Tag Archive | art

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

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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.

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

A Trip to Bridlington and Bridlington Priory

Having fun at the Seaside

This weekend I went with my husband, sister and her boyfriend and a couple of other friends to the seaside town of Bridlington in East Yorkshire.  My husbands parents rent a seaside flat there and we took advantage of a free weekend to head to the beach.  After a very rainy drive over there the weekend turned out to be sunny and warm for a change.  The flat is lovely and the front room overlooks the sandy beaches and with the windows open you can hear the calming sounds of the waves breaking along the beach.

The Beach

It really felt like we were on holiday and it was a proper stress free weekend.  We went out for drinks, fish and chips, walked around the town and visited some amazing antique and second hand shops up in the old town.  Down by the harbor some of us went for a speed boat ride and all the boys had a go on the roller coaster – Mad Mouse!  All nicely rounded off by a cold cider in the pub.

One of the places we visited was Bridlington Priory.  The priory was founded around 1113AD by Walter de Gant.  The monastery was one of the earliest and largest Augustinian houses in the country and was very wealthy.

Founding the Priory

In the time of Henry VIII came the Dissolution of the Monasteries, where Henry broke with the Catholic Church and established himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England.  Many of the religious houses in Britain, such as monasteries and abbeys, were closed down including Bridlington Priory which was dissolved in 1537.

Panel Showing the Dissolution of the Priory

 Very quickly, within a few years, most of the once great building had been destroyed, with a lot of the stone going to build the harbor in the town. Only the nave survived to serve as the Parish Church which is what you can visit today.

The tapestry

Inside a tapestry has been created that maps the history of the Priory.  It is an amazing piece of art to look at.  In 1994, some ladies at Bridlington Priory decided to make a tapestry depicting the major events in its life.  By Christmas 1995, 12 panels, each 5ft by 4ft were almost complete.

The set of tapestries includes over 140 human figures, each built like a doll, then sewn to the backing.

Detail of a panel

Materials used include: leather, hessian, linen, wool, cord, fleece, velvet, yarn, ribbon, cheesecloth, cellophane, suede, silk, satin, corduroy, milium, fur fabric, lurex, balsa wood, raspberry cane, net, aluminium, and feathers.

Some of the Fabric and ideas used

My Favorite Panel

The Bridlington Priory Website:  http://www.bridlingtonpriory.co.uk

Read a brief overview of the dissolution of the monasteries: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/tudors/reformation_overview_01.shtml

The bridlington website: http://www.bridlington.co.uk

The Sun Shining on the Sea

 

Lino Print Inspiration

I had such a positive reaction to my lino cut tutorial I posted earlier this week. I hope that I have inspired a few of you to have a go for yourselves. To give you a bit of inspiration I have found a few prints to show you from some of the amazing sellers on Folksy. These are all one tone prints like the one that I did, I hope you like them.

This beautiful spring daffodil print Billet Doux by Emma Higgins.

http://folksy.com/items/3261594-Daffodil-Lino-Print

I love the striking colour of this flower print by Art by Jools Yasities
http://folksy.com/items/3164270-Turquoise-Garden-Lino-Print

Such a simple but very effective balloon design by Anne Thomas of thelinoprinter
http://folksy.com/items/3124914-Balloons-Original-Lino-Print-Purple

The effect of the light in this woodland print is so amazing even in just a black and white print by Vanillaa
http://folksy.com/items/3104050-Through-the-Woods-Lino-cut-

This little badger print is so cute by Nina Martel of Martell Mundo
http://folksy.com/items/2971414-Badger-Lino-Print-Card-Any-Occassion-

Something a little more abstract by Alison Gibson of SkyBlueView Jewellery and Art
http://folksy.com/items/3086990-Squares-grey-black-graphic-abstract-acrylic-lino-print

These are just a small selection of the different types of one tone lino prints that you can create. If you love the images produced from lino cuts but are not ready to become an obsessive lino printer yourself why not check out these wonderful artists and many more on Folksy http://folksy.com and support British handmade.

A Sunny Sunday Craft Fair

Yesterday I attended a craft fair at the Last Drop Village near Bolton.  It is a lovely venue, a collection of Georgian farm building which have been made into a hotel and spa with a tea shop and gallery.  My lovely sister Emma came with me to help me out though I think she spent a lot of her time in a queue getting cups of tea.

I met a lot of really lovely fellow crafters and in particular Lynn Holland who does the most lovely illustrations including her cute Doodly Birds collection.  Check out her wonderful blog where she has been kind enough to include a photo of one of my cake stands that she brought off me yesterday.  There is also a link to her Etsy shop, full of wonderful goodies.

Image

http://oneimadeearliertoday.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/oh-no-i-spent-my-profits-on-cake-stand.html?showComment=1333355562931#c2211558179542861471

I love this wedding guest book, perfect for the coming wedding season: http://www.etsy.com/listing/93139600/hand-ilustrated-wedding-guest-book

Yesterday was the best I have done at a craft fair to date.  The last two were definitely more of a learning curve but were still invaluable experience.  Yesterday was the first time that I got my selling hat on a got to grips with properly talking to people and interacting and not waiting for people to ask me things.  I can be a very shy person but I really enjoyed bantering with customers and fellow stall holders and getting more confident and it definitely makes a huge difference to sales.  Also a big tip is standing up, don’t sit down when customers come over it makes a huge difference, it is easier to interact with people if you are on eye level with them.

I have woken up today feeling really good about getting going with my crafty business and planning where I go from here so watch this space……