Wednesday 30 November 2016

York Makers Christmas Fair - Saturday 3 December 2016

It's getting very exciting because on Saturday it's the York Makers Christmas Fair which is always a lovely event! So, I thought I'd give you a little reminder that it's on and show you a few new things that I've been making this week...
Liberty print fabric necklaces

Ceramic button brooches

Colourful hairclips - always a good stocking filler

especially in Christmas colours!

in fact there's quite a few Christmassy things...

Cards, tags, robin brooches (wire & woolly) and hairclips

and, also, a selection of favourites.  Of course there'll be lots more to see.  You'll find - Lucy Monkman Illustration, What's to be Done with Her, By Helen, Wonderful Weaselworks, Greenhart and Kind, Joanna Wakefield Jewellery, Kate Semple Design Illustration, Petra Bradley Prints, West Plum Studio, James Neath, Skullduggery Ceramics, NC Avenue, Elly Jules, Lin Taylor Art, Feathertop, The Cutii Company, Rosalind Dando, Catherine Boyne Whitelegg Pottery, Lesia Davidson, Sugarley Love, Lovingly Crafted by Lauren, Emma Bracegirdle Textiles, Walter & May and importantly Clements Hall will have their lovely cafe too!

Why not pop in and do some Christmas shopping - 10am to 4pm on Saturday 3 December 2016 at Clements Hall, Nunthorpe Road, York, YO23 1BW.  (You can find a map here.)  

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Craft-y-Crawl - Sunday 27 November 2016

It's that time of year when thoughts turn to Christmas shopping - well, there is only about a month to go! So I thought I'd tell you about an event I'm involved in that could solve all your Christmas shopping worries.  On Sunday 27 November 2016 from 12 to 4pm in the South Bank area of York, a Craft-y-Crawl has been organised by Planet South Bank.  
Wooden brooches - Hippystitch

Felt necklaces - Hippystitch

Makers will be exhibiting and selling crafts of all types in their own homes. It's a great way to explore the wealth of creative talent in the South Bank area of York, support independent businesses, makers and hobby groups and get your Christmas gift shopping done. You're sure to find unique pieces - and meet some lovely locals! 
Ceramic brooches - Hippystitch

On Wentworth Road you will find Hippystitch and Lucy Monkman with jewellery, cards & stationery. Then you can pop next door and see Sue Dennis, Ruth & Meredith with cards, cushions & accessories. In fact why not do the whole trail.  You can find a map here and a full list of participants here.

Christmas Cards - Lucy Monkman
Bookmarks - Lucy Monkman

Maps and leaflets with the trail details and participating addresses are also available from Sainsburys, Pextons, Millie's and Frankie and Johnny’s on Bishopthorpe Road, York and from The Golden Ball in Bishophill.  

Pocket mirrors - Lucy Monkman

Do come along we'd love to see you!

Sunday 20 November 2016

"Away, Away" - Julie Arkell at the Harley Gallery

Tiny Pond - Julie Arkell
Julie Arkell currently has an exhibition at the Harley Gallery.  This is a rare treat so if you can get to see it, don't hesitate! Julie is a textile and mixed media artist who creates whimsical folk art inspired scenes.  Her creations are made from papier-mâché and have knitted and handstitched garments or features and are embellished with handstitched phrases.

Comfort List - Julie Arkell
Away - Julie Arkell

Ponds - Julie Arkell

The Pond Looks Deep - Julie Arkell

"Away, Away" has grown from her exhibition "Away" which was shown at the Ruthin Craft Centre in 2014 for which Julie made 100 creatures.  Julie says that since then her collection of nature books has grown, mentioning "Pond Life", "British Birds' Eggs and Nests" & "Woodland Trees".   You can see the influences of these in her work - some of her characters now have their own ponds and fantastically some of the trees and characters have knitted shadows and there is even a knitted strip of land.  There are birds' eggs, books and twigs - all sorts of "collections"

What's hidden behind... - Julie Arkell
Trees - Julie Arkell

A strip of land - Julie Arkell
A Shadow for Myself - Julie Arkell
On Fragile Ground - Julie Arkell

Large Knitted Crow Shadows - Julie Arkell

The shapes of the large knitted crow shadows were made from tracings of actual shadows from some of Julie's crow figures.

Birds' Eggs Illustration - Julie Arkell

Twigs & Books - Julie Arkell

Matchbox collections - Julie Arkell
The bird that refused to fly - Julie Arkell

It is impossible to not be fascinated by her vignettes and to wonder about their stories.

Owls - Julie Arkell

Long live the glorious crow - Julie Arkell
Saints - Julie Arkell
Becoming Jane Eyre - Julie Arkell

I wish I'd been kinder - Julie Arkell
Houses have secrets - Julie Arkell
Julie's brooches displayed in Hotel D'Angleterre

The Harley Gallery is situated on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire.  There is ample car parking and a cafe close by. 

Note: It is also handy for Hope & Elvis, where Louise Presley curates a fantastic range ot textile and mixed media workshops, run by leading artists and makers.

This exhibition is on until 8 January 2017.  Go see!

Sunday 13 November 2016

Tom of Holland at Hope & Elvis

It's always a joy to go to Hope & Elvis.  Before your workshop begins there are so many interesting things to look at...

Beautiful boats
Captivating cardi

...and then you get to learn something new.  This workshop was taken by Tom of Holland, (though currently living in Brighton), who is a staunch advocate of visible mending.  Tom provides mending inspiration and skills to help curb the trend towards throwaway fashion.  Tom wants you to keep your favourite garment and enhance it with visible mends, wearing them like a "badge of honour".
Tom of Holland

Our workshop concentrated on repairing woven materials but the day before they were working on woollen items. It was great to see some of those examples too...

These would brighten up a boring jumper
Repairing all those holes has added a new dimension to this jumper

Moving onto the woven fabrics, Tom had some beautifully repaired tea towels...

Beautifully patched tea towels

There were some interesting books and equipment to browse through too...

Lots of "Make do & Mend" ideas
Advice from the 1950s - I've often found I'm fearful of that visitor that might find me not neatly put together!

And then we were ready to go...

I choose to do my stitching in orange so it was easy to see the good & the bad!
Tips for neatness when oversewing - fold those edges together

So what did we attempt?  Napery hem, fell stitch or running hem, slip stitch, herringbone, flannel patch, a hemmed patch & a hand stitched buttonhole

Finished samples, stitching in orange, basting in pink

I rather like the coloured stitching - even the basting, which I haven't taken out so I know where it goes for future reference!

I was happy with my first attempts though I shall need to practise those buttonholes!  Thanks, Tom!

Monday 7 November 2016

David Shrigley's Really Good

Really Good - David Shrigley

On a trip to the Big City (London) recently, I popped along to Trafalgar Square to have a look at the Fourth Plinth's latest offering.  I found David Shrigley's "Really Good".  This is a seven metre high bronze thumbs up, weighing 4.5 tonnes, with a dark patina like the other statues in the Square

Really Good - David Shrigley + Pigeon

It's the 11th commission in the Fourth Plinth programme, unveiled on 29 September 2016.  David Shrigley (b. 1968) currently lives in Brighton and much of his work is satirical reflecting on the absurdity of society.

Really Good - David Shrigley

The thumb is abnormally long and the whole thing is meant to be an antedote to all the current gloom and doom (economy, weather, society) and encourage us to be more positive.  We could all do with that!