Sunday 23 December 2018

Christmas Musings...

For me, one of the special things about this time of year is that there is time to think.
I don't really want to set myself a New year's resolution that might end up making me feel like a failure, but there is one thing about myself that I want to try and work on.
I have always been a planner,
the one that is always looking over the horizon for what might appear, just in case there might be a nasty surprise.
There's nothing wrong with forward planning, in fact in comes in pretty useful when you're navigating this funny thing called 'Life', but sometimes I think I need to just stop every now and then and look around at what is happening NOW.

So why the picture of my Christmas tree?

It was when I was decorating the tree I started to think about this because I never hang my vintage decorations, just in case they get broken.
I have three boxes of beautiful glass baubles that I have collected for many years languishing in my attic.
Every year I open the boxes and lovingly look at them, and then shut the lid again.
But not this year, my daughter and I hung as many as we could on the branches and Im so glad we did.

So now the tree is looking resplendent, I should try and apply this philosophy to other parts of my life.
You see, I am already watching that metaphorical egg timer in my mind's eye and mourning the fact that there will only be a handful of precious years left before my daughter will fly the nest.
I worry that there's not enough time, that I haven't done all the things I'd plan to do, and she's still at secondary school!
I bet Im not the only mum to feel like this, but I really have to try and stop  because it's spoiling the time we have as a family.
So, next time I begin to feel like this I have to try and think of my Christmas tree, and that I should enjoy what I have right now.
(Next year I might even hang my very favourite glass decorations that are shaped like little birds... but let's just take one step at a time!)

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you enjoy every moment, sending all my very best wishes,
Mrs B

Sunday 16 December 2018

Playing Around...

Last weekend I had a brilliant arty day with my friends.
We were chatting, laughing, eating nibbles and chocolate, (lots of chocolate!) and all the while I was painting here and there.
I set up my paper, (it was a pretty big piece of wall paper lining paper,) on two ironing boards, and every now and then (in-between mouth-fulls of goodies,) I'd do a bit of painting...

No plans.
No pressure.

And by the end of the day I had painted a whopping big abstract!
I could see traces of Cornwall (especially Marazion with its lovely windswept beach. Cornwall often seems to pop up in my abstract paintings.)

These four compositions have been arranged from the large painting using my (very basic) Photoshop skills.

I'm toying with the idea of making these into prints for my online shop?

But the most important thing about this painting for me is to remember to just 'play' every now and then, and see what happens...

Wednesday 12 December 2018

The Birthday Party...

Mollie wasn't sure about birthday parties.
She sometimes didn't know what to say and she wasn't very good at games.
Her dress wasn't sparkly and she couldn't afford a big present.
So she put on her rabbit ears and took a deep breath.
When she walked into the room full of noise and people and music,
she noticed another girl in rabbit ears, and she knew it would be alright.

I've really been enjoying making these collages and I'm thinking of having some digital prints in my online shop next year, including this one maybe.

I hope your Christmas preparations are going well, I'm leaving the present wrapping until the very last minute (as usual!)
festive wishes to you chuck 

Sunday 2 December 2018

Knitting And Stitching Show Harrogate:

We took some of the Art Foundation students to the Knitting And Stitching Show last week, and it really was truly inspiring.
(It was so good in fact that I had a headache for two days afterwards, and I'm sure it was because I was over-excited!)
There was so much it was quite overwhelming (in a good way!) but I thought I'd show you the work of some of the textile artists that I met.

Jessica Grady's work was just stunning, the embellishment and texture was just unbelievable...

look at these beautiful colours! Swoon!

I also loved the Jessie Dickinson Design display, her textile sample books were fascinating and her work was so intricate...

I spent quite a long time talking to Melanie Kay whose work is concerned with the environment and the waste that we create.
Just look at this beautiful piece of embroidered art... it used to be an old wet-wipe!

Her embroidery on discarded materials and plastic were stunning and her display really made a lasting impression on me.

I actually spotted Suzanne Redois' boots before I saw her stand, but I knew that I would love her work...
and I was right!

You can see how her love of New York and its vibrant community have influenced her art, and I also love the fusion of textile design and fashion illustration.

Oooo, and just before I go, I have to show you the beautiful hall where we could all sit and eat our pack-ups in at dinner time!
Fancy eh!

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Michelle Forrest-Beckett At The Ropewalk...

There's still time to see the brilliant exhibition by Michelle Forrest-Beckett at The Ropewalk in Barton.

Childhood recollections of sideshow attractions at Whitby, and the strange and unsettling qualities of Victorian and Vaudeville side shows, these characters are truly evocative and characterful.

I love her use of vintage and found materials, I absolutely love old dolls' heads and the really powerful effect they have.

Michelle Forrest-Beckett.
'Fairground Fables.'
The Ropewalk.
4/1/18 - 2/12/18

Sunday 11 November 2018

Hope & Elvis Collaged Animals Workshop! Whoop! Whoop!

I'm really glad to say that my paper collaged animals workshop will be running again at the ever so lovely Hope & Elvis on October 12th 2019.
'Mrs Bracken, Miss Briar And Long Eared Ladies' will be a day full of chatter, creativity (and cake,) and some of my favourite animal characters will be coming out to play again.
If you feel a little nervous about the drawing part of the workshop then worry not, I will provide you with a template kit, (which you can follow, use for inspiration or completely ignore!)
On the other hand, if you want to create your very own creature that is absolutely fine too.

We'll also have lots of fun using a wide variety of materials and techniques, (some of which are very sparkly indeed!) so that your animal will be dressed up to the nines!

Have a great weekend chucks!

Thursday 8 November 2018

A Fab Vintage Day Out At The Ropewalk!

Last Saturday was the very first vintage fair at The Rope Walk Gallery, Barton.
The whole event, which included amazing stalls of loveliness, a tea room, music and dancing, was organised by Miss Pigeon Vintage.
There was a real buzz of excitement, (and I really started to feel all Christmassy and giddy!)

This is the glamorous Rosie Hearts Vintage, I just had to photograph her amazing outfit and beautifully curated stall.

My friend Debs tried on quite a few of the gorgeous frocks from Mel's Vintage Emporium.
We were both swooning for quite some time!

I loved the high heel fluffy slippers!

'Roll up!
Roll up!'
(Why! It's Miss Pigeon Vintage herself!)

There was music, dancing and a one man band!

And here is the wonderfully quirky stall of Miss Alfie Robot Retro, her vintage treasures always makes me smile.

It was a truly wonderful day at a beautiful location.
Congratulations Miss Pigeon Vintage, it was ace!