More Memories and a Great Artist

We had a great time at Brockenhurst Show. For a small village, in the heart of the New Forest in Hampshire,  Brock really draws the crowds. The village hall is enormous and having a train station helps to bring in the crowds. We had great artists this year – Adele Thomas, Margaret Beal and Anne Hellyer among them. Big names in traders too, with the likes of Art Van Go and Mulberry Silks. The WOWbook stand did very well and it was great to see so many members. There was an exhibition by the Gathering Memories team. They are raising money for the Alzheimers Society by asking people to produce small, stitched works which will be auctioned at the Willis Museum from 30th June to 4th August and Southampton Art Gallery, 12th to 30th September.  Or you can bid on the website  You can see some of the entries in this blog – the standard was very high.

My piece was called Memory Tree, Fractured – see below.  The finished piece  shows a figure trying to straighten the tree while all the memories fall down and collect as flotsam below it. I stamped some text on it and then reversed it as my mum had a friend with this horrible disease. Poor Daisy, previously an avid reader, was unable to make sense of the text as she said it was all going backwards. So this piece is for her.





















The exhibition had some lovely pieces so do please support them.


My Multicoloured WOWbook online course  has been going great guns and we are now on Texture – having had a whale of a time with colour. These little strips are some of my own texture experiments. Flotsam and Jetsam  were great fun to make and use up all kinds of bits and pieces. The lower one was used in my Alzheimers piece.




We are about to return the wonderful work of Diane Bates, who is featured in the next WOWbook. Diane is hoping to show her Painted Lady collection in her new house at some stage and I can tell you it is well worth seeing. The house itself is lovely and Fiona has insisted on coming with me to return the work to Diane. So we are off on a WOW jolly, leaving Clive in charge of the cat – or is it the other way round? You can see some of the collection below.



It is not just the stitching that is top class – Diane’s drawing skills are awesome.





This is her workroom – full of wonders. We’ll take more photos on our trip and it won’t be long before the book is out with a big interview and lots of lovely photos. Can’t wait.





New books and old cats

The first of the WOWbooks was a great success and now the second one is on its way. We have an all-star cast and are on target for June so here’s some news about the contributors. We are so thrilled that the amazing Diane Bates has agreed to be the star of our interview spot. I braved snow, ice and the M1 to visit her and was stunned by her wonderful new home, where she hopes to make a study/gallery space for her Painted Lady costume collections. When I took up the post with the Embroiderers’ Guild as editor of Embroidery Magazine, Diane was one of my first commissions. You can see the result below. I count this as a real scoop for the WOWbook.


Joining Diane we have the very popular Clare Bullock who has written the best ever workshop on Nuno felt, more from her in the next blog. We also have the stitch supremo Sue Dove, whose simple artwork techniques lead to such great stitched pieces. A real find, and new to me is Marion Jazmik, whose delicate and ethereal pieces belie their production tools – heat tool and soldering iron. In case our UK readers think they have lost Alysn Midgelow-Marsden to the antipodes, we are showing that she is as productive as ever and doing things with metal and wire in a big way. My, those recycled coffee pods are looking good.


As if all that was not exciting enough, we have Linda and Laura Kemshall with some simple ideas for producing sketchbooks with the WoW factor. I love the way these two work together and the article is entertaining as well as making you feel you must just have a go. I’m just off to do some ripping.






If you want to know when the book is available, just drop Fiona an email

There is more information about the book in our newsletter and you can sign up for this on our web site When you get there, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

I have had complaints about this blog. People are asking, where is Smudge? Well the bad guy is still very much in evidence, except when he does his new trick. Hiding on top of a high cupboard and then dropping on your head.