sari silk stripes

Join me for the final step around the color wheel…

Ever since I was a young thing,
I’ve always loved to sew.

The back and forth of needle through fibres almost hypnotises me into a meditative trance. I love the tactile textures of the fibres, the way shapes can be held together and yet still flex to move. The shadows in the folds, the waves in the weave.

All this to say, it will come as no surprise to learn I have a sizeable stash of fabrics in my studio with which to play.

It’s largely a collection of clothes {some old, almost worn out, most thrifted or rescued, saved for a quality to the fabric, the color or texture or pattern or something. Others saved for simply their fibres, to be chopped up and used as stuffing}

There’s also the yarns and threads, the ribbons and trim. Some rescued and tattered, some new. One type I’m especially fond of (shhh – don’t tell the others) is a type of yarn made from recycled sari silks.

This particular yarn delights my senses with its blend of rich vibrant colors, the light shimmer to the silk fibres. It has a character and charm in its wobbly bobbly line, like a tree branch or stream. But more than this! when lightly unravelled it reverts to ribbon with deliciously frilled raw edges, fluffy like feathers, and a criss cross of creases.

Yes, I’m altogether smitten with this stuff!

You’ll find sari silk yarns and ribbons online or in some fabric stores, I got mine online from Yarn Yarn & Good Karma Llama, these are the best I’ve come across so far 🙂

So for the final piece of this 12 month project I used my most favourite material. This golden egg yolk color was perfect to complete the wheel of color that’s taken us through this extraordinary year!

Sometimes (often times) its the simplest of ideas that lead to the best outcomes.

I cut short lengths of the yarn and unravelled to ribbons, hand stitched them using a long running stitch to form stripes on this painted paper I’ve been using all month.

Each strip of silk made stripes within stripes, the frayed edges, the stitches over and the creases in the fabric, and the marks on the paper showing through between. I deliberately didn’t iron the unravelled yarn flat to maintain the wrinkles, although next time I might add some ironed stripes in as well for yet another type of contrast. I’d like to try layering narrow stripes on top of broader ones…. so many ideas!

This is a quick look at today’s piece taking shape stripe by stripe.


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Join me in the New Year to find out where this project is going next as I plan to combine them into some big multicolored works. 

(and maybe some more smaller pieces too)

Hi – I’m Mixy!

This is Mixy 🙂

I’m a mixed media & textile artist from London, UK.

I love to share what I’m making, and I hope it brings some inspiration to your creative time.

You can see what I’m making on this blog, and in these places too

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paper doodles

making doodled patterns with painted paper shapes.

Following on from yesterpost’s painted paper collage inspired by the sun ray style mandala ideas, today I’m using the same papers but for something quite different.

From sharp cut, radiating lines to these freeform doodly torn wiggles.

I love making patterns from these rounded shapes – so much so I filled a whole sketchbook with them one time 🙂

Overlapping the pieces like scales or feathers gives them another layer of dimension, a sort of ruffled aliveness, and something I now want to explore again – maybe part of a bigger piece – maybe with fabric or card or something a bit chunkier to make them stand apart from each other even more.

Something I love most in this project is that each week I’m not just making the piece I show you in these posts, but they are sparking alive a whole flurry of offshoot ideas.

Here’s how today’s piece took shape


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored YellowYellow-GreenGreenBlue-GreenBlueViolet-BlueViolet,  Red-Violet,  Red, Red-Orange & Orange)

Hi – I’m Mixy!

This is Mixy 🙂

I’m a mixed media & textile artist from London, UK.

I love to share what I’m making, and I hope it brings some inspiration to your creative time.

You can see what I’m making on this blog, and in these places too

Join Me!

Get monthly-ish Studio Musings Newsletter.

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sunset mandala

we’re into the last phase of this color wheel trip, the golden hues of ochre, turmeric and saffron, late afternoon sun, and desert sands.

Folks, we’re into the last phase of this color wheel trip! Our final color to explore is orange-yellow, the golden hues of ochre, turmeric and saffron, late afternoon sun, and desert sands.

Today’s exploration began with some painted papers (much more of these in a separate post soon!)

The paper I’m using is all scrap – from magazine pages, old drawings and a paper bag – the stuff that would end up in the recycling basket if I didn’t have this compulsion to turn everything into art.

I’ve been sorting through some art supplies i haven’t played with in a long while and came across some coloured cellophane too, so that’s in the stash as well as some thread and yarn and a couple of sandy-ochre coloured markers.

Let’s see what we can make with this assortment of orange-yellow things!

I’ve got a real fascination with mandalas right now (again – more to come on these in a few post’s time!) so that’s the idea which sparked today’s creation.

Beginning with a small piece from each of the painted papers I cut out a bunch of triangles. Using PVA glue on a piece of card for a backing I arranged the triangles, alternating the different papers, pizza-slice-fashion into a mandala of sorts.

I’m left wondering if it wants some patterns doodled onto some of slices, so this might still be a work in progress.

Options (as usual) remain open 😉

Here’s how today’s process took shape

Next post I’ll show you how the rest of the painted papers became part of this orange-yellow series.


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored YellowYellow-GreenGreenBlue-GreenBlueViolet-BlueViolet,  Red-Violet,  Red, Red-Orange & Orange)

Hi – I’m Mixy!

This is Mixy 🙂

I’m a mixed media & textile artist from London, UK.

I love to share what I’m making, and I hope it brings some inspiration to your creative time.

You can see what I’m making on this blog, and in these places too

Join Me!

Get monthly-ish Studio Musings Newsletter.

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The end of the yellow (brick) road

As we reach the close of this month, it will be time to step round to the next color in the wheel. Before we move along, I want to show you what where these adventures with yellow have taken me and what I do when art is misbehaving, uncooperative & tricksy.

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ” 

― Oscar Wilde.

As we reach the close of this month, it will be time to step round to the next color in the wheel.

Before we move along, I want to show you what where these adventures with yellow have taken me.

And I’m going to share with you what I do when art is misbehaving, uncooperative & tricksy.

Because, sometimes art needs to rest.

(just like we do).

Creative work sometimes gets weary and sluggish, uncooperative or just plain troublesome (just like we do).

Knowing when to persevere through the resistance, and when to send the art away to quiet shelf or drawer is not always an easy call to make.

Something I really like about TWELVTY’s one color a month discipline, is that at the end of the month I put away everything I’ve made. It rests until I reach the end of the twelve color cycle and then I’ll see it again with fresh eyes.

And y’know – it always looks better after a rest.

Now I want to let you into a secret….

In all the TWELVTY projects I’ve made – especially that very first 12 color art journal in 2012 – although I really enjoyed the making process, I couldn’t see the finished result as art I liked for a long while. That first book sat unlooked at on a shelf for more than a year, and only when I revisited it did I properly ‘see it’.

I’m writing this for everyone who’s making something and feeling a little underwhelmed by the results.

It might just need to rest.

As I type this to you now, my first episode of one-color-fun is closed.

I’ve a few pieces I could call ‘finished’. And then there’s a big ole heap of bits that are just beginnings – sketchy, experimental, or little scraps that may or may not find a place to belong later.

In isolation they don’t look all that, but when I see them together as a collection, experience tells me there’s potential that could emerge, only after they’ve had a rest.

Not so bad & Not so good

It was fellow artist and online friend, Tammi Salas, who introduced the idea to file away part made and unfinished art in this way:

In my studio I have two big file boxes:
One labelled “Not so Bad”.
One Labelled “Not so Good”.

messy desk 🙂

It doesn’t take a whole lot of discernment to choose which box, and it makes for an elegant solution to so many studio dilemmas and judgement calls.

This is a resting place for art that needs to recuperate from being harried and hustled, berated and bewildered.

(I’ll write more about these boxes and their contents another time).

These are the boxes I’m using now. I recently upgraded from shoeboxes and floor-heaps. Any container or flat space will work just as well.


So, all that said, here are the results of what has happened on my messy desk through this first month of TWELVTY 2020. Everything that’s yellow is here, the not so bad and the not so good (and the little bits in between).

The next color in this journey is yellow-green.
Think gold-green, avocado & olive, turtles & toads, luscious limes, chartreuse. Mmmm!


Every month this year I am making a series of pieces in just one color, so at the end of the year I can combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure in this blog.

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free! Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook

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Next layers: more mark making

I simply do not distinguish between work and play.” 

― Mary Oliver.

Yester-post we looked at first layers. Now I’m building on those foundations with some variations of these themes.

These are the techniques I use in my art journals and mixed media pieces. Whatever I’m making I like to work quickly and without any planning. It’s even easier without the distraction of choosing colors to use:

The first piece I pick up + the first paint or ink that comes to hand + the first tool I grab. It always surprises me how serendipity brings new combinations of patterns together.

While color is restricted, mark making tools are not. I don’t limit myself to paint brushes and *proper* art tools (although I like using these too).

Like a lot of folk these days, I’m trying to opt out of plastic use as much as possible, but it still turns up uninvited through packaging and whatnot. We know that re-use is more efficient than recycling.

For all that is bad about plastic, the up side to its indestructible nature is it makes very durable art making tools that are easy to keep clean and seldom need replacing. I’ve had some of the stuff I use for years and you’d never know.

These are a few of my favourite mark making things:

  • A hair comb.
  • Plastic cards – old bank cards etc.
  • Bits of bubble wrap, plastic bag and packaging.
  • Plastic netting – the type you get oranges and lemons in.
  • Plastic forks, knives, spoons etc. (especially forks)
  • Old pens that have run out of ink (ball points, felt pens, markers) – and their lids for perfect little circles!
  • Knitting needles.
  • String, feathers, elastic bands.

You’ll likely see all these things (and more) come up in my process videos over the coming weeks and months, they all make their own characteristic marks, some more predictably than others.

Next layers made in Yellow for TWELVTY 2020

I’m beginning to combine these pieces now with collage, fabric and stitching, They’re evolving from scrappy bits of paper with smears of paint and scribbles into curious little pieces of art.

This heap of part done bits and pieces is on my desk right now.

Yellow in progress.

My adventures with yellow finishes at the end of the month, when I skip round to the next color in the wheel. Next post I’ll show you the *finished* {for now} stage, and explain what I mean by this too 😉


Every month this year I am making a series of pieces in just one color, so at the end of the year I can combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure in this blog.

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free! Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook

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First Layers

“Start where you are, use what your have, do what you can.”

Arthur Ashe

The magic of mixed media art making comes from the layers.

First layers can be marks made in paint or pen, they can be collage or textural. Sometimes the whole surface is covered, sometimes it’s just a few marks to break up that beginning expanse of nothing.

scribbles and doodles break up the space on the blank paper.

When you keep in mind that what goes down on the first layer will likely get covered up, it’s much easier to feel free to experiment.

first layers don’t need to be pretty!

I don’t strive to make something beautiful, I just play. Letting one idea feed the next and seeing where it leads.

Experiment by combining patterns of mark making on different surfaces – thin copier paper reacts very differently to paint and ink than watercolor paper, or tissue paper, or fabric. Investigate some of the infinite possibilities!

I like having a few pieces on the go at the same time. Ideas cross pollinate between them, and I can swap from one to another while the layers dry.

Crumple or fold paper so the color can seep into the creases.

Consider how many ways there are to apply color to surface. Paint brushes are just the beginning, some of my favourite tools are not conventional things you’ll find in the art supply store 😉

Watch how the first layers of the first color of Twelvty began.

First layers made in Yellow for TWELVTY 2020

Every month this year I am making a series of pieces in just one color, so at the end of the year I can combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’ll be sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog.

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!
Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

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