Sometimes small things can make a delightful difference to your holiday. Here are a few suggestions from our recent beach holiday that I’d recommend.
If you’re using hotel beach towels it can be nice to take a small towel for your face/head at the top of your sunbed.
I chose this beautiful Collier Campbell towel. The bright design was stunning in the sun, the fabric soft and easy to spot when returning from a swim in the sea.
It’s important to stay hydrated and it’s possible to stop using trillions of plastic cups on holiday by using a flask. This one is by Life’s a Beach. It kept my water cold all day, saved single use plastic and looks fabulous. Good for the environment and good to use.
Tidy towel – when the sea breeze is buffeting your beach towel these clips keep your towel secure whatever the sunbed design. They can also be used to hang clothes and, as I was here, to secure fabric around Balinese beds.
I love to carry watercolours when on holiday. Painting a scene is an opportunity to really observe and take in the detail, which is great for recalling the holiday feel-good factor when you’re back home. There’s also something magical about the feeling of painting with salt water.
More sunny holiday related posts are at these links:
I thought it may be helpful to share some creative apps, favourite tools and tips for use in visual arts and design.
A great convenient, ‘on the go’ tool for scanning using your phone and the CamScanner app. You can either take a scan/picture using the app or can import an image to convert that into a scan. The app locates the boundaries of your image and adjusts the light so you can even scan in low light. It’s a huge time saver and has a good memory capacity before it requires any payment. You don’t get bugged by ads. CamScanner is 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 in my opinion.
My phone is a key tool in my work, for photographing, drawing, editing. The camera on this phone model takes beautiful images and the ‘portrait’ mode is a useful feature for product shots and photographing work. I like the ‘pano’ feature for creative shots. Couldn’t function without this. Great size, weight and stable when used with a tripod. iPhone XS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
How I love Pixelmator. I can’t say how much I use it as it’s seamless in my work. I’m probably across in the app 5 times a day. Layering images, drawing, adding text, creating social media ads, resizing, mocking up ideas, creating repeat patterns. The app is intuitive, making it easy to learn and to use. This is a corker of a creative tool 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Bernina Sewing Machine
I would never have thought that I could love a sewing machine as much as I do my Bernina. It’s reliable, compact, and with the digital display I know what the machine settings are at a glance. I want to make the marks myself so I’m not interested in sewing machines that take over and do the sewing themselves. Swiss engineering is renowned and my Bernina is a fabulous example of this that runs like clockwork. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed.
A learning gateway for everything you might ever want to learn about, where someone always seems to have the answer for using a new product, or technique. I’m going to give YouTube 🌟🌟🌟🌟 as the ads can be annoying, but then again it’s ‘free’. YouTube is about the people who take the time to share their experiences and knowledge. Of course it’s best to watch a few videos for any given subject to be able to gather a few perspectives/ methods.
I’ve always enjoyed making films so I love that I can share my movies and reach people through YouTube. Here’s a link to go to my channel.
50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life
This book is like a hug of a drawing course. The creators of Flow magazine have done something magical by bringing together exercises from their illustrators to make this big beautiful collection of inspiring, drawing skills inducing delight. Love it with some good TV and a pencil or fine liner. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Flow Magazine.
The place to see image based posts, as opposed to more wordy content. A window on creative studios, processes and what everyone is working on, it’s such a creative time that we live in. Instagram makes the world shrink to the size of the app and I love how we can connect with kindred creatives and find people with shared interests. And there’s always someone somewhere on Instagram, even in the middle of my night – when the darkness becomes a blank creative canvas for new idea seeds to germinate in my mind. Hoping the ads, which have increased in frequency, don’t takeover, like they appear to have on sister site Facebook 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Also I have to mention PicCollage, which now allows a mix of still images and videos in collages, and WordPress for my blog.
I hope this proves helpful. Wanted to share these findings and also this is a way of expressing gratitude for this tremendous tech and fabulous phone based functions which are my fundamental tools.
Please stay and see some more posts here.
If you’d like a street these are my favourite ones.
It is four years since I decide to push visual arts to the top of my priority list.
Major knee injury meant I had to pass on the opportunity that I’d been hankering for years, to manage the PR for Meadowhall. Facing months on crutches and unable to drive, life was taken up by the countless rehab exercises and everything normal took three times as long. With a recovery period quoted in years rather than weeks time began to feel different. I had so little time spare that I had to get to the nub of spending time how my soul needed and what emerged from valuable sessions with my wonderful life coach Heidi-Mai, was art… making… creating, colour, I felt like there was a whole lot of colour and creations inside me that needed to be let out into the world. And so my visual art journey changed up a gear and I began to prioritise this work, moving it from the ‘indulgent, blissful hobby’ to the ‘if I don’t have much time available I’m going to spend it on what feels great’. And with a feeling of naughty delight I signed up for an Art Foundation course.
What an exploration it has been, and continues to be. I’ve always enjoyed a steep learning curve and staying on such a curve keeps me interested and motivated.
In the first four years I’ve had a solo exhibition, had work in four public exhibitions, have begun teaching fabric design techniques, have shared art skills in school, created commissioned artworks, designs, infographics, videos, animations and have made products from miniature pot plants to fabric birds.
I don’t know where the work is leading and when I’m in the creative moment I don’t think it really matters where or whether it leads. For me creating and making is calming, rejuvenating and present. It’s my antidote to the harrowing stories that the media try to intrude into my calm.
Here are my favourite pieces from the past four years. I look forward to seeing what will emerge from my work in the future.
I’m not stopping here. I’m busy preparing for my next workshop on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced, Sheffield.
I’m working on personal projects and strategic commercial communications. I’ve a plan for a book, watch this space, and have some exciting collaborations ahead.
Here are my favourite posts from the past four years:
Here are anniversary stories from the years you may have missed. I’ve always worked on the proviso that my work will improve, although I’ve a good way to go to be at the level I aspire to, when I reflect I can see the progression. Practice makes better…
This one day workshop gives the opportunity to bring stitch into the fabric design process. Stitching before and/or after transferring designs onto the fabric gives some beautiful effects and is fun to explore.
You can bring your own sewing machine or use one of the studio’s machines.
It’s a year this week since my Heat Press machine arrived and made it possible for me to press my painted designs from paper onto fabric.
I’ve been reflecting on the work and continue to enjoy exploring the potentials of this colourful science of heat sensitive dyes.
Here are the highlights of the work using these fabric design techniques.
Most recently this colourful doll. All the fabric was white when I began the work. I added colour and stitch inspired by my favourite things.
One of the first things I made with my machine was this miniature bunting.
As I wanted flowers to always be at our Juliet balcony I created this tulip box draught excluder.
To help me relax and snooze whilst travelling I made this pretty eye mask, printing the fabric and the bias binding with my hand painted designs.
In a campaign to raise awareness of bell pepper allergies and intolerances I created this piece by painting then free motion embroidery.
I collaged pieces of painted paper to create this portrait.
My latest make was tennis themed bunting, joined with heat pressed ribbon, as part of promotion work for a tennis club.
In February I created samples to show different techniques and shared these at a half day workshop. Thanks so much to the workshop attendees, it was wonderful to see how you enjoyed putting your designs onto fabric. I can’t wait to see your creations with the fabrics you designed and made.
One of my favourite creations was the miniature cheese plant. Using hand painted leaves I pressed them onto satin, and using wire I stitched them and arranged them into this pretty home decor gem which doesn’t need watering or tending.
There’s the opportunity to play with these techniques and design your fabric for a craft, fashion or home decor project at my next workshop.
I’ll be demonstrating and teaching these techniques at a one day workshop in Sheffield on Sunday June 2nd. The workshop is at Stitched Up and Fleeced studio from 10 – 4pm, £60.
The one day workshop will bring stitch techniques into the process to explore how stitch can be used before and/or after pressing the designs onto fabric, to achieve some beautiful effects.
I’m delighted to have received these testimonials after a run through of my upcoming workshop, which will take place at Stitched Up And Fleeced in Sheffield on 9th March from 10-12:30.
“The workshop had a relaxed environment in which I felt comfortable asking for help or any questions about the work. The organisation of the workshop meant it was enjoyable and the time given meant I wasn’t rushed into completing my design. I am very happy with what I produced and the skills and knowledge about heat press and the dyes I developed during the process.” AGR, Sheffield.
“I thoroughly enjoyed trying a totally new skill. Instructions were very clear and the group dynamic made the whole experience much fun. It was great to see the vibrant finished result emerge from my own design. It was rewarding to complete the task from beginning to end in just a few hours.” JPS Chesterfield.
“Amazing evening experiencing the ‘Magical’ creation, made possible by the unique experience of Kim and her Heat Press techniques.” MK, Manchester.
The workshop provides the opportunity to create a design and transfer it onto fabric for use in a fashion, sewing or craft project.
Priced at just £30 it’s a lovely, great value experience for some quality ‘you time’ or a lovely early Mother’s Day gift.
Celebrating 3 years: It’s now three years since I began focussing on art and making. After injuring my knee I decided to follow my heart and felt a need to let out the colour and creative potential that I instinctively knew was within me.
Switching to a less commercial line of work has not been easy and has taken courage and conviction, but as I continue to explore and my work evolves I’m keen to see what I’ll be creating next.
The highlights of the past three years have been two Art and Design year long course Distinctions, a solo art exhibition, and being commissioned by customers to create bespoke artworks and gifts.
Collage of my favourite 9 from the past 3 years…
Latest work: My latest creation is an embroidered work for a dear friend, inspired by an image. I felt real flow in this work and felt guided in creating it by some artistic wisdom that joined me while I hand and machine appliquéd and stitched.
Workshop Development: Exciting news is that I’m developing a heat press workshop. This will given people the opportunities to develop a design and print it onto fabric in just 2 hours. Watch this space for news and dates. if you’re not signed up to receive Inspire news then you can do so by typing your email address into the box above.
Work in progress: Miniature plants need a miniature place to grow so I’ve been building a greenhouse in Fab lolly sticks with a Magnum stick for decoration. I’ve also tried a more rustic ones from twigs pruned from my Japanese Acer. Need to eat a fab lolly or two more to be able to complete the roof structure. I’m considering whether to plant miniature climbing plants with the rustic greenhouse to encourage them to grown up and within it.
Greenhouse picture 1 &2
Ceramics: I’m exploring ceramics, its not an area I’ve studied before so I’m learning hand building techniques. More on that when the pieces have been fired.
Commission Time: Christmas is coming and its traditionally a time for commissioned artworks for loved ones, providing a bespoke gift made for them. My deadline this year for commission requests, to be ready in time for Christmas is 31st October. Please email me and I’ll help determine all that’s needed to begin the creation of your unique artwork.
Thanks for the support in the past three years and here’s to the future. To creativity, and beyond!
October is #Inktober: I’m taking the #Inktober challenge again this year. My intention is to try to illustrate the prompt words simply and clearly. You can see my ink creations in my Instagram ‘stories’.
Thanks so much for reading to the end. I’m delighted with this work and will be looking at the display of it. So watch this space by popping your email address in the box at the top of the page to follow my blog. Normally a maximum of one post per week, a little bright creativity into your inbox
Here is the work that led to the passion flower creation.
And finally here are flowers I painted in pomegranate juice (and a little green watercolour). The juice was a stunning pink so I could resist making art with it. The work is inspired by a great book I’m reading The Joy of Watercolour by Emma Block.