Saturday, 4 July 2015

Closing my blog

I have decided after much thought and careful consideration to close my blog after 5 years of writing.  I have had some changes in my life that creates a need to simplify my life and to create more time for other ventures.  

I have decided, after many years, (too many to count) to return to school and do a Bachelor of Arts majoring in the humanities and Information and library studies. This degree covers art and literature and information gathering and library skills. I am so excited (and nervous) to begin. Undertaking this degree has meant letting go of a few things in my life and blogging will be one of those things that sadly I will need to put to the side while I study.

I would like to thank all those who have read my blog over the last 5 years and enriched my life.  I appreciate your loyalty and your interest in my little blog.   Art is a wonderful medium to create in and is something I will continue to make a part of my life.  I hope you keep creating and asking questions that will push you to create in ways you never thought possible before.

I will still be posting on my Face book page regularly.  
So come on over to my page and 'Like'  me to see what I am up too.  

My web page will still be up and running at 
Please come and visit me regularly to see what new work I am creating

Catherine xxxx

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Sketchbook: Floral fantasy

A peek into my sketchbook

Floral fantasy

It is winter in New Zealand at the moment.  I love this time of the year.  We had a -1 this morning and very heavy frost it was beautiful.  The only thing I really miss in winter  is flowers.  I miss the colour and beautiful perfumes.  I made this page today so I could have a little summer with me today.

The background for this page has been created using layers of paint.

The layers have been made with stamps,  printing materials and paintbrushes.

The flowers were drawn on with an ink pen and then painted with watercolour paints.

The layers and textures in the background suggest sunlight and more flowers in the garden.

A little summer in winter here in New Zealand.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

A peek into my sketchbook

The Rose

My favourite flower is the rose.  I love it particularly because of the smell.  I have many fond memories of My grandmother smelling roses and telling me about them and the ones she loved.  I think it is her that I can attribute my love of flowers.  

I love receiving roses.  They don't last too long but they are worth receiving and looking at  for the days they are alive.   

It is lovely that each rose has a different meaning and that a message can be conveyed through the colour and type of rose that is given.  

They are just a perfect.....


......and gorgeous flower.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Free Quilting resources

Do you want 2 great free quilting resources?

Head over to quilting daily for a huge selection of free e-books. They have books on finishing techniques, mono printing, surface designs and many more topics.  They are easy to download,  free and a great read.

By Catherine Parkinson

Mono printed and machine quilted.  

The second free resource I love is 
This blog is full of free quilting patterns, advice and instruction.  She gives easy to follow instructions and so much practical support.  An amazing blog.

Catherine Parkinson

This small quilt was made for the transformation challenge by Leah Day.  Each submitted quilt had to include at least 3 of her free motion quilting patterns.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Sketchbook this week: Magnolias

A peek into my sketchbook

Well I am just about feeling normal again after 2 weeks of rest.  I haven't put my back out that bad in many years.  I couldn't even read or look at a computer screen.  The most I have been able to do is watch T.V lying on my side and since I am not a big T.V watcher I have had a very boring 2 weeks.  But It was so good to have a rest and to be able to be.  

While I have been lying around I have been watching the trees turn from their Autumn (fall) coats to their winter frames. It is so nice too see the seasons change.  I love winter.  I love the warm fires, reading, hot stews,  soups,  and winter woollies.  I love snuggling under blankies and cuddling with kids around the fire.  I love the nakedness of trees.  When the leaves are gone the structure is visible and so amazing. My sketchbook page today Is of our Magnolia tree close to our home.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Getting text onto fabric.

I just had to show you this neat way to get photos and text onto fabric.  

At the moment I am experimenting with different techniques for my series on families. I have been painting,  printing,  cutting, pasting and drawing.  While looking for ways to get text onto fabric I came across these 2 great tutorials.  They don't need any chemicals (which I love)   And are very simple effective and easy ways to get print onto fabric.  

The first tutorial Is a freezer paper method.  Print onto the freezer paper then press onto dampened fabric.  I have tried doing this into damp paint and it works brilliantly and even better it seems water proof.  

The flowers to the left and the text have been printed on this sample using the first method.

P.S.  Print out text backwards other wise you get mirror writing on the quilt top.

The second tutorial is a technique I have been working with for a while.  Just one word of caution trim off all loose threads other wise it can jam up the printer. (not easy to fix)

Fabric Printing DIY

Have fun!!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Using time wisely

I haven't really felt like posting over the past week.  Sometime life just needs quiet times alone to work through things. 

I lost a friend last week from cancer.  She was only 24 years old.  She has a beautiful wee girl who is 2 and a devoted husband.  She showed me grace and dignity in life and death and proved to me age is not a barrier to maturity.  I will really miss her sweet smile, infectious laugh and peaceful spirit.

 When she passed away my priorities seemed to change overnight. I had a paradigm shift.  

What is a Paradigm?  It is when You see something differently after new information 
is given to you either through an experience or through verbal discussion.  

I started thinking about how we would cope as a family and what I would do with my time if I or my husband only had a short time to live.  How would things change in my home and in my life?  How would I feel about my use of time?  

What would you do differently?  
What would you do the same?
Who would you spend time with?
How would you spend that time?

What really is important?

  • Time with family.  They grow so fast and people's lives are fragile and you just don't know when they will go.
  • Putting people first. 
  • Using time to make wonderful memories
  • Viewing time as a precious and wonderful blessing
  • Helping and serving others.  Isn't that what we are all here for?
  • Sharing ourselves
  • Being creative
  • Loving and caring for people
  • Gaining and applying knowledge
Remember it is the small and simple things that make a difference.  The small things is what life is made up of not big things.  The simple everyday I love you,  hugs,  smiles,  a chat with a loved one, a game of monopoly,   snuggling on the sofa with your grand-kids or children and a book,  a walk in the rain or painting in the studio. 

Have a beautiful day with your loved ones 
making precious and simple memories.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Turning ideas into an artquilt series

One thing I learnt this week is when you have something planned the best way to get out of it is to sneeze and to badly put your back out.  I didn't even know this could be possible until it happened to me yesterday.  It was so bad that I have been on 2 lots of pain killers for the past 24 hours.  This is amazing for someone who very rarely takes pain killers.  Life has interesting and unexpected twists and turns that can lead down 'exciting paths'.  Yesterday I had planned to painted and make collage all day.  I ended up snuggled in front of the fire keeping still with my drawing book researching a series of work I am beginning to work on.  Although my day didn't turn out as planned and was a wee bit uncomfortable it was so nice just to rest and draw and collect ideas.  
(sorry about the quality of  some of the photos but I am still pretty sore and I can only manage limited time at the computer and behind my camera.)

How to collect ideas for  new work?

So you are planning a new group of art quilts.  Where do you start?  How do you get ideas together?  What drawings could be useful?

I start by collecting different sketches,  photos and other peoples art work.  It gives me a reference point to start from and inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.

Next I get out a pen and a sketchbook or my I pod sketch app and begin to work ideas out by drawing and redrawing things I have seen or ideas that are in my head.

These are some of the ideas that I have been collecting.

Draw simple outlines of photos or ideas in your head.

Sketch an idea and colour in with pencils or water colours.

Try making different compositions of your subject 

Sketch simple shapes 

Sketch and colour in simple shapes

Repeat ideas again and again reworking those ideas 
in different ways.

Use a I pod and draw with a simple sketch programme.  Use only one colour.

Sketch in an I pod and fill in with air brush using different colours.

Try sketching only silhouettes 

Make a collage of an idea you like

The next thing to do is to start to go though your ideas and to find the ideas you would like to work more with more and to try to keep reworking them until you are happy with the composition.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Quilts in the news

It is great to see quilts getting recognition in the news and on-line. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Although there are only 5 quilts on-line from this challenge "lest we forget" ( which was open to all New Zealanders and Australians) They are worth a look at.  
                                                                       anzac quilts

My entry "Remember"

Here is a link for the  True Blue challenge being held in
Melbourne,  Australia and the Australian quilting convention.There are some beautiful art quilts in the competition.  

A quilting company in USA has won small business of the year.  A huge achievement and great to see quilting getting good recognition in the business world. To read the article press the link below.

The quilt museum has beautiful quilts on display.  Although not all the quilts are on-line there are many photos on there web page. 

Nelson is host to  a national textile show. This link below take you to the new press release of the show.  If you are in the Nelson area it would be a great exhibition to visit.  Closes 6th June 2015

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

My baby girl graduated!!

We've been a way for a few days in Palmerston North New Zealand,  to our daughters Graduation from her Bachelor of Agriscience (hort)  degree.  It has been absolutely wonderful to see her being presented with a degree and to celebrate her achievement.  We are so super proud of her.   I don't know where the time has gone.  She has grown up into an absolute stunning woman on the inside and out.  

I was thrilled with how the photos turned out.  especially the first one as we were in the circle of the Regent which was 'miles' away from the stage,  It also rained very heavily so all my sitting down portraits could't be done.  We were just lucky to have 2 1/2 hour slots in the weather to get some photos taken outside.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

A new art quilt: Sunbathing


Tuatara's are an endangered lizard from New Zealand.  They are so beautiful.  I got a chance to touch one a few years ago and I was so surprised to find they weren't pointy and prickly but felt like a uncooked chicken.  They were soft!!!  

33cm x 33cm (13" x 13")
Whole cloth quilt,  painted and quilted.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Photography this week: Cello


The cello is not only a beautiful sounding instrument but beautiful to look at.  The shape is elegant and refined.  

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