"I begin with an idea ... and then it becomes something else"
~ Picasso

Thursday 29 December 2011


as we near the end of the year …
I thought I’d share some autumn landscapes in collage and stitch

you may remember the piece above as being one of
the mixed media collages I showed in a recent post
(torn paper, tissue paper, chiffon, oil pastel and watercolour paint)

I loosely used it as inspiration for this piece on the embellisher

using a pre-felt base, I then added wool tops and strips of silk
sequinned chiffons, sari silk ribbons and sari silk yarns and
as I worked into it the overall shape became a bit quirky
the lines of the field boundaries naturally came and
it became a little fragile in places ... and I like that!

I added a little machine embroidery with a metallic thread

and then I cut the large piece into little pieces
added some hand stitching and they became art cards

and from the rest of the waxed collage pieces
I made some art cards which are available in my etsy shop

(they make good starting points
if you need inspiration for your textile work)

in September ...

there were lots of bead orders but this is the only one
I kept for myself ... in green, lime, gold and dark brown
I like just "having" it

one of my beads with hand dyed ribbons

in September ...

the colours I loved were a mix of
golden greens and orange browns
mixed with sea blues and always St. Ives

inspiration came from one of my favourite artists

I bought this card in Tate St. Ives
because I love rooftops and chimneys
and adore Elaine's use of colour

(more on chimneys and rooftops next year)

yellow morning - Elaine Pamphilon

and more colour and pattern inspiration from Elaine Pamphilon
on the front cover of one of her little books
that I bought at The Ainscough Gallery, Dartmouth
while on holiday at the beginning of September

dry river bed, Hayle
enjoying the autumn colours in her Cornish landscapes
and the shapes and textures of the fields and trees
that would so lend themselves to machine stitching


after our holiday to Dartmouth (3-10 September)
we then enjoyed the St. Ives Arts Festival (10-24 September)
with various workshops and music events

and on 30 September I met up with Marilyn Stephens
a friend I first met at Cornwall College, Camborne

when I admired her most beautiful fine art textiles
at end of year exhibition
we hit it off straight away and became friends

we met again for lunch in St. Ives and went around the Mariners Gallery
and also to The Crypt Gallery to see the work of
artists Brian Busselle, Stuart Thorn and John Higgins

I bought a few seasonal cards of Brian Busselle's work


Kingswood Revisited

we met and chatted to artist Stuart Thorn
and admired his beautiful abstract paintings

Stuart Thorn
a fine mix of Stuart Thorn's paintings
and Jenny Beavan's ceramics

Coast - Stuart Thorn

such a lovely day in St. Ives - thank you Marilyn x


on 2nd October I met up with lovely blog friend
Sophie Munns of "Homage to the Seed"

Sophie has a passion for seeds, pods and seedheads
and has several amazing blogs and sites
where she shares her art and drawings of seeds
you must go visit if you share our love of these things!

Sophie was over in England from Australia
about to spend a week working as resident artist
at The Eden Project in St. Austell, Cornwall
and then a month at the Millennium Seed Bank at Kew Gardens

Here is Sophie's account of our day together

It was a boiling hot day, Sophie and I met outside Tate St. Ives and at the time there wasn't a show hanging so we went upstairs to the cafe and and enjoyed a pot of coffee
and admired the views through the long glass windows of the Tate Cafe

we visited some galleries and then
we went to the The Tea Rooms for more tea and cake

and then I made Sophie take her shoes off
to paddle and walk on the cooling wet sand
I always love to take my friends beachcombing
and she laughed at me as I spotted treasures at a hundred paces

Sophie gave me a copy of her book
"Homage to the Seed"
which I shall treasure always

and then we had to say our goodbyes for, sadly
Sophie only had one day in St. Ives and that's not enough ...
so she had to cram in all the things she wanted to see
before catching the train to St. Austell

I do hope we meet again but, meanwhile, will continue to
follow her inspiring and beautiful art on all of her blogs

and that about brings me to the end of summer
when my life turned upside down ...

I had just begun work (photography and textiles)
for an Exhibition with St. Ives Arts Club called "On the Island"

I had already taken a large base of photos to inspire my textile pieces
when I had to cancel and pull out of the exhibition
because my Mum collapsed and was very ill in hospital
and, just a few days later, we lost my gorgeous Nanny
for quite some time life was very difficult indeed 


I still have the photos and work from "On the Island" and
maybe I may use them for an exhibition in March 2012 …

ochre lichen on the rocks
The Island, St. Ives
the colours inspired this mosaic

and now for October ...


A bird in the hand said...

Dear Carolyn, while this wonderful catch-up post was worth waiting for, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss.
I do hope your Mum has fully recovered.
I seem to have misplaced your address, so when you have a moment, please email it to me.
Lots of love,

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Glad to see you back posting, but very sorry about your dear Nanny and that your Mom was ill as well. Life throws curveballs at us at times and all we can do is deal as best we can.

Lynn Cohen said...

I love YOUR art!
Sorry there were hard things happening.
Hugs for all that. Wishing the best.
So glad you continue to post here.
I enjoy looking at it all.
You have such a flair for beauty!
Thanks and wanting more in 2012.

Aileen Clarke Crafts said...

Hi Carolyn. You've no idea how much I have enjoyed this post. Would you believe that on the 1st of September I actually came to your blog looking for your September post! I eagerly awaited it all month but then realised that you must be very busy and occupied with other things. So nice to read this catch up. I think of you and your beautiful artwork often, especially when I see your favourite colours in the landscape and seed heads along the side of the road : ) I WILL treat myself to some beads some day soon. I am waiting for the right project to use them in so I know what colours to get : ) Lots of love, Aileen x

Ruth said...

Your embellished piece is wonderful. Sorry to hear about your loss and that the autumn wasn't what you hoped it be. It's good to look at the positives though and I look forward to reading your blog posts again.

My Creative House said...

Dear Carolyn what a wonderful post with so many fantastic images to look at, love your felt, beautiful colors and embroidery, great idea to use felted scrap for cards, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Connie said...

Dear Carolyn, I'm quite tired this evening but your ability to balance sad and happy times always inspires me. I have so enjoyed this catch up - I'm looking forward to next week when we start TAST - Best wishes for a good New Year celebration and for all of 2012, Connie, x

Shoshi said...

Is there any limit to this lady's creativity, I ask myself? Absolutely gorgeous stuff as usual, and what a fruitful year, and mixed with joys and sorrows too. Wishing you all the best for 2012, Carolyn!


Lynn Holland said...

Hi Carolyn, it's been a sad time for so many of us recently, let's hope that 2012 gives us lots to smile about. One thing for us is we are hoping to bring mum down to St. Ives this year and would love to call and see you.
Love Lynn xx

Pom Pom said...

Hi Carolyn!
You live in such a gorgeous place!
All your photos are so pretty. You are a true artist.

Sandies' Patch said...

Life throws a lot of Sh*t, just when you don't really need it, doesn't it?
I sincerely hope that 2012 is a much better year for you and yours.
There were a few great days though eh?


Sandie xx

Joanna said...

Beautiful artwork, Carolyn, and such inspiring artists.

Your post really sums up the highs and lows of life.


Unknown said...

Hi Carolyn,

Discovered you on Pinterest. Love your stuff!

Alison Bennett

queenb2u said...

Carolyn, How beautiful...I'm inspired by your love of color and texture. Your artwork is a true reflection of the beauty around you. Thank you for sharing your world, grand and common, with me through photos and art. What a blessing to see through your eyes. I am in awe! Happy New Year. Hugs.