Thursday, 23 December 2010

On snow...

We had an awful lot of snow in my neck of the woods on Monday, and much of it is still with us, though not much of the pretty stuff. Now more like packed ice, pinkish-brown slush and lethal black ice. I went for a walk in the winter wonderland earlier in the week, and it was wonderful to see many children out making snowballs and snowmen.

I love the road-cone hat!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Made in Bristol Gift Fair

What a pleasant day it was! Well-organised, impressive surroundings in the new Foyer at Colston Hall, and as always a pleasure to meet new exhibitors. I had a pitch near a window which gave me a good view of much of the foyer.

My stand and some of my new bunting on display..........

Thank you every one who came to see us! 

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Christmas tree bunting

Prior to the Made in Bristol Gift Fair, I have some Christmas bunting on display on one of the stalls at the German Fair in Bristol.
Here's a wee glimpse...............

Handmade from rust-red and pine green hessian, seven trees embellished and hand-stitched.......complete with shooting star.

©Dar Msallema 2010

Made in Bristol Gift Fair

Hope you can make it along to this years Made in Bristol Gift Fair as I am taking part. This is my first time, and it has been highly recommended. I will be there on the 11th. December.
It's a fantastic free event on Saturday 11th & 18th December at Bristol's Colston Hall.
Myself and 50 + other artists, designers and food producers are taking part - all your Christmas shopping under one, shiny gold, roof!

 Take a look at the following links - all will be revealed about the Fair!

New Public Fan Page Here:

Look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Sunday....another day off....

This could get to be a habit....! A nice one though.

Some beautiful flowers from my son..they glow with colour...

A wonderful chicken stir-fry cooked for me, then an evening by a warm log-fire as we played Scrabble with our well-worn old set...

Erm....I was beaten hollow!

A Day Off....

On Friday, a day off from making Christmas items, my daughter and I wended our way to Teignmouth. I get withdrawal symptoms if I don't see the sea for ages, so it was lovely, although the day was overcast and moody. The first thing we saw was a rainbow: I took a photo on my phone, but infuriatingly it would not save as the memory was full! An "oh shoot" moment!

The huts on the pier looked rather bizarre without the sun and summer crowds, and very lonely.

From the other side, less so as they were all clumped together.

Lunch at the Beachcomber, then another amble on a freezing cold promenade and through the streets - we both like just ambling. As the light went at tea-time, the horizon developed a shaded line, as though someone had carefully applied eye-liner - it was beautiful, and looked very cold and forbidding at the same time.

Then it rained, and rained and rained.....
Time for a cup of tea.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Christmassy fabrics

I love handling and working with beautiful quality fabrics! Christmas ones are especially gorgeous.
I am well under way making bunting and Christmas gifts for my online shop, and fairs coming up in December .......some will be in the shop next week.

It is such horrid weather today - cold, raining and a strong wind, that I will light a fire and sit and sew....... bliss

©Dar Msallema 2010

Monday, 8 November 2010

On being old-fashioned

Do read this article - well worth it! Found it by a link on Twitter. I am unashamedly old-fashioned in some ways, and many of the things mentioned in this article take me back to my childhood and teen years when they were commonplace. I still have my fountain pens, the Ultra record player which my father gave me for my 21st birthday, and it works!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

I love bartering!

For a few months I have been keeping an eye out for a model head to use for display at craft fairs. Quite by chance yesterday I acquired this one in exchange for a packet of biscuits! I love bartering like that, with both parties happy!
I think the head is beautiful.......

She needs a name, as she will be joining Diana when I go out.
Does anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

It's a cat's life

I went outside a short while ago, and it felt really cold tonight. My cat seems to think so too....uncharacteristically, she is in early, and curled up in a chair. Maybe it has something to do with fireworks going off nearby as well.
She looks so comfortable it makes me want to wend my way to bed too!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Goodbye to my old studio

A long time since I posted, but.... I have been working very hard changing studios.
I have been in my last one for ten years, seven of them sharing it with the youngsters in my then art group, so it holds many memories. But it was time to move on, or sideways in my case.

It was strange seeing it empty.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Photos of the Autumn Art Market - Paintworks in Bristol

At the crack of dawn, it was up and off to an early start on the drive to Bristol, pitches allocated on a first-come-first- served basis, and then the rush to get set up in time for visitors.
The Paintworks is an interesting venture, a work in progress:!/event.php?eid=150238438331672&

 A side shot of my stall...........

The gentleman is looking closely at one of these..........

.............a sand strawberry! A very old idea -  many of us may remember our grandmothers having one in their sewing basket, and using it to keep needles sharp. I make them by the dozen!

And finally, dear Diana, on duty and sporting one of my bags.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Month of contrasts

I've been re-potting some of my plants and bringing them indoors, as there was a frost two mornings ago. Brilliant sunshine all day, frost at night.
In the space of an hour, I picked a geranium cutting with new buds on a stem.........

then found this leaf up the road which has changed to the most beautiful colours........

Looking for a castle

On arriving back from the Art Market last weekend, all of my stock and display items were stacked in my living room from the van. The next morning, exhausted, I surveyed the mountain of shelving, boxes and packages, and thought "I need a castle to live in", meaning a metaphorical one for more space.
During the day the thought developed into a real castle, so I asked a good friend if she knew of any going cheap - very cheap. "No", she said, " and if I did I'd have moved in myself!"  Ah, right.

I think I am going to write to Her Majesty and ask her if she fancies taking in a lodger - quite like the idea of living in THE Palace. It'll help with her heating bills, and to boot, she just might get her chandeliers dusted for free.

And here it is........

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Autumn Art Fair at Paintworks, Bristol

I have spent what time I can this summer making new stock.
Now, a new venture for me, as I have never been to a fair in Bristol before. If anyone can make it , the more the merrier! Look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday 19th September, 10.30 a.m - 4.30 p.m, at the Paintworks in Bristol

Here is a link to the page on Facebook:

Monday, 10 May 2010

Can't believe it's over a month....!

How time flies!
Only just over a month ago, I had spent nearly seven months "glued" to my office chair and computer, working many hours a day (and night) sorting photos of stock - umpteen variations of sizes and type, exhausting Photoshop - listing, setting up my first online shops. It was a very frustrating yet enlightening process, which sent me on a steep learning curve. I still have a very long way to go, and lots of marketing to do, but I decided it was time I came out of my self-inflicted Hermit existence to get back to my studio, before my joints set.
Having been "on the road" a lot going to Craft Fairs for about fifteen months, and a new roof on the studio with all the attendant mess, it has been looking rather neglected. So I am in the process of a massive Spring-clean and re-arrangement of the space. Hopefully, if I don't collapse with exhaustion, I can then get down to some serious work for the summer. I'll have to take some "before and after" pictures, although at the moment it looks worse than the "before".....

P.s - there's a picture of the outside of my studio up above on one of the pages....

Thursday, 1 April 2010

An Exhibition

Yesterday we collected the pieces of artwork I have been showing in an exhibition in Totnes. It looked brilliant when all the work started going up on walls, or placed on plinths - the sense of expectation and months of hard work by all concerned coming together under one roof. The exhibition was called "Inside TRAIL", with pieces made by the T.R.A.I.L artists, a large, flexible group of folk in the South West who create things out of recycled materials. Every summer, if you stroll up the promenade at Teignmouth, and along the coast to Dawlish, you can see sculptures and installations braving the sea and incumbent weather conditions by artists in the group. Indoor gallery exhibitions are housed in various buildings in the town. Click on the link at the side to the T.R.A.I.L website, where you can find out a great deal more.

I made this hanging for a T.R.A.I.L gallery exhibition, wanting it to be moody and atmospheric. I had a whole bag of pieces collected  after cutting up garments - so herewith "HMS Shirtcollar & Cuffs"!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Hello and Welcome to Dar Msallema!

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Woods, and I am an artist, teacher and designer-maker. I live in beautiful Devon, which is a constant source of inspiration - and rain.
I love working with textiles, and frequently work with them in the same way as I do paint and other materials, which usually means making a glorious mess. (I do love  the pristine cleanliness after tidying up!)
I suppose subconsciously I am hoping that others may find my work  "meaningful" in some way, or even better, "useful", but that doesn't really figure at the time of creating. That comes later as I really do enjoy making an item for someone, knowing it will serve them well, and last for years. It's just the way I live.The influences on my work, inspiration, daily life, and the process of creating all run and blend together.
I was recently asked - "which page are you on?" That just about sums it up!

Some examples of my artwork can be seen by clicking on the titled Pages above.