Monday 23 February 2009

Creatures of Comfort

We had such a lot of snow in the weekend, it was amazing! Went for a walk with the doggies on saturday and it was all so beautiful and calm with the forest covered in snow. And then... saturday night.... it suddenly became 3 or 4 degrees above zero and today everything has gone!

If I can´t have snow I want it to be spring! We have a lovely conservatory that we do not use in the winter because it is quite expensive to heat it up during the dark wintermonth, but from March onwards we can sit out there on sunny days and oh what I´m looking forward to it! It´s like being out in the garden, everything is flooded with light and I love sitting there with my embroidery or crochet work!

Talking about spring and happy days, I want to show you one of my favourite artpieces, this lovely creature made by the British artist Julie Arkell which truly makes me happy every time I look at it! I purchased it some three years ago when Julie was exhibiting at my friend Tracys gallery, and it is safely placed high up in the shelves between my merry vintage English china as Gustav, our Border Collie Mix, has a sometimes unfortunate love for everything made of paper.... I even had the pleasure to meet Julie and her lovely husband as she was staying here in Denmark to be present at the opening of the exhibition, and what a great and inspiring person she is! She works with paper maché, knitting, embroidery, vintage fabric, ephemera, buttons and beads and her intriguing work employs naivity, sentiment and nostalgia. She really creates a universe of her own with her part human, part animal creatures and I find her work both very eccentric and very English - in the best imaginable way.

A book about Julie Arkell and her work has been published in 2004 by The Gallery, Ruthin Craft Centre and it is not only a fantastic visual experience but very interesting reading, too. The book is called "Julie Arkell: Home" and it is packed with pictures of her amazing work and her cosy studio. I regularly flick through it because it is a never ending source of inspiration. Julie does not have her own website, but a lot of sites have featured her work so you should be able to google her if you want to see more!
The picture also shows a collection of my vintage buckles and the dusky purple belt I made a couple of weeks ago - the colour goes perfectly along with the book cover I think ;-)

I even want to show you some of my own work, I did these embroideries before christmas and it is the first time I have incorporated mixed media techniques in my work. I was inspired by Beryl Taylors book "Mixed Media Explorations" that I had found while surfing on amazon and considered interesting enough to order. And what a good decision! Beryl is an English artist who moved to the United States a couple of years ago and her work is very detailed and combines lots of different techniques that inspired me to do the pieces shown in the pictures.

The embroideries are based on paper that I have either painted or ironed metal foil on and consist of many layers of organza and tulle fabric combined with cut out details from vintage doilies, waxed paper, vintage buttons, beadwork, some gold glimmer, metallic rub-on and hand- and machine embroidery. In the piece shown in the picture above I even used puff up paint and medallions made of friendly plastic imprinted with a stamp. I enjoyed so much working with these different techniques and I plan to make a whole series of small embroideries based on those techniques using details from vintage doilies, buttons and maybe jewellery findings. The problem is as always - time!!! So many projects and ideas buzzing around in my head it´s hard to get everything structured not to talk about getting it realized!! Some of you might be familiar with the problem.....


  1. Your work is truly beautiful. Love the detail and the colors! Adore the Julie Arkell piece, (lucky you) she does such wonderful and delightful work. And baby, I am ready for springtime, too!

  2. Your work is beautiful and I am so envious of your "Julie " piece!:) Amy

    PS I will have to look for beryl taylor's book. Thanks for sharing!:)

  3. I love your art is so charming. And I love the Julie art piece too.