, gives a tiny skip and a flap of her wings and although its a bit scary not walking on the ground, she smiles to herself as it feels good and exciting to take that step and try out the what ifs.


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Red Tractor


Well its been a week I have to say.  This time last week I was trundling up the M6 to the NEC for the first day of Stitches, the crafting trade show.  I was there to sell "me" in terms of showcasing my style and seeing if people a) liked it (they did) and b) was anyone interested in me running classes / workshops (potentially, just need to work out what and prices).

But the best thing was the networking, the talking, asking questions of people visiting, exploring new avenues I'd never thought of (was that weddings I hear you say), talking to suppliers (and not baulking at minimum order costs). Lots to think about what I want to do and who in a business sense I want to get into bed with.

My contacts book is bulging and I need to start going through, following up, planning workshops, putting together brochures for that and booking a stall at Kirstie's Home Made Fair in the Autumn.  

But in the meantime - art!

The theme over at PaperArtsy (can't thank Leandra and Mark enough for the support they've given me for NEC) is image transfer.

I love and adore image transfer and most of my artwork especially at the show was showcasing image transfer.  

I've wanted to work on plywood for some time, the solidness of the substrate and the tone of the wood.  So the nice man at B&Q cut me some 6x8" pieces the other week and early one morning before the NEC I had to have a play.

Basically I used Chalk and Brown Shed to add colour and Red Geranium and Potting Soil to stamp with.

The photograph was taken at Hollowell Annual Steam Fair which is about 6 miles away from us.  Its a glorious affair, with vintage cars, farm machinery, heavy horses, traction engines, hounds steam fair rides and organs, donkeys, small animal petting areas, junk stalls and real ale. And when the sun is shining you think you are in the Darling Buds of May! 

I scanned and photocopied the image (reversing the image as I didn't the MF back to front) and used Satin Glaze to transfer the image.

I do love this, I could have added more embellishments, but I quite like the simpleness of it  and solidness of the plywood is very tactile and fits in with the rustic nature of the image.