I have been having fun with freemotion again today – will be at Bradford on Avon on Saturday.
Mind you there is lots of distraction outside my window!
I will be having a stall at Made in Bradford on Avon’s extra Summer market this Saturday – 10 to 3 at St Margaret’s Hall, Bradford on Avon. I have been replenishing my cards stock this week.
I may no longer be office manager for Demuths Cookery School (having handed over to the frankly quite wonderful Georgia), but it is still one of my favourite places to be. I jumped at the chance to attend the Food Photography Workshop on Sunday, run by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures. I do sometimes Instagram my food and the celebration cakes I make, and I thought the principles would also apply to photographing my textile work…which turned out to be the case.
We started with introductions and Rob talked to us about light and then we were let loose in the Demuths kitchen with lots of fresh ingredients to photograph.
I was a little obsessive about the globe artichokes…
…but wanted to try everything.
I was a little disappointed that the only half way decent photo of asparagus I had was of the wrong end!
We then went back to the dining room to upload our photos, discuss the results and for Rob to talk to us a little about composition. I can’t begin to tell you the difference Rob’s talk made. Everyone agreed their second set of photos was better than their first. This time we got to photograph food prep, and I must praise the patience of Beth, who helped prep as well as doing all the washing up.
Rachel made vegetarian sushi rolls for us and we took turns to take close-ups (far more polite than your usual run of the mill paparazzi!).
We then went off to look at and discuss out photos while Rachel and Beth cooked the food, ready for us to scoff. It was delicious!!
We were given the opportunity to photograph our pudding – strawberries and dragonfruit – before it was washed and served up with yoghurt. I always thought coconut yoghurt was a poor substitute for dairy, but actually it’s totally yummy! I added a pot to our Ocado order there and then. For this part of the course we were encouraged to use our phones as well as our ‘proper’ cameras.
The watermelon wasn’t perfectly ripe (and Rachel will only ever serve up perfect food) but it still made a lovely photographic subject.
We talked about photo editing on Instagram before tucking in to the fruit and yoghurt – so that’s what ‘structure’ and ’tilt shift’ mean! I rather suspect we were all sitting there thinking we knew all there was to know about Instagram, but we were so wrong!
Between my day job, wedding and birthday cakes and general life, 2016 was not my most productive year…threadwise. However, it was a year in which I feel my freemotion embroidery skills took a step forward and I found my own style.
The year started with some seasonal appliqué.
Then there were the days I woke up with an idea in my head and couldn’t wait to put it on fabric.
Miniatures inspired by the Very Berry ATC (artist trading card) and mini hoop swaps.
Much of my time…and my heart…has been invested in portraits of pets and wild creatures.
I am still in love with the beautiful city of Bath, and want to many more cityscape and landscape embroideries in 2017.
I am a big fan of nature and wildlife. I do enjoy embroidering city scenes too, but free-motion embroidery works so well for fur and feathers I keep returning to wildlife.
Today was my last stock-making day before King Edward School Christmas fair on Saturday 26th November (North Rd, Bath 10 – 2) as I am in the office for my day job tomorrow. I embroidered a sleeping fox – a little bigger than the mini hoop I made earlier in the year…
Oh my! Where has the time gone? My day job keeps me pretty busy, but I have managed a wee bit of creative stuff (even if I haven’t managed to reopen my online shop)
I am still in love with miniature work and have done a couple of Very Berry Handmade hoop and artist trading card swaps…as well as a gift of some really minute embroidered brooches.
I love embroidering animals – particularly birds and this kingfisher was one of my favourites.
There have been a few cards and pet portraits…
…and the days when I wake up with an image in my head and just want to give it a go!
A couple of my friends have had babies…which always calls for turning soft gloves in to cats and dogs!
However, the outstanding memory will be my ‘Summer of Cakes’. I only make cakes for friends and family – not a business – but there have been quite a few this Summer. I have been decorating cakes since I was a child; my first wedding cake being my sister’s wedding cake when I was 16.
This Summer’s wedding cakes called for modelling…both in fondant…
…and in paper.
And now? Well now it is full steam ahead towards Christmas!
The Winter is such a busy time with craft markets and Su and my ‘At home’ – not to mention a busy time in my day job and lots of Christmas baking…
I rather thought the New Year would be quieter all round, but actually all aspects have been decidedly busy – not least with commissions (and gifts) of appliqué and free motion embroidery portraits of pets…
..and even horses!
Applique and embroidery landscapes and seed heads…
There are more commissions but I can’t share photos of them until I know they have been given to their final recipients.
I spoke to my mum today and she asked if I still have a website…erm…oops. Life has become very busy as I have moved from full time textile artist to part-time textile artist and part-time office manager at Demuths Cookery School. It’s quite tough fitting everything in to my week, but there are definite perks…like getting to take part in the Andalucian Spanish Tapas class to see it from the students’ point of view!
As well Demuths, the Bath WI is still taking up a lot of my free time…all very exciting though as Gardeners’ World came to film our garden in the Bath Botanical Gardens and our Kitty showed Rachel de Thame how to pickle runner beans!
Of course there is still time for sewing and the odd craft market. I went to Corsham Creative Market for the first time and had a lovely time – back there again on 7th November.
Still loving freemotion embroidery…with a miniature artist trading card and an embroidered washbag.