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November 28, 2021
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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

Anita

 

 


November 22, 2021
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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

Anita

 


November 15, 2021
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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

Anita

 

 

 


November 9, 2021
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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

Anita

 

 

 


November 1, 2021
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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.

Anita


October 18, 2021
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It Is Monday Again

I have no idea where the days and weeks are going. It is Monday again and I am working hard to get new items ready for Wymondham next week, put new workshops on the systems once I have sorted out the details with the tutors or for myself. And on top of that keep the shop fully stocked. Busy Bee.

So lets start with looking at what I have been working on shall we?

Firstly a series of new workshops that are using pre-cut fabrics which can be stitched together as patchwork and quilting. This new series is starting on Thursday 4th November at 10am till 2pm.

The first one is just your basic cushion. It won’t take too long and you get to choose your fabrics over tea and cake of course. This cushion is made using a 10 inch pre-cut square of Lewis and Irene fabrics with a nice pre-cut boarder that is 2.5 inches wide. Just right for a beginner.

All machine stitched and even top stitched to finish it off and close it after stuffing .

The second is moving it on a little bit to make a cathedral window cushion on the sewing machine again. This series will run for 4 weeks ending on 25th November. At the end of the series you will be able to use the cushion blocks for larger projects such as quilts for you home or to give a gifts.

I have also been working on items for West Norfolk Artists next exhibition. I am currently working on a Cockerel and hope to get it finished and framed in time for the submission at the end of November.

The other thing I am working on is a kit for embroidering. I have dyed the threads and printed the fabric just sewing one so you can see what to expect. Nearly finished it and will post the finished picture on social media.

I have to say I am loving how the threads have turned out and the way the colours look when stitched.

Progression in Textiles

We had a great time as part of Open Studios. Enjoying lots of visitors who stayed and chatted to us about our work and what we will be up to in the coming year. We now do not have any exhibitions until March where we will be at the NEC so we have lots to get on with. Of course we will keep everyone posted on our progress through our social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram. Just look for  Progression in Textiles and if you like what you see please do like our pages.

Experimental Wednesday

So this week we have Experimental Wednesday where we will be playing with Gum Arabic transfers. I have to say I am not that good at this process for some reason everyone else gets better results than me. But that’s what we will be revisiting again. so if you fancy joining in just pop over to the events page and book in or email Anita on admin@eaubrinkstudio.co.uk .

We have everything you need and plenty of time to practice too.

 

If you want to see the new cushions you can make just go to the Long Sutton Emporium and into my shop which is called EBS Retail and you can see them before they go off to Wymondham on Monday if they have not sold.

There also may be a quilling workshop coming up too. But still working out the details with the tutor. so watch this space.

Just one more thing. We have managed to hatch out one duckling and Luna has decided it is hers to protect so poor Lucy gets growled at, everytime she looks in its direction. We have had to put it in a cage instead of a box because we are not sure if it managed to escape or if Luna took it out of the box.

Take care everyone

Anita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


October 11, 2021
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Bringing New Challenges to Eau Brink Studio

As the new season is upon us I am finding it is bringing new challenges to Eau Brink Studio.  One being keeping warm or cool. I mean the heating is on over night in the studio,  but during the day it is either too hot with it on or too cool with the heating off. The door is being open and closed as the day goes on and the temperature in the studio changes constantly. And what do we wear? As I write this to you I have the heating off, the doors open and the sun is pouring in just like a  mid summers day.

You have to love October. We get to see all weathers as the season changes as well as all colours in the gardens. As many of you know my garden is a huge challenge for me. I am hoping the new gardener will appear very soon to help. In the mean time I will continue to cut grass and do my little bit. I have missed the sheep this year as they did keep everything down.

Another challenge is to upgrade our tables. Whilst we had the tables out of the studio for Open Studios we have decided to put another layer over the top of the wood. John has requested samples from various companies to see what we can use. I would like a non slip layer so that machines do not slip but we will see what we can get.

Talking of Open Studios, I would like to thank all the ladies of Progression in Textiles for all their hard work and support during this last two weeks. We have had some fun and lots of lovely visitors.

All the feedback has been very positive and welcoming. So I would also like to thank all the visitors who have come along to see what we have been up to and to discuss our plans for the coming year.

Progression in Textiles will be meeting on Wednesday 13th October to evaluate and plan the next outing of our work. Which will be in the Spring.

In the mean time at Eau Brink Studio we are working on items for Wymondham in  two weeks time. We will be setting up on Monday 25th October and the Christmas fair will run until Sunday 7th November. So many other Norfolk Makers will be there for the two weeks so worth a visit.

I am planning 2022’s programme and we are going in embrace new workshops. The changes are going to include a 6 week line drawing course with Rachel,  and I am  on the look out for someone to come a teach a short course in Watercolours followed by a short course in Acrylics and then a short course in other painting mediums to bring it all together. So if you are reading this and know of someone who would be interested in teaching please get them to email me on admin@eaubrinkstudio.co.uk.

 

Another new workshop is with Sarah Hibbert who makes modern quilts using collage to create the initial pattern. The day will start with Sarah showing us how to create our collage  with papers and then in the afternoon will be turn our collage into a quilted block. The challenge here would be to create a big quilt from the block. Really looking forward to this one. I met Sarah at Knit and Stitch last week to discuss what we are looking for and when she has recovered from the show Sarah will send through the information and date. If you like what she is doing maybe we can encourage Sarah to come to us again later in the year.

This weeks live on Tuesday evening at 7pm is going to be how to make a cathedral window quilted block using the sewing machine. It is much quicker than all the hand stitching and the cutting out is also easier. Just straight lines.

You can even use pre cuts for this one.

 

Experimental Wednesday  on 20th October. We will be playing with ink transfers using gum arabic. If you fancy booking in go to www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/events and look for the date its on. Alternatively you can contact Anita on 01553 611009 and request a place. Experimental Wednesdays do get booking up quickly so please reserve you please early to avoid disappointment.

If your booked onto Suzette Smart this coming weekend please look out for an email regarding that workshop.

Take care everyone

Anita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


October 3, 2021
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A Much Quieter Week?

It appears we have had a much quieter week at Eau Brink Studio. So I will give that some thought and we will see what has been going on.

A Much Quieter Week? No I do not think so.

Monday was a day in the shop putting out the new Lewis and Irene fabrics. A small move around to bring in some rails and then cut the one metre lengths so they can be hung and you get to see the full pattern. They are so lovely.

The first collection to arrive is the Poppy collection. All fabrics from this one are now in stock. So far I have cut the one metre lengths and Monday I will go in and cut the half metre and fat quarters.

This fabric is pre shrunk cotton with an excellent print. All fabrics in the collection compliment each other. Which makes it harder to choose a favourite. Though I think this blue one is mine.

The rest of the week was all about open studio’s.

Monday Evening I cleared out the studio with the help of the boys and then the girls from Progression in Textiles arrived on Tuesday to help with setting up the stands and the exhibition pieces. It did take us to Wednesday afternoon to get it all up and in place ready for visitors.

This was the plan so that we had Thursday to make any changes if we needed to .

Open studios is a county wide event where all artists are invited to take part to open their studio to the public. You can visit them during the open times or book an appointment with them to see their work and talk about the process and finishing. It is also an opportunity to buy local art if you wish to.  You can see what is happening by getting a booklet from local shops or ask for one to be sent out.

Progression in Textiles has been open for Friday , Saturday and Sunday this week and will be open for the same days next week. If you would like to visit during the week just contact Anita on anita@progressionintextiles.co.uk

So what else has been happening?

I have been working on new kits for Wymondham and the shop. Making some new cushions using the Lewis and Irene fabrics, and little bags too. I have decided that when I give gifts now they will be in bags made by me so that they can be reused and not in paper that it just thrown away.

Live streams

Tuesday evening I live streamed making one of the cushions so you can see what they look like.

I am going to live stream again this Tuesday at 7pm and show you how to make the little rice bags that make a great gift for anyone.

Knitting and Stitching Show

Anyone going on Thursday? Ruth and I am so if we see you we will say hello. It has been a while since I went to this show so I am looking forward to seeing how it has moved on in the pass few years. Also may get a bargain or two .

Workshops

It is looking like the Suzette Smart may not run as we do not have enough people on it so if you are thinking of booking in please do so as soon as possible. It is a lovely workshop full of wonderful things to create.

If your not sure of what to expect then go to Suzettes website and take a look.

Well hopefully I will see some of you during the open studios or at Alexandra Palace soon.

Take Care

Anita

 

 

 

 


September 27, 2021
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Not All Workshops Are The Same

Our world has gone mad. But I am staying calm because I can sew, create and explore in my studio.  You can too if you fancy it. I am often asked if a returning tutor is revisiting a previous workshop. The answer is  mostly no unless it has been requested. Not all workshops are the same. Even with two tutors working in a similar way there is always something new to learn.

We just had an amazing weekend with Anne Hellyer making little streets. Using a variety of fabrics that Anne had dyed and our sewing machines on free motion.

This is my effort.

We were all given the same template to work from but had to choose our own fabrics and design our own buildings.

The results were amazing. None of them are the same.

Anne will be returning next year to get us to work on panels instead of buildings.

Whist we sat at our machines on Sunday Radio Norfolk popped in as we took part in the Treasure Quest programme. It was great fun being part of the programme. We were clue number 3. If you want to listen to this programme just follow this link  https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09vcjtf  Or you can take a look at the pictures from the programme here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09x061r .

Progression in Textiles

Tuesday will see us setting up our exhibition for Open Studios, We will have the doors open Friday 1st October, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October. Then Friday 8th October, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th too. If you would like to come in during the week please call or email Anita and we will open up for you.

Not all our members like to sell their work.

Suzette Smart

Have you heard of Suzette Smart? A wonderful tutor and textile artist. Her work is very distinctive. Here is a little snippet from her website.

I’m a Textile Artist and Tutor living in a rural hamlet in North Shropshire. The natural world outside my door as well as the familiar journeys along the towpath close by, are my greatest source of inspiration for stitching and storytelling.

I’m not a light stitcher and I never manage to tell all in the first layer but prefer to build a story through collage, thread and a little mixed media. My work often includes hidden histories in the inherited or found fabrics and repurposed embroideries (own and other) I choose to use for collage and sometimes as my foundation layer. I mainly use free machine embroidery but the finishing stitches are often by hand.

Suzette is coming to Eau Brink Studio to teach on the 16th and 17th of October where we will be working towards a scroll or book using nature as our inspiration. You can choose your subject to work with. Using collage and stitch in layers we will build our work over the two days.

To book just follow this link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/nature-inspired-book-or-scroll-suzette-smart/

Suzettes workshop is the last two day workshop for this year at Eau Brink Studio the next one is Cas Holmes in February.

Go Live

This Tuesday we will be going live in the studio showing you a little bit of the exhibition as it takes shape. Also I will be showing you how to make a cushion using a Pre-cut fabric roll from Lewis and Irene.

Lewis and Irene fabrics are new to EBS Retail so if your wanting your lovely cotton fix pop into the Long Sutton Emporium or go to my on line shop where we are adding lines all the time. https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/shop/

Come and visit us at

Eau Brink Studio,

Eau Brink Cottage,

Pullover Road,

Tilney All Saints

Norfolk

PE34 4SG

01553 611009

 

Stay Safe,

 

 

 

 

 


September 16, 2021
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My Job is So Much Fun

My job is so much fun and this is the first time I can really say that and mean it. I have loved my past career but now I have fun, am challenged and get to be creative all at once.

A typical day for me is usually an early start with walking the dogs, baking, setting up the studio or loading the car for the shop. Here are two examples for you.

The Studio day

Now these days depend on who is teaching. If it is me I do not set up the night before but if another tutor is visiting they like to be set up the previous night so they can relax in the mornings and prepare themselves for their days. I like to get up at six and start preparing then. Walk the dogs first. Put on the urn bake the cakes and then set up the studio of what ever we are doing. As the day progresses we have so much fun with our creativeness that the time flies and before we know it we have to pack up. I see my job as a facilitator of learning. A secretary, A general dogs body but most of all the person who ensures that others are having fun and being creative. The day does not end when everyone else has gone. I then have to clear up, cook dinner, get the admin done and plan for the next few days or more. Then walk the dogs before going to bed,

A shop  day

The job as a shop owner or assistant is very different from the studio owner or assistant. I still get up early, walk the dogs, sometimes bake for others. Sometimes put some threads or fabrics into dyes to set, Load the car and trundle over to the shop. At the shop it is a quick clean down, then unpack any parcels (there are usually loads) price and stack the goods. Then upstairs to cut fabrics, pack them and price them before putting them into the shop. Cutting fabrics for putting onto the shelves is one of my least favourite jobs. I do love it when the customers come in, even if they are just looking around and stop for a chat. It is great fun and helps break up the day. Especially when stock taking. Of course sometimes I get to catch up on all the admin at the shop and that means I have time for me in my studio during the evenings.

Studio Time for Anita

My time in the studio is varied. I am having the most fun when I am creating. Sometimes it is all about dyeing fabrics and threads. Soaking them in soda ash and then dropping dyes onto them, tray dyeing, or Shibori dyeing. I am impatient so I do pop them into the microwave to set the dyes. It can take days or weeks for some of them to dry. But I am always amazed by the array of colours , especially in the cones of threads.

Other times I am playing or sewing. I do love this part more than any and forget the time as I get lost in what I am doing. Starting something from scratch with the basics of an idea is thrilling for me. Looking at a picture I have taken and seeing shapes and colour brings all sorts of ideas into my head. I love it when the ideas start to take shape. Of course they do not always work but then I look at what has not worked and try another way to get the results I want.

Sampling helps me understand where I started and where I ended up . What’s not to love about that?

Yes I am a messy worker and the studio very often looks like a bomb hit it but that means I am creating, having fun and enjoying every minute of it. Yes even when I am swearing at the piece that will not go under the sewing machine or at the pins I have dropped.

The Challenges

Although most of the time I am enjoying my job there are aspects of it I definitely find a challenge. Such as the going live sessions on a Tuesday evening. (by the way there is not one on the 21st of September as I am away). I have found the technology testing to say the least. I do not like seeing myself on a screen. I try not to think too much about it. I plan what I am going to do. I then prepare samples and the items I need. My son helps me set up the cameras and then off I go. I do not edit them in any way. I just go for it as though the viewer is in my studio watching me demonstrate. So it is warts and all.

I found I was lagging behind most of the time with the admin and now I have a lovely assistant who helps me called Ruth. Between us we get it all done in a timely manner.

I think what I am saying in this section is that even though there are challenges I like to find a solution and if that means asking for help I will ask.

What’s coming up?

Friday September 17th Zena will be here teaching mixed media card making for the morning. 10 am till 1ish. a great morning with all your needs supplied. For more information take a look here  

 

Wednesday 22nd September you will find Ruth Holmes at Eau Brink Studio teaching her Transfer and Stitch workshop. This is a great workshop and fun so if you fancy joining in just click on the link above. Ruth will supply kits so all you need is your basic sewing kit.

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September is the Anne Hellyer weekend workshop. We do have a couple of spaces available if you fancy it.  Just click on her name and it will take you to the web page with all the information on.

 

 

Have you got your Open Studios booklet? If not you can get one at Eau Brink Studio or in EBS Retail in the Long Sutton Emporuim. Eau brink studio is hosting the Progression in Textiles group so why not pop along on the weekend starting 1st of October and then again the weekend starting on the 8th October. If you would like to look at the exhibition during the week days just ping Anita and Email or call on 01553 611009 to book an appointment.

Just a little reminder that I am away for a week and will return on Friday 24th. Ruth is around and so is John if you need anything.

Take Care

Anita

 

 

 

 

 

 


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