Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Collaborative Blog 3 - Beads To Die For!

Well it's been a little while since my last collaborative blog as lots of artists have been on holiday, however, the artist I'd like to introduce you to is well worth the wait!

I found this very talented lady whilst trawling through the internet and as soon as I saw her blog I was completely hooked - her backgrounds, her style, her colours and her textures were all my kind of thing and I was blown away by the beauty of her work and I knew straight away that our pieces would work well together.  I'll let you be the judge!!

Carolyn Saxby is a textile artist who is fortunate enough to live in my most favourite place on earth - St Ives, Cornwall.  It is the most inspirational of places as you will see.  I asked Carolyn a few questions about where her inspiration comes from.

Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?

My designs come from my head but I find inspiration from my hometown of St. Ives in Cornwall, from my walks on the beach and in the country lanes by my cottage

I walk with my camera and sketchbook and record things that catch my eye … compositions, patterns and colours. I photograph things like rust and peeling paint on fishing boats, natural lichen patterns and colours, rock pools, seaweed, berries, rosehips, seed heads, pods and autumn leaves

Sometimes along my walks I “gather” things that I notice such as shells, pebbles, sea glass and sea washed pottery, seaweed, driftwood, feathers and flotsam and jetsam washed up on the beach. Some of these things find their way onto my stitched hearts, wall hangings and art cards and some of my finds become mini compositions on my windowsill or a temporary still life arrangement which I photograph. These are “moments in art”. I love to add digital textures to my photos which also inspire my work. I love colour and putting tones of colour together and these come out in the fabrics and accessories I choose for my hearts or in the paint I use for my hand made beads (which I use in my work and sell for others to use in their textile pieces)

I am inspired by nature first and foremost. I love living in St. Ives and try to walk most days. There are so many aspects of St. Ives that I love such as the quirky whitewashed cottages with lichen covered rooftops and the cobbled streets that are hundreds of years old. I find peace in being by the sea and walking on the beach and appreciate the changing seascape, how the sea changes colour and mood with the sky, the season, weather, tide and time … I sometimes try to capture a feeling, a fleeting moment … a seaside experience that lingers in the heart and using text in my work I can express that feeling on my seaside hearts and rock pool hearts

Is there a craft medium that you have always had a hankering to try your hand at?

Well … funny you should ask that as there is something that I am itching to try. For quite a while I have wanted to try my hand at encaustic painting. I already love to use wax in my work … covering images and text in wax to use in my collages … so using encaustic wax in my abstract paintings is a natural progression. However, good encaustic materials are expensive so this extravagance is on hold for just a little longer and will happen at time when I am a little more free to enjoy some time to experiment with the wax. At the moment, I am very busy with many sketchbook projects and work for exhibitions which is taking my mind off of the encaustic at the moment!

If you could see one famous person wearing your designs, who would it be?

What an interesting question! Well … it would have to be someone I respect for their fashion sense and someone who also has a quirky sense of humour and likes to be a little different so it would be very nice to see my scarves and jewellery being worn by Kate Winslet. Kate has such a good figure for well fitting clothes and is a lot of fun.

Where can fans buy your work?

My Etsy shop opened towards the end of May and I am blessed to have been very busy with orders since it started. My aim is to sell pieces of my textile art such as my textured hearts, stuffed cottages and art dolls, large and small art quilts, wall hangings and paintings, art cards, my hand made beads, threads and textile inspiration packs for others to use in their textile art. I am passionate about textiles and textile art and love to encourage and inspire others to have a go

My etsy shop:

So, beaders out there - how fabulous are these? I really hope that some of these glorious beads will be appearing in a piece of work near you in the not too distant future!! Carolyn assures me that her shop will be restocked this weekend so get your orders in!

Looking at Carolyn Saxby's gorgeous use of colour and texture caused me to have a good look through my work to see what could compliment her work.

As you all know I'm passionate about texture and colour and I love the textures and patterns in this particular cuff.

This is my wide Surf's Up cuff and is very reminiscent of the colours to be found in the sea around St. Ives.  It can be obtained from my website
This pendant from the Jet Trails and Sunsets collection is also available from the link above.

I also love working in silver and other metals such as copper or brass.  I particularly like introducing a heat patina which would normally be removed during the pickling stage of construction, however, I prefer to keep the gorgeous colours which can be achieved by repeated heating and cooling of the metal.  The piece here is made from a piece of reticulated silver which has a rectangle of copper mesh which has been enhanced with heat laced into it with fine silver.

This piece is called Tapestry and is available from my website at

All that remains this week is to thank Carolyn Saxby, and hope that you all visit her Etsy Shop and her blog and if you like this blog, why not share it with your friends? Feel free to leave me a comment - I love hearing from you and it's nice to know that I'm not the only person passionate about colour and texture!!!

Oh and Happy Birthday to my artist husband!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

An Amazing Wedding Day!

Well all of you who saw last week's blog will know that my daughter got married last Saturday!

She's the nearest thing to Superwoman I know - in the middle of her finals as a dispensing optician she and her fiance started planning their day.  Hayley then decided she was going to make all the decorations herself and set about making miles and miles of bunting, painting branches cream, making heart shaped decorations for the said table centres, decorating and filling dozens of tiny buckets full of sweets and everything else she could think of to fulfill her sweet-themed dream which was to take place in the Orangery at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. 
There was also a table full of pick'n'mix with bags!

The handmade feel did not end there! Hayley's grandmother made the wedding cake (soaked in grandad's very best brandy!!) and we three decorated it with lovehearts and dolly mixtures and added Hayley's customised bride and groom to the top.

I also made their wedding rings.

The wedding ceremony took place in the main house in the galleried main hall which was a stunning setting.

I have to say that I have never seen such a chilled out couple on their wedding day - absolutely no nerves - just sheer joy at the fact that they were about to be married.  If anyone else is looking for a venue around Devon/Cornwall I would heartily recommend this one.

Hayley's dress was by Benjamin Roberts from and as you can see, she looked so beautiful and so did her bridesmaids.

As I said last week, my dress was provided made to measure by Dig For Victory Clothing from lovely vintage fabrics so here's a pic of my husband and I (I sound like the Queen!!) looking dressed to kill!

It was a wonderful day with my son and daughter-in-law (also one of the bridesmaids) singing and playing the first dance and probably the finest best man's speech I've ever heard.

Thank you for bearing with me during this lovely but crazy time - back to jewellery/collaborative blogs next week!


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wedding Fever!

I hope you will all forgive me this week for posting a completely different type of blog!

You see on Saturday 17th I will be the Mum of the Bride!  My only daughter is getting married at Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall, a beautiful country park overlooking Plymouth and the Sound.  I shall blog with pictures next week.

Our bedroom is now full of wedding dress, hooped petticoats and all associated finery! Our house is becoming increasingly mad (we only actually have one usable bedroom as the others are studios for me and hubby) as relatives move in tomorrow from various areas of the country and we yet have a lot of work to do in dressing the Orangery where the reception is to be held.

My dress was a real find from Dig For Victory and was made to measure in my choice of vintage fabrics from Eleanor's cupboard - I'm a real fan of fifties dresses.  I've also made myself a pretty butterfly necklace in matching aluminium.  I haven't made my daughter's wedding jewellery as she wanted something very particular, however, I have made their wedding rings.  My mum has made the wedding cake and my daughter has made most of the decorations herself, from miles of bunting to table centres.  You could say that it is a bit of a handmade wedding!!

Just to let you know that I shall soon be featuring another artist in a collaborative blog - particularly exciting for any brides to be out there!!

I look forward to sharing photos and memories of the day with you all next week - can't let any secrets out yet!!! Here's a quick peek at me with my daughter and soon to be son-in-law!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Colour Buzz!

Anyone who knows my jewellery will know that colour is hugely important to me as is texture, but I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite colour sources for inspiration.

I really love looking at things that are very simply laid out with beautiful colours that harmonise and I really do have a great choice of material as my artist husband collects art books and catalogues with a passion and our house size is decreasing accordingly!

Yesterday I travelled from Plymouth to Bristol by train to see my son and purchased what turned out to be a revelation - Oh comely magazine.  I can hear some of you saying 'where have you been, we already knew about that!' - well it was a true find for me.  Beautifully simplistic in layout, not crowded with ads, lovely colours and graphics and great reading matter - do look out for it. Several pictures made me want to immediately dye some aluminium!

I'm also a sucker for pads of colourful paper designs and whilst I don't reproduce the design I often feel inspired by an element of what I see.  I also flick through Colour Index by Jim Krause for colour combination types.  Another source I use frequently for it's sheer mouth-wateringness (?) is  The photographs never fail to inspire me and are often a breath of fresh air and I love the way that the colour palette for each picture sits alongside.

My trip to Bristol was another riot of colour with some fabulous street art freely available for all to see and share in and I saw plenty of people appreciating it. The pendant below is my own take on graffiti style mark making and was made using digital imaging, alcohol inks and aluminium dyes.
I hope you'll take a little time to check out the sources I've mentioned in this blog - they might inspire you too!

Purple Rain

Monday, 5 September 2011

And the winner is ......

The winner of the giveaway is........

Corndolly Cards!!

Congratulations! Hope you like your choker pendant - it will be on it's way soon.