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Ahoy There! Drop Anchor and Read a While

Hello to you all and a happy start to February. This month brings Valentine's Day, and love for lots of exciting new workshops and exhibitions in our Sail Loft.

If you're a last-minute Valentine's Day shopper, there's still time to visit our NaviStitch shop on Manningtree High Street in Essex and land yourself an original piece of art and a card that'll let your loved one know just how oarsome they are! We're open between 10am and 4pm today, tomorrow and Saturday and we'd love to meet you.


Whilst you're visiting, take in the delights of Anne Plummer's Marbles Painting Exhibition which is in our Sail Loft until Saturday this week. Although the picture on the left looks as if we're just exhibiting lots of glass spheres, these are actually paintings - incredible aren't they?!

Coming up next month, we've got Anne Plummer joining us again, this time with her Barges and Boats exhibition. From 9th to 12th March, her incredible paintings will be displayed in the Sail Loft, upstairs in the NaviStitch shop and is free to visit.

We've got two great workshops coming up in March too: Mike Klencher, experienced photographer and Suffolk New College lecturer, will be teaching you how to get the best from your SLR camera by using manual and semi-automatic settings on Saturday 5th March. 'Get off Auto' teaches you to do exactly that. Funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, the workshop is free so booking soon is advisable here

The multi-talented Vic from Maekandoo is teaching her 3rd workshop with us: Free motion embroidery: drawing with your sewing machine looks amazing. Embroider a panel and applique your design to create a cushion that you can take home and showcase on Saturday 12th March from 10:30am-4pm. The workshop is perfect even if you don't know the basics of using a sewing machine 'think swirls, curves, doodles and words; shades, tones and contrasts'. Book your place here


More news on exhibitions and workshops next time but, suffice to say, we've got things happening in the Sail Loft right through until June at the moment - take a look at the full calendar here. If you're an artist wanting to hold an exhibition; if you're an independent maker or trader wanting a pop-up shop space; of if you're a tutor that would like space to run a workshops, find out more about our sail loft here.


Finally, here's a little bit about my own art - I thought I'd showcase a few things that I'm particularly proud of at the moment:

Here's a recent textile project that I've been working on - it was created at a workshop with @AlexandraWaylett . This one's framed in a beautiful Pegu frame. I'm planning on creating more textile art but I'd love to know what you think - drop me a line at

Below are three pieces of work that I've created recently - they can be found adorning the walls of the Navistitch shop. For those of you that haven't managed to find your way to seeing us yet, or who don't know my work well just now, I use navigation charts - some vintage, some newer and I stitch onto them to create coastal memories for people. I have an extensive collection of charts so if you'd like to have a special place immortalised, just ask. If you have your own boat, let me know the specification and I'll find the sail plan to create an accurate representation on your chart. Commissioned artwork can be provided mounted or, if you collect from my shop, I can have it framed too. For details on commissions visit my website

And last but certainly not least, here are some new art cards that I've been working on - I use several techniques but they all include some stitching and every single one is fantastically unique. These are available in the Navistitch shop only at present. Here's a question for you: I'm thinking of running a workshop myself on the techniques that I use for these designs - would you be interested in learning this? I'd love to hear from you on this too:

Until the next time, I wish you calm waters and plain sailing (and a sackful of Valentine's cards!)


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