Row of harbour cottages from an original artwork by (c) C.Rowe 2010

Saturday, 3 December 2011

one or two things

Firstly, the double trouble commission is coming along nicely and i'm really pleased with how they are both taking shape, in fact i've very nearly finished, just the few final touches tomorrow and I should be there.

In the meantime I thought you might like to know that during advent i'm having a little giveaway over on my website. With every order placed during December I'm giving away one of my little cupcake or birdie brooches as a small thank you to all my customers and followers through out this past year.
It's something new, but something nice I can do for you!
Happy Stitching this weekend
Cat x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

oh heck!

My next challenge is a double commission. The client lives here in the UK but is from Australia and wants a pair of textile illustrations as a Christmas gift. The first picture is of the Syndey Opera House, it's partner picture is of a subject much closer to home and is of St. Ives in Cornwall (almost down the road from me).

The opera house is going to be the tricky one, all those gorgeous folded sail-like roof tops, it's going to be a real challenge but one i'm looking forward to tackling, but keep your fingers anyway!
I'm going to make the outline drawing tomorrow and make the pattern up so I start the piecing on Saturday.
I'll definately keep you posted on how it progresses.

Happy Stitching

Cat x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

winter warmers

Recently I have been doing a bit of housekeeping on my website. I have to admit it has been rather neglected in recent months, but as Christmas approaches I wanted to tidy it up for any visitors that may pop by. This leads me onto my Christmas grotto on the site, somewhere all those Christmas themed cards, patterns and brooches can live in harmony with each other.

I am delighted that after a month or so of work on my Christmas designs that they have been printed and were delivered to the studio last Friday. Possibly for about a hour I was more excited that they were delivered rather than having collect them, which would have involved trekking across the County in my car during half term week. So a big thank you to Mr Printer for making that happen.

The designs were inspired by Scandinavian winters and Christmas decorations and I include them below.

                                                    Starry Night, C.Rowe 2011

                                                 Peaceful Wishes, C Rowe 2011
Both designs are available to buy on my webiste in packs of 10, (5 of each design) so have a look here if you're interested.

My next step is to keep tidying up the site, there's still lots more to do, I want to add several new products including new patterns, brooches and kits. Remove any dull bits and replace with sparkly fresh text so visitors always have something interesting to read. 

Thanks for stopping by and happy Autumn to you all.

Cat x

Friday, 30 September 2011

working on inspiration

Its a month to the day since I posted last and I have felt blogging guilt for not doing so. I have wanted to post sooner but as you know other stuff happens like life, family, friends and other art commitments. Plus I still haven't got into the swing of writing everyday, something that I hope will develop over time.

I also don't want to post for posting-sake, i'd like to think that however small each entry on my blog it has its merit and reason for being there.

I am working on something though. It's a collection and I'd like to get outside and take some more pictures. Photograph other things that don't just live in my studio (not the creepy crawly kind), although I do have a rather large spider behind the plan chest. He's so big I think I might have to give him a name.

Until after the weekend.


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

from the sketchbook 2

Here are a few more pages from my reclaimed molskin sketchbook. A collaged combination of maps, pictures, drawings, text and fabrics all stitched together on my trusted Bernina sewing machine. I'm quite pleased with these and how they came together. I really love the palett of colours and textures, all evocative of summer holidays, short getaways and escaping to the coast.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

joy of the everyday

I'm feeling freshly motivated and joyful for the small inconsequential things that we encounter each day. Things like...

Freshly baked victoria sponge cake,

New sketchbooks,


Table linen,

Coconut rice,

Bank holiday weekends,

Sparkly light shining through leaves,

Sea charts,

Old photographs,

Egg cups,


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

cheep cheep

I'm now on twitter, now this expeirment will be interesting! follow me @ catrowetextiles.

Monday, 18 July 2011

sew enchanting

This weekend i've been teaching a Textile Illustration workshop at Sew Enchanting, the cutest patchwork, quilting and knitting shop in Ashburton, Devon.

Sandwiched inbetween a gorgeous Lingerie and Clothing Boutique. I love the look of the little row of shops, the paint colours, bay trees and the line of bunting outside. The workshop is above the shop and is the perfect space for small classes.

The view up West Street from Sew Enchanting. Ice cream anyone?

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

open studios

A few photographs from the open studios this week. For once it's looking very clean and tidy.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

open night

Pictures from the Private view of my Open Studio week:

Such lovely folk!

Lots of nibbles and glasses of wine.

Lovely, you can't beat a string of brightly coloured bunting to cheer a place up!

More art anyone?

My studio is open all week 28th-5th June, 10am- 5pm except the 2nd June until 7pm.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Friends are brilliant.

Especially those who love to write letters. Four such wonderful letters arrived all together here at the studio.

I wanted to share how goregous they all looked once i'd opened them up. (I even love their envelopes).

This handmade card was made by my very talented friend Fiona. Her cards are wonderful and I have a treasured collection.

Sometimes things get a little tough and it was at one of these moments that these dropped through my post box. Reassuring words and packets of postive messages the timing was perfect. The amount of thought and care that goes into writing a good letter cannot be appreciated enough.

They went straight up on my pin board as they made me so happy.

Thank you x

Friday, 6 May 2011

open studios

The Garden Party (c) C.Rowe 2011

What have I been doing since the end of March.... really no posts in April, what happened to my aim of at least one a month?
Work mainly. I had to hit the studio hard with some long hours of work on the lastest Birthday card range for Art Press and I've been working on two new series of work, two, yes two, it felt right and happened quite naturally. I didn't realise how busy it would make me! Oh yes and I managed to fit in a trip to Paris and London where I took SO many photographs my camera and I were fit to burst with excitement, but that's a post for another day.

These two new series of work started from drawing lots of pictures of gardens, flowers, plants, greenhouses, ponds and gardening tools and living where I do in Cornwall the seaside just crept in, as it always does, so the result is two series running along side each other. Some just feature gardens but others are of the Cornish coastline with subtle hints of gardens in them, the odd agapanthus plant, bench or hedgerow.

This work will be showcased during Cornwall's Open Studio event at the end of this month.

Open Studios Cornwall is in it's 7th year and has over 200 artists, across all art disciplines, taking part. It runs for one week at the start of each summer, 28th May - 5th June, and sees artists throw open the doors to their studios.

It is a marvellous opportunity to meet the artists behind the work, see where, and sometimes, how it's made, dicuss their influences and inspirations and buy the work directly from them, an enriching experience for both artist and art lover.

The Open Studio event really showcases the best art that Cornwall has to offer, breaking the mould of traditional Cornish art with an electic range of contemporary work from a diverse pool of resident artists. The unique event is the brain child of Creative Skills and takes art lovers on a tour of unseen Cornwall, from remote cottages and chapels to beach side studios and historic buildings often away from the well trod tourist path.

This is my 3rd yr taking part in Open Studios and it's the highlight of my year. It really is a wonderful opportunity to meet people who are interested in what I make. It can be very daunting opening up my studio space to complete strangers, but everyone who has visited me here at the studio has been lovely and always so full of enthusiam. I have started to build up real personal relationships with those who have bought my work, making so many wonderful new friends, something that doesn't happen when you sell through galleries.

My opening times this year are: 28th May - 5th June, 10am - 5pm, except the 2nd June until 7pm.

Find the studio here via my website

It would be lovely to see you if you can make it.

C x

Friday, 25 March 2011

just the card

My creative endeavour this week which i'm sharing with all those amazing folk at kootoyoo, has been involved in the making of my next range of occasion cards for the fantastic card company Art Press, who are truely eccentric about art! I've been designing for them for the last year and it has been a really wonderful experince and I feel very lucky to work with them.

Busy Baby Days (c) Rowe 2010

I feel like i've climbed another mountain today and i've actually added the beautiful Occasion cards that i've designed to my website.

Tiny Pitta Patta (c) C. Rowe 2010

I've designed and am in the middle of making the next range right now, but felt so excited about the one's that have already been published I wanted to share the moment!
I promise to post more photographs of my current work, but you know how it is when your camera is in another place in the house to you, you've a freah mug of coffee to hand and your chair is really too comfy to leave!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

my creative space

Having a back up plan .... my creative space as pictured above, is this week void of my sewing machine, which is being serviced, nothing unusual i'm glad to say. It wasn't making funny noises or missing stitches, it's just gone in for an annual service to keep it healthy, running smoothly and all things ship shape and tickety boo.

But it has meant that i've got to use my trusty older Bernina. This is where it lives in my studio full time I don't pack it away, it's always out, just in case. It has it's own spot light, thread box and tool kit.

Here is a close up of the little shelves I use for all it's bits and pieces, it could do with a lick of paint. Perhaps that'll be next week's project. Don't you just love kilner jars! These ones here have my precious collection of prized pearl buttons in them.

This is the space where my usual Bernina sits, gazing out across the table top of fabrics to it's older counterpart in the distance.

I couldn't resist putting up a few pics of the bright cotton reels and fabrics in the studio. They all look so yummy together, I could actually just sit and tidy them up all day, arranging them into different classifications.... dark to light, spots, stripes, florals, geometric, vintage, new..... the options are endless. Rows of potential projects!

For more wonderful creative spaces and inspiration go over to kootoyoo. A truely wonderful place where crafty folk meet each week to share their latest projects and inspiration.

Happy stitching.

Cat x

Thursday, 3 March 2011

from the sketchbook

This week i've been keeping it small. Time just seems to fly past and i'm always trying to find ways to capture the moments, minutes and ideas that might just make the basis for a great piece of work.

It's also been ages since I posted any of my sketchbok pages and thought it would be nice to share some today.

The pages are taken from my pocket sized notebook (3 1/2 inches x 5 1/2 inches) an old molskine diary that I chopped up once it became out-of-date. Bound a selection of new pages of my favorite watercolour paper (300gms rough) and re-housed them in the old covers of the molskine diary.
I found this way of recycling and reusing notebooks to be a really satisfactory way of guaranteeing the perfect sketchbook. They feel and sit perfectly in my hands and fit like a dream into their own pocket inside my handbag.

I always label my notebooks and sketchbooks clearly, I would hate to loose one. So each one has my name, address and number in the front. I always date them too, I love knowing when I strted one and when I finish it. They sometimes live with me for so long, they become best friends and witnesses to everything, some of it will inevitably end up in their pages.

Lists, i'm forever writing them! I find they help make sense of everything that i've got to do and i'm able to prioritise work and ideas.

Oh! The wonderful Japanese MT tape, an incredible range of multi coloured and decorated masking tape. Looking at the little rolls together in their box just makes me happy! I think if you just google that, a list of suppliers in your country should appear. It took me ages to find a UK supplier and I know there are several now.

Doodles: a very important part my sketchbooks, I'm forever just jotting down ideas and pictures, they don't have to be wonderful or beautiful, just help me to remember what tickled my fancy or caught my eye!

If you have any questions or suggestions to help capture those moments then please feel free to email or post below.

Happy Sketching,

Cat x

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

from the studio

So this week I can happily announce that the little jars are full!

Each jar contains all the fabric someone needs to make each deisgn. Each comes with the pattern, full instructions, pattern pieces and stitch guide as well as enough fusible webbing. They really are a labour of love.

My next task is to upload them onto the website with nice descriptions and great photographs. So in preparation i've been playing around with my camera and some of the made-up jars and have taken some fun shots. I'm just trying to be a little bit more creative with my photography as well as creating informative pictures I want them to tell a story, entice you to look closer at their contents.

I felt a little like David Bailey positioning them in my windowsill, i'm sure I got a handfull of funny looks from my neighbours but I choose that window as it is well lit, flat (it helps, Cornish Cottages are known for their lack of straight walls) and painted white, the perfect neutral space in which to take photos.

I really am passionate about these little fellas, they are such a great way to help kick start your creative impulses. Just a quiet nudge in the right direction, learning a new skill and encouraging your artistic endeavours too. It's a win win situation!

All of the designs are available as Patterns only if you decide you've got enough fabric at home already, I know i've got enough to insulate a loft! All of the above can be found on my website textile illustration.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

textile illustration workshop at cowslip

Towards Launceston and the castle.

This weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a workshop at Cowslip workshops in Launceston, Cornwall. Set a little outside the town Cowslip's views back across the valley are stunning and I always find lots of new things to inspire me. From the fanstastic flavours of soup served in the organic cafe or the fabulous selection fabrics available from the shop it is always a delight to come back time and time again.

Everywhere you look there is something to attract your attention, from teapots and old boots used as plant pots to small white bird boxes hung from beams and branches.

Cowslip Quilt (c) Jo Colwill

This weekend's students were fabulous and I always feel that it's a real pleasure and privilage to lead a workshop here. It's a joy to meet such lovely people who all share a passion for textiles and fabric.

I definately recommend a visit!