Sunday, 6 September 2009

Lovely Lutradur...

and yes, we really mean it! We brought it out originally on CD; now we have a softback 'real' book as well. We wrote this because we both love lutradur, and wanted to show how flexible and easy to use it is. We also wanted to show you how two artists can approach the same material in a completely different way, and get great effects. The book offers step by step information about colouring and using lutradur, as well as lots of projects which aim to inspire you to use this lovely cloth in a variety of different ways, and to experiment with it. I'm still finding lots of different ways to use Lutradur...who knows, maybe we need to write a follow up...

In the meantime, here's part of the introduction, explaining why we respectively love using Lutradur;

' Every textile artist has a dream material. When we compared notes, we found that we both wanted something similar, despite our differences in our approach to art. Dijanne's work is based on nature; Marion, on the other hand, works mainly in abstract. Dijanne is based in Australia, but was born in the Netherlands, Marion in England, but was born in Scotland. Our work does have some things in common, however; both of us use strong colours and are fascinated by texture and layer'.

So what was it that we had in common when it came to cloth? This dream material should be as easy to work with as cotton, as transparent as silk organza, and have a sheen like silk. Oh, and it shouldn't fray, and should tolerate high temperatures. After a bit of searching, we have finally found our dream material; its name is Lutradur.

So, why Lutradur? Well, for Marion, it is the see through nature of the cloth. The fibres are floated across each other in the manufacturing process, producing a material which is similar in texture to fibreglass, but without hte problems of shedding, etc, that fibreglass has. Even the heaviest weight of Lutradur has this see through nature, and it produces wonderful layered effects in work, that could previously only be obtained by working with silk sheers, which are expensive and difficult to work with.

For Dijanne, the lure of Lutradur is the ability to colour with brilliant, light fast colour, and to control the application of colour. Transparency and layering are also important factors, as is the material's ability to 'breathe' like natural materials. It has a seductive sheen and the texture when worked upon visually appears like felt, thereby adding richness. The material is remarkably sturdy and stable for sewing as Dijanne sews her work intensively bith by machine and hand. The material's tolerance for high temperatures makes it ideal for such things as foiling and controlled melting. However, it is the intensity of colour and the play of colour achieved with layering that appeals to Dijanne's sense of colourand contrast.

For both of us, though, it adds a dimension to our work that we truly enjoy. We hope you will, too. And we hope this book will inspire you to work with this wonderful material!'

In The UK? Click below to purchase; the price is £14 plus £3 postage and packing. SCROLL DOWN IF YOU ARE IN EUROPE OR THE US FOR YOUR DEDICATED BUTTON. Please contact me for a postage price if you are outwith these areas...thanks!

In Europe? Click below to purchase; the cost is 16 Euros with 6 Euros postage and packaging.

In the US? Click below to purchase; the cost is $23 plus $7 postage and packing

Monday, 31 August 2009

Finding Your Creative Focus.

Why did I write this book? Well... people kept asking me questions, like, where do you get your ideas from? Or they said things like, I wish I was as productive as you. Or, I wish I had more time. So I decided to look at the reasons we give for not following our creative stars, and the result was 'Finding Your Creative Focus'. And of course, it gave me the chance to use both my 'hats' at once; as well as being an artist, I worked for many years in HR, specialising in self development, helping people to work out what they really wanted, and how to get it. That's this book in a nutshell.

It's more of a workbook than anything else. There is the occasional picture, but mostly, there are exercises to do and forms to fill in, all intended to help you to identify what the problem really is, and how to fix it, or at least fix it as much as it is possible to do. Sadly, I don't have a magic wand; I can't put an extra day in the week, which I know most of us would love! But I can help you think about how to manage your time well enough to squeeze in some creativity time for yourself.

It says in the introduction:

'Who is this book aimed at? Anyone, really, who dreams of being creative, but can't quite get there, or doesn't know where to start, or who wants to be more creative than they are at present, or who is highly creative, but is blocked in some way. It looks at both practical and emotional aspects of creative work, and suggests ways of getting past blocks in your creativity. Some of the suggestions I'll make come from my own struggle with these issues; others come from years of experience of working as a coach with people who faced similar issues in personal and professional lives.'

The books are sent in specially designed cardboard boxes, and so will arrive safe and secure.

If you are in the UK, please click below to purchase; the price is £14 plus £3 postage and packing.

If you are in Europe, please click here to purchase; the cost is 16 Euros with 6 Euros postage and packaging.

In the US, please click here to purchase; the cost is $23 plus $7 postage and packing

If you live elsewhere, please email me for a quote in your own currency.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Workshops In The Little Green Shed.

If you read this blog regularly, you'll know that I run bespoke workshops in the Little Green Shed for up to four people. I've decided to extend that a little, and have added some Play Days to the options. The dates and topics for this year are :

13 June: Simple Book Binding

4 July : Artists Trading Cards

2 August : Paper Making

5 September : Monoprinting

3 October : Collage

7 November : Stocking Fillers

5 December : Stocking Fillers

The playdays cost £35 per person, including a light lunch and refreshments. If a group of four books, however, the cost is £120, so get together with some friends and save some money! And of course, you can request a workshop from any of the topics below:

Altered Art
Artist's Trading Cards
Artists Journals and Sketchbooks
Basic Batik
Basic Book Binding
Basic Hand Stitch (decorative)
Cloth Dolls (Keyhole Kate)
Colouring Paper and Cloth
Dyeing using Acid Dyes
Dyeing using Fibre Reactive (Procion) Dyes
Dyeing using Transfer Dyes
Exquisite Evolon
Finding Inspiration
Lovely Lutradur
Machine Stitching For Line
Machine Stitching For Texture
Matchbox Shrines
Paper Making
Printing with Natural Materials
Screen Printing
Silk Paper Making.

And if there's nothing there that suits... ask me! I'm always open to suggestions for new workshops! And if you live outwith Norfolk and would like to spend a weekend here, we have a wonderful pub just up the road which has accommodation and wonderful food; I can make arrangements for you (check it out here)

Please email me if you would like more information, and I'll send you the leaflet with more details, or give you my phone number to discuss your requirements...and doubtless have a little giggle, phone calls, like my workshops, are fun!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Opening The Studio

If it's May, it must be Norfolk Open Studios...and I'm taking part for the first time ever. I'm nervous, excited and scared, all at once, which is a heady cocktail for anyone... I've even tidied the Little Green Shed, so you know it's serious! I'd love it if you could come to visit at some point during the proceedings; if you can't manage to come during opening times, I'd be more than happy to open the LGS just for you outwith those times. This coming Sunday, there will be wine and nibbles for anyone who attends; and on Sunday 24th May, there will be Serious Cake, as it's my birthday. I really hope you'll manage to come and visit... please email me (email in my profile), or leave a message for more information and directions...or visit the Norfolk Festival website and search for Marion Barnett; there's contact information and directions there, too.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Terrified By White Paper?

You know, when you want to create, but the white paper is scary, and you sit there and think, and somehow nothing gets done? I have the solution! Work small, and work with pre prepared card! I've just added these to my Etsy shop; hand painted card that is in Inchie or ATC format (ie 1" square or 2.5" by 3.5"). You can use them however you wish... just as they are, on cards or collage, or use them as a starting point for your own creativity. Look at each one with a fresh eye, work out what theme it suggests to you, and start to collage or paint. Above all, have fun! You can find the inchies here, and the ATC/ACEOs here

It really doesn't matter if you start from a blank sheet of paper, or from a pre prepared background; the work you make will be uniquely yours, I promise! And however you make your art, make sure you have lots of fun, too!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Art Inspirations

I've got together with my local gallery to offer weekly short workshops in a variety of techniques. The first, a taster workshop, will be held on Thursday 16 April, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Basically, I'll be bringing lots of the art making materials that can be found in my studio, giving a quick talk about what they all are, and then help you to make a small piece of art, or two, like the images above! Paints, papers, collage materials, everything you could want to make art will be supplied in the price of £7.50. Why not come and have some fun with me, for a good cause? All the money raised from that evening will be going to a local charity.

The regular workshops will be held on Wednesday evenings, and the topics for May are:
29 April: Paste Papers. Make beautiful decorative papers for collage, book binding etc. Learn how to make a simple paste from ingredients in your kitchen!
6 May: Pamphet Books. Make a small handmade book using some of the paper you made last week (or using some decorative papers)
13 May : Printing With Natural Materials simple prints using leaves, vegetables etc
20 May: Transfer Dyeing; Colouring polyester cloth using transfer dyes to produce a textile postcard, with the leftover paper to use for collage!
27 May: Collage. Use your transfer dyed paper with other papers, images etc to make an interesting collage.

And if you'd rather have something less formal, during the day, there's 'Stitch And Share', every Friday morning from May 1. Bring the project you're working on, have a cup of coffee and share your hints, tips and news. A great start to the weekend!

All of these activities can be booked in advance by calling (01362) 690969. And, of course, if you're interested in full day workshops, I can teach extended versions of these mini workshops for your guild or group; just drop me an email, and we can discuss a version which will be tailored to your needs. My list of textile workshops is available here (and yes, I travel...anywhere you like!). If you would prefer to work one to one, there's information available here at very low introductory prices for this brand new service.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


I'm fascinated by mixed media, and continue to make collages with found papers and paint. This particular piece, Falling, has a rich metallic shimmer which the photograph, sadly, just does not show. Fragments of intricately painted paper lie on a rich crimson metallic base, with splashes of blue metallic paint adding to that falling feeling. Mounted and encased in a wooden frame, finished size 8" by 10", it is an interesting piece, I hope... and seems appropriate to post about this evening, as the snow falls apace... I think it has a hint of mystery about it.

I have not put mixed media work in my Etsy shop for a while, but I'm going to list this piece in my main shop here

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Fun Stuff!

I'm of the view that you can't be serious all the time. So I made a fun Valentine's piece, called 'Kiss My...Cow!'. I was going to promote it here... but actually, it sold as soon as I listed it (picture above), so I hope you're with me in just having fun looking at the piece itself. And perhaps celebrate with me, too, that was my 100th sale on Etsy!

There's something about working with bright and cheerful fabric that uplifts the soul. And as a cat fan, who loves dogs too, I thought I'd do something with the scraps of cat and dog cloth that were lurking in my cupboard. The other image is of the piece that resulted, Precious Pets. It never ceases to amaze me how effective simple shapes and patterns are, combined with strong colours. I think it is perhaps part of the ongoing popularity of patchwork and quilting, that you can make beautiful things in a very simple way. So.... what are you doing here? Go Make Something!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Where Did You Get That???

I have lots of interesting things in my workshop, but the thing that people ask me about, oddly, is the paper I use for transfer dyeing. It's not anything special, you understand, it's just white newsprint, which is ideal for transfer dyeing as it is cheap and convenient. I get mine from Wannabox. And I get my boxes for Etsy there, too. But I do have to admit to a certain bias... my husband is their accountant. They are, however, artist and craftsperson friendly, so it is worth a look if you need paper, boxes, bubblewrap or the like.

This is the kind of thing that people don't associate with artists; they think paint, dye, fun stuff...but never packaging! I love visiting the factory, as I've never seen so much paper in one place at one time, and have to be physically restrained from picking up every scrap of paper from the floor just in case I can use it. And watch this space... I have some of their small boxes which I intend to alter. It's amazing what you can do with cardboard!

I do have other favourite suppliers, of course, but this has to be the oddest one in my collection. Maybe you could share your strangest supplies, too?

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Looking Forwards, Looking Back.

Happy New Year! I hope everyone will have a joyful and successful New Year, whatever that means to you...

For me, New Year is a time for looking back, and looking forward. I want to get better at what I do, and to do that, I don't just need to plan for new things (and believe me, I have plans!!), but to reflect on what I've done in the past year. And for that, I'd like to enlist your help. I'd like every person who reads this, to give me a piece of feedback, about this blog, my other blogs, my Etsy shop, anything at all. In return, I'd like to give you an original ACEO, a small piece of my own work, like the ones I'm showing at the top of this post. PLEASE make sure that I can contact you; my email address is in my profile, but not everyone can be contacted in this way. And if you would like a piece of feedback from me, let me know, and I'll go and look at whatever it is you want feedback on!

To make things simple, my links are embedded here; the artmixteremporium blog, you are already reading, obviously! But there's my main blog and my etsy shops, artmixter and purelypainting I would love to hear what you think, so that I can improve what I do. Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for the feedback! I'll be in touch to get your contact details, so please do remember to supply a contact email address.