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Join my blog as I experiment with colour, pattern and textile arts ...







I love photography, drawing, painting, working with fabrics/yarn and anything vintage ...










Thursday, 26 March 2015

Sewing for Men

Or rather one man in particular ... this is my sewing goal for this year.  I've decided that I still have way too many clothes myself and will make for 'me' on an irregular basis this year.  I've never attempted men's clothing before so I'm starting with an easy to sew waistcoat pattern and some lovely woollen cloth made in Yorkshire which I found at Croft Mill.  I'll keep you posted!

 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

MY CREATIVE JOURNEY

Since completing City & Guilds, it’s made me think about the whole story so far …

I suppose creativity and ‘makes’ started for me in primary school with art lessons and ‘sewing club’. 


                           RUSSELL SCOTT PRIMARY SCHOOL, DENTON, MANCHESTER



Whenever I visited the public library, which was on the way home from school, I always took out a book of craft projects alongside a reading book.  They were both equally important to me …


                                                                DENTON LIBRARY

When I sat, at the age of 16, what were then ‘O’ Levels at my traditional girl's High School, it was clear to see from my coursework that Art was going to be my strongest subject, but then when the time came, I also qualified equally as well in English Language and Literature.


                 FAIRFIELD HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, DROYLSDEN, MANCHESTER

National educational policy of the time meant that the 6th form was abolished, so, given a choice of options, I set on a course at Technical College – what an eye opener!  Textiles, Fine Art, Pottery, 3D Design to name a few disciplines ….  It was all so friendly too, as we were treated like adults and on first name terms with the tutors.



                       TAMESIDE COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY, ASHTON UNDER LYNE

I kind of ‘fell in’ to the next step – ‘Textiles’ was my strongest area and I progressed into doing a Printed Textile Degree in Manchester, home of the textile industry, winning one of only 18 places out of over 300 applicants.  I loved the drawing aspect of the course and had a particular aptitude for plant drawing, done as a discipline every Friday, but think I specialised a bit early on …  We swapped around the different textile areas for a few weeks and my weave tutor actually said, ‘Diane, you should have done weave …’.  I loved all the yarns in the studio ...


                                                  MANCHESTER SCHOOL OF ART                                               


I left the degree course unfinished and started to work for my living after a move to the south-east.  My strengths in English led first of all to academic publishing and design for journals.  

I always felt I had a degree in me though and when I had earned a bit of spare cash embarked on The Open University.  I pursued design and technology courses with due diligence, able to transfer over credit from my previous course.  It was all very intellectually stimulating …


                                                               

Having learned a bit more about the theories of design, I went back down a more creative route…  There was now actually an Open College of Arts available, enabling me to work at the same time …  I did their mixed discipline first year and found I still enjoyed working with yarns and fibres. 



                                                      

I was also working in a fine art museum now which I did for many years.  I loved the environment - surrounded by the highest quality art on a daily basis.  I enjoyed the type of work I was doing too, managing a picture library.


                                            THE FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM, CAMBRIDGE

I’d done a lot of study so far and decided to have bit of a break …  However, this was not to last long as a change into a more administrative role away from the museum made me realise big time that the creative aspect was missing in my life and I needed to do something about it …



The first step I suppose was looking around at all the crafting blogs available on the world wide web.  I became hooked into a challenge at Sew Weekly, based in San Francisco, where the aim was to create a sewn garment every week for a year – great for improving crafting skills and making some design decisions.  I also discovered ‘Knit Design Online’ run by expert designer and tutor Loraine McClean, enabling me to complete a City & Guilds certificate by distance learning. 



Image copyright Knit Design Online 
And so, that is the story so far ... Looking back gives me a sense of continuity and perhaps an idea of where I will go next ....

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Birthday Flowers

Someone very special bought me these ...  They are so beautiful and the colours of the roses are vintage tones of pink and cream.  I've been really spoilt this time and know that this year is going to unfold in a magical way ...
 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

New Hair!

After months of intense study, it's time for 'me' and first up is a new hair cut ...  My regular salon has closed down and I happened on a new hairdresser by chance - a lucky find!  Never had so many compliments in one day!  Well, I've not gone completely 'Zandra Rhodes' pink but the style is the same and I've given my photo a pinky glow to show how relieved and happy I am, both with the new hair and finishing my course!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Celebrations

Well I've come to the end of my knit course and I've a lot to post about but I deserve a little rest and some diversions!  I've never tried Japanese food before - this is at Japas in Cambridge ... very colourful, I always look at everything in a different way now I've done a Creative Studies course  ... more posts soon ...


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Nearly there ...

My final knit project ... more news soon ...


Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Year Round Up

I'm surprised at how many things I did manage to make last year - knitted, sewn and painted.  At the moment, the focus is still on finishing my City & Guilds Creative Studies - Hand Knitting course.  I have barely 3 weeks left ... eeek!  But I'm getting there ...  Spent most of the Christmas holidays on it and am now in the final throes of doing the last project and some final sampling of stitches.

Anyway, here's a little round up of everything.  I started the year with my sewing cottage ...


Looking forward to sewing again soon!  Then I treated myself to a little art course and came up with an illuminated letter, which I'm going to take forward into making a logo ...


I made a few tote bags over Easter for our local Country Market - want to do a bit more bag making - more sophisticated though  ...


Still not much time for sewing though and I only managed to come up with this little flower next ...


Though I was determined to get this duffel finished for the charity Design and Make for Haven's Sake


Then of course came my examination piece, 'Urban Sweater'.  Proud of this as it was produced under very difficult circumstances ...


So, only 3 weeks course time to go hopefully ... it's been a long haul but I've stuck with it and the end is in sight.  I've loads of posts of course sampling to do yet, as well as exhibition round ups.  Coming soon ...  Looking forward to a new crafting year!