Kizzyka Designs http://www.kizzykadesigns.com Mon, 15 May 2017 16:35:49 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Yarnival 2 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/yarnival-2/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/yarnival-2/#comments Mon, 15 May 2017 16:35:49 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116713 What a great day!!!

Yarnival seems to have been a success, we had lots of positive feedback about the atmosphere at the event, how it was friendly and relaxed. People felt happy to try new techniques, and not pressurised. We have also had several requests to do it again. Now that does makes us feel we hit the mark.

So what went on? Well if you missed it,  we had the Walsall Spinners there, spinning! They ere using several different kinds of wheel.  I took the warpweighted loom, although it nearly didn’t make it. As we were putting it in the van on Friday the heddle bar fell out!! It took and hour and a half to reset the blessed thing. (Note to self, tie it tighter!!) Still it was there and several ladies had a go. We also had niddy noddys, lucets, and drop spindles. Then you could move on to inkle looms and several other varieties of loom.There were big and little  peglooms, using fleece and plastics to show just what you can do with them.

Dynosaur were there too with their gorgeous wools. I was very good and didn’t give in to temptation, then Briony Marshall gave a very interesting talk about her book and how she was inspired to write it. http://Facebook › brionymarshallauthor

The people who took part in my felting sessions were lovely and ranged from about 12 years old up to 70! Everyone went out with a piece of felt and a lots of ideas about using it. Next year I may do an advanced session too, as there were people who were interested in going further.

I now have teasel envy! These are gorgeous.

The Wool-verhampton map, brilliantly hung by my wonderful roadie, Glen.

This amazing event was the brainchild of Caroline and Ann at Hembra Crafting http://hembracrafting.co.uk and to have been involved was amazing. I talked to so many interesting people, and hopefully we have inspired them to try new skills and to have fun with wool and threads. So here’s to next year and doing it all again. I hope you can make it.

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Yarnival http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/yarnival/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/yarnival/#respond Thu, 04 May 2017 08:47:27 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116708 We are all rather excited and somewhat nervous as it is only ten days till we host the first ever Wolverhampton Yarnival. We had our final ‘planning’ meeting last night, going though who and what will be on display, and tweaking things like ‘how shall we run the raffle’? There are some things that you just don’t think about at first.

We are showcasing every aspect of the woollen trade, from Fleece to Jumper. There will be fleece,( sorry no sheep, maybe next time? ) spinning, on drop spindles and wheels, weaving, too many looms to mention, knitting, crocheting, dyeing, felting. all there for demonstration and to have a play with. We have some retail stuff too.

We also have the Wool-verhampton map on display and Briony Marshall signing her new book “Set in the world of wool and weaving” . And for all those Timezones fans out there, Tony will be demonstrating the drop spindles and weaving sticks.

I will be running wet felting taster sessions, these will be at 12pm and 2pm and last about 45minutes. you will get to make and take a piece of felt suitable for embellishing and turning into a purse . These are on a first come basis and I can only have do 20 people because of space. Book Early!!

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We are trying to promote all the wonderful textile work that goes on in our area, so if you are interested in wool, but too afraid, busy, or unsure of where to start, come along and see what is out there. There will be lots of people to talk to abut all the different aspects, as well as advice and information about where you can learn more.

Cos if you get the woolly bug you will want to learn more!!

You can contact us on facebook, https://www.facebook.com/events/942902415847200/

Through Hembra Crafting https://www.hembracrafting.co.uk   and here at Kizzyka Designs All the details are on the poster below.

 

 

 

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Year of legends. http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/year-of-legends/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/year-of-legends/#respond Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:04:06 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116696 2017 is the Welsh Year of Legends. There are some amazing stories and I am hoping to be able to do some workshops centred on some of them. One of my favourites tells why Wales has a red dragon, and it is this story that inspired my latest embroidery.

The tale goes that Vortigern, known to the Welsh as Gwrtheryn, was king of Britannia in the fifth century. This was a time of great change, the Saxons were coming into the country. This was the first major invasion since Roman times. Vortigern had unwittingly hired saxon warlords as mercenaries to fight against the picts of the North. These Saxons revolted and gradually came to rule much of what we know as England today, thus forcing the native Britons to retreat into the western and Northern quarters of the island. Scotland, Cornwall, and Wales.

Vortigern appealed to his druids for guidance. They told him to withdraw to the high mountain ranges of Wales and find a place to build a stronghold from which he could govern and plan his counter attacks. He searched long and hard, eventually coming to the foothills of Snowden, Yr Wyddfa, the highest mountain in his lands. He chose a steep sided, flat topped hill near the river Glaslyn, and his men set to work quarrying stone and building great walls. Day after day they worked, but no progress was made. Each night the stone walls were demolished, and each morning the men would have to start again.

After some weeks Vortigern called a council of his druids and asked them to discover why he could not build upon the hill, and what magic wold counter the malevolent spirits stopping him . The druids advised that Vortigern  should seek out a boy who had no mortal father. If this boy was sacrificed upon the hilltop then the troublesome spirits would be appeased and the work could go on.

Vortigern sent men to search every corner of the kingdom, eventually some of them came to the old Roman town of Moridunum, modern Carmarthen. They cam across some boys taunting amother lad about his lack of father. The boy introduced himself as Emrys and took them to meet his mother. She was a princes of the area, who lived as a nun. She explained that she had been visited one night by a golden spirit and it was through this visitation that her son had been conceived.

The soldiers took Emrys back to Vortigern, and at dawn on a cold day in the depths of winter the druids led him to the summit of the hill. Realising what fate awaited him Emrys announced that killing him would not help, but instead that he knew what was causing the walls to fall.

“Beneath this hill is a lake, and beneath that lake is a stone. Beneath that stone is a deep cave with two chambers. in each of these chambers sleeps a dragon. as you build your walls during the day the weight presses down up the dragons backs so at night, when they wake, they shake the land and your walls fall.”      

Emrys advised that the lake should be drained and the capstone excavated to reveal the cavern. Vortigern’s men set to work and it was soon revealed to be as Emrys had said. That night Vortigern, Emrys, and the druids kept watch. Just as Emrys had predicted, as the last rays of light left the sky the two dragons, one white, one red awoke. All night they fought each other, eventually in what seemed like a last desperate attack the red dragon drove the white from the cave.

“what does this mean? asked Vortigern. “Sir” said Emrys, “The red dragon symbolises the Brythonic peoples, and the white is for the Saxons. This is a sign that in the end the native people of this land will withstand the Saxons.”

To this day the hill is known as Dinas Emrys – Emrys Stronghold. Amazed at the boy’s gifts of insight and prophecy the druids renamed him, a name given only to the wisest and most enlightened poets and seers. They Called him Myrddin – Merlin.

So that is the battle of the Dragons, stories of merlin and Arthur abound in Wales, Cader Idris is the seat of Arthur, a most beautiful place. There are many more stories to be read and lots of activities during the year so look out for them on the Visit wales sites. http://www.visitwales.com/…/traditions-history/discover-welsh-myths-legends                                                                             

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Workshops and exhibitions!! http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/workshops-and-exhibitions/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/workshops-and-exhibitions/#respond Tue, 11 Apr 2017 09:13:31 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116689 Well, it has been a while since I put out a new blog, been a little busy, and my laptop had a strop. Sorted laptop! Still busy, but I thought you might all like to know what I am up to.

March, I was part of the Landsmark Arts Textile exhibition. This was held in an old church in Teddington, an amazing venue, although a bit chilly. Lots of different textile artists, clothing, felting, embroidery, printing. The list goes on. The atmosphere was lovely. I meet some very interesting people and now have two new projects I want to try, eco dyeing and ice dyeing. Both look very interesting. But that will have to wait for the Summer break. I have said I would go back, but not as a seller. It isn’t worth my while. But I would go to do workshops or drop in advice sessions. I had lots of interest in what I did, people asking advice and standing talking about their projects. Does anyone else find this?

Then over the last couple of weeks I have been off to Wales. I have several ladies who want me to do a range of workshops for them. felting, stitching retreats, and herbs and dyes. There is also a new gallery in Machynlleth, Oriel Seren. http://www.orielseren.co.uk/ This is run by a group of local artists. I now a have a large selection of my embroidery work here. It is a lovely little place and well worth a visit. The art work is gorgeous and very diverse.

Each one of these needs a bit of tweaking from other workshops, but then that can be fun, as churning the same things out is safe, but not always very challenging. The herbs and dyes workshops will be at Camlan Garden centre in Dinas Mawddwy, http://www.camlangardening.cymru, and I am having to do some research on my Celtic stuff. Usually I focus on Viking and Tudor plants, herbs and spices. This will be quite different. we want to focus on the Celtic Heritage.

The felting workshop is a little more straight forward, just a new venue, Merion Mill, also in Dinas Mawddwy, http://www.meirionmill.co.uk  And then the third venture is still being worked on, this is offering weekend textile retreats at a venue near Machynlleth. As we are still putting these together I shall keep you all in suspense. It will be either stitching or felting, or even one of each!

So I hope all that will keep you going, I am off to Wonderwool in a couple of weeks so I will be full of new fibre and fleece. Can’t wait!

Landmark Arts

The gallery in Machynlleth.

 

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A drab January day. http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/a-drab-january-day/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/a-drab-january-day/#respond Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:04:05 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116681 I love a cold frosty, sunny winter’s day. Sparkle and bright all around. so the last week has been just a tad depressing. Grey, gloom, rain, mud. Wash the dogs, wash the towels, wash the floor. Yuk. Then one of the days last week I was out with Ellie,      ( Carlos is still on restricted exercise. He’s not happy!) , and realised that actually there is still some beautiful colours around even on a gloomy day.

There were red berries, glowing in the grey. The gorse is flowering, Such a vibrant yellow, and it makes good dye. Then when you look properly you realise just how many shades of green there are. Bright, yellow greens, soft muted ones. In fact the ,muted tones are really beautiful. Blackberry leaves are still about. The range of colour on them is amazing, purples, reds, bronzes.. And then even brown isn’t just brown’. Look at the dogwood, it’s red and copper, and orange. There are dark browns, beige browns, golden browns.

This drab walk was definitely improving.

That was just the woods, when we got out across the fields there were grasses covered in raindrops, like tiny baubles on a Christmas tree. I realised Ellie blends in beautifully, and everyone remarks on what a lovely colour she is. So that makes the colours of the fields lovely?

So the next time I start moaning about the grey and gloom I shall have go back to looking properly. I don’t know what I am going to do with all the ideas going round my head yet, but keep watching, some wintery ‘gloom’ may well be on the way.

The view at the tip of the hill.

Can we go home now please? One depressed dog!

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A tidy desk! http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/a-tidy-desk/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/a-tidy-desk/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2017 16:28:01 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116676 To tidy or not to tidy!

In a former life I was a primary school teacher, my desk was tidy on the first day of term. After that it slowly deteriorated into a heap of books, papers, toys, pencils and anything else I was using that year. Once a term I would have a clear up, put things away, organise the papers and books into piles, and pass on anything that needed passing. This was my filing system, and it worked, colleagues would ask for things and I could deliver.

Then one term we were asked to assess all the children into different learning patterns, by using a computerised questionnaire. Apparently there are three ways of learning. Kinaesthetic (doing), Aural (listening), and Visual (sight).  Anyway we all did the test, me included. Unsurprisingly, I am a Kinaesthetic learner. I have to do things, even when I am listening I doodle or fidget. I hate going to the cinema, because I can’t do things while watching the film. It also means we do clutter, and untidiness rather well. Some of the children looked at my desk and fell about laughing!! Then I looked at some of their desks! We realised that some of this ‘quiz’ might have a point. They were 8-10 year olds and we really got into it. Discussing what worked for some, and why. They helped me with some of my planning so we could make sure that they all had elements to suit each group.

Although at the time I found the  test a bit irksome, it then intrigued me. It is a pity that it wasn’t followed through in schools more, the fact that we need to use a wide range of teaching strategies to allow everyone to learn. It’s talked about, but in general the current academic system suits visual and Aural learners.  Over the years I have also found it creeping into other situations, listening to Pete Mosley on a webinar, I had to send a comment, it just hit such a chord about these strategies. Then today I have joined a new Facebook group, on it they suggest tidying your desk. This will definitely work for some people, me? No. I need to see the threads and the colours to help my develop my work. Putting them away and thinking about them, means I will forget stuff. I start tidying, find things and go off on a tangent. I have lists everywhere! I am intrigued  to find out how other people react to the advice.

So people, please put your comments on. What do you think?

An envelope during a long telephone call!

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Indigo Dye day. http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/indigo-dye-day/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/indigo-dye-day/#respond Mon, 21 Nov 2016 20:05:51 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116615 Last weekend I spent a fascinating morning with Hembra Crafting.http://www.hembracrafting.co.uk indigo dyeing.

Indigo dye is made in a vat, and then pieces of fabric and fleece are added to it. Indigo is one of the most successful dyes known, it is remarkable in the variation of colour, ranging from navy through to pale blue. The vat can be reused, and pieces can be overdyed to deepen the colour. As it produces these lovely blues, instead of the more easily obtained yellows and tans, the plants that produce it were highly prized in the past.  The same blue pigment is also present in woad.

Anyway back to last Saturday. Ann and Caroline had prepared wo vats for us and the were several different pattern options. My favourite is to wrap the fabric around a pole. Tie it regularly with string and push the fabric down against the string. Then dip it gently into the vat. You don’t want to get oxygen into the dye, so do things slowly and smoothly. Try not to drip into the vat either. We also concertinaed  fabric, then placed pegs along the length. Another option was to concertina fabric and tie triangles of card to them. The results were fascinating. You place the white fabric into the vqt, looking at it, there really doesn’t seem to be much happening, then you take it out of the vat, a strange turquoise green. And then the oxygen kicks in and the fabric turns blue!!! If you want a deeper shade, redip.

You would need to do lots of experimenting and keep careful records to be able to repeat a pattern again. But then part of the charm is that you don’t quite know what you are going to get. My next challenge will be to do something with the pieces I have dyed. Some of them are fabrics which I could Nuno felt onto, others can be stitched into. My list of ‘jobs’ for the Christmas holidays is growing!

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The results!

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The vat is ready.

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Concentration. Don’t drip!!

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That manky green does turn into blue. Amazing isn’t it??

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Medieval felting. http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/medieval-felting/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/medieval-felting/#respond Sun, 06 Nov 2016 16:25:11 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116598 I had a slightly unusual booking this week, a Medieval Day at Burton Manor Primary School, in Stafford. Now this isn’t one of the periods I cover, but it is my favourite area of English History, so I wasn’t going to turn it down. It took a little mixing and tweaking of kit and Hey Presto! We were on.

The children took part in a law court. experiencing the crimes and punishments of 12th century England. The jury were a harsh lot, the found everyone guilty! Then we took a more relaxed approach playing some games from the period and making felt.

Wool was a common material at this time, many homes were rural and people had sheep. By the 12th Century wool was fast becoming the country’s greatest asset http://sheepcentre.co.uk/wool.htm . People were spinning and weaving at home, and raw wool was a huge export. Felt was also used in clothing, hats, boot linings, jackets. It is a warm, waterproof fabric.

So having given the children a quick history of wool, we got down to having a go at making some. The results were very good. I love making felt with children, but as it is usually part of the Neolithic show, I don’t often get the coloured stuff out. Today we were using coloured merino and the children came up with some stunning designs, as you can see from the pictures. They are far more adventurous with their colour choices than adults, and will mix things that I would never even think of. I hope they will take them away and create purses and pockets from their pieces.

The school are going to pass on some more pictures of the day so watch here and my Facebook page for updates.

Thank you Burton Manor for a great day.

Mrs. Meredith's. Even the teachers had fun.

Mrs. Meredith’s. Even the teachers had fun.

Holes can be good. Back the felt with sparkly material to strengthen it and add glamour

Holes can be good. Back the felt with sparkly material to strengthen it and add glamour

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The Cat In the Hat’s socks!!

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Some fantastic colours

Some fantastic colours

 

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Nuno Felting http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/nuno-felting/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/nuno-felting/#comments Sun, 21 Aug 2016 20:07:49 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116579 I have a had an amazing couple of days updating my felting skills.

I make lots of felt pieces as part of my Timezones work, but I was beginning to feel that all I do is make flat squares and then embellish them. Then a few months ago I saw an amazing piece of felted clothing which really inspired me. This was worked in Nuno felt.

Now I have done this before, but it was some years ago. I needed to indulge in a little ‘professional development’ . This meant several emails and a bit of organising between friends and fellow creative crafters, and it all came off as a wonderful couple of days up in Aberhosan, a tiny village above Machynlleth.

Now the technical bit. Nuno felting is worked on open fabrics, such as silk georgette, cotton muslin, or voiles. You lay the wool fibres over the fabric in thin layers. Gently wet it all with cool, soapy water. Then roll, and roll, and roll. Just keep rolling. Until the fibres start to come through the fabric. Then the fun bit. Rinse the whole piece in hot water, and throw it, hard. Lots of times. The piece will really shrink, some go down to about half the size.

I made two pieces, a waistcoat back, and a silk stole. The waistcoat was amazing, we started with over two metres of fabric! I wanted contrasts, so the waistcoat is a solid piece worked on cotton muslin. The stole has a very open design using silk georgette. The effects were great. As you can see I am going through a bit of a blue phase! It was great to work something big, and to actually create instead of just teach. Sue. I will be back!

Sue was our tutor, a lovely lady, she also supplies me with fleece for schools, and projects. http://www.sueterrey.co.uk

My fellow felters were Caroline and Ann from Hembra Crafting, they are based in Wolverhampton and offer a range of workshops, such as peg loom and Natural dyes. http://www.hembracrafting.co.uk/#!home/mainPage

Follow the links to find some very talented people.

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A little motif!

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Very Monet!!

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Caroline’s . Swirls and soft edges.

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Ann’s. Worked on muslin that she had dotted indigo dye on.

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Silver Thread http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/silver-thread/ http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/silver-thread/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 15:25:14 +0000 http://www.kizzykadesigns.com/?p=116572 I am now involved in a project called Silver Thread, it sounds like an Elizabethan spy ring!. What it really is, is an exciting project to stitch a huge banner for Walsall. All the different areas of the town have a stitching group led by a Super Sewer, and it’s own part of the banner depicting important people and places for that area of Walsall.

For example, I am leading the group for Pheasey, Streetly, and Park Hall. So we have Barr Beacon Observatory, Merrion’s Wood Gatehouse,  amunitions workers, John Curry, and a golf ball. We meet at Pheasey library to stitch , and some ladies have smaller pieces to take away and work on.

Then all the lead sewers meet up on Thursdays to trouble shoot and blitz pieces. Our plan is to be finished by the end of November, and for the completed banner to go on tour in the New Year. It then gets a permanent home in Walsall.

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It is a fantastic community project, involving stitchers of all abilities from all over the region. Some ladies are confident and experienced, they have take sections away with them to add to the final banner. Others who are less confident add stitches at our group meetings.

To find out more, or to get involved, the group is on Facebook as https://www.facebook.com/Walsall-Silver-Thread, or the website is http://creativewalsall.com/silver-thread/

There will be more news about this as the project advances.

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