Category Archives: Inspiration

hand stitch

Texture & Pattern Online workshop

pattern & texture

My new online Texture & Pattern course in conjunction with my sons Joe & Sam from Textileartist.org is open for registration until 23/06/17.

The course is all about focusing in and pushing the potential of just a few basic textile techniques (like hand stitch and appliqué), so you feel empowered to develop a visual vocabulary that is personal to you.
And, because founding students get lifetime access, you can immerse yourself in regular, manageable bursts of creativity on your own schedule.

More information and to register now 

I Remember You : The Collected Memories Project 2017 and ongoing

It’s time for the sorting out and cataloguing to begin; in other words the hard work . Thought and time are as integral to my work as the actual making and with so much inspiration from the memory cards I collected at the Knitting & Stitching Shows in the Autumn my head is spinning with ideas.

Which way will I go?

Follow my progress here

tiles at Alcazar real, Seville

A Taste of Seville – Part 2

The Tiles of the Alcazar Real

The Alcázar Real of Seville encapsulates the historical evolution of the city during the last millennium, amalgamating influences starting from the Arabic period, late Middle Ages Mudéjar right through to the Renaissance, Baroque and the XIX century.

The tiles at the Alcazar Real are incredible and they are everywhere floors, walls, ceilings,and also outside in the gardens!. Here is just a flavour of what we saw. Truly inspirational.

Read more about this incredible Palace here 

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Tiles Alcazar real Seville

Tiles Alcazar Real, Seville

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tiles seville

A Taste of Seville • Part 1

If I was looking for some inspiration on my recent  travels I certainly found it in Seville. It has everything I love and in the Spring the weather is perfect for me. It ‘s a friendly city with great food (it’s where Tapas originally came from) and is of a modest size compared to some Spanish cities but it has has culture in abundance. There’s still so much I didn’t see I’ll have to go there again.

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First we visited the cathedral which breathtaking and I even managed to climb to the top of the tower to take in the magnificent views.

Details of the Cathedral, Seville, Spain

Details of the Cathedral, Seville, Spain

View from the Tower

One of the views from the top of the tower. Just to prove I made it up there!

It has a beautiful palace, the Alcazar Real with its moorish architecture, decorative and sometimes quirky tiles  and wonderful gardens. The tiles have to be a post all of their own but here’s some images of the architecture, the gardens and the underground pool which was used during the summer months to keep cool.

Details of the Alcazar Real

Details of the Alcazar Real

Details of the Alcazar Real

Details of the Alcazar Real

Alcazar Real gardens

Alcazar Real Gardens

Alcazar Real gardens

Alcazar real gardens

Underground Pool Alcazar real

Underground pool Alcazar Real

You’ll be pleased to know I did spot some graffiti amongst all this culture in Seville. I love the cat!

cat graffiti seville

Cat Graffiti Seville, Spain

and here are some unusual window displays

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masks

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and finally some dazzling flowers and it wouldn’t be Seville if I didn’t include and orange or two……….

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Fred Harry and Madge Stone

Inspiration for Stitch – Part 4 – The Innocent Victims of War

The inspiration for my work can come from anywhere and everywhere and it sometimes takes on a more serious note. I turned on the radio and heard her voice and the words I will never forget “This is not my War”. They were the words spoken by a Syrian mother whose children aged 5,10 and 12 had just been killed by mortar fire in a war she did not understand. The sound of her voice will stay with me forever.

Some Things Never Change commemorates those children and the many others like them that have lost their lives, or have been mentally or physically scarred by war. The lives of those who have survived war and atrocity are changed for all time.
My Dad and his siblings Harry and Madge were children of the First World War, born just before and during so called ‘war to end war’. I have used their images to represent the universal child. The concrete pillar in the background is inspired by the concrete architecture of the skate park on the South Bank of the Thames and the graffiti of street artist Stik and is covered with cross stitches representing the kisses those Syrian children will never receive.

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Some Things Never Change 2012

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I listen to the Radio and hear his Voice again recalls something I heard on Radio 4. A 10 year old boy was talking to the reporter “You can’t imagine what I’ve seen, what my country has seen”. The Universal Child uses an image of my Dad to represent children affected by war worldwide.

image of the universal child

The Universal Child

image of I Listen to the Radio and hear his Voice

I Listen to the Radio and Hear his Voice.

The Unknown Statistic comes from my research into the First World War during the run up to the centenary in 2014 of the start of the war. A photograph is of some children, unknown to me, but in my husband’s family album was my starting point. I have had this image waiting to be used for many years but it was only when I saw the graffiti in the East End of London I knew how I was going to use it. The children have a poignancy to them. They look as though they are watching someone walking away. I decided to use their images as a way of commemorating all the children left fatherless by the First World War. The exact number of children is unknown as it was not recorded accurately either locally or nationally. I imagined their father was one of the brave Grimsby fishermen whose trawlers went minesweeping the coast with very little protection and little recognition. He walked away and never looked back. It was bad luck for a fisherman to turn around and look back as they walked away to sea. They never saw him again. My own Great Grandfather, Harry Conder died during the first few weeks of World War One when the trawler Fittonia, of which he was skipper, was blown up by a mine in the River Humber. He was survived by a widow and several children. His eldest son Charles Conder died during the last weeks of the war of Spanish Flu, the virus that would be responsible for more than five times as many deaths as the war itself.

image of kids from the family album

Kids from the Family album

east end graffiti

east end graffiti

image of the Unknown Statistic

The Unknown Statistic

Japanese Restaurant , Barcelona

Inspiration for Stitch – Part 3 – My Travels

My 5 Favourite Locations to find inspiration for stitch.

My travels at home and abroad provide me with inspiration for my stitched work. I am an avid photographer and I collect hundreds of images on my travels. They are collected as an aide-mémoire for future work and I have built up a library of images including interiors, exteriors, tiles, the usual, the unusual, the smallest of details that can so easily be overlooked.

Here are my current top 5 favourite locations but no doubt they will change as I discover new places on my travels. My next stop is Seville where I hope to find inspiration in its beautiful Moorish architecture.

1. Amsterdam – unusual shop windows, bicycles and graphics.

Shop window, Amsterdam

Shop window, Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Shop window, Amsterdam

Shop window, Amsterdam

2. Newcastle – some glass blocks caught my eye.

Glass Blocks, Newcastle

Glass Blocks, Newcastle

Glass Blocks, Newcastle

Glass Blocks, Newcastle

3. Barcelona – Gaudi Mosaics, Parc Guell & Dali Museum Barcelona

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Gaudi Mosaics, Parc Guell

Gaudi Mosaics, Parc Guell

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Cardboard cutout of Salvador Dali, Dali Museum, Barcelona

4. Southwold, Suffolk – In and around Southwold Suffolk, UK

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Graveyard, Southwold,Suffolk

Rope, Netting, Southwold, Suffolk

Rope, Netting, Southwold, Suffolk

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Door, Southwold, Suffolk

5.London – In and around E1, E2, EC1

wall marks london

wall marks,london

Cobbles, London

Cobbles, London

graffiti london

Graffiti,London