Thursday, 19 October 2017

Seeing spots before my eyes

We enjoyed Apple Day at the National Trust property, Dudmaston Hall, again last weekend.


This is the third year we've taken our own apples to be crushed and pressed to make juice.


And of course it's essential to do a little quality control!


The autumn colours at Dudmaston were as spectacular as ever and I'm sure these vines will be making an appearance in my new DMTV project - an autumn inspired fabric journal where I'll be recording events and things I see over the next few weeks. It'll be my new art diary using lots of techniques with fabric and stitch rather than in sketchbook form.


I didn't have to look far for journal inspiration as we had the weirdest phenomenon this week. Sadly my phone couldn't capture it at all but believe me, the sun turned the deepest red and the sky was a sulphurous golden colour. Apparently Storm Ophelia's winds carried particles from forest fires that were raging in Spain and Portugal all the way to England. The BBC said there might be some Saharan sand in there too.


I was in the middle of a printing session in my studio at the time so it seemed apt to record what was happening outside the window - these two bits will become journal pages once they have all their stitching.


And the next day I got really carried away printing more red suns for a DMTV video!


If it ever happens again I'll have the perfect dress for the occasion. I made this yesterday using a lovely jersey fabric I bought at Festival of Quilts back in August.


When I bought it I didn't have a pattern in mind and I found I didn't have quite enough fabric for the Ottobre dress so I've added a striped fabric for the lower sleeves and the neck band.


Just have to finish the hem and it'll be done!

Thanks for reading today - Linda x

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Oh no - not again!

Laura won't thank me for showing you this photo......as you can see she wanted to remain incognito!


After thinking she was on the road to recovery we had another alarming trip in an ambulance this week. The third 999 call in as many weeks. I have to tell you that seven hours in the middle of the night in A&E is no way to spend a big chunk of the weekend! Although we still don't have a diagnosis of the root cause of her illness we have discovered that Laura can't tolerate huge doses of iron. Luckily, intravenous fluids and anti nausea medication had her back on her feet and on her way home in a short space of time. There are more hospital procedures to come but in the meanwhile stopping the iron tablets has had a miraculous effect! Laura has to take things a bit easier in future and so don't be surprised if you see her sister's name appearing more regularly in all things relating to DMTV and Fingerprint. We're really lucky to have Frances to call on and share the load when we need extra help, especially with the website and social media - she's a real whizz at all that stuff and let's face it, I'm hopeless in that department!


In the midst of the drama, work continues on renovations to Laura and Jamie's house. Ideally the  arrival of the workmen would have been postponed till she was better but when you wait so long for anything to get done it was decided to let them go ahead as planned. The next stage of work involves moving all the shop stock to another part of the building. On starting that yesterday we unearthed these two cushions that I made quite some time ago for a video we called something like, 'Button It' or 'Button Up', I can't remember exactly which. We make loads of stuff like this and it usually gets lost in the depths of the studio never to be seen again! We've added them both to the DMTV shop where you'll find lots of detail images listed under 'Linda's Work'.


We have a LOT of pieces that really need to find new homes and so we'll be adding them to the shop over the next few weeks. Let's call it a spring clean come early! OK, very early!

Thanks for reading today - Linda x

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Start 'em young

Amelie thinks hand sewing is tricky - the dratted thread will keep coming out of the needle! She see's us whizzing away on a sewing machine and obviously believes that's the answer.
She's been pleading with us to let her have a go for ages but at just 5 I think it's a bit early for that.


An embellisher however, well that's a whole different thing. Look at that level of concentration!


No thread to snarl up and a safety guard to protect little fingers! She had to stand to operate the foot pedal because she's not tall enough to reach from a chair. I may have to rig something up to make life easier next time.


Look what I've made.


And by the time we go back into the kitchen the cakes have cooled down enough for a little embellishment of their own! Not sure we needed quite so many sprinkles but who am I to say?

Hope you enjoyed your weekend too.
Bye for now - Linda x

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Did you know DMTV has a shop?

We don't make a big deal about selling actual items. Other than buying subscriptions and archives you might not even know we have an online shop! It's really only a very small part of what we offer but we've decided to change that over the next few months. Yesterday we added a couple of my small works to the DMTV shop.


This one is an acrylic painting on a stretched box canvas. Rooks are very characterful and one of my favourite creatures to paint.


Laura thinks he has a mournful expression but I think he looks quite amiable.


The detail shows how textural the paint surface is - my way of suggesting the wing feathers.


And the nature of the cornfield he's standing in.


The second piece is a quilted and painted panel featuring purple poppies and seedheads.


You may remember me making this for a DMTV video. During the making of a video we usually have to show step by step examples of the thing we're demonstrating and there's a limit to how many of these different versions we can display at home or give as presents to family and friends. The first of my purple poppies now lives in The Netherlands - I wonder where this one will end up?

If you like the look of either of these pieces you can find details over in the shop. Just scroll down through the images until you spot one called 'Linda's Work'.

Bye for now,
Linda x

Monday, 2 October 2017

I'm back!

For reasons you already know about we've been neglecting all but the essentials over the last few weeks. The garden has certainly suffered but stuff continues to grow regardless. After spending most of my time at Laura's house while she recuperates I've come home to what looks like a different season. I always say I find autumn a melancholy time but despite that I do love the colours.



I promise these haven't been enhanced with photo trickery! They really are luminous and it's not only the plants that seem to glow at this time of year.


I can just about keep up with the tomato harvest......... this is a small selection of what I was presented with this morning!



What we can't eat raw I roast and pass through a sieve to make a lovely sauce that freezes well and keeps us going all through the winter. The oven will be on the go all day today!


But when I asked 'he who gardens' for a few chillies I didn't really expect this enormous offering. We may have to force a selection onto any and every unsuspecting visitor! Little does he know but I'm even keeping an eye open for the postman!


I have managed to escape the heat of the kitchen long enough to work into a new sketchbook. DMTV viewers will soon see more of these pages where I've used rubbing techniques to frame my favourite little birds.


And now that Strictly Come Dancing is back on our screens every weekend we can't ignore the fact that the countdown has begun and Christmas must be just around the corner! I'm working on our DMTV Christmas card - never painted a robin before but I'm enjoying it. The panel needs another coat of gold paint and he needs a few more details and he'll be finished and ready to print.

Thanks for dropping by today - I promise it won't be so long before I write again!
Linda x

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Tile Museum at Ironbridge

We had a day out at Ironbridge this week. It's a World Heritage Site with ten varied attractions. We have annual 'passports' that allow us to go as often as we like - on this occasion we chose to visit the Tile Museum.


I loved this display cabinet in the old trade showroom.


And the stores of tile molds were fascinating - every one numbered on its side to identify the design.


There are hundreds of examples of tiles displayed in cabinets as well as on the walls and floors of the buildings themselves. The floral designs were beautifully observed from nature.


And I particularly liked this nasturtium panel, one of about a dozen different plant designs on a Victorian washstand. Who knew what meaning it might convey?


I shall have to avoid scarlet geraniums now I know what they signify.


Back home, when I looked at my photographs I was inspired to draw a few flowers just for fun. I've got another of those little concertina sketchbooks just waiting to be used and the garden is full of nasturtiums!


They are at their peak and running riot at the moment so I could pluck a few without compunction! It's such a treat to sit in the garden and draw whilst enjoying the late summer sun.


It was very satisfying to have the real flowers to study but, referring back to the museum image I realised that why the tile design had been so compelling was the way it combined such a realistic depiction of the plant in combination with a highly stylised geometric pattern as a border. I loved the way the flower broke free of the frame too so I started to add a similar pattern to my pages. I may tone the border down with a wash of watercolour at some point.


Of course the tile had a dramatic black background too - I'm not sure if I'm going to give my drawing the same treatment yet. I might leave it for a day or two and then make a decision! Whatever I decide, it'll be another excuse to get out in the garden and enjoy the summer while it lasts. Small pleasures but none the worse for that!

Bye for now - Linda x



Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Even more from Festival of Quilts 2017

I couldn't possibly share all the photos I took at Festival this year - here are just a few more of my favourites.


Our friends on the Husqvarna stand getting ready for the show to open on Day 1.


Annabel Rainbow was in the Through Our Hands Gallery painting to transform this vintage quilt each day. I photographed work in progress on Day 3.........


when Annabel was eliminating some background colour and adding realistic eyes to the mask-like faces with acrylic paint. Generous onlookers who enjoyed watching the process showed their appreciation by contributing to the Save The Children collection bucket. The daily contributions added to the funds raised from the Portrait Shuffle helped realise over £2,300 for the charity!


I don't have space to include all 22 of the artists featured in the TOH gallery but this detail of a stunning piece by Genevieve Attinger attracted much well deserved attention from the visitors.


The EQA - Diversity in Europe exhibit featured a quilt from each country. 'Popular Traditions' by Maria Antonia Narro was the Spanish contribution.


And 'Les Cocottes' by Nicole Dibusi was the French exhibit.


Cherilyn Martin exhibited several of her Memory Cloth pieces. This detail of 'Paradekissen' involved rusting, screen printing and machine stitching on an antique, German pillow case.


This lady in the Tongan Tapa Cloth - Bloodlines Gallery was happy to explain how Tapa cloth was made from the bark of a tree.


'Falevai Pigs' by Sulieti Fiume'a Burrows and Tui Emma Gillies.

The best thing about Festival of Quilts is the breadth of textile work that is presented, both in the open competition categories and in the invitational exhibition galleries. I hope my photographs have given just a small taste of that.

Roll on FOQ 2018!!

Bye for now - Linda x