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2018

The commission to make Shepherd's Cottage, Autumn, below, was very welcome in late September, and this took me into October. This was for a birthday present for the sister of my client, so keeping it a surprise was crucial until the date passed!

The rest of October has been spent creating items for Christmas craft days, including glass-painting on recycled small jars for nightlight holders, and origami Christmas trees on cards - a bit of a diversion from wool and silk! In August and September I had also made some smaller needle-felted pictures and cards, and watercolour cards, for a new shop that I am exhibiting and selling in, at The Lime Bothy in Newton Stewart. See here for its Facebook page, and please visit this lovely shop!

     
Shepherd's Cottage, Autumn      

To August, I've caught up on some of the smaller pictures which are now on sale at the Old Mill Gallery, and keeping some aside for a new venture which is opening up for me very soon - watch this space! I've started to do more work on some other pictures that I've done in the last year or so, to revive them and reframe them, which is what I have done with this one below, Garden Dawn. This was made with machine and hand embroidery with silk threads on a silk velvet background - this took some effort to press out the "air bubbles" under it as I fixed it to the backing board! I am pleased with how striking the walnut-effect frame looks with the dark green velvet. I'll post info soon on where this one will be on display.

Garden Dawn
Garden Dawn

Darkening Woodland. I've edited this picture that I originally made in September 2017 when I could see that the edges of some of the trees was looking a bit loose against the background fibres. I haven't reworked any of my long-framed woodland series before so it was a bit daunting to take it out of its frame and fit it back again, never mind doing the actual stitching and other editing that I did on it! I am pleased with the result, and it can be found in the Castle Douglas PA Pop Up Shop from Thursday 14th June. 

Darkening Woodland
Darkening Woodland  at June 2018

One of my commission pieces in the early Spring of 2018 was based on By the Woodland Path, which I first made in the middle of January this year. An exact copy is impossible, and I am glad of that for my artwork, so here is By the Woodland Path II:

 By the Woodland Path II
 By the Woodland Path II   commission piece, April 2018

I loved putting a fox in By the Woodland Edge so I decided to follow that up with a badger-themed picture, Broc Bank, with a different scale of picture, too. This one is 16" x 12", also in a black box frame, and uses one of the types of silk "fabric" that I have for my trees. Click on the picture for more detail of its fibres and price. It will be on display at the Castle Douglas PA Pop Up Shop from Wednesday 28 March.

Broc Bank
Broc Bank

By the Woodland Edge, below, is the first in the Woodland series that has wildlife depicted in it, and I will be doing more of this style to include badgers, deer, hare, and other foxes. It gives a different perspective to the picture and I was careful to not make the fox too large or it would give the wrong scale with the trees. I tried a different approach with the trees themselves by needle-felting shaded areas on to them, too, and I think this works. These pictures have been a very enjoyable experience to design and create, and now that I can make up my own version of the silk "fabric" that some of the trees are made with, I have more freedom of size, colour and texture to make the trees. In the picture below, the first and third tree from the left are my own home-made silk pieces. 

By the Woodland Edge
By the Woodland Edge

My February picture make is below, Reflection on the Deep. One of the things that I love about using different fibres, particularly sheeps wool, is that the wool from each breed of sheep has quite different properties. The Portland wool used in this picture, the mountain on the horizon, is fairly course and short, while the merino, the Blue-faced Leicester - and the bamboo fibres - here are longer and easier to spread out across the backing fabric, to construct the patterns in the sky and the wave tops on the sea. 

Reflection on the Deep
Reflection on the Deep

I also make up needle-felting kits, on sale at the Pop Up Shop in Castle Douglas, at £10 each. As a guide to size, the foam block in each of the packs is 6" x 5", with approximately 30g of wool and fibres. No two packs can be identical! 

Needle-felting kits Kit instructions
   

In January, I reworked a picture that I made a year ago, By the Mulberry Tree. The way I frame my pictues makes it possible for me to remove the piece from the backing board - with care! - and gives me the chance to "edit" a picture with as much or little disturbance to the original. There is almost no waste with a needle-felted picture, one of the reasons I love this process so much. To the 2018 version, I added more blues to the sky with some Tussah silk fibres, and then lightened patches of the sky and foreground with some new Angora rabbit fibre that I bought just yesterday (26 January). I moved the greenery over the tree further outwards and added some more colours of silk throwster's waste to the foreground. This little picture will be heading to the Pop Up Artist's shop in Castle Douglas in the near future.

By the Mulberry Tree By the Mulberry Tree 
 By the Mulberry Tree   January 2017

 By the Mulberry Tree   reworked picture January 2018

This year began with a small commission project in the second week of January, a birthday present for a friend of my client, of Belted Galloways in a summer landscape. My next picture, below, is another in the Woodland series that I am really enjoying creating, By the Woodland Path (see above for a commission piece based on this picture!). This, and several others completed at the end of 2017, are heading for an exhibition at the end of February, with one or two others that are still at the planning stage. Check out this page for further information on that once I have the full details in early February. 

By the Woodland Path
By the Woodland Path