2021 November

November 28, 2021

What am I? A Artist? Maker or Crafter?

Hand stitch is required

For far too many years that I care to remember I have been making things using fabrics, papers and threads. So the question is What am ? A Artist? Maker or Crafter?

The answer will depend on who is reading this and who knows me enough to know what I love doing most. A complicated question that requires a complicated answer.

My first love is making textile art. That is easy enough making me an artist?  Yes is the answer if your reading this as a textile artist yourself. Here comes the controversy. Many artists who do not use fabrics and threads do not consider textiles as an art form. It is either sewing, embroidery, a craft or I am a maker. I often wonder why that is. Textile artists use a needle and thread instead of paint and ink. Why is it classed differently?  I create pictures using the needle and thread, I create abstract art using the same materials there are other Textile Artists who’s work is so amazing you cannot fail be in awe of them.

I recently discovered that if I get my art professionally framed it is then called art and not sewing or a craft. Why does a frame have to make a difference? I feel that to have a piece accepted by the art community it has to look the part. No raggedy edges, no loose ends as that is sewing.

To show case fabrics and because I cannot help myself I make items to sell in my little shop. Now that makes me a maker or crafter. I listen to individuals walking past my shop saying things like “oh that’s a craft shop” when technically speaking it is a haberdashery shop.

But of course I do not help myself when I attend a local craft fair with the items I have made. Except I do not appear to fit into them either. It is a conundrum.

Personally I do not care for labels and being put in a compartment. The fact is I love fabric, threads, paint and many other items that I can sew into. For me the main element is sewing. It could be by hand or by machine. A combination of both. Chuck on a few beads and a bit of bling sometimes too.

When in the creative mood (which is quite often) I love to get out a few materials and paints and then see what develops. I rarely plan anything as that takes the fun out of it. Sometimes it doesn’t work out to be anything but I do not throw it away as I may use it for something else at a later date.

So the question remains, What am I?

On days when I am teaching workshops in the studio I am known as a facilitator or learning. Sound very posh. At craft fairs I am a crafter or maker and the rest of the time a shop keeper, maker, artist.

So the answer to the question is I Am Anita. An individual who loves to play with fabrics, paints, inks and threads. And if you want to join me just pop over to the website and take a look at the workshops we have for 2022.  https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/

Unfortunately I am in the position where I have to increase the prices in 2022 due to everything going up so much. But if you want to book into a workshop for 2022 now send me a email with the details of the workshop and I will send you an invoice with this years prices on. The exception to this is the lantern workshop, Ruth’s Wednesdays and Alison Hulme’s three days if your booking the three together. They will remain at the old price. The prices will be increased from 1st January 2022.

Tuesday night live is at 7pm where you can tune into Facebook or YouTube and watch me creating something. I announce what it will be on Monday’s on Facebook. If your not free on a Tuesday evening you can watch later at your leisure.

Stay Safe




November 22, 2021

Seeing Light and Reflections Everywhere

As we go through our days we see light and reflections everywhere. And I find it fascinating.

A great example is this picture of our pond. The way the light reflects in the water is stunning. but I love the way the colours change in the reflections as well.

This picture can be used in so many ways for art. Looking at the colours, the textures and lines but also the added depth of the shadows.

Simplifying it by taking out elements can change it.  Extending some of the lines changes it even more. And what about taking just one colour and using that as the main colour and then adding a contrast? For example that lovely peachy stripe through the water. This is the reflection of the sun going down on the water.

I chose this picture to talk about this week as It is a easy subject for anyone to use for any type of art project.  John thinks it a lovely picture but like anyone who does not see the world as I do he cannot see it as art. I look at it and see a piece of abstract textile art, a quilt or even a hanging of line and colour.

It is interesting how we all see things and how we interpret what we see. That is what I love about experimental workshops and workshops that are not prescriptive.

When teaching a workshop that is a technique or just playing you can give the learners the same materials but by giving them the freedom to go in any direction they want the room become alive and each learner will bounce off their neighbour. This in turn gives me a buzz and makes me think even further about how that technique can be developed. Sharing what I think in turn helps the learners to experiment even further.  The results can be spectacular.

But we all have to start out at the beginning. Learning the basics of stitch, colour and what the materials can do. We also need to learn how to see the light and shadows. The lines and textures and once we do it becomes very addictive.

Our next workshop is with Ruth Holmes who is teaching us how to create landscapes using sheer fabrics and stitch. For more information just follow this link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/layered-landscape/


When you are out and about just take a moment to look around you and try and see something where the light is bright and reflecting on another surface. Could be something shiny such as water or something translucent like the leaves that are changing at the moment. The light on them is fascinating when they have changed colour and the sun hits them.

Tale Care



November 15, 2021

Anita O’Neill – What Excites Me In My Work ?

You may be thinking what an odd question for Anita to discuss but it is not.

Like many self employed individuals it is hard to switch off and relax but for me I find it hard to switch off as an artist.

Let me explain. What excites me on a daily basis is colour, texture and line. Driving along a road near Downham Market today I saw a old wall with lots of trees growing above it. Each tree was a different colour as the leaves die off. The grey wall had a big patch of dark green on in I assume from some ivy. My poor son was made to take a picture of it as we drove past so I can use it for inspiration.

I may just use the colours, or look at the textures in it. So many options. This picture was taken at 10am and here I am writing this at 8.50pm still thinking of that picture.

There is a whole sketchbook of work just waiting to be completed from just this one picture.

What can I do with it? A colour study is one option, take some line drawings from it is another, Scan it into my sublimination printer and print it onto fabric and stitch it? or simplify it and stitch it with free motion embroidery? Using the colours make a background for stich and then make a whole new piece that does not show any relation to the picture is another option.

Excitingly I have some fabulous fabrics in my shop in these colours so I may use them to create something new. Maybe a little bit of patchwork or a quilted piece? A box or bag who knows.

Tomorrow I may still be excited by this picture but it is likely that I will see something else that gets my  brain working in a very different direction. It could be a fabric delivery. I can tell you that if a box of fabrics arrives I cannot wait to open it and start looking at the fabrics to see what comes into my head just from looking at them.

Or I may be in a shop and see something that makes me think why did they use that colour or fabric or texture for that what would I have made it from? That leads me to thinking of the object in more detail and I have to admit I will look at it from all angles including inside if possible. There are always questions to be answered. Supermarkets are hell for me as I do not think there is any logic to them at all but I have found myself looking at a shelf of goods and seeing pattern and texture there ready to be brought to life in a piece of textile are.

Equally I have been laughed at when looking at pipes in water and seeing how the light plays on the pipes and changes them. Others see pipes I see light, shadow and lines broken in different ways. It all excites me.

Windows and the light they throw onto the walls is another thing I find exciting.

I have been taking pictures from a number of windows in different places over the years.

Recently in my own home. And I plan to complete a set of work using them as inspiration with free motion embroidery, hand stitch and soluble film.

It is not just the patterns I see but find the colours fascinating. Looking at this picture initially you would think it black and white but look closely and you will see colour there too.

Blues, browns, creams, rust and maybe a tint of red? What colours can you see?

My work evolves as I get engrossed in it. Looking at this picture I am thinking of taking the subtle colours and the shapes and rearranging them.  It would make a lovely hanging in machine embroidery, or as a quilted piece. even a paper collage with a little bit of stitch in there. I keep thinking fragmentation, so a fragmented hanging would probably be the end result. But who knows? I may change my mind.

I have written this piece so that you understand my world a little bit. And it will help you understand why I love Experimental Wednesdays so much. It is not just the days teaching and encouraging learners that I love but also the preparation for the day. Sometimes I have to remember to hold back a bit but there are the odd ones that I do have to push myself further as I feel there is not enough in the subject to get me excited to want to work into it further.

Why not try looking at your world for a day in a different way? look at the lines, colours and textures of the day. You can find it anything from a cupboard full of food to a pile of ironing.

Be inspired by what ever you see.

Stay Safe





November 9, 2021

Sometimes Life is Not What We Expect

Well for the past couple of weeks I have found that life is not what I expect at all.

My life is planned in advance. Of course I can change my plans at times and do take into consideration outside influences. But sometimes when we are feeling under the weather life is not what we expect at all.

Last week I had to cancel everything due to a heavy cold setting in. At first I felt fine just a little cough or sneeze here and there. Covid test done and fine so went ahead with a meeting for Progression in Textiles. That evening the cold suddenly took a turn for the worse and talk about being knocked off my feet. More covid testing just in case.

I think Microban should give me shares now for the amount of the stuff I have been spraying in the studio, car and my home.

So you see sometimes life is not what we expect. But now the turning point has arrived and I am feeling more human again. Stopped taking expensive medicines to help me get through the days as well.

This time though, has not been wasted. Through the fog my brain has been working on what I want to do and what I need to do for the year of 2022.

Experimental Wednesday

Also some lovely ideas have emerged for my own work and how I can move it on. With this in mind I am going to restart the Tuesday evening Go Lives. This evening I will be demonstrating backgrounds. Our Experimental Wednesday this month is all about creating your own backgrounds using mixed media. Why? Well, one of the days of floating around doing nothing in particular I remembered a conversation with some of you about creating backgrounds and wanting to spend the day working on getting a few ready for your next works. We talked about making Muslin papers. We can make many more than that. Such as using paints in plastic bags, layering up sheer fabrics over papers, spending time using Angelina to create interest in our papers and then of course when they are dry sewing into them.

Wednesday 10th of November is our Social day. If you fancy popping in for the day to spend time with like minded others then do so from 10am till 4pm. Of course there will be cake and refreshments but remember to bring your lunch. Here is the link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/social-wednesday-2/2021-11-10/ 

It is best to book into the workshops as I am keeping the restricted numbers and do not want to have to turn anyone away on the day. If you do not want to book through the website just send me an email or message and I will add you to the site. A none returnable deposit is required for the bigger workshops at the time of booking.

Ruth will be with us on 24th November teaching us how to stitch layered landscapes. All materials are supplied for this workshop you just need to bring your basic sewing kit and machine. Of and your lunch of course.

Layered Landscape

This was just a quick update so I will leave you in peace for now.

If you are thinking of watching me tonight please remember to say hello.

Take Care





November 1, 2021

How is it November Already?

I have no idea where October went but we are very busy at Eau Brink Studio so it is not surprising that it is November already.

Many of you reading this are still nervous about attending workshops and going shopping but so long as we keep on using the masks in crowded areas and wash our hands we should be okay. And of course there is a vaccine. I have had all three as well as the flu one this year already. Doing my bit to try and keep us safe.

With safety in mind I have decided to keep the numbers in the studio to 10. This number works well with the tutors and us learners and it feels comfortable. We will also be keeping the need to wear masks during the workshops when the tutor is demonstrating or in close proximity for a while longer. Who would have thought that we were still trying to keep this thing at bay in November?

Well on to more nicer things.

What is November bringing us then. We have quite a lot going on.

Firstly Progression in Textiles are meeting on the 3rd. It is planning all the way for next years programme of exhibitions. You will be able to find us at the NEC twice, Possibly in Norwich, King’s Lynn, Brancaster and Wymondham.  Of course we will keep you informed, Once we have organised it all.

We do hope we can get to exhibit in King’s Lynn as that is where we are based so it would be great.


The first workshop of November is the basic cushion making day on Thursday the 4th.  10 am till about 2pm. All materials provided. All you need to do is turn up after booking with your sewing machine and basic sewing kit. We will be using the Lewis and Irene fabrics for this day. You get to chose your fabrics. Beside learning how to put the boarder onto the front panel you will be learning how to top stitch around the entire cushion even the opening after stuffing it.  Refreshments provided. To book just follow this link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/pieced-cushions-with-anita-oneill/

This week sees the last week of the fair at Wymondham so if you have not been take a day out. It is lovely in Wymondham and of course the Big C is open and has loads of fabulous items for crafters.

Sunday is the last day to visit the fair in Wymondham but it is also a day I am going to the NEC for a fair they have on to see what goodies I can get for the shop. Looking forward to that one.

Wednesday 10th of November is Social Wednesday. Why not pop in for a little bit of R and R with your craft? You do not have to bring sewing it can be anything. Refreshments provided. https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/social-wednesday-2/2021-11-10/

On the 24th of November we will be with Ruth Holmes who is going to get us making landscapes with layers of fabrics. Using a sewing machine or hand stitch. All the materials are provided for this workshop so once again just bring along your basic sewing kit and sewing machine. Oh and lunch of course. Refreshments are provided.

West Norfolk Artists Association will be holding an exhibition at the Fermoy gallery in Kings Lynn from the 27th of November. Hopefully two of my pieces will be there but if not at least one will be.

And lastly Ruth and Anita will be at the Minister on the 27th until 2pm with a stall for their Christmas fair.

EBS Retail

The shop is doing well now that the Emporium is more stable and open for regular hours. The winter hours start from the 1st of November and are 10am till 4pm. The shop has a heater so is nice an cosy. To keep the heat in the door is closed but the shop is definitely open all the time. Even when I am not there.


Well that is all folks as they say for now.

Looking forward to seeing you all over the next few weeks.


Our Next Event Weaving Basics with Jennifer Anne Studio Click here to book
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