Tag Archive | craft

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

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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

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.

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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!

Everybody loves a Cosy Blanket

With all the wonderful weather we are having in the UK at the moment, there is nothing better than sitting under a nice cosy blanket or quilt, with a warming cup of tea and a good book or a great movie. I love blankets; they can really make your home feel…. homely. If you are in a rental they can make even the ugliest sofa beautiful and they can also become a wonderful heirloom to pass down the generations.

Blankets can be made from anything, knitted or crochet, patchwork, quilted, woven, plaited the possibilities are endless. Blankets of all kinds have such amazing history.

Mariner’s Compass Quilt, Pennsylvania c.1840/1850

Take the American quilts for example. After the War of Independence, American cotton manufacturers found it difficult to compete with European and British imports and textiles were expensive so small scraps were used in geometric shapes to create quilts. By the mid 19th century designing a patchwork quilt had become one of the major forms of domestic folk art. Traditionally an American girl should have up to 12 quilts in her ‘hope chest’ with a 13th being her Bride’s quilt. Quilting blankets became a major social event with ‘Quilting Bee’s’ taking place where pioneer women who lived far apart would meet up (Betterton 1982: 7-8).

Another wonderful type of blanket is the Welsh Quilt or Carthens. All are woven on a Dobby loom, two different pieces of cloth being woven together to form a double cloth. These are heavy blankets weighing over 2 kilos. The most recognisable of Welsh blankets were made across Wales from C18th. Some are still produced at the few surviving Mills such as Rock Mill Capel Dewi , Middle Mill sova and Tregwynt in Pembrokeshire. (http://www.welshblankets.co.uk).

I love making blankets of all kinds and so am sharing a few of my creations here with you so you can see my eclectic love of craft. I will never be able to choose one favourite crafting method, every time I look in a book, read a craft magazine or browse another crafters blog I find a new technique I want to try out and end up loving. Crochet, patchwork, quilting are all methods I love. I am not a great knitter and a blanket would probably take years not days. My next aim is to learn more about weaving. My mum can both spin and weave so I may have to go to her for a few handy tips to start me off.

First to crochet.

My first crochet project

The above blanket was my first ever crochet project. I taught myself so that I could teach a friend. I found it incredibly difficult as I am left handed and therefore have to reverse all of the instructions you find in books. The left handed crafter is definitely at a disadvantage when it comes to craft books and guides. This blanket I started and just kept adding to it and ended up with a huge double blanket but I was so happy with it and it now has pride of place on my sofa.

The current crochet blanket project

This second one is still a work in progress. I found it in a magazine and loved the pattern so much that I decided to make it. It is great as you can use all your wool odds and ends as no two squares have to be the same so very economical!

A crochet Present

Third is a blanket I made my parents for Christmas, I love the colours together.

Patchwork.

A Personal Memory Blanket

This is one of my favourite blankets I have ever made. I made it in January this year for my sister Emma’s 30th birthday. The idea is that of a memory quilt. I cut out 30 squares of different fabrics, some with meaning such as the tartan of our school kilt, some of Emma’s old clothes and some of my grans fabrics and then embellished them.

Our school kilt tartan

Some square have embroidery with significant words, dates and occasions.

Embroidered Personal Details

Others have photographs printed on or appliqué.

Felt Storm Clouds and Ballet Shoes

I left a few plain as I didn’t want to overload it. It is a warm blanket as inside is a layer of wadding and it is backed in a plum coloured cotton. It fits a double bed so pretty large but I wanted it to make an impact when I gave it to her.

Quiting.

Personalised Quilted Blanket

This blanket I was commissioned to do as a present for a baby. Both the pillow and the quilt are personalised with the little girl’s name. The client said that I could design the blanket myself with anything the only instructions being that it had to be pink and girly, hope fully the finished blanket achieved this. I loved doing this project, I think creating something with a personal touch that you know someone will treasure is such a wonderful thing for a crafter or artist.

Has anyone else made a blanket or quilt? What is your favourite crafty method? Let me know your latest blanket project.

If you are interested in commissioning a blanket please feel free to contact me to discuss it further, I am always happy to hear from you.

A few References

Betterton, S 1982 Quilts and Coverlets London:L Butler & Tanner Ltd

Kort, E 2008 Wisconsin Quilts: History in the Stitches Krause

A wonderful website and business about Welsh blankets run by Jane beck. Although not a weaver herself, she is interested in the social history associated with the industry, there is so much information on the website so take a look. http://www.welshblankets.co.uk

An interesting little article about the Whitney Blanket http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/g_IeloABTraJ_FvU0m1elg

Ordsall Hall Summer Garden Party

This past weekend on 1st July I was at the Summer Garden Party held at the beautiful Ordsall Hall in Salford. I found out about this event from the blog site http://www.collettecostello.co.uk


The last time I went to visit Ordsall was in 2009 just before they closed it for refurbishment; it opened again May last year (2011). This Garden party was held for the first time last year and so this year I decided to apply for a stall and luckily got a place.

Typically, when I woke up in the morning it was tipping it down with rain. I swear I have a weather curse when it comes to attending fairs. My first ever craft fair back in February was the one day it snowed, and nearly every other one so far this year, it has rained, but I was not to be put off.
When I got there at 11am it was spitting and really windy but we all set up regardless, unsure of whether anyone would turn up. As we were getting our stalls ready, I heard the strange sound of bleating sheep coming from somewhere, not the normal sounds of Salford. They were setting up a pen with sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and ducks for kids to come and see and handle so hopefully with all the different attractions it would be good.
There were about 10 craft stalls selling a range of products from glass to photographs and knitted items. There was a great array of different crafts and no two were the same so as the visitors walked around they would have a brilliant choice of products to buy.

Some of the stalls at the fair

I was really happy with my stall and I think it was my best lay out to date. I recently brought a large wicker basket to keep my fabric in and decided that I would bring it to put my cushions in and it worked brilliantly. It got them off the table where they normally take up a lot of room.

My new wicker basket

My Stall

The fair opened at 12pm and the first few people trickled in. As the day got going a lot of people came through and it turned into a really great day. The weather still wasn’t brilliant and it was freezing stood still but it was worth it. It was great to talk to lots of different people and I got loads of lovely comments about my work. The first thing to go was one of my embroidered needle cases which I had only finished the day before. My owl doorstops were also a great seller.

My new hand embroidered needle cases

There were people working for the hall dressed in Tudor costume wandering about with buckets collecting donations towards the hall, people selling strawberries and cream, homemade chilli and a tent showing you how to make little wands with willow. Inside the hall was a brass band which we could hear from outside and lots of events for the children to enjoy. As expected the sun came out as we were packing up but it finished off an enjoyable day rather nicely.

A little bit of history for you.


Ordsall Hall is a Grade 1 listed historic house in Salford, Lancashire. It dates back over 820 years, the oldest parts still surviving today date back to around the 15th century. It is one of only 8 comparable grade 1 listed timber framed buildings in Lancashire and is one of the finest records of construction techniques and materials of its kind in the North West of England.

The Great Hall Window

Today I went back to get a few more photos for this blog and luckily I was the only visitor there and got a guided tour of the house by one of the fabulous volunteers. It was truly fascinating and you can even go up into the roof space which you couldn’t before and see all the wood work and timber frame construction. It was first the family seat of the Radclyffe family for over 300 years and when they sold it in 1662 it has since been a working men’s club and a church hall among other things. The building was brought by Salford City Council in 1959, and opened to the public in 1972, as a local museum. They have done an amazing job since I was last at the hall and hopefully they get lots more visitors through the doors, I definitely recommend it and it is free entry.

Door detail showing the old and the new

If you want to find out a bit more about Ordsall have a look at these sites:

• The official Salford Council website: http://www.salford.gov.uk/ordsallhall 
• A brief history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordsall_Hall 
• Textile artist Rosie James was commissioned by Salford City Council to create a textile artwork to hang in the Great Hall. For the Ordsall Tapestry she used machine stitch, screen-printing, appliqued recycled fabrics, digitally printed fabrics and some computerised machine embroidered elements. It incorporates images of the local people of the Ordsall area alongside the historic characters who once lived in the hall. It is a wonderful piece: http://www.salford.gov.uk/rosie-james
• You can even go on a ghost hunt at Ordsall hall: http://www.hauntedhappenings.co.uk/ghost_hunts/Ordsall_Hall.php

Bovey Tracey Contemporary Craft Festival

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My Craft Festival guide a little dirty after falling in the mud!

The Contemporary Craft festival in the small Devon town of Bovey Tracy on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, has been going now for 9 years. I have wanted to go for the past couple of years but haven’t been able to but this year I finally made it.

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The Craft Festival entrance with very ominous black clouds.

My parents live in a neighbouring village so I had a perfect base. The festival runs for three days (this year 15-17 June) and is crammed full of some of the most amazing artists of all kinds, weaver, potters, furniture makers, silver workers and so many more.

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Emma with some amazing life size wire sculptures

I went with my mum and sister not knowing quite what to expect and ended up spending nearly 5 hours wandering around looking at all the nearly 200 exhibitors.

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The many cards I picked up

Everywhere you looked there was another amazing stall and it was a lot of fun despite the rain. They ran a large kids craft tent for them to have a go at various crafts including weaving on a loom. Other workshops were going on in various tents including mono printing and a demonstration of glass blowing.

Some of the work was absolutely stunning and my definite favourite of the whole day were the pictures by wirework artist Helaina Sharpley, her work was truly beautiful. Her work incorporates everything related to tea and tea drinking http://www.helainasharpley-wirework-artist.co.uk/ I wanted to buy every piece.

I managed to restrain myself from buying much and settled for getting two copies of the wonderful Selvedge magazine and two cards from ceramic and enamel artist Janine Partington http://janinepartington.co.uk/ .

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Emma (my sister) brought a lovely bowl from Jane Booth http://www.janeboothceramics.co.uk/site/

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 My mum got a pretty planter and saucer from Penny Simpsons Country Range. http://pennysimpsonceramics.co.uk/ .

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For lunch we went to the Bovey Devon Guild of Craftsmen for lunch. http://www.crafts.org.uk/ I always love going there, loads more crafts and art from 250 South West based makers. There is also a lovely cafe serving delicious local food. It is housed in an old mill building with the wheel still in situ.

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The water wheel at the Craft Guild

The Guild was founded in 1955 by Devon based furniture-maker Edward Baly and a group of enthusiastic people who wanted to promote the best in local craftwork. From the original 18 the Devon Guild of Craftsmen has now over 240 members of the best crafts people in the South West.  We go almost every time I visit my parents and I never get bored as there are always new exhibitions taking place.  The next is ‘Reaching For Gold’ (30th June – 2nd September) and has links and inspiration from the Olympics.

There are so many things to do in the surrounding area and after a bit of lunch one of my favorite things is to head up to the moors and walk to some of the wonderful dramatic tors.

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Haytor Rock, just up the road from Bovey Tracey in the beautiful Dartmoor National Park

I will definitely be back to the Craft Festival next year and this time I will be saving up my money so that I can splash out on whatever treasures I find.