2022 January

January 31, 2022

How’s Your New Year Going So Far?


So how’s your new year going so far? Mine is pretty busy at Eau Brink Studio and at the shop too. Not to mention the exhibitions we are preparing for.

We are already at the end of January. It has been a strange month with warm and freezing weather as well as the news that the restrictions are being lifted. So far so good but is it a good thing to relax everything? I am still wearing my masks in crowded areas and supermarkets. Visitors to the studio are welcome to wear masks as long as you like your safety is paramount. The Gels, gloves and aprons will always be available.

I am grateful that we are now permitted to try and get back to normal but I still have reservations so have decided to keep the number of places on the workshops at a maximum of 10. This gives us space. I cannot wait for the longer days and warmer air so we can have the windows and doors open.

Much of the month ahs been spent updating many things such as the workshop calendar and social media. One of the very busy things I and my glamorous assistant Ruth have been up to is preparing for a few exhibitions. We are involved with Progression in Textiles, a lovely small group of ladies who just want to show our work and hopefully encourage a few people into the textile world of art. We are going to firstly be at the Forum in Norwich in March and at the NEC too. We would love you to come and see our work. You can pick up a leaflet from the end of this week or at any of the exhibitions .

We look forward to seeing you.

This is one of the pieces I am submitting into the Progression in Textiles Exhibition at the Forum.

Ruth set us all a challenge and gave us a picture to use for inspiration as well as the materials to use. Each of us had a different one and it will be interesting to see what we all produce as there are no rules on how to use what we were given.

Ruth and I are also exhibiting at 3’s A Crowd so watch out for that. Our first one will be in Gorleston in a few months.

John and I have been upgrading our Chickens home and now have extended it with an old polytunnel. They love it. Fortunately we have not fixed it to the original enclosure so can move it around them to give them access to the extra grass. My plan is to plant herbs and nasturtium around the enclosure so as it grows and pokes through the wires they can eat them. When you visit the studio you are welcome to go and see them and take pictures if you wish. They are a great source of inspiration as well as just being fun to watch.

So going back to the beginning, How is your year going so far? have you set any resolutions and have you kept to them? Not something that I do, set new year resolutions but planning is everything for me. I have a diary planner that goes everywhere with me. I like lists that I can tick off. And can get very crabby if by the end of a week I have to move something to the following week. But there are times that outside influences get in the way.

How do you deal with that? I used to get very upset but realise one day that I am just wasting my energy if there is nothing I can do about it. So now as I plan I try and think of things that may delay what I need to do so I can even try and plan for that. Does this make me a sad person? Maybe, but I do get a lot done in a day. Even on the days that  I am under the weather I can still sit in front of my laptop and work or sit and do some hand sewing without having to worry too much about it. I am very lucky to have the life I live. And would not change it at all. Well except to earn a little bit more to pay for more hours for the gardener.

So with that in mind I am going to remind you that I am taking my lovely Lewis and Irene fabrics to Textiles East in February. The new Jubilee fabric will be here this week and on the website as soon as it arrives. Textiles East is at Swavesey Village College, in south Cambridgeshire. Tickets can be purchased from textileseastfair.wordpress.com

Also We do have room for a couple more on our regular Wednesday workshops. That is Social Wednesday  Experimental Wednesday   and Ruth’s Wednesday’s   There is also and extra date for Lantern making The lantern making day gives you the opportunity to make lanterns of your choice using fabrics. The day is for beginners to learn how to use the kits and go home with at least one completed lantern. You may get two made. Anita will demonstrate how to take the basics further to make even more elaborate lanterns.

Stay safe




January 21, 2022

The Light Is Returning In So Many Ways

Thinking to myself, what shall I write about? I noticed that the light is returning. The days are a little tiny bit longer  even though it is still cold.

How do you feel at the moment? Excited about a new year ahead of you?  Looking forward to an event? Thoughtful about the past? Well as you think about that let me tell you how I am feeling at the moment.

I do not like the long dark hours of winter at all. I love daylight, early mornings and long evenings. That’s me.  I find that as the nights are longer I lose a bit of my creativity. The dark appears to suck it out of me. Now I am sure someone somewhere is thinking, what is she on about she has a bit studio full of light to work in. Yes that is true but I like to looking out of the windows and seeing the outside world whilst in the studio and not looking at my reflection.

We have been in limbo for three years now with the world in a grip of a pandemic and we have limited choices when it comes to our creative world. Inspiration comes from many places and for me many of them I need to visit and photograph. Quite a few of my friends say the same thing . We all need the stimulation of our world not just our immediate garden and short walk outside the house. There are only so many landscapes you can do.

However, now that the light is returning and the laws around the Covid problems are being lifted I feel much more motivated. This week I have lost a day. No idea what happened or where it went. Probably due to getting the self assessment ready for the accountant has a lot to do with it. But I am not flustered about it or stressed I just know that I need to get on with life and I am already thinking of the exhibitions that are coming up and the fairs, shows as well as workshops. In March one of our  visiting artists is Melanie Missin from Melly Made Designs. Mel will be teaching us how to create her lovely boxes.

But before that we have Ruth Holmes teaching us how to create lovely blinged up birds and beasts.

Planning is key for me and my planner is next to me with long lists for each day. I do not worry about getting them done on the day they are planned for, so long as by the end of each week they are all completed. Longer days do help as the lighter mornings mean I can get up and be raring to go. Not thinking its not a good idea to walk the dogs up the road in the dark, Or I have to wait to clean out the chickens till it gets lighter.

Planning work also helps me to keep on track with things. Returning light helps me to see things differently for some reason. There is more pattern, more colour and texture around and this in turn fires my imagination. Once an idea gets into my head I have to explore it or make a note of it until I have the time to explore.

This is why Experimental Wednesdays work so well each month. The day is all about exploring a technique , or colours or textures. Sometimes all of them depending where your exploring takes you. This month we explored layers of Tyvek, paper, paints and Lutradur with great results.

Next month we will be exploring how to use stencils in a way that encourages layers. Not commercial stencils but cutting our own. The plan is to put the card stock and other materials into the Scan n Cut to speed up the cutting process. All that is needed is a bit of inspiration to create a unique stencil set for the work.

I do wonder sometimes how others cope with the dark winters and getting things done. I am sure it is not any easier when you are going out to work as you still need to be motivated and then there are the mundane household things to be completed too.

The light is returning. This morning I walked the dogs up the road as it was light enough to see and the chickens and ducks had their fresh food and water before they came out of their houses.

Pen and Ink workshopAnd as I watched the sun come up the colours and textures of my world were amazing. Making me think of how I can capture them with fabric and threads. Taking photographs can be the first step but I want to get better at drawing and would love to be able to go out and quickly sketch what I see. To help me do this we have the lovely Rachel Collier-Wilson coming for six weeks to teach us how to relax and improve our drawing skills. Starting right at the beginning so everyone feels they are at the same level throughout the course.

Take Care


January 4, 2022

A New Year Brings New Opportunities


Handmade lampshade
Shibori Style Lampshade

We are all told that a new year brings new opportunities but what does that mean in real life?

The first thing that comes into mind is the roof is now fixed and John has the opportunity to decorate the house.

For me it is a time to reflect on what didn’t work last year, what needed improvement? and how can I move forward for the next year.

I recently read an article on chain reactions and how this affects our lives. Of course we all know that our actions have consequences but putting this into practice for our business can be tricky. Here I will try and explain what I am thinking.

New opportunities do not in reality just fall into our laps as we would like to think. I have found that I have to go looking for them and at times ask for help to achieve a goal. I may be a small one but if I need help to get there then I will ask.

But I have to say I do not always ask for help when I really need it as I like to try and do things for myself. This can mean a missed opportunity. So maybe it is time for me to remind myself that in this world there is help everywhere and I do not need to do everything. The one thing that I do need help with is time. There is  never enough time.

So the first thing I have done is organise for a gardener to quote and do the gardening each month for me. That is the big stuff for now like removing the brambles and helping prepare the veg patch. Then second thing is organising my cleaner to help with the spring cleaning. One room at a time. Just these two things have the potential to save me loads of time so I can concentrate on the studio stuff.

The next thing I have completed is a weekly plan so that I am not charging about all over the place to get things done. I have allocated one day a week to the house and garden. Two days to the shop and the rest for studio work. Now I have no idea if this is even going to work but I will give it the first three months of  the new year to see what the results are.

More studio time means more completed works and more time to meet new people and perhaps teach a little bit more. It certainly does mean more time for me to attend classes held at the studio so I will be looking at bringing more in this year.

More finished works means more exhibitions to show them.  Which means meeting more people and perhaps some of those people will book into the studio to either teach or to learn.  More finished works means trips to the framers and meeting more people  too. You See more opportunities.

Also more finished works means more stock for the shop. Talking about the shop I have been organising new items for it from Colourcraft, and a few other suppliers so that I can have everything we need in the shop ready for the workshops. That will free up space in the studio too. It will take time but I will get it full of lovely items for us to use.

There are a lot opportunities out there even during this trying time and finding them can be a challenge. But I want to be able to make the most of the year in every way I can. I want to be busy all the time as I start looking for things to do if I am not. That is not always good. Cleaning out a cupboard for example usually leads to clearing out a lot of items not used for some time and trips to the charity shops and rubbish tip. he guys do not like it when that happens as I then turn my attention to them and their rubbish.

Mind you taking items to the charity shop usually leads to more opportunities as I usually find something to buy for a project.

I would like to create opportunities for others too so I am looking for new tutors for the studio. They can teach their own craft or art and it can be for any time from half a day to a weekly course if they like. If your interested or know of someone who may be interested please do get in touch on 01553611009.

Progression in Textiles meets for the first time this week. We will be looking at the years exhibitions and making sure we are fully organised for them. These will be great for us all to meet new people to discuss our work with. Do look out for us at The Forum in Norwich, The NEC at Birmingham and in Brancaster. We will be part of the open studios but have not decided on where to exhibit yet. We will keep you posted of course.

Take care





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