Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Honeybuns and Sewing Bees Patchwork Shop

In my last post I showed you round my friends lovely Hampshire garden.

They live in Alverstoke - once a seaside village on the Hampshire coast (right opposite the Isle of Wight) but now it is rather subsumed into Gosport.

But Alverstoke does have a little village centre with a handful of little village shops. And though I was dog sitting and supposed to be working in the studio, the sun was shining and I thought I would have a little wander.

And a shop window caught my eye!

Of course, I had to step in.

And it was like stepping into a little sweet shop! But nothing was fattening - all calorie free.

A little gem packed to the rafters with the most beautiful patchwork and quilting fabric, all beautifully co-ordinated. 

Every surface covered.

Like every good shop a decent haberdashery section with a good selection of thread. 

And also pre-cut packs for patchworkers. 

And in all of this gloriousness a few things caught my eye.

I bought some of the above for some bunting for the Open Studios (must crack on with that).

And fabric brand new to me - Lewis & Irene.

This little shop is called Honeybuns and Sewing Bees.  And if traditional patchwork and quilting is your thing (and you find yourself in Gosport any time soon) it is worth a little trip. It is a tiny, compact little gem (though there is a workshop room just behind which they use for classes etc.) 

Susan showed me round (she described herself as the Saturday girl) and Caroline is the boss

And I am told they are planning an on line shop too. 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

An Artists Garden

Dear reader

How lucky was I - I borrowed a studio!

And not just any studio, but a garden studio belonging to my lovely friends Rob and Andy of Rob Turner China (I was dog sitting for them) so of course I had a good nosey round the garden too. They have very green fingers. 

Even the tomatoes looked stunning and full of promise for what is to come. 

And the Hosta was flowering. 

Lots of decorated pots on their new deck. 

And a stunning vista as you step out of the back door ( there is a glimpse of the creek through there). 

Succulents in pots. 

And the corner of the deck by the studio. 

Agapanthus almost blooming.

Decorated terracotta pots for sale

and ined up for studio visitors. 

 I used to think succulents were so boring. I am changing my mind! 

And then I wandered down to the veg patch and found these beauties. 

And the old sign from their studio shop in London ( so many years ago now it almost feels like another life) 

Inevitably I was accompanied on my little journey by my little charges.

And the potato bed proved particularly fascinating. 

The back of the house. 2 years ago this was a boring 1960s bungalow.

Hampshire Open Studios will run from the 19th to the 28th August.

Rob and Andy are throwing their doors open for the first time for this festival. The venue is listed as
The Vestibule @ 4RC (4 Rectory Close, Alverstoke, Gosport). 4 artists will be showing in total, including yours truly.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Bucks Open Studios 2017 - a review

Friends - it has been a little while!

And, while I am sure you did not really miss me - there are other fab blogs out there after all - I should explain. 

I think last time we met I had finished the handmade artists book. 

It was a labour of love - made for Bucks Open Studios. 

Here are a few pics. I ought to try to do a little video.

The binding. 

Then a little bit if the stuffing was knocked out if me! 

I lost my old dog. He was elderly, it was coming, he'd had a great innings but it still somewhat took the wind out of my sails. Dogs - they're not with us long enough. And they take a bit of your heart.

Here he is from a couple of years ago looking out over the Solent. If you have read this blog from the start you may have seen him pop up from time to time. He was a character and not fond of other dogs he met out - yet as soft as butter when you got to know him.

And here he is, basking in the May sunshine shortly before he died. 

But must press on - this blog is not about dogs. 

So then we had a holiday - fabulous! Romania - a bit of vampire hunting ( well, you have to don't you!). 

I will come back to Romania another time. I will just tempt you with this.  (Yes - its Dracula's castle! Actually it isn't at all, but that is another story!) 

And then back to a hectic time in the day job, and hanging Open Studios. 

We - and by 'we' I mean Mix3d Stitch, the informal little group that first got together for Open Studios in 2015 - were back at Christ The Cornerstone Church in central Milton Keynes ( opposite Marks and Spencer - prime location!) 

This year we totalled 11 artists including a proper quilter - Alison Pearson

Then yours truly.

Transformation - Time and Landscape I (above) and II (below) had another outing.

They looked beautiful this time. I did not hang them on hanging rods but rather attached them directly to the wall. Much better.


Stunning batik by Jane Sharp (teeny hand stitching!)

Yvonne Elliot had a wonderful display in an alcove in the first floor cloister gallery.

And Jane Charles made a beautiful display of quirky birds and trees ...

... and colourful mixed media prints.

Beautiful paintings by Sheila Ward.

Detailed drawings by Nicola Saunderson.

Paintings, many portraits and self portraits by Catherine Smith (including this interactive cube).

Prints by Helen Taylor.

And stained glass.