Sunday, 23 October 2016

Making Poppies and Friends

What a fabulous morning, the sun is shining, its Little Bird SOS time and I don't feel grumpy.
We made poppies, at the Revive session, today for the poppy appeal.  We kept one for ourselves and we'll sell the rest in honour of the yearly poppy appeal, it feels good to raise money for such a worthy cause.
using a candle to singe fabric
Production was full on this morning with lots of conversation including one about 'the man they dug up, in Leicester' ..... fantastic!  We've had a few new people today as well as us regulars and if you'd like to come and join us, you'll be very welcome too.  

Peace poppies -variation on a theme
Hope to see you soon,
 If you are local to Leicester, please pop by our studio to purchase a poppy.  A donation will be made to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for each poppy sold

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

It's amazing what you can do with wool

Before coming back to LBSOS this September, depression was with me constantly and I got very little rest from it.  On the drive into Greenacres, this morning, I had a little warmth with the anticipation and memory of what I got from being here before the summer holiday.  Then arriving and feeling the welcome from the nurturing, acceptance of Lisa and the familiarity of such a creative space, helped me to leave some of the weight of what I was carrying, at the door......... AND breathe........(( I hope there were enough commas in that paragraph to make it legible ))

Today Lisa took us through a process of looking at what we are about to create, whilst taking in the beautiful view outside, by grounding us (looking at the layers of what we could see and hearing the hum of life, beyond the barrier of the walkway and I couldn't help but smell the cut grass).  (I must video her for you one day, shes inspiringly warm.)

A reflection of what it looks like beyond our studio door
Its amazing what you can create with a piece of card and loads of wool.  I managed to recreate a memory I had, from a recent holiday with the children and whilst doing it I remembered the feeling I had, when I saw the sunset over the sea.   For an hour I kept hold of that and felt a sense of relaxing and realised I had quite tense shoulders.   I think it's how meditation must feel.

I met the very approachable, gentle Jo, who is with us until December, from Loughborough University, on her placement and the very stylish Maxilyn was with us, helping and giving us confidence with colour.  The drinks were freeflowing and biscuits were delicious...... come and join us and meet some fabulous people x

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Eggbox crafts

For the past couple of weeks, we have been transforming paper eggboxes into something quite remarkable.

Starting with just some rolled up bits of newspaper:

We created a base for a wreath

Then cut the cups of the egg boxes to make flowerrs

Then painted them

Added other embellishements

And these are some of the end results

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Yesterday we held a Shibori workshop at the studio.  Shibori is essentially tie dye Japanese style.  Natural cloth fabric is wrapped, folded, stitched or wrapped up with rubber bands or string essentially you can do almost anything with your cloth to prepare for dyeing.

You can even wrap the fabric around plastic drainpipes. We stitched our fabric into a tube and wrapped string around the drainpipe pushing it down to scrunch it up:

A blue procion dye was added to a salt bath and the folded pieces of fabric, and drainpipes, were steeped in a dyebath, with soda ash added to help with the process, for about 90mins:

We then wrapped the dyed pieces in cling film and then transported them home leaving them to continue to soak up the dye overnight.  This morning they were unwrapped and released from their bindings (very carefully) and rinsed till the water ran clear.  Following this they were then put into a hot machine wash:

And here are the end results of some.  This pattern was made by wrapping a marble in the centre of the fabric and then tying with rubber band at intervals:

This  pattern was made by folding the fabric into triangles and pegging together.  The white rectangles were where the pressure from the pegs resisted the dye:

This pattern was made by wrapping marbles into the fabric and tying off with rubber bands.  The white circles where made from the bands resisting the dye:

These five circles where made by running stitches that were pulled up tightly:

This effect was made by folding the fabric in half, then quarters the rolled up and bound tightly with strong upholstery thread:

The fabric was folded like a concertina and wrapped with tread at intervals to make this pattern:

A wine cork was pushed into the fabri and strong upholstery thread wrapped around the length of the cork was used to make this effect:

Finally. the fabric for this effect was dampened and scrunched up tightly and bound with rubber bands to make this effect:

Now, what to make with them?  I think cushions, scarves and bags!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Batik on the cheap!

Today at Revive we painted on melted wax in a pattern of our own choosing, then we took a clean brush and added colour.  The paint stayed off of the white material where the wax lay.   We ironed off the wax between layers of newspaper and plain white was left where the wax was.

This technique isn't exact and can be frustrating if you're looking for perfection.  It helps your creative techniques to loosen up and you can see the beauty in the imperfection.  When you take away your own limitations of seeking or demanding perfection, of yourself or anything, you end up with a more abstract version and you could discover a new part of yourself and, after all, if it doesn't come out how you want it to, do another one. 

There's beauty in simplicity. Don't complicate things.
I found this morning quite a challenge as my recovery progresses.  Whilst everyone is being very chatty and upbeat, I found myself becoming quite tense and wanting to back off from the room and even go out to calm my tension.   And it's okay to do that.  There are very few limitations on what you can do or can be done for your mental health needs here.  As I've discovered. whilst I'm feeling all of this inside of me, others don't become affected by it and my challenge is simply to be kind to myself and live in the moment.