We are still in the middle of major refurbishment of our home.  As one part is finished we decide to do yet another.  We hope to be finally finished by the end of October. We are pleased with what has been done so far.

As a consequence, I have little time to do my hobbies.  I have managed to photograph the pieces finished so far so now I can post an update to my Paris project.

I usually make a mobile with images off iconic landmarks of the city, in this instance Paris. I chose a number of images, printed them onto acetate , edged each image and then strung them together into a mobile.  Using both landscape and portrait format means that the images have space to turn when hung.


In the La Défence region of Paris are some fantastic modern buildings.  I chose the following building for a series of pieces.


I applied a filter in Photoshop to achieve a very colourful pattern.


I used this pattern to create a pocket booklet.  I used garden mesh and sheer fabrics and to interpret the shimmer in the windows I put some Irisé film under the sheer so that it catches the light and changes colour.  All the lines were created by using a 1mm wide satin stitch over the garden mesh.


I then applied a distortion filter which gave me an oval design.  I used this design on several pieces.  The first stage was to print the design onto gold metal shim which I then embossed.  This was the centre piece on the front of a small booklet.  I had some fancy gold braid in my stash which fitted nicely as a border around the shim which was mounted on dyed and painted pelmet vilene.


As well as a small pad, I made a folded pocket from colour washed tyvek.


I printed the oval onto transfer paper, cut it out and ironed it onto coloured pelmet vilene to make a bag tag.


Next I made a box.  I had to change the oval shape to a circle for the two ends of the box and kept the ovals for the top, front and back. The designs were printed onto transfer paper and ironed onto felt.  I embellished the ovals with machine stitching and beads then stitched them onto the red fabric and edged them with red metallic twist.



I used the oval design for the inside of the box.

DSC_6426                                                   DSC_6424



I used a panorama image of the Louvre and the pyramids to make a wrist band.  The image was printed onto transfer paper and ironed it onto black felt then machine edged.  I used a toggle for the fastening. I also gave it a coat of clear varnish to protect the image.










We visited the French National Armouries museum – not to be missed.  As long as we didn’t use a flash or a tripod we were free to do photography.  As I have a Nikon D3 camera, I was able to get good images in difficult lighting conditions.  I really liked this staircase.


I gave the image a colour change in Photoshop and used the result to create an art quilt. The fabric was painted and sponged then machined.



In front of the Armouries was a plaque.  It was dedicated to the Armouries building which was and still is in parts a hospital for injured soldiers. The plaque was cast copper which had a lovely green patina.


I used the flower design from the centre to create a box. The lid was embossed shim brushed with bronze gilding wax.


The front and sides used some patina metallic shim which I embossed then machined. I also used the same technique for the inside lid.


On each of the inside walls I free machined the flower design.


This is the final box.


We went up to La Défence one evening to see what lighting there was after dark.  Unfortunately there was not as much as we were expecting.  Apparently Pais has reduced illuminating lighting to save money. The Grand Arch was lit up and there was some coloured lighting on the front of the Mall.


I used this array of neon squares to create a black velvet purse.  I used a machine satin stitch over cord to make the raised squares.


One of the buildings in the older part of  Paris was covered on the outside with a metal facade in an art deco style.


I took this idea and created a purse.  I used silver lame covered with black sheer and then free machined the art deco  design over it.  This small panel became the flap of the purse.  I recycled some silver-grey satin from an old blouse. I also recycled some silver braid which had edged a Kaftan mini dress of mine many, many years ago.  Just goes to show that keeping things will eventually find a use.


One of my favourite buildings in Paris is the Institute of the Arab World. There is some incredible engineering within it.  I have already shown the metal tiles on the roof in my last post.  I used the image of them for the front of two booklets.  I also used this image to create a quilted art panel.  I applied another special effect on the image to give me yet another colour palette.  I printed it onto printer transfer paper and ironed it onto black felt.  I free machined it and highlighted some of it with metallic paints.


Here is a close up.


Finally on the Champs-Elysées we came across the American Embassy.  There was a long queue outside – people waiting to apply for visas to enter the USA. On tis wall was a doorway.  It was made up of coloured glass panels.  I liked the design and decided to use it to make an art quilt.



I isolated just one of the squares.  I  opened this square in Photoshop and applied numerous filters on it changing the colours and effect.  I had twelve new squares – all different.  I printed each of the squares onto fabric then painted and highlighted different parts of the design.  Next each square was made up into a quilt panel and free machined. When all twelve panels were complete they were joined together with black ribbon separating and framing them .


Well that it is for this post. I have a bit of time now between jobs. The next refurb is scheduled for the middle of September so I hope to manage both some more photography and textile work ’til then.

Cheers for now.




It has been a long time since my last post, much longer than I planned.  The reason…… we were going to fit some new flooring in the bathroom and some new taps.  That was the intention but it turned out to be the start of a major refurbishment throughout the house.  We haven’t finished yet. Still some new windows to have fitted and the main lounge to refurbish but we are getting there.  Last of all will be my work room which has been doubling up as storage for new doors, bathroom suite etc etc etc.  It has been hard unplanned work and an opportunity to sort and dispose of a lot of old unwanted things.  Lots of bags for the charity shops and many trips to the local tip.

While all this has been going on, I have had little time for my textile work.  I have managed some and some photography.  I have started my Paris project at last.

We have visited Paris three times now so hundreds of images to use as my design source.  As usual, I opened images in Photoshop and played with them saving any images which I thought a potential for a piece of textile work.  As always. I needed a file to keep all the sketches, printouts, patterns etc.  I used an image I took on the Arc de Triumph.  It us a close up of the detail around the base of the structure.


I tea dyed some cord which was couched in place and used machine patterns which represented the carving on the structure.

Paris-file-cover-close-up-detailThis is a close up of the embroidery.

When this work was complete I designed the title of the file.  I stylised the text and digitised it to stitch out on my machine.  This was machined onto felt and applied to the front of the file.


I have had a bit of a thing for ‘altered vessels’ and had made quite a number of them (you can see them in an earlier post).  I decided to make one for my Paris project. I used an empty vinegar jar as it was the right shape for what I had in mind.  The jar was covered with moulding place and then painted with metallic paints.  I made a simplified drawing of the Eiffel Tower and cut five of them from pelmet vilene.  They too were painted and then highlighted with gilding wax so that it was close to the present colour of the tower.  They were stuck onto the jar.  I made up a chain and charm of the tower and hung it around the top.


One of the places we visited was the Institute of the Arab world. This building was incredible and had so much to photograph.  I used this building for many pieces.  One of the walls was made up of ceramic tiles joined together in a grid.


I used this to create a blackwork pattern and stitched it on the front of an iPhone pouch.



On the roof on the building was a pavement of large embossed metal tiles. I do not know the meaning behind the designs on the tiles but I liked them.


I played with this image creating a number of designs.  One was a B&W/silver design.  This silver design suggested an embossed shim piece.


I embossed the design on silver shim and applied it to the front of a small booklet.


Keeping with this design, I simply applied another filter and achieved the following design.  I loved the colours and had a piece of electric blue metal shim, perfect for it.

DSC_9119-saturation-full,-aetherise-1I embossed the shim and again applied it to the front of a small booklet.


I am not sure exactly which images were used to create the next set of pieces.  The images were played with and manipulated to create lots of patterns.  These patterns were printed onto T-shirt transfer paper and then ironed onto pelmet vilene.  I created numerous bookmarks and bag tags.


Bag tags

I printed a larger design of one of the patterns and again ironed it onto pelmet vilene.  I made it into a pocket booklet.


Continuing with this theme, I printed two of the bookmarks twice more and cut out windows in the designs. I printed small images of Paris on acetate sheet, cut them out  and then sandwiched them between two of the windowed bookmarks. They were then highlighted with silver pens, stitched and beaded and made into hangings.


That is all I have photographed for now but I do have quite a number of finished pieces still to photograph.

Once they are photographed I will post them here on my blog.

So for now cheers to all.  I will be back painting more walls tomorrow.

I have just realised how long it is since my last post. I think I had better post some more work as the list of pieces to post is getting very long now.

As I have said before, I am really enjoying creating art quilts whether they be for my projects or from other design sources.

This selection comes under the ‘other design sources’.


This was the design source for the next two art quilts.  It is an image of magnolia taken on a visit to ‘The Hutts’ in North Yorkshire. It is a beautiful sculpture garden.  I applied some special effects filters on the image in Photoshop. Two of them inspired and the following two art quilts were the result.



Some surface painting with metallic paints was applied after the stitching was complete.

The next small piece was just a sampler practicing a quilt pattern.  I used a piece of serendipity silk and metallic thread.


The next piece was a rescue piece. I was printing out the design onto silk and had done something wong (can’t remember what now) so I aborted the print. Not wanting to waste the printed silk I made it into a small panel.


The next piece was another small sample print which I liked and made into a quilted panel. However, I later decided to make it into a small purse.

Small-quilted-purse                                             Small-quilted-purse-close-up

We regularly visit an old railway restoration yard which is a wonderful place for photography.  I took this image of some old wooden sleepers propped up against an old goods wagon.


I enhanced the colours and duplicated the image several times, joining them together to make a long panorama art quilt.

Tanfield-sleepers-art-quiltAgain there is some highlighting with metallic paint.

I live fairly close to a river mouth and there is a culvert where local sea fishermen keep their boats.  We often go there for a photo shoot.  I quite liked one of the images of a single red and blue painted boat.  I played with it in Photoshop and created two art quilts, ons small and one larger.



The next piece took a long time – a lot of work.  I started with an image of some Hosta leaves taken in the gardens at Newby Hall.  Again, I played with the image in Photoshop and finished p with sixteen colour and stylised variations.


Each one was stitched as a separate panel and the I joined all sixteen together to make one large art quilt.

Hosta-art-quiltSome of them were flipped to make it balance and I highlighted some of them with metallic paint. Here is a close up.


I can’t find the original image for the net series. I will have it somewhere and will find it eventually.  It was an image of a wild geranium growing through some bean plant flowers in my garden. I played with it in Photoshop – as always – and the results led to a set of three panels each in a different colour palette.




I liked the red one so much that I selected and combined into a long panel.  They all had lots of surface painting after the stitching.


Here is a close up.


That is all of them for this post.  I am on with my Paris project now which is growing by the week.  There should be lots to post later.

Until then, cheers everyone.

Rounding off 2013

This will be the last post for 2013.  As I said at the end of my last post, I still had a few serendipity pieces to post. A few is just that – three of them.

Serendipity-paper-panelThis started out as a piece of brown paper.  I used it to wipe excess paint from any brushes before washing them.  The colour scheme and knowing when it is complete gets easier the more you do.  The colours of this piece of serendipity reminded me of some metal shim which had been printed with Lazertran and baked to fuse the two.  I embossed the surface, picking out the slightly abstract design.  I used a piece of card and cut out two windows slightly smaller than the shim. I covered the card with the serendipity paper. The printed shim was placed behind the windows and held in place by gold metallic knitted ribbon and machined to the surface using a zig zag machine stitch and gold thread.  I proud mounted it onto green card.

The next serendipity piece is an open box.


The paper for this piece was hand-made paper so it had a textured surface. It was large enough to make four sides to an open box. I used another piece of Lazertran printed metal shim. I cut it into four pieces and secured each piece behind a window cut in each side of the box. Each window was in a different quarter of each side. The sides were lined with black felt and joined with a machined zigzag stitch.

The final serendipity piece is a book mark.

Serendipity-bookmarkI used a small piece of serendipity hand-made paper and applied it to a piece of card cut into the shape and size of a book mark. I stitched a piece of gold braid down the centre and some matching eyelash thread around the sedges.

Having used up quite a bit of my serendipity paper, I turned back to my art quilts.  I have a large number of them finished now.  the first one I am posting began as the image of a clock which had belonged to my mother-in-law. The image had been taken as part of my photographic file on time pieces which became an AV. As is my style, it was only part of the face which I called ‘Half Time’.


I put this into Photoshop and applied a filter which gave me colours which inspired me to use for an art quilt.


I printed this design onto white cotton.  I used both free machining and straight stitch to quilt the piece.


Once the stitching was complete I used metallic paints over parts of the surface to add to the effect.

The next art quilt began as an image taken at a mining museum up in the Durham Dales.  I love to photograph all things rusty.  They have such wonderful colours and textures.  This image was of a pile of old rusty wheels.


Once again I applied a filter in Photoshop and loved the colours it produced.


This was printed onto white cotton then free machined.  Once the machining was complete I dry brushed metallic paint over the surface.


The next art quilt began as a macro image of the workings of an old battered clock.


Once again I applied a filter to create a pleasing colour scheme.


This was printed on  white cotton but as you will see in all previous prints, the result of the printing onto cotton reduces the impact of the colours from those on screen even though iI always increase the saturation greatly to compensate. I have, in the past managed to over print to get a stronger colour finish.  To do this, it is important to get the printed cotton in exactly the right place and ‘fool’ the printer to accept it.  The printer will reject an input which is already printed – clever huh? I have developed a way to fool the printer.  Occasionally, the feed is not always perfect and so the second print is slightly offset giving a ghost print.  This is what happened this time. So…. I decided to print another one with just one print.


As you can see, the colours are a bit washed out, but I still stitched the quilt and added some metallic paint to the surface.  However, I could not let the other printed quilt not be used, so I decided to free machine it anyway.  This was a difficult task as I had to find and define which lines I was stitching.  When it was complete and I had applied the paint, unexpectedly, I preferred this quilt.


The next art quilt began as an image of a laburnum archway at Newby Hall gardens.  It was in full bloom and looking beautiful.


I used the filter ‘cut out’ on the image then I selected different parts of the image and duplicated them.  I created a composite using these images.I had a lot of small images of different sizes and shapes.  Each of them was printed onto white cotton. Each of them was free machined. When they were complete the were assembled into the final composite and stitched together.


I applied some paint onto the surface to add effect.

Laburnam-curtain-close-up-1This is a close up of the final art quilt.

The final art quilt for this post is one which I have posted before.  It was a black and white zentangle quilt with black zentangles on the white squares.  It has been hung in my workroom for quite some time and I had always wanted to fill the black squares with white zentangles but wasn’t sure about it.  Eventually, as I had used the time sitting on a long haul flight to create another eight designs, I decided I should use them so I free machined these designs in white thread on the black squares.  I am glad that I did.


So, that is it for this post and for this year.  There is still a big pile of finished art quilts to be posted but they will be posted next year in 2014.  Doesn’t time fly?????

Here’s wishing everyone an enjoyable, creative 2014.



It has been quite a while since I posted.  During that time I have been having a clear out of my wardrobe and drawers then stripping down all the fabric that is recyclable. This gave me a huge pile of fabric and so led me to create and make a lot of bag totes. They will be posted in the future.
I have also been to Rome so a lot of images to process and I have at last finished my audio-visual of Paris.  I have also made a small start on my Paris textile project. Busy, busy

After I finished my Venice project, I decided I needed to use up some of my serendipity papers and fabrics.  These are created by using paper and fabric pieces as ‘mop ups’. I never rinse away paint or inks from my brushes, I wipe them on the paper or fabric.  Then I put them into water and wipe them again on the paper and fabric. I keep doing this until there is no colour left.  I do have a number of pieces of paper and fabric for this and try to use them in colour ranges.  They give some wonderful coloured papers and fabric pieces as you will see in the items I made using them.

Serendipity-corrugated-paper-book  This is a book cover.  It began as the holder for the food on a flight to America.  It was printed but it was lined with a fibre which gave it strength.  I used it to wipe my paint brushes until it was completely covered.  As it was too big for the book I was covering, the piece I cut off became a fastener for the book.  I used a small piece of velcro to close and applied a paper cast of a key for decoration.  Most of the paints on this are metallic but the image here looks a bit dull.  It is actually more vibrant.




Serendipity-Da-Vinci-booklet  This is a notelet pad cover.  The centre image of the cover is a printed image of a Da Vinci  sketch.  It is printed on  metal shim and then embossed. The frame around this embossed shim is a piece of serendipity hand-made paper. These are mounted onto pelmet vilene which was first colour washed then sponged with the colours of the paper frame.







This too is a notelet pad cover.  The front is a piece of hand-made paper which had a leaf spray embedded into it.  It was coloured by wiping my brush onto it as explained above.  Silver leaf sequins were applied.  It was mounted onto pelmet vilene which was first colour washed then stamped with a leaf spray and finally silver transfer foil applied.






This was another piece of serendipity hand-made paper which had a spray of leaves embedded into it.  It was colour washed on the reverse and folded in half. Printer paper was cut and colour washed then stitched into the folded cover.A length of dyed narrow knitted ribbon was used to close the booklet.








Another piece of serendipity hand-made paper folded to make a notelet cover.  Pink printer paper was spritzered with ink and stitched into the cover.  A little bird charm was attached for decoration and a length of yarn which had the same colours as the cover holds the booklet closed.








This piece of serendipity hand-made paper was folded and decorated with a paper cast of a feather.  It was glued to pelmet vilene.  The pelmet vilene was colour washed with similar colours to those of the paper front.  It was then stamped with the feather stamp which had been used to make the paper cast.








This book began as a scrap piece of white satin.  I had used it as a mop up for silk paints and sometimes metallic paint.  When I felt that there was enough colour in the fabric, it was ironed.  I made a stencil of a poppy-seed head.  This was stencilled right across the fabric. The stencilled poppy heads were also highlighted.  Next I machine quilted around the poppy heads onto a piece of wadding.  I cut a piece of pelmet vilene to be the cover of an A5 size book.










This was another piece of the serendipity satin fabric.  This one was decorated with partially stencilled oak leaves.  They were quilted onto colour washed and stencilled pelmet vilene.  Knitted viscose ribbon was machined in stripes over the surface. More ribbon was used to close the book.






Serendipity-silk-coral-needle-case  Serendipity-silk-folder










These three pocket booklets were made using serendipity silk fabric.  They were free machine quilted onto colour washed pelmet vilene. They were further embellished with sequins and beads. Dyed viscose ribbon was used to close two of the booklet  and a crocheted chain stitch ribbon for the booklet on the right.



When I had used up some of my serendipity papers and fabrics I decided to expand on the altering of jars or bottles.  I had completed one of these for the Venice project and had collected more decorative jars to alter.




This jar was painted  with black gesso then cut outs of oak leaves were stuck to the surface and also painted with black gesso.  I then used an interference paint to colour the leaves and the decoration in the glass around the bottom. I hung a leaf charm on a chain around the neck of the jar.





This glass jam jar was covered with molding paste and flower paper casts applied and embedded onto either side.  It was painted with metallic paint and the flower paper casts highlighted with gold gilding wax.  A chain of charms was hung around the neck.






This jar was paintedwith black gesso then using a glue gun I spread shapes across the surface, then spread a web of fine glue across this surface. More black gesso was applied followed by the interference paint to obtain the green colouring.  The glue was finger highlighted with gold gilding wax.






This jar was also covered with molding paste.  Paper casts of keys were applied around the jar.It was all painted with bronze metallic paint and the keys highlighted with gold gilding wax.  Key charms were strung around the neck on a chain.  The inside of the jar was painted with black gesso.






The inside and outside of this empty tartare sauce jar were painted with black gesso.  Paper casts of clock faces were glued onto the sides.  The jar was then painted with bronze metallic paint.  Small clock face charms were strung around the neck from a chain.






There are a few more serendipity pieces but I think this post is long enough for today.

I have also been indulging in my art quilting so there are a large number of them waiting to be posted too.
Cheers for now.

Now that I have returned from my trips to Paris and Monte Carlo I thought I had better post the final pieces of the Venice project which is now complete.  It totals 106 pieces – much bigger than I had planned.  I have been booked to give a talk on this project and will have a problem trying to compact it into an hour. I have had a couple of ideas but will need to do a trail run to see if they will fit into the hour.

Meanwhile, here are the final pieces.

I had six quilted panels left over from the Ripple art quilt.  When I was printing the panels for the art quilt, I forgot to flip some of them so had to reprint which meant that I had six spare ripple panels. Not wanting to leave them unused, I decided to make one into a small pocket booklet.  Pocket pages were stitched into the quilted ripple cover.


The remaining five were made into needle case books each with a different technique.  Each had felt pages stitched inside.


This one had painted and beaded bronze hinges.Needle-case-distorted-text

This one used the digitised distorted Venice text.  It was stitched out by the embroidery machine and then outlined with gold Japanese thread.Needle-case-red-mask

This one used the mask stamp which I over painted.Needle-case-V

This one used a built-in digitised letter in a medieval style.  It was stitched out using a copper/bronze thread.Needle-case-Venice-text-front

This one used the capital letters of the name Venice, stencilled and painted.

There was one more needle case which used up the spare printed image of the layer of the Contarini palace.

Needle-case-Contarini  I used metallic paint to highlight parts of the image.

My final two pieces depict one of the things Venice is famous for –  masks.  I wanted to make a full mask and also an eye mask.  I found a papier maché mask at a local craft shop and so that I could use it again, I decided to make my own paper cast of it.  I covered it with cling film first then applied numerous layers of toilet tissue with PVA.  Once dry it set hard and could be removed from the mold. I gave it a coat of gesso then with metallic paints. I painted the mouth and around the eyes with black paint followed by a coat of interference paint.  These areas were then coated with opal dust which is a thin glue full of tiny mica.  I made the acanthus leaf motifs from pelmet vilene.  They were glued onto the mask and tiny sequins added under one of the eyes.  Mask-full-1

I made the next eye mask in the same way.  This mask was painted with black gesso and interference paint and then with opal dust.  I outlined the eyes and edges of the mask  with metallic twist. The added decoration was made from pelmet vilene. I painted a wooden kebab stick to match and fastened it to the mask for the handle.


And that completes the project all 106 pieces.

Since completing Venice, I have been back to Paris to finish the photography for the next project which will be, of course, Paris.

Since finishing Venice, I have had a chance to play with some new techniques, use up stored serendipity papers and fabrics and created new art quilts.  They will be featured on the next post.

So until then, Cheers everyone.

It has been a long, long time since my last post. It is that ‘time fairy’ again.  Not enough hours in the day to do everything.  So instead of all the reasons and ‘excuses’ for the delay, I will get straight on with posting more of the Venice project pieces.

The first of the pieces is a set of jewellery.  The source for the design came from Venetian glass.  I used glass gems and enclosed them in fine metal thread tubing separating them with small silver beads.


The next series of pieces came from digital manipulation of some of the images creating patterns and colours far removed from the original image.  The patterns were printed onto printer transfer paper.  I created bookmarks, bag tags, booklets and folders.  The first image is of a set of bookmarks.  The printed transfer paper was ironed onto pelmet vilene which had been colour washed first using a matching colour.  The surfaces were enhanced with embossing powders and gilding pens.


The next image is of a bag tag. This time it was ironed onto black craft vilene.


This is a small booklet.  The transfer paper was ironed onto coloured pelmet vilene.  Parts of the pattern were highlighted with a gold pen.  I stitched pale green pages inside and closed with some dyed viscose ribbon.

Venice-pattern-transfer-paper-notelet-bookThis is a small folder was machine stitched, picking out the main features of the design.  This machine stitching also decorated the inside of the folder which had been coloured first.  I also sponged the inside with lilac paint.


This next piece is very similar to the bookmark but this time I cut windows out, buttonhole stitched around the holes and then placed printed acetate images of Venice in the windows.  I repeated this for the back which means that it can be viewed from both sides and hence became a hanging.  Beads were added and tassels at the bottom.


I ironed the transfer paper onto black felt to create this bracelet.  It was enhanced with glass gems, beads and stitching.


I made a stencils using some of the carved stones in the wall of the Basillica.  I used these stencils to create a book cover.  I had some fabric left over from dress making many years ago – and was just what I needed.  It represented the waters of Venice.  Using silver paint, I stencilled the designs onto the surface of the fabric.  I made it into a quilt sandwich and machined around the designs.  I added some gold paint to highlight part of one design.


I always use the text of the place of a project so I digitised a distorted text of Venice and stitched it out for the flap of a bag. It was stitched over some dyed fibres made into a fabric. It was then outlined with a gold twist.


Much of the paint work in Venice is old, faded, discoloured and peeling.  I quite like old peeling paint doors and always photograph them.  I loved the colours of this door and it had been the design source for a few pieces.  This time it was the design source for a tile I created.


This is the door and the part that I used is the small square which I think is a mini door for checking who is knocking before opening.  I had to create the different parts of this square.  The raised frame was made from tissue and PVA over a strip of fancy edging wood.  I had some green wire which I twisted into the pattern of the wire in the square.  Not easy. I put them all together on a piece of stiff board.  Painted it with black gesso and the used a green interference to achieve the green patina and then highlighted with silver metallic paint.


Finally, I printed an image from Venice onto Avalon which had been coated with InkAID first.  I cut it into three panels and stitched them onto the flap of a denim fabric wich I made up into a bag.


I machined Venice along the handle.

So, that leaves just one more post to complete my Venice project.

Until then, cheers everyone.