present laughter


download (2)Okay DRUM ROLL PLEASE big news this month is I’ve been awarded artist in residence at Chichester Festival Theatre  and I am rather excited about it TO SAY THE LEAST!!!!!  As well as getting to meet lots of great people and be inspired by this wonderful theatre to produce some artwork, I will be based in the props department and get to work on props as well as an indepth look behind the scenes at the theatre over the next three months – another bonus is I get to see lots of great plays.  The work I produce in response to the residency will be exhibited at the theatre to celebrate Festival 2018  in the autumn…..might be some teasers beforehand too.. I haven’t made up my mind yet.….it’s all up to me……Fantastic OR WHAT!!!  I can’t tell you how great it is!!! There is a world of possibilities!! First day is officially next Monday!!!

Meanwhile I sent off some trees for the thread bearing witness project…really pleased how they turned out.   Sorry now pics at picture stuff is driving me mad.. I really can’t work out rhyme or reason of how pictures are saved to my computer..aaargh…

Went to illustrated talk by Gill Clarke, Visiting Professor and Curator at  Otter Gallery, University of Chichester on Women in the Land Army at Petersfield library  – of interest as I have just started to work on my medal and heart for 100 hearts exhibition with the Embroiderer’s Guild – Exhibition later in the Year.

I also attended a conference on the People of the Heath – the dig has now drawn to a close for the present but there is a book, art work and exhibitions in the offing – watch this space.

Heath Instagram

Liverpool delivered again with a great exhibition at the Walker Gallery Singh Twins. Loved it!!!

Image result for singh twins
Singh Twins   – Indigo the Colour Of India

I have also been popping in to Pallant House   in Chichester when I can.. I enjoyed the Delonghi room which is currently showing work by textile designer Sheila Bownas (1925—2007), a supplier to Liberty London and Marks & Spencer who remained relatively unknown until an archive of her work surfaced recently at auction. Her colourful patterns capture the optimism of the post-war era.  One of the many textile designers…female unsung and unrecognised.  Interesting that such an influential art form does not celebrate the mainly female designers – funny that????

Sheila Bownas, SB159, circa 1950-59|
Sheila Bownas

I also enjoyed the work of  British painter Leonard Rosoman RA (1913 – 2012)  –  ‘A Patriot for Me’ –  John Osbourne’s play – is seen  in a series of works not shown together since the 1970s. This is the first museum show of Rosoman’s work for over 30 years.  Loved it!!!

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Leonard Rosoman, Portrait with Candelabra: George Devine as Baron von Epp, 1968, Acrylic on canvas, 101.2 x 76.2 cm,

Lots of childcare over Easter. As well as too many Easter eggs but managed to fit in lots of sneaky studio time too….handy having it in the garden as I can disappear at regular intervals and just keep running back up to the house to provide snacks and sustenance  at the required times. Well when I remember!!!OOPS!   Works in progress….


Did a life drawing class too………


and so finally  ….the month  ended with a taste of textiles for Liss in Stiches on Saturday……where I ran a workshop on Kantha Stitching ..very similar to Sashiko, and also, I learned,Durham Quilting. Isn’t it great how these stitching traditions all over the world are integrally linked.. I really like the simple-ness of the running stitch and have been experimenting in my own work with it…..I met some really interesting people.. I love the power of hand stitching bringing people together…it has a real qualities when it draws people together and you have many interesting conversations.. .. I learnt about my little pony!!!  don’t ask!!)  Kerala in India and Cat stitches – evidently they are BAD!!!


Meanwhile at Liss is Stiches we had an amzing  morsebagging evening!  we made about 80 count at ext months meeting.  It was a really enjoyable evening ….definitely need more machines if I’m going to run a sweat shop……20180227_104859

PS Really looking forward to Brockenhurst Fiesta this weekend …hope to see you there..I will be upstairs showing some of my latest work (and staying with you Sarah…..!) off to finalise my packing as I’m flat out for the rest of the week..see you there…

PPS Over and out……..

PPPS noel and me… have to click this..I thought it was funny anyway!!haven’t worked out how to negotiate back tot his page though so of it works your have to log back into my site..not good!!! .which is why i have put it at the end!! BYE!  this is why I am doing a website course at University!  Its really hard!!!


Light bulb!
Actually I feel a bit more like a minion having a light bulb moment than a person who goes thru catharsis but there you go…..anyway have decided I need a definate action plan and need to totally chuck myself into this art business with a bit more aplomb…I am a fantastic procrastinator…it is rather time consuming and tiring looking for leads but it sure beats the 9-5 any day. (also him indoors is quite good at this so need to capitalise..)….I really Would hate to wake up one day and think if only……anyway week one of my cunning plan…


  • I’m in print…..thank you Embroiderers Guild (see above) I _am in contact magazine
  • two shops in Petersfield have my work on sale in their shops…’stuff’ on Chapel Street  and ‘White and Rees’ on Lavant Street
  • I have signed up to being involved in an artist project for ‘People of the Heath’ which will begin with an exhibition in Petersfield in the autumn*

People of the Heath.docx*People of the Heath….A community project hosted by Petersfield Museum to understand and conserve Petersfield’s prehistoric barrows.  A four-year project  focussed on a remarkable but little-known prehistoric monument complex on the edge of Petersfield dating to the Early Bronze Age.This large group of barrows  has seen no active research since it was mapped in the 1930s and it is one of the most impressive and diverse barrow cemeteries to have survived in south-east England.

  • had a fab day with Ruth smith making books….my first love….
  • and room6 have an exhibition confirmed at the ICHF next year……

ok lets back track….thank you for the pep talk Sarah… this is my self realisation week……I will be more proactive …look at the fantastic things that have happened since Wednesday…and my big decision, also looking at going back to uni to finish my degree..appointment made with tutor…tick

him indoors gets  me to go and talk to Dr Kathrin Pieren re the people of the Heath project…and it sounds fab….what a gift for an artist.. I have started my sketch book already…. I know I am a bit sad but hey it’s what I love..tick

get lovely book and card from mad Canadian pressie for my scholarship …which I put to good use immediately by starting my Heath project in it…is that serendipity? Tick

get my glass cut for beautiful old frame for my cell work piece for Eastleigh Exhibition..nearly finished all my pieces now..big tick

Friday-and saturday go to the Petersfield dig….really is a gift got loads of ideas for the exhibition…..tick

spend so long with a friend purloining free fabric that I arrive extremely late at son’s school fair which consequently as the kids are done spending …almost….only  costs me a fiver..big tick

meet  glasto girl  to try out camp beds…we working Glastonbury …going to search out Kurt Jackson. I am working in a food tent….!!!! I must be mad!

Ps does any one want a lift to Glastonbury ?  I am leaving Petersfield at ridiculous o’clock a week on on Wednesday.. and have a big car …

And so to  my fantastic workshop with Ruth Smith… making folded secrets books. Or zhen Xiang bao . I first came across Ruth at world textile day earlier this year ( and Alison Hulme  if you are reading this that indigo home top needs to go to Glastonbury…you know it makes sense…) a wonderfully inspirational day.

If you are in the vicinity of Southampton or can book Ruth  to come to! You will not be disappointed! Or if you if you can’t,  buy her project books or her book on the  ZHen Xian bao.  I had such a lovely time.  Ruth is an amazingly generous tutor and has a wealth of information about these beautiful historic artefacts… she has gathered some beautiful examples from her travels in China talking to the Miao people….as well as the gorgeous ones she has made herself….let’s hope that her enthusiasm helps to revive this dying art… was lovely to hear her talk about these lovely treasures…. her book on this folk art is currently being translated into Chinese!


I will post a photo of  my finished work……lovely to see all the different ideas and potential of these beautiful books …mine is  a work in progress…not nearly as beautiful as Ruth’s or the other participants….but I hope it will be….

my efforts….imageimageimage

some beautiful old books that Ruth has gathered from her travels…….imageimageimageimage

Phew I am quite exhausted..and I did a workshop with 30 children today which was fab!!!…. No photo sorry forgot my iPad!! …. textile art inspired by Turner…..I think I will need a week to recover!  No chance as I have bags to make, a dress to finish and I still need to look for more opportunities to make my art work!  Help!!!

Ps See you on Friday,  Sarah for ‘Made’ at West Dean