Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Witchford Creative Textiles Evening Class

Last year we did a trial run at Witchford Village College of evening classes on 'Screen Printing Fabric'.  I was curious to see if we could fit a whole practical textiles class into a 2 hour session.  And, it actually worked out really well.  

It turned out to be a great opportunity for working people to unwind and have some  creative time for themselves. Or for anyone who is a parent in a relationship to give their partners some quality time with the kids ........and themselves the opportunity to come out and play!

So this year we're doing  'Creative Textiles for All'.  That means it's a more general class and we'll be working trying out a different technique each evening.  

We'll start working with the theme  "Expression in Black and White"   This means that if you're a beginner you can try out several materials without breaking the bank - you'll only need 2 colours.  It also means that you'll be starting with a strong design foundation which can be translated into colour another time.  And, of course, you'll be making exciting pieces right from the start.  

We're doing a 5 week run, with the possiblity of extending in the summer term.  

You really don't have to have any previous art or textiles experience to do this class.  Just come along with a curious mind, experiment, have fun and see where it takes you.

Class is 5 weeks from 26 Feb 2020
Time 7.00 - 9.00pm
Cost: £60 total for 5 sessions.
Materials costs will be extra

Phone this number to book:  
01223 200411
Please book early to avoid disappointment. Payment is required in advance to guarantee a place.
Concession rates are available to those receiving certain means tested benefits, contact the Office for more details.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Cottenham Summer School 2020

Just  a quick post to say that Summer School Program is online, Hooray! 

Lots of great art and textile classes (and of course the lunches):

As always Sensational Screen Printing is very popular so if you'd like to do it, contact the college and strike while the iron is hot! (to use a textile metaphor).

We have a friendly studio atmosphere in this class so everyone can work at their own level and achieve their own patterns and print on cloth. Help and instruction are given whenever needed so it doesn't matter how much or how little experience you have.

Excited - I can't wait to see what creative fabrics people will come up with this year!


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Textile Workshops 2020 - Ely & Cambridge

I've just put together a list of open workshops and classes planned for this year.  I did it mainly to get myself organised and to make absolutely sure that I turn up! The list is going on my pin board, in my calendar and on the fridge.

But now that I have done it, I thought I'd put it out there so anyone who's ready to start planning their workshop treats for the year can put the date aside.....and book a place.


Class Title
26 Feb -25 March
(5 weeks)
Wed evenings
Witchford Village College
Creative Textiles for All
Tel: 01223 200411 
7 March 
Witchford Village College
Screen Print on Textiles
Tel: 01223 200411 
21 March
Cottenham Village College
Felt a Bag
Tel: 01954 288751
28 March
Impington Village College
Screen Print on Textiles
Tel: 01223 200411 
12 and 13 May
Tuesday and Wednesday
Botanic Gardens
Screen Print on Textiles
Book through website:
20 -24 July
Monday - Friday
Cottenham Village College
Spectacular Screen Printing 
brochure from

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Xmas Arts and Crafts

Fairies, Angels, Father Xmas:
Gosh another Xmas has come and gone. Feeling very full and a lot fatter!

Last year I left for South Africa as soon as the school term ended and spent December in the sunshine.

Looking through my photographs this afternoon, I realised that I didn't get round to posting these adorable Xmas tree toppers which we made with little people from  
Spring Meadows Infant School.

 In fact they turned out big enough to wear as Christmas hats so there was lots of gluey fun and balancing when the children tried them on.

 All materials were upcycled from the treaure chest that is Reimagine Resource Centre
and  lots of input and hard work from staff and volunteer parents.  

And with that, wishing everyone a very Happy and Creative 2020!!!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Armistice banners

Lest we forget. Today, being Armistice Day I was reminded of these Ely men who didn't make it back home. 

Last year Ouse Life did an installation in Ely Cathedral - 'To End all Wars' .  Here are some of the banners I worked on as a tribute to some of the men and indeed boys who were sadly killed in action.

Jim Pate Gent age 21 from Little Thetford
Frank Lambert age 23 painter and plumber from Waterside and a member of Ely Band

Herbet James Holiday age 19 worked as an assistant shepherd in Stuntney
William John Cheney age 26 Ely policeman
George Sutton  Bus conductor age 32
Edward Wilken, farmworker Age 22
Walter Black - Barton Road, age 29
And finally, the beautiful, optimistic face of John Leslie Pate, a bakers roundsman from Queen Adelaide who was killed in action at the age of 19

All research was from this excellent website:
From Fenland farms to Flanders Fields,  Ely and World War 1. Worth a read for the personal stories of these men and many others.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Design and Stitch

I am both excited and nervous to find myself teaching Contemporary Textiles Workshop.  Pauline Verrinder has sadly decided to retire from some of her teaching committments and I have taken over one of her classes.  Pauline is a very hard act to follow.  I know because she taught me in the  City and Guilds Creative Embroidery course and was  so inspirational.  In fact, I could honestly say she totally changed my life by introducing me to the whole wonderful world of creative embroidery.  I learned so much from her  'what if....?' approach to exploring materials, processes and ideas. 

I was already running my screen print studio when I discovered the  Creative Embroidery course.  I had been researching masters' programmes at various universities but found they were much too theoretical (and expensive!) for me. 

 I knew when I went to a C&G taster class that this would be the course for me, when a fellow student jokingly asked me if she could cut a snippet from my skirt to use in her embroidery! 

Doing the C&G gave me an incredibly thorough education in practical textile techniques at a very affordable price.  I just didn't want  it to end.  And friends, - suddenly I met a whole community of textile lovers and I knew I had found 'my people'.

Anyway, 2 weeks into the new class, we are starting with black and white expressive marks on paper and developing these into stitch. Hopefully we can continue the whole 'what if...?' tradition and create fabulous, unique and creative textiles!

Watch this space for further developments.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Weekend of Screen Print onto Textiles

Impington Village College
Tutor: Ricki Outis
Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 October                10.00am – 4.00pm

Brief Description: Small scale screen printing - the emphasis is on the experimental, creating simple paper stencils with small silk screens to create bold shapes and pattern on fabric.  The course is aimed at those with some experience of screen printing as well as beginners and it is an opportunity to work in a studio atmosphere with tutor support.  This 2 day class will allow you to build up layers and develop more complex designs, to explore texture and to have some fun with experimental techniques.  Learners who have previously attended a one day course can develop their own projects with help from the tutor as needed.  A4 and A5 screens and squeegee are provided for use during the weekend

£8 for materials
Wear old clothes and an apron
Reference pictures to use as inspiration.
5/6 old newspapers
Notebook, pen and pencils
Paper cutting scissors / craft knife & cutting mat
20 sheets computer / photocopy paper (not recycled)
A rag for cleaning eg fabric torn from old T-shirt or an old facecloth etc
Clear / masking tape

Fabric: you will need to bring your own fabrics to print on. These must be 100% cotton. Polyesters and poly- cottons do not print well. I suggest you bring about two to three metres of white or light coloured, 100% cotton fabric, preferably washed and ironed.   If you are a non stitcher, you can bring pre-made items for printing on eg. T-shirts, shopping bags, pillow slips - as long as they are, a light or bright colour and once again, 100% cotton. (T-shirts & shop bags do not need pre-washing)

Location:Impington Village College, New Road, Impington, Cambridge, CB24 9LX

CONTACT: tel 01223 200411

Friday, 6 September 2019

Norris Museum Tablecloths

This is an update on a previous post.  I think I wrote about these tablecloths,  printed by adults with disabilties a few weeks ago.  Since then I have done a bit of infill and that's pulled the whole design together.  They will be having some very colourful teas at the museum!

I pre dyed the cloth and everyone was amazed to see the colour come through when they printed

This one is to hang on the front of the serving table.

Who said museums have to boring!

Monday, 19 August 2019

Botanic Gardens Screen Print Workshop

I was excited to have the opportunity to teach a 2 day workshop at  Cambridge University Botanic Gardens .  There is so much inspiration for print and pattern.  It got me wondering why I don't go there more often.  Here's some wonderful work by students.

Proteas by Jax

Clematis by Lindsay

Daisies on calico

Elspeth's ginko leaves

Hoverflies by Val - see her pencilandleaf.blogspot

Jennifer Copley May. see link  jennifercopleymay

And Fiona Payne -link- Fiona - Open Studio

Monday, 12 August 2019

Ely Folk Festival Carnival

Ely Carnival Arts  did  a whole batch of making activities for Ely Folk Festival's annual carnival parade.  We work with children at the festival to create costumes, props and puppets and this year our theme was "Into the Forest"

Our costume theme was Robin Hood.  The bows and arrows were especially popular!

As were the sheilds - a brilliant activity for all age groups.

The parade itself was headed up by the skipping girls.... with a custom  made willow skipping rope.

Followed by the giant Green Man puppet.

Then we had a long line of Robin Hoods - both male and female.

And finally Tom carrying Annie's banner.

A great green time was had by all!

Monday, 15 July 2019

Histon Feast Print Workshop

Another busy and popular screen print workshop at Histon Library for the Histon and Impington Feast day.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

Here's a great description from Cath who organised the project: "So, nearly 60 took part: lots of children, little ones helped by parents, and all ages up to eighty plus, a few keen artists but mostly people who had never done anything like this before and were thrilled with their success. Watch out for our bags around the village!"

Thanks to the Friends of Histon Library for organising this. Keep an eye out for their book sales - they have a massive collection of very good books!