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

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Yesterday I spent an arty day with friends, we took a circular walk stopping to draw, take photos, notice the small details that sometimes pass you by as we go about our busy lives. It was absolute bliss!

Views from gate posts. Just the glimps of water over the tree tops.

 Sketching in my wellies, we were prepared for the weather!

Noticing the flora and fauna in Cornish hedges!

Artistically framed wildlife!

Fantastic colours, textures and details.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

travel journal

I thought I would share a few pictures of a travel journal commission that I've just finished. The brief was to make a journal for a campervan owner encompassing some of my textile images on the cover. 

The finished deign was made up of a collection of some of my textile illustrations printed onto good quailty card, I added a strip of bookbinding cloth along the spine for added strength and durability in compilmentary navy blue.
As a nice finishing touch I added blue and white striped headbands to the top and bottom edge of the book block and used some decorative printed paper for the end pages.

The pages inside are divided into eight sections, and are a collection of cartridge paper, lined paper, plain and tracing paper which I printed some nice bright colourful images onto. Every other section has a brown envelope bound into the spine for saving things in.

I'm delighted with the end result and definately think i'll make some more either as gifts, commissions or to use myself!

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

being more artful

Now here's the thing, display as inspiration.

It may come across as procrastination, but i'm sure arranging your sewing equipment, tools of the trade, threads, needles, pins and scissors and especially fabrics in an aesthetically pleasing manner can be defined as productive. I do alot of this, my fabrics are arranged by colour and pattern. To all scorning friends or spouses, better or worse halves, the time spent organising your stash of crafting parafinalia should only ever be seen as useful. How else are you to find that delighted reel of raspberry thread if it's not placed seductively next to the lime green spool of silk. Or the exquisitely made fabric pinking shears if they do not sit well in the old wooden  tray that you rescued from the antique shop last week giving it new life and a new purpose?

In reality our lives are less like Country Living interiors and more like crazy turbulent happenings, with friends, family, children and partners all taking their bit. If we have time to do anything that helps us feel creative, if it's only appreciating other's artfully arranged equipment even better, I feel better just breathing in the bunch of blooming threads above. If we can do just a little bit of tidying each day ourselves then we feel as if we've made real progress!

In my reality things looks like this:

I definately could do better here in the display as inspiration stakes. I hope this little plastic tray of threads tells you that i'm busy doing other things, hopefully other creative things, than to arrange them nicely. Either way i'm inspired by the colours and their potential, one day i'll pick them up to use, but for now it's time to log back into Pinterest and breathe deeply in other folks artful arrangements!

Happy Stitching
Cat x

Saturday, 18 February 2012

packed full

Stuffed brown paper hearts.

Cut two identical hearts from brown packaging paper (these are about 6 inches or 15 cm across), stamp a message on the front of one heart. Place both hearts together, and stitch with the sewing machine 1/2 cm from the edge all the way around leaving a gap at the bottom so you are able to fill the heart with the goodies of your choice, why not pop in a little lovely message too. Finish stitching and send to the recipient of your choice!

Viola! A lovely and quick valentine's gift. Vary the shape for a Birthday or Christmas surprise!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

other days elsewhere

A perfect sunday morning? Croissants and coffee, even better if we were in Paris.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

pigment and water

I thought you might like to see what i've been working on during the last couple of weeks.
I've been drawing and painting which is a refreshing change from all the little pieces of fabric i'm usually surrounded by. It's small watercolour commission of a client's Sister's house, for an anniversary present (so keep it a secret until the party's over)!

I'm really pleased how it's all come together. To be honest I've had the sketched outline complete for the last 10 days, I just needed to undertake the watercolour 'bit', which was a little daunting seeing as I let too much time go by since drawing it out. I should have just gone and painted it when it was all still fresh in my head and fingers, but I didn't, but it's turned out alright and i'm very pleased that it's now complete and can go to it's new home.

So my next job is to photograph it properly for my records (woeful pre 2008) and to lovingly package it up and send it off to the client. Fingers and toes crossed that she and her sister will love it as much as I do.

I have to say that that's one of the nerve wracking parts of making a piece of work for somebody else, what if they don't like it? Touch wood that hasn't happened yet.... however I try and give each client lots of options when commissioning work and do make lots of notes so I can get a really good feel for the piece of work they really want.

I'll be brave and post feedback when I get it!

Happy painting!
Cat x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

house keeping

Happy New Year to you all!

Firstly, I just want to say many thanks for reading the blog during 2011 and I hope that you will continue to dip in and out as you please this year. I'm feeling particularly good about 2012, it's got a good vibe about it already, twenty twelve, twothousand and twelve, feels nice flowing off the tongue. I'm strangly comforted that it's an even number as well.
I thought I would start with a little reflection and fulfilling a promise I made to share with you the commission I undertook at the start of December, at long last here are the promised photos of the double trouble commission I was working on before Christmas. I do apologise for the delay, but I think I can be forgiven being caught up in the little festive season of Christmas and the New Year!

So here's "Sydney Harbour"

and "St.Ives Harbour" (Cornwall, Uk)

I'm delighted with the finished results. I feel that I've upped my game with the level of detail, scale and perspective in each piece. I'm especially pleased with the quality of the stitching in the Sydney piece, the bridge was a real challenge and it had to be perfect, I only had one go at those cable lines and they had to be straight! I don't use pencil lines for guides and so stitched free hand. 

Trying to capture in fabric such a recognisable landmark as the Opera House was a concern, the iconic sail like roof tops in particular presented a unique visual puzzle. By using different white on white or white on cream patterned fabrics I was able to suggest successfully the different angles and shadows on the roof line.

My favourite aspect of the "St.Ives" piece is the overall colour palett used reflecting the pelucide light that has drawn artists to the town for centuries. The quiet and subtle colours all suggest the sun's warmth caught in the  fisherman cottages that line the harbour town.

My next project is another commission. The client wants a textile illustration of Crantock Beach here in Cornwall. They saw a piece I made last year (below) of a line of washing overlooking the sunkissed beach and really liked it, so i'm going to do another piece specfically for them without the washing, and possibly from a different view point. I love the research stage of a project and can't wait to get out there and sketching!

"Crantock Beach" (c) C.Rowe 2011

Thank you again for reading. I hope you have a wonderful year.
Happy stitching, Cat x