Lino Printing Workshop 10th November

On Saturday we had another successful lino printing workshop in Rochdale. There were 6 people this time who came along and everyone produced fantastic and varied work.

It always amazes me what everyone comes up with even though they have had none or very little experience of working with lino cutting.  It shows how accessible this craft is for all.  You don’t even have to be able to draw, tracing a picture can be just as imaginative as an idea from your head.

Tracing an image

Jo created some wonderful images. You can visit her blog here: http://jozartdesigns.blogspot.co.uk  The first lino print she created was inspired by an olive wood angel figure which she loves.  The detail and the colours she used were perfect, the imperfections in the print are really effective creating an almost aged, weathered look as if it has been on the outside of a church.

Jo’s Angels

Her next image was a dragonfly which she cut with wonderful markings on the body and wings.  She inked it up with jewel  like colours which looks beautiful.

Lino Printed Dragonfly

She then used this lino cut to print onto a cotton bag

Lino printed dragonfly Cotton bag

Carol (read her blog here: http://carolcsstuff.blogspot.co.uk ) had done a lot of work before the workshop deciding on images and it shows in her wonderful birdcage and quirky house prints.  It took time and patience but it was really worth it for the great detail she cut into it.

Carol’s finished House Lino Print

John had played around with images he found in a book and created a wonderful styalised tree that he printed in autumnal colours.

John’s Striking Tree printed tea Towel

The image his lino cut left in the ink was lovely and worth a picture when held up to the light.

Reverse Image in the ink

Barbara created lots of Christmas tags using an image of a seed head which she had cut out to create a small stamp.  It is such a simple idea but so effective.

Lino Printed Christmas tags

She also played around by mixing rubber stamps and her own lino cuts to create this cute little robin.

Lino Print Christmas Robin

An even had time to create this beautiful tea towel.

Lino printed Leaf Tea Towel

Anna created a lovely little patterned stamp. She was using it to practice with the different cutters and seeing what effects she could get out of them.  This is a fantastic way to get used to the cutters but still create a usable image, a lino sampler.

Lino Print Pattern Block

She then got more adventurous and printed this wonderful Angie Lewin inspired flower head lino cut.

Seed head Lino Print

Annette created this cute little robin print which would look lovely on a card.

Bird and Apple Lino Print

She then created this lovely sweeping butterfly cotton bag.

Butterfly lino Print bag

The lovely Lynn (http://www.oneimadeearliertoday.blogspot.co.uk/) who didn’t take part in the workshop this time, still managed to make these lovely little tags in between keeping everybody fed and watered with lots of hot drinks, sandwiches and yummy biscuits.

Lino print Tags

Saturday was a great day from start to finish and I hope everybody enjoyed it as much I enjoyed teaching them.  It was lovely to meet lots of new people and seeing what they created. I hope they carry on with it at home, it is a relatively easy and cheap craft to learn.  You can buy the basics from most craft shops like Fred Aldous in Manchester or shops such as Paperchase as well as online from Amazon and Ebay so everybody can have a go.

Below are the links to some of the groups blogs who have written up a review of the workshop.

Jo’s blog: http://jozartdesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/linocuts-with-left-handed-lucy-in.html

Carol’s blog: http://carolcsstuff.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/lino-cutting-workshop.html

If anyone would like to come to a lino printing workshop I am running 3 over the next few weeks in Wilmslow, Cheshire so get in touch.

Monday 19th is no longer available

Lino Printing Workshop 3rd November

Yesterday we had another very successful lino printing workshop up in Rochdale. Four lovely ladies attended the day including Karen who came to my first workshop back in August and created her beautiful leaf tea towel, also Lynn Holland who has helped out so much with organising the day and promoting the workshops.  There were two new faces this week, Lyn Robinson who creates wonderful artwork and many crafts also Reverend Gillian Peel who makes beautiful quilts and has the most amazing doodle sketchbook of black and white work or zentangling.

Cutting the Lino

We all had a cup of tea and coffee and a little chat, getting to know each other and then it was down to work. I gave a brief introduction to the tools and a quick demonstration how to create a small lino stamp and then it was over to them. I think the best way to learn is just to get going and learn on the job and ask questions whilst you are working.

I brought along a selection of different autumnal leaves, seed heads, holly with berries and feathers for a bit of inspiration.  Both Lyn and Lynn created some wonderful stamps with the holy and berries and are going to make personalised Christmas cards and Lyn even added a pretty little robin which looks so striking printed over the tissue paper back ground.  I am a big fan of mixing medias together.

Lyn’s Robin Print

Lynn’s Printed Christmas Card

Karen had brought along a sketch she had designed prior to the workshop with the idea of printing it on a cotton bag.  The pattern was made up of simplified flowers in a lovely backwards L shaped design.  She started by creating individual stamps which makes the positioning and colours much more flexible.  The end result on the bag was beautiful, the rich colours blended together against the cream bag was stunning.

Karen’s Printed Bag

Karen’s Finished bag

Gillian had never done lino cutting before but from the prints she created you would have thought she had done it many times before.  I love this styalised flower and leaves.

Gillian’s Floral Print

Lyn also had never done lino printing before and she decided to do a lino block of her cat (also called Lucy).  A difficult image, especially for a complete beginner but the result was fantastic.  Even the lino block is a work of art.  The way the blades cut into the lino creates a beautiful soft fur texture that prints so well and it looks fantastic on the cotton bag.

Lyn’s Cat Lucy

Lynn was inspired by a book that I brought along, Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens by Lena Corwin.  She created a great rectangular block with different patterns and marks which is really effective.  Pattern blocks like this make great backgrounds to then overprint if done in a pale colour.

Striking Pattern Prints

It was a great day and everyone produced such a variety of fantastic work and it was hard to believe that they were beginners!  Lino printing is such a fantastic craft, reasonably simple to learn and gives such wonderful and satisfying results.

Below are a couple of write ups of the day.  If any one is interested in attending a lino printing workshop please contact me for more details.  My next will be on Saturday 10th November in Rochdale which is already full but I am running 3 sessions (10am – 2pm) at Dean Row Village Hall, Wilmslow, North Cheshire on the 19th, 23rd November and 3rd December.  Places are still available on all dates at £25 per person all materials and refreshments included. You can contact me via this blog or my e-mail for more information:  woadbutterfly@hotmail.com 

Lyn’s blog and write up of the workshop: http://lyn-everydaylife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/weekend-workshop.html?showComment=1352059661892

Lynn Holland’s blog and write up of the day: http://oneimadeearliertoday.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/lucys-lino-print-workshop.html?showComment=1352056699474

Gillian’s Work in Progress

A selection of Lyn’s days work

Promoting a Workshop

Since doing my first workshop with Lynn Holland in the Summer I loved it so much I wanted to do more. Lynn has been so kind and together we are doing another two workshops in Rochdale this coming Saturday 3rd November and the following Saturday 10th. It has been smooth sailing so far but apart from getting all the materials, designing a plan and then teaching on the day, Lynn has done most of the hard work getting people signed up for them and providing the venue. To be honest I never really thought much about the advertising and promotion of the workshops and have been more concerned with the content and the quality of the actual day……until now.

Hard at work

I am now branching out on my own into unknown territory! Since moving out of Manchester I have had ideas to start workshops in my local area (Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Knutsford) and so I began to make my ideas a reality. Since it is coming up to Christmas, I thought it would be perfect to have a festive themed workshop so I have decided on Print your own Christmas cards; idea one done.
Next, where to host this workshop? I have spent a considerable amount of time trawling on the internet looking at village halls, leisure centres, church halls and school halls amongst others, making lists, comparing prices, hall size, facilities and availability. Eventually I found Dean Row Village hall in Wilmslow http://www.drvh.co.uk/ which looked perfect. I then organised to view the hall to make sure that it would be suitable and after a short correspondence I went last Friday to meet Julia Dean who kindly showed me around. It is a lovely venue, with nice bright rooms so that it will show up printing colours which is important and it has good tea and coffee facilities, a must for any workshop.


I then went home and got out my diary and picked days when I was free and then looked at Dean Row’s booking schedule. It is a very popular venue as I found out and so I was rather limited to days and times that I could book. It was quite time consuming cross referencing diaries and booking forms but eventually I booked three initial dates. I would love to do more but I thought, start with a small amount and see how it goes.
Workshop decided, venue booked, dates booked, now to advertise and get people signed up. This is where I have my downfall, I am quite a shy person and the idea of getting out there and talking to people to promote is pretty scary to me, I just don’t like bothering people. My lovely husband has been so supportive and he just gave me a bit of a talking to and basically said if you go out and try as hard as you can, even if you fail (which you won’t), how much better will you feel than if you didn’t try at all?

Positive head on, I decided to create a flyer on my computer and print it out myself to save money. It took a while to decide on what to put in and what to leave out but I am happy with the outcome. I feel it is inviting and just enough information. Then it was a question of how to get it out there. I actually tried googling (it always has an answer), how to flyer, but nothing really came up that was useful. I just wanted a few pointers of good places to start.

Today I decided to head into Wilmslow and go around shops and different places to see if they would take some flyers or put them up. I started with the library as I thought it is a place where people to go to find out local information. They had an information folder that I could put a flyer in that showed local events so I was off to a good, positive start. I tried a couple of larger shops who were nice but said they couldn’t promote anything that charged, just charities. I did ask if they knew of anywhere I could try and I ended up at a little newsagent, Cards & Candy on Water Street who, for a small fee, will put your advert or flyer in their window. I then went to a few sandwich places and coffee shops and even a stationary shop where I left a few flyers. To be honest I didn’t really know what I was doing but I just stayed confident and asked people nicely, and if they couldn’t help they were always very helpful with telling me places I could try. I ended up walking around for a good few hours and I actually ended up quite enjoying myself, meeting and talking to lots of people. Having only just moved to the area it definitely got me more familiar with the town which was a bonus.

Meeting other creative people I have found that the promotional side of craft and art business is quite often the most difficult part. If you are like me, you are at your happiest lost in your own head designing and creating new pieces and items. Sometimes hours can go by without me realising, all because I have found a great leaf that has inspired a new design. I need to get better at getting out there and getting myself known as I know that no one is just going to stumble upon my work. I have to work hard and actually treat it like a job. It is definitely a very steep learning curve but I am getting there, I am even about to attend my first WI meeting so watch this space.

Some of my Christmas Designs

  • Does anybody have any stories about promoting their art/ craft work?
  • Any Advice for promotion?

I would love to hear from you about your experiences.

Lastly, if anyone is interested in attending one of my workshops at the Dean Row Village Hall in Wilmslow, the dates are;

  • Monday 19th November 10AM – 2PM
  • Friday 23rd November 10AM – 2PM
  • Monday 3rd December 10AM – 2PM

All material are provided as well as lots of tea, coffee and cake.  Please feel free to contact me via this blog or my e-mail woadbutterfly@hotmail.com

A Bit of a Time Out

As you may have noticed by blogs have been rather lacking as of late. It has been a pretty busy couple of months. Firstly, my husband and I have moved house. We have been talking about moving for about 2 years now, getting out of the city and moving further into the country and finally at the end of September we did. You really do not realise how much stuff you have until you have to fill up what feels like a million boxes and then cart then one by one down 6 flights of stairs (we were on the 3rd floor with no lift). We even did a car boot sale and made quite a bit of money to help with the move. It was pretty exhausting but we gave ourselves a week and then on the 29th of September we officially moved.


Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We have moved to Styal Estate in Cheshire. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank-mill/ Looking at my previous blogs I realise I look a little obsessed with The national Trust, well that isn’t going to change anytime soon as now we live on one of their estates and rent our pretty little cottage off them! It is amazing contrast to where we lived previously above a 24hr garage, on the main Manchester to Liverpool road and on the route to Hope Hospital, now we are surrounded by trees, have a view of a thatched cottage from our bedroom and it is black as pitch at night, prefect.
Not long after we moved I went away with my family to Pembrokeshire in Wales. I haven’t been on holiday with my parents and sister for about 19 years, the last being a trip to Norfolk when I was 9 and this time it happened to be over my birthday so perfect! We rented a beautiful cottage right next to Whitesands Bay on St Davids Head. It was so peaceful, I wanted to stay forever.


St Davids Head just happens to be? ……..yes part of The National Trust! I just can’t help myself. It is such a beautiful piece of coastline, I think it rivals coastlines across the world for beauty, rain or shine.


We also went to Pembroke Castle where Henry VII was born, it is a great place to visit and the pretty sea side town of Tenby.  Tenby was my mums choice.  She received a postcard when she was 8 years old from a school friend who stayed there and she always wanted to go and now about 50 years later we all went.

We went for a lovely walk around Stackpole Estate, National Trust again I’m afraid. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stackpole/ It is gorgeous, especially at the moment in Autumn with all the colourful leaves, I think it was one of my favorite places we visited. Emma and I were lagging behind for most of the walk, taking photos.  I have a little obsession with seeds, berries and dead plants at the moment so I was quite often found in odd positions crouching in the bushes!


Every where you looked was another picture postcard view. There are about 30miles of paths, we walked around the lily ponds (Bosherston Lakes) and down to Broadhaven South, a beautiful beach at the tip of the lakes. I definitely want to come back and walk around more.


St Davids itself is lovely. It has a similar feel to places in Cornwall such as St Ives. It has got a great artist and crafter community and has exhibitions at the tourist Information. I loved artist Sarah Earl. Her paintings and prints are beautiful and dreamlike. I even found a print that showed where we stayed (on the painting below, our cottage is the one on the far right). http://www.sarahearl.co.uk/

20 May morning on the coast path above Whitesands

Now I am back I need to get on with creating and blogging more regularly. I will be starting new printing workshops in the local areas of Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Knustford in time for Christmas as well as creating more hand printed and embroidered items in my shops, I will keep you all posted.

A day Trip to Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire

Fountains Abbey

A few weeks ago I went with my family to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water Garden in North Yorkshire which is looked after by the National Trust and is also a World Heritage Site. It is a really beautiful pace not far from the town of Ripon. It was a lovely sunny day and when we got there the car park was packed and we ended up in the over flow. I started to think that it wouldn’t be that nice walking around with such a large crowd.

My family have always been National Trust members since my sister and I were very little and I have great memories of visiting a variety of South West properties when I was little. There was though, always a shadow that lingered over our family days out as we would always end up at a garden centre on our way home which me and my sister both hated, unless there was a good playground!

Back at Fountains we went through the entrance and walked down a grassy hill towards a line of trees and as we came down out of the trees the ruined abbey came into sight and it is breath taking. It is such a beautiful place in an amazing location. It incorporates 800 acres of land so my worries about being over crowed dissipated.

We went to a little information centre (the Porters Lodge) where there was a scale model of the Abbey and detailed history of its life. It started in 1132 with 13 monks who came to live a simpler life and ended 400 years later when Henry VIII demanded its closure.

I was pretty excited when I found there was a chance to dress up. I defiantly don’t need to be asked twice to don a costume so I was straight in with dressing up as a monk and even roped in a rather embarrassed sister as well!

A Little Dressing Up

We then walked around the ruins which are huge, the largest in the country. As you walk through the ruined arches and doorways it is hard to imagine just how it looked in its prime but if it is that amazing as a ruin then it must have been a truly fantastic sight at its height.

As you walk away from the Abbey you start walking beside the River Skell and into the Studley Royal Water Garden. It was designed in the early 18th century by John Aislabie. He wanted to impress visitors to his Yorkshire estate and so began to turn the wooded valley of the river Skell into one of England’s most spectacular Georgian water gardens.

Studley Water Gardens

We walked all the way to the tea rooms where we had a lovely cream tea with clotted cream! Coming from Devon, I always took it for granted that all cream teas came with clotted cream but since living in the North I have found this is not the case with many being served with whipped cream. It is definitely not the same.

It is such a beautiful place to take your family or just to come for a peaceful walk. Next time I think it would be lovely to bring a picnic or maybe come when it is a lot colder and frosty, I am sure that it looks stunning in all seasons.

http://www.fountainsabbey.org.uk
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey

Who Has any Unfinished Projects?

I know I can’t be the only one that starts an art or craft project and then doesn’t finish it.  Mine is a painting that I started maybe 4 years ago.

That is a long time.  I went with my boyfriend (now husband!) to Rome and had a great idea for a painting of the Colosseum.  I took varoius black and white and colour photos of the building at different angles and when I got home, put them together to create a collage effect.

The Photo Collage

 I then numbered each photo so I could remember where they went and sketched onto a 76cm x 60cm canvas.  I think that it stayed as a pencil drawing for at least a year.

The Pencil Beginnings

I then started to paint it which ended up taking another 2 years.  I put it away as I wasn’t happy with it and then last year I found it and started thinking about it again.

The Drawing Becomes a Painting

I decided it needed some embroidery and so the slow process of hand embroidering poppies, wheat and seed heads started and I still haven’t finished it.

Embroidered Poppy

 I am hoping that by sharing it with you, it will give me the motivation to finish it once and for all.

The Current Stage of the painting

My Lovely Weekend

This weekend has been really wonderful.  I drove on Saturday morning to visit my sister Emma and a friend Gems, in the lovely village of Mobberley in Cheshire.  After a refreshing cup of tea we decided to head over to Alderley Edge for a walk in the sunshine. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/alderley-edge.

Image It was lovely walking through all the trees and we sat down on the stone peak which has the most beautiful views over the Cheshire Plain to the Peak District.

Image

It was so peaceful just sat in the sunshine and there were quite a few like minded people scattered around, I could have sat there for hours.  After, we went for a another cup of tea at the Wizard tea Rooms where I had a very tasty apple and plum pie.

Yesterday (Sunday)  I went over to Stockport Handmade and Producers Market which was being held in the Old Indoor Market Hall on the 3rd Sunday of every month.

My Stall at the Stockport Handmade and Producers Market

Although I didn’t do brilliantly, I still had a great day and I met some lovely people.  My stall was next to Jeanette Archers beautiful collection of handmade baby and children’s clothing, Flossie’s Garden, made with both designer and her own printed fabrics. Visit her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Flossies-Garden

Opposite was Sara Robinson of The Purple Robin who makes really great colourful and fun camera straps and bags http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePurpleRobin

Also Wick and Wax who makes great crayons based on the nations favourite toys (the Lego shapes were my favorite) and cult classic movies as well as lovely candles of which I got 3 different fragrances.  http://folksy.com/shops/SubLimeCrayons

Even if you don’t always get the profit you are aiming for it is the people you meet that can make the difference.  And now it is back to reality and the working week!